Margaritas and Razor Blades: After Five Porno for Skeptics

Tonight I am meeting a man who calls himself Oblivion. It’s not really a date, and I am not exactly sure what I am going to say to him, if I need to say anything to him at all. I wasn’t afraid in so many unsaid words, but I was reticent, as one should be when one is finally going to get to look into the black hard gaze of the man who plans to leverage your soul. He was a collector: vomit, hair, toenail clippings, even menstrual blood. This time he said he wanted bone right down to the marrow. I wasn’t sure I was ready to go that far, but he’d called it in, and so I didn’t really have a choice. I put some lipstick on my cigarette while he just watched me cross and uncross my leather-clad legs. We sat like that for hours before anything was said, before the terms of our arrangement were acknowledged, which he did so by showing his mettle. The hard edge caught in my eye as the grubby bar light glinted off it when he pulled it out of the little black satchel at his feet along with a pair of florescent orange nitrile gloves. “For the cavity search,” he said with a platinum grin. Didn’t want to just spring it on me like that, but his internet connection had gone down last night before we’d had a chance to finish our little chat. The thread had just gone dead, and I thought that was how it was supposed to be. “No contact,” he’d typed as his last words. People are strange when it comes to what they think they own. I’d always thought what I possessed was mine, in a physical sense. I didn’t believe that anymore. The first time we met, he’d reshuffled my thoughts on all this with a butane torch and a nail gun. He was going to save me from myself so that I didn’t just end up a body inside a suitcase tossed in swamp one day. “Did you bring it?” he asked, and I handed him the plastic baggie of leftover motel soap. He wanted to know that I was clean, wanted to see my pubic hair stuck to the crusted-over lather. He would use it to wash the blood off his gloves later. The first couple of times, I felt a little disappointed that he wouldn’t touch me without the gloves, but he said he never took anything for granted. He didn’t want to taint me with his scent or his flesh. “I don’t want to love you or rape you,” he said. “I simply want to slit your fucking throat.”

By Cheryl Anne Gardner

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