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I've been all over the place lately. At the beginning of the summer I was plowing through the Needles, Names, and Numbers drafts, ultima...

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Oedipus Sex


“STOP IT! FUCKING STOP IT! PLEASE?!?! PLEASE?!!? FIVE GOD DAMN MINUTES, FIVE MOTHA FUCKING, COCK SUCKING, MINUTES, THAT’S ALL I WANT. THAT’S ALL I FUCKING WANT. PLEASE!”

My voice is raspy from an evening of alcohol, cigarettes, and Cocaine. I punch my steering wheel in the parking garage at work, my eyes welling up with tears. I am a fucking mess right now. I put my face in my palm. I wanna cry. My hands and face are red and hot to the touch. I’ve been chugging water all day. And chain smoking.

Ah, yes, the sun, my arch nemesis. I managed to catch the last dose of Etizolam out of town last night, just before he could make his presence known at 6 AM. But I can never escape him. He always finds me. And fuck does that cocksucker know what buttons to push…

I’m so nervous. About what, I’m honestly not sure. I have a lot to worry about. I’m running out of amphetamine powder, I’m running on five hours of sleep, I have $500 worth of drugs sitting in my nightstand drawer right now, and as much as that gives me a hard-on, the impending sense of doom, gloom and regret are too familiar to minimize at this point. I’ve been at this for far too long to convince myself otherwise.

Shielding my eyes with my hands from the sun’s merciless rays, I take a deep breath. I need to pull it together. I got five days. Five motherfucking, cock sucking days until I’ve got five off. Five days to go through a quarter ounce of Cocaine (technically 6.5 after last night), a gram of Molly, a gram of Ketamine, and a bunch of benzos to even everything out.

It’s funny. I never come back from these “vacations” feeling refreshed, just exhausted, physically and mentally. They work cyclically. Besides taking amphetamine sulfate every day for the past six months and drinking a handle of vodka every weekend, I’ve mostly been a good boy. But shit’s been hectic lately. I’m always busy. This is both good and bad. The speed fuels me and gives me a sense of drive that my body cannot and will not produce organically. It invests me in whatever stupid horseshit I have to do, and makes me a better employee, friend, writer, creator, producer, person.

But even the best version of me is still me. And I fucking suck.

Considering I’ve been strung out on dope, meth, and Suboxone before, a speed habit really ain’t shit. But I love it. It’s not quite as good as Adderall, but it’s cheap, and it’s incredibly effective. I got into it around the time my Dad died. When the markets crashed I took a hiatus, but then I reconnected with my old dealer back in July. And well, the rest, as they, is history.

And junkies that know their history are still gonna repeat it because they’re fucking stupid.

And they like fucking up.

ONE WEEK EARLIER…

I put my cigarette in my mouth and fish around my jeans’ pockets for my speed caps, pulling one out as I fly down the highway, washing it down with a swig from my water bottle. The GPS is leading me to Biddeford, Maine. My fingers wrap tightly around the steering wheel as I drive, the joints inside them aching from how tightly I grip it.

I never did like driving on the highway. Or driving period. When I’m just going around town I’m prone to fits of road rage, which on the surface seems born from aggression and rage, but really stems from anxiety. I’m always fucking nervous. If I don’t have anything to be nervous about, which is rare, because I’m a fucking mess and my life is the same, I’ll fucking find something to worry about.

I sigh and light another cigarette as the speed begins to kick in. I’m an hour and a half into my pilgrimage and I’ve got another hour to go. Clarity, energy, self-confidence, and focus shake off the fog of withdrawal in my head. For about 20 minutes there, six months of minimal sleep and drug abuse was beginning to finally catch up to me. I straighten up in my seat and take a final drag of my cigarette before tossing it out the window.

Her name’s Alina. I like that name. It’s elegant, pretty, the kinda name you give a Russian princess. Or maybe Pollack, I don’t fucking know, she’s just sexy as all fuck and I wanna feed her and maybe fuck her if she lets me.

Only thing is, she has a husband. Hold on, hold on, let me finish. They’re in an open relationship. She makes way better money than me. She sells a shit ton of weed. She has runners on her pay roll. A real boss ass bitch, if you will.

We’ve been talking online for… Eight months? She smokes a lot of weed, so it’s easy for her to forget she’s conversing with someone. This leads to her forgetting to reply.

I go into every text I send to anyone under the assumption they want nothing to do with me. Talking to me is an inconvenience, a burden, a horrendous experience they want to avoid at all costs. It doesn’t matter if this person is my friend, they hate me. Why wouldn’t they?

This level of insecurity doesn’t lend itself very well to trying to talk to someone like Alina.

Basically it went like this: I shot my shot. She replied. I said something, she replied. I made her laugh, she liked that. Then she stopped talking.

I got drunk, I hit her up. Mind you, this is months later, but she picks up the conversation like it was yesterday.

I get drunk again, I hit her up again. She replies. We stop talking.

This might sound hard to believe, but I got drunk again, and I hit her up. And, I know, crazy, but she responded. At some point I ended up with her number and shit took off from there.

I am a feeder. I gain sexual gratification from fattening my partner. I do not like thin women. They do nothing for me.

I could write a fucking thirty page thesis on why my sexuality alone makes me a reprehensible piece of shit. But I cannot change it.

“Harry, stop staring at her tummy! It’s rude!”

I shake my head as my mother’s words ring in my head and I try to focus on the road. The speed grows stronger and I grow more self-assured.

Pinning this woman down (yikes, doesn’t that sound wrong?) for a date has been maddening. 99.9% of that stems directly from my own insecurity and anxiety. I have not seen anyone romantically for two years. It’s honestly kind of eerie, as the last time I went out with a woman was when I took. Jessica to that hotel and did too much blow and couldn’t get a hard-on.

Alina has a lot of shit going on. She’s in school to get a business degree in addition to running a drug operation, but she’s finally done with school for the semester. Every time I text her it could be an instantaneous response, or it could come several hours later. This makes planning difficult.

I banged into work for this. It almost didn’t happen at all. Her Subaru shit the bed and it’s snowing. She’s really hot and she’s into the same weird shit that I am, therefore I was not willing to let this opportunity slip. I told her I’d see her at 7 and I’d pick her up.

I’m not very confident.

I’ve gotten better at it, but most people can see right through it. I do not like being emotionally vulnerable. I do not like being sad in front of people. I mask my anxiety through jokes.

“HOW ABOUT YOU FUCKING CALL ME NEXT TIME YOU FEEL LIKE STICKING A NEEDLE UP YOUR ARM, DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK?! ARE YOU EVEN TRYING?!”

“I didn’t wanna make you worry…”

“LIKE I’M NOT FUCKING WORRIED NOW!? THAT YOU’RE USING AGAIN!? BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I’D RATHER A FUCKING PHONE CALL TELLING ME YOU’RE FEELING BAD THEN FINDING OUT YOU’VE BEEN GETTING HIGH FOR FUCK KNOWS HOW LONG?!”

So here’s the thing about Alina. She’s a rare breed: a dual-diagnosis as I call it. She’s a feedee and a feeder. She likes her men husky, to say the least. In my case she’s in luck, as I’m getting fat again. I can either be on meth or be fat, there’s really no in between. Even on speed I still manage to eat as poorly as I do.

So, if you’re unfamiliar with my previous work, I’ll give the quick synopsis. Feeders are people into other fat people that wanna make them fatter. Feedees are people who are fat or express a sincere desire to become fat, because doing so gives them sexual pleasure.

I light another cigarette as I finally pull up to her apartment. She comes out, and God damn. She’s kinda short, 5’6-5’8, with dreadlocks tied back with a headband. Boots are strapped over her thick calves, which give way to big thighs that scrape as she walks. I realize that to most of you this description of someone doesn’t sound flattering or beautiful, but to me, she’s gorgeous. Her face is plump and fleshy, with the cutest little double chin that fills out her smile wonderfully. She’s 260 pounds, at least for now. I’m gonna do my best to change that for the better.

“Hi!” She squeals as she gets into my car.

“Hey! Nice to finally meet you!”

“Well you’re pretty fucking brave to come up here, dude. Especially in a car like this…”

“Ah, we’ll live.”

“So, roads here are kinda fucked, so I’m gonna try and guide you as best I can…”

She unzips her coat, revealing a sweatshirt tightly wrapped around a nice, big belly… She pulls her seatbelt over it, the thick fabric of the belt slicing through her fleshy midsection unflatteringly, or very flatteringly, if you’re me.

She catches me staring at it and gives me a knowing smile. She’s wearing purple lipstick and that shit girls put on their eyes that I don’t know the name of. All I know is it’s very pretty.

“So… One thing that kinda sucks about getting fat, haha, is that um… I have to wear everything high waisted…”

I smile. “Well, that sounds like what we call a good problem…”

“I knooooow! Oh, good, you smoke too… Don’t mind if I do…”

She pulls an American Spirit from her purse and lights it up. For whatever reason, the unhealthier a girl is, the more I’m attracted to them. The smoking, the drinking, the eating, the drugging, these are all very desirable traits for a derelict like me.

We turn down a hill, which has not been plowed yet.

“You’re gonna wanna take a right… DOWN THIS HILL… STOP… STOP… FUCK!”

I try to hit the brakes but I only continue to slide. It almost seems as if the night is over before its even begun.

“Fuck… Fuck… Fuck!” I mumble.

As we pick up traction and roll into unsuspecting and oncoming traffic, fate smiles upon me. I manage to slide into the right lane, narrowly avoiding the cars on either side of us and stopping just short of the curb.

“Fuck, you alright?” I ask, poorly masking my heart racing in my throat.

“Yeah, I’m good… That hill sucks…”

Perhaps I underestimated Maine. Coming from Massachusetts, the land of snow, addiction and road rage, I thought I had a decent handle on driving in the snow. But this is different. The roads are different. There’s fucking tolls everywhere, too, which like Jesus Christ, is such a pain in the dick.

HOT TAKE ALERT!

Toll booth workers can suck my tiny Irish dick. These cocksuckers get government pay, government benefits, to sit on their ass and be a glorified cashier that happens to work outside sometimes. And they still have the nerve to bitch and moan about their conditions.

WHAT’S FUNNY ABOUT TOLL BOOTH WORKERS, IN 20-FUCKING-19, IS THAT THEY ONLY TAKE CASH AND CHECKS.

DRUG DEALERS TAKE CREDIT CARDS NOW.

I DON’T WANNA FUCKIN’ HEAR IT.

A check? A God damn check? Do I look like some blue hair in line at the fucking grocery store? Fuck a check, take my fucking bank card you lazy, refusing to adapt sap on government resources. I’m glad EZ-Pass and pay by plate are leaving you in the fucking dust. Fuck you.

This has been “pulling the e-brake on a story to spout ignorantly on things I’m only half informed on, with your host, Harry Miller.” We now return to yet another story about a fat girl that I like.

After slipping and sliding along Maine’s confusing as fuck roads, we hit the highway again. Alina pulls cash from her purse and hands it to me, sparing me more embarrassment from the overworked, underpaid and constantly oppressed soldier of the state tasked with making the heroic sacrifice of charging people to drive.

“Hmmm… You wanna go to Longhorn?” She asks.

“Sure, sounds good to me.”

“Well there’s also Texas Roadhouse…”

“I do like Texas Roadhouse…”

She snickers. “Do ya?”

“Yeah! You don’t fuckin’ like Texas Roadhouse?!”

“I mean it’s alright, I guess…”

“What about the rolls?”

“Ugh… I do love those fuckin’ rolls… Alright, fuck it, let’s go…”

Tonight’s itinerary is dinner and a movie. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of that date scenario. It’s a hack bit that’s been done to death but like, c’mon. You’re not gonna get to know someone by sitting in silence watching a movie together. But it’s been a while, and I’m just happy I finally got her to fucking go out with me period at this point.

“Y’know… I fucking hate Christmas music.” Alina begins as she butters up a roll.

I smile and nod. “Yeah, me too. I worked retail for almost ten years, so… Yeah. Doesn’t really bring out my best mood.”

Alina’s eyes go wide. “Yes! I worked in a warehouse for a while, and holy fuck was it brutal!”

“Hey guys, can I get you something to drink?” The waitress asks us.

“Uh, yeah, do you guys have Coke products?” Alina asks.

“Yes.”

“I’ll have a Sprite then.”

“OK! And for you?”

Jack and coke…

HEY! FUCKFACE! WE GOTTA BEHAVE TONIGHT! YOU GOTTA DRIVE IN THE SNOW!

Alright, alright…

“Uhhhh… You guys got Bud Light?”

“Yes.”

“Bud Light it is then.”

“Short or tall?”

Tall. For fuck’s sake, I’m nervous, tall.

SHORT! YOU DRUNKEN IRISH FUCK!

“Tall.”

“Alright! I’ll have that out for you in just a sec!”

My beer arrives and I down it like a drunk taking their first drink of the morning. I switch to Coke after that like a good boy. The alcohol takes the edge off the speed and I begin to relax a bit. Thankfully, Alina has done most of the talking, and not even in an awkward way either.

“…And so my great grandfather, right…” She says, biting into another roll.

I’m trying not to ogle her as she eats, but she makes it look so damn good. She eats unapologetically, while I tug at my t-shirt intermittently to hide my man tits. I love how comfortable she is, how unapologetically she exists, just as herself.

“Got those appetizers!”

Her eyes light up and she finishes her roll, quickly taking a potato skin made from what appears to be half an entire potato. I’m thrilled.

“What was I saying?” She asks before she takes a drink.

“Your great grandfather.”

Her eyes widen and she snaps her fingers. “Yeah! My great grandfather, right? 95 years old. He lived to be 97. Guy was like, royalty around here. Rich as FUCK. Blew it all on crystal meth.”

“Crystal… Meth?”

“Crystal meth.”

“AHEM! Hahahaha… Um, I’m sorry… But… I’m gonna need some more context on that.”

“Well, and this is all second hand information, but apparently he just started doing shitloads of meth right before he died.”

“Well that’s the thing, because meth was kinda my thing for a while… And that shit… That shit wreaks fucking havoc on your body. The sleep deprivation alone, on top of what it does to your heart…”

She nods and I realize I might’ve overshared.

“Uh, uh, look... I wanna make this very clear to you right now…”

I run my thumb over the bag of speed caps in my pocket.

“I do not do that shit anymore. Been years now. Two and a half to be exact.”

She smiles. “Heroin was more my speed.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.”

“Well that’s good because I used to do heroin too.”

“It’s super common, at least up here anyway. I carry narcan around in my purse and I haven’t even used in six years.”

“That’s really cool of you…”

“It’s street justice, dude. You get back what kinda energy you put into this world. I’ve got a lot of  friends who are still using, too… Unfortunately.”

“That sucks. I’m sorry. This Fentanyl shit… It’s outta fucking control, man. Like the dope ain’t even dope no more…”

“Yeah. And it’s like, I can tell when people are falling off. They stop buying from me. They stop talking to me. Because they’re spending all their money on hard shit. And I do my best to try and reach out and at least offer an ear. Get ‘em help. I didn’t do AA or any of that shit.”

“Me neither.”

“I’m lucky I got sober without it, honestly. I mean, I still do blow like once a year. I still drop acid,  shrooms, y’know…”

I smile, knowing all too well what she means. “Yeah. Me too.”

This really does just get better and better. She’s sexy as all fuck, she gets high, she doesn’t give a fuck that I get high, she wants to gain weight, and she has crazy stories for days.

She also has a husband.

That doesn’t really bother me. I knew that going in. Frankly, I am in absolutely no place to begin with a relationship with anyone right now. So word, right?

But there is the feeding part…

I’m sure her husband would really appreciate some drug addict swooping in and fucking and slowly killing his wife. He’d probably love it even more if he got her into doing hard drugs more often, because he’s just such a joy to be around while sober, and even better high. Yeah, he’d love that.

ALERT, ALERT, ALERT, SHUT DOWN IMMINENT. SHUT DOWN IMMINENT. HARRY IS THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE. CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY. RESUME FOCUS ON THE SHORT TERM, I REPEAT, RESUME FOCUS ON THE SHORT TERM.

“Ooooooooh, I’m so full…” She moans.

Evidence of her dietary conquest is splayed out in front of her. I was kinda holding back on the appetizers, and for the first time in a few months I don’t have much of an appetite. She’s done most of the work here, and I’m quite proud of her. Her steak has been reduced to a few chunks of gristle and a bite or two of good meat.

“You can’t do one more bite?” I ask with a smile.

She sighs, rubbing her belly through her sweatshirt. “Just for you…”

Fuck. I love this. The encouragement. It is here where I get to reciprocate and play my position. She takes down the last two bites as her silverware clinks to the plate.

“Good job. I knew you could do it.”

“Thanks! You barely touched yours, though…”

“Ah, I know. Don’t have much of an appetite…”

“Yeah… I uh… As I’m sure you’ve noticed… Talk a lot when I get nervous.”

I shrug and smile. “Well, it’s not like this has all been bullshit small talk. You have some crazy fucking stories. You’ve led quite a life.”

“Nah, not really dude. I just got started early.”

The waitress takes our plates and packs everything in to-go boxes. Then the check arrives. She immediately pulls a wad of cash from her purse.

“Hey, Alina, c’mon…” I start.

“You c’mon! You’re the crazy fuck that risked his life coming up here to see me! It’s been a good day for me in sales, don’t worry about it.”

“At least lemme split it with ya…”

“No, no, no. I got it.”

I’m kinda pissed, but not for the reasons you might assume. As a feeder, I feel like it’s my obligation to pay for food. They pay enough, with the physical aspects of the gain, which while sexually gratifying, are major life adjustments nonetheless. They do the heavy lifting (yuk yuk yuk) in the relationship. The least I can do is pick up the check when we’re done indulging.

So it’s not that I’m some traditionalist chauvinist pig.

I’m just a pervert.

“So uh… You started with pills, I take it?” I ask as we smoke in my car.

“Doesn’t everybody?” She replies.

“Not me.”

“What?”

“Yeah, no. I started shooting heroin when I was 23. Never took a pain pill in my life.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, why?”

I shrug. “I was doing a lot of bad shit. Doing drugs, selling drugs, ripping people off. I was a different guy back then, which I know sounds like horseshit, but it’s the truth. I did not give a fuck about what happened to me. Meth kinda kicked the door in for the last level of drugs for me. Once I’d done that a few times I was like ‘fuck this, I’ll do whatever the fuck you put in front of me. I’m gonna be this and do this until I die.’”

She stares at me and I take a dramatic pull of my cigarette. My flair for terrible dialogue begins to wage war against my social awareness. I go for it.

I shrug. “You don’t always die, though…”

“Jeez…”

I toss my butt out the window and clap my hands together, shifting into reverse. “OK, terrific! Let’s go see this movie, huh?”

She laughs and I’m immediately redeemed.

We’ve opted to see Knives Out. As we pull into the parking lot, she smiles.

“Nice. I was hoping no one would be here…” She sneers.

Suddenly I’m not so annoyed at having to see this movie.

“Yay! I can’t wait to do sexy feeder things in this movie…” She says just loud enough for me to hear as we walk into the theater.

I get some Starburst mini’s and a bottled water, which I need desperately, as a combination of the speed, my anxiety, and all the salt has left my mouth incredibly dry.

I go to get the tickets at a kiosk when I notice she’s beaten me to it. The cashier is ringing up nachos and popcorn.

“Where do you wanna sit, Harry? The back or the front?”

“Back.”

“Which ones are available?”

“The grey ones. Black ones are taken.”

I look at the kiosk. They’re all grey.

We get two choice seats in the back and she hands me my ticket after once again paying for everything. As she turns around, arms full of food, she notices an ice cream cooler.

“Ooooooooooh, they have ice cream!?! I’m sorry guys, I have to be the worst right now…”

She opens the cooler, delicately balancing the popcorn and nachos as she reaches her hand in and pulls out a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. I wanna start clapping.

Atta girl. Atta fuckin’ girl…

“So how much were those tickets?” I ask her.

“I don’t know, it doesn’t matter.”

I chuckle and shake my head as I follow her into the theater. It’s empty. We go up to the final row at the top of a set of stairs. They got the nice seats here, the ones that recline and are plush like real armchairs. I strategically take off my sweatshirt and coat and throw them on a free seat, then sit down, whipping the armrest between us out of the way as we get settled.

Remember… She likes fat guys…

So don’t be a fucking faggot and suck your stomach in…

Let that shit hang.

Like her.

She thinks you’re sexy.

Go with it.

“Alright, let’s go…” She says, smiling at me before snuggling up against me, pressing all 260 pounds of her against my chest as I put my arm around her. I draw in a deep breath through my nose. She’s so warm, so soft. I’m not in the most advantageous position to play with her belly here, but I trust it’ll happen in due time.

“Open up…” She whispers, holding a nacho dripping with melted cheese to my mouth.

I eat it. The whole “having my fat admired and being fed” thing is still something I’m entirely unfamiliar with.

This must be how those other girls felt when I’d ask if I could play with their stomach…

One of their biggest insecurities…

The thing they hate most about themselves…

Is what I find most sexy…

I blink the doubt away as she hands me the nachos and I dunk one in the cheese. She straightens up a bit and I bring it to her lips. She opens her mouth wide, the movie projector adding an atmospheric ambiance to everything. Her tongue extends almost out of her mouth as she takes the entire chip down.

Drugs are and always will be my main love. But the only thing that comes remotely close is feeding a fat girl. I almost feel like I’m on ecstasy. I can’t stop smiling. When your sexuality is so niche and stigmatized and frowned upon, meeting someone who you connect with, and not only that, has the inverse and same fetish as you, is something special…

The previews begin to play.

“Ooooof… Hold on… Lemme get comfy…”

She sucks her gut in and pulls the waistband of her leggings down, letting her belly spill out onto her lap. It’s magnificent, so perfectly round, free of so much as a mole, let alone a stretch mark, and hey, I’m not knocking stretch marks, but a perfect belly is in the eye of a beholder.

And so far, this is the closest I’ve seen to one.

She puts her arm around me and I put my head on her chest, shame surrendering to my sexual 
impulses as I assume a rather feminine position. I get so caught up in playing with the warm ball of flesh as my hard-on pumps pre-cum through my boxers, and later my jeans, that I almost forget that she’s hungry. And we can’t have her wasting away now, can we?

Frankly, Harry, from everything you’ve told me, this stems from your mother…

What?!?!

You’ve mentioned your mother is overweight.

Yeah.

And she’s been that way your whole life, right?

Yeah…

Well, are you familiar with the phrase “Every man grows up to marry his mother?”

Great. Wasn’t bad enough I’m a fuckin’ weirdo, now we gotta throw incest in there…

It’s not incest, Harry, it’s a natural part of everyone’s sexual development. Most women and men will seek out a partner who reminds of us the parent of the opposite sex. Or whatever gender the person is attracted to…

Fuck… You’re right…

It’s not a big deal, Harry. Your Mom was heavy, and you like heavy women.

No… It’s… It all fucking lines up. Jesus Christ. I used to…

Go on…

I’m sorry… This is all really hard for me… I don’t wanna fuck my Mom, though… It’s… Fuck… She’s gross! Like, I don’t wanna fuck my Mom, man! I fucking swear to God!

I’m not saying you do, Harry. All I’m saying is that human beings typically become attracted to traits or attributes that the parent of the opposite sex has. And it’s not always physical. They can be personality-based, for example…

God… You’re right… The smoking, the drugging, the drinking… Jesus Christ…

HARRY! STOP STARING AT MY BELLY!

There, chest against her breasts, my hands resting on her belly, I’m overwhelmed by feelings. She runs her hands over my scalp, transporting me, unwittingly, to my childhood. I let out a sigh of relief and shock. 27 years of emotional baggage and repressed memories, sexual impulses, release in one heavy breath.

Serenity. Calmness. I could fall asleep right now. I could do this all day. My muscles relax for the first time in 20 years as waves of euphoria pulse through my body. Comfort. Security. Affection.

Shhhhhh… It’s OK, Harry…

It’s all gonna be OK…

My Mom didn’t molest me. She loved me. She just wanted to comfort me. She just wanted to be a good Mom. She just wanted me to not go through the things she did. The horrors that she experienced. A drunken, abusive, father. A mother who’d had enough. Violence. Withdrawal. Addiction. Dropping out of school. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That woman has been through things I couldn’t comprehend. I have too much respect for her to spill it here, but you get the picture.

“All the things that growing up as Daddy that he had to see

Daddy didn’t want you to see

But you see just as much as he did…”

I jump a bit as she chuckles. Someone in the movie said something funny. I’m disoriented. I feel high. I feel disgusted. Isaac was right. That fuck. God damn it.

“Alright, my turn…” She says, shifting her weight as I sit up straight.

She rests her head on my chest and feeds me another nacho. As her hand touches my stomach, though, there’s an involuntary reaction, a kneejerk reflex I can’t control. My gut jerks inward, instinctively, and immediately my anxiety flares up.

She looks up at me, eyes big, green, and inquisitive. “What’s wrong? You keep sucking it in…”

SHE LIKES THIS, YOU FUCKING MORON…

STOP BEING A FUCKING FAGGOT.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH…

“Sorry… I’m just… You can keep going…”

“You hungry?”

I nod and lie at the same time.

She feeds me another nacho, then begins to admire my body the same way I did hers. Her fingers feel alien on my skin, prompting a twitch that I cannot reign in despite my mind’s best efforts.

YOU’RE MAKING HER FEEL WEIRD, FUCKFACE.

CUT THE SHIT, DUDE.

YOU’RE FUCKING THIS UP.

THEN AGAIN, THAT’S KINDA PAR FOR THE COURSE FOR YOU, ISN’T IT?!

“Are you sure you’re OK? I don’t wanna make you feel uncomfortable…”

“Yeah! Yeah, I’m fine, I swear to God…”

“OK…”

No drug addict that’s ever sworn to God has meant it. She gets a bit more cautious, running her hands up my chest and fondling my breasts the way I would hers. This is a bit more relaxing for me. But the seeds of self-loathing have been sewn, and I feel I’ve left a stink of insecurity in the air.

“Look… I’m sorry… About when you were… Y’know… Playing with my belly in there… It just kinda… It’s new for me… And… I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable…” I stammer as I drive her back home.

“Oh, no, dude, it’s OK! I had an eating disorder before I started doing this stuff… I know what it’s like to not be comfortable in your own skin. I honestly just feel like I made you uncomfortable, and I’m sorry…”

Sorry Alina, but if anyone’s gonna feel bad about this, it’s me.

I’m not a big fan of sharing blame…

“It’s just like… I don’t give a fuck that I’m fat. I don’t…”

“You aren’t, though. I mean, you’ve got some extra chub on you, sure. But there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“It’s just that… I’ve never been with a girl that likes my fat the way I like their fat…”

She nods as she lights a cigarette.

“But… I know how much I love your body. And if you like mine the same way, then fuck it, right? Why should I feel uncomfortable?”

“Dude, it’s really not that simple, though. Like, I had an ex, right? In high school? Football player, linebacker specifically, and he was like… 275 when we met. I, and I’m not proud of this, but I sorta… I mean, I did… I got him up to around 450. I enabled him. There’s no getting around it. He got injured, stopped training, stopped exercising, and I indulged his every bad habit. Because it was hot for me.”

I nod, knowing all too well the exact feelings she’s describing.

“And it fucking kills me, because he was not in a good place when we broke up. But at the same time, I was what, 16? 17? I didn’t know what feedism was. All I knew was that I preferred heavier guys. And I grew up in a big, Italian family. The way we show love to one another is through food. And all this shit aside, feeding someone, it’s super intimate. As malicious as the whole thing sounds, I didn’t mean for him to hate himself. I thought I was just making him happy…”

“Yeah, no, I get it. Trust me, I get it. You didn’t understand the full scope of what you were doing.”

“Right, exactly. And I haven’t been in a non-consensual feedist relationship since. I’ve figured out it’s just way sexier and way hotter when they’re into it too.”

“Oh yeah, absolutely.”

“I mean, look man, I’m here for a good time, not a long one, but within reason. I wanna have kids some day, y’know? I wanna be healthy, within reason…”

I nod as if I want kids or to live past my 20’s.

“…But it’s like… Tough, dude. The dark side of this stuff really gets me down sometimes…”

“Yeah… Preaching to the choir…”

“But hey, I really did have a good time tonight…”

“Me too…”

“And y’know, I’m gonna be training a new guy for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully I’ll have an iota of free time coming up…”

I smile at her.

“And we can, y’know, do this again…”

“Yeah? I’d like that.”

We pull up to her apartment. It’s still snowing. There isn’t a single car on the street.

“So uh, you wanna come up before you head back to Boston?”

“Yeah! Sure! Where should I park?”

Her eyes widen and she sighs. “Fuck…”

“What?”

“There’s a parking ban. You’d get towed.”

“There isn’t like a garage or something?”

“Nope. Fuck… I’m sorry, Harry…”

As if on fucking cue, a cop begins to roll down the street. She has “narcotics” on her, I have narcotics on me, and I’d prefer if she didn’t know about them.

“And there we go… Yeah, I’m sorry, if you park here, you’re gonna get towed…”

“It’s all good…”

“Maybe I can come down to your neck of the woods once I free up my schedule.”

“Yeah? I’d like that.”

“Alright. I’ll be in touch.”

She leaves. I drive.

Jesus, dude.

Take the fucking hint.

She didn’t even kiss you.

She wants nothing to do with you.

That invitation inside? That was a formality.

She knew there’s a parking ban.

She wants nothing to do with you.

Yeah? Well fuck you, I got to play with a belly tonight.

Cool, congrats. I bet it’s gonna be super hot when she loses a toe to diabetes.

**

“I don’t know, man, she’s such a hard read…” I say to Alex as I chop up Cocaine.

“Yeah, you were tellin’ me…” He replies, eyes trained on the blow as I methodically chop and screw it.

“Like, I’m gonna try and get her down here for New Year’s, but who knows how that’s gonna go. Speaking of New Year’s…”

I sniff a line and hand Alex the straw. He happily gacks up his line and we go out on the porch for a cigarette.

I bought a quarter ounce of blow for New Year’s. Well, “New Year’s” is a subjective term. For me personally, a drug addict, it means December 27th at 11:30 PM to 3 PM on January 2nd, 2020. It’s only just begun to occur to me that such an amount of 7/10 Cocaine is quite a lot in such a small amount of time.

Which is why it can’t hurt to dip into it a bit early, right? Right.

I’m shithouse drunk and coked to the gills by 4 AM.

“We done? Or should I break out the Ketamine?” Alex asks.

“Alright, I tell you what…” I slur.

“I’ll go and weigh this shit out, and if we haven’t done a half gram, I’ll break out two more gator tails.”

“Deal!”

I weigh the coke out as Alex stands in my doorway anxiously.

“Alright. Looks like we’re about a point short. Let’s do it.”

**

“Mom’s xmas present was 200. You wanna split it?” My sister texts me.

“Yeah.” I reply.

It’s just my Mom there, all alone in that house now. My Dad’s been dead for almost a year now. I 
don’t know if I mentioned that already, I’m drunk.

I chain smoke on the 12 minute ride from work to my childhood home. I do not want to do this. It’s 11:45 at night. I’m in my pajamas, a bag of speed pills in my pocket, benzos in my backpack. I press the butt of my cigarette to my forehead as I try and pull it together.

“Sweetie!?!? Are you here?!?!” I hear my mother shout from the porch.

She puts out her cigarette and comes inside from the back deck, her bloodshot eyes glimmering with the last drops of happiness left in her body. She wraps me in a hug. I force a smile as we let go.

Unconditional love is a funny thing. Even though I’m a derelict, drug addicted, career fuck-up that has done absolutely nothing with his life, my Mom still loves me. She just wants me to be happy. That’s it. That’s all she wants. And I can’t even be that.

Her face is red, bloated, and swollen. She ushers me to the kitchen, beer in hand, where baked ziti and chicken parm, my favorite, sit on the oven. A pint of Jack Daniels sits on the counter, along with a six pack of Pepsi. My hands tremble as I scoop food onto a plate. She’s sauced, but that’s kinda the norm.

Has been since as far as I can remember…

My heart begins to race as I pour myself a drink, a generous drink, more whiskey than Pepsi if we’re being honest. We sit in the living room, my mother, my sister, and I.

“It’s so nice to see you, Harry…” She slurs over her beer.

“Nice to see you, too…” I reply.

“Everything going good? Work, your apartment?”

“Yeah, Ma. Everything’s great. Alex and I get along great.”

“Seeing anyone?”

Alina flashes through my mind. “Nah. Nothin’ serious.”

My sister rolls her eyes. “Typical.”

“The fuck’s that supposed to mean?” I reply.

“No need to get so defensive, Jeez!”

“I’m sorry…”

My mother’s dying from alcoholism in front of me and I’m frozen with fear. Well, I shouldn’t limit it to just alcoholism. She’s obese, she’s a smoker, she’s an alcoholic, and I recently learned she’s type two diabetic. She doesn’t know that I know that. I went by to pick up my mail when she wasn’t home, and I found the letter. It was pinned to the bulletin board.

She still works, part time, at a department store. She wakes up at 5 AM every day and cracks a beer, then another, then another, until the shakes go away. I do not judge her. She has endured things that would’ve driven me to suicide, and all the while she has never grown jaded.

Her mother left her with an alcoholic father and five younger siblings when she was still a teenager. She dropped out of school and worked to raise them, all while being berated and beaten at every turn. Two of them died along the way. She was raised in an era where mental illness, things like PTSD, anxiety disorder, simply did not exist. She was raised in a culture where nobody spoke about the shit in their lives, they drank them away.

Then she met my Dad, who was equally as fucked up and broken. His poisons differed slightly, but they were poisons just the same. They bonded through their trauma. My Mom got pregnant, my Dad stepped up to the plate, and they got married.

And they swore, up and down, that I’d have a better life than them.

That I wouldn’t end up fucked up like them.

They had pure intentions. My parents are good people, or were, as the case may be. My mother is still one of the purest people I’ve ever met in my life. She just has demons. Demons I cannot hope to even relate to.

I often imagine myself enduring the Hell my mother went through, only to have me as a son. I was given opportunities she never had a chance of having, and I pissed all over them. There’s only so much of that that you can blame on my turbulent childhood.

Was my Dad a drug addict? Yeah.

Was my Mom a drunk? Yeah.

Did my Dad sell drugs? Yeah.

Did the cops get called over a lot? Fuck yeah.

But when you grow up seeing all of that, at the very least, it should trigger something in your head. That common sense impulse that what you’re seeing is not what you want out of life. I feel more pity for the suburban dope fiends that get put on Percocet at 16 and end up shooting dope than I do myself. I have no excuse for being the way I am. I should know better.

What kills me about my mother is that I see myself in her. I want to shake her. I wanna cry onto her bosom and ask her what I have to do to save her. I just want her to have a happy ending, a happy anything.

But I know, all too well, that it’s simply not that simple.

She doesn’t love herself. She’s done. She wants to die. Her soulmate, my father, is gone. She’s all alone in her house, with a derelict, piece of shit son who screens her calls. Coming over for the holidays is not about seeing her, it’s about creating the illusion that I’m happy.

I’ve spent much of the last two and a half years fixing the superficial things in my life that convey happiness. I have my own car, my own place, a full time job where people like me, a network of friends who love me, but I’m still taking speed every day. I’m still binge drinking on a rather frequent basis. I’m still popping benzos to get to “sleep” every night. I’m still me.

But I just hope that this hologram of a happy me is enough to give my mother’s life of misery and prolonged suicide a grain of hope. I see the pain in her eyes. I know the pain in her eyes.

I just want her to be happy, to be OK, to not worry about me.  

And she just wants me to be happy, to be OK, and not to worry about her.

But neither of us are. And we know it.

My sister has tried the intervention approach, the tough love approach, everything there is to try.

I’ve done nothing.

I’ve sat on my hands and pretended the problem doesn’t exist.

Part of it stems from me not wanting to confront my own issues.

Part of it stems from the blatant hypocrisy of a drug addict casting stones at another drug addict.

Part of it stems from me feeling she wouldn’t have to drink so fucking much if she had a better son…

It’s easier to not see her and pretend she doesn’t exist than it is to acknowledge her existence and see her like this. I used to be really close with her. There was a time I could tell her anything. I see her in every woman that catches my eye. Whether it’s the eyes, the laugh, the cavalier attitude towards their weight and unhealthy habits, the smile, she’s there, or a part of her is.

But that woman doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like Pet Sematary, I guess. Sometimes, dead is better.

My inaction kills me. It drives a knife into my gut and twists it until my organs mix and match, shit mixing with bile and blood.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

But you can do things to a horse to make it thirsty.

I could take her to AA. I could get sober with her. But I do not want to get sober. Nothing scares me more in this world than getting sober. Death is a welcome alternative. Real nice, right?

I would rather my mother die of fucking alcoholism than get my own shit together. I’m a fucking disgrace.

She gets defensive, nasty when confronted on her drinking. The few times I’ve tried to weigh in on the issue, my anxiety is running high already. This quickly turns to rage, and I get nasty back. 
Nothing is accomplished except for furthering the distance between us.

I hate it.

I hate it so fucking much.

When I’m not repressing her existence through drug use and burying my head in the sand, I typically let my rage at her lifestyle overwhelm my compassion and underlying love. Because all of that is easier than the truth. It’s easier than empathizing with her, easier than facing the fact that I am exactly like her.

She’s my Mama.

And I love her.

BUT WHAT THE FUCK COULD I TELL HER?!

WHAT COULD I TELL HER?!!?!?

THAT IT GETS BETTER?!?!

THAT IT’S WORTH IT!??!

IT HASN’T BEEN BETTER, NOR WORTH IT, IN HER 60 YEARS ON THIS EARTH!!!!!

WHY!?!?!

IN THE FUCK!?!?

WOULD IT SUDDENLY CHANGE!?!?

NOW!?!?!

I go to my childhood room at the end of the night. It’s been remodeled since I moved out. A futon sits in the corner, there’s carpet now, the entire upstairs has been done over. It looks great, but it still inspires nothing but dread and bad memories within me. I spent far too long in this room.

The futon is hard and difficult to sleep on. My legs dangle over the edge as I toss and turn. I kick the blankets off in a rage and tear my backpack open, pulling the bag of benzos out. I crack one in half and swallow it, waiting the hour or so that it takes to kick in. An entire lifetime’s worth of repressed tension and baggage melt away my eyelids finally grow heavy and I drift off to sleep.

We open presents the next morning. I get new clothes, sneakers, stuff I need. I’m very thankful. Then 
I get the fuck out. As soon as I can. I can’t handle this.

“It was so good to see you, sweetie. I love you.” She says as she hugs me one last time.

“You too, Ma. You too.”

“Don’t be a stranger now. Call me once in a while!”

My eyes drift to the six empty beer cans on the counter. I blink away the tears.

“Yeah! Yeah, of course, Ma.”

She smiles at me, and after I load all the food and gifts into my car, I leave, lighting a cigarette before I can even leave the driveway. My hands feel numb and tingly. I wanna throw up. I wanna cry.

As I approach the driveway to Alex’s parents’ house, there’s a lot of cars parked in the street. Alex’s parents own the house, but the basement is finished, and functions as our apartment.

I take a deep breath as I park. Alex has seen me on Thanksgiving, and gets the gist of the situation, thanks to me being a drunk prone to spilling my guts when I’m good and sauced.

“How was it?” He asks as I come in.

“Good! Good.” I reply.

I make a few trips to and from the car, bringing my presents and food inside. On the last trip, I grab the handle of vodka from beneath my car seat and stick it in the freezer. Once things are all put away, I take a generous capsule of speed, and my emotions become more manageable.

I hide in my bedroom. The party upstairs grows louder with each passing hour. I am not mad at this, I have no ill-will. I just wanna be alone.

I start drinking early, at around 3 PM. Holing up in my room, writing and drinking and taking speed, only taking breaks to smoke.

“Buddy!”

Alex’s Dad, Peter, comes out onto the porch as I’m halfway through my cigarette. He’s a good guy, a great guy, a great landlord. He’s got a cigar in his hand.

“You know you’re more than welcome to come up, right?” He asks me.

“Yeah! Yeah, I know. It’s uh… I just… It’s my first Christmas without my Dad…”

My ace in the hole. His face immediately falls.

“Oh, bud, I’m sorry. Say no more. But if you’re hungry, or you wanna come up, please, do it. You’re a good kid. And you’re more than welcome to come up and hang out. Y’know, if you wanna.”

“I know, and I appreciate it. Really. I hope you don’t think I’m being rude…”

“No, no, no, of course not.”

There’s an awkward silence between the two of us before I stamp out my cigarette and stand up.

“Hey, Merry Christmas.” I say.

“Merry Christmas, Harry.”

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