Smack

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Somehow I never thought it would come down to this. It’s the thing you see in movies, the thing your teachers and parents try to prevent, the thing that could never, ever happen to you. But I guess you can never say never, right?

Wait— he’s here. Thank God. I raise myself off the floor, bones threatening to poke through my skin. The crevices around my ribs are valleys, my hip bones mountains; I am the walking dead, dragging my frozen and bruised feet across the dusty floor, following the lit path of anticipation emanating from his little bag, my little treasure. I slip him a bundle of singles and kiss him lightly on the cheek, catching a hint of his tobacco breath, making me crave that which I cannot afford.

“You’ll be back? Later?”

“I got places to be, baby.”

“But you’ll try.” He likes when I push him around.

“Yeah…” he chuckles, patting my arm. “Yeah. I’ll be back.”

I close the door and make the journey back across the room; my feet stir up the light coat of dust on the concrete floor. The grains press into my soles, vaguely itching and scraping me like tiny pieces of fiberglass, but I don’t care— all I can think about is reaching my box, my needle, my lighter; I need this.

Warmth spreads from the syringe into my body. I quietly moan in euphoria as every tiny cut heals, every miniscule ache evaporates, and nothing exists except for my veins and this fountain of youth I’m holding and pouring into my body. I feel perfect; how could I go almost a day without this…

I thought you left me for good this time.

He smiles; his yellowed teeth look like tiny wet lights sticking out of his black gums. The chapped and broken lips curl and his smoky eyes look dead; this happiness can’t go past his mouth. His skin is scaly and gray. His nude, bulbous body is imposing on my high, his rancid breath is flowing into my helpless mouth, and my raw nose is sending lightening to my brain, begging for relief and commanding the bile to rise in my throat. He’s looking at me with undisguised hunger, beseeching me to give in. He knows I always do.

“It was only about twenty hours… that’s not even a day.”

You kissed him. Dirty.

“He’s nothing. You consume me. You know that.”

He grunts and I close my eyes in exhaustion and bliss. My frail body is losing all its warmth to the floor; my skin makes tiny puddles where my angles intersect with the cold plane. He strokes my face, his rough fingertips leaving a trail of goose bumps and sending electricity through me, making me twitch in pleasure. He knows I’m his. He knows I have been, ever since that first time, with that pretty boy from school who died a couple months later when he got tangled in a rope and fell out his window. This ugly monster embraced me, captivated me, taught me more than any other man. He is erotic and comforting, fleeting and omniscient.

I open my eyes. He is laying next to me; my nose has stopped registering his rotting smell, and now I can lose myself in his shallow eyes, tiny beetles on his grotesque face. He wraps his flabby arms around me. His dry skin is scraping me; he takes my wrist, pressing his dirty fingernails into my transparent flesh, opening my veins, leaving perfectly parallel incisions; my razor falls faster than the blood. His scummy fingers trace the wounds we made together, then winds its way up my skeletal arm, briefly dipping into the craters made by my collarbone, then carefully feeling my emaciated neck. He feels for my windpipe and gently leaves his fingertip there, letting me feel the choke, the impression of strangulation, asking my permission. I don’t have it in me to fight.

He begins pressing down, cutting me off from the air I’ve already had too much of. This is it. This is what it has come down to. I’ll never reach my little girl dreams, never see another book, another person. This is what I am. One more victim, no more shots. One last breath.

I am free.





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