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Hold Me But Please Don't Let Me Fall Asleep by Jack Franks

I remembered the room because of its blaring lack of remarkability. The bed was blue, the couch light blue. The rug was also light blue but now a darker gray due to a criminal amount of dirt and dust, takeout crumbs, and matted footprints. There was a TV stand, next to it a guitar and a few books, on top of them, a snow globe.

I felt safe in this muted sphere, relaxed, with no threats and nothing I could compare myself to in the form of materialism that would make me feel bad about my own apartment or bedroom. If anything, in comparison, I could be considered a master of curation, a connoisseur that, unlike the Boy has the time, money, and, more importantly, the vision to make a space look exceptional. Still, sometimes, actually, all of the time, I don’t feel safe there. Actually, that’s why I’m here. I came here to escape the space that, over a matter of years, has become more of a personification of me, a person, than I, also a person, am. It receives all of the compliments that I crave. “So beautiful,” “I love the way this looks (on you),” “I wish I had what you had (collection of early 2000s Art in America subscription)”. One person even asked, “Do you mind if I take a few photos?” Later that week, they were revealed in a post on Instagram, where they left Earth, plopped into virtual curation, and were unsolicitedly accessorized on a page without my consent because, like I said, they are part of an exceptional space. My space. I hoped to leave my reality and jump into his reality but make it more of a temporary fantasy, kind of like when you open a picture book bigger than your head, and for some seconds you pretend you live in a home with a circular wooden table and a mom that Loves you. The passage to my fantasy would take me 21 minutes, just a few avenues over and 9 blocks down.

York Avenue. So sterile.

The Boy asked if I wanted some wine his mom had sent him from California. Red wine. I accepted and drank it fast. We sort of guided each other to the couch, mirroring each other’s moves knowing we were opposites because we were and are. I took the right side of the sofa next to the window. Safer.

We looked at each other, and I already became bored because his look was predictable, and I knew what he thought, so I played up the histrionics and began tormenting him playfully. I have an incredible ability to make people comfortable, yes, comfortable, by annexing them with vignettes of some of the most painful moments in my lifetime. I told him how much better I felt and that swallowing an entire bottle of Wellbutrin doesn’t really cross my mind all that much, I mean, not really. “Yeah, I guess it’s made me more intelligent, in a way.” That was an actual response to a real question he posed. If chronic suffering has a redeeming quality, it may make me intelligent, good, kind, or empathic when relating to others. I don’t know, Boy. I don’t know. Does it?

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1 comentario

27 abr 2023

Really enjoyed the story. I love short stories that keep me thinking. Keep up the great stuff Toni Quinn

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