The convergence of confusion

I lifted my head from the comfortable nook of my elbow, wrenching my nose away from the familiar smell of my skin. I slowly unfurled from my tight ball. My legs askew and aching from pressing into the gravel, I raised my trembling hand out into the firework-lit night as if to seize each spark and capture it for my own. Another flare glinted on the smooth plane of my fingernail and I snatched my hand back away from the light. I rocked back and forth, moaning and clutching my confused head. In the silence between the booms and laughter of the spectators, their voices chattered on inside my head…

“Anyways, his mom said he could go to the store whenever he felt like it and buy them some milk. So, he tried to go be a proud adult but ran home screaming about a tiger in the middle of the street! Imagine that!”

“Did I tell you about the time when I fucked Madonna? Man she was dirrrrty.”

“Say I love you! Say it!”

“I am an arrow on the wind. My target lies far away, beyond the stars, unbeknownst to me.”

“It was back in the 90s, before she really started declining.”

“I recommended to his mother, what a strong woman, to check him into a clinic that specializes in these sorts of soured milk cases. Not her fault, who could’ve predicted that squealing babe would become a compulsive liar.”

“You know I can’t.”

“I don’t remember the moment I shot forth from some cruel bowman’s grasp.”

“Course I know the constellations. That’s the straight-line fisherman, the Spanish bull.”

“Cat ears were all the rage.”

“I know a good brain surgeon in Cuba. He can remove the chip.”

“I can’t remember the first time I lied, but I DO remember the first time I watched porn.”

“Only an eternity of cutting through solar winds and blackness.”

“My wife claims she’s Eskimo sisters with Madonna now.”

“It’ll short-circuit the split second it detaches from my Broca’s area, or when I say those words. And then–boom! Let my take your hand. Here, can you feel in this warmth what no mere words could communicate?”

“She has more Eskimo sisters than she knows.”

“Time can pass as slowly as raindrops racing on car windows, or as quickly as the galaxy spins.”

“Good job, son, you’ve made it three months. You should celebrate! Before you return to the real world.”

“Words lie anyways.”

“There are so many things I haven’t told her, so many things I’ll take to my grave.”

“My favorite movie, Catch Me If You Can, always left me sobbing.”

“I cannot guarantee that the me of the future will be better.”

“Please take care of me.”

“It’s better that way.”

“I build a world of magic because my real life is tragic.”

“Or that this goal is worth it.”

“Shit–they found us!”

“For the kids, for Shirley.”

“But Paramore’s a chick band.”

“But till then,”

“Alex, baby, noo, no…”

“Refill, please.”

“The green-haired lead is pretty hot.”

“I’ll fly on the wind.”

“I love you.”

 

An exhausted void reigned in my mental space. My fists were bloodstained and scabbed from digging into the gritty gravel and the spiky point of my keys to distract me. The car engine kicked, sputtered, and finally settled into a steady hum. Twisting to check my six, I backed out of the shadowed lot. Moments later, I merged with the smooth, sparse traffic of the highway. Moon, stars, and streetlights overhead and road before me, I drove on.

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