When is a story finished? Is this story finished? Or does it need a new fork? You decide.
--Big Hands, Bigger Feat--
There was no ring and there was no other, but that didn’t stop the pummeling Hank was tolerating to his neck and the side of his head. Her hands were busy like xylophone wands playing a tired old classic. “How could you! How could you? How could you do this, the fuck, to me?”
Wild black hair clung to her wet face like mutilation scars, and her lithe hands whipped and struck at the pliant side of Hank himself.
“She sure is pretty” Hank thought while she beat on him. “Wild though.”
He would tolerate this as calmly as possible for a few more seconds, and then he’d have to act. He hated that part. Acting. It wasn’t what he wanted, at all. If only she’d stop having these episodes. If only she didn’t get this flipped out he could keep his hands busy doing other things. Things he enjoyed. Things she enjoyed. He wanted to touch her in places. He wanted to make her feel really, really good. Not this shit. This shit was going to get somebody hurt.
Her body was rolling over thirty-five with little damage done. There had been no weight gain. There had been no kids. There had been many lean years where food was not an easy thing to over-do. All of this had kept her more desirable than most. Her litheness and elongated form was what Hank really enjoyed while he stared at her naked body those times they were at peace.
It made her both beautiful and flimsy, though. It made these efforts to hurt Hank ineffectual and almost laughable.
Hank knew he was lucky to have her. Being fifty on the outside meant his chances for these types of bodily encounters had been reduced to almost nil. Here was a woman in a girl’s body, and she was in bed with him, and she was naked, and he had just made love to her and given her three. What the hell was she so upset about after that effort?
The pummeling had broken through to Hank the human form and the pain was welling up by the accumulated blows. Hank was done letting her get this all out. This anger she had was not his and did not belong to him. He could take some of it- some of it he could absorb for her because he wanted to love her- but damn it! This shit hurt!
He caught a flailing wrist with his right hand the way one catches an object thrown, and shifted it deftly to his left. Her bones were small and her hands were delicate- he needed to be careful. With his right hand free again, he swiped often at her other hand, finally snaring it and gripping it while trying not to break it. Wanting a hand free, he passed this into his left hand too and now gripped her wrists with an even pressure while she struggled against him.
“Easy now…” he kept saying to her in a soft voice. “Easy now…”
She struggled against his left hand fiercely. Her face wrinkled and cried out and blew huge volumes of air in and out of a spitting mouth- not effective in doing anything but hurting herself- and her skin twisted and pinched inside the massive work-hand that held her with so little effort.
“Easy now…” Hank repeated.
This woman was not going to let this man do this to her.
“Easy now, my fuckin’ ass! Let go of me! LET GO OF ME!”
The rage she was so hell-bent on expressing left her hands and arms and traveled down her torso and into her right leg. This she lifted like the head of a Cobra and struck and struck. She was now driving her heel down into Hank’s kidney and Hank had no choice but to grab her leg and place it too in his left hand, holding it there with a spare finger he released from her two fighting arms.
This, apparently, pissed her off more, and now her rage moved into her final limb- her left leg. This she tried to bring down against the collection of limbs Hank held tightly with the one calm hand, and she
kicked and kicked trying to wedge her limbs free but now she was caught again, her last limb scooped up and placed with the knot of limbs within the calm, brute strength of Hank’s left hand- caught not like fish in a net but like the goddamn net itself!
Hank lifted her- using his left hand and his powerful left shoulder- by her four gangly limbs until her body became light against the bed. With his right hand he reached down and tried to stroke the mass of hair away that had sprayed all over her spitting face.
Her breathing grew frantic and then suddenly shifted into long drawn out sighs. She was caught. There was nothing she could do. Everything she possessed had been spent fighting this man. This man who now had her completely subdued without even trying. This man who talked in patronizing calmness. With one final writhing effort, she tried to break free and jerked around like a speared fish and then gave in and found herself held captive and exhausted, with nothing left in her to drive her rage and nothing left to fight him with.
The tears came, and the sobs soon followed. Semen slid unseen down upturned passages and traveled easily to an awaiting egg.
Hank held her four limbs above her body until her adrenaline bled out and just before he tired and cramped beyond his own capacities.
The woman’s limbs fell like bones to the bed and she curled in on herself like a burnt spider.
Hank was contemplating what his next moves were. She had no place to go and he sure liked having her here when she was normal. The sex was fantastic and she didn’t make much noise, sauntering around the house in her under things- pretty things, too- all sleepy and smiley.
When she was normal she’d ask him if he was thirsty and bring him something to drink. She’d try to cook things up in the kitchen, sometimes making something that tasted quite almost right, and she’d ask for things while she lay limp and satisfied in a hot bath. Hank would bring these things to her happily, and he’d linger and stare.
“Damn,” he would think. “She sure is pretty.”
Now he didn’t know what to think. He could see a pattern emerging and he didn’t like what he saw. Fear of these horrific moments was seeping into his mind like an explosive gas. He feared the consequences of his reaction to her violence, knowing his patience would somehow thin and rend itself in one sudden flash. Someday soon he’d blow, he knew, and he‘d do something he would have to live with. But damn. The sex was just too good. At his age, where was he going to score this kind of action with this kind of babe?
Hank covered the shivering woman with a blanket and then reached down and pulled up another. This he wrapped around her neck like a cape. He fought the impulse to lift off strands of coarse black hair still stuck to her face and make her more appealing. She was quiet. She would soon fall asleep. When she woke, she’d be back to normal and he could put this moment behind them.
“Sleep sleep,” he whispered to her. “Sleep sleep.”
Hank shuffled about like a lost patient in an old folks home- naked, then a pair of socks, boxers, deodorant from a chalky stick. These moments after her episodes were hard to come down from. Adrenaline had injected into Hank’s veins in spite of Hank’s external demeanor and it had been given little to do. Hoist a girl with one hand and stroke her spitting face with the other. Hold her until she went limp. Hold her longer to be extra sure. Cover her. Let her sleep. Relax. After these episodes, there was nothing Hank could do but to shuffle around. He picked up bits of a trail where this all started. His pants. Her shirt. Two pairs of shoes. He moved these from place to place, but did not put them where they belonged. He just moved them because they needed to be moved. He needed something to be done, and so he did it. It was all as nonsensical as her behavior. Crazy, it was. All of it.
A vague shuffle and Hank was in the bathroom. He stood and staggered with a gaping pair of threadbare boxers on. There were nine hours of night still left to get through, but he was ready for the day already. In the mirror, he dabbed at scratches and mottled skin where he had been attacked.
Cold water was drawn in a ritual Hank was unaware he had formed. He splashed his face and neck where welts and scratches rose.
“Damn crazy girl. She’s gonna get my eye one time.”
Hank dipped his hands in ceremony, lifting water in his enormous, cupping hands and dipping his face to the cold.
“But she sure is pretty.”
Water was leaving Hank’s face tainted with blood from scratches and dripping down his aged, freckled and hairy chest in a single rivulet, passing through a valley formed by fatty breasts, splitting around his fleshy belly-button and then rejoining, wicking into his boxer waistband like a red-dawning sky.
There was no sleeping now. He would have to finish the book he started last time she went crazy like this. He would have to sit at the foot of the bed and watch her sleep, reading pages two or three times over to consume the story he was using to occupy his mind.
She would sleep all night and wake wondering why he was “over there”. Hank would put the book up and his feet down, and crawl his way to her like a well-trained ape, crawling in next to her, smiling as he put his forehead up to hers and met her eye to eye, touching noses, matching her smile.
“It would all be like it usually was in the morning,” Hank told himself. “It always usually was.”
III - A
There was no explaining what made Bettina turn inside herself like she did. There was no “event” that she could point to, say- “That’s what did it! There! That man! That time! That Place!”
There was nothing like that she could remember. There were only the normal times and the times she felt herself getting lost and the anger growing down around the base of her spine and circling in her hip-bone cavities and her fighting within herself and always losing- unable to rein it all in. It was like a shock was building- was rippling up her spine and agitating her brain- it had a current to it. She was convulsing but she wasn’t. No. She was raging. Rage shot up her spine and poured out of her in feral fear and she was unable to hold it back.
In her normal moments, she was often glad she was thin and frail and could not hurt those she tried to hurt when she was acting other than herself.
Before she lost full control- right on the edge of hanging on- Bettina saw herself hitting those who loved her and cared for her and this abhorred her and frightened her and made her try all that much harder to hold on to the self she knew. How could she get this far out of control and how could she be so vile?
Doctors told her to come in “for treatment”, but this always meant for incarceration and tranquilizers, in a facility, and this made her feel crazy even in her sane times. No. This was better. A man who adored her, who could tolerate her darker side. This was much better than Muzac and pink walls and condescending nurses and doctors who wanted to “try” things on her, doctors as clueless as she was on how to get a handle on what she knew was a medical ailment sedation-treatable but irresolvable.
He was a simple man but she could live with him. He made her feel like a princess in their good times together, and he let her get away with not doing much of anything. If she could just stay here, with this man, she’d be OK. If she could just keep him happy. If he just wouldn’t throw her out it would all be better than any time she could remember.
While the man sat quiet at the foot of the bed, Bettina kept her body and her eyes wadded tightly, in an effort to will herself back to herself, to get back to the center of herself, to pull in the missing pieces. Sleep would come soon, and this would wipe away the past moments like an explosion and at the end of this darkness would come a new light.
In the morning she’d wake to find herself home again, inside herself the way it was meant to be, the way others seemed to live without much problem. She would take her medication and it would slow her mind down, and she’d feel lazy and saunter around the house unwilling to dress herself and he wouldn’t mind. He was such a gentle man that way. He asked for so little from her and gave so much. In her current state of fragments and spent energy, Bettina could still feel his adoration hovering over her, protecting her like a padded cell.
Sleep was coming in like a succubus, filtering through the maze of broken pieces.
All the parts of her exploded like a little universe and expanded and reached an end, and headed back to center where Bettina wished they’d stayed all along.
Bettina’s wadded self at-eased and her limbs fell outward and her breathing turned readily to mild shifts of air about her pretty face.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
When is a story finished? Is this story finished? Or does it need a new fork? You decide.