She could've stopped parading around naked and it would have been Ok. She should've stopped. I told her to.
I said, "Why don't you stop parading around like that," and she said, "Why do you say that?" and I said, "Because it's what you do," and she said, "I just like it" and "Don't you like your body."
I didn't know what she meant so I said "Stop it."
That's all of it now.
She would talk back even if she was wrong. More if. Sometimes I would have to smack her. It did more harm than good.
Love hurts, like the song. There're hurts you can do and hurts you can undo. Love's like that; when it's hurt it doesn't heal. It doesn't die but you give up.
"I think you'd like to kill me," she would say to make me mad. I would never kill her, and she knew it too but she said it. A liar, just like my mom in her stories.
She said Clare just wanted to get away from her mother and have some man take care of her. But she loved me. Then she didn't. And she would touch herself. Sitting in a chair, reading a magazine, running her hand up and down her arm so it looked like a man was trying something.
One time I just let her to see where'd she go. Nothing on like that. She sat down beside me on the couch. She'd just took a shower, or I'd've.... I just wish she'd've sat on a towel. She got all relaxed and said my name, quiet, like "Come here." I was watching TV. I said "Yeah," not meaning it but wondering what she would do. She said, "Do you like my skin?" and she did a thing with her fingernails, where you put the back on your skin and kind of skate them down, from her chest to her leg. I said, "Other people have to sit on that couch."
Her skin was like velvet; I give her that. Like some expensive cloth rich women would wear at night, velvet I guess.
And she never cared if the windows were open, except the big one in front, and only that at night. Once she just stood at the south side window where you could see everything except below her waist. I said, "What're you doing?" and she looked surprised and guilty and went and got her bathrobe. She said, "I forgot."
Forgot bull. That was when I figured it out. It was like getting the answer all of a sudden. I put two and two together right there.
Next time she was naked by the window, looking out, I said, "Is he out there?" like I knew, because I did anyway, and she said, "Who?" all innocent.
"Your new boyfriend you're all naked for."
"There's just you," she said like I was a fool. I didn't say nothing so she smiled that way that makes me mad and she knows it but she does it anyway. But I wasn't mad because I knew from her lying "Who" and that smile that means "You dope, what do you know?"
I got looking outside and there was always a car out there, on the curb. Different cars. I bet he was a car salesman. Probably used. But I never went out to look at the plates. He'd've seen me, and what's the point. What good was it?
I would think of them doing things. Doing that one she wanted to do to me one night like a slut and I said "I'm not a degenerate" (like my dad, I didn't say because it was none of her business but I thought it). And she had her mouth on my stomach, like kissing so I let her just to see if she would really when she said I'd like it looking like a slut.
It was Ok but I made her stop and at first she wouldn't.
That with him. I wanted to smash her teeth and I stopped kissing her then.
I loved her then, and still, if my mom said she just wanted a good time and someone to pay the bills. It wasn't true; she loved me at first and she thought I liked when she was naked and just said no.
One night he must've saw me because he pulled away when I looked. A Caprice, dark colored.
"I like my body," she'd say to make me mad. She'd smile that way at me and kind of wiggle like those dancers do, turning her hips some way and her hands over her head. You could see everything. I should've smacked her. It was too late. I knew what I was going to do, and I didn't say nothing, just looked. Then I said, like a teacher one time, "You can like it with your clothes on."
It was when I thought of them like that I got mad and I said, "Stop it or you'll be sorry," but it was already too late. She wouldn't stop, and he was doing it, and I knew what to do. She said, "I thought you wouldn't hurt me" and I was sad and I said, "Don't make me." But she did.
I told her one night when I was mad. I got mad and told her, "You want to go out there with him?" Her standing naked there like she wasn't, I said I knew what they were doing: this and that one and she said I had a dirty mind and I said "I got my clothes on, Clare" like maybe she hadn't noticed and she got mad and went over and threw open the drapes on the picture window and stood there like it was a stage and that stripper in that movie, everything showing to the outside, and that was it.
I had to do something and I knew what. I wished I could get them together and do them together while they were doing something but not really. I didn't want to see him, really, and I sure didn't want to see that. Not really.
So I got what I needed and I thought of her saying, "I love my body" like it was someone else's and I knew what to do.
So I used handcuffs while she was sleeping and she couldn't stop me then and I tied her and I had to tape her mouth because she got mad and talked dirty and then scared and I didn't want to hear her.
I'm not stupid. I knew it would eat brushes, that stuff, so I found out what it wouldn't eat and I got real thick gloves that it wouldn't eat and I did it then. Everywhere. I turned her over and did everything.
And she kept looking at me, like her eyes wanted to talk. Her eyes kept looking, even when I was done and sat in the chair in the bedroom and looked at her. She passed out for some and came to and she just looked. I didn't do her eyes. I didn't want to blind her, you know.
But I did all the rest. The smell was bad but I soaked a rag in vinegar then and held it with one of those masks like I read somewhere and it helped the smell and I was Ok.
I wanted to do them together when I was mad. There was that Greek hero in a story, his girlfriend was on fire and he had to be a hero while she was screaming and he held her, like it would help, and they burned up, melted together I guess. I wondered what it felt like. I almost touched myself, but not really.
I didn't want her screaming and I taped her mouth. So I missed her mouth. But I got her all over, the skin anyway, and it made sounds, like hissing or fizzing and the smell but I did it.
Her eyes were looking. I love her eyes, so blue, almost like green but I saw her looking at him while she did it, and I wouldn't stop till I was done.
"God watches us," I said. "He watches every sparrow, Clare."