PDF

Pen and paper


by JP Kemmick


I am not writing to you because I am afraid, or lonely. Or in love. I am writing to you because I have pen and I have paper.


Yesterday, we went into town, to a tea shop with all the teas lined up on shaky looking wooden shelves just out of reach, so that the tea server had to stand on a little stool in order to reach them. I imagined them to be potions, powders of ancient animals with incredible restorative powers.

My mother, when drinking her tea, never set it down, but kept it raised just above the table, which was fairly indicative of her mental state, always hovering just above some threshold, some stable plain.


Mugs tells me he knows all the ways in which a person can fall.

“Over, through, under, back,” he tells me in the Aquarium, which is what we call the room with baby blue wallpaper and too many windows. Mugs is a wonder with the prepositions and he knows a thing or two about falling. “In love,” he says as the room fills with morning light.


Once, I went and saw one of those red Buddhist gates in Japan. The water surrounded it at high tide and you could climb to the top of this hill to look at it from above, which I did. It looked like the kind of thing you would go through only to find yourself on the other side.

When you and I first met, I imagined I would come out the other side somehow changed, and I was right, although wrong about the type of change.


On Easter, Harrison tells a joke about the size of Jesus' penis. (Hung like this)

“Is that in the Bible?” Mugs asks.

“What's important to remember,” Harrison says, “is that the Bible is full of sex and so one can logically assume that Jesus, as a focal point of the whole damn book, was well endowed.”

“My teenage diary was full of sex, but it doesn't mean I was getting any,” Mugs says.

We are all here to sort something out, to come to grips with something about our youth, or the years after, but I don't think this is it.


You met my mother once, at a party. You touched her shoulder, and her cheek. I know this because when they got home, my father said so, about the shoulder and the cheek.

You touched neither my shoulder nor my cheek when we met. Which is just as well, I suppose, as no one was present to grow jealous, to conflate it into something larger than it was. Which is all I seem to want these days, for everything to grow past its expectations, its reasonable limits.

Like those dinosaur sponge infomercials which we watch on late night television in the Aquarium. To see a T-Rex grow far past its seeming possibility.

Endcap