April 2009


I feel us like a bomb under heavy water, lonely riders all only occasionally knowing that we are not lonely, not alone, not even riding but standing. In opposition, in your midst, in solidarity and enraged. We are, we do, we must endure and we endure and we do endure, all for the hope of a change, a movement barely perceptible if you are not awake at night, all night, waiting for news of a shift, this shift, any shift away from the universal no, the almighty ostritching that is everyone saying no to knowing, saying no to doing anything about what we would have no choice but to know if only we would open our eyes. I feel us like an engine with only the faintest memories of combustion– I feel us waiting to explode and desperately trying to remember how. I feel us and I wonder if I have gone insane, if it is going insane that would make a person know that they are not alone out here, that they are not the only one waiting for a yes, waiting for a sign, waiting for a voice, waiting to be a voice, waiting to stop waiting. If it is going insane that would make wanting something so badly while wanting it’s exact opposite at the same time seem like not going insane.  

 

When I run into a coworker in the bathroom, and we’re both washing our hands, I won’t say anything if they don’t. But when they do, and we’re talking about whatever the weather is doing or how glad/angry/sad we are that it is whatever day of the week that it is, what I really want to tell them is something about themselves, something probably no one has ever told them because no one feels free to be honest but for christ’s sake, if you can’t be honest in the bathroom with your hands dripping wet while you’re awkwardly reaching for a paper towel, when can you? 

I would have told her that she desperately needs to have some fun before it’s too late, and that we never know when it will be too late and it’s possible that it will be too late by the time our hands dried, and that if she wanted I would take her with me. Somewhere. 

 

 Everyone should always be nice to everyone

like me 

that’s what I do 

I’m nice to everyone always forever 

the world is nice 
         liar 
 

that isn’t a nice thing to say, but I’m too nice to get upset about it  

 

         LIES 

 

        ALL LIES 

That isn’t nice. 

 Don’t worry, I’ll still be nice to you. 

Maybe my being nice will inspire you to be nice 

 and then the world will be nice 

 wouldn’t that be nice? 

             fuck you. 

I don’t know if that would be nice or not. 

 would it? 

 I’d do it if it was nice. I like things that are nice, and I like doing things that strike m as nice 

 

            you massive flirt. 

           YOU CAN’T WIN ME OVER THAT EASILY 
 I’m not certain if that’s nice, but I like things that are nice, so I choose to think that that was a nice thing to say. 

            shut up. 

Thank you for being nice and saying nice things, but I don’t think it’s very nice when you say shut up. 

Just to be nice, I’ll pretend you didn’t say it.

             Die. 
 I think if more people were nice to you all the time, you would be nice, too. 

It feels nice to be nice. 

             DIE 

 I don’t think that that would be nice. If I died, there would be less niceness in the world. 

 It isn’t nice to reduce the amount of niceness. 

 I’m sorry, because to be nice, I’d like to b able to honor your request. 

 You can see what a position you’ve put me in. 

 And it isn’t nice to put me in such a position. 

 All I want is to be nice to everyone ever all the time. 

              but I want you to die. if you don’t die, that’s not nice to me 

 That is the conundrum.  Conundrum is a nice word, by the way. 

 But I have to consider the greater nice, you know. 

 I really am very sorry.  

 Is there anything else I can do to be nice to you? 

              DAMN IT YOU NEARLY SELF-DESTRUCTED I WAS SO FUCKING CLOSE 

              you could die. 

 The greater nice won’t allow that.  

It isn’t nice of you to put me in this position, but I really believe that you are a nice person and that it causes you pain to do something that isn’t nice, so to be nice, I absolve you. 

              you’re not nice. 

Oh, how awful to say. But to be nice, I forgive you. 

             That’s not nice 

             I don’t want to be forgiven 

             YOU HAVE OFFENDED ME 

 I am so, so sorry. 

 It’s not nice to offend people. 

             ugh, sorry 

My heart hurts at the idea. 

             that’s even less nice 

             I hate sorry 

 I ache, I burn. I do not feel nice. 

 But in the interest of niceness, I will endure. 

             YOU SAID YOU WERE NICE 

 I will be nice. 

            I feel let down 

 I am nice. 

            no you’re not 

            liar 

How can you say that? How could I possibly lie? 

 Lying isn’t nice. 
 

             absolve this 

             (grabs crotch) 

Did that feel nice? 

 Things that feel nice are nice. 

 

             NICE IS A BISCUIT 

Would you like a biscuit? 

             shut up. 

 I just want to be nice with you. 

 Let’s be nice together.  

             Go stick your head in a toilet. 

 Let’s go on a nice rampage, and be nice in convenience stores, banks, bars. 

 let’s be nice to everyone we see, and make everyone feel nice all the time 

              You’re like a robot with crossed wires 

we could be nice, and then they would see how nice we were, and they would be nice to  

and it would be like no one had ever not been nice 

 in the entire history of ever 

 wouldn’t that be nice? 

 

 

                well you’re not nice 

                it’s been proven 

Proof isn’t nice. 

                 and yet you proved it yourself 

 

From this moment forward, I will never acknowledge anything that isn’t nice.
 The only things in this nice world are nice 

 and anything that isn’t nice cannnot be contemplate

                 so you can’t acknowledge yourself? 

 I am nice. 

 You are nice. 

 Flowers are nice. 

 Sex is nice.
Rainbows are nice.
Puppies are nice.
Stained glass lying broken on the ground in the sun is nice.
Kissing is nice.
Almost kissing but not kissing but knowing that you could have and probably will someday is nice.
Video games are nice.
Movies with zombies in them are nice.
Shoes are nice.
Clean sheets are nice.
rain is nice.
                 I AM OFFENDED 
Jokes that shouldn’t be funny and even maybe a little cruel but actually they are funny anyway are nice.

 

bookstores are nice.
scraps of paper found thirty years later are nice.

cartwheels are nice. 

I am nice. 
The world is nice.
How nice. 

 

                  you offend me. 

That’s nice. 

 It exists, so it must be nice. 

                  guess what else exists 

 Niceness? 

                     ‘unpleasant’ 

                     which is pretty much the opposite of nice 

 That is a nice sounding word. 
 

                    I find you unpleasant 

                    and tedious
                    and you offend me.
That had a nice rhythm to it.
It was nice to hear. 
 

                I hope you trip down some stairs and break your spine so that your arse bends back over to your face 
                and you spent six hours farting into your own mouth until you finally die 

That’s a nice mental image. It was nice to picture and it made me laugh. 
Thank you for being nice enough to make me laugh. It was nice. 
                 LAUGH INTO YOUR ARSE.
That might be nice.
I’ll try it sometime and let you know if it was nice.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know? 

                     Seeing a therapist might be nice. Try that. 

 

 

Oh no, that’s alright. They’re nice, but that means that I don’t have to take the time to help them be nice. 

I might though. If I ever found one who needed more nice in their life.

It would be nice to be nice to them.

and help them learn how to be nice. 

 

                         Some things are not nice. 

 

 

                         BY DEFINITION 
Definitions are nice. 
I like them, they make it easier to know how nice things are.
And help you describe all the nice things that there are. 
                         What about not nice? Is that nice?

It is nice. It has a nice sound to it, and feels good when you roll it in your mouth with your tongue. 
Tongues are nice. 
                             OBVIOUSLY, your reasoning is flawed.
Oh, flaws are so very nice. 
They make things that are nice also interesting and things that are interesting are terribly nice.
 
                            perhaps you’ll slip in a public bathroom, hit your head on a toilet cistern and 
                             then drown in a bowl of someone else’s piss 
 

It would be a nice story for people to tell.
It would make them laugh in a nervous and furtive way
while they looked around to see if anyone else was laughing
and when they found someone who was and met their eyes
they wouldn’t feel alone anymore
and it would be nice.
 

                          Today has been the shortest day ever.
                           It sucks.

Short days are nice.
They make you appreciate how nice the long days are.
They’re both so nice the way they work together.
Isn’t it nice when things are nice in different ways?

                         go fuck yourself up the cunt with an electric whisk wrapped in barbed wire 

 

 That might be nice. 
Someone could be looking for just that sort of picture.
I could take a picture of doing that sort of nice thing and post it on the nice internet 

 and then the person who wanted it would find it and feel nice 

 and I would feel nice for having been nice to someone 

 it would be so nice. 
                         LEAVE.
                         LEAVE AND DON’T EVER COME BACK.
                         LEAVE.
 

Okay, it’s been awfully nice talking with you.  

You’re nice, and the world is a nicer place because of how nice you are in it. 

 Have a nice evening.  

 

I never want to see you again. The first time was only not the worst time because of it’s promise to be the last.

I don’t need to meet you to know you. In my head, we’ve spent at least a dozen years inside one another, filled to the forever fucked brim with every little misery we could offer up together. Our minor happiness was only a brief fantasy, a shared dream that inspired a devotion that bordered on cultlike- we were never what we wanted so desperately to believe in. We were never capable of anything even similar. I wish I knew the way to make you see that we’ll rot in precisely the same pattern, alone or tied to one another, lockstepped and ever as lonely as we are at this moment. I CANNOT CONSOLE YOU, I cannot offer absolution in my skin or the seeming sinew of my limbs. I have nothing to offer you, and it could never have been otherwise.

What we had didn’t mean absolutely nothing, but we ourselves did. We needed so badly to believe in the possibilities offered up by what our child-selves didn’t know enough to keep. But, it seems to me that we will never be the right people at the right time. I know it seems insane that I’ve decided this without your physical presence ever sharing space with mine, but it’s a singular aspect of my borderline psychosis, this decisiveness.

And above all else, be decisive. Make your decisions like a decapitation. Cut off the head in one swift, hard motion, or you’ll never sever the stem. This, I’ve learned in all of your absence.

Absence itself is a physical presence. It is a thing to behold, but never to be held. It is also, curiously, my fate never to be held again, I fear.

This time, right now, is the best we could possibly have. I can’t pick up the phone and call you, I can’t make a solid date, with a time and a place and an assigned activity, because if I did, I’d be that one step closer to meeting the reality of what we are or will be, and I don’t think I’ll like you as much then as I do now. You will never be as perfect as you are now, with phone conversations and the ideas of you in my head, the ideas of us in my head.

 

Right now, today, you know that I think you are interesting, interesting enough to talk to at least and that’s something,  and that I find you not unpleasant to look at. I know that you must not find me revolting, as you seemed in no great rush to stop talking to me, and, already knowing what I think of you, you agreed that drinking coffee in the same place at the same time was, in fact, a better idea than not doing so. But we know so little past that, and I can build us better on that nothing foundation better than we will be built on our something. 

 

I’ve heard that people often make the mistake of falling in love with a person’s potential, what they could be but probably never will because no one is ever quite as good as we think they could be. That’s true, I don’t imagine people are just making that up to have something they can hold responsible for their inability to choose a good mate, although that’s plausible too, actually. We all want an explanation for our failures, and an explanation that makes us look hopeful and trusting as opposed to crazy and delusional is obviously preferable.

 

This is not that. I am not falling in love with your potential, as I don’t even know you well enough to know what you might be capable of if you truly exerted yourself. Rather, I am falling in love with our potential. I am falling in love with the idea of us in a café, passionately discussing whatever it is we might feel passionate about that day, with us on a beach walking in the rain, with us making people uneasy in the most wonderful ways, with the way you’d push back your hair and I’d smile because it gave me an excuse to look at your hands, your perfect hands, with the way you’d use the hands to hold mine in public, as if to tell me and everyone else that I was with you and not anyone else. These are the ways I picture us, and if and when we do go to get that coffee, it’s not even remotely likely that we’ll live up to that. I won’t fall in love with you, you won’t think I’m beautiful in the morning with no make up on, and we’ll quickly enough become an obscure memory I’m able to dredge up from time to time.  We’ll be forgettable sex and a wasted week.

And even if, even if I do fall in love with you and you do fall in love with me and we don’t sink into our respective anonymous holes in each other’s minds, it won’t be the way I see it in my head. You won’t bring me flowers and I’ll find your hair in your eyes annoying instead of endearing and the holding of hands in public will be just one more thing we can have a petty disagreement about, and in the middle of all of that there will be beautiful things between us, but they won’t ever be as unmarred as they are where I’m standing right now. 

I can’t remember the weather the night we met. I want to say it was cold, but how would I know? Drunk is the best jacket, after all, and I was, as is so often the case, either drunk or well on my way. I can’t remember the weather, but I remember that I was on the verge of being rude. It seems sometimes that I am always either on the verge of being rude, or being rude. 

 

Maybe it was the whiskey, the weather I don’t recall, the strange city we stood in, or the quick glimpse I caught of the lines around your eyes. Whatever changed my mind, it changed it fast, and I decided without deciding, without knowing that a decision had been made, to be charming instead. Or some version of it. 

 

We talked. What we talked about is another of the many things I don’t and won’t recall throughout however long we know one another. It could have been important, it probably was. But if it was, it isn’t, and if it wasn’t, it still isn’t. It hasn’t become any part of whatever story we’re writing here, and it’s too late now. I know you just a little still, but that little tells me that you don’t recall either. 
You know what I was wearing, and you know what I was doing when you first saw me, but you don’t know what I said to you. You were watching my lips, but you weren’t reading them. Then, when your lips were on mine, a circumstance I may have caused, I wasn’t speaking anymore, and the words I wasn’t saying didn’t matter any more than the words that I was. 

 

I was full of whiskey you didn’t buy me, and joy you didn’t bring me, and something told me I would know you. 

 

And so I do, after a fashion. 

 

It kills me, as it always will, that you think you know me. That you think you can read me, and predict me. That you believe you have figured me out, and that you are never going to be right, because no matter how well I get to know you, I’ve already figured out that you will never get to know me. I’m not really certain why that’s the truth, but it is. I can’t figure out if it’s a lack of interest on your part, a lack of willingness on mine, some blend of both, or something more ethereal, something I can’t put a finger, my lips, or a name to. 

 

You told me not to fall in love with you, and it couldn’t have been less necessary. You are stunning, all wide shoulders, dimples, that smile and the eyes that make the smile never die. You are witty and sly, elusive and in the moments that you do exist, you make the world shrink and expand in time to some music only we can hear. But you are not a man I will fall in love with. It wasn’t likely, but when you assumed that I might, you killed the possibility in it’s sleep. It didn’t toss or turn, it simply died with a quiet sigh, and it was for the best. 

 

I want our now to be, and I want our now to be better than we think it is. I want our now to be adventures and excitements, I want the one thing I will not have. I do not want you to be my forever, I do not want you to fall in love with me and I do not want to go back and lazarus my being able to fall in love with you back into existence. I want, instead, for at least a moment during which you realize what I am. What I am capable of. I want you to look at me and know me. It is more my fault than yours that that is impossible, I am always, almost accidentally, telling tiny lies even when I am not speaking. I confuse myself, and I hide what is best about me. It is always this way, but given the limited nature of time, there is no time for you to find out what I am like when it ends. You will most likely never find out what happens when something is broken inside you, what happens when the sunlight hits and I feel we need to enjoy the world more than anyone else. 

 

Despite all this, I see something ahead, if not far ahead. I see something that won’t be unforgettable, but won’t be forgotten, either. 

 

 

 

I’m still looking forward to now.