AB

Drowning in sound, plain view. Addicts, fumbling over vice; devouring, compiling tones. Craving tension, barely savoring release. Hunters ensconsed.

I moved in with whom I consider my most trusted ally. A friend from Mexico. It’s just we two. We two boys together clinging. Cities wrenching.

We fall in holes together. Soar out together. We share minds; heartistic harmony. We pine together. We drink together, laugh together, listen together, sing together, lose and find hope together, smoke together…  We sing (brilliantly) together, songs arranged to fulfill our foray. He told me once that my voice was like a warm, fuzzy cannon. His voice is the love and torture of two star-crossed, only married when he sings. We’re in an internet rock band. We’re The Savage Detectives, after a book by Roberto Bolaño. It’s about the Mexican avant garde, fearlessness, having no idea what to do or chase except something like love and poetry and truth, ruthlessly. We snoop around Boston, tapping thumbs, making hearts.

I’m too early in the morning. He, groggy, me, uppity, talk of dreams. We both have vivid recall so we share. Mine surround WWIII, girls, bionic cults, the CIA. His surround poignant TV advertisements, girls, home town ice cream in the park, talkative wax museums, tar monsters. Lately, I haven’t remembered mine. I’m sure we’ve both had a few that we don’t share. The subconscious is not limited by anything, it’s not limited by one’s desired sights, desired feelings… it’s unlimited; probably laughing at what we choose to share, the tip of the iceberg, tentative tight words.

He’s got almond eyes with smile marks and floppy black hair. A stately skull. His skin is on the very light side of olive, holds him together nicely. An immense sense of style. You couldn’t mistake him for anything but a creator, an artist. He’s got this one sweater: alternating blue white and red, almost cross-stitched, unravelling right by his heart. Any t-shirt he wears beneath it becomes the fourth color of the sweater.

His brain is made for art. He can tell you, any day of the week, which architect designed the U.N. Building in New York, other locations the architect had erected buildings, from where the architect found inspiration, what the architect was going for… Just last week we were at a dinner party and somehow we got onto the topic of the Isabella Gardner Museum robbery, the biggest art robbery ever to go unsolved. Every little detail at his fingertips but he won’t spew them unless the correct question is asked. Class around the facts, he’s a vessel for them, but also, an ignitor, a pusher, an attractive, more engaging version of them. The conversation explodes with curiosity. Chuckles and oos and ahhs. Bushy tailed eye-contact all around.  (When he first told me about the robbery I was impressed, unnerved even, by every little detail he had. Timing his prose with humor and wit, I wished for an audience beyond me and there we were.) Nobody asks about the security guard so I relay my personal favorite fact that the poor kid had his whole head duct taped (afro and all) to a light pole for 7 or 8 hours, breathing just through punctured nose-holes in the tape. He recalls that the security guard was actually a student of the college we go to. Poor bastard, that guard.

I met my brother two years ago, in a course designed to share and intellectualize music. Everyone would bring a song a week based on a topic assigned by the professor. Our tastes were similar, but different enough to mean that we could infinitely share music with each other. It wasn’t until the next semester, though, that we started mixing songs together. Every week we’d mix, us flying around in a control room, frantically patching and unpatching gear, fiddling with knobs and faders, intensely listening. AB-ing compressors and EQs, looking sideways at each other, making terrible puns, heads weaving, “In….? or… out?” Always, there would be talk of life and the general battle. The good fight. Us deeply romantic, passionate fellows flung from far away colliding. At times, our intensities met and danced around the room like a weed foxtrots with cement or a volcano tangos with Earth. Orange glow, golden beams. More’n sunshine, more’n moonshine. True grit. The closer and closer we got, the more and more we found ourselves together. People knew us as a pair. Solo, it is inevitable someone will ask, “Hey where’s your bro?”

We let each other down every once and a while, balancing the scales. We are so very out for each other. So very in love with each other. That’s why it hurts like a motherfucking bee-sting on the spine, like a god-damned lobotomy when we fail each other. That’s why we swallow the nails we don’t talk about. That’s why we don’t even have to talk to communicate. That’s why we surprise our peers. That’s why we do incredible things. We have a very crooked door. We have a very creaky kitchen floor.

I meet two girls on the train. Two unstoppably beautiful women on the train. They invite me to hang out. Nervous to meet these two alone, I invite him. Understanding, poetry-imbibing, enigmatic him. Our first outing outside of addiction. We meet them at a hookah bar, frozen in time.

I refuse to forget the time, when we took a trip, all day jaunt. I finally bled a page. With a pen. Like that scene in Harry Potter where some book (Tom Riddelo’s notebook, I think) is stabbed over and over, gushing ink. The auburn in my hair, I finally saw. The plum in his, I finally saw. He wondered what his animal looked like and we twisted in the sun. Two fools, try’na have some fun. The openness of words, we explored. The park and the forest. The childlike sense of wonder. “Remember, as a child, always feeling a little heat? Running around?” he, articulate sniper of English, asked. We exhaust in the doorway hours later and lounge all over one and other. Absolute closeness. To be anywhere else but under the arc… Under the arc we stare, holding eyes in our own, spouting thinks of all shapes and size. As if the trip have given us the chance to meet as we would’ve met as kids. Resting in slow breath armor under the arc, like a coca-cola can and a pepsi can in the same recycling bin.

I wasn’t born with my brother, I had to find him.

Swingin’

I like jazz. I like the swing. My heart don’t swing though, not today anyway. My heart don’t beat in doggo: in some kind of beat, solid time that is rough going, against the current, against the office window jazz to my right with the blue sky and the gray with the white, white puffs that look like mashed potatoes (I think of others who dig the mash like I do who sees it like I sees it in the sense that the simplest things can be and often are the most decadent like black beans right out of the pan or noodles with butter and nothin’ but). This thought relaxes me a bit.

Kind of Blue rolls over my skull like the list in the 1979 film ‘Don Giovanni’ roles out over the lawn as Leperello sing-splains to Donna Elvira all the women Don Giovanni had been with and how awful – just how awful it was he abandoned you, Donna Elvira, but you should definitely drop that love – it’s such a long list I mean look at it roll and it’s still rolling(!) infinite, look at the way it escapes the eye, Donna Elvira. Jazz as a forever lover, cheating on everyone, ha! It seems I’m a bit out of whack today because ‘So What’ does what it always does with the tingle the weight the smoothing like water but my heart still won’t have it like it craves a massage or something so I think about how that would look and the painful, true-to-the-name knots in there… Disturbed even further, I really feel the blood going in and out of my heart pump pump pump spasmodically and I think how, actually, I control it and that thought adds to the solid beat anxious because what if it stops and I don’t actually know how to start it, regulate it because it’s never been easy I just never had to think about it—–

Thump against flow. Thump against sternum. Steady thump, no swing.

Co-worker pops out to get a cup of water which means I have a few seconds to myself. I take 1mg of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication. Prescribed. I wait. Sometimes the act of taking the pill makes me anxious, too, but not this time. Kind of Blue keeps on strollin’ through my park with the car horn jazz outside. Bill Evans is forever after my heart or I’m forever after his – I can’t decide. ‘All Blues’ makes me think about my own fingers on the 88 keys and I feel the why-haven’t-you-been-and-why-aren’t-you-right-now-practicing pin prick on the back of my neck where the hairs raise like the eyebrows of Leonardo DiCaprio acting a scene in which he’s supposed to be distressed but still kinda in control – that look he gets in all the movies he’s been in (except maybe ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’) – I HEAR the church they recorded in: the brass instruments tickle the space up my brain crawling the walls spitting back all the while I can see 100 foot high ceilings and I see them playin’ playin’ playin’ like they doobopadoodoo do.

My anxiety, clever little beast, must’ve migrated  to the part of my brain I think still unaffected by “anti-anxiety” pills. What a tricky concept that is, just by nomer: “Anti-Anxiety”. What if I run out of pills and I haven’t had the time to refill them (commonplace) so they have effectively made me more anxious and every time I get them I worry I’ll run out again so I try and make another purchase but the pharmacist says that’ll cost extra so I get anxious about my state of affairs and I leave white-fisted (little pops of pink-red) shaking deeper than my omnipresent tremor looking up my bank statement on my phone breathing and sweating like Christian Bale in that scene in ‘American Psycho’ where he kills a WHOLE bunch of people, running around in the wrong lobbies killing janitors and doormen and strangers in the wrong place wrong time and when he finally gets to his building, his office, sweating sweating sweating he, in a wave of relief, calls his lawyer and I’m breathing those choked up little breaths between murder confessions and how he ate some brains and tried to cook a little too – my how he sweats in that scene – but I didn’t kill anyone and I didn’t cook brains but I feel like I did and the consequence tidal wave is so big and blue it looks like the sky but I know that’s not the kind of blue it’s supposed to be; there is something to this kind of blue that blocks out the sun.

I can’t shake the pathumpatump – like – it shakes me, ragdoll me in the hand of a barely omniscient little-god man crawling on all fours towards his bigger-god momma, crushing me every time he puts his little-god hand on the ground – closer and closer to his god-momma who’s gonna tidy me up so I can play again after the little-god man has had his little-god man nap.

Then the lorazepam kicks in and the anxiety-god-people are gone. The sun feels more like a blanket than a clothing iron and it’s all just a bit slower.