She turned away from me, “Why,” she said, her voice trembling.
I got angry at the sound of her emotion. It was awkward. Repulsive. It was an ugly child on the ground between us screaming. She assumed a privilege that had ceased to be hers. We were still friends, but not close friends. Not nearly as close as we used to be. Her habit of calling me in the middle of the night to say hi and tell me that I was terrible at chess was well in the past. We didn’t know anything about each other’s day to day lives anymore. She didn’t know what it took for me to get up in the morning. She didn’t know about the belt. There was a time when I would have told her. I would have also told her the story of what stopped me. The death erection. The angel lust. I didn’t want the coroner writing autoerotic asphyxiation across my death certificate. But I didn’t get the chance to tell her. Because things changed. We grew apart. And now it was making me angry. At myself. At her. How could she get so emotional when she didn’t even know about the belt? She didn’t have the right, I thought as my anger swelled inside me. I wanted to hurt her more than I already had and to do that I needed to spit out the remains of the truth, “It gets worse,” I said as my words hit the floor between my shoes like diseased phlegm. “It’s worse than you think.”