Issue 2: Confession Vs. Mask
A Publication of the USF MFA in Writing Program

Walter's Plea

Stephen D. Gutierrez

Dear God Who Doesn’t Exist Anymore But Wants To:

I’m lonely. I don’t know what to do anymore since discovering my secret. I like little boys, little girls, too. Last night, at a party, I almost broke into the room of a little girl who was the sister of the dude throwing the party, Mark. He caught me sneaking in, shoving my shoulder against the door in the hall, and asked me what I was doing: “What are you doing, Walter?”

“Nothing, trying to go in and see her.”


“I don’t know, I’m lonely.” Then his big brother came by and got me away.

There was a scene in the hall I don’t remember the details of because I was drunk, very, very drunk, because I had downed a whole bottle of Bacardi 151 by then, a pint or whatever you call that small bottle. I can’t give you a good explanation for that. It seemed like the right thing to do, drink and get fucked up at the party.

And everybody is always talking about Bacardi 151 as if it’s the ultimate in drinks. “Bacardi 151, Bacardi 151,” my friends have been singing so long I can still hear them in my head now. “Bacardi 151, el maximo.”

I bought it at the liquor store down the street, on the corner where the bus stops. Dan, my friend from school who works there, sold it to me and I stuffed it in my pants and went to the party.

There were a lot of people there, rocking, talking, partying. I started drinking. I drank the whole damn thing.

I started bouncing down the hall. Then I was standing before her room trying to get in.

But I just wanted to talk, say hi, get away from people. I didn’t want to do anything bad to her.

I wanted to sit and be comfortable. That’s when his brother came, Mark behind him, now I remember, making a fuss, clearing the crowd, getting me out of there.

They say I threw a punch at Mark’s brother that was good. But I got kicked out and walked home.

I don’t know how I got home. When I did I sat in my room crying. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. Little boys, little girls. I never thought of them before but now I’d like to talk to them and only them, I thought to myself. Touch them. Their faces, their hair.

Nothing else.

Really, please, believe me.

I wish I could tell you more but I can’t. Everything is bad in my life and I just want to say I don’t want to hurt anybody but to live, to love, to laugh, to “spend riotously the gifts of my birthright.” I read that in English last week.

I don’t know what it means, either. I’m lost as to my gifts. I don’t know what they are.

Only that I like to write, sometimes, alone, at night, and that I feel awful and ugly most of the time. This is because I am. I am a twisted deformed freak that you don’t want to look at for long. I’m ugly.

Nobody credits me with this insight. They think only they know. Names come at me that are hurtful: “Anteater, The Honker,” and just stuff that people say. “Man, look at that nose!” My friend actually touched it and whistled: “Wow!”

I feel shitty all the time. I want to kill myself. I don’t see any reason for going on anymore. Do you, God, see any reason for me to go on anymore? Are you going to give me some bullshit about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, or in-time-all-will-be- made-clear, or that all-time favorite of mine, of the Catholic Church: “Faith.” As if it’s impossible to have faith without God or the Church.

It’s very, very possible. Watch me.


                                                                                                Your ever-loving son,


P.S. I have not even begun to tell you about my father and the situation at home. It is bad. Screaming and sickness defines my house. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. It is so bad coming home to a father in a wheelchair lifting a finger at you, screaming incoherently, miserable, my mother saying, “Okay, Alfredo, that’s enough, bastante,” my brother pushing him away when we all need some rest. But there’s nowhere to take him. It’s so small here we can still hear him when he puts him in the back, in his room.

Then I go in the bathroom and look at myself.

Dear God: There is nothing to look at. I am a nothing, a zero. Only let me not harm others in my life, please God, please God, who doesn’t exist.

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