Everything is painful repetition right now. I am smoking cigarette after cigarette, watching films I’ve seen countless times before (Choose life, choose a job, choose the painful stench of a full ashtray, choose not to leave the apartment today, choose to sit and soak in your misery until you swell). I did leave once today, to buy groceries for my dinner. It was good, it was indulgent, it was not paired with wine and did not contain foie gras. I spent most of the day trying to sleep and wake up at the same time, the only question now is whether to swallow some speed or a sleeping pill. Either way I will be floating in this restless, anxious hell hole. Think of you, obsessing about you.

When it starts, I lying chest down on the mattress, draped over a pillow, pretending it’s your torso. I tap my fingers rhythmically against the bed, a flawless imitation of your heartbeat shakes through the pillow. Your image consumes me, and slowly I begin to lose it, to panic, to visualize.

You taking a hit, slowly,

You in a car accident

You pressing your lips against hers

You saying we need to talk

It’s then that I decide I hate you, that I decide to say it first,

“I can’t do this.”

All I’m thinking is I KNOW SHE WILL SEDUCE YOU

The image is playing, set to loop endlessly, edited to Hollywood perfection.

You sliding your hand down her spine, letting it linger at the small of her back before your fingers press into her flesh. The skin, flawlessly lit, glowing, glistening with sweat. And you, as always, flawless.

The image is cracking into my vision as we walk up and down Moody street, searching for a place to eat. It’s a choice we both load of on the other, so I list options, pointing as we pass each restaurant, and you say shit like

“Sure, whatever you want to do.”

I stare up at your chin, at three days worth of scruff.

All I can see is her bent over, doggy style, the imagined camera low to the ground, a close-up of her face. Her Hollywood-perfect hair moving forward with each gasp. I watch her do thing I wouldn’t do, moving her legs in ways I can’t.

“Come on, just make a decision.”

“Really, I don’t have an opinion. I swear.”

You say with your eyebrows jumping, your hands raised with the palms out. Shoulders shrugged, like I’m poised to attack you.

And in the picture, she moans.

“Do you want to just do what we always do?”

“Yeah, sure, let’s do that.”

And your finger press into her hips, and your breathing goes from heavy to full on panting.

That’s when I decide I hate you.

And with a grunt, I look away. I stare at the sidewalk, tracing your outline in the specks of mica in the cement. Your Athenian form carved in grey, with black spots where gum has spent years collecting dirt. With smears of god-knows-what carving out your abdomen and your hip bones. Stains and cigarette filters curve around your shoulders.

“Is something wrong? You went away.”

I snap out of it to look back at you, your neck bent down to my height. You look into my eyes and give a fake smile, lips closed. I return the gesture, and give a meepish

“No, I’m fine, just thinking.”

“What about?” you say in a cooing voice, as if you’re speaking to a child

“Um, nothing you would find interesting.”

I watch you shudder and melt into a screaming orgasm.

And I smile, lips closed, removing my hand from my pocket to hold yours. And you pretend to fall for it.

And, invariably, you say,

“I love you.”

And we keep walking.


I was staring at the little jars. The old prescriptions, The new ones.
The Stacks of paper bags from the pharmacy.
The hidden scraps of flimsy cardboard. The evidence.
Little red pain killers
Pink sex pills
Yellow Anti-Depressants
Blue Anti-Depressants
White Anti-Convulsion
Off-White Anti-Anxiety
Round White Sleeping Pills
Little Red Sleeping Pills
Big Blue Sleeping Pills
Someone Else’s Sleeping Pills
White Placebos
Yellow Speed
Extended Release Inhalers
Emergency Inhalers
Take this and call me in 10 days
Take this and schedule a follow-up
Take this and don’t drive a car
Take this and you’ll feel better
Take this and you’ll forget your own name
Take this and you will hate everyone
Take this and you will fall into a drooling coma
Take this and you will question whether you love him
Take this and you will wonder how you ever loved anyone
Take enough of these and you will buy a plane ticket to Paris
Take two of these to sleep
Take one of these to wake up
Take one of these to lose weight
Take one extra
Take this to calm the nausea
Take two of these to stay awake
Lose count of how many of these you took trying to sleep
Keep 10 of these in a jar just in case you feel like killing yourself
Take one of these for the hell of it
Take these the morning after. Hide all evidence.
Take these.