The birds outside of my apartment make a complete cacophony out of 6 AM in the morning. It's like the only difference between the noise of the noonday cars, their rushing impatient metals and smoking, filthy heat all smashed together, and the desperate shrieking of early morning birds at Starcrest Drive is that the birds make a more precise harmony. It's almost conversational. It's almost like they are all talking to each other. Maybe the cars do, too. You can never know.
I went outside to watch the moonset after staying up late again. I can't sleep. I still can't sleep and I can no longer shrug it off in pithy remarks about how "I rewired my body's sleep schedule when I stayed up during finals using several cups of coffee" because that happened six months ago. I know what it is now. It's that I choose not to fall asleep. I just don't want to. I can feel it each night, my body's own sense of displacement when I lay down on that bed. It's stiff underneath my sheets, the insides tighten under my weight and the springs grind with frustration. The whole thing is only held together with a few nuts and screws. It's not my frame, it's Sylvia's. Her father gave it to her. I've met her father before but I can't remember his face. I remember he had a kind one, though.
I stayed up watching Knocked Up. Alison was just barely going into labor when I noticed the window turning blue. I looked outside and saw a single brave bright star above Provo. I sat back down and continued to bite my knuckles, grinning stupidly to nobody but the damn screen, giddy as I always get whenever I watch this movie, especially this part, the one right here where Alison and Ben are together again and now in the hospital and Ben is ready. Because he is going to be a daddy.
When the credits roll, I put my new sandals on. I go outside and I stare at the craters in the moon. Every time I look at the moon, if I look long enough, the craters start to look like little black shadows blinking and dancing, even waltzing in circles all across that cold white surface. A smell hits my nostrils and my eyes widen because I recognize the smell from something very long ago. Which is puzzling. The smell triggers a thousand memories in my head. They are memories of me and Ammon, specifically me and Ammon camping in the summer - and specifically that certain summer. That trip. And soon successively other memories clink along with it like the chain of a ball rolling scattered and confused behind the railroad worker. Smells from other camping trips. I remember Sand Hollow and Billy Brown and Strawberry Resovoir and Kevin Mitchell. I see the moon again and for some reason all I can think about is the word "daughter."
My sandals skid across the dead twigs and the crusty old ground as I walk back inside. They cost me more than thirty damn dollars, and I got them from where Mike works. I remember that Mike recognized me from the picture on that website that pretends to be gay Facebook - and he actually walked up to me. I remember finding out later that evening that Nick no longer comes up on gay Facebook when I search because I always put "single" in the search. He's no longer single. Tonight, or last night I guess, Zack started texting me again right when Lindsey was complaining - and, well, complaining isn't the right word. She was lamenting that "he" wasn't calling her.
And I remained despondent. Because I'm so sick of the guys who keep texting me and the guys who won't. I am mad like Ben Stone because stupid idiots all around me won't fucking love when it's handed to them. And the ones who like to take their love and smear it all over their faces like war paint. You assholes. Stupid idiots, stupid fuckers. What the hell are you people thinking. Huh?
What the hell is the matter with all of you?