-a kent avenue super gets around to it-
*by someone getting more assertive
with his building’s management company*
(frankie leone, just a man)
*things are changing, but everything is the same.
she still smiles with goofy sexiness. her eyes are still so breath-taking i can’t maintain eye-contact when we speak. her body, even when clothed in a dirty hoodie and loose sweat-pants, still helps me feel ashamed of my thoughts (when i lose consciousness of my staring).
i sit with her in her bedroom.
there’s three or four feet between us. she speaks for over an hour. i genuinely listen, not saying much- something unusual for a man like me. intermittently i interject relevant anecdotes from my life. she doesn’t seem concerned, shifting the conversation back to her friends, ideas, assessments, life.
i’m not offended. i listen and am present (kindof, sort of, maybe, i hope).
i know my favorite lie. it’s a pair of blinders blocking most things from sight. not now though. right now a crystalline probably-never looks like a sink with a blocked drain inside my ribs. it’s overflowing into my mind.
her appearance is at the front of my consciousness (sometimes it overpowers my ability to focus on her words) along with paranoia my eyes will leak the beautiful hopelessness i’m feeling into her bedroom. it already comes down the walls of apartments of everyone close to me in torrents.
i know if i flood this room she might pity me, and tell me she feels strongly about me too, as a friend. there’s little doubt this pulses quietly through her mind every once and a while, but if it comes off the tongue inside her face, a face that flashes lingering lightning through my thoughts, it’ll sound like rusty razors tornado-ing through my ears.
the streets near the north brooklyn waterfront aren’t accepting apologies from anyone this frozen january night. all the pretty ones, along with those turning shadowy eyes to sunless heavens for answers, are hidden indoors.
like four angels with touches of dirt on their faces, my neighbors move around a muraled loft needing more insulation. they speak, smile, and laugh without deliberateness, as the truly beautiful do.
i don’t have a view of a moonless ceiling of our cityscape at the moment. i move to the common space, listen, watch, and dance to songs of crossed over men with vibrant souls.
i leave the room for a moment and hear them from the bathroom.
“she treats men that fall in love with her terribly. he sleeps on the couch here waiting for her to fall in love with him. she tells him ‘i have a boyfriend’ and he keeps dying inside, pathetically hopeful.”
laughter echoes. i zip my pants, mouth ajar, skin colorless.
i take a long moment, put pieces of myself back in place, and reclaim a seat on the dingy greenish-gold velour cushions of an old couch i’ve come to love too. i start listening to her again. intermittently i interject relevant anecdotes from my life. she doesn’t seem concerned, shifting the conversation back to her friends, ideas, assessments, life. i’m not offended.
i sit listening and wrestle with my eyes. it’s an easier fight. they’ve become weaker than an old man’s.
the stopped-up sink in my ribs, slowly, begins to drain.*
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