Since the Break Up

He goes to the bar and drinks with his friends
to vent about his day and talk about girls.
not women
because that's his type.
pretty young things.
He prefers hard liquor
that burns going down.
Work and then drinks.
Every day he hustles
and looks forward to those few happy hours.

Meanwhile, after work
she lies on a cheap bed
wearing clothes that are not her own
while an older man sticks her with needles.
Sometimes he warns her
"This will hurt a bit."
It doesn't.  Not compared to...
He then slips out silently while she naps.

Other nights, she pays a man
to draw out the toxic in her system.
She leaves with perfect purple moons
riddled on her back
and achy sensations.

She pays money to another man
who makes her drinks made of buck horns
to ease the churning in her stomach.
Constant unease and tension.

Both seek relief.
One more drink.  One more round.
"Come here!  Let me tell you about the day had!"
He's practically shouting to his friends.
Two hours pass and like clockwork
he's talking about her again.

She pays yet again.
This time a petite Asian woman
to knead her pale flesh
and rub out all her knots.
Flesh.  Oil.  And heated red lights.
"Does it hurt?"
"No" she replies.  Coldly.
Even though it does.

Every night for countless nights
The two continue with their usual routines.
He talks out his problems with everyone and anyone
while she keeps her mouth shut about the whole matter.
"See?  I was stupid.  So stupid."
And then downs another glass.
He doesn't even notice that he's sitting by himself.

People start telling him he doesn't look so good
that maybe he should lay off the liquor.
But no one can stop him.
She couldn't.

People start telling her she looks great since the break up.
But no one knows about the countless money she's put into her body.
Because she can fool everyone else
but not her heart.

"Come on in Miss."
The moon-faced lady smiles.
She undresses and lies face down on the table.
"Oh Miss.  Your skull.  Too soft.  Why you so worried about?"
She pretends she doesn't understand
and is glad the lady cannot see her face
as tears pool in her eyes.
"I was stupid.  So stupid."
She says softly to herself.

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