Ain’t Worth a Dollar

by Savage Ckhild

dollar

If she really loved me, like she just said she did, high on something (but she always had fucked up eyes, like they were always draining, out) then she would talk to me at a time when she didn’t want to cheat on her boyfriends. She’s sitting in the car with her hair tied up, I forget how beautiful she is, I always think I’m going to be immune to her, to them—so she smiles this unblemished smile, that lasts one second before it collapses into this miserable, needy, fearful smile. I feel guilty for being here. She passes me a joint she neatly rolled in the parking lot of an outdoor mall. I watched her nails seal it end to end, perfectly, as the paint job. Neon pink nails on a girl as pale as a ghost but in a good way. When she was open, unguarded, and her posture was touching you, getting close to you, everything she could do for you—just by being with you, I trusted her.

car - Edited

Parked in front of my complex now she lit it and tilted her head back. She breathed death into the car. She slipped away somewhere else and then passed it to me.

“I’m sorry.” I said. “For all the fucked up shit I said…I’ve thought about it for such a long time.”

“It’s okay. I was really fucked up too.”

“I think I could feel that you liked me but the whole time you were with men that made you miserable. I felt like you chose men you knew you couldn’t really be with. My brother or Jeffrey. I had to act like I fucking hated you.”

I took a hit, a long drag and started choking.

“It’s a spliff—you can’t hit it that hard,” she said laughing.

spliff

She took it back and dragged. She exhaled. I took it while coughing and regained myself. I took a small hit and passed it back. She was touching her ponytail, high and prized, giving me her full attention, finally. She’d never done it before. I wonder if this is a pattern for me or for her. She could give those eyes she’s giving me now to anyone. She was always accusing me of it. She was always saying, ‘You say that to every girl.’ Which always made me angry. It’s why I don’t give anything to anyone anymore. ’Yup, this is all bullshit. I just run my mouth like this so you’ll pay attention. I’m not even here. See-through, clear as this windshield, Mia. Just listen—I’m a fucking radio show, I’m not even a real person. Fuck you…fuck you…fuck you…this is how I talk! This is who I am. You don’t believe it. Pearls before swine. So If I have to, I’ll keep chewing it, cud, fourth stomach it, swallow. Baa, baa, just a sheep. Lead me on.’ Everyone is so affected. Can’t believe that you would give them that kind of love.

“I remember the night my brother left your Range Rover and it was just you and me in your car, and you told me I would be a better boyfriend. I remember you slid your hand over mine and you leaned all the way into back seat to give me a kiss.” Her face was fat and colorful then. “You were always looking for me to talk about them.”

I looked down—embarrassed by the effort I was putting in. It’s easier to be quiet or lie about your feelings because some feelings are soft feelings and a lot of soft feelings turn into toxic thoughts later. I look up. Her eyes are watering. I’m guessing more from me than from the drugs.

“I love you too. I guess I—”

Her phone was ringing. Everything turned into her bag vibrating. She started digging ferociously through her bag, hungry animals don’t look scared though.

cellphone

“Hello?”

“Where are you?” the voice weakly aired itself out into her car.

“I’m out right now.”

“You’re out? It’s almost one. Where are you?”

“I’m sorry. I lost track of time, I haven’t seen Josh in a long time. I just want to—”

“You’re with, Josh? What the hell are you doing over there? With Josh.”

“I’m…”

She kept going. Again, witness to the end of a relationship she should have never been in. Creative men—the novelty fades fast. Jealous and poking his Napoleonic dick into our night. Conquering her at every angle. Ten steps ahead of us. She was shouting now.

“Find somewhere else to stay! Because you’re fucking scaring me. Seriously. I will wake up my dad and have him find you and kick you out of my house. So get the fuck out of there now, Andrew. Get the fuck out, now. Right now.”

“Don’t do that. You don’t need to do that. You need to come home now.”

“Shut the fuck up! I’m calling my dad. Find somewhere else to stay. Okay?”

She hung up. She looked over to me and she started crying.

“He’s such a bastard.”

I opened the car door and got up silently. Sealing her into the car, with her tears, walking away a headless torso from the frame of the passenger’s window. Jogging up the steps sweating into sense again.

car window

*******

SAVAGE CKHILD IS ATTICUS DAVIS, AUTHOR OF YOUR AEON, DUMB STUTTERING FREE, ADULTHOODS, MAD DOG LOST PUPPY, AND HAS HAD POETRY IN HOBART, VANDAL PRESS, THE SCRAMBLER, CCMENTROPY, FLULAND, +

STALK HIM ON TWITTER: @SAVAGECKHILD

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