simone's carry-on
you good? i left aspirin and gardetto's on the nightstand.
i'm good, thanks. i feel like reheated dog shit, but i'm good. i don't all the way remember you putting me to bed last night.
i figured you wouldn't. on the bright side of things, i bet you got that outlaw country look on fucking lock now!!
been a minute, that's for damn sure. and that's true. honestly it's a miracle i ain't changed my name to rusty by now. give it to the end of the week. you alright?
rusty st. james, the hazard of harlan, the no-good nashvillain.
don't you DARE say i never gave you anything & when you hit it big and they make you a comic book character, i want my royalties delivered quarterly in a suitcase.
all small bills, motherfucker.
"I looked at him secretly from under a fall of hair.

He was lying on his back, his hands under his head, staring at the ceiling. The starched white sleeves of his shirt, rolled up to the elbows, glimmered eerily in the half dark and his tan skin seemed almost black. I thought be must be the most beautiful man I'd ever seen.

I thought if only I had a keen, shapely bone structure to my face or could discuss politics shrewdly or was a famous writer Constantin might find me interesting enough to sleep with.

And then I wondered if as soon as he came to like me he would sink into ordinariness, and if as soon as he came to love me I would find fault after fault, the way I did with Buddy Willard and the boys before him.

The same thing happened over and over: I would catch sight of some flawless man off in the distance, but as soon as he moved closer I immediately saw he wouldn't do at all.

That's one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket."

You are your father's child, or so they've told you: locked up tight enough to bruise, your weaknesses packed away for no one to find. You would bury them in the backyard if you had one, dig until you smelled fire and brimstone, then scoop out a few more feet to be safe. Instead, you hide them in plain sight, where you can always reach them if you're in the mood to break your own heart. The insecurities live in the threads of your bed sheets, the pristine etching of your office nameplate. They bleed through the ink of your tattoos, hum in the engine of your beat-up truck, rattle in the bottom of your purse.

Severe is a relative word, you tell yourself whenever you need to hear it, whenever you hold the bottle close enough to read the graying print; anxiety is, too. You're certainly not disputing the tell-tale signs of an attack: your face, burning hot despite a flood of tears; the suffocating stenosis in your chest; the sonic boom of your heart; these are real and you've felt them, memorized them, trained yourself to see them coming from miles away. But what do you make of the laughter that bubbles out of a scream-worn throat? A picture frame, shattered at your hands? The trail of fire and disappointment that you've torn through your personal life and the gasoline that you can't stop pouring, do they count as severe?

You place the pill under your tongue and tell yourself the doctor would understand.