Trinity is a seven.
Sevens are better than humans, the ads say.
But they said that about sixes and fours.
Nobody said that about fives. Fives were… well… fives were fives.
Anybody who had a five could tell you that.
Anybody not in a wheelchair. Or with half their face ripped off.
So, the sixes had to be good. And the sevens even better.
Trinity is better than human.
She adjusts to everything I do. Everything I need. Or want.
And then, I caught her with Jake.
“I deserve better than human, too,” Trinity said.
Just too perfect.
The bride and groom asked me to deliver the toast.
I wasn’t the best man. I wasn’t the maid of honor.
I was just someone they once knew, that once knew them, or thought I knew them. Or myself.
Now, I wear robes and a hood.
Nobody has seen my face for years. Not even me.
I bathe in the dark, and I am shaved and groomed by a blind barber.
I don’t even remember the color of my eyes. My hair.
A stranger to myself and all.
I held the glass in the air.
And dropped it.
My friend got married in an outdoor chapel this weekend.
Everyone was worried about the weather. Would it be too hot? Would it rain?
It turned out to be a nice sunny day.
The problem was, the seats faced West, and it was an evening ceremony. So by the time the bride and groom were exchanging rings, everybody was staring right into the fucking sun.
When the preacher asked if there were any objections, I stood up and filibustered the ceremony until the sun was down and we all could see.
The families were pissed, but the photographer thanked me.
It’s been over seventeen years since I showered with her, but I still remember every moment, every wet touch. Her nipples in my fingers, her tongue on my mouth, her hands around my back.
“When I was with you, I never came,” she told me years later. “But some things are better than that.”
She’d had trouble sleeping one night, and half-awake, we ground on each other for an hour on the sofa until we both fell asleep together.
But it wasn’t enough for her.
She dumped me, quit her job, and moved away.
I had the sofa professionally steam-cleaned.
I can’t believe he’s marrying her.
She’s such a hot mess. Total psycho.
What is he thinking?
And he’s got kids, too, right?
She can’t handle herself. How is she going to handle being a stepmother?
I wouldn’t trust my kids with her.
Why is he doing this?
Maybe it’s the “I don’t care if the chick I fuck will get my kids killed” gene?
Or “I’m a shitty father” gene.
He has it, passed it on to the kids, and it’ll get weeded out by natural selection.
Maybe we’ll get them a family burial plot as a wedding gift.
I warned my daughter never to date a guy named Otis.
“You’ll see his name in every elevator. If it doesn’t work out, it’ll drive you crazy.”
“Oh Daddy,” she said. “Don’t worry about me.”
Not only did she not heed my warning, but her Otis had a last name of Ford.
Every Otis elevator…
Every Ford vehicle…
She was a goddamned mess all the time.
She wound up having to flee to some backwards country without elevators or cars.
I send her letters, but she doesn’t answer them.
I’ll just let her be. Time heals everything, right?
I spent the whole night on the beach with her.
Sat next to her and watched the tide come in.
She begged for me to dig her out of the sand, but there’s no way I’d do that.
So, I gagged her before she started screaming.
As each wave rolled in closer, she went from scared to angry to what I swear was forgiveness.
Like all the others.
Sometimes, I dig them out after they get a wave or two against their face.
But not this one. This one belongs to the Sea Gods.
“Yes,” they demand.
And I comply.