i dropped the white pill on the white floor. there was hair and dried blood. i found the round pill, it had a letter and a number on it.
i’m a happy man, she said.
you have to be happy, she said. don’t you know that you can’t be sad in america.
where did she come from? i didn’t know her. i thought she was a friend of a friend. but now i’m not sure. she was very pretty. we weren’t introduced. she asked if she could walk with me. i thought it wasn’t a good idea. i liked to walk in the dark for hours. she stayed with me. i should have said something. instead i talked about the weather and food.
they go out to eat in portland, i said. every neighborhood has its restaurants.
we are going back to the land, she said. we are growing kale and we have our livestock. we have a small vineyard. we drink our own wine. i have a young capable foreman. he has handsome friends. i don’t know what i want and then i want to fuck. i guess when i’m confused it means that i need to fuck.
i liked waiting for my ex to come home and to hear about her day. she talked about the mothers she befriended. i liked having someone to come home to. i wasn’t always there. i was scaring myself and going god knows where. i knew it would end.
all good things come to an end. i thought about my mother. who she was now that she wasn’t. my ex went somewhere with our daughter for the weekend. i’m not sure where.
now that we have been divorced for a year our real marriage has started.
they threatened to kidnap b. he has to work with that threat in mind. i’m worried about h being with him, if they are after him, even though i doubt they will mess with her. she used to be unsure about b, now she likes him.
i don’t know enough about b. she keeps him to herself like her teenage boys who she hasn’t introduced me to. she has talked to me an awful lot about her sons as i have about my daughter. sometimes i listen to h before myself or anyone else because she talks about what she does with groups she doesn’t feel she belongs to. she does this knowing that i’m singular. i have felt euphoric in group settings, not belonging to them.
the one thing that has helped h and my ex to survive is achievement. my ex is a three level tennis player. she is thin and wan from the exercise. h is an educator. she
spearheads her own course about overlooked women in history.
sometimes h talked about her friends to include me sometimes she did it to not include me. she drank whisky when she was with me. she has been drinking whisky
since she started up with b. he was a big drinker. i stopped with the whisky also having started drinking it when h started because the next day i didn’t feel anything. i was drinking it and taking pills which was tricky not knowing what will happen but nothing
bad happened. it was very nice the drinking the whisky with the white pills, and then
i stopped. i lost interest like i did with most everything else and the interest didn’t come back like it usually did with other things i took an interest in.
when shit got heavy my doc advised me to take a vacation. he knew i had the money and the time to take one. i didn’t want to go away from my shitty apartment
and my neighbors who were silent until they prepare for bed, work, or sex.
the wife was very quiet. the husband was a bungler and a hard worker. his footsteps were abrasive. he shaved his head that was a conspicuous large black and white insect head. he had a silver sports car. he parked it in front of my apartment. he ran from it to the front door every evening. often he left with his dog for ten minutes who was almost as dormant as the woman was quiet.
the wife stopped moaning when she had sex to spite me. i slammed my fist against the wall. i wanted to break it down when they were having loud sex. i didn’t care for her moaning and his muteness. he thumped his fleshy hairy body against hers’. i have tried to explain it to my therapist without success. there’s a difference between listening to a couple having sex as a lusty confused young man and as a remiss middle aged man. i had no desire to hear a childless couple having the same dumb sex every week.
when the couple walked together they looked like they were racing each other. when i shook the man’s hand he almost took my arm off. he yanked it up and down forcefully. the woman had a tepid handshake and a wary gaze.
i saw the insect head in a shirt with an army logo on it. i thought it meant that he had been in the army and knew how to kill his enemy. i didn’t want him to think that i was his enemy even though i thought it was obvious he wasn’t my type of person and i wasn’t his type of person. we never exchange words.
i knew that the insect head had somewhere behind a screen to work every morning. it was good that he had a place to be in a hurry. he was fast on his feet like he was doing drills.
i saw the husband cleaning a small black pistol. i hoped he had it on the safety, his scrofulous insect head gleamed when the pistol fired.