Saturday, March 29, 2008

mad money

Every night is a good night now. I was sick of bad nights. I drive to work and tell myself I am beautiful. At the last stoplight before I merge onto the highway, I check my lipstick in the mirror. I am hot. I look good. Making money is easy.

I check myself again when I hit the sludgy traffic slow-down coming out of downtown at rush hour. I am hot. Hot. Hotter than a fast check. Money will fall on me from sky. Money, money. Money. It doesn't matter if I believe it. It doesn't matter what I beleive. I say it and I make it true.

I have good nights now, and better nights. Men flag me down, buy me drinks, take me to couches, unbuckle my shoes and kiss my stockinged legs. They hand me bill after bill. Yes, money falls from the sky. Other girls sit in the dressing room and frown at themselves in the mirror.

Hot as a two dollar whore on the fourth of July. Hotter than a stolen tamale in a Laredo parking lot. So hot I make the hens lay hard-boiled eggs.

On Monday I saw the doctor and I asked him please to give me more meds. That's fine, he said. He doubled my dose, and I got a little bounce for a few days. I saw we were in the middle of spring, and the oak leaves are big and soft and light, bright green. I saw the light come in the windows like a gentle hand.

I don't really feel beautiful. But it doesn't matter how I feel. Men give me money anyway. They stand by the bar and wait for me to pass so they can grab my hand. My skin is a marvel, my hair is a haven. My ass mints money.

Hotter than a red-assed bee, folks. Hot. So hot I might just burn.

C. isn't interested in me anymore. Not at the moment, anyway. He might be again, one day, later. At the moment he walks around me in the house. We sit together at the table, having dinner and later on the couch, watching TV, not saying anything. He doesn't reach for me, doesn't touch me, or look at me. We've been together five years. I didn't think we would get bored with each other. I'm not bored. But maybe this is what happens.

I find his porn on my computer. I learn that these days he is interested in sweet-faced teen girls taking big dicks. I suspend judgement. Suspending. Suspended.

He still paints me sometimes, after work, and I am tired, but I let him do it because I'm glad he's looking at me. The paintings are strange and terrible. Me, as a mermaid, waist-deep in swampy water, with a wry mouth and one hollow cycloptic eye. Naked on the couch, plucked-chicken skin and make-up streaked from the shower, but he asks me not to wash it off. Smeared lipstick and a raccoon mask of mascara, like a used whore. My body, stretched, limbs disarticulated, a beat-up doll. He paints me melting into surfaces, disintegrating, dissolving, coming apart at the seams.

What have you done to me, darling? What are you doing? Does love always take us apart?


Sometimes I fall asleep while he paints and he paints me sleeping, passed out, dead. I wake up at strange hours and find my way to the bed. I curl into his warmth. He is gone when I wake up.

I live through the afternoon. I put myself together. I do my hair, my face, get in the car. I check my lipstick in the mirror. Hot, baby. Hot.

11 comments:

Avalon said...

You aren't bored with each other, you are comfortable. It's totally NORMAL! However, if you spend the next two years being just "comfortable" you may find your relationship in that 7 year itch phase.

Relationships don't just "work out" or not. You either MAKE them work or you put them on cruise control with no pilot.

A doctor that ups meds on patient request? I'd look for a new doctor. This can't be good for you in the long run.

Nathaniel said...

Does love always take us apart?

Great, now I have an urge to watch Donnie Darko :)

A doctor that ups meds on patient request? I'd look for a new doctor. This can't be good for you in the long run.

I'm assuming these are antidepressants we're talking about. There's no way for the doctor to know what dosage is correct than for the patient to say "I need more" or "we need to try something different". Anyone who's been on antidepressants is used to needing more some months, and hopefully able to taper back others.


He doesn't reach for me, doesn't touch me, or look at me. ... I'm not bored. But maybe this is what happens.

I was climbing into bed with my girlfriend, the one who loved me unconditionally, the one with whom a lifetime of bliss seemed inevitable.

"You didn't used to wear underwear to bed" she said.

"We used to have sex."

"...I'm sorry."

Two weeks later, she was gone and she no longer had to take phone calls in secret.

Fifty-One-Fifty said...

Beautiful entry, you're a fabulous writer, and I hope you're doing more than just blogging.

Anna said...

"oh tonight, you killed me with your smile/ so beautiful and wild/ so beautiful tonight"

you write the most saddest, most chillingly beautiful things sometimes, Grace

C's paintings seem to me like a dream, it tells you things you maybe wouldn't have visualised otherwise - in your case, whether these are good or bad or both... only you two know

Keep writing, I hunger for your posts.

Anna

ps: I'm Nathaniel on the meds thing

cosmiccowgirl said...

I can relate to this entry. I know that sometimes confidence is the way to success and allows us to tap into our ability to use our sexual powers, even if we have to pump ourselves up mentally to get there. I also know that phase in a relationship. It's normal. I've been there with every man I have been with that long (which, to be exact, is two). You should talk about it though and try to use it as an opportunity to grow together, otherwise it can bite you in the ass later. Sometimes people confuse that phase with "no longer in love", but that is not really what it is. Love changes over time and this is one of its phases. Love this entry, you are such a good writer.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece, catches a real feeling of haste and havoc instead of just saying it. Really well done.

To the person who said 'I hope you're doing more than blogging,' do you have any idea what most 'writers' make? I do, I was one for five years and barely escaped bankruptcy. Maybe Grace can beat the game but let her do it without pressure. Also, what's so bad about blogging? The best blogs I read are better than nearly anything else I read.

Grace, two things. All men watch porn. As long as it's of age women ignore it unless it bothers you, in which case tell him to keep it off your computer. Second, the seasons are changing, the days are lengthening, you're at least a bit ambivalent about your bf. Take it easy on yourself, no matter what meds you need.

Lord of the Barnyard said...

Thank you for writing, Grace.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought its better ( whatever better means) to have the guy be more in love with you than the other way around. That way the balance of power doesn't get scarey.

If C isn't into you then let him find someone else to pay his cards and support his sorry ass.

Harden your heart my sister. The world of love is no place for sentiment.

CherryonTop said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog, but this piece stood out to me above all others, something in it tugged at my heart.

Beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous. A warm, tight hug to you...

-Diopter

(remember me?)

Arnold said...

Well written. Touching.