I was inside with the lights out… a low country song leaking from the speakers. The purple nocturnal flowers have bloomed, lent their aromatic touch to the room, and died. I was watching dark shadows crawl along the wall… the creeping of time, the foreground of death. I was smothered by the atmosphere… bathing in the ennui of skin and bone and ganglia.
There was a knock, urgent and pounding.
I didn’t even look through the peephole, trusting fate and strangers; fearlessly I opened the door with my shirt off and a glass in my hand.
She stood there in the hallway light like a semicolon. Like a break in your thoughts. Like something I should inhale and spit out and purge for. Blonde hair to her ass and boots up to her knees.
“You fucking writer,” she spat, anger paroxysm undulating on her cheeks where her mouth formed a black hole. “Tell me something sexy,” she commanded… removing a pistol from a holster in her garter and waving it fanatically, bursting into the room. She groped the wall and found the switch and palmed it toward heaven… light flooded the room like Katrina. “Tell me something real.” She pointed her little six-shooter, Dillinger pea pod, at the Eames clock nailed to the wall… as if threatening time was motivation for me to spill my closely guarded paranoia. “Make my mind hurt.”
“What maelstrom of maladies brought you to me?”
“Don’t try to be clever, I hate clever,” she replied, undoing the top button of her starched white blouse. Looking at her black leather skirt and the secrets it hid, the little boy inside me peered out from the covers at the monster emerging from the closet… I took a long sip of the whiskey… its cask barrel salvation coating my throat as I tried a reply but lost it amid the malignant stalagmites of my turbid thoughts. The city clicked in asthmatic rhythm. My heart made a bu-dum-bum — as if life itself was a stupid punchline. “Tell me something to get my pussy wet,” she moaned like a stray cat mewling at midnight.
“I have never been to France. One day we won’t remember each others name. I’ve caused six abortions.”
She didn’t flinch. “Bullshit,” she shouted. She fired a shot at the clock and it burst into a thousand glass shards. I heard the staccato of seconds and minutes and hours hitting the floor. For a moment I felt like a bird sitting in a tree looking in a window at a person that was myself. There was a humming noise coming from the refrigerator… I wondered if it was always there. Then I heard her say, “Enter me,” in a similar hum. (The background noise of machinery you know nothing about.)
Her arms were covered in tattoo ink. Her skin flowed over me like an Icelandic waterfall. We disassembled our bodies one cell at a time: one electron, one proton, one episode of Seinfeld. The way she threatened my life excited my blood, my toes curled and my dick rose. We coiled around each other like snakes and wiggled in bed till we shed our skin and corrupted a civilization. Everybody spends the rest of their life with their killer… when you think about it. When she put her lips to my navel I squirmed with the joy of a born-again nun receiving the Eucharist, placed on her tongue by a handsome priest.
We joined bodies all night, barely sipping breaths of city air in a room of sweat. We were everywhere and nowhere… vibrating energy crashing against each other. I occupied her. She slapped me around like a school yard bully. When it was over I was pulled apart like taffy. My guts and veins and fingers tingling. I was eviscerated.
We were lying in a heap of ourselves. She told me, “Leave now and when you walk out that door, never look back.” I didn’t even think about it. I just gave in… obeyed… I put on my grey sweatpants with the elastic hems and my black Givenchy shirt with the orange tiger and somnambulated out the door… the day’s perfume invaded my nose.
The click of the lock and the church bells in the distance… the sight of my gangly legs. The way the stains on the wood looked like ancient faces. I was outside my door, yelling in, “I dress better than you! You’re a mirage!”
The sun formed a perfect daffodil of kaleidoscopic rays. My eyes, my eyes… my wonderful, tortured eyes. Everything that she brought with her crystallized into a faint, beating memory of thorn and thistle. I was torn out, made new, purchased, defeated, revived. I was this great Norse God… my hammer in the snow, horns of ram on my head. The metallic taste of her name on my tongue. I was 16 helium balloons, 36 coursing chambers of blood. I was a bullet. A phosphorus outcrop.
I was an antennae catching alien radio waves.
Her laughter permeated the walls. “You are not you anymore. That’s the sexiest thing you could have written,” I heard her say… ambulances singing the waning song of the dead… limousines and hearses drag racing at red lights.
I was homeless, home-bound, and Homeric.