Shattered, not splintered. Is that the equivalent of shaken, not stirred? I’m not sure I know the difference anymore. It was all of them, what he did to me. I know, these days it’s not PC to say that someone did something “to” people. Implications of lack of consent and victim mentality and all that other psychobabble. I know. I’ve heard it all. Hell, I’ve done it all. Part of me thinks I invented the terms, but even I know that’s bullshit. It doesn’t change the fact that’s what he did. To me. Not with me. There was no “with” involved. Not after the first ten minutes anyway. It was “to” all the way. To, and on, and dear god, in.
And not the way you think I mean that, either. It went much deeper than this-in-that and move until it feels like all the sappy metaphors anyone ever wrote are ripping themselves off the pages of some book and stomping into the bedroom screaming, “say me, it’s my turn, doesn’t it feel like me, forget the fireworks and shit, and say ME instead.”
There was that. And if it had been just that, maybe it would have wound up as stirred or shaken. But it went far beyond that, beyond the sweat and heave and oh-god-oh-god and little deaths skirting the edge of being the big death and maybe you don’t care because that would mean that instant writ large, eternal, the last, the only thing you’d feel until the universe turns its own lights out and goes home to sleep it off.
If he’d just killed me then, it would have been all right. Hell, I’d have thanked him, tapped on an angel’s shoulder and asked to borrow pen and paper and written him a fucking thank you note with “use me for a reference anytime” scrawled in the margins. If he’d just killed me then. He didn’t, of course. That was later.
Colonel Mustard did it in the library with a lead pipe. Something like that. Not that he used a lead pipe. Far too clumsy, a lead pipe. Material. Solid, matter, to kill something solid, a bit of matter that lived and breathed and spoke and bled and loved him. Lead pipes are crude, to kill a crude thing.
He was never crude. The weapons of his war were that fabled ice-bullet that leaves no trace, leaving him looking clean and astonished and wearing long-suffering tailored just for him, Armani he could slip his soul into. They looked at him and saw the cut of handwoven fabric, the drape of silk. They looked at me and saw two-sizes-too-big ripped overalls covered in pig manure, one strap unfastened so the bib drooped and showed a hairy nipple.
That was his weapon, that soul-Armani, stitched together with sighs and tsk-tsks and unspoken “see what I have to put up with” and a little sad smile as the cherry on top. It’s no wonder they took his side. I would have. Hell, I did take his side for way too long.
That was his best weapon, that he had me believing the bullshit. I tried to figure it out, how he managed that, and every time, every goddamned time, he wrapped me around the bullshit again, had me on my knees, head tilted back, mouth wide open while he crammed more and more fecal matter down my throat. No. That’s not right. He didn’t have to cram. He was so good, so slick, so right, so perfect, that I’d be swallowing, making those lies a part of me, begging for him to please notice me enough to give me more — and then I’d see it all over again, the truth there, the zombie wearing Armani, and wonder why no one else could see the bits oozing and falling off onto the floor.
Every time, it was a jeweler’s hammer, tapping gently and insistently on whichever weak spot he wanted to work that day. Crack! Tap. Breaking me open, revealing me, drilling a signpost through my heart. “Here it is, come feast on this, taste his living soul, glut on life,” painted in raucous colors and buzzing with neon and flies.
He shattered the windows to my secret self. He owned me. And I loved him.