Loud, high-pressure air and water saturates the silence as I sit, sweat, and wait. The red metal bench I am sitting on embosses stripes into my sweat soaked ass cheeks, as it shakes with each compressors re boot. Car after car moves down the line towards its baptism, and like the beads of sweat running down my legs, I watch them crawl. 

 

A brunette with a tightly bound braid sits down beside me and viciously reapplies powder to an already dusty face...

 

Anger within.

 

I start obsessing about the powder, the powder on the powder, more powder. Looking in the mirror, more powder, mirror. The sweat, the sweat on the little cloth applicator, her fingers, the sweat, the powder.

 

I want to touch her face, I want to hose her down, I want to use my thumb and swipe it under her eye, I want to wipe it off. It’s unbearable. The wiping, the compressor, the slow speed at which the cars crawl, the heat, this mother fucking heat. 

 

Please god stop putting powder on your face with that sweat-soaked applicator. Please God fucking stop it!!

 

It’s hard to breathe through my hearts beating, like a racehorse. With each motion of the applicator against her skin, my heart speeds up a little. And I can hear it, sliding.

 

Breathe little girl, breathe…


My heart aches and nothing, literally nothing relieves the aching. He took without asking.


Mounds of wet rags shower hoods in all directions as the androids on the sidelines watch impatiently. They twitch, uncomfortable in their skin, uncomfortable in being exposed with nothing to do but wait. I watch them twitch, their bodies electric with wondering how to perform busy. I watch them stand and forget to breathe, desperate for the moment they can once again hide in the bubbles of their polished metal shells, and pretend.

 

Saturday, a burden on my mind. 
 

Once again, I find myself here…stuck…sick…aching. 


The sweat trickles down my thighs so I tuck my skirt between them, hoping to gain some relief from the heat. Relief comes for a moment, then, gone. My skin heats up the fabric. Hot, again.

 
I fear the consumption of time. 

 

Repeated honking and the generator gasping right beside my skull. The world is so incredibly noisy, outside, and in.
 

My breathing comes in deep spurts as I unconsciously hold it, and try not to feel, but it doesn't work. 
 

Perfume overwhelms me as a pompous, blond teenager, crashes down beside me, taking powders place. She snaps the lid of a Dr Pepper can, repeatedly, and, I want to punch her. Or, maybe it’s me I want to punch. To feel today is too much, along with the heat, it’s unbearable. I hate Dr Pepper.

Time is an enemy. I need it to stop, stand still, and let me catch my breath. I need to catch up to the world spinning inside me.  
The generator stops, a moment of pause and then, thud. The whirring begins again. I want to cry but can't, my whole body sits in some sort of hibernation, refusing to relinquish the salty water, unwilling to move.

 

It’s too hot. 


Perhaps I am seated in his mind, him also unwilling, incapable of moving, forward, toward, what happened. I am warm meat and meat alone.

 

Men, hurt. 
 

A tiny Mexican boy struggles with a big pale blue plastic container, dragging it along behind him. He pulls out numerous items for sale, candy, chocolate, gummy somethings.

 

His name is Nicholas and he’s twelve years old. Nicholas has spiky black hair and carries on his back, the weight of the world, the heat, and an oversized t-shirt.

 

Nicholas...

He sweats as he asks me if I want to pay seven dollars for an old box of candy-coated peanuts. I give him two dollars and decline the peanuts. It’s too hot for candy, too hot for peanuts, and I’m too broke for the other five dollars. 

A mist of water coats my calves in a moment of beauty. Cool water…
Try to breathe, deeper. Little girl, please, please. 

I’m tired, sad, hopeful, and wanting a taste of the end of loneliness. Not only of mine, but that of the others. 

 

If only, not to be, a thing. 

 

How does one hold on in a world so barren, so broken, so wanting to run, run, run away? I will hold your hand, I will kiss your heart, I will hold your fear for you, be here for you. I am full. I am heavy with the burden of giving faith away, giving trust away, and being left, empty handed. My belly swollen, with nothing that is mine. I forget at times about filling my own cup and end up, thirsty.


Take it if that’s what you want. Flesh, a momentary experience, I too am simply a visitor. I borrow this so I can mingle amongst you, for now, for then, for now.


I will leave it to you, reside in my imagination, and wait until you’re done. A life of hurt has taught me well in times of taking, and if only you were the first, taking.


Ignore me, my hurt, and my silence. Within, I am thinking, I am finding a way out from underneath this skin. Ignore me, my hurt, my wanting, of you to simply, love, me. 


Noise... 

Away with you thinking, you are the famine to my feast, the destroyer of my moments, and the mother of all my pain.
 

Meat I am, I am, meat. I am a warm hole, to take as you wish, to judge as you wish, and to discard, as you wish.

I should have known, his eyes never met mine. I wonder where he was? I wonder if while inside me, I was ever inside him? I wonder if because of her. I became it? I wonder, too much, too much.


Thank you music, thank you words, thank you pen and paper…


I am filled with fragile, yet fragrant forgiveness, it seeps within me. For you, for me, for the taking.


Thank you death, and the blessing of understanding that my body is worthless and that it simply cradles my essence, and my essence is magical, regardless, and in spite of, the taking.

 


 

THE TAKING

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