Sweat drops from my forehead and pools between her bladed shoulders. I keep saying sorry, breathless, as though it means something, not simple sounds. ‘Slap me again,’ she demands. I relay my hand to the last beveled pink impression I left behind. She gasps in the brutality, beauty refined by pain, and pushes against me, fighting without violence. I weave my fingers down to the scalp and pull us together. Exposed, inextricable, skin flushed, sighing. Pressed to cheek, we breathe a syncopation. I close my eyes and plummet. Inside the darkness I can believe I am not simply myself.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to be nothing. I try to imagine what it must feel like, digging myself into a well of black emptiness. It’s cozy there, where absence forms a wall, a cushion between you and the real of reality. Such a comforting lack of promise. Of course, in simpler times I would simply meditate, but the routine ruined it, the practice, rote, and knowing the route only made it charted territory, unsavoury. I found that you can’t get to nothing through something, so I stopped. Now I want nothing to be everything I am.