And Love Her I Did
There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing wrong. I lie to myself. I know I am deceiving myself but I continue to do so nonetheless. There’s nothing wrong. What else could I do? So I settle myself on the bar stool, and allowed myself to the pleasure of domesticated drugs. A shock suddenly burdens the back of my spine, and all the happy people coming and going, kissing and telling sweet secrets in hushed tones died out into a thick white wall of gooey substance. I raise my hand for an order, mouth the words to someone, something. I am alone again. That’s the good thing out drugs, they’re solitude in a bottle. No one can bother me in my bubble. Scream. Sing. Punch your brains out. I wouldn’t even notice if you died right in front of me. A beer bottle magically appears out of nowhere and I take it all in one swing. The drug’s effects are marvellous with alcohol. It’s like the alcohol further pulls me down in that murky quiet whiteness and keeps hold of my foot, keeping me happy and asphyxiated. Nothing’s wrong. Nothing’s wrong. It’s easier now, much easier. I believe my lies. My lies become my truth. Nothing’s wrong, and somewhere below, leagues below my consciousness, I spectate, I observe the growing inane grin of satisfaction on my face.
Down. I’m going down. And I don’t want to come back. I want to stay here, and watch as my body rots by the second, slowly putting me a step closer to mother death. Here I have control, a control which I do not have when I am sober. I can see clearer, think better. But down here, I also know that I have to come up for air sooner or later. And believe me, it’s always sooner than later.
And I’m back, my breathing is laboured. A scratching occurs in my throat, and I need water but am too proud to ask for it. How much time has passed? There are certainly less people in the bar now, just two or three tables finishing up their dregs. Music and festivities have died down as they are wont to do with the ticking of the night. The bill is nestled tightly bellow my pill bottle. It’s staggeringly more than what I expected and have on me so I casually stand up and walk away. I quietly apologize to the waiter that has to pay for my binging and get inside my car. Here I can relax again. Here I am alone once more, the white drug induced quiet is only replaced by the womb-like quality of the car’s interior. I don’t want to go yet. There is still time before I have to go home. I do not want to go home. It’s better if I never did.
But mechanically, instinctively I inject my key to the willing orifice and hear the car moan. Where to? Where to? The ground feels as if it is alive, the road more a dragon’s back moving of its own will. Perhaps I’m not that sober as I would have imagined but the car has started and as my hand had its own mind so does my foot. On I went into the cold embrace of night.
The city at night time is an interesting place. Well, everything that night covers alters, providing the setting for all sorts of sins. Across each other neon lights advertise competing sexual spectacles. Girl on Guy. Girl on Girl. Girl on Midget. Midget on Animal. Man’s depravation has no bounds; it seeks for something new all the time. Desire is a virus, in order to survive it has to compete and outlive. Barely catching the glare of red light are the men themselves. Men who sell and men who buy. There are actually just two kinds of men around here, and the two types are symbiotically connected.
I leave my car by one of the establishments, the Chapel, a boudoir of unique delights specializing on God pornography. I have been here once or twice but I am not a local as they would say. I just happened to be familiar with the place which was why I stopped. It wasn’t out of choice. No sooner than the car engine died was I surrounded by call girls costumed in veils and robes which were strategically cut to show the more interesting parts of their anatomies. They proclaimed hallelujah and praise the lord. Finally, a man!
I allow myself to be lead inside the doors and allow the smell of incense to perforate my body. I remember that I have not smoked for a good while, strange since I am quite the smoker. I grab at my trousers for the pack I remember buying before this whole night began, and a girl held it in place before I could pick it out. No smoking in the house of the Lord, she says. There are still a couple of costumers seated at the tables some of whom are dressed as priests and the more adventurous as Jesus himself. I say adventurous because before they leave for the night one at least one of their hands would be nailed to the cross looming over the stage, a special service for the especially perverted of the Chapel’s customers. One of the girls, the one who forbade me to smoke asked me if I would like a costume for the night. A persona. I think about it. I would love to be someone else, even just for a few hours, just a little before I have to go back home. Jesus, I said. Ceremoniously she proceeds to disrobe me until I am only in my briefs. As if to ask for permission, she stares at me, knees bended, hands clasping the garters of the only piece of clothing I have. Since I do not move to stop her she pulls it down as well. Completely naked I stand before the cross, anticipating my turn to be impaled upon it. Money first, she disturbs my reverie, money before… I nod to my trousers and she procures a few bills. Not enough, she says. I remember her name, Clarisse or Chrissie or Kriselda. I hazard a guess, Clare, can you put it on my tab, I’m a regular here. She smiles. And strokes me. Only until it stands. And then she put it in her mouth. Again I go down. The pleasure sends me down.
I look up, and see myself being serviced by Clare. Some of the girls are hooting her on. Encouragement between whores. The men allow only a moment’s pause of the eyes on me and then casually look away. Idiotic, I look. A caricature in such a gaudy place. But that man, that man who looks and moves and groans exactly like me, looks happy. He’s happy even if he is about to be crucified. Grateful even.
She stops and I’m back, the sick smell of saliva, incense and stale beer makes it bitterly clear where I am and what was just done to me. She swathes my loins in white cloth, so now I am dressed, ready for the event which I allowed myself to be the main actor of. You’ve gotten fat, she pats my belly. Do you want it now or later?
Wouldn’t you want a drink first?
I have some. I do not want them.
Not all of the perverts who chose the Jesus special actually go through the main event. Most of them run screaming just before the gavel is brought down on the seven inch nail hanging precariously over their wrists. In fact, the friend I had who frequents this place has ran out the two times we were here. Two times. I have been here two times. Only on my third did I actually opt for the fantasy of the cross. Only now do I need it. I need to be someone else. It didn’t have to be Jesus. It didn’t have to be anyone specific. I just need to be someone else right now. The lights flicker on the stage as I am lead on to it. Music plays, a tune probably lifted from one of the Bible specials children are forced to watch during Christmas.
Still time to back out.
She undoes her veil, and reveals her hair to be carried up by two chopsticks. Upon closer inspection, one would notice them as stainless steel nails. They catch the light and blind me for an instant but not before I realize how beautiful she is. She picks one up, and gets the gavel situated on a table beside the cross. Would you please, she says. And I did, hold my hand up in praise.
The first nail digs right into my bone, bruising my arm. The pain is just what I need. I need something strong, strong like this to forget. She asks if I want the second nail? Cheers from the men dressed as priests, and obvious squirming from the men who would later be nailed like myself. Yes.
It tears the skin, violently, brusquely pushing away tissue, bone, and veins before it hits and lodges itself on the wood behind my now mangled hand. She has done this before. She is an expert. Behind the sweltering throbbing of my head did I hear applause which ends no sooner than it has begun. The lights are back down. The music anticlimactically closes even before rising to a dramatic crescendo. People go back to being sellers and consumers. Clare is the only one in front of me. The world has ended and Clare and I are its only two remaining denizens. My, my, what a brave little boy. Just call when you want to be set free, she says before sauntering away giving me a clear view of her peach shaped ass peaking from a hole cut behind her robe. It bounced left and right, a supple amount of jiggle. Beautiful I remember thinking a while ago. I shake my head. I bang it to the board. I pull down, to what pain allows, my hands.
No. No. No. I do not want to cheat. No. No. No. Everything is going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine. No. No. No. Nothing is fine. The pain has brought me clarity not escape. I have to forget. I have to be not me. What’s the point if I have to endure the pain. The pain should just be like any other drug.
It is like any other drug. But you have to take enough of it. Endure the bitter taste of beer and you’ll wake up in a pool of your own puke. The same goes with marijuana, with ecstasy, with anything.
Blood wakes me up. I am on the floor, when I come about again. My hands are barely attached to my arms. I probably pulled myself out from the nails. The blood has already caked. I must have…
What time is it? What time is it? I scream aloud.
Clare passes by dressed in jeans and a boring white tee-shirt, it’s time to go home little boy. We’re closing up for the night.
I push her aside and pick up my clothes which have been folded neatly beside the gavel. I gather my keys and rush to the car. I have to get home now.
Driving is hard when you are intoxicated, and pain is just another kind of intoxication. I make my turns and my swivels. The road now no longer a dragon but seems to recede into a void as I push forward. I have to get home now but that’s difficult since my hands are always in danger of falling off.
As luck would have it, I arrived home, barely, the rain starts to pelt on my naked flesh and bleeding wounds, but no, this time I do not allow the pain to drag me to oblivion. I leave the drugs in the car, and the alcohol has totally evaporated from my system. For the first time tonight I am sober. I open the door and let myself in. My eyes are accustomed to the dark and I know the place quite well so I manoeuvre myself past the antechamber onto the flight of stairs carefully, dreading of running out of steps. My wife and I have had this place for eighteen glorious years now. Our one son has already left the nest for college, smart kid.
He doesn’t know yet. He will. I will have to tell him soon. But now, I have to open the door.
My wife is as I left her, gagged and tied naked on the floor. Her skin is not as tight as it used to be. Her breasts are already sagging down to her stomach. But to me, she remains the most beautiful creature in the world. I release the gag from her mouth and a tiny bit of saliva droops down to my wound.
What happened to you?
I was just getting ready.
Are you now?
Yes, I am.
I love you.
I love you too.
I want you to do it. I don’t want the sickness to take me. I want you to do it.
And so, I embrace the tips of my fingers to her neck. The tears well from my eyes as my fingers claw into her skin and my wife let out her last breath.
I am now left with her carcass. And all I can say to myself is everything is going to be alright.