They talk about temptation. Tell you only sinners can’t resist. Doesn’t matter what the temptation is. Could be sex or money or roulette or something far, far worse (I have news for you it could always be worse, it could always be better). Could be darker than you dare imagine but you’d never let it get that far. Would you? I wasn’t ever gonna dangle my young body out over the black, black water at midnight but when it happened it didn’t seem so bad. I was completely numb but I remember the way the reflection of the white globe street light hovered on top of the ripples on the river like the full moon split into blurry blobs. Luckily I wasn’t alone. Luckily he didn’t leave me. That time.
Forty days and forty nights. How biblically significant. The devil lives inside though that’s what they don’t tell you. All my life they warned me, pointing out there on the storm streaked horizon. Beware, little one, it comes for you from everywhere and you are ill equipped. You have to see what they did there, you have to see that they were pointing at the heavy menacing clouds but reminding me the tragedy was me. The disappointment is inherent in the way your bones were snapped together, you can’t help it but you should be sorry. You will be sorry, if . . .
The way he pretends to love me is too insistent but I don’t know this in a way that doesn’t make me the bad guy so I let him do bad things to me. I think I think I am protecting him but from who or what I cannot really say. I’m someone who does and does not believe. I’ve been fucked over in the name of holy so many times you’d think I’d have let it go by now but rage can draw an outline around you and keep you propped up like a doll on a stage as the curtain comes up and never comes down again. I do believe in numbers, though, they have their place and their significance. I write the number forty in my journal and circle it seven times in red.