Preview: Adonis Bosso by Dana Scruggs for SCRUGGS Magazine (first issue)
because it is traumatizing as SHIT
even the most “progressive” and “aware” are almost prohibitively
shit slips out that makes me take several steps. then they notice its “wrong” and apologize &
GODDAM. how pervasive is this shit. this whole fucking country. and the US has better race relations than MOST
"Thus with my lips have I denounced you, while my heart, bleeding within me, called you tender names.” - Khalil Gibran
I am in love with you and you and you. i shouldn’t lie to You and hide it from You and harbor a life repressed with You.
There are six Greek words for love.
I brook no shame.
I know them all.
A few days ago, I parked my car downtown.
About to pay the meter, a man in a group of homeless men got my attention. He holds four quarters between his fingers, asks me to take them.
"Come on" he gestures toward the quarters with his head, take it.
It isn’t a demand: he is asking. He implores.
I apologize, say I can’t. I drive a large sedan at 23. I am careless with it. I drove downtown to engage in activities that wear a lux carelessness like too-tight pants. I have a Chase debit card currently worth a few hundred dollars. I couldn’t fathom taking his. A small panic took my face, (it didn’t know What to Look Like) the integrity of my vocal cords. they didn’t know How to Be. they vacillated at my inability to fathom a poor man gifting me money.
He insisted. One of his companions insisted. Why did I look to the only woman in the group like she had something for my lack of faith? Her eyes stuck to me, peering. She, leaning against nothing in a white shirt and her body looked like No. Not Here.
There were about 6 or 7 people in the group, considering me. He and I.The man offering me money didn’t speak, he mumbled. Arms still outstretched while I decided how to shuffle or tuck my excess before four quarters. I couldn’t think or Know What to Think or breathe well or stop giggling and stuttering “I- I- I-” but he held my gaze, right arm out.
Four quarters looked back, every one of their ridges caught distinct in streetlight.
I took them. Put them in. Got my meter sticker, peeling, sticking and re-peeling. Looking at nothing, at swatches of pavement between nibbling fingers.
I turned full. We held each others eyes, the added weight of four quarters and my car and his companions
his eyes settled rightly, un-foreign. Like immediate rapport. Like what was happening was Real and Meant. One of those moments orchestrated in the veinier corridors of the Universe, with specificity and delicacy and predestination. No body spoke, every body watched.
I asked him, because I had to. Because I owed him but his name was one more thing I wanted him to give me.I felt a smile at how long it took me to consider him. My inability to see past circumstance, our difference, to his personhood,
"What is your name?"
"My name is Roy"
Some combustible smile, angles unknown to me, came across my face. My Somewhere head cocked to the side,
"My father’s name was Roy."
my body and my past colluded in open secret,
I told him mine.