I’ll cut my hair short for you, and you can call me by a boy’s name. I’ll have a doctor cut out my breasts. We will only make love in the ways you like. If we ever want children, we can adopt, and I will never mention we can have them any other way. I can be all the things you want. You just have to pretend a little. With some imagination, I can be who you want.
My faint reflection in windows. The weight of every day objects in my hands. The distant feeling of panic as time ceaselessly passes through the years. The ever changing difference between heat and cold and wind and stillness. I miss all these things, but losing these sensations doesn’t ache the way watching you rebuild your life in the house we shared together aches. I’m happy for you, but I wish I wasn’t stuck here, watching you do the things we never got to do. Watching the two of you grow old together.
Your blood dripped from my fingers, and I gagged your mouth in case you woke up during the next cut. Your sister quietly begged me to take you to the hospital. “Holy fuck, he’s dying,” she said, but I pushed her away, leaving a bloody handprint on her shirt. If we showed up at the hospital at that point, they would have shot us on sight. My inexperienced hands were your only hope. Our only hope.
I have a rule: I won’t eat anything that has a face, which explains why my apartment is full of piles of severed faces.
Skin-snatching microscopic bird-like alien beings. They read our minds. They sleep with our spouses without anyone knowing. They grow their eggs in our ears, which hatch in a swarm of those things still invisible to the naked human eye. They plant obsessive thoughts in our heads until we do things we never thought we were capable of doing. Good and bad. For better or worse. In my case worse. You would believe me if they hadn’t planted obsessive distrust in you. Those things are making us all turn on each other.
These kids were playing in my front yard — absentmindedly picking dandelions like they were flowers. It broke my heart when they moved from picking weeds to uprooting my wife’s flowers. Whatever they are called. Against all odds, those flowers still came back every year after all this time. The old me would have gone out to the front yard and chased them off, making a huge scene in front of the entire neighborhood. The new me watched to see what houses they entered. The new me took note.
If you hire me, you should know you are hiring a guy who is not afraid to put it all on the line. I’m a go-getter who is more than willing to take risks for both my own career advancement and the betterment of the company. I figure if I fuck up too bad, I always have one way out, and I’ll only care about that up until the moment before I do it.
Even from the outside, our new house looked slightly tilted, and I nearly panicked when I went inside and saw the house was sunken on both sides. The center of the house was the apex, and the floors and ceilings and walls all slanted down from that point like a giant tent. None of the pictures we hung on the walks looked anywhere close to straight. I could feel myself climbing slightly uphill and downhill as I moved throughout the house, and I closed my eyes tightly and tried to stand in one place and imagine everything straight or vanishing forever.
We whispered all our sins to the minister by the river where he once baptized us, and he told us we were going to Hell - shock and dismay plastered over his face. We had to act quick. We threw him in the water, and I held him under a good ten minutes after he stopped struggling to be sure. We hoped he died before he had a chance to tell God all we had done.
We sat in our usual spots around the kitchen table. “Majority rules” my father said, “And a coin flip as the tie breaker.” My father said no. My mother said yes. My sister said no. I forced the tie. The coin flipped yes, so my father grabbed the biggest knife we had. Our guest tried to scream through the gag, and he squirmed so much, he fell off the table. It was so pathetic, I would have changed my vote if it wasn’t against our house rules.