correspondence from the north side of self

to whom it may concern (would that be me or you, dear): you haven't forgotten me, have you? good. it would be a shame to spend all this time discussing nothing at all, the emptiness of thought never pressed between sheets of paper. although you were never one for recording these moments; i did it for you. i did it for us. can you be reassuring? no. perhaps not. so, we haven't talked for days. the days are actually months now, but i prefer to think of them as days, long days, with multiple sunsets that are merely the sun passing behind angry clouds. we are in a time-lapse photograph, we press against each other at a billion frames per second, per day. per month. when will it be "per year"? i hate the last time we talked was on such a bad morning. i had not had my coffee yet and you know how i get. i know how i get. the depth of meaning pools on my surface like oil, like tar. you are a rainbow of half-understanding. please don't hold all this against me. please don't press against me. all i really wanted to write was "fuck you." but you can't write "fuck you" in calligraphy. or i can't; maybe you can! try it. o, don't say that to me. i hate you for that. i hate you for many reasons but that is the arsenic icing on the napalm cake, you horrid thing, you. why am i always pleading with you to say anything? why am i always left holding the tin can when you've cut the string? i am echoing only in my own head, but it sounds like you. maybe i am you. nothing to say to that, eh? nothing at all? see there, i've stumped you. difficult to do? i say not! i've just done it, one brain tied behind my back. feel how good that feels. put down. pressed down. held down. o, but we won't talk about that, will we? your depth ripples forward, more sheer color on asphalt. i hear what you are saying, in silence. i know what it means. i know i have been your bogeyman far too long to turn into your teddybear. either way, reviled or held close, i am in your most intimate room, am i not? what does that say about trust? i won't remember any of this a week from now. you always did chide me on my memory; it is the most charming thing about me, aside from my unfailingly large ego. i won't remember this and it makes it easier to blast your eardrum open with my bile, to pour myself right in, to laugh, to bleed, to pry open, to take, to take, to take. i want to take you out of your mind, somewhere down the road, and leave you there. maybe with a canteen of water. or maybe not. then i'd drive back with a canteen of water. i couldn't leave you to suffer. i just couldn't! (it would be tap water, though.) why do i care what sort of water you drink? every single day (month) that goes by i am farther away from you, further into regret. i remember you in only brief outlines, dashed lines, one-liners. bring me something solid of you. bring me a paperweight. bring me something to press down the edges of you. bring me anything, i don't care anymore. warmest (or just warmer) regards, _halsted._

(like i need to do this, but: © 2001 by halsted.m.bernard. all rights reserved.)

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