8 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Face I walked in

Face I walked in sunlight. It tasted of spring. In the yards I passed purple crocus pushed out of black soil. Robins and ravens cut patterns in the sky. I walked in the sunlight at the end of the day. I walked, and I smoked cigarettes and I thought about things. In my belly, the baby danced. It started as a flutter and grew into a whole routine. He pushed against my ribs. Gid came out of the trees wrapped in burgundy light and pressed his hands to my belly. They were heavy and ugly hands and I wanted nothing to do with him. But he was there, and he felt our child moving. “Active,” Gid said. “Don’t,” I said. He laughed, and he walked with me, a shade darker than the shadows falling from the trees. “I need something,” I said. “I need to see your face.” I’d been thinking of this for a while. Whenever I tried to see his face, whenever I tried to touch the line of his jaw or the plane of his cheek, he disappeared. It gave me a thought. “My face,” Gid said, “is unimportant.” I turned away and he shuddered a little in the sunlight. I made him uncomfortable now. It was kind of nice. I had no reason to make him comfortable. He did nothing to make me comfortable. He came, and he took what he wanted when he wanted. He thought nothing of me or how I might feel. After everything he’d done to me, I felt like pushing him into a corner and peeling away the blurred light covering everything. Something told me that seeing Gid’s face would save my life. Something told me that this was how I was going to be free. “What will our son look like?” I asked. “You’ll know,” he said, “in time.” We walked, and my place came up. The sun rushed into the mountains.

“What happens,” I asked, “if I see your face?” “Everything ends,” he said. “Everything?” “Everything.” I shook my head. Everything would end. Everything. What an interesting thought. I stopped and grabbed at him. Thick arms pushed me away. The lines around him distorted. His broad chest turned translucent. I saw the world through him for a moment. “Stop,” he said, sharp and angry. “No.” Retreating, turning away, he faded. “So, this is it,” I said. “This is how it ends.” “You chose me,” he said, his voices thinning. “No.” “You see me,” he said. “You need me.” “I don’t want you.” “I need you.” His voice now was simple a sigh. “Not my problem,” I said. When he’d completely retreated into memory and nothingness, I smiled. I was winning. Finally, I knew things. I knew how to end this nightmare.

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    Comfortable Madness William L. Alto

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    Dedication For Lisa, who showed me

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    still the only teacher who let me g

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    I reached for his face, but it was

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    the curb. I smoked and paced, and I

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    med thing? Was this the start of an

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    Science and Spirit They made physic

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    Target I was neither the biggest ki

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    Crossing the Line In English, we ta

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    Episode Voices and faces bubbled ou

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    God Porn Four girls stood in front

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    Lunch Color drained away except for

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    Telling Secrets Miss Tris sat with

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    Water I danced and Tayla played. Ta

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    “We have to do something,” Miss

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    Insomnia Sun rise. Jays screamed in

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    Love and Madness Our bed was old. K

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    Someday Queertopia was the last tab

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    There were no words. There were no

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    Voices and Visions Night. Everythin

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    Answered Questions Tayla sat in the

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    A Thing Homecoming. I didn’t want

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    I backed away. People were really s

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    Tayla rolled over and looked at me.

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    Delusions I was too cold. White air

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    Room A creek ran on the edge of tow

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    Questions Water dribbled through a

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    Show Folks came through the door, t

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    gathered in his fists and face. I s

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    “I love you,” he said. Was this

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    Spells in the Corner The music was

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    Silence. We looked at Tad. He shrug

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    The Mormons stumbled and turned. Th

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    “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

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    Tayla grunted in her sleep. I didn

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    I didn’t know that for sure. Gid

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    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

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    “I love you,” she said. Sweet w

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    “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

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    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.

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    “You’re dying,” he said. Spot

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    Emergency Darkness. Thick, vast and

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    Friends Miss Tris and Tad came with

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    At the corner, I sat in a hard chai

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    Awkward Everyone stared at Angie an

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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,”

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    Fight For days, we fought but we fo

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    “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

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    Always and Forever I dreamed of lig

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    Temptation Last call. The stage emp

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    Empty Promises It started. But then

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    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

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    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.

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    This Is Love First, I saw his hands

  • Page 177 and 178: Making Sure Posters of smiling wome
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  • Page 181 and 182: 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
  • Page 201 and 202: “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
  • Page 211 and 212: The Talk “What’s his name?” T
  • Page 213 and 214: Almost a Victim I sat on the floor
  • Page 215 and 216: pushing his fingers into my pie and
  • Page 217 and 218: “She thinks I cheated,” I said.
  • Page 219 and 220: “You know better.” Suddenly, I
  • Page 221 and 222: “You know,” she said. “No one
  • Page 223 and 224: “No,” I said. “Yes. And other
  • Page 225 and 226: “I know.” Her fingers squeezed
  • Page 227: That put an end to it.
  • Page 231 and 232: didn’t trust her because they ass
  • Page 233 and 234: “Have you thought of adoption?”
  • Page 235 and 236: “I have some newborn clothes here
  • Page 237 and 238: Safe Dead folks filled the room wit
  • Page 239 and 240: Consequences Mr. Skarey’s office
  • Page 241 and 242: A Domestic Moment I lay on the bed
  • Page 243 and 244: Birth It started with a rush of wat
  • Page 245 and 246: When they handed me my son, I cried
  • Page 247: He fought with me, but there was a