Or, Adam II. Excerpt from STARGAZING IS NECROPHILIA.
It’s funny how after days and days of thinking I see you everywhere—of thinking I recognize your favorite t-shirt in the street until I hastily register no no I’m wrong, it’s not you, sorry for staring, thought you were someone else—I don’t notice you’re actually standing there until you call my name. At that point, registering who you are manifests in tiny swells of curiosity and panic.
(Me? You remember who I am, don’t you? You remember what I’ve done? You remember that my last message to you still lives in my phone, dated three weeks ago, in April?)
Before you called out to me, I was running. That’s not a metaphor—I actually do run. You know that about me, Adam, don’t you? Probably, maybe. I don’t know if you find me attractive because my stomach looks flat when I stand or because I listen to you so intently. This body doesn’t happen by accident, Adam, but I don’t expect you to know that. How can I crave so much when it comes to you, and still somehow expect so little? My feelings for you are so paradoxical I have to slow down just to process them, to suffer them as they ought to be suffered. I should be angry at you, I think. I think? I imagine. Even Niam had the decency to fight with me, to scream, precisely as I predicted he would. He texts me sometimes when he’s drunk to remind me that I’ve ruined him. He’ll never trust anyone again, and I did that to him.
Am I not even entitled to your rage, Adam?
Apparently not. You wave me over, flagging me like a taxi, and when I slow down, I manage to notice other things; like the U-Haul, which is filled with things I recognize. Things that, because I can’t actually erase my memories, I know belong to you.
You tell me you’re moving, I say what, you repeat yourself as if I didn’t hear you. You’re graduating, you found a job at another college, somewhere small in the Midwest. It’s not the ideal position but at least it’s something. In this economy, you really can’t be too choosy. You’re sorry it took you so long to tell me but you were busy with your dissertation—“And besides, I didn’t think you wanted to talk.”
I gape at you. You run your fingers through your hair and ask me to come inside.
Why? Why on earth would I come inside?
You have something to give me, you say, adding that you already told me that. (Which I, of course, already know, because there is nothing wrong with my hearing. My ears, unlike the rest of me, are perfectly fine.)
By the way, do I have your red hoodie?
“Of course I don’t.” “Hm, well, it’s missing.”
(It’s not missing. Well, maybe it is, though strictly in the milk carton sense where there is definitely at least one person who knows where it is, and fine, in this case, it’s me. I’m the abductor, but in my defense, I don’t do anything creepy with it. My perversions are too delicate; I don’t sleep with it, I don’t wear it, I don’t even look at it. But I know I can find it if I look, which I won’t. So yeah, sure, it’s missing. Let’s go with that.)
I sneak glimpses of the furniture in the U-Haul as I walk by, following you inside. There isn’t much, and certainly not anything expensive, but you lived here for five years, so it stands to reason you amassed a collection. I leaned against that entry table where you set your keys while you were telling me about your research, back when I first lied about having a boyfriend. I remember thinking there were no spots on the table. No rings of condensation to prove you used it much. I looked down at my hands where they rested on the black-painted faux-wood while you talked. You were saying you didn’t think it possible I would be so young. You had read my books before and knew almost nothing about me, except my name and the way I write—which is of course knowing everything about me, outside of my having a boyfriend.
Which I don’t. Not anymore.
I consider the fact that your bookshelf is probably inside the truck somewhere, unless you haven’t packed it yet. Maybe not. Maybe you don’t actually plan to bring it with you when you go. Even three weeks ago, the shelves were mostly caved in; you read messily, chaotically, consuming books rather than revering them. From the entry table I leaned against, I could see a copy of my most recent novel, which did not sell well. You thought it was brave of me to fail like that, but you didn’t use those words.
You should probably buy a new bookshelf and replace it with all new books.
I follow you inside, despite the fact that I am only about a mile into what was supposed to be 10k. I almost trip over the boxes littering your entryway, which don’t seem to be marked. It’s unusual for you to have so little care for your things. You like things more than people, more than feelings. You are unsentimental, but you’re meticulous with your belongings. You are utilitarian that way, caring for the things which bring you use. Efficiency is your king.
You tell me to watch my step. Yes, I know, Adam. I’m not blind.
I pause, and then I confess that I didn’t know you were moving. I’m about to ask you why you didn’t say anything but then I stop myself, because of course you don’t care whether I know. It doesn’t matter to you, we’re done.
Also living in my phone is a text from Niam. It almost reads like iambic pentameter; he becomes poetic in distress. I, meanwhile, stumble, I stutter, I become less eloquent the more I feel. Niam tells me I’ve wronged him, that my lies have rotted him, that I infected him. He makes it sound like I did this on purpose; as if at the very moment I set eyes on him, I thought to myself: I am going to ruin his life.
The difference between murder and manslaughter is premeditation. Thought. Planning. Niam thinks I murdered his innocence, when at best I hit it with my car. Reckless driving. I irresponsibly got behind the wheel; I was negligent when I took a hard left. With you, Adam, I consciously aimed the knife. You asked me if I was free and I said yes. For you, I planned to be, but that wasn’t what you were asking and I knew it. I knew what I was doing when I wrapped my hands around your neck. You’re the one I wronged, and for that, we are finished.
It seems a million years ago that I said anything at all when you eventually respond. You tell me you’re sorry you didn’t say anything about moving; it just seemed like the wrong time. You were interviewing, so things were a little bit crazy around here. “Besides,” you say, “I know you don’t like to be disturbed when you have papers to grade.”
(It sounds like an excuse, but I condone it with a nod. That’s true, I do hate to be disturbed. I have always wondered if I am more particular than I think I am. A very female thing, to wonder am I too difficult? Am I too much, should I be less? )
You’re still talking, I realize. You’re telling me about the details of your dissertation and how you had to defend your argument during your oral exam. You are frustrated, clearly. You’re coming to me for something… advice? Reassurance? I’m not sure. I didn’t think you had any further use for me, but then you tell me you didn’t persuade as many people as you’d hoped, or rather, expected. You can’t understand, didn’t I think it was a valid argument?
Valid? Yes. But validity is subjective, Adam. Not everyone will always agree.
“But I made objectively solid points—”
Mm, no, you made points that were difficult to argue, but not impossible. There’s a difference, and besides, it’s the committee’s job to argue with you. They want to watch you defend yourself. They corner you in the ring to see how you fight your way out.
You grumble something in apparent disagreement and I am forced to fight a smile. I feel two things at once: one is that I would like to take a very thin knife, perhaps a surgical knife, and then I would like to slice open your head, neatly, from your forehead to the nape of your neck, and then I would like to fish around in your brain, searching for the points I have tried countless times for you to see (that you never, ever do) and then, upon locating them, I’d like to withdraw them from your sliced-open skull and show them to your vacant eyes.
The other thing I want is to kiss your mouth. Sapiosexual, they say. Talk random knowledge to me. Feed my brain-related kinks, but then no, I can’t survive on wordplay alone. I’m a fucking human woman, Adam, and this is the monumental bullshit of it all, because if I had never kissed you, if I’d never touched you, then Niam would have found no fault with what you and I did together in your room; on my desk; against the shelves in the library; facing each other before an audience of dozens in a university auditorium. He would have taken no issue with me giving you the intimacy of my mind, which is where you undressed me slowly before you ever put a hand on me. I have been carefully stripping down for you from the moment we met.
I’m so sorry I killed you.
“Hm? I didn’t say anything.”
You give me a quizzical look, and then you turn to one of the boxes, rummaging around in it. Here, you say, and you return something to me. It’s one of my books, which I am always losing. I am always misplacing things, thoughts, feelings. I take it back from you, slowly, and I look at the pages. Did you read it? You frown; you say yes of course you did. “You told me to, didn’t you?”
“Yes, true. And was I right?”
(God, I sound so eager, so hopeful. Did you like it? Did you? Please say you did or I’ll die.)
You assure me it was great. You liked the underlined part a lot—“What a fantastic sentence,” you say.
(This, returning this book to me, is torture. Do you know where I read this, Adam? In bed. In my bed. I read it with the lights low, half-undressed. I fumbled for a pen, rifling around in the drawer where I keep the lube and condoms, trying to find something so that a line would imprint itself in my memory forever, or at least each time I checked the dog-eared page. You have been to such potent places in my mind, Adam. You were there with me, weren’t you? Experiencing it as I experienced it. You loved the line I loved, it touched you where it touched me, we both came together. Mutual orgasm, how rare.)
I tell you to keep it and you frown.
“Because, I don’t know, just keep it.” (I can’t take it back, not now. It’s dirty now, filthy. It’s our sex tape, Adam, and you can’t just go waving that shit around!) “Just take it, please.” You should have something from me anyway.
You don’t argue with me. When you accept it back without comment, a little desperate flame of me imagines that you wanted to keep it; that you were hoping I’d say that. Did you see her in my mind while you were floating around inside it? When I say her, I mean the little girl shouting for approval. She is, unfortunately, part of the deal. Squatter’s rights. I can’t evict her. For nearly a year, you lived in there with her.
I have a renewed episode of quiet hysteria and decide that I should leave, I should probably go, you’re clearly busy.
You catch my arm, “Wait.”
In that moment I stop, frozen.
You release me and ask me if I’m hungry.
I swallow hard. “Starved.”
When I turn back around to face you, I remember things I’ve forgotten, like the fact that you’re really in over your head. You have five years of things in this one-bedroom apartment, and you need to compress them into the space of a not-very-big U-Haul. You’re not very good at this sort of thing. You have an unwieldy way of thinking, and your speech is rarely succinct. You need help.
You need my help.
(Wait—am I wrong? Don’t let me be wrong, or don’t tell me if I am. What am I to you, Adam? I survey the garbage bags on the floor containing refuse from the fridge, things you’re emptying from the bathroom. Will you carry me to your next life, Adam? Will I be left behind to go stale? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I can’t take it, Adam. If you ever loved me, then scatter me at sea. I would rather reduce the cliffs of you to rubble than let you bury me in the ground.)
You give me a little tilt of your head.
You say nothing, though, so I press you. “What?”
“Nothing,” you say, and then you tell me I look different. Bad different? No, just different. Maybe it’s my hair or the fact that I have no makeup on. I probably don’t smell great. No, you laugh, I smell fine, and anyway it doesn’t matter, because you aren’t exactly fresh as a daisy. “I’ve been packing all day,” you inform me.
Yes, Adam. I see that.
You give me a wary half-smile and wander away, from the living room to the kitchen. You call out over your shoulder: Do I want anything to drink? No, I’m fine. You laugh and say good, you have nothing to offer me. (Irony! Satire! I wish metaphors would die.) You’re trying to gingerly pack plates, so I stay in the living room. The bookshelf is only half-packed.
I ask what you’re keeping.
Everything good, you say.
I answer with irritation. “How will I know what’s good?”
“I trust you,” you yell back. I think you’ve just discovered you have a dishwasher.
I sigh loudly, facing the books.
You bellow from somewhere that you’re glad you ran into me.
“Are you?” I’m feeling spiteful, it seems. Petty.
I hear a hitch of hesitation. Either you’ve already forgotten what we were talking about, or you’re thinking.
(I love the sounds you make when you think. Your silences are heavenly. I love the motion of your fingers, the look on your face. Ecstasy is so solemn for you, so mournful. I think, from what I can tell, that despite—or, perhaps, because of—your love of thinking, you hate to arrive at a conclusion. Something is always foregone, and you pity its loss.)
(How soon will I be one of your old ideas?)
“Maybe we should talk,” you say.
(I can’t stand the filth of this. The insecurity of my thoughts sticks to me like grime.)
I pick up a book, pretending to look at it. “Okay, talk.”
Your face appears from the kitchen and I look up, catching the motion from my periphery.
“Are you mad at me?”
(What a baffling question. What are we, Adam, children? I have rarely seen the child who lives in your mind but I suppose he is there, somewhere. Fine, get out the plastic china, let the tea party commence. Let’s play hide and seek until the supper bell rings.)
“Adam,” I sigh, and you grimace.
(I am not going to let you take this copy of Catcher in the Rye. This is the last thing you need. Lord of the Flies can go, too. You’ll need room for Toni Morrison, Anaïs Nin, Virginia Woolf. I will rob you of your entitled male narratives if it’s the last thing I do.)
For a few minutes we interrupt each other, tripping over ourselves to speak. I, of course, lean towards submissive. This is my programming: I apologize, I say “in my opinion—,” “I feel—,” “maybe it’s just me—,” and you mirror me a little, because you’re uncomfortable. You don’t like to talk about your feelings; objectivity entices you, but it’s fake, Adam. Nothing is objective. We are not computers. This is not an algorithm, and anyway, even objective programming comes with bugs. There are undercurrents of argument because I am defensive—No, you are defensive. That’s enough to offset the balance of things, because what would I be accusing you of?
I pause to think about it. You pause, too.
You’re sorry, apparently, or you say you are, which exasperates me. “I’m sorry,” you say, and it’s the wrong thing to say. You don’t even know what you’re sorry for, Adam, so don’t waste words. That irritates you and you bristle. Your mouth opens and snaps shut.
(Don’t throw me away, please, I beg you, don’t throw me away. I will be useful somewhere else, Adam, I promise. I can make myself useful in another home, another space, another set of private yearnings. I don’t deserve to be left behind!)
I want to bury myself in the cushions of your sofa but for some reason, I keep standing. If my posture is defeated, I don’t want to know. I turn to leave, and maybe this time you won’t stop me. We’re only going to fight, which you and I both hate. We don’t fight often, and when we do, we use more shields than weapons. (All defense. We make for a boring match.)
You call after me that you only have one night and it’s this one. “I’m leaving tomorrow, Mari, and I won’t be coming back.”
(I taste it, bitterness, on my tongue. You’re threatening me with your absence, but you will be absent no matter what I do, no matter what I say, no matter who I am. Maybe that’s what I hate: my powerlessness. I knew I would lose you; I was prepared for it. I committed your murder myself. But I wasn’t aware you could resurrect, and you know I hate surprises. This feeling, it’s bile in my mouth. The realignment of reality turns my stomach, makes me sick.)
I pivot slowly. I angrily say I’m not mad. You don’t believe me and I scoff, “Fine.” I toss a copy of Dante’s Inferno into the box and it lands on the book that has my name across the cover, sprawled beneath the illustration of an anatomically bisected bird. I wish I could cry in front of you. No, I wish I could bleed in front of you, because I want you to panic at the thought of my loss. I rarely see you panic. I want to shove you outside your mold, Adam, but you are made like this. I’ve seen the construction myself, and your foundation is faultless. An earthquake would only rattle the walls.
You remind me that I promised to stay for dinner and I say I made no such promises. You are tense and agitated and I want to press my lips to the indentations of your spine. I don’t want to comfort you; your frustration thrills me, makes me feel I have a chance. No, what I want is to soothe myself by touching you. I want to shock myself back to life.
My need to push myself reaches you. I shout something about Niam.
You growl something at me; you tell me you’re not stupid.
What does that mean?
“It means I fucking knew. This whole time, I knew.”
(My chest constricts, I falter, my mind wipes clean.)
(Faster now, faster, like a locomotive—whatwhatwhat—?)
You take a few steps towards me and tell me that you’re not an idiot, that you know what it’s like to be with someone who gives themselves to you—like, actually—and I was never like that. I never stayed the night with you, I never made demands on your time, I never demanded anything at all. You’ve read my books; you know how I love, and you knew I wasn’t giving you everything. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for you, leaving. You thought you could slip out in the night because you were furious I ruined it. I destroyed the fragile illusion when we were both happily playing pretend. Why did I have to tell you about him, about Niam? You would have been happy never knowing his name. You would have lived your whole life knowing that you and I had something rare, something painfully impossible, something that made you abandon not only your convictions and your predilections but also your morals, your principles, your fucking—mo-ther-fuck-ing—bullshit truths. You would have taken the job, whatever job it was (it was certainly never going to be here, your colleagues hate you, you’re not fucking stupid and you know this, you fucking know this) and left me behind, and then you would have only thought of me from time to time, sparingly. As a mistake you made, helplessly. Like a knife to your fucking heart.
You have never spoken of your heart to me before. You have never told me you loved me and you certainly aren’t telling me so now, but I’m so swollen from being handed all this I can’t manage to speak. If I open my mouth, my intestines will fall out. I wanted a thimble-full, just a little taste, and you handed me a bucket. Do you know what it takes to drown, Adam? A whole lot less than this.
(I can’t, I can’t do this, I can’t—)
“Don’t go.” You’re holding my face between your hands and I don’t even know how they got there, but here we are: “Don’t go.”
It occurs to me to fight you. You’re not overly concerned with fitness and if you’re stronger than I am, it’s only a consequence of evolution. The male of the species, bigger stronger faster. You trap me where I stand.
I stammer something. “If you knew, then why—?”
If you—, then—? If—?
You shake your head and decline to answer. You release me and look at the pile of books.
“I have to finish packing the kitchen,” you say.
(You hate confrontation. You always have. You will argue your point until your breath drops into your shoes, but that’s not the same thing. That’s impersonal. It’s fact. It’s objective, or so you incorrectly think. My god, I love how wrong you are, Adam. I adore how very little you know. I would spend an exasperated lifetime filling the tomes of your misconceptions but I can’t now, you’ve taken that from me. You are leaving me behind with unwritten volumes.)
I look around at the boxes and start to cry almost immediately. I try to do it quietly, at first, because I don’t trust you with my pain. All this time, you knew? I’m an idiot, I’m the stupid one, I’m the prodigy who never was. You must have thought it kind, not telling me. Your kindness is absurd; it’s laughable. You must have congratulated yourself on your ability to hold your hands over my eyes while I was begging you not to let go.
I sink to the empty floors, bleeding out. I’ve been on this floor before, but the light in your apartment was different then. I loved you here in winter. I loved you here overlong, through nights that overtook us both. (Why did I tell Niam about you, or you about Niam? It became exhausting, I think.) I stretch out on the floor, tired. My muscles ache, my bones. This body is aging so rapidly I feel myself sink into the floor, compressed by the speed of mortality. You will be gone, Adam, and yes, you were already gone, but only because I killed you. I had guilt then, the weight of responsibility to keep me warm. Now I have the barrenness of sadness, and it is infinitely worse.
I don’t hear you coming until you lie beside me, facing me on the floor. My eyes are closed when I register your presence. I know without confirming that you are looking at me, because memories of it play in my mind. (You are invasive with your glances. You have a tendency to stare.)
You ask me why I’m crying. I say I don’t know. You sigh, heavily.
Before I know it, you’re touching me. Your hands are on my waist, my ribs. Your thumb brushes the elastic of my sports bra. It wasn’t always about touch with us, but you have always loved to fuck me when I cry. I don’t know what it is, but I tease you for it. Used to. We might never have had sex at all if not for that first time you caught me at a weak moment, sitting in my office and poring over pages of useless notes. Another attempt at meaning, gone. I cried to fill a void, and there you were. It was never your job to comfort me, and to be honest, I don’t really know if you were.
I remember disappointment mixing in with your kiss, because I feared it. I worried your kiss would taste like Niam’s—or worse, that it would be something so unlike Niam’s I could never accept Niam’s again. I worried it would be movie magic, fireworks, foot pops. I thought your kiss would demolish me, end me where I stood.
It didn’t. You remain, unfortunately, not the best kiss I’ve ever had. We don’t hold our chemistry between our lips, you and I, and I didn’t lose my breath. But I clung to you then and I cling to you now, pulling you closer, trying to fit into the nooks and crannies of your empty space. You kissed me and I kissed you back, and there, while I quietly slit your throat, you slid your hands under my shirt. Now, like then, I think you’re going to fuck me, right here next to the boxes on the empty, not-empty floor.
Is there a reason for this, Adam? Why can you only make love to my worst, my least remarkable, my most average and weakest self? Am I finally normal enough now, not Athena but Aphrodite, and therefore perfectly reasonable to bed? Without tears I am vindictive; quick to anger, slow to forgive. I am wrath and I am envy. My greatness comes hand in hand with rage, but in my moments of magnanimity, you have never touched me once. Do I blind you when I’m like that? I am fiercely, inescapably bright in anger, dulled to nothing when I’m sad. You strip me of everything and look at me, watching the broken pieces still tick, like the forced-open innards of a clock. Did I know there was no going back when I touched you the first time? No, in fact, I thought it was finished. Ah, sapiosexual, he only lured me with his mind and now we can be done, I can bury this with the rest of my secrets—but no, Adam, it wasn’t that. I didn’t even come the first time, so why was there ever a second?
(I don’t know. How can I know? I hope someone tells me, someday, why. Because I know without help I will never understand. Is it only because I wanted to be more yours, or for you to be wholly mine? Maybe, maybe.)
Adam, Adam, Adam. I say it rhythmically into your neck. I run my fingers over your hair. You’re nurturing me, aren’t you? You’re comforting me, and now I touch you like I love you, like I’ll protect you, like nothing will harm you so long as you’re mine. Is this what you wanted, Adam? For us to be human together? I thought the affair I had with you was lofty, sophisticated and urbane, but now it stinks of human frailty. Remember the sharp edges of our disenchantment? The hard lines of our disillusion? Cling to me harder, Adam. When you’re this close, I almost forget.
(I’ve told you my secrets. Forgive me, Adam, for I have sinned. Who will you tell them to? Will you keep them sacred like I asked? I want badly, so badly, to know you won’t betray me, but in the back of my mind, I know there will be someone who takes my place in your arms. I know, with the same surety with which I doubt you, that somehow, you will manage to tell her everything I have ever said.)
Adam, Adam, I’m close. I’m so close now, so close to breaking, to falling apart on your empty floors, bleeding to death on your split-open chest. I can see the mechanics of you working, heart pounding beneath my palms. I don’t usually say goodbye with sex; not because I lack any fluency, but because I simply prefer to leave. I am ill-suited to milestones. I lack the neatness of beginnings and ends.
(For a moment, you are the first man; you are Adam, experiencing this anew. Call me Eve when you’re inside me. Let’s defy God together, Adam. Blaspheme with me, obscene with me. We have no use for Eden. Give me savagery and pain.)
Later, will I pace these floors? They meant nothing to me, at first, and then everything, and the moment you leave they will be nothing again. What will you take, and what will you discard? The walls will see fresh paint, the dust will be cleared away. Outside will be bags full of nothing: used Command hooks, your broken printer, the person I was at this time yesterday. Did you plan this when you saw me? Was it premeditation? Predestination? Who will suffer most for what we’ve done?
It occurs to me while you’re inside me that if I have misunderstood one part of you, maybe I’ve been mistaken about it all. You’re a stranger now, Adam, and we’ve only just met. I have just come to know you and now, so soon, you’re becoming someone else. (This, I realize, is a one night stand. This will never happen again. It crushes my chest; I can’t breathe. You shift positions. My breath returns.) My life as I have known it reformulates and reconstructs. Surprise! I hate surprises. I thought we were over, but we had never really begun.
Faster now, faster, until it’s too much to bear. Later I will lie on this floor with you and ask you to repeat your dissertation argument to me. I will make you recount every argument you disagreed with, every counterpoint you provided that your panel dismissed. I will peel apart your layers, light what’s left of you on fire, then use that flame to keep me warm. I will remind myself the things I hate, like the narrow-mindedness you sometimes possess. I will push you, hoping to break you. I will knock you down where you stand. When we finally part, you’ll be glad I’m leaving. When I go, I’ll be relieved that you’re gone. It will be days and days before we realize the loss of one another. By the time I process your argument a third time, unwillingly making sense of it—by the time you grudgingly admit that I was never wrong—you will be far away from me, from us, from everything.
(Close, Adam, so close—)
We will save each other with goodbye. Absence over abscess. I will recognize ghosts of you all over town until I forget everything but the color of your t-shirt. You will hear my breath in your ear until you realize it’s just the wind. (No, no, no, it can’t be. Goodbye, Adam, goodbye, but please take me with you, keep your memories of me; I’m not much to carry around!) We will replace each other. We will rise every morning only to rise again. (Don’t leave me, I can’t bear it. I can’t remember myself before I saw you, and now how will I know what’s real?) You and I were placeholders in other people’s stories. (I have loved you, and loved you, and loved you. Please!) We could never have lasted. We are not the overture, we are the aria; a wistful but self-contained song. (How can I beg you? Tell me and I’ll do it. Let me debase myself for you; brutalize me with your indecision, let me crawl to you on my hands and knees—) It was never you. (Always you!) It couldn’t be me. (How did it feel to be loved by me, Adam? Will you ever let yourself forget?)
It could never be us. (But what if we’re wrong?)
My mind races with panic. (Do something drastic!) My logical self starts to fade, and then all I can think comes in varying shades of madness.
Change your mind, Adam. While I have you, let me take the parts of you that want to stay. Let me place them at the forefront of your mind so you can see what I see—that this, us separating from each other, is fundamentally, biologically, innately wrong.
You owe it to me, Adam. Adam, you motherfucker, we had a chance to slip out quietly, to escape any disturbance, and now look what a selfish thing you’ve done!
Okay, but what if you stayed? I could help you, Adam. Maybe the faculty doesn’t like you, but they like me. I’m a prodigy, remember? That has to count for something, so maybe I could fix it. Stay and I’ll fix it.
No, don’t stay, that’s crazy, I don’t even like it here. Remember back when I cried the first time, Adam? Remember how bitterly I told you I hated it; how I confessed that my star had burned out; how I lamented, to you and only you, that there was nothing left here for me? Prodigies grow up, they grow old, they wither to nothing. You can’t stay. You shouldn’t stay, it’s too small here for you, too disappointing. You need the world, Adam, I understand—but ask me to leave with you and I’ll go.
(Worse bargaining, you fucking fool.)
I will run for miles when I leave you. I will run until my lungs give out.
Did you know that I run, Adam? There are so many things you still don’t know, but stay, stay with me and I’ll tell you.
Adam, oh Adam. Whose name will I call when you leave me? Just take my tongue when you go.
I come closer and closer, inching there, stretching out and filling empty space. I have had so much of you. You have had so much of me. There, now are we done? Hide the knife somewhere no one will find it—no, never mind, you won’t have to, the blade is lodged here in my chest. I will be nothing but iron mixed with scar tissue from here until tomorrow—and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. I’m not broken, but still, no one will fix me. I will never be rid of you, not fully, not quite.
You fall against me with a gasp. Satisfaction?
You had something to give me, and now, finally, we’re done.
STARGAZING IS NECROPHILIA is currently in progress. For more details, see my about section.