Monday, February 07, 2005

Untitled (Very graphic, disturbing, death)

“So, you’re depressed.”

“No, no. You have it all wrong.”

The two had only met that evening, but had quickly found the eerie closeness that only develops between two strangers when large amounts of alcohol or drugs are involved. Now the party was winding down, and aside from the half-naked couple in the far corner, the dim living room was theirs alone. He lit a John Players Special, then continued.

“I’m not depressed at all. Indeed, I’m completely satisfied with my life. And that’s just it. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to, everything I’ve dreamed of. I’m ready now.”

“But why not just wait,” she protested. “It will come eventually in its own time. That’s the way it works.”

“Yeah, and I’ll be hit by a semi and not even notice. There’s no fun or satisfaction in that. No, I’ll go my way, at my chosen time. I’m looking forward to it. Death is about the only thing I find exciting these days.”

“I guess I’m like that myself.”

He leaned towards her in his seat, startled and intense. “Oh, you want to off yourself too?”

“No. Not myself. Other people. I’m fascinated by death in other people. I would never kill in anger or for revenge. I’d kill so that I could see the look in their eyes, the expression on their face, so that I could understand it.”

She glanced away, was silent a few moments, then turned back.

“I guess I’m more than a bit fucked up,” she admitted, embarrassed.

He chuckled softly, and with a contemplative look at her, replied, “Well, I guess that makes two of us.”

* * *

“Are you sure,” he asked.

She glanced into his eyes. “Of course I am.”

Leaning away from his chest, she laid the point of the kitchen paring knife against the soft, white skin of his ribs, two inches right of the nipple. Firmly, she drew the blade in a gentle arc down his ribs and across the top of his stomach. He didn’t flinch. In all, it was 14 or 15 inches long, and quite deep. She could see the edges of skin as they gaped away from each other, and blood was welling up quickly.

He released a sigh. “Okay.”

Feeling his eyes on her, she caught a thick drop of blood that had begun to roll down his side on the tip of her middle finger, and put it to her mouth. Salty copper. When she looked up, he was smiling at her tenderly, and with his left hand behind her neck, pulled her in for a kiss as she pressed the knife to his thigh.

* * *

“Well, everything seems to be ready.”

“Yep,” she agreed. “I can’t think of anything left to do.”

The sat side by side on the couch, the note they had composed together of the coffee table before them. It was the third and final draft; the two previous had been burned and flushed down the toilet. The contents of the letter were pretty basic, it was the look of it that was important. The handwriting, his of course, had to be shaky yet determined, desperation mixed with resolve. The first or second version probably would have been adequate, but both were perfectionists and wanted everything to be just right.

“Are you sure you don’t want these,” she asked. “They might make it easier.”

“No.” He took the bottle of Tylenol 3’s from her surgically gloved hand and placed them next to the note. “It has to be clear. I can’t be numbed in body or mind. I want to experience all of it to infinity.”

She stood, turned to face him with her legs on either side of his, and bent at the waist to peer closely at his face.

“I love you, you know.”

“I know.”

He laid a gentle palm against her cheek and kissed her once softly on the mouth. He nodded his head and smiled. At that she pressed the hunting knife they had bought and prepared together into his throat as hard as she could, and slashed to her left at the same time. Once he jerked, and she saw his breathless gasp, then he faded quickly. In moments he was gone.

She stood before him a few minutes, breathing deeply, just looking at him. There was virtually no expression on his pale face. No pain, no alarm, maybe a touch of contentment or relief. But that could have been her imagination.

Carefully, she picked up his right hand and wrapped it, still warm, around the black molded plastic handle of the knife. As carefully, she placed the two at his side, in what should appear to be a natural position.

She peeled off the surgical gloves and brushed her naked hand through his hair.

“Goodbye.”

As quiet as her lover, she left.

Finished October 1997