from the tit to the bone

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Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 11:45 pm

February 3rd, 2011, 6:46 am #1

((Rhory Anne Broderick continued from The Most Important Meal of the Day. Posted with staff permission))

There was none of the temporary amnesia as she groaned awake that morning, no brief reprieve. She knew the matted and rotting carpet embedded in her right cheek was not her own, no matter how familiar the water-stained shade of blue was. The room was unmistakably larger than hers (or just stretched by its emptiness). She’d obscured herself in the darkest corner, in the back on the right side, under her denim jacket. A pathetic, crumpled heap dissolved against the splintering wood paneling. It was hardly necessary. What little light there was didn’t make it past the grime caked on the solitary window. A few dead flies littered the once-white windowsill. She wished she hadn’t picked this room. Above the windowsill were a few clinging strips of red, the remnants of some sticker that long ago lost the battle with the elements as they steadily invaded the house. She wished she’d just collapsed in the murky little kitchen instead of crying herself into hysterics until she finally vomited thin brown sick all over the cracked amber-and-caramel tile, the stench forcing her into exile until she found the room with the familiar carpet. Maybe she’d thought the blue could buy her a few extra seconds of that increasingly rare amnesia. Maybe she needed that unpleasant jolt of realization that came after to reassure her that normality had not crept in, that the constant feeling of defeat had not taken root, become the default. Maybe being in a place where Coffee Boy and Ethan were still alive for just those few moments would be enough to break the paralysis that had confined her to a decade-empty corner since the last sunrise. Maybe, she finally thought, she was a fucking idiot for expecting any of that.

She trundled on to her back, spine crackling as she readjusted herself. Most of all she wished she hadn’t cut so many damn holes in her jacket as she pulled it back over herself. Her soiled and thin gray pullover (the warmest thing she’d brought) did little more to keep out the chill. She reached into the jacket’s pocket for the pack of Camel Lights. She gently folded the lid back as her other hand folded over the lighter in the opposite pocket. She flicked the lid forward again, and then back. She flicked it repeatedly as she released the lighter hand let her hand hover over it.

Coffee Boy had quit. That was his response, at least, whenever she’d offered him. She knew it was bullshit. He knew she just wanted to feed her desperate curiosity. Were the rumors true? Did his brother know? She wondered if he had resented her for it. He must have tired of her knowing smiles. He must have grown weary of having her undivided attention even as she stole his brother’s. Was he fed up? Did he cry sometimes? There was genuine concern under the curiosity. There was a sense of kinmanship in the shared stench of their breath. And there was an undeniable allure in those features he possessed that his brother lacked, the soft grace and quiet intelligence that seemed such a paradox to the inherent sense of frustration and impatience the siblings both possessed. Did he know any of that?

And there was the guilty hope she harbored that the rumors weren’t really true. Did he know that?

It had been almost forty-eight hours since she’d heard his name. She felt morning coming, if her internal clock was any good, and with it more names. Not that it mattered. Meat by any other name, right? For a short while, she managed to convince herself it hadn’t mattered with him. He hated her, right? And she could care less about him. Better him than Kurt, right? She would live and go back to Kurt and they’d cry together about him for a while but she’d be alive and he’d be dead and they could all just move on. And, hey, his little secret wouldn’t even matter anymore. It wouldn’t hurt. No more hiding or crying. Maybe it had been a relief, dying like that. But it ate at her slowly. She felt a kind of loneliness that not even her days of being solitary had approached. And then, exactly twenty-four hours later as she threw down her remaining duffel on the ruined floor of that frozen-in-the-80’s kitchen, there came the words that finally broke her.

“Speaking of, Ethan Kent…”

She didn’t remember how long she paced along that kitchen, mouthing and later screaming no’s until she was hoarse and still screaming until she was sobbing too hard to breathe. She couldn’t recall how long she knelt over the pool of her own vomit until the stench finally got to her, trying her very best to change the simple fact with the sheer force of her thoughts. He couldn’t be dead. He’s too smart to die. He’s going to be a fucking rocket scientist. He’s going to change the world. He can’t die. He can’t die if I’m alive. That’s not how it works. He’s worth something. It’s not true. It’s not fair. He’s not dead, he’s not dead, he’s not fucking dead.

But then she was in this corner and Ethan was dead and Jack was dead and all she could do was sleep.

She tried conjuring their faces as she faded. Jackson was easy. He was so like his brother in all the places where it didn’t matter, so different where it did. Maybe she’d dreamt about him. She couldn’t quite remember. She knew she hadn’t dreamt about Ethan.

She tried to draw him up. There was that time when they were kids at the State Fair just days before the looming start of the school year. She’d puked after the Skyride. She always had a weak stomach. He’d laughed, but still let her put his weight on him after as she tried to make her way on her wobbly legs. Later that year she stole his glasses one morning and he went through a whole day of school unable to read but stoic, unwilling to admit defeat. He ignored her for a week after as she stewed in her guilt. Years later they’d be in his driveway and he would be replacing the serpentine belt in her new Subaru Outback because it was making these godawful noises and she was so terrified she’d already broken something. He came out with greasy hands and she’s smudged them over his face and she retaliated on hers. She wondered if he’d thought of her at all in the midst of all of this, maybe even as he was dying. They’d fucked in the back of that car not long after. That memory somehow remained not just intact after several hours’ worth of cheap beer and weak weed but vivid. She remembered how red his face was as he gently pushed her against the car door and pressed his lips over her own numb ones. She remembered noticing the McDonalds fries wrapper fluttering around the floor as he crawled over her and shut the door behind him. She remembered dully thinking that she should have vacuumed in there or at least gotten rid of the old soda cans before his tongue slid across the roof of her mouth.

Her cigarettes were at her side now. She noticed a growing warmth she hadn’t imagined she could feel here, least of all now. He’d cradled her jaw as he slipped his tongue in. He’d let his teeth linger on her lower lip for slightly longer as he pulled away. He’d been a graceful drunk if she ever saw one. Her arm was limp across her belly now, fingers raking up the bottom hem of her sweater and he’d slid his hand under her t-shirt with one hand while his other hand fumbled with the clasp of her bra through the fabric. Her own right hand cupped her bare left breast as he once had as he’d moved his lips from her mouth to her cheek, down her neck as her hand pushed past the loose flaps of ragged and soiled jeans, through the saplings of stubble lacking the thin damp layer of underwear he’d once had to contend with, but first he’d lifted her shirt and then his, dropping both to the dirty floor as he’d pressed her loose breasts to him and let his lips linger on her nape. Her middle finger found where the skin gave way to wetter flesh and he’d pulled away, letting his lips wander down her chest.

She’d covered her nipples. Even in the dark she was so afraid he’d see. They were nothing like the pink disks of the porn star goddesses she’d seen, hers dark and spotted with bumps. He’d stopped his lips just above her sentinel hands and he’d delicately pried at them. She’d expected some reaction of disgust, ridicule, but instead he’d pressed his lips against one and ran his tongue over the tip as her finger found the fleshy pearl and nudged gently against it and she croaked softly and he’d sucked one as he removed his lips as he’d started on her zipper and she’d already been at his button and she’d clumsily grasped at his feverish and alien shaft as he’d fumbled with the condom wrapper and she hadn’t been sure if she wanted him in her but before her addled mind had time to process it he was, and she’d groaned like a lobotomy patient, not at all like now where the only thing to leave the anguished expression on her face was a pathetic stream of tears over a boy who she knew, she knew never thought of her as she’d always thought of him as a friend and certainly never as a lover, just a fuck, a useless fuck and that’s only if he thought of her at all. Her hand worked deeper into the knot of flesh and it took everything in her to stifle a moan.

Kurt had been so different. His shoulders were wider and deeper with muscle. He was stiffer and had the sort of easy non-grace of a high school athlete. He surprised her with how shy he turned out to be under the thin arrogance. How meek, pathetic, malleable, as if his bulk melted in her presence. She recalled how his skin sometimes tightened where she touched and how he always blushed when they were alone. He’d been shaking so badly that first time. They must have looked so ridiculous under the showerhead in their underwear. His boxer-briefs had Oscar the Grouch on them and he’d almost slipped as he was stepping in because he had one of those shower-bath combos and those can get so slippery. She remembered being so annoyed at him as he tried to tickle her side but then looked down and saw his hand convulsing as he tried to touch her and she’d pinched the clasp of her bra open with one hand as she guided his nervous hand to her breast with the other and they’d kissed and shampooed each other awkwardly and then he’d held her and breathed in steam until the hot water finally ran out. She’d reached past him and twisted it off, kissing his jaw as she’d leaned and followed down to his shoulder, his chest, the divide between each muscle on his stomach and along the V of his pelvis and his muscles had tensed wherever her lips touched until finally she’d enclosed her lips around the pink tip of his cock and circled her tongue around it as delicately as she could, enclosing its base with a gentle O that ended with her thumb and index finger pinching at air the same way his brother pinched at his cigarettes and she’d wondered, was this how he sucked cock? and she’d needed so desperately to drive that thought out so she’d turned and propped her left foot on the bar above the soap dish and enveloped him and it had hurt so much without lube and she hadn’t taken her pill for three days (please mom, I’m not having sex, my periods are just so heavy) but he’d wrapped his arms around her shoulders and buried his face in her nape and he’d trembled the entire time and she was on her stomach now, both hands massaging her clit as she drove herself into them, tears feeding the mold in the carpet, and for the first goddamn time someone else had thought they needed her.




The Zippo’s light just made the room look older. There was a corner in the back, on the right side, that looked as if it hadn’t been touched for a decade. The carpet didn’t really look like hers, she thought. The blue was all wrong.

((Rhory Anne Broderick continued in Laisse tomber les filles))
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