Up in my room I cried. I couldn’t help it. Everything about the day came crashing over me. First, the Trumps and all their crap, the cellphone picture and the intruder who had taken it, the invasive feeling in the shower, My drunken mom oblivious to my needs as a daughter, dad locked up in an institution, and now this guy making fun of me, having a big laugh at my expense. It didn’t matter anymore if he was a vamp and needed killing. I was completely humiliated and made a fool.
I pulled open my desk drawer. It was reserved for my school work, but there was something hidden in that drawer that I desperately needed. I shuffled pencils and paperclips around, moved some papers, and then located it. It was a man’s open razor blade, the old kind they used to put in shaving razors and box cutters. It had a slight stain on its edge from use. I tossed it on the bed and sat down. The tears were much heavier now, and all I could feel was absolute anguish. I hated me.
I took my pants off and sat back in bed. My tank top was so long it covered my underwear and I fumbled with the bottom edge of it. The X-Japan logo instantly made me think of my favorite song by them, Tears. There was a line in there that said, “Dry your tears with love.” That was Bullshit, I thought. Tears can’t be dried. They are always there, and so I raked the razor blade across my leg just above the knee. I knew it would leave a little scar to go along with the previous ones, but I didn’t care. All I was was exemplified in the physical truth. I was nothing more than tears and scars.
Later, I lay in bed on top of the covers, the stinging from the six gashes on my upper leg keeping me awake. The blood had congealed and was caked on the wounds, a reminder of my pain and turmoil. I often pretended that everything was okay with me. Angela was oblivious to it all. It’s not that she didn’t care. It was just something I couldn’t share with her, or any of my other friends and classmates. This was the only thing I had that was all mine. Everything else had been torn from me by other people or life events and been put on public display. But a girl isn’t happy unless she has that one secret that nobody knows.
I guess I started cutting after dad got sent away. The public humiliation and teasing became a lot to bear. Mom disappeared into the bottle, I into the feel of a sharp razor across my skin. And I’m not one of those who did it just to feel something. Sometimes maybe that was true, but for me, I did it to cover up my real pain, my loneliness. It’s hard to be crying over someone hurting you or something depressing when your pain is real and excruciating. So, my physical attack on myself was to mask the real hurt. It’s the only way I could get beyond it.
I finally fell asleep around two AM and it wasn’t long before I was hardcore dreaming. I have really vivid dreams. I am one of those who can wake up and have instant recall of the dreamscape. A lot of people wake confused and disoriented, trying to grasp the images that fade at a rapid rate. But I’m not like that. I’m pretty clear headed when I awaken, even though it does take a while to rouse me from my deep sleep.
My dream that night was of the puzzle man. I was out there in the backyard again and he was handing me puzzle pieces to put in place. The puzzle was different and it kept changing every time I looked down at it. Once, it depicted a mound of decapitated heads stacked beside the flagpole of a school. Another time it was a young couple making love, a stake penetrating both of their bodies, impaling them to the ground. The next glance revealed a river of blood. Upon its banks, bloody swords were in the hands of massacred teenagers. Each time the image changed, the missing piece was a female face, which always turned out to be the piece in my hand. The bizarre vampire man, who again spoke in guttural noises, got up and scattered the pieces, overturning the card table with fury. A piercing sound erupted from his throat and it started to sound like a word: Imouto. He clenched his fists and shouted this several times over. Blood started to run down his hand where his fingers dug into the flesh. He offered it to me. I jolted awake.
Wide awake now and staring at the ceiling, I didn’t know what to make of the nightmare. None of it made sense. But it freaked me out just the same. It would be awhile before sleep came again, so I got up from bed, threw a robe over my t-shirt and underwear, and went to my window. I gently parted the curtains to look out, expecting to see vampire boy staring up at the heavens. But he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. The party was still going full force but I couldn’t hear anything from my house.
I couldn’t believe they were still going at it at this hour. It was a school night, damn it. And where did all these party goers come from anyway? If they had just moved to Chelsea Valley, how the hell did they know so many people? I couldn’t believe everyone came with them from their old house. While I was pondering this, the side door opened and the boy emerged. He had lost the uniform and was now in sweat pants and a tank top. The dim light from the stars illuminated his skin and for a moment I thought I caught a glimpse of a tattoo. The very edge of it seemed to peek out of his tank top, but I couldn’t tell if this was certain or just a trick of the light. I really didn’t care anymore. If he was the creeper who’d been in my room earlier it just allowed me to hate him more. It would be a long time, maybe forever, before I’d try to talk to him again. What he’d done was mean spirited and not funny at all. He had played with me in my awkwardness and uncertainty, and made me out to be a complete and embarrassed fool. He was no better than the Trumps, and once I had some rest, I was going to expose him to the sun and watch him burn with the same glee he had exhibited when he made fun of me tonight.
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D. Aronson. All Rights Reserved.