After the twenty-four-year-old in California who wouldn’t stop when I moved his hands and pretended I was asleep, I gave in and justified it because my ass was the only thing I could trade for a place to stay; after I did use that word when he suggested renting me out to the Mexicans—it would be safe, he said, someone would be standing outside the door with a machete; after that thirty-year-old guy in brown polyester pants left my friend on the side of the road because she was throwing up and I did nothing; after running away before his hairy arms dragged me back to the blue El Dorado with the white top; after knowing there were nice guys and still choosing to run around with ones who weren’t; after the night on that smelly boat when they took turns on two girls–one fourteen, one twelve; after the ones who said they loved me but still couldn’t listen; after the nights drinking when I just didn’t care what happened; after the guy from the salsa bar when I was 26, the one my roommate asked me not to bring over because he scared her, the one who said nobody loved him and I knew it would make him angry but I didn’t respond, but I did say that word while I pushed him away–softly, so as not to make it worse–and knew it was my fault when he did it; after several years and a man who said he loved me; after learning that I could speak and be heard…sometimes; after watching The Accused five times in a row; after two kids and eleven years and knowing I am too old for simpish bullshit, I still don’t know how to use this word, and I hate myself for it.

I also read this This entry was posted in Memoir, Ugly Hard-to-Define Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to No

  1. Jack Remick says:

    Sarah: You are very brave. The depth of this piece is amazing. J

  2. Sarah Martinez says:

    Thanks! Not sure how brave this was though, it was like a monster babe at ten months–it had to come out. I appreciate your reading though and stopping to leave a comment. It is nice to know someone has read my words, especially when they are so raw.

  3. Sarah, this is excellent. You are discussing something that is very complex, powerful, and real.

  4. Isla McKetta says:

    Thank you for this, Sarah. I too have trouble with no, but I’m learning, and hearing your voice helps me.

  5. Brave, beautiful, simply awesome. Some straight up Naropa type shit! Loving the audio, great reading 🙂

  6. Sarah Martinez says:

    Thanks for commenting. I posted this in case my sentiments resonated for anyone else. I am so glad to hear that it did.

  7. Sarah Martinez says:

    I am so glad! I swear, you can ferment and think on something for a long time and then some random exercise will make it all go BAM. This was that one for me. So glad it hit a nerve.
    Maybe I will make the reading a natural part of my future posts, it felt natural and adds a new way for people to interact with me.  

  8. Jim McNeely says:

    Powerful! Morally compelling and deeply and authentically confessional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *