This is where I started and ended the follies that might have broken us. This one was better, I think. The party is packed and the vegan dip has been defrosted. Time to start. I’m wary without drugs or alcohol or even caffeine pocking the surface of unfiltered sex, but here we are. We leave the cold and enter the microcosm. There are people playing, as they’ve been since the wee hours. We’ve just started. I’m flitty and curt, like I’ve just done a line. There’s a buzz to my voice that belies my fear. She knows. We bump into The Photographer. She knows, too.
They herd me to the smaller room, off to the sides. Red wanders. The Photographer stays. We’re a direct contrast to the bellows in the corners of the room, crouched down on the ground. Her first pinch hits like an arrow and sinks into my blood. I double over as I’m on my knees, trying to breathe to the rhythm of the ebb and flow of the pain, focus my protests inward. The next one is meaner, bullets in my side, thorns across my forehead. It starts like a sunburn and slides further. Sun poisoning beneath the mere surface of the skin. I’m panting on the ground by the time Red comes back. My hands are swimming in front of me but there’s nowhere to go. Kicked to the ground. Battered. Unfurled. Burnt.
They sandwich me between them. Arms snake over my chest, hold my chin up. She slaps me once, five times, eight times across the cheek until it’s numb and my muscles go supple. It courses through my veins. It’s a drug for my mind, little shoves to calibrate my senses until they shove me in a chair and loom over me. Twin claws sink into the softest parts of my upper arms. The slaps rain down. I sink. Thrust across a table. I feel people watching, and I gain a second wind. Like it or not, I feed off their attention, their admiration that something so small could take so much of this. Red leans down, her lips visible and the rest a blur of beauty. She’s going to kiss me. She’s going to hurt me. I’m going to take it all. I check my teeth. She slaps, a blitz of sensation. I feel their eyes. I check my teeth again. I’m okay. Slapped down over a table and spanked, now, my ass getting the attention it craves deep in the recesses of my cunt. She trails her fingers over my skin. Her touch can be so gentle and tender, the true mark of someone who knows the secrets of the body. She grasps the flesh and I buckle. The true mark of a woman who cares so much she ceases to care.
It is happening again. Parts of my body feel modified. Tenderized. My thighs tree-trunk large, bruised and whorled by the synthetic stamps embedded in their boots. There are punctures to the plush parts of my arms, where the cells curve to meet the torso. Battle scars that will fade away. Some evaporate. Some go down below. They drag me into the main room, into the spotlight and shove me against the web. Bound, I breathe. I’m told to grasp the chains and my fingers fit around the links. Second nature. Each punch digs deeper before it hits rock and I cry out, softly into the ethos. Louder things are happening around me. I’m less sensitive to them as a participant rather than a spectator, but they remain irksome intrusions in my corner of the scene. They’re laughing. Two fists hit my chest. They wrench my neck through the chains, caress and prick me like they want to see me bleed.
Motionless in motion and I’m slung over her shoulder and tossed to the floor, crashing down to a solid point with no resistance so I can feel every bruise in every muscle. They strip me. Their follow-through is precise, faithful in its twinning, like watching segments of a bridge travel their way up the seaboard. Like knowing how they fit together. Her knuckles graze my jaw and I skip a breath to look further into her eyes as the colors saturate.
They slip inside.
I see the feet of people standing nearby, and they’re pointed toward me in such a way that I know that they can see me. They don’t acknowledge the breakage that’s occurring, the ache of the movement, mere centimeters and they’re laughing, wet guffaws into the ethos that don’t even understand that a small, critical part of me is bare and small on the floor. They move around me and I sob, I let go and cry into the foot-worn carpet. She asks me what’s wrong, honey on her tongue and pushes my face into the concrete. They fuck me in silence, in kindred shadows.
There’s an inky part of me, something dry and hedonistic and dark that won’t go away, that begs for more, for anonymity, for the eyes of the world scattered across my life. It scatters across the floor and finds its way into cracks, like sesame seeds, impossible to extract from the corners of the world. With this urge, I ask for more after they’ve cradled me, surrounded me, tried to pick me up from the ground with their fingernails.
Every time I close my eyes and bury my head, I look up to see them gazing upon me once more, above and around. Drawn closer. I fuck Red on the floor with my fingers around a dildo, just us alone in the crowd and she tightens around the dildo, around my heart. We rest. There’s a large chocolate cone in the center of the table. Red bashes a piece for me and it melts into the cracks of my lips. Fruit. Cheese. I regain energy and my sneer comes back. I want more. My mind wants more. My body’s not so sure. I’m frustrated when I discover that the cross is too large for my limbs and I scramble up for the shock effect. I think I have more in me until the punches hurt more, they sink into my skin deeper and I absorb it all. I discover a limit. I retreat, gracefully, into the night with my woman and soak in a tub just taller than my worn elbows and knees.