Betting on nothing hold the barred degree of lack of excitement nothing on betting she can't hold her denim and it was used by some what do you call them him? them who have all the fucking everyone else the clouds spark in the night and your neighborhood your house seems to become so thin like all the rest of your life has done in your brain in your memory's asphyxiation like stretching the lips of a balloon or the way questions have always done to your own mouth drawn across the classroom and into that white screen where it rolled up over the top of the chalkboard over his balding head sweating with hatred for me and my diminishing friends. Relax they tell her to relax and fuck that and that just doesn't work nothing works working all the time sleep becomes a large flat rock breaking away from the face of a larger rock leaning towards a dam. Nosing towards a hole in the clouds of dust mentioning the contingent and necessary mixing them up as this open mouth fills with miscalculations turning too early again going down that road this road looking at the same unfamiliarity over and over merging into the harsh live stream rippling with static the rats retreating between the alphabetized spinal columns all repeating after me not after me after themselves, "It isn't a problem. It isn't a problem," saying it through the glass filled with scrabble tiles or was it another game repeated after me repeated after them after them damn it after me fuck me. I can tell can't tell what have I been saying all this time? Can't understand a fucking thing they're saying all too well clear as a button down button up shirt with a coffee stain on about the size of a dead baby's footprint what a waste of coffee how can one remember which leg the shit rolled down under the cuff ankle warm in the embarrassed winter.
They had regretted taking the stairs half of them had regretted because she could never count on him to regret anything and that was just the way in the stairwell and very little was well in there depressed by memories a quarter of a dozen an eighth of a half dozen and many others that had struck her like tiny pieces of wall or some minuscule bugs several of them insects and many others that had struck her annoying thoughts that ricocheted inside and outside of her especially against her neck against her she was used to that not going down another flight calling down to him looking at the dark rectangle for a head his head of tangled greasy hair to continue orbiting the drain of the lower tract of their building not their building just a architectural cadaver that hadn't ruptured enough to expel them into the desert's artery gummed up with the excretions of the contemporary plazas of carcinogenic incorporations. She leaned on the rail to apply her brakes always applied too late.
"We should have taken the dumb waiter instead."
"The damn what?"
"I didn't know it was called that. I could have sworn it was what my uncle told me it was."
"It smells like someone's microwaving popcorn."
"My uncle didn't have a scrotum."
"I don't want to know how you found that out."
"He told me."
"I thought you were going to offer the usual my uncle took a nap on the rocks by the beach cover story."
"And then he showed me."
"Are you getting any closer to anything remotely like the first floor?"
"They burn popcorn in accounting don't they?"
"I thought it was in training where they had a constant reek of overcooked shit."
"That's the bouquet of singed muscle in training but I thought they were in the other tower."
"No wonder so many of us are out of compliance with the 17th floor bridge being damaged because they didn't want to cough up for maintenance."
"They still expect us to make it across with a third of the floor missing and their obsession with transcendence."
"I'm nodding off up here. Just come back and we'll try stairwell D, C, no D, D."
"Are you sure about that DD?"
"I knew a cashier at one of the gas stations where I used to live who told me about one of his mother's teachers who was known as Mrs. DD. Those were on her headstone, initials, DD was her initials."
"When I nod off I start to have the same dream of being in a cemetery where the headstones are close together moving in towards me like the cubicles we have upstairs."
Anxious head on a hot pillow worrying that it went through twice sucking out too much of what is left too soon before it is replenished replenished only with enough to make one sick in the stomach indigestion's heat fountains up into those thoughts that repeat locked forgot to lock locked forgotten to lock locked forgot to lock locked forgotten to lock locked open to what crawls out of the desert like you like me made it across don't know what I was thinking to make it across the desert to here and now I always know what I am thinking over and over indigestion's heat fountains up into those thoughts that repeat locked forgot to lock locked forgotten to lock locked forgot to lock locked forgotten to lock locked open to what crawls.
"Are you listening? I was telling you about the cemetery not the cemetery the cashier not the cashier his mother not his mother the headstones are you listening? Are you coming back like I told you? Like I asked you? Always wanting me to be so polite not draw anything towards me except those headstones but that wasn't what I was really wanting want to talk to you about what he wanted to talk to me about probably made it up what he was telling me that day I couldn't print out a receipt and I needed it to keep track make sure there was enough left enough left and there is always enough left and it keeps me so polite when I'm out so as not to draw anything towards me except those headstones and I scream when no one is around and my throat crackles stings as I fear a hand to pull me out of the house out of this box into the desert in the center of the circle of them turning myself around to come back to where they started to come back to the why won't you come back why aren't you listening are you coming back like I told you like I asked you always wanting me to be so polite not draw anything towards me except those headstones but that wasn't what I was really wanting want to talk to you about what he wanted to talk to me about probably made it up what he was telling me that day I couldn't print out a receipt and I needed it to keep track make sure there was enough left enough left and there is always enough left and it keeps me so polite when I'm out so as not to draw anything towards me except those headstones."
- Max Stoltenberg