A More Private Pain by Auzin

It’s a very practical form of self-harm, I say reasonably. Sensibly. My voice is measured, even chipper. It’s free, easy, quiet, and leaves no physical trace…what more can you ask for? I sound like a salesperson on commission. You hate me for it. My grin grows wider without mirth, like a fox baring its fangs.

    what happens when i need to see you and youre not answering your texts or calls and im just
    driving in circles but ive let you consume my life so utterly that the circles are around your
    apartment building and i park next to your car and i keep calling your phone i dont stop
    calling you and i think about keying your car or smashing a window and taking something,
    just something small, maybe a lighter or a pen so i can keep it close, so i can have a piece of
    you always with me and then i slide my tiny stupid hands through the wooden slats of a fence
    and then im looking up at your bedroom window and i tell you im here i tell you im here i tell
    you im here because i need to see you i need to know what happens

I’m still talking, although you don’t care. It’s even addictive, because of the adrenaline and endorphins involved in doing something slightly illicit! Thankfully, it’ll never lead to severe consequences for anyone except you. You think about hitting me. You wonder if it would shut me up. It wouldn’t.

There is a boy in my dream. He looks at me too kindly, so I don’t want him.

    (in another part of the dream, a circus performer swallows a living anaconda whole)

I go out. I buy a top that shows half of my tits. I am afraid in broad daylight. I feel like I am missing out on so much. I laugh in the middle of standstill traffic, forgetting my windows are down. Some skaters pass my car. They are too young for me. It seems there have always been men who are too young for me. I drive home. I go for a fancy meal on my credit card. I eat french bread and crab salad and three different kinds of creme brulee and I try to feel good but I mostly just skim a novel and feel alone.

I want back the tenderness and joy I felt on the day I got my fallopian tubes removed. I want to hold myself like a soft fluffy thing again. Skin clamped down by faith and black polymer.

Sometimes I do it for hours. My hands will cramp up and my eyes will run dry. It makes me feel horrible. And it would be so easy to stop. But I never do.

My great idiocy was constructing the fantasy of your individuality, when really there is nothing more common than an angry dark-haired boy in a band. Your cigarettes and binge drinking. Your emotional detachment post-orgasm. Your half-hearted conversation and coughed-out apologies.

Fuel for the fire. Let go of the joys of begging for love. Choose a more private pain.

A refrain in my head: Except as meat or money.

Except as meat or money.

Except as meat or money.   

Auzin is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. She has published with Nowruz Journal, Rogue Agent Journal, and Agapanthus Collective. She was the Managing Editor at the now-defunct Hecate Magazine and is currently a submissions reader for The Jupiter Review. More of her work can be found at byauzin.com.