As Good as it Gets

Written for dustandroses in the 2005 Oz Magi exchange.


Thereís a line that you cross, you know? Maybe you see it, maybe you donít. Maybe you never knew about it at all - first youíre on one side then youíre on the other, youíre not too sure how it happened, not too sure it matters anyway.

But I know. Nothing matters - not now, not no more.

Iíve been fighting my whole fuckiní life, it got me nowhere. It got me here, and this is the end of the line, man, no place left to go. Inside or outside, it donít make a fuckiní difference - itís all just breathing now, just marking time.

They wonít let me out, they wonít let me die. Wonít let me live. So when he wanted to kiss me, I stood there and let him. Warm mouth closing over mine, so soft and so easy, like falling into a dream. Easy as that. There was no fight to it, no battle, it just was what it fuckiní was.

Almost like . . . peace.

Close as Iím gonna get, anyway.

He donít touch me, not much. Sometimes heíll do something just to keep me going: touch my leg, my neck, warm hands sliding over my arms, fingernails scratching my scalp. Just making it easier. These things, he says theyíre not for him - itís like he just wants to help me. Help me get there. Wherever the fuck he thinks I want to be.

But where I want to be donít mean shit, never has.

It ainít that bad. Mostly, he just watches. Watches me slide my hand into my pants, grip my dick in my fingers, squeezing gently. Long, slow, measured strokes from the head to the base that tighten up my muscles, get my heart going good, make my mouth fall open to catch my next breath. I can forget about living, about dying. Itís like a dance, hips moving to a slow beat, drowning out everything else, just something to force my heart to keep beating, force my lungs to breathe.

Sometimes I can hear him watching, little gasps, but I donít know what he sees, I donít even give a fuck. I keep my eyes closed. Not to pretend heís not there, just to pretend Iím not here.

And itís as good as anything gets, just getting away, five minutes at a time. Dragged out of my fuckiní head by the rhythm of my hand on my cock, wiping my mind clean of everything else, and if I think about anything itís nothing I can make sense out of, nothing real. I donít have fantasies anymore - that shit costs too much, too fucking painful in the end. This, this is just sensation, just enough to make the other shit fade away, a little.

Sometimes, though, I want something else. Not more Ė I learned not to ask for more in this place a long fucking time ago, like a dog that gets beat just for asking. You stop asking. But sometimes even this is too hard, too much trouble, too much effort. Just too fuckiní much.

And one night I got angry, tired of putting on a show, tired of everything, so tired I could barely hold myself up. I turned and pressed him up against the wall, trapping him with my body, pushing myself against him. Making him do a little of the work for a change. But he didnít fight me, he just stood there, letting me jerk myself off against him, his fingers drifting across my cheekbones, touching my lips, rubbing the scar on my face like he was trying to erase it from my skin. I could feel his dick pressing against me, but he didnít do nothing else, just that touching, soft hands on my face. Saying shit, too low to hear. Soft shit, like I meant something to him.

Itís been so long since anyone gave a fuck.

The next night I went to my knees. He tried to stop me, to tell me he didnít want it, but Iím stronger, and he didnít want to fight. I pinned his hands to the bed, took his cock in my mouth and it wasnít like payment, wasnít like being anybodyís bitch. It was just keeping on, finding another way to make the pain stop, just for a little while.

I donít know if I said anything, donít care if he did. He talks a lot of shit, all the time, and maybe heís telling the truth and maybe heís just pretending. But thatís okay too. I pretend all the fuckiní time.

And it donít matter anymore. Iím not going anywhere now, not ever - Iím stuck in this place till they put my cold, sorry-ass carcass deep into the ground, no way around it. But man, Iím looking forward to that. Ainít no place left to go but up.


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