sidebrow

dear jack,

dear jack,


you’re so full of shit. best we get that out of the way earely. the stereo is on and as bob said “they got so much things to say right now”. and you and you and yuou.


saturday night jack, it was warm until said she come in. “inner realm”. she actually said that. saturday night jack, I like that. you’re “saturday night jack” now you fucker.


said I was lucky to be there while she removed her ugly face.

“when was the last time you kissed on someone”

“when I was thirteen”

“no really”

thirteen was a black-out jack. the color on me changing. blush. I wouldn’t mind if a girl wanted to be a guy. wouldn’t mind it all being on my shoulders. wouldn’t mind driving all night. wouldn’t mind if it was only whatever it was she wanted. as long I get to darken my shade.

“were not going to start asking questions like that are we”

“maybe not”


you may think I was being funny but she had a hideous face. it was like someone left some clay in the sun too long and it cracked. years of cocaine and bennies and cooking up those little spponoons. little sppooonnnsss.

so it wasn’t a surprise when she took off all six feet of herself. all sex fett of her. me all naked myself. wait, let me go back.


me through you jack on the way to her house I stoppped thinking, stopped receiving if you will because I had decided I would. I imagined her putting her hand next to my skin just to feel my heat. but that was the qustion. shade.

“let’s meet for coffee”

“why don’t I just come over your place”

and she was easy for that. me thinking I’d drive all night just to be late. hten I was there. soon as I’m in the door,

“let’s go out somewhere”

“do we have to”

“are you ashamed to be seen with me”

“no, I just thought it might be interesting to see what’s in the other room” and I’m already so tired of the weight of you. the wait of you. the stare me down. avoiding myself for days at a time, but not for any of the good reasons. just trying to get through the day without losing my shit. and then I thought of the girl in the red dress from the night before. because you start thinking of people sometimes just to stop. you think of them and then you know and they they appear in front of you with their boyfriends and they and him, god, well he was so nice jack. my btetter nature then. my happiness spread around the room. violins. singers drowned in the swell.


me all naked myself. feigning some interest and then turning out the light. thinking about the night before and that I finally met a girl named maggie. maggie a friend of the girl in the red dress. so I thought of them both. al;ll this distraction jack to say that I used her. she had an ugly face and a beautiful body. fuck the body to get past the face. cancel me from the unadvantagetakers.


so after we finished the phone rings in that place where you wake. or she wakes with an idea in her head that was in my head or on page 24 in a book I was reading thatt day. either way, we wake not knowing where we are. I’m a middle of the nigh t man but yuou know that. I was young for a minute or two. like I could write on the air. or tell it in some ear. but it didn’t last long. we were figuring it out. we were done and the condom was in the trash. we were starting to tell lies.

“are you sure”

“it was great”

“just that”

“it’s better than doing it for myself”

“that what you’ve been doing”

“for about eight months”

then her father on the answering machine aand the piano off somewhere in the left side of my head. my hand next to her ugly cheek while she listened. blood rising. the window cracked in her bedroom. the front door unlocked. still in her. dogs barking. all the good people. so many of them. something seeps in then. as if maybe the two of you could be two people who long to be awkward.

“I thought it was this guy”

“whichy guy”

“this guy who called me at work one day”

“for what”

“a survery, but he had this cool accent, brithish, and when he was done he siad could he do antying for me and I said you can tell me your name and pretty soon he’s talking to me. he’s saying things I’d never thought of”


me in bed jack thinking our time has passed so quickkly.


“so what happened”

“I gave him my home number and he starts calling. and every night it go hotter if that’s possible. I’d take out my magic wand and he’d talk and it just got better and betterh”

“magic wand”

“it’s in a drawer there next to the bed”

“wherewas he calling from”

“modesto”

“whatwas his name”

“that was part of the rules, no names. I don’t even have his number, he always called. and then one night he didn’t. two months go by and he didn’t call.”


that small truck of mine jack. you waking me up every morning on the trip down east. heads swimming a sun rize over the atlantic. west then to find our own big easy. that squid in the aquarium impenetrable. I kept starring until your reflection in the glass felt like a relieft. you can get get under the water of yourself. do an impression of release.

“this is my friend jack, he’s the mayor of new orleans”.

three days rideing that italian trolley girl out to tulane. you and you and yuou and her into each others eyes like there was something to see. I was derelict with her first saturday night, I’ll bett you don’t even remember that.


how long can someone be not yours, knot touched and nothing more before she stays that way.


“what time is she coming home”

“she’s probably home now. I need to use your shower”

“god, my showers so dirty, I’ll have to clean it”

“don’t, I just need to stopp smelling like what we just did”


I hated you the most in arizona jack. you didn’t know that. two days direct to california through the nihgt and the night to wash off new orleans. it’s like seeing something through a film. an ugly girl in clean sheets.


I need to take some time off now to resist myelf. back in a half hour. while I’m gone you can pretend you see everything coming. think about the fact that girls always seem to kiss girls before I meet them. never after. or that car that cut me off in west texas when you were sleeping.


yeah, I’m back and I’m thinking where do I find it. in women I guess. at the same time remembering page 24. I can’t get over certain ideas once I read them. something about the way we pass through. as if we were singular. it never occurred to me that way before. how easily we’re passing through all this darkness just out of our sight. and her in that red dress smiling like it was her birthday.


I locked the door and ran the bath at her house. she was right, the bathtub needed cleaning. I traced designs in the bath water with my finger. almost two in the morning maybe. the schedule of taking pills. open up, swallow. drop one on the floor for the sound. flick one at the wall. let one slip into the bathwater with you. another for the open window. give one to a homeless man. take extra for a wide clearing. money changing hands. no one wants to part with the let go they allow. goingpast movingpast, days move by like hours. join the ranks. poppers. we who need some skin in our lives.


I just felt some static when I touched the back of my neck.

IU miss you jack,

grady