friday the 13th, full moon, mercury retrograde
or, shifting blame
or, ignoring fault
or, how did we get here?
it was friday the 13th and nothing went right
we tried to go to a garage sale and nothing was happening. it was more than a black hole or a shadow falling over a solitary ant on the sidewalk, but less than a block party or a waterslide. maybe equal to a waterslide off season, seen through a fence and tall spiky grass.
enough was happening to bike past with my lost face on, loop around and then finger wool flannels, buy a seashell-print swimsuit, pretend i was someone else. to spend seven dollars and start a game with a stranger’s baby until the stranger wheeled it away. but we couldn’t stretch our legs beyond a couple clothing racks in one person’s driveway. i was promised bbq. and so we went to happy hour.
i didn’t pay for drinks on friday
we went to mario’s and i got pizza. beer when i was bored of pizza, whiskey when i was bored of beer. there was a strongman competition on tv but i’ve seen men lifting heavy rocks before. with age comes expectation, recognition, fatigue. there’s a higher threshold before enthusiasm breaks like so many waves, rushing forth, toppling me into salt and foam.
when we left we tried to look at art but nothing was happening. it was more than one glass of wine but less than two. the wind blew and we walked; time stopped and reversed. the earth contracted into a walnut shell vibrating with potential; we walked backwards, jerky like a film reel running on the wrong speed. a time lapse photo of a flower gave way to a time lapse photo of a germinating seed. and then nothing at all.
it was a full moon too. did i mention that already?
we swam through the wine of our memories. wondered what went wrong, maybe made a joke. we were slipping further and further from reality but still the world churned and suddenly it was 9 and i had a date.
i wanted my friend to stay but she left anyway.
and so i went to shorty’s and sat. sipped whiskey, didn’t pay for it, why? sat alone, drunk, dead phone. i thought, i don’t give a shit at all. i thought, whatever happens, happens. no phone, no friend, stood up, alone.
and then a guy walked up to me wearing a fuck you hat. said, what do people usually say about your tattoo? i thought, will i have to fill in the blanks for you all night? but i think i just smiled.
and after that
i probably consented enthusiastically but not to the whiskey. i remember being confused by it all; it was limitless. it was the american economy during wartime. it was a chocolate fountain at your rival’s bat mitzvah. it was valentine’s day after a christmas bonus, for someone who loves, and saves.
is this a thing that’s happening? i asked and he said yes
i said let’s go
at the end it was me with blanks that need filling.
my friend said i saw you and i said what?
my friend said i saw you and i said oh
my friend said call the cops and i said no
my friend said it happens to everyone and i said i know but i still don’t like it
i was sad and then i wasn’t sad and then i was sad again
i was scared to leave my room and then i continued to have a job and go to it
i thought of patricia lockwood
i thought of everything that has happened in my life up to this point, and the future
to infinity and beyond
i thought of sarah silverman
it was bittersweet