Deep-inside, she craved truth in his words. There was no doubt he believed them now, but they’d be forgotten…expired…soon. Inevitably, too soon.
“How beautiful you are...so beautiful, incredibly beautiful—I’m afraid of being lost in your eyes.”
She forgot the feeling.
Mostly, men’s words are empty…rolling over her and ending as sad, sick masses in the pit of her stomach.
The day could have been perfect—instead it’s full of noise and harsh colors falling from the sky—painting city streets and highlighting men’s alien gestures. Piercing and stabbing—their eyes bonded on her breast’s peaks and valleys. She knows of her perfect body. Beneath layers of satin and cream—under blush, lipstick, mascara and carefully-arranged folds of cloth—a childlike body with young, soft bones that had been dead for years. They did not know how many times they’d been broken. The body was violated but the stain did not touch her soul. She did not see, did not hear, did not feel anything when her body was invaded.
Detached and unknowing—how often was she was absent and missing jewels of happiness slipping through her fingers? What was the depth of her despair?
She remembered only certain incursions of flesh.
Her body lying next to his. She does not know him and makes no effort. Bodies close—side-by-side. Under the skin: hidden secrets. Exhaustion and shut-down senses. On the bed, threadbare sheets scattered. From head to toe, her body hurts but her spirit is hidden and untouched.
No one knows. No one suspects.
Nobody, nothing, no.
She creates artificial boundaries...she will do anything but kiss a client on the mouth.
Shhh. Slow down. Speak slowly. I knowyou like me. You crave my aroma, that of cypresses at the edge of a quiet meadow, scented hair scattered by the wind, my body made out of sand twisting and conforming to yours.
The flesh remembers long-lost innocence.
Don’t say anything.
Bodies like undulating snakes. Reptilian. Cold words—language assembled from wet words as she unfolds underneath him. A predictable gush of passion. Sexual instinct’s fleeting moment of glory and reward.
Hands, feet and whispers…everything but kissing on the mouth.
A sudden, fraudulent flowering. Above: nothing. Below: nothing. A man’s hairy, husky, meaningless body.
An acid taste on her tongue.
Why am I with this man?
To find peace, all questions must be suspended. Deflected. Evaded.
Afterward, a moment of quiet, leaky freedom. With a cigarette, she wants to tranquilize disgust and paint over the taste. Smoke and embrace nicotine’s small delirium.
Predictable, every time…it makes no difference. Nearly naked, her body is dead. There are only empty names…no bodies or souls. No collective spirit. No synergy. No compassion. No love.
Only far-away sensation left over from the barbarism of their animal coupling and stolen pieces of men…collected like trophies.
Hotel beds, fumbling illusions of love, barroom battlefields and sad, uncaring sex—everything always the same.
She raised hands as if to ward off evil.
A soulless, mechanical doll…barely breathing. Instead of arms she has wings, but not for flying. Broken wings for crawling around the room across cheap sheets and discarded clothes.
Trapped, she looks around with eyes of sadness and nothing looks back. To God, she is invisible. Less than invisible. He is filled with love for ants and moths, but has nothing for her.
Sometimes she dreams of eternal sleep…the final spasm of a humiliated body.
Anonymously committing gestures and dying. But, the transaction must be consummated. The man pulls on clothes and leaves. The door closes with solid finality. After a sponge bath, she arranges jars, tubes and vials of makeup on the bathroom sink. After a time, her wings change into hands and she reapplies her pretty mask.