20 something

year long one night stand

I needed

strawberries in the winter

prisms of sun on the mattress

after you left

me in your space hungover

craving greens

blinds dirty and broken

you hung

a tapestry instead

hard wind riding down Division

hard wind turning left

we used to ball our fists

inside our gloves, remember?

but none survived

none survived

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The Bus Stop, flash fiction

Ukrainian Village AugustThe worst is when the air is so light you cannot feel it around you. Nothing is breathing, and you get disoriented and try not to think of death. This happens to me as soon as I step out on the sidewalk. The neighborhood is quiet and fading today even though it is the ripe, middle part of summer when the greenery intrudes upon everything. I walk down the street alongside the promise of rain.

My plan is to go to a café and look for a job, the kind of job I told my sister I already had. Maybe a receptionist or an assistant of some sort. I don’t really know, but I have a hazy outline of what it will be, and that’s what I described to her when she came to visit yesterday. I told her about meetings and offices and working lunches so she would tell the family I am fine. I told her so everyone would know I am fine.

When I am a block from the bus stop I see it pull away. I watch this happen with no reaction, as if there’s a curtain drawn in my mind and I’m shielded from the reality of the world outside. I do not mind waiting, though, because I am in no rush. I have nowhere to be, and the red brick warehouse across the street from the bus stop is symmetrical and nice to look at. From this angle it appears to have no depth and is just a cut-out prop for paper dolls. I am pretty content with this view of the warehouse and of the cars going by, all peopled by little blurs of humanity. I think I just might be alright for a while until a moment later a girl rides by on a purple bike and I realize again how colorless my hair is.

A man joins me at the bus stop, and I immediately get the impression he is not waiting for the bus. Perhaps it is the duffle bag or the gallon of orange Kool-Aid he has with him. We stand there in silence for some time as a line of semi-trucks and work vans speeds past us on the double-lane road. Most people would have put on headphones, but I lost mine a few weeks ago. Besides, the weight of the sky makes up for the quiet. Will the rain start soon? I wonder if the man with the duffel bag is thinking the same thing. I wonder if anyone is thinking the same thing. When the bus finally comes I get on, but the man with the duffel bag stays behind. Perhaps he has not figured anything out about the rain yet.

On the bus I sit next to the window, towards the back, where I have a good view of the interior should I choose to look at it. A woman with a pink umbrella sits with her legs crossed, looking straight ahead. She is dressed too nicely for this bus and for this life, and I cannot bear the sadness of it so I opt instead to look out the window where a car is on fire amidst the weeds and the black top. The rain has just barely started.

Things I Am Good At That I Can’t Make A Career Out Of

espresso in paris

1. Leaving the house in exactly the number of minutes it takes me to catch the train

2. Drinking wine

3. Drinking tea

4. Drinking coffee

5. I guess just drinking

6. Avoiding people I don’t like

7. Avoiding people I do like

8. Eating with chopsticks

9. Mornings

10. My birthday

11. The physical part of relationships

12. Being the only non-brown person in an Indian restaurant

13. Walking forever down rural roads

14. Saying F. Scott Fitzgerald is relevant and meaning it

15. Saying “I really like you, too” and not meaning it

16. Thinking I am invincible on my bike

17. Cleaning my kitchen

18. Not answering my phone

19. Cutting my own hair

20. Wanting things

21. Taking things

22. General mischief

23. Change

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