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observations on the art of contortion

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Contortion- a performance art in which performers called contortionists showcase their skills of extreme physical flexibility.


Sakusa Kiyoomi is a contortionist. His hyper-mobile joints allow him to twist and contort himself into unnatural and fantastical shapes, unobtainable by others not blessed with the same abilities. He can bend and twist in ways unthinkable to most, and he takes full advantage, always ready to force down an ugly and unpleasant reality when the overhead lights drop and he exists alone, on stage and under intense observation. Kiyoomi has been performing in a one man act for as long as he can recall, always putting on a good show for those around him, concealing whatever hideous imperfection lies underneath with a damn near perfect performance. Under the burning hot stage lights, he showcases his skill, his perfection, his unnatural god-given abilities so that onlookers can not see the truths obscured by illusion. The real and the fake bleed together in this arena, one indiscernible from the other, and perhaps it’s better that way. Perhaps it’s easier to process the hard truths of yourself when they’re known only to you.

The volleyball court is not so unlike a stage, Kiyoomi muses. The fluorescent lights are blinding, a thousand eyes are trained on you, and in a way, Kiyoomi pretends here, too. He pretends he is not madly in love with Miya Atsumu, in all his brassy-haired, big-mouthed glory. Atsumu is not a likable person, really; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. He lacks all tact, is absolutely ruthless in his pursuit of perfection, and has an ego so large and so fragile, it could shatter under the lightest of criticisms.

Kiyoomi loves him anyway.

Kiyoomi loves this ruthless beast who devours everything in his path in pursuit of personal glory, despite the knowledge that if given half the chance, he would more than likely devour him, too. Kiyoomi sees in Atsumu a fire that matches his own, a fire that could quite possibly burn him alive if he got too close.

It’s an unintentional thing, Kiyoomi knows, but it still stretches and forces him into new shapes, pushing his physical limits. Atsumu is the hands that manipulate Kiyoomi’s joints, always testing how far they will stretch before they inevitably shatter. This is the grace before the fall, this is center stage, where there has only ever been Kiyoomi and Atsumu. Alone with his personal hell and his inevitable undoing in his room, Sakusa whimpers and writhes underneath Atsumu’s capable hands molded from years of setting, simply a vessel for his need to control everyone and everything around him; his hands on Kiyoomi are no different. He pushes Kiyoomi’s legs up by his head as he lays into him, kissing him hard and with all the fire that burns within him. It hurts, the way he mercilessly drives into him and pushes against his flexible limbs, but in this pain, there is unspeakable pleasure.

This too is a performance.

Kiyoomi pretends his heart isn’t about to burst and like new galaxies aren’t forming and exploding in his chest cavity. He pretends that he can’t see the emotions that Atsumu does not feel buried in his amber eyes. He’s beautiful like this, Kiyoomi thinks. His blonde hair is matted to his forehead with sweat, his full lips wet with spit, and his bronze skin practically glowing in the moonlight that streams in through the window like a spotlight. He looks at Kiyoomi with unbridled lust, with insatiable hunger.... and nothing more than that. He could devour Kiyoomi; he certainly looks like he wants to.

Tears form at the corners of Kiyoomi’s eyes as he cries out when Atsumu reaches further inside, and it is somehow everything he fears and everything he craves. In Kiyoomi’s mind, there is only his name, over and over, spilling from his open mouth in short bursts Atsumu swallows with his own. What more could there be for Kiyoomi than this? It brings to mind a revelation: what if Kiyoomi is just as hungry, and just as desperate for this as the vicious, rabid thing in his arms? What if nothing can satisfy Kiyoomi but Atsumu’s fire, his teeth biting into soft pale flesh and his hands around Kiyoomi’s neck? 

Sometimes it’s as easy as breathing, ignoring this dead ugly thing that lies between their shared space on this stage. The feelings that Kiyoomi neglects, the things that threaten to level this secret haven known only to him and Atsumu to the ground are always there, standing in the corner of the bedroom, neglected and ignored. It’s much too painful to look at, to acknowledge directly. So Kiyoomi just blocks it out, focusing entirely on Atsumu’s sharp pointed teeth going for his jugular, his warm breath fanning across his face.

His body is marked and aching, and yet the performance continues, Kiyoomi’s back arching under Atsumu’s guiding hands that threaten to pull him apart piece by piece. Kiyoomi continues to fold himself into new positions to fit within whatever dynamic exists in their relationship, because as much as this hurts, Kiyoomi is desperate for it. He’s desperate for the the pain that threatens to bring his joints to crack and makes him cry, because it feels so damn good. Kiyoomi could never reveal his true feelings, could never rip away his mask, because he couldn’t risk losing this. Whatever could be gained from the fruitless venture of sharing his feelings is not worth the potential loss of Atsumu’s body on top of his, his mouth kissing and licking and biting every inch of exposed skin. There is nothing more for Kiyoomi than this. Kiyoomi is filled with the same sort of fire that burns within Atsumu, and maybe, just maybe, he’s the only one who can match Atsumu blow-for-blow. Maybe Kiyoomi is the only one who can take him this way, can fill his most primal needs the way he does for Kiyoomi. These moments so devoid of all tenderness and what others might call love are the only thing that can make Kiyoomi feel. He finds these days he can only feel when he’s raking his nails down Atsumu’s back while he fills him up inside, and maybe that’s enough. Atsumu tearing him apart and forcing him to his limits is a sort of mercy, he thinks. He would rather feel everything than nothing. In many ways, pain is better than emptiness.

When Atsumu leaves, and he will, because he always does, Kiyoomi will grieve. He will grieve whatever sort of sincere romantic connection will never exist between them, alone between the sheets. He will allow his heart to shatter into a million pieces, and cry into the silence of his room, because it’s easier than crying into the face of the one he loves who could never feel the same.

But for now, the show must go on, so Sakusa Kiyoomi the contortionist once again twists himself into the shape Miya Atsumu likes best.