Part One

Princess of Wands

I had a scab on my knee.  Maybe Nick had thrown me into one of the curbside garbage cans downtown.  Maybe I had gotten drunk and tripped over something in the parking lot.  But I don’t really know. The pages from those days are filled with half-assed attempts at being philosophical.  Writing for an audience of one is dangerous like that.  But it was sometime in late May or early June, after my first year of college was over and I was back home for the summer and you were home on leave.  If I’d met you before I don’t remember it too clearly, but I know I saw you out somewhere early that summer and wondered who you were, and somebody told me.  The most coherent, least preposterous thing I wrote then was, “To realise that there’s more to life than extremes.” — 5 June 1991, 2.05 a.m.

This is just a way to tell it.  A way to start.  Because I can’t ever tell it.  I was never any good at writing about stuff I was happy about, and I didn’t write about much of us then, much of you and me.  I wrote “He can’t come this weekend” and “We stayed at Duncan’s house” and “I miss him” and “He got a haircut.”  I wrote that in between Oscar Wilde quotes and the drips of blood and the drops of candle wax and the sometimes spidery lines that got out into the margins and wandered their way down as the ink got all mixed up with Boone’s Farm and my brain got all mixed up on the fumes.

“The princesses represent those numerous elemental people whom we recognize by their lack of all sense of responsibility, whose moral qualities seem to lack ‘bite.'” — Aleister CrowleyI was a mess, a raging bundle of loose ends and spliced wires, and you were making some sense out of the tangle.  I don’t know if you knew that.  But I broke down a lot, and when you weren’t there — and, really, I guess, even sometimes when you were — I just fell, and landed, and stared stupidly at the ground, blinking, unable to see quite how to climb back to my feet.We were so young.  When I look at the pictures, I can’t believe how our skin looks.  We didn’t have as many scars.  But I’m pretty sure that when we met, I had a scab on my knee.

Two of Cups

I don’t know how we managed to find the money to get the apartment.  You must have saved most of it.  You paid for nearly everything then; minimum wage back then wasn’t much and I was unemployed in the summers except for the time I watered that old lady’s flower beds.  You must have paid the majority of the rent and all of the bills.

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