Monday, February 21, 2011

chloe

I remember when she stopped still when were walking one time and gazed at the ground for a long time. I didn't notice so I kept walking, talking to myself until I looked over and she wasn't there. I wheeled around and saw her standing, looking at the ground. I went back and mimicked her, wondering what she was so intent on. In the cracks of the pavement, a monarch butterfly was struggling to fly. Its wings were cut and its body was broken, and every few seconds, it would wobble and fall, only to get back to its insect feet and try to walk some more, all the while flapping its wings. I felt pity for it and so I picked it up, letting it rest in the cups of my hand. I quickly looked at her, face radiating with success. Instead of compassion, or pity, or some human emotion, she had a cold, still look in her eyes. She tilted her head and before I could react, she picked up the butterfly by one of its wings and slammed it in one of the books she was carrying.
After it stops moving, you can pin it and put it in a glass case. Monarchs are rare around here.

Sometimes I did acid and sometimes she did acid. But I really tried never doing acid when she was around because she was a horrible sitter. She'd always fidget around and end up tripping as well. One time, I had a horrible trip and I felt like spiders were burrowing under my skin, laying eggs and weaving their webs through my veins. All the while I was scratching at my skin, she just sat there, looking at me with an amused and curious look on her face.
That was a lot of blood, you know. But it doesn't stain the carpet that bad so it's alright.

I only saw her cry once. Her good-for-nothing slut bitch cunt friend had died of a heroin overdose. She got a phone call from the chick's boyfriend and when she had hung up, before she turned away from me, I swore I could see a tear hanging on the edge of her nose. I guess I was jealous because I knew she didn't care enough about me to cry if I died, even though I was always with her.

We weren't lovers and we weren't friends. I think we were something in between. We had sex sometimes, but it wasn't passionate and it wasn't romantic. It just was. She would get a quirky look in her eye and then I'd feel something soft and wet on my lips and a second of pain and then the next thing I knew, I was waking up to a bed of rumpled sheets and no note. The first time that happened, I cried for an hour because I thought she had used me. And she had. But I kept going back to her. There was just this infectious thing to her. She never stopped. While others stopped, she just never stopped.

She was dangling her feet over the bed, looking at me, again. She was always looking at me. At first, I told her to stop it because it made me uncomfortable but she didn't, and so I got used to it. That penetrating stare, or rather, the stare that looked through me, as though I wasn't there, as though I didn't exist, as though if I hadn't ever existed, she would not have been bothered. I was writing something.
You should be a writer.
You haven't read anything I've written. How can you say that? I'm a horrible writer.
Well, maybe. But horrible writers get to be the well-paid ones.
Why aren't you a writer?
Oh, I have no artistic talent at all. I just prefer to be.


The morning after she had staged one of her crazy, drug-filled parties at my house, I climbed over the mountains of half-naked bodies slumped over each other and finally reached her. She was underneath a rave girl who was moaning about having a hangover. I took her by the shoulder and asked her why she insisted on being such a bitch. She only half-opened her eyes and with stinking breath she answered,
Why do you insist on being such a coward?

You put up with it. Or rather, I did. Nobody else put up with her, but I prided myself in that I always came back. Even after the calls at four o'clock, even after the chlamydia, even after the yells and shoves down the stairs, I still came back. I was her true friend, and no matter what she did or what she went through, I'd always be there. And I thought that one of these days, she'd recognize that and say thank you.

It was the night she told me she was pregnant. She had been gaining weight and bleeding sometimes. She was nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels and a grin when she told me. She asked if she should go the hanger way or the scarlett o'hara way. I told her I would support her in anything she decided. And so she went the third way--the drug way.

She took some heroine and I took some too. When I woke up, she was gone, as usual. I didn't think anything of it until a month later when she hadn't answered any of my calls and I went over to her shitty apartment to find that it was all cleared out. She never sent a letter but I found out from a connection that she had died in a small town in Kentucky. The connection didn't know the cause of death but there was going to be a funeral, hosted and payed for by the mother.

I didn't go to the funeral. It was all the way in Kentucky and I had a deadline to meet.

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