Way back when I still did math

This is a story that was published in Thrusth magazine in 2005. That seems so long ago. This version is edited a little weirdly for the mag but I’ve lost the original so here it is.

 

A Stupor

 

Advice: Play “Ana” by the Pixies in the background while sipping cream soda or something equally delicious.Trust me; you’ll want to do this.

 

Oh dear, once you start down that slick slope of lethargy, there is no escape my love, no, none at all. You may have gorgeous talent and even more gorgeous thought, but if your muscles are dry and your legs don’t work, being alive is a Herculean task. Let me tell you the story of that one night behind a convenience store.

 

So I was there, sitting on my bed, staring at nothing really. I had just finished destroying numerous lengthy documents which I did not particularly dislike. There is a certain amount of joy in destroying one’s own creation, one’s own sinew. I am the proud owner of a trunk full of this type and thus I plan to never have children. The documents were the zygotes of some short stories, such as this, barely cleaved. (I doubt the future of this piece of paper will involve being touched by any other human hands. Is this a confession of mortality? Never! The telephone rang and thankfully lay next to my idle hands. I picked it up and agreed to get some dinner with a boy (a rather soft skinned creature with Slavic cheekbones and long hair.)

 

Listen closely now or you might miss something.

 

He sits next to me, in obvious pain. A band from the nineties insists that this building is totally burning down! He leans his head on my shoulders, begging for some comfort. His girlfriend sits next to him, oblivious to his pain. Everything about her is thin. Body, eyebrows, lips, mind. There is a small picture on the wall, the notations from a portion of Handle’s masterpiece concentrated into a curlicue. Someone takes it down from the wall and tilts it, and another picture shimmers in its place. Now it is the complete notation of the song concentrated into a single wisp. It must be the visual form of whistle, I decide. Now he is near me, I don’t want his girlfriend to get angry. He puts his arms around me. He begs for comfort. His hands are urgent. I get up, he gets up, his chin imploring my clavicle, and we walk to the kitchen. We sit on the lacquered adobe, shining floors, and I say more.  I promise him to return in the living room. What was I doing there? The freesias smell good.  Here we see a smart boy, a prodigy. He is eating something from a Tupperware container. White and smoothly gelatinous with no lumps. He lets me try some. It tastes like coconut. What is that? I ask. Coconut of course! He says. He takes another bite, tears form in his eyes and his face burns.  Choking? Allergic reaction, he says.

 

            That’s it, too quick.

 

            The living room goes on in all of its mathematical glories. Teaching calculus in nonsense.  Complete nonsense. I go back to the kitchen. He gets up, in his brown boots, and we get into a car.

 

He drives through a lane, darker than my eyes. The boulevard is lined with bright yellow trees, the branches reaching into my window and caressing my face. We leave the boulevard and roll around a mountain path. The road is narrow and the ocean lies on our right, magnificent and infinite. Dark storm clouds gather. Our car is moving aggravatingly slow. Soon, the storm is in full swing and we are not even halfway down our mountain path. The waves are enormous, and my heart and feet care to surf them. Oh paralyzing sloth! I am half terrified and half seduced by these gigantic watery beasts. They swell to three, four, five times their original size.  They will be reach the cliffs. Oh I would eat a banana for a faster car! (A banana?)  No. It crawls on. The waves crash at our nose. He steps on the gas pedal and we suddenly peel out (I hate bananas.), into a mall.

 

Our eyes dazzled by the stunning dresses, beaded and brilliant. My eyes are dazzled by his, blue and brilliant. Let’s leave, we say. Follow me, he says. We climb a rickety ladder and end up in a loft covered in sawdust. Here? It is far too messy. No one in their right mind …yet as he lowers me onto the ground, the sawdust like feathers, warm feathers who engulf me protect me.  Fleeting feelings however.  All the apprehensions and comfort—gone quick.  Emotions have no place in a battlefield of fire. My mind clouds and rain begins, monsoon rains in my head. 

 

Did you catch that? Good, because while ennui sets in, I want and must sleep.

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