March 11, 2024


Every time I lay down, the ballast shifts and I feel like I'm drowning. So up and at 'em, fiddling through lists of links online, watching Twinkalicious over and over again, timestamping the best moments.

I only want to talk to him. I've tried calling, last night and tonight, but the mobile phone is 'temporarily not in service." The ambiguity of "temporarily" mocks me. I sip orange juice from a pub glass, try to replace it all with a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I lay back down again and try to ignore the heavy sponges snagging each breath, dragging it across a rough rock of a throat, but my mind is sodden. The footnotes escape me.

The days are made up of bright, broken bulbs of anger and frustration linked on a wire pulled slowly through longer unbroken spells of sadness. I kick papers across the room, slap my desk, swear under my breath. In the evenings, I keep the radio off, even avoid the bottle. I time the microwave to ding the moment Seinfeld comes on.

I want the masseur at the Y to call me back and schedule an appointment. I want the guy who friendstered me with a flirt, and who I wrote back, to write me back in turn. I want these ten numbers running through my head to connect to a phone that works, that is then brought to an ear by a hand that then returns to the wheel and steers the car toward this street. I want him to answer the phone.

Today while walking through an empty downtown plaza on my way to the bus, I thought of another him running up behind me and shooting me in the back. An irrational thought, but one that made me look quickly behind me nonetheless, where a blond, tall man in a long black coat was cutting across toward the post office. I feel him approaching some days, and then other months he recedes. Sometimes I dream of him turning up in strange places, having finally found me. He has degenerated into a psycho, and carries a gun. I try to talk him down, but he jumps and takes me with him.

The other night I found a certain him online. He looks happy in his photo, and there's an indication he's in a relationship. I remember how cruel and young I was to him, how callous and cold I could be at times, greedy and gluttonous for his generosity. I remember cheating on him one afternoon. I went over to this guy's house, someone who claimed on the phone that he was straight and had just broken up with his girlfriend. He lived over by that ice cream shop off Hennepin. As I fingered him, my eyes scanned the room. The only book on his bookshelf was Mein Kampf. Afterward, this stranger went down the hallway, perhaps to the bathroom. I sat in his easy chair and imagined him returning with a gun and shooting me in the head.

While in Argentina, I thought about a lot of hims. I thought about him for the first time in a year, and that old gnawing little cut smiled again. I left him in London, thinking I was choosing a better life. I remember the small room he shared with a lesbian in Queen's Park, his pine tree accent, his beautiful lips and the baths we would take together, with candles, and the simple pleasures we indulged in, neither of us having much money. The long thin scars on his wrists. I have his cell phone number too, written on the back of an old journal. A couple years ago I called it. And then called it again. It never connected.


Look at him. What is he on? Viagra at least, but there's something else in his bloodstream as well. Who cut his hair? Why has he just broken down the cinematic magic of the invisible eye by staring directly into the camera? I think he is virtuous most of the time and rather not himself at the moment. He wishes he hadn't really decided to do this. He should have stayed in bed today, alone. Instead he's trapped on a conveyor belt, at this point going through the motions. The bright lights pounding at him from all those different angles hammer in this moment, which will be repeated endlessly, long after he has grown older and grown hair and stopped going to the bars looking for adventure. This is a moment when himself, the part that goes through the motions, drives cars and buys groceries and does homework, cuts through whatever was cut up for him. He's saying, please look away, please shut that thing off. But he's not imploring hard enough. The camera keeps filming. There's minutes and minutes after this point, in which his body continues to flail about.

I'd like a new him in my life. In the meantime I'll have to settle for paracetamol, which is behind this post.

Posted by jason at March 11, 2024 03:00 AM
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