By Zenobia Rose Love

addiction was hard. At a relatively young age, she had already become fairly intimate with several forms of addiction. Coffee was one of them – it was a daily ritual. Without it she became grumpy. Sometimes she purposely drank too much coffee to feel the caffeinated buzz – like pins and needles in her skull. It felt good.

But Him – she loved. Him – she needed, and when she didn’t have Him she craved Him, like a captive, wild horse craving freedom. It burst inside her and spread through her body. Little impulses and desires tried to punch through her pores and escape. They tried to be relieved. she had to hold them in. They couldn’t escape without Him there was nowhere to go. And she missed Him. she missed Him so much, and when she missed Him the earth pulled away from her and she was left suddenly and completely unsupported. her legs defied gravity, as if someone had pulled a rug out from underneath her feet. she felt no longer safe. she thought: “i might see Him soon,” and the possibility was slight, but comforting.

she tried to explain by writing long letters to force Him into understanding. she wanted Him to understand how it felt. “i was thinking about You on the way to the grocery store. my knees buckled underneath me and i had to pause to recollect myself. You weren’t there but You touched me and my bones, organs, and blood vessels shivered. i was sure i could hear them bumping into one another. i was overwhelmed. i wanted to lay myself in front of You and sacrifice my body. Does that make sense?” she wrote: “Do You believe me?

Yes He said.

But He couldn’t understand. He was strong and dynamic – a completely self-sufficient man. He didn’t need her or anyone else, for that matter. But without Him she felt fake and normal. And for her feeling normal was fake.

When she first saw Him she felt a flip in her stomach she had never felt before. It doesn’t matter where they were, what was going on, or who else was there. Because suddenly everything went black and there was only Him. His blue eyes sparkled against the black. And that was all. she found herself drawn to Him as naturally as a magnet is drawn to metal. And like a magnet she had no choice but to attach herself to Him, cling on for dear life, and not let go. It was new – a completely new feeling; and though she realized this feeling had been part of her for a long time, it was not easy for her to identify. However, she knew He had caused it and she knew it meant something. He said simply, I know you, and she said nothing. When He was able to explain things no one else could it was not even surprising. After awhile it became futile to ignore the power He had over her.

But she was confused. So He very easily and very patiently explained it to her. He took her and reached inside and collected an assortment of “curiosities.” These were anomalies she had not known to be there. He worked slowly and precisely; she lay before Him stretched out and completely exposed, her stomach ripped open like a stubborn bag of chips, her insides overflowing because she just couldn’t contain everything that was in her. His hand was wrist deep in her and she felt Him manipulate and rearrange. He did not leave things the way He found them. Instead, He took each one out, laid them in front of her, and patiently explained. He taught her about herself as she lay there open in front of Him. His eyes took on an exciting glow, like a teacher showing a young child something for the very first time.

“This,” He said, “I found in your gut.” He showed her a box wrapped exquisitely, but tightly. Inside was her secret. He knew about it, and she knew about it-and that was it. The box was part of her, even though she had no control over it. He did, though. “I will put this back in its proper place.” And He positioned it back inside her, deep inside her gut, so she could feel it there always. So she could not forget that it practically defined her.

“This I found in your heart.” It was a chain and He held tight to one end and tugged, pulling her heart out of whack. He said, “I will keep this.” He said, “This,” and handed her a tiny golden Buddha, “this was jumping up and down in your lungs like a ping-pong ball.” she recognized it as the force that kept her breathing. Without Him she did not have the will. He tied the Buddha to a string and fastened it tightly around her neck like a choker. “You’re not allowed to take it off.” “Yes Sir,” she said and she tugged at the newborn decoration. she found it could not be removed – even if that was what she wanted.

Next, He had to dig deep. When His hand finally reemerged, butterflies were hovering over His palm, flying around in endless, miniscule circles – they did not seem to notice anything was wrong. They reminded her of how her stomach felt the first time she saw Him.

“You need these,” He said, and when He released them they flew straight back to where they came from. she felt the butterflies place themselves back into their customary position. They fluttered inside her stomach, deep inside, directly below her heart. she felt them always and she knew without them she would not miss Him. They kept her coming back. “i need them,” she whispered.

He smoothed a strand of her hair that had fallen out of place. “Good girl,” He said, walking away. He did not take the time to put her back together. He left her in pieces and she had to recollect her parts alone. she had to reposition her organs properly and close up her tummy. When she was whole again she did not feel whole again because He was not there with her. she craved Him. she missed Him. she called His name and He did not come.


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