I see my iphone and i think about her face. It takes up everything.
I see her body and I forget about her predicament.
This woman is facing me while she talks to another dude. She annoys me. She talks really fast. He talks about his girlfriends. She is talking about her age. She doesn’t want to age. She’s happy to have a conversation with her friend. He’s not standing and typing like he was yesterday. He has black hair. I think he likes to talk to women. I haven’t seen him talk to men. He’s average looking and harmless. I think he makes money for himself. He doesn’t live for anyone else. He will have to one day even though human beings live for themselves. She is thin and manic. She’s talking about mushrooms.
I know how to identify them, she said.
The Phillipino american school teacher has a new student. He reminds her of the young suicide. She reads his journal. He’s a good looking young man. His parents pressure him like the suicide was pressured by his parents. He knows her two sons. They are sixteen like him. He asks them to invite him over for dinner and gameboy. He wants to be a writer. She writes for herself. She’s a private person. She has sent work to fine magazines, but it has never been accepted the adults she knows criticize her. The young man admires her. He comes to her when her sons are playing video games. They talk about awkward social situations and the future. She has a wide mouth and thick feet. When I first saw her feet i felt repulsed. They were in a pair of fancy new shoes that didn’t look right for a school teacher. She lost her husband to cancer. They don’t know what it’s like to lose a husband she says to herself. They don’t want me to lose it. They see me losing it. I throw up at teacher conferences. I have to not show them weakness. I don’t want to lose my job. I don’t have anything else. I’ve always had my work. I like to work hard. I have a good work ethic. I’m going to get to where i want. They don’t know shit. They don’t have to maintain. She has her two boys. She lives for them. She teaches them. They are in her class this year. She is popular with the faculty and the students. She thinks I’m obsessed with her. She left me for a white short bald social worker. He looks like a dumbed down copy of me. He’s an alcoholic. He separates brown babies from their brown mothers. He insinuates himself into immigrant families and fucks them up. He’s a consummate sadist. He has a thing for Mexican and black women. He has a small black girl. She is a mother to her even thought she hates how she looks like her mother. The social worker regrets having lost his wife. It’s not easy to know what is good, the social worker likes to say. He reads Schopenhauer. He likes to specialize in one philosopher. He used to specialize in Proust. In his mind Proust is a philosopher. He still goes back to Proust and doesn’t remember having read what he reads. He has a dual translation of Proust’s first volume. He first reads the French and then the English translation. He usually stays with the English translation not wanting to bother with the French. Spanish is easier for him to understand. French eludes him. He likes to speak spanish to his clients. It helps that he is emotionally connected to them. He doesn’t know anyone who is French. He doesn’t like men with long or short hair. He prefers they have medium length hair like himself. When he observes a man and a woman talking he wonders at how fluid the conversation is. He can talk with a woman for ten minutes and then he doesn’t have anything to add. He hates the silence and he wants to complain about how he has no meaning in his life. For awhile he thought he felt frustrated like this because he was a homosexual. When he started fucking the school teacher he thought differently. she has a soft belly and large breasts that he loves to grapple with as her vagina throttles his penis. He was reading the chapter on laughter when he decided to put Schopenhauer down. He has something to say about every aspect of life and he wants to familiarize himself with it all. Schopenhauer doesn’t like too much reading to cope with the void. He thought he should hide the book so he didn’t have to think about it. He disagrees with Schopenhauer about the Greeks. He thinks the Greeks are more intelligent than modern man. He doesn’t want to think about Schopenhauer or the short story about him by the french writer Maupaussant. It was a story that was clearly anti Schopenhauer. The french writer wrote it when he was losing his fight with madness. It was like he resented Schopenhauer for his looming madness. He doesn’t need to think for him. He has his own thoughts. He’s not convinced there is original thought. He knows that he doesn’t need to get thoughts from books to have something to think about. He does need Schopenhauer, Erasmus, and Proust. His mother hated academics. His father was an academic. She hated his father so it would make sense that she hates academics. She also hated bohemians. She hated anyone who disagreed with her predicament. She was lonely because she liked to dominate the men in her life. He is a man of experience. He observes his clients. sometimes they notice he does it. they think he is thinking about something else more pressing when he is observing them. His eyes don’t have a color then or the person who is with him doesn’t remember what color his eyes are. He deals with refugees and brown and black folk. He has his own thoughts about their predicament. He has his own thoughts about the school teacher and her two boys. He thinks she gets too close to her student. He thinks the last student killed himself because she got to close to him. She was coping with her husbands death. He was the one she could get a hold on. The young student liked rap music. He wanted to be asocial activist rapper.
I had money for Alexis Monday, but not for Wednesday. she’s my project.
You have no idea, Alexis said. we’re going to be like Andy and Edie.
As long as you don’t do anything stupid, I said.
If you could capture me and share it with the world we could be famous, but I fear you want to keep me for yourself.
Amanda won’t hurt now. She will hurt later, especially the weeks she doesn’t have her children and when she goes back to one of the lukewarm middle aged men she fucked when she was with me.