”But the horror… The horror was for love. The things we do for love like this are ugly, mad, full of sweat and regret. This love burns you and maims you and twists you inside out. It is a monstrous love and it makes monsters of us all.” — Lucille Sharpe, ‘Crimson Peak’ (2015)
When I was eight years old, my father made me join a swim club. He’d been on the same club and he said that the things that he learned in that locker room were the things that made him the man that he is today. I hated that locker room. At that age I was really uncomfortable with my body. I didn’t like to be naked especially in front of other boys. But you had to take a shower before you could go in the pool so I would do it, but I would wear my swimsuit and a t-shirt. And the boys would tease me but I would try to hurry and ignore them and it worked for awhile. And then one day it didn’t. I don’t know how it started but I remember having this feeling that something bad was going to happen. I made the mistake of standing up for myself. The hot water came from the same boiler that heated the radiator. I still have scars on my stomach from the second degree burns. That locker room might have made my father the man that he is, but it also made me the woman that I am. After that, I quit the swim club. I quit trying to fit in, trying to be one of them. I knew I never would be. But more importantly, I didn’t want to be. Their violence was petty and ignorant but ultimately it was true to who they were. The real violence, the violence I realized was unforgiveable, is the violence that we do to ourselves, when we’re too afraid to be who we really are.
“They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.”