The fear just really never went away of someone different but the same, whose passions are equivalent but aimed at something opposite to preferences my own body will allow. I work at understanding every day: my family, friends, and strangers, my father, passed away these three years now. I think I understood him decently but still, I hide my eyes from photos of his naked boyfriends.
Dad’s computer was a minefield and I wish he’d had a better way to label files but I wish he hadn’t died in discreet steps as well. I wish I understood the human heart, libido, soul, all the bits which can get us into so much trouble. At twelve a man’s hand cupped my face as I, an unaccompanied minor flew to visit somewhere I’d been sent. He told me he was helping with my cabin pressure headache but I knew what inappropriate meant. At sixteen I was in my bed asleep, a man was visiting from overseas- some candidate for PHD, someone that my father once had met. My room contained the only bed for guests. I told my Dad and Mom and later on, that man had left. Standing in the concourse of Grand Central once when I was seventeen a gentleman approached, so interested in me naive and parent free, his curiosity was evident in how he followed when I tried to leave. At twenty-one I kissed a pretty girl who had no interest in my kiss, and turned away as I continued to insist and hold her close to me and told her she, mis-understood her own desires. When I started my own business I brushed the arms of female hires as I spoke to them. I told myself it had to do with my communication skills and not some psychosexual power thrill. But maybe I know better now. I hate the men who used me in and for my youth. Their addled bodies changing them into alarming brutes, reinforcing bias towards a group attacked with bigotry, and I learning to find pleasure in dislike of something unlike me; ignorant of my own truths. I wonder if my sins have caused damage lasting over years, irrational and complex fears or hatred aimed at innocence, past anytime it might have made any kind of sense. And here’s a man who’s speaking of his husband, and it makes me feel uneasy placing words in places that they didn’t used to be, instead of maybe wondering if someone else can try to have a try to crack the code of trying to be happy.
©2022 Morgan Driscoll
All rights reserved
…lives in Connecticut and writes poetry to supplement his income as a commercial artist. He has been published in 30+ journals and anthologies and has made over $100.
You can find his work in Humanist Magazine, The Penwood Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Constellate Magazine, Caesura, Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, The Avenue, Meetinghouse, Newtown Literary, and many other