You will ease into the leather. Drive your slim frame into the car’s black cushion. You treat it like a dream pillow. Your eyes blink in slow motion, when you look at me. A car passes. My fingers enjoy the firmness of the hand break, until you move them to your knee. You light a joint. I’ve said no smoking in the car before. You’ve never cared. Blow it in my face and laugh. Pass it to me. I edge the window down from the frame. Press of a button. Everything slows down. You shuffle your legs from side to side. Your feet are on the seat, on the dash. You say Let’s go. I take a drink from the bottle.
The joint is in my mouth, smoke coiling around my face. The glimmering of the red light at which we are stopped cuts through the haze. A fog, a glowing red. A cop drives slowly across the light, doesn’t look at us as he passes. The cop doesn’t know that under your black pants are black fishnet stockings, but I know. You haven’t me told me, but I know. I’ve felt them, through the denim. I tell you I could probably crush your skinny thigh if I squeezed hard enough. This makes you writhe. You take a firm pull. We exchange. I pass you the bottle. I try to move your hand down, so the cop won’t see. You squirm away, into your little corner. Blowing more smoke in my face. You’d held it there, in your mouth. It rained last night. But it seems as if the road is still wet.
Our eyes first met in the elevator. I told myself I saw you in a dream. But I wouldn’t have remembered that. I never remembered my dreams. I saw you more than I saw anyone else that lived there. We don’t live there anymore. Little tilts of the head. Subtle smiles. Look at me, then downwards. At the broken tile. This elevator needs repairs. Maybe we’ll get stuck in it, die in it.
It took us 8 months to say anything.
You say to speed up. I warn you to have patience. Cops are everywhere tonight. The city feels violent. It wants to consume us, and everything in it. I know he’s home, but I ask you if you’re sure anyway, because it irks you. I ask, but you just give a look. A street lamp lights your face as we drive under it. My god you are beautiful. I can see you react when I say that. You’re good at not giving much away, but in this moment your chest flattens, your back arches, your shoulders recede into the leather. Just a touch.
We’ve been banned from too many hotels. Too many people know my name.
I watered the plants for my neighbour. I hoped I’d run into you. You had that way of looking down, at an angle. And then back up at me. The elevator would grind upwards. Stuffed full. I’d see a sliver of your hair. One of your eyes pinned to mine. No one spoke. A muted cough broke the silence. I overheard you in the lobby. A friend in the building. I turned to look. I heard your voice.
You smiled at me. Stared at me with a knife in your hand. I imagined it would be easy enough to stab me. This box that must be discarded. You brought flowers down. The look of dried tears on your face. I didn’t ask. We saw each other in the park. I can see your smile from far away. No more waiting. You got in. We smiled at each other. Every time. You asked me what was in the box. I said books and old photos. We made comfortable small talk. We were always good at that.
You told me that you were moving soon. Away from the apartment. Landlord was moving his daughter in. I felt a sinking feeling. You said it was for the better. Your husband would be much closer to his work. I suggested it would be good to exchange numbers and you agreed. We didn’t text at all, until you left the building a month or two later. In the first text you sent me, you described how your ultimate desire was to be crushed in a collapsed elevator. I stared at the screen.
You reach into the glove box. My phone rings, and I see that it’s my wife, and you swipe it before I can do anything. You stash the phone in the glove box and close it up. I press my foot into the pedal. We fly through the night. From city, to overpass, to open space. All darkly lit. Glowing, shooting past us like stars. The highway roars on. You grind yourself into the seat. Where should we go? Where is there left to go? Give me my phone. You reach into the glove box and pull out a small wrench that I’d forgotten was in there. You hold it up to your face and smile at me. My foot comes off the pedal. Velocity eases. You pout and shake your head, very slowly.
A gnawing sound in my guts. The tightening of elevator cables. A drowned noise.
A table cloth tied around a victim’s face. I tell you I want you to destroy me.
You laugh and say you’ll do anything. Anything for me. I want to abandon this life and everything in it. Breathe in only dust. Rays of sun that would melt my skin.
Turn to a crisped shell. I don’t want to know your name. I cannot tolerate information. I want us to do bad things. I want to do bad things with you. You have a really nice smile but I can see behind it.
You stick your long tongue out. Dangle it, beside the metal. A drop of spit drips off. You don’t know where that’s been. The look on your face when I say that. You lap your tongue up the wrench, all the way, in slow motion. The hot white of the highway lights gleams off the metal. It shines in my face. You lick up and down, in super slow motion.
When we met that first night on the street, that first time outside the building, when you pushed me up against the neon backdrop, the lettered sign igniting the name of our city, your mouth pressed against mine for an endless segment in time, you said that I made you feel a rush, a feeling you hadn’t felt in a while, a deep sensation way down, a feeling that you wanted to stab me. It made me grab you tighter.
Your one hand holds the wrench, while the other is down your pants. You lap at it like a dog. Spit falls to the floor of my car. On the black mats, by your feet. I imagine you on all fours, cleaning those filthy mats with your tongue. I know you would do it if I asked. You lick all inside the head of the wrench, like you’re trying to find something with your tongue. You dangle your tongue out at me, laughing. You open the head of the wrench, stick your tongue in, and then tighten. You clamp the wrench on your tongue. I’m driving way too fast. If the cops clock me, we’re done for. I may lose my license. Your tongue is now fully clamped in the ridges of the wrench. It is suspended in the air of the car. The wrench hangs off your mouth, spit dripping down, your smile as clear as the open highway.
You told me you wanted me to remove your flesh. I told you I’d like to go to work on your torso with a bat. You told me you’d cut off your tongue for me, place it in a jar. Solidify it in resin, place it on a podium adorned in gold and crystal. You told me you wanted to see me stung to death by giant hornets. I told you to suck the puss out of my wounds. You told me you wanted to be contained, crushed, by my body. I told you I’ll gain so much weight, just to crush you with ease. You told me you’d like me to make you cry. I told you you won’t have a voice. You told me you wished things were different. I told you they can be.
I don’t know where we are going. I don’t know where this highway ends. I don’t know how far things can go. I don’t know where you came from. I don’t know where we fit in on this map. I don’t know where the lights end, where the road will become lit only by our headlights. I don’t know what time it is. I don’t know when you need to be home. I don’t know when your husband will start to worry, nor do I care. I don’t know if you do either. I don’t know if anything matters. If we are just particles, floating along. Or if we are more than that. I don’t know if we’ll see dead animals on the side of the road. I don’t if we’ll enjoy it if we do. I won’t know their story. I want to know these things. We can’t know these things.