I pull and nothing happens. I pull again and nothing happens.
“Yo. Open up.”
I watch the little black lock-indicator relent through the passenger glass. In a brash motion I fling the door to its hinge's extent and fall in. I balance two coffees stacked on top of each other. The straws are inconvenient.
“Soymilk,” I extend it.
His hand is bone and milk white as it comes and wraps around the plastic cup. “Thank you.”
He is in messy hair and faded skin. I am in high-waisted shorts and a starchy new tee shirt. There is space in his skinny jeans but he's still breathing. There’s no pretty scenery but there’s some trees going out the windshield.
There’s a minute where nothing happens. The car is off so there’s no air conditioner noises and no bastille noises because the key it out of the mouth of the key receiver and the music died like don mclean said it would when I opened the passenger. a car door somewhere else opens and closes and I watch him pull the paper tip off of his straw with his teeth.
“you want to go for a ride?” I ask. “somewhere
where we can drink these. And look at
he shakes his mess. this is the first time he has been out in a week. his eyes aren't ready for the pretty yet, but they are ok with the parking lot.
"okay," i say. sipping.
he says, moving some bones toward the glass separating us from the coffee shop.
"you see those
"i see them."
he leans back,
into his fist.
i move my eyes to the windshield and look at the trees. i sip the coffee in my hand. this the first time i've
i wonder when he's last eaten.
"man," he says. "look at those trees though..."
i say nothing for a minute.
"what do you see
when you look at those trees?"
i think about putting the music back on for him. would it make him feel safer to have the noise? should i give him the noise?
tree skin." he says and moves the straw past his thin
"i saw a bowl made out of a tree tumor at a museum once."
"yeah, i don't know."
he swallows and then
leans his head back on the rest.
he is so tall that it just kinda drapes there, letting some of the
reddish blonde fall over the back;
coaxing his adam's apple to the surface of the skin wrapping his gullet.
he swallows and it's noticeable with the way his head is. the bump in his throat drifts up and down.
his eyes laze shut.
"you want me to put the key in so
so you can have the
he shakes his head
and then just says "mmm"
less energy spent in the murmurings than in the movements.
the movements are
"mmm" sounds like yes but i know him well enough to know it means the opposite.
he sits back up again and sips the drink in his hands, swallows some substance this time.
he laughs without parting his lips. the noise catches in the space between his teeth and skin.
the laugh is a swan
covered in oil;
but half dead now.
"why, you want the music on? i thought you liked talking." he says. "the quiet."
"i do." i say.
"i do like
talking but i
want you to be
he stops being
himself for a
"but you know..." he says. "like,
i feel like maybe i'm too
i'm too comfortable in a
because my comfort zones... I don't know...
i didn't make them in good places.
so when i'm
in them, i'm
i'm in a not good place."
in a good place."
"stop with your english," he moans.
i laugh "i'm sorry,
he thinks, but i can tell it's about something else.
"you know what's so weird though?" he asks, then goes on. "i
those places. the comfortable places. i
"you can always make new ones, you know." i said.
"new head spaces."
you don't know how, but
but you won't let anyone show you how." i said
but wanting to tear him
to get to the
"it would start with
it would start with something light, like a croissant. maybe some soup. then a drive into the mountains. some clean air
in your lungs--
the trees here, yes. they're pretty.
but the walls in your bedroom can be pretty too
until you make them your
the coffee is good until it just becomes another
the problem is, you're too
in yourself to start building that new place to live in. you still obsess over what other people will think of you, or what your sick mind might say about you.
well listen, pretty eyes,
you're slow dancing death into a
and you're not letting anyone
"it's hard to let her go." he says. "i... i don't know. i just..."
"what?" i ask. "you what?"
his tongue touches his lips. he shakes his head.
so much space in those skinny jeans.
"i feel like i deserve her."
he tells me.
he tells me because he can't see
what i see.
i missed writing. i missed it a lot