outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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I met what I thought was a man I could love, and I moved into his large rambling house at the edge of town, dreaming of sunny rooms and potted flowers and maybe a child with the look of him and me.

That first night I encountered a shape under the sheets in the bed he said was ours, and when I stroked what I thought was his shoulder, it shuddered and melted away.

Afterwards I rarely saw him, but he haunted me: I would hear his steps thundering in the house's many hallways and discern the shadow of a bear. His anguish rattled the walls; his roar could wake the dead of the dead.

Every morning in his house—I couldn’t think of it as ours—I was greeted by the remains of his rages: rugs strewn with smashed wine bottles, cigarettes ashed into paintings, burial mounds of newspaper.

I would tidy up. Rectify the furniture, paint over the ash marks, pick broken glass out of faded warp and weft on bruised knees. Set aright the world, if only its objects.

I made grocery lists to keep me company. Watered the beargarden. Wrote letters to the beast, begging him to show me his face. No use.

One night I thought to catch him, tear the bedsheet away, reveal his form, candlewax dripping on the pillow. But at the door I hesitated. I could hear the creature weeping, each sob a wayward thread tugging on me. Yet, though I loved the faint memory that had knotted me to him, I tiptoed away and fled that house for good.


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