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I am senseless to the book aisles. I don't think I wore the best possible combination of black on black available in my wardrobe. Perhaps I should have gone with the turtleneck? People always have an impeccable understanding of how to stand, peruse the aisles, finger the book spines, in these yuppie bookie stores like this monolithic monster of a thing that is the Union Square Barnes and Nobles in NYC. Clouded in my judgment are the opinions on the people around me. Say it. I dare my brain and guts to overload my eyes and ears again.

Childish ways for me to handle the voices. Old habits die hard, huh mom? You-can't-hate-here-noone-expects-you-noone-knows-you-stay-out-of-their-lives-and-their-presence-none-of-your-business-will-leave-you-alone-do-go-walk-away-blue-black. Paranoia. Sudden senses of every book containing vital information that should be locked away behind mortar and armed guards. Our false sense of security. Untrusting element of security and life all around. Religious fanatics acting like tourists on the downtown N line. They wear polo shirts and photograph our subway lines. It will be used for future references to pipe and fertilizer bomb placement. I stop along self help and stare at my hands. Not shaking. Again I look. Not shaking. The voices are subsiding. This is me at twenty one and good Lord why?

Do you remember high school? And the popular fuck all attitudes Nirvana and Catholicism imparted on us, either accidentally or premeditated by genius music executives on the pulse of a generation of horny, dumb kids? It was so handsome for the boys to not care. So sexy for the girls to find false cleverness in our stupidity, eh? Smells like Teen Spirit? Smells like free unknowing teenage cunt to me, jackass. Girls loved that skinny Irish boy in bio chemistry who always gave our teacher the finger when he turned around. I tried and failed to mimic and assimilate the traits of the better boys. Asian chess playing, after school cement handball and trips to the comic shop for back issues of X-men. You still found me wonderful in my conformity and bad tastes of Levi jeans and off-the-forehead haircuts. We pretended love for awhile. I called your dad 'sir' and your mother 'ma'am'.

Hard wood floors upon concrete with the classic shelf architecture of old British libraries. I am lost in the pets and animal grooming section. Animal grooming? Books on animal grooming? Two young black children catch me coming out of my black out and show concern. I try to shake my feet into motion and feel my way across the side casing before they can tug and point me out to their mother. It wouldn't be the first time security asked me to leave. Heavy footing and a slight back spasm start their way up to my concerned brain. I get a look from a pretty girl and her cute boyfriend as they pass me going on the opposite escalator. I move to scratch a fake itch and check my hand for blood or sweat. There is neither and I suppose they were just looking to look and fuck them for looking and making me paranoid. Ssshh-boy-comes-in-and-tells-his-mom-about-the-pretty-girl-he-met-and-the-strange-guy-on-the-escalator-fuck-look-he-looked-first-I-dare-you-to-be-in-my-fucking-head-sshh-prayer-hail-mary-blue-black. I hum softly, rattle house keys in my pocket and decide whether more Filipinos live in Woodside or Jersey city. Hopefully the fat woman in dietary supplemental health won't be sitting in my spot by the radiator next to the big glass paneled windows. When I found that spot. Great. So great.

Dress in my good clothes. Tie and black socks and everything. Come downstairs to find you showering in my bathroom. Unlocked door. You singing Stone Temple Pilots. A weekend of being adults. Empty houses were fist fights and porno magazines for teenage guys, right? If not for anything, years of chess, non-alcoholism, drug free just-say-no, being a good boy lifestyle at least got you the empty house once during your teenage years. I come in without knocking, well aware of how this might be overstepping my 2 week anniversary boundary. I almost pissed myself seeing you there. We never drank wine before and I've never seen your body wet. I forget about 10.30 A.M. Mass, Father Walker, and repentance. We play like well informed adults who are quite cool and worldly about taking showers with other people. I step inside the tub, whisper something in cheap French, and shampoo your head. You loosen my tie and mention the irreversible damage the shower water is currently doing to my blazer and silk handkerchief. We kiss and celebrate a ruined Sunday suit with bubbles and alcohol induced morning headaches.

I'm kneeling by the radiator, looking out the window. It's quite right now as I have successfully beaten the 4 P.M. rush of grandmothers and young wives in the marriage and counseling section. Counseling. If I had money I'd try that shit. It helps people. At least if anything gets them prescriptions for pain killing mind affecting tablets. Sigh and double sigh for all those funky pills that alas will go un-swallowed. Drama-fucking-king over here, eh? I look at my treasure. The bootie and plunder of my attack on the aisles of my truth and my consequence. Perl from the ground up. Mastering .ASP. Advanced video compositing. Macromedia everything. Life quiets down again. Smiling page turning quiet glances to the calmness of everyone around me. I even wave to the fat woman who is visibly pissed that I beat her to this corner. Warmness against my back, by the radiator with the big glass window behind me. For awhile I can read and enlighten. This is wonderful. The sun is shining. Tra la la.

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