i do not miss you i miss the feeling of you
I’m pretty sure this is pretty common in a relationship in terms of human biology… but sure, we can put half a dozen labels on it.
fare thee well
high intelligence and mental illness: the more you use something, the more likely it is to break
time is the currency of the universe
I read almost exclusively Literary Fiction. I suppose my main influences are Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides) and Dave Eggers (You Shall Know Our Velocity!, A Hologram for The King). I’m currently reading Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino. Also, the more McCarthy I read, the more he influences my style. He’s just an utter master.
But yeah, I haven’t read fantasy or genre fiction in about five years. I kinda became really pretentious and now just read books that I think will improve me as a human/writer, since books take up a lot of my time as I’m a slow reader.
I’m leaving tumblr, friends. There are certain facets of this community I dislike and don’t like having my work associated with, so I’m shifting. Where exactly I’m shifting to should be finalised within the next couple weeks.
In true form, I’ll post a story about a woman with depression sometime soon, and then disappear in a puff of smoke, leaving only a new URL in my wake.
It’s been fun.
Life is scary and weird. Do it naked maybe!
searching for connection on a laptop in a room full of fifty people searching for connection on a laptop
When she left—a considerable time ago, now—she took everything, yet nothing of value. I suppose that had been a clear divider that had run between our two indeterminable selves during those final bitter months: our individual senses of value. Not that we ever pretended to value much more than each other. Though there was the cat, for a short while, who preceded the arrival of the milkman at our front door—perhaps it is now worth mentioning that the woman and I were both lactose intolerant then, though are unsure that this remains the case. After that enigmatic, white-clad, dairy-carrying villain had left our front door empty, the stairwell banister bloodstained, the dark refuse of tyres ever-signalling fearfully from the street (SOON), we receded to the front room. There was no purpose to any of this. There never was.
Perhaps one day we would paint that front room blue—she’d always demanded such, though having never owned a paintbrush in my life (I am a firm disbeliever in art; an advocate of life) we continued instead digging up the dirt patch in the backyard to fill in our time (as it were). She often argued with me about the nature of the garden. Not its literal nature, of course; we both knew it was nature, through and through—it was green and outside after all. On the contrary, I would argue that the yard was not large enough to be considered a ‘field’, and should have been labelled, in contrast to her vehement insistence, merely a ‘patch’, or a ‘garden’. She told me to fuck off and that if she wanted to dream, she damn well could.
My mistake had been shaking my head, I suppose.
Bleeding was nature’s consequence. Was blood good for plants? Would they thrive on the nutrients, seep them inside their roots from the soil tainted by my open dripping flesh? Could I turn the white roses red? Was this how they turned crimson all along, pricking fleshy beings on their thorns, proxy girlfriends beating them over their heads, leaves and stems assimilating them?
We’d been assimilated into the suburbs, ourselves. Amid bowling alleys and 24/7 convenience stores. But it hadn’t been my fault that we found ourselves there, trapped in a place and time where we saw only the last trails of smoke and artificial city starlight, both of those tepid inferno by-products—a constant longing for closeness to the glow. Needless to say, she was a smoker. She cost us thousands a year. She attended every ‘quit now’ seminar and, afterwards, as reward for her efforts, I’d buy her three packs of the finest Marlborough cigars. I called it our little game—though perhaps it had always been more than that: it was a duel. It was all we’d had, after all, since the fencing club three blocks away had collapsed into the economic aether torn open by Reagan many years ago.
“FUCK REAGAN,” we’d whisper, and the anonymous elderly that watched our street from armchair windows would call the cops for the third time that week—though it was only the second time on our account. The other time, aside from those attributed to the Milkman and the fiendish, vile, erectile defunct ex-President whom we adore with all our phalluses, had to do with a little boy down the street who claimed he’d been touched by his neighbour, who denied the whole thing. We’d offered witness statements after much insistence on our part. According to the ‘cop’, we weren’t directly involved in the case, so we weren’t being called on to make a statement.
“Fuck you,” I said. “It’s a free country. Let me give my fucking statement.”
The policeman nodded and gave me two forms—one for each of us in the house, so as to represent a full and truthful democracy.
The boy was not touched. He is ugly. I wouldn’t want to touch him, if I were a pedophile, which I am not, though I am a person who thinks it is important to consider hypothetical scenarios as an exercise in experiencing a full and truthful life without actually going so much outside that your skin mutates from its natural pastiness. I do not think we should go against nature, anyway, because it seems like a wrong thing to do, which reminds me that I should check on the tomatoes in the field we have out back. The child is insincere. He will receive his punishment.
The police didn’t come back until the following week, when they knocked on the rotting wooden door to tell me that I had been correct: the child was vile, nasty, satanic. I said: “I told you so,” which is something I hate to say but always do because I find it enjoyable—and why refrain from things you enjoy?
We’d go bowling once a week, which really took the edge off, even though she and I both sucked at bowling—then, though perhaps not now—on account of us both having messed up fingers from our days at the fencing club—FUCK REAGAN—but we enjoyed it all the same. We lost ourselves in those fluorescent lanes as the mellifluous electronica flowed through the speakers, between the rushing waves of static that informed us of decay’s inevitable truth: we all have our time; we have all had our time. And so we go on.
INT. RIO ALTO CAFE — DAY
LUKE and RYAN have just sat themselves at a low-set table. LUKE is dressed in preppy attire, his shirt buttoned to the collar, shorts tight. RYAN is in office wear. No tie, short hair.
RYAN: I thought you were changing degrees.
LUKE: I changed my mind.
LUKE: I dunno, I guess it just felt right all of a sudden. Like I’m really doing what I should be doing.
RYAN: Tiffany’s in your course.
LUKE leans back in his chair.
RYAN: Do you see her much?
LUKE: Not enough to make you worry.
RYAN: How much?
LUKE glances at the weather outside the tinted window of Rio Alto.
LUKE: Are you thinking a warm or cool drink?
RYAN: Did you see her lately?
LUKE: Chips, too, maybe? Or a sandwich? I’m kinda poor lately, so I’ll probably skip on food, but I know since you got that paid internship you’ve been working so much—
RYAN’S menu is slammed on the table under the heavy weight of his palm.
RYAN: What’d she tell you?
LUKE: Who? Tell me what?
RYAN glares at him.
LUKE: Dude. I’m not stealing your girlfriend from you. That’s not a thing that’s happening here.
LUKE lets out a little laugh, throws himself into the back of his chair again.
LUKE: I just like riling you up.
RYAN: You’re bullshitting.
But RYAN can’t hide his smile.
THE WAITRESS approaches.
WAITRESS: You two ready to order?
LUKE: I’ll have your cheapest coffee.
RYAN: I’ll have a plate of chips and… to drink I’ll have something a little bit better than whatever he’s having.
THE WAITRESS smiles, scrawls the order, leaves.
LUKE: So how is the internship?
RYAN: It’s good. The pay is good. Lotta hours, though.
LUKE: I’ll bet.
RYAN: Balance is hard.
RYAN: So you got another girl in your sights, then?
LUKE: Nah. Like you said: balance is hard.
RYAN: Everything’s so heavy. Right now, it’s kind of a relief not to have as many classes going on, even if it means working for that firm. I guess I have more time.
LUKE: More time for Tiffany?
RYAN: I wish.
RYAN: Our schedules don’t line up.
LUKE: That sucks. I’ll say hi for you.
RYAN’S eyes narrow. LUKE shrugs.
LUKE: I’m seeing her this afternoon.
LUKE: We have a studio class together. Painting today, I think. Did she bring something to get changed into?
RYAN: Dunno. I haven’t seen her in a bit.
RYAN: What’re you doing tonight?
LUKE: Going out with a few people from class, I think. Yeah. If they’re up for it.
RYAN: From the class you have with Tiffany?
LUKE: Same class, yeah.
LUKE: You wanna come?
RYAN: Nah, not really.
LUKE: Yeah, you’d hate it. We’re all art types.
RYAN: So? I can do art types.
LUKE: No; you can do me and Tiffany. You can handle us because you know us beyond all that shit. You couldn’t do art types.
RYAN: I could try.
LUKE: So come.
LUKE: See? Not worth it.
THE WAITRESS brings them their coffee. The chips come a minute later. Nothing is said in the time between.
LUKE sips his drink.
LUKE: The coffee’s good.
RYAN: I don’t get it.
LUKE: What, the coffee? You just sorta drink it.
RYAN: No. It’s just that our coffees look identical.
LUKE: So? We’re both men of fine taste.
RYAN: But I ordered something different to you.
LUKE: I thought we ordered the same.
RYAN: No. No, you’re wrong.
LUKE: We have pretty similar tastes, dude.
RYAN: In coffee?
RYAN drinks. LUKE drinks only once RYAN has put his cup back down.
LUKE: Can I have a chip?
RYAN: I haven’t even had one yet.
LUKE: They’re gonna get cold if you don’t get your hands on them.
RYAN: They’ll get cold no matter what.
LUKE: Maybe. But if we give eating them a go, they’re guaranteed to at least stay at body temperature.
RYAN tries a chip. HE struggles to get it down.
RYAN: They’re hot.
LUKE: How I like them.
LUKE devours a chip. Makes it look effortless. THEY eat in silence for a while.
RYAN: So where are you and Tiffany going tonight?
LUKE: Me and the art crowd, you mean?
RYAN: You and my girlfriend, yeah.
LUKE: We’re going to Rico’s, just off-campus.
RYAN: Sounds cool.
LUKE: It’s not like that, man.
LUKE: If I were stealing your girlfriend, I wouldn’t talk to you about it like this.
RYAN: How would you talk to me about it?
LUKE takes a big chip. Grins. Eats the whole thing with his mouth open.
RYAN: Fair enough.
LUKE takes another chip.
RYAN: The rest are mine.
LUKE: If you can keep your eye on ‘em.
RYAN: You’re not that sneaky.
LUKE: Try me.
RYAN: She told me you tried to fuck her.
LUKE puts the chip in his hand back in the bowl.
RYAN: I know what’s going on, you asshole.
LUKE: Do you?
RYAN: Fuck yes I do.
LUKE: But she’s lying, though.
LUKE holds up his hands in admission.
LUKE: Swear it.
RYAN: What’s your version, then?
LUKE: My version is that she got real needy one night. Drunk, too. Started whining to me about your shit and—
RYAN: What shit?
LUKE: She starts whining about how you’re so tired and busy and how you two never have any fun anymore—anyway, she starts coming onto me. Cuddling and whatnot and—can we take this outside?
RYAN: You wanna fight me?
LUKE: No. No, you idiot. It’s just that the chips are getting cold in the air-con.
RYAN: So eat ‘em.
LUKE: That couple over there is staring at us. This isn’t the place.
THEY glare at each other. Scull the rest of their drinks. THE PAIR gets up. LUKE sends a polite nod toward THE WAITRESS. LUKE and RYAN exit the cafe.
The awkward moment when your mum books a doctor’s appointment for your hickey.
a future of half-built things