Page ten, and the voice seems different; its words aren't scrawled on a sheet of notebook paper, and it hasn't been torn out of a journal, instead it is typed; printed; a clean white sheet. I flip it over and there is nothing on the back, no indications of its origin, no markings to suggest from where it came. The voice is young; a student's voice; someone from my generation. Who?

too long since i spoke like this


outside of the constructions, outside of the distractions

i'm flying down the parkway, and i'm sixteen again

there's one cigarette left in the pack

i light it, or try to, the lighter won't light, won't do its goddamn job, the only fucking thing it's here for, its one purpose, but it won't fucking do it, and i have to pull over, shake it, cajole it, pray to it, slam it against the steering wheel before the fluid reacts, and then

a spark



in rainbows plays, because, let's face it, what else

i don't move forward because the light isn't green

until i realize i'm stopped at a stop sign and what i'm looking at is the reflection of a stoplight in my rearview mirror, behind me

it is so much more fun to be a tortured soul, to douse myself in melancholia

everything else is just so goddamn boring

this life is easy; simple, even

but i am losing my passion

i learn, i memorize, i devour, i dissect

watch film scenes until the frames blur together not into a cohesive moving picture but into a series of disjunct images i can no longer decipher

but it is all still empty

in how many languages can i say, "i just don't give a fuck"

in the car, i take into my lungs as much smoke as i can because i want to feel the grating, asphyxiating pain of lung damage

a car pulls up next to me at a red light and we race, without even looking at each other, we are going seventy in the middle of old town until we reach a red light and he stays put as i blow through it

i have won

and still i am screaming, "come on and let it out"

to nobody

nowadays, i cannot stand self-deprecation

i cannot stand david foster wallace

it is so easy to hate yourself
it is so easy to love yourself

and neither brings anything of worth

unless the goal is to sell out, in which case, opt for the former

the word "balance" is on the tip of my tongue, but i know that if i say it aloud, i will slap myself in the face

and then i do it anyway

(slap myself, i mean)

i hate speaking without saying anything

but what value is there in inspiring? to deny that all mortals are the same is insane, but to acknowledge it and still do nothing about it is worse

and there i go again

trying to say something

seriously, i cannot fucking stand david foster wallace

it is time

it is time and perspective

the two words i repeat to myself when i lose sight of what i know, the unassailable truths that i have come to time and again

and forget

outside the car, it is raining

and i am almost home but i don't want to be

and i am not yet home and it is all i want

a bed

to sleep

to dream

to exist in an alternate universe where the laws of physics do not apply

where six hours with my eyes closed is a lifetime of scenes

where i always inevitably end up dead

then open my eyes and

godfuckingdamn it i'm still here

i'm flying down the parkway

except that i still haven't left my neighborhood

there is still time

(and perspective)

and there's still one cigarette left in the pack

and i throw the pack out the window, make a u-turn, and end up right back where i started