The feeling afterwards was supposed to be exhilarating, powerful and pure. But I felt like a half-eaten apple. I was curled up on one side of the bed, while this person, this living, breathing beast I had given a small part of my self to, slept on soundly. My hair kept getting in my face, tickling my lips so frustratingly I groaned aloud at one point. I didn’t have a hair tie. I was wearing a wife beater. And I wanted to chop all my hair off. The beast next to me sighed with monstrous contentment and I nearly screamed.
The next morning the person was gone and I walked around my small apartment, picking at things in the fridge and pacing circles around my kitchen table. My cat looked at me in that bored all-knowing way that said, You are a stupid human. Cats never make mistakes like these. I growled at her like a wild thing, trying to scare her away from looking at me and she yawned.
I opened my closet door and picked out a blue fisherman’s sweater. When I slipped it on I knew I had made a mistake because the scent of him hit me overpoweringly. Not him, the beast, but the other one. The one I had known for longer and had spoken to and who had spoken to me in kind.
I sank down to the floor, unable to do anything, unable to breathe, because memories were hitting me over and over again and I was trapped underneath a wave. There’s nothing to be done during those moments because the mind is a really mean thing sometimes. Like when you wake up from a nightmare and you know you won’t be able to sleep anymore because every time you shut your eyes all you see are demons. I would have sung to think about something else but my tongue was stuck in my throat. I would have said something to my cat, but I knew she wouldn’t care either. So I pulled my legs to my forehead and rocked a little, letting it overwhelm me. It was a beautiful form of torture. When I was done thinking about him, I thought about the beast, and my legs convulsed. Everything about me was shameful in that moment because I could hear my own laughter in the night, the ridiculous words I had said, the way I had flipped my useless hair.
I got up from the ground, and walked to my window, tousling the dreamcatchers that hung there, setting off their small bells. I didn’t even know what window he gazed out of now, but in our last correspondence he had said, “It’s nice, this place I have found myself in. Every morning I wake up and it’s like I’m being born.” It had sounded voyeuristic to me, but I had remained pleasant. I shouldn’t have. I should have told him that his actions would cause me to lose respect for myself simply for the purpose of feeling loved. I should have told him how my hair would writhe and make people think that if I was touched I would be whole again. I should have told him about how I would surely wind up on the floor.
Photo, Feverish Photography
Edit: This is not me speaking, this is a chapter of a book I am writing. However, all of my stories are loosely based upon things I have done and people that I know.