shaunterrywriter

These are my writings. Ideally, these are the most honest expressions of myself that I could give.

University Break-in

College

Getting into a competitive university was a little like going into a fancy restaurant, ordering the most expensive dessert, and failing to pay before leaving. It’s decadent and liberating, like a fantasy, but you feel out of place, and you get the sense that everyone’s staring at you. At the very least, you realize that you don’t belong. You feel a little guilty because you know your friends would never dream of being there, but for that same reason, you also feel like you’d damn well better enjoy the shit out of it.

It was never supposed to have been that way. To say that I came from poor white trash is an understatement. We were poor, but not the poorest. The trashest, though? We were a Stepford Family driving my grandparents’ hand-me-down Buicks, while my crazy parents were losing the house thanks to 900-number-bills, in between beating the shit out of us and each other, avoiding the truth about psychological diagnoses and engaging in creative forms of abuse and neglect. Trash. Yes.

But here I was, secretly much older than I was supposed to have been (I didn’t go to school until my mid-20s), sitting in Medieval History behind a sorority girl with perfect boobs and 3/20ths of her ass residing below the frayed edge of her denim shorts and next to a boy whose ballhair was just months old. I could grow more hair off the end of my nose than he could in his whole groin. That’s a weird thing for me to have said. Excuse me. This has been the part where I slightly loudly say something salacious to the worldly waiter while the middle-aged couple next to me cuts off their conversation about summer plans for the portico so that they can scoff at my faux pas. It feels good, honestly. So fuck you. I’m excused. I excuse myself.

It’s a break-in, really. You’re in this insulated club, where everyone’s giving each other smiles that are so big and so self-congratulatory that, if you haven’t gotten used to it yet (and I sure as fuck haven’t), it feels something like a cross between a white supremacists’ meeting (because that’s really what they are) and a mutual masturbation session. You half-expect them to wink at you from across the room and mouth You’re welcome. In a way, it feels good. It’s empowering. But you also know that, one day, your’e going to walk into a situation where you’re supposed to remember where you came from, you’re supposed to remember your friends who stunted their potential for the sake of loyalty, you’re supposed to remember that you’re representing the adversity, the grit, the determination, the realness, the humility of the people from whence you came, but instead, you fuck everyone in the ass and you drink some Chandon while tears stream down your face and you can’t figure out whether it’s because it feels so bad or because it feels so good. Maybe it’s both.

“What’s Between Us Pt. 2” by Adriana Thomas

Lyrics by Shaun Terry

“What’s Between Us Pt. 1” by Adriana Thomas

Lyrics by Shaun Terry

Object Writing #2 (loosely in the style of Adriana Thomas)

Metal Bucket

Obviously, I can’t control you. I could batter you, melt you to my designs, but you wouldn’t be you, and what would that do for me? I see my reflection in you, and sometimes, that’s nice, but sometimes, it hurts. It hurts because I’m not always just what I want to be, and there’s only one way with you. I could never expect you to bend your vision of me to make me look a little lighter, a little more ethereal, a little more supple.

You’re tough and resilient, and I admire you for it. No one notices. You barely exist, and I hardly understand it. I see you; all of you, but it’s as though others are blind to your existence, when all I want to do is hold you, despite your bipolar relationship with me. Why won’t you embrace me? You’re happy to be used by me and so many others, but after all that you’ve let pour from you, after all the help you’ve given me, you’ll never let me hear the words.

Your silence slices through me like the phosphorescence of Northern Lights in a rural Alaskan sky. I want to be whisked away in those angelic wisps, to places that you’ve left uncovered for all but… Has anyone reached the opaque, obsidian, natural heart of you?

I’m standing in the cold, wanting warmth to pour out of you, like liquid, bubbling up from the bottom of your soul in the form of suds from the ocean’s black, cold floor. Instead, your metallic grasp on me is loose and rigid, indifferent to my loss, indifferent to what I need from you. You’re utilitarian; you’re an old steel bucket of the sort that rural housewives in the Southeast would use to wipe down wooden floors. Why have I invested so much of myself in you? Where is this leading? I have so many questions for you, and all you can do is peer back with that motionless, dead-eyed stare? I sometimes feel like I can’t even see you, and I’m sure that you don’t see me. Where are we going and what have we become? I’m a slave to you and you’re the tool I use to try to help me feel all those things that I’m wanting to feel, when instead, everything is left feeling antiseptic and sterile. Is that all you want? Is that your purpose?

I want to live in a world that’s messy and imperfect. I’m tired of the austere, monk-like devotion to purity that keeps you from getting closer to me than arms’ length. I want to make messes with you and never clean them. I want to move beyond this facile world that you’ve locked me into.

Object Writing #1

Computer Screen

I stared at the screen, blankly. How do you lose track of what you’re reading, when it’s already in bite-sized portions as it is? It’s distracting. It’s all distracting. I mean, everything that’s happening is distracting, but people used to read the Bible and Dostoevsky, and now we’re bitching at 30 second commercials because they’re boring. What the fuck does that mean?

I’m sitting in the dark, staring, thinking about what happened today, thinking about the people in my life, thinking about what I should be doing. I should really be sleeping. I’m just distracting myself from all the bullshit floating around in my buoyant, vibrating head. That makes me think of Transcendental Meditation and its advocates. If you google “meditation” and any city in North America, “Transcendental Meditation TM” will pop up. That “TM” there is both an abbreviation for “Transcendental Meditation” and for “trademark.” This is not a coincidence. It’s funny to think of the commoditization of something as anti-capitalistic as Transcendental Meditation, but it’s not really all that surprising, either, if you think about it. But who thinks about? Why would anyone?

I’ve been suffering from a mild-to-moderate depression for a few months now. I should’ve been meditating. How silly. Instead, I’m hitting on women in Facebook groups and papering over some of the bigger problems I’ve had in my life. By this time next year, maybe I’ll be a transvestite. It wouldn’t surprise me. What does that even mean? What about M-to-F transvestites who are attracted to women? How do you explain that shit? I mean, it’s not like it shouldn’t happen, but in this bitter, thoughtless, brutal world, it seems amazing that someone would pay thousands of dollars to join the ranks of both the transgendered and homosexual. I feel sorry for the poor bastards.

Now, I’m googling “M-to-F transvestite homosexual.” Porn. Of course, porn.

There was a time where I was really curious about transsexual porn, but I was too disappointed by the lack of girth of these shemales’ shafts. I should be in bed. I should be making salads and working out, but my roommate’s a nasty fucker who leaves the kitchen looking like a crime scene, and my car’s about as dependable as an M-to-F’s penis. How’s that for an analogy?

I’m just distracting myself from all of the bullshit that I’ve been dealt in the last few months and that I should’ve seen coming from around the corner.

The Victory that’s Left

Cannibalism

My mother would play this trick on us,
and in her game,
the points of her fingernails
would turn into spiders’ feet,
and spiders would crawl up our backs,
turning us into wriggling, squirming worms.

Now, you’ve played the same game,
but taken it too far.
The spiders have built a little nest
between two ribs,
between the cracks of the collar
that’s meant to protect my heart;
the same heart that you trapped in your box
before you swallowed the key.

And now my heart beats in an odd rhythm,
but you can slurp back your norepinephrine
and do the same with it
that you did with the ashes of what was to be my life:
you can mix them with your cornflakes
on early mornings
when you go to care of those invalids.

So look at you:
you’ve finally won a carcass to hang with pride.
You destroyed a person
much like someone destroyed you,
and now someone’s life has been turned to tinders,
the remnants of which land
in some dark, reeking corner of some corporate grocer’s dumpster,
while you soak your pillow each night with the aftermath.

According to your dad’s logic,
I should never have given you clemency.
But I don’t blame you, really;
I wish I could help you, in fact, even after all this,
and even if I don’t want to talk to you any time in the next millennium.
I’d just love if you’d take your foot off my goddamn neck.

A Lost Weekend

Man Traveling Alone

What the fuck are you talking about? You think that there’s someone I’m trying to marry? Or wanting to marry or some shit? I’m totally single. I promise. Absolutely single, and yours for the weekend, if you’re still down. I mean, where did this come from? Did we have a discussion while I was drunk? Are you on acid? If you’re on acid, I would love it if you’d consider letting me have some acid. Maybe we could do things while on acid. Could be hot. But seriously, what the fuck are you even talking about? This shit makes no sense. But please let me know about the acid, okay?

Am I hung up on my ex? Of course! Is that what you’re worried about?! Why? I’m hung up on several exes! But you think that makes a difference with you? She and I are never getting back together, first off. My most recent one, I mean. Well, any of them, I guess. I’m just mourning. It’s not that big a deal, really. I’ve been broken up with lots of time, and I’m sure it’ll happen thousands more times. Anyway, what makes you think I wasn’t imagining you while I was with (in) her? All men do that shit. And pretty much every time. Plenty of women do, too, as I understand it; as I’ve been told. I’m not trying to make it a sexist thing, okay. But also, you’re my friend and I’ve always liked you. Otherwise, how would even have found ourselves having this discussion? But really, why does it matter how I feel about anyone else? You’re the one who suggested the sexual weekend rendezvous, and we’ve been friends for a while now. I respect and admire you. Do you think that I’ve forgotten how great you are and how sexy you are? I just don’t get this. It’s so weird to me. I mean, it’s fine and all – you’re entitled to your feelings, and I think they’re legitimate – but I just don’t understand. I want to understand.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a “good guy,” but you never communicated anything, and I don’t know where this is coming from. Did you ever ask me a question about this? Did you find something that I posted somewhere that misguided you? Did we have some conversation that I’m unaware of? Maybe you had my brain wiped clean of the memory of some interaction, like in that stupid Will Smith movie.

You knew that I was on my way to see you, and you disappeared. Did you break all of your fingers? Did Siri catch pneumonia? Whether you happen to be right or not, you have no idea what the fuck is going on. There’s no way you could. Way too goddamn presumptuous. Really. What do you think you know? And how? Fucking bullshit. I will delete you from my Facebook. I swear to God.

I mean, I realize that you might be kind-of psychic, but that doesn’t mean that you’re always right, every single time. But you’re stubborn as fuck, so it doesn’t matter what I say, huh? There’s no way you’re going to admit that maybe you made an assumption based on practically no evidence, and maybe that’s pretty un-fucking-fair, and maybe you could’ve done better. Anyway, I don’t expect an apology from you. Not really. I mean, it’d be nice, but I don’t think that you’d be likely to apologize about this sort of thing. You’ve probably deluded yourself into thinking that you’re right, anyway.

But you’re probably right, I guess. I still don’t know what about, but I basically trust you. I mean, I think that I know myself pretty well, but you’re not saying all this shit for no reason, I guess. I mean, it’s unfair and irrational, but that doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. What the fuck do I know, anyway? I’d probably just shit my pants and jack off all day, if left to my own devices. That’s the truth. I’m basically a child.

God, you have a beautiful body. Shit.

Because I’ll Never See You Again

Lost Friend

It was in the softness in your eyes:
there was fear there, vulnerability,
and I knew you’d experienced pain.

Maybe you were trying to trust men again,
and I gave you reasons to not trust me.
But I trusted you.

The honey in your voice,
the warmth of your smile
radiated confidence into me,
and I wanted to speak softly
so as to not startle you,
and I wanted to embrace you,
but that’s not quite right
because we would’ve embraced each other,
and we could’ve been best friends,
and that could’ve lasted.

I felt your fear,
despite your desire
to be sweet to someone,
and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be the one
to make you finally feel Free.
Farewell, My Lost Friend.

To Hold a Candle

Sad Love Letter

I still smell the singed centers of our final photographs,
but I can’t forget the figures forged in my mind.

I’m sitting in the center of my queen-size bed
with tape on my mouth,
but you can’t keep me from crying over you.

I’m terrified that you’ll never forgive me.
I’ve always loved you more than I’ve loved anyone,
and to be rejected so completely, so viciously, so callously,
means I’ve failed in the most profound way;
I wasn’t good enough
when I most needed to be.

“Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria,” they’ll call it,
and they’ll be right.
And it’s incredibly excruciating.
But it’s something else, too.
There’s peculiar magic between us,
even if we’ve made it too complicated for now.

I know how to love myself.
I’ve just been doing a bad job, lately.

I keep entering your number in my phone,
just to press “End” instead of “Send.”
It’s excruciating.
I want to respect your wishes, and I’ll continue to,
but I miss you so badly.
I don’t just want to be friends,
but I’d settle for sometimes talking to you.

Until then, I’ll work at being better
for both our sakes,
and you go ahead and do what you want.
I’ll keep your secrets.
I talked to your dad, but I didn’t tell him anything to make him judge you.
I see that you’ve changed your hair,
so I know that all this pain is meaningful to you.

It’s okay to be scared,
but this is so painful.
I have faith in us both.

You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever known,
even when you’re at your worst.
Maybe you’re just reminding me that I never deserved you.

So when you’re all done being angry,
when you can finally forgive yourself for our failures,
I’ll be here, waiting you to let me be your friend again,
wanting to hold you.
Just waiting.

Sweet Cannibalism

Pumpkin Pie

Maybe dying wouldn’t be so bad.
Some animal could come devour my carcass,
and I’d join the soil,
and plants would absorb parts of me,
and maybe part of me could become a pumpkin.

And then, the pumpkin could be baked into a pie,
and you could eat a piece of the pie because you miss me
and because you’d remember how I loved pumpkin pie,
and it’d make you sad to think of me
and it’d make you happy to think of me.

And if there’s an afterlife,
I could look at your lovely face
and feel satisfied
because I made you sad and happy
and because you missed me
and because I helped you
and because maybe part of me was a little sweet to you.

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