the exorcist is not a scary movie

they’re gaining on me

five young guys 

one of them screaming

“hey faggot, c’mere we’re not

gonna hurt ya”

dark country road in New Jersey

after a screening of The Exorcist

the guys followed us out of the theater

as we headed for the car 

I got separated from my friends

now I’m racing I don’t know where

cars are speeding past

must be a highway

how can I get away from

five guys who want to beat up a faggot in drag

who dared to leave Philly

where such things are tolerated not accepted

and sometimes guys like me get killed

but in New Jersey they hunt us for sport

I’m desperately trying to remember my

Quaker non violent self defense training

when suddenly I look back and they’re

right behind me

one of them is reaching out to grab me

I pull out my mace

point it at them

four of them freeze

one guy keeps advancing

staring at me unafraid

daring me to spray it

I press the button

nothing happens

I try again 

still nothing

I keep pressing

I know what Einstein would say

and he’d be right

the guys laugh and surround me in a semi circle

one of them slaps me hard on the head

with a tree branch

the mace falls out of my hand

I’m going to die

without thinking

I dash into the middle of the highway

waving my arms frantically

“they’re trying to kill me” I scream

over and over again

cars swerve all around me

drivers yelling for me to get the hell

out of the way 

no one stops of course

the kids take off

I head back in the direction from which

they came

a car pulls up

I’m about to run when I see it’s

my friends

I jump in as the kids rush in from 

out of nowhere

pounding on the windows

and hood and roof

the driver says “hold on it’s gonna be

a bumpy ride”

and slams on the gas peddle

the car lunges forward

out of New Jersey and back to Philly

who says The Exorcist is a scary movie?