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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."

"that's hardly weird"


"nearly everyone likes the taste of blood, its natural, probably something to do with the iron"

"like artichokes..."


"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 somewhere"

"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 mirror"

"who ?"

"nobody, nobody in particular. Just a feeling of dread, the idea that something bad was going to happen"

"are you superstitious ?"

"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 you ?"

"something weird ?"


"lets see -- there's lots"

"such as"

"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"

"a bully"

"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 was older"

"this is pretty intense"

"I don't normally talk about it...there's something else"

"what ?"

"its weird"

"well, you brought it up"

"my parents were strange, truly so, my mother breast fed me for twelve years -- stopped just before I started my teens"

"fuck off"

"biology, as long as the gland is kept active, females continue to produce milk"

"that's not what I..."

"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"

"I don't..."

"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 help"

"don't need it, I'm no more screwed up than everyone else, there's no constant hurt, emotional scars -- its all just something that happened"

"something weird"

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