another fiction excerpt — from a story about the boring apocalypse

So we talked about armageddon. We sat and talked in the tawny glow of the night light until the sadness that had cast us in the same shadow for months got too big. You should go, I told him, get some sleep. Give my dreams breathing room. I wanted to return to the warehouse with bloated cartoons that wrapped themselves across the corners of the walls, teasing party kids with their bouquet of fake colors.

He talked about a neoprene vest he bought in Nairobi and I never felt so miserable in my life. He talked about sculpting with vectors in high dimensions, city kids and the smarts required to build gaming machines from local trash. Not a monologue for my taste, I thought and protested with an empty-eyed nod. I wanted to descend the length of the rope ladder that dangled from the industrial neon heights, flex my ankles through the trap door announced by electric bells and LED buzzers. The party dungeon whose real contours are unknowable because it’s a lightless basement. And there to find the magic layers that had peeled off him over time had been reconstituted and made flesh. A new man.

I wanted to walk up behind him, push up his hair and speak into the back of his head. What did you see? Tell me what sight so bad it fixed your mind on the endtimes. What line of reasoning so determinate it made you flee to the domestic. My home where you so coolly remark on this state of affairs, where hours congeal in numb complicity with my desires. Unlike the warehouse-time (kairos) that would press me into oblivion at its whims.

In the tamed world platitudes are enough to tell the truth. So I asked for a lie. Because he said no future is true, but I had something else up my sleeve, a sense that all this was more simple than it seemed. So I parted with my psychic indulgence, restored my attention to our sadness and the single light. He would dream in my lap and I’d stay up to observe a new day breaking.

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