Monday, December 8, 2008

Bars Of Flesh

He tried fucking through his hangovers, with a woman or alone, coarse hand stroking his discomfort. At least alone, he didn't need to mount an effort, smell her morning breath, focus on her physical shortcomings. Not that he was healthy. Too much drinking and bad food expanded his barrel chest and gut, which he hated to look at. But he hated not drinking and scarfing processed crap even more, so something had to give. By 3 PM it usually did, the initial glow hardening into a night of blitzed numbness, floating above the heavy body until the early morning crash, when the whole sick cycle started again.

He was once athletic, strong, quick. It came naturally to him, so he took it for granted. Women liked his body, along with his sense of humor, and for years he had no trouble getting laid. But his steady concerted abuse slowed him, bloated his features, made him looked used and tired, which he was. All he had left was his wit, and even that grew nasty, depending on the company. He could still charm when inspired, or more likely horny; offered empty compliments, pretended to be democratic when he was dismissive and elitist. He hated much of his own work. Why the fuck would he appreciate what his lessers eagerly offered him?

He hid his contempt behind one-liners, absurdist songs, flirtation and flattery. Experience lent him plenty of material. All he desired was some young pussy, and after he nailed it, he wanted to be left alone to work, which was a violent, vile process. Unwashed, unshaven, dressed like a bum if dressed at all, he stomped pounded screamed sweated shit out thoughts that drove him crazy, until mid-afternoon, when the first drink went down, dousing the flames just a bit. This pushed him even further out, his ideas so foul that he became frightened then bored with his fright. By this point work ended for the day, freeing him to drink, shower, shave, and seek that night's companion. If there wasn't one, he blasted vinyl classics from an old stereo that still sounded fine, its speakers large and blocky like himself.

He relived moments that made him cry -- regrets blurred by booze and an unwillingness to let go. He'd used so many people, stolen from them, cheated them with fake emotion, whatever it took to give him some cheap advantage. He promised things to women he had no intention of delivering, their anticipation filling him with contempt, which he took out on them in bed. Sometimes he'd get so wild that a woman would love him even more, deepening his hatred. They often mistook his darkness for affection, however unstable. The weaker ones would cling and take his shit. The better ones blew him off, breaking everything they could on the way out. Those were the women he missed. The angels who ate his heart.