Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slam and Soar

Pain-killing clarity within a shot glass. It slices like a paper cut. Still stings. Face reflected in a Russian liquor bottle.  She doesn't even like the taste.  Take another shot and wince. It's better with orange juice but works harder straight.  The libator's equivalent of cutting oneself. Her razor blades burn her throat and leave no scars. Non that he can see. Not that he'd notice.

Why doesn't  he 'get it'. She's told him often enough. Perhaps that's the problem. She should  'suggest', 'ask', surreptitiously, program his responses. Women's wiles no? Not so wiley this fox.  Change him she would. Not much. Install a little more kindness. Instill less selfishness. Engineer a few more affectionate responses to make herself feel validated. Turn him on, switch him off. Make him march to the beat of her drum instead of being at his beck and call.

He controls her. Pushes her buttons, scrambles her circuits.  He yanks her chain, forces her to jerk, react, behave contrary to her nature.  Her response always predictable, robotic. She knows she's being manipulated but it's sweet manipulation and better than the alternative.  Being left to rust in some dark corner. Unnoticed. Unwatched. Unloved.  She thinks too much. Installs another application. Slams another shot.  She's feeling dizzy. A reminder that she is still human. This over imbibing isn't normal. This is a self-destructive coping mechanism. He has no heart. No capacity for real love. He's mechanical, all wires and motherboards, thoughtless. She loves him and despises him.. He loves and despises her but they are programmed to persist.

She reminds herself that he isn't mechanical, he's a man. Warm-blooded, thin-skinned and vulnerable. Wears his heart on his sleeve. Sometimes in his hand. She isn't the bottom of a bottle, it doesn't define her.She's pragmatic, sensitive, sensible. Their liaison is driven by mechanical compulsion and emotional extremes.  They love and hate with voracity at both ends of the spectrum. No middle ground.  Slam another. This time it dulls the pain but intensifies emotion. She thinks too much. 

He calls . . he always does. She answers. Switched on, turned on. Light in her eyes, affection in her voice. She can hear the smile in his. The program's on repeat.  He says "Jump!" she asks, "How high?"

She doesn't wait for an answer. She's already started to soar.

Posted for The Tenth Daughter of Memory "Extreme Robot Vodka"


  1. "They love and hate with voracity at both ends of the spectrum." I love that line.

  2. There are such good reasons for remaining partner-less.

    Good write, Helen. I like the new sentence structure, the clipped feel. Remember 'Naked City'? There are a thousand stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.

  3. great--you took every element of the muse and bent it to your definition. cool

  4. Hello! I was here, asking for friendship. ;) Would you like to follow each others blogs? Advance Happy New Year. :D