There eight or nine hundred pictures, taped to the walls of your bedroom.
Magazines, pictorial history books, and Polaroids you stole from people, back when those things were readily available to small, lonely thieves.
All of them had already met your criteria for sainthood. Next stop: the world. I was there to get you some help. I was there to talk to you for as long as it would take for you to trust me.
If nothing else, you needed to finish college.
I was staring at this photo of Hedy Lamar. My shirt was stuck to my back. You had rich friends. Why in the hell couldn’t one of them alleviate their guilt by getting you a window AC unit?
My breathing was going to die, if my legs dragged my lungs up one more flight of stairs. Would have come for you sooner, but those goddamn stairs.
And other things, but those stairs, too.
You got the screwdriver into the back of my neck when I was waiting for Hedy to tell me all about those boring Hollywood pill parties. I woke up on a Chinatown bus. Clean shirt. Fresh bandages. Weak-willed cold air freezing my elbow to death.
You had made your feelings very clear, but it still would have been nice to talk to you for a little while.