He is sitting watching shit Saturday night TV. He constantly flicks channels. He watches the sort of things they used to watch together. The kind of insufferable shows that he always used to endure because she liked them. The images flow over him. Their loud noises and garish bright colours never appealed to him. The people on them seemed so fake. So unreal. They are pretend people. They are made of clay and buttons.
He is sitting with his fourth beer. It is warm now and he can’t bring himself to finish it. He sloshes the can back and forth resting on his stomach. It nearly spills out. He watches as the frothy entrails of the beer bubble up around the sharp metal mouth of the can. He thinks about switching to the porn freeview. He decides not to. She will be drunk when she gets in. Maybe she will be up for it. Recently she has been sleeping with her back to him. She flinches at his touch. It cuts into him. He is a slithering creature stuck in a man shaped skin suit that he cannot take off, no matter how much he scratches away at it. He tries to talk to her. She isn’t interested in what he has to say. They are empty pointless noises to her. He loves her so deeply it is like a sweet piercing misery. He would tear off his skin and give it to her just to keep her warm. Her tears are like diamonds to him. She sparkles in his perpetual darkness.
He is so fucking bored. He is just waiting for her to come home. He longs for the sound of her keys in the door. She will come in stumbling, high heels in hand. He will be lying in bed pretending to be asleep. She will turn the light on and wake him up. Every time they were out she used to complain that they hurt her feet. He could never comprehend why she wore them. He was in awe of her. She was ambivalent towards him. She was underwhelmed, unimpressed. She would try and emasculate him in front of his friends. He gave up and decided not to see them anymore. He could do and be anything, as long as he had her.
It wasn’t long after that he stopped going out with her. He was tired of feeling like a spare part. He was not a priority: he was becoming an inconvenience, an unnecessary encumbrance. Not required, useless, in the way. A cog with no machine within which to function: purposeless and surplus to requirements. He was a superfluous vacuum. She was frustrated by this restrictive lump of sweaty meat that constantly tailed her around the room. He would sit awkwardly in the corner. He would offer to buy drinks and try and join in, but he was never made to feel welcome. He would pretend to smile. Not long after that he gave up.
He would sit and watch the hypnotic quixotic flashing screen and wait for her to come home. Enter hyperreality. He would torture himself with mental images that grew progressively more pornographic. She would do unspeakable things in his mind. She would be taking three fat cocks at once. One deep in every hole. His imagination was particularly graphic. She would love it. She would scream, drenched in cum. She would be hungry for it. She was always a slut in his dreams. He hated her in his dreams. He hated what she had become. She was worthless and cheap. She was nothing, but she was still his angel.
Even then he could feel himself falling out of love with her. Every day the pulsating warmth in his heart would slowly diminish. He could only take so much rejection and excuses and lies. He could only carry so many scars that would not heal. He would anesthetise himself to the pain. He would eventually become numb. He gradually stopped caring about her inhuman and acrobatic exploits. He no longer cared if she got the STDs. He would itch and itch and itch. He would always explain it away with lotions and ointments. It was just his imagination playing tricks on him. She is not a whore.
She is standing in a bar surrounded by drunk lecherous men. They are salivating. They want to taste her freshly shaven cunt. They tell themselves it tastes like truth and vanilla. They tell themselves that they will find happiness inside her. She feasts on the attention. She craves their eyes boring into her. His love is not enough for her. His devotion is tiresome. There are bright lights in the pub. They show up her misapplied make up and unwashed hair. Her lipstick is smudged on the rim of the glass. The men exude the stench of desperation. It is seeping out of their greasy little pores. They rub their mouths and try and swallow their bitter tasting saliva.
He sits there and waits. He is obedient and subservient. He is a snivelling animal with no spine. It has been wrenched out and sold on Ebay. The highest bidder took it away and turned it into an ornament on his mantelpiece. He keeps in next to his bong. He loves her more than he could ever describe. She thinks he is alright. She tolerates him and derives some occasional entertainment from his suffering. She thinks he will do until she finds someone better. She slurps at a cocktail. She is thirsty for it. She can’t live without it. It is going down deep inside her. She swallows.
He is silently miserable, never wanting to express the heaviness that pervades his very being. The thought of another man touching her makes him feel physically sick. He lies awake and listens to her breathing. To him it is the sweetest melody. He stares at the ceiling and imagines what their children will look like. He imagines what their first house will look like. He wants the children to go to a good school. He wants them to eat organic vegetables and get regular exercise. He wants to take an active part in their education. He wants to go to parent’s evenings and sports days. He wants to enter the Dad’s race and make them proud when he comes first. He will always strive to instil the proper values in his little ones. It is the taking part that counts. He likes the name Poppy. He has never planned out his life before, but he always planned for her to be a part of it. He would like to take her for long walks and go to the park on sunny days. She thinks nothing of this sort. She is already pregnant. And no, it is not his. An unknown parasite grows within her.
The dread that she might leave constantly haunts him. This heavy burning agony slows him down and makes him sluggish. His movements are laboured and cumbersome. He is not quietly graceful. He is lethargic and slovenly. He has no drive, no personality. He is a chasm. He has been ground away to nothing. He shines no longer. He only continues to breathe in order to make her happy. His every movement and consideration and motivation is geared towards making her acidic smile pure. His every waking moment is dedicated to her. He craves her love. It is his addiction. It is his oxygen.
She is his clinging, persistent pestilence. She is the iridescent rainbow in his darkened sky. The universe whispers to him conspiratorially, it tells him that she feels nothing. Secretly, he knows this. He knows that she is the harmonious soaring music in his soul and it is not reciprocated. He admits this to himself when he sits quietly dying. Inside he is rotten. The most horrendous scars are the ones that you cannot see on the surface. He doesn’t even remember what it feels like to be happy. He is powerless and can no longer reach her. His pungeant floral words are useless. She has floated away on an ocean of silence. His love is not enough. But love is a distended, decimated whore’s cunt. And you no longer harbour fear when the worst has happened.
She is with another man most nights. She doesn’t think of him when they fuck her. She doesn’t even enjoy it anymore. She gives them her body, she submits, but she feels nothing. And then afterwards, as she washes their cum of her face, she realises that they use her. And then, as she lies, dejected and broken, she cries.
She is empty and she does not know how to fill the void. She is lost. She thinks that if she keeps running from the truth, it won’t catch up with her. She thinks that if she lives in a world of glittering distractions, she can pretend that none of this is real. She refuses to grasp reality. She refuses to admit that she needs him. She throws herself obliviously into oblivion. She drinks to forget. She drinks to pretend that the pain and the guilt and the recriminations don’t exist. If she hides for long enough it will all go away. But, still, silence.
It is getting late now.
He finishes his beer.
He stands up, stretches and pulls a chair over from the dining table.
He stands up on it.
He hesitates for a moment, then sighs.
He looks at his watch.
He puts the electric cable around his neck.
It snaps tight.
She drunkenly rams her key into the lock. She turns the key. Her feet are sore and she can’t wait to go to sleep. She needs a piss. She steps into the lounge. She sees dangling feet. She cries and cries and cries. Now reality has hit. And hit hard. She is screeching discord.
There is a note on the floor. It is scribbled in frantic, jagged letters.
Fill one hundred and thirty seven toy balloons with screams. Give them to a clown at a kid’s birthday party. Burst them open. Wait for the tears.