Dear Brad,

Today, I might hate all the people you’ve ever loved.  I just might. I just might.

I might be thinking of choking on that hate so hard it hurts to swallow my way past.  Hurts once I do, like a fire in my stomach that sets my teeth on the edge of themselves, bared like an animal.  

I fucking.  Hate them. Brad.

Brad, I burned your house down.  Broadwood is in cinders. If you know me, if you know that already, if you knew me ever, if you don’t know me by now.  The pile of boards and planks that once held your house has been decimated to a smoulder. I hated it. Brad, I hated it.  Brad, please help me. I’m going to die.

Are you there Brad?  It’s me, Livid. Or someone close, or when I feel like a girl, or I don’t fucking care.  I fucked up. I fucked up bad. I’m going to die. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes or forgetting your name or putting me somewhere dark against the roof of your mouth, going, “LLLLLLIVID.”  Don’t. Don’t do that. I want to live. I don’t want to fucking die. I burned your house down. I’m sorry, okay?

Just your house, and not you, Brad.  Just your house, and everything I owned inside it.  It felt good, because being feels good and I don’t care about things like keeping letters like Jack does.  I’m in love with you, so I keep burning us down because I don’t know how to be in the same room. I don’t give a fuck about the things I’ve given you, Brad.  I don’t. They’re worthless fucking…

My letters are worthless.  Burn them. Burn this one. Do it right now.  I don’t care. My shirt, your shirt. The places we’ve always felt safe...well.  I sleep in a crypt, so what does that tell you? We don’t need it. It’s worthless.  It’s all fucking garbage. You loaned me your scarf and I burned it, too. I’m sorry.  I just don’t care. It doesn’t fucking matter to me.

Because you’re never in them.  In those things I grip and hold close and tell myself are you.  They aren’t you. You’re not there, and it doesn’t tell me shit about dick, so.  All your fucking plaids. Leslie Modern. Edgar Red. Fuck you, Brad Majors. Fuck you.  You’ve never been where I was promised you would hide.

It’s enough to make any knife a friend of mine, a really good one.  

I kept your lipstick.  I don’t know my name, but that.  I don’t want to die, Brad. I wrote it on our mirror.  

It was Jenna’s house and fucking bitch had to make it NICE.  Do I mean her or me? I don’t know. Maybe both. We don’t live in a nice house.  You don’t live in a nice house. I’m not a god damned nice place to live. And Brad?  You sure as fuck aren’t.

We live where we live.  You and me. And it isn’t nice.  It’s the only place we have.

Brad, your house….god, fuck.  Brad. Listen.

You stand outside smoking a cigarette, your shoes even in the dirt.  You know what’s inside somehow, and it’s the feeling of a dream to be had.  Go in or don’t go in. But all my dreams feel like you.

The red porch steps are worn to bare wood.  The handle is loose. Inside is empty, is open, is full of old furniture, has your mom inside fucking the mall Santa.  Maybe. Go in.

It’s blank and quiet, the light the same as a cloudy fitful afternoon not gold where we came from but spare like a dream.  It’s my grandmother’s house. It’s the house you grew up in. It’s still because no one is home. Your eyes are fierce and round like they get.  Your jaw is set hard. You’re in there. You’re always in there.

There’s scratches on the pantry door from an animal.  There’s a clock ticking. The welcome mat doesn’t have words.  The plants are growing in through the kitchen window. The fridge is empty.  The bathroom has our messages. All of them. Just look….look at something fucking twice, Brad.  You’ll see.

You’re the boy I love in dreams.  You’re the eyes through the open mailslot.  You’re the mystery that solves itself in slow revolutions and

Did you hear that?

Dog’s barking.  You must be coming over.

I see you tall, taller than me.  Boy. Every inch a boy, your lipstick stains marking what’s faggot on you and turning it to something animal and wild.  Walking fast in wolf company through low brush, your hair undone from the wind. Maybe the world wants to make you a model.  Maybe they want to comb back the pollen and clean your nails and make you an ad for Brut. You could, you’re so beautiful. But you aren’t.  

You’re a waste of it, Brad.  Every package I could put you in is a waste.  Every beautiful thing doesn’t do you justice because beauty is wasted on us.  Waste it with me. Every beautiful or ugly girl. Who thought to notice you were pretty.  Didn’t love you. How you should be loved. Myself. Included.

I want to look at you and tell you what I know.  Knock on your door even though I know it’s open, and say

Brad.  You aren’t beautiful.  That’s a word they made up to describe perfection in body or in soul.  You are not nor will you ever be beautiful to me. You are devastating.  You’re an animal at dusk. You’re the place where the road runs out, brakes squealing, dust flying in the summer night.  You’re a ghost. Your darkness terrifies the meek. You’re a softly spoken lie. You’re a broken man. You’re an innocent boy.  You’re your father’s son. You have collapsed me, my lungs, in my hopelessness and in my rage and in my inability to speak and in my knowing that I must in some ways possess what you possess.  You’re the letters I tore up. You’re the knife in any hand. You aren’t beautiful. You’re better than any word they’d ever have.

Hey, Brad?  I have better words.

I guess...I don’t want to be that, anymore.  I don’t want to look at those things or know them.  I want to stop. Are we allowed?

Don’t be fucking proud of me.  Don’t look at me like that, don’t think that shit about “Wow, you know maybe she’s really coming around.”  Don’t think I’m right. Don’t. I can’t if you do that shit, you know that. When someone is glad, we can justify.  It’s why you say yeah. Just say yeah.

Brad, I can’t keep thinking about why I’m not beautiful.  About why I don’t love myself. I just need people to look and not look away.  We have that, right?

Look at this.

It was 300 miles in before the car ran out of gas.  The dust choked the smoking engine when you lifted the hood and neither of us had in our pockets what it would take to fix the damn thing.  That’s what we never say about that game. All of the times we don’t have the fucking shit we need. No tumbleweeds, no buzzards or beating sun.  Somewhere that was going dark the way the world looks when you faint. We always had the car Brad, until we didn’t have it anymore. The sunset is a dirty reddish-brown from the way men have painted it and will always paint it.  

We keep walking on foot until the road runs out and we have to admit that neither of us thought to wear the right shoes.  We’re never going to need the water or sun the way anyone else does. But it’s sure as hell never going to hurt.

In the endless sand of you, which is packed hard as our secrets, we make the sound of our most justified approach.  Shoes crunching gravel like glass. Your shirt is white and showing your close sweat on your arms. A little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell is you and me.  I’d think we were running from the scene of a crime except I know you and me don’t run.

I know the place we came from was a hotel or a whorehouse where the fans are always running on high.  I know the place we’re going has our names chiseled into all of the walls. I know I have your cum in my throat and you’ve got mine, like a tattoo or what creates the timbre of our laugh.  

Our destination is pink sandstone with a hollow quality too soft to hold the vibration of our murmured whispers.  We don’t need water because we have blood. We don’t need sun because we have lightning. People don’t know how painful it can be to create anything.  

The temple walls are splashed with our brother’s blood from the last time he murdered a wolf.  They’re rusted hard into the pale pink light and I know we come to unlock us from a bad apartment even though the Pepsi cans on the ground are the same anywhere.  A classless hick is the same as a pagan deity of resurrection.

-Evelyn

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