Sunday 12/02/2007 12:45:00 AM

Counting the itches in her underwear she can calculate how much sex would be required to stifle her depression. Gain herself control anew. How slowly the flower dies after being plucked. The thumb of the clitoris writing stories in places no one can see. Touch like a stone sending ripples throughout so much stillness. The skin of the water cut. Letting everything in.

Counting her emails she can estimate the last time she had sex. And with reasonable accuracy if she ever will again.

Picking seashells. Eyes of ocean. Fingers of sand. Sorting fragments into reasonable bargains. She was ready to pick the apple, but it picked her instead. This garden is too small anyway. I'd rather be unhappy. I'd rather hate myself than them.

Counting the years between she brainstorms a new protagonist. All those other stories done with her. She searches her thoughts for fresh heroes and villains. Knowing every story requires both. And that sometimes they are the same person.

She asked him which he wanted to be. And he answered her.

I'd rather be the hero, but I can be the villain if that's what you want.

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