a question that's been tested

beulah land's picture

also known as a terrible lyric essay i wrote for class.

There’s a picture someone took, on a camping trip the summer after I graduated high school, before I lost that naiveté that comes from being newly free, clean and queer and with no obligations. It was night, and we were camped by six and drunk by nine. I know I was sitting at a picnic table, some boys I barely knew flanking me, but the only thing that’s clear in the photo is my smile, my big white teeth in my clumsy mouth, surrounded by vague shapes and darkness. Cheshire-girl style. I don’t even remember who took the picture, I just know that it found its way into my possession, and I kept it.

My big white teeth in my clumsy mouth. They never fail to get me into trouble. Talking is akin to fucking, really, if you just watch the way people do it. Slow and faltering, quick and light, drawing out sentences and single syllables until someone wants to scream. I talk like I do everything else, ready to laugh at myself. There was one spring night, flowers and grass and moisture scenting the air, when I sat in the dirt behind a burnt out building with a friend and her then-new butch girlfriend, and we talked for hours about anything we could get our tongues around, and I felt like I meant what I was saying for the first time in idon’tknowhowlong. When I want to seduce someone, or cheer them up, or laugh at myself, I sing to them, and that’s just talking to a tune.

I sing to them. Whatever pops into my head, sometimes I don’t even know the tune but I’ve sat through so many choir rehearsals that I can hazard an accurate guess. My grandfather does the same thing, I’m just like him in a lot of ways. I’ve got his nose, his profile. I don’t have his temper, his harshness. I didn’t inherit his penchant for fishing and beer, but I did get his love for words and the stubborn way he loves people, like the things they do that are so endearing are really inconvenient, and he’d stop, if he could- yeah, I do that. The way that he explains things, lots of gestures, pausing to collect his thoughts, breaking suddenly into song, or a joke, tangents left and right. He’s an entertainer, and that must be where I got it from. He’s under the impression that he’s always right, in that way that only someone who’s lived for eighty years can be. One of his favorite phrases is, “Well, let me tell you…,


niks121997's picture

Terrible essay?

I don't think you're capable of writing anything terrible. I love reading your writing. You may be more fierce than you know, capable of anything.

FlyflewAway's picture


you kmow how you want a western and u go around the whole day saying hi yall, your writing makes me just wanna write an essay right now in the way u write. keep up the GREAT work,=]

I'd never lie to you
Unless I had to, I'll do what I got to
The truth...is you could slit my throat
And with my one last gasping breath
I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt - Tbs

armadillo's picture

Liquid courage...too much in common!

You know, you're much stronger and taller w/ out that shit. Honestly, you only feel taller cause your eyes make everything seem farther away. In a way, it doesn't seem like you could ever be paralleled to the coke dealer, but do you ever seem shorter when you don't have the drink?
I only write this, because my fondest memories are distorted by beer and cheap liquor. WHen the liquor's good, I think I was a happier drunk, but I don't even remember. I am pretty tall, but w/ drink, I felt powerful. Then when I'm sober, I'm somewhat of a pu$$y again(parden my spaniol).
So I quit drinking and everything and I'm not even 21 yet. Maybe when I am of age, I'll drink a couple beers, but I can't let it go the way it was before.