He craved her. Craved the smell and taste of her like one would crave chocolate, or wine. And when she left, she didn’t take the craving with her. She took everything else; took his joy, his peace, all the good things that had made life tolerable, even enjoyable. But nights spent trying to fill their bed on his own, while seeing her being loved by another became too much. They piled one on top of another, a chaotic junk heap of useless emotion.
So he tried to bury the feelings. He went to the dog track and put his life-savings on a bitch with her name, Bella Donna. Bella Donna came in last.
He sat in dark, seedy bars until the wee hours, feeding lame lines to pretty women, and not so pretty women. He thought perhaps a little strange would satisfy it. Or perhaps a lot of strange all at once. But it didn’t. It only made him realize what he’d let go. None of them tasted or smelled like her.
He started hanging out in back alleys, scoring poppers off teenagers; he tried the candy store pills, the ex, the meth, the oxy. He liked the highs, but hated the lows. He mellowed everything with rank weed and cheap whiskey that tasted like charcoal dregs.
He agreed when a big burly guy with black hair on his knuckles offered his massive cock. He went down on his knees and sucked like his life depended on it; maybe it did. Donna’s face swam behind his eyes, and he got hard when he imagined he felt her hand on the back of his head.
It was no surprise when he awoke one morning, lying on the cold pavement beside a Dipsy Dumpster, with one side of his face a seething pulpy mass and a headache he couldn’t identify as being due to a beating or coming down off a wicked high. He didn’t need any memory of the night’s events; they were all the same. You pay to play.
But nothing stopped the craving.