The Testicle Drawer

She sat in the armchair with tears trickling down her face, biting her lip and wincing occasionally, whenever a sharp unwanted memory resurfaced and piercingly struck home once again with its cruel truth.
There should be grooves worn into my cheeks, she thought to herself, grooves to the bone for all the tears I have cried, I will never escape this pain, never.
She shut her eyes as tight as she could and shook her head for a few seconds, trying to dislodge his laughing face from inside her mind.
jars“I hate him!” she whispered to herself.
“I hate him so much, I can feel it running through my veins like liquid fire, my head buzzes with the intensity of the anger and disgust which fills my thoughts constantly.
But my chest, oh my poor chest, that is where the worst of it lives, all the pain, despair, loneliness and loss, yes I carry it around in my chest. It nests there around my broken heart, a heart once so innocent that all it wanted was to love.”
As she said the word love, her whisper changed first to a moan, then to a cry until it ended with a scream.
She looked around herself confused, with a grimace of pain distorting her tired features, shaking her head slowly and mouthing the word ‘No’ silently over and over again.
She slipped into a daydreamy trance for twenty minutes or so, until the sound of the village clock striking the hour brought her back to her senses.
“Where is he?” she whispered to herself as she looked slowly around the room with yearning, desperate eyes.
“Where is the evil bastard, why is he not here, why is this happening to me, how can this be happening, what went wrong, I just don’t understand anything anymore?
Look, there is the wooden floor which he sanded and varnished himself, there is the green stripe he painted along the skirting board and door frames; there are the wooden blinds that we went out and bought together in Redruth.
This is a graveyard of my marriage, I am living in a graveyard of misery, I cannot change it, how can I?
I cannot decorate, the thought of it sends me straight back to when we decorated it together, when we were happy, when life made sense.
I rot here, here is where I rot, this prison I built with him while blinded by love, little did I know that the home which I lavished my care and affection upon would soon repay me with indifferent looks from its heartless walls.”
She pulled a scrumpled tissue from her pocket and spat into it three times, as if she were trying to rid herself of some poison, then replacing the tissue back in her pocket, she raised her fist in anger and looked around the room silently crying, with her mouth half open, in perfect despair.
Her eyes fell upon an opened newspaper on the coffee table just in front of her; she reached forward and picked it up, along with a black pen from close by.
She placed the newspaper upon her lap and looked down at it, it was opened at the wedding page, there were thirteen photos of newlyweds but the grooms in twelve of the photos had been completely blacked out, she leaned forward with the pen and began to work on blacking out the
thirteenth groom, dot by dot.
As she pressed away patiently, she curled her lips into a sad smile and whispered,
“You poor, silly women, ah, thirteen more brought blindly to the slaughter, you will be broken apart and left for dead just as I was, there is no saving you now!”
Her thoughts flashed back to her own wedding day, she cringed, closed her eyes and stabbed at the newspaper with the pen, screaming as she did so.
She did not stop until she felt the tip of the pen sink into her left leg, then she calmed down quickly into a soft, regular shudder, leaned forward and put the pen and newspaper back on the coffee table.
Nothing makes much sense anymore, she thought to herself as she sat back in the chair, all my hopes and dreams came true yet only to fall to pieces right before my eyes, does nothing mean anything anymore, am I the only one alive who really means what they say when they make their vows?
Men, fickle, fickle, fickle, it is all but a game to them, no matter what you give them it is never enough, off they go filthy beasts, sex, sex, sex, digging through the slime and dirt for sex.
All your love betrayed, all your trust destroyed, every nice part of you laughed at and looked down upon as a weakness, you cannot win by playing fair, it is the cheaters who win every time because it never meant anything to them in the first place, lies, lies, pretty lies.
She fell asleep in the chair for a few hours but was woken up by a gnawing sound, it was one of the rats in the cage in the corner, she stood up and walked over to inspect.
“Ah, we have babies!” she said with delight as she looked into the cage.
There was a rat half curled upon the strips of toilet tissue in the corner of the cage with six or seven young around her belly and on the opposite side of the cage was a second rat, obviously the proud father, gnawing away happily on one of the bars of the cage.
“I’m so proud of you Alissia!” she said fondly to the mother rat, then she turned and walked to the fireplace.
The fire had already been made, it needed only a match to be struck to it, this she did, she stayed squatting for a minute or two watching the paper burn and the sticks catch light, then she stood up and walked out into the kitchen.
She reappeared shortly carrying a clear, plastic cereal container which she carried over to the rat cage, taking the lid off as she walked.
“Ah, my Alissia, you have finished with that thing chewing away in the corner, he has served his purpose now that the children are here, it is time for the thing to leave us!”
She opened the door of the cage, reached in and picked the male rat up by its tail, pulled it out of the cage and dropped it into the cereal container, quickly putting the lid on.
She walked to the fire and placed the cereal container in the middle of the fire, picked up the poker and pressed it down on top of the container.
“The things always jump around, the last one jumped so hard that the whole box came rolling out of the fire, ruining the rug but I have learnt, I have learnt!” she said to herself with a chuckle.
She watched as the rat squirmed around inside its trap, then a small hole appeared in the bottom and the container filled with smoke, there was a high pitched squeal and the whole container lost shape and melted into a ball around the burning body of the rodent.
Once she had tired of staring at the now diminished plastic container she replaced the poker on its stand, walked back to her chair and sat down.
After a few moments she glanced at the newspaper on the coffee table in front of her and cringed at the sight of the wedding page with the hole in it, she leaned forward in her seat and turned three or four pages to cover it.
When she had done this, she realized that she now had the personal section before her; she glanced down the column, tutting to herself as she saw the advertisements for tarot readings, soul mate introductions, massages etc, until something caught her eye.
It was the name of Alan and the message read,
Alan, looking for adult fun with women aged 18-35, discretion assured, followed by a phone number.
“Ah, a bastard, a sneaky little bastard!” she cursed aloud.
“Discretion assured, after married women for sport, you evil sod, wanting to break apart families for fun, oh you are the sickest of the sick, the sickest of the sick!”
She stood up, closed her eyes for a second and smiled, then walked to the bookcase, picked up a black marker pen off one of the shelf’s and sat down upon the floor.
There was a drawer at the bottom of the bookcase, she pulled out a chain from within her blouse and unlocked the drawer with the key attached to the chain.
She pulled the drawer open, grinning as she did so, inside the drawer were nine large pickle jars, each jar with a white label stuck to the top of it, all bearing the name of a man, except one.
She wrote the name of Alan upon this and then closed and locked the drawer, chuckling to herself in an almost insane way as she stood up and replaced the pen.
Into the kitchen she then went, returning shortly wearing her coat and putting her purse into one of her pockets, then taking a brush off the mantelpiece she set right her hair while repeating to herself,
“Fee, fie, foe, fum, fee, fie, foe, fum, fee, fie, foe, fum!”
Smiling, she went to the coffee table, ripped out the page with the personal column, walked happily to the front door, to enter the street, head to the phone box on the corner and phone up Alan.
By Paul Tristram

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