‘I have a bone to pick with you’, she said. She didn’t know that no one ever picked my bones and nobody ever dared preface a sentence with those ugly words.
It’s the ‘but’ that comes with the ‘no offence’. It’s the ‘however’ that trails the ‘thank you’. ‘Do you mind if I ask…?’…. Yes. Yes, I do mind. I do mind if you ask. Leave those hellish words at home. I never said you could invite them.
You’ve all come back to me. Why all of you at once? A table for seven please. The strangers we dine amongst tonight know nothing of the company I keep. The company I keep know even less. They don’t mind that I’m tired and tender and that I want to be left alone. They don’t particularly care. It’s about the view from under my eyelids. It’s about getting me to talk. For every hole they dig, I match them with another layer of skin. For every loose string they tug, I pretend to throw them a bone but all I am doing is telling them what they already know. For now this seems to be enough, but they are closing in and I can feel the hot, sticky breath of contagion, inches from my face.
The truth? You want the truth? The truth is I want to beat my fists upon your chest and scrape at the flesh on your cheeks. The truth is I want to run away from the place where you have always stood and pray that I’ll never have to look at your face again. The truth is I want to feel the heel of my boot connect with the folds of your stomach and watch you fall away. I am a demon. A miscreation of flesh and bones. I am a monster, and you need to go home.
By Monique Potter