submitted to N0b0dY on 2 May 2001
"There are no flights of fancy. Imagination should make you feel dirty. Guilty. Because you are guilty - you long to exist
in a higher world without experiencing or understanding the one you were born to. That's a sin. It's called pride, or
vanity, or some fucking thing."
That's the radio. It's tuned to an AM station and we're somewhere in North Carolina
, on the big highway where you never
see any of the actual state, just a thick sleeve of tall trees on either side of the road. The trees are cool, because
they're completely bare except for the very top. The top's like a green pom-pom.
(i remember i was very young and my father was watching the people's court
with judge wapner
. a high school kid was
testifying against a football coach. the kid said he'd walked in the locker room and saw the coach in a whirlpool with a
cheerleader. he said the cheerleader had her pom-poms out, and gestured to indicate large breasts. now whenever i hear the
word pom-pom i think of a horny naked cheerleader and i become very aroused. i wish i'd been a
It smells like swamp. The road's stunk since the middle of Virginia
. It's hot and we have the windows open. Ryan's
saying: now there's a guy who could stand to be a little less
. I've got my elbow out the window and I hope my arm's getting a tan.
We're both very scared. We admitted this to one another last night, and now the mood's a little lighter, and we can talk
without feeling uncomfortable. I wish we had time to get to know each other a little better. Under different circumstances,
I mean. Real different.
(i wish i'd been a cheerleader and i wish i had the confidence to bare my breasts to a football coach. i feel trapped in my
body. everyone who ever told me i was pretty was lying.
most of them wanted something from me, but a lot probably didn't
even know they were lying. other girls don't feel like this. i wish i were one of them. hopefully i will be soon.)
Ryan is saying: whatcha thinkin about baby?
I hate being called baby. Especially in the South in the
passenger seat of a car. But I don't care because it's Ryan and there are more important things to worry about. Ryan's like
the third guy I've met that hasn't
made my skin crawl
but I don't think I love him. I don't know if i like
him. He doesn't know me very well but he
acts like we're boyfriend and girlfriend. Kind of
. He's kept his hands off me, but he
acts all sweet like he's being romantic. Which means he doesn't know me all that
But last night was good. Just saying I was afraid felt good, and hearing him say it. Neither of us wants to do this thing.
Ryan needs money bad. I need money bad too, but if I really wanted to I could just go to my dad and he'd give me as much as
I want. He's a pushover about giving me stuff, but I don't think he ever feels good about it. He looks nervous or
embarrassed or something when I ask him for money. He makes a point of telling me he'd give me
whatever I want.
Ryan doesn't know why I'm doing this. I didn't tell anyone why I'm really doing it. I just want to love my body. I don't
care how it happens. Nothing else worked. My ultimate dream is to accept an award completely naked in front of a huge
In less than seven hours we'll be in front of the camera, Ryan and me. We've never even kissed.
Substitutes for Love, Substitutes for Love III