Vintage

Butterfly

This post originally appeared on the previous Tequila and Ink Blogspot page on September 7, 2011

She woke me up with a light slap on the face. I groaned and took a moment to dig the crust out of my eyes and acquainted myself with my surroundings: her bed, her bedroom, her.

She’s my lesbian ex-girlfriend. Everyone should have one.

We did it again. It seems to inevitably happen at the most unexpected times.

“Did we really do this again?” I asked, “I mean, is there like a punch-card or something? The fifth lay turns us straight?”

“Cured,” she sang slowly, a reference to a joke made during similar mornings in the past.

I asked her if she could get me a Capri-Sun and play some Dragonette, one of our favorite musicians.

ALL OF THE DRAGONETTE,” she hummed, speaking in bizarre Internet-meme language. She slipped a t-shirt over her head as she stood up. Her bedroom was similar to mine, a mismanaged mess of boxes and furniture, signs of an upcoming move. She loaded a song on her laptop and left. When she returned she was sipping on a Capri-Sun with another in her hand.

“You know sometimes I worry that you’re just using me to relive your rape,” I said.

In her attempt at suppressing her laughter the clear liquid from the Capri-Sun pouch sprayed from her nose and rolled down her lips.

“Is it okay for me to laugh at that?” she asked. Her hair was buzzed, but growing back. The extreme haircut was an attempt at regaining control and she instantly regretted it, embarrassed like someone caught naked. Fortunately her face is narrow and lined with sharp angles, chin and nose and cheekbones in all the right places and littered with a star-scape of gleaming piercings on her eyebrow and nose and lip. The hair is an irrelevant sidenote, an unnecessary frame.

Small strips of white medical-tape were wrapped around several of her fingers, cuts from playing with her newest toy, a butterfly knife. I’ve watched her use it in the past, the blades gracefully dancing between her fingers and the clack-clack-clack of metal striking metal. Watching her do it made me nervous, left butterflies energetically batting around in my stomach and cutting up my insides.  It’s a hobby she picked up from a few of our other friends. She was only doing what myself and so many others have done, attempting to find peace through violence.

“You really need to stop with the butterfly knife thing,” I said, eying the bandages, “This will make you the fourth person I’ve dated that has one.”

“That says something fucked up about you, not us,” she said, taking her butterfly knife in hand and twirling it among the flesh of her fingers.

Clack-clack-clack.

“I swear if I wake up castrated… well… I guess I won’t do anything, considering the number of suspects.”

Clack-clack-clack.

I rose from bed and dressed myself, said something about how I had to get going because of work and moving and everything that needed done. She walked me to the door and we stood in the doorway avoiding the word “goodbye.”

Through her short hair I noticed a small, round, barely noticeable birthmark about an inch deep into her hairline. It was a speck, minuscule, a dot from an ink pen. She’s shorter than me, and I took her head in my hand and pulled it towards me.

I left a kiss on that dot, because it was a part of her I’ve never kissed before.

We finally found our voices and exchanged goodbyes.

Our fingertips separated but the fluttering in my stomach lingered. As days passed the fluttering died down.

But the clack-clack-clack of one lone butterfly remains.

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