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Sometimes it’s an accident. I looked the word up in the dictionary. Accident comes from the Latin accidere, meaning to fall upon, to happen. That’s what it’s like sometimes. I’ll fall into her, just like that, without hardly being aware of what I’m doing.

Last night I wound up sleeping in her bed again. It was around two in the morning and I was asleep, dreaming about comic books. I was dreaming that she and I were comic books. Our heads were the dialogue boxes, our chests where the colors, our midsections the ink, and everything below the waist was penciled half-drawings.

We needed to be put together, so I started to apply the ink and colors to the pencil. The next thing I knew my mouth was pressed against her neck and I was pressing her into the futon, she pressing back into me in that way that can end up making a circuit out of things. Going and coming, with hips and spines and those secret parts of our bodies. My skin was sticking to her skin and my breath was catching in hers, our lungs like orchids exchanging the pollen of our vocal chords in minute moans and soft inflections just beneath words but also articulate. It was like we were populating each other with each other, like two clouds. The mating dance of two charged storms

“You need to stop,” she said.

“I know,” I said, and took myself out of her, cringing a bit because it felt like a ball of red and yellow was consuming me, making me hum against the bed beside her, making me cringe because I had just begun to stir something up and now I had to let it go, only there was no place to put it.

“I’m very fertile right now,” she explained, turning away from me, towards the wall.

I apologized.


“Ahhh… I need some water.”

“There’s some on my dresser.”

I reached for the cup on the windowsill, sat up, said This’ll do, and drank it, making the fluid go down smoothly, without sound. I could hear everything for half a mile. The city was absolutely quiet because it was 3 in the morning, but still I heard it. Every drip of the gutters and click of the streetlights. I stared out the window, too full of myself to be inside myself, too inside myself to make a distinction between the inside and the out, so that’s where I ended up: in both places at once, all over but far from finished.

I plucked a hair from my lips, tasting her on my fingers.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked.

“Oh. You taste salty.”

I felt the night, said I was sorry again.


“Because I promised you that we wouldn’t have sex and we just did. Sort of, well not completely but we got a good dose of it.”

She was quiet. She told me that I’m only going to get hurt. I’m only going to get hurt if I try to be close to her, try to get too close to her.

“I know.”

My agreeing startled her some and so she said

“Well, not only hurt. Other things, too. Good things. Good things too.”

I continued staring out the window, cross-legged on the bed. I straightened my back, pulling at the ache in my lower spine. I felt like I filled up the entire house with myself. All that stuff stirred up in me. I needed to find a place to put it. I could feel her feeling it, getting ready to respond to it. I wasn't sure if I wanted her to respond.

“I can still feel you in me,” she said. “Take yourself out of me.”

“Okay.” I concentrated. I took everything in the room, in the house, in the extent of my feeling and hearing, and I scrunched it all down, tighter and tighter, until my nostrils cleared and my skin tingled and I didn’t want anything anymore. Until all that I wanted wasn’t anything but a single, needle-pointed want.

“Okay. I’m out. All that’s left is an echo of me. A negative one.”

I don’t know why I said negative one. I began to say other things, but didn’t say them, held them in, forced myself absolutely still, so still that I was vibrating. As tight as stone, crystal. I felt too powerful. I needed to find a place to put this. A place to bury these charged atoms just in case they become radioactive and start eating me from the inside out.

I could feel her getting annoyed, getting pissy, realizing that we had sex and that she didn’t want to have sex. So I took what I had and I made a vacuum out of it. I inverted it, sucking the room into me, replacing it with stillness. People are always talking about lucid dreams, but not too often about lucid reality. All you have to do is let it happen. Just let yourself fall into it..

A willful accident. I became so quiet that she became quiet and fell asleep.

She dreamed, expending some of the pent up stuff that still filled me. Around 4 she turned over, opened her eyes and fixed them on me. She said something about rockets in the sky and a button to blow them all the pieces. Then she was gone again.

I got out of bed, put on my pants, returned my books to my book bag. I was loud about it, but kept quiet on the inside so she wouldn’t wake up. I went down stairs, dished myself some left over spaghetti, and read the rest of The Secret Sharer. Then I rolled myself a cigarette and thought.

I thought about riddles, how there are different kinds. Sometimes, they’re like a lock – mathematical, precise, a mechanism. And sometimes they’re more organic, like a knot, a string of connections that you have to wrestle with to make sense out of. I wondered if I’d ever be able to make sense of her, to sense her without feeling like everything's about to burst apart.

I laid out on the couch, two blankets over me. It was impossible to get myself to drift off. I could hear the activity of the couch. All the conversations, meals, dreams, thoughts, all the life reverberating inside it. I could hear my ego saying “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me,” over and over again. I tried to be cool about it, tried to leave it to its jig with out fighting it, trying to get quiet, composed.

But I was too full of everything to nod off, so I just lay there, feeling everything.

Eventually, it was morning.

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