Flowers for Little Women

I recall many things. Violent sets of rules, a gauntlet. Every Christmas there were crushes. There were people I wanted to embrace, and there was something hot and wet. I’ll bet you smolder, molten lakes. She said if we’re going let’s go. Goodbye sex? Sure. Empire of the senses. Emotionally incontinent, we need a labor risk assessment to calculate windfall against overhead adjusted for headwinds. Emotions are like good natured inclement weather. A capital freefall all indexed, I’m aesthetically prejudiced. I like them to break like females.

Since I could recall, I would do so in perpetuity, how the tree was adorned, how we scribbled wishlists for Santa, how it mattered beyond petty sibling rivalry or spousal quarrel, to be together in spite of every secret. I would pose for posterity and serve God. On the 26th, my grandfather turns the pages on another year, and our narratives are repurposed in jubilation for the gathering which we always account for as a culmination of all-new memories, in a year when every day was exactly the same. Vaccines, memetic viral tribes, the totalitarian narrative ascending, the people docile and obedient, or disagreeable and signature noncompliant. Civil unrest is the plateau to the bedrock. Smegmatic imperative, volcanic intuitive. Violent sex as body horror.

Too much. Really my body is decaying from sex. There was the rape veteran- soulful, Bermuda, always behind on stuff, womanchild or Methuselah-blooded meditations for infants. Starting a new decade through abrasions, contusions. Morning sex, the best kind. Or when she grabs me by the cock in the middle of the night and forces me to perform. My dick for an extra hour of sleep. This puppy love is a labyrinth. My lip is on fire. My abs. Oh yeah bby I can feel my mood collapsing into winter. I’m decking the halls and you’re joining me. I’ve been training my immune system for this world.

Over her left shoulderblade, RAPE VETERAN.

When it comes to Christmas albums though, it really is Bing’s lane and his music your meat and potatoes of soul food. If I could only get this wrench under your jaw…would you hold still? There. And there there. You’ve played it out more than you have a right, the field. Consequence strikes again. The terra incognita having spasms and you’re phantasmal at best. Sucker punched if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit. Meet my very fine friend the fine print, an appeal to your common sense. I think I’ll get away with it, you said. I must continue to hold court over my world. Firm up the unknowable. Bend my senses, tender a sum I’m ravenous.

Don’t worry, Donny. You’ve got this. Trust the plan. Unleash the Kraken. It’s time. Time to crush the protesters and end the lockdowns, deliver America from this cabal of lenders and loansharks and pedophiles. They stole Xmas and are trying desperately to steal an election

Feeling fortunate in trying times, this dreadful scarcity. I marvel at the madness I’m loath to acknowledge, this tickled pink scorched earth not fully cooked yet, reeling from amphetamine psychosis, libidinal lockjaw, mojo murder. These snowbunnies wrapped in cellophane are unseasonably seasonal. Incongruous. Anachronisms, but I’ve got a heart to shill for old-fashioned beauties, spicy pepper-scented bliss, this inert undertow, this wallflower syndrome, pernicious, opically I worship on Sundays, a secular Christian, gets spiritual, crying jags at the aweful sublime in solemn observance from the pews laced with bitter poison pills of scorn, the grandfather clock tick-tocking its last metronome before decrepitude rusts it shut, a sermon, lives matter.

This year the sighs are thick and palpable. Who can even remember last year? Ah yes, my night at Maud’s. A Christmas Eve miracle, pure happenstance, a lark born of ennui or desperation. Maud, Marion. She was attractive. She got my blood running hot and heavy-flowing, my cum gushing fast with just her hand. Her one hand and her curled lips dancing on my retina, my thumb massaging your tongue and molar, saccades to climax. One handed cumshot on your negligee. Rolling waves of death. Christmas has always been bawdy. I’ve never known sexually frustrated. I’ve never had a bubble butt, and when I’m swoony from compliments it’s never from the parafunctional or functionally efficient, it’s always from the extraordinary, which conforms to no rubric. Gasping at hormones, there’s always been something intrinsically bothered about me. A one night homerun wasn’t in rare form, but surviving the impulse was a taller order. A quickie with your brother’s friend in the back of his car, lips chewed, forlornly a dampness dead to rights outlined in leather, deep fertile secretions, purring and growling in the shadow. Intimacy issues.

I recall and the burden was on me. 1988. 1992. My folks stayed up late to decipher the English on the bills. They worked miserable jobs and cried each night for respite. And when Christmas rolled around, they made sure it was unforgettable. Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis. Posterity will absolve them. And just like my father and his father before him I am fleeing communism, a nefarious globohomo agenda to enslave. We just wanted a president who understood communists.

Absence leaves a heat signature, and we’ve denatured sight and sound. No longer spectacle but tawdry symbolism. Run away like they did, like mom and dad, like everyone shamefaced by the volatility of their plans this year, a demoralizing campaign of interminable, indefinite self-sacrifice, a collective shrug at duty and moral onus. As if any Christmas weren’t in jeopardy of being the last. Brutish howls from the gallery crying shame.

I’m home now, not to escape, but to confront whatever may have escaped scrutiny. My sister’s a tomboy. Unsurprising, having shared a room with three boys, the youngest of four. I think of her whenever someone near in age locks eyes. I’m a lonesome colt, truth be told a Promethean pervert. No womanizer, I could make magic of any evening in the throes of romance but in the wake I’ve warned you I will disappoint. I’ve invested my emotional capital in the past. In Alice, whom I’d pedestalized as a rarefied ideal, the body without organs, namely her cunt, her tits, the way her mouth felt between illicit breaths. To reach heights of arousal through fulfillment of a lover is the predatory apex of sensory gratification. I’d rawed enough times I was long due to piss in a tube. To cover up all this loss.

And that’s Christmas, isn’t it? A stand-in for bereavement, when we paper over our vices and regrets and hope, pray for a better year. When we launder our reputations through the seasonal spirit of giving. Winter encroaches on virility. I hope this hurts. I kick and shove you down in a hole. Where are we going? We’ll talk.

Who falls in love during winter? Sanatoriums make me queasy. This year the war on yuletide comes home. They’ve shuttered the department stores, switched off satellite radio, not a jingle in earshot. The sun sets early. Since there was no one to introduce us, we said hello. Irena. Three syllables, one long. On Christmas Eve, there’s one place open. We are always sick now. A mortal shortfall. It’s one thing to play the field, it’s another to be strictly driven by lust. Then again, what else is there to do? It’s a sexual awakening, a spiritual renaissance? Are we procreating? No, people have to be careful - I’m not on birth control. Who’s people? I’m the only one here. I mean you, you have to be careful. I don’t begrudge you other people, I’m just saying it’s just me right here right now. It’s just you too. I’ve disabled my apps. You’ve gone home for Christmas, home to a dangerous place for you. A place you could only call home for its psychic perils. I’m out of sight but out of mind? I have until the virgin snows to make you my honey baked ham. My money’s tied up in various cryptic grifts. My holes are tight. Want you to be my grimdark queen, my combustible euphoria. Indelible. In this post jobs economy, people are afraid and it shows in their assignations. It’d be an incredible time to fall, but extremely unlikely. It’d have to be that panicked, feral love. That could be the last time kind of love. That here today, gone tomorrow kind of love. Ephemeral. Disposable. Nonsequitured I toot my own horn, a brassy twangy drawl.

Christmas. 1992. Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Thumbsucking and kissing your neck, nibbling your earlobes. Christmas 2002. Flights grounded, false alarm. After 9/11 we couldn’t cross the sky without a careful audit. 2022. It’s been a new decade, a new fear omnipresent. Our killer instincts, our death drives, litmus tests.

I sought to scratch surfaces, to hybridize the two. Synthesize the lesson; death to work. You trying to change my life? To be the best I’m going to become the joker. I’m going to become enlightened. Maybe you’ll have glue on your hands when you answer that call. I wouldn’t that when you were gone I’d have no remaining connection to this world. What is happening to your brain? I sleep a lot. That’s good, that’s why you’re happy. One day, no rest, only alarm, and what is your life to live long enough to know? A wound you never recover from. Maybe my love will call me knowing I’ll never bleed like that. You knowing, as you told me you were dying, what it would do to the past.

It’s always been one day. It’s always been Christmas. Every day leading up to absence, reflection on loss, to pious prayer and reverence in reverie, to be there for you as you’re for me. To sit and think, yeah. This is peak. This is where all our plans lead back. In solemn observance of the time we’ve squandered haplessly captive to workaholism, striving, overreaching for purpose, success, domination. Let’s kick back and tally our numbered days, count our blessings and trace our silver linings. How many fevers will break and cresting oblivion, how many orgasms will max out our credit cards in hotel lobbies and banquet halls, swallowing diamond tipped arrows on planet honeymoon. Reap the spoils, destroy me on your way out. A blue lotus for the nerves.

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Manuel Marrero