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Sean A. Berridge

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Instead of sleeping [Mar. 18th, 2013|06:06 am]
Sean A. Berridge

  I had to follow her for minutes and minutes before she chose to sit down. I couldn’t help it, not from the moment I saw her. The last few weeks had been particularly bad for me. Right now, I needed this more than anything.
  I told myself that over and over, not allowing myself to look away from her. I was on a high here, caught in this hot, impassioned period like the few, aching minutes before an orgasm. I had to stop myself from shaking, but that was good: the more things I had to occupy my mind, the better. I repeated my mantra (“I need this, I need this”) like a child scrunching her face and covering her ears shouting “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” That was me. I was shouting, and it worked. I couldn’t hear them. Not in these few, aching moments.

  She sat down on a square-shaped bench in the park. I was fully aware of my stalking and how I must look to the outside observer, but she hadn’t noticed me and that was all that mattered. Awkwardly, I shuffled up to the bench and sat down on the opposite side of her, so my back was facing her back. I sat, barely able to contain myself, but managing to fervently wait until it happened. I clutched my knees and felt the shiver drive up from them, through my arms, neck, and head. I wiggled once, and then exhaled quietly. It was just me. It was just me and her, right now. There is no one else in the world. Just me and her. Just me and her.
  She pulled open her bag and I tensed, but she pulled out her phone and began playing with it. I felt the appeal to those devices but I could never understand it. I could feel the brief and subtle spurt of pleasure when a message sat in their phone, unread and unopened, like a present, but it was not a pleasure I could garner firsthand. That was not for me. I felt her fingers gently press the cold plastic buttons, working their way in rhythmic urgency across the device. It felt oppressive, but I indulged in every motion, not willing to think about anything else. I needed this.
  Then, there was a splash of gluttony, and my own stomach growled. I grinned, my mouth pooling with saliva, as my face slowly flushed with anticipation for what I knew was coming next. The woman dropped her phone back into her bag and pulled out a sealed chocolate bar.
  I felt guilty. I felt hungry. I felt fat, but I felt hungry. I was mostly her now, as I peeled back the wrapper casually, looking around at the passers-by as though I was committing some deviant act. They were looking at me, judging me, but I didn’t care. I was going to eat a chocolate bar for once in my goddamned life. They can all go to hell. I walk through the park every day, I deserve this. I drew it up to my mouth, and my sensation peaked. I burned with agony for those few moments as the chocolate came near my lips. I felt like I was going to die. It was taking too long. I needed this.
  She took a bite, and I fell into her soul. I slid down the slick path of her flexing pleasure pores and I invaded every center. I felt every part of her from the inside, and for those few moments, I was a person again. I could think and feel and act like a normal person, and I was respected like a normal person. I felt guilt and pleasure and satisfaction by my own means. I dictated my life. I was an individual. I mattered.
  I must have made a noise, or squeaked, or something, because I was snapped out of my mental revelry as the woman stood up, somewhat alarmed. She was looking at me. A few other people were staring as well, a couple whispering to each other. I straightened myself, having no idea what I had just done to incite this reaction, and then grabbed my head as it hit me once again. My thoughts had emptied for the first time that day, allowing a surge of tactile information to strike me all at once. I felt the embarrassment targeted at me magnified fivefold, tenfold, a hundredfold as I struggled to get to my feet. My face, still red but now with anxiety, tried desperately to display an image of penitence as I made my leave but likely ended up looking more like a slot machine as it spiraled towards a losing bet. I was completely broken.
  It wasn’t until I had somehow escaped, stumbling like a drug-addled zombie to find some place of respite, that I was able to admonish myself. This is what happens, I’d said. This is what happens when you let it all build up. But what could I do? I couldn’t live among them and I couldn’t live without them. I couldn’t… live, not like this. I sunk to my knees, and sat carefully on the linoleum floor. Every day was harder, but every day, I felt the need to keep trying. My gift was to feel the pain of others, so how could I give up knowing that every other person I had ever met hadn’t given up yet? I clutched myself, letting my mind wander, knowing that I was far enough from anyone that I would be safe from harm. I relaxed, satisfied with my reasoning but my body was still paralyzed with fear from what had just happened. I was used to it; my body apparently wasn’t. I doubt it would ever get used to it. What I have isn’t normal.