Six Minutes 53 Seconds
by M Phoenix
Notes: I resisted but I couldn't get this idea out of my head. I blame
Faith and insomnia. I've never tried writing Faith first person before,
and I don't know if I managed to pull it off, but it was certainly an experience.
The song quoted is 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails. Many thanks to YesPlease
for her beta wisdom, it is much appreciated.
Summary: Ever wonder what Faith did on Prom night?
Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF
I like you. I mean, I feel like we have this connection. And I know that
sounds like some cheesy pickup line -- which I don't need to pull, 'cause
you're already in my bed -- but it's true, I can talk to you. You kinda
remind me of someone I used to know; only not. I don't even know why I'm
telling you all this 'cause none of it really matters.
Half my high school class are dead now; I heard the stories before I left
Southie. Car accidents, suicides, drive-bys, OD's, vampires -- yeah, they
exist, no I'm not crazy -- just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I didn't give a shit about any of them. Which is cool 'cause they're all
taking the big dirt nap while I, the girl voted most likely to be found
nekkid in a dumpster with her throat cut, am still alive. They never realized
how tough I am. No one can take me. Funny huh? Funny ironic, or funny sad,
The Fish Tank is pretty deserted, which is normal for this time of night.
Some Hell's Angels in the corner round the pool table, laughing loud and
puppy-punching each other in the kidneys -- they have potential to be a
good time; a couple of sailors slumped at the bar; a hooker -- low rent
Madonna wannabe -- looking for trade; and me, looking to forget. I saunter
up to the bar, give Bernice my very best shit-eatin' grin, and order a double
shot of J.D. That ought to help.
Three more J.D.'s and I'm still cold, the burn of the alcohol and anger
is the only heat in me.
It's a game of chance, life and death. Santa lied, being naughty or nice
has nothing to do with whether a kid gets the monster sack full of presents
or the little black lump of coal. Everybody lies. The president who can't
keep his pants zipped; the priest, well, same problem; my dad...hmm, I can
see a recurring theme here.
Sometimes I lie, but I'm not lying to you. You're a real good listener,
and that's important.
Anyway, this one night, I must have been around fourteen, the wildest thunderstorm
I've ever seen blew in to town; it was like the end of the world. I went
nuts for it. I ran out and shimmied up the highest building in the whole
neighbourhood, stood up on top of it holding this old fire poker up to the
sky, stood there like the fucking Statue of Liberty, and waited for the
lightening to strike. Light me up and take me out - 'thank you and goodnight.'
Kinda lame, I know. All that happened was I got soaked and frozen. No blaze
of glory for me, it passed me by. Next day I hear this guy on the next block
got hit while he was sitting on the john. Freak accident. Funny huh?
Someone puts the jukebox on; Nine Inch Nails pounding through the room until
it's shaking, or maybe I'm shaking and the room is still. I'm up and dancing.
I'm the only one but that's just fine, I can give these losers the kind
of show they'd usually have to pay for. All of them watching as I move.
My brain's shutting down as I let the beat into me.
You can have my isolation, you can have the hate that it brings.
My hands rake through my hair as I whirl round.
You can have my absence of faith, you can have my everything.
Sweat feels like tiny pinpricks all over my skin. I close my eyes, and run
my hands down my gyrating body, touching my throat, my breasts, running
down my stomach like they got a will of their own, on down to my leather
pants, smooth down between my thighs -- I'm lost now, gone, I may as well
be alone -- I can feel my head thrown back like I'm in some cheap porno,
a fantasy of myself. I raise my arms back up slow, dancing myself into the
darkness, the crazy snaking into my mind, flashing on and off like a neon
sign. I welcome it. Hell yeah, I'll take that ride.
Help me tear down my reason, help me it's your sex I can smell.
me, you make me perfect, help me become somebody else.
So many ways to die. It's so fucking easy to die by accident -- the banana
skin effect -- so hard when you want to. I figured at least if you kill
yourself you got a chance of being in control for once, a big 'fuck you'
to the random. A choice how you wanna go out. Doesn't always work too well
Way back, I'd been awake for two weeks straight, like speeding, only without
the speed. I got so desperate I swallowed half a drug store of pills, crawled
into an abandoned building on Fifth to let them do their work, not expecting
to ever crawl out. I woke up forty-eight hours later feeling like a bear
had shit in my skull. No one had even noticed I'd gone. Sometimes, though,
I wonder if I'm still there and the last few years were just a bizarre,
drugged-up dream I'm having before I kick it. Maybe none of this is real,
so it doesn't much matter what I've done; what I do.
Christ, it's so pathetic; I never told anyone that, until now.
But that's not as bad as this one guy, Mick Mahoney. He heard that if you
covered yourself in paint, your skin couldn't breathe so you died. He took
a bath in emulsion. Didn't kill him, but he lost all his body hair when
the ER docs stripped the paint off. What a retard. Funny huh?
That time of night; the bar is starting to fill. I down another shot and
grimace, I had to move on to the really cheap stuff -- tastes like meths
-- 'cause I'm nearly out of cash and not half way drunk enough yet. I can
still think. Thinking bad.
I push and grope my way back onto the dance floor. One of the sailors rubs
himself up against me, grabs my ass, with a look on his face like he's doing
me a favour. He stinks of the docks, and motor oil. I could rip his arm
off with a quick twist and beat him to death with it; it's a tempting thought,
but I'm supposed to be keeping a low profile until the big day, and anyhow,
they'd kick me out of here and I don't wanna go home alone.
He leans down and shouts into my ear, above the music, "Steve. I'm
"Yeah. Goodie for you."
And then I see her, and for a moment I can't breathe.
You're beautiful. Did anyone ever tell you? They should have; it might have
made a difference.
Yeah, I'll just let that ring. It's probably the Boss calling to see if
I'm tucked up safe in bed with a glass of warm milk. He can be such a stiff
sometimes, but it's good y'know, to have someone who cares, someone who'll
miss you when you're gone. How weird is it I had to go over to the dark
side of the force to get it. I guess white never really suited me much anyway.
I don't believe in fate, destiny, all that crap -- as the great philosopher
said, shit happens, then you die -- but if I did, I'd say it felt like fate.
It isn't actually her of course, just a girl who looks a little like her,
or like she would look if she'd spent the last year living in a trailer
and free-basing crack. I'm sitting in a corner, nursing my final drink and
pretending I'm not hiding; but seeing her there, for that split second before
I realised it couldn't be her, because she'll be at the Prom with her loser
Scooby-friends, and Dead Boy, has ripped me up inside. There's an ache in
my throat like all the pain I ever felt is lodged there and I can't get
it out. The bitch is gonna get what's coming to her; I've got a plan that'll
Oh shit, that girl is coming over, why is she coming over?
There's something about her eyes, sad, gentle, and the way her mouth quirks
up at one corner, that makes me keep staring, wanting to taste her; I lick
my lips, and turn on the flirt, it's involuntary, it's what I do.
We're getting closer, closer. She runs her fingertips down the side of my
face, and it's like she's made a decision, she moves in and brushes her
lips against mine, just the whisper of a kiss, but I'm burning up. I wonder
if she's ugly on the inside, black and rotting like me, decide I don't really
care...except that I do.
She tells me she's fresh into town from the East Coast, Philly I think,
but that bit gets drowned out by a sudden roar from the bikers. Running
from something, I can tell. She doesn't know anyone here, thought I looked
lonely; figured that was something we had in common. Yeah, us and every
other fucker in this place; but she chose me.
She chose me.
I'm not much with the book learnin', but I know about death, it's my job.
If I was pretentious enough I'd say it was an art form. Either way I'm a
walking fucking encyclopaedia of fun facts, like for the average human it
takes approximately seven minutes of total oxygen deprivation for the brain
to die. Drowning, smothering, decapitation, strangulation -- all good.
Guh. Sorry. Do you ever get that feeling like you can't breathe? A world
full of air, but you just can't get it into your lungs and...God...your
skin feels so perfect, soft under my hands, but I can't see you anymore,
my eyes are flooded and I can't see. I wasn't going to cry. This isn't like
me. It shouldn't be happening.
You're lucky you got me, 'cause I know it's better when it's real slow,
and right before you black out you get this blissed-out high, like the mother
of all happies; it only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like hours. Sometimes
I wish I could stay there. Quiet. Free. Nothing. Never come back. I gave
you a one way ticket. There are no safe words here. You looked like you
wanted it; you didn't struggle much, just a little spasm arching up against
my body, your hands raking across my arms and breasts, and through my hair,
before you closed your eyes and went limp. Pulse pounding in your neck;
slowing...slowing...stopping. The aching rush as I came, shuddering, slick,
gasping and suddenly helpless, my body clenched around yours. I'm still
hanging on 'cause I want to be sure, and also 'cause I can't remember how
I want you to know I'm glad we talked, 'cause even though you didn't say
a word I feel like you understood. I like you; I'd like to say I'll remember
you, light a candle for you, say a prayer, but I won't; I will forget, I
have to. Maybe I should have given you a choice; but I guess in this case
the random fucking with you was me. I'm the random, who knew? Not that funny.
The sheets feel damp. I'm cold again.
My hands have cramped up. I straighten my back, flex my fingers then reach
out and stroke your honey-blond hair; notice the roots are starting to show.
I was gonna say something but I've blanked out, I've got no thoughts left.I
slide off of your empty body and out of bed, walk across the clothes we
left scattered on the floor, making for the safety of the bathroom. I hear
words, but it doesn't really sound like my voice automatically saying, "Whatever.
You've been great. I gotta take a shower."