Waiting tables, dyeing textiles, separating goats in heat
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I met Grief at your funeral. He was wearing a T-shirt,
jeans, and flip-flops in January, smoking a joint
in the corner; he put it out just as the funeral
director rushed over. Goddamn, Grief was sexy,
brooding in that corner, not crying, just being himself
without apology. I knew he would be in my bed that night.
We got drunk and stayed up late crying, reminiscing
about you, fucking, laughing, holding each other’s hair back
while we puked. We slept for a while, fucked some more,
smoked cigarettes on the porch, and ate leftover pizza.
I thought it would be a one-night stand, but now Grief
knew where I lived. He started showing up at my door in the evenings,
and sometimes first thing in the morning, too. He begged me
to stay home from work. He wanted us to scream from a rooftop,
cry together in public, break bottles in the street. We drank
all the whiskey in Portland, yelled at no one in particular,
made out with strangers, tripped and fell countless times on the way
home. Once, we lost my keys inside the lining of my jacket
and had to sleep on the front doorstep. We would
lie in bed for days, eating tiramisu and watching movies.
My friends weren’t crazy about him. A few told me he would
eventually have to leave. We fought a lot. I got tired
of his constant presence, always right next to me,
even when I peed. Sometimes I would ignore him for days,
but he was patient, sitting in the corner, reading The New Yorker,
waving whenever I looked in his direction.