I walk in. House smells like orchids. Beyond that, a mess. Lights on, the mirror, clothes off: ripped t-shirt, big red stain; sports bra. Sweatpants are a size bigger because I like it that way. Better for kicking, if you tie it tight.
George thinks I am sexy. I’m not so sure. I like the ink – meant for memory, not looks, but still pretty. Now they are cut. Sliced in the middle, like an interrupted steak.
From my triceps, the tigress stands fierce, unimpressed by the blood pouring between her and the severed limb on the other side. How meta.
Glad George is traveling. He would have been pissed. If he knew this wasn’t even a cage fight… He would leave for sure.
First-aid box is under the bed, where he left. I mean, a doctor first-aid, a medical treasure chest. I grab the alcohol.
One little pour – it hurts more than the wound, but he taught me it is important, so I do it. Discipline. Discipline. Discipline.
I stitch the tigress back together. She’s a badass now, big scar and everything. No way to hide it.
Have to think of an excuse.
Oakland has its spots, that’s what I like about it. Predictability. Things always happen on the same shitty places. There’s where the loonies get fucked up. Where cops get gifts. Where dumb fights happen. And there is where girls get roughed. A few alleys, around the nightclubs. I used to blame them for being drunk. Not anymore. I pick one of those alleys and wait. Today, the guy had a knife.
You should see his face. An ugly ball of dough. And his butchered thigh? Now he has his own slit, at least. Maybe he can twist his dick into himself, leave the girls alone. I’d pay to hear what he’ll tell the nurse when he gets to the ER. Thugs don’t deal well with being beat by one of us. That piece of shit.
I’ll remember him as the hermaphrodite.
I walk to the shower. Hot water carries the red away. One day someone will pick up a gun. This is Oakland, my mother would have said. Had I known her, I mean. Deep inside, though, she would’ve been proud.