When two become one

“I had these ideas about you. None of them are true…”
“Like?”
“Well… You’re a smoker.”
“Been one for 30 years. What else?”
“You’re smaller than I expected”

*He groans, rolls his eyes and puts his cigarette out with the heel of his sneaker. She’s embarrassed and nervous, trying to find words to say that aren’t offending or insulting in this awkward situation.

“Go on…”
“You are much more handsome than on your pictures.”

*He smiles. She’s back on track.

“What else?”
“I said “no” when you asked about being intimate on our first date. I meant “yes”.”

*The admission leaves her timid and waiting for rejection. She puts a lock of hair behind her ear. It jumps right back to where it was. He stands straighter, anticipating what will be happening next.

“I can’t see how this has anything to do with the way you imagined me to be”

“I judged you. I don’t know you.”

*It’s almost an apology. Almost.

“We spoke on the phone for two years.”
“I know.”
“You know exactly who I am. Maybe not my mannerisms or my daily habits. You know the deeper me. You know me better than anyone else.”

*It’s flattering to hear these words, but she is sceptical. Does he really tell the truth or is this his way of getting what he wants? It doesn’t matter. Who cares? She gives in. No reason to fight the feelings she doesn’t want to fight.

“You had me with that smile, moments before you said hello.”
“Two years ago I told you that I would never fall in love with you and that I only want sex from you. I lied.”

*She blushes and smiles at his feet. She still doesn’t know what he sees in her; she is short and overweight; and he could have every girl he wants.

“Come here… We don’t have a lot of time. Let’s make the best of it.”

*She nods. Their eyes are locked and their breaths mingle, moments before their lips touch. Her heart races and her knees feel weak. Electricity. He tastes of cold smoke and she can feel his smile on her lips. His hands find an immediate way under her shirt. The heat of his skin on her back leaves imprints on her soul that she can never wash off. She needs more of him. All of him. As much as he is willing to give. If he lets her in, she will submit to him, surrender to his needs. She will become his everything. With an urgency, they find the bed behind them. Clothes are quickly disposed of. There is no time to waste. Not even to appreciate the nakedness of the other. He used to ask her to tell him that she loves him. For the first time, these words leave her lips without being a lie, just as he enters her and fills her in a way she hasn’t felt in years. Completion. This encounter is more than she ever expected it to be. It is less too. Two lonely humans giving in to their primal urges after building up to this moment for more than two years. Everything they ever said, everything they ever wrote; every picture they ever shared – everything led to this moment. The moment when two become one. And although everything that is happening right there is ordinary, nothing about it is, in fact, ordinary. Moans, sweat, the scent of sex, the creaking of the bed. Two people who stopped thinking. Only existing. Become one.

Dear stranger

Dear stranger,

It has been a while, hasn’t it? May was the last time we spoke. May 8th. Not that I am keeping track, but I remember the day. Since then, I deleted your number from my phone. Not because I despise you or don’t want us to be in touch, but you told me to wait for you and that’s what I am doing. Waiting has never been my strongest quality and I know that I am waiting in vain. This – this entire situation is harder on you than it is on me. I guess it should be the other way around, but I can’t change it. And I don’t regret it either. Sure, for you everything is different and I can’t pretend to understand you, your motives, your reasons, or your actions. I can’t and that’s a fact. Once, we agreed that we need to be friends and trust one another. Maybe we trust each other but I don’t think that we are friends. We never shared anything that really mattered. We never were in love. Just in lust from time to time. And with our lust, desire, passion, we broke limits and boundaries. Maybe a couple times too often? Yes, maybe. Certainly. Some of it was my fault. I enabled you and didn’t stop you when I should have said no. I gave you my control when I should have taken control. I let you be the dominant one when I should have been. I write this right now because I do miss you. For a week now, I wasn’t sleeping right and I blame it on you. Your presence in my mind. And I worry. Also, I want to know how you are. And selfishly, I also want you to remember me. You will never forget me. I know that for sure and yet… I want to touch you again. I like your social media posts just to make you see that I am still there. Maybe we will never speak again. Maybe we will be an active part of each other’s lives soon again – truth is, it doesn’t matter. We will always have our memories. You will be a memory. And in many years time when I can grandchildren, I will tell them all about you. (The censored version! But come to think about it, then there isn’t much to talk about.) I wish that my presence how ever short or intense left some sort of impact on your life. Preferably a good one. I will never know what you won’t tell me.

I am still there…

xx

a strange connection

There sat a man on the stairs. His hair was hidden underneath a black hoodie, and his pale hands clutched a mobile phone. His jeans-clad legs were bent, and his knees were hugged by his arms. His head rested on his knees. He looked like a tired, sad man. His eyes were at once empty and overflowing with a raging storm. Maybe he was homeless. No one could tell for sure. Appearances can be deceiving in this day and age.

A busker stood next to a pillar. His fingers picked at the strings of his worn guitar, and his voice pronounced every word he sang with as many emotions as he could muster that day. His guitar case lay in front of him; opened wide, so that passersby would be tempted to toss in some of the loose change they kept in their pockets. So far not many coins were spread out on the black velvet. The romance of busking in the underground and being discovered accidentally by someone influential was wearing off. Sometimes he wished he hadn’t quit his day job because of a fluke. He had, though, and there was no turning back. And now, he played for people who hurried past him without seeing him and homeless drunks like the one on the stairs across from him.

I stood at the busker’s left and observed both men. Both had a similar aura. Tired of their situations. Not of their lives, like me. I felt a momentary connection with these strangers while I projected my own struggles on them. The man on the stairs looked lost in thoughts and mesmerised by the busker singing and interpreting songs we knew from the radio. And rightly so. He sang a beautiful version of Mad World. I hummed along.

The man on the stairs moved his lips in time with the lyrics too. Three strangers who had no connection whatsoever connected over a song. It was magic. I smiled at myself. It was a strange and foreign sensation for me. During this brief moment of contentment, the man on the stairs looked into my eyes. He nodded ever so slightly and, to me, it seemed as if his eyes were less tired then. A glimmer of hope was shining through his eyes and enveloped my own hopeless self.

The train arrived and the spell that had surrounded us dissipated and vanished with the throng of people invading this space that had been so magical mere seconds ago. The stranger was swallowed by the masses, and when the rushing brook of busy people had turned into a trickle, he was gone, and the busker was packing his guitar away. I turned to leave too. Without direction, without purpose. I had missed the train.

sinner

I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house. I watched from a safe distance and listened to the wails of the approaching sirens. I was convinced that the house was haunted and the only way to get rid of the evil spirits was to burn it down. I sound crazy, and maybe I am, but what’s done is done. The flames ate at the house, and the clear blue sky turned to a dusty gray. It was hot, and I jumped back when the first windowpanes exploded. A crowd had gathered to look at the spectacle. My neighbor looked on in shock. I heard the voice of his ex-wife and saw her with the kid on her arm. She looked more annoyed and less alarmed. I didn’t like her. I should have burned her too. Evil witch. I turned to go, but my neighbor held me back. “I am so glad you made it out of there alive,” he pulled me into a hug. I froze on the spot. Why did he care about my well-being? No one cared about crazy old me. I didn’t move, and I didn’t return the hug. I pushed him away and made my way through the gawking crowd. I passed the firefighters who were laughing and joking. It was just another day at work for them. One of them was showing his cell-phone around. “I cheated on my spouse. And it wasn’t the first time.” He laughed out loud, and his colleagues clapped his shoulder as if they admired him for deceiving his spouse. For the second time in a short time, I froze. I knew I had to kill him too. He was a sinner. There is no place for sinners in this world. I moved closer to the firefighter. His scent reminded me of the smell of the T-shirt from a B-52’s concert I had bought in the 80s. A strange association, perhaps only made because their song “Rock Lobster” was blaring from the stereo. Rude. These firefighters were rude. I remembered the time Leslie called me a leech. It was time to spring into action and get closer to the firefighter. “I was in that house,” I announced, feigning breathlessness. I saw his eyes blaze. He clearly loved to be a hero. “Let’s get you to a paramedic then,” he had his arm around my shoulders, and I took the opportunity to play the weak victim. I melted against him, and he straightened his shoulders to catch me. “I feel so weak in your arms,” I breathed against his neck. I felt his breathing change, and I smiled to myself when I dropped my arm to brush it against his hard bulge. He was an easy one. In no time I would have him where I wanted him to be. “Take me away from here, please. Take me somewhere private.” He just nodded and snapped his fingers in the direction of another firefighter. “I’ma gonna take this fellow somewhere safe. Got it? Cover for me.” The other man’s smile spoke louder than words as the hero escorted me off the premises of the burning house. I stirred him to a hotel down the block. I insisted on checking us in, and he agreed without putting up a fight. The room was tiny. A typical cheap hotel room. It was perfect to finish this hero’s life. Above the bed hung a picture with a man wearing a plate on his head. It was odd, but the vivid colors made it something special. For a long time, I looked at it. The man pushed his body against mine, and I let him. He kissed my neck, and I let him. We undressed clumsily. He was in a bigger haste than I was. I ordered him to lay down on the bed, and he did. This was going to be so easy. He was beautiful to look at. I straddled him and kissed his lips. It was the last kiss he would ever taste. The kiss of death. The only one this sinner deserved. He struggled a lot. But I was stronger than he was. I was stronger and possessed by the voice in my head. I needed to end his life. And I did.

After I got dressed again, I picked a tulip out of the floral arrangement on the small table and placed it on his lifeless body. I stepped out on the street. The smell of fire clouded the road. I took a deep breath and exhaled with a satisfied sigh before I turned to walk down the pavement; never looking back to where I was coming from.

next November

​What a difference a year makes, don’t you think. Last year, you spent two weeks in Australia for work. You called daily. Sometimes twice. I remember that one call, when you were crying because you missed your daughter. We talked a lot that night. About your kid and her mother and about my kids and the way I raise them. You said that you liked the way I talked about them and it was the first time you called me beautiful. Another time when we talked, it was my turn to cry. The past had caught up and an apology had been issued. It had meant so much that I teared up when I told you. And you listened patiently. It was also the time when I told you about my family dynamics. I remember those things clear as day. And I miss those talks. Quality talks. I was never someone to cry a lot in front of people. But I cried with you. Three times. Yes, I counted because crying is such an intimate and personal thing for me. I don’t mean the tears I shed last night after I watched that movie, but the real emotional tears that come straight from the sad and overwhelmed heart. Yes, that meant a lot. And you know, those tears, those explosions of emotions, they felt so good with you. It feels like a lifetime ago. Do you remember that time you called very early in the morning. My voice was thick with sleep, my brain not ready to translate the words we were saying to each other. We laughed so hard. That’s a sound I remember and miss too. Your laughter. It’s true, last November, we were so close. This November we couldn’t be farther away. You will probably be abroad for weeks, you mentioned the Netherlands to me the last time we spoke. I am not sure about your schedule and it is not my business anymore either. Just, yes. I had this thought that last year everything was different. Last November we were one. This year we are worlds apart. Next November life will be different yet again. And it is good.

Red

​Red. He can taste the colour. It’s the favourite shade of his favourite colour. Nothing can stop him from craving it. Men, women, children, even animals; they all have it and he wants it. Red. All he wants to taste is red. Feast on weak and limp bodies until every nuance of red has left them to take up residence in his veins. He sees a woman with a red coat and a red umbrella. In the grey neighbourhood on this grey day, she stands out. As if she is calling his name. And maybe that is what the rain is singing when it thumbs down on the ground. It wants him to see her. Red. It’s all he wants. He stops her to ask for the time. An easy smile plays around her lips and they quirk up. Around her eyes small lines are visible. She is beautiful. But his want doesn’t understand beauty. It doesn’t care about esthetics. He wishes that he could play with her. Like a cat plays with a mouse before the feast. He can’t. Tortured red doesn’t taste good. It’s the adrenaline that makes a good meal go to waste. He is a gourmet, he doesn’t want to spoil a delicious dinner.

He thanks her politely for the time and turns as if he wants to leave. But he doesn’t leave. With a seducing smile, he turns back around and he invites the woman for dinner. He knows she can’t resist his charms. No one can. She worries her lower lip before she accepts his offer with a bashful smile. She is perfect, he thinks, and she will be his.

He is perfect, she thinks, and he will be hers.

The shades of red on him are beautiful. She can taste them on her lips. He is handsome. Too bad he fell for her charms. As he fills her veins she feels sated for the night. She turns in an goes to find a peaceful sleep. Tomorrow, her hunt for different shades of her favourite colour will start again. Red. That’s all she has ever been craving. All she needs in her life is more red.

The Show Must Go On

​We sit together in silence. Our beers are left untouched, our words are left unspoken. My mouth is dry and my mind is in overdrive, but I can’t produce the words that clog my brain.  Another one of our friends was buried today, and our circle is quickly diminishing. Once, we have been a clique of ten friends. We went to the clubs, and drank and danced the nights away. Some had been more than friends others had been platonic friends without the wish for more. Seven friends have passed away in ten years. The gay plague, that is what conservative newspapers had called it in the eighties and nineties. But we all know by now that it isn’t just a plague for gays. It is a plague for humans. How can it be that it still kills us? With all our knowledge and the access to condoms or meds. Are we really that naive and unconcerned? Do we ignore what we know for a moment of unbridled lust?   

So, here I sit with Marcus and Will. We are the survivors of our clique, and I have no idea why. Why are some people infected and others are not? The three of us are not. Were we lucky or just careful, I don’t know? Who has decided to spare us this fate? And is it even fair that it is us? My life is not more privileged or liveable as Marvin’s, and yet, I am here, and he is not. 

Marvin has taken his own life. He lived with the virus for two decades before everything changed for the worst. I am not sure what exactly changed. He never volunteered any information and I am not someone who pries. Like us, he saw the way our friends had wilted away. He had seen the agony, the pain, the humiliation. They faded in front of our eyes, and there was nothing we could do to stop it. Marvin, he refused to be a fading flower. He refused to live in pain and be in need of a carer. He lived a self-determined life and he wanted to end it that way too. Pills. He took sleeping pills that didn’t let him wake up again.

Earlier, at his funeral, I read a part of his farewell letter.
I want to thank you for mourning the loss of my human shell, but, remember: The show must go on. There were people before me and there will be people after me. And life goes on. All I can and will ask is that you don’t shed tears because I am gone, celebrate because I was here. And make the most out of your life. I enjoyed mine. Please do too. Goodbye.
People cried, of course. I did too. I can’t imagine my life without his wit and his snark. I don’t want to imagine nights out without him. But I must. Because, Marvin was right. The show must go on.

I push my beer away and get up. Marcus and Will look up as if they are trying to find words to say or the energy to move. They stay put, though, and they stay quiet. I hide my hands in my pockets and ponder what to say, but there are no words. I shrug my shoulders, lowering my head, before I nod in the direction of the pub’s door. They nod back and that’s my cue to leave. I don’t look back. I don’t want to see their grief.

The bright daylight blinds me as I step out of the dim pub and on the pavement. Nothing around me suggests that we just buried one of the best men to have ever wandered this earth. The world keeps spinning and people keep bustling around. 

I drive home. I should be feeling more than I do and it almost makes me feel guilty. I am not numb, but I am not excessively sad either. I exist. That’s all, and it is not enough. At home, I put on some music and sit on the couch with my cell phone. I roam through my contacts until I find Marvin’s number. Delete. My contact list becomes emptier still. And out of the stereo, Freddie sings: The show must go on.

****

A friend requested a story for World Aids Day. It’s important to keep awarness alive… This was my submission.

Welcome to Eternity

And so it began. Her reflection in the mirror faded with every time she dared to look. Her skin became grey and her eyes had lost the living spark. Color was a distant memory she only vaguely remembered. Grief had taken over the moment he had passed on. She rubbed her face with bony wrinkled hands, trying to find the person she once was. But she was gone. He had taken everything with him, and he had left her with an old and worn shell.
She shuffled to the bedroom and closed the windows. The evening breeze was crisp; winter was lurking around a corner. She shed the last pieces of her clothing and laid on the bed, folding her hands on her soft stomach. Then she closed her eyes and conveyed the images of him that she had stored away in her mind. They came, and took her away. Away from the grey. Away from the grief. She felt her feet touch the ground and her eyes sought out details to understand where she was. She was in a strange land where no age and no pain existed. A land between life and death. But she didn’t know that yet. Her vessel was still inhaling air to fill her lungs, and making her heart beat on.

She could hear his voice; Henry’s voice was teasing her, asking to come see him. But whenever she turned toward the direction of the sound, nothing was there. No one was there.

“Henry?” Her thin voice reverberated through the nothingness. The uncertainty spread inside her body. The soles of her naked feet felt a change in the surrounding before her mind was able to catch on. Where the ground had been of sand and gravel before, it was now cotton-like and soft. Walking became more like floating. A familiar laughter made her walk on with a smile. She was where she wanted to be. For a moment, her chest had felt constricted, but it wasn’t anymore. Panic that had threatened to arise was pushed back down. She knew that she would be fine, because he was near.

There was no way to describe what she saw around her. There were no shapes and yet everything was of different shapes. There were no colors and yet everything was so very colorful. There were no sounds and yet, it wasn’t quiet either. Everything felt familiar and well-known. Almost intimate. Even the smell of the air reminded her of a place she had loved once upon a time.

“Henry?” she asked again. She felt the touch on her bare arm before she saw him.

“There you are, my love,” he replied and kissed her forehead. “I missed you, what took you so long?” She needed a moment to answer. She took his cheeks between her hands and exhaled sharply. “Henry, is this you? This can’t be you.” The man looked familiar, but he was young. So very young. Her Henry had been old and sick, marked by his age and everything he had seen in his lifetime. His hands covered hers. The heat of him seeped into her. His smile was contagious and familiar. “It is you,” she whispered, stepping back and bringing her hands to her lips. If this was Henry, what did it mean? How could it be? The blurry shapes and colors changed around her. She was on the farm she had grown up. The grass was green; the shade of green it has after a recent summer rain. The sky was blue and cloudless. The barn that had burned down and had killed livestock stood tall and was painted in red and white. Looking down, she realized that she was standing on a wooden porch. She was wearing a thin dress she had loved because of the flowers on it. She turned around. Everything was familiar. Young Henry sat in a rocking chair looking at her.

“Did the other shoe finally drop?” he chuckled and reached his hand out to her. He was engulfed in light. The glow was so bright, she almost had to look away, but she couldn’t. She took his hand and he pulled her toward him. “Oh Henry,” she sniveled. “Are we…?” She didn’t finish her question.

“Yes, Vera, my love. Welcome to eternity.”

don’t leave

​I am here. Wide awake, when I should be sound asleep. All alone, when I should be with you. Your scent still lingers on the pillow next to me, and I pull it closer to me. It makes me safe. Safer than I am without you by my side. I want to inhale it and bring you back to me. I am not ready to let go.
I knew that this would happen sometime soon. I knew, that one night, I would wake up, and you would be gone. That night is now. You promised you would never leave me. But you broke your promise. You did this to us.
I came home, and your bags were packed, ready at the door. You said you would go back to your mom’s until I found a new place to stay. But where am I supposed to stay? I don’t have the right to work here. I don’t have much money left and the friends – they are yours, not mine. Not one of them will offer me a couch to sleep on, because no matter how you’ll twist and turn it, I’ll stay the stranger, the foreign woman, who gave up everything for you. You couldn’t look at me when you walked out of the door, and I refused to scream and shout at you. I refused to call you back. I refused to cry in front of you.
Maybe that was my biggest mistake. Maybe I should have fought for you. Maybe I should have asked what was going on and where it all went wrong. I didn’t even think about it. I just saw you and your bags and the determination in your eyes. And the sadness too. I let you go, and it broke my heart.
It’s the middle of the night, and I am still clutching your pillow. I don’t want this to end. I am not ready to let you go. In the spur of the moment, I grab the phone and dial your number. I take a deep breath and sit up straight. I pull your pillow onto my lap and straighten the cover around my legs. On the third ring, you pick up and for a moment, I am speechless. No words are ready to be said.
“It’s me.” I finally say, still running my hand over imaginary creases in the sheets.
“I know,” you say. I wish I could hear more hope in your voice. Instead, I hear weariness and sadness.
“What happened?” I ask, coming straight to the point.
“Everything. Nothing. I am dried up,” you confess and, wouldn’t I know what you are talking about, I wouldn’t understand. But I do. You have lost your creativity. The worst possible scenario for a painter. You haven’t touched a brush since I am here. I am not keeping you from your work, at least not consciously, but you don’t paint anymore.
“Is it my fault?” I ask, dreading the answer. Maybe it is my fault. Maybe it’s the natural way of creativity. It’s like a wave, sometimes all consuming and there and other times only barely tangible. Almost nonexistent.
“Maybe,” you whisper, and I can feel the tears burning in my eyes. I knew it, but I didn’t want to hear it. I am confident that I will never win your heart over your art. You live, breathe, sweat for your art. I can’t win this war. And I shouldn’t want to see it as a war. It’s a part of you. One I fell in love with, too.
“I don’t want you to go,” I finally say, after a short silence that was heavy on the line.
“I don’t know what to do. It’s all I can do. I am good at it.” I can practically see you running your hand over your bald head. Back and forth, feeling the stumbles underneath your fingertips.
“I know. I know.” I whisper, and I can feel you pulling away even further from me. You are slipping through my fingers, and there is nothing I can do.
“I can’t sleep without you by my side. I never thought that I would be addicted to you like this,” you say, and I feel the same. It gives me a little hope. I can’t sleep without feeling your body close to mine and hearing your rhythmic breaths.
“But I am draining you. Why can’t I be a source of energy for you? Why can’t I inspire you?” I don’t want you to answer. I don’t want you to crush my heart even more.
“I don’t know. I wish I would know,” you sound as if you are crying now and I long to hold you. I don’t want to make you miserable. I want to make you happy. I don’t want to make you sad. I want to bring you joy. But I am not ready to let go. Not yet. I let go of too many things lately. You are not one of them. I refuse to let you be one of them.
“Can I come home?” Your question pierces through my thoughts, and I don’t know what to say. I smile – no, grin – I want to say so many things, but there is a big lump in my throat, and it prevents the words to roll off my tongue. Not even a sound comes out. I panic. What if you take my silence as a ‘no’? You clear your throat while I still struggle to make a sound. Tears wet my cheeks. Happy tears, because you are coming back. Soon. It won’t be like it used to be and I know that. Everything will change between us, and yet, I crave your touch and your kiss. I need you to take me into your arms and pet my hair gently. I like it when I lean my head against your shoulder, and your hand racks through the lengths of my hair. It soothes me.
“Yes,” I finally croak.
Before anything else can be said, you are gone. There’s only the familiar sound audible. Disconnection. I look at the phone as if it could answer all those unasked questions. What happened? Where are you? The beep sounds mocking, and I put the phone face down on my the nightstand. What did I do? 
I rub my face with my hands. So much drama over nothing. But how am I supposed to make your creativity come back? There is nothing I can do.
Not even five minutes later, I hear your key in the lock of the front door. I run my hands through my hair, to flatten it a bit. It’s a silly move, but it makes me believe, that I look much better now than before. I wait. Patiently. Nervously. The bedroom door opens, and you are back.
You sit on the bed, wringing your hands, looking down at your feet. They are naked. I come closer to you. Putting a kiss on your shoulder, resting my head on it.
“I am sorry.”
“Don’t give up on me. Not yet.” I whisper, and you turn in my arms. Together, we curl up in a ball under the sheets. You are still dressed. It doesn’t matter. You are back. You put his head on my chest and listen to my heartbeat. I kiss your head. Our fingers entwine, and we stay silent. Eventually falling asleep like this. Nothing is as it was before. It will never be the same, but which direction it all will go – I don’t know. In my heart, I know that you are not back for good. Someday soon, you will be gone. And I will be alone.

My best friend H

I sit on this horrendously smelling couch. Again. That smell. No matter how often I sit here, it never escapes me. It smells like piss and vomit and still, I return here. Every day. Sometimes more than once. Because my friend calls me. In front of me is a low table. The legs have been sawed off, to make it this low. It’s full of crap. Mostly crap. Some things on the table are important. Very important. My hand sweeps across the table and I roam through the little foils and tiny bags. Most of them are empty. My hand shakes. I need it. Soon. I feel like crawling out of my skin and tearing out my hair. I need it. My legs start shaking, I can’t keep them still. It’s like they are dancing with my best friend. My hands become more desperate and less precise. A prick on my finger. But I don’t care. I need it. I leave a little trail of red drops on the table, decorating everything in a morbid manner. But I don’t care and I know that nobody else will either.

We are all in this together and we are looking for the same thing. And I found it. A precious little package. I empty it over a spoon and add a little sugar, before holding the used spoon over a candle. Candles, the whole room is lit in candles. Candles everywhere. The only light in the otherwise dark room. The stuff takes too long to melt on the spoon and I start fumbling with my free hand, to roll up my sleeve. Again, I rummage around the table and soon I find what I am looking for. A syringe. For a moment, I wonder if it’s the same, that stung me earlier and if it is clean. But my urge lets me forget those thoughts. My need is bigger than the thought about preserving my health. I don’t go to the doctor’s anyway. I have no idea, if I am infected or not. I don’t care. The others don’t care either. We share everything. We are in this together anyway. Always looking for the same thing. Sharing the same best friend.

With shaky fingers, I fill the syringe. I need it. I need it now. No more time to waste.

The needle enters my skin. I always do this softly, gently. I like the feeling of the metal breaking my skin. At first it resists, but then, it gives in and the cold needle quickly warms inside my body. I push down and the calming escape of reality enters my body. I feel it flowing through my veins. Spreading inside of me. It isn’t a stranger, an unknown. It is my friend. I pull the syringe out and throw it on the table. Not caring anymore.

My friend makes me tired. Always so tired, but he takes me to a dreamland. He helps me escape the grotesque face of reality. I inhale deeply and let myself float on a cloud that feels like cotton. High and higher up in the sky. I can see down on all those people that want to hurt me. They can’t reach me, here on my cotton cloud high in the sky. No evil can reach me. My friend is there to protect me. He engulfs me with his warmth and I feel safe as long as he is with me. Better than sex. Much better than sex. They don’t satisfy me anyway. They – the johns. They get off and I get the money to buy an orgasm on my own. One that always comes. Always. Except sometimes. Sometimes, my friend refuses to come to me and help me forget. Some times, instead of flying higher and higher up in the sky, he lets me fall, shoves me down the stairs hard. And it hurts. The deception always hurts. But it’s because he loves me and he wants me to be with him longer and more often. Only him. Only me. Only us. Together, we can conquer the world.

Nobody else matters. Nothing else matters. When he lets me fall, I fall deep. I am afraid without him. Scared to death without his warmth. It makes me cower in the corner of the dark unfurnished room. Far away, were no candle light can reach me. I make myself as small as possible. Invisible. I cover my ears. I don’t want to hear the screams. Make them go away. I close my eyes. I don’t want to see those faces. Make them go away. I wish for someone to just hold me. Save me.

Leave me alone. I don’t need to be saved. Don’t touch. I can’t have anyone touch me. I’ll break into tiny little pieces, like a glass that has fallen down and broke. And the shards will hurt and cut me deep.

Today, my friend didn’t let me fall. I open my eyes. I feel free. I feel good. I feel excited. I own the world. I see the zombies passed out around me. I am not one of them. My friend makes me invincible. I am not one of them. Not until the next time my friends calls me. Not until the next time I need him. My best friend. H.

****

Author’s note: This is all an imaginary writing. Nothing based on actual personal experiences!

Becoming Darragh

this is Darragh and Callum’s story so far, it was written for love bingo on LiveJournal.com . Darragh and Callum are mine and mine alone, they were created in my own mind. The finished 20 chapter long story can be found under the name of ‘a long journey to love’ on wattpad.com

Becoming Darragh

Darragh sat on his worn guitar case and waited. He waited for the storm to come and for the crowd to go wild. He waited for the moment he became Hawk, for the adrenaline to pump him up like every time he went on stage. But right now, Darragh needed two minutes of peace and quiet before going up on stage and giving his soul to the screaming audience. Something was off, something didn’t feel right anymore.

This was his job. It has been for the last six years. From one moment to the next, he suddenly was a megastar and all he had done, was doing what he loved; writing songs and singing them. Now, this was what paid his bills and while some people would give their right leg to be in his place, he hated every single moment of it. The illusions were lost and the dreams were dreamed. All he ever wanted was strumming his guitar, singing his songs and having fun, he didn’t want anything else and certainly he didn’t want to be the moneymaking machine of a greedy record company CEO.

When ‘the Boings’ started to get some recognition – he and his band – it was like having finally found the holy grail. People recognized him on the street, they liked his songs and his voice and they treated him with respect and some of them were very reverent while others knew no boundaries. He still shuddered at the memory of hearing himself on the radio of the first time.

It was the best feeling when he stood on stage in a small club, surrounded by his friends and the audience was singing his songs. It was a dream that slowly became a nightmare.

Everything was business now and the passion and fun he once felt with his mates was gone. The downwards spiral started spinning the moment, the record company started meddling, replacing musicians and kicking out the original members of the band one by one, until only Darragh was left and he was made the sole front man. He had never wanted to stand in front of his friends, he had never had the intention to get more attention than his friends, the only thing he had always wanted for him and the band was to be equals and have fun. The pressure to deliver a good performance and milk some more money out of the crowd started becoming too much to bear and the constant unease did the rest. Friends became foes and jealousy divided the band furthermore. Today, Darragh was on no speaking terms with his old friends and the knowledge that it was because of his personal success lay heavy on his chest.

Continue reading “Becoming Darragh”