An Old Photograph

I only have one picture of my life before coming to live with the Venatori. It was a picture my Nanny took with her old Polaroid camera. It’s yellowing, the corners are bent and the edges are a little singed from a mishap when I was only a few years older than I was in the picture.

The picture is stored at the bottom of a trunk in storage at the back of one of my first drawing journals. I don’t like to be reminded of that happy memory. I hate that my mother left me in the hands of the Venatori. This picture reminds me of a time where I was her everything.

I was about three in the picture. I don’t remember the day itself except that it did take place. But I do remember the smell. The most wonderful thing about my mother was her apple pie. It was the only thing she was truly exceptional at making – or so I remember her always saying. The soft scent of cooking apples lingering with the sweetness of cinnamon and vanilla. A perfect combination. It was comforting and I knew in those moments my mother was happy.

The photo brings back that memory – a memory where I don’t hate my mother. I try to avoid apple pie, but that’s not quite so easy to do. The soft scent of apples is a comfort to me as is the cinnamon and vanilla. I get lost in the safety of my that moment in my childhood. A place I was loved, a place where I truly belonged.

Dear Diary

I do keep a diary of sorts. It’s not the type that you read but it’s still something I only let my therapist see. On rare occassion, I’ll let someone special take a peak.

Nightmares wake me most nights. I don’t think I’ve slept straight through a night ever. At least not in any amount of time I can remember. I go to bed the same hour ever night and it’s like clockwork I’m awake at 3 AM sweating, breathing hard and my heart thumping in my chest. As part of my therapy, Margo had me start drawing out the images I could remember.

I still have the old sketches stored away in some locker of my inner demons – of the red eyes and tentacles. The early images are smeared after years of sitting in their notebooks, but the drawings are clear. I got better at drawing because I was drawing every morning when I woke up to the nightmares.

The images aren’t always the same, and now I sketch whatever comes to mind and not just about my nightmares. It’s how I process what’s on my mind before I talk with Margo on Mondays.

I’ve recently started sketching in colored pencil, the difference in definition is amazing. It’s too bad I can’t just draw the day away to relieve my mind of my fears.

Diatribe

I will admit I had to look up the word to make sure it meant what I thought it did. I really don’t have anything to rant over. I mean there are many things I don’t agree with within the Venatori but I’m not exactly vehement about it.

I still hunt the monsters. I make my stand by not killing them relying on my talents and skill to capture them – which forces the Venatori to give the creature a trial and waste time and money. Even if they are usually found guilty and the penalty for any crimes against humanity is execution it is a pointless exercise. But at least I gave them a chance. I didn’t have to kill them.

I have taken the lives of my marks, but it was always in self defense. I’ve never killed because it was my perogative. I wouldn’t resort to violence if I had a chance – that’s one of the downsides to trying to hurt someone early on in life. Guilt beyond measure.

The only other thing about the Ventori I take issue with is the family situation. If a child is not wanted they are raised by the community. Which all in all is good the child still wants for nothing. But they don’t have a family. They aren’t loved. The Venatori don’t try to find homes, all children are trained in the ways of the Venatori, for a ward of the compound it’s always about your duty.

Granted I’m biased as I was raised that way. I felt the communities ire at having to tend my needs. The definite lack of love throughout my childhood has scared me starting with the day my mother left me here. If I could I would make sure every child had a family to call their own, even if it was just a makeshift one. But kids need that love to prosper. I never knew how much I needed it until my father came into my life. We aren’t the best of friends, we rarely talk but he will shoot me an email or call me up when he’s concerned about me. And this is a new feeling for me. I try to call him too, but I’ve a lot more work to do on that front.

Who are you?

It’s a writing prompt what can I say? Who am I?

On the surface, I’m a loud, obnoxious “kid” who has a problem killing monsters. It’s really not the killing that bothers me. It’s the reason that I should kill them. Petty crimes receive the same punishment as the truly horrible ones.

I want people to think I’m not afraid of anything. That words don’t hurt and that my skin is thick and I’m invulnerable. But that’s sadly not the case. I’m still that frightened little boy who was sitting waiting for his life to change because his mother was throwing him away.

I am afraid of many things. My biggest fear is not being a part of something bigger. To be loved by another unconditionally. But that means that I have to put myself out there, and the fear of rejection keeps people at a distance. I’m a jerk and an asshole. I don’t want people close because they’ll hurt me. I know that it’s counterproductive to what I want – what I need. But pain is hard to overcome when it’s been growing and festering for as long as you can remember.

I promise to my future family I will never do that to anyone. I will never stop loving you, if you give me the chance, I will be everything you need me to be. I will support you in everything and I will carry you if you need me to.

Now if I could only get out of my own way – to make an effort to be that person without the fear that I will get hurt. And know that if I do get hurt at least I tried. But the possible pain still holds me back. Maybe when I find the one things will change.

The Comment

There is always someone who has to make a comment. And really there is no comment about my person that someone can say that bothers me except one. “Oh, so you are gay?”

Uh yeah – no. I do not consider myself gay. I like men. I like women. I’m not exactly turning down sex from any gender. I myself am male. I identify as male. I don’t have an issue with anyone else’s life choices or how their brains are wired. As long as you are you and leave me be me I’m cool with you.

But usually, when people find out I like men, they automatically go to the gay side of my life. From then on out I’m a guy who only likes guys. I’m the girl’s gay best friend. Or I’m the guy in the locker room you avoid because you are afraid I’m going to get all down and horny just looking at your wang. Grow the f@#! up.

That is only one part of who I am. I will admit though that I use it as a tool to push people away. My therapist help me realized that several years ago and I’ve come to terms with it. I try not to do it, but old habits are hard to break.