The Charlie Arrangement

Story-time.

 

How about the time I left my head in a tremendous city. The city, of course, is unnamed. Names fall off the city every time a new baby shows up squatting beside the fire hydrants.

 

So my baby, these cities—count them—are somehow a reconstitution of the present situation: God’s Government, but I prefer to call it ‘the pen.’ It’s an address. A set of points on a map that originate in water. It spills.

 

Vaguer still. I’ve never missed more.

 

For your information, I’m reading wet books. The books are—count them—about you. Hah. I said it. The flies that line the wastebasket sing for me.

 

My first memory was tree-ed by large dogs than drove white trucks. But I was a baby—no need to hold your shoulders like that—I was a baby when the plagues began.

 

White is the worst kind of plague. Gluey and too much like salt licks.

 

I think I was reading a magazine. Maybe taking tea in the too-big kitchen that I didn’t like but nonetheless lived in. You were robed I guess. A dark color, possibly green, though I hate the green in you. Green’s mine. So robed. So tea—or a dog in the bed. I was covered in dog. The deed, if you can call it a deed, was left to rot. A disguised man hung from the lavatory door. I showered. Can you believe it? In the middle of all that mess I showered in front of you. Oh how cliché, they’ll say, but the water flung itself in my face and I came out colder, as usual, and there were no towels. You brought my books back, exactly where I found them. See, nothing happened. I still can’t believe you read them. In fact, I question your knowledge of lots of things now, like how desire really rears itself, like plucked back hair, like the time we relentlessly searched for a couple of bunnies under the table. There is not such thing as bunnies. Oh Mr. Not-what-I-thought, your hair is tremendous by now. Your hair is middle age. I brush the extremities of your body off what’s left of my heads. And you know—it’s incredible—no one ever dies. The pictures come out blurry and drip into the wastebasket. Flies congregate. The smell is also incredible.

 

I met a man who you would barely believe is a man. We vote together. The decision comes down like a fragrant flower and you, Love-nuts, are out. You’re surfing by now, so far from my cupped mouth, I could spin you into anything. How about a Pollack, since you’re both full of holes? How about Hemmingway, since the phallus isn’t just a phantasm, but a wet page hanging from your waist? The difference between us is a matter of nay-saying. Say: We were once loving-others. Say: We couldn’t help but scream it clean. The way to the brook took years. Say the water was already stiff when we got there.

 

I’m a flashing can’t-find-my-keys sign. You’re drunk.

 

It’s middle America. The trees are on fire. Fields form where there should have never been fields and when people realize they’ve made a mistake, they can walk through them. Me? I’m so tired. Half-way is out of the question. Plane-trips and movie-clips are out of the question.

 

Someone said that God does not know how to deal with living human beings. Only corpses. How about that? How about one final, final fuck for the road? We’ll fuck like objects. Books, perhaps.

 

The difference between back-then and all-the-way-back is quantifiable. The number 210 keeps showing up. Since we loved each other, I’ll say we loved 210 times without coming up for air. That’s what’s left, Beautiful—coughing, spitting out the soap, stumbling over something right before we reach the fields.

 

You should see the sky here. It’s completely without me. I could have been in New York when a man fell through the glass. In Phoenix with cats attached to my hips. I could have been any number of places when the decision came down.

It’s in your plain face, staring up. All the sudden, your face misses. The name we gave ourselves gets tangled in my not-quite-a-baby smile. So here it is, Tag-a-long. Look at the teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

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