“What happened to your face?”
I was in the middle of a job interview in the middle of the recession at the perfectly named and now-transformed GAY.COM. I had been listing my body to the right so that side of my face, bruised and scarred as it was, faced away from the woman interviewing me. Away but not successfully hidden, as her eyes kept searching the contours of the bruises.
“I … I walked into a kitchen cabinet,” I lied. As a rule I dislike lying, as it seems a by-product of fear, and I’ve lived my life as a testament to a certain fearlessness — but this seemed easy and plausible. The evasion came out of my mouth just as believably as when a victim of domestic abuse tries it. Which is to say, it wasn’t any more believable than that I was actually a victim of domestic abuse. You could take the boy out of the crazy punk rock and mixed martial arts scenes, but taking the crazy out of the boy? I laughed to carry home the “silly me” sentiment, but as I raised my hand to the facial bruising, my sleeve slipped down my wrist and I watched her eyes shift to the lattice work of black ink peeking through the unbuttoned spaces in my cuff. All of which set the interview on a continued course for the weird.
Which was unexpected given that this was in San Francisco and I can’t have been the weirdest thing that ever walked through her door, not […]