dear you my caramel baby with that sweet wicked grin and all you get away with, that unwashed hair and those big shining eyes and fokk! you’re so funny a tumble of golden laughter and the quaalude luv tunes from before you were born soundtracking our mutual adoration. and from across the nearly empty bar we raise our arms to the sky and sing along with the væmin chorus: i.....will.....always.....lovvvvve.....you....! for each other though it could just be for our gods and goddesses, and bacchus and for life and for being so alive. how fucking lucky we are!

on wednesday you are far removed, you disappear into the wannabe slick and crunchy world of your favorite dope, or whatever’s put in front of you. i sipple a beer or four and wonder at the magic force that keeps you and yours standing while the purple circles under your buddy’s eyes begin to cast their own shadows long and far into the distant dawn. you, still, have that glimmery shine that saves people of our breed from ever really showing the strains of living a hedonist’s existence. you don’t tweak, at least not yet. and for that i’m proud of you!

but the day will come, and who’s gonna go down first? what unlucky star will crash on whose head, rendering incapacitated a pretty party boy or girl? a late night rendezvous where you lie to me and we bond over your speed-induced love for my survivor instinct. you love that i’m still here, still capable, a symbol of what’s humanly possible! you love that i haven’t yet crumpled or found a god who judges your set with pretension and a false perfection. somehow i’m mother and lover and player and beauty and other things that end in you asking how, or end in some cosmic endless why.

you barely existed in my tiny pond before the night you kissed me, and then in a rebound outpouring of affection, all goaded on by your blow and your bud and your m, your psilocyben, you lavished me with xxxxxxx and ást og kossar, simple things that make a little old hedonist like me happy. your foil, a charming boy with a mole on his left cheek, also heartbroken and all too free, challenged in his own way the hold you claimed on me. that was in the old days before the storm.

you, caramel and sweetness with your silly mustache and heshun hair love to tell us all that we should be bold and true and fearless, constant in our one love and joyous! and then i see you fade...there has to be a comedown! you can’t look us in the eye. i see the pupils of your favorite drug-lover enemy and how his hands tweak back, fold up, tendons contracting in some kind of spiritual retardation, a once-tall man-boy now hunched in the crooked endless awake he snorts and says he adores. of course you adore the thing that props you up on your fifth night of not witnessing the dawn outside your curtained apartment, shabby with old beer and empty rolling paper packs. the other one there is a horror, eyes cricked open so wide, sunken into black holes. they play-fight, they mutter and mumble about nothing, they are the pixeled zombies a kid shoots with his newly-earned virtual ak-47, but if these boymen had to they could actually run, shambled, jarring, determined, broken-gaited, desperate, they’d run from a bust, they’d run to catch a thief stealing away with their booty. but mostly they find their thrones in shabby cast-off furniture and try to look as regal as they feel after line fifty-seven of their latest run. you whisper to me, a witnessing princess, your distain for their sorry state. i agree...we would never end up like that! but look, honey, look at how you can’t respond on a monday, and you can’t look your princess in the eye come mid-week.

we reach out in moderation, and i push you on purpose. i let you know i’m here. you aren’t invisible, holed up there with your den of junkies. no sympathy, no pleading, just a hello and a warm well-wishing, which i know is as irritating as a too-generous kiss from an aging aunt. i’m not a fucking idiot. i push you to see how far i can go. and in your latest incarnation as a near-scuzzy party boy i’ve reached the limit.

and then there’ll be another party night, where we’re both, in our different ways, just on the edge of fucked and you’ll look at me with those puppy eyes and we’ll reconfirm our secret society, the one where we’re the only members. leynileyni. maybe you think i sit here dying for communion with you, and maybe i’m not at all. maybe i realize with my newfound understanding that you are my message and my messenger, and that in a lovely way you are me, but free. i’ve got that package life and you’ve got a loaned-out bed in a basement on a street you’d like to make more glamourous than it really is. and i suspect you barely have that. edge towards the darkness, pretty shiny candy boy far from the brilliant light, hug your loyal dog and tell others how to live. sit on the ledge jutting out from that cliff, then try to dance past the hollow-eyed, play the fool, be the king of cutting past the bullshit, and wonder why your princess in her cups isn’t smiling radiantly in your general direction.

you ask me about being vegan: do i have advice on how to go about it? and i answer: stop eating meat. show me in a thousand tiny ways that you want to smash past the drug barrier that’s now prompting your sense of cool and then give me no time or room to respond. go faster away from the hurt of that fantastic fall season on skates of steel, the sound of a stainless blade on a granite plate chopping and pushing and chopping and cutting and pushing into lined-up shapes to help you forget. spy the rambling, shambling ruins around you and love and judge them at your leisure, in the midst of your unhappy pleasure. if you were able to breathe, pause, calm, see, honor, enjoy all the true care floating your way you’d glow. you make me cry and i don’t know how, or why.

if you knew that about me, you’d cut me out and chastise me for foolish human labors. you’d say it’s all only chemical, isn’t it? it’s just a blend of hormones and seretonin and misplaced oxytocin. you’d bump against me with your shoulder and tell me to stop my girlish ways. you’d make a simple joke, and try to pull me over to that guy place where everything is folly. and i’d smile a bit at the effort and i’d wipe the small salty drop rolling down my cheek and let you think you’d won me over to neutral, when all you’d have done is reinforce your avoidance of everything that’s called your heart, and the hurt that's in your soul. let’s play make-believe and pretend that nothing matters anymore. and on a down day like today, when you wonder where your next line will be played out, and how, on your way to your mamma's or amma’s for a hot meal, when last night’s vapid content-free boy-club usage is wearing off, even after a whole day’s vacation from responsibility thanks to our latest local storm, and with a whole day’s sleep helping to manage the focus of your almost-deadened sight, you barely manage to emit light.

and what about me? why do i care, or even bother to follow you through the night into those seedy dens full of tweaking boys? because i want the thrill, and you know it. i’m addicted to adventure and the impossible, which i, with my princess bearing, still embody. i write to you that i’m unconditional, that no matter how or what you do i’ll love you. and i suppose that's true.

© maria alva roff 2013 image by maria alva roff

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