A Dull Day (with Her)
It is an ordinary day. It is an especially ordinary day, in an especially poor neighborhood, with an especially ugly weather. However, being me, I think it the perfect time to take a walk. Said walk could be of any kind, but I always prefer the most routine: slippers in a large overcoat, a normal-looking beverage, somewhere to go to or not, because the point is really not to go to that place–no, do people really walk to go somewhere? I know I don’t. I walk for a while staring at my feet, bumping into people once or twice, being me on an especially depressing day, until I bump into a wall but even then my feet do not cease to amuse me. Chipped toenails, criss-cross veins, large width and flat underside. Compared to other things, my toes are goddamn gorgeous. Gorgeous. Almost as much as Jennie.
Did I tell you that the weather was ugly and the people were poor? The sodden clouds cluster with fumes of black smoke, shading the beggars curled up in street corners like sad little fragments of life no one wants to see. I didn’t say that to be mean. Being poor makes you want to forget you’re living. And I mean dirt poor, the kind that deprives you of everything but your fucking breath. Poor people don’t open their eyes and see beauty. What are you then, Jennie?
The thing about beauty is: you gotta close your eyes to see it. Close your eyes, and the cemented walls are brilliantly painted, walls that sweep across space and time and suddenly disappear around the corner. On the side of a grocery store, which could have been my somewhere to go, soldiers march in grand golden armors, kids throw their heads back laughing, lovers kiss and musicians play–characters in a world so real they’ve convinced us as well as themselves. All too immersed in the act to notice a fissure across a man’s face where the brick had fallen off, a minor discrepancy, in no way a threat to their perfect illusion. A narrow alley way past the grocery store, tremendous silver-studded doors opened up the closed interior of a household, in which a woman prayed with her eyes close, while next to her her husband opened his shirt. You told me your first time was so special. I believe you, Jennie. You are special.
The thing is, Jennie, that I see you all the time. You walk all over my ragged house on your studded heels, your warm minty breath, your thin little waist, your silver, jewel-hemmed robes, your bony spine, your long curly hair smelling of lavender and the moon. Would you be mad, Jennie, if I keep you to myself? I guess you would. I won’t do that then.