28 September, 2007

A Painful Reminder of My Ex

My ex-boyfriend hangs from hooks. They penetrate the skin of his upper back, and he’s lifted by a rigging; there he dangles in midair, his skin stretched out like freshly pulled taffy.

I discovered this one night when I was bored and looking up old friends and lovers on MySpace. I had entered his name on a whim, not expecting anything to pop up. I had never found him on any of my previous searches and knew he tended to live below the radar: no bank accounts, credit cards or apartment leases. It was hard to believe he had even the shred of exhibitionism required to create a MySpace page. But this time, there he was. It was the first I had seen of him in nearly seven years.

His main picture was a close-up of his face, and I guessed it was one of those late-night self-portraits you barely recall the next day. He looked a little older, a few pounds heavier. His dark blond beard had gone straggly. His eyes were tired, his smile drunk. Curious, I looked at the rest of his pictures as they spread in thumbnails across the screen. One in particular caught my eye, and I clicked to enlarge it. The first thing I saw was blood.

It was late, but I called my sister anyway, letting the phone ring until I woke her. “Hello?” she breathed.

“Turn on your computer,” I said. After I directed her to his page, we sat there in silence, our phones pressed up against our ears, our breathing uneven.

“Oh, my God,” my sister said.

“Oh, my God,” I agreed. Read on >>

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