Love Is A Crime
Her name was Melanie, and she stole my heart.
I was three. She lived a few houses down, and used to babysit.
I don’t remember her parents, but I’ve heard they were indulgent.
I used to toddle down the street and ring their doorbell.
“Can Melanie come out to play?”
She would have been twelve.
Maybe she already had a boyfriend?
It took me until I was 16 to get my heart back.
Until then, I replaced it with a pretty purple stone.
Her name was Tanya, and she stole my stone.
I was four. She lived around the corner from me.
Her mother was German, and made incredible coffee cake.
Tanya and I would hold hands, and pretend to be married.
I never did get my stone back, so I stole an extra piece of cake.
It filled the cavity nicely.
Her name was Thea, and she stole my coffee cake.
I was five. She lived across the street from me.
Her father wasn’t German, but he looked like Hitler.
He was very strict, so Thea and I couldn’t hold hands.
Instead, we played doctor, and her sister Nell was the nurse.
Thea always seemed to need surgery on her vagina.
I really liked that cake, but I didn’t want it back from her.
Thea gave me my first kiss.
I knew the perfect place to keep it.
Her name was Kelly, and she stole my first kiss.
I was six. She lived at the top of the street, in the cul de sac.
She had a twin sister named Carmen. My friend Ed loved Carmen.
Carmen and Kelly’s parents were never around.
We would play tag in the woods behind the house.
If you got caught, the twins would kiss you.
Ed never got caught, but I always got caught, eventually.
Kelly took my first kiss, but she gave me dozens to replace it.
Her name was Teagan, and she stole all my kisses.
I was eight. She lived a long way away, on the other side of town.
I never met her parents, but they seemed nice.
We met in school and she liked me because I said her name right.
“It’s TAY-gun,” I’d say, “Not TEA-ghin!”
And I’d beat the crap out of Nick, who always said her name wrong.
I walked Teagan home from school every day.
We would hold hands and talk about school, and homework.
She never gave me any kisses, but she blushed a lot,
Especially when I told her how much I liked her.
I kept her blushes where my heart used to be.
His name was Felix, and he stole my blushes.
I was twelve. He lived a few blocks away.
His parents were weird. French, and always saying strange things.
Without my blushes, I was willing to consider new things.
Felix and I explored these things together.
He gave me confusion, and took it away again.
He gave me fear, and a little stayed with me.
He gave me a better sense of my identity.
That, I kept.
I bumped into Melanie again, and got my heart back.
I was sixteen, and she was twenty-five.
Her husband was ruggedly handsome. He said,
“Is this the one… ?” And she laughed,
“Yeah. He was so cute!”
I scratched my head and watched them walk away.
It didn’t seem damaged in any way. My heart, I mean.
And even with a better sense of myself, it still fit nicely.
Her name was Catalina, and she stole my heart.
I was seventeen, and still didn’t know any better.
Her mother was rarely around; she wanted to be in Australia.
Cat and I didn’t actually like each other,
Though we still love one another.
It took an awful lot of sex to discover that fact.
A lot of arguments, too.
Meanwhile, my friends drifted away (I let them go),
My family drifted away (I never even noticed),
My grades drifted away (I barely graduated).
We grew apart, and we grew up.
Life has a funny way of wearing away the rough edges.
We sort of like each other now.
Despite everything (or perhaps because of it) she kept my heart.
To be fair, I think I kept hers.
Well, that sums up early childhood through teen years, minus some odds and ends that aren’t in keeping with the tone of this poem. I could probably do another for adulthood. I could probably do an entire book of poems for every person I’ve ever loved, but I won’t bore you with that. Instead, I will leave you with the inspiration behind my words, a letter from a woman (who used to be) named Felony.
My parents named me Felony, for the way I was conceived. The story I heard (not from my parents, mind you, but from a friend of theirs) was that in the swinging seventies they fell in with a bad crowd.
They all shared the same kinks, swapping partners, big orgies and sex parties, most of it while flying high or tripping way out. It was natural for them to spend most of their time with the friends they made in that crowd, but that crowd was fond of flipping off “The Man,” angry environmental demonstrations and political rallies being the least of their activities meant to undermine authority.
Some of that crew sabotaged police vehicles late at night, breaking into fenced compounds, cutting brake lines, sugaring gas tanks, setting cruisers on fire. Others had robbed a bank or two.
My parents were encouraged to involve themselves in action against the corruption and corporate thievery of Big Brother. High on idealism as much as anything that might have gotten up their noses, they began a series of B & Es.
They would target the wealthy homes of bankers, politicians, businessmen, even police. They got away with it for a long time through sheer brazenness. They were actually very intelligent, when they weren’t flying on chemicals, so they developed a system, and the system worked. They could walk into a home, get the grand tour from the home owner himself, the whole time making notes on an official looking clipboard. If they didn’t rob the poor sod blind during that very tour with a series of quick-fingered manouvers, or by manufacturing an excuse to separate, leaving one free to grab choice items while the other distracted the homeowner, they would use the notes they were taking right in front of their target to come back later and finish the job.
So many descriptions of my parents circulated due to the disguises they wore that it was thought, for a long time, that a crime syndicate was responsible for targeting the elite, the influential, the well-to-do.
My father once told me: Never get too good at anything. It makes you lazy.
My parents, so drunk on success and wealth that they spent outrageously, confident of always having more, began to take totally unnecessary risks when on the job. My mother would seduce a police officer in his home, handcuff him to his own bed with his own cuffs, then leave him there when my father showed up to announce the house had been cleaned out.
They would set off an alarm at a mansion on purpose, drawing police and firemen to the scene, and rob the house next door right under the collective nose of authority. When they were done, they would often go out to join the crowd that had gathered from around the neighborhood, all the looky-lous who came to stare, and start asking questions of the police, riling everyone up about slow response times, lack of leads or suspects, questioning what was being done to make the area safe again. They implied that tax payers paid police wages, and these taxpayers paid more than anyone. In essence, they were the officers’ real employers, and they deserved special attention. Capitalizing on the deeply distrustful spirit of the times, when so few people believed in the leadership of the government, these scenes could rapidly devolve into entire angry neighborhoods ready to crucify what they now saw as lazy pigs, when in reality the poor men and women trying to placate them were just trying to do their jobs.
Still, it wasn’t until they joined in on a bank job (something they had once sworn they would never do) that they got caught. True to form, they failed to take the task at hand seriously, and when the crew on that job realized my parents were a liability, they cut and ran. With no escape, trapped in a bank vault, my parents did “the logical thing,” as they put it, to pass the time: they made love. For hours, over and over again, they made love, reaffirming their devotion to one another with passionate kisses and tender touches. By the time police had located a bank manager to open the vault, my parents were fast asleep, tangled naked in a mess of documents torn from the steel womb of the vault.
My mother gave birth to me in prison. I was immediately given over to state custody and placed in an orphanage. One last “screw you” to The Man, I think, forcing him to raise the child of crime, change my diapers, feed me, clothe me.
My mother dubbed me Felony. It said so right on my birth certificate. When I was growing up, everyone called me “Lany,” and I’ve since had my name changed legally.
I do everything legally. I often wonder if my parents would be disappointed in me, but times have changed. Surveillance technology, forensic science, police powers; there’s so much today that would prevent my parents from living the life they lived back then.
They did leave me with something, though. A thing only a few people have ever known about me. Something I’m sharing with you now because part of why I’m writing is to try to understand. I hope this is the first steps towards knowing why.
Throughout my life, I have fantasized about being trapped. Locked in a bank vault, like my parents, put in a cage by cruel men, tied to beds, chained to the desk of a powerful company president. When I became sexually active, I found myself unable to reach the peaks of arousal, or orgasm, without some sort of restraint preventing my “escape.” This always made me feel very embarassed, because I never really wanted to escape, I wanted to have sex, but I couldn’t find the words to make myself understood, and not many people knew the story of my parents and my birth.
Telling a man, “Hold me down. Don’t let me get away. Pin me,” was sometimes enough for the pleasure to crest, but not often. I had a chance to get away, then. Tied up, chained to something too heavy to move, I could submit more fully and allow myself to be brought to climax. It hasn’t ever been difficult to convince men to do this for me. Most men secretly want to dominate women, I think. Control us. I haven’t suffered from want of sexual satisfaction. But there is another satisfaction that seems to be missing from my life… no matter how many men I get to constrain me, cage me, chain me, pin me, truss me, keep me, neither they nor I truly know why I need this. I am not truly a submissive, by nature. I enjoy giving my man commands, and I sometimes hate my inability to climax if I don’t submit to restraints. It seems there is something sad being said about my life when my bed is equipped with leather straps. Like the cage I’m truly trapped in is my own fear of living outside the lines, of breaking rules, of defining myself without reference to the expectations of society and authority.
Thank you for reading, Eon. This has been… helpful. One can’t really redefine oneself without first knowing what needs to be redefined.
*Image from Internet*