Where to begin? This week’s blog post has been harder to pull out of my head than an impacted wisdom tooth. I could write several chapters just about the weird, crazy things that happened both before and after I married my first husband at sixteen-years-old. It’s kind of like looking into a kaleidoscope; all these jagged pieces of colored glass tumbling around in my mind. Most of the time they dance around in the background, but when I stop long enough to examine them, they fall into place, and I write.
It’s the same old story you’ve heard a thousand times. Somebody’s trust gets broken. Someone’s left behind.
One summer’s day during my fifteenth year, I found myself sitting at a kitchen table with a tall, black, big bulk of a guy named Slim, and five, twenty-something white prostitutes lined up on the couch like so many pieces of fruit ripening on a windowsill. There was a quick tap at the door of the dingy apartment and a man walked in and glanced at them, deciding. He looked over at me and said, “I want that one.” “She ain’t work’in,” Slim answered. I froze, and glanced over at the girls. They stared back, hostility visible behind blank eyes. “I said, I want that one,” he repeated. “And I said, she ain’t work’in!” said Slim, as he began to reach under the table. The man lifted his hands as if in surrender to some unseen enemy, backed out of the apartment, and left.
Where is my boyfriend? Why doesn’t he hurry and come back. I am so tired of being dropped off here or there while he spends an hour or a week going out for pack cigarettes! But somehow, in just a few short years, I have stopped believing I deserve anything more. Somehow, I have come to believe that wherever I am left, that’s where I’m supposed to stay.