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ruminations: the last few weeks of spring

1- friday morning

the three of us sit on the balcony, all in a row like crows on a telephone line. eternally devoted to a messy slew of girls, victims of whatever fallout may come from them. and, as each of us secretly know, bound to have our hearts smashed. jo passes me the cigarette, and says, “ever think about the fact that the three of us leave our hall to sleep across the stairs in our girlfriends rooms?” i smirk. elliot tips her head to the side and frowns. jo always says this. our girlfriends. like she’s trying to lay something on the record, repeat it to herself like a mantra, a manifestation that it’s true. i ash the cigarette as elliot says, “violet sleeps in my room.”

2- may

may passes like a dark storm cloud. nights are spent getting fucked up at houses belonging to people i don’t know the names of. propositions for sex by the side of the road from people i’ve known since grade school. maybe i turn them down, maybe i don’t. sunday mornings hungover on marissa’s kitchen floor, eye-to-eye with her cat. one such morning i find myself on a random street in the city, crying to myself next to a tree. a man in orange monk’s robes gives me five dollars and tells me to get a bagel. i’m left wondering if it was a hallucination. on another, i end up in the back row of a sunday service in a church i no longer belong to. (something my grandmother, victim of a late-1970s religious crisis, would be proud of) in the evenings i find myself working as a hostess at the local restaurant where i float like a ghost between the tables, drunk on loneliness and carrying trays of wine-stained glasses back to the kitchen. i wonder what the customers must see: tired, glassy eyes peeking out from beneath bangs grown out too long. slow speech, quiet voice, prone to mixing up words. eric comes in and almost doesn’t recognise me when i refill his water glass.

3- apartment number three

i drive to elk river- consider going further. every week i find myself back outside the same old apartment for packs of cigarettes and bottles of cheap midwestern vodka. he says, “ring doorbell number 3 when you get here and i’ll buzz you in.” i pass an old man on the stairs and give him half a smile, he shakes his head and goes on his way. just another one of apartment 3’s girls. he never remembers how much the cigarettes cost. sometimes it’s 3 dollars, sometimes it’s 11. usually i just give him 5 or 10 depending on how big he fake yawns when he tells me. 

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