So Christmas is over. I hope you’re happy. And New Year’s too—just to keep things interesting—it’s over.
I drank 2 beers on New Years Eve, (What should we toast to? Oh, I don’t know. To this shit life. To this shit life). Only two, but I pretended to be drunk. I didn’t want to go home. And waking up on someone else’s floor with a headache caused by the hard wood, it was easy to fake a hangover. We ate English muffins and gravy. Real hashbrowns. The hashbrowns almost killed me. No one has cooked them for me since (and I thought I had forgotten), since the last time someone cooked them for me.
These days I’m thinking about production—what I can do, what I can’t do, what makes this whole thing tolerable. I have my checklist of books. There are books on the way, books I still haven’t bought. I’ve decided to read until I find—for once—something. And if not, if there’s nothing there, well, I’ll validate myself with shelf-space. I’ll swim in it.
There’s two long letters I haven’t written. Not-writing one means that I don’t have to write the other. I can just sit here for a long time—and its not so bad, just sitting here—and once the sun comes up I’ll be better.
The light on my ceiling burned out last night. I replaced it today, standing on the bed, twisting the rust out of the screws. I haven’t had the courage to turn out my lights since I’ve been home. I fall asleep when I can see the sun—and it’s not so bad, that stretch of night, winter nights are supposed to be longer—at least I sleep.
And with all the Beckett floating around my house, I’ve starting thinking about death. I’ve decided that thinking about death is adulterous. Yeah baby, but there’s this place on the other side of the world—it’s magnetic. Oh sweetheart, time is twisting the skin around my eyes and mouth. But Love, but there’s this familiar city, this old voice, this set of arms around my waist; and I’m dying for them. I love you, but I want to sneak out. I love you, but someone is holding my place, someone has ear-marked the sheets, but-oh I love you.
I watched Hiroshima, Mon Amour. It didn’t help.
And. Well. Since it will never be the right time or place for such a discussion, I’ll put forth another thought. This time, it’s about love. Yes, love. About love being more like the story my head tells me (oh god don’t say that). A story I’m always trying to remember. That’s not what it is, but rather what it feels like.
I love you I think, let me try to remember when we sat across from one another, yes, I love you. Yes, that little kitchen filled with cigarette smoke, yes, and are you still baking bread in it? Yes. And what about the fact that almost nothing happens? The voice-over’s rolling, people are talking at once, and what about those hashbrowns made from shoestring french fries? and doing dishes in my bra on the first day of the rest of our lives? and remember when we lunged at one another on Jimmy’s back porch, and the insomniac dream of the sun coming up, yes I remember you and I were falling in love, so we must brush our teeth, wash our faces, and fall asleep.
Our feet fell into our steps, up the steps at four in the morning, your drunk feet pounding the stair, there’s a back-and-forth to it, a music. There’s the glass door of our favorite diner. I’m banging a packet of sugar against my cup. The Tucson heat is playing all over our faces. The red in my mouth is your red nipple. And seven days are seven days spent on the other side of the country. I’m not a rhetorical poet, you repeated it back, and-oh I’m supposed to laugh.
My shoulders are bone. And yours. I’m leaning on the glass with my shoulders. I’m watching three faint reflections in the glass. Handmirror handmirror handmirror—there are cymbals being smashed, there’s a band playing and I can’t hear you tonight, in this small bar, let’s go home.
I can’t remember what your voice sounds like when it’s smashed, oh but I’m sure, I think, of you saying you’d pay half of the fare, of the plane taking off, the tip of the nose pointed towards you. I’ll touch the tip of your human nose, I remember yes, close-range, the way your mouth moved, the tongue thrusting the word out.
The telephone is a kind of explosive. I have kept the message on my machine, the last one, with ums in it, and the button is just waiting to retrieve it, and it remains; almost nothing happens. A few cars flash by my window. The birds look like gargoyles on the schoolfront steps. I’m getting ready to order a coffee—and all the sudden it’s you swinging open the glass door, sitting down, trying to remember what?