Take Another Look

{May 9, 2010}   His Day

He sighs as he turns off the alarm clock. The motions come to him automatically. He drifts awake. He blocks the chorus of kids voices out of his head. Spins the noise in his head to a minimum and stops, like a choreographer. Remembers to say what he usually says, takes the things out of the cupboard that he has to, and is reassuring when he’s supposed to be. Gets into gear. Drives the car. Stops at the sign. Feels a sudden urge to turn the music up really loud. He holds it back, but doesn’t like holding it back. So he turns the track up loud. Hears a question about why the music is so loud. Looks out the window. Notices that it’s sunny. Clenches his fist, then releases it. Something important. He drums his finger on the dashboard. Looks down at his phone but doesn’t hear it ring. A meeting. He is the boss. Thinks of the show, The Boss. Thinks of money and draining fluids. Wonders about his bank statement. Looks to make sure that the childproof seat is childproof. Is pissed because his stupid ex will think that he didn’t brush their teeth. Like the world stops with him. That’s a nice idea. The idea is like a cloud on his horizon. He calmly exhales. Lets them out. Forgets to kiss them goodbye. Is angry with himself on the way back. I forgot to kiss my own kids goodbye, he thinks angrily. I suck. Then he looks out and sees a boat drifting. Whatever. It doesn’t matter today. Perspective in motion. Like geography. I’m a discoverer about to see the world. But, as the meetings go, it seems to lag. Finally, he thinks, work is done for today. I’m not going to work late tonight, not again. He opens the door. Notices that the dog has eaten his shoes again. And his toothbrush is old and disgusting. His beard is grown out like a madman. He likes that. He grabs his tobacco and wonders if he could eat that for dinner. Sighs. Gets on his computer. Surfs pictures of pretty girls half his age. Chats one of them up. Flirts harmlessly and aimlessly, tuning his ability. “You are so sweet! I’m turned on,” the pretty girl types. So he shuts the screen down. “Goodbye,” the computer says. He laughs. They always get so involved. He wonders if he is a jerk. Asks his dog out loud. “Am I a jerk? Am I a jerk?” He elongates the words. The way he says it the dog pants and tries to jump up and lick. He pats the dog on the head and scratches its ears. The dog wants more, the dog always wants more, so he shoves the dog away, taps him hard for being so annoying. The dog whines. He shoves the dog away and yells at the dog to go back to its bed. The dog circles around pouting, and he hates the dog for being such a bad sport. Realizes the television has been on for three hours and he hasn’t heard a darn thing, but now he wants to sit down. He sits down, scratches his own crotch. Glares at the dog to see if the dog will notice. He doesn’t. Fucking phone rings. This time is loud and intrusive. Is it her again, he wonders in mild but interested annoyance. What is wrong with her. Like I’m so glamorous, he thinks. Her head is much more exciting than mine. Knew she didn’t have enough of a fucking life. But geeze. Compared to his. As if I’m so interesting and important. If only she knew. She wouldn’t want me anyway. She just needs to think she wants me. I didn’t get to enjoy the sunshine, he suddenly remembers with a pang inside. The pang surprises him. Regret stings. I should have stopped for lunch. Coulda shoulda woulda. The door opens. He is grateful at the distraction. His friend is over and time goes by. Later, he has no ideawhat they talked about. Empty space. He doesn’t care. He makes faces at himself in the mirror. Pretends to admonish himself in the mirror for being a bum with a beard. He likes not having to care. Isn’t that what he learned? He takes a shit and looks at motorcycles. He looks at the clock and realizes it is way too late. Should have gone to bed hours ago, he reminds himself. Takes out Plato. Reads some philosophy. I should really read something sometime, he thinks to himself. Maybe play the piano. Turns his head over. Takes his clothes off, puts his pajamas on, puts the laundry in a pile. Turns his head on the pillow. His head aches. His eyes feel strained. He feels mildly disgruntled. Passes it off as indigestion and turns the light off. Another day. Done, he thinks.


{March 15, 2010}   Seattle

“You want a sleeve, dahling?” the barista says in his metro sexual tone of voice. I show him the tip of my brown sweatshirt. “Sleeve,” I repeat harmlessly. He reacts with a quaint mixture of how cute with it’s Seattle so it’s romantic and cool. Seattle is like Paris but instead of being about young love and young promise, it is about youth, illusion, and hardship. The promises broken, the naiveté shed, the days that repeat endlessly because you want your love to be more than a song. The hard edges come out, but the metal is the color of a hundred rainbows folded over on top of one another. Too many visions for it to come together. Graffiti too dense to wash over. The mixture is complete. Nodding Off Guy sits in a corner with his creepy stare, his jaundiced skin, and his battled veins. I’ve seen his face around these streets since I was twelve. Two asian girls sit with their calculators dedicated on solving a problem. A man with glasses and shorts and a big mug sits, wearing cache shorts that seem age inapropirate with his thin grey hair as he eyes a magazine, his square glasses stating “I must be an editor of something unimportant but recognized by a small number of people.” A woman of mixed descent wears a scarf and listens to music, her head going up and down. A girl sits on a couch surface, her toes curled up, reading The Stranger and cuddling up inside herself. Just another sunday night, the end to a start of a week. An old man with a hat sits down next to Nodding Off Guy and makes it his night to stare around observing everybody. The baristas do a quick sweep of the room. I remember the last time I was here, my friend saying “what a mix, oh, what a mix.” The music sings in a honey tone, edging everybody on with the lyrics “I feel good,” the song “I Got you” by James Brown.  I can almost feel Janis Joplin in this song but this music is celebration, and there isn’t enough edge for there to be a Janis song. Instead of “can’t do you no harm” she’d be singing “Oh you do me harm, and it feels good, what should I do?” This whole city is beating, it is a heart, it has veins all over the place, veins it doesn’t know what to do with. Veins that are blocked by cholesterol, veins that are blissed out by needle pricks filled with speed or heroin or both. Anything to speed up the mixture of colors. The city says, do it, do it now before you lose the chance. It is the place to lose everything because the next morning you won’t know what hit you or what you lost. The chances, they build up on you like drops on a flower until the flower falls over and the water hits the ground, splattering onto the sidewalk. There is too much color, not enough production. Too much possibility, not enough opportunity. Too much talent, not enough agents. Too much risk, not enough safety. There is a big divide. There is no stealth here, and everybody pretends to be a star. Everybody is young, and everybody can dress how they want. Everybody is immune to judgement, and nobody speaks to each other unless that person is giving you your coffee jolt. Only when you work as a barista do you learn about the people around you. And then you find that they need your inane small talk more than they need their java. You ask them how they are and they erupt. But ask the same person how they are when they are alone, cornered in their space, reading the paper or eyeing the room, and they will guffaw and find another chair. It’s just the way of the city. Don’t approach unless you are below 21 or can pass for 21, or are in the company of somebody who floats like an It-Girl butterfly, attracting party flavor energy everywhere you go. Putting everything into 3-d if need be, or giving everybody orange glasses to see the world from. People need limits, you hear? Just tell them to see it from one shade and you will be the babysitter that helps them as they travel within this acid trip, trying to make something of themself.

So, you have to do with your own social life by yourself, as well as entertaining yourself, doing things to other people that make you laugh even if they don’t get it. You have to not care. I mean for nobodies sake you have to strike out on your own and start to assume they are the loser even if you aren’t that fickle, they are. But then is it a matter of survival? Fuck saving face! The piano that started this piece had the best riff ever but the clown singing is ruining it for me. Now a boy is approaching me; I think he might have written a long story on a napkin for me. Sounds like his life has crashed but that is just an instinct. God, does he want me to think he is a loser? Oh. A homeless musician with an outstanding education. He knows people I know from a college in wisconsin. He dropped out. I drop names by him. He said he was working on green party stuff. His odor is unpleasant.

“So where do you sleep? ” I ask as if it just dawned on me, as if I am not typing as he speaks.

“Oh I have a GREAT PLACE near volunteer park on soft pine needles.”

He was living with his sister until he started using heroin again. Before he was on methadone; he jumped off and went down too fast.

I don’t really want to be talking to him about heroin. It bores me.

“I can tell your awesome” he says. I remind him of people he went to school with. Forget what I said about his education. Oh wait. He is re-informing his statements with context.

He has a certification for technical writing- for jobs at Microsoft and “stuff” so he lost his job in 2009 with the 6000 drop off. Doesn’t he wonder what I’m typing away on?

Wow he is so boring. The odor adds something to the experience. Skunk? But now he is telling a story about losing his ipod but tracking it down. He bought it from the lady who stole it from him.

Maybe he doesn’t feel pleasure. He is chewing his thumb now. Make that three fingers in his mouth. A thumb sucker? He has wire rim glasses on. Mousy hair. A tad creepy. Name is very common. I think some people are downers. Anyway, this confirms my theory that it is better to treat people as entertainment than just sit around waiting. Waiting for what, you wonder ? Romance? Finality? The promises nobody could get away with breaking, not even if they were Brad and Angelina? But they did and holding your breath just makes you turn blue. It is funny and tragic how far people run to avoid themselves. Yeah, you heard me right. He- not the guy in front of me now tugging his earlobe- runs from what is inside. Me too. But I ran in- that’s right, not into but in another person, creating a perfection there- or tried to- a place to escape to. Just a minute of burrowing up inside that person is enough. But then, like anything you want, more seems better. You get a minute, so you want two minutes. Until not just one person but two people don’t know what or who they are running from. Have I lost you? It really sounds like a 1940’s comedy but it is no WONDER I haven’t been as funny lately. It’s no wonder I depended on others for my comedy with flat face here talking in monotone, the music going on like we are in a ballroom, and outside homeless people beg for change. Do you get it yet? My generation isn’t happy times! Why is it everyone I meet in my age group has some addiction to youth and to drugs, and it doesn’t matter if I am in academia, a rich politician party, a fundraiser, a cult, a middle class family… It seems to be everywhere? I started without it, without any idea of it, I was born in what appeared to be an ordered system. I listened to classical music, and everything and everyone had an order. That order wasn’t real. I don’t waste time wishing things that aren’t real were real- or if I do than boy, snap your fingers please.

Everyone isn’t on, or trying, or remembering some past involvement with drugs because of some coincidence. The truth is nobody is finding what they need and want, yet each thinks their situation is unique! How alone everybody thinks they are in their aloneness! Nothing could be further from the truth. Even Ginsberg could see hints of it, and he had friends. Okay…  (Hello??? Now would be the time for the audience to sneer please! Oh but you won’t indulge me that small thing. So typical. But he is so good at not forgetting blank in relationships. If only we knew what blank was. ) That guy won’t stop. Got to lend him this phone because he is nervously biting his fingers. Like time is so important to HIM, who has no place to be or go…interesting, huh? A mumbler too. He is throwing away rotting coffee beans from his bag now.

I was still laughing over some texts I sent. Didn’t matter what the person thought of them… I have to let go of some things! Don’t think the recipient will get it though. Maybe, maybe not. Will I care? Does it matter? Or is it important to NOT CARE, otherwise when you do care it doesn’t count! Oh, relativity- can’t live with mixed feelings on EVERYTHING; that would just be a cliche: like saying “I love you” on a guy’s Facebook or Myspace or MyFriendsLookAtMe page. It’s embarrassing to have that crap on your page  (unless you want to show off? Or you really are so self-deluded as to believe it is so sincere? Or maybe you just want to believe it means nothing, so that when it does mean something, you can say, well maybe it meant nothing- you know, in case I get rejected?) and to see it cheapened and displayed on friends pages UNLESS they are truly devoted, married, hypocritical and deceitful to themselves and the world, or just mindblowingly in love on their own spree. It can be fun to exclude the world with one other person. Me, never really done it. I feel left out. Awwwwwww.Just wait until the next joke is on me. I mean you. I mean.. would I joke about stuff like this?

{September 6, 2009}   Description

“Anything But Normal”

A man chanting native american speech “yo ho yo ho” was lying on the couch, his legs sprawled out there as if he belonged there. As if he was a part of the lightning fixture set in concrete. There remains a cloud over the room, as if something had gone terribly wrong and nobody had looked up at the ceiling since. The floor was scrubbed over and over again with pine sol or more advanced brands of cleaners, as the owner was lucky to be dealing with a hardwood floor and not a rug. A rug attracts fuzz, stains, and cigarette burns. You can’t erase the memory from a rug. You can’t really erase the memory from a floor, either, but if a stranger walks in they can’t see the memory unless they have luminol and a whole bunch of other investigative tools that detect any forensic evidence in play.

Perhaps scientists probing these floors would be able to see the real truths but plenty can be seen by the naked eye. For example, a scientist might see residue from a kids watered-down fruit punch orange juice spills. A visitor might notice paper cups carefully handed down to the kids so the cups don’t break. But can an outsider see a history that has been sleekly erased?

A scientist can see history. A single scratch that occured after a dish went flying because a wife criticized her husband demands retribution, appeals that time lost be time taken. They call it the suburbs and they call the suburbs normal. So why is the rain outside so heavy? The water has filled up two feet of a plastic pool made for summertime.

Why do the swing sets outside call to the children the way the sound a Bach prelude and fugue calls to a man on his death bed? And what does it mean for a man to give up his home, the home he remodeled with his own bare hands? Uprooted once again, but now it’s made clear that the whole time home was just a fleeting idea. One to fill a children’s book so that Goldilocks and the three bears could call what they had a name.

Who knows better than a man who builds what a house means? To some it could be any four walls with a door, a frame, a window. But a house that has a longstanding address is supposed to be a symbol of security, and that security is now being uprooted and he knows better than to raise his fists in protest but fortunately he does it anyway. There is no fight left in this home. A sign should be raised, a flag should be saluted: fights not allowed in this house. But the furniture announces it so the sign is not necessary. The chairs are not big enough for two people, so affection may be limited to children and dogs. The dog goes between hyperventilating, running around madly, breaking rules, but mostly his nose sniffs around like every pat to his head is going to be his last one. The way the dog uses its eyes to try and get what it wants is nauseous to those who don’t have the time to dole out empathy as if it were candy. Empathy is not a luxury here.

The little girl cries to be lifted in her daddy’s arms. “Uppy,” she says. The word rhymes with puppy for a reason. The older daughter just curls up on the other chair, feigning indifference. She knows better.

“And don’t act too excited about something or he might say no, so you have so sound kind of excited, but not too excited…” she lectures on how to sound suitably convincing when trying to participate in something engaging that might involve the slightest bit of action or agreement.

Diplomacy is as fallen as the leaves outside. The chickens no longer lay eggs; it’s everyone for himself around here the tractor outside shrieks, and the more scraps of devotion in your heart the worse off you’ll be for the endgame. Maybe the endgame is adulthood; maybe the endgame is tomorrow.

The best thing is to not want affection. Then you win the game you didn’t want to play because everybody is off wanting a piece of you and you just want to be left alone. And as long as they continue to want you, then you can yield the poker stick and poke them into the fire as many times as you want. Because some people aren’t winners. They don’t have it in them. Or worse, they don’t really care about winning or losing, they just wanted to be included, and when they walk off having lost all their savings instead of being broken they are just bewildered because this sort of swindle does not happen to them. It just does not happen inside a nice house like this.

“This is a piece of shit house,” the architect says when describing the place. He says this because the home is manufactured and looks like hundreds of other homes that were carved and cast from the exact same design mold. The room attached to the bedroom is completely unfurnished and the sheathing boards are exposed, with bits of dangerous looking nails and lint leaving what was meant to be the floor to a bathroom exposed.

Don’t hold on to anything too closely because there are more than a million excuses that can be used to push somebody away. More than one muscle aching or one bad mood. Those classics can all be used over and over again, and hell, if you need another one, why bother being creative? Just shove the person out on the porch and remind them that they wanted you and if they decide on out now, it’s a little late, and they knew what they were getting into. And plus, this is just a phase.

You pray it is a phase. You wonder if it is a phase. You wonder how much you can take. You wonder how much you really can put up with because your memory doesn’t like to play tricks on you but when it goes into survival mode it cannot be stopped.

Once you really like someone or something and they hurt you in “the way you deemed unacceptable,” as people inevitably do, because that is how time works, you try a million ways to reconnect. When (it’s only a matter of when, not if) that doesn’t work you easily lose the little patience you had. The only answer is retreat, and even that you do have to do with snot in your nose from crying so much. You’ll learn that dignity at times like those was never important anyway. You threw dignity away at the bus stop when you continued on, refusing and refusing to give up. “I can’t give up,” you say, not noticing that you refuse to say won’t. You don’t believe you have a choice in the matter, not when your head makes arrangements one way while your heart assigns you to another precinct altogether.

“It’s sort of like being an angel, and you meet up with a priest that wants to believe in miracles, but to him you don’t look like an angel, so he sends you out the door. Like on that show Saving Grace? It’s so funny when the priest of the drunken policeman sister meets the sisters angel and dismisses him as somebody of no importance. Do you know what that’s like? Hey, are you listening to me? What are you doing?

Listen, sistah, you gotta find new ways of destroying the memories. Drugs do the trick, but they aren’t thorough enough. You really have to find the memory. Locate. Concentrate. Falsify.

It’s shocking how lousy you are at pretending that what you loved was something that was positively atrocious! You have to pretend that despite the fact that what was once so significant to you that you refused to give it words- for even the meaning was so bursting, overloading with joy that it was that untouchable- or so you thought. In order to lose it, you simply must come over there with razors and a plastic hat and tear it up. Just don’t get too emotionally unglued when you find yourself smashing it over and over again; it’s just a memory chip and the chip itself it not to blame. It’s like burning down every house you built. It’s not personal.

It never was. What is wrong with you!

The fight between asserting and withdrawing feels like a choice that has to be made at every second, and making that choice gets so tiring that eventually you fall into a dizzying silence, a silence that is choked by labored breathing and tears that fall for so long people wonder if you have allergies. Yes, you have allergies. Nobody cries for that long without knowing why they are crying. Crying implies mourning, so what could anybody possibly be mourning here?

It is what is unspoken that is being lost. The reason the tears flow is because retrieval is not possible. You can retrieve anything except the intent to connect.

You get so cold that you get the chills, even with the heat on and two jackets, and even when you are soaked to the bone in the hottest water possible, you are still frozen to the core. The goose-bumps don’t go away. And it is then that you know. You know what you feel the loss of. It’s particles and it’s science and it is feeling what another refuses to feel and please don’t let the warmth be gone and all you can do is shiver and please you cannot ask them to hold you or God forbid stroke you because they will not only resent you for asking because you should know better, they will turn away and when they do that again then your worst fears will be confirmed, but you don’t care about your worst fears as much as you care about stopping the shivering and you can’t stop shivering not again not this time. And you don’t know if the warmth will be back. Until then.

{August 31, 2009}   trading one prison for another

There was nothing but a bar of soap in the bathroom, a towel in the cupboard. In the main room was a single chessboard on a desk and a queen size bed. As for the kitchen, there was only one dish set. There was no clutter because there could be no clutter. A sense of existential awareness seemed to glow from the bare simplicity of the place. There were  only a few books and magazines, and they all had to do with chess. On closer inspection, the cover of the magazine was a picture of the person who lived there, caught unaware, looking swiftly repentant and pensive with his attention-getting long eyelashes.

For people living in a halfway house, the ability to pick up and go without leaving anything behind is taken very seriously. But the inability to own anything, collect anything, or leave anything of himself behind except space showed great discipline as well as an understanding of the last recesses of loneliness. Simplicity was something Americans no longer understood, and for this reason it was not in dispute that the transport here was not from this country.

The lack of ownership meant material comforts don’t matter, and that’s often a lot harder for a man to swallow then for a woman since men are taught that it’s more acceptable for them to show a desire for wealth, because wealth will buy them pussy. It’s not often a clot of women get together to brag about what they want to do if they win their case or get the promotion, along with that extra hundred grand bonus. It’s much more common for one women to downgrade how rich she is in fear of the others feeling like they don’t have enough. But this man was a man of few goals, goals he took incredibly seriously. Everything else could go, was what the lack of furniture said.

Living in this place, in the position he was in, he could have all the pussy he wanted.

Just not the one he needed right now.

Beautiful men and women came crawling at him, desperate for one more hit, and they offered up every dirty trick in the book. They would do anything to their body’s. For somebody with the discipline of owning nothing, the others lack of boundaries suited the person well, for the moment. But then what was there left to want later? No, this guy needed his special cock tease back. She had gone from slowly discovering her own desires, such a beautiful thing, to letting him progress someplace, to nothing. And almost nobody had the bravado to put up a brick wall in front of him. He had enough manpower to blast through more than a brick wall, but he would never do that. What bothered him was what bothered a cop who could no longer get a warrant out on a person he believed needed catching.

He couldn’t even get her in there with fast talk, the way he used to be able to run into her on the street, talk her into getting into a taxi, and off it was. The more she felt fear, the less she was in control, the more it turned him on. Now she wouldn’t even let him do the things she used to enjoy. The sweet, lingering jolts of electricity he passed on with his gracefully fast tongue and light, tender touch. That used to be more than enough. He wanted to curse himself for whatever possessed her to resist. He was more than used to getting what he wanted because people did not turn him down. They didn’t turn him down because he overpowered them or because he was dirty, because he wasn’t. They didn’t turn him down because they genuinely would do anything to please him because he was so desirable to be around.

The only trace of her was on his phone. But now she stayed away from him was because she, too, found him desirable to be around. She didn’t want to be put in situations where doing the right thing felt like avoiding impunity.

His possy followed him around like the pied-piper, but they also disappeared when he wanted, as if he’d placed an invisible whistle call.

The closet was the most telling. Each shirt in there looked hand-pressed. The jeans were all expensive brand names, and they too looked like they had been carefully ironed or even dry cleaned. They smelled of fresh laundry and powerful cologne.

It was no surprise that the chess he excelled at was the five minute blitz kind. He had the fasted hands in the state, maybe in the country. He’d learned from the finest. He was talent personified, and that was part of why he didn’t have the whole package. He didn’t know how to make a web page. He only could sell himself short-term. He could find people who would put up money for him at events, but he had too much pride for that. He knew people who would vouch for his teaching creds, but when they asked too many questions about his past, he had to dodge them, no matter his natural ability with children, which was astounding. He’d make a great parent, but the chance that he’d ever be a parent was close to nil with the life style he chose.

He didn’t feel like he was choosing his own prison. He was a bird who kept running against a glass sky every time he tried to go higher and he couldn’t know why. His own innocence prevented him from believing the corruption he had experienced. His mind was too powerful to stay away from the light.

{August 30, 2009}   seeking repair in ruins

The room had a thick, heavy scent to it. Apprehending the platform of detectable odors sat more than one aroma, the sweet but stale odor of apple blossom trees overriding the other, less poignant whiffs. The clutter had a teenage feel to it, with a boot strewn across one part of the room, the satin golden bed covers half undone with the mattress part exposed.

Dark lingeré lay crumpled on the floor in a heap, as if to say, why go through the trouble? An impulsive surge of energy emanated from the way the mess was tossed, a conflicting sense of both somebody in a hurry, throwing things into a bag as fast as they can, mixed with the sense of somebody luxuriating in their own demons. Expensive mugs, some coffee-stained, littered the surrounding desks. Can’t come visit me in this hell-hole, it’s too inappropriate, the items seemed to warn. But the layout of the room had a warm feel to it, as if when things were put away, the potential was knock-out originality and genuine style without any deception or pose at all. There was no centerpiece to the room, which appeared splintered, but one was drawn to the use of a book propped up against a frame of Elizabeth Wurtzel, her eyes so doe-wide open they looked like they were still leaking tears, her stomach bare and her hair matted. It was a Russian book, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. The symbolism seemed to mean something, but what? A passage of the book was underlined.

-Your brother is dead. He’s been taken for food. Do you understand? Just as you hunted that cat, someone was hunting you. Do you understand?”

The back of the book explained the plot line was about a security officer working for Stalin who learns the truth about the government and flees to uncover the truth. Something about this book explained the identity of the person living here, but what?

There was no conceivable way of pigeonholing the person’s taste. They had rows of chess books, music books, crime books, identity-art books, memoirs, peppered with deft comics, some classics, social commentaries, but for the most part, it looked like whoever read through these books did so with a ferocious appetite. A carnivore in their reading tastes, that’s for sure, but maybe somebody who used to only read from a small selection?

The room looked like that of a that of a fugitive whose room had been tossed by feds, leaving the speculation hanging on one important thread. The transition from clean to mess happened in a state of transition, and it happened fast. Whoever lived here was half a criminal, half a guardian. Whichever side dominated that day took over. Meaning that the person’s interactions with others would be littered with idiosyncrasies, aloofness, as well as incredibly intricate but nevertheless obsessive patterns.

Looking at the drapes hanging at an odd angle, there was a strange pulse of crushing despondency. The danger lay in pushing this person too far with another. This person did not know safety. And if this particular agent felt let down after being introduced to safety, after thinking they had found it for the first time, they might not realize they had not quite escaped their own ejection seat. This person went to such lengths to refine themselves for others emotional needs- it was part of their own disease, that need to feel like they were always cooperating with someone else- that there was no telling how far they might go to hide undercover, bury themselves so deep there was no looking for traces of air. Once the person thought they were in charge, it could all go south. They would assume control, and the person in apartment 406 would only yield so far before retreating into weaponry. Only the glint of a broken bone masquerading around as a perfectly fine ankle to be walked on with all your weight would be the reminder of this incident because whoever lived here would walk for miles on broken glass, too focused on any hints of hope in their mind to stop.

et cetera