The Somnophiliac| Z.L. Melton

The Somnophiliac

 
 
 
In the room where you sleep, I am drunk on the blues of your twilight skin, on its rising and falling. I have had no wine or liquor to drink, but the feeling is mutually composed within the airtight seal of my crudely-shaven head. My cock is pathetic now, but it will grow, I promise, to the grace of your light breathing. I stroke its rippled underbelly to the rhythm of your exhaling. If I happen to move out of time, I scold myself harshly. I assure myself that loving you, opposed to your knowledge, is nothing but unison with your slumbering pulse. My lips have assumed the finish of fine sand, of cracked powder. Beneath my foreign tongue, I find that my slack mouth lingering, and the sticky air that breaks, have scorched the pink skin like a desert valley. I wet each parched and fleshy slope with the warm slug in my mouth.

 

You stir in your sleep and roll over to face me, and you are attended by the song of soft linen molding. I can’t help but dispute your sightlessness, as your eyes twitch and flicker under feeble veneers in the dark. I imagine a silhouette image of myself squatting by the wall, imposed on the insides of your eyelids. I’d like to see you brightened by the overhead. I’d like to see you in the way God intended, all covered in sun. I’m willing to settle for a photon copy of daylight splendor, but the function of the dark won’t allow it.

 

You’d be proud to know that I’ve risen and grown. The cock has burgeoned, a thin spread like latex, tightly and blissfully stretched over plied brawn. I continue to rub it between my oily fingers, and I watch your chest fold around a leaf of your negligee, to maintain its kicking rigor. I can smell you from here, cheap soap and rosewater exuding like the liquor on my jaw. I use the shaded hollow of your breasts to my own ocular favor, as I milk myself hard with a requisite fist. I hear myself sucking air like a boxer struck repeatedly, and I fuck myself faster. My wrist goes numb. My vision of you blurs as I spasm and spit. A noise forms in the curdled recess of my throat like gagging. I can’t see the purging in the dark, but I can feel it leaving me, and the sticky wet warm it leaves on my poised little finger. I can hear it dispersing on the floor like heavy dew. From my sodden corner of the room, and in a breathless whisper, I thank you for your negligence and your courage, and for being so beautiful.

 

Restoring my flushed and withering cock to rest in my pants, it occurs to me how pleasing it would be to lay down beside you, and in a little time, I have supplied the sentiment with enough influence that I might allow all impressions of consequence to fall between the cracks. I remove my shoes quietly. The floor feels pious on the soles of my naked feet. I feel unworthy to stand, let alone descend on your bed. But in a selfish quiver of heaven, I’ve wasted my seed on your floor, and I feel it’s only fair to you that I stay a little while. I want to respect you. I want to glorify you with all the pleasures of the world in my head. I step carefully over the presumed and hidden tract of siphoned sperm on the unseen floor, and by my perception of depth and by fortune, I clear it, without sliding or spreading it under my feet. At the edge of the bed, it appears you sleep near to one end, with room for another, with room for me. It’s heartening to think that, when you turned in for the night, you thought of me, and left a portion of paradise at your side.

 

Timidly, I let myself down on the soft eskers of an upset bedspread, and place an ear on the algor of an unused pillow. The weight of my body affects the bed like a spore on the surface of standing water, causing you to stir again, and murmur gently. It may be wishful thinking, or a trait of your eastern accent, but I swear you just said that you love me. I smile in the dark. Once you’ve settled back in to pacific sleep, I roll on my side, and spoon you without touching you. I like the way your hair smells. I like the way it glints apparently in the dark, like the sea beneath a pitch crown of sky. I see you less than I sense you, through the nose and by the way your body sculpts the mattress as you breathe, affecting the subtleties of my foundation. If I could, without fearing the rejection of your waking mind in the morning, I would stay until dawn, and kiss your saffron face in triune with the virgin sun. But the reality of me, and the reality of you, and of all that I’ve done, stand fiercely opposed to all that should be. I can’t stay. I can’t wait around to see you in the light.

 

Reluctantly, I peel myself from the mattress and steal around the lesser edge of the bed. The room without you takes me back, in a series of hollowing regrets that tell me I’m gutless and yellow for crumbling under the weight of truth. I should remain indiscriminate, they say, smitten, and foolish. But the truth is, this room and your bed weren’t made with me in mind.

 

Passing the place on the floor where I came, I look back, and you’ve become a little tumorous vestige in the bed, a silhouette laid out on a pedestal. It’s the way you looked when I saw you first from the doorway, as I crept in from the unlit hall.

 

Something moves by the wall, something small that merges with the dark. Captured in slim parings of exterior light, smothered and split by rolling shades, the eyes of a cat reflect and study me. I stop in its bodiless judgment. My nerves are made hard by the run of new adrenaline. I start easing for the door, without severing the alien vein that spans the empty dusk between our eyes. It sees me out and into the hall. Its emerald eyes remain fixed on my blackened path until I can’t be heard on the steps. And when there is no resounding trace, your cat bows its neck to the floor, and laps up the rest of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Z.L. MeltonZ.L. Melton is a fiction writer and the founding member of the Chicago-based musical group, Labors. He works and lives on the city’s northwest side with his wife.

The Somnophiliac is a short story from his Lucky Black Cat collection.

 

 

 

 

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