Simon "Dutch" Riley


Iíve never seen anything as beautiful as her in the morning.  Her hair would be tangled and tossed from the activities of the night before, falling over her sleepy face, and eyes that even through thin slits of a morning yawn were so dark and beautiful I couldnít take my eyes off of them.  Sheíd catch me looking at her sometimes, and wait for me to say something, and invariably I wouldnít be able to resist.  Telling her how beautiful she was, she would smile and become even more beautiful.  And I would hold her close and press my head to hers, and sometimes it felt like the only thing I could do to have her understand the effect she had on me. 

Iíve never seen anything as beautiful as her in the afternoon, in shorts and a strapped top, sandals under painted toes.  When I would hold her I could feel the smoothness of her skin from the way the ribbed fabric of those tops would slide across her back as my fingers pulled it from side to side, for moments far longer than I ever would have allowed with anyone else.  I loved to hold her.  I loved having her next to me.  I loved the feel of her and the smell of her, the look of her with her hair pulled up into a ponytail that sprouted playfully from the top of her head.  And those dark eyes would sparkle when we would plan our day, sparkle with excitement from the smallest escape. 

Iíve never seen anything as beautiful as her in the evening, dressed for dancing in a long gown pulled close across her waist, her hips, her chest.  I would see the tiny freckles on her shoulders and want to pull the cloth down further to see what Iíd already seen so many times before, I could never get enough of her body.  We could be in a room with a hundred other people, half of them women who had tried all day to be the center of the room, and they were all empty shells to me.  There was a depth to her that was endless, and those nights always felt like a prelude to the true purpose of the evening, the time when I could be alone with her. 

Is there ever going to be someone I feel the same way about?  Someone who brought out that side of me; the side that no one ever really gets to see, the tender, caring side, the side that doesnít mind the occasional kiss in public or hand-holding, the side that made me want to have my hands on her every possible minute we were together? 

Even when we were fighting she affected me that way.  I had to keep my distance.  Sheíd come over to me, put a hand on my arm to receive a sign from me that I still cared, and Iíd have to get up and walk around, put space between us to keep my wits about me.  And she never really did understand, and it would just make things worse. 

There were times at crowded bars or dinner parties; when I would watch her from the other side of the room, waiting for the moment when she would feel my stare and turn to meet my eyes.  There was a thrill when that would happen, a feeling that she shared my thoughts, and when a smile would creep across her lips, slowly, I wanted nothing more than to have her in my arms.  I have never in my life experienced such a desire for someone.  I have never wanted to possess someone, in body and in soul, the way I wanted her. 

And that, eventually, was my downfall.  The day before she was mine she was not mine, and my mind could not get around it.  Could she truly ever have been mine, having not been mine once?  Yes, of course.  But not in my mind.  Not the way I wanted it.  Not as completely, as thoroughly, as finally as I wanted it. 

Is it possible to want something so fiercely that itís painful to be near it?  To come alive around someone only to have that very life fuel an agony?  A snake eating itís tail, is that the saying?  A storm that destroys itself. 

Why canít I just get over you?  What the hell did you do to me?  And what are you doing to me now?  I wish I could just feel better, just go along like everything is okay and be done with it.  But something is there, an itch in the back of my mind I canít quite reach, a buzzing that wonít go away, an ache that I canít reach to rub.  Leave me alone.  What are you doing to me?  I want this to be over with.  I just want to feel like everything is going to be okay, Iíll meet someone else and theyíll fill up the space.  But the space seems to get bigger each day, and the chances of me filling it get smaller and smaller until the only one I can think of is you. 

Get out of my head.  Youíre there every time I do something good, or say something clever.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there every time I see something funny, or sad.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I see a puppy walking down the street.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there every time Iím sad.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there every time Iím happy.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I miss holding you.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I close my eyes.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I wake up in the morning.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I see two people holding hands.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there when I think about the rest of my life.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there whenever I think about how I donít know if Iíll ever feel the same way about anyone else ever again for the rest of my life.  Get out of my head.  Youíre there.  Youíre just there.  Youíre there every day.  Every hour.  Every minute, it seems.  I get some time off here and there, but sooner or later you creep back in.  And if I go an hour without thinking about you, that just means that I think about you twice as much the next hour.  Jesus.  I just want to be over you, and you wonít go away.  Why canít I just forget about you?  What have you done to me?

I canít write anything without thinking about how youíre going to like it.  I think about what youíll think about every god damned sentence I write.  I donít write for anyone else anymoreónot the website, not myself.  I write everything for you.  I write everything so that youíll like it.  Youíre the only personóI swear to god, youíre the one single person I have in mind when I write.  Not a movie producer when I work on screenplays, not a book publisher when I work on manuscripts, not a magazine editor when I work on stories.  Just you.  What are you going to think?

Is someone with you right now?  Iím going to cry.  Iím going to scream.  Iím going to beat my chest raw.  Iím going to slam my fists until theyíre red and bleeding, and then Iím going to do it some more because it feels good to feel something other than missing you.  Iím going to break every damn thing in my path that I can pick up, or reach, and if I canít reach it Iíll throw something.  Then Iíll break what I throw.  Then Iíll break anyone who tries to stop me. 

Is someone with you right now?  I want to hurt someone.  I want to smash someoneís face in so they can start hurting and maybe I can stop.  Iíll trade it off that way.  I want to scare the life out of someone so they run away from me and tell the story later about the son of a bitch who almost brought about their end.  I want to be someoneís nightmare.  I want to be someoneís devil.  I want to be hated.  I want to be feared.  I want people to look into my heart and see a black pool that theyíre terrified of falling into.  I want people to look into my eyes and see something, something horrible, something unspeakably violent and evil, something so terrible that they have to back away.  I want them to have to keep their eyes on me to make sure I donít do anything, and then back away slowly. 

Is someone with you right now?  I want to be a danger.  I want to be something that everyone hopes they will never encounter.  I want to be a snarling, rabid, venomous animal that no one can contain.  I want to terrify.  I want to destroy.  I want to beat and slash and kill.  I want people to die because they came too close.  No man will see my face and live.  I will be a myth, a campfire tale told to keep children from wandering off.  A plague that is too horrible to even mention.  A dark, terrible, violent, ugly thing that betrays all hope of good in my own kind.  A force of unspeakable pain. 

Why canít I stop?  Why canít I forget?  What does it mean?  I canít go through this again, not again.  Please donít make me do this again.  I donít want to worry, I donít want to hurt, I donít want to be the way I was anymore.  But which is worse, the way I was with you or the way I am now?  At least with you I wasnít alone, but at least now Iím alone.  Thereís no one else to make miserable but myself. 

And I am miserable.  With no one around me to help, no support but my own, nothing to do but sit and rot and miss you.  This is impossible.  I will never be myself again.  I donít know how to be him anymore.  Heís gone, and heís never coming back.  Nothing will ever be okay again.  It is worse than it first was, and tomorrow it will be worse than today. 

You know the fable of the King and the rice?  An old man does a deed for the king of his province and asks in return for a single grain of rice on the first day of the month.  Then twice that on the second day.  Twice the second dayís amount on the third, and so on.  The king feels that this is a modest request and grants it.  But as the amount doubles with each day, the king and his aides realize that the man has tricked them, that the amount of rice has grown to a staggering amount late in the month, and that the entire kingdom will be bankrupt from the amount of rice due the man. 

Every day it doubles, until one day it will simply be too much to bear.  And when that happens I will be lost forever.  Too far down a road to ever come back.  Only human, faced with an impossible situation.  I will never feel better. 

Leave me alone.  Stop.  Go away.  Stop whatever it is youíve done to me. 



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