THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID
well, i also wanted to be in love. deep romantic stupid bullshit love where i mailed vaguely illicit photos of myself to my lover, in black and white, printed from my best friend's deskside photo printer, a photo he had taken one morning as i read a long magazine story about a new york city hustler, a woman who had and lost it all, in hopes of finding inspiration for my own story, a story about a man who might have become my lover — it was as yet unclear.
in the photo, i am topless, but you can only see the tops of my breasts, my string bikini tanlines. i am twirling a strand of hair, still damp from the shower, between my forefinger and my thumb and i am looking down, mouth slightly open. i had just asked my best friend, do you want to see a movie later? and he puts his camera down and picks up his camcorder and fixes it on me because we are always creating these images of each other, for the record, whether they are real or true or not.
this particular image was the first in a home video series, one i had begged him to start after watching my uncle's videos from the early 90s, tapes of grainy footage that brought me to tears. no reason, really. just seeing my older brother play the violin at a family party, he was smiling so big when everyone clapped and he was missing a few teeth, and it was something about his innocence that blindsided me, something i saw in him that i had forgotten or never really known.
"I think im gonna quit my job," he emailed me last sunday from vietnam, his new home.
we feel a lot of things but i just write back, "that sucks. maybe give it a little more time?"
on the back of the photo, all glossy and precious, i wanted to copy a dream poem. i thought he would like that. dream poem no. 96, or something like that. maybe of a dream i would dream beside him. one i hadn't written yet. i hadn't found an envelope big enough yet. i wasn't sure if our situation even warranted a letter in the mail, a love postcard, no less, but i wanted that. maybe i would just write it in.