Topping from the Bottom
When your body is a tool to inflict pain upon yourself
It’s years ago, but in your mind it may as well be now, and you turn your back to the nurse, and your spread your ass cheeks apart to show her the rash that circles your asshole. In a series of humiliations, this is the one you will remember years later. At the time, it almost seems normal — one more tie in a railroad track of horrors that’s your life. Months earlier, you were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, but now you’re in the thick of it. At first, the chemo wasn’t really that bad — your hair clogging the sink, the sensitivity around the gum line, the slight sense of fatigue. Then, things progressed. One day, you will try and tell people what it was like — that, truly, the drugs were killing so many cells in you that it felt as if you were dying — but you won’t be entirely sure that you’ll believe it yourself. Back then, it was all a weird blur: the sores opening up in your mouth, the people gawking at your baldhead, the bone pain. The afternoons you lay on the sofa watching the clouds track across the blue sky, and it felt like someone was wrapping their hands around your bones and squeezing. The underlying sensation that when it came to your body, you were just along for the ride.
It’s more recently, and you end up having sex with this guy you used to go to high school with. You’re either bored, or angry, or somewhere in between, so you get him to do the stuff that you usually get them to do in order to make yourself feel more alive / less dead / at home inside yourself. Eventually, you’re on his bed, and he’s got one hand wrapped around your throat and he’s choking you because that’s what you want, and he’s hitting you across the ass because that’s what he wants, and you’re debating whether or not to tell him to slap you across the face because there’s just something missing. Maybe you’re getting too old for this shit. Maybe you’re not drunk enough. Maybe no matter what you do, no matter how many guys you fuck or how many times they leave you bruised, you still can’t escape yourself. It’s all a cliché, at this point. But what else are you going to do? Really, you’re topping from the bottom — and he knows it, too, which is why he hates you a little bit. Sure, one more guy gets to feel like…