Pale Fingers

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Two flaming sambucas. She downs hers then orders two more. I forget to blow mine out, and when I knock it back the flames burn my lips. It’s late, and we’re the only ones at the bar. In the distance, a train cuts through the countryside slicing the murky fields the same way a blade tears through the neck of a kid caught up in the narcotics war in South America. My girl, her lips are red, and her teeth ghostly white. Those on her lower jaw are uneven, and yet to me, they’re perfect, because each and every one of her flaws shows me that sometimes, nature is better off when it gets things wrong. There are beads of sweat dripping off her flesh. Scooping them up with my finger, they taste of alcohol and exquisite pain. The wooden chairs we sit upon are rickety as fuck. The carpet beneath, blanketed with cigarette burns—a throwback to the days when you could smoke indoors. I remember those days well. She doesn’t. In the corner of the room is a jukebox. The flashing colours remind of Christmas; those pretty fairy lights shining on fake, plastic trees that, for a few weeks at least make the world a better place. I don’t know how to play the fruties. Neither does she, so we just stare at the shimmering lights holding hands. Life is long and cruel, but at least for now, we can stop ourselves from being dragged out to sea by the cruel waves that tower above us as big as skyscrapers. The drunker she gets, the wider her eyes. They’re like dinner plates. Staring at her eyebrows as she tilts her head to one side mesmerised by shiny bottles of wine, I’m reminded of spiders, and how it’s their legs I’m frightened of most. Her pubic hair reminds me of such legs, and whenever she spreads herself, those loose strands of hair that wrap around her pale fingers make my heart beat as fast as it did back when I first glimpsed an eight-legged beast in diapers.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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