Of a Richer Kind

Of a Richer Kind

A Story by J. Araujo

Today I woke up and thought I’d list the names of those men who act like grapes to me. I counted a total of 10. At eighteen I’ve slept with eleven men and can only remember the names of ten. Who knows how many more I’m missing or how many won’t remember my name when they list they‘re tumbling grapes who roll off a tabletop onto the floor, one after another.

Today I woke and in my rush to remember the names and write them down before they turned into liquid in my head I searched for a pen and paper and tipped over the white vase that stood on my bed stand. It cracked in a million different pieces and they all looked at me in a mocking way as if I’d killed them, as if I tore them apart, as I was the monster.

My mother called to see if everything was alright and I yelled to her from the next room that my vase had fallen. With that she was complacent and so I stood to sweep away the pieces and put them into the trash, only one large clandestine piece had stayed behind and when I walked over back into bed it plunged into the heel of my foot like a lion attacking its prey .I caught it and looked and it, a porcelain flake protruding from my foot and stained with liquored blood. What gleaming red, stoic pride it had. I thought to myself I walked over to the garbage can settled in the corner of the room like a vigilant servant and tossed the tiny demon out because I was a goddess in control and invincible. ‘I’m the powerful one now, you can pluck me and probe into me and cause me to bleed all over but you can’t hurt me.’

When it was gone I looked down at the floor to find my foot still bleeding, leaving red imprints og my footprint on the ground. The wound was deeper than I had thought and within a few days the small hole was infected, purple, and giving way to layers of pus and unwelcome swelling. So in the end I had nothing really to be powerful about. The men were gone and the porcelain glass had left its damage.

I lay in bed for the next days unable to walk and I saw that there wasn’t anything special about my skin or my eyes or my hair, why would any man love this body covered in qualities found elsewhere. Glossy caramel skin that anyone could find in a magazine, Black hair that fell onto my back in heavy waves of curls that any girl could carry, A simple face flawed by nothing, just like any other pretty girl. I wasn’t that goddess in control and capable. I was a weak child looking for love from demons that only probed and stabbed.

As I lay in bed those many days looking over my empty white room, I thought of a woman I had seen sitting across from me on the train as I was coming home from the internship I held at a law firm. She was with her perfect face, uninflected and innocently whole even taunting me with a smile of self-pride. She had no worry, and no inner-conflict because she was not attractive and slightly heavy. I envied her. I wished that we could have switched bodies so that I would know the comfort of ugliness and she would know the horror of being wanted and used by every man for only a night. I wanted her to fight my battles of instability and to suffer the pain left behind by their incessant stabbing.

I thought she must have had a beautiful and simple name to go with her beautifully wretched face. Kim or Kate or Kat, a simple syllable for a complicated face. My name with its heavy consonants, Jennifer, was perfectly trite like the rest of me. Who would ever love that?

When I went online before I got a hello I would get a “Call me sometime so we could hang out ,” from Court. A “Come to my place,” from Lee. A “Help me get through the night,” from Jason. A “take some pictures for me” from Evan. A “Can you send those pictures I asked you for yesterday” from tom or sometimes even a “I want to taste your sweet p***y” from chad. Of course these lines were interchanged between them. It was as if they were in a room spontaneously shouting out all the I didn’t want to hear. Even a decent conversation would eventually turn into me being asked to come over at any time of the day.

“Jennifer” he asked, looking down at me with small eyes. “Are you feeling better?”

“I am.” I said avoiding his placid eyes that grew increasingly disgusting to me the more we went out. Our relationship was neither serious nor casual. Neither love nor like. At one point I had loved him. I had been like a wife to him, disappearing for days from my mother and staying at his apartment washing his dishes, rubbing his back and cleaning his home. After a while he said it was best we broke up for reasons that changed each time I demanded, in tears, a “why?”. My heart tore up like a thin sheet of paper and it stayed that way for many months until it stopped caring about the world altogether. Now I looked at him as he feigned interest in my damaged foot in order to get from me what every other guy wanted. But what I was to openly construct my face in the way someone who was looking at dead mouse with eyes and ears bulging out and worms creeping in. I walked behind him a few steps and watched him, how ugly he was.

“Come over tonight. We can watch a movie and I can give you that CD you wanted.” he said knowing exactly that when we got to his place there would be nothing but a messy room and a bed. I knew his dirty intentions. I knew he wanted to kiss me and take each piece of my clothing and throw it on the floor where I wouldn’t be able to find it in the morning.

But then I heard myself say “okay” in an uninterested but kind voice to spare his feelings. What I wanted to say was I hate you for giving me nothing but promises of promises that would never play out. I hate you for not knowing exactly how I feel. I hate you for leaving me, for scraping at the walls of my heart. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

He kissed me. I kissed him back and together we walked into the subway station headed towards Brooklyn. After we were done, he recommended we should go to the beach sometime.

 

And my mind trailed off the way it always does. I thought of year ago when Matthew and I had gone to the beach once. We had scheduled to meet the day before at two in the afternoon. He came at four and didn’t call to tell me of the change. When he finally called before arriving instead of showing him the depth of his neglect I greeted him with the kind of “Hello” that neither showed anger nor happiness. I knew he had to work late at the office on Saturdays as he had told me on previous occasions and I told him that it was okay. Many months later I would find that his position had never required him to work on weekends. He was surprised at my lax attitude and referred to a previous girlfriend who would have yelled her head off if he arrived late. He seemed to admire me for my lax behavior and approved of it and wished it never to change. He arrived a few minutes later and I went down into his car to find him in office uniform.

“Aren’t we going to the beach?” I said feeling like a fool for having my bathing suit under my cloths, for having waited in front of my window for two hours, for having prepared a large bag of beach supplies and for loving him more than he loved me.

“Sure we can go. Yeah.” he said staring at the beach bag and laughing at me for having taken him seriously. He had never really meant that he wanted to go to the beach when he said that we would go to the beach and that he would arrive at 2 in the afternoon to pick me up. “I guess I’ll drive us over to my place and get a bathing suit, we could go to the movies afterward.”

And with that I was happy and in love with him again, feeling that he loved me back. We spent exactly forty minutes at the beach then went back to his place where he suggested taking a “nap,” only there was no nap there was only sex like he had intended. Now going the movies was out of the question because he had already accomplished what he had really wanted to do. Something had come up and after all it was just a movie. He suggested I take the train home with two dollars in quarters he had in his left pocket. Without wanting it too, my chin began to quiver as if I was a child who had just been robbed of a toy. But he still wanted me out and so I came to know from that little experience that in the end I was worth 8 quarters. I was his little grape. His little grape rolling off a tabletop following empty promises only to hit the floor.

 

 

 

 

© 2008 J. Araujo


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Featured Review

So many men treat women as accesories to their sexuality. No wonder women hate us.

I love the grape analogy- very clever and well used in this story- I like how you transplant the analogy from the men to yourself- who has the power? Who is rolling off the table to be forgotten? In the end, it is the woman, no matter how much she feels she can use sex as a power tool. I love the flow of this piece and the voice you use- very well done.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Bravely penned with freedom of your mind heart and soul, the topic was pure and truly honest. Good read thanks for sharing...

Posted 5 Years Ago


very powerful

Posted 10 Years Ago


powerful pen so full of wisdom and metaphors. excellently presented, mary

Posted 10 Years Ago


So many men treat women as accesories to their sexuality. No wonder women hate us.

I love the grape analogy- very clever and well used in this story- I like how you transplant the analogy from the men to yourself- who has the power? Who is rolling off the table to be forgotten? In the end, it is the woman, no matter how much she feels she can use sex as a power tool. I love the flow of this piece and the voice you use- very well done.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 8, 2008

Author

J. Araujo
J. Araujo

new york, NY



About
Hello, names Jasmine. I am very much in love with the art of writing. Its really the only way I'm able to channel my voice and expression without feeling a hinge of doubt or hesitation. I'm a sort of .. more..

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