Story Codes: MF, Exhibitionist
by Cassandra Kali
We are sitting in the dark. You’re perched on the edge of the blue leather sofa
with your back to me. I’m tracing the outline of the Yin and Yang tattoo directly
between your shoulder blades: the balance of opposites, sun and moon,
darkness and light. Within the balance, we exist.
You reach for the pack of cigarettes lying on the glass coffee table, light one,
then throw the pack back on the table.
“So, when’s the big day?” You ask.
I feel nervous, afraid to tell you about my wedding, afraid it might scare you
away. “In the summer,” I reply, my fingers hesitating on your back.
“Who’s the lucky man?”
“The same one.”
You laugh edgily. “The one you’re always ready to dump? The one you cheat on
all the time? That one?”
“I don’t cheat on him all the time. Just with you, Damien.”
“Oh, so I’m the lucky man then, am I?”
I sigh. “No. It’s not like that. With you, it’s… I don’t know. It’s different.” I adjust
my thigh-high black garters and matching lace teddy, and walk to the kitchen for
the bottle of wine.
“You don’t need anymore,” you say, still staring into the darkness. “I thought you
“Yeah.” I pour myself another glass. “For the hundredth time I have. It’s like
smoking. I’ve quit that a hundred times too. I’m getting really good at
it by the way.”
“When you’re ready you will,” you say. “That’s how it was for me. I haven’t shot
up in two and a half years. Can you believe that?”
I drink faster, drowning my guilt.
I walk over to you and whisper I love you, grabbing your neck and forcing my
mouth onto yours.
You pull your face away, predictably. I should be bored with your blithe rejection
of me by now, but I’m not. It titillates me because I still believe that one day you
will tell me you love me too. I’ve been waiting for two years, and I’m still not bored
“I have to go,” you say, patting my ass in some condescendingly patronizing sort
of way: the coach to my game-winning goal scorer.
“Why?” I sigh and fall onto the sofa. “Why can’t you ever spend the night with
me? Why can’t we wake up together and spend a whole day together?”
You finally turn and stare straight at me, your blue eyes targeted, poised for their
“Because you have a wedding to plan and I have a life to live and I’m not in love
with you.” You’re still staring straight at me, reveling in every minute of my
pain and discomfort.
“I don’t understand what that has to do with it!” I say, shaking my head. “You
wouldn’t always bring it up if you really didn’t care.”
You sneer and reach over to pat my cheek. “Don’t flatter yourself darlin.” Then
you get up, put your clothes on, and walk to the door.
“Bye, Damien,” I yell from the sofa.
Tom is perfect for me, at least everyone says so. He’s a regional sales manager
for a software company, makes good money, and has sophisticated friends. We
spend weekends at bed and breakfasts in the wine country or hanging out with
the young up-and-coming set. I have a five karat diamond on my finger, fancy
lingerie in my closet, and an upcoming honeymoon to the Bahamas, yet I would
rather spend my time pining over the bipolar ex-homeless junkie who fucks me
like a whore, whenever he feels like it and insults me at every opportunity.
Therein lies the dichotomy: the suburbanite and the whore. I know I will never be
faithful to Tom. He knows it too. I am not capable of love, only seduction. He
holds out hope the way I do for Damien.
You don’t say a word to me, but grab my arm in the parking lot of the café where I
perform in a dinner theater, and push me against the car. Your mouth slides all
over my lips and chin, and you’re hard up against me. I haven’t talked to you in
two weeks. All of my calls went unanswered. Sometimes you get depressed and
lock yourself in your room, staring at the ceiling and escaping into online war
games. I know this, yet I still fear you will abandon me, that I am inadequate to
you and you will one day realize this, so I push you away with my insecurity and
boldness. You hate it when I tell you I love you.
We fuck in the backseat, in the dark, fumbling bodies tripping over their
hyperactive lust. You never use condoms. I am afraid I will get some kind of
disease from you, that there will be penance to pay for my infidelities, but I don’t
know if you’re fucking anyone else. I want to believe you’re not, but feel too
mature to do that. I’m one of many of your desperate groupies, vying for a piece
of your dying heart. You’re always one step away from suicide, and we find you
graceful in your insanity, pitiful really, but we’re drawn to you like a car crash.
And you end up killing us every time. You never love us, but you make us
hopeful. Redemption really does exist after all.
I love the company of men. Each of them such a complex existential quagmire,
wrapped in the guise of exaggerated fearlessness. I envy their ability to use
humor and sarcasm to combat the universal absurdity. Women do not have that
luxury. We are the caretakers, too serious to afford such frivolity. There is
always someone we must take care of, so we never really have any time to
ourselves; we’re always worried about someone or something, always worrying,
worrying, worrying. It is hard to actively seek out power. Why would one want to
be of the warrior caste if one had the option not to? And there are no
manipulative power struggles when one is not leveraging for sex. Heterosexual
fairy tales are myths. There is no valiant prince on a white horse waiting to save
me. There is no existence without pain. There is no truth
My cheek is pressed up hard against the blue leather sofa, and your hand is
pushing my shoulders down. I keep screaming, “Fuck me like that,” but you
barely respond, tensing up harder and more stoic as if to spite me. You think I
only say those things because men have made me think it’s sexy. You don’t
understand how desperately I want you. I just want you inside of me, all the time.
I have never physically ached for someone before, but you have made me want
you so badly, it’s close to insanity. I feel totally out of control, but I can’t stop.
You possess me. I am obsessed with you, but I realize that it’s not really you at
all, just the Bohemian excuse I need to live an artistically passionate life. I only
feel poetic when I am writing about you. You are my tragedy, the great dramatic
hope that got away, and I revel in your death. It is the only form of karmic
salvation I know.
You lift your head slightly and I pour the wine from the glass, inches from your
mouth. We’re panting and sweaty, and we’re lying on the floor. You’re
surrendering to a few hours with me before you run away again. I light a
cigarette, take a puff, and put it between your lips.
“Tom and I were arguing about assisted suicide the other day,” I say, even
though you hate it when I talk about him. “I think it should be legal, that people
should be allowed to decide for themselves when, and if, they want to live. He
totally disagrees with me though. He’s so concerned with laws and morality.” I roll
my eyes. “He lives his life for others’ opinions.”
“Yeah,” you say, through a cloud of smoke, the cigarette sticking to your lips.
“Fuckin bullshit, man. People should be allowed to kill themselves if they want to.
I mean, why does the church say that’s a sin? Why would you end up in Hell for
that? To me that’s more fuckin honest than living a full life of deceit and shitty
“Exactly,” I say, grabbing the cigarette. “We owe it to ourselves to be honest. We
are allowed to take stock of our lives at a certain point in time and decide if it is or
is not worth living.”
“Fuck yeah.” You turn toward me, propping your head on your elbow. “I hate
that moral authority bullshit.
Nobody speaks for God cause we all have a different conception of God. Maybe
my God doesn’t care if I kill myself, so what? Yours does and that’s alright. We’
re all different.”
My wedding is six weeks away, and I want to become a sexual fugitive. I want to
escape into the anonymity of a new identity, shorten my name, and cut my hair. I
don’t feel like the same person anymore, and I know I am closer to my becoming
than I believe I am. I just have to take a risk and do it. Why can’t I abandon men
like Tom and Damien? Why do I need them to prove that I exist? Why always the
base choices of pleasure and pain? Where is the placating middle? Where is
In the dark again with you. I feel you hard against me as your lips slide over my
nipples. You slide the black teddy down to my stomach, as your hands trail off
and run down to my thighs. I inhale the dense air of desire, wanting you so badly
My hands caress your head as you kiss my thighs. Your tongue traces the edge
of my panties, engulfing me in a rush.
“I want you inside me so bad,” I whisper. “So bad.”
Your fingers feel the wetness, your tongue moves deep inside of me, and I am
screaming. I only want you; I only want to fuck you, not Tom, not anybody else.
No one makes me cum like that.
You move back up to face me and our mouths meet.
“I love you so much,” I say, but the words fall flat upon your lips. You hesitate, as
if afraid to move, saying nothing in return; then, you kneel back and slide your
blue boxers off silently, as I writhe in waiting.
You are in me, fucking me harsh and urgent. I become a mixture of passion and
hatred, alternating between clenched teeth and screams of pleasure; but you are
detached, focused only on your one goal, to fuck me until you are satisfied. My
words mean nothing to you.
My wedding is six weeks away and for the first time, you spend the night. Your
arm drapes across me as you sleep, and I hold your hand, lightly running my
fingers across yours. I cannot sleep and my mind is racing. I am thinking of ways
to get you to stay in the morning, to go to breakfast or even have a cup of coffee;
but I know it will only end up the same.
You’ve given me a few more hours than usual, but in the morning, you will be
gone again. I squeeze my eyes shut, hoping to force out the longing that intrudes
the second you have pulled out of me, but it presents itself regardless. We will
always be locked in this game, this psychological S & M. We are good at it and it
stimulates us, and neither of us want to stop. Hiding in the dark, fucking in the
shadows, we are animated by the same spirit, the same desires and bloodlust.
© 2015 Cassandra Kali
Cassandra Kali is a freelance writer and actress who lives in the San
Francisco Bay Area.