Chapter 1 - Valentines Day 2013

It was the third night in a row Tom had stayed up all night. He was on YouTube. It was Wednesday at 4 in the morning, but he wasn't tired. He just kept watching video  after video. His heart heavied in his chest. His body shook and his face boiled. After three nights he'd gotten use to wiping the tears away. His eyes burned and his voice shrunk. It was at 4 in the morning Tom could be Tom to Tom.


   He just kept repeating and repeating a scene from the United States of Tara. A suspended silence hung while Marshall crept close to Lionell, took his head and kissed both of his eye lids. Tom could only imagine sharing such an intimate moment with someone. Then Marshall kissed him. The whole world was oblivious to the love that was shared in that one kiss. Tom started to cry again.


   These sleepless nights had been going on for years now. Why was it only now that Tom knew what he had to do? Tom's heart leapt 2 feet every beat. He laid awake all night to wait. Wait for his parents to wake up. He knew he had to let himself free and embrace the world. 4 o'clock went by slow but 5 went to 520 went to 550 and those last 10 minutes would define his life from then on.


   It was Valentines Day. Finally when his parents woke up he went to their room. He had planned it all night in his head. He would go in hug his mom and dad and in that embrace he would announce to his future "I'm gay." His parents would hug him tight tell them they loved him and maybe ask a few questions before they continued their daily routines.


   This is not what happened. He walked in and they were still asleep. His perfect plan was ruined. The rest of the day sucked just like the last few valentines, the dances, and the dating questions parents ask. "who is SHE? The GIRL you like?"


   Tom lived in Kansas. Actually Tom lived in the same city that United States of Tara was located, Overland Park. Tom knew he lived in a progressive part of a conservative state, but to a closeted 15 year old boy, he could already see how people would look and talk to him. Befriending the few brave out upperclassmen he could see people liked them but their sexuality always defined them with others. Tom didn't want that.


Fuck fuck fuck!!!

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Prolougue - The Day before my Freshman Year Summer 2012

I just had an epiphany.

The day before my freshman year in highschool... or it might have been July third, I asked my mom to go on a ride with me. I was going to come out to her. We drove around and little was said, I cried alot and I didn't come out. It reminds me of Fun Home "Telephone Wire."  

This book is everything I wanted to say that night that I couldn't. A culmination of thoughts and anxiety that I can't keep to myself. 

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Chapter 6 - Fall 2015 a work in progress

Again it has been a long time since I have written in this “hypobestial inferno”. I don’t know where I am ever. My sanity hangs dead like a limb chopped off but hanging onto the body. The moment after something that has been apart of you is completely cut off from the nervous system of yourself, you feel the dead weight of it, and fuck its heavy. You touch your severed limb and can phantom the feeling of touch as you touch it but you really can’t; feel it. It’s still there, you can see it, hold it, sew up the edges and mend the skin, but the nerves are cut and the limb is decaying.

i am ridden with anxiety.

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Chapter 5 - Spring 2015

It has been a good year since I have written in this and I know I have written and rewritten the events of the last year of my life before but I’m hoping to keep this copy. I usually write this while I am procrastinating. It is 12:47 AM. and I am weeks behind on homework. My sexual life and self acceptance have come a long way in the past 12+ months since I last wrote down my queer anecdotes of my life. I believe I am completely out at school, a new school with a new crowd of people, whom I didn’t grow up with. My sexuality is less of an ambiguity and more of a subjectivity. Before moving to the new school I came out to my close theatre friends and a wider group of people through various theatre groups and was involved in a queer musical/pop-opera Bare, in which I believed at the time I would have been comfortable in a gay role where as a year before, auditioning for Spring Awakening, I had specified I would not be comfortable taking the gay roles. I am still not out to the closest people to me at least verbally, however it has always been accepted, at least in the last few years I would live an ‘alternative’ lifestyle and am quite aware of my mother’s choices in parenting books involving dealing and accepting gay children….

To start I would like to revert to my sophomore year in which I casually came out to my closest friend with in passing by affirming the question of another’s statement; you’re gay. She was amazed by my frankness and it was more of a pressure release then before and things went back to normal. When I auditioned for the gay musical I was auditioning for the lead gay character and seeing a rousing song by William Finn, Republicans, about fucking a republican man. That summer being involved with the show and being able to freely express my sexuality was strengthening and eye opening; people don’t give a shit about you. Be who you want to be because at the end of the day everyone is only concerned with themselves. I think of all of the scandalous things that happen in my community; pregnancies, arrests, crazy rumors. No one cares and people forget. It was also the summer I got drunk at a party for the first and only time and was confronted with the consequences when I got home. Short Story, no food, too much, vomit all over directors driveway, angry shower.

Transitioning to my new school I made it a priority to be open and out. First day a mentally disabled girl asks me if I am lost, if I have a girlfriend. No I’m gay. Preceded by; Do you have a boyfriend, Aw, you can’t get married here, Can I be your Maid of Honor. Her harrassment has followed me all year and carried on to calling my house in which my dad answered the phone and she had a 20 minute conversation with him. Considering the only thing we’ve ever talked about is my sexuality and her desire for me to take peer tutoring for her, I’m assuming both topics of conversation came up but I guess I’ll never know. She sat with me at lunch on one of my first days of school and informed everyone we met that I was gay. One girl retorted that she was gay too. My first friend.

Aside from the theatre my two true escapes from the day were CA and Math. CA because I knew theatre people in the class and could sit with them, and Math because it was the first class and I guess only class I had another gay student in, aside from lesbians. He’s a dancer and is very forward about his sexuality and horniness as proof by many vulgar pics and texts between a group chat. I am going to get out of order a little but about a week before Spring Break he asked me if I was a virgin and I was thrown back. Until then, I had really felt my sexuality to have been very…. independent, for lack of a better word. I hadn’t gotten to a place where I felt like I could go out and seek a sexual relationship. I somewhat hushedly said yes, looking back between being a virgin and being a sexually-active faggot I’d assume most of the students in my class would rather it be virgin. That week I decided to download Tinder though.

I had had Tinder for maybe two days and was getting ready to meet up with someone who’s profile was cute and funny; a shocked face with a clown nose. I was also chatting with another guy I met on Tinder who was way hotter than the first guy and way more direct. I had flirted with the first guy and he seemed competent to hold the flirtation going where I lacked. I knew I was going to lose my virginity that night to either one of these guys. The first guy however had stated later when I was on my way over that nothing sexual would happen. It was the night right before I was headed out of town for a week and agreed that I was fine with not hooking up that night.

When I got to his apartment, I waited at his door and when he came out he was wearing a no h8 tank top that he really shouldn’t have been wearing. We went to a redbox across the street and talked about what movies we like and it was clear that he liked horror movies and so he told me about horror movies and we ended up getting Purge: Anarchy. It was already 11ish and I wasn’t sure how much I liked him, he talked a lot and seemed kind of stupid, I felt like we were on different wavelengths. We got back to his apartment and put in the movie and about 30 to 40 minutes in of just sitting there he suggested that we cuddle, because that is what we were flirting about on Tinder. So we cuddled and watched the movie and he kept readjusting himself and our legs were intertwined and I definitely ruined the mood by pulling a muscle in my fat thigh. We would readjust and I kind of initiated the sex. We were joking about his sexts and he said “you can find somewhere else to put that hand,” and so I put his hand on my jean covered crotch and I put my hand on his sweatpants covered crotch and i began rubbing at it while we continued to discuss the movie. I thought I was rubbing his flaccid dick, I was actually rubbing his balls, I would later learn when I put my hand down his pants that he had been fully erect and humping me since we began cuddling. He asked if I wanted to finish the movie and I didn’t so we turned on porn and I started sucking him off. I didn’t like it that much and it was clear he hadn’t showered for me… Then he dragged me up and stuffed his tongue into my mouth, sloppily kissing my mouth. I don’t think I like casual kissing with casual sex. Kissing felt too intimate for such a moment. After I had been sucking him off he asked to fuck me. I asked where the condoms were and proceeded to stick a condom on him with my mouth. He wanted to fuck me with me squatted over him and him on his back; that idea was not going to work, so he fucked me doggy style, which was okay but he kept pulling out which I knew was probably not the best idea. After he got done fucking me he wanted me to suck him off… my shit pervaded the air and it was extremely uncomfortable to know he could smell my shit and I was sucking a cock that was just inside me. He took forever to cum and wanted to cum in my mouth, I decided I didn’t want that and declined opting for a load on his chest. He asked if I wanted to be finished off. I was really done with the situation and wanted to get out of their so I declined again. He really did nothing the entire time to stimulate me other than rubbing my asshole through my underwear while I was ontop of him blowing him. After word he said something along the lines as “You made an oopsie or accident or something and to not worry about it. I went to the bathroom to clean up. I gathered my things and we left it with him saying that he didn’t think this would happen and that I was irresistible, and that he wanted to take me on a real date and wanted to see where this relationship would go. I knew then however there were two main reasons aside from his personality that that wouldn’t happen. One he knew friends of mine and I lied about my age to him. Two he had told me that he wasn’t in it to hook up and that nothing sexual would happen. Since then he’s texted me 3 times and I haven’t responded.

I felt good about the sex though because I felt in control of the situation and the relationship and felt mature enough to understand that it was just a one night stand. If we had not had sex that night I could maybe see going out with him and developing a relationship, but he seemed very sure that he didn’t want to have sex that night and went back on his word.

At school I got to tell my gay friend that I wasn’t a virgin anymore and the horrors of that night. He continued to ask me after that if I had texted the guy and I told him it was just a one night thing. I didn’t plan on following through with him.

I don’t know if what I did with him I would consider sex. I feel like mutual masterbation would be more suitible. I didn’t come and we used each others bodies for selfish reasons.

Coming to a new school and reinventing myself, not really but being able to not give a fuck what others think of you is very empowering. I feel like I can be a gay figure in my school and maybe have become or maybe and a reference to someone so they know they know gay people at their school. There’s this kid I usually think of because I can see myself in them except I feel like they are way more in the closet than I was in High School, partly I feel because of their parents who seem to be conservative hard asses. He has a girlfriend but it is painfully clear that he is gay and twice I’ve seen him have to deny his sexuality or defend his heterosexuality. The first time was during the musical and someone made a joke or insult of him being gay and he got very defensive. The second time was on a school trip and someone blatantly asked him if he was and he said he had a girlfriend and that he appreciated the gay people though or maybe the male image… something like that. I know of three or four out gay boys and a few lesbians and I see the closet cases everywhere, I don’t know how I did it so long and try to not do anything that would make them uncomfortable as I know other people have done to them and I know to me.

I have come far enough out of the closet that I don’t have to address my sexuality. The same girl who asked the boy if he was gay didn’t ask me if I was gay. In the same way I feel like I’ve gone far enough into my sexuality that I don’t have to come out to my parents.


I look back at my freshmen and sophomore year and the gay role models I had in my schools and the kids who showed me how to be confident and happy. I want to be that for other people. I felt it was important to come out early and show there is a point.

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Chapter 4 - Fall 2013


It's 2:17. Tom is thinking of asking his mom to take him to the doctor to get zoloft. He took a test online and it said he was severely depressed. Tom couldn't remember a time when his life was played out in his head like a fucking soap opera. In the 3rd grade Tom went to therapy after telling his mom he wanted to kill himself. Tom thinks it's time to go find a therapist. No. He just wants zoloft. He feels like the only thing that's keeping him from eating a bottle of Xanax is the shows he's in. He can't die and leave the people in the cast like that. It wouldn't be fair to the directors or cast.


His shows are keeping him alive. This book has become a diary...


Tom did ask his mom if he could get zoloft. He wanted to ask about Xanax but he would wait till he was at the doctors. There are many elements in Tom's life we have not talked about. A girl was living with Tom. Her name is Kristen. She had been living with them for the past 5 or 6 months... When's Easter? Anyway it's October, and kris tens dad was diagnosed since then. Last week they found out a tumor burst and he had a week to live. The anxiety burst. Dull blackness. Aching for the 90's nickelodeon cartoons and the parents the childhood dismisses. Old, webbed, dead air of a lifeless 19 year old orphan.


To have someone in Tom's personal life that was suffering through the biggest traumas of their life made Tom mad at himself for being so depressed about the stage he was in of coming out. He felt awful for feeling sad for himself when someone so close was losing everything. Life was gone. Tarnished yarn snapped and his spine collapsed on top of itself. The problems of the world our all our own vices. The smut of the news and the political views. Fucked up shit. The nervous system was cut and Tom was numb to the world. He felt trapped.


Tom's going to bed... He will mutely explain why he is not going to school to his mom tomorrow in the morning. Mute. Tom liked that word. What a word to explain Toms numbness. Mute. He could feel his mind and body working against him to truly feel nothing. Tom is happy but anxious that he doesnt have a bottle of pills at his disposal right now.


Tom didn't go to school the next day. He slept till 10 or 11 and then avoided the question. Why are you depressed? Is there something you're not telling me? I love you.


Later that night Tom looked through his keep sake box. He had old ticket stubs and birthday cards, thank you cards, dead flowers, back stage crew passes, and a plastic diamond.


He started American horror story season 2 and watched almost 5 episodes before his mom realized he hadn't gone to bed.


When he went up he saw a text from his school news wanting a sob story from him for his community service group he volunteers for. Bull shit. Tom's not going to create a sob story for those douchey prepster juniors wanted to look sympathetic and like they care. Tom gave them the story idea and now they want him to out himself a victim to his bullies. At the same time for the same reason he should not have to put himself through baring his feelings to immature beevis' and butt heads.


The text read: hey so h2 is doing a story on brave and we are looking for someone to interview who maybe had a personal connection to bullying, and willing to talk about it do you know anyone.


Tom took another depression test today. This one said moderate severe depression and extreme likeliness of bipolar disorder. Toms head itched. His fingers ached and grinded the bone into the cartilage with twitching. He'd had four monster today but felt drained.


Tom did not get the part he wanted and infect got a part in which most would consider less then the chorus, a walk on part, a supernumerary.


Tom would ice a smile on his face and live in the war paint. Fuck honesty. This will make an amazing book. The diary of anne frank. Hypobeastial, inferno. The clock stopped at 76. 16 years to long. The world should have ended in 1997 because humanity was lost the minute man stood up straight. Scriptual therapy. That's all this is. Scriptual therapy for the godless. Dead in a world of verse and grace and hymn. Art is dead. The brain killed it. The brain is mush, mush. Whipped sweet potato. Toms fingers felt like physcos. Fuck convention.fuck the 21st century. And fuck Ann coulter.


Every wooden creak. Every crack, footstep, sent Tom's chest pounding, his head drilling, face flushing. Tom needed to go to bed.


Tom can't remember most of his day back at school. Lots of missed work. Shit me a river. He got home and watched the rest of season 2 of AHS and started season 3. Then he did his music theory homework. Did we learn the inverses of IVM7...fuck it.


At school he had to talk to his gifted of self consciousness. His gifted teacher was new and hippieesque. He needed toms paper evaluation for his IEP, something Tom had avoided all weekend. He had to write some bullshit sentence about the improvement he made on his opera. Did I mention that. Toms writing a fucking opera. His teacher was impressed and new so he still had the caffeine spirit of a new teacher. The hope and ambition. Something Tom was losing very fast. Self confidence was lost and past Tom in his adolescence. He saw peers excel him and he felt stuck and dumb.


Art is dead.


The walls creak... Ice slides down toms bloated stomach. His shoulders arch on the bed and he neck petrudes backwards faux orgasm. He cringes. Time passes. No ones at the door. His head itches againg, his fingers. Tom can hear the life of his parents, his dreaded future 20 feet away. Tom would give anything not to end up like his parents, like any teenager.


A few weeks ago Toms college sister, Faith, was driving tom. Tom found out they had been sharing a pandora station. She asked him about two stations he had : gay porn and gay pride. Tom froze and crunch squirted a simple deflation. They're comedy stations, Shelby put them on there. They were in the car for 3 more hours... Little was said.



Should Tom come out to his sister, a thousand mile away... Time to go to bed. Think happy thoughts, goodnight journal.

Today was a day of hard progress. Tom came out to a stranger, a therapist. For the past 7 years toms parents thought he was add or depressed but the truth is he had been hiding a secret for years.


Later on that night Tom came out anonymously to the popular lesbian at his school on He now just realized that it was or will be soon obvious who he was. He just did an interview for Husky Headlines about and quoted the lesbian. Tom made bigger strides out the closet then he realized. Really he lured himself to a lesbian that was it. No one else would put the pieces together. And it would be nice to have a strong gay friend and mentor.


Over all an important day in the long run, but a shitty storm today. It was time to call it a night. Not much written today but so much progress. Tom still itched. Was he ready. The therapist called me a chicken.


The day after Tom got a ride home from zach. Zach was driving other people back. Zach stopped the radio and plugged in his station, and put on same love proclaiming to the car. This is dedicated to Tom for his his.. Tom was grace facing him and smiling not sure if this was a joke or how they found out. His playing for the other team.


Today Tom is still confused and hasn't talked to zach since and feels weird, happy and sad.this is the week he will come out. It couldn't be a coincidence and everyone who's acknowledged it has been very supportive... Yes. He will be brave. Love love same love.


Well he didn't... Come out. But he really did feel good about this week. Maybe not. Tom will again nonchalantly bring it up in the middle of a conversation at school and just say he's been out since the summer. He had been...sort of. The news would spread via probably having Tom confirm his sexuality. Yes I am. Old news I've been out for a while.... He will likely become better friends with the GSA cult of hipsters and the groups they seep into. He hoped it wouldn't cause a huge corruption. This is just holding toms life back. His grades, his parts, his license, his communication and expression.


What about Zach. Tom felt like everyone already knew. I mean Tom made mean girls references every day. And he was very gay, faggoty. Tom hated that word. And nigga. Tom liked words that were provocative like fuck. Cunt, faggot, and nigga were all words that torn down whole groups of people. Women, gays, and blacks. Tom felt like his closet was a zoo exhibit. Glassed off from the world of heteros. They call him a closet case. They call him a queer, they stare, they see, they know.


It's 11:16 on October the 28. Last night Tom and his mom went to see, Carrie the musical, at the gayest campiest theatre in Kansas City. They actually smoked real weed on the stage. His mom hated it. Literally everyone in the audience was a middle age gay man. Was that what Tom was. A middle aged gay man. The remains of the old gays. A friend of dorothys. Which has been true all his life.


Tom was such a faggot as a child. He loved the wizard of oz he wrote 16 essays about it in elementary school. For his talent for boy scouts he found a witch black dress and melted like the wicked witch. Can you say queen. He would make up choreo on the soccer field and be a self proclaimed cheerleader for both team on basketball. Even before all of this when he would play with the neighbor hood kids, they would play a game called boys and girls and Tom played for both teams. One ofToms earliest memories is telling the girls that he thinks he should have been a girl. Tom also always played with the girls during recess. Tom found it hard to make friends in elementary school because he was so different. He found refuge in music and art. If only he'd found refuge in dance. Tom was also quite fat and blamed himself and his genes aswell as lack of physical activity to his weight. Why am I telling you this.


Every time my mother mentions me liking girls she reminds me that she has expectations that I will never meet for her. She pushes me further and further into the closet.


Zach. Zach drove Tom places all the time. He drove them the other day to rehearsal downtown and zach told Tom about how he had tried to kill himself over the summer and spent a month in a mental hospital. Now his life was for shit. He had always had a great looking social life. He was well liked in classes and schoo, he was extremely cute, he was talented, and a great person. Tom was almost angry with zach for confiding in Tom. But really Tom was mad at himself for not doing the same. Tom will next time.


Zach Tom had assured himself did not know Tom was gay. Which confused Tom. Why did he play Same love in the car the day after coming out to a therapist and a lesbian. It couldn't be coincidence. Maybe zach was super cool about it. Maybe... Zach was catholic. But it's 2013!



It's 1:32. Tom thought about the other gay people in his life and knowing they go through the same things as him. Shame, lust, shame, depression, fear. Coming out is exhausting. You have to split second decide if you can trust this person with information you don't want others to know.

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Chapter 3 - Summer 2013

2 am. At camp. Tom nonchalantly came out to his roommates, one of which recently came out himself. It felt....not as good as people say it is. Maybe because he only confided in three other people. The response was amazing. Outside of the 2am talks no one really talked about it, and no one asked questions. Tom was gay. Did it make a difference. No. His roommates accepted him and that was that. Tom was Tom.


  They had been playing a sort of a truth or dare kind of a game however they had soon realized no one was going to pick dare. Then they just wanted to no everyones answer.


Truth: who is your biggest crush at camp?


Max: Kourtney McJergen


Jordan: Peter Ferrun


Kyle: Mikayla Baxter


Tom: at this camp?


Max: Yea


Tom: well that's hard, there aren't that many boys at camp.


Kyle: wait what?


Max: Oh your gay?


Kyle: Gay?


Jordan: Well yea guys he's gay. He just came out.


Tom: Well duh, of course I'm gay. I thought it was obvious. And I think that's stupid. Coming out. It's idiotic.


Max: woah, Tom be quieter. Your going to wake up the counselors.


And then they returned to truth or dare.


Most embarresing moment.

Celebrity crush


Tom felt, trapped but he didn't know.


    After camp Tom got mad. He wasn't ready for the world. Camp is a peatree dish. Tom was out because of camp to maybe 30 people. 30 people he maybe saw 4 or 5 times a year. His school friends and parents were still in the dark: to a shade. His mom had been reading books about parents of gay kids.

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Chapter 2 - the fiction of an orphan

Kristen leveled her body out of her open window. Her white skin was filled in with the blue light of the moon. She swayed back and forth on her torso playing with goodbye. She imagined her parents waking up and going into her room. They would find her curtains blowing in the wind and when they looked out their heart would drop into their feet. Their little girls brains would stain their deck.


   Maybe it was the silent middle of the night wind that signaled the world was asleep or maybe it was her last thought but Kristen was suddenly covered in goosebumps. She shook them off and held onto the frame of her window. She lifted her body forward and hung upside down.


   Kristen had been crying. She felt stuck out side her mind in a world that was crowded with shit and nothings. A vast wasteland of zombie life. Education. Job. Marriage. Baby. Divorce. Dating. Hate. Death. Education. Job. Marriage. Baby. Divorce. Dating. Hate. Death. Education. Job. Marriage. Baby. Divorce. Dating. Hate. Death. The cookie cutter construction line of living in the middle of America. Sure there were the variations but we can just call those the BBQ flavor or limited edition. Nothing special. Life is life.


  She was trapped.




  This is your life Kristen. Kill high school go to KU on a full ride get your bachelors in pharmacy then go to an Ivy for your masters then Harvard for PHd. Settle down with the college sweetheart, pop out 2 kids Chelsea and Garret, try not to get divorced. Shape kids to be little Kristens. Retire at 65. Die. Die. Die. Die. Every generation.


  Kristen hung with her feet straight above her and she swayed more cautiously. Her stomach was in her throat and every sway was slightly spastic to stay balanced. With a jut of extrusion Kristen dropped herself back into her room. Her hands were still on the window sill and she just stood there.


  The blinds hung crooked at the top of the window. Kristen grabbed onto the strings and again leaned herself out the open glass. Her arms stretched with the pull of the strings behind her making her body form into a structural swan, arching her back with her arms high behind her she dropped her held back head to her breasts. She looked below her at the glass tables and wood of the deck. She brought up her feet to the sill forming into a crouch and she tilted more out the window. The strings restrained more and tightened. She pulled herself balance with the window again. Always watching the deck. It was a good 10 feet she reasoned. Her being a little more then 5 feet it would be an easy 3ish jump with her arms extended hanging from the frame.


  Kristen turned herself around and hopped back into her moonlit room.  She paced her rug a few times pulling her hair from her face in contemplation. She then turned to the crumbled up paper on her floor and stuck it in her pocket. She grabbed the sides of the frames with her hands to stabilize herself as she lifted herself onto the sill. Without a second thought she turned herself to face the room. Looking through a glass window at her happy days of a childhood room of memories. Dropped the weight of her body on her locked arms and dropped that weight on her finger that held her from falling. She let go and let the impact of the fall be small. When her feet hit the floor she hit the ground running.



That was 5 years ago. Since then Kristens mom died of cancer, and her died is now in hospice.

View thinkofitasthrift's Full Portfolio

Tina's Clock

Time goes, you say? Ah no! Alas, time stays, we go.

–Henry Austin Dobson, The Paradox of Time 

Tina's Clock
An antique clock lies within the heart of time; its hands move briskly as hours fly by, as we become more of ourselves, and as we gently let go of the past that’s behind us. My grandparents were always fond of sophisticated clockwork. They have clocks all over their dwelling; there is a distinctive clock in their house I am particularly fond of: their dinning room clock. That clock is particularly special, not only does it keep track of time like ordinary clocks do, it chimes so beautifully. The clock chimes every fifteen minutes; when the clock strikes the hour, it sings the representative melody. Its pendulum moves gently, side to side, echoing onto others room with its sharp work and its low roll. I remember asking my grandmother, Tina, about its origins. She laughed about it, reminiscing on her journey to Switzerland with Santiago, her husband. She bought on her way over and has kept it ever since my father graduated from college. I have never actually realized its presence. Time works in mysterious ways. When I was young, I used to ignore the clock, except for its happy chimes at dinner where we would all sit around the table, chatting and laughing merrily. As a kid, I would stare at it blankly and think about its importance, but it never came to mind until now. I am much older now, and that clock is still ticking its way into bliss. The Swiss clock, or better said Bucherer would look upon us all. He would stick around for quite some time, admiring blossoming life, the rapture of death, journeys of ascents and descents as we all have come across in life. The clock has a sentimental value, let alone a prized possession of a loved one, it is a mere reminder of the life that’s ahead of us all. It is indeed, a bittersweet paradox. If I must add life’s most bittersweet paradox, to cope with so little time and so much to handle, so much to do; discover, wonder, and yearn! We must learn to deal with such paradoxes. Clocks are not timekeepers but the indicators of memory, the way we’re able to dwell upon past experiences and how we long for them to happen soon. The time has come, for us to reminisce, to dwell upon the drips and drabs of love and look back on the blossom of life. And whether or not we know it, we always find ourselves looking upon time and looking for time itself.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

Prose poem. 

Nelson’s Story: “My name is Felix, a schizophrenic.”


Monologues of a Schizophrenic


Nelson’s Story: “My name is Felix, a schizophrenic.”

Circa 1975-79

Felix Nelson Lopez was a polite, educated young man. He was the fourth out of nine children; three died two before my uncle Nelson. My family recalls my uncle Nelson being a very social person, always talkative, and helping wherever needed. He also was pursuing an academic career in Engineering, at seventeen he received a scholarship to attend one of the most prestige schools in El Salvador; Colegio de San Pablo, located in Zacatecolucas, La Paz. Between the year I was born 1977 and 1979, my uncle Nelson had a life altering experience, which to date, no family member can explain how exactly did my uncle Nelson became a schizoid.

 My uncle Nelson and other fellow colleagues went to La Paz in the summer of 77’ to visit the campus of Colegio de San Pablo and the town, since he was going to reside there for education. When he returned, one of my aunts’ Tia Dinora’ called my mom in the US to give her the bad news, apparently my uncle Nelson developed a character change that was very noticeable. His attitude went from friendly and social, to quiet and keeping in the dark. My aunt told my mom that he would sit in the dark of a room and laugh. However, none of the family members, including my grandparents knew what was wrong with him. One thing is for sure, during that time the Civil War in El Salvador was about to officially begun; my uncle Nelson witnesses firsthand the horror of the civil war.

In March 24, 1980 the assassination of Archbishop Monsignor Oscar Romero in San Salvador started a civil war that lasted twelve years. However, my family recalls military movement as far as the mid 1960’s. Macabre was the scene throughout the country. Some of the home videos I’ve seen of the war show decapitated bodies on the road, in front of homes, death all over the scene. Half of my family fought with the country’s military against the half of my family in the jungles as guerillas. My uncle Nelson was in the midst of the madness, he was seventeen when his life changed.


As a child, I recall a few episodes; full blown episodes he went through. I remember hiding in the closet room once, because my Uncle Nelson began yelling and cussing and pushing one of my uncles; my dad, grandpa, and an uncle were able to force him down on the floor and stay on top of him until he calmed down, which at times took about an hour to calm. Through the episodes that he had already displayed, no family member knew he had schizophrenia, they didn’t know what to label him. Until the incident that occurred after the civil war was over when my uncle was hospitalized at a psychiatric ward after he was detained by police and began rambling about a truck load full of artillery that he had hidden somewhere. The police found to paper work on him, so they didn’t know who the people of contact were.

My uncle Nelson went missing almost eight month before the word got to an uncle that he was being detained by the police in a town a few miles away. When they found him, my uncle Nelson was horrifically disfigured; the fucken police tortured him as they thought he was speaking the truth. The uncle that picked him up had to explain to the officers that my uncle Nelson was a bit crazy, and didn’t what he was talking about. They let him go, beat up, and embarrassed. My uncle Nelson in a moment of clarity was able to recollect the memory of the torture sessions and shared the experience with his brothers.

He was hospitalize in the ward after, and that’s where the family found out that my uncle had Schizophrenia for the last 15 years, and didn’t have proper medication until then. Another episode he went through, my mom says he tried to hit one of my sister’s and mother stepped in, for a minute my mother felt very threaten she says, but she’s a warrior too and grabbed the biggest cooking pan she could find and told him to step back or else he was going to get it. Mom says he quickly changed his attitude and stormed out of the house. Nevertheless, the most memorable episode I recall was when I found him in front of the kitchen window.



"As I stepped into the kitchen, I saw my uncle Nelson flipping-off someone through the kitchen window. He started cussing at the person outside the window, saying, "Pues que onda contigo?" "What's your problem?" I stood there silently watching the episode that was unfolding before my eyes. I was nine years old and had heard stories about my uncle being mentally challenge, but has yet to witness the severity of his ordeal. I walked over to my mom's room and told her what I had seen. She quietly went to the living room and looked out the window, shook her head and walked into the kitchen.

My uncle was still arguing with the person outside the window. My mom tells him, "Nelson, que estas haciendo?" "What you doing?" He answers, "Que no estás viendo ese pasmado afuera llamándome nombres." "Can't you see that fool outside calling me names?" I notice my uncle's facial expressions were changing, his eyes opened wide, his tone of voice became deeper, a transformation I had never seen in him.

"No hay nadie ayi!" my mom says. When she said that my uncle Nelson rushed at her direction, I ran to the living room. He didn't touch my mom, but walked to the front door and yelled, "Ven aqui hijo de puta, dicime eso a la cara, pendejo!" No one was outside, no one was talking shit to him, and it was all in his head. I see rage in his eyes; he walks into my room grabs my backpack, throws all my school supplies and books on the floor. He opened his clothe drawer, grabs a handful of clothe, probably only under wears and socks.

My uncle Nelson stormed out of the house, my mom tried to stop him; he pushed her to the side and kept on walking. Three days later he calls the house, says he's in Mexico and needs money sent to him so he can continue his trip to El Salvador. My dad and two uncles went to pick him up at the border. That was the first time I witness my uncle’s episode at a close range without hiding from the ordeal. I also realize that a schizophrenic is not always mentally lost, that there is a window of clarity and reason; how else did he get to the Mexican border with no car and money?


Sergio Valencia *


#NelsonsStory: mynameisfelixaschizophrenic


Author's Notes/Comments: 

I've seen the window of clarity in my uncles eyes and have spoken with Nelson!

View soulkritic's Full Portfolio