2015. Spring. 09:14. A bathroom overlooking the morning traffic jam of East Village, Manhattan. Green tiles. Empty spaces. The May sun hovering in the sky creating deep dents on the man reading "Stereophile" from his basement stairs. Agnes. Soap.


1. agnes

I wish we still spoke so I could tell you I cried in the shower again today but not the atrocious kind; like a human set to mold behind cheap shower curtains. I wasn't afraid, it was beautiful. Like a world in slow motion I was beginning to know. My aunt Georgia told me about these things. When one thing changes into another for no apparent reason - I think she knew what she talked about. She was jagged and boney and had seen the world through expensive champagne glasses with cheap liquor during her 24/7 living room nap-sessions; a human condensating on the leather couch in her apartment in New Hampton. She never left her home city for more than a couple of months, always returning home. I wonder if she would have been better off if she'd just stayed in Paris back in '08. The frenchmen seemed to treat her better than her since-High School-boyfriend Steve ever did. Would she have been happy there?

She, too, talked about writers vomit; the concept of crappy literature to shallowly pleasure the dumb majority of the world's population for a brief moment. You would have liked her, I believe. Writers vomit - like when artists write about kissing scars and manufacture tenderness into cruelty. You told me about this. How some things shouldn't be discussed and certainly not written about. I remember always agreeing with you because you'd seen the world in a different lighting; a shadowed globe or a room in bright, pink neon. A world lit up with sunshine from a sun belonging to another planet or some other shit - you knew about shades. 

I still adore you but recently I started believing in the art of toxic quotes and the uselessness thereof, like the ones you used about your parents when they'd dial you up in the winter asking if you'll be home for Thanksgiving and if not that then how about Christmas? Are you doing anything special, hun? Your father and I miss you, how's school treating you? Jackie - the young lady across the road; I told you about her, the woman who recently moved here - has only heard nice things about you, she's very excited to finally meet you! Oh, and you will not believe what Willow told me Mr and Mrs Bishop had called me, when I ran into her in the grocery store? She--, how about I save that story for when you get home, sweetheart? Call us back when you hear this message, will you, hon? We love you.

I remember these things because the voice mail echoed into the white space of our apartment. You were sprawled across our twin bed in cartoon underwear. I saw you. I saw you through the small aperture of the door lying coated in morning sunshine. I was sitting by the kitchen island in a big t-shirt with coffee and a cigarette doing psychology studies. You had laughed, told me to let it ring to death. Then your mother's voice boomed through the tiny speaker; bouncing off of the walls. I was watching you. Toxic quotes. Toxic quotes. When she finished talking you waved it off, unamused. Toxic quotes. I don't care whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching, they are your family, you said. Toxic quotes, I believe that was it. Excuses for things you didn't want to talk about. You went on to tell me Jim Butcher had said that. Does it make a man more of a human to somehow synthesize words into great understanding for others? Toxic quotes. I wonder now, why you were so consumed with the idea of replacing your mother and father with a new family instead of just extending the one already existing. You never liked having anything handed to you and they were too shallow anyway, I remember you telling me. I never understood.

I still don't understand. What a fragile thing to move on without understanding. Maybe it was because our common friend introduced us. That did seem to bother you in the end. I write about that now. The cruelty of declining something good just because someone else showed you. I write about spring break when we had sex for the first time. And your goofy laugh when it's all dark and I can only imagine how the tips of your mouth must curl and your chin is pushed in a little. I write about vibrators in space and spaces that vibrates with your presence long after you've moved out just to pass time. I write about kissing scars like the ones you've left on me; what a shitty poet I've become. Would I somehow be any more of a human if someone read this like it made sense?

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