Body and Mind
Now he’s here, and there had better be something holy in this darkness. So he puts his hands up and opens his eyes as wide as he can and says he has a message from God. Slowly everyone turns. They see a skinny kid who is not quite a man speaking words that are hard to unravel because of his accent.
Even at the peak of my methamphetamine days, I would have had trouble talking for seven hours. I aim to please, however. A longing to please is both my weakness and my strength. It’s why I cook, why I write, why I take five years to get a sentence right, why I’m so goofily polite, why I reply to fan letters from prisoners.
The first time someone told me I looked like Anne Frank was also the first conversation I had about pubic hair. Now, of course it’s possible the two topics weren’t actually discussed back to back and my subconscious simply saw an opening one night while I was asleep and stitched the two memories together.
The first portal that appeared in town belonged to Mr. Hogan. It showed up in one of his bathrooms above the sink, blocking a good deal of his vanity mirror and causing several shaving accidents. I don’t know why the portal appeared to him. It’s not like he was the type to attract otherworldly things.
In 2001 I was twenty-four years old and visiting Paris when I bought a really great pair of pants. They were red and silky and had dragons and Chinese symbols embossed on them and cost only sixty francs, which wasn’t a lot, about eleven dollars. I bought them on the street from some hippie Romanian woman. (I don’t actually know where she was from, but she seemed Romanian.)
If I need to ask my father a question, I ask my mother. I’ve always done this, to get around the fact that he and I hardly speak. It’s not that we have nothing to say. We just don’t know how to say it. He doesn’t speak English very well, and I don’t speak Spanish very well, so neither of us is even going to try.