of course, it’s impossible to say for sure, but i don’t believe i’m at the end. quite the opposite, actually, it feels, often, that it’s always beginning. that there has been no middle, only the first few steps, a bit of a mess in a diaper, this person or that one helps you out of your funky toddler stage—and there may be a moment when you think “god, what a fuck this life has been, so close so many times, and yet nothing to show for it.” yes, i’m talking to you, but more often than not, i’m just talking to myself and only because i’m tall does anyone really take a moment to listen. the vapidity of it all could bring a lesser person down. i mean, it does bring a lot of people down, but not me so much. i scratch my head, maybe my balls too, as men do when they’re thinking (i like to envision goethe or kierkegaard doing it) — some in public, but most in private or only in front of their friends—it’s actually quite comical, isn’t it, ball-scratching that is; i’ve an associate who is constantly re-arranging his package even in the middle of a sentence regardless of the gender of those around him at the time—completely oblivious to the indelicate nature of the act of touching yourself in public—or is it? it appears i’ve slipped the chains of my intent, but fuck you, why not? isn’t that what makes life worth living, the digressions, the asides, the strange interlude as o’neill so gloriously (and boringly, really, have you ever dug through that mess of a play?) put it. by the way, comma splices are free today. so i stand in front of you, balls out, skin drooping — i had a jaw line once and cheekbones, bitch, and of course the lips raised many a sail, but not so much anymore. of course, you’ve never kissed me, but imagine that, my full lips pressed against yours, a bit of tongue and that flip your stomach does when you give up to the swoon of a kiss, i know you know, don’t try to avoid it, we all sexualize our interlocutors, what fun would it be if we didn’t i ask you? but back to that ending or beginning, but definitely not a middle: i wonder what it would be like to be beloved by many and not a few. that i had multiple heathcliffs and mr. darcy’s — really a long line of them — standing at my door all waiting their turn — or loving it (<3) into the hundreds with just the click of a mouse and a place where age didn’t matter as much, that the young, thinking that it could only happen to them (the selfish feeling of love and loss) when in fact, we’ve all been there, many of you (and me) more than once goddamn it. (my maternal grandmother rarely swore, but when she did, she would clinch her fists and spit out a “god damn it” in such a furious manner that you’d shield yourself from her rage — which lasted exactly as long as it took to say “god damn it.”) you thought you’d get off easy, didn’t you? that “oh another picture of that old fag, so desperate” and paragraph with about 500 words in it of his insufferable blather and that’s fine, i can handle it; i may never understand it, but i can manage it. but one day, if you live that long, you’ll know. gpoyw, the fuck you old man version, he said scratching his balls.