The Perfect Crime

Every year at Christmas my mother gets me a big box of chocolates. It's my acultural family tradition. It's always a Whitman's Sampler in a flat tin box, which I always keep, so I've amassed quite a collection over the years. I find them very useful, particularly for storing art supplies. For example: one is covered in foam and full of my expensive Swiss watercolor crayons, another is padded with felt and full of charcoal, still another is full of little tubes of gouache paint.

And one is my dirty little secret.

The boxes are stacked against one wall, and most are the same plain style, yellow and unremarkable. The one that keeps my secret is shiny and gold, covered with a complex relief of fancy scrollwork. I'm amused that the flashiest tin holds the darkest secret. I keep it near the middle of the stack, so nobody thinks anything of it.

The inside is padded and full of things I never want anyone else to see. I have two sizes of X-acto knife and three tubes of scalpel-type refill blades. I have an actual scalpel that I stole from a tranny-boy med student I dated briefly. I have a box of generic razor blades.

I have some other stuff too. I have a small handful of quarters that I sharpened in a high school shop class; I have a 6-in-1 scraper, every painter's friend. I have my little knife of French carbon steel. I have two meticulously cleaned shards of glass from an antique mirror I found broken on the sidewalk. I have the seam ripper from my mother's sewing kit.

I also have three rolls of surgical gauze, a box of band-aides and a flat little bottle of antiseptic wash.

This, my friends, is a perfectly organized crime.

I'm staying in a scummy hotel, with boxes stacked to the ceiling in my broom closet sized room. Everyday I come in and there's a notice from the maid about not being able to reach the trash can, or how I left a ramen cup on the desk, or how she can't get around the bed to make it. I'm unemployed and can't find my toothbrush, so fuck off.

Today was a day like any other. I didn't find a job, I didn't get laid, I didn't find any clean underwear this morning, and I didn't eat any solid food for the fourth day running.

So I'm in my room on the only clean patch of floor thinking about how most people don't know what color blood really is. All they ever see is a few drops around the edge of a cut, or a little brownish stain on the bed sheets, or the sterile white pad on a band-aide. Real blood, fresh blood, blood in quantity, is an insanely bright fire engine red.

I'm thinking this as I sit dead center on an old grey bath towel, watching with purely clinical interest as the long cut on the inside of my thigh well up and spill over. And then the fresh cut across the width of my soft, white belly. It leaves heavy streaks of bright, opaque crimson down my skin. It mats my pubic hair and edges the scalpel. After a while it loses its luster and the color dulls, becoming just another dark stain, indistinguishable from the many other stains on my towel.

It doesn't get any better than this.