From the short story, “Eros” — began a long time ago, stunted right about fifteen minutes after a long time ago. (Need to write more, yes, I know. Hay. I don’t believe in writer’s block, though. Boredom, sure; disinterest, perhaps.) It frustrates me, how this reads. Existential Dread / Matrimonial Boredom Word Vomit. Oh well. I blame the poets.



She was a child. And so, perhaps, this made it permissible for her to come home to an apartment that was currently empty, with the imprint of another person’s lips on hers. As little as a couple of months ago, she would have fretted at the possibility of lingering strange scents, of the welcome unfamiliarity of new and longed-for tastes. She would have spent as long as she could under the shower, until the shrill beeping of the shower’s heating system drove her away—and even then she’d bow her head to turn the secreted shadows of her nape against the scalding water. And then. And then, with her body mottled pink, she’d brush her teeth in front of the dresser mirror, her pruned fingertips peeking with every up-down-up-down motion of the toothbrush. She would only stop when the foam turned pink, when her gums felt sore when she’d touch the tip of her tongue to them. And then she would wait. Sometimes, she’d read a book as she did so, but mostly she would just sit cross-legged across the bed, leaning against the headboard and simply wait.

But she was a child, she’d been thought of as one, and called a child too many times—and this is what children do, regardless that another man had kissed her and whispered her name in a tone that too many people have been carrying around blithely. This is what children do: she took her jeans off and left them in a heap on the floor. She climbed into bed in the blouse she’d been wearing all day, and her underwear. She slept.

Later—she did not know when exactly, only that the room was still illumined only by the fluorescents—she woke up. Woke up for just a few moments, the world blurred at the edges, more memory than actual experience. She saw Tom walking into the room, and she saw him in one of his gray shirts, and she saw him look at her form on the rumpled bed. And she didn’t understand that look, couldn’t. She slept.

She woke up during the night a few more times, with the same listlessness as she had before, the momentary snatches of how the world—how Tom—moved on as she lay sleeping. Saw Tom in front of the desktop. Saw Tom climbing into bed. Saw Tom’s back turned away from her. And when she reached over to pull him back that his heat may press against hers, she felt him resist. She drew her hand back, let it fall to the bedspread. She was curled up behind him, not touching him. Her last thought before she finally succumbed to a deep sleep was that if anyone leaned over them, some divinity, some brownnoser from above, they would look to be in pursuit: him steadfastly distancing himself, her in flight. It was her last whimsy of the day.


Give me something to write about.


About Sasha Martinez

Her sins were scarlet, but her books were read.

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