By Jessica Robbins
Sometimes I'm thankful when I cannot be found. If the others find me I shall likely remain lost in an avid desire to revive the young girl I used to be. Oh how I want to recover that child, that playful and florid girl, the girl who used to clear the underbrush from unmarked trails, chasing rabbits into fields of wild lilies. The girl that spent hours upon sun setting hours in the pool, swimming well into the night after the fluorescent lights had been switched on and lightning had struck her lane three times. Where has she swum off to and who is this tepidly dull and lifeless person living in me? It is only a shrill femininity that softens her abrasive qualities and provides a certain sultriness to whatever overall appeal she may retain for her own. On the same token this is the burden of flesh. It covers every square inch of me, protecting me from what, I cannot say, unpredictable external elements perhaps. Sometimes it doesn't offer protection so much as it offers more reasons for me to be misunderstood, rejected, lusted after, or ridiculed. My skin is only good covered in water, when it's constantly clean of my past, of my present, and of whatever dirt I may magnetically collect. Anywhere my skin roams beyond the reclusiveness of a dream, I am rendered under the prying eyes and quick mouths of the pillars of judgment that stand tall over each corner I try to claim as a space of peace, pillars that cast shadows of misgivings over every inch of my motives and the dark path i walk on to light bearing, this road to unfounded absence of ego. Why has that come to mean an absence of love? Is my life so loveless that I find more comfort traveling into a dream and gazing at Layne in the hope he will answer questions he avoided in life? Yes, I suppose I am so loveless.
I stood beside him, trying to place a scent, burning metal perhaps, that seemed to be protruding from his cellular body. His blond hair was matted to his head as though he'd been sweating for ten years. He wasn't wearing a shirt, just a pair of faded old jeans with a bunch of holes in them. I wasn't as distracted by his pale snowy body as I should have been, it didn't make any difference, even though he was remarkably lovely, in a "fear and loathing in las vegas" kind of way. His wounded eyes were what captured my attention the most, centered in blackness bleeding over the spirals of blue skewing out. Only a few icy seconds had past over the dankness of the den since I had asked him why he was holding himself hostage to his injuries, but he automatically avoided the question like we were playing dodge ball, a game in which he'd trained himself to draw attention to the ball and not the person it was pegging.
Instead he asked me something I'd never anticipated and certainly couldn't brace for.
"Here, is this what you want? Will this make you happy?" He said half grinning over his chewed up tongue as he gathered up both of his hands and unzipped his pants.
My face flushed and twisted in shock as the enormity of the moment barreled over my composure. Is that what men really think? We seek happiness only in dream trysts of the most perverse kind? I wanted to cry out, "No Layne I'd be happy if you tell me what's troubling you and you let me hug you!"
He looked as though he had gone without selfless human affection for ages, how long I dare not speculate, but the absently angry expression bubbling on his face was not the look of a man who'd been hugged on a regular basis by caring arms. It became impossible to muster a word, let alone soundly object as Layne inched towards me with his pants down. I couldn't deny him, i couldn't say no. The pleaser in me didn't want to, but the healer slash therapist in me wanted to press on his shoulders, sit him back down and talk some sense into him. I wasn't there to be of service to him in a carnal display of instant ejaculation, I just wanted to talk to him and make sure he was going to be ok. There was no force involved in what began to transpire, but it wasn't any bridge to wanting or happiness. We were two adults yet both recklessly childish. I still presume Layne was playing with me more out of boredom than legitimate interest in who I was or what i was doing there. Layne was oblivious to Gabriel, who I could still detect telepathically, standing down at the exit of the long dark hallway, even though he wasn't glowing in plain sight. If Layne knew angels were coming and going from where he'd barricaded himself in, he showed no indication of having consorted with them the way i think he should.
I fell to my knees and leaned my head inward as Layne pushed his hips towards my face. I closed my eyes and began, my lips quivering around him. I watched his taunt face gracefully lighten. I watched the way he bit his own lip and I pretended his lip was mine. The tension eased between our astral bodies I finally began to relax a little as Layne let out a murmur of euphoria and his tortured eyes slowly rolled back in his head. Then for no reason, his expression clenched up to the sound of gritting teeth, as his brows furrowed over turbulent pupils as if they would come crashing into me. He jerked his impressive manhood out with one hand, the other drew backwards in the air with the back of his hand aimed at my face like he wanted to bitch slap me down to the floor and I flinched back defensively with my arms over my head. Suddenly, something diverted his attention and he glanced up just behind me to a picture framed on the wall. Whatever he saw in the picture acted as some kind of instant sedative, his face softened and the sound of teeth grinding finally trailed off. Even though he became less threatening, I didn't dare remove my eyes from his stance, it would have been like looking away from the ocean during a hurricane. I stayed frozen on my knees as he slowly rested his arm back to his waist and casually buckled his pants in the same way a young boy would after peeing on a small fire. Then he plopped back on the couch and returned to watching the fuzzy tv again, flickering with segments of his lost life, like he was trying to mentally sort and label the places he went wrong. How could someone who made so many right songs ever be so trapped by so many cleptic wrongs? He didn't look at me again for the rest of the visit. Agonizing in shock I had to wonder. Would anyone ever find me here? No one found Layne in this place until it was too late.