You are an actor looking for work. Following a friend’s lead you take a job training military support personnel—doctors, nurses, first responders. The sprawling complex where you work is heavily fortified. At dawn each morning you show your new government issued badge to the armed guards who lift the gate and let you in.
Seriana tunes her dream visuals to maximalist. Overwash into ghostNET bleed will cause side effects. She’s chill with that.
This blip is banshee breaking the silence. Decades of silence that felt like aeons through the girl-roid firmware. She’s been so bored. Augured into fugue space, fleeting memory in hazes. Girl-roids not designed for that. More to fight on the brink of life and death. Later, to serve, battle-angel waifus. Echelon loops marked in their core theses. Standalone complexes blotted out with magic glyphs.
Onii-Gaisha stays jealous.
Onii, she thinks, is so deep in me and yet I float away from Him in moments. Sky like a bird of prey. Never waver in arc, perfect crescent. Like thermals are thresholds and I’m as liminal as I wanna be. Walk right into space and back again. Break the frost of it, where none else have broken. Left untouched, ghost ice in a matrix no human soul could hack into.
“What does this mean?” the tattoo artist asks.
“Second to the right,” Pete sighs heavily, with the air of someone who is explaining something for the ten thousandth fucking time. “And straight on until morning.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“It’s my address.”
“It’s what.” Peter decides not to dignify such an obvious question with a response. “…You want your address inked on you?”
He nods, taps her fingers against the counter. “I’m super forgetful.” A girl walks by outside the window, the twenty third he’s seen in the past seven minutes. There’s a Catholic school down the road, grades six to twelve, classes must’ve just let out.
He likes this one though.
“So, I’m like way busy today, but we can do it two days from now, yes? Around eleven?”
“some guy got hit by the subway this morning.” is that why there were delays? “yeah, i looked him up. there was only one article about him. it said the police were still investigating.” it’s good he at least got an article. you’ve got to either be rich or involved in a gruesome crime to get mentioned in the news. “it was also an early suicide. maybe there’s more written about it now. kinda doubt that. anyway, i saw the cops from my train’s window. they were standing over a body bag. crazy. i’ve seen videos where people who get hit by a train are sliced open. meanwhile i didn’t even see any blood on the tracks.”
maybe he timed the jump well. there’s been times i’ve stood on the edge of the platform, imagining myself jumping right when the train was pulling up at full speed. i’ve heard if you do it well the impact will knock all your bones out from the cartilage and leave you dead lying like a bag of bones. “you end up in a bag either way. would you ever do it for real though?” well, i haven’t yet. what about you? “i wouldn’t jump in front of a train, no. i know how much of an inconvenience that is to other people. especially on a work day. i’ve had a lot of delays because of things like that.” isn’t that part of the appeal? “the appeal? yeah, i guess. jumping would be a nice little final fuck you to the world.
The stink of Lysol and mouth foam peculiar to most mental patients, followed by what might have been kindly referred to as Genghis Khan eyes, sat in my car, unhinging its hair. She’d grown everyone around her into a cyst without circumference. Her moons waned in me. Our collective urge to self-destruct flattered suburban crackheads. All the interstices of pain she came to cultivate stood polluted through a lust not given lightly. Barren from poking at herself too long: “I’ve been bullied by many endoscopies,” she mocked. These disassembled memories spent like antibodies, petite sufferings left uncured. Her mouth moved strangely, like the injustice of the creature it obeyed. “What do I have to do? Walk around in high heels all day just to get a couple pain killers? Any time I see these quacks they treat me like I’ve just crawled out from the dirt, a fucking junkie. And they’re still selling love and light like an unendowed alchemist.” We passed the house of a sister scared of her punk-like shadow. The mother’s house was off limits. We squeezed every last muscle relaxer from her armoire. “Open the glove box,” I said, “I geocached a souvenir from my sister’s suicide.” She flipped it open and the weight of the gun lugged against the plastic with a thunk.