Letting Life Lead
I’ve been waiting. Oh, yes, you’ll do fine. The confusion will pass.
I AM talking to you. No need to tell me your name. I already know it.
Don’t bore me.
A chuckle ping-pongs in your head. Thoughts key in like the rhythmic taps of a manual typewriter — sometimes getting stuck in a jumble of your thoughts and the other thoughts.
If you must, call me Gene.
You hear pills shaken inside a plastic bottle and the croaky spring of a desk chair. A fwish escapes its cushion and the metal grates. Reality spins.
Testing, testing. How’s your reception?
Voices (not Gene’s) tickle at the edges. Not where you are, but there — with Gene.
Look at you getting all settled in. The last one had their face in the toilet for an hour. Don’t bother trying to look around. Audio and sniffer only.
Static. Talking. Music. Classical. Static. “–non-stop classic hits from the 70’s, 8o’s, and 90’s . W–” The volume lowers suddenly. After a few moments, “The Closer I Get To You” plays. Gene’s voice sings along off key.
The closer I get to you. The more you make me see — Hah! True. My mother used to say I sounded like a cat got its tail in a blender.
The world tilts.
Chair wheels roll along the floor. Your stomach drops followed by a thin, light-headedness. Shoes scuff the floor to the musical beats. You swallow back your last meal. A lid pops. Something rattles.
Medication. Just some insurance. I like you. Don’t want you fading off. Side-effects may include dizziness, nausea, localized swelling — yada yada — and hallucinations — in case you were wondering.
A door creaks and footfalls shuffle on carpet. Up and up. Squeaks on stairs. An object plink-plink-plinks like the spokes on a wheel. A heavy metallic smell fills your mind until you can taste it. Familiar. But not like the metal of a machine. Organic.
You are the first one to notice that. I’m afraid you caught me with my hand in it. I got tired of waiting — had a little taste first. I saved the best for last.
The radio fades. The stench of feces and urine assault you. Your insides heave and lurch. A door closes. The scent swirls fade.
You don’t want me to be upset with you do you? Suck it up.
The fwup-fwup-fwup of a fan and the swish of wind whistles through an open window making the blinds click-clack. A sticky window slams.
Crimes shows never mention how messy strangulation is. They shit themselves. Piss all over. Don’t do it indoors, right?
Your heart races. Blood rushes to your head. Gene laughs.
I didn’t lay a hand on that woman. Strangling — not my thing. Do you know how hard it is to squeeze the life out of something? Better workout than Pilates.
Your temples pound and you try to stop — looking? Thinking? Hearing? Reading?
Ever had your windpipe crushed? Takes a while. You can revive and stab a son-of-a-bitch in the eye with a Sharpie. Better be sure dead is dead before getting cocky.
The wind rattles the windows. Rain raps the roof and panes.
A mind screw isn’t it? You amuse me. Such dirty little things you keep tucked in here, and I’m only on door number three. Shh. I won’t tell. Our secret. Did I mention that panic and pleasure makes our link stronger? Click. Is that another door? Oh, what are you hiding in there?
The world tilts.
A sudden body shake starts a cascade of goosebumps from your scalp to your ankles. The springs on a bed bounce. Squip. Squip. Squip. You sink; you rise; you sink. Something sour curls up your nose; your eyes water. A deep voice moans. Not yours. Is it?
Can you smell his sweat? Bonds are unpredictable. Takes a while to settle on someone. I just have to wait. And poof! A voyeur! Hey, it’s like Google isn’t it? Oh, I guess you’re right. More like Bing; it does throw up random shit.
I like watching. But I like when I feel you watching more.
I poisoned him — after I made him kill his wife. I cut him a little, too.
Panic and bile creep up your throat. More anguished moans.
Sweet agony. Everything’s better with you here. We’re a team you and I. He displeased me, but I know you won’t.
playing by my own rules
We take the heat 'cause we gotta eat.
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