I sit in my hotel room for hours after class and watch
TV. I write a little
more, fix coffee, then call down to the front desk and have them bring up more
when it’s gone. The coffee comes in shiny caramel colored packages and is
delivered by an older black gentleman in a green uniform and white gloves. He
smiles as I take a few packages and thank him. He calls me "Sir" and this
makes me uncomfortable and I close the door.
This is my day and this is my evening - and this is the let down at the end
of a weekend that I can’t properly
describe. I’ve become so used to the
pulsing crowd close to me. There were so many people in and out of Bart’s house
for so long that it started to feel normal. I sit here and my memory
has made it all a swirl of heat and body and drunk and eat and talk and talk and
talk I feel absent from it and filled
At the party I felt like an outsider at first but then so many people seemed
drawn into the center and held -
You were always welcome here
You will never get away from us now
I’m in this fucking hotel room I’m waiting for a call
I need a new shirt I need sleep I need more music
‘don’t talk politics and don’t throw stones’
was that a knock at the door?
Your knock on the door is so quiet that I think I imagine
it. I leave you waiting outside wondering if you’re even at the right door. I
force you to call and wake my pathetic, loser ass out of my haze
Yes, I’m totally screwed up and I know that I can’t make my bed very
well Who’s to say if I can even imagine what it would be like if I actually
had the Eden I wanted to create
I can’t taste this anymore when I think
We leave the hotel and you drive. I keep trying to figure out why it is
strange that you’re driving. Maybe it’s because we hardly drove
anywhere over the weekend and I still imagine that everything is walking
distance. I need a new shirt. So we start the night out going to Target so I can
get something to wear in the morning.
We talk at Target and I listen to you talk about everyone - and I keep
wondering why I am here I
’m so far out of all this
I was not there for all of
I wasn’t there for Yankee Trader or Mac’s on Sunday night
there for so many great moments and I feel as if I shouldn’t be included in
we talk about Bart and my fears subside
From there we go to R Thomas and walk up in the sprinkling rain. We sit and
chat a little, just simple words, more of the conversation
maybe this is the
start of the conversation ?
I can’t describe you. You remind me of so many people I’ve known in my
life but I can’t see them at all in your face It makes me angry to know that I’m
such a self-absorbed dolt - I don’t think it matters
There is so much to talk about in this place, so much to say. I want to
see who you are, see what’s going on in your life, get your opinions on the
weekend and the weather
but I don’t know what else we would have to talk about
other than the weekend and the weather and writing- why do I feel as if I
know you? I want to tell you a few of my adventures since I’d left
Columbus - everything in my life is equated into the terms of a story - this
experience is .... this story is the one where Jared wipes potato on
the glare screen the one where
Jared moves to Columbus the one where Jared makes out
with the officer on the dance floor the one where Jared attacks the possum
the one where where wherewhere -
- is it possible to have so many adventures in such a short lifetime? Why
is every event in my life an adventure? Why is everything an episode?
I want to know you better, to get inside your thoughts for a while, get
some ideas to understand why I feel like I know you
why do you seem to know me?
Am I selfish in this? Am I just a hoor? Am I hogging the
I’m Feeling guilty that I didn’t pay enough attention to YOUR stuff and
YOUR ideas and feelings yes, I knew you- but I’d never really sat down and
Do I understand what friendship means now? Am I still lost in the
whirling crowd at Bart's?
How did I stumble into this again?
It’s after eleven and the air is cool and wet and still. I sit there and
drinking dark sweet tea while touching the tips of my fingers to the sopping
sheen on my glass, heavy drops fall to the table. Garlic beans and Quinoas get
colder and colder. I have to set down my fork.
I ask you “does fictionalizing one’s life make them an incredible liar?”
The look on your face was so strange; as if I’d accused you of something
and it was me who had lied, wasn’t
it? Why can’t I stop feeling
like I’m lying whenever I start to type? Do I want my life to be so
interesting and funny? Do I need to keep all of my best stories, my revelations
and tears, in anecdotes? Where are all of the people anyway? Where is the crowd
now? Why don’t they just turn and walk away instead of trying to make me
I stop feeling fucking inadequate because she sits looking at me as if she
feels guilty about something. I stammer and try to make sure that she
understands that I’m not talking about her
why would she look guilty?
The food is getting so much colder and I’m trying to ignore it, I look down
to see the dip and the hummus and the curry Quinoa, I try to slip in a bite
between words and feel silly when it tumbles down my chin. I don’t want this
distraction so I grab my tea and take another sip. I can still taste the
I knew I was in The South, why didn’t I ask for unsweetened tea?
I can't stop doubting my worthiness for friendship? Why do I doubt my ability
to put thought on paper? what color can I turn my eyes?
You look up and stop me from talking
“Jared, I’m...” You drop the bomb and I’m numb and open mouthed -
I can feel my feet tingle and the blood flow to the end of my fingers I want to
laugh and I feel blurry around the edges
who am I
now? I’m trying to sort it out, I’m trying to think of the things that I
said. I’m trying to comprehend what you just said
“Jared, I’m…” trying
to comprehend this “Jared, I’m…" trying to remember snippets I’ve
written my god
what do I do with it all?
I feel like a liar Jared,
I’m-“ I feel like a liar - “Jared, I feel like a liar, Jared I’m - feeling one of the biggest emotional shocks
I’m not going to eat anymore. I don’t want to talk with my mouth full and
I can’t stop talking now. I need to talk and I know you now. Things you’ve
said have touched me and brought images into my head - pulled them out of me-
these words completely change my
“Jared, I’m…” I
wanted to know what it was like to throw myself into this place and I realize
that I know you! I'm here, I’m
speechless, I'm happy. Two faces have merged into yours - I
watch a friend materialize out
of thin air and I don’t want to stop this …I could never figure out why I
felt close to you so easily.
“Jared, I’m…” wondering if I’m making a tablespoon of SENSE in the
greater meaning of the word and I lean my head forward and feel the table shift
I’m being reconstructed
Where do I go now?
I’ll try to read you like a book now
I think I like the fact that you told
me the names of some of the chapters
I have so many favorite titles
to sit down with you and a hot mug of coffee to string together all of the parts
that I missed I’m pointed in a direction that makes me want to write about the
cracks in the road and the jot down bits of flaked paint at the white line
I want to write love letters to all of my
I don’t want the conversation to end. We talk
about everything... we define The Conversation... you tell me words
I’d thought were with someone else. I
tell about the simple message that I want to turn into a
poem or a story we talk about
me replacing ellipses with spaces between thoughts would that
work? I talk and talk and
Until I’m miserable and have to use the bathroom - I sit in misery for a
long time so I wouldn't break the roll of the
conversation. I finally cannot hold it longer and excuse
myself to run to the bathroom.
There is a large mirror that takes up the entire wall and I don't see it
until I turn a little and I mistake my reflection for another person. I'm
so shocked and distracted that I let out a yelp and physically leap into the
air. My reflection and I laugh at each other.
I don't lose the irony that I believe my reflection to be a stranger in
the same room.
When I return we are aware of the time at last. We realize that we can’t keep going.
I keep imagining my life as a long string of stories, of coincidences, of
characters that move in and out like some bizarre, dysfunctional
novel. How does this happen to me? How is it that my wishes come true? Why
is it that so many times in my life I feel blessed? By Whom?
We leave the restaurant and walk down the steeply sloped parking lot to the
car. My mouth is tired from talking but it’s good. I want to hear more, I
realize that my initial thoughts were so wrong
How do I have a conversation
with a muse?
How do I cope with the fact that a friend can pluck out words that
inspire me so easily? I’m blessed. God, I love my friends. Is
there really anyone in my life that I don't feel privileged to know? No, I don't
think there is.
We stop at the front of the hotel and I stammer for something to say that
might be meaningful or important and I fail. I say goodbye and that seems
to work. My week is filled with awkward hugs in the front
seat of cars and this hug goodbye is no different.
The car pulls into the night and I walk slowly back into the hotel and press
the elevator button. I hold the shirt I bought from Target in my hand as the
doors open. When I get back to my room I eat the rest of the food in silence,
Previous Part - you look unloved
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