Sunday, January 07, 2007


"These are the sexiest scars I've ever seen," he said, tightening the cheap white velcro strap above my elbow. I could feel his eyes on my face. I didn't want to catch them with my own.
"I could look at you for hours," he persists. A half laugh gets stuck in my throat. He's big. Older. Strong. Man-smelling. He almost has the vein -my breath is held, smile weakening- he fucking slips out.
"Fuck" his hands shake. One hand holds it in, the other's soft fingertip pads stroke my arm for potentional sites, his touch breathes heavy on my neck, the touch of lovemaking. I feel like a virgin the night of the prom. Keeps asking if it hurts. It doesn't. But watching the oddly thin and long needle sliding in, in, flush to the hilt, poking past thick scars, my jaw rigid, I feel the pamphletted walls tightening around me, and suddenly I want it out. Impossibly, I don't even care about the hit, the creeping fingers of sunshine, a needle-length away, poised to comb beauty through my blood.

We'd met less than five minutes before.
Him, working alone at the needle exchange, as if baring his neck to a vampire, invited me in. In behind the counter and a shut door. Spooning manuka honey into carefully steeped organic herb tea. Low husky voice. Me, hungover as hell. Sick from the wine and memories of the night before. Him, wanting to fuck me there, his hands depressing a needle in my arm, his cock as close as he could get it. It was like queuing in McDonalds, way too fluorescent lit. Ambiguity-less. Sickeningly scrawled in every movement, his longings made my skin crawl. He wanted to love me. Or the girl who serves him at the bar, or the one that lives next door, or maybe even the one who pushed past me walking in, as I swung out. Lying to yourself, what a game. I wish I'd never learnt that knack. This last year has polished it, that's for sure. I can see it in others now I own it, know it, am a regular fucking expert at it. Anyone want lessons?
The air sticky with lust, all his, me numb as usual, all the passions of a minister's wife. Ne'er a damp drip nor drop in my pristine panties.

Things used to be different.

A memory and back. A blip through time to the sheet-less mattress of a boy's bedroom, soft skin on skin, flesh dressed in sunlight, white lines of cocaine across the curve of my breasts, the dark haired dealer, rolling a 50 dollar bill between two fingers, mid-thrust, still deep, deep in. Cheeky grin and eyes like wells. Hard, no, impossible, to see the bottom. A coke addict, I guess. I never saw it at the time. Back then, when I dabbled, but no drug held my hand, and my friends were all alive. Innocence.

And back. Here. To the needle exchange volunteer closer than he should be, kneeling in front of me, the tools lined up. Our toys. I played along halfheartedly- "yes doctor, no doctor..." I shouldn't have. Instinctive patterns from babyhood. Getting my own way, the discount, the smile, the games. Like an accent, or a colloquial dialect, reserved just for men. An accent for the eyes.
I didn't know how else to act. I had never learnt the lines for another character. Or maybe it was just laziness, habit.
Yes, maybe he was attractive, but not to me- he was nothing to me. I have enough nothing inside, I don't want any more.

I'll never call the number on the yellow square of paper he slipped into my hand. I'm not callous, I have no interest, and I've damaged him enough already, in less than twenty minutes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. ouch.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vampires; an erotic vulnerability. But who's biting whom?

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous letter to the people that run teh needle is exploitative.

6:00 PM  
Blogger tui said...

Anonymous- I should have put a disclaimer, although I thought it was funny, that situation. He was alone on duty, and being bad- they have "strict rules" about things like that (no using drugs on the property). Problem is, it's often manned by volunteer junkies- lovers of rule-breaking... It's not the organization, it's the individual. But isn't it always.
Thanks for reading-

7:30 PM  
Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Beautiful lines in this one, particularly the one about having a knack for lying to yourself. The ending is also great!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this journey home for you really turning into the break, the deep deep breath of air and innocence and peace that you have so desperately needing?
how long will you be there? how long will you tease this demon when you know all you need to do is turn away and never look back? why did you go into the neede exchange, who are you tourturing him or yourself?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tui, it seems like you love to be an attention whore. You write all these sad tales about your miserable like almost begging for people to rally behind you. Then you go and do the same thing over and over and over and over again. It's enough already. Either get a backbone and make some changes or continue to be a junkie.

5:39 PM  
Blogger tui said...

Anonymous 2, you know, it may seem like that, and you may be right. But one thing I know for sure is that I don't want people to rally behind me. Caring for me is dangerous. It's too much pressure. It makes me feel small enough letting myself down, I don't want to let anyone else down too. You may think you know me, but remember, all you get are snippets, from a biased, often fucked up perspective.

As for my off and on vows. I'm sorry. I'm just being honest. Some days I want to stop more than anything. Others, with that tight pain rising in my chest, all I can think of is drugs, drugs, drugs. I have dabbled since I have been back in NZ. Twice. It was very scary coming here, knowing I had no choice but to lose my safety blanket. But it's been a whole lot better than I thought it would be.

It's easy for you to say to get a backbone. Or for me to tell myself the same thing. It"s just unfortunate that it's never quite as easy in reality.

My only intentions with this journal are to get things out. Clear my mind, file it, see it through new eyes. I don't want to manipulate readers into feeling anything. It's just nice to be able to talk to someone, and get feedback. It's hard to live with secrets.

Just so you know.

1:45 AM  

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