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The Deviant Diaries: “The Red Hot Chili Pepper”

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Or — “How Sex Turned into Violence Which Turned into Spending a Night in a Seattle Jail.”

Relationships are a microcosm of life: there’s some good stuff, some bad stuff, pretty stuff, and there’s definitely some ugly there too. Loving someone has a funny way of captivating us, so much to the point where we can no longer see what’s happening, it can be like a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, you put on the rose-tinted glasses and drink the Kool-aid because you sort of have to to maintain your sanity. However, what may seem normal or even perfectly fine to someone in the thick of it, can definitely be seen as crazy or horrendous to a third party. When you are in it you start to forget about anything better because this is all you know. Over time you simply acclimate.

This story my be triggering for some readers, as it contains elements of abuse and alcoholism. Just let it be known now that if you have ever experienced emotional, physical, or mental abuse, you are not alone.

Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky ones and things got better once I left my own toxic situation. But for those who are finding it difficult to leave — it’s alright. Don’t blame yourself, you are not the one with the issue. Your job is just to find a way to leave before something bad happens. You deserve real love.

Now, here’s my story:

The year was 2009 and I was living with my mom and stepdad in their trailer in Riverside, CA. It was the dead of summer and we basically lived in a tin can, so it was blisteringly hot. My only solace was taking trips to the local coffee shop to get iced coffee and relax in the air conditioning. It was there that I first saw Mark.

He was very sexy, a little shorter than I, about 5'6", 125lbs, tan, slim and lean, and was wearing a makeshift Rolling Stones tank top with the sleeves cut off. He was just leaving as I pulled up but we both caught each others eye and smiled. You don’t see too many other gays around this particular area of town, especially ones that attractive or colorful.

It wasn’t long before I was scrolling around on one of those dating sites when I saw him. That same guy from the coffee shop was now online. I guess he did live in my area, and I had a second chance to make a move. It wasn’t long before we connected, started hanging out, and fell in love.

His name was Mark, and he’d stay over at my house regularly, my mom fell in love with him too because of his pure, bouncy energy. She even lovingly gave him the cute nickname of “Chili Pepper” because of his fiery personality. We’d share stories about our families, go on hikes, and do photo shoots together. We spent nearly every waking moment together. The sex was amazing and we fucked constantly. Perhaps a bit too much. My mom and stepdad would hear us and make embarrassing comments occasionally. I was obviously mortified, but they (and he) found it funny. He became part of my family, and things were great.

“The sex was amazing and we fucked constantly. Perhaps a bit too much. My mom and stepdad would hear us and make embarrassing comments occasionally.”

It wasn’t until a little later when Mark, revealed a jealous side. We would make friends with people and he’d get completely jealous if I even talked to anyone else. This was only exacerbated by his need to be the life of the party and to drink copious amounts of alcohol. I’ve always been a sip and chill kind of a drinker but Mark loved taking shots and dancing. Nothing wrong with that if you had any amount of self-control to monitor the situation, but he did not, which meant that I would normally have to take care of the mess afterwards.

One day we decided to invite a few friends over to my house. It was just the four of us and about ten cans of Four Loco — an American delicacy. We were drinking and laughing and having a good time when all of a sudden something snapped in Mark. He started screaming and throwing a fit at me, calling me whatever name he could come up with while I just told him to relax, we have company. He became enraged at my consoling and lunged at me. The only thing I could think in the moment to protect me, as well as himself, was to put him in a headlock. He didn’t like this maneuver so he latched on to the only thing in his grasp and bit down on my pinky finger and started scratching at me like some rabid squirrel.

The pain was so intense that I screamed and looked down at my throbbing, bleeding finger. My mother came out when she heard the noise worried and screamed “what the hell just happened?” She saw me crying on the floor and took me inside to assess the damage. He nearly tore the tip of my pinky finger off. My mom dressed my wound and tried to calm me down. Mark came in and tried to apologize, but I had had enough. We sent the rest of the party away and Mark and I separated for good.

Several months later Mark and I reconnected just in time for me to let him know I was moving to Seattle. He was very sad at this revelation, but I just couldn’t live at my mom’s place any longer. I was an adult and I felt the calling to spread my wings. He understood this and wished me well.

When it was time for me to leave on the flight Mark came with my family to see me off. It was probably the biggest day of my life until that point, and I didn’t even have a job or a place to live lined up yet. But I knew I needed to go and to see what else was out there. Mark and my grandma and mom all cried as I made my way up the stairs, and onto my plane.

When I arrived in Seattle I was greeted by my friend Georgia. After our greetings we knew we had to get to work. Immediately we went to view our first apartment in Beacon Hill. It must have been the universe in motion because we both got approved that day and moved straight in. We spent the night laughing and drinking tequila, horsing around and fell asleep on the air mattress we shared.

After a few months we both found jobs and started working. Georgia had already met a guy she met at work and started dating him. She spent all her time with him and I hardly saw her anymore. I was alone in that apartment quite a bit and the loneliness had started setting in. It wasn’t long before I started talking to Mark again and we made plans for him to come visit for the weekend.

The weekend came and went and he never got on his return flight. Georgia had already been planning on moving in with her boyfriend and I was in need of a roommate so, against my better judgement, Mark moved in. True to form, shit went sideways real quick.

Mark went through my phone and found old messages from guys I met in the early months I was there. We began fighting all the time and once again, the jealousy and possessiveness reared its ugly head. One morning we woke up to his phone ringing. It was his best friend (a friend of mine which he met through me at a party) and immediately started in on some stuff from the night before. He was saying some nasty things about me, to her, while I was right next to him. So I grabbed my pillow and went to the living room.

This apparently sent him over the edge. He started slamming doors and screaming about whatever it was he was upset about. I couldn’t take it anymore so I got dressed and left. I walked all the way from Beacon Hill straight downtown just trying to clear my mind from what was happening at home, all the while he was texting me more mean shit. I couldn’t deal with this anymore, I was so lost and so alone. My best friend gone and not wanting to get involved. I got another message from him which said he was destroying my DVDs. I had to go back.

He started slamming doors and screaming about whatever it was he was upset about. I couldn’t take it anymore so I got dressed and left.”

I came back to a war zone. My DVDs were thrown all around the living room and he was there, tearing into some other stuff, still screaming obscenities. I became enraged and I went for the first thing I could see and I grabbed a bottle of NyQuil and dumped it on his Playstation. This pissed him off more, of course, and he ran for my iPod. He grabbed them, ran towards the window, and throw it out. He then grabbed my Nintendo when I lunged at him and pulled him to the ground in an effort to stop him. In that scuffle I managed to scratch him on his back. He shot up and immediately screamed, “you hit me! I’m calling the police!”

I was so numb by this point I simply gathered my things and waited outside on the curb for the cops to show up. I overheard him screaming from the window at me and spitting vile things about me, which I can’t actually bear to repeat. This was the moment I dreaded would happen by inviting him back into my life. It was my own mistake, and here I was, a prisoner of my own choice, outside my own apartment, waiting for the police.

The cops arrived shortly and I calmly explained the situation. Mark had the other officer and was of course, causing a scene, the one thing he knew how to do best. The police officer I was speaking to seemed to have taken a bit of sympathy with me because I was so calm and he was not. He asked me if it was true that I grabbed him. I calmly told him yes, as I was stopping him from throwing my things out the window. The police officer looked me in the eye, sighed, and told me that Washington law dictates in the event of a domestic disturbance call someone has to go to jail for the night. That I shouldn’t be afraid because he had no marks on him, and that I should highly consider removing myself from this situation.

I looked him in the eye and I knew what I had to do. I agreed and the officer loaded me into the car. Mark stopped flipping out and looked at me one last time. Maybe he realized the gravity of the situation he had caused and thought twice about it, but it was too late. I took the trip to jail, was booked in, and spent the night thinking about what the next day held.

My bunk-mate saw I was crying and asked me what happened? I told his the situation and he was very sweet. He consoled me and told me everything was going to be alright. After I calmed down I asked him why he was in there. He said he came willingly because he violated probation and had to finish up a few days of his sentence. A non-violent offender who simply came in to absolve himself of his past choices. Same as me in a way, I suppose. I believe this man was a guardian angel who was sent to send me a message. Message received. Without him I don’t know how I would have slept that night. For that I am thankful.

“I believe this man was a guardian angel who was sent to send me a message. Message received. Without him I don’t know how I would have slept that night. For that I am thankful.”

The next day I was released and was already late for work so I went straight there to explain what happened. They knew I was a good employee and would never no-call like that so something serious must have happened. My boss was supportive and so was management, they even told me if they could help in any way they’d be happy to, which was great. After posting about what happened on Facebook I received a message from an acquaintance of mine. They told me that they had a room for me if I needed. I quickly said yes. My friend picked me up from work and took me straight home to gather my belongings.

I walked into my (now cleaned) apartment and began gathering my belongings. Mark stayed in the other room the entire time and only came out once to get a drink (Which I’m sure was just a ploy to see what I was actually doing what he thought I was doing). I abandoned that old apartment which I had worked so hard to secure and I never looked back. It was a small price to pay the peace of mind which followed.

As for Mark, I never saw or heard from him again. He found a roommate and a job, but several months later moved back home. I spent a little over a year at my friends house and met some really cool friends in the process. I got a promotion at work, started dating someone else, and eventually moved out. That’s a story for another day, though. :)

After all that we went through the funny thing is this: I don’t blame him. I know none of that was my fault, it was simply a reflection of his own damage. It’s unfortunate the way it ended, but instead of being sad about it, I thank him for teaching me that I don’t have to put up that. That violence or emotional abuse have no place in my life simply because I am lonely. I am all that I need in the long run, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that.

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