Seventeen

I remember the first time I left town after having a boyfriend. I don’t know if he was really a boyfriend because he still had a wife.

Property Of

I watched as he made one more basket, caught the ball and then went into his house through the side door.  The sun had set and his lights were on.  The windows over the kitchen sink cast two yellow rectangles onto his driveway. I could see his mom putting away dishes.

Drive

That night we fought about his wife. We were drunk. He had to buy the beers because I was only eighteen.

Campeche

I waited on the beach for a while, watching the sun set in slivers where the clouds separated. When I went inside the chill of the room shocked me.

Kicking in Malibu

My skin is hot and bumpy, my hair hurts where it is attached to my scalp. There is a growing fire in my chest and I feel like it’s burning me from the inside out.

“The Santa Ana” by Joan Didion

The Pacific turned ominously glossy during a Santa Ana period, and one woke in the night troubled not only by the peacocks screaming in the olive trees but by the eerie absence of surf. The heat was surreal.

New Mexico, 35 degrees.

It’s nights like these that I can’t stop thinking about you and those deserted middle of the night Albuquerque roads. There was a dive bar where we drank Bohemia and tequila shots and played on a pool table with ripped felt.  It was impossible to make a straight shot.  It was freezing outside.  I didn’t…

tonight.

I feel rubbed raw lately, nerve endings exposed and torn.  It’s the kind of pain that makes me avoid the newspaper and television.  When I’m tired I remember what worked: the dope, the drinks, the hospital. “How’s your spiritual fitness?”  She asks.  And, “Go to a meeting.  Help someone.”  I will.  I trust her.  I…

purge.

I could take you like a pill, exceed the recommended dosage, keep going until I’m on the floor and need my stomach pumped to get you completely out of me.  I come home with a sore throat and a burnt taste on my tongue, resolve replacing anxiety. Then I miss you and need you, and…

Mojave

Jake drove me into the desert to fuck me.  I’m not sure why.  I would have fucked him anywhere.  But we were talking, and somehow it came up that I liked the desert.  We had been flirting at school and at the bar for a few weeks.  He had broken up with Miranda, this tiny…

Glitter Gulch – in progress

  As soon as the bus left Los Angeles I felt freer, like I could breathe more easily.  I leaned my head against the window and watched the landscape change as we drove east.  Miles of desert were punctuated with dry brush and trees.  Hills made of red and brown rocks rose out of the…