The melancholy nightmare, with poor lighting.
by Esperando
(835 views) - 1/25/07
(recorded 1/25/07 @ 11:34:14 PM)
My friends and I are gathered in a large room, a room more suited to a mansion than a college apartment.

You’re going away? Where to?

Carolina. You’re the one who told me, “Hey, let’s listen to Ryan Adams.” And we did. And sang to “O My Sweet Carolina” in the jalopy van that dings as if the doors were always open. Why Carolina? You’re crying. You regret it, just like you regret moving out of Yavapai and into another dorm. We never wanted you to leave. What made you leave? We’ll take you back. We’ll always take you back.

I give you a hug, one of those tight ones, like I know I won’t see you for awhile. Carolina is so far away from where we are.

Right now, I’m just standing in this large room, watching the dim orange lights. I think, how much more melancholy we look under them.

The one with the long hair nudges me just below the ribs. She asks, If I have heard about K.? I shake my head rather slowly, still focused on the lights and wrapping my eyes around all our melancholy. She proceeds, whispering, though a little too close (her forehead bumps into my temple)—Sorry. So:
Apparently his family, rich rich, you know—apparently his family left him a mansion. A big one in West Virginia—(I think to myself, why the sudden fascination with the former Middle Colonies?)—but it’s haunted, swear to God. Perfect horror movie set. He doesn’t know what to do with it.

I climb the staircase steadily. It’s relatively well-lit despite the swaying naked bulbs; the entire thing—stairs, walls, ceiling—is made of old dark oak. I would love to think that the green ooze smeared all over the walls is just sap. But what sort of sap could be such a creamy neon lime? I slip and grab hold of the railing and the walls. The green ooze is smeared all over my hands. What is this? So much like melted putty.

I reach the second floor—or the third floor, I’ve forgotten. K. opens the door to a large mansion-becoming room. A large Oriental rug covers the wood floors. I see the same naked bulbs above. There are a few other people in the room, scattered. Sitting on chairs and sofas about the room. K. doesn’t introduce. I don’t blame him.

It has been a strange few weeks, hasn’t it? It has.

K. sinks into a straight-backed chair, a red brocade fabric. His face slips into his hands. Have you been sleeping? I ask, not really sure what to say. Tonight is more about sympathy, I guess. What can I do, K.?

I shouldn’t have accepted it, he moans. It’s a shame no one told him. We all sense family betrayal. The words are scrawled on our lips, we can read it. No need to say it.

I walk over to him, feeling slightly awkward. We were really only classmates before today. He rises, and I give him a hug. I’m so sorry. I try not to smear the green ooze on his shirt. What do I do with my hands?

K. suggests that we move into another room. Someone suggests 7up. Into a small area with fridge. Green bottles, green refrigerator glow. My hands are like reflectors. I feel like I’m seeping into that same dim glow. The orange phosphorus lamps of the first room have melted into this gloamy green tide. The refrigerator door creaks. One of K.’s friends hands me a soda bottle. I don’t drink soda and he doesn’t offer a name. Somehow it’s fitting. K. has moved on to the next room. I see a claw-footed bathtub. It is a stunning bright white. I notice that the room is lit with that familiar dim orange. We’re coarse-film movie stars, I say, not meaning to say anything at all.

Let’s stay together, K. says. I step into the orange light and sheepishly hand him the 7up bottle.
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