#Non-Fiction

Story Time: The Kraft

genos philadelphia

 Sometimes I will post short non-fiction stories that I wrote about a trip. This story takes place during my winter vacation in Philadelphia.

The Kraft

She had an abortion. She claimed it had to be done as she burned another piece of her broken heart and snorted the ashes. She didn’t even tear up this time. She just kept rocking in place, addicted to the chase.  The chase that used to be as innocent as elementary school love notes with questions like, “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” (And sometimes a drawn in “maybe” box.) Except over time her pleas weren’t innocent and they were no longer cute, just haunting.

This was a frequent occurrence, watching her pick at the scabs over her heart and listening to her run down the previous night’s rendezvous on the streets that led her into the clinic the next morning for penicillin and extended vacations for godchildren I will never get to meet.

She snorted heartbreak and injected diseased rods that dipped in and out of her flesh releasing fuck your temple, I don’t respect women and STDs rampant inside of her that left her leaning over the edge of her bed with glassy eyes and sweaty hair.

She whispered questions to ghosts as her hands fingered her track marks, “Do you love me?” Silence. Click of the door. She swept her hair out of her face. It’s color changing with each man she beds, sometimes multicolored. She was a beautiful shell of a person, though not as breathtaking as she was before she hit rock bottom before she picked me up from the airport before she began pacing the floor leaving me trapped in a room sleeping on a mattress waiting for him to come home.

He wouldn’t return until the next morning, though. Leaving the start of my vacation locked inside of four walls without HBO, her embarrassed and her demonic cancer ridden daughter kidnapping my Blackberry every five minutes while I slept on the hard floor. She too was looking for love and attention or she was just plain evil. It was no concern to her mother either way. She was online looking for love spells, asking me to assist her with her magic tricks but I was no Joanie Spina, I didn’t know how to invoke spirits or summon the power of three. I just knew how to be a friend and for fear of her putting me on her spiritual hit list, I just helped her Google.

We ran from store to store looking for ways to get him to come home, to stay home and to give her something strong enough to fill the void. He was the guy she met two months prior to moving back to Philadelphia. He was the love of her life like Michael was the love her life and Anthony was perfect but not like TJ was perfect and definitely not as perfect as her spirit used to be before she got caught up in exchanging needles with strangers. Browsing the internet chasing new highs or for substance.

We spent two weeks at Harry’s Occult shop between South 12th and 13th street in Center City buying oils, herbs, candles and receiving advice on how to rid her of her boyfriend’s baby mother. The end result she was told she had to throw this frozen bottle over a bridge. The mere mention of something going over a bridge frightened me.

She cooked that night, tacos with cumin. I passed.

Pretty round face, ruined teeth, a side effect of having a child or so she says, she was my friend for a while. I met Anika online on a message board when she ran away from home, got pregnant by a man that was supposed to be her hero but preceded in ruining her credit.

We were close. At least as close as the distance would allow us to be. Five years my senior, I hung on her every word like it was golden. I listened to her tell me how she used to climb on top of strange men, her sweaty blonde hair glued to her face as she raced her shadow bouncing off the walls on top of him.

Up, down and around, my virgin curiosity could not get enough as she told me how she ran away from her problems by using men that used her. Didn’t realize that I shouldn’t be jealous of being touched and fucked into temporary blindness because the empty feeling that follows is something you cannot erase from your memory. No matter how many times you go up, down and around, beautiful highs end in tragic crashes on mattresses out of breath and leave you emptier than before.

Up, down and around, my virgin curiosity could not get enough as she told me how she ran away from her problems by using men that used her. Didn’t realize that I shouldn’t be jealous of being touched and fucked into temporary blindness because the empty feeling that follows is something you cannot erase from your memory. No matter how many times you go up, down and around, beautiful highs end in tragic crashes on mattresses out of breath and leave you emptier than before.

She waited for him in the kitchen the morning after the herb didn’t work and he didn’t come home. She swore up and down that she was over him in the van. Between the wait, we had a discussion about giving blow jobs. She taught me how. There was no instruction video although one might have been needed. I giggled like an immature kid but mentally taking notes just in case I had the opportunity to not die a nun.

In between tips, she kept repeating she was over him, and how she knew he was cheating on her. She chanted the mantra over and over randomly as we headed over to her brother’s home. By then, she was talking to herself because I started to tune her out used to her erratic randomness.

When we arrived at his home, she got out of the car, she said he had to give her some money and they were switching cars so we could go out that night. I watched out the window curiously, trying to ignore her child screaming and throwing Burger King cups and anything she could get her paws on at me. I tried not to reach back there and slap her into the next holiday season. They talked for awhile and she walked back to the car smiling, telling me to get out. We walked across the street to his truck and got in.

She smiled at me, “My brother likes you.” I rolled my eyes. “He wants to take you out and he thinks you’re sexy. He couldn’t stop talking about you.” Her brother was 40. I ignored the conversation all the way back to her house.

When he came home they talked in the kitchen. Heated hush tones and then the conversation moved to the bedroom and it stayed there until the next morning when he waited for her in the kitchen to now telling her it was over and then there was another heated argument and another hushed conversation moved to the bedroom while I sat on the couch wondering when we were going to go back to South Street so I could buy myself something for Christmas. I grew tired of waiting for her to remember me while she stuffed pleas inside of his mouth, heated him up and sucked them right back out so I left letting Google Maps guide me five miles away to the train station and from there to South St. I walked back in the door at eight at night unnoticed. That bothered me but I said nothing.

She came out the room and said nothing to me as she walked in front of me and into the kitchen and then back. No words were exchanged. I had a choice few to share but a piece of her flaking heart dropped and it spoke volumes. She sacrificed me too.

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