Narcissus or Watch Yourself

I am your white petals.  

I am your yellow core.

I am the flower you can see, but never touch.

I am pale and motionless.  

I am perfect, still staring, still at the screen.  

When I open my eyes the next morning that confidence is gone, depleted.   I need to find it all over again.  The screen automatically turns itself off overnight, it’s built that way so it’ll last—it’s important I have it on from when I open my eyes until when I close my eyes.  It’s very important.  

I stumble around for the remote control in the darkness of my bed.  Odd how even during pitch black night I could still see these white sheets.  The remote is nowhere to be found, and I start to panic slightly, just slightly.  It probably fell off the bed just slightly, and probably then fell under the bed just slightly.  

Quick to the monitor, but carefully, I reach out to feel for it, hopefully.  My fingers meet the hard plastic, it’s cool, and I’m able to breathe.  I run my fingers up the side of the screen, feeling for the buttons, the top button, the power button.

Blue—

Black—

Numbers pour.  Logos reign.  Advertisements float.  

I wished it would hurry up.  For Christ’s sake.  And it doesn’t.

The video camera automatically ignites as the screen turns on, throwing light across my bedroom.  The monitoring program opens and I can see myself.  Thank God.  

I never met someone more beautiful.

At first it was mirrors, mirrors on each wall.

I wasn’t the only one who looked though.  It was everyone.  They just couldn’t help notice me.  Everywhere I went—so I started looking too.  

And then these older guys.

But then they insisted and they bought me a screen.  And then they insisted and they installed a video camera.  Said I was too perfect.  They wanted to wrap their arms tightly around my neck, but no one touches me but me.  Because no one could touch me like me.  

They bought and installed them anyway.  

They set it all up, showed me how to power it on, how to use the video camera, how to use the light—what times I’d be working.  How much I’d get paid.  

All the rest is implied.  

Implied.

When I’m left alone:

To my own devices:

I’m naked in front of the screen:

That form on the screen.

For a time I truly didn’t know it was me.  I was in too much bliss.  I ignored all the signs.  Just someone who looked an awful lot like me.  Who moved and acted an awful lot like me.  

But then the voices started.  I thought they stumbled in on us from some other corner of the internet and they just started to watch us.  We were beautiful.  A perfect couple.  We both had mirrors on our walls.  

They built sculptures.   

But then the voices asked me if I could suck myself off, 

If I could spit on myself,

If they could look directly into my whole.    

I thought it was strange that they were only talking to one of us, not both of us; because of how beautiful and perfect we both were.  It wasn’t fair.  Why him if not me?   Why me if not him?  How could someone choose? 

They couldn’t.  We couldn’t.  We weren’t.  

I was merely an echo, merely watching myself, and they were watching me.

And then I got good at it.  Everything they asked.  

It wasn’t for them, though.  It was for their praise.  They spurted with warm reception.  It was like being in a race, edging closer and closer to the finish line.  To hear myself breathing, the pounding of my heart, the distant cheers.  

They watched me watching myself.  

It was me, but wasn’t me.  It was more than what I saw in glass windows, more than mirrored reflections.  It was me translated.  It was me transferred.  It was me in bytes.  It was me on multiple screens, in multiple rooms, in multiple eyes.  

Watching me watching myself.

Behind glass. Closed circuit viewing.  

Last night’s footage replay:

At first, his image is maximized in the screen.  I could still see myself in my screen, the screen within the screen, the smaller shrinking screen.  Picture in picture. Watching him look at me.  But quickly, my screen is maximized and he becomes a tiny nobody again.  

A nothing.  A not me.    

He comes.  He disconnects.  Next.  

Only four hours a day though.  Thank God.  One only has so much. 

I am pale and motionless.  

All day I lay, blinds drawn waiting for the night.  I rarely shower, I love my stink.  It is my smell, of course I love it.  It is lovely.  Like the curve from my shoulder to my chest muscle.  Smooth.  Supple.  Tight.  Lovely—

Lonely.  

It’s lonely when you film yourself masturbating in slow motion.

It’s lonely holding your mobile phone video recorder, your smart phone video recorder, to yourself, spotlight on, masturbating in slow motion.  

It’s lonely when you watch it.

You wish you’d flinch, but it gets you going—instead, it gets you going.

And lonely is good; lonely keeps you safe, keeps you accounted for.  

I.  

And it is just practice, merely practice.  That’s fine.  

The thunderclap that is the side of your palm thrashing against your pelvis, the ripple of supplication and of flesh, the pants, the groans, the groans…the emission, exploding and floating in mid air, collecting in your belly button, overflowing against your defined stomach.  The definitions you trace your finger through.

But it is just practice, merely practice.  

It’s even lonelier when you upload it.  

It gets a one hundred percent user viewing approval.  It gets six thousand viewings in three hours.  

You are perfect, they comment.

You are born of a God, they comment, of the river.

Spit on me, they comment.

Let me see your hole, they comment.  

If only he didn’t know himself, they comment.  

They love my definition, the way my legs meet at my hips.  They love me because I’m hairless.  Because I’m weak and strong.  Because they don’t know if they want to fuck me or fight me.  

They love me because of how I look at them.  Because of how I look at myself.

My perfect body that requires no nutrition but pride.  

I don’t really need to eat, I could just sit here.  Artificial reflection.  But I need to eat.  I need to restock my supplies.  

A reason to come to the show.   A means to come to the show.

The room ignites from all the corners as I flick the switch on the wall.  Everything is mirror.  Flat paneled mirror, flush to the wall, creating a perfect square.  The refrigerator swings open with a push and I grab a bowl of pistachios and a sealed glass container filled with mixed fruit.  I don’t enjoy it all that much, but it’s interesting to see how the muscles in my jaw and neck contract as I chew and chomp.  

Most of my clothes have been thrown away, I never leave this room anymore.  I can order everything from my screen.  It takes care of everything.  Now at least I get paid to get stared at. 

I am pale and motionless.

They call it hyper music, but everyone else calls it music-plus.  It’s music that you can’t hear, but nevertheless you feel.

You feel, yes.

Aural medication, isn’t it?

You just slip the disc into the drive, click play, and you don’t hear anything, but nevertheless you feel something.

I slink into my bed and my body feels a huge sense of ease.  Everything just feels a bit lighter, not as important as it was a moment ago.  I could look away from the screen for just a few moments again.  Miss myself a bit.

The ease continues to slip as the time passes.  There are moments when sounds do seem to take form, sounds I believe I’m processing, high pitched sounds that make my ears feel like they are going to pop, but right before they do it’s that same feeling like—  

I am completely present, my mind does not wander.  My body is absent.  I don’t feel the urge to move.  I am warm.  I am itchy.  I need to get more discs.  This is the last spin.  Might not even make it to the end.  Place the order.  Don’t forget.  

I never quite know when the disc ends.  It just does and a few hours pass, and the screen is blinking, telling me I’m on in five minutes.

All I need is five minutes—Hell, all I need is thirty seconds.  They like the ruffled look of my curly hair.  They like when I look like a mess.  

More importantly: I like the ruffled look of my curly hair, I like when I look like a mess.

User connected. 

The moment before the curtain is yanked back.  The dot dot dot.  Somewhere, someone. A bolt of electric pulse.  A momentary flicker of magic.  Darkness.  A voice.  

“Hello?”  His voice.  It’s exceptional.

I don’t answer, I’m afraid.

“Hello?”  He calls again.  “Is anyone here?”

“Here,” I call back.

“I can’t see you, can you see me?”

I reach to flick on the light of the camera attached to my screen.  

“See me?” I ask.

“Yes, and you me?”—

A light flashes.  His room is dark, exceptionally so, and grainy. The pixels release themselves as the exposure automatically corrects, distributing the light properly. Then a shadow.  Then a figure.  Then a face.  A defined jaw.  His perfect body.  He is reflected eternally from all sides, sitting on a white bed, in a loose pair of black briefs.  

He is pale and motionless.

His face, absent.

Beheaded.    

“Yes.”

The moment we stare.  His attention is not deserved.   If I look into his eyes and follow his gaze I burn, and everything burns with me. 

I wish I were taught how to look into someone’s eyes.  I wish I were trained better.  Someone should’ve taught me.    

“What is your name?”  He asks, he moves closer to the screen, to the edge of the bed, his legs hang off and onto the floor.

“What is your name?”

“Narcissus. And yours?”  He asks again, bothered.

“Yours.”

Fine, you are mine then.  Where do you want me to touch myself?”

“Myself.”  

“That’s impossible.  I only touch myself.”

“Touch myself.”  

“But you’ve come to see me,” the anger flickered in his complexion.

“Come to see me!”  I screamed.

“I have no interest in you.  None.  My chest, my neck, my collarbones, my lips, and my legs.”

He reached out to me.  To the screen.  To the power button.

I am formless.  I have not a shape to call my own.  

I love to talk, and chatter, about all sorts of things, but no one listens, they don’t want to hear that stuff.  All they want to hear are answers to their questions, they don’t care for my asking, my opinions.  They asked, and I answered.  They asked, and I took my clothes off.  It was easy.  They loved me.  They paid attention for a few minutes.  

But then I found him.  On the internet.  He was too perfect, I couldn’t bear it. I watched him for hours.  A spectator.  

He never rushed me home.  He never made me clean my mess.  My wet, dirty sheets.

I watched him.

I know every curve.

We have everything in common.   

We’ve came together.  Right at the exact same time.  He doesn’t know, but we did, many times.  My legs burned and I burned all that was left in my wake.  I dripped with eagerness.  

I am formless.  I have not a shape to call my own.  

I love him to death, to pieces, me in pieces.

If I could only touch him.

I’d show him the one thing I could do with my mouth.

I’ve paid to know where he lives and I’m at the door, but I can’t open it, I can’t leave.  It’s not that it won’t open; there is no technical malfunction.  My arms won’t reach out.  The light seeps in from the top of the door and I’m already ducking to escape it.  He won’t let me in, what will I do.  You can’t necessarily go there.  It’s best you stay home.  It’s best you try to reconnect.  This way is better.  This way makes more sense.  Just have a seat at the screen and try to reconnect.  

I type in his code and the search yields no users to be found by that name.  But his advertisement is on the main page.  He is this websites biggest star, the first to appear on the splash page.  Why can’t I find him?  Some technical difficulty— 

Maybe he blocked me.  Maybe.  

He blocked me.  

I need his white petals.  

I need his yellow core.

I need the flower I can see, and always touch.  

I need him pale and motionless.

I am formless.  I have not a shape to call my own.  

I am imperfect.

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