The Love Slave

Corinne was lanky. She was lanky and blonde and had a boyfriend named Ishmael who once in a while took her out to the movies but not for very long because he had epilepsy that kicked up every time a fight scene came on. The actors would come in, swinging their fists and cursing and before anyone could tell Ishmael to look away or plug up his ears, he’d be over in his chair jittering and chattering and Corinne would have to stuff a sock in his mouth to keep him from biting his tongue off. It wasn’t easy, but she loved him. And it’s a plain fact that most people will do anything for the person they love. Just about anything.

Corinne’s mum was worried about how much Corinne loved Ishmael. I guess she worried like most mothers do. Maybe a little more than most mothers, if I’m going to be honest. Corinne’s mum worried that by loving Ishmael, Corinne would become a servant. A slave to love. And because she’d had children and a husband who had smoked himself into an iron lung, she knew all about being a slave to love. Every day she woke up at 4am to drive Andy to swim practice at 4:45, Corinne’s sister Lacey to choir at 6:30, and then all three of the kids to school by 8. And that was before driving off to work in an office where she was abused for six hours before picking everyone up again. Corinne’s mother was tired and she did not want Corinne to make the same kinds of mistakes that she had made. So she told her daughter to be careful with her love so she wouldn’t wake up at age 45 and realize she had nothing left and that she wanted to die.

But Corinne was a strong girl. She knew that wouldn’t be her. So she kept loving Ishmael and she kept stuffing socks in his mouth and by the time she was 38 she had had six epileptic children who chattered and jittered their way through the house. She patiently stuffed socks into each of their mouths so that their tongues wouldn’t be bitten off and looked forward to the day when she could do something else. And then one day, when she was 45, she woke up in her bed and she was tired. She was too tired to move, too tired to speak. She was so fucking tired and there was nothing she could do about it because all she knew how to do was stuff socks into people’s mouths. And she realized that what her mother had said had finally come true. So she took the seven socks she kept with her at all times and stuffed them into her own mouth for once. Slowly, she choked to death and when her family found her a couple hours later, they all had seizures at exactly the same time and because there was nobody left to give a fuck, that was the end of that.

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