The night was a blur.
The Good Companion
The feeling of winter, maybe, ending.
—SIX WORDS (3/7/14)
A 90’s Tune.
Anonymous asked: Hello, I admire your work quite ardently. I was wondering if you could write a short story about a summer love, that ended 24 days after the boy finally confessed his love to the girl.
She sealed the letter and drew a heart on the flap, in pencil; ink could run if a letter got wet from rain, so she used pencil always. He was less than five miles away, but the letter took three days to reach him. The waiting would often leave him drained, sometimes angry. Three days! An eternity!
When he finally got the envelope, he tore it open like a hungry animal because, yes, this was food for him. These words she wrote, they gave him nourishment. Each new letter made him stronger, each sentence, read out loud, rolled off his tongue and entered the air like so many lightning bugs. More was always revealed, and his excitement grew constantly.
I cannot wait! I cannot wait to see you and touch you— I want to truly, really feel you.
He could barely contain himself at that one, dead center on the paper, like the eye of a verbal storm. Every word before and after that sentence resonated further. He smiled and immediately began his reply.
We have spoken of lust and of being lovers, but I want to tell you more. I want to tell you how much you really mean to me now. I have withheld these feelings, not knowing if it was too much too soon, but your last letter has given me the strength, I think, to tell you that I love you. So…there it is. I love you.
If three days was an eternity than twenty-four was some kind of hellish vortex, playing with time and turning it into pure physical pain. A feeling surrounded him which he could not describe. Where was her reply? Maybe she was offended he had waited so long to tell her his feelings? Maybe something was wrong?
It came. He looked at the letter and it glowed a dark color. He carefully bit at the tape the guards used to reseal the envelopes after they checked the mail and made sure there was nothing prohibited inside. Only after they checked was he allowed to see his letters. Maybe she had something they mistook for something else? The bastards.
Sorry I took so long to reply. Almost didn’t at all, but Tammy said I shouldn’t leave you hanging. I guess she’s right. Thanks for your last letter, but I was just writing for the fun of it. Tammy said writing inmates might be fun, so that’s my fault for playing along with her dumb ass. Anyway, sorry.
He closed the letter, wept for nearly a minute, and felt empty inside. There would be no more letters, he knew. Not from her, at least.
He sat and waited for dinner service to be called.
My soul is a bus station.
—SIX WORDS (3/3/14)
The manager was selling stamp bags through kid’s meals; you asked for an extra toy and that’s what you got. I came up to the drive-thru with a shopping buggy and ordered. The manager said she’d make my order herself, then she laughed. It was a pure laugh, so pure that the speaker crackled because all it was used to was bullshit like Hi, how are you? and Extra sauces cost fifty cents a piece. But she’d said something pure, and for a moment the distance between us shrunk, blue noise in the air swirling. I began shaking from the cold inside and outside and all around me.
—From a story I’m currently working on called “Ash Wednesday” (via ericboydblog)
That kind of day.