At dusk Anthony called come watch the magnolias drop. Sprawled on the floor of his living room, we stared out at the trees, ordered take-in. Four chimichangas, a burrito the size of my head. With our mouths full of salt and grease, we talked about Anais Nin and Henry Miller. I loved Anais most of all because she had a husband on each coast. Two. Anthony said could never get past the abortion. I took a sip of water, folded a tostada wrapper into a triangle, smaller and smaller. Not that she had an abortion but how she wrote about it. When the song on the record ended, another one began; it was not the same song, but I could not tell the difference. Anthony handed me a cigarette, already lit: in the diaries like she was a goddess, something about a purity ritual. I exhaled towards the ceiling; box fan blowing it all back in my face. When I unfolded the tostada wrapper, fifteen tiny triangles. I said think it’s more complicated than that. Anthony rolled another cigarette, paper sticking to his fingertips: what do you mean? Interrupted himself again and again: she didn’t even tell him. I let the silence widen. Anthony ate the last of the burrito: that’s just like you. True, I simply lacked the energy to continue. I stretched out my legs, leaned over, into him. That nothing is anything but itself is almost enough.
There was little Anthony could do to truly annoy me. My loyalty to him was simple: we were occasional lovers. The first night I slept at his apartment, we ate sunflower seeds in bed. He said promise you won’t be creeped if I play my nature sounds CD. I need it to sleep. We listened to Weeping Willow #3. I knew if he turned the light off, I was going to be touched. His eagerness startled. I realized then that he hadn’t touched a naked girl in months; that I could be any naked body belonging to any naked girl, and he would remain this eager, relieved me. When I fucked him, or anyone, is was as if my body emptied itself out. I was not attracted to Anthony, but I knew that what you did with someone superseded Who They Are.