Mother Knows Best

“You need to clean,” he says brusquely as he hops in the shower that I already started for him.

“Okay,” I reply because what the fuck else am I supposed to say. He slams the bathroom door, and I proceed to gather together all the empty beer cans and arrange the pillows on the bed. This is something I’ve never done for a man ever before, and I wish that it were sweet, that it had been my idea, but, also, it never would have been my idea because I don’t like touching other people’s stuff because I don’t like them touching mine. As I put the yellow Gatorades back into the fridge and arrange the lube, lotion and deodorant in a neat triangle on the dresser, I realize: what the fuck. What the fuck am I doing and who the fuck do I think I am.

This is very out of character. In a flash, I ask myself: is the depression that bad? Yeah. Yeah, it is. Oh, would you look at this, I’ll do anything to be anyone other than myself, including cleaning the apartment of a man whom, yeah, I love him, but, no, I have never done this before. Or, maybe I’m not depressed, maybe this is what love does to a person. Nah, it ain’t that deep. I just want him to like me and I’m too sad about the world to say no.

I fold up the blanket, drape it over the couch, and sit there and wait patiently for him to get out of the shower while World Star plays on the TV. I don’t change it. I don’t look at my phone. I don’t ask him to hurry up. Instead, I think about the person I used to be: at any other point in my life, I would have said, “No” and walked out the door. But I don’t feel like being alone tonight, so I sit on the couch with my hands folded in my lap and try my hardest not to think about a god damn thing. Clear my head. Keep it empty. Just because I know if I let my head fill with thoughts those little demons will come back dancing across my consciousness. My self doubt. My anxiety. My self loathing. My insecurities. Keep them at bay! Clean his apartment! Do whatever he says! Be anyone other than me!

He comes out of the shower, lightly towled off but still dripping, and totally naked. I’m fully dressed, sitting on the couch, and he walks right up to me.

“Kiss it,” he says.

I kiss it. I wind up naked all over again with his thumb in my ass and my face crammed into the couch, cumming and writhing even though we have places to be right about now. It doesn’t matter. I quietly put my clothes back on after we’re done, and all I can think about is My mother doesn’t like me. Which is probably why I feel some sick sense of relief in cleaning his apartment – my mother loved making asinine chores for me to do as a kid, such as ironing the napkins and dusting the base boards. They were empty chores, meant to teach me discipline, but ultimately it didn’t work. She doesn’t talk to me anymore. This is probably why I’m doing all these irresponsible, self harming things. My mother loved me best when I cleaned the house and took my spankings. Maybe he’ll love me best if I do that, too.

I watch him get dressed, and I wonder if he cares that my mother doesn’t like me. I doubt it. I should just keep that to myself.

I see some dirty napkins on the floor, and I pick them up and throw them away.

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