BE THE PERSON YOU’D GET UPSET OVER LOSING
Me in the living room lying on the couch, my roommate in the kitchen. The tv was on. I’d been obsessing about getting cancer. Did I already have it. Did I get it when I accidentally touched my eye after being on the train and not washing my hands. How about when I burned some of my leg hairs with that lighter yesterday.
“You want to split an orange again,” my roommate said.
I heard him clap at something in the air.
“Fuck, what is that, is that a spider,” he said.
I said, “You mean do I want to split one of my oranges again.”
I said, “So, right now then, you’re asking me if I want half of something that is wholly mine. That’s what you are asking.”
He walked over, rotating the orange in his hand.
“Yeah, I’m asking that.”
He walked back to the kitchen and began dumping peels in the garbage. I heard the sink go on.
He said, “Shit I don’t know why I’m washing this, it’s already peeled. You don’t wash oranges right.”
I sat up, looked over the back of the couch. “You washed the orange after you peeled it.”
I brushed some fuzz off my pants.
I said, “You’re an idiot.”
I lay on the couch again, forearm over head.
The word “bad” scrolled through my head in neon letters.
My roommate walked into the living room and handed me half of the orange. We ate in silence, kind of paying attention to the tv, kind of paying attention to the silence.
Last wedge in hand, I said, “This was a good orange.”
He said, “Yeah. Yeah it was.”
And there was goodness in the room. I looked at the goodness and checked to see if my roommate was looking too. He wasn’t. Did he see it. He didn’t. The goodness hung in the middle of the room. I took a long slow breath and breathed the goodness into my chest and held it there. I felt like individually asking everyone on earth if s/he was ok. I thought I’d better get started while I still had legs that were young.
sam pink lives in chicago. he wrote I AM GOING TO CLONE MYSELF THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT (paperhero press), THE SELF ESTEEM HOLOCAUST COMES HOME (six gallery press), and FROWNS NEED FRIENDS TOO (afterbirth books).