Inertia

I wonder what he tells you when you are alone.

I wonder whether you believe him, although the stench of alcohol floats on his breath like driftwood in a sea.

He’s older, and that excites you. You like the idea of someone who knows what he’s doing, someone experienced, someone “mature”. But he’s no more mature than he was at 18, looking for something to stick his dick into for a few minutes and then passing out in a drunken stupor.

I wonder what he tells you when you are together.

What does he whisper in your ear at the table? What does it feel like to have his hand on your thigh? Do you tremble when it slides sloppily from your knee up towards your inner thigh?

I am jealous of him, and yet I pity him. I envy the hand that lurks at your waist as you dance, all too quickly slipping lower. I envy him for being so selfish, and so simple as to think that you don’t have any demands or purpose other than to fuck. You, with that angel’s smile, that devilish gleam in your eye, how am I to believe you love him?

But I deserve it no more than he does. While he drowns himself in alcohol, I am a sober writer. I would not be kinder. While he snores in his sleep, I’d be awake, sitting up to write. I would shrug you off as you told me to come to bed. I would say “I have work to do”, and leave you longing.

I would not be kinder.

Yet how can I accept he makes you happy? Does it amuse you to be his toy? To be loved or cared for only through an alcoholic filter?

I wonder what he would do if I challenged him.

I wonder what he would do if I told him to get tae fuck.

He would probably laugh, stumble to his feet, looming over me like some cartoon monster, dribble running out of the side of his mouth.

Slowly, his mouth would open and close, forming words feebly, like a disgruntled turtle.

“What did you say to me?” he would say.

I would repeat

Taking his beer off the table, he would laugh, bringing it to dry, weathered lips. A sip, a gulp as he swallows, wipes his mouth with a tattered sleeve, and laughs again.

“Ye’re a funny man,” he would declare, pointing one finger at me while the other four held his beer. Another swig of beer. A burp.

Leave her alone.

“You’re a funny lad,” he repeats, patting me on the head and sinking back into the couch, a resplendent king wallowing in his own filth.

Let’s dance, bitch.

“Dance? I dunnae know how to dance,” he’d gurgle. “Except the dance of looooooooove!” Beer arm in the air, the other would pull you closer, uncomfortably closer. Then he’d plant a whopping wet kiss on your cheek, followed by another sip of beer.

“Look, man. You treat her like dirt, so get tae fuck.”

“Oh this is about her, eh? My princess?” He’d look at you, drunk eyes unfocused, then back to me.

We would watch as he slowly put two and two together.

“You haven’t had a lassie since I met ye,” he’d croak. “You’ve been too busy eyeing up my burd!” A laugh, a slap on the table. “You horny bastard!”

Five seconds later…

“Fucker.. I’m going tae kill you.” Rocking back and forth, he’d stand. Maybe you would try to pull his arm to stop him, I don’t know. Probably not. You might think I was being childish. But to me, I’d be reclaiming something… I’d be going after something I really want; something real. My life. 

No more staring out the car window at my life, my face pressed to the cold glass, unable to stop, unable to change direction. No more being a passenger. Perhaps it would be a fool’s errand to try that. Perhaps I’d be beaten up.

“He died protecting my honour.”

At least that would be a good reason. Unless you didn’t care about your honour; I wouldn’t be able to steal your right to act or not act. But I would stand for you. I want to stand for you, when it is necessary of course.

At least, I’d have done something of value. Something that I felt was true, and right, although I’d go about it all wrong.

But I am a writer, condemned to live twice, like some sort of cursed mythical creature.

No more lurking in the shadows, no more fear, no more inertia.

in·er·tia

noun /iˈnərSHə/ 

A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged
– the bureaucratic inertia of government

A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force

Resistance to change in some other physical property
-the thermal inertia of the oceans will delay the full rise in temperature for a few decades

No more.

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