Two nights ago I was swollen in the park, like God or Walt Whitman, and all I could think of was bursting into bloom. Then I thought about hands. It wouldn't have been so bad to have another hand to hold. The sun was at that perfect point in the sky, shadows growing long. I watched the last bit of a Little League game.

When I think of him he is a set of certain textures. My heart dropped getting pictures back from the fall because I had a photo of the back of his head, and he has this perfect woolly back of the head, tight dark curls in which I used to lose my fingers. I need to stop thinking of these things, I think some afternoons. There is also a series of sweaters and layers of shirts; there are dimples; there's skin and stubble and saliva and semen, none of which can be erased. That is the way it is.

The other way it is is that one afternoon, at the very beginning (or before the beginning; either way it was milk and honey), he found me waiting to see a band I really didn't want to see. He reached when the band came on and tugged my jacket like a kid. I slid my hand out and took his back. I don't think he remembers. I would not mind that afternoon in amber, or dipped in gold and left on the mantle.

I don't get any more of that. I want it in amber.

This is what I did: I wrote him a letter. I thought he should know that I thought he was perfect although perfectly evil. I sent it with no return address. I hoped it would get lost. I hoped he would burn it. "I love you" coming from someone you despise is a dagger in the heart; I have figured that out. It is like figuring out that God is everywhere, except in you; it's like learning you are God's own bastard child. That is when all the I love yous in the world only feed your self-hatred. I doubt I have done him any good.

Since the letter it's been like a game. I discovered it, scanned, and juxtaposed with songs, on his web site. One of them says, "Hold me again," and then there is, "What was you wanted when you were kissing my cheek," and then there is "Go straight to hell, go straight to hell." He never said anything when he did talk to me. This is no different. I am embarssed by my sentimentality and my falling-all-over-itself penmanship, but it's time for class, and I decide that should I write the great American novel, this will happen again and again when I die.

I can feel it in my bones; I'm gonna spend my life alone. The same night my hands were aching for other hands, I saw a couple climb into an SUV, and my stomach turned upside down. I don't want to be a girlfriend climbing into an SUV ever, to go anywhere, especially since they were going someplace like the Olive Garden or perhaps Pearl Harbor. It's not even about hating big cars, big restaurants or movies. It's just that it looked like a chore, a defeat. My nowhere is better than your nowhere. I'm staying home tonight.

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