How wonderful it would be if a portion of my brain continued to color, writing bright spaces into mundanity, even as I apologize for being out of milk. But milk is so boring and lacking in juice for insight. Maybe that's why I've written today. We are familiar now,(more) boredom and I. Like an old chair that teeters lightly to the right, I have learned to compensate. To sit just so and forget that once I was ready to smash the chair to smithereens or at least have it reupholstered, since it stubbornly refused replacement. Perhaps I sound forlorn, I am not. Rather, I have made peace. Contented boredom seems a nicer way to spend the day, then in continual rage. Such is the predicament of milk.(less)
The slow venom began its work in Jerome at his own mother's breast, when as a babe of eleven months he suckled too desperately and drew blood. The woman moaned, wearing a furious face, and ungently deposited him on the cluttered changing table. She swore Jerome would get the(more) bottle from then on. He was too young to know, but his body remembered. Into his early adolescence, Jerome took his milk with an implacable craving, a taste of something extra that was missing, toward which he would ever after strive.
His passions tended toward the macabre. By the end of his high school years, Jerome would graduate from Lovecraft to de Sade, becoming fixated on Pasolini's infamous cinematic rendering of "Les 120 journées de Sodome." The girls who came under his spell—and there were many, disproportionately to his looks and surface charm—were affected, down the line, with an apparently innocent disquiet, invisible to the eye as a hairline fracture on pure eggshell, but which in every case besides one allowed entrance to the slow breath of madness.
The sole exception, a girl named Julian, had learned to live with her brokenness some time before Jerome came calling, and remained impervious to his toxic affectations. Her stoicism awoke in Jerome a tender desperation that he hadn't known since his aching gums tore open his mother's breasts. He followed her to college, and beyond, disguising his placements near her in an alibi of coincidence, suggestive of serendipity. One day, her phone started ringing, and for three hours never stopped. That evening, she counted sixty-four messages, and the next morning found an inbox full of emails.
But after that Julian didn't heard of him again, until his mother called, to reassure her that everything was fine.(less)