Come on, let’s go for a stroll. Better yet, let’s run away, away from L.A. Isn’t that what you said? Because it’s too hot, it’s sweltering, your dreams can’t breathe.
But don’t let your imminent demise deter you. Let’s have a smoke and forget the people and security we gave up for blurry promises of glamorous associations. You tore off the rear-view mirror to make your point clear.
You’ll win the Pulitzer or some other equally pointless prize, I’ll burn down the world, and the sea breeze we gave up to get here will matter more than the books we wrote and the words I spoke. No harm in saying so. You said to stop living in a fantasy world.
No, I’m no friend of fools, and I knew that snow globe on your desk meant betrayal the minute you bought it. I look the other way. You’re a fragile, little thing. I roll my eyes at your worthless nostalgia now that I have my own wing of the house.
There’s a destructive cure out there in this city, and all you want is to see snow again. My liver has long given up on trying to go shot for shot with you. You hide the mess, but he left his tie on the ceiling fan.
Well, here we stand on some metaphorical precipice, you’ll fall off either way you turn and it’s too cold to stay here. And in the wind’s whistle you might hear silent flakes falling gently on the prescription drugs of your inescapably inaccessible past. You can’t go back in time, you refuse to say you’re sorry.
I dreamt big and smile in nightly TV appearances to pretend I don’t need you anymore. I’m done paying five-dollar fines for stapling my paintings to the walls. I am alive and you are yesterday. But I miss days when you left the doors open and were careful to keep me innocent.
Success always came easy to you, but you regret it now. You wish you’d never seen the empty deserts of fame and that I wouldn’t laugh in your face. But watching clouds doesn’t make me feel better anymore. I lie down in my tux and count to 1,000 before I can go outside and face your vain and fawning friends.
You read a book a day and slip into delirium, and I tell Miles to clean the vomit off the pillows. You’re ashamed of my callous cynicism about your idealistic dreams of freedom from “all of this.” I sigh and continue writing. You don’t realize that I’m just a broken mirror. Hold me up and look at yourself glaring back.
I hold your umbrella and answer all the poking reporters’ questions in the affirmative. I have to hide your degeneration, that’s why I bought you that hat. How odious your presence is to every fiber of my being. The more day trips you take to remember, the harder it is for you not to leap into that lake.
It’s almost over now, just let me hold your hair back one more time. You’ve been killing yourself slowly for five years, six months now, so you’ve barely noticed. No B-12 or deep tissue massage will stop my twitches. Autumn’s here and the garish, rusty leaves make you don your sunglasses.
But my quaking eyes have watched and waited for you to ask me to light your final match. Only The Killers will satisfy your lust for lies and faux diamonds; I’m just some disgusting ashtray. You wear moth-eaten furs to sleep each night. At 3 a.m. you go out only to get lost and request pick-up from some Spaniard whose name I have forgotten.
I go joyriding for several hours after midnight. Then I drink my way to crimson-colored nirvana in dark, satin-filled coffins where vampires lurk, it’s a sacrificial cult. The sycophants smoke stonily, the needy suffer silently and some aged disco ball still whirls in a tobacco haze. Snow is falling back home.
Just keep digging, mommy dearest, you’re almost there.