Everything is painful repetition right now. I am smoking cigarette after cigarette, watching films I’ve seen countless times before (Choose life, choose a job, choose the painful stench of a full ashtray, choose not to leave the apartment today, choose to sit and soak in your misery until you swell). I did leave once today, to buy groceries for my dinner. It was good, it was indulgent, it was not paired with wine and did not contain foie gras. I spent most of the day trying to sleep and wake up at the same time, the only question now is whether to swallow some speed or a sleeping pill. Either way I will be floating in this restless, anxious hell hole. Think of you, obsessing about you.
When it starts, I lying chest down on the mattress, draped over a pillow, pretending it’s your torso. I tap my fingers rhythmically against the bed, a flawless imitation of your heartbeat shakes through the pillow. Your image consumes me, and slowly I begin to lose it, to panic, to visualize.
You taking a hit, slowly,
You in a car accident
You pressing your lips against hers
You saying we need to talk
It’s then that I decide I hate you, that I decide to say it first,
“I can’t do this.”
All I’m thinking is I KNOW SHE WILL SEDUCE YOU
The image is playing, set to loop endlessly, edited to Hollywood perfection.
You sliding your hand down her spine, letting it linger at the small of her back before your fingers press into her flesh. The skin, flawlessly lit, glowing, glistening with sweat. And you, as always, flawless.
The image is cracking into my vision as we walk up and down Moody street, searching for a place to eat. It’s a choice we both load of on the other, so I list options, pointing as we pass each restaurant, and you say shit like
“Sure, whatever you want to do.”
I stare up at your chin, at three days worth of scruff.
All I can see is her bent over, doggy style, the imagined camera low to the ground, a close-up of her face. Her Hollywood-perfect hair moving forward with each gasp. I watch her do thing I wouldn’t do, moving her legs in ways I can’t.
“Come on, just make a decision.”
“Really, I don’t have an opinion. I swear.”
You say with your eyebrows jumping, your hands raised with the palms out. Shoulders shrugged, like I’m poised to attack you.
And in the picture, she moans.
“Do you want to just do what we always do?”
“Yeah, sure, let’s do that.”
And your finger press into her hips, and your breathing goes from heavy to full on panting.
That’s when I decide I hate you.
And with a grunt, I look away. I stare at the sidewalk, tracing your outline in the specks of mica in the cement. Your Athenian form carved in grey, with black spots where gum has spent years collecting dirt. With smears of god-knows-what carving out your abdomen and your hip bones. Stains and cigarette filters curve around your shoulders.
“Is something wrong? You went away.”
I snap out of it to look back at you, your neck bent down to my height. You look into my eyes and give a fake smile, lips closed. I return the gesture, and give a meepish
“No, I’m fine, just thinking.”
“What about?” you say in a cooing voice, as if you’re speaking to a child
“Um, nothing you would find interesting.”
I watch you shudder and melt into a screaming orgasm.
And I smile, lips closed, removing my hand from my pocket to hold yours. And you pretend to fall for it.
And, invariably, you say,
“I love you.”
And we keep walking.