Not Quite Over

•October 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There was magic all around him.  It was burning through him, his own, and Makoto’s, right next to his heart.  For 3/5 of a second, all there was in his world was light and noise, a distant scream, someone was saying his name, and Makoto . . .

Makoto . . .

And then it was over.  Only an empty shell of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules remained of his greatest enemy.

And Makoto . . .

He found himself on his knees, and decided to collapse sideways.  He lay staring, watching the only person who meant anything at that moment stagger toward him and fall.  There was blood in places there shouldn’t have been, but it didn’t matter somehow.  Somebody was cheering.  And someone else was still saying his name.  Over and over.  Was it Dray?

They held onto each other with their eyes, their foreheads pressed together, their breathing perfectly matching, slowing, growing shakier . . . Two small tears dripped across Niah’s face.  Makoto couldn’t tell if they were from joy or sadness, and as he watched, he came to realization that such emotion would not suffer itself to be described by such a silly thing as a word.

Niah breathed.  And closed his eyes.  Makoto watched.  And closed his.

The world turned from a blue-green haze to white, and then back to color again.  He followed the sound of Niah’s laughter to the edge of the cliff.  The old woman, who was everything he was and everything he could and could not touch, turned to smile at him.  She nodded her greeting, and at her movement, Niah turned, and ran to him, and kissed him for the next three years.  Then he stopped to laugh, before kissing him again for another three years, because now nothing would ever be over, ever again.  They lay in flower-studded grass that tickled their skin, and the woman smiled, because she was the kiss.



•October 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Now, who wants a story?

What do we have to start with?  Just as a warning, my stories are under no obligation to make sense. Let’s begin with the sounds he makes when he comes home, the sounds Niah hears while lying half asleep on the old mattress they set up for themselves in the living room.  The mattress practically is the living room now; the blankets have inched their way onto a carpet piled high with books, papers, Dray’s unfinished homework from this morning, and the like.  There’s a coffee table that’s been beat to hell (Zila bought it off some guy down the street), but that space is reserved for the War, plus Moon’s beer cans, and Niah’s pack of cigarettes.  There’s no jingle of keys that pulls Niah from sleep; he doesn’t need them, he just exhales lightly, and the door unlocks for him because he knows the inside of that lock like he knows the exact position of every mole and every scar on Niah’s body; and the feel of it, the feel of that slight swirling swish of energy so close, is what wakes him.  Then there’s the creak of the door, soft shuffling feet, usually a muttered curse at the lack of food or the presence of bills, or because he’s sat down at his computer and noticed that something important has happened somewhere, and he’ll have to deal with it in the morning.  Niah feels silly for not paying attention.  It is his war, after all, he supposes.  Although Moon always feels it’s necessary to remind him that this is not his fault.

You’ve got enough to be going on about.  Let me worry about winning; you just worry about staying alive. 

Whatever you say, my love.  Niah knows it’s not going to happen, this staying alive business.  That’s not what this is about; it never has been.  You can hit the brakes all you like, but if you start your train out on the wrong track, you’re going to crash, even if you stand still.  Somewhere, some child is contemplating a word problem that will define the exact position and time of the apocalypse.

There is a rustling above him, and Niah sighs in relief, because this sound means that Moon is about to lie down and fill Niah’s world with warm and safe and love.

Hey, you awake?

Yeah.  How was your day?

A’right.  You?

Decent.  Missed you.  You were at work for a long time.

Yeah, but now we can pay the rent.

Niah can feel Moon smiling against his own lips, and the spectre of the rent, or whatever else caused the customary sigh, is obliterated piece by piece with each kiss, each gentle brush from calloused finger tips, each rising tendril of blue-green light.

Ashita nante konai you ni to negatta yoru kazoekirenai . . .

Wagamama to wakatte mo . . .

حرام عليك

•October 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m getting tired of living here.  I want to walk down the street in my ripped up black skinny jeans, breasts hidden and hair short, cigarette held loosely in my fingers, letting my eyes rove over whatever the fucking hell I want to look at, and fuck you if you’ve never seen a woman walk down the street and look up at the birds.  Get over it.  We white people, you know, we’re a fairly normal bunch, and I didn’t come to gawk at you, so i would appreciate it if you would STOP STARING.  The women shoot me sidelong glances, the children ask questions, the men whistle, and I am afraid of every single bid for my attention because it is attention paid to shame me and I can feel it.

.لا اله الا الله، محمد رسول الله

God, I miss you.  Your wide open fields and cold breezes call to me like the megaphone-tainted voice that rings out five times a day: Come to prayer, Come to peace.  I love my home.  I love my home and I don’t want to leave it.  And please, my sisters, stop bleaching your skin, and love yours.  Because we have nothing for you but persecution.

From the safety of my balcony, I watch.

Just Go With It

•October 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Pop! like the ball of menthol hidden in the filter of my cigarette, unseen yet so so potent, I come to a realization.  Perhaps, with this new mental schema, the differences between my body and yours will be at peace, and sex can come out in the end as something positive.  Like the man in the diplomat’s chair, I try everything before I make the call.

I’m going to be gay now, it’s been decided.  Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.  But not really, because I’m starting to forget the way the my old high school hallways used to smell.  It remains that I love to watch you, in my mind’s eye, kissing for the first time when you’re half drunk on the roof of your crummy apartment building.  But I can’t be Niah for you, can I?  Not in this body, not in this soul.  But I can set him free for you.  I can write him free, and when I die, someone will remember you, and not just me.  And maybe it won’t be a problem, that I like to watch you but like to kiss girls, if it’s okay with you that I watch you, and kiss girls.  It’s okay with me.  And everything I do is okay with you.

You know, after all this time, I sort of just go with it.

Love Is What Pain Looks Like When It Smiles

•October 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Moon, do you remember the first day we met?

Of course.

I thought I’d already died.  I thought you were an angel.

Really?  I was about to put a bullet between your eyes.

Well, to be fair, you’d already shot me twice.  I wasn’t exactly thinking straight.

Good point.

Sometimes I wish you had killed me.

I never wish that.


I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I got mixed up in all of this.  At least, I haven’t told you the whole story, you know bits and pieces, here and there.  The rumors get more outrageous by the day, so I think it’s time I set the record straight.

I was seventeen the first time I realized I had the Gift.  They were shooting blindly at each other, crouched behind beat up cars and government trash cans.  Stupid.  Typical.  Don’t remember why.  But of course I got the call.  And of course I went.  Couldn’t just leave them.  Loyalty, and all that shit.

So I go down there, and I can tell someone’s already been shot ‘cause there’s blood on the street, but I can’t see him.  Sean’s there, he’s the one that called, and he’s got my girlfriend with him, Chi-chi.  Her real name was Chihiro, we just called her that.  I locked eyes with her a minute before I dove down beside them.  I remember ‘cause it was the last time I really looked at her.  Her eyes were a beautiful brownish-red color.  Anyway, I bend down over her so that any bullet that wants to get to her vital organs has to go through me first, and I fire two shots over the hood of the car.  I remember yelling at Inoue, What the fuck did you do?  He was always starting shit, I mean always.  Like, some guy would look at him weird in the street and next thing you know he’s all up in the guy’s face, cussing him out over some nonsense or other.  You know the type.

Anyway, then it happens.  Sean stands up a little, to get a better shot at someone, and I don’t cover for him ‘cause I’m a stupid-ass piece of shit seventeen year old.  The bullet hit him right at his jaw, completely shattered it, and went down a little through his neck.  The world didn’t slow down for me, like it does in the movies.  Maybe my brain slowed down.  I couldn’t think fast enough, I could only think about how much blood there was.  I couldn’t even move.  Then Chi-chi pushes past me, and I, like a stupid-ass piece of shit don’t even think to grab her.  The bullet hit her in the temple, barely any blood.  I reached over to her – I wasn’t even sad yet, just curious – and I pushed the blood away from the bullet hole and took her pulse.  I look at Inoue and I’m filled with this horrible, sickening rage, and next thing I know the car is flying through the air and everyone is screaming.  It smashes into the other car and crunches to a stop.  I can feel it’s potential energy, the weight of it, I mean, in my blood.  I can feel it rumbling and shaking, like it’s become a part of myself.  And then there’s this pulse, from deep in my chest.  It ripples out of me, like it’s moving every atom in my body, and then outward, like a huge wave, and I get this sense that I can see everything, all the joy and pain, the whole crazy ass story laid out before me, and there’s wind everywhere, all around me and all through me, and it’s blowing pieces of me away, and it’s part of me, and just when I think my body is about to fall apart, it stops.

I don’t really remember what happened after that.  I must have run.  I came to on a subway train later that night; who knows how long I’d been there.  It was all over the news, you probably remember, but no one knew it was me since it was so fucking weird, and the only two people who’d actually seen me there were dead.

I had a dream on that subway car about the day we would meet.  Only, we were on top of a building, and you were watching the sunset with your arms spread wide in the breeze like you do, perched on the edge in your bare feet.  The picture was so clear in my mind.  And I came up to you, holding a gun, and when you turned to look at me there was blood everywhere, but it didn’t matter somehow.  Somewhere in the distance someone started playing that song we always used to listen to when we got high, and as it got louder the blood disappeared.  The music beat deep in my chest, drawing me to you, but as soon as I took a step the building crumbled around you, as if my stillness had been the only thing holding it together.

You fell before I could grab you.  So I jumped.

This Is Where I Come From

•October 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Down the hill where we used to sled, now filled with tall grass dripping with sunlight and chirping grasshoppers and the smell of earth, past the row of leafy trees I used to start at longingly from the new rubber turf field, memories of a life spent are spread out like sweet marmalade jam on wheat toast, except they move and breath because I gave them life.  I used to sit behind those windows, at big black tables covered in papers and numbers and bunsen burners and thinking and deep, laughing love, when freedom, a rumbling gritty yellow, dragged itself slowly up the drive, and the floodgates were opened, and we poured out onto hot macadam ringing with calling voices, car horns, and the rolling boom boom of basses turned up too high.  My car like a bastion of independence standing tall above the rest, too big to be anything but silly, filled with the smell of morning tea gone cold and family car trips long past, beating to the drum of my latest musical obsession.  You, in the passenger seat with your hands full of dirty coffee mugs, bouncing and jittery, making that face you make when you think I’m not looking; you’re going to work, or home, or the seats are covered in the sprawling bits of my soul that I’ve handed over in utter, agonizing joy to eternal love, and we’re going for ice cream at Leo’s, or somewhere else spectacularly unimportant because the bits of my soul are together again, at least most of them.

Later, under pensive starlit skies spread over the darkening fields, quiet strumming and soft voices catching on the wayward sparks and mixing in with goopy marshmallow, the feeling rises within me once again, pressing in on all sides and seeping into my blood, making my heart ache like day-old wounds, and filling my eyes with tears.

I stand in the dark, sleeping house.  I listen to the ticking clock.  And I let them fall.


It took a long time from there, to get here.  And he sits across from me, dark black ink tracing patterns on white skin, cigarette held loosely, smoke curling, distracted.  When the wind picks up again, it will blow him away into tiny pieces of glass, and I will be left wondering, who am I?

believe it. do it. live it.

the journey and recollection of life one step at a time


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This [Queer] American Life

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just take the damn picture already!

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn