A Love Story

by Rhee ©



ĎAll men kill the thing they love,

By all let this be heard,

Some do it with a bitter look,

Some with a flattering word,

The coward does it with a kiss,

The brave man with a sword!í

- Oscar Wilde    "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"


They found him. Out in the middle of a paddock, face facing the sun, pupils so big as to be black, a giddy, sloppy grin spread across lips already beginning to foam. They found him nearly dead, so they pumped the poison out, and the life back in.

        They said he was never the same after that- maybe he wasnít.

        They said it fucked his mind- maybe it did.

        They said he was crazy and I didnít believe them.

Sharp grey pack of vultures swooping down to devour the last tender morsal of flesh from the outcast. Wankers. They said he was a no hoper, and coming from velvet lined mouths with nothing but a stomach ulcer and a superannuation fund to show for their sweat, that meant shit to me. Personally, I thought they, with their whiplash tongues and razor eyes, were crazy. Six day a week job and blind every Saturday night down the local booze bath. Vomit, hangover, and do it all again. Beat their wife, or wake to this bent sense of achievement at the still sleeping thing that had been lured into bed the night before. Knowing theyíll probably never speak again, or if they do itíll be forced, jerky weather talk simply out of conditioning. Manners beaten into young flesh by blue haired mothers in slippers, hairs on their chin and halitosis. Frustration at their own self hate.

He said they could drive anyone insane, anyone with half a brain and some sense of hope Ė I agreed. He said they tortured his mind with their jealous bitchings and hurtful ways Ė I said I understood him. He said it was the vultures and their circles, thatís what drove him mad Ė I said I didnít believe him, that he wasnít crazy, they were the crazy ones. He said he saw God, that day in the field Ė I told him, "Maybe I was wrong, maybe you are crazy."

He wrapped webs of velvet sweetness around my brain and around my heart, pulled me close and tight. "I love you," he said, and started to skin me slowly, flaying me wide and feasting, his head buried to the neck in my chest cavity. Slowly injecting me with his own insanity and demons, watching energetic life and innocence drain out my skin. Laughing all the way. And telling me to laugh too. "Laugh," he says. "Laugh, because theyíre all laughing at you. Laugh first because lifeís a joke and so are you." And I stare into black pools of liquid soul and donít say a word. The Junkie and the Dyke. The vultures stareÖ circleÖ mutter green-bile words in each others ears, snicker, and wonder.

I donít go outside anymore. Cool sanctuary from laser-beam eyes. Skin fading white and sickly pale. Dumb smile on my face. Nothing can bring me down, I have life, and they donít. "Fuck you," he says, feral dark eyes and gnashing teeth. Bruises appearing on my arms. I donít understand. Cruelty slowly twists his lips. Just turn another knife in my back, cream gone sour.

Sick dreams beginning to crawl up my spine and grow to monstrous proportions in my skull. And heís a vulture like all the rest, feasting on innocent flesh.

They find me, a wet, soft sack of tears and fears, running blindly from grey eyed demons who wish to suck my energy to replace their own lost life. They find me and wrap warm arms around confusion, draw me back into the safe, familiar womb and floating numbness of known territory.

        They say Iím not the same Ė maybe Iím not.

        They say he fucked with my mind Ė maybe he did.

        Some say Iím crazy Ė I donít agree.

        I just suit my situation and soul, thatís all.


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