I’ve hurt my wife [I almost said “murdered,” just a slip]
and I don’t even have a wife, she doesn’t exist and yet
I hurt her badly, and while I did not enjoy the act
I feel a great deal of pleasure in writing about it afterwards.
Why would I admit that? Am I sick, to be repressing such
violent tendencies, even if they are toward an imaginary figure?
The memory of the cries that flew from her nonexistent lips
is intoxicating. Why am I only happy when I’m writing spiteful,
creepy things? I’ve never been married, and if I was, I wouldn’t
ever hurt her. I don’t think I would. After I hurt her so badly
I leave the house for a walk, it’s a humid night, I smell
shitty weed in the air from a group of three or four teenagers
who are lurking in the dense copse of trees behind the gas station
down the road from our house. There’s a plant
native to Puerto Rico called Dead Alive, when you touch the leaves
they recoil and wither, only to revive themselves when they
are no longer in danger. My wife is from Puerto Rico, incidentally.
I shouldn’t have hurt her, or hurt her feelings. The faces of the teenagers
are lit momentarily by the lighter every time they heat up
their blunt. One of the girls is Indian. One of them has really skinny legs.
They tell me some story about a guy with his face bashed in,
cracked eye socket, nose partially shaved off. I listen
and reach out to touch my face and think of my wife, back home
waiting for me.