(Between Chapters) Essay Without Shame

Posted on April 7, 2005 by Jenna

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Lest anyone be confused, this is bonus content between chapters. It’s a real essay by the real author, not some weird fictional essay-within-a-play. ^_^

I hear that children born in Chessicky County have little barbed wire fences built right into their skin. They’re spiky and prickly and some of them are electrified.

No one ever messes with the children of Chessicky. There’ll be some trouble-causing guy around, and the children’ll shout, “Stop! Don’t touch me!”

And the trouble-causing guy will be forced to admit, “I am actually rather intimidated by the thought of touching you.”

“Ha!” say the children. “That’s because we learned our lessons from McGruff, the Crime-Stopping Dog!”

Then they stop, drop, and roll. Just because they can.

Most people don’t come from Chessicky County.

I hear that Ebeleth is a languid town. It’s a languid town full of languid people and all the clocks are slow. Sloths run free on the streets. There are sloth crossing signs. They show pictures of sloths. Actually, people are generally too languid to make a whole picture of a sloth. They generally just draw a stick figure and say, “You get the idea.”

Sometimes someone will come racing around the curves at 5 mph and they’ll see a sloth. The sloth is crossing the road! There’s nothing else for it—the driver has to brake!

That’s how languid Ebeleth is.

There’s a lot of drama in Ebeleth, but it tends to be lower-key than in other places. Like when a kid’s peers tempt her to do drugs, it’s kind of like this:

“Hey,” says a peer. “One day, when we’re old enough to drink the demon booze, do you think we should also try marijuana? I mean, to make the sloths more interesting?”

If the kid is a good Christian, she naturally replies, “Get thee behind me, Beelzebub! The languid movement of the sloths is God’s own sedative!” But if the kid is wicked and reckless, she might respond instead with, “Tempting! When I am 18, please look me up and we can further investigate this plan.”

In Ebeleth you can’t pressure people very hard. If they don’t want to crack, they just won’t!

When boys and girls begin to notice one anothers’ bodies in Ebeleth, they say, “That is vaguely interesting. I find myself lecherously imagining the marriage bed. But first I must complete my high school, college, graduate, and post-graduate education. A person must have priorities!”

Once, a terrorist was extraordinarily rendered to Ebeleth.

No, really. It was extraordinary.

You have to wonder what they were thinking.

The torturers of Ebeleth tried. They really did. They showed the terrorist many episodes of 70s and 80s television shows where hard-assed people tortured other people. They said, “If we weren’t so squeamish, that’s probably what we’d be doing to you!”

The terrorist did not crack. He’s still there. He’s grown to rather like 70s and 80s TV and no longer wants to bring down Western civilization, so that’s kind of like a happy ending.

Anyway, most people do not live in Ebeleth.

This essay is a little bit about my own abuse history, and why I write about the things I write about.

Children that do not live in Chessicky County have finite ability to protect their boundaries. Abusers that do not live in Ebeleth can apply an unbounded amount of force. This is why abusers can break children.

So I’m not ashamed that my rapist succeeded in damaging my internal world. I’m not ashamed that I tend to dissociate symbol and referent. I’m neither ashamed nor surprised that I don’t recognize myself, emotionally, as a person. I went through Hell, and there’s nothing I could have done to prevent that or prevent it from having fallout. That’s pure physics.

And it’s pretty much why I write what I do, I think. That and practice.

In short: Man tortures child. Hilarity ensues!