“Safe and Sound” | #EatADick

By Andersen Richards

May 7th, 2016

“You know you can use my computer, if you like,” David says to me.

Like now. Like right fucking now.

He walked into his living room and looked and me and said, “You don’t have to blog from your phone if you don’t want.”

I smiled super big. I didn’t mean it but I smiled.

Do animals fake kindness? I mean, everybody thinks their pets love them, but are some sort of… Uncle Tom-ing it? Is that possible?

Sitting there spreading my smile across my face, I felt like an animal that learned to kiss up to humans in order to get fed. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice to not be spending  another night in the Bronco.

But don’t get me wrong.

I don’t trust anyone.

“You know, David, I may just do this for a little bit, you know? Sort of a comfort, you know?”

He smiled at me from the well-lit entry in my darkened corner between the couch and the sliding glass door. “You can turn on that light if you want. You don’t have to sit in the dark.”

I smiled again. “Thanks, David.” I honestly hadn’t even noticed that plump, low sitting white porcelain lamp sitting on that pristine, un-dinged end-table.

“What are you writing about? He asked.

“I don’t know what I’ll write about,” I said, realizing as I write that he’s going to read this sooner or later. “Usually I just start moving my thumb until the thoughts start coming out.”

David smiled, “Okay, well, we’re right upstairs if you need me.” I smiled again. I smiled the way you push the door-close button in an elevator thinking if you do it enough it will shut before that guy gets into the car. “Good night!” he said cheerfully.

I got a text. From Sam in the guest room on the other side of the wall. It read: “Are you writing that stupid blog again?”

I wrote: “Masturbating. Give me privacy.”

She responded: “Don’t write anything bad about these people for fuck’s sake.” And ten seconds later: “It feels so good to be in a bed again.”

Between the couch and the sliding door, at the foor of the coffee table, I rolled myself in a blanket and sunk the side of my head into a feather pillow, not a sweater. They’d offered me an inflatable mattress.

“You don’t understand,” I’d told Sam just this. “We can’t do this!” We’d driven to a nearby Starbucks before I drove us both to work.

“Dick, we’ve been in this car for months. How long have you been in it?”

I looked back and she’d stayed by the car, as though she wouldn’t let the morning start until she had her way. “Why do you think I’m doing it?” I asked, my footsteps returning me to her, punching into the pavement as they did. We’d been having the conversation far longer than I wanted it to.

“It’s not safe, Dick. It’s been three weeks and I’m still waking up in the middle of the night.”

“That was a fluke! That’s why we park where we do. No one will find us there.”

“Accept people already have! Accept people did find us!”

“So we’ll find a new spot. Let me just get Eartha and we’ll park somewhere new tonight.”

“No. No! No, this isn’t a healthy way to live your life. There are people who are willing to help you. You need to learn to accept it.”

“What is this about? Won’t they take you without me?” She slapped me across the face. I bit down and tried to take a breath, “Please don’t slap me, Sam.”

She turned her ring around so the fake stone sliced into my cheek as she hit me again. Before I could calm myself… her swinging a third time and me pinning her to the Bronco all sort of happened at once. “I said, ‘Don’t fucking slap me, Sam’!”

The scowl that she usually regarded me with, instead she was disappointed, maybe scared. But most definitely sad. And from her post pressed upon the hood told me “You’re going to fucking die out here.”

The blanket David and Laura had given me was amazing, like snuggling a bunny. But it wasn’t at all comfort, but I had to drape across me to get David to go about his evening. As soon as he did I pulled it off, rolled it and leaned into it, curling my legs up. They’d left the kitchen light up on, I think they figured it would help me if I woke up in the middle of the night.

That light, there’s something… it’s like a sign that says “Smile: You’re Being Watched”. Accept I know it’s not on for that reason, and I know I’m not being watched and I know David and Laura seem to trust me. Everything about this unnerving.

“I won’t do this without you,” Sam had said as people passing through the parking lot stopped and stared as they walked into the Starbucks.

From the next room, she text again: “Are you asleep yet?”

I text back: “Masturbating, leave me alone.”

She text: “Your dick is too small to jerk off with.” It isn’t, by the way.

It made me smile, I don’t know why.

I rolled onto my right side, and decided to wedge myself into the corner a little more, brushing away some cobwebs. The space between the glass and the end table was just enough for my head. I rolled the blanket a bit and shoved it in there, grabbed the coffee table and turned it so no one would see me and placed my head down on the blanket.

Sam text me: “You’re safe here, Andy.”

I can’t bring myself to shut my eyes.

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