Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mama Take Me Home




My mom had not budged an inch since making her decree: if I wanted to live at home, I had to go to and complete rehab.

She had been able to force me in the first time, in the middle of my senior year of high school when I was seventeen. I stayed an eventful two weeks. Over those fourteen days, Kurt Cobain killed himself after escaping a rehab he too had been forced into, and my roommate (who had a habit of fucking fruit after lights out) had a full on frothing at the mouth withdrawal- related seizure in the pool.

But most importantly to our story, I turned eighteen. In order to absolve myself of personal responsibility (and hopefully garner some let me come home wiggle room with my mom) I forced the rehab's administration to kick me out by refusing to attend all groups and daily activities. I was putting all my early release eggs on the sophist idea that if I was ejected from the facility, that was, say, different from just up and leaving the facility. Perhaps, my con cried out, Mom, I tried. Perhaps, my con kvetched, but they just wouldn’t let me.

But Mom slice said no dice and stuck to her enabler-free guns. I would not be allowed anywhere near our familial homestead until I completed a thirty day inpatient program.

No sleep (at home) till rehab.

So I finished my senior year of high school living at a house where my friend Marie was trying to finish hers, due to similar circumstances. I just barely graduated, getting my good night's sleep with my head on the desk between final exams. A hunka hunka of burning mess, I was eventually banned from participating in my high school’s graduation ceremony for coming to the practice high and nodding out in what would have been my stage seat at the ceremony. If there was to be any silver lining to this debacle, it was the sweetness shown to me by my closest alphabetical neighbor in class roll call. He and I had never gotten along, but trying to get me to come out of my heroin- induced stupor, he showed an endearing side of himself I’d never seen during all our years of school together.

“Wake up, Fiona!” he said, grabbing my hand and then squeezing it. “You have to open your eyes!”

His actions that day wiped clean a slate filled with twelve years of accumulated hallway dickery.

Baring a miracle, my original post- high school plan of attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City was out of the question, though at this point, it really held no interest to me anyway. The whole trajectory of my life had changed with one snort of heroin off the floor of a reasonable clean Subway Sandwich shop bathroom. Here I was, only a few, scant months later, homeless, baring rehab.

And I kind of thought it was great.

At first.

Making the best of my situation, I pandered to my punk rock identification and its off -shoot sensibility of dirty, smelly transience as a revolutionary act. I indulged myself, allowing myself to believe there was actually something insurrectionary about making your place of residence a sidewalk and letting your day start whenever you said it did, regardless of the sun’s place in the sky. The delusion I was stickin' it to the man sustained me, as I partook in what was essentially the same hippie lifestyle from the 60’s, but with darker clothes, different music and distain for hippies.

That summer, I traveled to California and stayed in Berkeley, a place I’d read about and wanted to visit for years, mostly because of a fascination with the decade that I denied my lifestyle emulated. Spending about five minutes in the hallowed People’s Park, the rest of the trip was spent mooching food, bumming change and fighting with the people I was traveling with. The trip sucked and I was mentally and physically exhausted- in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, I did harbor ambitions’ for my life besides living off of other peoples generosities’ and then ranking on them for the choices that afforded them the ability to be generous.

Though not done with drugs, I was done with the chaos of that summer’s unstable living conditions and that big, empty feeling that came from knowing I was not doing an iota of what I could have been with my life.

I wanted to come home.

Mom, I will go to rehab and I will stay.
My mom played her tough love role to the hilt. She had been well- schooled by her Love The Addict, Hate the Disease self- help books and the Al-Anon support group meetings she had attended in my absence. She wouldn’t even pick me up at the shopping center I was living behind (sleeping on cardboard boxes with two other destitute romanticists) and dispatched my uncle to ferry me to the rehab.

“That,” he said, after we exchanged luke- warm pleasantries as I boarded his truck, “is a hair don’t.”

My friend Theo had attempted to give me a Chelsea girl haircut earlier in the month but I had opted for the only ‘do choice remaining- a completely shaved head- when I hadn’t liked the results. My Manson family post Charlie’s conviction coif was then jazzed with haphazardly applied random black spots- the concept being leopard print, the reality being sloppy, haphazardly applied random black spots.

There was a Rorschach test on my head.

“Shut up!” I said, like the brat kid I was. Though I was acquiescing to my mother’s demands I was still resentful about them and made sure my family knew it.

As things stood, all I had to wear over my impending 28 day stay was the effluvium rich clothing on my back- A Die, Die, Die my Darling Misfits t-shirt and pair of cut off black thermal shorts with one other every third day rotator t- shirt in my bag. The rehab I was going to was in close proximity to Rhode Island and a popular beach area. My mom, thinking ahead to cover any reasons I might later concoct to justify going AWOL, had given my uncle a shopping bag containing new shorts and shirts, shoes and a beach towel. Digging deeper into the bag, I could feel something made of stretchy, clingy material. Considering the towel, I had a feeling as to what it was. I pulled it out.

A fucking bikini.

Blue, with black polka dots.

“Goes with your hair,” my uncle said, raising his eyebrows as he spoke.



© Fiona Helmsley

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Nature of A Parasite


I knew it was going to be him as soon as I met him, as soon as I learned where he was from. I’m not really sure why I made him wait. I guess because it seemed like the lady- like thing to do.

It was the night before he and his family would be leaving to go back to New York. He had talked of bringing me up to the cottage, but that proved an impossibility when his parents were still up and entertaining at 2 am. They’d thrown a good- bye party for themselves and all of the other residents who vacationed down in The Cove. Instead, I met him by the big oak tree and he led me down an overgrown path towards the tall grass that separated his family’s property from the marshland. I could hear his parents and their guests laughing inside the cottage, someone was warbling a tune about the Navy. I wondered what it was like to be so intoxicated that you thought your own voice worthy of sharing with the rest of the room.

“Here,” he said, stopping right before we hit the marsh and the ground turned into soggy quicksand. The air smelled heavy with salt. He looked around for a clearing among the dense patches of reeds. “Lie down,” he said, finding one about the size of a standard water closet.

“Have you ever done this before?” he asked. “You’re not going to try to stop me once I start, are you?”

Someone laughed inside the cottage, then a woman said in a loud, flirtatious tone, “Bellevue, Frank! Bellevue!”

“Take your clothes off,” he said.

I began to unbutton my blouse. He watched me for a moment, then removed his shirt. He began to fumble with the braided belt on his pants.

“Umm,” he said. There was the sound of clapping flesh as he got on top of me. He pushed my skirt up around my thighs. His hands moved to my hips, then to my backside, searching for a zipper. Finally he found it and dragged it down.

“Take it off,” he said. He rolled off of me, and I slid the skirt down my legs and off at my sandals.

“Tell me how you want it,” he said, taking my hand and mashing it atop the hard spot in the front of his pants. “Squeeze it,” he said, scrunching my hand up with his own. He pushed my head down into the earth and stuck his tongue into my ear. His head dropped lower to my neck and he rubbed his face into my cleavage, then undid the clasp of my bra. He groped my breasts like he was a god, and could change their shape.

“Umm,” he moaned, “Umm,”

His movements became frantic. His hands slid down the sides of my stomach and looped inside the sides of my underwear. He slipped his hands underneath and slid the fabric down my legs.

“Ah!” he said, bolting upright. He held his arm in front of his face and flicked something off and into the reeds. “One of god’s creations, looking to turn me into a blood meal. I forgot my father took the dogs out here once and they came back covered in ticks. A doctor had to come in from town and give them a special bath.”

He reoriented himself to my splayed form in front of him.

“Did I ask? I don’t remember. Have you done this before, or must I break a nymph in?” He moved one of his hands between my legs and stuck a finger inside me. “You like that? How about this?” I felt a second, then a third. “Yes, you like it. You’ve wanted it all summer.”

He fumbled with the button of his pants and pulled down his zipper, pushing his pants down past to his knees.

“Take it out,” he said.

Someone turned on the porch lights on the back of the cottage and the glow offered a reaching illumination.

I reached up into the slit of his boxer shorts. His penis was hard and stiff, like a harpoon. The skin felt like the rubber of a bicycle tire. Fluid leaked from the tip.

“Line it up,” he said. “But just align it. I'll do the rest."

I stared at him blankly.

“No,” I said.

“What do you mean, no?”

“You figure it out,” I answered.

“What does that mean, you figure it out? You locals are all out of your gourds. You lure me out here with your yokel innuendos, let me stick three and a half good fingers inside of you, then say no?”

“I never said no,” I answered. “I just said no to that.”

“You know what? I like you quiet. Keep your mouth shut or I’ll roll you in the marsh.”

He yanked down his boxer shorts, took his penis into his hand and barreled it inside of me.

“Uh…” he said, letting out a low groan. “You feel so good,” he buried his face into my neck. “Wrap your legs around me.” He pinched the flesh of my thigh hard.

“What the hell...” Something crumbled off of my leg and into his hand.

He stood up and in the illumination from the porch light I could see them, little dots, like chocolate chips, on his legs, where the skin had been exposed, on the sides of his arms, where he’d supported his weight.

He sprang to his feet and began jumping foot to foot like a frenzied Indian doing a rain dance.

“You know...I’ve never been to New York…” I said, trying to retain my repose. “I’ve always wanted to go… I was thinking, perhaps I could come and visit you over Christmas?”

“What are you talking about?” he said, stretching himself into unnatural positions. “At a time like this? You are covered in blood- sucking parasites and you haven’t even moved!” He struggled to hug himself, to reach his arms around his back.

“I live here. I suppose I am used to them. Do you not have ticks in New York?”

“We have roaches," he growled.

“You said I felt so good… I could feel even better in New York. You could break a nymph in. I know I’m supposed to be in New York City. It’s something I’ve felt my whole life…”

“Did you really think you could use your feminine wiles to finagle an invitation to my parent’s apartment?”

“No.. it’s just that my parents would never let me go on my own, but if I knew someone there, if I had an invitation…”

He removed his pants from around his ankles and after shaking them furiously, began to put them back on.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “If I did something for you, why not do something for me in return?”

He looked at me blankly.

"Because my dear, I am a parasite. I gorge, but never give. Take, but never trade. To do differently would be antithetical to my nature."

© Fiona Helmsley

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Small Offerings


Like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood hides his species behind grandma’s clothes, she hides any hint of her femininity behind her hoodie, Dickies work pants, and shaved head. She stands like the manliest of them, legs a good width apart to make room for something phantom in between.

She looks at me as if I am some kind of gourmet delicacy, usually encased behind glass. But here I am, close, and she wants a bite. A taste test. She'd like to spear my body with a toothpick.

She flirts with me like a boy will with a girl in grade school, finding reasons to give me a noogie, or yanking my hair hard. Either she’s hovering around me or I’ll look up, and find her staring me down from across the room.

"Do you need something, Deanna?" I'll ask, because I work at her home, and tending to her needs is part of my job. She’s a client at the Halfway House where I am staff.

"No, nooo… I’m about to make some spaghetti…You want some?" she asks.

"Yes," I say, though I’m not hungry. I only agree because she gets so offended if I reject her small offerings. She’ll either ask me over and over again until I give in, or storm off like it’s not the thing I’ve rejected, but her.

She’s a real know it all type, and loves to hear herself talk. Despite her verbosity, she’s never taught me a thing. The dialogue is often desperate as she’ll use anything to move mouth.

Like when we are watching TV downstairs, and she’ll rehash for me what we have just seen on the screen, as if she’s certain I didn’t quite comprehend it, and here she is, thankfully, and generously, just in the nick of time, with the Law and Order for Dummies cliff notes.

"See, Stabler is really stressed out because he sees this shit everyday, Bo. He’s at his breaking point because he sees this sick shit everyday...."

"See, that’s why Olivia works at SVU, Bo. Her daddy was a rapist. He raped her mom. That’s why she works at SVU, Bo. This sick shit, it’s in her blood..."

"Spaghetti’s done, Bo. Here, I’ll get you a plate."

She’s up, moving about the kitchen, getting me utensils, deciding that I want a pinch of garlic, and two pinches of salt, that I like my ice-t without any ice, babying me with the small details of a meal that I don’t want, a meal that I just accepted as an act of appeasement.

I don’t move from the living room couch, assuming that I’ll just pretend to eat as we watch TV.

Instead, she puts our plates down on the dining room table, in two chairs right next to each other.

"Sit here Bo, otherwise you gonna be leaning over yourself. Getting sauce all over your pretty shirt."

I get up. As I’m adjusting myself in the chair, she picks up a napkin, opens it, and quickly stuffs it down the top of my shirt.

"There you go, Bo,” she says, with a final pat of my napkin bib, now perfectly aligned with my shirt’s neckline. “It’s gonna get messy…."

© Fiona Helmsley

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Depth


The things I want to do to this boy. The things I want him to do to me.

At first, I expected him to be sort of shy or passive, blame for that placed squarely on the shoulders of pop culture concepts like Mrs. Robinson and cougars. I assumed because of the gap in our ages (I’m older by seven years) he would want me to lead the show or dominate it with an accumulated sexual knowledge greater than his own.

Perhaps those extra circles around the block would even be my appeal. I played this scenario out in my head and was ready to eventually become resentful and bored because of it. Because sometimes I like to be shown. And a good majority of the time, I want to be dominated.

Then he flipped the script.

He comes threw my storm door like a home invasion fantasy.

Every time, after he leaves, I say to myself, next time, there will be much less talking and much more invading.

But there is always talking, he’s too interesting to not acknowledge in that way and time always seems to pass between visits, events transpire, and we need to refamiliarize.

I watch him as he talks, and most of the time, I’m thinking, I want to kiss you. The want is so strong I have to sit on my hands, play with my hair, fiddle for my chap stick.

Those lips of yours that are moving, telling me things, smart things, funny things, things about you- I want them silent and on mine. Yes, I’m listening, but I want to get into your lap and bite your lips. Your stories are amusing, but we don’t have that much time (he’s going through a bad break-up with a live-in girlfriend and they share an automobile, so there are always time constraints) and more than anything, I want to have those lips and you on top of me.

The swirling, just vaguely contained desire I feel makes me insecure as I’m going against my nature. I’m being phony. This dogmatic, self- oppression- he is man, not meat!- makes me act like I did as an inexperienced teenager, before losing my virginity in the dirt pile in the backyard, before sex work, all that- nervous and shy. I do like that I can control myself, it says to me that I’m not completely damaged. But I do not like the time wasted as a result.

And how is it respectful to sit on your hands when the other person wants it too?

But I tell myself I have to wait; let him talk, otherwise it would be bad form. It’s so ridiculous waiting like a hungry animal for the appropriate moment to arrive and when it does, knowing I will wish I had acted sooner so I could have had more of it.

His body is incredible. In the dark, all I see and feel is taunt muscle. His thighs are like blocks of rock.

Sometimes, when the moment comes and I hop into his lap, he’ll wrap his arms around me and lean forward, away from the couch, his arms and legs holding the weight of me there on his thighs.

When this happens, I think that sometime I hope we have an opportunity for him to fuck me like this- holding me there on his cock, leaning me backward, the only safety net preventing me from falling to the floor his arms and his cock.

I have to hope for this opportunity because I don’t get to see him that much and though he always gets me off, I’m never satisfied. I want more, more, more, more of his taunt body and long hair that I like to pull like fine ropes to bring him closer or deeper or hold him there.

His sex has depth. When I pull his hair I’m just helping to guide a course he’s already set. It’s what he seems to be going for with his body, all his sexual appendages- cock, finger, mouth- the bottom, the back, the furthest point.

It’s the motif of our sexual congress. It’s my motive for all the torturous waiting.

Depth.

What I’d really like is one night or two or however many it takes for me to get sick of him, not sick of him forever-just sick of him for a little while.

One night to have my gluttonous fill- to check off my to do to you list and to not feel as he’s going out the door that I’ve wasted precious time pandering to a misplaced idea of emotional depth when the physical kind feels so nice.

© Fiona Helmsley

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Forests and Fairies



So, there is this little bridge I pass on my walk home, and this afternoon, there was this guy on it, fishing. It was really nice out today, hot but bearable, but he was still way too over dressed for being right out in the sun. He had on heavy work pants, his only compensation being the rolled up sleeves of his black t-shirt. He was wearing Doc Martins, I’m positive they were Doc Martins, because I saw the yellow stitching. I saw a lot of things even though I really only got a good look at him for a few seconds, and I had my glasses off. He looked like my old boyfriend Henry from my story “Hard.” A skinhead! Fishing! In a quaint little town that’s never forgotten it’s past and every Memorial Day places a wreath on the gravestone of its founding father. My primal urge to mate was fierce. As I passed by him, stepped over his white bucket and tackle box, I said to myself, “It can’t end like this, I can’t just pass him, continue on my course, just go on with my day, knowing that he’s down there. He and I atleast have to talk. We atleast have to share one word. I need to know if he’s jailbait. I need to know what his teeth look like. I need to know if he’s a poser.” So I willed the universe, saying, “ Universe, today’s the day. I want you to lay down your cards, and if there is any magic out there, if there are any forests or fairies to be found, I want this member of the male species to hop in his car and come after me, or in line with my darker fantasies, make it that he somehow knows it’s ok to follow me home." So putting all my trust in the universe, I crossed the street and continued on my course. I played with my phone as I walked, every once and awhile looking over my shoulder to where he stood, getting smaller, imagining that he and I were making eye contact, because maybe we were, I didn’t have my glasses on and everyone’s a blur after about twenty feet. I got home and put my books away, brushed my teeth, neatened up a bit around the house. So what do you think? If he’s not here by 10 pm tonight, should I lock the door?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

True-Seeing



The author is an ugly, weasely little man, whose hair in pictures often looks unctuous.

She knows this, but when she’s reading his work, she forgets. Only someone worthy of her lust could compose such paragraphs, filled as they were with universal insights and illuminations. And she was not alone in her feelings. He had a whole army of fan girls who normally would not look twice at him on the streets, would probably fart in his presence, knowing full well he would be able to connect it back to them as the source. And he had more than an army of these women, he had a battalion.

She wondered, did the same principle hold true for say, Ann Rule? Yes, the scope of what the two writers composed was entirely different, but there were fervent true crime fans. And what genre would her weasel- cum- lothario’s composition’s fall under anyway? Wow-moment memoir?

But. But. And there was a but. He was fucking up, and she knew if she talked to other women in his wow-moment battalion some of them would say the same thing, would still be true-seeing enough to have noticed. He needed to lay off the daily emails. They were so detailed, so everyday nuanced, that they could see him growing in his conceit. His transformative power had gone to his head. He was believing his own hype. He was ugly, they made him beautiful and he was making himself ugly again.

If she could give him one bit of advice, it would be lay off the daily emails. She’d add, groom your mystique. Finally, if she still had his attention, she’d say wash your hair.