I’ll send you something steamy later, I tell her.  

Then we go a few days without talking.  

That’s just the way it is.  The impetus to connect comes and goes, like the tides or phases of the moon.  Happy memories will pull me closer, and the sadder ones will push me away.  

In the summer heat, it oozes out my pores and runs down my face.  

I count the days.  

“What are you doing tonight?” A coworker asks.  

Cleaning my apartment.  

“You’ve been saying that for a while.”

But it’s a big apartment.  And there’s a lot to clean.  

There’s a lot to drag to the curb.  There’s a lot to throw away.  

You have new model?


Last time I look at your site, you have African American model.

Black.  No, she’s an old model.  I’ve known her for years.  

In my head, I wonder how Erykah is doing.  I take the C going home, just on the off chance I might run into her.  But nope.  


There’s a day I don’t remember as a kid.  Or, more accurately, there’s a block or time that occurred on that day that I don’t remember.  

But without a concrete memory everything becomes sheer speculation.  

Sitting on the G Train that I haven’t taken in six years.  Six years since I was down on Carroll Street, or up at Bergen.  

But I remember things there.  Waiting for a train with Erykah and Chike.  

At the end of the longest day of the month, I remember it.  With the shake and rattle of the subway cars. The girl across the aisle, her chest heaving.  

I’m too stupid or basic or rotten to be decent.  My head is a ticker tape of every perverted, animalistic thought.  

I glance away from her tits and up at the ceiling.  I think about what I want. I catch my reflection in the warped wall of the subway car and I think about how I look.  

And I feel like this twisted and stretched monster, bent over and around this concept of just ruining the things around me.  And I know that’s inside me, so the last good part of me is trying to kill me, too.  

And I just think about smoking my brains away, doing every dangerous thing and screwing my brains out, and when there’s nothing left, just jump into the epilogue.  

Old like the mountains and rivers.  

I tried to think of other things to say, but the truth ends there.


It’s the bits and pieces that make sense.  

It’s all the shit and filth that gets left on the cutting floor.  

Not the adding up, but the gradual, inexorable, inescapable and unstymied taking away.

What remains will mark you for everyone else.  It’s the mirror reflections at your feet that you keep for yourself.  

Kind of sinking, kind of swimming.  

You’re driftwood swallowed up in the tide, going out to the periphery, forever slipping away. 



Bits and pieces make it whole again.  

Things stolen and reconditioned.  A library of plundered moments. Copies that have outlived their originals.  

And the feeling that it’s all so fake, and that’s what makes it real.  

Gonna smile real big.  And close my eyes.