"... so she may as well be nobody at all... I'm already somebody's forgotten boy."
When was the exact moment that his image changed in your mind forever. When did he cross that thin red line? You once looked 'round for him. Now he is to be avoided. You feel some pity but you can't be bothered. Your life is far too short. Your minutes are too few to be occupied by a boy who shoots just below the mark. You have mountains to consider climbing and windows to look out of. You have girlfriends to be bothered by and day trips to plan. You have outfits to coordinate, recipes to botch, movies to see only half of, job interviews to stutter through, twentieth century authors to misquote, pregnancies to avoid (until your too old of course), and a useless degree to finish, finally. You have to order a drink and sip it slowly. You have to plan your next breakthrough. You have to scratch the ears of a puppy who never did anything bad enough to deserve the name you will give him. You have a little girl's soul to preserve and elderly woman's wisdom to aspire to gain. Your father never returned from Saigon. Your mother never graduated highschool. You ran a Coney Island race when you were six and a half. You fell. You never got up.
Your breath smells like whiskey and he can hear the ocean when he presses his ear against your chest. You run your fingers through his thick black hair. It feels good. It's just after two thirty in the morning and his car is parked a block away from that bar where you dodged every question with a ghost's reply and you finished every sentence with a phantom's cadence. He is good enough for today. He has two arms with which to hold you.
But ya don't remember quite what to do now. When you close your eyes you hear old voices don't you? A deep voice invites you to stay a while and a high pitched one tells you to run. This is where you are and this is where you are supposed to be. [Sigh] But [sigh again] you don't hear the music, do ya? The static stopped for a few minutes, but now it's back. The guns pivot on their axis and aim once more..and it's "I'm not supposed to lay here, I'm not supposed to lay anywhere." ...you're right. You have to keep moving or you'll die where you breathe. If he remembers the way you smell, he's luckier than most.
He's a killer but ya bit him good. You softened his course skin. It's "kill or be killed" and you took him for every ounce of humanity he's good for. His brain is upside down and his voice trembles with each word. He's a cotton-candy cloud hovering over himself struggling to regain conciousness. He swore he'd not be taken but he's took.
He leaves a bad taste. His cute became creepy. He's a mundane. He resides just below your horizontal ring of yellow fire. You took a boy, you made him old, and now he's in the union. On the assembly line.
Now back to the big white world for you. Folks around here were whispering. There was going to be a riot. A murder. A coup -but you needn't worry, sugar. This isn't your back yard. You're just passing through.
When he cries, it is of loneliness. There is a gram of salt in each gallon of water.
A year later he is kissed by a plain girl underneath a flourescent marquee. Her eyes are large and bright. She is only as old as the sum of her mortal years. She is made of elastic bands and hand lotion. She is lovely.
But when he lays down next to her he reluctantly thinks to himself:
"She ain't the one I want... so she may as well be nobody at all... i'm already somebody's forgotten boy."