It’s Sunday. I have as much free time today as I will tomorrow. Hell, every day this summer I had too much free time. And yet when Sunday comes I still feel the knot in my stomach that I associate with Monday, middle-school linoleum floors, and prickly in-class essays. It’s been five years since I’ve written an in-class essay. One time I had to write one about “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which precipitated in me many of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. I can still feel the toxic waste coursing through my bloodstream from that day. I had to analyze Billy Bibbit as a Christ Figure.
There is too much free time every day, especially on a Sunday. The sunlight makes me nauseous. The dust on the hardwood floor is not worth looking at. Neither is the fabric pattern on this rug. I don’t know what else to look at. When I sit in the kitchen with the lights off it is depressing. It makes me feel like a middle-aged woman named Sandra who drives a black Chevy Trail Blazer and smokes cigarettes. When I sit in the kitchen with the lights on it is also depressing. It makes me feel like a middle-aged youth group leader named Hal who drives a Ford Windstar. The fabric seats in the van have Sriracha stains on them. God is in every stain.
Sometimes when I do the laundry I feel I have a higher purpose. Sometimes when I make my bed I feel I have a higher purpose. Sometimes when I wash the dishes I feel I have a higher purpose. Today I have none. Having a higher purpose may cause heartburn and stomach cramps.
There is one time I didn’t have stomach cramps, and it is when I kissed you. In that moment my existence did not have the contours of a Petri dish. In that moment I didn’t need a purpose because your soft skin was enough. “Attack on Titan” has always been my favorite TV show. No, I’ve never watched it. I’ve always loved anime, when I’m in your arms. Let’s watch it all day. No, I’ve never watched anime.
I’ve been known to indulge in some bad habits. I don’t think bad habits matter that much. I thought they mattered when I was not in your arms. Now that I am in your arms I think I can see it clearly. I can smoke cigarettes because I am a family man at heart. Trish from down the street eats three eggs a day, including the yolk. The Board of Eggs says you can only eat one a day.
Cholesterol is an epidemic but so is loneliness. Tommy from up the road drives a Dodge Ram. He drives it to town with the gas on empty, but he doesn’t even flinch. I think Tommy is a Republican. In your arms, I love him.
I think this is sustainable. We can live forever. Your attic has television and a couch. Your arms keep me warm. Ambitions tease you and then leave you out to dry but your arms will never do that. I know this because I feel a certain way right now. Even my math teachers had good hearts. They just needed your arms like I need your arms. In your arms I will always be okay. Let’s live together. Okay?
We cannot live together. Reality has called. I don’t know what reality is. I think it has a rubric and maybe some modules. I don’t know if I like it but I have to stomach it. We can’t ever see each other again. Maybe you will remember me when you pass a Ford Windstar on the street and see Hal in the driver’s seat, holding the wheel while eating Campbell’s chunky soup. He needs your arms as much as I do.
You can listen to “Mourn” by Corbin on Spotify.