Hallowed Ground on Virginia Beach
By Justin Jones
I’ve never been to Virginia Beach, but I hear it’s nice. I’ve known people who’ve been and a few who were born there, and good things comprise the majority opinion.
But I think maybe I’ll never visit Virginia Beach.
I pride myself, hypocritically, on being mature and reasonable on matters of intimacy and love. I contribute thought, often fictional but inclusive (hopefully) of truths that resonate, to GayRVA. I write about sex and romance as if were I an expert on the matters. I’m not, of course, and I’m an asshole for pretending I am.
And with my admission out of the way, onward to my aversion…
It’s a great place, I have no doubt, but my ex-boyfriend, my ex-who-I-thought-was-going-to-be-my-partner, was raised there. In this town his brutal heart was made, the heart that provided for my most painful memories, memories I still feel, that make still my heart ache. I see his face, cruel and stone-like, and I feel hatred and resentment rise inside. I know Virginia Beach isn’t to blame. I’m fool-hearted.
He was at once the most demented and sweetest man I knew. He was romantic and kind when it was convenient, and sexually abusive–in the extreme–when it suited him. I broke up with him so many times, countless, but the bastard kept me back for more, luring me time and again with his charms. He’d hold me tight, keep me safe, and hurt me–all in the same night.
When my experience with him finally led to depression, he hired for me a psychiatrist so I could “just get over it.” My doctor prescribed me anti-depressants, but told me that my relationship was unhealthy and possibly dangerous (my ex threatened on several occasions to break my arms or choke me to unconsciousness). And as wise as I was at 19, I disregarded the advice. I resolved to follow orders and to “just get over it.”
I one day finally escaped my ex by moving away for work, to a place he wouldn’t follow. And since then the pain lingers, dulled, yes, but haunting.
So here we have it, my pretentious heart writing for GayRVA what is both heartbreaking and wonderful about relationships and sex, with a message always of empowerment or introspection. All the while not having faced my own perils.
I’m lucky to have a man I love now, who does good by me, but my ex’s ghost lingers always, a cloud above my head, trying its hardest to soak me wet.
Which is why I avoid Virginia Beach. I can’t walk the ground from which the bastard came. Not now. What once was my everything, my him, is now a ghost, and his footprints stamp Virginia Beach.
It’s immature, it’s absurd, and totally hypocritical. Such is the life of the still-broken-hearted.
I suppose the request will one day be met, and that day can’t come soon enough–the day I’ll finally “just get over it.”
Justin Jones is a columnist for Lavender Magazine, Guy Magazine, and Florida Agenda Newspaper. He writes about things like being alive, being in love, and drinking too much. Facebook.com/JustinJonesWriter.
The beauty of this production is that this new resonance is allowed to develop on its own without drawing attention to itself.September 23, 2016
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