SQUARE PICTURE OPIATE, WITH PARTY
The ceaseless circles of everyday life turn again and again, leaving a feeling of light headed nausea. Indeed, some consider cars making left turns for entire afternoons sport. The sport occurs when one mad man left turn taker skids on an oil slick and crashes into a concrete barrier at two hundred miles an hour. (I am not sure what speed that equates to in Kilometers per hour, but I assure you it doesn’t change the effect.) The sport reaches its zenith when said mad man escapes the wreck, engulfed in flames, and dances in a frantic attempt to avoid death by barbeque.
I change the channel, the fire extinguished and the sport over, five hours left to kill before I attend party. I know little of this party, but rest assured it will be the same as all the others. Talk of jobs, bills, wasted life, juvenile attempts at humor; all in a night’s cookie cutter existence at party. I will be bored, waiting for someone to catch fire or urinate from a balcony on unsuspecting girls wearing skimpy clothing. Party comes and party goes, soon to be the day before yesterday and a tired story to tell at yet another party. As in:
“Do you remember that time?”
Yes, I do. Since I remember, why doesn’t the person nod and save all ears within hearing distance the usual you had to be there filler stories told at all parties? Repeat after me: Blah, Blah and more Blah.
Someone on the television I have not met is certain he knows the secret to me living a happy and successful life. I hope he is selling semi-automatic weapons that will match my handbag of choice for the evening. If not, he isn’t offering me what I desire. It turns out you must purchase a video to see his secret. I’d offer an opinion about the content of said tape, but I changed the channel. Trapped in a haze of choices, I’ve become lost in a cooking program. I turn to the next station to prevent wishes of burning this apartment from overcoming my self-control. Hundreds of channels devoid of life; blah, blah and more blah.
A sport is on and I don’t think I have ever seen it before this moment. I’ll get a drink from the kitchen to celebrate. (I’ll make sure to step over the puddle building before the cabinet, the result of not wanting to come into contact with my slave owning landlord for a long enough time to tell him the icebox is broken, which leaks and wheezes on its way to certain death)
I must have a few rounds of cocktails before I can attend party. I want a strong drink: whiskey will do the trick. I pour a glass and head back to the square picture opiate in my living room.
Two women stand inside a roped podium, some twenty feet by twenty feet in dimension if I had to guess, wearing tight shorts and tube top shirts, their fists adorned by puffed red gloves. These women have agreed to punch each other in the face until submission or a great sale at Express, whichever comes first. Spectators stand and cheer the blows, especially all blows to the chest area. The girl in red lands a glove to the jaw of the woman in blue. The crowd goes crazy. The woman in blue responds with a punch below the waistline. The crowd bellows in delirium. The match ends with the girl in red being disqualified for pushing the referee out of the way, her zeal to destroy the other woman getting the better of restraint; the crowd booing with derision and throwing batteries into the roped area in protest of the decision.
The second glass of whiskey tastes no better than the first, but gives me the motivation to get ready for party. I take a last look at a channel displaying animal mating behavior before dressing in a short white skirt, which leaves little skin covered and clings to my pale thighs, and a blue low cut tee shirt advertising plenty of heaving bosom. I prefer boys to stare and touch rather than make conversation.
I am here at party, noticed and watched and touched by many as I do my best to make friends with solitude. I feel empty when in the presence of too many and it makes me want to vomit my whiskey. A boy, with blue eyes and cropped blonde hair, attempts to inch his way towards me, with varying degrees of success. I sip whiskey and he tells an anecdote.
“One time…” he begins, his story taking forever plus another fortnight. I move away before he lulls me into a coma.
A game of throw the ball into a plastic cup, for hour and hours, is taking place. Throw the ball, miss or score, groan or cheer; drink, rinse and repeat. This game is an endless source of entertainment for brain dead lemmings. I play for a few rounds, throwing the ball off the playing table in too hard a fashion, bringing forth complaints from all contestants, although it not being a serious enough offense to keep the boy closest to me, a tall boy with a crazy mess of brown hair, from placing his hands on my hips and grinding his erection into my ass. I ignore him, preferring to wink at the opposition and waiting for my turn to throw. The opposition smiles back at me as the tall boy continues to molest me, not showing the least care that I am not responding. I get a turn and throw the ball at the boy across the table. He growls at me and tells me I’m awful at the game. I leave and I’m crushed that I will not have a future or a pro career in throw the ball in the cup game. What WILL I do with my life?
I find a boy and send him for another cocktail. While I wait, a boy with the number five printed on his tee shirt in homage to a sports star of some kind attempts, for the better part of a minute, to introduce himself. I want for a cocktail and a name, not sure what I will receive first. At the moment the boy returns with my drink, the mute one manages to mumble something about my body, which I understand to mean he wants to do sex to me.
I stare at him in silence, waiting for the inevitable chatter.
“Are you here with somebody?”
“How do you know (fill in the blank)?”
“Do you like music?” No, I like hotdogs, I enjoy music.
“Want to go see my pet iguana?”
My eyes glaze, my drink empties and I walk, no—run to the next stall at the circus. Card games. Guess higher or lower they ask. I think I will.
“Is the combined IQ of the six players higher or lower, combined, than one hundred.”
Six blank shiny stares, silence and tension.
“The answer is lower,” I say as I rub the head of one boy and pat another on the back. “You poor little animals. As soon as women begin breeding from test tubes on a mass production level, you will be gassed.”
I laugh and move on, wondering what the next group of mindless automatons will bring. I sit on a couch and wait, an electric light waiting for insects. I’ll count the seconds until a fly begins to buzz.
“Hi there,” a boy says. I laugh and laugh at a thin boy with glasses and breath reeking of alcohol standing near me.
“I can’t help laughing. I’ll never learn to count at this rate,” I say.
“What?” he looks confused.
I sink into myself, automatic response button activated. He talks on and on about the weather, sports, the possibility of getting corrective eye surgery, more sports, shoveling shit for a living, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.
“Do you want to see my room?”
He watches me, his eyes almost pretty, dark intense brown with long lashes like a woman. His jawline is thin, but a certain thickness remains in his cheeks, giving his mouth a strong look despite the plump red fleshy lips I find to be distracting.
“Do you live here?” I ask, intrigued.
He moves closer and whispers in the affirmative. His voice is deep and melodic and for a moment makes me forget it was the instrument used to convey never ending reams of empty information. I nod and he rises, leading me by the hand along the hallway and into the last room on the left. A lamp by the bed reveals stark furnishings; I see a bed, a desk and a small dresser, the sole piece of life in the room a large poster of a popular singer placed over the bed.
He begins again with the chatter, trying to get answers from me, telling me everything about him in a hurried rush. I sigh and wait for the inevitable: the first timid accidental touches, which will lead like the ruins of history to the gentle stroking of thighs, the urgent growing necessity to kiss, to place hands beneath clothing, the slow dripping silence of short breath.
I feel his sweat upon my skin and close my eyes. I dream of Ray and think that the time until we are together grows shorter each day. Soon, it will be him touching me, caressing my skin. I imagine it is Ray removing my clothes and pretend it is done with more assured hands and gentler touch. I moan in my mind as Ray pulls my skirt down my thighs and runs the back of his hand against my softness, all while whispering a favorite story into my ear. I tell him I have dreamed of this moment all of my life.
I am forced from my daydream as the boy mutters something I can’t understand.
I feel him shudder into me, against me, his fingers gripping my shoulder. He breathes into my ear as his hold on me begins to relax, laying on top of me as if one of the dead. I break my stillness and rub his back, feeling the dampness of his skin. I feel consciousness fading and I fall asleep.
I wake at five in the morning, a deep silence filling the room as I lay under him. The once warm wetness feels chill as the morning breeze enters the window. I push him off me and gather my clothing, taking a last look at him as I dress. He does not know I am here. He sleeps with a smile, dreaming what dreams I know not. I pull the sheet over him and kiss his cheek before I take my leave.
The house is quiet. Boys lay here and there on the floor, cups and other assorted trash lay near their unconscious bodies. I see boy number five. I kneel next to him on the floor.
“Thank you for not being the one tonight.”
I am back in my lovely abode. I change my clothes and smoke a cigarette, another day ready to end. I think of turning on square picture opiate, but I need sleep. I must work tomorrow.