funny old buddy

Ever since I was 8 years old I
had a friend that
has stayed my friend
the longest
and
still
is
I met him at a family friend’s pool
my father
tried to teach me how to
swim
a mexican beer in his left hand he
thew me into the
deep end and said
“now swim, chubby!”
I took the swimming lesson
seriously
with my
arms
legs
flailing
maniacally

then I gave up and
sank to the bottom at
eight
years
old
looking up and seeing the
bright red unyielding shimmer of
mexican beer

I met my friend
down there
and he was nice
he said hello and asked me to walk
out of the pool and
I did
I still don’t know how to
swim

I met him again when I was
16
It was the first time I ever slapped
a girl
my first
girl
I don’t know why I did it
I was angry at
her

when my father was angry he
slapped my mother
I watched and only thought about wanting to
slap
them both

my girl’s screeching and
clawing
reminded me of
them so I
sliced the air between
her face and my
hand
with an open
palm

I found myself that night
leaning frontward toward a wall of
stucco
my body heavy with
guilt
then I flung my head
into the wall of
stucco
as my friend watched
then he walked over to me
looked down at me
and said

“not this time either, but
nice try though.”

the next time I saw him
I was 21
my first and only
love
spent the night
with
a D.J.
it was too dreary to get across the continent
to hit him in his
chiseled
handsome
fucking
face
with a
bat
instead I skipped that step and onto the
next
on the edge of a parking structure
I looked at the tiny heads of
all the people that would be
disappointed if
I splattered
bits of me on their clothes
before their lunchbreak
was over

my friend stared off the edge with me
and said,

“are you sure you’re okay
with being
overcharged?
lets just get a beer”

we did
and I saw him multiple times
after that
for
the same reason
the same
girl
though my friend and I did
bond

my friend has spent
every night
with me these past two weeks
he met with my boss at work
first
but took him
immediately
they paid him the big bucks for his
efficiency
but that also meant
when my friend took my boss
that I no longer had a boss
my ride was bitter and not
sweet
any longer
and had to write
my
first
resume
in 6 years
fuck.

but this time
my friend came with a menu of
different
delicious
options
knife, pills, ledges over freeways, moving vehicles

I toyed with all the ideas
but
I have to pay my
half of the rent
first
but I shouldn’t care
anyway
my roommates often
let me feel
unappreciated
but I try
anyway with a meandering sense of
hope
and tonight
my friend and I walked through a
lightning storm which usually
terrifies me
but
being struck by one
tonight
would have felt
satisfactory
when I stepped through the door of the apartment
back from the storm
something strange
happened
my roommate
Katherine
hugged me and said

“thank you so much for cleaning the
bathroom!
it looks as white as
heaven.”

I wanted to tell her
how
lucky
she was
to catch me there
as a flash of light
flashed
right outside the door
instead
I smirked with the
thunderclap
and went upstairs with
my friend

my friend only hangs out with me
when
no one else
does
he hangs out with me
when
no one else
can
my friend is hanging out out with me
right
now

I don’t think he realizes
that I don’t
really
plan
on ever really
going with him
I just happen to think
he’s a
really
good
friend

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