Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I Can Smell It

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

She leaves for the day to the beach. I'm sure that it's not against me, but it feels like it is when she goes. We fought last night. I felt stretched beyond my means, stressed out by unseen enemies and lack of sleep. I was ugly. I was mean.

The day feels like a facsimile of a life I'm supposed to be living. I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel detached from the world, constantly defending myself from an ever encroaching enemy. The apartment is not my home. My clothes are not my own. This isn't the building where I live. I look in the mirror and see an impersonator living in my skin.

It feels silent out, yet the sounds are attacking. There are no clouds but it's gray and rains. The air is too thick to breathe.

I don't say a word to anyone all afternoon. A city full of millions of people and I feel like a stranger.

Before class: The girl from Italy - her light is fading. She just moved here. "New York is not what I think. The blacks are racist where I live here. I think everything is going to be shiny here. But everything ees broken." The young guy next to her who's just come from a year of traveling chimes in, "It's segregated here. It thinks it's not, but it is. The city is schizophrenic. It's fractured living here." The sallow deadpan girl who's lived here all her life tries to defend. I tell her not to kid herself. "This city's a shithole," I say. "There's no gates on the bridges keeping you here," she says, "You can leave anytime."

Something inside me feels stale. Something no longer gives a fuck.

Marie's made food when I come home. I apologize for the way I've been acting and tell her that I love her. She smiles and starts the movie. "You," she says, "You are a handful." I think to myself that the same could be said about her as the fan twists back and forth searching for us in vain from across the room.

She hits me afterward on the couch, joking, one time too many for me to laugh anymore. A sick tension creeps into me from her stare. I tell her if she has a problem to say something and quit fucking with me. She gets up, telling me that I can rot in it. I tell her she's the one rotting, I can smell it.


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