In a car like a tin tomb, the night is allowed. Anything might be. Anything can happen and everything will. I’m one of the few people who live what’s called the Low Life. In the car, last night there were silences that shook things loose inside me. That’s why I kissed you. It was my first time alone in a car with you. Thrust there by Bradley’s indignation, I thought that was just the sort of place we’d always end up together; some frantic breakage of our happiest home.
Sly and slender Adam stands in a doorway. Adam Ant is Adamant. Smirking, you’re adamant. Some cool reason under the warmth of sarcasm. Whatever keeps you warm, Adam. And if you’re in a doorway, somewhere in the underground of me, I’m on a bed in the room you don’t dare enter. Smoking and looking up at you like..
“You can’t be fucking serious.”
Hands in your pockets, standing wide but not too wide. You’re chilled, but I know all your arrogance is the clothes your fear wears. But that’s anybody, isn’t it? I just think I see it best, flashing inconsistent, across your eyes. Maybe I look too long because I want to watch it flicker to nothing. I watch the corners of your mouth start to melt away from that smirk. When the silence goes too long, if someone keeps watching, that’s what they’ll see.
Is that what happened? Everybody stopped looking and I just kept on? Everyone files out of a room you’re in and maybe I just stay behind. To watch the smile fade, to watch the shell crack.
It has always been and it will always be the basement, where I found you. Where I see you, where we’re left alone. Being the watchful kind can make a girl feel pretty far away. But I was Action in your hands, last night. Action, Encore, Punchline. Those are my Adam words, felt by the part of me who only knows the backlight of a projector. The grain of early technology, the pulse of kinetics. Your old suitcases and where you store them when you’re not traveling.
It’s the basement which is Vietnam after it’s Nowhere. The desperate need for the scene to change. We trudge through this life. We haul our tired selves along paths we built but it’s when you find the only exit that we’re together. You make the alley disappear and turn into just more basement, standing there in the doorway the way you do. Dirty yellow lit brick behind you. I think I see your eyes fight back a pleading. Would you ever ask me please? Talent is another Adam word. And Situation. Although that’s a Dean word too.
Last night you weren’t expecting me. Your frustrations were darkly pompous, and you relented tenderly when I handed you some equalizer. You were clenched teeth, smashing an unmanageable machine against the workbench, and I was the one to ask you, finally..
“Did you check to see if it was plugged in?”
But never would you call me the voice of reason, would you? Just a purveyor of all your most hidden irrationality, watching your face change from an angry certainty to the shame of knowing you’re not so different from those gears, clicking purposefully. Was it just one long exercise of metaphor, Watchmaker? Was I showing you the clocks were fixing you?
I’m sitting on top of one of the filing cabinets in the office. The light is low, just the globe is on and it’s night. I have my back to the window, and I’m looking out at the basement from behind the French doors. Lights are on in there, as well. I can’t see Evie from here, but I know she’s in the main room. I think she’s on the bed. New Order is humming softly on the broken ghetto blaster on the enormous, oak desk. The stain of the desk is so dark that all the nicks and dings and scrapes are almost white against it.
I have the toes of my right foot on the corner of the desk, and I’m digging it into the ball of my foot. I’m one of the few people who live what’s called the Low Life. The ball of my other foot is resting against the metal handle of the filing cabinet. My laptop balances dangerous on my lap and shakes when I type. The screen flickers often. I wish it would break so I could get you down here. I wish it would break. Something, so I could get you down here. Something broke last night, and we ended up sideways in the road clutching each other’s clothes, wet with sweat, and cuming at the same time.
I dropped my cigarette down my wifebeater and burned myself, embers raining to the concrete and extinguishing to the sound of my fuck fuck fuck ow shit fuck. If you were watching me down here, you’d have seen my feet flexing in pain, my legs move with the rest of me as I shook the butt from my shirt. That’s the kind of thing I notice, watching you. The parts that don’t matter. Not your face, not how you actively react but the involuntary. The way you pressed your tongue against mine last night was just a distraction from the way you idly rested your hand on my side.
I want what you don’t mean to do, the shimmer of sweat on your eyelids while you work. The way your clothes lay against you.
The lights down here tell me we’re the last ones left alive. Me and my dancing with myself to 5 8 6 while eating Red Vines. Me and my room you fill without knowing it. I bounce to the beat and spin the globe as I pass, throwing orange and blue tinged shadows over the brick. I run down the row of your books and suck the dust off my fingers. There’s candy that tastes stale even when it isn’t. I think you would say that’s like me. I think at this point in my letter, if you read it as slowly as I’ve been writing it, you’d make a hand gesture that meant..
“Get to the point.”
But I won’t. Not now or maybe ever. The truth is I just wanted to talk to you. I had things I wanted to say, so now I’m saying them. You slammed on the brakes and we lurched toward the windshield together. Your whole mouth covered mine, and it made me want to write a letter so long and boring you have to know I’m in love with you. It’s cold outside, and it’s only getting colder. Sometimes it’s easiest for me to get to my love for you when I think about how it’s snowing everywhere but inside. Inside the restaurant, the train, the taxicab. I think about Brooklyn and try to count how many times you fucked me on the roof.
It’s late and I’m sixteen. I’m Gabriel or Genny and I’m wondering if you’d ever know the difference or even care there was one. If there is, I don’t want to know about it. So you could pretend you don’t, if only just for me. That’s something you’re good at. It goes two ways. I feel you rip the magic from something or put it back inside by telling the differences. Or you rip the magic from it or put it back inside by saying..
You’re magnificent. Run away with me. Do you ever think that’s all any of us are ever saying to each other when we write love letters like this one? I used to write such completely meaningless bullshit. Hundreds of thousands of words into journals that looked a little like this letter does. I was given something important to say the day you gave me you. The day I called you. The day you came.
These late magics.
You were a hundred years old, and I was a kitten yawning high into a stretch to wake the ancient places from their stagnation. You get younger the more little girls you have to skip around your heart. We all get wiser, the longer we look at you. Filled with purpose like you fill our hands with alien Boy. You make me give a shit, Adam.
Our love makes a world we can wend through to always. Something new, something you. Someplace that’s confined and void of the all the same old bullshit you want to bring into any empty room. There’s no story behind the mildewed shirt, curved stiff to the corner. There’s nothing of which I’m reminded when I touch the places where the beige paint of the cabinet is scratched through to the metal. I don’t care what the haphazard piles of pages say that litter this office, this strangest space. The clutter is lovely. That’s all.
Well, my ass is now in pain from sitting on this thing too long so I’m going to end this here. In the spirit of all my time talking a lot but saying nothing at all..