Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Am Julia

I believe I exist.

Here in the dark, naked, lonely, I believe this is me. I am the voice. No matter who is speaking. I believe there is no such thing as forgetting.

I am a bundle of words, like a bag of onions from the bodega. I am made of words as a cake is made from flour and spice. I pray to God as often as I am awake and there is no answer. I don’t hate God. Does God hate me?

I'm worried this may already be Hell. Was I so bad? I would have gone to Easter mass, but Jorge wouldn’t let me. I tried to go anyway, really I did, until he had to beat me so bad for being stubborn and when he got me crying, he held me down and put his thing in me to teach me a lesson. After that it was too hard to walk, and I had no good white dress to wear to mass anymore. If I had some bleach I would have gotten the blood out before it dried. That is not my fault. I think. But maybe I was supposed to go anyway. I should have had bleach. It's maybe my fault.

I believe I am not alone. Somewhere a woman is being beaten with fists. When she falls she will be kicked, even if there is a baby inside her. Somewhere men are holding a girl down until they are finished with her. No one will hear her cry. I feel as though they are all crowded here together with me, filling my little cell. All of us. Hello!

Jorge is cruel. He is not wise. I wish I could be loved by a wise and cruel man. Wise to know me to the bottom. Cruel to punish what is wrong with me so that I can be clean and free of all sin. Then God will love me.

I believe I was made for love, if God would give me a fair chance. If I were God I would love everyone the same. Everyone would be very rich. There would be food and parties and cakes for everyone. There would be no pain anywhere in all the whole world. No one would be alone, even if they're as ugly as me. There would be only love and cakes and happiness.

A young woman stays by her child even when it dies inside her. An old woman wipes the drool from an old man's face. A woman is made for love even when love is all Hell. God speaks more clearly when you are broken.

I believe I will die very soon. I believe it will be quick. I believe after I die I will be happy, I don’t know how I know, but I just know it’s going to be all right in the end. That's what my God wants for me. My God wants me to be all right. I believe that.

"Order up. Caramel latte. Garce."

There are so many people in here today. Aw geez, that soccer mom in the little shorts. Goddamn, she's got a sweet sized pair on her or what. And she’s got her nips sticking out a mile. Oh my god, somebody shoot me. She's wearing a sports bra all right; she’s one of those ladies whose tits stick up when she's nervous. That guy sitting next to her, just think, he probably knows what she looks like naked. Looks hard to get a long with though, at least when she's standing up.

Brown sugar. Looks like this shit is all milk and no coffee. Okay.

Look at that. CNN's on top of that earthquake in Indonesia. They're still pulling dead kids out of that collapsed school building. Oh my God. Look at that. Geezus. They look like gray meat. The men have handkerchiefs pulled over their faces like bandits because the bodies stink so bad. I don't even know how to write about something like that. The Universe is a fucking run away train and nobody's at the wheel. It’s a fucking run away train where they charge three bucks for boiled milk that tastes like shit.

Back to the salt mine - where did I leave off. Shower scene. Rape scene. Almost spilled this shit in my keyboard. Feels weird writing stuff like this when there’s a huge pair of tits sitting a few feet away like that. It’s hard to keep my eyeballs on the keyboard. I wonder if she’s got a boob job. I’ll bet she’s got a beef up of some kind. Maybe the guy paid for it.

Cell scene, this is the part where they take her to the shower and try to rape her. Should they really rape her? No one will publish it if they really rape her, but I don't give a shit anymore. Maybe I'll try it both ways and see where the truth is. I've rewritten this shit so many times and can't get it right. I should research it, but how do you research something like that? Here we go. Again.

". . . . She couldn’t stand up in the little room, because the tearing pain in her rectum became unbearable when she straightened her back. She felt wetness there when she tried to raise up. She reached back and touched her rectum gently. She sniffed her fingers. They smelled like pennies. Slowly, carefully, she rolled onto her knees and resting on her elbows, felt the darkness with her hands. The room was very small, a little bigger than a clothes closet in a gringo house.

The aloneness was the worst thing. It was bad to be so broken up, but to be alone in this condition seemed like the bottom, the worst that things could get. It was terrifying to be so hurt, and to be so alone. She lay back despondently on the ground and wept. She fell asleep weeping, her ribs answering each sob with bursting pain.

“You. Out.”

She opened her eyes and the light from the hallway stunned her. . . . "

Coffee tastes like crap. Its all boiled milk. There's too many "she's" leading sentences in that first paragraph, that won't work. It's monotonous. Doesn't read right.

Aw shit, look at that. All those dead kids on the news. Who's running this world? I could do a better job playing God myself. Hell, I'd be good at it.

I am the need, waiting in the dark. I wish I could be clean. I want to take a shower. More than anything. Someone is opening my door. The light from the hall is blinding. Soon I will be free. They will be kind to me, because my God would not let me suffer like this. My God is kind and good. I have faith. I am not abandoned.

I believe I exist.

(Julia Demaso is a character in "Miss Julias Cake Club", a work in progress.)


  1. I definitely want to know when this one comes out. Very chilling excerpt, Garce!


  2. Garce,

    I think the thing I love most about this piece is the way you swap back and forth between the author's reality and the narrative's progress. When those two elements collide the story is going to erupt into something huge.

    Excellent writing


  3. Hi Jenna!

    I'm glad to see you;re still around. I think my post was badly composed. I was trying to write a kind of prose poem and I didn;t get it across right, but this isn;t an excerpt except the italics part which really is. Its supposed to be, however awkwardly, a kind of existential thing. A story character, Julia, experiencing her own reality, experienceing the author as God. Beliving the author-God is looking out for her when the author-God (me) is actually a kind of shallow jerk with bad plans for her, namely a shower rape scene. In case you;re wondering, that is an actual scene and she escapes before being gang raped by the guards. Its a long and complicated story, almost a novella and I'm overhauling it for about the third time. Which it needs. Then the author-god-jerk-me in the Starbucks is wondering what kind of god is running this reality. You know what I mean?


  4. Hi Ashley!

    Well, again, I didn't do this right. In the real story "Miss Julia's Cake Club", there is no me. Its a straight short novella focusing on Julia, I'm not there at all. I was trying to convey a certain existential horror - "is God paying attention?" - and it didn't work quite right. Anyway, hit or miss as long as you swing for the fences.


  5. Hey, Garce,

    It doesn't matter how many times I read these excerpts from Julia,they still hit me in the gut.

    Especially when they are juxtaposed with mud-buried bodies in the Phillipines, not to mention terrorist bombings and murders of Nigerian children accused of being witches. (I don't know if you've come across the last story--Christian pastors in impoverished Nigerian villages are identifying kids as witches in order to boost their status and get money from parents desperate for exorcisms.)

    And soccer moms. The so-called "normal world" starts to look as distorted and wrong as the one on TV.

    A hard post to read. Definitely scary.


  6. That's a great story line, it almost makes me cry!


  7. It always amazes me, the difference between a writer's reality and a story. We can produce such amazing or horrifying things, but we live the most mundane lives. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this.

    Your excerpt was very chilling. You've got a real knack for horror!

  8. Hi lisabet!

    Yes, Julia is on my mind these days. In my mind she represents all the hard luck people in this world. Julia's god - me - as presented here isn;t that bright. Women beaten by husbands. People exploited as you say by religious leaders. What scares me is the possibility that our God may not be paying much attention either. Who knows.


  9. Secretia!

    . . . almost. . .? Oh.

    I'll get those tears next time.


  10. Hi Helen!

    The mundane life is the platform we need to work off of. Many times i feel lonely for life on the road again, but that would be the end of the writing.

    In "On Writing", Stephen King attributes part of his success to the fact that he has a long term stable marriage. It keeps his feet on the ground and his butt in front of the keyboard.



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