Bluish dusk of a new millenium and I loved him though I knew better than what I thought I didn't know, in that I might have loved him for who he was—or wasn't—how was I supposed to know? The origin of primal ooze was nowhere to be found. In history class there was a crying girl whose mother worked in the Twin Towers. We watched her vomit on the linoleum floor before she was taken away to the nurse. The rest of us didn't know how to act or that George W. Bush was a hobbyist painter. On the television, a newscaster's lipstick bled in tendrils across her face. Twenty years later, a boy in a shirt that read DRINK WISCONSINBLY raised a fleshy palm. If someone's not doing anything with his life and honestly says he's happy, who is Aristotle to say he's not? I couldn't tell which subreddit had blighted him or whether he looked thirty-five or ten. I text a friend two thousand miles away to say that I miss the good old days in California, where we ate chicken nuggets and applesauce, then ran onto the blacktop screaming, how we shot our arms into the tetherball's vortex, trapping our fingers against the steel pole, hands pulsing hot and bleeding as we watched the O.J. Simpson trial in class.
How many permutations of first cousins none removed could there possibly be? I asked the photographer if time were a string or a bowl of pearls because I happened to think of it actually as a beach, its blond baubles crushed and raked along the coastline, Zen garden of relativity. When I understood that she did not understand me at all, I left and pornographically cried in the terracotta-tiled bathroom, the door to which did not open onto a moonlit balcony where a handsome man stood smoking a cigarette, with sex appeal and feeling. I re-entered instead into a scene whose great distance from my adulthood I give daily thanks but in which I was, at the time, condemned to for eternity. I was wearing a long dress. The night's stars were hidden by a blond babel hovering like the false ceiling of an office building. I sat at a long table of people whose way of life I mutually did not respect and whose index fingers did not point correctly down the fork and knife which split open the meat. I opened my third eye in desperation. I took three small steps in the direction of the North Star before resigning to my seat where I pressed an imaginary finger to my prefrontal cortex and rubbed furiously in small circles to the thought of running away until I achieved orgasm in front of everyone I hated, the burst brilliant and adamantine as diamonds. Once a spiritualist whom I met on a dating site told me that one orgasm on the astral plane is equivalent to ten thousand orgasms on Earth occurring simultaneously in every cell of your body. How could I believe him? How could I not?