chest collapsing slowly

i lean against the refrigerator door, standing here absently, looking for food.  it's what i do when i realize my day's meal has consisted of two sour oranges.  i'm silhouetted in the dim, watery lightbulb glow and it's 3 a.m.

you're draped across the couch, still sleeping, one arm trailing to the floor.  i can hear your heavy breathing and it sets my teeth on fucking edge.

and i start thinking about the things i have always been avoiding.

you can't live off another person's love, you know.  and i don't.  i think about how you used to make my heart ache and my legs cross and the feel of your lips across my skin had me believing i'd give ten years of my life for three more seconds in bed with you.  the time summer rain caught us downtown at midnight, and you stretched your long arms over my head, laughing breathlessly.  hot sunlit days lying face down across warm carpet, our fingers intertwined.

"sophie, i want to be with you for the rest of my life."

i never really loved you, not even for a minute.

that year i was sick for a month, eyes bright with fever every night.  you pressed wet towels against my forehead and held my tiny wrists in your hands.  you called me 'baby' and stayed up holding me while i shivered against you.  that thin black t-shirt stretched across your shoulders, plastered against you with my sweat while you rocked me in your arms.  you peeled my clothes off gently and bathed me in cold water when i was too weak to stand.

five days later, i was stripping down mechanically in front of someone else.  i don't even remember who he was, a stranger with full lips and the taste of whiskey on his breath.  i just remember that all i wanted was to lean.  to just be against.  to press against someone else's body, feel hipbones pushing hard against each other.  i just wanted to fuck, and kiss.

i wanted to see what it would look like, to destroy somebody who loved me.

and i watched it in the full-length mirror beside his bed, lying on my side with this stranger's hands enveloping me from behind.  his fingers gripped my shoulder, my breasts, pulling hard at my hips.  i watched my face stare back blankly, unfeeling, unseeing.

i hate wanting things.  wanting people.  wanting you.

it implies a dependency on desire, captures hard, pulls me in a net and seals me in.  with rope burns on my fingers, a crowd of millions i despise.  and i realize that they want what i want.  that the need to be loved keeps us crawling up this net.  with fingers that aren't big enough.  aren't strong enough.  and i crawl and i crawl.  and fucking crawl.  there's never any progress, only bleeding hands.

to control your desires, you have to commit the opposite act of creating them.

you have to destroy them.

so i shelve the memories of saturday afternoons with my head in your lap, the way you buy me flowers when i come home from work.  the post-it notes you leave for me while i shower, your heartbreakingly beautiful smile.  and i'll tell you that you're so hot and sexy, and i'll bite your neck.  and i'll tell you that everything you like is generic and you should be ashamed for needing me the way you do.  and i won't return your calls and i will keep you waiting.  and i will tell you weeks later, i got busy.

and i say this to you in the same breath as i want to fuck.

and my hands won't feel raw anymore.

and that's how it feels right.