Monday, April 7, 2008

Corroded Coral Pink

Yadira Arroyo

The night was just beginning. We went to Foufoune's and sat on the second floor, where we could look down into the dance floor/mosh pit. After about three pitchers, we had some sort of liquor. It was dizzy dizzy, but I ain't no fool -- or so I thought. He cupped my chin with his hand and leaned his head in. I pulled away.

"Why don't you want to kiss me?" he asked. I told him that I just didn't want to.

I got up from my seat, determined to keep enjoying my buzz, and leaned against the rail to look over the crowd. Intoxicated, the thumping punk rock and the stimulating movement of the young ones below gradually propelled me towards sensory bliss. I closed my eyes. Taking it all in, I ignored his presence in order to fully live the moment. With the streaks of light bearing upon me, I began to sway my hips and dance alone. Shut out from the world yet thoroughly alive in it, I smiled to myself. Mmm.

It was nearing midnight and not wanting him in my apartment again, I urged him to be on his way so he could catch the last bus to Kahnawake. He, however, thought it better to prolong the fun. He thought that he could stay at my place. And I? I was drunk. I agreed on the condition that he would have a spot on my floor -- not my bed, not again. So, we stayed until closing and then got into a cab; he was broke -- how nice.

We entered my apartment and lacking the most minimal courtesy, he helped himself to a glass of water. Or was it James who would so obnoxiously take? Anyway, he had something from my kitchen -- how nice. I went into my bedroom to change into my pajamas where I rolled my eyes; I was tired. Not knowing if Heather was home, I did not want to have him roam the apartment unsupervised. After all: my guest, my responsibility; that was my logic. I pointed at the hardwood floor in a corner of my room and, slurring, informed him that he would sleep there. He complained that it was too cold to crash there, but he wasn't really complaining.

I was drunk. I failed. I, whose poise is by sistahs thoroughly exalted in the daytime world, caved. Easily convinced in this state, I told him that he could sleep on the opposite end of my queen-sized bed. I crawled into it and covered myself in order to shield myself from the atmosphere. He took off his shoes, his jacket, then his shirt and his pants. Yeah, to my surprise and utter disgust, I watched as he undressed completely. I stared blankly at the floor, becoming cognizant of the blood draining itself from my body. He walked over and crept into my bed; I could feel the intrusive pressure that he applied to the mattress as he invaded and I could hear every creak of the springs. Facing away from him, I held my eyes wide open. My bed. Mine. My safety. My room. I closed my eyes tight. I heard and felt the mattress again as he crept closer. Even at that point, I give people the benefit of the doubt. Like, perhaps there is some eternal good in people and so maybe I was misunderstanding everything. However, as if on some unimaginative horror movie cue, his fat white body pressed against mine. Shit. Expecting it, sensing it, I next felt his erect penis on my lower back, and then sliding down to my ass. I scooted to the edge of the bed; alert, quiet. I felt his fat white hand creeping over my abdomen. I flung it away, trembling violently inside although I was in fact, still as a rock. He did it again. I removed the perverse filth from my temple. I hung on the edge of my bed; scared, sickened. Whatever it took to keep that thing away from me…

In the morning, I woke up and didn't dare look over my shoulder. I didn't want to risk engraving the repulsing scene into my ever-keen visual memory. I went to the bathroom and stayed there for a long time. To look at him would be to admit that it had really happened, and yet, I couldn't wait to acknowledge the thing that was lying on my bed so that I could throw it out. Of course, I wasn’t about to actually do anything proactive about it, was I? No. Instead, I sat at the dinner table, somberly watching the dreary day through the kitchen window.

He soon woke and smiled. Like nothing. He put on his nasty black leather jacket and met me in the kitchen. Honestly, I was in some sort of shock. He acted like nothing had happened. Not even a fucking apology. He was hungry. In a curious expression of my unscathed humanity, I offered him waffles and the last two eggs in my refrigerator. I watched irately as he flavored the eggs with basil that he decided to steal from my roommate's cabinet, and then merrily fixed himself breakfast. I stared blankly, abused really, at my plate. I made some excuse about having to run some errands and he fuck-finally got the message. He left, but not before taking some more from me – he needed money for the bus. (Yes, yes, take it!) When I shut the door downstairs after he exited, I was extremely relieved.

Climbing up the stairs though, I suddenly felt sick; I was dirty. Cleansing my body suddenly became my most immediate need, so I proceeded accordingly. Standing under the showerhead, my tears ran along with the steamy water in the wet and foggy blur that was being produced. I scoured my soft, loyal skin while simultaneously apologizing to my own body for having let it down in such a manner that at that moment, its honey-brown tone looked more like a corroded coral pink. I scrubbed once, twice, and still, his putrid scent would not begin to fade! I washed my hair with wicked desperation. Panting and realizing that I had done all that I could in the shower, I wrapped a towel around myself and walked feebly to my bedroom. I sat on my bed staring at nothing, but thinking of everything. Miserably sobbing, I clothed myself. I stood in the middle of the room. Then, in a sudden fit of fury and disgust, I tore the blankets and comforter off my bed, carried them in a bundle and tossed them into the washing machine. Unfulfilled, it next occurred to me to wash those tainted dishes. To hell with it, so I threw away the cup. I swept. I cleaned. I tidied. I sanitized. What did I need to do to crawl out of my skin and rid myself of his permeating stench? There were flashes of memory, of the spectre’s flaccid naked body against my back. How could I get rid of his rotten touch?


Well, they say that time is the best cure, and I’ve lived long enough to know that it sure as hell is. But you know, I’d like to expand on that concept. I didn’t know that it also made the best friggin’ sanitizer.

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