© 2000, 2009 by runswithscissors
So the bastard calls me on Christmas afternoon. Appears out of nowhere after months without contact, stumbles into town bringing yuletide misery, and expects me to service his booze-sodden ass. And God help me, I go, like a moth to the flame that burns blue and sloppy on a pool of alcohol.
He doesn't care that I'm swollen with his child, that I've got our other lonely child to take care of. He just knows the gin is running through his system and he's got needs. No one else's needs figure in the wretched, grandiose scheme of his life.
And when I enter his motel room, there we both are, two pitiful souls repeating history. Though I smile, I can feel the hate I carry, solid and substantial as a second fetus. Simultaneously, I feel my attraction to this man, visceral, strong enough that it almost makes him seem likeable. That won't last, I know, but I don't care.
It's a ridiculous scene. He feeds me gin, me hoping it'll dull the pain, extinguish the anger. I feel bloated with pregnancy and emotion, and then our clothes are off and he's all over me. And I pray maybe this time it will be different. I plead hopelessly to the ever-deaf Almighty that this man might really want me again, that this night might turn out to be more than drunken bodies flailing against each other. A thin, desperate prayer, ignored and wasted.
Ashamed, racked with dry, beaten passion, I hear words pouring from my mouth: "Tell me you love me," I say. "You don't have to mean it, just say it." And his red, contorted face bobs around above mine, mid-fornication, as if I'd never spoken, as if my words had been released out in the cold December air, becoming mist, twisting apart in the breeze and vanishing. Of course he says nothing, just moans in lust and angst, his self-obsession as piercingly depressing as the physical sensations that gather in my body.
When my orgasm finally breaks and washes through me, something in my heart begins to weep. I want to pull him to me, hold him tightly, desperately; I want to sink my teeth into his neck until he screams. Before too long hate again fills me, like an old friend grown inflamed with liquor and loveless sex -- hate for the bastard and loathing for myself.
And then he's thanking me, effusively, as he gathers me up and out into the falling evening, getting rid of me as quickly as he can. No doubt considering his manipulation of me gloriously smooth. Whatever brief attraction he felt for me is shriveled and gone now, and yet he keeps thanking me, maybe from guilt, from a need to fill the empty space between us. Maybe from an insincerity so deeply ground into his bones that he can no longer tell the difference. Or maybe from indifference and contempt.
Why do I pursue this revolting sot? Why do I make entreaties, pray he'll call, attempt to trap him into returning?
I remember the night he finally worked up the nerve to tell me he was leaving. No surprise, really, his heart having vacated our union some time earlier, leaving only a body that came home less and less. He'd suggested we take a walk and we wound up in the graveyard down the road from our house, a scene of heated couplings in earlier, happier years. And I remember the surprise on his face when I offered one last fuck. He liked my calling it a fuck, as if that made it easier. Maybe the jolt of the word coming from my lips aroused him. If I had said "make love," he would have jumped like a drop of water on a hot skillet. But a fuck -- that was safe, detached. Once I assured him I'd taken my pill, he tried to mute his glee. "Okay," he consented with a show of reluctance, "but no strings." As if a marriage and child could be disposed of like old newspapers. The assurance of the pill was a lie, of course. One last, futile ploy to cage him, in hopes that sparking a new human life together might bring the marriage back from the dead.
He doesn't want me. The obvious questions: Why not let him go? Why not allow someone who does want me into my life? Anger percolates in my belly at the very idea of him off free, leaving me behind without a thought, abandoning his child. Who does he think he is, flying off simply because he tired of the mess he created? I carried children for this man, made his meals, washed his alcohol-and-vomit-soaked clothes -- I gave my body's blossoming years. For this half-bright, self-centered animal. Why should I let him go? Why should I give him that?
He pretends that he's washed his hands, that he's unfettered and clear, but I know him better than that. He carries guilt, turmoil as part of his identity. He may act the part of the free, unstoppable brute, but somewhere within himself, in a dark corner, an image of me remains, caustic and feared. He feels me, knows the cord between us remains uncut because I won't allow it.
I may never see the result of my stubbornness, apart from the choking of my own life's possibilities. But I send prayers, like flaming arrows to the God that issues our individual torments, that the wreckage of my life may eat a hole inside that man. May it burn the lining from his stomach. May it perforate his intestines until the blood and alcohol run freely through his system, seeping together out the fissures of his aging body like 100 proof plasma.