Slowed enough by the atmosphere that the flames outside die,
We glide deeper, layer upon layer, into the gas giant,
Inevitably towards crush depth; but until then, what a view.
I did the best I could, all right? It was for their own good. I was trying to help them, to save them, from their baser nature, from their sin, their disobedience, their willfulness and wantonness. I was trying to bring them back into grace before it was too late, not just for them but for society.
Some of them I couldn't save. Some were destined for long lives of debasement and self-abuse, and if I spared them that, if I spared them from deeper, eternal torment at the hands of the Devil by sending them to their judgment early, then that's a mercy, isn't it? Isn't it?
It's not for you to judge me: it's for God and God alone. I am his instrument. You're just a detective, reeking of the sins of tobacco and alcohol and probably hiding worse. You'll see. He'll protect me from man's pathetic law.
Walks up, smile creeping into a smirk, all confidence and swagger, doesn't say hello or introduce himself or ask my name, just delivers the line like it's a shibboleth of the players' club, a magic word that opens me up like a secret corridor to a pharaonic queen's chamber of otherworldly treasures.
I let him buy me a drink, but every word that passes between my lips is a subtle hint of disinterest, designed so that he will hate himself later for not getting the hint more than for clarity in the moment.
I have fucked so many guys meeting his exact specifications; he will never know how many, or why I was not disposed to add to the total, or what he missed thereby.
A girl in the bathroom gave me this lipstick, mine having been lost in the cab or on the dance floor or left on a table somewhere in this club or another, saying, "Here, use mine, it's called Standards. You put this on those lips, and you don't kiss any frogs, you don't blow anybody in the parking garage out of pity or boredom, you don't settle for anything less than Prince motherfucking Charming, baby."
Mae in the pool blindfolded at night, mouth full of whole milk, counting four-one-thousand five-one-thousand so she's sure I'm ready to take the picture. I already have her lounging on a chair with an actual cigarette, standing in the doorway with a tumbler full of whiskey, in the kitchen laughing and absent-mindedly tugging up her bandeau top. She doesn't mind the camera, doesn't mind my eyes following her around as afternoon rolls into evening and slides into night.
I don't know if there will be more pictures later, but there is a twinkle in her eye hidden behind that blindfold.