Something Weird by Gary Burns
published in Volume 4, Issue 2 on November 10th, 1997"tell
me something weird about yourself"
"weird, like what ?"
"weird -- like
strange, eclectic, odd, something nobody would
guess about you -- something that happened you don't
normally talk about"
"...lets see, I like
the taste of blood."
likes the taste of blood, its natural, probably something
to do with the iron"
"well, when I was
young, I could never walk up the stairs in the house
without turning back when I hit the thirteenth step"
"now we're getting
"there was a mirror
at the bottom of the stairs, when you walked into
the hallway you faced your reflection -- I used to think,
if I didn't look back, someone would crawl out the
"nobody, nobody in
particular. Just a feeling of dread, the idea that
something bad was going to happen"
"no, not at all"
"what age were you
"young -- but I never
really grew out of it, although when I was older it was
habit more than anything else"
"this probably says
something about you"
"whatever. How about
"lets see -- there's
"this is kind of
sick. When I was younger I had an older friend, only by a
couple of years. Thinking back, he was really quite
fucked up but when you're younger, age impresses.Anyway,
I remember he used to make up stories, complete, obvious
lies, then beat me up. We'd be sitting around and
he'd concoct scenarios, we'd act things out"
"but stranger -- he'd
pretend he was a policeman, put me under arrest, grab my
arm and throw it up my back. He'd get into a rage,
ranting about things that weren't real, shouting at me
for things that just weren't true -- when he was really
mad a vein would pulse in his forehead, sticking out, his
face bright red"
"there was a sexual
side as well, my first sexual experiences -- he'd make me
practice kissing, lying in bed with nothing on from the
waist up, grabbing each other, holding each other,
kissing each others face, neck, shoulders"
"I can't imagine how
I put up with these things, I was timid, as I said, he
"this is pretty
"I don't normally
talk about it...there's something else"
"well, you brought it
"my parents were
strange, truly so, my mother breast fed me for twelve
years -- stopped just before I started my teens"
"biology, as long as
the gland is kept active, females continue to produce
"that's not what
"shhh, this is hard
for me -- I started to realize it was strange around
three or four, don't know how, it just seemed off. By the
time I was six or seven I knew it wasn't right, but I
just couldn't talk about it, tell anyone. At times it
seemed harmless, enjoyable even. After a while I couldn't
be held, too big, she'd sit in an armchair and I'd kneel
in front, she'd close her eyes and stroke my head"
"Its not that I hold
anything against her, I think. Things were hard for her
and it seemed to give her a few moments of peace"
"have you talked to
anyone else about all this, maybe someone could
"don't need it, I'm
no more screwed up than everyone else, there's no
constant hurt, emotional scars -- its all just something