pages 36-37

   This morning, after editing and uploading the newest pages of Alex's book to this site and eating my fancy bitch Icelandic yogurt, my little brother called. After we took turns "WTF-ing" at the stupid things various people do and say, then "WTF-ing" at the amazing things various Cubs players do (but not "say" in this case, as most baseball players rarely manage to string together enough words to form a compelling sentence because they are either 1. very young or 2. racist) I asked him how he was doing. These days, "how are you doing?" only means one thing. "Alex died. How sad are you today?" After a short pause he confessed that yes, he was okay, but he didn't really feel good about feeling okay. "I mean, it wasn't unusual for me not to see him for months, even years at a time. I just don't miss him, yet."

   It occurred to me then that maybe I didn't really miss him yet, either. Andy is right. It isn't out of the norm for Alex to disappear for a while, either to prison, or, most recently, on a self-proclaimed hitchhiking adventure out west. After going days without hearing from him about a month before he died, I finally caught him on Facebook Messenger. He told me he was currently in Arkansas and was headed for Big Sur. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. These are the kinds of lies I was used to hearing, the kinds of lies he wrote about in today's pages. The character "Alan" lies automatically and with ease to his parole officer. The scene felt comforting in a way, or maybe just familiar, as I had heard the very things come out of Alex's mouth that were written right there on the page. Alex lied all the time, and for the most part, he was terrible at it. He constantly did little things to give himself away, almost like he wanted to get caught. It was exhausting, constantly asking questions then being fed a load of garbage to have to sift through.

"This is going to sound terrible," I said to Andy, the phone on speaker, resting against the belly of my dog, Ramona, who was stretched out beside me, "but I think my day-to-day life will be more fucked up when Ramona dies."

"Well yeah," he assured me. "You're with her everyday."

"And she doesn't constantly hit me up for money."

If I had to measure my sadness, I would do so in leagues. My sadness is as deep as the blackest, coldest, sparsest part of the ocean where the weirdest fish live. The fish with no eyes, with glowing tentacles, with long, poisonous spines and transparent, pulsating bodies. That's how deep my sadness is. Transparent fish deep.

But I do not miss him. Not yet.




                I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. My body is a lot smarter than my brain. That’s not saying much, seeing as the t...