A Random Image

once I got home there was no one around to help me figure out the tabs on the brand new bottle of NyQuil I bought, so I just sailed right on past my frustration by popping a couple of those fancy-dancy Mucinex tabs and continuing to drink

There is this someone I know who had a job painting backdrops for haunted houses (yes! really!) by day and stood for hours getting the curve of Julie Delpy’s elbow juuuuust right by night. He had these juicy, full lips and a sweet-stupid innocence and my God, how we laughed. Everything, all the time, there was laughter and laughter and laughter. Even when the air conditioning broke.

That’s the measure of true friendship: When the air conditioning breaks in the fourth-floor walkup with a closet of a kitchen and you cook spaghetti while sweating profusely but still manage to make a game of it all, then you know that you’re solidlikethat. Solid, but still with toothbrushes in separate cups.

He never knew his father, not one single thing about him; his mother was hard in certain, specific ways. I wished I had never wanted to know my father for so desperately and so long; life was hard on me in certain and specific ways.

This painter, some years after we had parted ways and the scabs of relational breakage fell off to leave bright pink baby skin of quiet remembrance below, he called me up.

Oh, did I remember to say that there was money? It was money that had to be waited on for a long, long time. The whole process was merciless, really, when I know how many days that kid had to spend eating peanut butter on saltines. I used to joke about going down to the market at three ay emm for not-carefully selected jars of Jif he could flat-out mainline because his peanut butter use was no longer want to, but haaaave to. Joking usually helps when you don’t have so much as two pennies clinking around illicitly under the couch cushions. Usually it helps. Usually it does. Usually.

So I heard from him one day, picked up the phone to hear a ghost murmuring my name: “Ahh, is this Elizabeth?” I started crying. He wanted to panic, because I am not the girl who cries. More specifically, I am That Girl Who Could Not Possibly Have Had Tear Ducts. But he didn’t panic, and I was caught up in the rhythms and timbre of his voice before I knew it. Then our brains were falling out again and we laughed to the point of lunacy.

“I got the money. Want to know what I’m going to do with it?”

He got the money.

Of course I want to know what you’re gonna do with it.”

“I am buying this old opera house right outside of Boston. It’s a gorgeous shitheap and I’m gonna fix it up.” That’s how he planned on spending days upon days: Putting feet to floor and hands to task until there was nothing left to be done.

“Will you paint, Cristian?”

“This will be my biggest piece ever.”

I wanted to go out and look, promised him I would. I actually wanted to go out and spend a week, wanted to get my hands in the mix and work –slave- and savant-like– from sunup to sundown. I wanted a hand in the process, wanted to gift him, wanted him to be able to point and say, “My Eli, she stood there and did that.” I like active, tangible testaments of my loyalty to my pocket people.

I didn’t get to. His mother got very, very sick and he had to speed back across to the other side of the country, to the part I stubbornly and passionately hate, to take care of her. They only had each other, after all.

He called me to say how it is just him now, he is all alone in this world. I want to be his comfort, but how do you get around a whole universe just to pull someone’s head into your lap and stroke their jaw while they sorrow?

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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