Venus 1975: Katie and Sally

Sally is very high. That's fine though. She's in Katie's room, which is the most comfortable place in the world. Katie makes a mess of soft things. She fills her room with things that smell good and brews and burns them until her home is always feeling like a thin layer of smoke, a little hazy, glows when the sunbeams cut through it.

Katie's exercising in her underwear. Sally knows what she wants more than anything else in this instant: stop and hold me until I no longer want to get off. Hold me. Hands, flat palms against shoulders, splayed fingers, wrapping around skin and fat, tenderly.

Sally snaps her hair tie against her wrist. The want canceled.

Sally embraces a pillow. You like to exercise, don't you, she says.

If I don't do it, my body feels greasy and stiff, says Katie.

My body has an ugly inertia, I hate it. But if I'm careful every day it feels better.

Suspended from the ceiling, climbing silk ropes, slowly moving into agonizing positions, it's hard to imagine that about Katie, who is contents under pressure, always ready to explode. Sally is wiry and liquid, learns by doing, can't focus enough to train like this when she's sober. Her body obeys the rules it wants and only with proper guidance and coaxing can Sally get those to align with anything productive.

Do you like it, asks Sally. Exercising.

I like this part, she says, stretching. Mmmm. You should do this too.

I don't know if I really can, haha, says Sally.

You're so lazy. It's really unfair, says Katie.

Here, spread out. Let go of the pillow too, Sally.

Okay. Like this?

Katie straddles Sally's back. So, here, can you feel this? Katie digs into Sally's shoulderblades. It hurts a lot, but in a super good way.

Haha. It feels nice, right? Let me know if it hurts too bad.

It's hard and frustrating until this point. If you stretched on your own, you wouldn't need this.

Sally? Sally. Sally.

Oh, sorry.

Don't fall asleep.

I won't. It does feel nice. I can feel a lot, actually, says Sally.

Yes, that's it. Katie sounds proud. You're supposed to think of your whole body at once.

I guess I really haven't, says Sally.

Can you feel it, asks Katie. Katie's pressure on her neck is so strong Sally feels like her head might pop off.

I just...blank out and can't think of anything at all.

Hmm. Well, that is close. You should stretch. And maybe you will get there.

I will.

Sally is lying. She is thinking about how there has never been a platonic massage between too people alone in a bedroom ever. It will prevent her from ever attaining enlightenment.

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Aevee Bee

Aevee Bee is a flannel vaporwave queer and the editor of ZEAL, an online micro zine with cool art and games coverage of overlooked games from exciting new writers and artists. She runs an extremely self-indulgent twitter account and tumblr, contributes regularly to Paste magazine, and freelances in the odd corners of the web. Mammon Machine is her horrifying aesthetic.