he was staring into space and as the minutes crept by in red digistyle, the space became filled with the stuff he was trying to block out with the soft hum of radio static behind his ears.
he was possessed by a wave of worry and a series of sharp stabs of discomfort to his memory. if only he could ignore the now or emancipate from the then or dislocate the to be. he was learning that staring into space was not becoming space or filling his mind with space or emptying his mind of stuff. he’d have to take it or he’d have to give it a name and store it on a shelf behind the acceptance of the humming and the red digi in penetrating his eyelids.
he remembered when he’d wake up on a Sunday morning and smell toast and he could feel the butter coating his tongue before he even opened his eyes. he remembered when they’d been happy, or seemingly so, and when he’d been happy for it. toast and tea and a review for him of what Saturday Night Live had offered the night before. it was great to be 11 and allowed to stay up for the whole show, but he never could so they’d break it down the next day over warm toast and hot tea.
tomorrow he’d wake up and a cold air would fill his nose and wake him up to the sound of nothing or the radio static if it was still on if she didn’t shut it off before night ended. she didn’t understand why he needed the radio static to fall asleep, and he didnt explain it to her. perhaps if he did, she would need it too and radio static would fill the whole house, the whole house, and red digi lights would surround him up the stairs, in the bathtub, to the closet. static like a hissing fly or a midafternoon cold war, the latest in a series, no sound, no order, just staring and static in the place where toast and tea used to be.