girl in needFrom Girl in Need of A Tourniquet


I’d rather cut contact than keep waiting and wondering.

I once read a story about a Puritan woman in Colonial America who became so crazed by waiting to find out if she was among the elect—the ones who go to heaven in the afterlife—she threw her infant daughter into a well to die.

Just so she could stop wondering where she will end up.

Hell it is, she decided for herself.


Here is what is hardest to explain.

I CHOOSE HELL AGAIN AND AGAIN.


I break up with Emily more times than I remember—my recon­structed timeline is a tedious report of the days and reasons for each decision to split—but we never follow through with the plan to stop seeing each other. We never run out of excuses or holidays or alibis or lies. We never pull back long enough to detox. Just long enough for the most acute symptoms of addiction to subside. I am thoroughly engaged by this game of EAT YOUR HEART OUT. I can’t stop throw­ing my organs like playing cards on the table and yelling at Emily when she tries to pick them up. She is my attachment fetish fig­ure and I want to bind us together at the wrists and ankles. If I can make her love me, a door will fly open and I will enter a world where I am always safe and warm and full. She is KEY and DOOR and WORLD and MEAL after savory meal. She is RESCUE and EMERGENCY and PYRO and SIREN. She is MOON and LADDER and ENDLESS SKY OF WANTING. I write her into every possible role in my fantasies of belonging and escape. I love her and hate her. I make her up from scratch. We are on again off again like a spinning ball of light. I court her with the incon­stant postures of the epileptic.



The question of how to remove the fishhook of obsession from my own open eye will follow me long after I leave Emily for good. A year after leaving Emily, I will lie in bed draining cognac straight from the bottle, and I will stand up to go to the bathroom only to surprise myself by slamming my fist into the full-length mirror on my wall. I will hit it over and over, disconcerted when it doesn’t break.


I drunk text her—It’s still you. For me.then fall into bed and sleep.

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