Sex with Crystina

a short story by xalgia

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I am slipping my friend... Please help me...


My dear Crystina, I still think about the day we first met; in the summer heat, under the cotton clouds, among the sounds of distant, echoless laughter, the squeals of little children playing with their puppies, and the clangour of trains, - and the sharp sound silence -; you, me, and James; we walked together; we walked for an eternity. We talked, we talked forever; we talked for an eternity.

We lay down on the moist, green grass, - eternally - in the summer heat, under cotton clouds, among the descant of birds and the crickets and the meditative cicadas.

With you by my side, I felt strange, otherworldly feelings in my heart: I transcended dimensions, I travelled at the speed of light – and faster –, I burned like a graceful flame of an ancient bonfire, I dribbled, and splashed, and gurgled – as green water -, and even the strongest rocks that tried to stand in my way were cut in half. In that moment when our eyes met – wide open -, I felt my four-chambered heart rip open and bloom like a flower in the spring: into four, fleshy, pulsating petals that swayed to the faint rhythm of my shallow breath, waiting, waiting, waiting – yearning – for you to come buzzing along and make your way into me, to burrow into the deep, dark depths of my big, blue heart once again.

Yes, I did fall in love with you the very first time we met. Yes, it really was love at first sight! You made me feel like I was a space traveller escaping the atmosphere of Earth – of Mars – of Trappist-1D! I felt like a jet pilot soaring through the infinite crimson skies. I felt the G-force tugging at my chest, throbbing in my head, lurching in my stomach: 1G. 4G. 9G. 39G – G-LOC. That is what you did to me. You made me feel complete. You made me happy.

I still feel it today, that familiar G-force; I feel it every time my thoughts wander back to you, which they always, always do, my dear Crystina, because every morning, afternoon, and night – all day - I’m thinking of you. Whenever I have a spare moment, I’m thinking of you: waiting in line at the coffee shop, while calls connect, and even while the onions sauté, my mind is somewhere far, far away. And I’m still thinking of you… because my days with you were my best days. And I miss you. And I love you still, my dear Crystina.


For several years, I found myself sleepless at 04:00 am on a Sunday Morning.

For several years, I found myself restless at 04:00 am on a Sunday Morning.

For several years, I found myself helpless at 04:00 am on a Sunday Morning; speechless on Monday, mirthless on Tuesday, hapless on Wednesday, cheerless on Thursday, lifeless on Friday, and hopeless on every day that I remained estranged from her, while the years, they staggered, hobbled, floundered, stumbled and squirmed by, just like my heart: like a wounded animal deeply yearning for home, knowing painfully well the fact, somewhere deep within the fine tendrils of its non-lyrical comprehension, that there is no longer a home left to return to.

Every day was bad but Sundays, for I had little to do, were worse; and memories of the sweet smell of her sweat beckoned my pining soul to return to her warm, motherly embrace, which siphoned from me the pain of existence and replaced it with something ethereal and sublime: a flood candy-pink-with-streaks-of-red kind of self-love, the steel-gray confidence of a loaded gun, and the joy like that of a cool breeze on a hot summer day. I had never felt this way before, and I never felt this way since.

It was thus that I found myself, at every second of everyday, or rather, at every ever-undulating unit of time, time not linear but as turbulent as the surface of a lake in the eerie, silver night, during which the human brain forms, through the interplay of the senses and memory, the phenomenon known as self-awareness, which exists in the form of a constant whisper, completely and utterly hopeless, for still, I remained estranged from her.


My dear Crystina, do you remember how we would sit in the bathtub for hours and hours, talking about everything and nothing until the water ran cold? And I would be telling you — aloud — about all sorts of things, about how, together, we would take over the world, change my life, turn it right around, about how I was going to be somebody, someday, somewhere, while you listened quietly, a shimmering, coy smile never leaving your face, your arms around me, holding me tightly, holding me tightly in your arms like your baby, holding me tightly in your love, holding me close like I was never held before – not even as a child -.

Living without you, my love, is like living in the dark, and even the sunny, summer days are no different from endless night, and I feel like a soldier back from the war, with nothing left to live for, and life is like a perpetual epilogue of a fantastic thriller novel, where, after finding himself sucked into a global conspiracy and saving the world, the protagonist finds, awaiting his arrival in his old Cimmerian home, among wearisome friends, and a monotonous, monochromatic life, a veiled widow: a black depression, and so, an [sic] unrestrainable blue numbness spreads across my heart, consuming it slowly, consuming me inevitably, endlessly, finally.

Without you, sweet love of my life, every day is spent in elegy, and time is viscous, stygian liquid that will not flow, and my world is steeped to the core in bitter, aromatic desire, and abstruse lament, and grief flows in in tumultuous, ebullient streams within my veins, and my weary heart goes on pumping, pumping, pumping it to ever corner of my body, to the very last cell – nothing left untouched - , keeping me alive, keeping me hurting... until I find you, or that final moment when I will draw my last breath, whichever shall come first. Perhaps they will come in close succession.

I need you back, my baby, I need to witness your seraphic beauty again, I need to see the world through your beautiful, crystal-clear eyes again, I need to feel your arms wrapped tightly around me again – too tight to breathe - , and I need to feel your breath on mine again, I need to hold you in my arms, I need to feel the sweet taste of you on my tongue again. I want us to be united as one, once again, for the last time, because I need you; I cannot live without you. I have tired of this desolate life. I need you, my love, I really do.


I awoke in the morning feeling touched by death; my skin was as white as sheet, and my breath, faint, uneven. Her bone-chilling call had resounded in my mind at midnight, - a siren – deadly, yet demure, alluring, irresistible; and I had lain there, paralysed with fear and desire, in my hollow grave – my bed – until the sun never rose in the morning, when, at last, I fell asleep and dreamt of her once again: a happy dream. She was calling me back to her. She was willing to give me everything. All I had to do was ask. The love of my life was calling me back home. I woke up in gooseflesh, and gelid horror.

I contemplated my ashen face in the mirror at seven a.m.: sunken eyes, bedraggled hair, a two-day beard, and an abstruse expression on my face that I could not decipher. What had gone wrong all of a sudden? After seven years had passed, having put it all behind me once and for all, why was I thinking of her again? Something was happening; something was about to happen. Slowly but surely – gently – like the slow rhythm of lovers in bed, my walls were closing in, and the air around me was growing drowsy again...

As I brushed my teeth, I was humming that song to myself again. The same few lines, stuck on repeat, winding faster and faster and faster in my head like particles through the large hadron collider. For the first time in several years, I could feel that old dread seeping in. Ever so slowly, but surely.


Please help me, my friend, I am slipping away. I can feel the magnetic pull on my fingertips, I can feel the static in my hair. I am losing myself. I am losing fast. I need your help. I need your help now more than ever. Come find me. Please come find me now.


I do not consider myself to be a poet, nor does poetry come naturally to me, and yet, should my mind wander back, as it inevitably does, to those strangely vivid, yet hazy, marzipan-glazed memories of my time with her, for their projections in the dark, mostly unlit, abysmal realms of my memory glint like a grand city of crystal marble illuminated under a narrow, direct stream of sunlight, making it seem oversaturated, unreal: almost dream-like; yet which still in many ways feel more tangible to me than my current reality, more real than the drab food I eat, the cabs I hail, the clothes I iron, the women I meet, and the various sets doorknobs I blankly open and close and twist and push… still, my life remains hopelessly captured in the sticky sweet tendrils that skein – even from years past - my astral self of the present, enveloping me again and again and again in that ever-lost essence of Crystina, her ever-loving, divine, embrace that consumes one’s soul – possesses it – in fervent passion and [sic] vanta pleasure – and brings with it an amaranthine clarity, where the world knows no space, no time, no past nor future, and no self, and the soul is hopelessly lost in the reverie of her cloying, sticky lips, the flowery smell of spring on her breath, her crystalline gaze that bares the soul of all restraint, and the ravenous debauchery that follows for days and days on end, thus, the verse begins to bleed and spill abound the dark wells of my wounded soul as blood would gush from a gaping wounds of a fell Viking, staining reams and reams in bloody verse.


My dear Crystina, do you remember our time in New York? Do you remember how we would walk endlessly – for hours – from one end of the city to the other, from block, to block, taking it all in – hyper-stimulation –; New York, the quintessential essence of capitalism – apotheosized – distilled into its final form, visible in everything and everyone that exists within those co-ordinates that mark the borders of that city: under the looming, monolithic buildings that stretch endlessly, with their windows placed in precise, uniform rhythm, and the intrusive, overbearing advertisements that try to prod and nudge and shove your mind; in this tireless city where nothing that exists got where it is without money exchanging hands, and hands exchanging money, among the hordes of people and tourists and the homeless, and the hopeful, and the hopeless, and amidst the inconsistent, yet uninterrupted stream of piercing sirens of police cars, ambulances, and fire-engines, we would walk, taking one-dollar-pizza breaks because we had nowhere to go and no money to buy anything other than each other’s company, and through the colossal bus ports we would wander, among beggars and musicians and those dreary, dilapidated shops that few ever entered, and through the New York Subway we straggled every night, with tangled hands tucked comfortably in the same pocket, in the finger-numbing cold, under meters and meters of concrete, deep underground, in the gloomy tunnels filled with machinery and clanging subway cars, and men with flashlights: one floor, two floors, three floors below the world that we did not belong to; in this underworld where the sun never shone: just the fluorescent lights and hollow echoes, from one end to the other, among strange passers-by we stood and talked and laughed and loved each other...


In my restless dreams I was always searching for her — desperately. So profoundly had her love touched me, so deeply had her loss wounded me that I dreamt of her every night for the first seven years; dreams so vivid that they were entirely undistinguishable from reality even after I woke up, and the ethos of the wounded dream bled – profusely – as rationality, memory, and the senses tore away, ruthlessly, at its essence, and severed this — almost parvenu experience — from the conscious perception of my faltering prefrontal cortex. And yet, the memories of this false perception from another, more metaphorical and metaphysical plane of reality shone to my aching heart more real than reality itself. And at that moment, the agony and grief that I felt transcended not just words and the limits of experience, but art as well. Thus, I would find myself awake at strange times of even stranger days (Four o’clock, two o’clock; one-thirty), shivering in pain and drenched in sickly, cold sweat, caught in this blackhole of an experience, from where no form of expression could escape and reach the consciousness of another human being, making me the sole miserable explorer of the depths of depression I did not want to explore; and which, should I ever emerge from alive, on account of the entirely dream-like, metaphorical nature of the suffering I was currently enduring where every moment lasted several eternities, I would forget what it truly felt like in the moment of my experiencing it.

In my restless dreams, there I was, chasing after her, through the sordid dreamscapes, chasing her in long, winding black hallways lined with locked doors, with no beginning nor end, where the turns got sharper and sharper, illuminated throughout with the interference pattern of gently sizzling, swaying incandescent bulbs around whose gravity revolved the tiny buzzing beetles and meditative moths, and a tarry, black emptiness that tugged at my clothes every time I passed through it. There I was, crashing through doorways, across soulless alleys behind the desolate, abandoned-yet-pristine corporate high-rises, through twists and turns, and labyrinthine hotels with rooms that could have held behind their un-chronological doors, answers to all my deepest questions, which were, of course, of no interest to me for I was not longing for answers, I was longing for love, her love. And she was always right there, I could feel her presence close to me. Around the next corner, in the train compartment ahead of mine, in the next hotel room, across the busy street. I’ve heard her call out to me, “James, I’m here! I’m here! James!” And I have chased after this [sic] oraculous voice with blind fervor until my feet chafed and my heart [sic] sored from beating endlessly, beating, beating, beating like a butcher beats his sick, rotten meat beside the carcass of what once was a living, hurting soul, yet one that is no longer living or hurting anymore, for the pain it was living through in its final moments is finally, finally, finally, finally, finally over. No, I never did find her. I never did find her. And my pain never ended. My pain never ends.

In my restless dreams, we would already be united. United in one of our old places that I do not visit anymore out of a black, faceless fear: warming ourselves in the fires at the beach, together in the bathtubs of nondescript hotel rooms of strange towns because we drove all night in cold weather chasing our dreams until we didn’t know where we were, in alleyways, in the middle of the cold, painted streets, under the stars that we could never see but knew were somewhere up there shining for our love, and there we would lie and dream. I felt complete. I felt infinite. Her company made me feel like I was at home… a home where I longed to be, where even the thought of leaving, on one of those sultry, golden evenings, when the sounds at the park: echoless laughter, and squeals of little children playing with their prancing puppies, are distant, and the solitude cuts deep, would be enough to make one nostalgic and sorrowful.

These happy dreams in which I found her by my side once again... they scared me more than they hurt me for I would wake up in a state of shock, unable to breathe, drenched in cold sweat, with aching bones and a yearning heart that goes on beating, beating, beating against its will: painfully aware of the fact, somewhere deep within the fine tendrils of its non-lyrical comprehension, that these dreams will never – can never – become real, knowing too well that we would never, ever, ever walk, hand in hand, down those deserted streets under the glinting stars ever again, knowing that we would never lie together again, that we would never dream together, of taking over the world, again, knowing only too well for it has intimately tasted it: the dizzying, – terrifying – thrill of her love, the feeling of soaring, soaring through the enchanted heights under her preternatural influence, soaring with Icarus wings that never melt, soaring – only to have it all be violently ripped away – yanked back into this world, reunited, this time, with its only remaining possession, for all else was taken away: this infinite hole that she left behind in her wake, leaving it, leaving me, just I, just me, me and my emptiness, me and my solitude, me in this waterfall life, me in this dewdrop world, me, being drawn away from my home, away from my love, being drawn away, going farther and farther and farther and farther, caught in this unstoppable flow of time, in this infinite stream of consciousness, under the plastic clouds and endless blue skies, through the starry, glinting, sun-warmed water that froths and bubbles, and gurgles and gulps, through the twists and the turns and the steep falls where the salmon flitter their way upwards; over the algae-wrapped rocks upon which water traces smooth, yet sharp, bubble-like streams that dissolve every sharp edge they encounter, through it all into the darkness and obscurity, through everything only to be finally embedded into the blockchain grave of time from where nothing but memories and ideas ever escape.

In my restless dreams I would be running away from her. I would be running with the fear of my life churning the brown bile within my empty stomach, beating in my heart, coursing through my veins, repeatedly being sucked in and disgorged from my lungs, and in my shaking legs, I felt it deeply, yes, that familiar raw, primal fear that knocks you breathless – paralyzed – unable to move. I would be running from her through the eerie deserted malls, through the folded seats in the empty stadiums, running in the middle of the night, running away from my home where she haunted me, away from her in the rain, slipping, falling, scrambling to get up, running again, running from her, leaving the penne to al-dente and beyond, away, away from her. Usually, I would wake knowing that I had escaped, and yet despite it being a mere dream, the infinite weight of what I had actually just escaped would not be lost on my heart: her celestial grace, her fully-soul-consuming, axiomatic love and unconditional acceptance of all my pain, of all my shame, of everything I had ever lost, the warm reverie of her body, her crystal eyes, her crystal soul: everything was lost... and I would find my body consumed from tip to toe with a very physical expression of grief that rips away at the soul like rips the tiger at its prey: in cold blood, clawing at the open gashes and hanging flesh, swinging, as the prey writhes, with pouring blood, in searing pain, reunited – finally - with that familiar turbid dizziness, murky vision and dry mouth that marks its final surrender to the laws of physics - and nature -

The realm of dreams, though, was not the only one where I was haunted by my all-engulfing grief, for, in its patent, almost sexual rhythm of ebb and flow, of whisper and strum, of throb and murmur, and drone and purr, my grief would make its presence skilfully concealed but never forgotten; gone, sometimes in a surprise, as if to attend to another victim momentarily, and back again vengefully when least expected: a stab while making coffee, a prod in midst of a date, a nudge doing the dishes, and a spade to the head at 04:00 in the morning, when the eyes have tired of blinking, and the mind has tired of thinking, and yet the war wages on within the silent, subtly pulsating mass of grey and white, among electric patterns that mark grief and sorrow, lust and virtue, desire and restraint, and everlasting despair… until the crimson sunrise, as perceived from within closed eyelids marks the entrance of yet another day doomed to be spent in sleep-deprived fugue, mindlessly walking the labyrinthine, barren lands of a world I once saw quite differently.

During those difficult years in my life I only formed a close, intimate emotional connection with a single thing: the ceiling of my apartment. The memories of my not-so-plain ceiling, for, despite being quite plain, having stared at it for hundreds of hours one begins to discern, among vast prairies of white, tiny artefacts that take on the individuality of antithetical biomes, across which, sometimes, inspection would reveal, strange, lone travellers making their pilgrimage, to this day, remain preserved stronger than conscious perceptions, as conscious perceptions only constitute a linear, mono-layered sensory experience, whereas memories combine into one coherence, quite like nacre, hundreds of individual layers overlaid into a composite image of endless depth.

Although the ceiling I know best is the one that hangs meanderingly above my bed with all the steadiness and grace of a poised guillotine, whose various faces, under which I often lay shaking and trembling, mid-way through panic attacks, hair sticking to my forehead, drenched in cold sweat, I have witnessed through the seasons; through the strobing lights and sirens of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, to the warm orange glow of spring and summer, and through all the different visages and emotions that it passed through – or rather, that passed through it – in the form of distant, mystical, almost otherworldly shimmer and dance of lights and shadows, and of dampness and mould, and other things: intimations of faded thoughts, of afterimages, or faces of people long past, or memories that may leave one reflective with sorrow –, the ceiling that I found myself attached to, more intimately, was the one that stood guard above my white marble bathtub, benevolently, as I perceived it, for that intentionally spiritual perception - with conscious awareness of its mendacity: the personification of a non-living thing, was the only delicate spider-silk tendril that that kept me tethered to this world that spun incessantly beneath my buckling knees - was the only thing that could successfully get me though the day and protect me from the already-bloodied, swinging scythes of solitude. It stood gracefully tall with all the pride of a philosopher king watching over me, yes, with pride, yet well-aware of its own structural imperfections, which, too, I came to admire over time for none other than sentimental rationale.


In the morning, at the bank, as I waited in the enormous, luxurious lobby, with my face white as sheet and death in my eyes, I knew why I was here. Yes, deep inside, subconsciously, I knew why I was here, but my conscious mind believed an entirely, rather innocent drivel about investments or such. Or perhaps my conscious mind didn’t believe the lie I was telling either yet continued to pretend, for it itself – perhaps more so than any other part of me - wanted an excuse to feed what was hungry within.

There were a few more distinct ceilings in my life in New York that I remember, but none were as grand as the one in my Banker’s waiting lobby, where I had, over years, waiting as today, spent hours studying the hanging cubes of glistening gold and silver amidst large spheres of glass with a core of amethyst or solid marble; where the white walls were spotless like the wings of a bird, and the ceiling was lined by beautiful caryatids in flowing hair and loose dresses, and on their dead faces worn a hard-to-catch sombre expression of stone etched fatefully —, but their role in load bearing was a purely vestigial one; and in the exact median of the oddly shaped lobby hung a grand chandelier with a deep glow emerging from its core under which the beads and intricately striated droplets of glass that were accrued around it blushed and twirled coyly. Despite its strange crash of modern, gothic, and ancient Greek architecture, this was a ceiling that commanded appreciation purely on account of its vanity: a valid ask. Perhaps. And yet, perhaps not, because, despite it’s grandeur, this ceiling could not compare, on grounds of mere utility, with the modest ceiling of my apartment where spiders and moths reside.

Soft voices echoed back and to the large glass panes as the five-figure, five, five, five, five, and four fingered receptionists instructed the wanderers to take a seat in hushed voices, and in every interval of time strange, aged entities, and some with wrinkled faces, some without, appeared from and disappeared into the lift shaft with unanimously purposeful [sic] expressi.

I sat in the ambling lobby, deathly still, deathly pale, — deathly — as the echoes penetrated within my mind and I dissipated them in my middle-ears like a little human sound absorber. I sat there absorbing the sounds and the voices and the clop-clop of shoes, listening to the fidgety bankers with lines on their forehead talking to clients who thought they knew better than these bankers with these lines on their forehead, which further deepened the lines on their collective foreheads, waiting my invitation to fly up the lift shaft and become one with the wrinkled faces with their unanimously purposeful [sic] expressi. And the—

“Mr. James?” There she stood, the receptionist, bent at the hips with a straight back, to regard me on my seat. It was my turn. Seven years ago, I sat in this same ostentatious lobby under the [sic] messalinus influence of my lover, the queen of New York, and everything looked the same. Time had brought no change to this world of finance.


I only received a proper introduction to Crystina for the first time inside a Men’s public bathroom at the park, on the day when I had gone to meet my best friend from school, James, after a decade of estrangement. Reminiscing about the seemingly endless summer days we had spent together was enough to bring a glowing smile to my face even during the worst of times – worst so far, of course –. I felt that if only I could keep myself forever trapped in this nostalgia, my black sadness could be held at bay – forever. Of course, though, that would not be.

I could summon the faded polaroid-reel of our childhood escapades at will, in breath-taking clarity. I could always recall, at any moment, in any situation, at any time - in the past or the future -, his coy, mischievous smile, a smile that made you smile back in return no matter how angry you were with him, for you would, to your own surprise, find the power of your emotions to control your facial expressions quite suddenly usurped by his sanguine, dimpled smile of glowing innocence that gave away the goodness of the heart that beat for you within his chest. I would catch myself smiling to myself every time I thought back to his wavy blond hair, his blue eyes, his perfect skin, and his boyish charisma that never failed to talk my mom out of beating me over all of our mischief.

There he stood, my best friend, studying his sunken eyes in the mirror – looking like death -. He smiled at me, the same coy, mischievous smile that I knew too well. I smiled back, usurped. He no longer retained his perfect health, his beautiful skin, his handsome, attractive face, or his wavy streaks of hair, - and yet his big, curious blue eyes, his boyish charm, and his infinite smile were, indeed, the same as I always remembered: a snapshot straight from the faded polaroid-reels of my memory. I could not quite place the strange feeling that I felt within my gut when our eyes locked in that brief moment. I know now what I felt: for a second, it strangely felt as if I was staring into my own two eyes.

I loved him, and here we were, as Ishiguro would so beautifully have said: two people in the water, trying to hold on to each other, holding as hard as we could, but in the end, it was just too much. The current was too strong. We had to let go and drift apart. That is how it was with us.

And then I saw her. She was sitting at on the sink, shrouded in silence, staring back at us. I didn’t know how I hadn’t noticed her before, but there she was. Perhaps I was lost somewhere, lost somewhere in time, lost somewhere, lost in a beautiful smile, lost in a different reality, among fields of autumn grass, running with bottles of whiskey in my hand; James running beside me, lost among one of those summer days, barking at the neighbor’s dogs, skipping school to watch movies, lost in a place where we were happy in the company of close friends; and even back then, we were deeply sorrowful, yes, but we lacked the knowledge understand or interpret our pain at all, instead, everything just felt new and beautiful and awe-some.

That day we walked, the three of us, for an eternity, wrapped in vapors of reminiscence. I liked her. I liked how she made me feel. I liked how she saw right through my heart; past everything I had placed in the way to defend myself, like unstoppable nuclear radiation, through the titanium walls of my ego, and the iron cages, and the inches and inches of steel; past it all, she saw me for who I really am: that scared, lonely, hurting, teary-eyed child, waiting – longing – for love that he never got; and perhaps never will. And it felt as if she entered these secret chambers and labyrinthine mazes within me, she went deeper and deeper into the darkness without as much as a torch to guide her , and there she found me, scared, shivering, and cold, and she hugged me tight, and she loved me. She loved me for who I am, and who I was, and for who I will be, and every moment felt like an eternity and I never wanted it to end. She loved me unconditionally, entirely, breathtakingly; loved me utterly [sic] life-changingly. I found us lost in an eternity, together, forever.

I was in love. I needed her. I needed her in my life – desperately. I needed her love to heal me. I needed her to make my life worth living again, for such was her love – godly; angelic. It was almost like she was sent by the god that I did not believe in to come and end my suffering.


I entered the banker’s cabin – glass and metal – on the sixteenth floor. It reeked of smoke. There he was, smoking his $32 Nat Sherman, jabbering on his $1200 phone, wearing his $7,750 suit, revolving like space trash on this $690 office chair, calling someone an asinine asshole asshat who needed an ass kicking as soon as possible. Our eyes met for a brief moment as he nodded me to sit. What I saw in his eyes ran my blood cold in my dead, black veins. I saw it in his puffy blue eyes; I saw her in his weary blue eyes: there she was: the Queen of New York, in the banker’s dying eyes. My body was paralysed, my heart, thumping, my breath, shallow; uneven, my legs, weak, and my mind was swimming.

I opened my mouth to say something; no words came out for the ability to speak was taken from me the moment I noticed her sitting coyly on his large desk. There she was, the apple of my eye, light of my life, fire of my loins; there she was, in the flesh, on the table, fully aware of me, and I of her: she knew why I was here, and she, with her puppy-dog whining, pleading, begging eyes and cute baby talk was willing to give it to me. She was willing to give me everything. I felt the familiar sensation of butterflies in my stomach.

I knew better than to pretend anymore. I had known it all along: I knew why I was here. I knew why I was facing an ashen face with an abstruse expression, and those familiar, dead, sunken eyes every morning. I knew this moment would arrive ever since I had begun to hear her lovely, breathtaking sirens in the night, in the wee hours of every morning, in the daytime when I am doing something completely unrelated: always the same pattern, a pang of pain, followed by her siren, a pang of pain, followed by her reassuring, beckoning call back to her cloying, warm embrace and her saccharine-sweet lips, and her coy smile. Ever since the downhill spiral began again. I knew this moment would come. Ever since Elisabeth cheated and left me for another man. Ever since my business failed. Ever since I couldn’t pay my mortgage. Ever since my sinus cancer was detected. But most of all, I knew this was about to happen with morbid certainty ever since I had that stupid fight with my [sic] bestest best friend.

She was sitting there patiently: a proud angel, as if waiting for me to make my mind. I could hear his distorted, slow-motion, witch-house singing; singing from beyond death, singing from his crypt, from his desolate grave six feet underground from where his voice reached me through the winds of the central air conditioning unit: he was singing, singing in a far-away, deep voice, at the back of my mind, somewhere in my mind's eye, in lush pastures and crystal, emerald lakes: Frank Sinatra.

And now,” came his mechanical voice in bizarre slow motion: voice dead, heavily distorted, dissolved in a deathly synthesizer tremolo soaring over an ever-evolving shepard-risset glissando and a morose, moribund 808 beat, “The end is near,”

“And so I face the final curtain,
My friend, I'll say it clear; I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain... .. . .”

I wanted to go back to her warm embrace, I wanted to lose myself in her crystal eyes, into her warm bosom where the evils of the world would never touch me. I was drawn to it, but I knew I couldn't do that to myself anymore. I couldn't do that to those that loved and cared for me. But did anyone love me or care for me anymore?

The immediate flood of desire that engulfed my body took me by surprise. To say it was powerful would be an understatement. It was much more than overpowering. I felt like one of those people in grainy 480p footage taken from security cams, standing blithely unaware at the shore, when all of a sudden a massive tsunami wave – thirty feet high – sweeps them away. They stood no chance. It was such desire that I felt sweep me away, and permeate within every last cell of my body. I felt every single neuron in my body begin to writhe in anticipation; my synapses were pulsating. My heart was beating faster and faster, I could hardly breathe, my stomach was in an endless lurch – floating in space: like space trash – and wanton desire bled from my eyes wide open.

I never stood a chance. The wave hit me like a freight train. I felt my body go underwater.

I am slipping away my dear friend. I hear her call in the frozen winds, she is calling me back to her. Back to her city of decay where I once went. Help me, my friend. I can feel her magnetic pull on my fingertips, I can feel the static in my hair. The air around me is drawing me to her. I am losing myself. I am losing fast. I need your help. I need your help now more than ever. Come find me. Please come find me now.


And the banker continued to smoke his $32 Nat Sherman, and jabber on his $1200 phone, wearing his $7,750 suit, revolving like space trash on this $690 office chair, calling someone a dangerous, demented dipshit who deserved to die alone in a cage, while my Crystina, she patiently waited for me, with her head cocked to one side and concern in her blue-pink eyes, to make up my mind. Through her crystal eyes, wordlessly, she said to me through a coy smile: “All you have to do is ask”.

All I had to do was ask. All I had to do was ask. All I had to do was ask. All I had to do was ask. All I had to FUCKING DO was ask. ALL I FUCKING HAD TO DO WAS ASK. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. ASK. ASK. ASK. ASK. ASK. ASK. GODDAMNIT! It’s not that FUCKING hard. JUST FUCKING ASK MAN. HEY! HEY! LISTEN TO ME! JUST. FUCKING. ASK. MAN. IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING DIFFICULT TO YOU COWARDLY MOTHERFUCKER. JUST. FUCKING. ASK. MAN. Just ask. Just ask. Just ask, man. Just ask. J u s t a s k . . .

I was not the driver anymore. Desire had the wheel. I no longer retained humanity. I was a vicious animal in a man’s body. I stood in the blue underwater, among flitting fish, under shimmering, gyrating crepuscular rays of light from a world far, far away, frozen in horror, leering at her, leering at her with lust in my eyes, a deep yearning in my heart, and a war in my mind.

The banker’s voice stopped suddenly. Through the murky blue depths I saw him looking at me strangely. His lips moved seconds before his voice reached me in my underwater reverie.

“What’s the matter, Jamie?” said his distorted voice, “You wanna...” he took a deep whiff of Crystina’s hair, thus completing his sentence.

Deafening silence. Bird chicks fallen from their nests, run over by cars, in silence. Jellyfish washed ashore the glistening seas, in silence. Bleeding prey, hunt complete, in silence. Dinosaurs in a meteor shower, in silence. Astronauts falling off the moon, in silence. Black widow in her web of deception, in silence. Angler fish in the depths of her empire, in silence. Everything that ever was and ever will be, in silence.

“Yes,” I managed to croak through the viscid silence. My voice was not my own. Water entered my cancer-infested sinuses as I opened my mouth.

You just took away my promises. Will you take away my pain?

I felt like my skin was merely a fragile, distended container under which churned a frothing, intoxicating cocktail of desire and pain – and guts. I was a human pina-colada with a slice of pineapple jammed inside my skull. I was prey caught in Crystina’s web, and she had injected me with her digestive juices that had turned my insides into a macabre goop. You could have made a small slice in my skin and I would burst like a fucking balloon. It would all come pouring out: the gore of my blood brains, molten bones, muscle fibers, and all kinds of filthy, disgusting, smelly goop that will give you nightmares for the rest of your miserable fucking life. And a war raged within my mind. Every part of me was trying to tame the beast of desire and pain; wreaking havoc within me.

“Well, let’s do this right there, then!” exclaimed the banker, “I told you, right Jamie? I told you we would celebrate if this investment worked out! Here you go, draw a line. You don’t look alright Jame-ity-James, are you ok?”

I am not, okay, I said to him inside my mind. My body refused to move a muscle. Isn’t it funny how, I said to him, it always starts with one mistake, followed by a chain of consequences? It's like you're pulling a cloth out of a magician’s hat but you accidentally pulled the wrong one... and it never ends. I made my one mistake when I met her that day at the park, when I let her see through my eyes, when I let her become an inseparable part of my weary soul. My future was determined in that very moment. Radioactive decay for Schrodinger's cat. Or perhaps my only mistake was daring to breathing after I was born. Everybody would have liked if I hadn’t taken that fatal breath – fatal in the long term, yet fatal, nevertheless. It would have been a win-win-win situation. Win for me, and a win for my mom, and a win for my dad . Nobody wanted me anyway. I was an intruder. A third wheel, if you will. Now, a single decision that I made years ago commands my life; it shifts and distorts the entire space-time of my life into a single direction: towards that blackhole devil-maker barefoot in flowery dresses and clicking crystal earrings, prancing with playful, elvish lust, sweaty, out-of-breath, erect nipples and sticky hair, perpetually whispering in my ears – perfervid – licentious poetry of forbidden desire and sempiternal pleasure.

I stood there – suddenly calm, now – as my life flashed before me. There was no going back. I thought of all the promises I had made. I thought of all the people I had hurt, but more than that I thought about how much I had hurt myself spending this entire pathetic life looking for the wrong things in the wrong places. I was looking for comfort at home, for trust in friends, for mentorship in teachers, and for love and acceptance in this world. I should have known better. I should have known better.

Thus, the final curtain of my entire life rose. Welcome to the end of my life.


Oh my dear Crystina, take me where I belong, take me back to the city of decay where we once went…


The morning after I met James at the park, I woke up tired, and all I ever saw was her. I saw her in my own two eyes, I saw her in the darkness of my closet, I saw her in the deserted morning storefronts, I saw her in the abandoned buildings and the reflective windows of high-rises, I saw her in the glistening ponds where the fish floated lazily, fighting in short bursts, occasionally, over breadcrumbs. I saw her in the clouds, I saw her in the sky, I saw her everywhere I looked, I saw her behind my closed eyes, I saw her, as she was, in my mind’s eye; I saw us, our fates – tangled hopelessly – bound in blood, and love; bound together, bound forever.

Alas, the reality would not be so... but the love was real.

That day, I found her, and I took her home and it was the most beautiful day of my life. I made her a part of me, and she, the ruthless harvester of souls, the doom in disguise, the blessing and the curse, my Greek tragedy, an embodiment of every dark desire known to man, she possessed me, possessed me into infinity and beyond, and I went on to live the best night of my life so far, and the simultaneously, the worst night of my life thereafter.

And I still remember how I looked in the mirror the morning after, and I saw James’ familiar, sunken eyes staring back at me. I smiled, usurped.


In my restless dreams, we were ambling together — once again — tangled hands, tangled hair, tangled earphones, — tangled fate —. We were ambling together down the crimson sunset, to the city of decay, where the fading light was glistening on petrichor effervescing concrete — ready for a face –, a prickly chill hung in the air, and death walked with us; he walked for me I knew, and yet it was all worth it for Crystina; and around us, for me, warning sirens of every kind raged in the icy mist: bells, and sirens, and voices, addled together like aged whiskey, while Crystina, she strut gracefully beside me, her cold arms in mine, my cheek cold with her kiss, my lips blue – in thrall – walking wilfully, in my slow descent. Yes, I walked proudly. Proudly?

In my restless dreams, where only memories were replayed, we were together in the city of decay and we watched civilisation collapse through our penny pupils; collapse through our penny pupils, where those that lived died, and those that died lived; where teeth fell out of our faces, and all mirrors were broken; where all mirrors were broken lest the death in our eyes shakes us out of our heavenly reverie, out of that divine, ambrosial lust.

In my restless dreams, naked in arms with my Aphrodite, my mother, my lolita, my angelic nubile sex slave, my sleeping beauty, my ravenous giantess, my succubus, my demon girlfriend, I felt her sweet whisper burn my skin, prick my veins, I felt her fiery passion, her rapacious ambrosial sap course through me, throbbing in my groin; throbbing in the skittish neurons within my hollowed skeletal face, her blue-black kiss throbbing in the deeps of my mind where no thoughts reside, in that primal part – a fatal switch – intact and untouched for 300 billion years where she finally touched me, where nothing mattered but her undivided attention, her deadly love, her blood curdling, blood sucking passion, her rage, her affection, her wrath, her pleasure, her fury –. I belonged to her, I did. I still do and always will until the day my heart stops beating for her… until my heart stops beating at all, finally. Finally. Finally.

In the city of decay, lust on my lips, thirst in my fingertips, a hole inside of me waiting to be filled by her, lechery in my eyes, lascivious gaze, licentiousness in movement, and death in every breath, where teeth crashed like morals, and time fluttered like butterflies in the spring – fast with her, slow otherwise, under the dying sunrise, surrounded by cratered faces of all those in her thrall just like me, hit by meteorites of her lust, with distant visions of Crystina in all their eyes, and there she was, infinitely powerful, the empress of her city of decay — supreme master of puppets – where she belonged to everyone who she preyed upon, yes, yes she belonged to you! The cute lovely darling baby bad girl who needs daddy to keep her in line belonged to you, and everybody who resided in the city of dust belonged to her, succumbing to her dark whimsical desires, doing anything they would need to in order to keep her love. Robbery, rape, murder, theft, everything was justified… after all, they do say all is fair in love and war, and this is love, and this is war: a war for love that in the very end… everybody loses. A war that everybody loses. Everyone but her.

In her city of decay, once god-forbid you find yourself there, there is no way out, morality is a figment for fools – mere sophism! and vice is the way of the brave new world… and yet, here, vice is not vice at all but celestial commandment, here, the stars revolve at your command, and the sun shines to scantify your evil desires, which you can, for the first time unleash upon the world without remorse, upon this world that did the same to you when you were little and innocent, yearning – even then — for the love you never got, and unawares to you at the time: that you never will. People don’t ever come here against their will. The ones who come here do so because they were always meant to. Welcome to where you belong. Welcome to Crystina’s sensual, salacious, venereal, lecherous world, and feel the [sic] dominatrixian caresses her fingertips on your thirsty lips, feel her long nails: painted dark brown, deep blue, deadly death, gruesome gore.

In my restless dreams, every single night, she beckons me back to her sultry city, she calls me where I left everything behind, where my passion, where the essence of my soul remains forever trapped leaving only this empty husk to live bleakly this present life as an impostor – an afterthought of what I once was, and yet I know that if I did dare to go there again, I would not be coming back… still, still something within me yearns… it yearns to feel that love once again. It has been seven years. Every single night, I still dream, I still yearn, I still wake up shaking, drenched in cold sweat, dreaming of going back to the city of decay, of her love… of the love I deserved but I never got from this evil world.


“I’m going to pop into the john real quick,” I barely managed to whisper. The words crawled out of me slowly, with fear and difficulty: like a string of hominins frightfully emerging from a cave after escaping the pursuit of a vicious predator.

“What’s that?” said the banker’s moving lips. He did not take his eyes off of his phone.

“The John,” I uttered without caring whether he heard my crawling, fearful, ancient hominid words anymore, and I drifted out towards the restroom, feeling the familiar sensation of being punched in the gut. Crystina watched me nonchalantly. She was not concerned. I walked as if in a slow motion daze. The world was different this time. The faces were looking at me differently. Their eyes flit around in their round sockets differently. The lines on their forehead were etched like inscriptions on stone. They walked past me, and I walked past them. Our worlds were heading in different directions. Literally.

I splashed cold water on my face. My hands were shaking like the hands of a violinist executing a delicate tremolo. I could feel that familiar sensation of wanting to yawn. Instead of a yawn, though, a chasm tears of silent agony opened up from within deep, deep me like water spewing out from within a hot spring. I tried to suppress them. I tried to clamp my mouth shut to stop myself from crying. It didn’t work. The pain was too deep and too strong. My tears were flowing out from deep within like blood oozes from a cut. The uncontrollable sobs came in a series of delicate tugs, the kind you would feel when your little child tugs at your coat. My face was curled into a grimace. These were the tears of a decade of pain and suffering endured in silence, and for what? Just so I could find myself back where I started in this black world: utterly alone and bereft of love; It felt like being teleported back again to that moment, like reliving that first moment again and again: of emerging from the cold womb of a tormentor with bitter breast milk. What sins had I committed to be punished in this manner? Over and over and over again. Why did the world cast me out – like a filthy, disgusting, diseased, [sic] abcessious, contagious, pus-boil-infested creature that must be burned with fire, Why was I thrown away - alone - to endure everyone’s anger and rejection and hatred and seclusion, was it because I was a sickly ugly-looking child? A troubled teenager? Was that my biggest crime? What is it about me that makes them think that I'm so flawed? Is it because I don’t look like them? Because I don’t think like them? Because I don't walk, talk, and act like them? Is it because I say different things differently? Is it because I hold different opinions that they despise? Surely these things are valid justification to hate me. And then they all act surprised, with their collective mandibles hanging open like dumbfounded trout when I crawl back to that one place - the only place – where I ever found acceptance, and comfort, and unconditional love that I deserved: in her soothing embrace where the world knows no pain, into Crystina’s motherly bosom, the first that I ever rested in, held tightly, close to the warmth of her body such that I never felt.

Well, I don't want to live in this nauseating, bile-churning, dry heaving, stomach-sickening, sadistic, satanic world anymore. And then they try to lay their misplaced blame on Crystina while doing everything in their power to drive me back to her, when all she ever did is give me her unconditional love that I deserved, albeit one that sucked my life dry (which is a fate I would willingly accept if I could), for such is the inherent nature of her kind, for her intentions are good but her love cannot last in this material world where everything is falling apart and resources are limited and all doors remain closed without money; and what worth is that candle life which I am burning at both ends of anyway if I am always miserable? Can I not just end it in peace and be happy for one last time? And why do they pretend to care when they don't. They just pretend to care because they can’t say it out aloud: that they don’t really care. You see, because simply saying it aloud would cost them their public positions, and thus their infinite power, but even those who hold no public office must maintain their pretences to remain a part of perverse, vice-infested high society where they suck each other off based on who told a bigger lie; simply being honest in that world: that means you are a bad person; but hurting everyone all the time while saying the right things? Oh, you’re still a god’s angel, then. It’s a disgusting Orwellian game. It’s a game of pretence and deception and appearances. It’s about the corruption of the very meaning of the words that they utter – and thus lay to waste, leaving behind an empty shell which means one thing in the dictionary, and another through their vile actions. It's a sick fucking joke that those who have everything that they want play with others who have everything that they want, while they trample on the cries of those that don’t with their angelic smiles and faux-concern. This is what it means to be a good person in our brave new world. Welcome, welcome! Welcome to our brave new world! Put on your good-citizen masks, wear your “well-educated” badges and cloaks woven with fibres of ignorance and delusion, let us now begin the slaughter! Honesty is reserved for the bad people. oh no, we’re not like them, you see. We are better than them. We are god’s holy children, and they are simply narcissistic satanists who only care about themselves. We know what is good for them more than they do! We are only doing the educated thing to do! Let us rape these poor people and hate them and cast away their lifeless bodies because we care for them and want to help them. It’s not our fault that they won’t accept our help, now, is it?


Red rimmed eyes greeted me in the mirror. I saw it in those eyes. They knew it was all over. The beholder of those eyes was going to go back to her warm embrace one last time... and stay there eternally. They were going back home for the first time in years. Back where they always longed to be. Back where the tears they wept were wiped away with soft talk and warm, fuzzy love. There was no escaping. This was the perfect storm.

It’s you. All the roads lead back to you.
Like the 405 I drive through.
Every night and every day…



I wanted to go back desperately, truly-madly-deeply, eternally. I was going to go back. I wanted to throw myself into her arms right now with moist tears running down my cheeks. I was going to go back. I wanted to bury myself into her soft bosom and never wake up again. I was going to go back. I wanted to let her hold me forever and take care of me like she used to and never leave her. I was going to go back. I wanted to feel happy again and not angry or tired or stressed or hurt or rejected or hated or filthy or pathetic or hopeless. I was going to go back. I wanted to escape from this sickening reality where they prod me again and again and again for just being. I was going to go back. I wanted to fall asleep in her lap forever and find that place again, that place under warm sweaty sunshine, drowned in chilly air, when we were skipping school, running through the hay - James and I - running fast, side by side, chased by my eternally drunk father for having stolen a bottle of whiskey from him, and sitting by the edge of the pool, tossing rocks, passed out drunk in each other’s arms at 10:00 am in the morning. Alas, James, too, was gone forever now, years ago, soon after we had met that day at the park, he fell asleep forever in the comfort of her arms: consumed by the very person I was so in love with. But that was they deal he had made, as did I. It was a great deal compared to what we would be forced to endure otherwise. I was going to go back. I was going back. Back there to finish what I had started. Back to hold up my end of the deal; my blood pact.

For the second time, my clumsy life flashed in front of my eyes. Memories flitted in and out like leisurely schools of fish. Faces of people just as I would see in afterimages on the white ceilings of my apartment. Voices. Voices of strangers; voices of friends. The sweet distant voice of my bestest friend, “You’re so fucking weird, retard,” she was saying pleasantly, “Why are you so damn shy I’m not going to bite you or anything! Come on here and let’s just sit and watch this stupid movie, I only have it for two more days, alright?” It always felt lovely to be called a retard by her, and even in the depths of despair I smiled thinking about how her sentences always ended with an “Alright?”

I thought of all the people who would find my spent, lifeless body lying by her side – eternally – and some of their signs, and others’ scoffs. I thought of the tired researcher who was going to turn my cold, hard corpse into another statistic. I thought of the writer in the local newspaper reporting yet another death having taken place in the loving arms of the angel of death. I thought of my best friend’s silent tears and infinite regret for losing me after some stupid fight over some stupid misunderstanding. No. I could not do this.

And that familiar, misplaced sense of hope born out of delusion which only returns when you are close to your final moments on this earth began to pour in and fill the dark well that I stood inside with a think, oily liquid. The thick, oily, aromatic liquid (with notes of clove, coffee, and coriander) began to swirl and splash and froth around my kneeling figure.

I used to be alone. But I was not alone anymore. Then why did I still feel so alone? And I could not escape her super-temporal gravity anymore, even if I wanted to. The pull was too strong. I was going back. I had no choice. This time, it was really too late. Hope changed nothing. Unless... Unless there was another way.


Oh my dear Crystina, you are all I ever wanted. You gave me all I ever needed. Oh my dear, crystal-clear Crystina, with a crystal-clear heart and a crystal-clear soul. you loved me, you loved me for who I was. In this life where everyone despised me since the day I was born, you loved me for who I really was and who I would live to become.

Oh my dear Crystina, there is nobody for me in this cold, dark world, in this endless winter, in this crumbling underground, in this desolate crypt, nobody but you. You were the only one who understood me, you were the only one who saw the pain inside my wounded heart, and you loved me like I wanted, like I deserved. You loved me unconditionally, entirely, breath-takingly; you loved me utterly lifechangingly. You gave me a reason to face a tomorrow, and the strength to live through today.

Oh my dear Crystina, how deeply I miss you, my rhythm, my rhyme, light of my life, fire of my loins, my everything, my lo-li-ta, my lovely beloved demon, tyrant, mistress, monster, darling, God, BITCH, - my lover -.

I tried living without you...

Oh my dear Crystina, how I miss you, how my heart is yearning for you in every moment of time that passes me by like a slow string of ants entering a corpse, how every last cell in my body is trembling in anticipation of the bliss of being held tightly, close to your heart, by you, to hold you in my arms – possessed in my pleasure, and I in yours, dying in love, and loving in death, unrestrained, unshackled by the chains of the laws of physics and mortality and space and time that bind us all.

Oh my dear Crystina, how can I express the feeling within my heart – a small candle in an endless black – the candle of my desire scanning the vast deserts of space and time in this blank life, waiting, waiting, waiting, for the glimpse of your light again...

My dear Crystina, please, never let me go, never leave me, do what you want to do with me, make me your slave, possess me, rape me, ravish my body, gouge my insides out, rip my heart out, burn it, eat it, tangle yourself in my intestines, bask in my gore, drink my blood from a golden chalice, pillage me, prick my body with millions of needles, destroy every vein, caress my body with your blades, cut me up with your butcher’s knives, tie me up, gag me, drug me, drink me, inject me with your shit, kill me again and again and again, do anything you want with me, but please, please, please, never leave me for I love you. Just never leave me alone ever again in this desolate, black world.

My darling, my love, my best friend, I still see you in my dreams, and in my eyes in the reflections I see your dying light. You were killing me slowly, you were making my skin crawl, you were making me crazy, but you were the best thing that happened to me; you gave me a better fate than the one which was assigned to me by this black world.

It takes everything from me, every last ounce of strength that I do not have to give you up, my love, my everything, my best friend, and I will only ever see you in my restless dreams anymore. Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being there for me when I needed someone. Thank you for taking care of me. I will love you forever. Goodbye my dear Crystina. Goodbye my everything. I have found another reason to live – something that is real this time. I know you are happy for me. I know you are smiling. You kept me living long enough for this day to come, you gave me a reason to look forward to tomorrow, and the strength to live through today. It’s all thanks to you or I would be long gone. Thank you. Goodbye my Crystina. Goodbye now. Goodbye forever. You made me happy. I love you. I love you...



With tears of a renewed pain flowing out from my weary eyes, I began to type – frantically – an email to my bestest friend. My last email. My final cry for help. i typed fast, wiping my tears that continued to ooze, like did blood from a wound, with the drenched sleeves of my linen shirt. Tears too are a form of blood from a wound, after all. Emotional wounds bleed clear blood, after all. I typed for the last time. I typed as fast as I could.

“I am slipping again my dear friend. I hear her call in the frozen winds, she is calling me back to her. Back into her city of decay. Help me, my friend. Come find me. Come find me in this god forsaken city. Find me at the end of our street, find me soon, find me safe. Keep me safe. Please, I am slipping away, I can feel the pull on my fingertips, I can feel the static in my hair. I am losing myself. I am losing fast. I need your help. I need your help now more than ever.”

These were the tears of self torment. Of dangling the fruit in front of me and taking it away. This was my endless Greek tragedy. These were my tears of self-denial. She was the only thing I ever wanted, the only thing I ever needed, and I was going to reject her because of some STUPID MISPLACED FUCKING SENSE OF GOD FUCKING HOPE.

I put my phone away, and without a single thought in my head, immediately, I, without considering how it would look or what someone was about to think, I, without worrying about the clothes I was wearing or the shoes around my feet, I, I began to run as fast as I could, I ran out, I ran fast.


There was only one way to escape: to not have a moment to think, to not let myself hold the decadent, crumbling thought in my hands, to not feel it’s cloudy texture and sexual allure, to not imagine myself back in her arms, comfortable, without pain, to not let myself think at all —, to run fast – too fast to stop, too fast to think, too fast get my coat back and perhaps apologize to the banker, too fast to breathe, too fast to slow down, too fast to feel my pain, to fast to cry, too fast to live, too fast to die...

ETA = t - x

I burst out of the washroom taking long, decisive strides. I had to cross the banker’s office at top speed. If I slowed down even for a fraction of a second, I knew the game was up. I had to rush past it too fast to slow down or stop or to realist what I had just done. That was my only way out of this building alive.

I pushed through the clots of people trying not to shove anyone too hard to hurt anyone. “EXCUSE ME, SORRY, EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY, EXCUSE ME, EMERGENCY,” I announced as I pushed through them all, and crossed the room of death at my top speed. Wrinkled foreheads frowned and registered offence but I continued to rush. Too fast to stop. Too fast to think. Too fast to understand the gravity of what I had passed. Too fast to understand, in that micro-second moment, that everything I ever wanted and needed was right inside that room. Too fast to emotionally comprehend that I had just passed by everything I lived for, light of my life, fire of my loins, my lovely, dear Crystina...

Through the fire stairs I thrashed [sic] onomatopoeiac rhythm. Through the stairs I [sic] tappered in the precise rhythm of windows on skyscrapers. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-CRASH, tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-CRASH, tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-CRASH, rang the echoes across the floors as I rushed outside. Out of this god forsaken building; into the god forsaken world.

ETA = t - x + y

I ran. I ran like death was behind me – which it was. I ran onto the footpath, into the shimmering gelatinous clots of passers-by. I did not stop. I could not stop. I ran in blind fervour until my legs caught fire, until my feet chafed within my boots and my heart sored from beating endlessly, beating, beating, beating like a butcher beats his sick, rotten meat beside the carcass of what once was a living, hurting soul, yet one that is no longer living or hurting anymore, for the pain it was living through in its final moments is finally, finally, finally, finally, finally over. No, this time, I did find her. I did find her. And my pain never ended. My pain never ends.

I could feel her calling me back to her. Her deadly siren – her frightful call - it was ringing in my mind again, calling me back. I did not stop running. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. I said to myself over and over again. She can hear your thoughts. Just. Don’t think. Every time I heard her siren I ran faster. Every time I heard her soft whisper again I ran faster, through a burst of pain. I knew if I stopped even for a single moment I would go right back there; to her - for the last time.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe the fuck in. Breathe the fuck out. I repeated to myself like a mantra. My insides had begun to hurt. Pangs were attacking the sides of my body and in the deeps of my intestines. My lungs felt sore. I could no longer feel my feet. What I could feel was a red, velvety rage emerging from within me as tears continued to stream down my eyes. My head was swimming in a daze. This was my self-torment. I had given up everything I ever wanted. I had given up everything I ever needed. I felt my aeolian rage gush from within; towards this world that had given me this miserable life, and taken it away. They had given me my wings and put me in a cage. They had given me beauty, and put me among exploitative, perverted fiends. They had given me a desire to be loved in a world where without the very concept of love. This was my Greek tragedy. This was my endless suffering.

Black amoebae – black splotches – danced in my eyes. My vision was a tunnelled. I tripped over my stumbling feet. I fell. I fell hard. I hit the ground face first and skidded ahead. I fractured my nose. My head hit the ground hard. The skin on my knees, palms, and elbows was razed. My mind was dazed. The pedestrians lifted me up. i heard voices and police sirens nearby. They were trying to talk to me. They were asking me something. I didn’t care. As soon as the world around me stopped spinning, I took off again.

In anger I ran. In desperation I ran. Breathlessly I ran. My body drenched in pain, sweat, and desire-denied, and love-breft. Through the fine, sleety rain. Through the blood clots of people, through the fast cars, through the stop signs, through the endless sirens of New York, through it all I ran, I ran to escape my death. I ran with blood streaming down my hair, and blood streaming down my nose, with feet that I could not feel anymore. I ran with aching bones and an aching heart.

In my daze, spotty with dancing amoebae of darkness that flit and swirled, and tangoed and shimmied across my retina: wide eyes, wider pupils. In my fast run, clumsy footed, frantic, delirious, distraught, angry at the world, angrier at myself: fading, oily hope. In my fast-paced, slow-motion descent, not just into madness, but also the cold, condescending concrete sidewalk where I tripped and fell face-first: grace; in my grand tumble, humpty-dumpty, damaged egg, deranged mind: Nosedive. In my unbearable, excruciating-pain-sauce mixed with perfectly cooked, al-dente penne, topped with warm numbness, jangled nerves, opiate squirting synapses: certain death. In my chilled body, burning face, broken nose: red blood and razed skin; Elisabeth’s lipstick. In my avant-garde high society fashion drenched linen shirt: sweat and blood, slavery of the submissive; death-born. In my fading consciousness, in my second, spectacular crash: thumping, wind-knocking blow; buckling will. In my final crucifixion, In my fading strength, in my beating heart, in my bellowing lungs, in everything that I ever wanted and everything that was taken from me permeated the essence of my estrangement from Crystina; her crystal heart, her clear eyes, her warm hugs, and their transparent evil and reverberating, mocking laughter: dying light; eternal dreams –.

In the world around me, in the cells that accrued to form my clumsy body, in everything, in the laws of physics and chemistry and biology and relativity, in every god-damned last bloody mind-fucking thing, I saw her ruthlessly punish me for having the strength to leave her, but more than that, once again, I saw the world punish me for committing the crime of being born into it and daring to take my first breath, here in this universe of decay, where everything is finite, and morals crash like apples and feathers under gravity, and the world has it’s barbaric... try-outs. Here where there is no love and everybody lives and dies losing everything, losing people, losing time, losing health, fighting to protect – unsuccessfully – the things that they hold dear; here, where there exist - the invisible - like me that nobody ever wanted, alive, but treated worse than the dead. It’s not easy being invisible, no. It’s not easy living here as we do.

I could feel the familiar warm glow of the sun. I was running again through the old streets of my childhood where memories were woven, where the sun used to shine brighter than it does today, and we, the children, used to sit and smoke and talk and drink and play, content among ourselves but afriad to go to school, afraid to go back home. We only knew one way to get the things we needed: by fighting for them with the adults who did not give them to us. Food. Clothing. Care. Love was off the table, though, of course. And yet we had our own little heaven in the sunshine, where our pain was known by us, deep inside, but forgotten because we lacked the understanding to interpret or express it, and everything was new and beautiful and hopeful...

And I was running again through that golden hay, with James running beside me, running with that that bottle of jack Daniels clothed tightly, as my father chased us, wind in our hair, laughter in the air, I remember looking over to see his glowing, dimpled smile and I could not help but smile myself. I was back there again. Back to those good old days. We were young again, running to the poolside where we would toss rocks in the water and sit and drink and fall asleep in each other’s arms again at 10:00 am in the morning...

ETA = t – x + y + z = 0

I fell for the last time. My vision faded to blue.

“Goodnight, Mommy; Goodnight Daddy.” I heard myself say.

“Shut up,” they said. My vision faded out to the sound of laughter…

I woke up in a dark room with drawn curtains. Voices and light shimmered in from the outside world. I was in my bestest friend’s home, I recognised everything immediately.

I turned my head and I saw her. There she stood. With a strange combination of joy and concern and love in her eyes.

I opened my mouth to say something, but she shushed me quickly. Pup, pup, pup, pup, pup, don’t speak yet, you need to rest. The nurse still has to change your bandages, said she, as I returned into the dreamlike reverie of green pastures and emerald lakes that I had emerged from.

I must have been out for a few days. It seemed like I had sustained quite a few injuries and perhaps a concussion. During those days I faded in and out of my consciousness. Doctors were checking my reflexes, shining their bright blue lights into my eyes, and nurses were changing my bandages and dressing my wounds once a day. Old friends came by. My bestest friend remained by my side the entire time. Talking to me. Reading to me. Listening to music that we liked. Posting pictures to Instagram. Yelling at people on the phone. Reading to me at bedtime.

Derek came by to see me but I pretended to sleep. They were talking in hushed voices. “No way,” he said. “Well, that’s one way to do it. Not sure if it’s the best. But you know, gotta do what one gotta do, right?”

“But I’m happy for him. It hasn’t turned out well for everyone, but his determination gives me hope. He’s strong. But, you know, his fight is far from over. He has to walk a long road ahead of him.” concluded he.

There he was. Same old Derek. Understanding, and a brutally honest like one of those construction dudes that always carry sledgehammers with them. I loved him for it. What he said was so right.

And I felt it in my chest, as the days turned to night; I felt my beating heart go on beating, beating, beating, endlessly. And my pain never ended. My pain never ends... but this time, though, something was different. I saw some hope. That same misplaced sense of oily, clove and coffee and corriander-smelling hope had not left me. This time I saw a path leading out, so maybe this time things would be different... but then again, maybe not. Only the universe knew. But at least I no longer felt so utterly alone. Not like before. No, not like before.

Actually, to be precise, I still did feel alone, but I knew somewhere deep within my frost-bitten heart, where a semblance of warm, red flesh remained intact, that I was no longer alone. What I had to do was work on myself to not feel alone any longer. I had to stop thinking of myself as that disgusting creature everybody used to treat me like. I would have to love myself first to feel the love of someone else. My path was laid out and I would walk it. I would walk it, this time, with my head held up high. It is never too late. And it always starts with a the single correct thought, doesn't it? A single correct thought, just like this one, that pulls you in the right direction; the right rhythm of life, quite like electro-shocking your heart back into this side of existence where people suffer, back from a place over on that side where there would be no more pain.

Who knew what was about to happen. All I knew was that I hadn't given up yet, and I wouldn't. Ever. And that's all that matters.

I smiled to myself as my friend sang me a lullaby and sent me to sleep, back to those endless fields of yellow hay through which I ran... with James by my side... eternally...

The End.