Man In Picture v 2.0 “I Can’t Stand It” (chapter five)

Like somebody snapped their fingers, I’m awake at two thirty seven a.m.  He’s been here.  I smell the pigs.  Hogs, boars,  javelina.  Whatever.   Their breath and sweat.  Raw intelligence.  The steam of their violence.

If I’m ever able to ask him a question, I will ask him about the pigs.

The stench hangs like garbage on strings.  Curtains of rotting cholesterol.  Green meat pulsing with maggots, glistening and clicking like tapioca, sliding up and down on waxy oily twine for no reason other than stinking and shining and making me want to hurl.  If that’s too much, picture folds of bologna and meat drapery, a greasy sandwich opens and there is a moist and pungent eruption.

These are the two things I picture in my head.

Mucus and shit and straw.

It’s like it’s in my throat.

A clack of cloven hooves singing still.

Blank but ringing.

I am way rattled.

Ice trays filled. Toilet paper on the roll. I don’t need to even check.

Did I buy paper towels?

A gob of pungent semen on my pillow and on my cheek.  It smells like bleach and garlic.  And sulfur.  And asparagus.  I loathe asparagus.

You gotta be fucking kidding me.

Fuck me.

I can’t stand it. I really can’t fucking stand this.

He tips out the door.  Firm quiet slam.  The lock sounds slick as it clicks.  I think it whistled.

I guess he sleeps here now?

He jerked off on my fucking face?  What the fuck?  Everything he does either confuses or disgusts me.  Usually both.  I will kill him or this won’t go away.  That’s what he wants.  The confrontation.  He wants for us to get it on.  For one of us to to be killed, for one of us to die.  I’m not sure he cares who wins,  I know he doesn’t.  I’m beginning to understand this.

I am beginning to admit this.

He just wants it, it’s his whole reason and he’s looking to make it mine.  This scares the fuck out of me.  He doesn’t care.  He sees his conclusion.

He has every intention of fucking my corpse if he wins.

I didn’t sign on for anything like this.  Do I deserve this?  I’m a normal guy with normal problems.  I thought I was.

Nothing like this.

What haunts me is the Deja Vu.  Kind of a new development, either that, or I just noticed.  I know I’ve been here before but I wonder how many times.  Sometimes I see it coming right before it hits.  Just how far gone am I?  How many times have I danced this dance?  How many times?  It doesn’t help at all to realize you’ll be bleeding from the mouth a few seconds before you’re bleeding from the mouth.  It makes it worse.

My feet are dragging.

I throw the bloody linens in steaming laundry water with bleach in a gust of disgust and escape to my shower.  Fucking hot.  The water is as hot as I can stand, shocking the gash in my face when I step in front of it.  My split plumb.  Broken fruit.  Reflex, I lower my head. Blood pools at my feet. It’s coming from my face, but also from just above my knees. Something is carved into the flesh above each knee cap, just beside and beneath the muscle of each thigh.

Mirrored.  Opposing.

I can’t make it out. The blood and water in concert make it impossible.  They flash in my mind’s eye as little swastikas gushing.

I puke again.  Convulse.  Nothing comes of it except sour yellow bile.  Snot, lots of snot.  My eyes watering in the rain.

It gets blurry in here.  Steamy.  I do snot rockets.  Soap up and rinse off.  Rinse and rinse.  Water collects at my feet.

Still faded, this makes me dizzy.  Bleeding.  I grab the nozzle with both hands so I don’t go down.  Swinging in the rain.  Alcohol thins the blood, prohibits inhibitions.

Just swinging in the rain.  Back and forth.

People say their lives are a nightmare, they have no idea.


Where do I go?  Who do I tell?

The only blood around here this time is mine.  A white plastic pawn with my hands all over it.  I’ve just poured bleach on his DNA.  Random and surreal but I’m losing my breath.  I can’t breathe.  Crazy.  No police.

Furious confusion.

Can’t even picture that.  I’m shithammered.  911 is not an option.  It’s after the fact.  I smell swine and gasoline.  Grease.  Petroleum byproducts.  It fucking stinks in here.

Man, I miss the good doctor Wednesdays at nine thirty. I doubt I could tell her. Either way she’d think I’m full blown dancing with myself.

I mean, maybe I am.

I’m not sure.

I could book an appointment and show her my knees.  Tell her what’s going on.  Explain the whole thing.

After that.  An exorcist?  Or my shrink has me committed?

No, I did not carve these swastikas on the tops of my knees.

I woke up and I was like this.  He woke me up leaving.

What does he look like?

Well, he’s always bleeding.  From the eyes, and he has giant freckles or melanoma and flaming read hair and giant incisors.  On a street corner he looks cool until you look hard or get close.  He smiles a lot, but his gums bleed too.  Strong giant horse teeth awash in blood like wine over ivory.

See how fucked I am?

Where would you go? Who would you tell?

Tell me.

The carvings in my legs have numbed parts of my ankles and calves. I begin to let go of the nozzle with my right hand and seem to be able to support my weight. I wonder how I’ll walk.

I soap and wash again, over and over, with one hand on the nozzle at all times.  Gotta trade hands to thoroughly clean my butt.

I’m a senior citizen getting out of the shower.

Yer pretty fucking ambulatory!  I shout at myself in the steamy mirror.  I’m still pretty fucked up. My feet feel funny. Like I’m floating but literally tripping on them across the bathroom floor.

I begin to understand. Both my Achilles tendons. They’re kinda numb. They still work, but I’m walking like a drunk with broken toes.  I’m drunk but he didn’t slash the actual tendons, at least not all the way through, because he wants me mobile. I don’t kid myself that he could have done whatever he wanted.  He knew exactly what he did.  What he was doing.

My toes are like grapes I can’t feel in front of a pretty sensitive sirloin or side of pork butt.

Both feet bleeding just above the heel.

The symbolism of that particular tendon. Achilles. Greek, Trojan war icon. ……..

I need another drink but there’s not much left.

This guy is a dick.

I understand this insane liquid oxygen fueled rocket poltergeist has me on fucking defrost. He’s just playing. I’m his Sunday stroll. I wonder how many others he’s doing this to or has done it to.  How many times has he done it to me?

I trip around the bed, putting on fresh linens.  I realize I’m sobbing.  My nose is bleeding.  Blood lands on my flannel linens with small splats that look like red Japanese suns.

How long ’til he blows up my fucking car?

Can’t wait to get to the office in the morning.  But I really can’t show up there again. May have to pass on that. Whether I show or not, no good can come of it, they’re all so close to done with me.  They’re used to either loathing or confusion where I’m concerned.

An Spade and a Club, the two black suits. On my knees. Lotion stops the bleeding long enough to see.  Looks like they were traced out in red pen first.  I’m sitting on the toilet, rubbing lotion on my knees to discover what has been carved into me tonight.  I really had to crap too.  The lime in the coconut melody starts to play in my head.  Over and over.  I pour another Bombay.

I bandage my knees with cotton balls and my last four band aids.  I’m sure it won’t hold but I’m tired and it’s all I have.

Clearly, the Bible is a period piece so I’m not going there, but I can’t help thinking about finding some creepy old cleric or maybe a shaman. What I’m up against here is light years beyond the archetypical antagonist.

For the twentieth time I tell myself I have no choice but to be his doom.

I have no choice. No other option. No other possibility.

No one one can end this but me.

The thought brings fresh fear and frustration.

Just how the fuck am I gonna do this?

It’s gonna have to be big.  If not biblical then cinematic.  Heh.  I’m an idiot and a coward.

I’ve never killed anyone.  He scares the fuck out of me.  He keeps coming and coming.  Relentless.

I’ve been thinking about a crossbow. Grenades. A shotgun.

Anybody know a white wizard?

I am so completely fucked.  Crazy long before I’m in a position to take him on.  I will be full blown drooling, screaming and flailing before I can even attempt his level of empty, diseased violence.

He’s got me.  I can’t compete.  My only relief is to extinguish him and I understand everyday how I’m just not equipped to do that.


I suppose I could kill myself.  The idea hasn’t passed me by but I lack that brand of courage as well.  I’m not brave enough to deliberately end my own existence, so assuming that’s his goal, he’ll have to take it.  My life.  I’m just not very badass.  I can’t wait for him, because I’m not that formidable.  The little engine that could is not my mascot today.  I’m a little more David than Goliath.

I’ll have to take it to him.  My only chance is what he thinks I don’t have the courage to do.

Thing is, I don’t have the courage to do it.

I’m starting to wonder if I can run for it.

Furious confusion.

Today will be a big day.

6 Responses to “Man In Picture v 2.0 “I Can’t Stand It” (chapter five)”

  • Gab:

    This is awesome Douglass. Love it! Very well written and completely engaging. It touches on the senses and emotions and it takes the reader on ride through the psyche of this person. You’re an amazing writer. I’m really looking forward to chapter six.

  • admin:

    Oh Gab, thanks very much. It means a lot coming from you.

  • Jana:

    I have to agree—although I was TRYING not to continue reading it, I just couldn’t help it. And it scared me this time too.

  • admin:

    Oh that’s special. I’m really happy to have scared you. That’s big. Thank you 🙂

  • two minor things my friend, there’s a tiny typo when you say “I wonder how many others he’s doing this too-” (typo is ‘he’ instead of ‘he’s’) Check it. The other thing is you say ‘Ace’ where you should say ‘Spade’ when you are discovering your knee damage. What am I a friggin proof reader over here? Hey I call a spade a spade, and I call an Ace a really accomplished fighter pilot. I only point those out because somebody has to, and if I ever get my ass in gear and show anyone any of my writing, it’s going to be some jerks full time job spotting all those little mistakes…
    This is great stuff. I’m happy to see positive feed back coming to you from other readers.
    You’re gross and depraved and brave.
    Yours pal,

  • admin:

    Fixed it, normally I’m so thorough……….

    I’m really gratified you’re digging it.

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