Rising out of night like a bad dream.

She introduced me to her boyfriend twice.

Why? I wanted to ask. Why would you do that?

Things aren’t clear. On a cool night, in a new jacket on 6th Avenue. Disguised in a hazy state of mind. Do I want to drink?

No. I want to feel the loneliness evaporate like cold water on hot concrete. I want to feel absolutely nothing.

I feel like I am getting close now.

On the M Train, the floors reeking of piss and Lysol.

Carroll, this is my boyfriend, Adrian.

Shake hands. Smile. Play nice with the other boys.

The nights are getting thinner. The walls of my mind are getting thinner. The spaces between episodes of bitterness are getting thinner.

Friends call and tell me I am a priority. But those claims are getting thinner.

If there’s a God, why do people keep getting away with horrible shit? I suppose every man has his level of tolerance. Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Everyone’s lost in their phones on the train.

The A and C come and go, and I kill time under West 4th Street.

Somewhere in Midtown, there’s an Italian sports car sitting in a parking garage, and I wonder what a person had to do to make that kind of money.

Ignoring the desire to pair off and settle in for the duration. Still smoking and drinking and eating whatever I please. Long nights and early mornings. Weighing the years. Now my bank account fills up and I wonder what is in the mirror. This is getting on in life. This is being successful. Feel nothing, keep going, farther and farther.

Rising out of night.

Nothing good in the hood, so that’s where I live, hoping to find another person like me.

It doesn’t matter. We’re all astronauts on a rock spinning through space. Just do your job and minimize the collateral. Live like a monk. Keep trying to get back to zero.

Keep on eating. Like you need encouragement. You fat fuck. Wake up and drink Caffeine so you can keep pushing through. Get thin so nothing changes. Everything is getting thinner anyway.

Carroll, did you meet my boyfriend, Adrian?

Rising out of night like a gasp for air. Choking on nothing. Nothing at all.

After 12 hours of this day, I could fold up into thin air. I could become a dirty napkin trampled beneath city feet. Or gum bonding with the floor of a subway car.

Somewhere in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens, are houses and buildings I used to live in. Other people live there now, giving new natures to old haunts.

Rising out of night like an epitaph.

Carved deep into stone.

Nothing changing, going on forever.

From now until the end of consciousness.