You were ironically small because what an uncle had done to you held quotation marks around your entire adulthood and I was offering to hit him with a brick. You initiated conversation online before that was a common event and it was suspicious for a female to introduce herself to me, because of my extensive repugnance, based on the statistics so far. Everything about you seemed rare. You emphasized how you would understand if I was appalled by the randomness of your acknowledgement that we possessed a shared taste in the arts. Your use of the word “respect”, at the drop of a hat, was going to end up a problem between us. The most damaging thing about you was that you were the first intellectual I had romantic designs on, a hipster not by fashion, but out of spite. “You have no idea how strong I am,” you said, for no reason, dooming me to love you. Like a would-be loyal dog whose owners forced it to wear clown makeup, I made you my day, against our better judgement. I wasn’t old enough to drink in bars and gave my dick a callous whenever you breathed. Your face was unphotographably gaunt and thin-lipped, like an Edward Gorey drawing. I thought you were the most attractive person I had seen, a Halloween costume of a girl, but it wasn’t until we met that your beauty, and your hatred for the potential perception of any possible beauty, in and of your character, would curse you to disbelieve all male lust, shadowed by your molestation, and this is why my want for you and belief in your beauty was quantified to Olympian proportions and spread dementedly across my life, because we shared a vulnerable kiss in two brief sessions, and there was no humiliation I would avoid for it to occur again, if you would only, even caustically, will it, and you never did, at my, at first, silly, then intense, expense. You taught me how to hang myself with an obsession. You wanted my obsession cured as the result of the maturity you had fashioned in order to inflict yourself on others. We would meet in a hip suburb next to the rich one where you stayed. It was in the beginning stages of a yuppie transformation and, climbing around, your little shoes hurt your feet. You stripped out of them, bleeding. There were thin red strips like patterned nylons, up the insteps, hugged between your toes. You leaned against a newspaper stand to smear their paths with your thumb and padded around barefoot in what dried like socks of lavish copper, baptizing the town with authentic taste. I offered to carry you several times, starved for any excuse to touch. I would impose our goodbye hugs on your comfort. Your diabetes aroused me. You often poked your tummy, punctured in my swoon. In the early 2000s, you were always sensually hypodermic and leaning. Your thumb lost feeling for a month, due to our height difference, circulation wasn’t your thing, because I adoringly hauled your slinking, evening gloved drunkenness, your arm across my shoulders, my hand enjoying your waist, on a long walk, while you smoked cloves that I seconded just for your spit, and we downed fast food. When you wore kneesocks, their coquettishness juxtaposed your professional demeanor and there was nothing I wouldn’t do for us to become grievously and passive aggressively married, a notion you had to scoff at, both because you were not interested, amused at best, and because who could really see you like this, as a goddess, without an ulterior motive? Too bad I later proved my motives for dedication were my one intact pathology. You were a virgin, self-professed, or betrothed to your traumas instead, because evil can fuck you forever, nothing competes. All you can do is share it in portions. Bride to the worst in men, you would stay chaste for what they had done and punish their every insistence to the contrary. Maybe we both mistook my susceptibility for an elaborate sexual masochism, but I saw past my religion of you and still craved the deeper mayhem. I confessed some minor revenge on an ex, which in the highly sensitive atmosphere today would back up your overreaction, your victimhood was ahead of its time, but that ex knew, even through the obfuscation of her abject stupidity, that nothing I indirectly did compared to what she directly deserved, and it ultimately proved cheap and harmless to her system of lies anyway, devastating, though, to me, because the confession of it cost me my taciturn Edward Gorey girlfriend right off the bat, so chalk another one up for horrible cheaters everywhere. What I meant to clarify was that, in bowing to some mentally incapable cunt for a year, I had demonstrated how divine, not just puerile, but that too, my masochism could be, that my revenge was pure and sanctioned, certainly not unwarranted, that I could be strong too, since you had to place a scared and extra mandatory value on survival, poor anxious creature, your rape was waiting for you around every corner, but no one could blame you for not being impressed. Whereas I met that paltry first love naturally and developed real feelings for her, despite myself, lashing out only when my heart was broken, because multiple other cocks went in and on her, you sought me out; the joke was on me from the beginning. I hadn’t encountered a young republican before and didn’t realize punk rock was somehow the party’s staple genre. Perhaps you read the music wrong, focusing too hard on the power element. The more you openly ridiculed me from the “friend zone”, the more I saw this sarcasm as the exemplification of someone who was much richer than I was, someone who seemed to be ignoring her humbling tragedies and should have fucking known better. I did not hide my feelings for you and you continued to find time to exploit them for no cause other than satire. What you went through made you stronger than the need to cope, made you the people watching adjudicator of your vintage clad class. You stood by your talent for moving people to tears just by introducing them to themselves. You were practicing how to build a file every time you met a man. The crimes perpetrated against you made you a lifelong snitch. I wanted the person whose house burnt down, killing their kitty with smoke. I would have cuddled into old age this early eighties birth with Gen Xer attitude from a cynical and now passed Agent Orange dad. He shared a locker room chat about your mother’s tits with the cable guy and you said you’d induce late stage abortions to get yours half as big. Part of you knew their pertness was foolproof. That you believed in ghosts redeemed you. How convinced you were that they followed your lineage amplified the Victorian feminine grace against the 90s Daria feminine deadpan. Your refusal to drive on freeways humiliated freeways. You drove me to your expensive house where the surviving feline, apprehensive of guests, approved of me. On the way back, a possum jumped in front of the car. Every animal wanted us together and you forsook them. We reached an impasse in our involved, night long conversational strolls where I began to interpret you as someone who hadn’t been molested hard enough. At this point, I took no guilt from letting you believe I was capable of any “misconduct” as a response to your many insults. If you unleashed a “nice” comment it was out of “fear”, or worse, you were practicing to be a goddamn therapist. Irony black holes everybody up the ass of its perpetrator, but that’s where I needed to live, “girl”. Years after you broke contact to preserve your supposed and overvalued wellbeing, I could see you snickering behind the divider of the internet, coated by degrees, using the populist terminology, saying “non-judgmental environment” without the trademark irony, you, of course, being less a person than a concoction of judgments. As I recall, the all white crew resting on your shoulder featured the word “diversity” as their mission statement. You took your fetish for collateral and called it a life. You should have sucked the bereavement out of a strap on. At least when I still jerk off to you it’s to something more specific than other people’s distress, but hey, boundaries are for churchgoers. If the world hasn’t scoured you incapable of childish affectations, if you can find it in you to tremble off the clock, if who you are hasn’t been replaced by the hysterically sober affectations of your boring trade, you should let me buy you coffee, as they say, and you can see how truly uncreative your assumptions about risk have been. Let’s build a safe space, free of the nebulously bending etiquettes of our society, where you can let me hug you longer than five seconds. When I showed you my sleeping pills, you said you’d rather leave more to clean and use a gun. Let’s call curtains on your minstrel show sanity, wipe off that saneface. We’ll dust off the sentient washing machine you wrote that lovely script for, because I want you to feel like an “artist”, so you can come, for once.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean Kilpatrick, raised in Detroit, does monthly movie reviews for Hobart Literary Journal.Other writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Nerve, New York Tyrant, Boston Review, Fence, Sleepingfish, Fanzine, Vice, evergreen review, Whiskey Island, andBomb.His novella Sucker June, was released by Lazy Fascist Press. Check out his tumblr.