You talk about leaving town like it’s the easiest thing to do, like I would just get up one morning and leave everything behind without a semblance of remorse; I would leave my friends behind, well, these people I call friends; people who introduced me to this kind of life, who taught me to live like this, who taught me to survive. Like I would just get up and leave my parents ; parents who were never there , you see my mother she loved the company of men who were not my father and he loved the company of women just not my mother. They were never in the house at the same time and when they were, I was never there. At least I tried my best not to.
You say things like “this is not the life you deserve” and I think to myself “if I don’t deserve it who does?” I’ve spent the better part of my life running, running away from the beer bottles that raised me, ducking from the beer bottles that were thrown at me. Running away from the sisters at the missionary school who always told me how dirty and tattered my uniform was. Who complained that I slept a lot during class, who threatened to expel me if they caught me stealing books from my fellow classmates again. In my defence, I wasn’t exactly stealing I would just take their books without their consent and return them when I was done. See on most nights I would read myself to sleep. But the sisters would never understand this so that evening when they told me to come with my parents the next day, or never come back, I never went back.
You talk about giving me a better life; you fill my head with all these promises and dreams. Yet only in my head does this magical world exist. Once I leave the comfort of my thoughts, I find myself in this room, this room where I entertain people ,this room where my books entertain me. A sublime mind, a rickety bed, a lamppost and a table, this is all I posses.
Now that I’ve made a life for myself you waltz in and think you can change everything. It may not be the kind of life that is considered right but it is a life nonetheless. In the safety and solitude of my thoughts I have built myself a castle of words and an impenetrable fortress of hope. This fortress is my hiding place. No matter how long the days and nights seem, I know there is always somewhere I can go, somewhere only I can reach. On most nights when I’m working I come here, to completely block out the harsh reality of what it is that I’m doing or what it is that they’re doing to me. In here, in my head I am safe.
Then you come along you show me kindness, you make the blood in my veins flow again, you make me feel human. You shake the very foundation of this citadel that I have skilfully built and fortified. I used to think I was incapable of feeling pleasure that it meant nothing to me. But you handle me like glass and even the slightest tremor of your voice revives the beating of this stale, weary heart. I have lived long enough and seen enough to know that people always want something in return this is why I don’t trust you at all .I look at you and I think to myself “something must be terribly wrong with him” .You could be anywhere you want to be, with anyone you want to be with, yet you chose to come here and share your intellectual charm and sensual charisma with society’s debris. You say it’s not so much about the beauty on my face or the curve of my hips but the beauty of my mind. That I possess a palpable innocence in my heart and in my soul. That I did not chose to be born into these circumstances but I can choose to get out of them.
These days you visit almost every night, you say that if you have to pay me to stay the entire night you will. You say that you don’t want me; you just want to talk to me. I don’t want to talk but I show you all the journals I have written over the years. As you read them you always seem to slip into some sort of trance where you begin to have unending monologues in which you talk about your life and how superficial everyone around you is, you talk of finding something real, you talk of not living a lie.
Half the time I don’t fully understand what it is that you say but at the back of my mind I know what you mean. I fall asleep as you talk, best sleep I’ve had in years .But I’m beginning to have dreams, dreams in which I am happy, I have a family and a home then I see my parents, my friends, the sisters, all the men I’ve been with, standing on the other side of my picket fence laughing and telling me this will never come true. I wake up in cold sweat, I watch you sleeping, and I wonder “Does he dream too? “ If so, “What does he dream about?” Then I remember, you talk about leaving town like it’s the easiest thing to do, this is probably all you dream about.