Monday, June 13, 2005

Fiction: Body Parts

Wednesday already. Christ.

A week since she left him.

How long had it been since he had last gone to work? Five days? Six? Ten? God, the boss was going to mouth off. Not that he really cared, though.

There was a bloody spot under his right armpit. He dabbed at it in front of the full-length mirror.

It was bleeding, all right. God, he was bleeding like a stuck pig.

He fiddled around the medicine cabinet for a few minutes. She was the one who organized everything, even the stuff that he didn't want organized at all. Times like these, he missed her.

No he didn't. She was a bitch. A real bitch.

Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch, he thought, as he bit off one end of the bandages wrapped around his shoulder.


***



He spent Thursday morning watching TV. Cookie Monster was on Sesame Street, singing that cookies were a "sometimes food". Mr. Rogers was asking him to be his neighbor, even though he knew, everybody knew, that Mr. Rogers was dead and gone.

He wondered what she was doing, and then snapped his attention back to the TV again. Bitch, he thought.

The wound under his right armpit hadn't stopped bleeding yet. He was going to have to make a run to the store soon. It wasn't as though the bandages were going to last forever.

God, alcohol. He tried alcohol, and all it did was leave him twitching and crying because of the pain. Whatever the wound was, it was wide, and it had a mind of its own.

He had spoiled three shirts already. They were now piled up in the corner, waiting for somebody to bring them down to the laundromat. She used to be the one to do it, until she gave him all that shit about picking up on his own. That was maybe a month ago.

God, and now his left armpit was starting to bleed, too.


***



He woke up at noon on a Friday, and he found himself curled up on the floor. Fetal position. He used to sleep with his limbs outstretched, splayed spread-eagle on top of his bedsheets. Of course, after yesterday's nap, he couldn't sleep on the blood-soaked sheets anymore.

He was running out of bandages. Damn, damn, damn. It was all the bitch's fault.

No, it was all his fault. She was the one making all the runs to the store.

God, he wasn't going to go anywhere in this condition. His legs were bleeding at the shins, and he didn't know why.

He checked his right arm in the mirror. The wound there had lengthened somehow, and it now encircled the skin from the armpit to the shoulder and back. And everything was still bleeding.

Damn it. He didn't have enough bandages for this. Not anymore.


***



The arm was already gone come Saturday morning. He didn't know if it had come off during his sleep, or if he had somehow jarred it loose upon waking up.

He left the arm sitting on the floor, pink and healthy and sitting in a small pool of blood. Maybe the bandages were the only thing that kept it on? Something in the back of his mind told him that he needed to call the hospital, but he knew that he hadn't paid the phone bills in three months.

The landlady was downstairs. Maybe he could call her?

No way. He wasn't going to let her see him like this.

It was all that bitch's fault.

If she could only see him now. He laughed a silent laugh, his tongue lolling along the dryness of his lips.

The wound along his left arm had encircled his shoulder. It was only a matter of time before that came loose as well.

It was all that bitch's fault.

He missed her.


***



Sunday. Sunday used to be their day. Sunday used to be the day when they would just lie in bed and fuck till noon or one or two or three or whenever they felt like it.

He nudged both arms into the corner, pushing their bloody stumps into the pile of shirts. There was going to be hell at the laundromat if he ever made it there.

His legs were bleeding, and it was hard to step around the apartment without being able to balance himself with his hands. He wanted to pee, and he wanted to pee badly, but he wasn't sure whether or not it -- yes, it -- would come off into the toilet.

So he sat there, staring at the blank TV screen. He pushed at one or two of the remote's buttons with his toes but couldn't quite get it turned on. Bitch, he thought.

Soon his attention turned back to the mirror. After a while, he thought it was lots better than the TV, if he liked looking at armless freaks.

He laughed.


***



He awoke Monday lying flat on his back. He didn't get much sleep once the legs had come off in the middle of the night, around two-thirtyish when he used to come home drunk and stoned out of his mind.

He remembered her crying, and he remembered her throwing things at him.

He wanted to call her a bitch again, but somehow he couldn't find the strength to do so.

The TV was staring at him. The mirror was staring at him. The apartment was staring at him.

He wondered if maybe she was staring at him. She always did, from the day they met to the moment they left.

She, he thought.


***



By Tuesday morning, he was just a head. Just a forlorn, solitary head.

He shifted a little.

He could see the rest of his body from here: The emaciated torso, which was still taking breaths and growling its hunger at him. The still legs, which swayed back and forth in a rhythm that he didn't remember. The quiet arms, which sat silently in their place among the dirty, bloody clothes.

He blinked once or twice, and then tried a whistle. The whistle died in the air once his neck realized that half its windpipe was gone.

He contented himself by staring at the mirror. He could see nothing there but the top of his hair, which she used to ruffle every night in bed as she stared at him half-asleep.

He leaned, and let his cranium topple to the floor. He rolled a half-roll, coming to a stop as the shape of his nose wouldn't let him go any further.

Now he was staring at the wooden paneling, or at least what was left of it after all the blood had soaked through. He wondered how much he had lost.

He wondered how many bandages he had left.

He wondered -- again -- how much he had lost.

He closed his eyes.

God, he missed her.


4 comments:

Dominique said...

Sicko! More please...

Hmmm, a touch of Stephen King? First thing that comes to mind.

The liberal use of cuss words tends to take away a bit of the shock effect after a while.

I'm wondering, though, how it is near the end. He shifts his head? But I thought he was just a head? Wouldn't that be kind of hard -- er, impossible -- to do?

Other than that, great concept!

eClair said...

Oooh... Bloody mess. The images of body parts and blood are now stuck in my head. It's a Monday morning, Sean! Ack!

Sean said...

dominique: I don't curse a lot, so I lean towards Stephen King's school of profanity. Is it that obvious? :)

I don't know if it's possible to shift your position if you're just a head... honestly, I don't have the experience to figure that one out. :)

eclair: Always glad to be of service. Enjoy your lunch. :)

eClair said...

Sean! Hahaha. Funny... *grimaces*