Monday, March 12, 2007

Saturday night at The Old Nick

Caucasian woman, early to mid 20s, with long dirty blonde hair, scarf bundled about her neck in a long winter coat. Sitting on a high back against the bar chatting with her friend, the owner.

Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs (Picador)

About 1/2 way in:

I exhaled, blowing Marlboro Light smoke into the air, an opaque cloud that was the only moving thing in the room. It seemed to drift toward the ceiling, moth to bulb. We sat perfectly still, like we were listening for something.

I remember waking up alone, the harsh red of the clock radio coming into focus. I rolled onto my back, Sinead O’Connor in black and white staring from the angled ceiling of the attic apartment you couldn’t afford, just so you could stay through the summer to be with me. Propped up on my elbows, the fan humming back and forth, sweat rolling off my chin, I rubbed my eyes and followed the long wall to a glowing ember.

I'll always remember you this way.

Ribbed grey Calvins and a white tank top, your black hair curled in the humidity, draped down your back, straddling the window sill onto the fire escape, a steady rain, 4:13 am, smoking a Marlboro.

Two hours later I soaked my cuffs running to the 24 hour gas stop in the rain to get garbage bags to throw pots and utensils into. And, somewhere I was losing my job. When you'd called and told me she was coming to take you home, I gave the keys to a part-timer and got on the first bus out of town, to come to you. There was no choice.

Chewy subs thick with salami and mayo. Fistfuls of change spilled onto counters for beer and chocolate bars. That time we stayed up all night and went to Tops to buy all the donuts we could afford and steal cigarettes. We laid on the pool table in the rec room choking on the frosting, wondering why we didn’t buy milk.

19 and 20.

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