My roommate has been walking around in the kitchen for maybe fifteen minutes now, checking cabinets and checking the refrigerator, doing nothing.
I'm lying on the couch listening to the pigeons outside.
I've been pretty worried lately about getting cancer.
Do I already have it.
Did I get it when I accidentally touched my eye after being on the subway today and not washing my hands.
How about when I burned some of my leg hairs with that lighter yesterday.
(I burned my leg hair because I thought it would help me run faster.)
(I haven't tested it yet because it's still too icy outside.)
My roommate starts looking through a plastic bag of oranges on the counter.
"You want to split an orange again," he says. "I need something to do."
He claps at something in the air.
"Fuck," he says, "what's that, is that a spider."
"You mean do I want to split one of my oranges again," I say.
"So, right now then," I say. "You're asking me if I want half of something that is wholly mine. That's what you are asking."
He walks over, rotating the orange in his hand.
"Yeah, I'm asking that," he says.
"Ok yeah. That sounds good. I need something to do too."
"Should we do this," he says.
"Yeah let’s do this."
He walks back to the kitchen and begins dumping peels in the garbage.
Then he turns the sink on.
"Shit I don't know why I'm washing this," he says. "I already peeled it. You don't wash oranges after you peel them right."
I sit up from the couch and look into the kitchen.
"You washed the orange after you peeled it," I say.
I brush some fuzz and hair off my pants.
"Fuzz and hair," I say.
Then I lie on the couch again, forearm over my head and eyes.
I blink a few times and feel my eyelashes against my forearm.
It feels bad.
The word "bad" scrolls across my headhole in neon letters and I see myself saluting it.
My roommate walks into the living room and hands me half of the orange.
We eat in silence, kind of directing attention to the pigeon sounds, kind of directing attention to the silence.
If I had the opportunity to walk into the room and see myself there, I would point and say, "You're stupid."
But, I know I will never have that opportunity.
It seems I keep track of opportunities I will never have more than focusing on ones I do have and could have.
It feels like practice.
I look at the last wedge of the orange in my hand.
"This was a good orange," I say.
I wipe my mouth on the inside of my elbow.
"Yeah," he says. "Yeah it was."
And there is goodness in the room.
I look at the goodness and check to see if my roommate is looking too.
He is not.
Does he see it.
He does not.
The goodness hangs in the middle of the room and I take a breath.
It feels good.
I breathe the goodness into my chest and hold it there.
Feeling like I want to individually ask everyone on earth if he or she is ok.
Feeling like I'd better get started while I still have young-enough legs.
My roommate says, "Good orange."
Then neither of us says anything.
And while it's quiet I wish myself luck with everything I decide on, and I decide to wait until tomorrow to do anything.
I cough and it makes my eyes water and some drops go down my face into my ears.
(Other Version of 3)
I'm lying on the couch listening to the traffic sounds outside.
The tv is on and my roommate walks around the kitchen, doing nothing.
He makes a sound with his mouth that expresses he is doing nothing.
He moves some dishes around in the sink to get something out.
Then he steps back quickly when the dishes kind of fall and make a scary noise.
(The noise is very scary to me.)
I put my forearm over my head and I laugh.
"I just saw a commercial where someone falls down," I say. "On tv."
I stare at the tv and listen to the sounds outside and I think about how one day I will move out of this apartment and into a new one.
And then another.
And how I will use my most trusted moving technique.
(You start by throwing almost everything you own in the garbage or in the alley.)
My roommate walks over to me, rotating an orange in his hand.
"Do you want to split an orange again," he says.
"You mean, do I want to split one of my oranges again," I say.
He looks at the orange.
"That's what you're asking, right," I say.
He spins the orange in his hand and he says, "Yeah did you want to split this orange. It's the last one."
"Ok so you did mean: Did I want to have only part of something that is entirely mine. You did ask me that, about wanting to only get part of the thing that is mine and is the last I have of its kind."
"Ok. Yeah, that's fine."
We split the orange, sitting very still on different couches while we eat.
I detect some new kind of ouch in my headhole and it feels permanent.
The word "ouch" scrolls across my headhole in big neon letters.
My roommate says, "For some reason I expected there to be like, a little giraffe inside the orange when I peeled it."
"I am glad there wasn't," I say.
I don't have a bed.
I sleep on a sleeping bag, on the floor in my room.
My room is small.
I wish it were even smaller though.
Right now I can take like, two steps one way across, and three the other way.
That seems like too much.
It always seems like too much.
It would be awesome to just walk up to someone on the street and grab him or her by both shoulders then scream, "It's, always, too-much."
It feels embarrass ing when I require too much of the world.
My ideal room would only have room for like, three of me lying down.
Or maybe just some kind of harness I could hang from, outside.
Yeah, but I sleep on a sleeping bag, on the floor in my room.
And I like it yeah.
I'm not trying to be dramatic.
I like it.
One thing I don't like though is when I've worn the same socks long enough to hurt the hair on my feet and legs and ankles.
That's the situation right now and I don't like it (just being honest).
Yeah, so lying down on my sleeping bag bed I always daydream about the completely leveled landscape of Chicago, yeah.
Were mind enough, I'd have done it by now!
And you would have come across the Midwest and had to pass an empty place, me standing in the middle of it, laughing.
I can see my breath in the room right now.
It is always very dark in my room.
It is always dark in my room because the lightbulb in the ceiling fan stopped working and I am never going to change it.
I am never going to change the lightbulb for no other reason than knowing I will never change it.
There are times I still look at the fan and even try the switch, yes.
But I will never change the lightbulb and I know this room will always be really cold.
When someone calls something pointless, and it's meant as an insult, I am confused.
No I don't know.
Another thing I don't have right now in addition to a bed, is a job.
Right now my job is lying on my sleeping bag in my room while thinking about getting a job.
Right now I am doing my job.
And I can hear my roommate walking around in the hallway.
I remain very still so he will not find me and then begin a conversation.
I have no job.
Yesterday I completed an online application for a job as a martial-arts instructor.
I kept thinking that what I would do is, I would lie that I had really good martial-arts skills.
Then I would see how long I could get away with working at the place before they found out I had been improvising fighting moves that only seemed effective but didn't actually work.
I even thought of names for the moves, and also their origins.
To the first lesson or whatever, I would wear only underwear and say that that was the traditional apparel for my discipline.
Then I would give a name to my discipline and a geographic location—probably mountainous—where I was trained.
It would be nice to even get away with like two weeks working the job because then I could maybe have grocery money for a while.
I just want to buy groceries and sleep on top of them.
I'm hoping to find an advertisement for a job that entails worrying when removing your hand from your pockets because you always think you are dropping something so you turn around and check the ground and shit but nothing, but maybe something, but always maybe something.
I don't know what I'm talking about.
A couple of nights ago I was in my sleeping bag bed reading and waiting to feel weak enough to fall asleep.
I heard a girl somewhere in a different apartment.
It sounded like she was trying to orgasm.
I didn't hear anyone else, just her.
No, I heard her and the bus and traffic sounds from outside and my own ears ringing (just being honest).
I heard those things too.
The girl voice tried for a while and then I couldn't hear her.
It sounded like maybe she got bored.
Or maybe she has soundless orgasms, just to herself.
That would be fucking radical.
I would understand that.
I want to blow up inward haha!
Your eyeballs have no bedtime because they never close their eyes haha!
No I don't know.
I like reading alone in my room on the floor waiting to go to sleep.
It's the closest thing that makes me think the word "perfection" and have the word "perfection" flash through my headhole in neon letters.
My roommate knocks on my door and I try not to move.
My heart is beating fast.
He knocks again and then leaves.
This is but one of the many victories I have exampled as a human among humans.
I have no equals.
My strength goes unmatched.
My roommate returns and knocks on my door again.
He says, "Hey man you got some mail. It looks like coupons. I'll just put it under the door here for you."
He tries to push the mail through the bottom of the door and the mail bends a lot and it takes him many pushes to get it through.
He walks down the hall and I am one person being one person again.