Now she wants to get in.
The woman who keeps fucking up my dreams. Cloth coat buttoned up to her aging chin and a thick scree of make-up forever threatening to slide off her face and reveal… what?
She’s half-zombie, half-vampire, an undead machine of unthinking consumption. Even as I lock her out: imaginary bolts slotted into metal sheaths, the clunk of sturdy door chains slid into their bespoke receptacles, I feel for her. She terrifies me and I pity her as well. Like a terminally sick cat, crawling with fleas and lice and mange, who mindlessly pushes itself into my arms, seeking one last drop of comfort and affection before dying and taking the whole of the world down with it.
It is hunger that has made her this. Black-hole hunger that cannot be sated in a million years. My mussulfrau is a cored-out thing, a walking, reeking hollow, an abscess of need what will inevitably convert anything she devours into infection, destined only to eat away at the edges, to make a larger hole. The cunt of a mouth that births nothing: that takes until the sun goes out.
How can I love her? How can I let her in when I know what she is, how she was born, and what she has grown into after so many years in the dark park outside my gates? She is the girl on the bed grown old in the room with the fleur-de-lis wallpaper. After I turned off the light and shut the door tight and moved on to a life of milder, mediocre things. Of just-enoughs and not-too-muches, of sensible means. A Goldilocks life of luke-warmness.
If, in my dreams, I keep losing track of rooms, or find them incrementally possessed by ghosts I never quite catch in the act of taking possession, then what of it? It’s still my house, and my door, and my locks. And she of the terrible hunger is out there and I’m in here in my warm, shrinking world.