Like bubbles filled with electricity, instead of veins. It’s how her body feels. When she waits...

 

Waiting, on the end of his bed, she's waiting.

 

She can hear him upstairs and watches the sound move across the ceiling. He walks on his heels, she, on her tippy toes. 

 

Try to be silent, try to get small. Your weight will wake the beast.

 

He makes her wait, sometimes half the day. But she must, and will, wait. It’s the rules. And the rules are never broken. Ever. 

 

Punishment when finally delivered, was swift, and with a vengeance. It could come without notice, or, as in this case, with fair warning. She never knew how, when, or what was being served, she just knew, it was guaranteed, something's coming. 

 

He's a military man. A man of structure, rules, and puzzles. A man that sees perfection as an attempt. It was a great start, but perfection, and its attainment, was his jurisdiction. And no matter how good she was, he never ruled in her favor. 

 

Ninety-nine wasn’t a hundred. A, wasn’t, A+. And a hundred was something you only got ninety-nine percent of the time. Why wasn’t it all the time? 

 

Better, faster, stronger…

 

Like bubbles filled with electricity, instead of veins. It’s how her body feels. When she waits...

 

Waiting, on the end of his bed, she's waiting.

 

It's the waiting’s that kills you...

 

The time in between, in between, the knowing, and the coming...

 

Guilty. You, are, forever found, guilty. 

 

The man beneath the uniform, if he lets up, even for a moment, he will die. And, you can’t pry the man from the uniform. Because the animal he has to become to wear this armor,  has to leave his humanity behind. 

 

To love you.

 

He would have to abandon a body that’s standing by to destroy. Something he can’t do. It’s in his blood, his bone, his manhood. He’s trained in the study of punishment, and he’s gone to all the best schools. As a racehorse races, and a shark circles, if they stop, they die.

 

Hours, sitting, listening, and looking at the buckle on the belt over his pants. The buckle hurts when it hits your face, when he swings it under the bed, to catch you. It hurts...

Sometimes, he makes her choose a weapon... He makes her choose how, sometimes...

A rifle in the gun case, in the corner, stands at attention. Perhaps today the waiting ends...

 

Perhaps...

 

Today?

 

Empty shell casings filled with coins, weighed heavy, with the cost of life. The top brass left behind in someone else, somewhere else. Brass coated flags of loyalty, a badge of honor, dripping in blood. 

 

You face your fears, and you will be punished for arrogance. You stand your ground, and you will be punished for dissidence. You run, and you will be punished for cowardice.

 

There’s always a test, a catch up, a trap. There’s always a puzzle piece missing, and a mind field of distractions. It was a set-up, a trick, and a game you always lost. 

 

And yet…

 

I indulge in you, in this, if only to be close to you, somehow. 

 

But how close can you get to the man in the watchtower? The one with the gun and the manifesto held, so, long. How do you clean his palms, and hold his hand? How do you help him down? And help him breathe back into his own lost self? A self that no longer exists. A self he will ache for, silently, in the cracks of doorways. For the rest of his life. 

 

And, while he aches, a child is being written. 

 

His child…

She, was supposed to be, a he...

 

If only, to hold the man he was, inside, again. The man before the bands across his chest holding stars and rainbows of the dead. He has only ashes left, and he holds that dust, close.

 

Lily pads…

 

We bring droplets from oceans and lakes, muddied, onto our footsteps, and into the lifeblood of the world... Into the waters swimming inside those around us.

Drowning...

 Like bubbles filled with electricity, instead of veins. It’s how her body feels. When she waits...

 

Waiting, on the end of his bed, she's waiting.

 

Waiting for permission.

 

Waiting, to bleed

WAITING

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