Safe Love
A Short Story by Jeremy Benjamin
Written using the suggestion ""a thousand people just like me" "island" "teeth" "wrong" "shame" "underground""
Originally featured on 07-23-2009
As part of our series "Stories Written for Mel Favara’s “1,000 Words” Reading Series"

You put on your bicycle helmet to enter a Port-a-Potty.  You did not merely step off your bicycle and neglect to remove your helmet.  That would be different.  When I hopped in after you to urinate, you looked at me with shame.

  I said, “What?”  Because I pissed without my helmet on, you would not kiss me for two hours.  I like that about you.

  You said, “Stop putting me on your geek pussy pedestal, there are a thousand people just like me.  Is it wrong of me to say pussy?”

  There are things about you that are wrong.  My gut tells me so.  I think about you while I’m driving and my teeth hurt.  It’s a throbbing feeling that I can’t control, so I throw my wallet out the window.  Then I wonder why I did that, and I can’t laugh.  My teeth don’t hurt anymore, but I know that you are a deeply deranged and perilously poised person, because the mere thought of you propels me to do something ludicrous like this.  If we were on an island, I would spend all day picking berries, and then I would throw them in the ocean.  If we were lost in a cave deep underground, I would impale myself on a stalagmite.

  But we’re where we are.  You clench my hair in your fingernails and I smell a mix of your skin and my heartbeat.  What I do to you in these moments is like throwing a thousand wallets out one window.



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Portland Fiction Project

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