Yesterday was my birthday. I spent it alone, completely alone. Today too, although a package came and someone brought me flowers as well. It was a little strange, a little funny. My weird roommate, the one who traps me in rooms when I can't hear him coming until it's too late, the one I catch watching me sometimes and who goes through my closet, beat me to the door but the flower man would only sign them over to me. Thank heavens for small pleasures.
I don't even like to get flowers.
I am sitting on the edge of my bed, a mattress slung atop another mattress thrown on the floor in a room which is cold and where the walls I painted purple. I'm smoking cigarettes, clove cigarettes, lighting them off of each other to save matches because my lighter is on its way out.
They're the best when you light them with matches,
my lover once said, half-concentrating, as he pressed a match against the flint strip with his thumb, held the flame to the end of his cigarette, his face and his hair lit up in the dark from the fire inside his cupped hands
-- you get that sulphur taste too.
It's funny, but I don't miss him. I don't miss any of them, not really. Not now. Not for some time. I miss the people I don't know, the people I've met once but feel like I know. Like I could know. I miss them. But there isn't a lot of room for missing people. Not a lot of use in it.
There is a Remington shotgun in my room. It's a prop for the Sherman album, for the cover art, and besides I kind of enjoy having a shotgun around. There are times when I consider fitting the barrel beneath my chin, working my toe around the trigger and making like Kurt Cobain -- for that matter, like Sherman, the banks of a river in Kentucky, 1861.
But like Sherman, I don't do it. For one thing, my gun's empty, and I had Joe Crow take the flint out anyway. And for another, now that I'm a mere 364 days away from my quarter-century, sometimes I think about making it to 30. I just might could, if I keep this up.
You know, Conor Oberst did, the other day, and although our troubles have been different -- I've always felt that if he can do it, I ought to give it a good try.