Categories > Original > Drama2 Reviews
I have never lost my identity because I never had one
"I've got everything I need here." The finality scares me, but I can't back out when I've come this far. Fear can't save me anymore. I just need to make sure no souls are allowed to hear. Have to be careful there isn't a sound.
"Sure you do," he said. And fuck, do I miss the way his voice curls around words like he's been chewing broken glass. That shit would have had ladies weak at the knees, but never me. I'd laugh and fuck up my throat trying to do imitations. So now do the same, minus the mimicry. Just a blanket over some thin quaking shoulders, resonant howls sandpapering a voice box.
"Yeah, you asswipe. I got chicken soup, movies all ready for waterworks, a cozy place, and tissues. I'll be fine." Reassuring words. It's an echo of the old me, condescending and fond.
I'm not little anymore. Those canvas shoes are all scraped up and tossed into a closet, the same one where that little girl who wore pigtails must be rotting, flesh all melted and skeleton peeking out. Head all tilted up to the ceiling, adorned with glow-in-the-dark stars. Someone told me that nothing is faster than the speed of light. Nothing in the whole wide out there (that we know of) can go faster than the sun rays beating down on star dust. Nothing; the absence of everything, of anything. We don't really know about nothing, what nothing really is, or if it actually exists. That someone also told me, if we were able to go faster than the speed of light, we would become infinite. We would become larger than we could ever imagine.
If you stare down the window pane long enough for a kick to jump, your eyedropper unexpectedly filled with superglue and you forgot to blink, you can just make out an outline through the building blocking the sun rising in the east, and you can see radiance bursting past gray and black and white.
He's putting on that idiotic hat that makes him look too professional, fit to match the suit and tie and corporation painted lines over his body, the same body that used to wear ironic graphic t-shirts and cargo shorts and girly colored vans. Remember walking home with him from a shitty day of middle school, remember seeing a homeless man, white cane and beard trailing over his chin, cardboard sign in angry black capitals telling each passing motor vehicle "make a wish when your childhood dies."
I wish for crayons that can't break.
I'm itching to get on the train, the railroad down feel-good feel-great! tunnel, where Mr. McKinney goes when the mystery is all in the dude with the black robe and the shiny blade. But he stops shifting and lays a heavy hand over my heart. I can't breathe under this quilt. Stuffy and too fucking familiar.
He asks, "What's wrong?"
A man of science, and he's made it very clear what that means. The real world knows it's my breast he's touching but unbeknownst to him, the world he lives in is acquainted with this portion of flesh as best as the four years in a school up in the hills would provide. Underneath the fat, skin, muscle, and ribs is a heart. One that's beating hard and fast, as quick a hummingbird and twice as delicate. Does he know I’ll always be reminded of that night, when he looked at me and said "God, you're so fucking beautiful," taking the lord's name in vain hastily for a, by all accounts, god fearing man, and sunk deep until I gasped and choked and came and went like the modern sinner I was. Every touch is like a black hole into a time now gone. He certainly was the fuck I’d always remember.
I figure God can't keep track of who you're screwing, look at the other shit he's got to watch out for, no thanks to us.
Still, I'm sentimental of the question, the surplus of emotions pushed from my core, mixing with the rough fingers pressed to the back of my skull. A whimper and a freeze like a bang and the settling ash.
"If I knew -"
He snaps, foot on a twig, "- you'd tell me, I remember, Christ." A silence and I'm patient enough to let his frustration simmer down in the pot. He hasn't seen my schooled expression and regardless I know he would be proud of me. Or at least impressed. "Are you there anymore, Azure?"
Am I -
"What?" The sensation of skin rubbing on skin stops and I squirm because it was my only distraction. I needed to be unfocused. The details are glaring and this hangover is not complimentary at all. Pause, rewind, pause, rewind, pause, rewind, pause, rewind
He's getting closer, bones dancing on the fabric, tempting to swing but I've always been more of a spectator than a participator. "You're eating yourself away. And please don't look at me like I'm an idiot."
"I could never,” I say with a laugh that wasn’t meant to be so sharp, “You're too goddamn smart." You didn't drop out when things got too hard or even when the kids stripped you naked and morphed your misery and pain into a thing worthy for the greatest comedians, and oh, how I laughed along. You should've laughed too, for me, my sake. You should have.
"You're avoiding the question."
If I were to regret something, it would be not being able to lie to him. Our lion has got a lot of roar, whether we’re there to listen or not.
"Yes, I am." Sir, yes, sir. I am avoiding the living daylights out of your not-so-careful prodding.
He turns into fluff in a microwave. A deflating balloon, the fingers must have gotten tired of pinching the seal. "Why? Why can't you talk to me? We used to talk."
Cotton mouth corn snake, can you strike now? "What do you want me to say?"
Quick check of the watch, but suddenly I'm more important. Surprise, surprise. "Anything you want to say."
A breathe in place for the intermission. No food in the theater. Not even popcorn. You have to pretend it's not there. But the rules are for chump who don’t know how not to get caught.
"Do you remember that night?" Shoot straight, Kid, if you tilt back a little your chest looks better.
"Az - "
He has to stop calling me that. Skip it and play dirty. Fight me like I’m worth it, you fuck. "What about the dress I wore?"
The sugar coating would burn walls off my stomach lining. Can’t you just hear him plea? Baby don’t… cry me a river, maybe the whole blue planet if it meant you’d shut your cakehole. God, just hurt me and be done with it.
I can’t resist the urge to scratch. Never could, with scabs or people. "Don't what?"
He's giving those utterly unfair saucer eyes. I can't see it from beneath this blanket, but I can tell from his tone. "We shouldn't. Talk about stuff like this. It's still not - we shouldn't."
"You know very well why." There's the bait and the tug. Should you pull and reel it in? It’s a big fish for someone so small.
His phone starts to chirp, easily shattering the shift of the silence. I am glad for it. I might have chanced to show my face. But the ringing continues on, and the hand disappears. I can breathe. Hot and bothered under the sheet, how ironic could you get.
He could be with that secretary, with those cat eyes and long, long legs. Maybe he calls her “Sweetie” or “Darling” because he never once called me that. Maybe she leaves ragged red lines from his upper back down, down to his ass cheeks. We’re not that kind of friends anymore so I wouldn’t know. We’re not really anything anymore.
“I’ve gotta go.” His car keys jingle. I internalize giggles because it’s actually not all that funny.
“Don’t do anything stupid, ok?” He’s lingering, I wish he’d stop that. Leant up in the doorway, probably memorizing the time in case I try to do that thing I do. I won’t. There isn’t enough energy to put to bounce back in.
The knowing creak in a metal hinge hasn’t passed yet. I’m confused and weary, this whole charade putting a tube in my skull and shit, there goes a brain drain. Why doesn’t he just leave?
“I love you, do you know that?”
He sighs and locks up behind him.
It’s only when the ignition sounds do I let myself cry.
so hey i'm gonna make this thing a short story?? eh, we'll see where the creativity tides washes us. thanks for the nice words!