Providence by Marcus Civin

I have to go down to the basement, where the light is wrong. Or is there really even any light? And you don’t have to answer this question… the cost. And no one answers the phone.

They’re good, but those songs and those singers, they don’t love you. The radio doesn’t love. So you love the songs on the radio you love, but the songs on the radio don’t love you. So you’re in this city. So it really seems like anybody could love you or you could love anybody but nobody really gets anybody, so it seems like maybe nobody loves. So you’re afraid. Maybe you’re really afraid of what people will think of you, what they might do, or do to you, or think you do, what you will do to them. You’re not what you think they think you are. Or you are. You feel like you have to be something or somebody sometime. Or you do what you’re told so you are what someone else thinks you ought to be. So which way? And which way? And which way? Any which way. But, who should love you? Who should love you? Who do you love? It’s all of them that are getting to you, all of the rule people. All of the shoulds and shouldn’ts andshouldn’ters. Clothes don’t love you anymore. They’re expensive. You are bigger than you were, and you don’t recognize your ankles down there at the end of your mattress; they’re boney vein-y things, your ankles. Everybody wants to tell you what to do. Everybody has ideas for you. They intone: “When I was your age…!” So, you piddle-poo at your suck-y job, so your wallet doesn’t love you. Money doesn’t love you. The store doesn’t love you. So the cashier at the store doesn’t love you. So you tell a story because why be you? So, now nobody believes you because you told a story. So nobody believes in you. You don’t fit. Now too honest? Too stubborn? Too shy? Too cold. Too hungry? City’s pushing at you again. Brother’s pushing at you again. And, Dad. Your backpack is full of drawings that you don’t show anyone. So you scowl sometimes. Or you like churches too much sometimes and sometimes you don’t like ‘em enough or at all. Or you like schools too much sometimes and sometimes you don’t like ‘em at all. You like making stuff sometimes but sometimes you don’t like art or artists or art teachers or museums or any of it, especially they’re always telling you what’s good and what’s not good too. You like running around and shouting too much sometimes and sometimes you don’t feel like moving at all. You like your hair too much sometimes and sometimes you don’t like your hair at all. You touch the telephone. You are too distractable. You ruin your best jeans. You’re too much of a wanderer, looking out the window, doodling in the sidelines. So those boys don’t love you and those girls they don’t love you. So you’re no good at more than you are good at. So, you have trouble trusting anybody. So you mess up. So it was better before. So your mattress is dirty. So your body feels awkward. There’s nothing in the fridge. So you hang around. You have a black eye. So you don’t feel like you know anything. So you don’t feel like you are anything. So you have nothing to listen to and too much noise in your ears, so you scuff at a rock. So you kick. You drop. You skip. You skipped it. You act up or you dance funny.