Johnny America


Just Ask James: Molested


Dear James

I was mo­lest­ed as a youth. To this day I ad­mire your writ­ing and I would like to ask you this same ques­tion, were you?


Dear God no, Rea­gan… and my con­do­lences (you are named af­ter the girl on the Ex­or­cist). I wrote this the oth­er day and per­haps you can get a lit­tle nugget out of it. I don’t want to spell it out but it deals with peo­ple such as me com­ing back from war, di­vorce, sit­u­a­tions like yours, and the gen­er­al con­fu­sion of find­ing your­self in new places.


Some­times I imag­ine this gi­gan­tic bank vault door three feet thick and cold. And of course I want to open it up be­cause there is fuck­ing mon­ey in there. When I open it, sort of just crack it a bit, there are screams and smells and half rot­ting arms (in my dream they are al­ways gray and Thriller-like) flay­ing and reach­ing out from the crack. The arms grab and search and tear as if the palms had their own eye­balls, mouths, and teeth. I push all my weight against the gi­ant met­al amal­gam and see a spat­u­la cut­ting sausages in half on my fry­ing pan, I push and want to cut all the arms off, want to pinch them off like a turd. there is bad stuff in there. Close that fuck­ing door, I say!

But a part of me wants to re­turn with flame throw­ers and bleach bot­tles. Open, stand back, burn, melt, ash, scoop and take out the trash. But you can’t take out this sort of trash be­cause it’s ra­dioac­tive, it’s con­ta­gious — to open the door, enough for a flame throw­er or a car bomb or a stick of dy­na­mite, to open the door that wide could be enough to let it out. All those arms and teeth and zom­bies, it might be like 28 Days Lat­er.

And just let’s say that you suc­ceed, then what? You can’t just keep that shit around, you can’t bury it. Per­haps you could in­vent a rock­et that would shoot it in­to space, but how could you be ab­solute­ly sure you’ve left no trace be­hind? Some kids you know have their own safes, and they open them up like Christ­mas presents. Some par­ents play games and have them search their safes for East­er eggs.

I wak­en, roll over, kiss Kim and tell her about this dream. She kiss­es me back. You’ve got to see the way sun shines here in Alas­ka up­on me.

Filed under Just Ask James on May 26th, 2009

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