Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This house is haunted, right Ashley?
On the jagged coastline of Oregon. Where trees have been forced, by the wind, to become prematurely crippled and hunch-backed. Where sharp black rocks stick out of the cold sea.
That's where the dull knife cut into me for the first time. It left an ugly scar. That looked as if it was purchased in a Halloween-shop.
She was my cousin. I know, this is getting gross. She was 21 and I was 14. We had been visiting for the whole week, my dad and I. It was all in the family. Card games and Sunday roasts every night. My dad and my uncle and his wife hitting the whiskey pretty hard. Me and my cousins sneaking away to smoke stolen cigarettes.
I would mostly play with Ashley, who was my age. Her sister, Heather, was hardly ever around. She was going to college in Chicago.
One night we locked ourselves into the walk-in closet with some dessert wine and a Ouija board. Heather was a beautiful goth-girl and looked like Satan's bride already; her skin so pale it was almost translucent. And gray eyes that would quickly shift into black if someone said something stupid or tried to contradict her. She would beat up Ashley all the time. 'Just because she was annoying and used to eat boogers.'
We are going to talk to spirits, she said. This house is haunted, right Ashley?
Ashley nodded and took a swig from that sickly sweet wine, and passed the bottle to me. We had everything set up and I was starting to get that warm, tingly feeling of alcohol. The candles cast mysterious shadows on us and made us feel really daring, cool and adult, in the best meaning of the word.
Meanwhile, I hadn't even gotten my period yet, and Ashley wore braces and had blunt features and a weak chin that would forever condemn her to be invisible.
So who wants to ask the first question? Heather asked. We all had silly drunken smiles hanging onto our faces. She poked me in the crotch with her sock-foot. I don't know if it was on purpose, but I felt a surge of electricity tingling its way up my spine.
OK, I said, clearing my throat. Who are you? We had one index finger each on the glass. Nothing happened.
What do you want? Heather asked, looking around the dark closet filled with mothballs and unfashionable coats.
And then the glass started to move across the Ouija board, spelling out: I w-a-n-t t-o c-u-r-s-e y-o-u
We giggled. But I could tell Ashley didn't like it anymore.
Why? she asked faintly.
The glass begun to move, faster this time: B-e-c-a-u-s-e.
That's not an answer, I said and pretended to accidentally stick my foot into Heather's crotch.
Then the glass swished away and wrote: K-i-m i-s g-a-y.
Ashley stared at me. Then she started to cry, and bolted out of the closet.
I went down to the beach with Heather, where we polished the bottle off. Our parents were smoking bong hits on the porch, but the wind was roaring though the hills and whipping up dust clouds that covered our tracks.
Don't ask me how, but in a way I knew she was just toying with me. But seduction has never felt so good. Hazy with wine pumping through our veins and blood throbbing between my legs, we tumbled around in the sand.
After she had seduced me and I had gone down on her and was totally blissed out, we slept for an hour or so, wrapped tightly in each others' limbs, underneath her long, black cardigan.
She said I was good and that I was pretty and that she liked girls.
Me too, I said.
And the next day a bunch of bullshit happened that I'll tell you about another time. We never visited Oregon again. And Heather never wrote me.
But I still think about how perfect that time on the beach was.