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The Masochist was on Top The Whole Time.

mas·och·ism /ˈmasəˌkizəm,ˈmazəˌkizəm/

noun

Masochism is lapping up the spills of your own wounds because you love the salty taste of iron in your blood.


Earth-Angel: A Short Story

Or "How to spot a Masochist"


She’s a strawberry blonde but she says “call me Cherry.” She’s got a cut on her lip that gives it that puffy look and the taste of new pennies. Her mascara leaves volcanic ash on her cheeks that mix in with the freckles and sand and Rosie tone that arches over her nose and blisters the tip like the desert floor. That hair is like straw and the part is always changing as much because of the wind as because of each whim of her hand combing it this way and that to fill the silence and to pass the time.
Her sway is dizzying. Her eyes heavy: dazed and glossed over. She sways. Sways. And then it stops... A slow, peaceable blink inflates into that deer-in-headlights glare. Frozen. She cranes her neck back and furrows her brow. She tenses her jaw and sieves through her teeth mint-cool air. Her ribs shutter twice under one forced breath. She bites her lip and draws some blood. She has a crooked smile caught between those baby fangs. Then the sky fell and a cascade of shivers ran through every joint in her body. You could see in those eyes all the stars in the night sky. Her eyes racing back and forth like she was counting every blip. Looking for intelligence.You could see through those eyes a mind that was praying. She let out a half-hearted, helpless laugh. And bit her lip again to hold herself shut.

A masochist always dominates a sadist because the potential depth at which anguish can be buried is unlimited for a seasoned masochist, whose craft is tolerance in spite of every instigation on the part of the sadist. Win or lose, so long as it is taken with a smile on your face, the masochist still wins. It is keeping a perfect record that the masochist derives satisfaction from—patience undefeated. While sadism is a sprint, masochism is an exercise of endurance: "I will not let you get to me." The sadist's station on top is flimsy at best, balanced peculiarly at the tip of a pyramid exposed to the high winds. The masochist is stationed at the foundation, not just the bedrock but the Earth's crust that the whole structure seeps into under the pressure of time. There is no limit on the potential the masochists' have to dig into the tomb of their own memories of belittlement and abused trusts.

While masochists come together to lock hands at the base of the monument, sadists climb up the walls and scurry to the top and kick each other off, sending their competitors tumbling down. Probably knocking their skulls in against the limestone on the way down. The herd thins out as they progress upwards but even the one with a fleeting moment at the summit gets thrown down to the base by another that crawls into place. And so it goes on. As you can see there's not much room on top but there's plenty down here.


But I've chosen not to hold up anyone else's fragile station. I've chosen to break formation and to find my patch of earth somewhere else and plunge my depths there. May the masochists stay connected by the rivers that run between the wells of our own depths. May we distance our pains from each other so that the sadists cannot build their monuments upon our shoulders. Your potential knows no bounds. Let it overflow and cleanse the Earth. You are not bound by your pain to reinforce another's ego. You are not obliged to coddle another simply because your are capable of bearing that persons weight on top of yours.


There is nothing wrong with you for loving the taste of your own blood. If you will get knocked down so many times you might as well derive something good for yourself out of it. And you can count on pain coming back again for another round. You do not need to invite it. Do not leave a welcome mat at your door for sadists to wipe their shoes on. They will probably leave their shoes on and track mud into your home anyways. Leave lamb's blood on your door handle. You have enough pain to last you a lifetime. Let the rest pass over. It is not cowardice to shelter-in-place. Leave those demons at the door and exorcise the ones already sitting at your dinner table.



If your superpower is to withstand pain and if you derive pleasure from your own torment, I dare you to one-up yourself once more: open yourself up to the arduous process of healing. You are underestimating your superpower. To think you are only capable of withstanding your demons and carrying others' is what the sadists want you to think so that you will keep performing uncompensated emotional labour. These sadists and these demons do not want you to believe you can live without them. There will be a whole cavalry and they will close around you from all sides. You have to face all of them, alone. You have to look each cavalryman in the eye like he's down the barrel of a gun. This will be the slowest, most tiresome process you have ever taken on at once. But it is not more than the weight you have elected to carry with you everyday, for years. Just imagine what you will be capable of when you've allowed your waters to rise up and wash over the entire cavalry. Imagine what you can grow from that fresh earth.

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© 2023 by Sophia Pierre

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