Love, Technically

November 19, 2008
By Rhiannon Thornburg, Grand Rapids, MI

In this particular scene you will be filling the role of tragically lost artist. You are strung out on vicodin and cocaine, cigarette clutched tightly between nicotine stained fingers. Your right hand moves like a fever across a sloppy page filled with sloppy words, never missing a beat unless it is intentional. You look hungry but you aren't because you're never hungry anymore. Your clothes are dirty. You live like this?

The setting is a brick wall behind a downtown ministry. Music pours out of the city like a thunderstorm, you write that it's beautiful because it wasn't planned. There is broken glass by your bare feet but that doesn't phase you. Stars are drowned out by light pollution and smoke. Disease swims freely through everyone's mind; parents laugh, children cry. Night has settled over the demented city.

A drunk boy comes running from the front of the ministry and jumps over your head. You whisper a greeting, choking on the unbearable smell of cheap vodka he left in his wake, but he's already inside the liquor store on the other side of the street. Strange. You thought you saw his aura but that rarely happens to you with strangers. You wait and watch. A few minutes later he comes out of the store with Sparks in his hand and, maybe because he's belligerent but you assume otherwise, he sits down casually next to you.

His eyes are glued to the hazy sky obviously disappointed that the stars are not visible. He doesn't ask your name but he does take the time to compare your hand to his. They are identical in shape, size, and texture. You both smile. "What do you think is up there?" he asks, nodding toward the infinite expanse of space.

"Energy," is your automatic response.

"I'd say endless potential," he states, reaching out and grabbing your(his) hand. In between your relaxed fingers you feel the birth of potential energy grow into much more and you are certain that you're alive.

You spend the rest of your encounter with the drunk boy marveling at the perfection of your hands. It's like your bodies are puzzle pieces or the creation of a whole new color (How perfectly would you collide in bed, rolling around in flesh and lust?). Nothing fits in this world. It's a chaotic callouge of nonsensical humor that does nothing but entertain the dancing devil as we desperately try to solve the riddle, find somewhere to place ourselves. Your hands, side by side, are a symmetrical answer.

You drive away with a strange dealer and never see the boy again. Thank God you'll never win.

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