Let's put it this way. In kindergarten, he was probably the boy who climbed the jungle gym fastest, could get all the way across the monkey bars. He was probably wiry even then. Lithe, like. He was a real pretty kid, I'm sure. He still is. Big eyes, and everything. Hollow cheeks. He vaults the fence to the field. I wait until he gets a little ahead of me, so he doesn't see my koala death grip on the chain link while I'm stuck. One leg over. One leg behind.
He told me I reminded him of his mom. A big lady, he called her. But graceful. Intriguing. I know I'm fat. You don't have to mention it, but when we weave together in the street in the dark all alone drunk laughing and messy, I don't mind. I don't mind when he's lit up in the glow of the American Spirits he insists are the best, when the hollows of his cheekbones flirt with the shadows and his eyes are hooded and his hair- soft, straight hair- is long. In the dark and the cigarette light he is magic and halfway to celestial and I just hold on and follow him and maybe I can be too.
She's gorgeous, he tells me all the time. But she says she doesn't get attached to people. She's a bad kisser. He told me once. Like, I'd show you. But that would be awkward.
No, it's cool. Even though I wouldn't mind not one bit if I looked up at him at his eyes dark hooded and his cheekbones sharp angular and his lips plush heart lips and he might touch them to mine. But he would never kiss his mother.
His laugh is slow, raspy and stoned. His voice is deliberate. He isn't funny. My sarcasm is for myself, these days. I sometimes forget he isn't smart. The times that remind me make me sad. The Animal Game made me sad, with him. Ostrich, I said. Uhh, gorilla? He spoke it tentatively, after minutes. I looked at him.
I'm not too good at spelling. My heart broke, when I looked at him then and he was young his face young younger than the raspy rumble mumble of his response. Ostrich doesn't end with a G, but I kept playing. Aardvark. Kangaroo. Ostrich. Gorilla. For you, anything.
For you, fences will be climbed as skirts rip and legs chafe, following you into houses that smell like rats where stonedeyed boys follow me with looks and take my cigarettes and steal my lighters. For you, I'll do it. You taught me how (Put it in the spoon… Like that, yeah. Add the water… Just a little bit. Hold the lighter close.) I know, too, now. Anything for you. For you, I can cut and dose and deal and I know a 50 sac from a 60. I can do six-inch lines with a smile even when the gasoline burns burns burns in my nosethroat. I smirk with the almost men and their halos of stubble who come in your room when we are talking listening to Simon & Garfunkel watching A Clockwork Orange talking.
I follow you and gladly leave others behind because you are beautiful even your hands are beautiful deft thin and veiny hands with long fingers.
I pick my cuticles and wait in the car for you to come back with the sac SNOW DAY we yell laughing when we pour it on the scale and we take for ourselves and we dose the rest because no one else matters. Sometimes I wonder if I can't take it any more. Sometimes I miss my Megger my Megan my bestest of all the restest and I miss Law & Order before we were pretty before we had friends when it was me and Megger and Enid the senile Siamese. I always did like SVU better.
Sometimes when I look in the mirror and my lips already puffy are swollen and red, chapped, and I don't recognize myself this holloweye buzz-cut girl.
Austin. Are you in there?
She doesn't say anything back.
I can't find her. Maybe he can. He could never hear her, though. He doesn't like to listen. But for you, anything.