The Sign Wants
Thomas Patrick Levy
THE SIGN WANTS
In this story I am in Japan at one of many, many hockey rinks. They call the rink a stadium and I think MOTHERFUCKERS DON’T GET SHIT. They call the rink a stadium and every single time I think about the rink I think I’M GOING TO BURN YOUR EYELASHES AWAY. You see, my rage is not rage. You see, in Japan everyone looks the same. That is, everyone looks exactly like you. This is a lie. I am losing again. The game runs late and I miss my appointment. I say I AM MISSING THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE. I say THEY ARE MOVING AWAY LIKE SUBWAY CARS. I say THE TUNNEL IS HOT LIKE SUMMER. And back east you’re falling apart and forgiving me. And back east you work at the outlet and wear the palest lingerie to bed because that’s what I want you to wear to bed at night and in the morning. You see, we are awake in this story; you see, we are following a sign up a flight of disgusting stairs and the sign says THIS IS THE UNKNOWN. The sign wants to say STAY THE FUCK AWAY and that’s what I want to do but I walk the stairs anyway and on the other side you’re standing there like a washcloth, freshly knitted, freshly wetted with cold tap water. I wash my face. I am made of pictures of yarn.
You Woke Me
In this story you are your checkbook. This is a metaphor. You see, I am writing a book I call MY HEART. The pages are mostly blank. I have two notebooks for my heart. The second notebook is made of paper flowers. The first notebook has no pages. The metaphor is not a metaphor for love. You see, you always read MY HEART and think THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT HIS HEART. This is called misdirection. That is to say, I am a magician of the heart. When I am on the couch I am opening holes in the wall. When I am in the bed there are picture frames falling down onto my face. You see, my face is green and your face is so purple. When we come together it will be a color I can’t explain. This is a recurring theme. You see, I write the same poems over and over. I collect this poem and call the collection of this poem MY HEART. This is the second part of this story. In the second part of this story I explain that in the story where you are your checkbook, your bank account was as empty as my book. You see, the numbers had all gone away. You woke me and said ZERO IS MY BALANCE. In this story I was nothing. I said WHERE IS ALL OF MY MONEY. I took a moment. I said WHERE IS ALL OF MY MONEY. Again, you see. The picture frames are everywhere. In the story and I am fucking losing again. I throw a brick through the hole I have opened. It comes out the other side. I don’t win the game. I never win the fucking game. I say CHECKBOOKS ARE USELESS.
You Are Naked
In this story we are short yellow tablecloths. You see, everything is wrong in this story. This story is not a nightmare, but it is broken in the same way that I am broken when I try to go to a blanket. My heart is a knot. My heart is a mess. My heart is the wrong color. You see, I don’t know what makes less sense. I am always moving around in circles, and in this story I am not moving around in circles. I am standing still for a while and then I am climbing down a staircase through a field. The field is made of grass and flowers. Sometimes it’s pretty but the tables in your dream are disappointing and you are full of the stuff I am nearly always full of. You use your hands to break apart a person-sized wall. You use your hands to tear the tablecloths into belts. And now you are naked. That makes sense. You see, we are both makers of holes. We are both the same sort of disturbance. You say I AM NOT AT ALL FUCKED IN THE WAY THAT YOU ARE FUCKED. You say THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE NOT AT ALL RELATED TO YOU. This is my pride. This is a sentence noting that I have just written a terrible abstraction. This story is made of gold. This story is a mistake I want to keep making until it reads correctly.
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