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  1. Public Bookmark 39

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    Either his absence or the scritch of the pencil wakes Nicky enough to turn over and seek the warmth of his arm. Joe feels him blink against his chest. 

    “Sad as hell, Joe,” he says after a minute. It is as detailed a poetry critique as Nicky ever offers. 

    Joe kisses the top of his head. 

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  2. Public Bookmark *

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    The thing about being a thousand years old was that years didn’t feel very long anymore; they were an over-produced commodity. The years of studying at al-Azhar wouldn’t feel like much at all to him now, but back then, they’d lasted centuries, and perhaps it was because all the time he spent without Nicky felt interminable, even before he’d known who it was he was missing. He’d carried with him a vague and inexplicable sense that he was waiting for something to begin, though he knew not what.

    ***

    “I think I was in love with you before I knew you.”

    Nicky laughed into the corner of Joe’s jaw, breath tickling his neck. After all these years, he’d memorized the shape of Nicky’s nose, the sensation of his stubble at every stage of unshavenness, absolutely every imaginable corner and contour of his body, and the more he knew it the more he loved it, like an old favorite song that developed new layers of meaning every time you listened. “Always the poet.”

    “I really do think so, though,” Joe chuckled. “I die of love for you,” he said, switching to old Arabic, quoting Abū Nuwās. “And then I return to life so I can kiss you one more time,” he continued. His own words.

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    13 Sep 2020

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  3. Public Bookmark *

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    "How old is this place?" she asked, turning in a circle to see it in 360. Nicky put a hand on her shoulder to point her between the pews, towards the altar.

    "Not as old as you think," he said. "They’ve added a lot of things, over the years. Everything you see-" He gestured at the intricate carving on the walls, the side chapels. "All younger than me, you know."

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  4. Public Bookmark *

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    Over the past few years, he’s started sleeping as little as he possibly can without dying — his under-eyes are permanently bruised and he spends daytimes hallucinating. It’s better than dwelling on what has come before: screams, limp bodies, spraying blood, blue eyes.

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  5. Public Bookmark *

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    It's kind of about fake dating and it's kind of about friendship and it's mostly about casual revelations that I spent time in Los Angeles, because that's my wheelhouse. Some day there will be a Sarchengsey installment, probably.

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    270

    02 Aug 2020

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