Rating: PG-13 for swearing
Genre: General, Original Fiction
Warnings: Written in second-person POV, present tense. Yeah, it's a first for me too.
Notes: The title and summary are cryptic like woah, since I have a talent for either shoving symbolism in your face or hiding it under mountains of badly-paired adjectives and nouns and metaphors. Inspired by that genius article Gennia linked.
Summary: Anonymity is a blessing when you live life like dying.
You don’t know how to explain it. It’s hard to put into words why you continually kill yourself and ruin your body when your mother looks at your worn face with tears in her eyes, when your second wife demands an explanation as she packs her bags, when an old friend you meet by chance looks at you with something like pity in his eyes.
The truth is, you don’t quite know why yourself.
When you think about it rationally, you realize that you’re one crazy fucker. At thirty-five, you’re old and weary, cheeks hollow and wrinkles pinching your face. You know enough weight-losing tricks to make a supermodel waif jealous, and there are caps on your teeth to keep the acidic nature of vomit from eroding them. Your job rests in the hands of rich, fat white guys who don’t give a shit about whether you live or die, only about what they can brag about their horse-owning venture at cocktail parties.
You’re entrenched, drowning, mired in a system that treats you like a dispensable doll. Yet you do nothing to stop it, because the minute you raise dissent, you’ll be branded as a troublemaker and your eight-year-old son will have one less sweater to wear come winter. There is no room for ethics and solidarity in the jocks’ room. What compassion you have for your fellow man is lost in the dream of getting that one mount this time, finally, what you’ve been waiting for your entire life.
And maybe it’s your own damn fault. It’s too easy to be played by this archaic system when you love riding like living. It’s as vital as breathing, and that’s just it, isn’t it? You can’t defend yourself, because the truth is this: You would give up your health, half of your life span, and a normal job with a normal boss and a normal paycheck for eleven seconds of pure joy that runs through your veins like the best orgasm you’ve ever had.
All of this doesn’t lend itself to easy explication because fuck, you’ve been thinking about it since the first time you passed out from lack of nourishment. So you just hug your mother while gently rejecting her offer to cook you your favorite dish, say “I’m sorry” as your soon-to-be ex-wife walks out the door, and smile tightly as your childhood friend shakes his head in sympathy.
It’s all you can do, because deep down inside, you know that those seconds of ecstasy matter only to you, when the world flies by in blurry fast-forward, when the roar of the crowd and screams of the jockeys fade to nothing, when there is nothing but you and the horse and the sharp shock of adrenaline and the world slides into perfect, amazing focus.
You’ll take those ephemeral emotions to your early grave, but for a moment when you experience them, they are as concrete and brilliant as diamonds.
I whore myself out for feedback. Indulge me.