14.10.07

When you Grow Up, You Might Cry Your Eyes Out, But I May Be Too Old to Care

You will not be lonely when you cry and neither will I. We will not be lonely there. Together, we might only creep slowly, trying not to be recognized in the weeds. They have smoking, swirling lights heating the swamp, but together, we will already be too well known.

It is Me, know only to you. You will see my coat, thick and roped wool, scabbed in motor oil and dropped with tears from that song, the one of the Proletariat I dreamt of, the one I had no right to sing but you know how it makes me shake and feel so intensely. It is Me, known only to you. You will look at my pants, rolled and beautiful, I won't have been serious, you'll know, because they were contained by boney skinned ankles, too weak to stand, you might think them an allegory for my heart. It is Me, known only to you. You will watch me make a face of perception and daring and you might appreciate that I pretended, that too was supposed to be beautiful out here, but I might remember who we are and yell out, "My God! It's too cold for anything to be beautiful, not anymore!" I might yell it out and you will laugh for the last time. Fuck you, for laughing; fuck you, because it is also You, known only to me now. I will see your fucking hat, and laugh because I know where you found it, and I will not be impressed. You Kick me, You, known only to me, I will revel in that overcoat, the one that sings your songs of slavery, beating in your heart and you're too ashamed to admit it, too fucking stupid to know it, I'm going to kick you back, you fascist-

It's not even really yours, and I think now that I am more judgmental and weak than you are, too much of me is coming alive I think but I think that's only for the moment. Think about your long life and you might see us getting away but do you believe we deserve it? Should we run, or maybe they have a point, did you think also of that? After all, you and I are only pretending to be good! We are only liars and they have guns and badges and a purpose. Get down, down behind these weeds, down there into that ditch, get lower! Stop looking at me, I am only a poor idiot in the grass, I cannot be recognized there, and in return I will stop looking at you, you are only travelling through and do not understand what we are yelling about, you, forever, are Not Responsible.

Hah! There, I thought it first. Of course we shouldn't get away, We are the criminals we always wanted, well-fed and criminals, because someone noticed our pot-shot! You're only delusional, and after all this! Here, thinking of it first, I was the one to catch you, lying hypocrite, I caught you when I thought of it. I whispered to you, and gave you a chance, I said something about Love and Us and when you kept walking I kicked you down and beat you until you died in a ditch.

It was in your eyes, right there in your goddamn eyes, all while I was crying, you read the story and it stayed, imprinted, reflecting the words that made you a Man. I read that you were praiseworthy and I that someone someone something, it was too small to get the exact words: I lived on a gist that said we could be bribed! I thought it first, that you were another soldier, that I was a criminal who could live on my ration, but that I could live better on their rations. Don't you feel smug, your jaw is broken and there are rocks ground into your eyes, your goddamn eyes, all while I was crying. So you could pretend longer than me. This is good for you? I'm going to tell all the newspapers you were a hero, do you realize that? I'll tell them you were stronger than me, that you would have never surrendered except at the hand of a traitor, because I hate you so much and you will hate me for lying. Now you can let me go, and stop looking at me. This is my coat and no one knows anything about it except that you're a hero and I'm a traitor. Hah! But I am no longer a liar!

Hah! Even before you read it, it was true, but I'll remember how free I felt to hear that they were hiring, for more than you could pay, and to read that I was always going to take the bait.

Now that I am trained, I shoot straight, safely down range into another one of your faces. "Oh, you used to make me laugh, and cringe, oh it hurts, stop," I used to say, "Stop making me laugh because in the future I'm going to smash your brains out in a ditch for a living, for trying and making me cry, Goddamnit," I used to say "For thinking you were a hero, and for being wrong," and I used to say "I won't love you anymore," because right now I tell everyone that I never loved you, because you're dead. I never loved anyone who was dead.

A final confession. Too many times I worried you would see scared I am, so I lied, because I am stupid, weak and scared. Or worse, I thought, you might hear me too clearly and I would die here. So I lied from beginning to end, I changed names and souls and bodies so I was not me and so you would be not you and we could pretend a little longer, always you longer than me. But this is still true. We will always find that ditch, always me better than you. This doesn't count as fair warning, but it comes close. You will never hear me tell you that I love you. This is why I never did, except for today when I cried and you already too old to care.

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