She took me to the graveyard.
We walked arm in arm through the dark & she told me that she had to leave soon. The day that lay behind us, the day I had spent in her presence, felt like something that shouldn’t belong to me.
I wanted more of her anyway.
I was Prometheus and she was the fire I had stolen. Fuck the gods; they could have my liver later, I didn’t care because I had their fire.
Fuck the gods.
We walked for a little while, talking, asking the interrogative questions new lovers always ask; submitting ourselves to judgement…
The graveyard was large, & it was old. The wide, winding pathways were sparsely illuminated by a few deep-orange lights glowing gently from black Victorian street lamps. Trees towered above us, impassive & silent, waiting & watching over the corpses buried beneath them.
“You can tell this graveyard is old,” I said “that it was built by people who didn’t try to hide from death like we do now…the benches, the trees and flowers…this was made to be a place for the living as well as the dead.”
“Yeah, I think I know what you mean: the graves are such big, decorative things; something for strangers to admire…I suppose when death is more prevalent, it makes no sense to try to hide from it. But is it really better that we’re no longer so familiar with the dead? Anyway, speaking of benches, I can’t see one anywhere nearby, shall we just sit down somewhere here?”
So we sat down; a cold stone surface beneath us & a square structure behind us. I couldn’t quite see it, but I know that in the darkness our eyes met. My gaze, so often unbearably light and blinded, like a moth bouncing against a light-bulb, was heavy with the warmth that can only come from covetous attention. A flash of white told me that she was smiling. I wanted to keep talking to her about death but her smile makes me forget things, so instead I just smiled back at her.
We talked some more; elaborating the sketches of ourselves that we would finally hand to the other, incomplete, at the end of the night. She talked about how shy she used to be, said something about feeling like ‘a wall-flower gone wrong’. I protested that she was no such thing. I wanted to tell her that to me she seemed like a once-wistful child who lived by her dreams; dreams that would have lifted her up and far away from here, like a petal on the wind, but that something, some outside force, had pinned her down when she was young and would not let her go. I wanted to tell her that beneath her kindness and self-effacement, beneath her beautiful, placid surface, there were endless depths. I wanted to tell her that she was strong, that she was wonderful.
Instead I told her that she was pretty: her smile makes me forget things, and I forgot that I’m not supposed to be so shallow and simple.
I no longer remember what else we said, because soon we began to kiss. She tasted exquisite, like fruit; wet & firm between my tongue & teeth.
It started to rain.
Sometimes the Universe grants us more than we deserve: as her hair, long & soft, tangled about my fingers, as her body, long & soft, twisted beneath my hands, rapturous desire flooded the filthy gutters of my veins and I said:
“Shall we fuck in the graveyard, in the rain?”
She smiled. Down the length of her legs the fabric fell.
Me on my knees as she bent hers, eyes on fire, smile wide & full of desire.
Every girl I have ever witnessed from this privileged position has been beautiful to me in the moment, but she was beautiful always.
I drink too much.
I drink too much because I cannot stand my soul unless it is blunted. Ever since my heart was broken, I have been a drunk. That, at least, is what I tell myself. If it strikes you as utter bullshit, I’d be inclined to agree. All alcoholics are self-pitying creatures, and it’s far too easy to be sentimental when you’re drunk all the time.
As she unfurled beneath me, I was drunk. Too drunk. My dick wouldn’t respond.
Sometimes that thing is even more useless than I am.
So, in a scene that I could not help but imagine from the perspective of another, as the trees silently looked on, I traced my fingers across her flesh & trailed kisses down her stomach until I was between her thighs.
She took me to the graveyard, & there, in the rain, upon a tomb, I went down on her. I can’t be sure that she came but she was wet in my mouth all the same.
Eventually the cold and unyielding ground crept into the space between us, and so we untangled. Clothes were put back on & I asked her how much longer we could stay together: she had time enough to sit with me a while.
The male Ego is an easily wounded creature, especially one that seeks the glorious abyss of post-fuck bliss with such fervour as mine. Those foolish thoughts of victory began to leave me. I felt like what I was: lost. I placed my head in her lap & she began to play with my hair: a scene I have replayed over & over again during all the years of my exile; I was searching with faint desperation for reprieve from my life as it has become, searching for that feeling, the one that left me when I was young & that I have ached for ever since.
I could feel the pace of her heart beat increasing.
Words were needed, words to seal the moment, to save it from the indignity of just another fuck…because I could not stand the thought of what had occurred, what was happening to me, to us, becoming just one more faded memory. I wanted permanence, petulantly: the permanence of this moment in all its beauty & ugliness, in all its safety & discomfort…I wished for nothing more than for it to last forever, & to never be condemned to the tomb of my memory.
The words that came to me first were from someone else. The words were the chorus of Suicide Bomber*. I have no way of knowing if she understood exactly what I meant by them. I don’t think I understand exactly what I meant by them.
“I want to expire,” I said “here, in this place, in this moment, in your arms. I want to sigh and release and then…go.”
“Because that way I can’t ruin it…I want forever, or I want the end of everything!”
She laughed and told me I was silly, but her touch seemed a little gentler.
Then, she said that she had to leave. So we stood up, collected our things, & began to walk away.
We walked in silence, until she turned to me & said:
“I’m going to return here someday, in the daylight. I’m going to come back to that spot & read the names on the gravestone…I want to know their names, the time in which they were alive. I want to imagine what they were like, whether they once took someone here to walk arm in arm with & to talk to…”
I said nothing, only held her hand a little tighter.
Our synchronised footsteps began to slow their pace as the graveyard gates came into view. Suddenly she stopped & pulled my hand towards her. In two quick movements we were pressed together, kissing. I pulled back and looked at her face, so utterly pretty beneath the night sky & the soft rainfall.
She smiled & looked away.
“I wonder, if they could’ve have known, how they would’ve felt about us doing what we just did…”
It wasn’t a question, but I answered anyway:
“Darling, I can’t imagine that they would have been pleased at all. In fact, they probably would’ve thought it an act of desecration…but fuck what anyone else thinks: if I could, I’d have people performing the most indecent acts imaginable on my grave! What better way is there to laugh at death?”
We didn’t laugh. We lingered and I placed my hand gently on her arm, but since there was nothing left to do but separate, we said our goodbyes and she walked away from me.
I watched her walking, but before her body faded into a silhouette I turned and left: I didn’t want to ever know if she looked back.
* Suicide Bomber – Against Me!