sooner than expected

November 8, 2007

say we’re in a box, and i stayed, and i came, and the box is home. a little bag of cocaine, perhaps, to fuel the pervasive anorexia that creates an awkward space between us, but that we dare not speak of. i drink sangria, even in the winter, even though the label instructs, “Enjoy with barbecue.” You stand near the window smoking a cigarette, not to let the smoke out, but so that someone, perhaps, across the way from our box, walking by, or maybe smoking a cigarette of their own, will see you and think you look moody or important. And I do think you’re important. And I also think to myself, “Why am I not important?” So I stand by the window too, sans cigarette, because I can’t pull that off. I wear a transparent robe so that if a glimpse of a nipple is seen I can pretend I’m innocent.

This doesn’t last long. I wish I could be interested in one thing for more than five seconds, but I know it’s impossible. I sprawl out on the coffee-stained couch that isn’t even ours and wonder if we’re really artists, and if we are, why can you do everything and I can only write? The artists I know are on magazine covers and are friends with architects and have exciting haircuts. I’m too plain. Do I fit here? I won’t ask you because I’m afraid you’ll tell the truth. I’m so thin that I slip through your fingers when I walk past, into the bedroom, hoping you’ll follow, but soon after, I hear a typewriter. You’re close to a masterpiece and I’m no closer than I was when I first met you. I had wind-chapped skin, I don’t know if you noticed, that didn’t go away for months. It was such a nuisance.

What’s a nuisance now is this box that contains not much more than you and me. I want to be happy, but I’m jealous. Why can’t I be your equal? You’re more creative. The things you say to woo me are darker, and therefore, more meaningful. The city suits you. I didn’t think it would. I’m wrong about more things than I care to admit.

And you could probably play the piano if you tried. Me, my limbs won’t cooperate. I don’t get it. I think about twenty things at once all day, but my two hands, they won’t play different notes. In a way, I guess I’m not surprised. Once, my right hand waved goodbye while my left, deep in the pocket of my jeans, crossed its fingers that you would understand. I’ve held hands with my right hand while wiping a tear away with my left. I can’t even trust my own body parts. Not entirely surprised.

And I’ve always liked the word “somnambulist.” I can feel that you like it too. Here in our box, you’re typing away, and I’d almost bet that you’ve used that word today to describe me in that chapter.


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