Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet and Bitter Drinks

I sip my Merlot slowly. Savoring the flavor and the now. He knows my shoe fetish. I smile at the box. The right dimensions for a pair of size 7 Jimmy Choos. It's my birthday and our first year anniversary. One year of being an older man's mistress. Still not sure how it happened... not even sure if I am a mistress. It's a technicality that I find amusing. He's been separated the entire time I have known him. He just refuses to get a divorce.

The wine swirls seductively and dangerously close to the crystal rim. My blurry eyes meet his drowsy ones. Work exhausts him. He owns and works at a construction company, 12 to15 hours a day, not to mention weekends. He's not handsome, just magnetic and very good in bed. His body is to die for. I met him at the gym.

The gift inches towards me. I carefully set the glass down and reach out. My hands caress the smooth sides of the silvered wrapping paper. Then I tear in, throwing shreds of paper in the air and tossing the lid after them. He chuckles appreciatively at my enthusiastic oohs and aahs. The way I reverently hold them up to the chandelier's minimal light. Their apple red sheen and chaotic straps have me wet between my bare thighs. I'm suddenly still and it alerts him instantly. 

His low, slightly accented voice demands that I put them on now. I wiggle my purple, expensive toes at him and sigh with a slur, "I don't know if the red matches..."

A growl and a chair scraping wood floors makes me laugh and I quickly slip the heels on my feet. Just quickly enough to run around to the other side. He's after me, lust replacing drowsiness. My negligee catches a corner and tears. Strong, tan arms pick me up, gasping for air, I kick the table.Wine glasses topple, spill. We watch, frozen, as dark red soaks, spreads, staining the white tablecloth. There's something arousing in watching sinful color overtake purity. He groans into my neck and throws me on tabletop. Wine glasses roll off, shatter. We ignore it as he spreads my legs wide and takes me on the table. Merlot sticks to my back. It is an unfamiliar feeling amid a familiar one. I sip it slowly.


The coffee percolates as I stare at a blank screen. Flavors of yesterday hiding words of anger. It is the day after my birthday and I am still writing a story in my mind. One that is a lie. I want to write on the page. The page won't let me hide. It will show me I am lying. Like shoes on toes that lead to sex, words from fingers lead to truth.

Writing to release the fear and excitement caused by balancing on the edge of life's wine glass. I want the protective balance that I stand on to tip. I'm not even sure that I care which way it falls. To the right or to the left? Either one has an unknown abyss. Well, what's at the bottom is the unknown. The fall would be the question. If I were to label the directions, then perhaps the right would be, "To be alone?" and the left would be, "To continue and with whom?"  You might want to think that the latter question would have to do with where I am at now on that precarious lip, but it's not, because the balance has been in me as one trying to live two deceptive lives. I am ready to fall.

But even that  requires commitment. Something I am truly afraid of. Committing to be alone? Committing to be with whom? I have never been alone and I was with someone for almost 17 years. Then I became a mistress. It's apparent that I do not know what's best for me. The faith to trust the universe to take of me is also sadly lacking. Perhaps that also leads to the pathetic fact that, in my whole life, I have never trusted myself, the world or other people. I was taught not to trust, that it's all a battle, that they are all out to get me.  Being one that lacked strength of character, confidence it was easy to manipulate me into a Yes-girl and I'll-hide-in-here-(usually a book)-girl.

The coffee is bitter today. I've made it too strong and let it sit too long. Just like the past and present relationship. It's no good. I've got to do it now and today.  I pour the brackish down the drain. The burned coffee splashes and stains the sink. Like a Rorschach blot obscuring what should be a clean white page. Liquid images drying to stainless steel walls. For a moment the randomness reveals only what I want to see. And then I stop. This has been my curse my entire life. Eyes open, inebriation fading away, I turn on the faucet and enjoy a profound clarity as pure water washes it all away. My mind is free and made up. I reach for the phone.

Seven numbers are hard to dial. I hate myself for that. I tell him that I love the shoes. I enjoyed our Merlot. But I need to make a new pot of coffee.

Yes, I dumped him like I dumped that coffee down the drain. Carefully placing the grounds in the compost. I muse how I'll use it, and him, in the future. It's a relief to finally tell him it's over for now, but there can still be a later. I told him he can come back when he's finally divorced. If it's done before the Choos wear out and before I manage to find a new wine and perfect my coffee making technique. The Choos are still new, but I don't think he'll make it before I invest my money in a vineyard and figure out the perfect balance between grounds and water.

I'm drunk on the left. I'm awake on the right. Who, what, shall I sip in the middle?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Time

"It's time," I tell my reflection. My image is blurred in the steam, distorted.  It's accurately  reflective of my state of mind.  I shrug the negative judgment off and reach for the gun, flicking the wet, recently used toothbrush away from it.  Growling at their dampness, the trivial things are important to bitch about now.  "Where's the damn towel?"  I frantically search, shaking my head in frustration.  But it can't stop the pictures dancing incessantly across my mind.  Twirling flashes of red-black flecks...white skin...metal...gray skin...bark...I gag and grab the slippery sink edge.

The heat...the humidity...too much...the air, pressing down on me.  I feel panic's tentacles spreading from my chest reaching to latch on to my memories of that crime scene.  Razor-sharp suckers, grasp the past forward, slicing away my ability to think clearly.  Straightening abruptly, "Focus!"  I shout at myself, shoving the gun into my back holster.  Quickly grabbing a dirty t-shirt, I swipe the concealing condensation away, with my other hand, I fling the door open.  A welcome breeze from the open bedroom window lifts it all away.  Breathing deeply, I calmly say to my clear image, "It's time."

An impatient honk from my partner outside makes me turn towards the sound.  But my feet stubbornly refuse to move.  The peace in my heart is a fragile thing, one clumsy bump will shatter it like a running child, arms spread wide, in an aisle of glass.  Either I, or those closest to me, will inevitably fail to observe the "Careful - Breakable- Do NOT touch" signs.  My thoughts often intrude, acting illiterate. And no one, especially not me, can afford to buy after it's broken.  The narrow, long, deep valley of my depression...there seems to be no way to climb up, no gentle slope up and out with sunlight to greet me.  But I have to continue to fake it, the same way I fooled the department psych into letting me back into active duty.

Another blast from the horn.  I slide into my tan blazer, grateful that it covers my wrinkled white dress shirt. My toned legs, smooth and long, flatter the navy knee-length skirt. Gently touching my badge, then pulling out my ID and clipping it to my belt turns out to be soothing ritual.  I head out to the unmarked patrol car.  Boring, inconspicuous black. So the department thinks!  It stands out, people have an instinct when it comes to authority.  Grateful at the amusement entering my being, I hope to hold onto it.

But my partner, how I dread his voice of late, ruins it.  His clumsy attempts at sympathetic lying for something he will never personally experience from my end.  Or his forced attempts at normalcy, "nothing happened, if we deny it!" So fake. Today is going to be a "false-positive" day.  I could tell by how he reaches over and flings open the door.  Dentist-bleached teeth blinding me.

"'Bout time Dominique!  Sheesh, you'd think all the time you spend in the bathroom that there'd actually be make-up on your pretty face!"  Tim's overly-jovial tone grates on my nerves.  I feel like I should shoot him then and there.  But, it's not time. . .nor the correct place. On purpose, I hike up my skirt to mid-thigh, as I sit down.  I sense the heat from his stare.  He leans in and reaches for a piece of trash, an excuse to touch my leg.  His hand lingers over-long, insidious in its upwards ascent. 

"Tim," I banter back with a husky, sexy voice while I remove his hand with an encouraging squeeze. "Ever the gentleman, but you'd think that you'd at least shave that damn shadow during the time you were waiting for me to come out.  I know the Norelco is in the glove box."

He chuckles, not offended in the least.  "If I shave to the smoothness of your legs, will you do me? The condoms are in there, too!"

I smile, turn to face him, glad that he's so easy.  I laiugh, "I know you have one ready in your wallet...hopefully, not expired?"

The buttons, I deliberately left undone, work their magic.  My laciest cleavage-enhancing bra on.  His black eyes drawn in, hopelessly lost in the pattern, traveling up and down my pale breasts.  Reaching for his dark hair, I yank him back hard and force his gaze up.  Rumors has it that he likes it rough.  I place my other hand perilously close to his manhood.  It shifts towards me.  In response, I squeeze his thigh hard.  His gasp of pleasure nearly undoes my resolve.

"Tim, baby, I want..."  my voice trails off, as I try to feign desire and deny my urge to flee to a seven day shower.

"Oh, Dom... really. . .I've wanted you since the day we became partners,"  I nod, dropping my lashes, not trusting my eyes and my voice to keep the hatred out of it.

But I have to talk, keeping my head down, I touch him and stroke him harder through his jeans.  I have to get him to the right place.  "Tim, the little lake, the one up the mountain path, by Jensen's farm.  It's private, no one. . ."

"Yes, yes!"  He eagerly agrees.  My green eyes drown into his.  Then I turn and look out the window when he starts the car and peels out to get on the highway.  Of course, he doesn't remember.  Doesn't phase him, so insignificant the event was to him.  No association to. . .I stop the thought.  No panicking, no rage.  I'll make him remember. . .every detail.  The winding road into the Eldorado Range and the speed he takes the corners scares me, all this for sex in the woods.  Arriving alive and unclenching my fist from the "Oh Shit" handle hurt.  We park at the National Park entrance.  Ours is the only car in the lot.  Soon though, it would be full of hikers that swarming the mountainous forest, lost in the vegetation, stumbling on water flowing or still, in all of nature's forms.

I intertwine my fingers through his, tugging him forward.  Acting eager to be alone.  The hard-packed dirt deadens the sounds of our hurried steps.  The shade of the pine trees welcome in the June heat.  The path is steep.  His mindless chatter of what he wanted to do to me stops.  I try to play the accommodating whore, but the sudden look of recognition plastered to his sweaty face makes me realize the hour is near.  Carefully, stepping back, I observe his reaction.

"Dom. . .maybe we should go elsewhere. . . ."  He looks frantically around.  My gun is out.  He left his back at the car.  He never could follow protocol.

"Keep going, Tim.  You can rest at the top," I pause, making my voice neutral, "At the scene."
The pleading begins as the realization and connections begin to form, "Dom, I'm sorry! I didn't know that was your daughter. .I'll make it right...I'll ..."

"Shut it, Tim.  I look just like her. You knew."  The summit's still gorgeous with the mule deer daisies, bright yellow near the clear,blue lake.  The tall, green, wild grass waving acknowledgment, nodding in agreement with my quest.  "We're here."

Ordering him to strip, I chain him to the lightning-struck tree that he had chained Samantha.  Its jagged edges, charcoal and gray.  No evidence of the violent colors from before.  I have no idea of the expression on my face.  My body felt cold, leaden and purposeful.  The depths of my despair lessening, my spirit raises itself above the darkness.  Tim's futile attempts at threats begin.

Toneless, I replied to his verbal abuse.  "She's dead you bastard.  You can never make it right."

Glancing around, I spot a branch about the same size and length as the one he used on her, my darling 18 year old daughter.  She would have graduated today.  I don't have the luxury days that he had in his torture of my miracle child.  But I would do right by her memory in the short time that I had.  Yes, he has one less opening than a female, but I could fix that.

"It's time."