Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
[There are many philosophers who have tried to identify the goodness of man. Some assumed that we are naturally evil, and thus require strict governmental and religious laws to keep us from explosively murdering one another. Others feel that we are naturally good things, like innocent babies, but that the corruption of a greedy hued religion has made us twisted and abusive. In reality, it seems that man truly knows nothing of good or evil, and will never be able to fathom it. Our senses of the subject are only chemicals in our brains that attempt to perpetuate our survival. Hypocritical carnists subconsciously behave as if death is evil because death ends survival, but hunting isn't evil because hunting prolongs survival. The very construction of good and evil are horrible detriments to the psyche of humans. There is no good, there is no evil, there is only this giant universe, and all of it's doings are pure and natural lessons.]
I told him that I hated wearing shorts. He asked me why, but I became embarrassed, so I shrugged it off. He glared at my legs for a moment, then the satisfaction drained off his face. His pointer finger rose as if to indicate something fearfully alien, and he used it to trace three of the short white dashes of my thighs. He had noticed.
"I hate that you did that." He remarked kindly. Then he scooped me up into his arms and pulled my head onto his shoulder and touched his fingers to the back of my hair. I enjoyed it, but I pretended that I didn't need it, that he was just a lonesome stranger who, for whatever kind reason, had decided to place his touch upon me. Affection, I tried to remind myself, never saved a life.
//It could have saved my mother's life//
My back pocket held my phone, and it's vibration interrupted my dancing mind. When I managed to wiggle the object out of my pants, it revealed with its mechanical glow that I had oh so wonderously received a text message from my father. My partner must have realized the diffusing of my expression, as his arm went to my shoulder, and he brought his forehead to mind.
The little thing read
"Sagie-wagie, will you be home for dinner?" and my heart was leaping through my arteries.
I looked up at the boy. His chocolate eyes were filled with concern. He watched me like a child watches danger.
Oh, that disgusting maternal trend of me.
I quickly pat-patted a 1
"No." to my father and put my hands around the boy's face and leaned up to kiss him. His romantic admiration had my monsters resting quietly. He smiled.
To see him smile was to witness an act of ether. His heart was true gold, his body true iron, his mind true platinum. He was a rough one. He usually feared love, but he didn't fear mine too terribly, or so he said. Such a circumstance, the challenge of his exterior, boiled the competition within me.
I crawled a bit away from him and kneeled before the sky. He stood and walked north a few steps and did a handstand, then fell onto his back in the grass and closed his eyes under the midday heat.
I laughed at him from afar, and when he heard my bubble, he grinned again. He hurriedly returned to me, but didn't sit. He just stood there above me, looking down with his casually humble visage. For the first time that day, I noticed his outfit. He wore very little at all- like he always did. Second-hand cargo shorts rested just on the hill of his hips, and he had them belted to his strong body with a shoelace. How could something so ridiculous be so beautiful? The sun bounced off of the curves of his muscular abdomen. He was awe-evoking. His poise was awe-evoking. His apathy and tenderness made him something incredible, an enviable entity who combined everything that makes people rich with everything that makes them poor.
He crouched down and leaned into me and kissed my neck. His touch was immensely pleasurable, his damp lips tracing my unworthy flesh was electric. I held very still for a moment. I wanted to know what he'd do next. His passion intensified, and his hands wound their way into handfuls of my hair. I almost fell into him, sank into his caresses and surrendered everything for the day. No evil things could speak when he touched me. I became rather suddenly aware of him when I realized that having him leech his tongue onto my shoulders would lead to large raspberry-blackberry love thumbprints that I couldn't possibly excuse to my father. I pulled gently away. The boy pulled lovingly back. It took all of me to say it, as every part of me yearned so dearly to submit and rest under him, but it had to be said.
"You're going to leave hickies," I told straight to the side of his face. He lifted his mouth out of the corner of my jaw, still hovering less than an inch away from returning to his business, as if to interpret what it was that I had just said to him.
He thought for a moment, clearly filing through fields of reasons to keep going, attempting to create a portfolio of excuses as to why he should be allowed to tattoo my neck and shoulders and chest and stomach and hips and thighs with his kisses. Things swirled around in his brain too fast- I could feel him breathe hard, the way he does when he gets frustrated with his inability to organize his thoughts.
"So?" was all he could muster up to say.
"So," I replied, "I can't go home with hickies all over me or we won't be seeing each other again any time soon."
My father had no idea that this boy was my lover. He had met him very briefly only a week or so prior. He very likely didn't even remember his name. If he knew I was letting this stranger (who was, by the way, no stranger to me) touch and love me like he did, his dad brain would explode with rage.
Zethus moved up and out of me, my body wishing against it. He analyzed me for a moment, calculating like a machine, like he did things, and then began stroking the grass.
"Why me?" I asked him out of nowhere. It even surprised me.
"What do you mean?"
"Why are you here with me? Aren't there other girls you'd like to be with? Don't normal girls deserve your kisses and attention?"
He squinted, then replied with the same finger he used to stroke my scars. He carefully rolled his print across my forehead.
(Well, of course I think.)
"I've been looking for a girl who thinks for a long time. I want to get to know you better."
(What does that even mean? How much better can you know me- you were just sucking on my flesh like I was a dinner!)
I dismissed the absurd curiosity, and went back to telling him my dreams and hopes and aspirations. He confirmed my every word with motivation and questions.
Zethus was very bohemian. I could identify with him with great ease because of the way he saw and acted. Nothing surprised him too much, and even when he became startled, he never judged. Sometimes he'd grow angry, but his darkness layered deep inside of his core, a heavy sediment which he'd puff away with mary-jane and sweat out with spice. He was easy to cling to, and many people did. Any girl who could wrap her head around his lucid speech would surely have fallen head-over-heels in love with him because everything he said could overthrow civilization. He knew chemicals and chemistry- he had to, because in his constant state of feverish high, he needed to keep himself alive. He meditated like Buddha and healed like Jesus.
As sunset threatened in the west, Zethus and I knew we had to part. Our time together like this was scarce. Sneaking around was hard for me, and he often got in trouble with his mother. Every second was valuable.
I told him to go ahead and leave, that I'd stay and wait until he drove away and then walk home so that, just in case my father and Charla had become suspicious and come to find me, they'd see me alone and not in his truck.
Zethus hugged me tightly and kissed my cheek. I didn't want to let him go. His absence meant much more than loneliness. He pulled a long-sleeved shirt on his torso and donned his notorious straw hat and walked over to the chain fence that divided the park from the lake of a neighboring community. I sadly watched him hop the fence and slowly move away from me parallel to the lake.
Something burned within me. I didn't want to be alone with myself. I wanted to dash and crash into him and drown us both in the dirty lake water and never wake up again. I wanted him to say he'd never leave my side, save me from the evil demons in my pit, say something to keep the blackness away. I could feel it start to inhabit me. He walked further and further. I looked down at myself, watched my arms expand, watched my middle expand, my thighs expand, the ground slowly establishing roots to hold me into the Earth and pull me into hell. The minutes drew on.
I snapped the roots and darted as fast as I could, eyes closed, to the direction of his magnetism. I had no idea how fast I was going, or even where I was going. The air felt thin. I was invinicble. I crashed into the fence. When I opened my eyes, I was standing with my arms on the metal railing just a meter behind him. He was standing in the lake. He turned around and stepped back on the land with a swoosh and came to face me at the fence.
I wanted to tell him everything. I wanted to melt and sob and be held forever. I wanted someone who wasn't a doctor to hear my stories. Instead, I put my hands up around the back of his neck. He cradled my face with his palms. We kissed. Information flew into art, cataclysm erupted with splatters of chemistry and literature and poetry and philosophy. It was over in an instant. The sky was red and purple. My body couldn't speak, but ran back to collect my belongings and then propelled me west to race the sunset home.
The treck home was hard. I hadn't eaten that day at all, and my bradycardia was livid. I kept my finger on my neck to make sure my pulse didn't flutter, which was entirely pointless, because even if it had fluttered violently, I'd still have no choice but to continue venturing. Memories were flashing through every ounce of my flesh.
When I made it to my driveway, I was pleased to see that neither my father or Charla's vehicles were there. I wouldn't have to deal with them yet. That was peaceful. I entered the house through the garage, locked all of the doors away behind me, and shut myself into my bedroom. Everything spun wildly. My body demanded nourishment.
"I'm not hungry." I said to myself. "Not hungry one bit."
But my hands rebelled. My door unhinged, blind body chaotically twisting towards the kitchen.
"Not hungry one bit."
Zombie-animal moans, I dug my shoulder into the pantry.
"Not hungry one bit."
Thin tin doors flew apart with a loud squawk.
The rebellious hands dug frantically through the pantry. They lifted up a bag of frosted animal crackers and funneled them into my mouth. Happy pink and white frosting was dotted with sprinkles. All of them swam in large chunks down my esophagus. The mouth and hands worked to empty the entire bag into me within seconds.
"Not hungry one bit," I cooed between monstrous, slobbery gulps.
Next were a bag of tortilla chips. Chew chew crunch crunch chew chew swallow swallow. They were scratchy and salty. Then hands got an open jar of peanutbutter. Fingers danced in the oily condiment and smeared into the foul mouth, which sucked each one completely clean. Pretzels went down in sets of ten until the bag crumbled down weightlessly. A box of cheesy crackers was torn open, and buttery discs jumped past my teeth.
The body went into the refrigerator and found a cobbler. I fought against it- I didn't even like cobbler- but the hands pushed it into the mouth. The sticky sugar mess sloshed upside my cheeks. Zethus' kisses were replaced with globs of gluttony. Eyes lifted up a block of cheddar with what seemed like pure telekinesis. It vanished into me. Salad dressing rained into my swollen stomach.
A plate of cinnamon cookies rested on the oven. I ate six. A box of a dozen cream-filled doughnuts sat on the counter. I ate three. I inhaled four toaster pastries and a frozen block of macaroni and cheese. I ate half of a loaf of whole-wheat bread. Eventually, I was bursting. I couldn't move. I shivered on the floor helplessly for what felt like a very long time. My intestines ached against their boundaries. When I became strong enough to stand again, I wallowed into my bedroom, barred myself in and passed out in a bean bag chair.
When I awoke, it was nearly midnight. I was so puffy that my thighs were squishing together with fearful water retention. My hands looked like my father's- bloated around a tight ring. The urge to sob was unimaginable. My resources were vastly limited. I knew purging wouldn't help at this point. I had to use my pills. I had to clean this evil out of me.
I fished into the little lunch box of my night stand and popped six cyan candy pills into my mouth and swallowed without water.
Evil, evil, evil girl, I told myself. How could I be so stupid? How could I be so careless and selfish and nasty? A slutty, disgusting pig, I was. I stood myself in front of my vanity.
"Do you see yourself?" I spat.
"This wasteful, hideous thing that you are? You'll never eat again you worthless cow. Your life deserves to be stolen straight out of you, glutton. You filthy, evil, satanic monster. You don't deserve the food to keep you standing! How dare you even begin to think of eating such insane amounts of food. I must punish you."
The blackness had swallowed me hole, and I made mean faces in my reflection involuntarily to disturb myself.
I pulled the underwear drawer of the vanity open and shifted into a secret place. A thick chunk of broken glass was buried in a pair of panties. I took it from its residence and turned on every single light in the bedroom.
This is how psychotics perform exorcisms.
I sat naked on the cold floor, ashamed that my evil flesh would be bothered by the sensation of the natural world. I had to be punished. It had to be done. Punishment, I reminded myself, was the key to discipline, and I was a horribly undisciplined child. I needed to learn, didn't I? I needed to learn in the eyes of God and in the eyes of humanity to control myself. I had no right to eat, no right to eat even a single bite at all, and yet I ate hundreds. Gluttony deserved death, but death would be too quick, so this would have to do.
The first one was fast. I ran a point of the glass across my thigh. It stung. The second and third and up to the twentieth were all like this. They were fast slashes and drew minimal blood. It frustrated my demons. Punishment wasn't supposed to be mild, it was supposed to be fear-evoking. Punishment was supposed to make you regret disobedience with all of your might and soul.
The next twenty were rougher, longer, and deeper slashes. They bled slightly more, but the flesh had grown numb and unresponsive in pain. My free hand wiggled the cuts open and pulled the skin apart to deepen the anatomical rips, but nothing was satisfying.
Fury struck, and I buried the sharpest part of the glass into my leg. When I withdrew it, I immediately struck again, spooning a thick wad of skin out of the way, a deep crevice of me missing. It burned and stung like hell. See now, said the demons, this is how it ought to be. I bet you regret eating, they scolded.
The pain was familiar but rare. I made myself look at the puncture woun1d first. It was a skinny hole to another dimension. The long striking incision bloomed up spongy yellow fat flowers. It was an enchanting sight.
The wounds bled with vigor. Oceans of red flowed out and dripped about my legs. How beautiful, I sighed. Could this really be a punishment? Was this truly even a valid way to scold? This was pleasing and beautiful and magical. Here was I, this small and very evil thing, and by physically punishing my flesh for misbehaving, I had created one of the most beautiful pictures in the universe. This blood that dribbled out of me was rich with iron- the atomic element which forms in the fiery death of stars. Once their passionate plasma composes iron, stars erupt. Scalding white light expands out in directions that all of humanity could only ever hope to see as infinite. Cosmic trickles shoot through space and time at incomprehensible speeds. If you are very, very lucky, a little pinch of iron might crash into your planet. If it does, and if it fuses with pinches of carbon and pinches of biology begin to form and cells are born and divide and grow, then you may or may not have the potential for what we can only assume is intelligent life. More years ago than anything can fathom, this (not)coincidence occurred on our little wet rocky planet. The conditions stayed favorable for us just long enough so that these atoms of iron have become so casual to us that they make up the very liquid life about us. Our blood is the ocean to our souls. My blood was on my skin. My universe of exploding stars and astronomical good luck was staining my flesh.
Zethus would be mortified.