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Samson by Zero

He says he loves his eyes so much he'll gouge them out win an unapologetic, voracious tone. He wants him to. He can devour him alive, prey on him if it suits him. Samson is far too deep into the wells of desire to be aware of anything going in the surface.

He’s never been lusted after of hungered for someone this savagely so he tells him he’ll have his eyes in a silver plate if he wishes so. He knows his golden eyes are his best feature and toys with the sight they’d make mounted on a wall. A pair of sun-stolen orbs as trophies. He never needed to remove his eyes to blind him.

He. Heaven.

Him. Capital H. How can Samson do justice to his divine existence within the constrains of any human language?

He wouldn’t know where to start.

His name is Dominic. It ascents when he pronounces it and he introduces himself by his full name in a way that’s demanding of the same reverence of the saints that have died bearing it.

The first time he set his eyes on him, Samson lost touch with his surroundings. His apparition was revelation, epiphany. The harsh, blinding light flew from him like a halo against the dark of the alley. His voice was a silken, celestial sound, and when he asked his name it felt akin to a mandate from the gods themselves.

Samson thought (knew) he was beautiful. He had never thought of another man as beautiful. Men were handsome at their best; good-looking and attractive in euphemisms; hot, ravishing or stunning when he was starved enough to think in those terms.

But beautiful seemed the only natural way to describe him. It dropped into his thoughts in the same natural, unquestioning way he’d refer to the sky as such. Even if he couldn’t place what was exactly that was beautiful about him. Yet, Samson was sober enough to know that it could still be the alcohol and the night in his eyes making him perceive him that way.

But then, when daylight bathed him. Then, beauty is what he was. He didn’t know any more if beautiful defined him or it was the other way around.

He’s untainted in every sense. He’s twenty-three (Samson is younger than him, barely by two years but he looks older, not that it matters because he’s never looked his age anyway) and his features seem physically unable to age. There’s something unexplainable, ever-youthful in him. Perhaps in the way he was carved. In the soft angles of his jaw, in the radiance that’s reflected in his crystal blue eyes, in the lean and sculpted ends of his arms.

And Dominic has the most gorgeous hair he’s ever seen. It’s the shade of autumn. It ends in waves that curl the days he doesn’t bother to comb them. It falls past his earlobes, spills over his collar. It’s dense, lustrous and warm and silken when he runs his fingers through it. In the light it has hints of copper that seem to set him aflame.

He’s a breathing Stendhal syndrome and in his proximity, Samson feels his own heartbeat suffocating him, walking towards him with the pervasive fear of collapsing on his knees.

He’s so beautiful and heaven-sent, that Samson has fleeting thought that he won’t make it past thirty-two.

The only thing Samson has about him aside from his eyes is his physique. He’s towering and massive. He manages to pull off a shoulder-length mane too (Samson-esque. He does have a first name, but the joke sticks and he’s past given up on people ever calling him something else). He was taught so many times to go around the world around him as if it was made of porcelain and all the beautiful things ever seemed so fragile, he didn’t bother to get even close.

The very night they meet, Dominic confesses him he’s been had many casual encounters with forgotten, empty people. Then Samson hears him add that he knows he isn’t one of them.

Their encounter is fateful. Samson is convinced it must have been foretold in the eldest stars.

His touch is baptism. It is all of the questions and demands he’s ever had answered.

He. A dream.

He’s the sun and he can touch him.

Dominic has a red freckle on his right shoulder blade that Samson likes to believe only he knows of. A thin, faded scar on his left thigh from a dog bite when he was a toddler. His neighbor’s basset hound. He does amateur filming as a hobby.

He has two school he was expelled from, four languages and a half at his command, five relationships that ended blind alleys, a scholarship for a prestigious institute, a short student film that was an award-runner up, three siblings he’s in diplomatic terms with and a father that disowned him. He swears to him that he is the only one who he’s ever told.

It must have been their third or fourth date or so when he gets to reciprocate the confessionals and open himself up to him.

Dominic playfully wraps his hand around the locks that touch his bare shoulder blades and eyes him up and down, up and down "Have you always had long hair?".

Samson doesn’t admit to himself his own vanity. But he does pride himself in looking after himself, both training his body and keeping his mane looking like he gives a damn about it, instead of just foregoing haircuts and ending up with his hair long aimlessly.

"I let it grow out as soon as I could" that was when he left home.
Then, without missing much of a beat, he hears him ask "Hey, what would you say it’s your biggest fear?".

Dominic never asks him about mundane things. With him is never about weather or public transport sightings or whether he has had anything for lunch or dinner or breakfast.

No. He cuts to his roots, to the darkest and brightest parts of him. Dominic does an archeology of his uncharted territories. And he lets him. Enjoys shedding layers of himself in a way that’s almost exhibition.

Once, naturally, he asks Samson about his family.

The first time he says he’s the heir of a faraway kingdom of luxury, antiquity and exotic beasts with mischief at both ends of his lips, making room for his mouth at the crane of the other’s neck.

The second, Samson says he was raised by wolves and grazes his knuckles with his teeth while holding his hand inside his own.

Then, on the third, he’s far too inebriated to deflect it any longer.

His family. Well.

His father was a raging sea, and he learned to swim against the undertows to avoid being eaten alive in his stride.

One night, peering between the sheets of his bed, he saw his father towering over him with shears and fistfuls of his hair in his hand.

He felt the tug on his bangs and the blades slice through them. He knows the fear was visceral, his body’s response was animalistic and raw. Even at the age of five, he had been able to tell the terror had broken past a threshold.

He recalls crying. That same night? The next day? As it happened? After it did? He wished he could tell.

But the vision is blurred and dark, like he’s sank at the ocean floor and he can’t tell for sure if it really happened or if he hallucinated it in the space between slumber and awareness.

(Maybe out of the ounce of inhibition he has left in him manages to hide from him the fact that he’s horrified by his own undisclosed, pervasive imaginations of having another man’s mane laying at his feet).

He isn’t sure why he tells him this. Maybe it’s because Dominic’s fingers are intertwined in his mane, digging at the depth of his head as they lay on the floor, and he catches the memory (if it is a memory at all) in his hand from the darkest ends of the pool of his mind.

And somewhere inside the waves of his hair he grasps it with his bare hands and tosses it on the floor for both of them to watch it flail up and down, up and down, up and down.

Unknown to him, Dominic decides of all the things he’s fished from him, this is the one that he likes the most.

He likes it so much he’ll put in a tank and feed it pieces of his flesh.

A couple days before his birthday, Dominic tells him he wants to own him.

Samson doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t ask questions.

He already belongs to him.

Less than a week in, as he lays in bed, he feels the tug on his bangs, coming from behind him on the other side.

It jolts him awake.

He can’t see anything in the dark and only hears Dominic’s tenor voice like a whisper, at the distance he is from him that night.

"I’m cutting all your hair off tonight".

He’s so dazed by the midnight and the effect of the alcohol in his body that he thinks his mind is making that sentence up.

But at least he’s sober enough to be aware that he could be distorting reality yet again.

He thinks again he’s imagining things when he sits up and sees Dominic set up the tripod and his camera on top of it. He does part-time video production, so it doesn’t come off as a shock, yet Samson still feels compelled to ask.

"Why the camera?".
"I want to preserve this moment" Dominic rises back to his feet. His camera’s red light on. The lens on his direction like a cyclops staring him down.

The hair clippers come to his sight. They’re not brand new. And Dominic clearly doesn’t use them on his hair at all. Samson doesn’t know why he notices or thinks this, but he does.

"Sit" Dominic’s command falls on his grogginess and for a third time, it feels like a strange dream he’s going to wake up from at any moment.

He’ll wake up and tell Dominic about it, the thought flashes to him.

Suddenly, the lights of the room are on and he shields his eyes from them. Halfway between alertness and sleep, he moves to turn them off.

Dominic wrestles his t-shirt off his body without asking and secures his forearm as he gets to the border of the bed "Don’t move. I’ll turn off the lights for you".

Out of the corner of his eyes, he sees a Dominic’s other hand move to reach a silver duct tape. Before he can ask questions, the other’s hands is on his forehead, pushing his bangs away from his face and pulling his head back.

The upper half of his vision closes in with a grey horizon that falls over him. Samson feels his pupils dilate, in desperate search for the light when he realizes that the other is placing duct tape over his eyes, until he shuts them in a defensive reflex.

His heart beat begins to race.
"Quiet" His voice trails further away "Don’t forget I own you".

Samson hears the sound of the clippers snapped on and both terror and hunger come over him.

Dominic’s fingers slide across his chin, dance at the very edge of his lips before sailing into his hair. He anchors them on his crown, twists forcefully around them, trapping his own hand inside his locks. His fingernails dig into the surface of his scalp.

Samson’s never been one to admire the waves of his hair that come down to his shoulder blades. He has however, appreciated Dominic’s grasp on his locks, how he holds onto them at any given moment. If anything, his touch made him feel like they were worth keeping.

There’s a horrid, loud growl following the path of his hand, growing deafening inside his ears.

"What guard does that have on?" he asks trembling. Fear or desire, he can’t tell them apart any longer.

His question stays unaswered as the metallic teeth of the clippers touch him.

They scratch his forehead in their wake. They’re being pressed down hard as if they were going to cut into his very skull. They keep ascending until they meet his hair at the roots and Samson feels his bangs detaching from his head.

His eyes water. He’d blame it on the pressure of the duct tape, on the glue and the aluminum powder at a centimeter of his eyelids at most. But his breathing is shallow. He’s shaking. He has a pit in his stomach that turns him into a scared child again.

It’s when he sheds a tear that remains trapped underneath the duct tape that he comes into the full realization that he’s not dreaming this.

He shivers when he feels a mound of hair come off his head and slide down his bare chest. He secures his hands on the border of the mattress. He buries his fist in it and feels his t-shirt fall down to his feet.

Dominic is not holding him down but he has him trapped. He holds his head by his throat, where his hand reads his pulse as he keeps shearing off his hair.

The clippers feel like they could and will peel the very surface of his skin with each pass. The blades go over every millimeter of his head and whatever they miss. Dominic pulls out at the very root with his bare hands. His scalp burns. It aches in a way he didn’t even imagine was possible. He pours the locks he cuts off on top of him, throws them at his face.

In the utter dark, even the sound of the mound of his hair when they touch him seem deafening.

And he feels a God-forsaken pleasure at it all even as his tears keep pouring out his blinded eyes.

Dominic eases the grip on his neck and jaw to toss his head and his whole body forward. With the motions, Samson can feel the remaining length on the other half of his head. He’s crouching, doubled over himself and the other pulls all his hair forward.

The whirring teeth touch the end of his neck. They go in the opposite direction, ascending up the curve of his skull.

His shivering grows worse. His nape is hypersensitive and as Dominic denudes the back of his head, as the locks hit him when they fall, he feels he will explode from the ache.

Dominic only touches him to brush off roughly, rather slap away the hairs that come loose. He feels he can’t ease the tension on his knuckles.

Unadvertently, his hand comes to his breastbone. Samson lets him guide his movement and steer his torso straight up again. He can only feel some stray, scarce strands from his bangs hanging on one half of his head. All the rest of his hair is no longer on his head.

That is quickly taken care off as he feels the rotating blades vibrate against his scalp and the last locks coming off. He sits up straight. His breathing doesn’t ease quite yet as Dominic goes over with the machine all across his scalp.

He isn’t pressing down so hard as he would tear his skin off, but the areas where he did are still sore and the touch of the blades while lighter, still burns.

The clippers go quiet.

Samson’s hands ascend towards his face. Dominic catches them and forces them down. His fingertips fall into a stream of severed locks, and he can feel the soft, warm length of them.

"Don’t take off the duct tape" Dominic’s lips feel like ice against his red-hot face, against the grain of his temples "Let’s hit the club a while".
"Like this?" Samson searches for his t-shirt with his hand, he knows it fell to the floor "Are you...?".
"Yes, like this".

An hour or so later, he holds his t-shirt on his free hand as Dominic holds his wrist and parades him. Disembodied voices cut through the beat of the music as they pass through storms of noise. Samson’s his to show off. His pleasure unburies the corpse of his shame. His fear walks past a threshold where he can no longer name it.

Dominic orders drinks for both of them. He gives him his playfully. He cleans his lips with his own. In front of an invisible audience he touches him with hands, mouth and he forgets how many fingers and how many tongues he has when he cannot see them but hungers for every single of them. He corners him into walls with ends he can’t tell apart.

He’s his sight. He’s very eyes that night when the world is pitch-blacker than it had ever been. It’s terrifying, surreal and dream-like.

Samson still wonders if he’s asleep in this menacing sound-only plane he’s willingly let himself get trapped in.

But Dominic is his God and he falls into his hands.

His body reminds him he isn’t when his skin is asphyxiating with sweat underneath the duct tape and his eyes beg for the light.

"I’m taking this off".
"I’ll take you to the restroom" Dominic intertwines his fingers in his hand and guides him "You have the sinks right in front of you. I’ll wait outside. Okay?".

He hears the door shut and puts his t-shirt over the sink gingerly. The music pulsates on the other side, through the walls.

His hand hoovers in the air until he finds his face. He touches the ends of the duct tape at the edge of his cheekbones. He peels it out slowly. His skin follows the tape and he’s careful when he lifts it. He does the arch of his nose raw, and wonders if he ripped off the uppermost layer of his skin at places.

His face is sore. His skin is burning when he does it. Another tear comes out of his eye in pain and discomfort. This time it runs freely down his cheek. He feels the tape pull out stray hairs from his eyebrows from the very roots.

He opens his eyes and he looks up.

There’s a stranger standing in his place. A titanic guy with a closely shaven head that’s pale all over, except in the irritated, raw traces of the blades of the clippers. His cheekbones, and temples red and sore from the duct tape, there are dark traces of glue in places.

He can see the stray hairs of all length over his bare shoulders, sprinkling his neck and face. His skin is glossy with sweat.

He takes in the image.

As soon as he’s showered and the skin of his face cools, he’ll look okay.

He puts his head under the running water. He faces aches as he scrubs it and the glue doesn’t come off. He’ll get a proper shower at home. Then he’ll go back to sleep and will finally wake up.

He comes back to a sea of smoke and harsh, blinding lights, identical to the one he first found him into. He navigates the club blindly, searching for him until he’s drowning inside it.

He whips out his phone. He finds a text from Dominic. He says he’s outside. He goes out the door and from the second floor, he hears Dominic’s voice.

The tiredness has him need a second or so to figure out the reason he doesn’t see him it’s because his voice is coming from below, from the street. He looks down and finds him with the floor pulsating under his feet.

"So, how did it go?".
Dominic is surrounded by two other men, one looks almost teenaged, the other like he could father him "I had my fun. He is so gullible. Really".
Samson stops before turning around to go downstairs. Instead, he leans in and listens.
"I’d want a copy of all the photos and video you have" the older man speaks in a matter-of-fact tone "And I’d like to have my time with him. You know I’ll pay".
"I know" Dominic’s voice dances across the walls and he can hear it clearly "Give me an advance for the material and a couple days to convince him and we’ll have you over, bring anything and anyone you want".
The eldest of the two laughs again "Ha. Have him grow his hair long again and invite me over next time. I’d like to have my fun too".

Samson doesn’t think the twist in his stomach is the alcohol at all. No. It isn’t. Because his blood is racing inside his veins and he suddenly feels like a human torch.

It isn’t the drinks he’s had that are having him feel a cyclone is brewing inside him.

He goes down. He pushes the door open and comes face-to-face with them.

He puts his hand over Dominic’s shoulder and squeezes it hard. He sees the auburn-haired man turn his head around startled, for the very first time.
"Hey" he feels him shiver underneath his palm.
"Hey, I’m heading home. I have a headache. Catch you there" Samson kisses Dominic in the cheek.
His blood is still flaring underneath his skin, his heart is thundering.
Dominic holds to his wrist, not with delicateness, but detachment "Don’t stay up and wait for me".

He arrives in the flat they’ve begun to share a month ago.

His blood is still pounding. He wants to tear it apart.

He forces himself to pass that and darts to the bedroom. He grabs his backpack and starts shuffling through the closet and tossing his things inside it. He doesn’t get over the all-consuming anger. He distills it and focuses it in a specific target when it cools off.

Dominic’s camera is laying over the nightstand. He doesn’t smash it.

He opens the side and takes out the memory.

He leaves the rest of the camera there.

Empty for him.

He tosses the memory card into a sewer drain as he leaves.

And he never comes back.

The following day, he wakes up in a friend’s couch with the sunrays coming into his eyes.

He touches his bare, unfamiliar scalp.

(He recalls how it felt to wake up with Dominic’s hand inside his hair).

The bristles are not long enough for him to hold his fingers into.

They won’t be.

The anger stays with him for weeks. Samson spends the whole summer burning and fighting to keep himself from showing up at Dominic’s work and beating him up, from answering his messages and calls. It’s purposeless.

He reminds himself that he’s the strongest of any given men. He could turn to dust anything and everything if he wanted. And God, he wants to. But he won’t.

Still, he can’t keep him out of his head.

So, the sensible thing for him to do is drink from other wells, or other bars.

He will get the taste of Dominic out of his mouth.

Out of mere casualty, in what must be an ironic twist of fate, he meets the very first man that agrees to a clipper shave that season, that year.

He’s a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t have a name. He never sees him again. He’s perfectly fine with that.

And he likes how his nameless hand caressed his clippered scalp.

Autumn is a beautiful season, he decides. It’s the most fragile of them all and he’s never liked it before, but he thinks the trees look beautiful at their rawest.

A year later, on the eve after his birthday, his phone rings.

He recognizes Dominic’s voice right away "Samson?".

He’s about to reply. He stops short. He doesn’t do it.

"I know this is your number" he states, menacingly. He doesn’t say anything "Samson?... Samson?... Samson?... Samson?".

Samson shuts off the microphone from his phone and starts lathering his head. He lets the sound of his name echo in Dominic’s voice until it dissolves in the murmur of prayers.

The blade cleanses the ghostly touches that are past behind him.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hey, guys! Zero here. I’ve given a shot to revisiting Samson. Readers unfamiliar might want to drop a quick visit to ‘People in Mirrors’ to meet him there. I tried to draw some elements from the biblical story and adapt them (A male equivalent name for Delilah was a struggle!).
I might have butchered that, and I know we have outstanding bible buffs here, so comments on that (and anything else you want) warmly welcome. I’m ready for the firing squad, so you all fire at will. Stay safe, everyone and thanks for reading! :)

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