Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Anna Louise Steig

The overhead fan is buzzing like a mindless insect, and I am waiting for my boyfriend to twist on the water before I let my piss spray into the toilet bowl, hoping he won’t hear the hiss. After I finish, I stare down into the yellow water, briefly wonder what it tastes like, and then flush it away forever. From the mirror’s hazy reflection, I can see his lumbering body climb into the shower, all milky rolls and rubber skin, blonde hair like peach fuzz that coats his jiggling ass. He slips slightly on the slick tile but quickly recovers himself; I smile to myself, imagine what he looks like underneath his skin.

            While the air grows tepid and my image becomes obscured by condensation on the glass, I slide out of my skirt and step through a portal into the dense chamber of the shower. The atmosphere is thicker than ever, heavier because he has set the temperature to a boil, just how I like it – he knows my body, he reads my mind. We are two halves of one whole, except I am the bigger half, and he steps out of the way so that I can center myself under the heat of the showerhead. It’s easier this way.

            Then, I feel his hands – paws, more like, in his delicate enormity – begin to roll across my back. He ebbs and flows, he overwhelms and slips away. The scent of apple cider vinegar is suddenly overpowering, festering in the dank wetness that exists between our bodies, as he pops the cap off his favorite body wash and starts lathering it all over me. “Hurry up,” I command him, because we have spent far too long standing here aimlessly, fogging up the glass and steaming up the already peeling wallpaper; I can sense our time is ending soon.

            Faster, faster, my darling lover rubs the fragrant soap into my back with increasing vigor, hoping that my gaping pores will absorb the scent until, in essence, I am walking around inside his very own atmosphere, exuding Him with every step I take. This is, after all, the only way we can stay together.

He slides his slick fingers down the curves of my hips, slips into the crevices of my knees and in between my thighs. His mouth is agape like a throbbing pink cavern, gasping, and I cannot resist the urge to press my finger down onto his tongue. He is gasping for breath, eyes blown wide and wild. Desperately, he is trying to stay here with me. He wants more of this moment; we both do. But it has already begun, the change inside. I hear it first: a wet plop against the shower tile, and I look down to see a fat clump of matted blonde hair swirling down the drain. Another clump falls, darker, curlier, pubic. The drain is a vacuum, it sucks and sucks and tugs at the skin on my sobbing lover’s toes until a nail rips away and is consumed by the guzzling pipes. Blood, in water, is usually not crimson. Rather, it is a pale pink, like the color of spoiled fatty pork, and it smells similar, too. He doesn’t beg for help, because we both know that this is inevitable.

When I rotate my body to meet his eyes, I find little left. Flaps of meaty tissue are hanging loosely from his cheekbones, exposing the white pockets and blue nerves inside, but his charcoal eyes are still blinking. A bone below his foaming jaw has started to drip, fatty marrow streaming down in white channels along with beads of errant water. Because I love him, I will stay and wait, wait until there is nothing left except a soaking girl who feels a little lightheaded, and thinks she should sit down.           

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