‘…we’re lovers…and that is that’ – Heroes, David Bowie
He was watching me and I knew it. Not on the level you are aware of, underneath.
‘That time I saw you in the street reading, did you really not see me?’
‘Well get this… I didn’t. But I did think of you in that moment…’
What is this diabolical magic peppering our mediocrities?
‘It’s Facebook honey, he’s stalking you.’
‘But honestly it’s more than Facebook!’
He is so boring. He is so magical. I am so boring. I am so magical. I let go and he rolled right back like an oily tide.
I thought magic was reserved for great temples or Illuminati politicians but it turns out no one is held in its sway more than whores and hustlers.
We ape magic and our experiences of it are cheap and disposable. He and I are to magic what H&M are to high fashion.
I confess: in that year I was crazy about him, I cast a spell. Sat for seven nights and seven days in front of pink candles masturbating and listening to Prince. So burn me.
Is it bad practice to use powers like that to gain something so tawdry, like petitioning god to let you rummage in a bargain bin?
Crossing the street at Sonnenallee. In that moment I did think of him. As I walked through the traffic lights holding a cheap book found on the street, I did think of him. As hot gravel pounded beneath my dirty trainers I thought of him…
I thought to myself…. ‘I wouldn’t mind seeing him right about now’ and I kept reading and he kept watching and I had no idea until later.
I thrill at the thought of it. To be held in his gaze is better than fucking him. For a moment there he held me in his lover’s eye. That cold blue eye in his lizard head. To know he was watching my hair, my ass, my legs, that he coiled about in his pants enough to bother stalking me.
It’s such a thrill.
This is the real climax of the story, though there is another.
‘Hey, I saw you on the street just now reading a book.’
Another Facebook message. I wrote something non-committal. A couple of weeks later I got this:
‘So no meet ups, EVER?’
He was getting repetitive.
Mr S, a real trick in the old fashioned sense. He is the driftwood perennially washing up on my shore, something lingering on a street corner, the smell of smoke. Some ghoul from the wastes limping and shimmering at the edge of my consciousness.
I don’t know why. It wasn’t good. He is not fun, he is not loving. He’s barely welcoming. He’s dumb in weird places and tricky in others. He’s like a badly painted wall with blisters underneath, a subsiding house with pointers towards severe structural damage.
Or I used to think this. This is what I used to tell myself. I used to pretend I didn’t know the nuts and bolts, dress it up in romantic drag. But now I know myself and I know him.
And that’s just for starters. He is my mother tricked out with a dick. Or appears to be. Gives me enough of a facsimile to flick my switches. Or is he just…me?
A note to Mr. S:‘I have no idea what kind of reality you live in, how you see the world. And the cranes are flying over and I have no cravings, not even for you. I am dead inside, numb as my newly botoxed forehead.’
An Actual note to Mr. S:
Growing good habits and feeling like moss. For 6 months I ignored his messages. My sex life was inert as moss. He didn’t quit. Eventually I made a considered decision, not a cave in. Considered. Considered he had been punished enough. Considered what he was and accepted the limitations of our game.
Our last interaction was so truly regrettable, a whistle-stop tour of toxic masculinity and my own weakness. So obviously I had to.
As his last pitiful message dot dot dotted into my fb messenger I re-considered and said:
And he t…