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9

Stipends (working draft)

He came on contract to rip all my words off the wall and take thumbtacks from my outstretched palm.

We would spend the next two weeks sharing cigarettes and ginger root. We would spend the next two weeks trying to “crack” this “thing” and learning to hate one another. Sitting in a poorly ventilated room, asking our laptops to save our souls, we kept the conversation circling.

“the brief is bullshit.”

“psychologically this insight doesn’t even make sense”

“I’m not married to any of it.”

“”me neither”

At 8A.M we called each other to bring shots of espresso and soy.

By 2 A.M we called each other vapid narcissists incapable of ideation.

We blew off steam in separate ways. He with ten-mile runs and me with the  stress eating of fun-sized candy and the kissing of boys with motorcycles.

Once while we were breaking we smoked 5 cigarettes and he told me how he didn’t love his girlfriend but that it was complicated. I told him I got it—that I too struggled with awkward exchanges of oxytocin -- as referenced by the previous weekend, when I accidently found myself making out in a grow room with a 30 yr with a lip ring despite loving someone living 3 states away.

Originally, he said he understood the learning curve I was existing under, in work and life. Later when he realized he hated me, he told me what he had meant was “grow up, your metabolism will desert you.”

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