People I Have Forgotten #1

We're laying on a mattress on the floor of the basement and we're both really fucking high. Just staring at the ceiling, tenuously holding onto those last few moments of empty-minded contentment before reality sauntered back in to talk about over-drafts and rent and tests we hadn't even thought about yet.

We'd been flirting with each other all day, but it was in that weird, quasi-platonic way common to moderately attractive young people in love with someone else. A pre-game pep talk in the locker-room of our self-perception before we went out and tried to win the true object of our affections.

I don't remember her name, or her face. I know that I found her attractive without being attracted to her, and that we later became the kind of perpetually estranged friends that would hug and smile big stupid smiles whenever we bumped into each other at parties, but never bothered to exchange phone numbers or set up lunch dates.

As foolish as it sounds, I think it's because we got on too well together. There was no conflict between us, and we skipped several chapters of friendship and went right to the part where you just lay in comfortable silence, staring at the ceiling, finding comfort in, but not actively aware of, the other person's presence, like a light left on in the bathroom of a strange house.

*somebody do something about all the run-on sentences, oh my god


She married a haberdasher.

Children are now a vague inevitability on the borders of the next few years, and if I am to self-actualize as a stay-at-home da, I'll have to supplement the income by freelance writing. Which means I have to start writing again, after such an embarrassing sabbatical.

Because I have experience in it, and because it is relatively easy to get into, this will most likely mean small town journalism. While I enjoyed being a news reporter, the profession is not unlike face painting--even if you are one of those rare artisans who can create a masterpiece in moments, your product is only meant to last a day before the next sticky-faced brat plops down and demands The Arnolfini Portrait.

Freelancing seems a good match for me because I write the way other people doodle. There are interesting sentences saved as text message drafts on my phone, clever quotes written on the backs of PowerPoint outlines, and morphological oddities jotted down in the breaths between phone calls (my favorite is "ether to get her together", which is an almost beautiful bit of heteronymic palilalia).

The pay will be insulting, but it will be money. Delicious money.

So I must get back in the practice of writing, writing everyday. And I must improve.

But, until then, I will just keep doodling.
Seated across from Jonathan Bell was a man they called Clocktower, for his face was expressionless and his hands never stopped moving. He was dressed in a well-kept but faded black suit with thin lapels, and Jon suspected that it was a "slab tux", a suit rented out by mortuaries to families who cannot afford to dress their dead.

As Clocktower's hands danced across the table, up his string tie, through his thinning white hair and back again, Jon listened for the gentle tearing of the Velcro seams that made dressing such rigid customers manageable. He breathed deep, straining for a hint of formaldehyde, and Clocktower's right hand cut quick cruzaras across the tabletop before leaping gracefully in the air and clicking its heels.

Jon blinked, and Clocktower snapped his fingers again.