False gods and false promises. They make you pray to a piece of plastic and it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. If it didn’t fuck up your entire life so perfectly, with such nearly effortless calculation. You chew on a rosary and get your little hands slapped. You kiss the boys with your tongue and you run from them when they chase you and all the while you are a blossoming vessel, harboring secrets of untold worth that only you know exist. Bubble gum. Double dutch. A developing tornado of cuts and scrapes, curiosity and confusion.
They shower you with adoration even when you don’t deserve it and you know it and you say nothing. Collect compliments like dead butterflies. Pin them under the hem of your long white gown. Cherry lipstick. Fast cars and neon lights. Long legs and reckless fear.
It is much later than you realized but the music was loud and the whiskey was strong. His hand fit into yours, fit inside your jeans, fit like a thick and eager dream. You lie down in the grass and laugh when he comes but only because everything is so goddamn hilarious when the night is dark and so is every single cell which buzzes inside of you and forces upon you a life you barely understand.
You can feel that forced energy, it builds in your throat like a thirsting for something specific but just out of reach. You learn to beat the thing you don’t want by wanting it desperately. Learn to crave the self by suffocating it.
He lights up a cigarette and you inhale the scent of tobacco and the approach of spiced autumn in the cold night air. He asks you what you would say to your eighteen year old self if you only got three words.
I’m so sorry,
without even thinking.
It seems you know one thing and that is you need a kind of healing this world cannot provide. Absolution isn’t it. Abstinence isn’t it, and neither is sobriety. You are gonna need to be addicted to something, it’s just that maybe if you’re lucky you get to choose.
You spread your arms out wide, as he crawls between your legs. Your soul is spinning like a glittering universe which sends tiny fading pulses back to earth. You remember the taste of plastic beads in your mouth. You remember they were that strange pale-sick green which absorbed all the light so they could glow in the dark. You remember piercing your tiny little fangs against the hole in the side of Christ and the way you pretended you were drinking his blood.
It’s so late now it’s morning and you lie alone in your bed, a smooth cool breeze fluttering through your thin white curtains. Everything good must end and most of it isn’t that good to begin with in any case. You pour the coffee and draw a tarot card at an altar you’ve built to the virgin they sold you for cheap, nailed you to a promise they knew they’d never keep. She is beautiful and does not speak, serpent coiled at her tiny bare feet. Behind her, the dark work of Franz Stuck entitled The Sin. You only trust a thing if it shows you both sides of its face.
You pull the Wheel of Fortune. X. A new phase of life, movement, the cyclic nature of the destiny of all things. Nothing in this life is permanent, be careful of that to which you hold tight. Soon you will make a choice which will cause monumental change and nothing terrifies you more than this. Nothing calls to you more clearly. Nothing else quite like it draws you deeper and deeper in.