I keep checking Facebook, to see if she has read my emails, reacted to my paintings, shown that sweetness that comes so rarely, but when it does, it’s like the jewel of her smirk and lips and yet there are no words.
I need to block her. Let the addiction end. The heroin or meth vibe has me recurrently going on the computer and the Facebook den of iniquity to see if she has breathed, even written me.
This is what happens when you don’t get what you want. I imagine Machiavelli felt this way when he was in jail.
I am also locked in a jail of sorts, though this is more like a swimming pool, and I am flailing my wings, trying not to drown, and there is no response.
The first time you do heroin you love it.
The first time you do a girl you love her.
But when the mania is no longer being fed, and the day passes with zero responses to your e‑mails—even though friends in Beverly Hills and Orange County, California, advise you not to write as much—when the fertile leer of her mouth, the kissing on her limbs, the stylized ascension of her motif as dream girl heroin addiction cannot be averted, you climb under a rock and say, “dear God, allow me to fire this illusion from my mind, bury it under this boulder, because I will never press my lips against hers.”
Hi, I have not blocked you because it’s so permanent, but there is no other solution to my terminating the convulsive nature of my nerve endings, which stretch like octopi limbs in your presence.
I don’t think you understand the depth of this love because it is in your absence that I feel the need to be lobotomized.
It’s the ostensibly mature way. It’s how I get over most people I fall in lust with. I go to the retirement home for wet brains or sit in an electric chair and burn all data that correspond to you. If not, I end up wounded, you end up bothered, or whatever the situation may cause, unnecessarily.
I sent you a book, Porno, by Irvine Welsh, and that will arrive likely this week or next. No need to send back, it’s fine. You can either throw out, read or give to your dog to mangle—I think she would like it.
Much love to you and maybe, when I’m not floating in ether in a Perth Amboy factory, or don’t want to smoke arsenic joints, or murder myself by eating tuna fish salad in a bowling alley cafeteria, perhaps then—when the Earth has stopped pacing faster than my heart, which pumps all the way to my ovaries—we can talk. Yours, Julia.
I am trying not to use Messenger because my therapist said that I should prefer creeks to whirlpools, which means I should not relinquish my bliss to remain stationary in a divan of warm water that repeatedly goes in the same direction.
I would very much like to caress her and put my hand on her leg or let her put her hand on my leg, but she has steadfastly remained in the wilderness, because she is a wilderness girl, who likes to go hiking on obscure and haunted trails, usually under bridges, and inscribe her name in spray paint along with the other creepy signatures that appear in diminutive sunlight.
Instead of asking me to visit her or typing her not-so-subtle responses on my Facebook page, she now neglects me completely. Friends say, “she wants your relationship to be more personal, so she disregards your public posts and focuses on your Messenger messages.”
This is distressing (because my friends tell me to wait 48 hours before I contact her again), and I do, and then she writes back (apparently I’m playing hard to get), but then I have to wait another 48 hours, try another technique for drawing her into me, hoping she might send an adorable photo of her and her cats, stymied by the heat, but tickled by me, as if I’m the last orgasm left on the planet and we will do it when she jumps out of the photo.
Another 48 hours go by and we are still not at the same level as last Valentine’s day where she practically raped me after we had a genteel meal in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
I have tried every manipulative technique known to mankind and womankind and dog kind and Kind bars, and though she is on this strictly protein diet, where she has lost fifty pounds, and every elderly or not so elderly lesbian on OkCupid is her new friend and leave her “loves” and “likes” on her Facebook wall, she has not budged.
She did not, as before, drive down to my apartment and leave in the middle of the night, tell me to have a good life and sleep in her car.
I am not supposed to argue or press her. She is like a black bear, in that sense, and you should never corner a black bear, because that will cause them to attack you. She does, however, not attack. She goes into her car and sleeps or waits for me to turn on the light, and if I don’t turn on the light, she will leave, because clearly, I am not an emotional mess ready to commit Sylvia Plath suicide, using my microwave instead of the oven, and she can zoom off to her mother’s house, which has, according to my friend T, always been her intention, anyway, to reject me and avoid the inevitable year-long ostracization from her mother, which will occur if she leaves her 40-year-old closet.
She won’t, doesn’t want to, come out of the closet, because her mother loathes lesbians, which leads me to ask, “Does your mother hate you?”
What I really think, however, is that her mother, who said, “you’re not a lesbian, and we all despise men,” might be in love with her daughter, though she’s not the favorite child, but a child nonetheless, and if you love your kid that much, it is easier if they don’t choose a female as a partner, because it means less of a threat and/or competitor.
I look on the Facebook Messenger app, which I frequently delete, to determine if she has called or written or texted and there is just my remaining obscure message to her about the donut place in LA that has been there for 50 years and draws lines and I was just too fucking scared to stop and get one on the way to the airport and besides I am supposed to be on a diet or she definitely won’t want me.
Let her chase after you, my mother used to say. Mother called my obsessions “giraffes,” because when I was 19, I sent this girl a giraffe in the mail, with a note that said, “Due to Reagan cutbacks in giraffe welfare, we will not be able to take care of our daughter, Jubilee Giraffe. Please adopt her.” I was working in a safari park and a stuffed giraffe was the easiest present to send anonymously in the mail.
My mother also insisted I am not truly a lesbian because I called her (Mom) at 3 am after I lost my virginity to a male Jew from Yemen in Jerusalem. “You phoned to let me know your cherry popped,” she said, “and it was clear to me, as clear as the day is long and sometimes short, that you are not 100% homo.”
It was okay for my brother Harold to be 100% homo because it meant that no female would undermine their relationship.
Still no message from her, though I hope, pray, she’d write, and we’d watch a pot-smoking artist perform at a famous museum and return to my bedroom and she’d rape me again.
My therapist wants me to leave the whirlpool—proceed down to the creek—don’t be like David Foster Wallace and hang myself because she is not kissing me; but those lips, those breasts, the excitement that occurs when we are all over one another, the constant smooching and humping and ambidextrous pauses that cause us to moan and wail with hilarity.
Sadly, it’s reached the David Foster Wallace point where I’ll hang myself, even though he has been accused by his ex-wife of hitting her, and I am not a proponent of domestic violence, though I have been known to virulently characterize people with words, which might be considered “a violation” by the MeToo movement.
I decide the whirlpool, like sitting in the ocean after you have peed and felt the resilient warmness of your urine, is not preferable.
I genuflect, without Church attire or accoutrements, how it will be to subsist on the Earth without her or mirth or resentment or stillness. It’s not really a silence, because a silence considers the possibility we might talk again. It is just one long creek and I’m swimming, riding downhill without the possibility that she will graze my soul.
Eleanor Levine’s writing has appeared in more than 80 publications, including Fiction, Evergreen Review, The Toronto Quarterly, Faultline Journal of Arts and Letters, The Denver Quarterly, Santa Ana River Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, South Dakota Review, and The Citron Review; forthcoming work in Heavy Feather Review (print edition). Her poetry collection, Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria, was published by Unsolicited Press (Portland, OR) in 2016. Her short story collection, Kissing a Tree Surgeon, is scheduled for publication by Guernica Editions (Canadian publisher) in 2020.