Tag Archives: words

Hashtag

Mostly I’d lie there. Pretending to be asleep. But sometimes, I opened my eyes. I’d focus on the ceiling tiles. I’d trace the cracks with my eyes as I made choo-choo train sounds in my mind. Thought about being on a locomotive headed for anywhere but there.

But mostly, I’d lie there pretending to be asleep.

He knew I was awake. He felt every muscle in my body tighten. Felt me wince. He heard my occasional whimper. It never stopped him from proceeding.

I never fought back. Never defended myself. I never called out for help. I kept my mouth shut. Never told a soul.

Why would I?

I enjoyed the grilled ham and cheese sandwiches we made in the convection oven. I liked sleeping over at his place. Loved listening to his Beatles albums over and over again. Looked forward to getting Burger King French Toast sticks with him before school.

Besides, he was more than the man who touched me in the middle of the night – He was my math teacher. My father figure. The guy who took me to church. The only adult male who paid any sort of attention to me. So my lips were sealed.

To my eleven-year-old mind, it felt like a fair trade.

To my thirty-nine-year-old mind, it feels too complicated to reduce to a simple hashtag.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Nude.

Nude /n(y)ood/ adjective – Exposed.

 

 I don’t like to sleep nude. Julie sleeps nude almost every night. I prefer long pants and a hooded sweatshirt. Even in the summer.

I traveled with a buddy once to Arizona. We shared a room. Separate beds, of course. When we agreed it was bedtime, I put on my flannel pants and hoody.

He commented. Thought it was weird.

Before that trip I’d never really thought much about it. It’s what I had always done. It’s how I feel most comfortable.

Sleeping nude creates a bit of panic in my heart. What if a predator shows up in the middle of the night? How would I fend it off in the nude?

Not that clothes detour predators. They don’t. They just slide their dirty little claws right past the elastic waste band of your PJ bottoms. Predators don’t care. They are single-minded creatures. Highly focused. Mission oriented and driven. They aren’t detoured by fabric.

I’ll probably always sleep in my hoody and long pants. I feel safe inside their false sense of protection.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,