Mom had worked at the front desk of a hotel, when her politics was not so virulent that she could pass for normal. There was another girl her age working the front desk as well. One morning when she was at the desk she came stumbling in looking a mess. She told her that she had gone to a concert in Dallas and was drunk and drove home in that state. She was pulled over by 2 cops. Driving her to some defunct jail cell and the other drove her truck there. All smiles and reassurances that this was a routine thing, that they were making sure she did not hurt herself or anyone else.
Bruises in the shape of handprints on her hips. Hands on her mouth, grunting for her to keep quiet.
When they were done they bashed all her truck windows in. They let her go and said, “We know where you live. If you tell we will do to you what we did to this truck.” She was absolutely hysterical and mom had tried to convince her to please report them but she refused.
Calling the police on the police. Imagine such a thing.
The kind of stories women tell one another, that men and boys do not hear. Ways to mitigate the awful lottery of a predator with power. Political or temporal, it’s not all men, it’s the broken boys who have enough single servings of charm to get to a point where, once the door has closed, the curtain drawn across, that they take off their masks and begin to play.
Marge or Lisa cannot make the mistakes that Bart or Homer could, not without consequences. Mom had a library of these observations to hand, and there was not a moment of childhood entertainment that was not laced with the acrid fear of a predator’s attentions added to it.
When ATF came to the cabin, when it was the first year that I could sprout the same fur as the squirrel, taste the air like a grass snake, I had known what lay beneath the blank stares of the agents of the ongoing occupation. Running, on two legs then four as the guns went off.
So, when he came to the woods, that first time, I hissed at him. Raked at him with my claws until he put his hands up.
His grey eyes beneath the cowl, the hum of the jets had died off and the air hung with the smell of fuel as he stood in front of me. Fifteen years old, three of them spent beneath the anaesthesia of animal consciousness, animal forms.
‘There are good women who need your help. Bad men who need to be brought to justice. People like us, we can do that.’
So to see his son, have him ask for my help brings back memories and assocations that no amount of time spent in the branches of a redwood can dislodge. That this man’s promises turned out to be staged vaudeville and paid off escorts being forced to sign NDAs from hospital beds was not his doing.
So, daughters of Eve, Sons of Adam, it seems that I must return to the world. Something terrible has been wrapping itself around it and it must be slain.
We do not know it’s face or it’s allies but we can hear it, slithering on the edges of our dreams each night.
The broken boys wear badges, sometimes capes and magic rings but they still bleed much the same as the ones without.
Do they know, that I am coming?