I am attracted to my teenage self, she mutters and in suggestion, perhaps permissive toward her ailing and diminished sexual appetite, poses: I am a lesbian. No, I was a lesbian. I am no longer a deviant of any type. Deviant? The casual meander in and out of proper social attire exhausts even the most vigilant conformist. Without a doubt, the dabbling and coercive injection, do not persuade the natural skin. The aging process, therefore, not only a marker of wisdom (in most cases, as such, perhaps, in many cases) but also a liberation into the natural self, if permitted, or the tame and cured and harbored self, if of weak resolve. She is in spandex in the photograph and her hair is permed. Stylistically, appropriate and even risqué, for the time—in an unbecoming and unflattering era there were few opportunities to stray and become: No! There were never unbecoming times.
The marker in the harbor.
Seventeen, he admits and, frequently, cautiously, his son is chagrined: to my own skin, he observes, we are wedded. The discharge from captivity is, ironically, the deliverance into isolated and divided time: minutes, hereby, are counted and exchanged, eagerly, for minutes, against days—against months, in starving circumstances, though never officially condoned, against years. We have many years, the son admonishes his father but his father is now chagrined: to my own skin, he too observes, we are wedded.
And then, hmph, he sighs, I willfully laid my back against the concrete, willfully flat and on the cold, and let them tie me there until I could not move, each piece of me on the ground and could not move until I could only think and only for a minute could I think that maybe I was not tied to the ground. I am attracted to myself at seventeen, he says and she agrees. I was beautiful and unattached and now I am tied to concrete. It is easy to see that you are tied to concrete when your children trip over you and tie themselves to adjacent concrete blocks. This is not so bad.
Seventeen, he says. I think I was sixteen, she mutters.