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“Were you raised in a barn?”. Yes. Kind of. Briefly, in high school. A big, red, metal, windowless barn. Maybe there was a window, but not in my room though. If there had been, it would’ve been shut and locked same as the doors anyway. To keep the damn bugs out.
That was 6 years ago. Now I’m back. Not in the barn, but in that town, at the family farm. If you could call it that, mostly it’s just a plot. I’m really only here to tend garden and keep the well water from sitting over the weekend and smelling too much like sulfur. There are no animals, just bugs.
Argiope webs surround the porch like unravelling crochet doilies hanging in every corner. The spiders are about the size of my hand, I’ve seen them catch more lizards than crickets or grasshoppers. And I don’t mind the fucking lizards.
Once a grasshopper jumped onto my nose, right between my eyes, when I was driving the tractor. It scared the shit out of me and I wrecked the tractor into the fence around the house.
Currently I’m at the bar finding dead june bugs in my purse every time I reach for a smoke. Because although the majority of other people in this bar probably weren’t raised in a barn, none of them know how to close a fucking door.
Bartender lady taller than the top shelf and stout as a porter with the sweetest strawberry blond hair and teeth green enough to birth Venus, says the june bugs are good luck. Redneck at the bar says “What yer meanin is ladybugs.” Bartender shrugs, gives me a free shot of whiskey and tells me to knock on wood. “Just in case.”
For my sister’s birthday every year she and I go to a psychic to get our palms and cards read. This year I was told to stay away from alcohol, and I had been until she mentioned it. I’ve been drunk every day since and that was February.
Leave the bar, get to the jeep, take my panties off, light a joint. Take the long way back to the farm looking for wet grass to roll around in. Forgot lawns don’t exist here, it’s almost shameful to own less than ten acres. Houses are hidden miles back from the main dirt roads, and sometimes hidden further by winding farm roads within the property.
End up at the only lawn I know, an old neighbor’s house. The deer that usually haunts the place is gone. It must be dead by now. The old neighbors too. Maybe they’re all still haunting the place.
As a teenager I’d bring the deer oats and sometimes sleep in their tree house. I know they had to have seen me up there at some point, but they never kicked me out. It gave them a story, I guess. In a small town any mildly interesting gossip is worth keeping up by proxy of polite fiction.
The rungs to the tree house are now rotten and unstable, so I lay in the yard tracing faux constellations and rolling nude in the dew until I see the kitchen light come on inside.
Still buzzed, take a scenic drive through town at sunrise. And by scenic drive I mean masturbate the length of the historic district.
Wake up with nettles in my pubes and a tick on my inner thigh.
Back at the bar, see an old friend. Sam. Sam and I have known each other since diapers and he has always made a point to not flirt with me. Sam is the kinda guy I feel comfortable drinking whiskey around. I can get as trashed as I like and he wouldn’t try a thing, and always maintain status as the loudest drunk in the room. He is with a group of people I recognize from a neighboring town. None of them give me a second glance.
It’s last call and he’s telling me about an after party at an abandoned pasture we all used to drink in. Jump on the back of his motorcycle and throw on a helmet. He says “You know, it’s not really like that between you and I. And I thought you hated motorcycles?” I tell him I know and I do, but I’d rather ride with him. It’ll be scary, my mind will race and I won’t have to talk to anyone or pick a radio station the entire way. He shrugs and we take off.
Sitting on a tailgate when I see him across the bonfire. The reflection of the tractor hub below the fire makes his blonde hair and khaki tan skin glow purplish grey and sienna. He looks like a roan and I want to ride him like one. I pop a piece of gum in my mouth and swat a moth. He lights a cigarette and takes two puffs before noticing me. He puts it out between his pointer finger and thumb, walks over with a smirk from hell. He flicks the moth mid air and it’s wings catch in the fire. His name is Judas. He’s a cowboy. And even if he doesn’t let me put a bit in his mouth, it. is. on.
We make out against the hood of a truck closer to the tree line. Not far enough to not hear the party still going on behind us. I’ve learned it doesn’t take a bathtub tank to dissociate, crowds and sensory overload too can cause a sensory deprivation like trance and you can astral project while your body fumbles with buttons. He says he thinks he wants to taste me, he hopes I dream of him eating me and that he’s impressed I can kiss and chew gum at the same time. I tell him take me down his back roads, take me in the woods. Pray into my pussy, tongue contritions on my clit Dig me out like he was searching for the Holy Grail at Montserrat.
“Let’s go somewhere a little more private”
He pours the rest of my beer into his half empty 40 oz. and we get into his dualie.. On the way to his place I think “Tonight I won’t be weird. Tonight I’ll know what to do with my hands. Tonight there are no feelings involved. We are both just going off instincts older than either of our souls. No sonnetizing fucks. No fucking sonnets.” But here I am scribbling in the passenger seat.
He kisses me hard to distract from how messy his room is. I trace the veins in his arm, make the stations of the cross in the pit of his elbow. He outstretches my arms, presses his middle fingers into the soft of my hands, says “you’d be so sexy, bleeding from your palms”. He asks me to show him how I pray.
The psychic told me “You pray but you don’t go to church, you kneel, but for the devil and forget to speak to god, you are a saint, but your halo is sitting empty in heaven while you are here neglectful of your sanctity.” Judgemental cunt. What does she know about manic episodes where your trap only shuts to swallow?
His cum tastes like communion wine and his sweat smells like pontifical incense.
Driving back to the Jeep, lovebugs collect on Judas’ windshield. These little vermin are made of molasses-like goo and are nearly impossible to remove from glass without a power wash hose. He tells me they do that ‘til you can’t see, ‘til you have no other choice but to pull over and fuck. There’s still visibility in the windshield. We pull over anyway.
Got back to Chicago with a scorpion in my suitcase and more june bugs in my purse.