the tall 17 year old african black boy with long hands and small ears said something about liberty and equality in french. his hand held my neck and eyes. he had been fucking girls since he was fourteen. as a boy he had never fought a boy who was stronger than him. now that he was nearly a man the contest had changed. he was scared and humiliated. he shared a room with ten brothers and sisters. the african boy said he didn’t believe in an unconscious. he believed in what he could see with his eyes. they are killing niggers in our cities, he said. he walked the avenues. no one knew what he looked like. he didn’t even know what he looked like or how others saw him. he looked at himself and looked for himself and he saw someone else, not himself. he had pain in his abdomen. he extended his arms. he breathed in and out. the pain in his abdomen subsided. an arrogant man gave him an enema ten years later. he had learned to stick three fingers in his asshole to dig out the hard as concrete shit. he was like the ninety year old indigent men that spent days digging the shit out of their assholes, who refused death or death refused them. it was the second dread he had felt. the first was when he came to the states with his brothers and sisters.

the phillippino american woman had two sons. she loved them more than herself. they looked like her late husband and herself. she felt like herself for the first time, liberated. she felt she had given too much of herself. she taught a high school history class. a young man she loved killed himself. she kept the young suicide’s journal she had written comments in that he had responded to and didn’t give it to his parents. she met a loner. he hadn’t been able to live in the present since he was fifteen. he survived a disease and a social death. he helped her and she helped him when she was looking for a man to complete her life.

the therapist was like a sex worker. he manipulated his desire.