By Bobbi Woodhouse
I carefully turn on my old TV set resting on a dirty, unsturdy nightstand. The screen blinks twice before switching on completely in black and white. What a piece of shit. I hit the top twice, as the color finally blinks on. I hate this old piece of shit, but it’ll do for now. I continue to twist my hair out of the rollers it was in while trying to wiggle my way into my favorite black stilettos. Well, my only pair of black stilettos. Every night, I wear these babies; and every night, I get lucky. As long as I can still walk, I am never giving these shoes up. Nor will I ever stop wearing my black velvet dress, nor my red rose lipstick. It’s my signature, and as usual, no one could ever resist. It’s the perks of being in my 20s with nothing but time and love to give. But not the type of love where you feel all stupid and mushy inside; I mean the type of love you feel between your legs, the type of love that comes and leaves. Literally. Its what I live for. The sound on my TV drowns out, then goes louder again. As I glance up from my bathroom mirror, Jim Gardner’s huge forehead is plastered across the screen.
“Tonight on Channel Six at ten, breaking news of a shoot-out on the 700 block of Wister. Four teenage boys rob an inner city liquor store injuring three innocent bystanders and are men more at risk to develop health problems due to smoking pot than women? All that coming up in the next hour but first lets hear from Brian with our-”
God. What the fuck? Is there ever any good fucking news? I flick off the TV and plop down on my bed. Damn, you would think they’d have one good thing to say….except nothing ever good comes from news that has to do with men anyway. Men ruin everything. Boys. Man. Men. A.K.A. the mini abominations of the world; creating wars and chaos everywhere they step, killing each other like the mindless idiots they are, spreading their dirty semen in every opening they can find, thus creating more little abominations. The world would be absolutely perfect if they all fell off the face of the Earth. All they do is kill each other and abuse women. Why don’t they all just create their own fucking planet? God, I hate men. And that’s why I do what I do.
Staring at my reflection in my cracked mirror, an evil smirk forms across my red lips. I fluff up my curly hair and grab my clutch, strutting out the door. Outside my door is what people would think is complete madness, but I’m so used to it, it doesn’t bother me. I carefully step over Wendy, the junkie of my building, whose sprawled out in front of my door, syringe still in hand, stained dress and lipstick smeared all over her face. She would actually be pretty if she’d clean herself up. But every day, she fakes like she’s going to work in the morning, but she really goes to some crack house in South Philly and gets high all day with daddy’s money he sends her every month. And you would think that her so-called “boyfriend” would tell her to take it easy on that shit but he doesn’t. He just sits on his ass in her apartment all day, eating her food, watching her TV, while trying to fuck every female in this building.
“What a shame.” I say to myself.
I walk down the creaky stairs of the building to the exit. The railing is so wobbly I’m surprised it can still hold. Its already 10:00 and if I wanted to get to Grunge bar early, these steps would make me late. One bad step and you can break every bone in your body. The wench that owns this pile of shit of a building doesn’t do shit about it. The only thing she does is sit on her fat ass and be nosey.
The door from 2A flings open and Vanessa goes flying out, her husband Rodney is in a drunken rage once again, trying to punch her lights out. His words hurt her, I can tell. But she endures everything, the words, the abuse, the drunkenness, everything. As long as I’ve lived in this building, she’s always been abused by him, and every time she goes right back to him. She’s so helpless. Rodney raises his hand to her just in time for me to intervene.
“Vanessa go get the kids and go to my apartment tonight. Lock the door.” I demand.
She’s hesitant at first but I grip her up and tell her to go. She obeys and grabs her son Colton and her baby girl Salem. I gave Vanessa the key to my apartment a while ago, just because I know what goes on in her apartment. I don’t know their whole story, but I know Rodney has some type of scary control over Vanessa. Rodney was a bitch of a man. He’s the only man I know who never tried me. In a sense, he was scared of me. Whenever he’d see me coming, he’d take off the other way. And I liked it that way. Having power over men is my specialty. The best part about it is, they don’t even know I’m so powerful or how powerful I am.
“You better stay your drunk ass away from her, you hear me?” Rodney staggers back into their raggedy apartment before fully collapsing on the dirty carpet stained with beer and old blood.
“Oh its about time you do something for someone else besides banging every man in Philly.” There she goes, and right on queue. The old nosey landlord wobbles out her apartment door leaning her fat against the doorframe with her arms folded, as if I owe her an explanation.
“Bitch its not my fault your fat ass can’t get laid. Why don’t you do something for all of us living here and fix these damn stairs!”
I slam the front door in her face and step out into the warmness of the night. I can’t stand her ass. Every time I’m about to step foot out the door, here she comes, all in my business. I swear she’s jealous of me. Its not my fault her husband died, he probably killed himself so he won’t have to look at her ass everyday. I know I would. The nerve of that bitch, thinking just because she’s the “landlord” that she can tell me who I can and can’t keep company with. I am a grown woman. I can have sex with whoever I want, whenever I want and however I want. And no one’s gonna tell me otherwise. Not even if it kills them.
The bar is packed tonight, just how I like it. The smell of alcohol smacks me in the face, the taste of drunk, horny men is apparent in the air, and the power of vulnerability is written on all of their faces. I feel my insides jumping with excitement. It’s chow time.
I sit at the bar patiently and order a shot of Tequila, just something to start me off. I glance to my right and see a man guzzling down bottles of beer like its water. His face look tired; his face was pale and sunken. From what I can see, his eyes were red like fire and his scruffy black hair looked like it hadn’t been combed in days. He wore a black tuxedo, and a red rose on one of the pockets. His black tie was loosened from around his neck, and his white button down was stained with beer and other things I wasn’t sure what it was. And after every time he’d take a drink, he’d look at his phone and weep to himself. He was a mess. A big sloppy, tearful mess…and he was perfect.
“Hey baby, what’s wrong?” I scoot over a seat next to him and rest my hand on his thigh.
“Go away.” He doesn’t even look up from his phone.
“Don’t be like that. You can tell me what’s wrong.” I move in closer, letting my body rub up against him.
“I said go away.”
“I want to know your name…Is that okay with you?”
“Miles. Now can you please go away.”
“ Its nice to meet you Miles.”
I hold my hand out for him to shake, but instead he shoves it away.
“You’re being awfully rude. And I don’t think that’s how you talk to a lady.”
“I hate ladies. I hate women… All they do is use you and leave.” he bangs his head against the bar table and stared into his beer bottle. What a coincidence, I hate men.
“Me and my wife were supposed to be married today, but the bitch up and ran away at the altar, with my best man…my brother!” he weeps to himself.
“Oh, there, there.” I pat his back gently. What a pussy. Man up. So what if a woman leaves you, brush yourself off and move on. Soon enough, he was telling me his whole life story, as if I cared. I scold myself for asking so many questions or even talking to this pathetic piece of shit in the first place. I usually don’t go for the vulnerable type, but I felt like this would be a slow night and besides, my insides were throbbing for a night of passion, lust and heartache. Just as he finished his last drink and wept in my bosom, my eyes were glued on a man who had just walked in. He’s a handsome, suave man in a nicely fitted suit, looking only to be about 28 or 29. He looks like he just stepped out of a GQ magazine, with a smile that made my knees buckle. He orders a drink and sits down, glancing over in my direction and smiling. I hate his type. He’s probably this huge Casanova who had this ridiculous notion that every female wanted him. His ego is probably the size of his non-existent penis, but to him, he was the man. The type of men I hate with so much intensity, they made my insides boil like water. Those were the type of men that feed my interest, the type of men I can’t wait to sink my venom into. We all have to fall sometime.
“She was all I had…but that whore! Mary was always a whore! A whore!” The way he said Mary…It reminds me of something. He has a thick accent, that I’m not sure where from. But that name, the way he said it, it reminds me of something so familiar.
“…..You probably sucked in bed. You pathetic cum guzzling idiot.” I said, pushing him off of me and strutting towards Mr. GQ. He looks down at his watch and took a sip of his drink. Just as I approach him, he looked at me in amazement and watched me sit next to him. I pretend to not see him stare as I ordered another drink.
“Wow.” he says rubbing his chin.
“I’m sorry, are you talking to me?”
“Well who else would I be addressing? No other woman in here looks as good as you.”
I smile to myself, pretending like his words really meant something to me. But they don’t. They all are just words— disgusting little compliments like that made me sick. I want to knee him in the nuts and tie a noose around his neck to watch him die but that wasn’t what I came here for. I came here to annihilate, but in a slow painful way.
“What’s your name,” he says, taking my hand in his.
We make our way back into my apartment. It’s mighty apparent that he wants to have sex with me by the way he gropes me. As his warm breath cradles my neck, between kisses he asks
“Do you have… a condom?”
“No baby, I’m on the pill.” I respond in an exhale, ripping my clothes off as well as his.
To make a long story short, we had sex. It wasn’t so bad actually. But I was feeling a little queasy afterwards, probably because I hadn’t taken my meds. I glance over at the clock as it reads 3am. He’s sprawled out across my bed, naked and snoring away like he lives here. Disgusting. As I make my way into my bathroom to my medicine cabinet, one of Vanessa’s sticky notes hangs on my mirror that read:
“Karma, Rodney said he gonna stop drinkin’ for me and the kids so i went back home. he really mean it this time. we went on a little trip i wont be home until tomorrow night. —Vanessa”
I ball up the paper and throw it in the toilet. I don’t know why I try. Each time he says the same thing, and each time he does nothing different. I shrug and reach in my medicine cabinet and take out three bottles. My ARTs are a bitch; I hate having to take them everyday. I pop each pill as I should. I place each bottle back inside the medicine cabinet on top of my pamphlet that read in big bold letters: Your Love Life and HIV.
“Hmph. My love life and HIV huh.?” I forgot I had this. I skimmed through the pages before finally tossing it back into my medicine cabinet.
“My love life and HIV. There is no love when you’ve got HIV. There is no life when you have HIV. What a bunch of bullshit. What’s love got to do with anything?” I think to myself, closing the medicine cabinet.
I’m tempted to start tossing Mr. GQ’s things out the window and kicking him out, since he’s no good now, but ehh, who cares. I’m too tired to even do anything right now. I climb back into bed, pushing what’s-his-name onto the floor. What a waste of life. He hardly notices and falls back asleep. He deserves any and everything he gets. If I can’t be happy, then dammit, no man can.
“Try being Mr. Casanova now, bitch.”
I silently laugh to myself.
So this is my life. A life of revenge.