Dear Adam Powers:
“It’s like I’m pressed on the handlebars/Of a blind man’s bike.”
Leaving a brick room, with keys to the bathrooms, with keys to the front seat bumps, and with dejection in mind. And I called, and I called, and I texted, such is my life a twenty-first century digital girl, but he was nowhere to be found.
They are so misleading. Make me want to feel that he will be here to talk me through the nosebleed.
I feel like I am dying.
And I know you wouldn’t approve, but some of us girls don’t mind being window dressing, novelty items. Was I born in the wrong time? Inside my head excuses swirl like an arabesque in unwell light, a bodice tightened in fear of attracting the sort of leer unbecoming of a lady. Take no prisoners, harvest no gold, the prettiest woman is the hardest to hold. I’m a fool for pet names like “darlin”. . .lace collar choking. . .fingers trailing. . .
I once asked a friend of mine if I could read what he writes when he is drunk at home, alone, and he turned all mysterious, which rarely works on me anymore, and said, “Caveat Emptor.” And to that, I replied, “Fuck that. You know I don’t try my shirts on before I buy them.”
But if I had known what exactly happens among the thrift store musk of family quilts, obligations from relatives wrecked with senility, friends with high hopes of photography fame, scrawls and sticks and stones and bones, perhaps a chance encounter with a high-alcohol beer or two or three, in that place where I almost burned down his room, maybe his fingers don’t hold the Maudite bottle too firmly, or firmly enough, and he’s falling off his desk chair, and drooling a little bit of drunk spit out of the corner of his mouth. . .but he better believe he can hold on tight to that pen he’s writing with. His grip on personality issues and possible names he could call me hasn’t faltered. His stick figure approach to the diorama love hospice will not waver. “I am where love goes to die,” he says. “I am a love hospice,” he says.
And it is enough material to publish a novel about all the things he hated about me, I noticed, it is pages and pages and pages upon pages, which I did not read because that would be snooping. But the pages on top were for me to see. . .when he leaves something out in the open, and it shines like a forbidden beacon through the sleep crusted in the corners of my eyes, it is an attractive diversion from the normal “stagger, stagger, grumble” I usually exhibit right after waking up. If there’s something juicy to be had, I will have it.
And really. Who wouldn’t want to wake up and see their name in careful block print, thousands and thousands of words written like a bit of war propaganda? Who wouldn’t want to fumble through morning sunlight reading a catalog of all their faults, meticulously recorded and stored and unfiled for their amusement?
I’ll tell you who. Me. I wouldn’t want to.
So I didn’t. What I did was the equivalent of reading the two pages that are visible from someone’s open diary lying on the nightstand.
How to Read Someone’s Open Diary:
If it’s open, then it’s there to be read. But you don’t turn to the other pages. You read only what is left out for you to read. You never open a closed diary. And you leave everything exactly how you found it. And then you take the information and you process it and you stew over it and you think, “Could he really think that about me?” over and over and then you get tears in your eyes while you edit the credit card tips at work and you feel weird utilizing his voice projection while he’s off the clock.
Let me know what you think. And while you’re at it, let me know what you do in my room when I’m not at home to see.