5:32

by Eman

I remember when you sat me down and described the democratic origins of the universe. There is a decency to it, you said as I ran my fingers through my damp scalp, detangling a hangnail from a particularly frizzy strand. You told me the universe was schematically organised around the mass and volumetric characteristic of objects. Influence was determined based on a sphere of gravitational pull and not, you said with a sly grin, their promotive abilities. What about black holes, I asked.

There was a long pause. It was almost uncomfortable. Your eyes were like soft eggs, moist eggs covered in a gelatinous film. I almost reached out and pinched a pupil between my thumb and forefinger. I was salivating, I wanted to strip that film off, the way you would peel the thin protein membrane off a boiled egg. I could touch it, touch your veiny eyeball with the tip of my tongue. Just the tip. Not in an erotic way, or perhaps in an esoteric erotic way, a Way. It would lead us both down a path of enlightenment. Just us. I NEEDED to do it. I NEEDED to rest the fleshy point of my quivering tongue on your membraneous eye. I NEEDED to let the words that have been tightly coiled at the end of my burnt and disabled member topple off into the jelly-like basin of vitreous humour at the back of your fatigued eye and absorbed into your cerebral aqueduct. The foam of saliva at the edge of my mouth is a natural alkaloid – a suppressant, an inhibitor, a toxicant. I wipe it off with a salty finger…

I should not have asked you a question, my narcissism overwhelmed me, my reflexive attraction makes me a black hole in your universe, with a heft so influential it pulls you in and obliterates you. I just wanted to watch you speak, I wanted to watch your mouth form shapes, your wormy lips dance themselves into Os and Es. Your voice was nothing more than static to me, your endless ramblings were the background noise to my irrepressible infatuation with your body. To me you were a hollow thing, a thing of flesh and hair and eyes… eyes, and skin. A thing that produced noise, much like the crowing of a cockerel or the roaring of wind in a fireplace – irritating but inescapable in these circumstances.

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