For Him I Will

Cecily Brown, Black Painting 4, 2003 (Rubell Family Collection)

I hate hamsters, but he loves them.

I cannot comprehend what he loves so much about them. One look at them makes me itch an itch on the inside of my skin that I cannot soothe by scratching.

But he loves hamsters. So I became one.

At exactly twenty-five to six when I hear his car pulling into the driveway, I return to being what he loves. I will firstly hunch, into a semi ball, so my legs and hands would shrink into my body, and I turn over to crawl on all fours. And then I will myself to shrink, I just close my eyes, and picture myself growing smaller, and smaller, until I become a blob of rodent.

I cringe, every day. My heart would ache as I let go of my beautiful human face and give it up for the small mousey mask. My skin would prickle and break out in sweat as rash and fur rapidly covers it. Within five minutes, by twenty to six I will be in my cage, sucking at my drink bottle, scratching my face with my teeny little hands waiting for my master to walk in through the front door. He would chuck his keys on the table and sigh loudly as he throws himself, buttocks first into his old armchair.

I am a beautiful girl, but he had stopped noticing me. His hamsters captivated him and I could not understand why he would love those furry ugly things more than he would me. But now, as he hovers over my cage I will run for him, ever so magnificently, showing off my glistening fur and my slender muscular limbs. I run proudly knowing he will love me.

His fingers are strong, I remembered them when I used to hold them in my long thin ones. One day, he nearly broke them, my fingers. I had put on my new red dress for him. I sat on the couch cross legged like they did on the television, waiting for him to come home. But unlike the guys on the television, his face did not light up. Neither did he hug me passionately nor pull me into his warm body with hands around my slender waist. His face, it turned dark when he saw me. He demanded to know who else had seen me, and who else I was dressing up for.

He boomed in a thunderous voice scolding me with words I cannot recall and in that rage he lifted me from the couch by my hands. He held them tightly and then squeezed my fingers, crushing them in his palms. I screamed in pain, but stopped myself for I was wrong to do as I did.

I was his, and no one else’s. I understand. I am beautiful, and he was not. He wanted to keep me because he loved me. And because he did, so much, I never again wore makeup or my red dress.

“You are so beautiful,” he whispers into my hamster ears. He never told me that when I was his girl. Never.

I knew he did think it though, because he would rip my clothes off and  bite me really hard on my shoulder, while he sniffed my neck. He would allow me to sniff and kiss him and I would get down on all fours and do as he loves. I knew I was his woman for he let me swallow his seeds.

I learnt not to choke, or throw up, for it made him really angry. They were valuable he said. I have also learnt to put it whole into my mouth, and even when it was hard and enlarged, I could still fit it without gagging. I would feel the warm liquid leak down the back of my throat. Then he would laugh in glee, and I would let it slip out as it deflated and then sat at his feet and laughed with him as he clapped.

He works in a bank, and when I first met him, people told me how lucky I was to be loved by him. He was a millionaire who could buy me anything. That was before I married him. Now though, I cannot understand why they all look at me with sorry eyes.

“You are lucky you know, the other women they would throw themselves at me, and I would not even touch them.”

Yes I know I was luckier than all of them, like he always told me. I did sometimes envy the others though. They could display their true beauty, wear those beautiful clothes and prance around in such a stately fashion. I only wore loose cotton dresses and I had to crawl.

I had work, but I had to stop. He did not like me working, not at all. I know that because he got so angry when I speak of work and he would scratch my face until it was raw. Then I would not be able to work the next day.

But he is kind. “Sorry baby, I just cannot bear to have anyone looking at you honey, I love you way too much,” he would say kissing me.

I told him it was okay. I felt sorry for him. He was so scared that I would run away. But why would I?

So I grew my hair out for him. I would go to the hairdresser once a month to keep the lice away, but I kept the hair long, so it covered my face.

And then one day he came home, and shouted at me. And he would not stop. He left the next day, and came home shouting, again.

And he did it, again.

I did not know what else I could do for him anymore. So I sat and stared. Watching him scream, yell, cry, apologise, and then scream again. He would throw his fist into the wall, and sometimes into the chair. Sometimes into me, but hardly.

I tried to calm him down with the things he liked, but he did not seem to want them anymore. I went down on all fours. But he pushed me away. He was limp and unwanting. He told me I had become a fat ugly beast, and he could not stand my stench.

I sobbed.

Then he brought home the hamster and told me he did not need me anymore, that nothing was as sweet or as beautiful as the glistening rodent.

He told me I should leave.

But I stayed. I stayed and made him his meals, and washed his clothes, and made him coffee. I even massaged him, but he would push me away and went to his hamster. I tried again, and again.

“Look at you slender small thing, with your body so small, so tight.” He would coo while scratching her head.

I wanted for him to coo at me. I wanted to be her. I would stare at his hamster, day and night. Watching her, imitating her, curling myself into a ball, smaller and smaller, so I could look just like her.

“Run hamster, run, look at your swift body running on that mill, come to me hamster come.”

So I watched, day and night. I watched the rodent eat, sleep, drink, and run. I watched her stretch her little tiny legs. I watched her move.

I tried to run like her. I told her I will become her one day. Then I tried, very hard, with all I am. I practiced every day, deliberately. I practiced on all fours willing myself into being her.

Months past, and I continued staring at her, acting like her.

And then I began thinking thoughts like her. I began eating her food, drinking her water.

And in time, I became her.

I now display my slender small tight body proudly to him as he watches me daily. I will prance in my stately fur, showing off my naked body. Then I will get on my mill and run with all my might, like she did.

Just so he will open the cage, and tell me to come.

I often pray hard that he will open the doors. Sometimes he will and I would scurry quickly onto his palm. He would cup me gently with his hands. Sometimes he would allow me to run up his arms and sit on his shoulders. Sometimes he sits me on one palm, and with his fingers affectionately touch me between my ears, stroking me with hypnotic motions on my back with his index fingers.

I would shiver with pleasure while looking victoriously at the sleek slender figure behind him.

How she wants to be me now, I think.

I will run up his arms when he tries to put me back into the cage, but he will tell me to stop, in a stern voice, and I would allow him to put me back inside.

From my little cage I watch that hamster desperately curling her sleek slender womanly figure naked on his lap, stroking, kissing him until he would sigh and groan.

“You are so beautiful my little hamster,” he would say every night as she strokes her back and kisses her neck. “So beautiful.”

He would say it with his eyes closed, and she would coo and pacify him. And he would curl himself around her. They will dance on all fours, rocking, and singing, and crooning and moaning until he bellowed in deep satisfaction.

I would watch his body shiver as he bellows, every night.

I would watch her collapse daintily beneath him.

I sometimes get envious but that is just silly because I worked hard at being her.

I know I am winning.

Maybe, I am just not good enough. I have to try harder.

No, I know I am winning.

I will keep running and running on these wheels until I become her.

Yes I will become the hamster he loves.

Then he will dance with me on all fours too.