Nightmares on a racetrack. Every night, the same.
For the past couple weeks I have had a dream. It starts as a compare & contrast between my touch and my uncle’s. My hands resting on the steel wool hair of your chest, I am soft as the fluff of the cattails that grow in that marshy plot we cross on our daily walks with my mom. One time we saw a water moccasin slither in the water there, winding through an obstacle course of reedy stems. My sister & I watched, transfixed. But, back in your trailer, next to your sunburned leather, my skin is so soft, so white. The floury dough rising in my mother’s old mixing bowl. The buttery soft, white dress gloves we wear for Sunday service on Easter. In comparison, your hands are like the surface of the moon, craggy like a briquette, volcanic rock…Your hands sand me down with their roughness like I’m balsa…I can’t hold back the shivers as they plane my body…widening crevices, shaving off the burrs on my angles.
You get out of bed and grab a jar of something off the fridge. I know what’s coming next. You pull me to the edge of the bed, so my legs are dangling off of it like the hind legs of a wasp. You smear coldness on me and coat yourself in the slick of it before…before…before…
You cover my hand with your mouth and I scream around your fingers. My body twists like a wet shirt being wrung out in your violent hands. I try to get out from under you, but the weight of your body on my back is a tar baby holding me fast. I lie still and take it, the assault continuing on my limp, boneless body. When you see I have finally given up, you take your hand off my mouth & put it on my other shoulder. Hateful epaulets made of your hands. I say it before I realize I’ve said it. “Just kill me. Please.” I don’t know if you even hear me over the steam engine chuff of your heavy breathing and the sound of your skin colliding with mine. I say it again. And again. Every time you thrust. My hysteria rising. You finally finish and pull out and walk away to clean up. The feeling of fullness gone, I just lie there, still. I think about how if death was hidden in the shell of one closed fist and this daily onslaught was curled up in the fingers of another, I would pray to tap on the knuckles of the hand that would open up to reveal death on its palm.
Every night for 2 weeks, this horror movie stutters in the projector. I can’t tear myself away from it…and I’m tired.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think I really want to die…I just don’t know how to live with this.