you consume the heart of your enemy so that it can no longer be said of him that he exists — except as he exists in you.

one august night not so many years ago i was pacing around in my bushwick apartment, in my underwear, wine glass in hand, thinking out loud. i had just finished up my third attempt at dating that neanderthal surgeon when i received a text from an unknown number. the number, though not tied to a name on my phone, i knew. it had too many 6s. perhaps this was the first sign. i had seen otherthan writing it, left handedly in the morning light years before in the same apartment. i put down my wineglass, i studied the text. then i wrote back. then i studied the text. then i quickly put on my make up and clothes and jumped on the L and got off at bedford.

walking down south first, i came upon him waiting on the stoop. long legs crossed, two glasses, an open bottle. hey. he looked exactly like the holographic in my head, like a hallucination manifested pixel by pixel. i sat down and tasted his wine which tasted like shit. he looked over and confessed, it tastes like shit. i put the glass down and put my hands in his hair (no product) and intoned, never lose it. he grinned, i’d have to leave new york, right?

we got up and walked, he tossed the bottle somewhere and left the wine glasses where they were. he asked me about my trip and then said, that’s it? that’s it, i shrugged and dug my hands into my pockets. things were always awkward with us when we weren’t absolutely alone. he was jumpy, erratic, i never got if that was him or it was because of me. there’s not a sober thing i knew about him but that he was beautiful. i had known it the moment i first laid eyes on him in that filthy bar, and i knew it that night i saw him for the last time, and i still know it now.

what is affirmative tends to be interrogative (calasso, ka). and so a beautiful man awoke in me a relentlessness, which i was sure would lead to a premature death on the streets of brooklyn. i packed every last book and left. which is how i am awake in the middle of the night, in los angeles, reading st. augustine’s confessions. of which the first 10 pages, every sentence is a question. goes to show that in the face of beauty, be it that of a 6’2 architect from western pennsylvania, or before God, the most terrible beauty of all — we are mendicants.

One thought on “you consume the heart of your enemy so that it can no longer be said of him that he exists — except as he exists in you.

  1. I liked this post – firm and clear-eyed. Sounds your architect friend is a good fit.

    [Or you had a lot of fun rereading the classics late at night 🙂 ]

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