Two girls. 1984. I don’t remember their names. They lived in the apartment above me. That summer we sometimes sat on the porch and drank beer. The one on the left could spit like a champ. If they’re still alive, I’m sure they don’t remember me. I was just the guy who popped the cans so that they wouldn’t break their nails. They both smelled like honeysuckle.

Two girls. 1984. I don’t remember their names. They lived in the apartment above me. That summer we sometimes sat on the porch and drank beer. The one on the left could spit like a champ. If they’re still alive, I’m sure they don’t remember me. I was just the guy who popped the cans so that they wouldn’t break their nails. They both smelled like honeysuckle.

I still haven’t found a job. I mean who wants to hire someone who’s already 63 or 59 but probably 66. On the newest iteration of my resumè, I have listed as one of my hobbies, “exploring the exciting world of craft-distilled gin”, and so when they ask me questions like, “How long have you been interested in gin?” I know they’re just trying to figure out how old I am – can’t really blame them, I guess.

In the meantime I keep Marta off my back by doing a lot of chores around the house like cutting the grass. I’m also trying to get a music thing going again since that’s really all I know. I’ve actually been talking with this guy about doing something together – some of the most successful musical collaborations in history were between people who hated each other. Besides, all the other musicians I know are dead.

I still haven’t found a job. I mean who wants to hire someone who’s already 63 or 59 but probably 66. On the newest iteration of my resumè, I have listed as one of my hobbies, “exploring the exciting world of craft-distilled gin”, and so when they ask me questions like, “How long have you been interested in gin?” I know they’re just trying to figure out how old I am – can’t really blame them, I guess.

In the meantime I keep Marta off my back by doing a lot of chores around the house like cutting the grass. I’m also trying to get a music thing going again since that’s really all I know. I’ve actually been talking with this guy about doing something together – some of the most successful musical collaborations in history were between people who hated each other. Besides, all the other musicians I know are dead.

July 4, 1970

Independence Day. It was my last day before boot camp and summer was in full bloom as soon as the sun came up.

I found a half-tab of “Magic Kite” in the back of Heartless’s sock drawer, smoothed it out with a fat roll of cheeba-cheeba, and took off for Maidens Landing, where the Notseau Riche put in their leaky motorboats. When Heartless was alive we’d go there sometimes and sell watered-down sno-cones and always made a killing.

The “kite” was kicking in just about the time that I arrived. When I opened the door of my pickup all I could see were smudges of red and yellow and blue and black, zooming up and down the river.

I waded out into water among the smokers, arguers, laughers, yellers, sexers sending ripples off all the way down to Richmond, loners, lookers, exhibitioners, people that would die within the week, cooks, masons, carpentrix, bakers, children ignorant of the veil – and I stood there motionless for hours until a giant bird – some kind of egret or crane – fluttered down into the water in front of me – blocking out what was left of the sun – the coronal flares setting his wings on fire. He stared. He leaned in until his beak was almost touching my nose. And then he spoke.

"I am the god, Bujimi and I have come to ask you one question."

"Yes?" I said.

"Mud-One, what the fuck are you doing?"

And then he flew off, leaving me alone in that black river, relentless as the coming day.

July 4, 1970

Independence Day. It was my last day before boot camp and summer was in full bloom as soon as the sun came up.

I found a half-tab of “Magic Kite” in the back of Heartless’s sock drawer, smoothed it out with a fat roll of cheeba-cheeba, and took off for Maidens Landing, where the Notseau Riche put in their leaky motorboats. When Heartless was alive we’d go there sometimes and sell watered-down sno-cones and always made a killing.

The “kite” was kicking in just about the time that I arrived. When I opened the door of my pickup all I could see were smudges of red and yellow and blue and black, zooming up and down the river.

I waded out into water among the smokers, arguers, laughers, yellers, sexers sending ripples off all the way down to Richmond, loners, lookers, exhibitioners, people that would die within the week, cooks, masons, carpentrix, bakers, children ignorant of the veil – and I stood there motionless for hours until a giant bird – some kind of egret or crane – fluttered down into the water in front of me – blocking out what was left of the sun – the coronal flares setting his wings on fire. He stared. He leaned in until his beak was almost touching my nose. And then he spoke.

"I am the god, Bujimi and I have come to ask you one question."

"Yes?" I said.

"Mud-One, what the fuck are you doing?"

And then he flew off, leaving me alone in that black river, relentless as the coming day.

ninety-seven

Just found out that Marta can only whistle by sucking air inward.

Yet another pixel of information about this woman who I’ve shared a living space with for the last few years. I feel like, if we continue to co-habitate long enough, the image of us each will resolve itself into focus where we intuitively know what the other looks like naked without having ever seen the other naked. Unadorned. True.