Poor Rachel… three times I broke her heart. She was a nice girl… a terrible person… damaged and fragile like mended china. She just didn’t have any luck with men, poor girl. I remember she told me a story once about how her and her sister had come home to find their dad in bed with another man. He was sprung, but they never told their mother, and he never divorced, so they just lived like this for years and years – nobody saying a word.
She and her sister had depression. Diagnosed? I don’t know. I remember he sister walking down the street crying into the night one time. She had big, beautiful, blue eyes all thick and sparkling with tears. She liked young guys, her sister… really young… like, borderline criminal, which is under sixteen in New Zealand (she was twenty-six). Rachel liked young guys too in the end. She gave up on maturity after I fucked her and stopped talking to her for the second time, going out with this young feral of seventeen. They were together for a year in all.
Rachel always had plenty of Valium on hand. She used to pop them in the evenings and masturbate. Sometimes I’d call her on the phone and we’d watch Celebrity Rehab together, or other times I’d go to her apartment and we’d watch The Anna Nicole Smith Show or Throat Gaggers 15… quality stuff. I remember we watched an entire season of ANS back-to-back once. At the end of it she climbed on top if me, lifted her leopard-print mini skirt and slid down onto my dick. Fluid-like Benzo shit… timing immaculate… lazy and hot. These were the real things never to repeat until the damage wore off and we could start it all again. Our sex was born of dystopian desires where life came bleeding from an LA studio set… all caught up in this wave of shallow sub-reality that, back then, we had no idea we could ride.
Our relationship was like a merry-go-round – eventually it’d stop… music, lights and all. It was almost like there was a greasy carny running it. She had that fairground appeal. I was running the ring-toss. We’d slide down behind the creaking Gravitron and she’d hitch up her skirt and I’d be swallowed in her sweet, hot breath. I think she was really in love with me. I’d fool myself that I was in love with her, but eventually – usually after sex – I’d see in the cold morning light all the things about her personality that sickened me. Underneath the fashion model exterior there was a tangle of wires and cables all leading to a throbbing, soft, centre of hurt that drew everything in like a cruel blade. She put the knife in my hand somehow. We both loved to hurt her. Three times, I did it.
She was a real lady… classy and sleek. She was probably the most feminine girl I knew back then, except for the time she smashed a glass into some poor guy’s face outside Valve Bar… that wasn’t very feminine. She had that violent streak in her… a racist, vicious, nihilist with sweet little breasts and immaculate hair. She must have come from decent money… poor girls just never refine themselves beyond a point. There’s always some stubble… some cheap makeup… some cheap fabric. A refined girl can even make cheap fabric look good. Rachel was like eighty-dollar vodka. Clean and numb… vanilla and citrus. She drank champagne. We knocked back a bottle watching Faces of Death and some Bumfights production called Terrorists, Killers and Middle-East Wacos. This was back in the days of Ogrish.com, before it became LiveLeak. She loved all that carnage. I can’t watch it these days, but that night, hunched over my laptop on creaky chairs with the dim glow of death radiating into us, I lay her down on my bed and slipped it in to that empty girl sweet and precious. We were alive and safe together for those moments – two dead kids of the battered streets with all that hate and revelry going on outside. Grimy kitchens and spots and acid and cactus and benzos… those good old days before the meth-storm tore off the shutters. We didn’t know how good we had it with mum and dad’s money and our sad little blind sanity that slipped off into the howling night one evening without a goodbye. Someday I’ll be able to say I’m sorry, because I really am. The only reason I kept away was because it was so cruel to make my apologies when she was such a broken girl. I didn’t want to be that guy. Best to let the wound bleed without a dressing. I’ve never been that girl, I’ve only been this guy, but the pain is no less when you’re the one who wields the blade of heartbreak, and that’s a blade I’ve brandished like the demon himself was forcing my hand… searching and searching down in that body pit where the pieces don’t fit. After years of this wandering the skies opened up and an angel came down from heaven and made everything safe again, whereupon a new kind of madness took hold of me and my soul knew a lonelier chamber, and in all those years I never stopped to recognise the magic ‘til it passed. I guess we’re always just behind Time until we chase down that shadow and push on through the gateway – onward to resurrection day or some ramshackle allegory by which we strike our flint to blaze again the halo. I know I’ll find it in here somewhere. I’m on the verge. It’s only life, after all.