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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

things from me. Tayla

things from me. Tayla wanted courage. Coy wanted control. The school wanted me to go away because just being here made things hard for them. Tayla softened a little and grabbed my hand. “Someday,” she said. “We’ll make it happen someday.” How many, I wondered. How many days would I need to pretend that the eyes didn’t bother me? How many days would I need to pretend I could get through this?

Crossing the Line In English, we talked about poetry and madness. We talked about Ginsberg and his mother. We read Kaddish and the sadness nearly killed me. “Ginsberg was a fag,” Coy said. Mac frowned. Mac didn’t tolerate this kind of shit. “Do you think you’re funny?” Mac asked. “What?” Coy asked. “I was just saying.” “You’re always just saying,” Mac said. Mac was a bit of a dandy, prone to paisley shirts and khakis and bow ties. Thin black hair flared around his head in wisps. He was small and thin with dainty-like hands, but his eyes were bright and fierce. Tayla stood because that’s what she did. She stood up to people like Coy. “Tayla,” Mac said. “The dyke stands,” Coy said. I was sick and scared, but I got out of my chair. I got out of my chair and went to Coy. Coy was a small boy with big ears and a nose with which he could’ve caught fish. I stood over him. Tayla came and pressed her hand to my spine, straightening me. “You need to shut up,” I said. “And the fat one speaks,” Coy said. He smirked and looked around for approval. No one said anything. I punched him in the nose. Bone crunched. Blood flowed. Everyone gasped. “Jesus,” Coy said. A weird thickness filled the room. No one moved. No one breathed. I was out of my body watching the whole thing from a corner but by the lights. Tayla laughed. “You fucking hit me,” Coy said.

  • Page 2 and 3: Comfortable Madness William L. Alto
  • Page 4 and 5: Dedication For Lisa, who showed me
  • Page 6: still the only teacher who let me g
  • Page 9 and 10: I reached for his face, but it was
  • Page 11 and 12: the curb. I smoked and paced, and I
  • Page 13 and 14: med thing? Was this the start of an
  • Page 15 and 16: Science and Spirit They made physic
  • Page 17: Target I was neither the biggest ki
  • Page 21 and 22: Episode Voices and faces bubbled ou
  • Page 23 and 24: God Porn Four girls stood in front
  • Page 25 and 26: Lunch Color drained away except for
  • Page 27 and 28: Telling Secrets Miss Tris sat with
  • Page 29 and 30: Water I danced and Tayla played. Ta
  • Page 31 and 32: “We have to do something,” Miss
  • Page 33 and 34: Insomnia Sun rise. Jays screamed in
  • Page 35 and 36: Love and Madness Our bed was old. K
  • Page 37 and 38: Someday Queertopia was the last tab
  • Page 39 and 40: There were no words. There were no
  • Page 41 and 42: Voices and Visions Night. Everythin
  • Page 43 and 44: Answered Questions Tayla sat in the
  • Page 45 and 46: A Thing Homecoming. I didn’t want
  • Page 47 and 48: I backed away. People were really s
  • Page 49 and 50: Tayla rolled over and looked at me.
  • Page 51 and 52: Delusions I was too cold. White air
  • Page 53 and 54: Room A creek ran on the edge of tow
  • Page 55 and 56: Questions Water dribbled through a
  • Page 57 and 58: Show Folks came through the door, t
  • Page 59 and 60: gathered in his fists and face. I s
  • Page 61 and 62: “I love you,” he said. Was this
  • Page 63 and 64: Spells in the Corner The music was
  • Page 65 and 66: Silence. We looked at Tad. He shrug
  • Page 67 and 68: The Mormons stumbled and turned. Th
  • Page 69 and 70:

    “I understand,” Tayla said. “

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    PE I watched the game without watch

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    He got off the couch and came to me

  • Page 75 and 76:

    Tayla grunted in her sleep. I didn

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    I didn’t know that for sure. Gid

  • Page 79 and 80:

    How do you explain what it was like

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    Air seemed to slice through me. Par

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    Glass The room was mine. The walls

  • Page 85 and 86:

    “I love you,” she said. Sweet w

  • Page 87 and 88:

    “Turn away from sin,” he shoute

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    down and grabbed my arm. He hauled

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    Secrets Sadness verged on depressio

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    Real Enough Orion hung in the south

  • Page 95 and 96:

    Escape Tayla and Angie took me to t

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    We crouched behind a hedge. The cop

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    Shit Follows Voices told me to run.

  • Page 101 and 102:

    “You’re dying,” he said. Spot

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    Emergency Darkness. Thick, vast and

  • Page 105 and 106:

    Friends Miss Tris and Tad came with

  • Page 107 and 108:

    At the corner, I sat in a hard chai

  • Page 109 and 110:

    Awkward Everyone stared at Angie an

  • Page 111 and 112:

    The Dead On the edge of sleep, just

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    Real and Not Real Visiting hours st

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    I stared at the trees on the other

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    Home Part of me thought things woul

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    He was a wall of bone and muscle. H

  • Page 121 and 122:

    She came back to the bathroom. “I

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    Tayla put on Duke Ellington. We hel

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    gulped down. That was it. This was

  • Page 127 and 128:

    Worry Broken leg. Broken ribs. Disl

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    “She hates me,” I said, soundin

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    Soon I knew things. I knew someday

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    Open Communication Pain and oxy str

  • Page 135 and 136:

    Tayla gave her the finger. I grinne

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    “You’ll make it,” Tad said. I

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    Love Oxy made everything okay. Not

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    Things Come Out “Sweet Jesus,”

  • Page 143 and 144:

    Fight For days, we fought but we fo

  • Page 145 and 146:

    “Really?” she asked. The word h

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    An old man stopped. He looked from

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    Faith There he was. Gid. In the win

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    The First Shot Queertopia. Tayla, r

  • Page 153 and 154:

    Always and Forever I dreamed of lig

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    Temptation Last call. The stage emp

  • Page 157 and 158:

    Empty Promises It started. But then

  • Page 159 and 160:

    Gifts Music lifted into the air, br

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    Object of Admiration Mr. Skarey cal

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    Black birds came from the corners.

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    This Body I dreamed of music, compl

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    Miracles I was late. I was never la

  • Page 169 and 170:

    laughing. I had nothing to laugh ab

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    “You’re talking religion,” Co

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    Tayla’s drawn face tore at me.

  • Page 175 and 176:

    This Is Love First, I saw his hands

  • Page 177 and 178:

    Making Sure Posters of smiling wome

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    Something Hard and Sad Rain fell li

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    Looking Forward Dance team girls ga

  • Page 183 and 184:

    Closet Water stains made dark masks

  • Page 185 and 186:

    “You okay?” he asked. “Fine,

  • Page 187 and 188:

    “The baby! Jesus, the baby!” So

  • Page 189 and 190:

    “I love you,” Gid said. He went

  • Page 191 and 192:

    “You’re not a guy,” he said.

  • Page 193 and 194:

    Heavy Music and movement. I spun an

  • Page 195 and 196:

    It felt as if my skin were going to

  • Page 197 and 198:

    “They did nothing to you,” Gid

  • Page 199 and 200:

    I smiled a fake smile. Tayla watche

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    “Really,” I said. “They can s

  • Page 203 and 204:

    I closed my eyes. “Let’s go,”

  • Page 205 and 206:

    “What’s up?” she asked. “Te

  • Page 207 and 208:

    I smoked and waited. Tayla came and

  • Page 209 and 210:

    Waiting I danced. I danced and hope

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    The Talk “What’s his name?” T

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    Almost a Victim I sat on the floor

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    pushing his fingers into my pie and

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    “She thinks I cheated,” I said.

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    “You know better.” Suddenly, I

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    “You know,” she said. “No one

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    “No,” I said. “Yes. And other

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    “I know.” Her fingers squeezed

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    That put an end to it.

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    “What happens,” I asked, “if

  • Page 231 and 232:

    didn’t trust her because they ass

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    “Have you thought of adoption?”

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    “I have some newborn clothes here

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    Safe Dead folks filled the room wit

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    Consequences Mr. Skarey’s office

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    A Domestic Moment I lay on the bed

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    Birth It started with a rush of wat

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    When they handed me my son, I cried

  • Page 247:

    He fought with me, but there was a