Lorn turned off the wifi to get rid of me. Now that I felt she wanted to get rid of me I decided I would stay. I paid homage to her supple ass that started at her thigh and went up to her waist. I would have loved to have spent time with her in the wild or to have gone to a beach in North East Portland. She would have been bearable for a day trip and impossibly righteous for anything longer.
Amy felt like a fraud. The pain was acute. Change the channel, she said to
I walked on the Burnside bridge at night. I thought of anyone who passed me as the other, someone who would throw me over to my death in the cold black winter river below. I thought if I could get away with throwing someone over and what it would be like not to know if someone in a car had seen me. When my mother had died it had felt like a force was pulling me closer to my doom.
Change the channel, Amy said. It’s not legitimate. When she looked at herself
from a loving place her self criticism wasn’t legitimate.
Are you withholding your love, Amy said.
No I said. You are thinking about someone else.
Yeah, George, said Amy.
I think you may have wanted him to ignore you, I said.
Amy wanted me to be someone who hurt and loved her and wanted to punish me when I left her to be herself.
Whatever she did I liked it.
Jay had never said a word to him. He used to work near the Magic Garden as a Disc Jockey.
Did you go to the Chinese restaurant on 4th and Evert, Jay said.
Yeah, I said. It has florescent lights. I liked the orange chicken. I still have to have a decent pork dumpling.
I was the only one at a table. There were swarms of people around me. It felt good to be singular. I felt grace. I thought about Saint Francis and how wonderful it would have been to have been the broker of peace between feuding Italian aristocrats. I thought the waiters were mad at me for being on my own. I loved the small old waitress. I thought they were working her too hard. I felt bad when I followed her to get my order. It took forty five minutes to get served.
Do you like Chinese food, I said.
No said Jay. I had never gotten a good close up look of Jay’s face. It was less round than I had thought. In fact it was long and bony in areas. It was a disappointingly authentic face that knew itself and everyone else. He had a lean fat belly. He was a lover of music. I couldn’t say the same. I love music but I didn’t care much for playing it or going to concerts.