I can’t help but think of your touch when I slip on my leather jacket. I like the heaviness of the sleeves, especially on the cuffs, and the way the zipper rubs against my collarbone calms me.
I don’t know why I’m writing this to you when we can talk on the phone or chat online, but I thought it would be nice for me to try something different. It’s typed up and printed on computer paper, but it’s still a letter, right? This would have been written with a fountain pen on stationary, but my handwriting is crap and neither you nor I could ever hope to read it. I hope this is okay with you.
What to talk about… Well, I guess I haven’t told you that my sister came out. At the time of this writing, about an hour after you and I got off the phone, Kylie told my parents that she’s a lesbian. We were sitting at the table with the half-lit chandelier (Dad still hasn’t replaced the two bulbs that burned out), eating pork chops, when Kylie stood up and slammed her fist on the glass table.
The table shook so hard, my plate almost bounced off. “I am a lesbian,” she said. Then she sat down and buried her face in her palms.
My parents stared at her for a minute, lowered their eyes, and chewed their food. It wasn’t long until my dad said, “We’ll talk about this later.” After dinner, the three of them went to Kylie’s old room. I followed after they shut the door, trying to listen in. I didn’t hear any yelling.
I don’t know what to think of it. I keep joking that you should be bi or something so we could have a threesome with your co-worker. But now that the punch line is closer to home, I don’t know what to think. Ah, hell, I think you should at least have lesbian tendencies. It’s just another experiment, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. No harm in trying.
All kidding aside, I’m really proud of my sister. Kylie had the guts to face my parents. They didn’t take to the news all too well, but I think she’ll be okay. She has always been the kind of person to do things her own way. Considering that my parents have beaten any sense of individuality out of us, this is a great feat. My parents yelled at us every time Kylie or I wanted to go out to the mall, play guitar, or read Tolkien. It was a waste of time, they’d say. Do you know how it is to have people tell you that anything you like is wrong? I’m almost afraid to play video games because I feel like my parents are nearby, waiting to barge in and knock the controller off my hands. It has gotten to the point where I worry for no goddamn reason. These anxiety attacks are killing me. I’m just glad that you’re there to slam those thoughts aside.
I still think you should go bi.
I knew you’d like this letter-writing thing! It’s fun to send and wait for letters, even though you’re only a two-hour drive away. When you called to say I was in trouble for writing that last letter, I knew I was going to get it good. I got excited, and hoped that you would deliver the punishment, which you did. You really taught me a lesson.
Speaking of which, I’m going to take this opportunity to make up for the bi comment with this poem:
This is How I Worship You
This is how I worship you,
the darkness of my life:
I covet your strands of hair,
for they are my shackles,
wiry and thin.
They grind and slice my wrists
until they fall off
as a sacrifice to you.
I am in reverence of your breasts,
the mounds of flesh
which surrounds my prison of lust.
I trace the stretch marks
like I trace the erosion
of my sanity,
until my fervor leads
me to oblivion.
All of this is to ready myself
so I may prostrate
before the glory
of your essence.
It is my iron maiden,
my ultimate punishment,
the thing that closes in
and pierces my desire
until it bleeds out
and I am lost into eternity.
I hope this pleases you. I had little time to create it as it was hard to write the poem with my parents around. It’s a small token, considering that you’ll please me at least twice before you get this letter. I’m so glad I answered your ad in the personals those many months ago. It’s worth the drive to San Diego.
In your service,
You battered me good when I showed up last time. I can’t believe you got so aroused by the poem that you used the chains to whip me instead of shackle me. God, that fucking hurt good. Oh, and the way that you almost crushed my Adam’s Apple with your stiletto-heeled boots really got me worked up. I think I was begging for mercy long after my voice gave out. Then again, I don’t think I would have been able to hear myself anyway, since you kept yelling out “my little poet bitch” after you thrust yourself onto me. I cease to remember myself when I’m inside you.
But I still have welts on my arms, and I keep throwing out my back. Does this happen to people in their early twenties? Maybe I should ask you on the phone. I’m just worried, that’s all. I’m going to assume that since you’re a nurse, you wouldn’t do anything that would cause me personal grief. I hope that is the case, anyway. Please don’t hurt me if I’m wrong. Or maybe you should hurt me. Your fury is so attractive.
What else to write about… I know you’re tired of me talking about my sister, but I’m really proud of what she’s doing, getting out of the house and running her own business and all. I didn’t think that life away from here was possible. You know my parents. It almost makes me want to get off my ass and look for colleges. I’m done with the nine-to-five. Maybe I can finally have my own place. I’m just glad they stopped reading my mail years ago. I’m still nervous though and I have to go through the mailbox and snatch your letters before my dad goes through them. It’s pretty exciting, actually.
I’m looking forward to more letters. I won’t be able to visit you before you receive this. I have that appointment with the shrink Tuesday and dinner with a friend on Saturday.
I get the feeling that you’re angry with me. Last week, you used the hooks. A couple of days later, you hooked me up again and smacked my head(s) with a paddle. What did I do? I know I’m the one who’s supposed to take the pain. Yet, I think, during these recent times, the punishment doesn’t fit the sins. You used to grin when you punched me in the stomach. I could feel your excitement as the blow from your fist ruptured through my chest. But these past few times you didn’t show your teeth at all. It’s as if you had been frowning the whole time. I don’t know; that’s just my observation. I wanted to talk about this on the phone, but you get so defensive, I can’t get my point across.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m starting to dislike my punishments because my sister or shrink told me so. I don’t tell them what’s going on. Every time they notice my bruises, I always tell them that it was a construction accident. Even if I did tell them, they’d have to get used to the idea, just like my parents had to get used to the idea of Kylie being a lesbian. If they don’t understand, then to hell with them.
Look, I’m not doing this to attack you. God, I love you too much to attack you. All I ask is that maybe you tone it down a bit.
Please, consider this for me, and I will forever be your slave. Take care of me as I have always taken care of you. Punish me because I deserve it. Punish me hard. Bite into my arm until you draw blood. Scratch at my back until my muscles meet your fingernails. Scream into my ears until I hear the sweet sound of nothingness. But please forgive my lack of tolerance for your complete wrath. I am not worthy of it yet.
I hope you understand. I really want to become worthy of your presence and I’m willing to go on this journey – whip by whip, shackle by shackle, pseudo-asphyxiation by pseudo-castration. But I fear that it will take me more time to reach your glory than we first anticipated.
The last few sessions have been great. I have to admit that I was nervous when you showed me the hooks again, but relieved when you did it just to scare me. I know I may sound selfish by writing this here. I could tell you this over the phone, but I need to say this now: when you attached my shackles to the pulleys, raised me off the ground, and head-butted my groin, I was in the throes of ecstasy.
I’m sure you’ll hear this before you get this letter, but I think it’s worth mentioning here.
I know I haven’t returned your calls from last week. I’m afraid that you won’t let me explain. But I hope that you’ll read this letter and give it some thought.
I have to say that I am hurt. I thought we had an understanding. You know that I love and admire my sister. She went through the same shit that my parents put me through and she got out of it. I want that, too. You know this. One of the reasons why I love you so much is because you help me see things differently. You’re not competing with my sister on this. There are just some things that only she can help me with, like how to budget my money
That doesn’t mean that you have to complain that my sister is a “slut” and a “no-good whore” while you choke me with your cat-o-nine tails. She’s neither of those things, and I don’t understand why you would say that. Are you punishing me because I’ve been bad, or simply because my sister exists? Is she really a threat to you?
My shrink told me that part of my anxiety comes from not expressing my feelings. I tell you my feelings all the time, and even when I don’t, you punch them out of me – I love that. I get anxious when I don’t have anyone to talk to. You know that I shake my head and pace like crazy when I worry; that’s why you tie me down with the ropes, after all. But you’re not there all the time. I have to tell someone. Please understand.
Feel free to punish me for my transgressions, but do it in a manner that pleases you, not angers you more. I think the best way to get over this is to bind my arms with the chains and pour hot wax onto my forehead, all while having a mischievous grin. Mischievous is the keyword here.
I will be your punching bag. Please, enjoy.
I haven’t heard from you in weeks. You stopped calling and won’t pick up my calls. All of this happened around the time you would have gotten my last letter. What did I say in it that made you mad? Please don’t feel like my sister is replacing you. She’s just a sounding board for the problems that you and I can’t fix; problems like which college I’m going to apply to, and how to deal with professors. She’s been there before, getting into Cal and grabbing that M.B.A. Kylie is the best person for that, though I have made it known that you are more than welcome to flog away any lingering frustrations that my sister doesn’t catch.
Please don’t think that my shrink is trying to keep us apart. I’ve told him that I’m devoted to you, and he’s fine with that. It’s not his job to restrict me as my parents have. I was only saying that I need family and friends as much as I need you. I still require your violent touch; can’t you see?? I need the cuts you give me on my back, the welts you slam into my legs, the whip-burns you give me on my neck, and the clamps you use to constrict my penis!
Within your world, I see possibilities. The anguish and pain from my childhood are forced out from the sight of your leather-clad body. Every memory of time-outs, detentions, and the disappointed faces of my parents are scalded, slapped, cracked, scratched, clamped, and spat away by you. I cherish the calm that arises from our sessions, when my skin is so beaten that I feel like I’m floating and the only thing that ties me to this world is your tongue licking my wounds.
My world is so bleak since I’m not bound to your dominant presence. I wander the streets of Corona. Joggers pass by like I am a tree, the thugs that hang around Sixth Street won’t even look at me, and even the neighbor’s chihuahua, which used to sniff my ankle before biting it, ignores me. Let’s face it, I’m just a ghost: a specter wandering this two-bit town that neither sees me, nor cares enough to remember me.
Torture and pain is the essence that keeps me in this world, but only if it comes from you! I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s the way you snap your elbow into place with your whip in hand. Perhaps it’s because there is a lust and deviance in your eyes, the way they squint while you grin at me, knowing what I don’t know: my impending doom. All I’m saying is that it’s all coming from you!
Please come back to me!
Yours truly, forever, and always,
I don’t know what made me write this letter. I had given up on hearing from you months ago. I guess I’m writing to tell you that I’m doing all right. I got over my withdrawal of you and the anxiety that came with it. I even stopped pacing. My sister and shrink have helped piece me back together.
I have to say, I was in hell all through January and February. I kept slamming my fist into chain link fences. On the commute to work, my car standing in place among the others, I’d scream until my throat was sore. I’d do that at home too. When my parents saw me yell in the garage, they thought that it was all to make a scene like I’m some three year old. They just shake their heads, trying to make me seem crazy. They don’t care to ask and, frankly, I really don’t care what they think. It doesn’t matter, since I’ll be leaving for college. I could use the “vacation” from this place.
I blamed you the whole time I was suffering, which was wrong. Don’t misunderstand, I’m still upset that you never gave me a reason why you abandoned me; only giving me hints at what the cause might have been. I would like to have had that closure. However, it was my fault for giving into anger. I wanted to hate myself as much as I thought you hated me. I was lost. I guess I relied on you too much. But now I’ve learned to forgive myself for that. And, with the clarity of that forgiveness, I realize that I forgive you, too.
This is my final letter. I hope that you are doing well and will continue to do well for the rest of your life. I will miss you, and that is okay. My heart will always be tied to my thoughts of you.