Pinch the corners. Cut the tubes. Blunt cut. Angle cut. Micrometer the ends. Squint. Say. Record. Run the glue gun. Run the saw. Sweep your hand over the glass. Pinch the corners. Blow don’t huff. Move the fan. Prime the edges. Tape the ends. Open a box. Let it de-gas. Tape the blow-out straps. Move. Circle the window. Listen to classical music. See your boss. He’s talking about you. Wipe the window. Stack it. Fall into the notes of a song. You can hear all the way across the warehouse. Your boss, he’s talking about you? Finish the stack. See the girls. The pretty girls laughing. You can’t see the window for all the notes of the song. Go outside, smoke a short cigarette. Find your phone. Do not. Lock yourself out. Call your boyfriend. He’s doing a floor. He does floors. Sawdust van, cigarette butts in a cup. He keeps fireworks in the jockey box. ‘Come get me. Come get me.’ He’s doing a floor. ‘I’m doing a floor, babe. Take the bus.’ Go back in. ‘Sean, I’ve got to the take the bus home. I’m having a panic attack or something. I don’t know.’ Cigarettes. Winter breathing. A ditch filled with trash. Bus goes by, shit. 15 minutes ’til another, shit. ‘Let’s talk.’ We are talking. ‘Have a beer,’ Sean says, he can see inside me. ‘Go across the street and have a beer. Do what you need to do.’ ‘No.’ I need to get to bed. Across the street I stride rubbery, giant Christmas trees dancing. The boys on the bus are talking about me. Where am I going? My lets know so it’s OK. His bed. His horrible walls slashed with mistakes. What rubs like that? Posters of dead friends. Live fast, die hard?
Later he comes in, touches my face. I wake up. ‘How you doin’, babe? Feelin’ better, babe? Listen, babe, did you use that real little pan this morning? Did you fry your eggs in that real tiny little frying pan?’ Nodding. His face breaks open into a glorious smile, ‘You are so high! Man, you got really high on that stuff! I made butter in that pan, pot butter, for the past two days. Lemme see your eyes.’ I show him my eyes. He laughs. ‘Man! I wish I was that high.’ So it turns out I am not crazy. I am not crazy after all, in his horrible bed where I follow myself in dreams, still high, high anywhere I go.
Put whiskey in my tea, put whiskey in your tea, do laps around the house. I put a persimmon on the windowsill to ripen it but it never does. Weeks later, months later, it is still hard as a rock, that orange ripe color mocking.
The dog hair is an issue. It accumulates so slowly it reminds me of geologic time. I try to catch it happening, to see the piling, but I can’t. There is only either an empty corner or a huge soft drift of black hair.
I want to write about your face, but the truth is, I can’t remember. It’s changed. If I play that one album, the one with the overlapping rainbow bison heads, I can hear the track where you throw a bottle at the wall behind my head. Your drumming gets softer. There is a pause like you might stop, but you keep going, hitting the drum like you want to break its tight skin; get inside. The band plays wildly with you, inspired. When the madness ends, when it is just the ringing of your ears, you can hear a gasp float across the room. You do not hear the thud. You do not hear the heart of me dropping to the dirty floor, you do not hear me pushing hot bodies to get to you, you do not hear me asking What? What? Or my hand on your chest, pushing you lightly into the crash, feeling we gave birth to something new, something outside in the snow, mewling while we walk in ever widening circles, getting further and further away.
I give my Schwinn to Sequoia, because she doesn’t have a bike yet. She is from Southern California, tall, blonde, 21. She moves like a tree, so I don’t think it’s a dumb name anymore. I only hear her through our common wall, eating burritos with her friends, giggling all night on mushrooms, playing the same five chords on her guitar. I get bits of what she says at three in the morning: “I have a slug infestation in my room.” I try to imagine what this looks like. I my half sleep I picture them languidly climbing up her windowsill, leaving rainbow trails in their wake. I think of my own line of marching ants that start from a certain corner and exit near my window. I would rather have the slugs.
The girls wear leopard printed pants, long curly nails in neon colors, as they make the windows. Maybe it is because of the stark white walls and gray floor, but it is some real Technicolor shit, watching them work. There is one wall that is supposed to be an artist’s wall: our boss says to hang stuff up there because we are all so talented. The wall is about ten feet across and fifteen feet high. There are a few postcards tacked there, in the middle: one explaining an opening for an art show, and the other a postcard I mailed to myself from Mexico. I never see any other art.