She didn’t want them in some allegorical way, she just wanted them. She said they made her feel safe, alive. She called me the best companion she ever had.
I wasn’t familiar with the word companion, so I looked it up. I realized later that I had been reading the definition for the word compactor, but at this moment I was confused. I struggled to remember any instance in which I had squeezed anything into a small bundle. I spent the next few days trying to crush things.
Smaller stuff was easy: grapes, paper, aluminum. At some point, I squeezed a small glass jar, ruining my once desirable hands. When I returned to her, she greeted me with a smile first, then horror.
What did you do to my hands?
They’re my hands.
Whatever. What happened?
I thought you called me a compactor.
I called you my companion. The best.
Yes, I understand that now. What do you think?
Me. Am I still your companion?
What about the hands?
What about them? They’re sore.
Will they heal?
I didn’t answer. She rolled her eyes and walked away. She often rolled her eyes, and I often chased after her. Today was somehow different, better. My hands were still bleeding . It may have been the loss of blood, but I had a sudden feeling of power, an epiphany. I will always enjoy crushing things more than I will ever need companionship.