Sunday, March 8, 2009

First voyage into Newport.

Greg sipped on his coffee, still too hot, singing the roof of his mouth, and hastily set it down on the bedside table, turning back to his work with an irritated hiss. Always he did it, drank his coffee too soon and too fast, impatient. Cursing the heat of it, cursing the inconvenience.

He was on the bed, Indian-style, shoeless and cold, tip-tapping away on his laptop. The speakers on it playing music, the music of the time, but tinny and empty in doing so, tinny and empty. He dealt with it well enough but never understood why he couldn't just get music as it was recorded. Always some defect in the speaker, always some static in the headphones, each set having its own specifications, its own little preferences.

He rubbed his chin, looking at the screen with concern and suspicion. There has to be something worth writing here, there has to be something to put on this blank space. Seems everyone has something to say until you ask them to say it, and then it all comes out garbled and disheveled and nobody really knows what it is they really mean except in their heads.

Tinny and empty, new song, tinny and empty, treble and treble and the low bits fall by the wayside and that's music. He tested his coffee again, distracting himself from the screen, blank and impatient, judgmental and taunting. Worst part of writing, that. Put down something, they say. They say a lot of things but they're usually saying it in writing, so I suppose they've got that going for them. Need to get a better coffee pot, one that will brew coffee that comes out at just the right temperature. Sick of tender gums in the morning, sensitive teeth aching for hours after.

Poke poke poke say the teeth. Don't forget we're here. You're going to need us later and you'd better take care of us because we're sensitive to these sorts of things. Brush and please do floss, all manner of bits stuck around up here that we don't care for. Poke poke poke, hey hey hey, lay off the sugar.

Coffee still too fucking hot, page still too fucking blank, teeth still too fucking sensitive, everything still too fucking something. Wind howling outside, bits of snow tossed about, the world spinning but the clouds staying put, only consistent thing going. Everything too hot, too cold, too bright, too empty, too tinny.

He sighed, not knowing what to do. Sit and wait for coffee. Sit and wait for the sun to come out. Sit and wait for the wind to stop. Sit and wait for the words to come. Wonder what Tom is up to. He, thousands of miles away, not even giving a thought to the blank screen and the seared coffee. He, studying some book, listening to some music, full and deep, strumming some guitar, playing songs we sang together, but now for some woman, some girl, laying on his bed, waiting for him to get it over with and kiss her. Should have picked up the guitar long time ago. Should pick one up now instead of staring at the stupid screen and thinking about all the things he could do instead of use the laptop. Too much pressure, so much work, for what now?

Guitar, music, gives immediate results. Strum strings, make noise, immediately pleasant or unpleasant. Typewriter, laptop, notebook, not the same. Press keys, make words, immediately unknowable. Strings of words together, paragraphs, sentences, books and pamphlets, process, choice. A word can be beautiful, like a strummed chord, but only to someone who thinks words can be beautiful. Who doesn't like music? Who doesn't like the G chord? Writing, so much work. Writing, doesn't get you laid. Writing around a campfire, aloof. Guitar around a campfire, sex. Sex and sex and sex.

Coffee ready to drink now. Procrastination successful, and don't you know it. No sex for months. Writer, not musician. Can sing but won't. Can write but won't. Can fuck but won't. Won't, can't, they become the same thing after long enough.

Stirring from downstairs, some cat moving about the house, little jingle bell on its neck, taking away the benefit of sleek fur and soft pads on the feet. No stealth, no mousing in that cat, all those instincts and inherited bits of knowledge canceled out right then and there by the ding ding ding of a master's bell. Hobbling. Worse than whiskers cut off. Full of false promise, like a slave's collar.

I know, I know, I must get out of this place. That is the key, to leave, to be someplace different from this little room set aside for me, to be out and about with the people. The car has all wheel drive, it can take the snow, and others here, the rich, the green, their Subarus and SUV GMC this-and-that's will be out, too, having bits of coffee themselves, out and about, a big bird to the snow and the elements and good sense and decorum. Writing in the coffee shop, reading in the coffee shop, only occasionally drinking coffee, being the cliché, feeling the ancestors' blood coursing through, excepting the laptop, a modern convenience. Death of penmanship, hardly even taught in schools anymore, shame but inevitable. Paper turning to kindle, paper turning to wipes and napkins and pens for barstool conversation, the legacy of other ancestors, that burst of drunken creativity that will be slept off with the rest of it unless its written down on some coaster somewhere, slurred letters, no penmanship, but legible enough to make an inferior facsimile after the fact, innovation lost in the heat death of the liver.

Gotta piss badly, but by Jove I'll be out there on the road soon enough, my own finger flippantly flipped at the lingering ice and sleet, for modern marvels mark my march to the promised land. Not even looking at the laptop anymore, looking only at its promise. Housemates already asleep, been asleep for hours, parents not housemates, housemates friends and parents anything but, feels like youth all over, sneaking out to go this place or that, except now to write and sip coffee instead of fornication and booze. What a world has developed here, boozing and sex well behind, left behind without choice, part and parcel with being older, wiser, sadder, resigned to the passage of time, the wreckage of freewheeling vessels heading west in search of God and glory and the glitter of gold. Now, coffee and empty, tinny words, translations of thoughts, always distorted by the speaker.

Fuck it. Going anyway.

Pants and shoes and down stairs. Jingle-jangle of curious cats, nothing better to do than wonder what the rest of us are doing with our freedoms, not knowing envy of that sort but certainly knowing envy. Cats get embarrassed, proud creatures, don't want to seem weak and incapable. Realize how graceful they are, realize how powerful they are, don't like to be seen shitting or falling off something, like thinking there was no curb and stumbling through the crosswalk, no good, jingle jangle just making it worse.

One cigarette before I go, just downstairs, can't smoke in the car. One of the rules. One of the so many rules, no smoking in the cars. Unfiltered, terrible cigarettes. No flavor except burning, but nicotine and smoke and the feeling of paper and muck between the fingers is good enough in any case. Tip toes, out into the snow, step lightly on the cleared path, the crunch of errant blocks of snow and the rock salt of the winter-prepared, simple concept that took eons to discover, salt and temperature. Puff and inhale, puff and inhale, cold air and hot smoke stinging all the way in, all the way out. A bit queasy from it, but who knows what the traffic will be.

Tom, out there, still wooing that girl, her still lusting and impatient but letting him have his little moment, too young to appreciate the serenade, masturbating in a dorm room, fucking because it's college and that's what you do when you get to college. First night in the dorms, I fucked, just like it's supposed to be, welcome to higher education. Awkward for the rest of the year, they find. Be selective, little girl, or you'll waste all that energy and vigor on the wrong people. Fuck the people who want to fuck you, not people who want to fuck someone. Much better that way, even if there's no emotion to it. At least there's a passion, little girl, at least there's a passion. Even still, she, sitting in his room, listening, wondering when she's going to get fucked already.

We'd have fucked twice by now, and then awkward for a year. At least I'll get to the point, if you're going to make a mistake I'll get it over and done with so I can go back to my coffee and the bottle of whiskey I keep in the freezer at home. Better than empty but deep serenade that nobody gives a shit about. Save the guitar for the campfire, for sitting around with people who don't want to fuck you yet, secret weapon not first contact. Never did know how to work those things. What happens when papa leaves? The boy never learns how to be papa himself someday. Goddamn, it's cold, too cold, and still have to piss.

Done with the cigarette, careful walk to the car, careful drive to the cafe, careful presentation when you get there. Not too closed off, not too intimidating, not too hard to talk to, not too hard to look at. Hair on the chin to soften the jawline, soften the cheekbones, make the face less imposing, a bridle, a bit in the mouth for control, vanity and arrogance all of it. Face too sharp for most people, features too angular, not boyish but like a man's face, but still in the eyes like a child. Thinking too much about his face, always he starts thinking about his face, how it is and how it isn't and what other people think. Silly vain arrogant honest truth.

Fucking car's going to take forever to warm up. Inevitable call on the phone, what have you done, where did you go? Coffee and writing and sex, mother, coffee and writing and sex. Queer fellows at the cafe will welcome me in, stare at me from afar, wonder why I'm alone, and I'll sit there with coffee and writing and say with my eyes that sex is why I am alone, that is all, not like you, who want sex but can't always have it, can't always know, never quite get what you're looking for, only thing stopping sex for me is me. I want to fuck people who want to fuck me, and plenty do but I won't say anything, just there with coffee and writing, makes them want to fuck me more, builds readership, maybe I'll say something that only you understand, something special between us, and that will be a cue for you—I want sex too, don't you understand? I am just too sensitive, too shy, but now you know, and nobody else does but now you know. It'll still be another three months of dancing before I do, at least, but you'll feel it more and I'll feel it more, too. Won't even have to do anything, sit back and let you do what pleases you, everything pleases you, everything pleases me, convenience, perfection, fun for me and terrible for you until you get yours, perfection, deep and full, the noises you'll make, like being in the studio and hearing it actually as recorded, deep and full.

Car's moving now, slush and crunch and slide a bit. Fuck, pissing and pissing, like I need to stop on the side of the road in some dark spot and let it flow. Bad idea, the coffee, just the heat set it off like a boy losing his cherry, part of the instincts somewhere, damp and heat makes for erections, makes for orgasm, makes for piss, no matter where and why and when, just something ingrained. Surprised more people don't like humidity, recipe for sex, recipe for a hard-on, recipe for so many things. People get used to walking around with an erection in Florida, I think, get used to seeing people adjusting the bulges in their pants, used to seeing womens' legs crossed and little beads of sweat in the pit of the knee, dripping from the thigh, Florida is for lovers or for finding lovers, everyone there wants to fuck, like in Italy, like in the Caribbean. Not so much in the Middle East. Too dry. Dry and heat is just hot, nobody wants to fuck and sweat and breathe in the stale desert air. Air needs its own steam, water vapor like exhales already always in the air, the pants and heavy breaths of fucking always lingering around, constant reminder of breathing in a lover's breath, all the sounds and feels of fucking while just heading down to the corner store.

This place, New England, cold, snowing, bitter, like Russia, wet and cold like a morgue. Gotta be a special sort of brand to want to fuck in the morgue. Some people do, I guess, that special sort of people, like fucking in a graveyard. Not interested. In the wrong place for fucking. Even still, coffee and writing and sex, just fine, I'll fuck in the graveyard if that's what you're into, I've got nothing else to do, bored with everything already, might as well try out something fucked up and different, might find out I'm a special brand of people and it gets me my jollies. Let's fuck on the snow in the park at 3am, ejaculate on the snow and see what kind of color it makes, sweat freezing into little drops between our asses, on our thighs. Could be fun, might be terrible, but I'm driving now and if it happens it might as well happen like that.

Finally at the place, a big chain sort of coffee shop. Not familiar enough with the place to go anywhere unfamiliar, too worried about being in the wrong sort of place, too worried about all sorts of this and that. Part of being away from home is finding those places that are like home, even the places you hate, places like big chain sorts of coffee shops. Their coffee's always too hot, as well, and flavorless, though strong in its own curious way. Stronger than diner coffee, anyway, which is a weakness mitigated by free and constant refills at those sorts of places. Find me a diner without free coffee refills and I'll show you a diner whose days are numbered.

First thing—into the pisser. I'll be a paying customer in a goddamn minute, thanks, but right now I need to piss and I mean to do just that. Into the little bathroom, decide to sit down, try my hand at taking a shit as well, never know if it'll turn out that I've got a bowel full of brown. Cold and sterile, though dark-walled. That one time on the boat, crossing the English Channel, high, staring at the cold blue stall walls, paranoid, thinking of everything all at once, wishing I hadn't smoked pot, thinking I'd never do it again, never do it again, someone's going to go looking for me, going to find me, going to throw me off the boat, kick the door in, they'll hear my breathing, see my feet, they know, they know, what will I do, soccer game in two days and I'm going to be on this boat forever, definitely a good call trying at the shit, satisfying, quite a few people out there in the shop but didn't get a good look at any of them, might want to take the lay of the land while I buy my coffee, like I always do, better to know what's going on than be surprised, where did she come from, that sort of thing. Wipe and shake and wash and go.

Two coffee choices, neither really distinguishable from the other, gaunt looking woman, late 40s, deep-set eyes, dark circles, looks like a soccer mom on crack, thin brown bag with long thin straps, wonder what made her buy that, completely devoid of style, even older women must think of style now and then, or maybe they just forget about it, like style is for the youth and she has resigned to never being young again, soccer mom more than crack addict but still with that streak that's been beaten into the ground without remorse. Cute girl walks in just as I settle on the coffee, being poured as we speak from a big stainless steel kettle, cookie-cutter sort of thing, design for coffee hasn't changed in centuries, at least decades, cute girl waiting for her coffee drink, checking me out, it's lemonade and tea and she's going upstairs and I'm downstairs and its obvious we're checking one another out but I don't say anything and neither does she. Thick black leggings, black boots, bright purple scarf, dark brown eyes, thin in the face but with curves in the body, womanly but still girlish, girlish but still a woman, in transition, figuring out the gap between one and the other, just like I am in the bleak little spot between man and boy, both of us probably dealing with same dilemma, written on our faces, playing like grown-ups but still feeling like children, lost, crying in the hardware section of Wal-Mart, wailing for our mothers, finally given up on the wandering search, not quite knowing yet how searching works and what to do and where to go, waiting for someone, anyone, to take our hand and wipe our tears and ask us what is going on. She walks up the stairs and I stay at my little table, not knowing what or how to say the things that should be said, were we better, smarter people. Sip the coffee now that it's cooled a little and say “oh darn” to yourself and wonder how another opportunity slipped right past, deflect from the faults of self and chalk it up to the way the universe works, settle in your things, clearing the table, making it look available, as if someone were just going to walk up and sit down as if you were just going to walk up and sit down at someone else's table. What's there to say, you coward? We're all cowards, yes, except me, that is what you could say. “I am not a coward. I will sit at your table without invitation because it's what both of us seem to want.” That seems a little forward, accusatory, gives too much relief, too blunt, too easy, too difficult, American prudence and internalization, romantic saber-rattling and bluster, but then you say “hello” and introduce yourself and now you're fucked, you still have to say something, whatever something you would be better off starting off with, the whatever something you can't figure out, so you just sit there drinking coffee and writing in the big chain coffee shop instead of walking up the stairs.

This is the way the universe works.

Fuck fuck fuck, coffee still too fucking hot, goddamnit will it never end? Baristas are all female or gay, bustling about, making this and that, cheerful and hustling, one of them periodically having a look at me, another situation where the universe demands a certain order, a certain structure, eye contact with one of the baristas, male, good-looking, brown eyes, trendy sort of short hair with a little product in it, not thick enough to notice outright but the shape is improbable without something being in it, green apron, tall, stalking about, one end of the counter to the other, collar popped, not knowing that everything about popped collars screams asshole or not caring, confident steps, go-getter sort, definitely a hit with the ladies and even moreso with the gentlemen, good-looking guy who makes coffee and drinks cocks, cop comes into the place, better suited at the donut shop with the crap coffee up the street, the New England institution of morning ritualism, shitty slogans for a shitty age, trying to be positive and outgoing and making a difference for people in this shitty world, economy's going to pot and they're saying “you can do whatever you want,” but the world turns and people keep getting shown how everything they've been doing has fucked them, it's winter time and we don't want slogans, we want answers and someone to blame. Depression setting in, on the economy and on people, sun is out but the spirits are down, morale at an all-time low, the back-and-froth of the tides, existential dilemmas, suicide rates inconclusive, confidence shattered, still looking over when shoefalls sound on the stairs, maybe it's her, maybe I'll catch eyes with her again and she'll figure out what's up, have a seat, make it easier. Maybe I should try to smile, always been bad at that, can never show teeth, never seem genuine, like to have a reason to smile other than attraction, attracted to a lot of people but smile at funny, not at beautiful, beauty deserves reverence, people buying hot chocolate, cute Mexican girl and big gruff American guy, maybe a fisherman, lots of fishermen here, lots of dreams about fish lately, fishermen probably not burdened that way, all through their fish dream phases, headphones back on, thicker sound than the little speakers, but not like hearing it live. Heard this band live, they were good, room not very crowded, sort of a little secret engagement except it was advertised all over town but fuck it, I was there and that was good enough.

His knee is tapping up and down now, “restless leg” they call it, pissed that the internet is pay-by-the-hour here, no connection to the outside world except for being in the outside world, but no way aside from the phone to contact anyone back home, the internet is a crutch, nothing to doubt about it, people in the place glancing at him now and then, not sure why, then again I look at people all the time, just to see who is there, nothing personal about it, good series of songs on the shuffled playlist, might have a cigarette soon, not sure what to do about this whole writing thing, world seems to be going on all around him and there he is sitting in the coffee shop in public feeling separate and distant, a deconstructed element surrounded by pillars and architecture. Existential distance, existential separation, the existential spearhead of absence, watching seagulls hover against the blowing wind, watching for fish bits or something else to eat, cars bobbing over cobblestones, making that noise, unexplainable, potholes kathunk and suspensions creak and everyone going about some important business, knee still popping up and down, shaking the little table, red notebook tassel quivering from the jostling, black fine-point pen rolling about, cute girl working at the coffee shop out of unflattering uniform, turns out to be petite and curvy and quite a delight to set eyes on, wondering if she's going to leave, probably only twenty years to her, good profile, roundness of the cheeks supple and warm, big obese woman seems to have replaced her, definitely a downgrade, guy across from me all the way across the room can tell I'm glancing at this girl constantly, fat woman behind her thinks I'm glancing at her but realizes her mistake while opening a garbage bag, another cute girl leaves with the employee chick, both of them heading for a Toyota in the parking lot across the street, heading out, maybe just on a break but it's 3:30 in the afternoon and that seems like a leaving time, maybe they're a couple, pretty liberal out here, who can say?

Car still not started, hasn't left yet, maybe just a mid-day break, meeting to hang out in the warmth, smoking a joint or a pipe, picking the high back up, work out the rest of the day, now it's started and put into reverse, backing out through the show bank, hair whipping around in its ponytail as she looks at her friend from the driver's seat, definitely leaving time, quite a shame, another lost opportunity for now, way of the universe, she'll be back there later this week, maybe I'll be a regular, banter with her now and then at the bar of the shop, then on a slow day she'll say something a little more forward and I'll say something even more forward and we'll cut to the chase when she gets off work. Go someplace, get a bite, no coffee, never that, maybe a drink or two, show me her place, take a look around, have a cigarette on her patio, give it a little time, what's going to happen when I come back in, what's going to happen when he comes back in, come back in and have that sort of body language, the sort of swagger where I come back in looking right at her like I'm looking for nothing but her, she's standing up, just kind of smirking at me, then the grab, then the kiss, and then she pulls me into her room, she's been picking it up while I've been smoking, making sure there's no clothing on the bed, nothing to stumble on heading to the bed, everything in a hamper, damage control, as if I'd notice some messiness on the way there, self-conscious still, and all the way through, even then, naked and misunderstanding, still cautious despite the sex, nervous and waiting for something more to happen, round 2, make it more comfortable, a little chatter about where I'm from, what's going on, but not enough to get too familiar too soon, can't cut off the second round, fifteen minutes of small talk, don't get into too much detail, make it obvious you're not ready to talk about that stuff yet even if you are, have something to talk about once it's all over and done, before the question of where you go from here is raised, no use getting there too early, might not happen again, might be awkward next time you go into her work, get what you can out of it before it's done and the rules change, never really knowing, never really knowing, definitely time for that cigarette, still haven't gotten a lick of work done.

Sun beating down, still cold but not bad, lumps on snow and ice plowed aside from sidewalks, park covered with snow, smothering grass, two of my footprints in the slush on the curbside, burning cigarette but just from not having a filter, seagulls cawing, crows cawing, the cars driving down the main road, people coming and going saying this and that to one another, generic repeatable unrepeatable conversation, cars parked roadside, navy guy in his black uniform, reflections off car windows and finishes stinging the eyes, wore ugly sunglasses, belong to my dad, mine accidentally in his car, feeling out of place smoking, what to do now? Trash cans but no ash trays, opposite of my house back home, gay tall guy comes into the place, going back in now. He's sitting on the counter, chatting with the staff, obviously a friend. Lots of gay people here. At least more obviously gay people. Not like home, everyone in the closet there, big closet population here, mother's friends with a bartender in town who works at a bar turned swingers club after dark, marriages of convenience, bad politically to be out in the open, even in this society, but in this town its the open little secret, come to this bar and bring a partner or be left out, no barflies here, nothing of the sort, swinging takes two chains, multiple points of contact, pretty girl upstairs, just inside the walkway, glances as me as I come back in and I'm obviously looking for her, why not go upstairs, nothing to lose, seems silly but I am a silly person, here comes a pretty blonde girl, probably to meet the pretty girl upstairs, just like last time, wasted a lot of time and now no chance of fixing that, walking upstairs too blatant, should sit upstairs more, nobody wants to be obvious on the downstairs level as if going upstairs were any more discreet, just sacrificing one group of people for another, maybe move up there and set up shop somewhere there, seems stupid, obvious, silly. But I am silly, aren't I?

Not that silly. Just a coward like everyone else, so many excuses, sip the coffee and listen to music and be alone like always. Comfortable, like the coffee shop, like most of the things going on. Better to be introspective and alone than run the risk of rejection and embarrassment, right? Wrong, obviously, but now we've come back to being a coward. Still looking over the shoulder at the sound of footfalls on the stairs. What is wrong? Something terribly broken inside the brain, still won't take those fucking chemicals, brain chemistry fucked up enough as it is, doesn't seem like a point in making it even more meddled with and rearranged, no thanks I'll pass.

3:42 now. Father picking me up in about half an hour, I figure. Another cute woman comes into the place, probably 19 or 20, bad calling her a woman, but still that in the eyes of the law. Got the wrong woman earlier, coffee shop girl still here, girl who just walked in actually more like 22, I think, sharp facial features, cute point to her nose, ripped up jeans, hair in a cute little bunch. She's about five foot six, dirty blonde, good cheeks, thin pink lips, tiny little solid ears, good cut to those jeans, perky ass, right up my alley, looks good in profile but standing waiting for her drink like she's gonna leave right after, should take up a seat across from me, won't, hardly even caught eyes with her, no surprise if I saw her walking away through the window, alas for the way of things, always the way of things, right back to her car, what a cute little walk, jesus christ someone help me out here because I won't do it myself. No wingman, does nobody else in this town just go out for coffee alone, everyone meeting up with someone else, coming in and leaving, stop for coffee really quick, gotta run, places to be.

Unique situation I'm in, just short of 24, back with the folks for a while, no real job to speak of, sitting in coffee shops writing nothing, drinking the coffee that doesn't do anything for me, smoking cigarettes and watching the working and non-working classes come and go, listening to baristas banter and jest, women studying with one another, men and women talking, days off, winter vacation, and I have nothing to offer, not to myself, hardly to anyone, women can sense a certain desperation, another cute girl in here, but her maybe 18 or 19 at the very most, looks like she's in with her mom, tall slender woman, good genes for the daughter, still a little too slender for her height, not grown into her bones yet, but only a bit of baby fat around the jowls and cheeks, dressed like a high schooler, 17 or 18, slight but important revision, difference, talking about school, sounds like maybe freshman in college senior in high school, the quick pace of someone young, still hasn't learned to slow down and think it through, talking about boys and this and that, familial conversation, not saying too much but still close enough to say, mother-daughter bond inexplicable, friendly and uneven, women learn to measure their words, the pacing of their talk, men learn to speed up, be more freewheeling, less mired in the density of thought and letting it spill out more openly, everyone trying to meet up in the middle.

It's almost time to go, nothing to be done here that will actually be done, gay guy checking me out, “cleaned up the area” right near me earlier, he and the barista joking that the area is dirty again, “anytime you need me to clean up your area, I totally will,” flattering but I am not interested, obviously, trying to keep the eyes on the screen, make it obvious that I'm not going that way, as nice as it is to be blatantly lusted over. Would be so much easier to be gay, men are more straightforward, we're lusting, we leer without reserve, no doubt about what is going on in our heads, definitely a good place for women, another good-looking woman, silver band on the ring finger, dressed like a grown, confident woman, maybe 26 or 27, pearl earrings, tall brown suede boots, but with that big motherly brown bag like my mother has, full of loads of shit probably, but she still carries herself like a young woman, good for her. Hair in general disrepair but not without elegance, just enough that it shows that she's not out to impress but is merely naturally impressive, long knobby Scandinavian nose, sharp blue eyes, coffee shop girl wipes down the table across from me with hardly a thought or glance, another woman, friends with a couple guys and the Scandinavia-nose from before, 29 or 30, dark-haired and angular-faced, powerful bone structure, confident and graceful. Beautiful town across the board, but stuffed to the gills with yuppies and old money.

Smell of chocolate from the bar, sun bright in my eyes, pondering another cigarette, have a smoke and glance at the girl upstairs, see if she's still alone, perhaps pack up my things and head upstairs, see what she's doing or working on, came in with a book I couldn't place, didn't seem to be up to much when I saw her earlier, probably up there with the friend but not sure, even with gay guys leering at me I don't feel attractive, feel like I'd be making a fool of myself, lots of people upstairs now, trading one small group for one large one, always something to excuse me, I know I have balls because the jeans I'm wearing are tight-ish and I can feel them but sometimes it feels like I've completely lost my balls, nothing to lose but the risk of irritating my depression, bad enough I'm going to therapy without having to deal with that.

Laughter from upstairs, not sure who from or why, still wondering, still wondering, complacent, not taking the advice of friends, going out for that cigarette now, more of the same I'm sure, more wasted time and painful throats. Battery on laptop dying despite it just sitting here doing almost nothing, time wasted away on nothing, approached to borrow a chair, not approached to talk, bringing the charger next time, 11 minutes left on it, no time to charge it anywhere, fuck it let's go.

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