I’m From Toccoa, GA.

by Tim P.

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I woke up last night at 3:30am in the middle of a dream, the setting, the characters, the events still swirling around my sleepy mind. In that moment I try to find the feeling. The feeling that is living within me. Slowly it materializes: you are not as good as the others, you are less than.  Deep, familiar and crushing.  I get up, light a lonely bulb in the kitchen and put pen to paper.  I am sick of this weight, and I’m going to write it out of myself.  Spit the nasty parasite out on the table and watch it squirm.

I am from a small town in Georgia.  Without any overt, traumatic incidents, I learned from others that I was not worth as much as others.  That I was wrong, unnatural, damaged.  No one sat me down and told me this, even in a Bible Belt town like this one.  But a kid learns, and I learned this.  I moved to suburban Atlanta and continued to build a self that always hid, shied away, repressed.  Building pieces of my self so thick they seemed permanent.  Stifling the very life force that we all share.

The parasite wriggles on my San Francisco kitchen table for almost an hour, and I watch it expire in it’s black ooze.  My tears sting it and speed the death.

I am 36 years old.  I was a gay kid.  I’m still a gay kid inside.  So here is my truth for the readers. You are love.  This is your very essence, and it is mine.  It is the same for the people who hate us, for the dead, for the unborn.  Love is our commonality.  I have been to the deepest part of me and that’s all I see there.  So let this message counter the ones, spoken and unspoken, that bombard you every day.  I share this with my fullest heart.

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