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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Please Don’t Murder Me

We both know how fragile the human body can be, under the right circumstances.  Unfortunately for me, I’m in one of those circumstances right now.  Also unfortunate is the fact that you have nearly total control of what happens here.  I can do my best to try talking you out of whatever it is you may or may not have planned, yet I know that, to some degree, I am powerless to stop you.
You dragged me into this small, disheveled, claustrophobic little bathroom as I pleaded with you not to take me inside, not to shut the door, not to flip the switch that sent the power to the noisy exhaust fan that would muffle my appeals.  I begged you not to push me up against the sink, not to tilt my head back, not to force me to look into the toothpaste splattered mirror as you held my body exactly as you wanted.
I tried to look away from the grotesque image of your face, smirking at your dominance.  I whispered to you not to pull the knife from your right, back pocket.  Your smirk spread across your face, revealing crooked, yellowing teeth, expelling a sour stench that wafted into my nostrils, curling my face in disgust.  I saw myself in your eyes and I was terrified.
You unsheathed the knife, delicately placing the case upon the countertop, savoring the growing fear, building as moment slid into moment, rising from my cold abdomen, up my tingling spine, through my hunched shoulders, creeping up the back of my neck.  Suddenly, my body was plunged into a chill, as if dropped head first into an arctic sea.  The sensation was paralyzing.  It was exactly what you wanted.
Deftly, you slipped my foot back from the edge of the sink, causing me to lurch forward, throwing my hand out to brace myself against the filthy mirror.  You quickly shifted your body and mine to place the knife against my forearm, locking my elbow.  I could feel the tiny, stinging pinpricks at the corners of my eyes.  My vision blurred while you slowly, deliberately, put pressure on the tip of the knife.  You had taken care to select your finest edge for this moment, a fact that I was rapidly becoming aware of as I felt you start to pull the knife down my arm.  My loose skin moved with the knife, allowing no movement of the blade.  You kept drawing when suddenly, the skin reached the end of its elasticity and pulled back violently.
We both felt the sensation as the skin was divided, a smooth cut across pale, translucent flesh.  The pain was unlike anything I had felt before; it was so clean, a pure tinge that grew and multiplied and it was as if the pain were birthing forth of its own volition, as if it had arisen from nothing.  As quickly as the skin snapped back, you removed the knife to admire your work, and appreciate the briefest of moments just before the blood began to flow.
You felt just what I felt and understood it, even before I myself did.  You knew that the intense heat I felt from the first slice was rapidly fading to a slight stinging.  You knew that my increased heart rate, my cold sweat, my rapid breathing, all were in anticipation of something much worse.  You knew that you could have gone deeper, and you immediately regretted that you hadn’t.  Simultaneously, we both knew that your knife would taste flesh once more.  Any relief I felt was eradicated in that instant.
My body began to quiver, forcing my unsteady legs to allow my arm the burden of more weight.  I gazed, pleadingly into the mirror, into your eyes, and said, with a single look, that which my mind could not pin down with words.  You glanced back at me through the silvered glass, just for an instant, as you readjusted your grip on the situation, the knife, and my body.  You felt my cries but despite all my efforts, you would not be denied, not after knowing that we could endure at least one more incision.
You decided to make the second cut quickly, bring the edge down with a bit of unpredictability, your first concession of power.  I watched your reflection bring the knife over my head, felt the weight of it and sensed a slight hesitation.  I couldn’t believe what I saw in that mirror; I saw you re-grip the blade, lick your lips, felt you shuffle your feet just a bit, glimpse from my arm, to my reflected face, and back.  I knew I had my opening and I had to take it lest I be completely lost to your whim.
This brings us to this singular moment, which we share, as intimate a connection as any two souls are likely to have.  I know you feel what I feel; you have from the moment you plucked me from my evening, only minutes ago, minutes that feel like hours, yet sped past double-time.  I know now that my resistance was not, in fact, futile, and that you are having trouble sloughing off the heaviness of the emotions in the room.
However, you still hold the power over the both of us, with the knife held high.  All it would take is a quick swipe that would barely register until it was too late, this we both know.  You still consider the act of incision desirable.  It is my last effort that I speak these words.
As I hold the knife high, I face myself in the mirror and utter aloud, “Please don’t murder me…”

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