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Eddie’s Blog » Blog Archive » Big Black Door

Big Black Door

Next time, Stephanie, just talk to me.

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My mom sat me down last night. She was a mess–clay all over her fingers and her hair flying all over like it always did. The clay looked like ash. I didn’t really want to think about it. She said Eddie what the hell is going on with you? And I said nothing Mom, it’s nothing. I love a girl who doesn’t love me back. What else is new?

Did I ever tell you how I met your father, she says. He was a riveter in the factory where I worked and he had so many girlfriends, oh my! A little city all revolving around him. But I wouldn’t even look at him and that drove him crazy. I was a closed gate, and one by one he got rid of the girlfriends, like he was paying a toll, until he was just as I wanted him, all for me. And then I let him in.

Mom. I don’t–

I’m just saying, maybe you’re too open. Everyone wants to feel like they’re discovering a new world.

Maybe. Whatever, I don’t know. Maybe Mom has a mark on her and it’s just somewhere I’ve never seen. I look at everyone these days and think: are you one of them? Do you know?

But the thing is, I’m the only one now. The only one in our little circle without a mark on him. I haven’t been in to work for days. Jack…Jack says there’s factions. Some people who want to spread it, the…well, I guess it’s a virus. Funny thing, for a child of the 80s. I spent half my youth terrified of STDs, the gnarly and jagged ones like all those filmstrips of viruses with slitted villain-eyes. I was so scared of catching something from girls, and now I wish I could. Jack says some people want to spread the virus and let everyone in. But most people, they don’t want anyone to know. They want to keep it safe, and secret, like Gandalf said in that movie.

So what have I done, writing about it here where everyone can see? What’s going to happen to me?

Stephanie says that in her dreams, she wears a helmet like a whale’s head, covered in sea-grass, made of red wood. It’s huge, bigger than a car. She sits in it all night. Men come to her and suckle her breasts underneath the helmet, and what comes out isn’t milk but ink, and they beg her for more. She says she touches their heads like a priestess and in all her life she has never known anything like the peace of the dark under her whale-head.

Part of me wants something to happen to me. So that I can be a part of it. So that I can suffer for it, like Wren, or surrender to it, like Stephanie. Neither of them will touch me. They say someone has to be the control in this little experiment. So all I have is this blog, where I plant myself stubbornly, hollering into the ether: come and get me.

But in the end, if they did want me, could I? I don’t know. They aren’t the only ones. And there’s always Jack. It’s easier to say I could if they’d let me than to face the idea that there’s a whole magical world out there and I’m just too much of a baby to ring the bell on the big black door.

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