dressing down


He says some of the most ridiculous things I’ve never heard.

Like when I show up in the low, black corset, a willful adaptation of the woman my mother wanted me to be.

And I get, “Oh my god. Who is the retarded nanny that dresses you?”

Maybe I’m supposed to be offended. But it’s far too funny a comment for that.

So instead I laugh lustily.

And it feels so good, comes so effortlessly.

Meanwhile, he continues to be troubled, which only heightens my amusement.

“Seriously,” he says, after a spell. “Take that off. I’m too empathetic to be able to handle it. I feel completely suffocated just looking at you.”

Is it wrong that I like making him feel that way?

He’s got an act that I’m not even sure is an act.

And then I’ve got one, too, that answers it.

An act that leaves enough room for me to be tough and smart, for once.

If I’m suffocated, it’s by no means because of the corset. It’s because of the woman I’ve presented to most men before him.

I work slowly with the material holding me in; he’s reclined on the couch, like always, with his heavy glass of bourbon, his cigarette.

He passes the time by taking newly-formed stabs at my upbringing.

“Did you grow up in a whorehouse run by the insane?” he guesses.

And when I don’t answer, “You did, didn’t you?”

We’re both so arrogant and defiant that it leaves us no choice but to find each other good company.

“I liked your corset,” he tells me, almost as an apology, once I lie down next to him on the couch. Unbutton his shirt. Skin on skin.

“I don’t care if you liked it,” I respond.

“I know. That’s what I liked about it.”

We soften together in the darkness and he wills me to breathe.

He’s always so slow with me. It’s an unusual trait. I’m not used to a man that is in no hurry.

“I like your body,” he allows. “The woman that runs it.”

The double-increasing compliment. Followed by a confession.

“I think I want to hurt you.”

Despite their meaning, these words are so honest, so child-like somehow, that I’m unable to  interpret them as anything but sweet.

“Do you?” I ask drowsily. “Why?”

“In order to then be able to rescue you,” he says.

And then, after a pause, “From myself.”

Here I put a hand over his mouth, feel the need to stop the words, hold the moment.

I’m really not sure what it says about me, but this sentiment?

I was designed for it.



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