Just An Endless Mating Season
Just An Endless Mating Season
A Short Story by Lucas Burford
I’m not a boy’s fantasy, I’m just a girl in a room. No wonder. The type of boy I’d like to meet would like the smell of bleach on my fingers because somehow my mother left her imprint on me, and honestly, I can’t stand the smell of it. I am not myself by any means, but an iteration of my mother. I am an imperfect body that has been made by her, taught by her, and thinks like her in majority. No habit is harder to break than being versions of your parents. Luckily, she’s been dead for a while, and no, I didn’t kill her on purpose, as selfish as you are for thinking that. Maybe I’m just being biased towards your thoughts, reluctant of the truth that you might just feel bad for me. You shouldn’t. I’m not lonely. I had in total twelve dogs, four cats, two rats, and three boyfriends. The way that I see it, you would’ve felt bad if I just told you about all the animals, or the opposite, with just boyfriends you would’ve labeled me as a slut. My boyfriends together had three working eyes, two working legs, three working smiles, and are dead from the waist down to their knees. My animals are all intact, but with eating disorders. I am, in this moment, a girl in a quiet room.
Without open spaces for animals to roam, and I’m talking Africa open spaces, animal debris really collects. I try to keep it as clean as possible, but eventually I got into a standard of what I thought as clean compared to what it could be, what it is. With as many pets as I have, it’s never clean, it’s just managed filth. The easiest way to find a boyfriend is to have multiple pets, you find one with a dog as well, and wouldn’t you know, his dog will eagerly pull his owner right to you so it can smell and sneeze on you, the dog not the boy. The guy sees his dog trusting me and loving on me, and that’s where I make the decision if that guy has the ability to smother me. His looks have nothing to do with it, that’s just something nice, I’m in it for the long smother, and the dog is just bait. If a guy has a dog, he either wants to screw or he is lonely as hell. Me, I’m not lonely, though you might think that with my circus of pets and boyfriends, I’m just an addict. That’s why men and pets are valuable, hardwired to give out endless attention in the right circumstances.
My first time remembering how good attention felt wasn’t with family, or my mother singing me to sleep, that was for the radio to do, with its endless hum of whatever station came in that night if the power wasn’t turned off that week. I was young, with a friend and an older boy. We hunted colored chalk that we collected throughout the neighborhood sidewalks, left right around lunch time. While normal children ate, I stole and stayed hungry. We gathered a good supply of colors and went back to my backyard. I sat cross-legged while my friend crushed the chalk into dust and did my makeup and body color. My arms were shaded a light blue, yellow under my eyes, red on the cheeks, white on my lips. When she finished, I did the same to her, and the older boy told us to hide. We ran and hid in thick bushes, behind trees, anywhere to not be found, while the boy counted aloud and started to remove his shirt, his pants, then his underwear. He was out for the hunt ending the ten count, before dusting chalk on his body like war paint and ran to find us.
Years later that boy had a very serious breakdown in school. He undressed in the boys bathroom, came back to class covered in what you are hoping to imagine, and smeared it over my teacher, let alone other things. Yet, I’m the bad person for being an addict. I didn’t intestinally hurt anyone, I just have a problem with oxy. Before you judge me though I want to point out that the brain makes it kind of a big deal way. They say women have higher levels, since in history we were always more charismatic and loving than men. Between our needs for trust, empathy, sex, and all things in the creation of children, we’re pretty much born addicts. Luckily, I have food stamps and I can use that as currency. It’s easy really. You use your government assistance, and being a woman, I get more, and if I say I’m pregnant, I get more, including the cash allowance. I could save up and trade to buy a car. I don’t need a car, so I find hungry peddlers who have some oxy and I buy them food. If I need it bad enough, I’ll pull out that cash assistance I should be using on bus passes and tampons and fork it over to them. Sweet release. But towards the end of the month, I’m hungry, I have an empty balance, and I’m needing my fix. So, what do I do, what would you do?
This all happened about a year ago when I wasn’t working and broke enough not to have anything, after selling all I had of value, which wasn’t much. So, I did what any lonely girl would do, I got a boyfriend and a dog, something to fill and pass the time. I got the ugliest dog at a local shelter, so ugly I got it for pennies on the dollar compared to the lowest grade oxy. Within the day, with that tail wagging meatball of fur and dog breath, I was feeling good. When something that ugly and small wobbles up to you with that fresh puppy breath and licks, you really can get a good buzz on. It’s about the same feeling when you do a 10 mg dose your first time. Now with a small ugly puppy that’s cute in the world of animal fever most people have, I found a boyfriend soon after. They say your dog represents you or people that are drawn to it, that’s when I met Laughlin, like the city.
Laughlin never did tell me how he lost his leg. But there he was, in the park, hobbling over with his crutches. His dog was roaming freely next to him and was keeping the same pace before noticing my dog and rushing towards it to say hello. Laughlin just stood there, far enough for him to barely see me waving him on to come over. I picked up his dog and waved him over again. Laughlin was cute but afraid, full of doubt from him being nearly a pirate. Between his missing leg, unkept hair, badly trimmed beard, and my fantasy for pirates, I was quite happy in the moment. I swear to you if he had a parrot at the time, I’d lose my mind. So we say our hellos, and within forty minutes he takes me out for food, and I’m fed. If you drink enough water in the day, and eat just once, you can be fed and fit at the same time, starvation isn’t so bad if you know how to do it.
Now we are one month in, and I have two more dogs. One night I’m over at his place, and he is giving me a good smother. My mind and body are electric, and to fill in the small voids I have the dogs around me. I’m in paradise of natural stimulation of oxy and animals. It’s getting late in the evening, we’ve both had cheap wine coolers and he’s smoking a cigarette. It’s warm in his house that’s put together nicely from his disability money and his inability to meet others that will overlook his shapely pirate physique. He asks me if I’m a virgin, I believe, and I tell him that’s a funny story. I tell him that the time I was getting my first period I was embarrassed about it and hid it from my mother.
So, my mother finds out one day because I’m starting to spot and smell, and she’s slightly insane as all mothers are, and throws me in the shower to wash and clean. I do. After I get out of the shower, she sits me on my bed, tells me to remove my towel and lay back. I do, because my mother is my mother, and I haven’t experienced this part of womanhood, and think it’s typical behavior. She tells me to spread my legs, I do, and she pulls out a tampon. She is furious at how I didn’t tell her and shoves it inside me. The smell is lingering, and the sharp pain is worse, and I feel it with every nerve ending in my body. Later on, at the doctors for a checkup, I find out my mother took my virginity. At this point Laughlin and the dogs are quiet, they can feel the aura around me, and I get the best smother of my life that night, I’m guessing 25mg’s worth, and I spend the night to keep the buzz going. With that missing leg of his, I fit like puzzle piece into him, and I fall asleep soundly, next to him and, all the dogs.
It's now Autumn, and where I live, it’s a bipolar shift in the weather. Early in the morning I wake up and make coffee, feed the dogs, feed Laughlin, and feed myself. The sunshine breaks through the windows enough to be a bother of blinding light, my toast is glowing while I take a bite. Laughlin has now left for work, doing what he calls, and you’ll like this, “God’s Work”, which is a government job he will never get fired from. While he’s away I clean house, which consists of me vacuuming for two hours and wiping dog hair off furniture, then vacuuming again. I put on a pot of coffee and just my luck he’s out of cream. I gather the dogs around me and get them riled up and pet the hell out of them to get some confidence before making my way to the store across the street. With government housing assistance for the disabled, they put you close to the essentials with minimal travel, where I live I have to spend four dollars and twenty-five cents just to be able to shop and spend money that isn’t really mine.
In front of the store a young mother has a box, it says kittens on the top folding cardboard that is propped up against the wall, and $5.oo on the middle of the box. Jackpot. I pick up the small vibrating orange furballs and I am instantly in love. They purr, and I’m hooked with love and chemicals running through me. I don’t have any money, but a good home across the way, she doesn’t care, I think. Life is negotiable for a price. I tell her I’ll take four, but I can only pay in groceries. I tell her about Laughlin, his missing leg, and how my mother never let me have animals, this is how you get what you want. You use empathy, sympathy, and a little food stamp money. She agrees, I shop, and take the kittens home in a paper bag.
I let the dogs outside and dump out the paper bag onto the kitchen floor to let the kittens roam around. They are prancing about, especially when I leave out some milk and while they eat I spray them with water, just enough. After they are wet and fed I go to the animal shelter, which is privately funded by donations, and I show them the paper bag full of kittens. I tell them I rescued them from two teenage boys trying to drown them in a river, I tell them about Laughlin and his missing leg, and how my mother was too sick to have any animals in the house growing up, that all I wanted to do was love them and give them a good home. Empathy. Sympathy. With this, I leave with four bathed kittens who now have all their shots, three months’ worth of food, toys, and a new crate to carry them, all for free.
I’m out the door and feeling pretty good about myself, my buzz is dwindling, but it spikes when I see the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. He’s wheeling himself up and struggling with the malfunctioning double doors. He’s about half way in, his wheelchair is stuck between the two doors and he is juggling two rats on his lap while one continually is trying to crawl down what’s left of his legs. I put down the crate of kittens and rush over to prop the doors just enough for him to squeeze through and his eyes are light green and thankful. His eyes do all the talking while I compliment his two rats. I ask him for their names, what kind of rats, do they do any tricks, and all that. I eventually ask him his name and he’s quiet as though he only is ever asked his name while ordering coffee at some dump of chain store. He says Hagen, I think. I ask him out, to his surprise, and he says yes, I think. I tell him tomorrow, give him my address, and time. He had a kindness to him and I wasn’t worried about him knowing where I live, I have four steps going up to my door.
Sobriety means not doing the thing you really love, but working out ways to cheat it, having whatever it is you’re denying yourself within inches. I walk home with the kittens and I’m covered in animal hair from my dogs and the ones I gorged petting at the shelter. Wouldn’t you know that in a poor neighborhood stray dogs roam freely from other neighborhoods, I guess they like to eat and sniff out the bits of food with trash everywhere. This one pup sees me, picks up the scent, and says hello. I give him a good pet, his tail is wagging a hundred miles an hour, and now my hands smell like rotten dog. I take him inside, bathe him, and my other dogs go crazy with new friendship. I swear I’m not a lunatic, the chemicals in happy dogs translate and absorb right into you. So I grab an extra collar and call her my own.
I’ve been routinely doing Oxycodone for a while, but the last time I bought it was months ago. I’m still with it, indulging with my boyfriends and animals help me get by better than any time I got it from a peddler. It’s almost spring and I have another boyfriend, whose name I barely caught once. That stray dog I picked up a while ago, well, she had puppies, thanks to one other dog that joined the family a while ago because I know if I were a dog, this is where I’d want to be. I’m surrounded and complete in this long smother. Last night I was high as I’ve ever been. My boyfriends who can’t get it up use that sexual aggression through touching, hugging, and kissing. So now I’m riled up and need that fix they can’t offer me. The ultimate rush. After my tour of visits and my animal petting extravaganza I go to a bar, after saving up my assistance money, and I fuck the first guy who has any interest in me. I didn’t hear his name, but I read his body language, and now here I am. Pregnant. The guy disappears, I’m left with twelve dogs, four cats, and all three boyfriends lose interest after they notice the bump. They might be disabled, but they’re not stupid.
Time flew by. I’m living off the assistance of others and I even managed to get some more dogs. I had to, I guess, the doctor said it wasn’t a good idea to have the cats around for the baby at the time, I’m really a dog person anyway. I haven’t heard from any of the boys I was getting smothered by and my levels of oxy were stagnant at the moment, so I use my extra stamp money and buy out this guy who deals, I guess he felt bad for me being a single mother will all those animals. I lost the baby the next day, not from the oxy but because I fell asleep exhausted and early. It just kind of died inside me, I think the doctor said. I wasn’t very sad, but depressed. I was looking forward to that extra dose of oxy during labor and breast feeding and all that. It’s not selfish, and it’s better this way. I couldn’t have heard the baby crying from far away, and it’s only getting worse. Animal control took my pets away, but my house is finally clean.
After the accident, where I killed my mother, they pulled us out of the car that was hit from where my mother was sitting, they said I didn’t see the red light, but I believe that other diesel was going too fast through the intersection. That’s when it started with my hearing, legally I’m deaf, but if you speak close enough to me, I might want to listen. It was the hospital that gave me oxy to cope with the pain and pressure, it wasn’t always this bad, you shouldn’t feel bad for me, I had twelve dogs, two rats, four cats, three boyfriends, and one would’ve-been-daddy. It’s amazing to me how much in life you can go through, to have, to lose, and to begin with again. I have a handful of oxy, plenty of food stamps, and a clean home now. Now, at my beginning, I’m not a boy's fantasy, just a girl in room, you would know that if you were listening, were you? Are you there God?