“Psychiatrists and Mountain Dew” by Scott McClanahan, page 3

         A couple of hours later we started getting into it again. I said something, and then she said something. Then she said something, and then I said something.
         Then she said, “How come you can’t handle anything?”
         This made me even more mad so I said something back to her. That pissed her off even more and then I saw that it was all lost.
         I couldn’t get rid of the sick feeling in my stomach. I couldn’t get rid of the tightness in my shoulders like my head was going to pop off. And then it started playing in my head—the bad memories, the old bad memories. I made a fist. I took my fist and punched myself right in front of her. She shrieked and followed me in the bathroom.
         She cried and said, “You need help baby. You just need to talk to somebody. You’re kinda fucked up.”
         She said kind of to soften the blow. But I kept doing it—pop, pop, pop. I fell to the floor. She screamed. I did it with the left hand. She screamed. I did it with the right hand. She screamed. Stop it. Stop it.
         I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop because you know what?
         It felt good. Just like right now I find myself getting ready to do it.
         I hit myself.
         I feel the blood surging to my head.
         I hit myself.
         I feel my jaw tightening.
         I hit myself.
         It feels like a prayer.
         I hit myself.
         It feels like something strange.
         I hit myself.
         It feels like something beautiful.
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