Monday, December 29, 2014


There's a subtle vulgarity in the open spread of his legs; the way he rocks back and forth, swings left and right, and how, when he slid down the chair, his thobe rode up and gave away the faint trail of hair around his anklesoh!

His face hides beneath the red of his shemagh, and although he'd been talking to my father the whole time, he kept stealing glances my way, and I'm not sure if it was just the excitement of it all but it almost gave me butterflies.

"You don't want to be here, do you?" he asks, the moment my father leaves the room. There's more vulnerability in his voice than I would've otherwise expected.
I smile. "I do."

He smiles back; his gaze wanders between my eyes, slowly down my face, and finally settles on my lips. I catch my breath.

My father loudly fiddles with the doorknob as he makes his way back into the room. He quickly looks away, clears his throat, and goes on to ask about my university studies.

Be still, my fucking heart. This is not what you want.

Friday, December 12, 2014


They said we were two peas in a pod, so good together
like vanilla ice cream and apple pie
and she laughed for fifteen minutes straight.

She said she liked the way his nose flared when he laughed
and when I asked if my nose flared at all
she said she never really noticed before.

She rolls her eyes at me a hundred and twenty times a day
and I loved every bit of it until
he walked by and she turned and drew a million hearts in the air.

It's been two weeks and I still can't wrap my head around
her praise for that girl
with the eyes and the hair.

And then she came around and called me a miserable asshole
said I'll always be alone
and I'm picky and hard to please and I never like anyone

and I said,"I like you."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Soured Milk, 12

"This is Sven."
"I can't believe this is how you answer the phone."
"Who is this?"
"Oh, god. It's getting really hard for me to keep up with all these fucking names."
"Well it's Lo now, but yeah."
"What do you want?"
"Ever the gentleman, Sven."
"What the fuck do you want, Min?"
"I want to invite you over for dinner."
"He thought it'd be nice for all of us to get together."
"No, Ollie."
"Who the fuck is Ollie?"
"Don's boy."
"What? You're... you're with him now?"
"Yeah, didn't Don tell you?"
"I don't talk to Don."
"Right. Anyway, are you coming or not?"
"I'm busy."
"We all know you're not busy, Sven."
"I don't want to see you, Min."
"What about Ollie?"
"Fuck Ollie."
"Well, if you change your mind"
"I won't."
"Tomorrow, 6:30. Get a fucking cheesecake or something."

Soured Milk, 11

If I were to describe Ollie, I'd say he was a kind of boy-scout mobster; with his puppy-dog eyes and sleazy smile. He had a boyish charm about him, this playfulness that presented itself with an air of innocence, but deep inside was as rotten as an out of season apricot. A man of endless contrasts and contradictions, that's how Ollie was. He was up and down and left and right, without being anything in particular, without being anything at all. 

"Jeez, Lo, I swear I could hear you talk all day."

I rolled my eyes, too familiar with his random compliments to know that they weren't random at all.

"I like the way your mouth moves, too."

"Oh?" I smiled, fiddling with the front-buttons of his boxer shorts, "What else do you like about my mouth, hmm?"

He pulled my hand away and smoothed down the creases on his underwear. "I like you, Lo, I like you a lot."

"Well you're in luck, because I happen to like you too."

He frowned, hesitating before starting once again, "Listen, Lo. I know we're not gonna get married or nothing, it's just... I really fucking like you, y'know?"
"What are you getting at, Ollie?"

"This," he said, pointing at the scar at the back of my thigh. The scar where Sven's tattoo used to be.

I sighed.

"Don't get me wrong, Don's a fucking nutjob, but he doesn't do shit like this for no reason."

"And you think the reason is?"

"Sven," he said, and gave me one of his understanding smiles. I guess he thought he was being kind, but, man, did it piss me off. I just couldn't shake off this feeling that it was eerily similar to Don's patroinzing hand-on-shoulder routine. "You really like him, don't you, Lo?"

"I don't."

"Really, it's okay

"I told you I don't! And I'll prove it to you. I'm going to call Sven and invite him over, how about that? We can catch up and be one big, happy, fucking family."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soured Milk, 10

Don had this friend. He's about Sven's age, maybe a little older, and he'd visit every other week. He'd come over on Friday afternoons, have lunch, hang out with Don for a while, and then leave. He didn't seem to like me all that much, and he always looked at me with such a strange expression; like a frown was lurking somewhere beneath the surface of his face and he had to repress it so much that it physically hurt.

He wasn't really all that handsome, this friend, definitely not as handsome as Sven (or, for that matter, Don in his heyday) but when he smiled, it would take over his entire face; melting into the brown of eyes like warm honey, and staining his cheeks and ears with a shade of red that I've only ever seen on giggling schoolgirls.

"What's the deal with you, anyway." he mumbled, almost to himself, the moment Don left the room to take a phone call. It was the first time he'd ever talked to me.

 "What do you mean?"

"I mean," he cleared his throat, not really whispering but it kind of felt like he was, "What are you doing with an old geezer like Don?"

I smiled, wondering why he seemed so distraught by the whole thing, "Oh, I don't know. He gives a mean fu—"

"You think you're fucking something, huh?" he barked, looking over his shoulders before continuing, "He's only using you, you know."

I shrugged, "What do I care? I'm using him, too."


"I had this thing with his friend for a while, and then Don came in and decided he wanted me to himself, so Sven-"

"Sven?!" he stood up, almost leaping to the seat next to me, "You know Sven?"

"Yeah, like I said, we had a thing. Then Don took a liking to me and Sven gave me away. That's what I'm doing with an 'old geezer' like him, to piss off that asshole Sven. How do you know him anyway?"

"Oh, I don't. Not anymore, at least." he frowned, looking away from me, "How is he like?"

"Sven? He's an asshole."

"Listen," he started, turning to check if Don was still on his phone. This time he was definitely whispering, "We should get together sometime, yeah?"
"And do what?"

"Nothing special." he smiled in a sort of suggestive, filth-ridden way that made me feel like Sven himself was smiling at me, "What's your name, by the way?"

"Uh... Laurel?"

"Guess that would make me Apollo, then."

Soured Milk, 9

He said his name was Poseidon. An obvious lie, I know, but one that I let him keep. He said he once lived within a mighty sea of sins, and in the end, he was almost consumed by it, but just as he was about to surrender to his fate, something stirred within him; this violent need to fight, and he swam up to surface, and he rose above the sea. What once almost drowned him, now lied tepidly at his feet. Poseidon; master of the sea.

Now, of course, it was all absolute bullshit. I mean, surviving an overdose is hardly a triumph of will, plus that whole 'sea of sins' business sounded shady as hell, but he seemed adamant on having some awe-inspiring tale that I just fucking went along with it.

Speaking of going along with it, my time with Don was actually much better than I excepted it to be. Don was nothing like Sven; he was a master puppeteer, his manipulation was done from way afar, so far that you could barely even see the strings. That being said, he was no better than Sven. In fact, he was much worse, for at least Sven was honest about the piece of shit he was, while Don twisted and turned and spun himself into a lie just so he could go on pretending he was somehow above what Sven was.

"Don, can I ask you something?"

He peered at me through his reading glasses, "You're quite the inquisitive one, heh."

"What did you see in me?"

"What can I say, Lamm, you're such a scrumptious little thing."

"Don.." I purred in that sing-song voice he seemed to enjoy so damn much, "Please?"

"That Sven, he's not right in the head. Sometimes you just have to put him in place."

"That doesn't make any sense. How on earth was he being out of place? And what does this have to do with him, anyway?"

He sighed and shook his head, "You don't understand the situation."

"No shit! I think that's why I'm asking you to fucking explain it."

"Lamm," he put his hand on my shoulder, and I could tell from the expression on his face that he was going to do that patronizing shit he does whenever he thinks I'm acting 'out of control', "Calm down, okay? Calm down. You're being hysterical again, Lamm, calm d"

I don't know what compelled me to do such a thing, but next thing I knew I was staring at Don's spit-splattered face, and I burst out laughing.

Don, however, wasn't the least bit amused, and even though I've always known he wasn't as harmless as he liked me to believe, I never, never, thought he'd be capable of doing what he did next.

"Take off your clothes and go to the bathroom," he calmly ordered, wiping the spit off his face and walking into the kitchen, "And if I hear another word from you, I'll cut off your tongue, too."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Soured Milk, 8

"Goodness! Oh, my!" he grinned from ear to ear, rubbing his hands together like a wolf about to devour his prey, "Such delicacies on offer today, heh-heh!"

Sven stood beside him, one hand in his pocket and the other holding a cigarette; looking so fucking unconcerned with it all that I wanted to punch him right in the face.  

"A proper little lamb, this one, heh!" the old man roared, smacking Sven in the back, throwing him forward and crashing to the ground.

He looked up at me with such a pitiful expression; one that almost resembled shame, and I had to look away while he struggled to get up from the floor, retreating into himself like a turtle ducking into its shell.

A damn coward, that's what he was. The way he conveniently announced that he'd grown sick of me a day after this 'old friend of his' dropped in for a visit, pretending that it was of his own selfless generosity and accord to pass me along. He must've been out of his fucking mind to actually think I'd believe it. I guess it goes to show how little he thought I knew him, but it didn't take a genius to see that it killed him; how his friend simply swooped in and stole me away, like the whole of Sven's existence was as trivial as the dirt on his boot.

And It wasn't so much Sven's feelings for me, but his terrible need for possession, that made it so hard for him to watch me leave. And while I was infuriated by the audacity of these two assholes, and the very idea of being passed around like a fucking toy, I decided to go along with it out of spite for Sven. To stick the knife in and twist it, too.

"So, my lambkin, will you come and sit on my lap? I have such wonderful stories to tell, heh."

I smiled, looking over at Sven, who winced and looked away, "I'm all yours."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Soured Milk, 7

I thought he looked different.

I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I knew something had changed, and it wasn't until a while later, when I looked down and found a mop of black curls between my thighs that I realized his hair was no longer white. How I failed to notice it right away, I don't know.

Then he did that thing with his tongue and the black of his hair flew right off my mind, and instead, all I could see was a tide of orange and red that washed over my eyes in pulsating waves, rushing to the back of my head in a kind of swirled delirium; rising higher, higher, higher, until it was bursting through every limb, every end.

Then everything settled to this state of violet clarity; cool as the blue of his veins. I don't need to turn to see that he's sitting cross-legged beside me, "Welcome back," he teased, with a smug, satisfied smile.

I pressed my lips in silent protest. God, he's such an asshole.

"Oi, don't you have something to say?"


He hovered above me, balancing himself on the palms of his hands, "Hmm."

"It's black," I said, giving a quick ruffle to his hair.

He gasped, his body jerking in a kind of involuntary tremble, and though Sven would never blush, he looked away in nervous self-consciousness, avoiding the whole of my gaze until the last of his shivers had gone away.

"My mom used to do that," he smiled, a softness falling over his eyes; vulnerable and sad and melancholic all at once.

It was the first time that he'd mentioned his mother. In fact, I don't think he talked about his family at all. Once, he told me about a cousin of his, but even then, he was drunk off his ass, and only mumbled vague references to some childhood incident that I couldn't quite understand. "Is she still alive?" I asked, though I knew I probably shouldn't have. 

He glared at me with muffled annoyance, "The fuck should I know?"

"We don't need to talk about it if you don't want to. No need to be an asshole."

"Oh, fuck off, Min," he scoffed, pushing himself off and away from me.

"What? All I wanted was to have a pleasant conversation"

"Pleasant conversation, is it?"

"That's not what I meant"

"Don't mention my mother ever again, you understand? Find other ways to fucking humanize me."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soured Milk, 6

He's been acting like a whiny little bitch ever since that day at the coffee shop. On one hand, it has translated surprisingly well into the proverbial conjugal bed, but on the other hand, I honestly couldn't give two shits about his feelings, slighted or otherwise, and I care even less for the kisses he presses against the back of my thigh; soft and moist and all too deliberate for my liking.

"Sven, can I ask you something?" I managed to faintly whisper, strung in a flurry of his wet kisses, "But you have to answer me, truly."

He cocked his head, mockingly holding out his palms in prayer, "I swear by the sun and the moon all that lies beneath them."

"Why did it bother you so much?"

He sighed, sinking deep into the sofa's worn-out leather, "I don't know."

As he lied there, one arm over my shoulders and the other around my waist, I couldn't help but marvel at how beautiful he was. The trail of smudged lipstick around his mouth and all the way down his torso looked almost fluorescent against his pale skin, and underneathand just as striking a contrastan entire road-map of bright blue veins. His eyes, moving in swift, circular motions to the dull hum of the ceiling fan, had a sort of repressed luminescence; matte black and yet, somehow, still lustrous.

 So breathtakingly beautiful, and yet, somehow...

"I guess I thought," he softly started, "You know, what with the tattoo and all."

"The tattoo?"

"You let me tattoo your fucking butt, Min!"

"The back of my thigh!"

He shrugged, "I guess I thought it somehow made you mine."

"What is it with you and this rabid need for possession?"

"I don't know, Min. It's just the way I am."

"And here I was thinking you were in love with me."

"Do you want me to?" he abruptly stood up, looking down at me with a sort of frantic excitement, "Because I could, Min! I could fall in love if you want me to!"
He leaned in and grazed the tip of his nose against my lips, moving it sideways and back until I found myself unknowingly parting my lips, to which he quickly slipped a finger into my mouth, pressing it firmly underneath my tongue until I felt a twinge of pain shooting down my throat.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Soured Milk, 5

"So are you two dating, or?"

It came out of nowhere; this idea of his. We were bundled up on his sofa, him vacantly watching TV and me on my laptop, when he suddenly asked if I had any friends, and the minute I began talking about this particular friend, he seemed to be infinitely intrigued. I'm not really sure what it was about her that interested him so much, but next thing I knew, he asked me to make plans with her.

And I know this sounds almost unreal, but I swear, he's been on edge since yesterday, fretting about everything and anything, and looking so uneasy and distraught that I wondered if maybe something else was going on.


He simply ignored her, just as he has been doing ever since we've arrived. The moment we sat down and exchanged greetings, he seemed to lose all interest, and proceeded to absentmindedly stare out the window while my friend and I conversed.

"Define 'dating'."

She rolled her eyes, "Do you go out on dates?"

"Not really, we mostly hang out in his place."

Looking over at him, I was taken back by how out of place he seemed to be. He appeared to be so uncomfortable, so self-aware; fidgeting in his seat and looking out the window as if the sidewalk was his salvation. He even looked different; his ridiculous mop of white curls, his dull, black eyes, and the darkness underneath them, his sickly, pale skin and scrawny arms. He looked nothing like he did that very first night I met him; that tall, handsome man with the hateful eyes and wine-stained smile. Did he really change so much? Or has he been like this all along?

"And do what?"

"Well," I smiled, "Enjoy each other's company, I guess."

"Ooh," she leaned against the table, "It's satisfying company, then?"

"Mutually satisfying." he quipped, sounding a bit agitated.

She leaned back in her seat and grinned at him, "And under current circumstances, we are to assume that this 'mutually satisfying' affair will go on in the future?"
The question was clearly directed at him, but he chose to ignore it, taking intentionally long sips of his coffee while staring at her. 

"I guess," I finally answered. 

"And are you exclusive?"

"Not really."

He jerked his head around so violently that I could almost hear his neck snap. He seemed so shocked, so dumfounded by my response, that he kept staring at me, mouth open, for a good several minutes.

"Are you seeing someone else?" he burst, pushing his chair closer to my mine.

"Not at the moment, no, but what I meant was"

"Who the fuck is he?"

"Why are you getting so upset?" 

"Why am I getting so upset! Why am I getting so upset!"

"You do realize you're not my boyfriend," I glanced over to my friend, who had a wide, open-mouthed smile on her face, "Don't you?"

He leaned back, pressing his lips firmly against each other as a dim stillness slowly took over his face, and with it what seemed to be the realization of just how much he'd misunderstood our relationship.

 "Sven.." I sighed, moving my hand towards his, barely even touching him before he pulled his arm away and stood up.

"Okay." he nodded, staring vacantly at the table, "Good-bye, then."

"Nice meeting you!" my friend called out, but he had already left.

"Wow." she laughed, shaking her head, "You sure know how to pick them, huh?"

Friday, August 15, 2014

Soured Milk, 4

It's an absolute fucking shit-hole.

And I've seen (and lived in) my share of shitty apartments, so believe me when I say my standards are set reasonably low. His apartment was completely empty, if not for a large, mustard colored two-seater that stood awkwardly in the center of the room; an assortment of multicolored patches decorated its buttery leather, and curious stains that I convinced myself were from spilled drinks (they, of course, were not). The carpeting; a bright, orange spectacle with a matted, waxy texture to it and a scent that could only be described as a mixture of wet socks, cough syrup, and cheap, citrusy cologne.

It was an absolute fucking shit-hole, and maybe that shouldn't have come as a surprise, because he was a human piece of shit himself, but he was such a breathtakingly beautiful piece of shit that it was almost a shame he lived in such a place. Almost.

"Oi, Min," he called, stretching his limbs over the sofa, "Come and sit on my lap, will you? I have a story for you."

 I frowned, staring up at him as he playfully wiggled his eye-brows, "You took it too far."

I was about to roll away to the other side when he planted his foot on my shoulder and turned me back towards him, "Don't be like that."

"You took it too far!"

"And I said I was sorry." he yawned, sounding so insincere that it was almost enough to make me get up and leave. Almost.

"You promised you wouldn't do that again."

He sighed, lifting his foot off my shoulder and sinking into the sofa, "And you promised you wouldn't be a fucking cunt."

It's times like these that I'm reminded of just how much of a mistake this whole thing was. I knew I was straying dangerously far from the tracks, but he made it so easy, so tempting, that I couldn't possibly resist wandering further away. He had a strange kind of appeal to him, like his shitty apartment; a certain beauty in every crooked angle and dull edge. And he was all crooked angles and dull edges, but he never tried to hide it, wearing them on his chest like badges of honor. And whenever he looked at me, his eyes, they'd fall on my deepest insecurities, as if to say, "I see you."

And nothing in the world terrified me more than my reflection in his eyes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Soured Milk, 3

"Stay still," he breathed, pushing himself against my back, "I'll be gentle, I promise."

I was so completely taken by the drunken haziness of it all that I didn't feel much; just the prickly cold air against my skin and the dull scraping of the metal against my bare thigh. It wasn't until a little later, when the pain appeared all at once in sudden, violent eruption, that I began to shiver against his touch, and, I swear, his hand seemed to grow purposely heavier, his needle rougher, and his breathing shallower. He's enjoying this.

"It hurts," I whispered against the wall, and he was eager to oblige, digging his needle deeper into the back of my thigh until I was gasping for air, begging him to please, please stop. And when he finally did, I felt a strange kind of excitement rush through me; a twinge and a tingle in places they had no business being. Adrenaline, I thought, it has to be.

"Look," he said, smiling up at me, "What do you think?"

It was a tiny little thing; the word Min, black against the back of my thigh. Min was short of Minnie; he said I was his mouse, small and squeaky and utterly defenseless. I guess this tattoo was his way of claiming me; marking my flesh with his words so that everyone knew that he owned me. He was branding his kettle. And once he grows sick of me, will he slit my throat and be done with me?

"It's alright."

He brought his hand to the back my thigh and brushed his palm over the warm, sticky skin, "It's revolting."

"I revolt you, then?"

He smiled, licking the corner of his lips, "You always do."

"Well, In that case, you revolt me too."

He stepped closer, hanging his head over mine and pressing himself firmly against me, his ribs digging into my chest, and he kept pushing himself harder, deeper, until it felt as if I going to snap under his force. And then he pulled away and calmly whispered, "No, I fucking don't."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Soured Milk, 2

"You look like you're going to cry," he whispered from behind, and just as I was about to take it for true concern, he leaned in and said, "I gotta say, it's getting me all excited."

It was dark and damp and it smelled suspiciously like wet carpets, and when he grabbed me by the arm and lead me deeper into the crowd, he seemed to delve into the chaos, dissolving into it as if it were his natural habitat, all but the travesty that was his hair; all florescent blue and coquettish curls. It wasn't until later that night that I realized his hair was actually white, and only appeared blue because of the black-lights.

"So, why'd you take me here?" I asked, sounding a bit too casual about the fact that a stranger forced me away from my friends and took me to some shady club that looked like it belonged in Satan's armpit.

"Take?" he leered at me, clenching and unclenching his jaws to the backdrop of industrial post-punk music, "Are you saying you're up for grabs?"

"Maybe. Are you looking to make your claim?"

He shook his head, blue curls aswirl,  "Careful, now."

"Why should I be?" I smiled, rolling the tip of my tongue around my straw before slipping it into my mouth; a gesture he seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

"Didn't your mother warn you about strange men?"

"Are you saying you're strange?"

"I wouldn't say that," he trailed off, smiling silently to himself, like he was in on some secret joke, "I just have a... strange appetite."

"And what are you craving tonight?"

He smiled, licking his lips, "You."

"But you don't know me." I said, as he inched closer, ignoring (or pretending to ignore) the uncertainty in my voice.

"I know what you could be."

"And what is that?"

"Do you want me to show you?"

He loomed over me with a sullen expression to his face, as if he was contemplating something so terrible, even he couldn't believe it, and in the black of his eyes lurked the most frightening shade of redblood redand every voice in my head was telling me to get the fuck out of here, but instead I leaned in and said, "Please."

Saturday, April 26, 2014


You make me feel so much, don't you know?
No, you don't.

You make me feel so incrediblyso painfullyplain, like I was the off-white paint on your bedroom walls, the one you keep meaning to change (but never get around to).

And you don't know, but I live for that half-wink, half-squint you throw into your side-way smiles.
And you don't know, but I adore every inaudible word that comes out of your cigarette-stained lips.
And you don't know, but I treasure the cluster of grey hair around your temples, and how they seem to hide away under the scrutiny of my gaze.

And then you come around and call me with a name that isn't mine, and you say that you aren't good with names, and you're sorry for half a second, and you carry on.

You make me feel like fucking shit, don't you know?
No, you fucking don't.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Certain Man, XII

It's not his.

And he knew right away. How his face fell; glum and grey and lips the colour of nightshade. And I couldn't help but shiver to no end, when he bent over and said, "Looking forward to meet you, little one". How he could be so cruel in his kindness was beyond me.

We had another boy, a plump and healthy bundle that had to be forced into the world, ripped out of me and thrust into cold, indifferent hands. And whenever he looked up at me with large blinking eyes, I could almost swear he knew. He would sit there and judge me in silence, like his father did before him. I had thought my guilt would somehow dissolve and subside with the birth of my child. That he would serve as the final stage of my repentance, but instead, he was the fruit of my sin, a constant reminder of my most terrible of mistakes.

But how I adored him. How I adored both my sons. It often startled me how quickly they were growing, and because of that, I had this crippling fear of somehow losing track of time, of turning away for a second and finding them grown and gone. It always felt like they were running, flying miles ahead, and I always fell back, unable to keep up.

They were so very different, my two boys, and so much like their fathers that I began to wonder if I managed to pass anything at all to them. My eldest was the sun in its warmth. He felt with such openness, such abundance, as if love was only ever meant to be given, and not received. And my youngest, like the palest of moons, cared silently, inwardly; but so severely, that at times it would overflow, trickle over the edges and stain the crown of my head with shy, uncertain kisses.

My two boys. How I wished, with all my heart, I could pluck each and every star and hang them over their heads. To capture the world and lay it at their feet. They would never want, never need; not while I live and breathe. Not once would they feel unloved, unwanted, or ostracized. Not once would they stumble without someone to hold on to. Not once would they seek validation in the warm embrace of another. Not once would they kiss without feeling. Not once would they love out of obligation. And most importantly, they would never, not even once, feel alone.

My two boys.
May they never be their fathers. May they never be their mother.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Soured Milk

He said his name was Svengali; a lie, I'm sure, but one that I let him have. He said he was looking for someone like me, and when I asked what that was, he said, "A mouse to keep."

I don't know why but from that very first lie I felt inexplicably drawn to him. He had a strange aura about him, an amorphous essence that seeped through his limbs and into the air like miasma; thick and dark and full of hate. And he strung me along so effortlessly; a flick of his wrist and I was on my knees, and instead of pulling me up, he put his foot on my shoulder and pushed me further down until I was at his feet.

When I look back at it all, I can't help but feel regret. I don't regret the path I chose, but rather, the way I chose to travel along that path; hiding so comfortably under the pretense of coercion. I liked the idea of being the helpless victim; an impressionable young girl who's only crime was a weakness to a man's charm. In reality I was very much aware of what I was getting myself into, and I needed nor trickery nor deceit to do it.

I wanted to be his mouse. I wanted to be worthless and to revel in my insignificance. I wanted to live in filth, to be as vile and morbid as I wished to be. I wanted his anger, and I wanted his hate, and I craved the pain. I wanted all of it, and he, the mighty Sven, would give and give and give.

And there was no end to what I would take.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Certain Man, XI

If absence is meant to make the heart grow fonder, then my heart must be bursting, because I've come to depend on his substance like the air that I breathe. I would humor myself that he felt the same way. That I could feel it in the way he touched me; hands shivering as if he was stirring from within, fingers buried in nimble pairs into the confounds of my walls, and later, left arm sneaking in, settling deep in the base of my back and pushing me further into him, or him into me, or both into each other.

I'm not saying it wasn't wonderful in its own wayhis companybut it never quite felt like it did before. That feeling of finally being whole, shivering from the core of my being, as if being momentarily at peace was more troubling than comforting. I didn't feel whole because I wasn't empty to begin with. I wasn't his blank canvas anymore; I was a mother and a wife and all too filled with happiness and regret to surrender myself to him. I didn't feel whole, but I was filling up, overflowing, and it wasn't long until I reached a tipping point.

And all along I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. What was I feeling guilty for? For that man I so dutifully called my husband? The man I found melting beneath his momentary indiscretions? What a man he was, and what a man he proved to be. I remember that lump in my throat, whenever he bent over and kissed my swelling belly, whispering our child's name over and over again. What a man he was, what a man he proved to be.

"Do you want something to eat?" his voice came in slow and unassuming, sinking me further down my haze of post-coital guilt.

"Why do you always insist on feeding me?"

"Well, we are a hospitable people."

"No, really." I protested, but failed to press further when he leaned in and kissed the small of my back. He always kissed me in the strangest of places. I asked him about it once and he claimed it wasn't on purpose. Still, it makes you wonder, doesn't it? About men that kiss you on the stomach, and those that kiss you on the very end of your back.

"You know what I've always wondered? Whether you've been with other women, since..." I trailed off, not quite sure where I was going.

"I have."

"It's so strange to me, you and someone else. I just can't picture it."

"Jealousy doesn't suit you, miss."


He smiled, a strained stillness looming over his face. Usually the color of icy waters, his eyes were now almost black, with pupils dilated nearly double in size. I couldn't help but marvel at how his eyes said so much, when once they said so little. Had the years really changed him so much? Or had I simply been blind all this time? What secrets have you told with those eyes, I wonder, and what secrets have I failed to hear?

"You hate being here, don't you?"
"I do."

"Is he any good?"

"Good enough."

"Off you go, then."

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I told him he smelled like wood-fire
and he said I smelled like regret.

Sandalwood and smoke
when I bent down and kissed his head.

Dear me, how you grow with pride
with every stroke
with every stride.

I say, darling, you're so good
too good to simply eat
and you say that's not the way you play.

So what if you close your eyes
and I tuck away my pride
and the world looks the other way

would you play with me, then?

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Certain Man, X

"Cigarette?" he asked, and without really waiting for an answer, he pulled the cigarette out of his mouth and slipped it into mine.

"I've quit, you know." I mumbled, wondering if the warm moistness of the cigarette was somehow foreshadowing (it was). 

He raised an eyebrow as I inhaled, slowly leaning back to his seat, "I'm a bad influence, then."

"The worst." I smiled, blowing smoke towards him.

I hadn't really planned this; being here. It all sort of fell into place, like some grand cosmic plan. A little push (or pull) that sent me tumbling towards him. I had stopped at the bakery before going home, and lo and behold! The man himself, bent over and examining a loaf of bread. For a moment I had to halt and reconsider, but when he looked over and gave me one of his smiles, I found myself standing right before him; not quite sure what to say.

But he knew exactly what to say. Leaning in and whispering softly in my ear, "How can I be of service, miss?"

To which I said, "Take me home."

Which brings us to our current predicament. This old fucking place, it looked exactly the same. The moment I stepped through his door, I suddenly felt the weight of the years slump on my shoulders, and when I looked at him, I saw both my best and worst mistake. It was such a dense atmosphere: me; smoking, him; watching over in silence, while the leather of his chair squealed with his every movement, every touch. Never in my life have I identified so fucking strongly with a piece of furniture.

"It's missus, by the way." I smiled, charging my gaze against his. I couldn't help but fondly look back at a time when he threw me completely off-balance, especially at the beginning of our relationship. I often found him overwhelming; he was so raw, so frank in his desires, and once it was all over, he was all soft-spoken charm, and I was never quite sure which side of him I preferred.

"Oh?" he raised an eyebrow, his smirk full of intrigue, "Interesting that you find it necessary to say that."

"Well, I wouldn't want you to get any ideas."

He snorted, leaning further back into his seat until our knees were almost touching, "Oh, I would never."

I felt so exposed, so defenseless, that I just had to cross my legs, and his gaze immediately fell to my lap, my knees, my ankles, and then he shot up to my eyes and smiled. There was an uncertainty to his gaze, despite its apparent boldness; desire immersed in fear of rejectionno, fear of consent. The notion of us together again was both a dream and a nightmare. The distinction being its ascension from fantasy to reality. If we were to materialize, to exist, once again, we would bring about long-forgotten (or ignored) truths, unraveling like a ball of yarnone that neither of us truly wished to acknowledge.

"Did you ever get married, by the way?"

He nodded, "I've always been married, actually."


"Yes, ma'am." he laughed, bringing his hands to his lap and tapping his fingers against his thigh, "Well, separated now."

"Why didn't you ever tell me?"

"You never asked." he raised his brow, a smirk lurking somewhere behind his lips. You never cared, was what he truly meant to say. I almost felt the urge to explain, to air out my guilt and apologize, but I couldn't possibly do that, could I? It's completely true, I didn't care at all, and why should I? No courtesies, no obligations; I did what I was told, kept on track, stuck to the rules.

"So back then, you were.." I trialed off, knowing he'd eagerly pick up where I left off.

"Cheating on my wife."

"With me."

He smiled, the smog in eyes turning into the palest of greys, "With you."

I don't know if it was on purpose; allowing his eyes to portray such clarity of emotions, or it was beyond his control, but I found myself repeatedly swallowing my nerves, and his gaze immediately shot to my throat; eager to incriminate, "Would it have changed anything?"

I sighed, "I guess not."

 "Good to know." He sat his drink aside and leaned in, fingertips stroking the inner side of my knee with such hesitance and self-awareness, that I couldn't possibly protest his touch. His fingers were so cold that at first I didn't even feel them, until he began to travel along my thigh, rubbing them so feverishly against my skin, I was sure I'd soon run out of breath. His eyes fell so softly, so delicately on my lips and I knew, in the pit of my stomach, what he was about to do.

And I decided that I hadn't the will or strength (or desire) to stop him.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Certain Man, IX

At first I was determined not to go back, but in my more vulnerable moments, I realized I couldn't be so cruel. I couldn't possibly rob my child of its father (or him of his child), no matter how justifiable I thought it was. So I went back, tail between my legs, and a week later we got married.

Our wedding was a sad spectacle. His family all smiles behind him, and not a single person beside me. To invite anyone to my wedding was to acknowledge it as a real marriage, which it definitely wasn't. I had made it very clear that I was only marrying him because I had to, because it was what society deemed 'right', and he agreed to it all, though I knew he was ultimately hoping for reconciliation.

We spent our new-wedded bliss going about our business, completely avoiding each other. At first, he was keen on mending things between us, but after I made it clear to him that the best he could do was stay away from me; he stopped. I did feel a twinge of guilt, at times, when he looked at me and I saw such sadness in his eyes. I hated what we've come to be, but I still couldn't forgive him. With time I managed to move past it; my wounds ignored but not forgotten, and we lived in peaceful coexistence. We would have our meals together; anxiously counting down the days to my delivery. It was really astonishing how in the span of several months he went from being my lover, to my ex, to my husband, to my friend; and finally, the father of my child.

And when I finally gave birth to our son, it took all the strength in me not to fall in love with my husband all over again. Fatherhood brought out the best in him; all those things that I adored about him. But whenever my heart would weaken to him, I would remember that day; and all the weakness in my heart would soon drain out. How he could be so kind, and yet so cruel, was beyond me.

The gods, in their cruelty, decided that our son would be the spitting image of his father. It both warmed and struck fear in my heart; my husband and my son, side by side, looking at me with eyes bright as the afternoon sun. Father and son, so much like each other that it made me question my own existence. I would search my son's face for any trace of my eyes, or my father's nose, or my mother's smile; but nothing, nothing. I would condole myself that physical appearance wasn't the last of it, but even in temperament, he took after his father.

But he won't be his father, I would assure myself, god can't be so cruel.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Certain Man, VIII

"There's a pretty bird!"

I looked up to find some guy bent over, head hovering over mine. He had brought his face so close to me that I could feel his breathe against my lips. Fucking peppermint.

"Who the fuck are you supposed to be?" I spat, pushing him away and rising to my feet.

"You know what," he smiled, bringing two fingers to his chin, "I just knew you weren't half as bland as you seemed to be."

"Again, who the fuck are you supposed to be?"

"Think, pretty bird. We might have a certain someone in common."

Oh, fucking hell.

"Oho, there she goes!" he burst, whistling and clapping his hands, "Smart bird, this one!"

"You've literally got to be the most obnoxious person I've ever met."

"Well, I do apologize for not being as debonair as my uncle." he smiled, licking his lips, "But I assure you I'm just as pleasant to eat."

Ugh, fucking hell.

"I'm going to pretend I didn't see that eye-roll, pretty bird."

"What the fuck did I say about calling me pretty bird?"

"I don't know," he leaned in, pressing his knee between my thighs, "How about you tell me?"

"You are the worst at reading your audience, aren't you?"

"Fair enough," he pulled away, avoiding my gaze as he pressed out the wrinkles on his shirt, "I'll stop."

What happened next was the most surprising and awe-inspiring transformation I've ever seen. It was so sudden, so quick, like a switch that he instantly turned off. His entire demeanor; the way he walked, talked, and even the way he smiled changed. He went from being that obnoxious fucking creature to a sweet, stammering young man that blushed whenever I smiled at him.

He explained how he had a long history with self-confidence. He was a small and frail child, the youngest of four boys, and on top with that was cursed with a crippling shyness. Both his brothers and the children at school made a mockery out of him. He told me of countless times where he'd been ridiculed, bullied, and beaten. How his father's reaction would always be indifference: his view of it was that if he wasn't able to defend himself, he deserved every last bit of it. He recalled how it constantly broke his mother's heart, and how she was the only support he ever truly had.

And his uncle, of course. He was sent to his uncle's every summer, and those three months he spent with him would be his happiest of the year. It was his uncle that taught him to embrace his true self. To be strong and confident and take care of himself. His uncle was always keen on history, and so he'd always take him to all these old buildings and museums. He enjoyed it a lot, describing how patient his uncle was, following him around for hours and hours on end. He found himself particularly interested in the structure of these buildings, rather than its history. It was then that he began his interest in architecture. Architecture became his life; his distraction from a very difficult reality. If it weren't for his uncle, he said, he couldn't even imagine where he'd be today.

"So yeah," he smiled, bringing his hand to his head and tousling his hair, "That's why I was acting like an idiot. My uncle always told me that whenever I felt I didn't have it in me, I should just fake it."

"I guess your uncle's been giving you bad advice, then."

"No, he's a pretty good psychologist, he knows what he's doing." he laughed, "I guess I just over-do it sometimes."

"He's a psychologist?"

"Yeah. You didn't know? I thought you would, considering..."

"Considering." I smiled, raising my eyebrows.

He blushed and shook his head, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to"

"It's fine," I cut him off, taking a sip out of my tea before continuing, "How is he, by the way?"

"He's good," he nodded a little too enthusiastically, like he's been waiting for that question all this time, "Why did you two stop seeing each other, if you don't mind me asking?"

I shrugged.

"I think," he softly started, breaking off eye-contact and looking down at his hands, "I think he really liked you. I think he thought you were great."

"Did he or do you?" I teased, out of habit, more than anything. He looked so much like his uncle that I unconsciously reverted to my usual banter. And unlike his uncle, I got quite a reaction out of him.

"No, I mean, you're really nice and all, but my uncle, I wouldn't, I would never." he stammered, blushing profusely and shaking his head.

"It seems I'm rather popular with the men in your family. Maybe I should meet your brothers."

"Oh, no!" he shot up, alarmed, "You wouldn't like them, they're nothing like my uncle."

"And how is your uncle like?"

He stared blankly at me, and for a brief moment, I could've sworn I saw his uncle in his eyes; distant and full of terrible secrets, "Kind, I guess."