Thursday 6/28/2007 12:52:00 AM

I started my vacation time on Tuesday by cleaning out the drain pipes for the two upstairs sinks. A nosebleed and a half later everything was flowing as it should. Using some string I got the drain stoppers back in their seats. Anyone can scrape out sludge. But when your daughter does it you're almost impressed. And if she happens to also be your little sister you wonder what other dirty jobs she's done.

My legs are sore from all that kneeling. To disconnect all those pieces. Only to put them together again. My fingers are calloused from turning all those fittings. Open. And from struggling to seal them up.

I cleaned the inside of the glass that holds the portrait I once drew of a skinless man. Forgetting my pain I left my blood on the back of the metal frame that had stolen finger from skin. I hung it again over my bed. Because forgetting pain is what people do best. And my own blood on such a piece of art seemed all too appropriate. A bit of DNA to give life to all the ways I'd pursued to take it away.

I began the email and never finished it. Slurring the text more than I could allow myself to send. I began an email thinking I was doing him a favor. Only to wake up certain I had been trying to kill myself again.

In every way that I loved them there was surrender. It was in my loneliness I finally found triumph.

Knowing. Confident at last. That there was no reason to pick up. When they would decide I might be useful again.

The want. Divided into sections of skin. A desert of dolls with lipstick on everything but their lips. A waterfall of lovers teasing barrels. A lie as believable as any truth. A change too close to ignore. A tortoise chasing a hare. As if anyone will remember the winner.

The suicide of want compulsively teaches us what was never ours.

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