Note: This piece contains graphic depictions of self-injury. If you’re struggling with cutting, you might want to give this one a pass. Love, nerd girl


 


“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?” Chrissy kept her hands on the steering wheel, her eyes on the road except when they weren’t—when they shifted to me.

Her question was as calculated as her thrift store fashion—the out-of-state t-ball t-shirt with the collar carefully cut off, the baggy jeans purchased in the little boys department that her studded belt barely kept on her non-existent hips—but I answered the only way I knew how.

“You.”

I should remember her reply. I remember the awkward mix tape that she delivered to my locker in a battered single serving Wheaties box with a note—“I wanna be your child, mother, whore, lover’”—but the end of that moment is cut-off, recorded over by other faces, women who actually put out.

Rewind.

People, planes, buildings—crash.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

“You.”

Rewind.

My birthday. Two days prior.

People, planes, buildings—crash.

“Terror” morphed from a word associated with slasher flicks into this talisman that when coupled with “war” made my twenties feel like 1984.

Rewind.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

“You.”

Maybe I never said that. My memory is flawed. Chrissy terrified me. I remember the tattoo I got a few hours prior only because it is a tattoo.

Rewind.

People, planes, buildings—crash. Only thing anyone remembers about my birthday, and I slept through it—determined to skip school. Forced to wait two days to get my tattoo.

Tragic.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

“You.”

Rewind.

We went to Rocky Horror. She sat on my lap on the car ride back. Placed my hand on her breast. Took me back to her bedroom. Sent her boyfriend home. And we took off our pants, got into bed. I pressed my body against hers, and she lay there—unmoving.

Fast Forward.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

“You.”

Try to skip ahead, but I’m running out of tape.

“I don’t want anyone else.”

White noise.

Rewind.

People, planes, buildings—crash. All anyone talks about, intermixed with half-hearted birthday wishes. Thirty—today isn’t over yet, but I think you forgot.

You have your own tragedies.

Rewind.

Chrissy’s bedroom. Faded light. Hands me her razor—I cut my arm. Hand it back—she cuts hers. Back and forth. Tosses me a pair of underwear—stop the bleeding.

Fast Forward.

I run from him across the park. My memory is flawed—what happened?

Bathroom stall. Take off my underwear—blood.

Rewind.

Bathroom stall. Skipping class. Razor blade. Never forget.

Fast Forward

People, planes, buildings—crash.

Fast forward.

“I don’t want anyone else.”

Rewind.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

Rewind.

“If you could fuck anyone we know, who would it be?”

“You.”

“I don’t want anyone else.”

People, planes, buildings—

Crash.


“September 13th 2001”

Megan Lewis

Previously published in Literary Orphans.

No reprints without written permission.

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