You’re hurting me. Haven’t you had enough yet?
Just a little more, you say breathlessly. Your thick fingers lace firmly around my neck, leaving my skin marred by elongated indentations, a souvenir of your carelessness. But no one will notice. No one ever takes the time to examine my veneer, to scrutinize what was once a sleek and shiny face, now a peeling and dented facade functioning only to barricade my insides, my insides which still occasionally find an exit through the cracks you’ve made along my exterior. My insides seep through.
If I was made of glass, I’d have shattered long ago, shards of my dignity and worth and esteem would spray through the air like candy from a piñata. But I am still fragile – not made of glass, but still fragile.
There was tenderness in the beginning, when our relationship was fresh, straight from the shelf. You applied gentle means to pour me out, and I was enough for you; you had no need for foul play or any extra garnishes on the side. But what was once a partnership has begun to shape-shift into something horrifically unilateral. You dominate me now, crushing me of my contents. I used to willingly bleed for you, I loved to bleed for you, to watch deliriously as my russet essence flowed into purled pools on your ivory plate. When I become less cooperative, your once-gentle hands turn into meat-fists, squeezing me dry, exsanguinating me against my will; your pursed lips spit fifty-seven insults in my face. Sometimes, you strike me hard along my ribs with the heel of your calloused hand, all for one drop of my blood.
One drop. Does that satisfy you, that one drop, seeing my gore trickle slowly past my lips, like slow-flowing lava finally losing momentum? I hope it tastes good to you.
Even for your friends, I stand tall and willing. Take of me what you will, I sigh to myself, I sigh for abatement, I sigh for the privilege of being tossed and discarded. I sigh. Spend most of my days sitting in my dark room, where I sigh the most, only bathing in light when you come in looking for something.
But did you know that I sat out in the open for an entire week, stewing and coagulating in your neglect? A dash of hate, a smidgen of pain, stir in the self-pity. The perfect self-loathing stew.
And now, now that I have barely anything else to give short of scraping my insides with a knife, you must know that your use for me is near-expiration. That’s why you go out at night, saying you’re just running out to Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King. A late night snack, you assure, but you give it away with the lascivious leer your lips have hardened into, like two coils of Play-Doh left to bake in the summer’s sun.
I’m left to sit in the dark, helpless and paralyzed, half-drained of life; life that I used to willingly pour out for you. You abused that, as I know you’ve abused others before me. Did you hit them, throttle them, shake them too? In my dim sanctuary, I cower when I hear you return. I know you bring them home with you — smaller versions of me in trimmer, shinier packaging. I’ve caught you before.
It’s easier to maneuver them over my meat, you explain, never wiping away that smirk of a carnal conquistador. It’s just that you can be a bit bulky.
I scream at you, demanding to know where you find them. You say you skulk around for them in convenience stores and drive-thrus. I’m not enough for you? What you have here at home isn’t good enough? How much do you pay for them? I need to know that I am worth more, even with a scarred countenance. You say they came to you for free, that if you were going to pay for them, they would be classier, tangier.
In spite of my jealousy, when you don’t come to roughly retrieve me, grappling me with your strong hands, I drown in a cloud of hopeless relief, knowing that it’s one less time for you to vampirize me, to see you with that vermilion badge of conquest smeared across your lips.
Songs in the supermarket. It’s like all those songs I’d hear in the supermarket, the ones that’d make me rolls my eyes. The ones about love gone wrong and the ones about desperation and philandering and I hear these songs now in my head and I think My God, I’m living these songs. These songs apply to me now. All the “Baby come back”s and the “You don’t bring me flowers anymore”s and now I’m nodding along and crying, like the product of abuse I swore I’d never be.
I knew this from the beginning, when I slowly began noticing that I was surrounded by remnants and relics of your past – a lingering scent of honey, a smudge of crimson staining your shirt. You are a fickle man, I know this now, with an insatiable palate for the new and exotic. I knew that I would be too pedestrian for you, and you would soon find yourself dreaming of foreign flavors, only granting entrance to the ones dressed in designer labels. But I thought I’d have more time.
You fling me back into the pits where my heart will glaciate with frost. You move on then to mustards, maybe tartars, salsas, and now I miss you.
I still really like this, but I remember the first time not quite knowing what it was about; did that change somewhat, the mystery, or is it because it’s not the first time?
Maybe it’s because it’s the second time reading it? I don’t know, I tried to add more clues because the first time a lot of people seemed confused. Do you think I gave too much away?
It’s hard to tell whether it’s one or two more clues than necessary, or because I already know what it is. I’m also not fully awake; that might have something to do with it. “straight from the shelf” might give it away, and “ivory plate” too, but that’s just me. Otherwise, you don’t know until that last sentence what is going on there, which, in my opinion, is fine. It makes you uncomfortable, but then you think, “Oh, heh heh heh, I get it.”
Thank you for your input! I value it as always:)
I remember the first time I read this how scared I was for you………
and then what a fucking moron I felt like after reading it again for feeling the way I did the first time.
It’s good stuff.
That you for reading it again!
Wow, this is really good. It’s kinda disturbing until you figure out what it really is, then it’s a relief! But I like this a lot!
Thank you, my editor!
i think that this is a wonderful piece of writing and enjoy reading it each time i do.
it’s troubling in some respects because it causes you to feel such deep empathy for the storyteller. then when you figure out finally who/what it is… you still have that emotional connect even though maybe you shouldn’t. the fact that it evokes that much feeling is really impressive.
I mean, even though I wrote it as tongue-in-cheek, it made me feel really weird. I still don’t know why I ever wrote it. I guess because I’m weird.
Remember when Henry honestly thought it was about him for a minute? What a fucking loser.
i know what you mean. that’s what’s so great about it… that it was written tongue in cheek and you’re still left feeling that way.
you ARE weird.
lol. henry is crazy.
i might see where he was coming from… IF he said he related to the ketchup!
God damn you are weird.
It’s inherent. :/
YES! One of my FAVORITE pieces from you EVER! Damn, I wish I’d remembered this during your time of submitting one of your pieces for the win. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.
I mean, exsanguinating! ACE!
“There was tenderness in the beginning, when our relationship was fresh, straight from the shelf. You applied gentle means to pour me out, and I was enough for you; you had no need for foul play or any extra garnishes on the side.”
Fucking beautiful. For real.
Spell check is always trying to tell me that “exsanginuating” isn’t a word. Irritating!
I’m really glad you like this.
this is my favorite.