These are my friends, ones I see each day
I got a prescription for our problems, keep the hounds at bay
– David Lynch
We were beaten, drugged, dateraped, grounded, imprisoned, slandered, censored, humiliated, blamed, impregnated, socially sterilized, and politically pawned. We were filmed and photographed and catalogued. We were engendered, lectured on the dangers of critical thinking, frightened in hallway corners. After we were diagnosed with makebelieve illnesses we were instructed on what to hate and what to love and what these words mean and sometimes forced to part ways with our most beloved.
In our punishment we were taught smiling is a privilege, joy is often forbidden, and our very biology is criminal. In our punishment we were called Man. “Man is a social animal.” And then we were stripped of our social status and given styrofoam trays of meaty cholesterol and odd soups.
The cafeteria workers were women and mentally disabled former students. The military regularly visited the lunchroom. They got tired of watching me walk by uninterested and eventually asked if I would do pushups and carry assault rifles for the good of the country.
“Why not? We’ll pay for college.”
John Deere hats, knives, and Confederate belt buckles were always in fashion. Teachers joked about inherently irrational women. They brought in the whole class. “You ladies and your shopping.” When I wore pink I was called inappropriate. When I wore makeup I was interrogated.
When I printed questions I was forced to shut up, threatened, and censored from discussing real violence and the façade of security. The administration called it advice.
In hospital youth wards deaf boys howled through the night, 12, 1, 2, 3 a.m., patients fighting the sleepy pull of medication until orderlies arrived with fresh tranquilizers. Many girls were assumed to be promiscuous, inept, and illegitimate.
We were all illegitimate.
Some of our parents wanted us. Some of our parents wanted us to suck it up and go back to our routines. Many of us wanted legitimate freedom. We were all told we had a disorder or disease of some kind and I don’t know anyone who came in and didn’t get knocked out for bedtime.
At work I cleaned up bloodied steak bones and buttery roles saturated in A1 sauce. The kitchen called me a devil and the front of the house called me a faggot. The kitchen got high in the back. The managers strutted with bowls of ice cream. I was threatened to be fired when I asked for a salad and had a cigarette on break.
A self-described farmboy cornered me by the dumpster and told me I’m a sinner. I’m socially, spiritually, mentally, and physically diseased. My knowledge of other cultures and other religions incriminates me. My sexuality condemns me. My loneliness is my own fault.
Husbands and MILFs climbed on karaoke tables and smashed margarita chandeliers.They flaunted missionary sex, told me I wasn’t old enough, took me to bed anyway. On the weekends I visited crackwhores and 42 year old mommaboys who smelled stale, drank gallons of cheap liquor, washed dishes, and never shaved or read books. I did this in the Midwest. I did this in the Shallow South. I did this in the North. I did this on the West Coast. Their confessions scream in my mind like horror movie sound effects stuck on loop.
Many were raped, disowned by their families, written out of wills and professional acceptance, impregnated early, and trained in moral absolutes and utopian norms that made their states of being taboo.
My friends and I don’t see much of each other anymore. We are all criminals and lovers or else part of an element that superficially rejects sex and creates an everlasting divide.
It mocks the one between the First and the Third worlds.
Jewd Quinn is the author of Unpredictable Leather, a musicbook (audiobook + song illustrations) available on http://jewdquinn.bandcamp.com, and numerous forthcoming works. He blogs The Aftermath of Fashion on http://jewdquinn.tumblr.com and expands culture in an ongoing culture war.