The emptiness swells.

It fills the room, threatens to break windows and smash furniture. I’ve masturbated the entire day, it’s not enough.

I make phone calls.

“Fuck me,” I plead.

“Can’t,” a voice whispers back, “The girlfriend is here.”

“Can’t,” another voice answers, “Have to go to work.”

The world feels like a blank space between my hands, like I should be holding something in them, but there’s nothing to grasp. I reach for something that isn’t there. My mind races along, thoughts shoot out in a hundred directions, all of them leading nowhere.

I masturbate again. I stub out a cigarette on the windowsill, the breeze blows ashes back into the room, blackening my pillowcase.

“Come fuck me,” I say into the receiver. “Please.”

“Again?” he asks. He’s always my last choice, but he’s always the one available.

We’ll fuck each other black and blue. It won’t be pretty, there won’t be little kisses and promises and tender words. We’re at war. We loathe ourselves, each other. We cling and we hate.

“Bitch,” he hisses as he flips me over. My arm hits the headboard, a dull thud I barely register.

“Asshole,” I dig my nails into the back of his neck. He doesn’t wince. I dig deeper.

We’re in a trance, not fucking each other, but fucking ourselves, fucking someone we’d rather be with, fucking the pain closer, fucking the pain away.

He leaves without niceties.

“Stop fucking calling me,” he says, pulling up his jeans. He means it and doesn’t mean it and it doesn’t matter because we both know I will and when I do, he’ll be here.

I scrawl big ugly words into a journal that I’ll never read. I call an answering machine to listen to the voice of someone who doesn’t want to speak to me. I masturbate again, ignoring the flaking crust of sweat and sperm on my thighs. I reek.

Trying to sleep, I toss and thrash and rage, midnight was never so black.

I wake. I shower. I dress. I eat a balanced breakfast of coffee and aspirin. I do the things all people in this world seem to know how to do. I imitate. I go to work. I smile.

“Do anything special last night?” the generic receptionist in the pink sweater asks. I never remember her name. She’s a blank, a placeholder.

“The usual,” I answer, pressing my leg into the desk where she can’t see. A bruise protests. I push back harder. The pain blooms. “I just stayed in.”

One thought on “The emptiness swells.

  1. I think, at a few times in my life, I’ve been here. A… friend, and I. We treated each other like a cheap, hard drug; one you don’t really enjoy taking, but the alternative is staying sober in a shitty situation.

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