by Philip C. Breakenridge

He’s a scarecrow set against the blackness of my backyard, a lanky figure trapped inside the small square of yellow emanating from the porch light. His scarecrow mouth puckers in a guilty little grin. Time for the awkward goodbye.

A mass of tousled, honey-colored hair hangs loosely around his face. It’s stuck to his forehead in places, clinging to the moistness of his skin – a product of our romp. He never takes a shower or stays the night. To do so would cross that unspoken, invisible boundary.

I hope she smells me on him.

The door clicks shut and I listen to the grumble of his car coming back to life. It’s taking him back to his relationship, his house by the sea. Leaving me in my dingy basement apartment.
I turn on the television and its fuzzy, throbbing glow fills the disheveled bedroom. It’s the only thing that hasn’t left me. As long as I keep up with the cable bill, it can’t.

I play with the brass screw he had pulled out of his pocket earlier. He had built a fence around [i]their[/i] yard today.

“Is it okay to want you so bad?” I had asked him.

“As long as you know that my heart is taken,” he had answered. “Can we put the porno on now?”

He left the screw on my night stand as a reminder. I twirl it between two fingers and think about all of the ‘attached’ men I’ve fucked this year. Wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever. Like all the others, I provide him with what his insignificant other won’t – dirty, noncommittal sex. A release from the boredom of monogamy.

Tonight he lost control and came all over the sheets. I roll around in his genetic cast off like a neophyte Madonna strung out on stardom. At least I have part of him. Before he left, he told me that I’d always attract abusive, unavailable men, that I was too internal, too intelligent.

What the fuck does he know?

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