The Way We Started
 
    Samantha Van Laarhoven
we started here, at a dance club in the darkness wearing black.

we started one day higher than the others, at a table twenty feet away from the dance floor surrounded by pin-ups posies fakes tears and trying too hard. we started by trying to outrun the na´vetÚ of youth through death and desire, black dresses fishnet stockings and smokes.

the room pulsated madly, cadence beating into our heads. watching her watch me and watch everyone else watch.

I'm not pretty or skinny but I got nice tits, she says from the corner. and boom boom boom the bass beat makes the room hardly noticeable. the cement floor isn't cold and standing in the corner smoking we started to move.

me and her, my best friend. never ever the same ever again ready to make that huge jump into the adult world none of us really ever understood.

then again how could we? not with this noise. not with this music. this music. like nothing else.

guy in the corner offering pot to whoever might pass by. rolling it, moist and warm, in his fingers. bald spot on his head. he's trying to be me. and she, my friend wants to be him, become someone she might like, something not anything like right now. we lock eyes, we are never who we want to be, & our eyes exchange our desire.

she abandons her identity in time to the drumming on the floor. shaking her head, hands writhing.

we began in childhood on those filthy porches of our homes, sitting next to lazy smelly dogs barking at the bums as an afterthought and now we wonder, do we ever wonder think propose compromise contemplate about our futures and go about it lazily. playing idly with broken toys, and our own faces covered with dirt.

we used to watch the dogs across the street get hit by cars. sometimes we would cry for them. sometimes we didn't.

after all, who cares?

the guy in the corner, the darkest corner he can find, sits offering me weed, he asks me, do you wear clothes like that because you're a slut or you want to get laid? he laughs, yeah yeah they always laugh.

we danced some more, I said to him, what does it matter to you? nothing but a quick fuck you stoned buttlicking weasel.

she would always be proud of me when I would stand up for myself like that.

we sweated into another song, we danced into an alternate state of being, tummies rumbling with hunger, not a dime to our names. none of us will eat today, we sweated this night alone.

walked around with paint on my hands, pretending the night wasn't as dark as it was and I wasn't as tired as lonely as desperate as we all were.

in the corner, wondering, our minds wandering.

the room out back littered with people. all in black. making their pain this own creation, standing between them all.

people are always talking to me about that shit. pills go down hard with fifty cents of soda. and cold wind blowing through the sheetrock.

1:15 in the morning as I hallucinate voodoo dolls against the walls and green swirls of psychedelic day-glo on the concrete bricks speakin' my language! hahahaaa

in the bathroom people I don't know or want to talking leaning against the rickety plywood walls that keep the world from seeing my ass rubbing the youth dirt out my eyes so I can see the whole thing clearly. the pain makes the most beautiful woman in front of me...

and I am happier forgetting, happier not knowing. put the words inside of me, I dance, one hand useless inside of me holding the pieces together and the other reaching out to her, my best friend for help to anyone not all by themselves give me a chance give me a word one more to make my
world
whole.

this was the first time someone called me a dyke, homo bitch queer faggot fucker. I can laugh at them.

and this is the way we started, from our mothers, seven days and a million thoughts to fit in the space of a year. or one or two or many. no one knows but this silver damnation we are wearing black so as not to be seen.

we talked about god that night over the music, watching the bodies contort in one whole movement, they think they are separate unique one individuals but when one moves they all move, when one laughs they all laugh. and I stand in the corner watching, watch me watch you
watch
them.

you hear nothing of my words and that's how this whole thing started. no one's looking at you but me. and I'm watching you.

the dance club grew darker, emptied as the night wore on to four a.m.

and we went home. the nausea abated as we walked out into the biting black. cold cut through my clothes, holding this to myself. we watched the stars form a light together.

and that's the way we started.


 
 
 
 

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