Shout Out To My Bastards: Poetry Part II
Shout Out To My Bastards: Poetry Part II
A Prose Essay by Kari Allen
To the girl who’s never had a daddy.
You were never comfortable around boys or men when you were younger. You never got used to the bass in their voices or how big their hands and feet were. Whenever one came close, something inside of you froze. Some of them were pretty and made you stare for hours. Some of them were pretty and older and made you muse for weeks. Some of them were just pretty and made you cry because you couldn’t have them.
You were like nine-years-old when you saw the first Rocky film. You genuinely believed it to be a biopic until you were like twenty-two. One day in the kitchen, your mother delivered the hard truth and you just thanked the heavens that you never brought it up in a classroom. When you were a little girl you had dreams about Rocky Balboa tucking you in for bedtime and kissing you on the forehead. You decided that if testosterone could talk it would sound like him. He was pretty and older and excited you in a nonsexual way that you couldn’t understand. You looked up “no daddy syndrome” on the internet and “Fatherless Woman Syndrome” popped up instead. You scrolled past links about daddy issues and strippers and then typed “Can a girl still have daddy issues if she doesn’t have a daddy?” You realized that your question was an oxymoron so you closed the window before you even read the links that popped up. You kept asking yourself questions like, “Isn’t not having a daddy the ULTIMATE daddy issue?” and “Am I an oxymoron?”
You suddenly remembered that time when you were a kid, playing double-dutch in the alley with the girls from the next block when one of them said, “Damn, I hope you don’t turn out like this girl I know at church. She didn’t have a boyfriend until high school!”
To the girl who’s never had a daddy but still has daddy issues and turned into the girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was nineteen.
Yes, you’re an oxymoron.
And you’re still poetry.
Of course, you didn’t love him. You barely knew him. You barely knew yourself and you had no clue that you were overreacting when he told his friends and yours that you never kissed. You met him sitting on the steps of one of the dorm halls. He moved over and closer until his shoulders touched yours. He licked his lips before he spoke and something inside of you froze. You asked him about his accent and he told you that he was from Haiti but lived in Miami. He told you that he played soccer and you said it was cool because you’d never met a black person who played soccer. You stared at how smooth his brown skin was and how neatly the hair on his face was arranged. You noticed that his features were perfectly aligned and wondered if he genuinely thought that you were pretty. You felt confused because boys never thought that you were pretty. The next day when you got his text you felt anxious and embarrassed because you sensed that something new was about to happen. Of course, you didn’t love him. You just wanted to kiss someone.
His room was like a shoebox and neither of you cared to converse. He offered you a drink and you said yes when you meant no. You sat down on the bed and then he sat down next to you. He started to talk in a low breathy tone and you had no idea what the hell he was even saying.
You told him that you’d never kissed a boy before and he rolled his eyes like a cocky sonofabitch and then placed two fingers under your chin. Of course, it was nothing special. It was okay because you didn’t love him. You barely knew him. You barely knew yourself and you had no way of knowing that you were overreacting when he told his friends that you two never kissed.
To the girl who’s never had a daddy but still has daddy issues and turned into the girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was nineteen and then turned into the girl who’s never had a real boyfriend.
You’re still poetry.
You met him that summer you worked at the movie theater downtown. His name sounded like Cory but wasn’t. It started with the letter c, rhymed with “soy” and was way to uncommon for you to ever get right in the beginning. He was the first boy who called you beautiful and meant it and you’ll never forgive yourself because he deserved better.
He told you that he rapped. Then you told him that you sung and played the guitar. Months flew by and you became friends without trying. You skyped with him for hours and spoke without thinking. He played his own songs around you for you to hear and you knew that he wanted your attention. You knew that he wanted to impress you so you ignored him. He asked you out nearly a thousand times before you finally said yes and went. He took you to a forest preserve far off in the suburbs where you sat on a bench and faced the lake.
You talked about personal things and you started to ask yourself if you were feeling whatever a person feels when they have a lover. He walked you down a path in the forest and held your hand all the way. When you told him that you were a virgin he said that it was perfectly fine and that he’d wait. About a week later, in his car, he grabbed your hand and you told him that you’d be his girlfriend and then spent every literal second afterwards regretting it.
You never disliked him. That wasn’t the problem. You just never liked him but that wasn’t the problem either. You just couldn’t have a boyfriend and it was just too complicated to explain because it was all just super complicated and that was the problem.
On the day that you disappeared without notice, he took you to this park in the suburbs that was shaped like the Grand Canyon and had giant waterfalls everywhere. He stared into your eyes for minutes without speaking and something inside of you froze. Unsure how to feel, which direction to move in, or where to even look, you asked him why he liked you. He told you that he liked you because you were fucking beautiful and then you asked him the same question three more entire times.
He asked you why your lips shook so much when you kissed and you wanted to cry because for the first time ever you realized that you were a girl who’d never had a daddy but still has daddy issues who turned into a girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was nineteen and then turned into a girl who couldn’t have a real boyfriend because her lips shook when she kissed.
The next day you stopped answering his Skype calls and responding to his texts. You found reasons to hate him for no reason at all. You unfriended him on Facebook and convinced yourself that no one ever called you beautiful for the first time and meant it and you’ll never forgive yourself because he deserved better.
To the girl who’s never had a daddy but still has daddy issues who turned into the girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was nineteen and then turned into the girl who’s never had a real boyfriend because her lips shake when she kisses and then turned into the girl who finally gave herself away at 23 and regretted it;
You’re a fucking mess.
But you’re still poetry.
You met him through a friend that you interned with. He was twenty-seven when you first started texting each other and twenty-eight a year later when you finally met each other in person at his birthday party. He produced music and in the beginning music is all you talked about. You told him about your grandmother’s death and how real shit got because of the circumstances you faced right after.
At some point in time you completely let him in but it wasn’t on purpose. You sent him lyrics from that song you wrote about your virginity and when doing so you genuinely weren’t thinking about losing it. As time went on you became real friends; depending on your personal definition of what a friend is. When he started sexting you in the beginning you never responded because you didn’t know how.
Months later at his birthday party, you heard him speak for the first time and you were startled by the bass in his voice. It made your insides rattle. You wanted him to come closer just as much as you wanted him to stay away. Hours into the party when he sat across from you on the opposite couch he mumbled something about how sexy your lips were and you asked him to repeat it because you’ve never been good at making small talk.
You finally started drinking and promised your best friend that you’d get tipsy and not drunk. You drunk something clear and strong then chased it with something brown and bitter. You were tipsy enough to forget how uncomfortable you were. When everyone started heading out, you felt a wave of confidence that you can only summon when you’re almost drunk and then you asked him if he was going to kiss you goodbye or not.
He walked you to your best friend’s car and made out with you twice. When your best friend pulled into the parking lot of your apartment complex, he texted you like you knew he would. You were almost embarrassed at how excited you were because you knew that something new was about to happen again.
You were kind of honest with yourself and admitted that it would probably hurt; and it did. You weren’t detached at all and completely aware of every painful motion. You were as close as you’d ever been with another person but all you felt was distance. You had a full-blown dialogue with yourself from beginning to end. You kept asking yourself when the good part was coming and then you started staring at birds lined up on the fence outside of the bedroom window. Then you finally gave in and settled with well at least I finally got it over with.
Days later you got all confused and shit. You didn’t want a boyfriend and you hated him as much as you liked him and you couldn’t figure out how that even made sense but for whatever reason you felt like crying when he told you that his cryptic Facebook statuses weren’t about you. You never wanted a boyfriend and if he would’ve told you that all those cryptic Facebook post were about you, you would’ve told him that you didn’t want a boyfriend. Then he would’ve asked why and you would’ve told him that it’s complicated. He told you that they were about a different girl and you told him that you were relieved because you didn’t want a boyfriend.
You got so mad at yourself for wanting to cry that you never even realized you were already crying. Then you got mad at him, unfriended him on Facebook and blocked his number without ever explaining why.
To the girl who’s never had a daddy but still has daddy issues who turned into the girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was nineteen who turned into the girl who’s never had a real boyfriend because her lips shake when she kisses who turned into the girl who finally gave herself away at 23 and regretted it;
To the girl who’s scared of affection.
It’s not your fault.
You’re a real piece of work.
You know that, right?
Nevertheless, you’re poetry.