Week #48 – Tainted love

Welcome! Here is this week’s Flash, posted in the order received.

The theme is tainted love.

tainted love by David Ohlerking II
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Blind Date Haibun . by Al McDermid

You didn’t scream and carry on. No, you where much too angry for that sort of display. Your words instead came out as pure liquid nitrogen, moving slowly, as if trudging through sludge. Still, despite this glacial speed, I duck just in time to avoid the brunt of the F, though its serif does tear a gash in my cheek as it passes, distracting me enough that I catch the full force of the U as it slams into me.

Catching my breath, I ask,

“Was it something I said?”

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TAINTED LOVE . by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Tainted love is stained love, a dirty jeans love, mucky
under nails and knees from garden dirt and worms
slippery, slickery things compost-heaped, grubs chewing love.

Tainted love is tinted love, a greyer pink love, edges purple
from necrosis, halitosis, the lack of osmosis, a hypoxia
of the heart hardened boundaries kind of love.

Tainted love is skinny love, skinned and thinned weak
broth love, fight veneered, resentment adhered, salty-teared
nicotine-laden cloud love, breathed in and cancerous.

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The Taint of Love . by Susan Gibb

The man who said he was her father smelled of bourbon and Aqua Velva. He slicked his hair back in the way that men with blue-black hair often did.

The man who said he was her father said he was sorry, not only for the loss now of her mother, but for taking off on them years ago. The man said he had loved her mother very much, was crazy about her at the time. That he had been too young and scared to be a family.

He sat beside her at the funeral service, his arm set along the back of her chair, his other hand holding hers in her lap. At the cemetery, his fingers settled in the small of her back to steady her. She was barely aware of him and yet glad to have him there. He took her home and assured the neighbors he’d get her to school on Monday, that is, if she was ready to go.

A month later, the man told her they’d be moving to Houston where he knew he could get a job. He told her he’d heard the schools were great there and she’d make new friends.

She went with him, the man who said he was her father, because he told her he loved her and held her when she woke up crying, and he hugged and kissed her every day, and because she had no one else and no place else to go.

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When He Calls . by Robert Vaughan

Eight years later, the telephone rang. I heard that familiar husky voice.

Hung up. Backed away from the kitchen, my heart leading the way.

Shrunk down the hall toward the bedroom. What could I say? I was done, finished.

Thought I was resolved.

My husband came into the room. “Who was it,” he asked. Then he looked at me, bent over the dresser. And he knew. “No way.”

I nodded.

“Get the fuck out. Seriously?”

The phone rang again.

“You want me to answer it?” he asked.

I shook my head no. Picked it up, jittery. “What do you want, Dad?”

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Traveling Mercies . by Len Kuntz

My daughter enters the room with unborn child showing inside sweater like a tub and I am think, This is all wrong, my baby having baby, one just sixteen years and the other creature floating in fluid, a strange alien astronaut, same as ones I have seen in American television programs when handsome actor doctor says it’s girl or boy, “Look, right here’s the evidence.”

My baby is pawing her baby, a basketball player dribbling wrong who will be called for traveling. I know American basketball rules. Holding ball too long inside palm is named traveling, a penalty. And who should pay this penalty? My daughter has no boyfriend. Some lewd man just shoots his seed in my poor baby. He holds knife to her throat and it leaves a mark like this > from the pressure of the tip, an etching of his crime. Abortion is fine, I say, it is legal in such cases, but my daughter says, no, life is life.

I am crying, weeping hard as my daughter comes across the room. I think she will slap me. I have told her how hard it’s been to make something of ourselves in this country, and now this. It is a bad sign. The child will be evil. That’s what I said, such a cruel bastard I can be.

But now my baby walks up. She takes my tear-soaked hand, places it on the mound that is moving and jerking inside my palm, and says, “See?”

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The Secret . by Michael Webb

“So, do you want to know my number?”

Her brown eyes flashed eagerly at me. Her bracelet shone in the dim light of the restaurant. I felt like she almost wanted to tell me. I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that she had asked me, I wanted to know. Some questions you knew could never be answered- what if Napoleon had won at Waterloo? But others you didn’t know could be asked, until they were. And once they were asked, the possibility existed they could be answered. I had told her my number. I thought about inflating the total before telling her, but I didn’t. My number seemed a little low. I didn’t expect her number to be zero- that seemed impossible. I didn’t know what number I wanted hers to be, either. Was 5 too many? 10? How many should she have? Would the thought of others who had come before make what we had different? Would knowing I wasn’t the only one imbue the act with some sense of corruption, some taint of ill repute? Would I compare? Wonder if I was better? Was there any difference between assuming the number wasn’t zero and knowing what the number was? It was stupid, but now that I knew I could know, I wanted to know.

“No,” I told her.

“Good,” she said. “I would have lied anyway.”

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The Deepest Cut . by Matt Potter

Smoke is pouring outta my ears! (And outta my mouth and nostrils, but that’s normal.)

The Fast-o-matic Supermart has changed their coupons. Now you can’t swap them for plastic surgery. So all those tubes of New Orleans-style Cottil-i-Lard dog sausage were bought for nothing.

And New Orleans-style Cottil-i-Lard flavour is not my favourite.

“Next election is gonna be real interesting,” I said, wearing army fatigues as I stood in the check-out line swapping coupons for rubber sheeting.

“Why’s that, Maureen?” said LaVern, patting her hair.

“The little people have had enough and there’s gonna be a revolution.”

“All ’cos you can’t get discount face smoothing anymore?”

Where that LaVern leaves her brain, I got no idea.

“It’s more than just my face, LaVern,” I said, handing her the coupons. “Even my thighs have crow’s feet.”

“It’s a free country,” she said, popping the coupons in the cash drawer and pushing the rubber sheeting towards me. “No one ever made you smoke.”

“If the government wants us to smoke so they can take our taxes, they should give us free plastic surgery so we can get rid of our smokers’ wrinkles.”

LaVern leaned over the conveyor belt and said under her breath, “Sounds like socialism, Maureen.”

Ever since LaVern went to that community college last summer she uses these big words.

“Have fun looking socialism up in the dictionary,” LaVern said, as I stuffed the rubber sheeting in my titanium-dipped carry-all.

I love this country but it’s going to the dogs.

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Green Carnations . by Susan Tepper

Itchy and Squirmy were the two ugliest twins you’d ever want to see. Ugly, and dirty. Plus they had big feet. My Aunt Luna says you can tell plenty from a man’s foot size about his others. Well I don’t want to know nothin’ about their feet or their other parts either. For the prom Squirmy bought a girl a wrist-corsage of all green carnations. Who does that sort of thing? The poor girl. She was so mortified. Kept trying to hide her carnation wrist behind her backside. Useless. People were everywhere in the big gymnasium. Sooner or later someone would get behind her and make some loud wisecrack. I figured she had to be pretty nuts. Pretty nuts to even think of going to the prom with Squirmy. My best friend Abbie said the girl was new in town. And love is love. Even so I said. Even so.

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Becoming . by Roberta Lawson

She always did want some kind of God figure; a something-so-overwhelming that she might dissipate into mere molecules in its presence. She always did want to be simultaneously smaller and larger. Deep down she’d always wanted to worship. Not God himself but some eternal spirit that changes shape each minute, hour, day, that zooms beyond time itself.

He’ll be that person, that metaphor, he’s promised her. She can respond only to this, to what he offers. She wants to hand something over, to surrender. Control. This is larger than control. You might think this is about her body, but this stretches far beyond flesh, wraps round and round her. Them. He wants her kneeling. She wants to climb inside his pocket. She’s bigger than this whole room. He’s enormous. She is that dispersing, glimmering sum of molecules. They’re melding now; into some snakey, shifting glob of energy, a sort of fluid dance. She sinks down. He’s taller still. He’ll tell her what next. He’ll tell her who – what – she’ll be, next.

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Rash Decision . by Derek Ivan Webster

She made that face when he said it, the one that reminded him of his mother. He took a deep breath and tried to keep his tone even. What came out was script swiped straight from the old man.

“Who in their right mind wants to come home to this!” he bellowed.

She watched him from the couch. The baby was nursing on her lap; the fullness of her breast burst free of her shirt and smothered the sleeping pinkness. He could remember when such softness was meant for him: her warm weight pressed against his face. She had not touched him since the hospital.

“Got it out of your system?” He didn’t respond. “Good, then you can change the diaper.” She held the wrinkly bundle out. The baby looked peaceful wrapped so tightly in its blanket. He knew exactly how long that would last.

The little body writhed, its screams rattling the changing table. The pad was already drenched with piss. There was a violent looking rash between the legs. The warmer stood empty and overturned to the side, the last wet-one used. Another deep breath as he watched his baby wail against the world.

A hand touched him on the shoulder. He felt the fingertips reach past his collar and trace the skin of his neck.

“We need you, you know,” she said. He knew. He opened his hand and she gave him a wipe.

“She’s beautiful,” he nodded and decided to let the rash air itself out.

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Writer’s Block . by Kevin Balance

I love you. You don’t love back. I give you these verses. You put me on the rack.

You take my thoughts and spin them to all the wrong words. You take those words and order them in all the wrong sequences. I can’t to write a sentences saves my life. I list three actions and you spit back running, to love, parallels. I describe a scene, blushing red, and you spit out a dangling modifier. I give to you and one spits up disagreement.

Back to the masters I go. Read, reread, mimic, write. Oh Laura. Petrarch. Deep breath. Recompose.

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99.99/100 . by Maude Larke

When 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999% of me
says “it can never be”
and this one fragment of a nail paring

of a sliver of a % says “but . . . ”

Is it best to root out the sliver?
How is it best to root out the sliver?
Who is best to root out the sliver?

And will that return the whole?

100

You are an exhaustion of questions
but I am adamantly empty of answers.
My eyes are eternally lowered
and street corners are for flinching.

And who can say that there ever was a whole?

Find a way to sweep the parings.

Make it so.

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After Pausal . by Nicolette Wong

–for Todd Tam & late-night music

I dip a feather quill in dragon blood ink for protection from you: my sketched giant, eyes flaming inside a streetlamp & a knife in your pocket, a stabbed life to the edge of the ring notepad. Your anger is rising like the smoke above my fingers. Pull the knife now. Slice the fish on the table to match the fine traces of your prison.

Every time the blood splashes an anonymous face would break, & turn into a skeleton holding onto the lamppost in fright. I cannot stop these characters’ changes, just as you cannot find your tainted heart in that open book in your hands. A dot upon another until it turns into a tornado. Let it swirl; let time elude and fade.

You have forgotten your identity, even your lost love. All night I draw to the music for which you are created, red ink on my skin & your lapsing rhythm. The cruelty you are living has nothing to do with your soul. It is a flower blossoming in someone else’s loneliness, on a night locked in broken sounds and distance.

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End of Story . by Kim Hutchinson

A young contessa stumbled across a bridge to a land of wonder, where the colors of the land and sky were deeper, the water sparkled brighter, and the horizon went on forever.

It was a land of all sky.

A troll lived beneath the bridge. He saw she was pretty and clever, if not always contessa-like, but she would make a fine trophy. And, she could spin clouds into gold.

For a troll, cloud spinning is a dealmaker.

The troll threw a sparkle of sunlight in her eyes so she thought she saw a duke or a prince. In truth, what she saw was a reflection of her.

She was lost.

The troll put her to work spinning while he collected more trophies. Soon her shoulders hurt and she was lonely in the dark shack, but there was never enough gold for the troll.

When she tried to leave, he chained her about her waist.

The troll hated all things, but for a motivated troll a victim can be too compliant, so he hated her, his own creation, especially.

After awhile, she was still beautiful, but when she looked in the mirror she didn’t recognize herself. She was haggard and sad and angry.

Now, she was reflecting him.

Moon after moon, she tried to look at the troll with love. He stared back in hate. Finally, the poison in the air grew so thick that it blew up the little troll house by the bridge.

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Specificity . by Alex Lockwood

How specific were we with that kiss? Did we give it full stretch? When I bit your lip and gently suckled, did you comprehend my offer of tender analysis into your illness, while not drawing speculative conclusions (or blood)? Yes I’ve read Illness as Metaphor; but do you know Kissing Specificity, its sequel? I’ll loan it to you. But before that: when I held out, and then, oh, lusty speculation! oh abyss! pulled your belted waist close. Was I not unambiguous: expect nothing but that we are stars to gravity, pulled and pushed in the Milky Way. And what did you make of the timing? So you tripped and bit your tongue, did I not immediately lick it for you, as I would your wounds from smashing the glass ceiling, as I would rush to paint your garden fence (or ‘wall’, or whatever ‘name’ you have for your ‘resistances’—mine is ‘battlement’, both castellated for long sieges and a set of complicated ballet steps). But forget that. Did we nail it? That moment after the baiser longue where you rested your forehead on my chin, and I nuzzled the crown of your head, freshly bleached. No other denotation is available, as I see it: you offered a temple of riches, and I a ledge for you to rest on your lovelorn migration. A fair transaction.

I make it sound what? Ob-verse? No, no, no. You’ve got me wrong. Let me unblock your cloggy understanding. Come, again.

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A Fairytale of Love . by Beate Sigriddaughter

“I love you,” Elaine wrote. “I always have.”

But when I wouldn’t give her my phone number because her frequent unplanned hour-long phone calls had exasperated me in the past, she once again broke off all communication.

What worried me besides my limited cell phone minutes was this: Eliane insisted that in 1991 when she visited me after a spat with her girlfriend, the two of us made love. I happen to know we didn’t because I had really wanted to. I am convinced that if we had made love I would have noticed and remembered. Instead I remember sitting on the swings up in the park by the city dump after she left, flinging myself high into the blue New Mexico sky, regretting that she had decided to go back to her unnerving girlfriend without ever giving me a chance.

Now, twenty years later, she wants to shame me into remembering things her way. “I take it I wasn’t very memorable,” she challenged me. How was I expected to respond? “OK, OK, you did make love to me,” so as not to hurt her tender feelings?

What really worries me is of course how many other people make up stuff about me against my will. How many folks imagine and insist on my reality the way it never happened?

I’m living in a fairytale, I guess, though this isn’t how I imagined fairytales.

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Last Days of Summer . by Martin Brick

August day, exactly 23 years after, and identical weather. Struck Lewis as the world saying, “Oh, we remember.”

Nadine’s mother remembered too. “I didn’t expect to see you.” He wondered if she knew, if that’d be something she’d even care about now.

“Too early,” Lewis mumbled. “Barely 40.”

He’d never spent many daylight hours in the cemetery, but after dusk it was where a young man with no car and a girlfriend within walking distance could find some space.

They joked about the dead, about hallowed grounds, about concepts like souls, until only a week of summer remained. So they committed, there on the grass. She laughed; her blush glowing through the dark. They’d been afraid all summer – of what? – of pain, consequences, getting caught, and probably somewhat legitimately, damnation. Why test it in a graveyard?

But they pledged to repeat every night for their last week.

He walked her out, keeping the pastor’s house distant. But they spotted someone on the back porch. The priest’s housekeeper, smoking a cigarette. She saw them, and Lewis knew her face was stern, turning love to shame.

So they never went back there. Never made love again. Lewis told Nadine at a reunion how silly that seemed, what they lost from fear. He had a few drinks in him. “6 amazing nights, gone.”

The funeral party left the cemetery, and he saw the housekeeper smoking again. Could she still be alive? She still looked stern, but smug, as if thinking, “we got you.”

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Naughty . by Catherine Russell

The secrecy, the excitement of sneaking behind her husband’s back, gave her a rush like nothing else – especially since she knew full well her lover could kick his ass in a New York minute. But what would be the point? He’d only be accused of picking on a cripple – no matter how resourceful the cripple might be. Besides, divorce was out of the question; Daddy wouldn’t hear of it.

But when loverboy stripped off those fatiques and leather – YUM. She just couldn’t help herself. She loved bad boys, and he’d been very naughty.

That evening, Hephaestus munched popcorn and mulled over suitable punishments as he watched the VHS of his wife’s antics. Oh to hades with it, he thought. He’d had dalliances of his own. Besides, judging from the tape, the love of Ares was punishment enough.

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Burnt Buscuits . by Doug Bond

Herb Bernstein was a tool-head, a sparkplug, wiry and overcharged. On
any given weekend you could see him folded under the hood, lubricating
this and tightening that.

Every now and again his wife Bea, would hear the engine screech, then
tire flung gravel pocking the tin shed. When she drew in for breath,
her chest cavity swelled to jumbo size.

Normally she kept the kitchen windows shut, but with the oven on and
the first batch burnt, Bea had them pushed wide open. It was hot too,
unseasonable it seemed to her, this early in spring.

The noise was something she’d been learning to get along with, but if
she had a bone to pick, it was the grease and the grime on his clothes
and his nails always black. It looked like torture, all that bending
and torquing, but she knew Herb took great delight in his labors. He
could keep at it for hours at a time. This was “his thing,” he had
told her when they met last Fall. Bea had learned to keep inside, give
him space.

Setting the second tray of biscuits down, Bea strained to lean over
the sink, and pressed her face towards the open screen. “Herb! Please,
Honey…Come on in for some lunch?”

Clanking a menthol cough drop against his molars, Herb looked straight
over the dash, his jaw creased, foot on the pedal, mumbled “Fatty”
under the growing roar of the engine, and dropped the shift into gear.

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Tainted Love . by Guy Yasko

– Would you mind turning that down?

– In a minute. I’m listening.

– 80s pop was all about record company hegemony and falling microchip
prices.

– I don’t care. I like it. Try the broccoli.

– Broccoli, the easy-to-ship vegetable, the logistically-friendly
vegetable. You need something like that when you’re getting rid of local
producers.

– Do you enjoy anything?

– I enjoy you.

– Do you really?

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The Morning After . by Andrew Stancek

“Punk kids,” Mirko’s father says. “The country’s disintegrating before our eyes. Never happened when I was young. If it did, they caught the animal right away, put him in jail, threw away the keys.”

Mirko’s father is hacking slices of bacon off a slab with the dull blade of a pocket-knife, throwing them onto a sizzling pan. He slurps black tea improved by a healthy dose of rum. Last night the men in the neighborhood started up a Protection Association in response to the kiosk robbery. Mr. Zajko, the vendor, is in hospital concussed, incoherent. Mirko’s father had been a major during his military service and is now one of the group’s officers.

“Jail? Too good. In America they have the right idea. You steal a horse, they hang you. That’s what I’d do with these punks.”

Mirko’s head throbs. Duro and he didn’t even bother counting the money, just shared a bottle of slivovica. The bacon smell is making the room rock. A few weeks ago he was living at mother’s and his biggest worry was a math test. He can feel the noose rubbing his neck raw, the swaying in the wind.

“Dig in,” his father says, putting in front of him a heaping plate of bacon, potatoes, fried onions. Mirko runs to the bathroom.

“Something I ate last night,” he calls out.

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Jade . by Mike DeChristina

George was the dessert man at the prepared food counter. He was short and round, and sported a black caterpillar mustache. His buddy the butcher called him ‘Vanilla Pudding.’

After his Saturday shift, George went home to clean up. On the way to Ming’s apartment, he stopped by an ATM to extract five crisp twenty-dollar bills.

George had continued to visit Ming even after she fell ill and there was no chance of any carnal pleasure. Ming’s thirty-something daughter Helen opened the apartment door and wordlessly returned to the kitchen to read her books.

George and Ming watched a dancing show on the TV in the bedroom. He sat in a chair next to the bed, while Ming lay with her eyes closed, fingering the synthetic jade necklace George had given her years before. George left his twenties on Ming’s night table before kissing her hot white forehead.

In Ming’s final weeks, George and Helen gave Ming sponge baths. They laved Ming with warm soapy water. George held his breath to avoid breathing in Ming’s stench. After drying Ming off, they changed her sheets and pulled a nightdress over her body.

Ming died in March. For several weeks, George stayed home on Saturday nights. One Saturday night in April, George walked over to Ming’s, stopping at the ATM along the way. George knocked on Ming’s door. Helen opened it. She wore a pretty blue dress, her hair swept up, revealing her long white neck, upon which hung Ming’s jade necklace.

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tainted love . by Alexandra Pereira

“Good morning, sir. May I help you?”

“Yes, I would like some love.”

“What kind of love, sir?”

“The kind that makes me happy.”

“And would you like happy-love-occasionally, sometimes, or most of the time?”

“What? Look, lady, I’m tired of being miserable! I want always, happy-love-always!”

“We don’t have always, sir. Humans weren’t programmed to be happy always.”

“Fine. I’ll take most of the time then.”

“Uh…one moment…Sorry, it’s unavailable. The woman before you took our last one.”

“Guess sometimes will have to do, then.”

“For how long? One week, month or…ah…let me see…yes, we still have years-”

“Years.”

“How many?”

“As many as you can give me.”

“Impossible, sir. We don’t sell love for eternity but what we offer is good compared to what’s in the market nowadays.”

“Look, I’m a simple man. Don’t complicate my life.”

“We’re not here to complicate your life, sir. We want our customers to be happy, but I can only give you three, four, maximum five years. The woman before you also took the maximum we had.”

“I’ll take five. How much?…That’s outrageous! Don’t have that kind of money!”

“But you want love and love’s expensive and can be very difficult to find.”

“That’s why I came here, but I want the lasting kind, not any of this bullshit!”

“Then you’ll have to try the Dream On store next door. Maybe they can help you. Here we only sell tainted love.”

“Never mind. I’ll just find that woman. Ah…What was her name?”

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The Mess . by Walter Bjorkman

–after Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

“I don’t even know if love exists, has anyone ever had a definition that fully satisfies, or a love that does? If they say so they are liars.”

“Something doesn’t have to be defined or definable to exist.”

“Now you are pulling in existential crap that can be used to justify or destroy anything or everything. Next you’ll be saying how do we know that everything, including me, isn’t just your imagination and nothing exists but you.”

“It could be true, even if you say how come we both have the same knowledge, of the events in Europe or the color of the street lights or that my dad is screwing his secretary; I could say that is because I imagined you to think that way.”

“We could go back and forth like that forever, but I can tell you why that argument is bullshit and everthing is as real as the taste in my real mouth of that really bad meatloaf we just ate.”

“What?”

“If you, or I, are just imagining all this, why the hell are we sitting here just washing down lousy food with lousy coffee in a harshly lit diner at two am, paid for with our last two bucks, arguing about if I love you or if there even is such a thing, instead of fucking away in extended bliss in a bed of fluffed down while listening to Sarah Vaughan?”

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Doll Parts . by John Wentworth Chapin

I knew Courtney Love was hot even before she finally brushed her hair and took a shower sometime after Kurt Cobain shot himself. One look at that mouth and you know she gives kickass head when she’s not passed out or saying stupid shit. Someone that talented should be a fucking superstar, but what’s so hot about Courtney is she’s so damaged. If I met her I’d be cool and sort of a dick to her and she’d eat it up, and we’d end up with her straddling me in my back seat, probably. And she’d be pissed off about it, too, because I’m a nobody and look how far she’s fallen. She’s always had one foot on a pedestal and the other in a gutter. Every Courtney episode is just so screwed up and it makes her all the hotter. It’s not like I’m fixated on 1994 Courtney or rehab Courtney or Golden Globes Courtney or whatever – I accept all of her. You know, I bet no one else does – not anyone who isn’t drawing a paycheck off her. She would hate me for being nothing and I would love her for being famous but nothing. I’m the one who could make her happy. I’d probably have to treat her like shit a little, but that’s okay, because I want to see what she does next, even if I’m already fucking her.

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Sunken Treasure . by Michelle Elvy

When Jackie and Jim first rolled round in the sack, they were teens, mere beginners. All limbs and movement, no tact or grace. It didn’t matter, of course: enthusiasm and energy made up for lack of finesse. One night Jackie lay next to Jim, sweaty and heaving but confused. “There’s got to be more to orgasm than this.” Jim left the room quickly, returned with his mask and snorkel. “What the hell are you doing?” she said as he climbed up the foot of the bed with his snorkel gear dangling. “Free diving,” he grinned, snapping the strap on his head, “Going in deep, looking for treasure.” He found it alright, but it took a little roadmapping and a lot of giggling along the way. They spent years mapping each other’s bodies, diving and snorkeling and learning how to breathe deep.

Ten years later, Jackie’s holding her breath. Jim’s gone and Ralph’s down there looking for treasure. She’s not sure he’s ever gonna find it at the rate he’s going. She considers asking him if he needs a GPS, bursts out laughing. Then the tears come and Ralph’s out the door. It occurs to Jackie then and there that the years with Jim were good ones, even if in the end she needed less finesse and more constancy, more companionship. At some point it turned sour and the fights were as frequent as the orgasms. But it was real, and she misses real.

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We thank David Ohlerking II for his artwork. Here is a bit of the story of its creation and the process:

“This is a painting of a particularly difficult now-ex girlfriend. My teacher made me keep it even though I wanted to be all dramatic and throw it out. The image was made by scraping paint around after it was brushed on. The scrapes were intended to reflect the heaviness I felt in my arms from the constant threat of controversy inherent in the relationship. I’m much better now.

The painting was made with oil paint on Masonite. The paint had stand oil in it which is a syrupy form of linseed oil (boiled in a vacuum to reduce it.) The stand oil allowed for the scraping tricks. It was initially painted from life up on an easel, then after some terrible argument I went home and painted over it, laid it down on the floor and scraped the form into it.”

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Filed under Wk #48 - Tainted love

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