The Week Ends

Do things, is what he says. Go to Africa and impale some wild animal that is no wilder than you are when you are married to wine, as you say simply, or make a court system where you go naked and wear a wig made of strained cotton and hard work, as my mother said, God bless her. Do things so you know you have done them with witness and with divine mandate, with a going-nowhere attitude that proves to the aliens watching our arrogance you are the unique schizophrenic with genes that have done their math half-heartedly. With things that count you backwards.

My friend, an immigrant whose name has two syllables, neither of which are important, leans over drunk on my arm and his words become less and less apparent. My ear, whom I’ll consider my best friend and confidant, hears the immigrant in stutters. Well, my cousin, his name’s Hugo, he decided one day when he saw how old he was getting to travel to Europe and get lost somewhere so he could be more European. Poor lies he told us. Thought he was born rich. He wore rags on the mattress we slept on, is what he forgot. Say?

Say what?

Say is it cold in here?

You can’t feel, anyhow, and I told you the heat is out.

I didn’t ask that.

You can’t feel, anyhow. So my friend, who is dark in skin and bright in clothing, as if he watched American television during the 1970s before either of us was born and decided to adopt the palette how a child adopts a crippled pet for a few days before his parents make him relinquish it to whatever forces that will kill it, but secretly keeps a couple of locks of the pet’s hair under his pillow until he is an adolescent interested in sex and condoling his miseries, he closes his eyes and for a minute or less is asleep on my arm, silent. I have had three bottles of wine which does not deserve its name and therefore I do not care about the man asleep on my arm, or that I am sitting on a sofa whose third cushion has been eaten by dogs. Earlier in the week the both of us wrapped a checkered quilt made by my long-dead grandmother underneath the bottom-most portion of the cushion and carelessly tucked the top-most portion of it in the inside of the frayed sofa-cover, which is an odd mix of color only the elderly would buy. I will take inventory of what I have done during the day.

First, I dreamed about screwing a stranger that knows my name and that only who works at a gas station. This is a person who should have worked at a library, but I can tell they were born into a low station and their poverty extended into their motivation and self-esteem if not their drive toward education. It is a person who may not be self-aware entirely but can mimic extensively the actions of a self-aware person. You may think of this person as a parrot who has grown thumbs and learned to dress in “normal clothes.” I woke up at five in the morning with an erection I did not care to address and half an hour later I think I fell back asleep. Second, I woke up again and addressed it without feeling. Serotonin I think had something to do with it, the malaise it generally possesses for the outer world when it is not in the shadows in my pants.

Third, which may be called second in this order of things, I woke up finally and was going to bathe and brush my teeth. What interfered I can refer to as my “great obstruction,” or if I am in a cheery mood as my “great hobby.” I drank half the bottle of wine, red and sweet so no sophisticate would dare call it his own, and I first sat upright then leaned then lied down on my sofa, the same one I am sitting on now. If this account bores you, listen to your cats hollering or the eternal drumming of your upset children; I am a freed man who has dreamed about mountains and has dreamed about orgies and many things in between, forgotten and illicit. For five hours I bordered on sleep. I was a virgin until the age of twenty-five so my next account might explain much.

While I was in my twilight, though outside the sun surely blared its face and attacked the shades over my windows, both of them, I believe my immigrant friend knocked on my door, and finding no reply, let himself in. I do not keep much food in my apartment but I keep enough to think myself respectable. When I awoke, I was fully dressed, which I had not been before, and my cupboard was stocked while my refrigerator was empty. No beer bottles and no sandwich stuffing. I am a fan of egg spread; it is something I will not go without, though when I awoke and found my friend in my apartment, I was hungry and went to my refrigerator expecting my egg spread to look me in the eye. It did not, and I was what old writers would have called stupefied. I did not think to ask my friend if he had eaten it. I did not suspect my friend capable of such a trespass.

I opened my cupboard, the second cupboard above the stove, every eye of which works perfectly might I add lest you think I live in a slum, and saw about fifteen cans of a certain kind of heavily processed sausage commonly eaten in the South. I had not eaten this kind of sausage in fifteen years. I opened a drawer, took out a fork, and took a can into my hand and pried it open with the fork. I poured the oil out and ate the contents within maybe thirty seconds.

You eat dirty, like a horse gift.

What?

You eat what I gave you like a horse.

You mean like a gift-horse? Did you put these up here?

My friend, he opens the can of beer on his lap and pulls from it. He says he did put the cans there and admits to me he has brought enough alcohol to kill a troop of clowns, though he says it in an indecipherably cultural way. He looks at me while he finishes his beer using about the same amount of time I took to finish the can of sausages.

Sit down here, next to me. We will drink again this weekend.

I place the can on the kitchen bar and take a step towards my friend. A cartoon pig with squinty little eyes is on the can. My friend pats the cushion next to where he sits.

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~ by Jeremy on February 4, 2012.

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