Caitlin Hoffman is a mink wearing a suit of human skin. She'd like to live in your brain if you'd let her.
Never wanted him. Never will. Hated him more than... loved him even more than that and... Just wanted to retreat, tail between the legs. No eye contact. Fists in the face. Every day I saw him.
Take my name and shove it up his nasal tract, give it all up, no acting here, no trying to be pretty and no faking any strength.
His charming grin melted into a sneer, sticky with toxic waste... his romance-ridden compliments turned to shards in my brittle, shaking chest.
"Speak of the devil". Laughs. Shrieks of cruelty. Winding around me like I was some disease, like touching me and taking all those kisses (pulling them, wrenching them from my lips) had been the start of a sickness, like touching and kissing me again would rape the marrow from his bones and leak liquid into his brain.
Never wanted me. Never did. Maybe every once in a while but... he’d always find someone else to warm his ribs and...
Just wanted to escape from him, but those pills didn’t quite work and he stayed tucked safely in my nightmares.
Used to fantasize. Kill him. Shoot him. Burn him. Choke him. Used to think of shoving needles down his throat... kissing him (like rape, like love) while he vomited viscera and said goodbye to our cruel little world, that world we had sworn to fight against together.
"Go and die!" Said that and he... the sadness flashed in his eyes and I was reminded of what we had been.
But those pills didn’t quite work and I wasn’t allowed visitors anyway.
Used to fantasize about scraping pheromones in his skin. Licking the tears clean, savouring the salt. (Just one more time.) Hearing him say that thing (just one more time) and... moan like he used to on the phone when I was shoved in blacked out corners of my room, rocking against my own hand and praying that no one would hear the dirty, dirty words cussed out of my desperate mouth. So goddamned, fucking desperate. Hearing him buck and spray on the other end of the line, so goddamned far away, never so close that I could touch him and ever reach him, reach that puss-blocked organ I so needed to see...
Never able to eat his heart, rape his soul, ruin his corpse, brand my name into his hand just to make sure he’d never forget it. (Make him read me every time he wrote a note, scratched his chin or rubbed his cock empty.)
Used to want to run. Bolt, scatter with broken ankles. Kick up dust, kiss his broken nose and watch the comets of my caring blast away his nerve receptors.
Then when he was gone, up and out of my life, up and out and gone and hardly ever seen... suddenly I needed him. Just needed to see him again, no matter how much I didn’t want him.
DIDN’T, DON’T, NEVER WILL WANT HIM.
There were so many days (months...) that went by without word, and I’d hear of this girl or that girl but tried not to get jealous because I had this guy and that guy too. Separately, we lived in those sins. Lived apart from each other. Never a daily factor in each other’s lives. A footnote, a nightmare coughing out dust in the medulla oblongata.
Every once in a while sights were made, kisses exchanged regardless of this girl or that guy.
"You look so good today." Quiet in the face of compliments, just like those compliments that came before the insults that came before the pills that didn’t quite work.
Then when it happened... so many years after I hoped or dreamt it ever would... Desperate, awkward kisses lacerating skin, but never enough to draw up blood, to leave some tangible mark on me or him (like a welt, like a scar), real proof that we’d ever been there. Snakes shedding morals.
"It’s just, it’s been so long..." "Shh," and he grabbed me, shut me up with his mouth on my own, letting me suck the calcium out of his skeleton (one more time), letting me steal his skin and make him feel something, no matter how sad or empty or wrong it all was.
Kissing down his body.
"Aren’t you still with her?"
Gasping in his own self-loathing:
"This will be good for us. It’ll help our relationship."
Burns on the breasts. Mouth suddenly chalk-dry, desert-dry, no saliva coming up no matter how hard I tried.
Scorned kisses on his cock. Sucking him down with a dry, angry mouth.
Never wanted him, even when he was in me.
Over too fast. Split from the moment, rushed and compounded by those words he used to say to me. The "uglys" and the "freaks"... "We went our own ways"... "She broke my heart once then had the nerve to think we could stay friends"... "Let me fix your hair so you’ll look like a normal person"... "You look so good today"... all announcing a drought between my legs. Numbing nerves, cutting beautiful throats in my brain. Such pretty paintings (lost) in passion, so many dreams (lost) in the smoke. That fire which had always determined our lust... determined our love and our hate and the regrets of what had never been... strangely absent when our bodies finally collided in that house.
That house was so goddamned quiet.
Too far apart, even when he was in me.
Walked around the basement afterwards when he had gone off somewhere to get me water or food or just to avoid being in the same room as me. Saw this warped, darkened version of myself reflected in the tv screen, shut off from everything... Looked at my body and wondered if there were welts and scars burning me up on the inside, if my shrunken, slightly damaged liver was tending to them, massaging them clean of infection.... Wondered if I’d ever come to a point where I’d feel like I was pretty at all... wondered when love had become a cancer-kiss. Transferrable through the lips.
There was a pebble in my shoe... it ate at my big toe while he walked me to the bus stop.
Never wanted me. He never did. Not even when he was furiously thrusting (finally in the same room as his lust) and making his way up to an orgasm that shot against the sheets, an orgasm that came too fast and didn’t last long enough for either of us. We’d touched each other like strangers, like the lovers we should have been sharing intimacy with. Had he stopped wanting her or had he just wanted me too much?
Didn’t ask too many questions. Not enough to discover the truth.
Fantasized about ending it for good. For one of us or... both of us.
Wondered if he ever wondered about me.
Never wanted him. Never will. Couldn’t ever love him, not like I loved this man or the other one. He hardly even knew me, seldom ever saw me.
Never wanting to see him... always half-hoping I will.
Run into each other, crammed up in the corners of a bar, too close to touch and too faraway to speak.
Run into him in a park with a wife at his side and child on his arm, eyes quietly begging that I might give him that escape he always sought from me, that I will return to him as the Other Woman to hide under his shame, wrap my sinewy flesh-sticks called legs around his waist... finally getting the chance to say,
"No, not this time."
Maybe even getting to hear him say it, that thing he would never say unless he was drunk or unless we were texting or e-mailing or talking on the phone, that thing he would never say as long as we were face to face and...