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Jul. 10th, 2014 | 01:24 pm

Hi. My name’s John. Bronze chip day!

Yeah, gotta be excited about the things I can, y’know. You all know.

You guys’ve heard it and there ain’t nobody new here, so can I talk about what’s happening right now? Thanks.

See. I’m a nice guy. A nice guy. I know, actions, but hear me out. I used to be a nice guy. I used to throw barbecues, and block parties, pick everyone’s kids up from school when I was working third shift and had my afternoons. But the nicest thing I ever did for that neighborhood—for my neighbors—was move away. Guys I drank beer with, ladies I cut their lawn when their husband was outta town.

Now I’m the meanest damn guy on the street. Got a six-foot fence, got a dog so ain’t nobody try to climb it, and don’t give nobody their ball back. Kids do ring-and-run on my bell, I’m the guy who don’t never come out. I got this meanass dog I can’t even go near, he just sits in the yard and barks all the time. I know I’m bein’ a bad dog owner, you gotta socialize ‘em, gotta train ‘em, but the obedience course is down at the middle school and I can’t go there. I swear I could show you the thousand-foot mark in front of every school and playground in town. So I can’t get the dog—I can’t get him trained. ‘Cause—‘cause—

Thanks. Lemme blow.

‘Cause I’m scared to touch him. I mean, look at me, I ain’t a big guy, but I’m scared to death I am gonna hurt that dog. Like, because I hurt everything I touch. Like I had this beautiful kitten in my house, y’know, you hold it in your hand and its body is this perfect thing, all fragile and strong at the same time. And soft. So soft. When you’re a kid, you always do that thing where you squeeze it—maybe it’s a hamster, or a frog, but y’know what I mean, some little animal—you tighten your hands around it just to see what it’s like. You feel powerful, and then it’s like there’s somethin’ that’s good in you because you didn’t. Because you could have and you didn’t.

But I did. I—

Thanks.

I did what I shouldn’t, and it’s just like I squeezed too hard and killed somethin’. I mean, I could see it in my wife’s—ex-wife’s—face in court, like I killed somethin’ in her, like she was dead. I mean, she stood by me, better or for worse, but once my sentence got settled she told me she could see I was going to be OK and she had to go. I dunno where she moved to. Can’t blame her mama for not takin’ my calls.

So. Today. Bronze chip. But the thing I’m havin’ a hard time with, is that nice guy inside me, he still wants a chance. But the mean guy on the outside, he don’t deserve another chance. I figure the mean guy’s gotta be punished, maybe for as long as that little girl remembers. ‘Cause it’s gonna punish her every day. So why not me, too? Ain’t fair I get to get over it if she has to remember.

Thanks. Can I just have the tissue box please? I’ll pass ‘em when my turn’s done.

So. Yeah. Bronze chip day, three hundred sixty-five days of sexual sobriety, thank you God. But I ain’t sure I’m ever gonna get past Step Nine. I’m turned over to God, I told y’all the exact nature of my wrongs, I got my list of everybody I can think of what I hurt. But there ain’t no way—there is just no way to make amends. That’s somethin’ I can’t ever take away. I can’t ever take it back. No matter how much I sit here and cry in this chair.

My name is John, I’m a sex addict, Hi John. That’s what I’m gonna have to say every day from now on. That’s what I’m gonna say.



_______________________________
whipchick has been to her share of SAA meetings. None of the pedophiles wore raincoats.



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Comments {63}

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D.

(no subject)

from: binaryorchid
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC)
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A very strong piece with authentic descriptions and language. I can see John and his dog right before my eyes, including the animals he squeezed ;).

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - I remember doing that:(

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
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Holy hell! That's disturbing.

You really got to your dark side this week. :)

::flicks a bic and holds it up:: Don't get lost in there. :)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
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All dark fiction all the time around here :) must be something in the water. OR POSSIBLY IN MY INABILITY TO GRT A DAMN CUP OF COFFEE AND SOME WIFI.

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drwex

(no subject)

from: drwex
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
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gut punch

I do not have the spoons to respond to this.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 10th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reading, and I was going for dark so that's response enough.

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Kelly

(no subject)

from: kajel
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
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Just....damn.

Come to the dark side, we hold your coffee hostage.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Thanks :) I've been reduced to making it on the stove...

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rayaso

(no subject)

from: rayaso
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
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Another great entry. You wrote wonderful, gritty dialogue with nice disturbing touches, like the kitten section. Disturbing, but honest. I like the fact that John realizes it's appropriate that he suffer for his actions for at least as long as the girl remembers. It took a deft touch to weave in nice guy John, and how nice guy John is still buried in bad guy John. It allows for a little sympathy for an otherwise entirely unsympathetic character.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - it was completely surreal the first time I met confessed pedophiles and heard them talk about their crimes. Like the response I think I'm supposed to be having is not the one I'm actually having. The kitten came about as a way to get in the horror of the crime without firing off everyone's discomfort meter. We have so many stories week after week from the victim's (100% correct and valid) point of view that I thought it would be a challenge to write the perpetrator.

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Es'ka

(no subject)

from: eska818
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:37 am (UTC)
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Huh.

I'm impressed by your ability to write from this sort of perspective. The use of language is (annoying, because I'm OCD) flawless, I really feel like I'm sitting in a room with this man and hear and see him. I also like the way (as mentioned above by someone else) that he has some slight redeeming qualities - it makes him so much more fleshed out, so realistic and true to humanity. Well done.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - I spent a lot of time in the final draft tweaking the language, so I'm glad it worked! And it was a personal challenge to write a (slightly) sympathetic perpetrator.

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i_17bingo

(no subject)

from: i_17bingo
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 10:44 am (UTC)
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This was really upsetting, in that there was so much coded language that I kept reading in between the lines an not liking what my imagination found there.

Maybe you should take a bunch of byes and hide under your blankets until the end of Ramadan before you write something that gets you arrested...

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Seriously! I keep watching the internet, convinced I'm going to be getting official emails...

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you found it unsettling in a way I intended.

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kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre

(no subject)

from: bleodswean
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
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Great job with a difficult voice! The dog clinches the entire thing and he's right to be scared of it.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!

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Elizabeth

(no subject)

from: watching_ships
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
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oof. gut punch. loved it though. really authentic.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!

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zhent

(no subject)

from: zhent
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
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wow... just wow... really authentic voice and pulled me through.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - I worked a lot on the voice, so I'm glad you found it effective!

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Didn't want to be

(no subject)

from: anyonesghost
date: Jul. 11th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
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A powerful voice, and a scary one -- all the more so for how casual and "nice" it is. I'll just be unnerved for a little while. (Even if I have to applaud the decision to use the perpetrator's voice, instead of a victim's.)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 13th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
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Thanks - it was unnerving to write. And I'm glad the POV worked for you - Idol tends to have a fair share of victim POVs and I wanted to see if it was possible to do the other side.

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Teo Says

(no subject)

from: eternal_ot
date: Jul. 12th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
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Gosh! I am at loss of words on this beautifully written and yet disturbing piece..Almost everything has been said already..So i'll just say *Salute* and Kudos! really really well written for a confession..Good Job!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 13th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
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Thank you!

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elledanger

(no subject)

from: elledanger
date: Jul. 12th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Gosh what a hard angle to come at it. I think we all know that very rarely are people monstrous in all aspects of their lives, just that some of their actions and choices are so heinous that it renders our entire perception of them warped. So it always comes as a bit of a shock when you get that reminder of the tentative humanity behind label.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 13th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
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Thanks! Exactly what I was going for, so I'm glad it came through.

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n3m3sis43

(no subject)

from: n3m3sis43
date: Jul. 13th, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
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I really liked the voice in this piece, and also (you know I'm a sucker for this kind of thing, right?) the good guy/bad guy dichotomy thing the narrator's got going on. Addiction is a hell of a thing. I want to ask all kinds of nosy questions about why you've been to sex addicts anonymous meetings (i.e. research or personal need), but that seems sort of rude to ask here, even though I guess I basically just did anyway.

So yeah, I liked this one. :)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 13th, 2014 05:02 am (UTC)
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My therapist recommended them (cheating--lots and lots of cheating) :) I'll probably write about it some, but the biggest impact on me was the banality of it all. When you're sitting at a table with a peeper, a guy on the downlow, a porn watcher and two pedophiles, it's hard to pick out who has the worst problem.

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jul. 14th, 2014 09:40 am (UTC)
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Yeah. And there's the registry and the warning calls, and they'll never truly be part of the community again. And the statistical likelihood of it happening again must haunt them.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jul. 17th, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
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Yeah - there was a really good This American Life episode, too, about non-offending pedophiles and how difficult it is for them to get help.

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