Stay By Me (And Make the Moment Last)


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My kitten is furry and has a spot--that looks like a bruise

Frederick gave me for Christmas--just below its eye.

Frederick says something like “blow job,” and I just sit

there watching TV. He storms out of the room, taking

heavy steps.

         He disappears into the hallway. When he

disappears like this, it makes me shiver, gives me a kind

of thrill, and makes me think of Erin, and the furniture in

my bedroom, which still smells like her.

         I take some of Erin's Zoloft, which she gave me on

our first date and two minutes later I am rubbing my pussy

in tiny, concentrated circles on my Ikea Bernhard easy

chair. I listen to the shower and keep rubbing.

         I run into Erin at Ikea in Emeryville and I almost

don't know what to say. She looks so different, so small

and gray, so frail, weakened by experiences that seem,

somehow, to be beyond her control. As if life is now living

without her. As if that wonderful moan that once lived

inside her has become mute, strangled into an odd

submission that only shopping can cure.  

         When she sees me, I say “hello.” There seems to be

this flickering, stinging fire in her eyes that shoots straight

through me and that belies her anorexia, her fragile

body's sad deterioration.

         We approach the same register, siphoned off into

the same line by a reflexive longing undercut by the

exhaustion of a massive three day sale. I feel myself go

forward, and she seems to get smaller as she approaches

the cashier, who swipes her card and then manually

punches in the total for the four Stockholm easy chairs. 

         “What do you think?” she asks. 

         “I like your faux furniture,” I say casually, trying to

avoid looking at her face, which has haunted and

diminished me since our break-up. 

         There is a long silence interrupted by a group of

children doing things.  

         “Can I get you some food?” She is standing off to

the side, listening to my silence, caressing the

moan—with her stare—that is inside me, helping it

emerge, flighted, ripping.  
                                                                                                          I unload my new Sony widescreen plasma TV. 


         We walk over to a long line of over-sized shopping c

arts, and say nothing, our silence nearly palpable. 

         For the next few hours, we eat tapioca pudding at

the Taco Bell inside the Emeryville Ikea. Some of the

pudding gets on my nose and I freeze. Erin smiles, and

just ignores it. 

         But I can't ignore it. All this rubbing makes me feel

sad, or empty, like I am just all this meat, or a robot. Or

maybe, like, I am dead or something. But, that would still

mean that I am just all this meat, or a robot. I come to

realize that I can't be dead, though,because my pussy's


         So, I keep rubbing it.  

         I slap my face for two minutes and think of Frederick

dressed in my tight gray slacks looking like a lesbian, like

Erin. I imagine going down on him, but instead of his cock

(also from Ikea), he spreads his legs to reveal an inverted

seashell. I stick my tongue in the inverted seashell and a

small bubble splits in two. I don't know what these two

smaller bubbles that form in the shell are, but I dream of

Erin and me, and these thoughts make me feel calm.

         I finger my toes and sniff my finger. It stinks. I try

licking the tapioca off my nose, but I can hardly get my

tongue out of my mouth.

         I imagine Gene Simmons licking a twelve year old

girl that looks like Erin dressed in a dog collar and leash.

Gene Simmons' freakishly long tongue makes the Erin girl

faint. This is the only way Gene Simmons can get Erin to

go down on him. It's funny but Erin looks so happy

sucking Gene Simmons.

         The tapioca stays on my nose.

         While Frederick takes a shower, washes his hair, I

call Erin. Nobody answers. I try again. Still no answer. My

pussy's swollen, hard to open, but inside it's empty.

Alone, again, my neediness succumbs to despair.

Frederick comes in, takes the remote, and watches TV

with it.

         I sift through an Ikea catalogue, naked, ignored. I

watch Frederick's fingers tap the buttons on the remote,

the TV screen blinking open, closed, open, closed. I cross

my legs. Frederick puts his cock back into his pants, he

wipes some muck off my nose, disappears into the hall. I

pick up the phone, and pause.

         It's hard trying to give flowers to no one.