May 15th, 2005

Mask

The Man in the Room

There is a man in my room.

He is not a handsome man, but nor is he distinguished in his ugliness. He has no particular height or weight, no race, no faith. He is a vulgar creature, a man of sick intentions. He broke my back door or cut the screen off my window and crawled up and in and climbed the stairs knowing the exact steps to my room. He is a stranger, but I know him.

I am not a pretty girl, but he’s touched me, fondled when it seemed easy, when he felt brave. Still, it must be worse for them, the pretty girls.

Sometimes I sleep with other people. I hope that when I am with someone else, the man might go away, but they always leave, and he always returns. In the day he calls from his car, he grabs me in the theater, on the street, he asks me where I live. He tells me what he wants to do.

I hear the creaks of the floorboards. He is standing outside my room, a shadow in the sliver of light under my door. The occurrence is so common that I just turn over and close my eyes. I tell myself that tonight is not the night. He won’t do it. I think of other things.
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