All night I streched my arms across him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing with all my skin and bone ''Please keep him safe. Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed to pieces.'' Makes a cathedral, him pressing against me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.
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You're trying not to tell him you love him, and you're trying to choke down the feeling, and you're trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you've discovered something you don't even have a name for.
A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife-please. So you do. You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her and she leaves you and you're desolate. You're on your back in your undershirt, a broken man on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains on the ceiling. And you can hear the man in the apartment above you taking off his shoes. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you're looking up, you're waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together but here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn't make sense. And then the second boot falls. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth. A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife-please. But you take him instead. You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich, and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you and he keeps kicking you. You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don't work. Boots continue to fall to the floor in the apartment above you. You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened. Your co-workers ask if everything's okay and you tell them you're just tired. And you're trying to smile. And they're trying to smile. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Make it a double. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Walk a mile in my shoes. A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying: I only wanted something simple, something generic... But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out. A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river but then he's still left with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away but then he's still left with his hands.
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how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple to slice into pieces. Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means we're inconsolable. Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we'll never get used to it.
He had green eyes, so I wanted to sleep with him. Green eyes flecked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool. You could drown in those eyes, I said. The fact of his pulse, the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire, not to disturb the air around him. Everyone could see the way his muscles worked, the way we look like animals, his skin barely keeping him inside. I wanted to take him home, and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his like a crash test car. I wanted to be wanted, and he was very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving. You could drown in those eyes, I said, so it's summer, so it's suicide, so we're helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
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History repeats itself. Someone says this. History throws its shadow over beginning, over the desktop, over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters. history is the little man in a brown suit trying to define a room he is outside of, I know history. There are many names in history... but none of them are ours.
Wanna make a monster? Take the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable - your weaknesses, bad thoughts, vanities, and hungers - and pretend they're across the room. It's too ugly to be human. It's too ugly to be you. Children are afraid of the dark because they have nothing real to work with. Adults are afraid of themselves.
You're in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won't tell you that he loves you, but he loves you. And you feel like you've done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt, and you're tired. You're in a car with a beautiful boy, and you're trying not to tell him that you love him, and you're trying to choke down the feeling, and you're trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you've discovered something you didn't even have a name for.
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Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you're falling to the floor crying thinking, 'I am falling to the floor crying, ' but there's an element of the ridiculous to it - you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you're on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn't paint it very well.
Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn't. Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don't, they'll die. Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.
I'm saying your name in the grocery store, I'm saying your name on the bridge at dawn. Your name like an animal covered with frost, your name like a music that's been transposed, a suit of fur, a coat of mud, a kick in the pants, a lungful of glass, the sails in wind and the slap of waves on the hull...
For a while I thought I was the dragon. I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was the princess, cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle, young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with confidence but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess, while I'm out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire, and getting stabbed to death. Okay, so I'm the dragon. Big deal. You still get to be the hero. You get magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights!
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Hello, darling. Sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together to make a creature that will do what I say or love me back.
You are playing cards with three Jeffs. One is your father, one is your brother, and the other is your current boyfriend. All of them have seen you naked and heard you talking in your sleep. Your boyfriend Jeff gets up to answer the phone. To them he is a mirror, but to you he is a room.
Knot the tie and go to work, unknot the tie and go to sleep. I sleep. I dream. I wake. I sing. I get out the hammer and start knocking in the wooden pegs that affix the meaning to the landscape, the inner life to the body, the names to the things. I float too much to wander, like you, in the real world. I envy it but that's the dealio""you're a train and I'm a trainstation and when I try to guess your trajectory I end up telling my own story.
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Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It's two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I'd know it was something true. Now I'm trying to dig deeper. I didn't want to write these pages until there were no hard feelings, no sharp ones. I do not have that luxury. I am sad and angry and I want everyone to be alive again. I want more landmarks, less landmines. I want to be grateful but I'm having a hard time with it.
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This is my favorite part. It starts and ends here. The pebbles shine, the plan worked, Hansel Triumphant. Lesson number one: be sneaky and have a plan. But the stupid boy goes back, makes the rest of the story postscript and aftermath. He shouldn't have gone back. And this is the second lesson I took from the story: when someone is trying to ditch you, kill you, never go back.
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I never liked that ending either. More love streaming out the wrong way, and I don't want to be the kind that says the wrong way. But it doesn't work, these erasures, this constant refolding of the pleats. There were some nice parts, sure, all lemondrop and mellonball, laughing in silk pajamas and the grain of sugar on the toast, love love or whatever, take a number. I'm sorry it's such a lousy story.
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The narrator blames the birds. And you want to blame the birds as well. I blamed the birds for a long time. But in this story everyone is hungry, even the birds. And at this point in the story so many things have gone wrong, so many bad decisions made, that it's a wonder anyone would want to continue reading.