“How To Get Goth Girls Hot”

My roommates are gone for the weekend so I snort one of my mom’s blood clotting pills and invite Lindsay over. When she gets there I take a steak knife and slice open my palm and show her how no blood comes out. It’s a good trick, one my dead brother Alex taught me, one that I’ve used on goth girls before, one they all like.
“Holy shit,” Lindsay says, wide-eyed, inspecting the cut.
Lindsay looks great tonight. She’s wearing torn up fishnet tights and thick eyeliner. When she stares at something it looks like she’s trying to set it on fire. Her breath smells like the blackest licorice.
“Make out with me,” she says, grabbing the back of my neck.

While we kiss, I realize my mom’s blood clotting pills are making me sleepy so I run to the bathroom and pop one of my sister’s Adderall and a couple of my Uncle Steve’s Parkinson’s meds so I’m able to both perk up and calm down. I start kissing Lindsay in a very giving way, but also with laser focus.
“You’re an incredible kisser,” she says.
“Thanks,” I tell her, as humbly as the Adderall will allow.

We’re pulling off each other’s clothes when Lindsay asks me to cut myself again.
“How about your calf this time?” she says. “A deep calf wound would be really hot.”
“Sure,” I say, sliding the steak knife down my leg and watching the skin pucker open. It’s like a desert gully inside the cut, layers and layers of skin, but not one drop of liquid.
“Ooooh,” Lindsay moans as she places her finger inside my calf.

While we fuck my heart races like it sometimes does when I’m in love or when I’ve taken too many of my father’s Cialis.
When we’re finished, Lindsay curls up in my arms. I swallow one of Alex’s leftover Ambien so I can sleep. It’s the last pill in the bottle and I go into the bathroom and start to sob. Alex was always so generous. Or at least he was until near the end, when he would disappear for a week straight and then return just to rifle through my drawers looking for cash or to steal my mountain bike.

“You’re such a sound sleeper,” Lindsay tells me in the morning. “You hardly stirred.”
The morning is always the hard part isn’t it? The sun in the sky, the drugs leeching from your system, the goth girl still in your bed with all that mascara globbed in the corners of her eyes?
I sit on the couch while Lindsay gathers up her things.
“Last night was wonderful,” Lindsay says, kissing me on the cheek. “Let’s do this again sometime.”
When Lindsay leaves I drape an old bed sheet over on the couch. The cuts on my hand and my calf have scabbed over now and I pick open the scabs and let the blood flow out of me. It takes a long time before it stops but when it finally does I clean my wounds with peroxide and I ball up the sheet and I walk out to the garbage can and I push the sheet down underneath the garbage bags, where no one will ever find it.

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About John Jodzio

John Jodzio is a winner of the Loft-McKnight Fellowship and the author of the short story collections, Get In If You Want To Live (Paper Darts Press) and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home (Replacement Press). His work has been featured in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney's, and One Story. He lives in Minneapolis.