The Boy and the Girl

by Rine Davis

Rine Davis is a bratty, brilliant, blue-eyed girl from Seattle. She writes and rants and sings and stomps and often drinks steamed milk. Her poetry can be found in Zine In Time.


i.

T H E G I R L

pretty poppies
and little dead throws
I can't wake up lovely
I can't wake up

I have intricate fantasies of Kyle killing himself. This business woman in beige finds me in the parking lot at school and slips me an envelope with two fingers. I tear it open and there's just a scribble: "I love you." Everyone inside presses their greasy faces up against the glass as I fall to the cement.

I keep myself guarded. No one has access to my thoughts. Everyone knows that I dig the guitar, but who knows that I'm afraid of death? Who knows that I feel small and useless?

After the letter came, I took a bus to meet my Brett. I sat and stared at my reflection in the glass, half-grinning and leering at myself. It was the first time I'd really felt beautiful. Slicked-back Brett was standing outside of a drug store, trying to get someone to pick him up a pack of cigarettes.

I was very late.

"Where have you been?"

"I was rolling around the carpet."

I handed him the envelope. He leaned against the brick and started reading. "I'm so sorry." He handed it back. "You always get the worst guys -- the 'Shit, Darcy, you're a goddess' guys."

"Yeah."

I was disappointed.

love
is a trip
to fall and
scrape

I called Kyle a few nights later. I had to because he was leaving the next morning. I'd been avoiding it. It was almost midnight and his mother answered.

"Hello?"

"Is Kyle there?" He came and I was outside; it was hot and July. "Hey, this is Darcy."

"Uh . . . hi."

I laid on the sidewalk and stared at the moon and talked and talked. He didn't really have the ability to. "Do I read like a book?" I want to say. Do I mean to? If you asked me to, would I? If I asked you to, would you read to me? Can you read yourself? Do you like reading me?

Sometimes I run like thoughts and sometimes I run like water, but no matter what I touch what I do where I run, nothing will change, will it? Nothing to do with fate or karma: it's just one voice, one pen, one strum, one drink always.

I'd sell myself for a good headrush. Anything for a spin backwards. I drank the rum in my closet with my dirty clothes. It burnt but I couldn't stop myself. And going down it was like hot liquefied pain and piss and screaming but it made me smile. Sounds silly to I say it, but heavens it was smashing. I'd sell my soul for a bottle if it were a good deal. But if God and the Devil are around and listening, then the deal's off -- and I'll only go through with it if you'll sit down and clink glasses with me and grant me my much deserved happiness.

Kyle says I don't seem the brooding type. Don't I? With a smile like this and a name like Darcy? He said is doesn't become me to brood and that I should smile when I wake up. I asked him what I was.

"Tragic."

"Wow."

"I can insult you and you like it."

"What am I really then?"

"Sometimes when you're sitting I can see this look in your eyes."

My life is hardly mine. I'm never going to make a difference. Who's going to know my name in a hundred years? I'll die and be stuck in the ground like a fork; but I won't cry about it. Then I'd be another little girl whining about meaninglessness and it just gets too fucking repetitive.

this is the final
enclosed thought
once you did
but that was all

I've been saying "Oh God" a lot lately.
I thought that might make a fine opening.
Either that or simply "I am displeased."

ii.

T H E B O Y

I held the phone to my mouth as I dragged off my cigarette. I wanted Darcy to hear me do it. I wanted her to ask me what I was doing.

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing. Smoking." I wanted her to know I smoke cloves. I wanted her to know that I keep a pack in my back pocket. I wanted her to see them and I wanted her to ask for one and I wanted to light it for her. I wanted her to see me flip my lighter open. I spent an hour practicing so that she could watch me.

I wanted to use the green lighter I bought because green is Darcy's favorite color. She has a slab of green fabric over her bedroom window to keep people from looking in. She lives in the basement. She only has one window, but it makes her room turn green when the sun is out. She says it makes her feel like a pea in a pod.

"Are you outside?"

I looked at the trees standing in the dark. They looked gray and sick. I coughed and pressed my cigarette out in the coffee can I keep under the porch steps. It's not a hiding place or anything. My parents don't care what I do with myself. They wouldn't care if I was out here drinking vodka, or out here with a gun. It just feels good to have a can full of my old cigarettes. It's like saving pennies in a mug. You never roll them or use them to buy anything. I'll never do anything with my cigarette butts, but it's nice to know there's evidence that I was alive, that I was in this spot before.

"I asked if you were outside."

"Yeah."

"Oh." Her bed creaked. "Hang on. I have to get under the covers." I met Darcy in high school. She walked into class looking boyish. She never really said anything, but the first time she read out loud, I knew. There was something different in her face, something sad. She looked strange and unsatisfied and I could tell she would understand.

"Okay, I'm back." She yawned away from the phone. "Mmm. Pardon me." She sounded smiley. It's the way Darcy sounds after midnight, when she's sleepy and trying to get me to hang up. She calls it delirium and she talks about it like it's a disease she has and can't cure. "I'm sorry. I'm delirious again. I have to get my ugly sleep."

"Would you kill me if I asked you to?"

She laughed. I knew she would laugh. It took me all day to call her and all night to ask the question and she laughed. I wish she hadn't laughed. Maybe I shouldn't have asked her when she was delirious. "What kind of a question is that, Kyle?" She said my name slowly.

Darcy likes to say my name I think. It makes her feel powerful because it shuts me up. I can't help it. I want to listen when some part of me touches her lips. Honestly, notice the next time the girl you love says your name. It doesn't sound the same as your teacher or that guy at the gas station or someone. You'll be floored.

I've never said Darcy's name back to her. I've written it, but I can't say it. It feels dirty or something. I don't deserve to have her on my lips. Like, if she's an angel and I'm -- I don't know. I don't mean that entirely. I guess I've just never said her name.

"Kyle?"

"Death is a very personal thing," I said.

"Mm-hmm."

"I want my loved ones to be with me with I die."

She sighed, but it was muffled. I think Darcy was pressing her face into a pillow.

"So I'm your loved one, huh?"

I didn't want to say it.

"So you love me, huh?"

I didn't say anything.

"You love me and you want me to kill you so you don't have to pull the trigger? Great. You don't even care that I'd go to jail?"

"No, it's not --"

"You don't care that I'd have to live with it for the rest of my life?"

"No, I --" I shouldn't have said anything. It was one of those things I wished I could take back as soon as it was out. I only meant that I wanted Darcy to be the last thing. I only wanted her to know that it's gray and sick, and that the one golden string running through all of it is her.

"God, Kyle. You're so fucking considerate."

"Sigh."

"I hate it when you say that. Why can't you just do it? Just sigh. It's like you're not bummed or whatever, so you can't actually sigh, but you want me to think you're sighing so I'll think you're bummed."

I don't listen when she tangents. Darcy does that. She says she has to fill the silence. Another of those incurable diseases she has. Darcy doesn't like being on the phone with me much. I don't help her fill the silence. I don't like being on the phone with her much either. She doesn't do what I want.

I wanted to hear her talk about death. I wanted her to talk about me being dead. I wanted it to make her cry. I wanted her to cry for me. I wanted to cry and I wanted to know she was crying at the same time. I wanted her to tell me not to cry.

"Why do you always get silent? I hate that."

"I don't have anything to say."

"Yes, you do. You're thinking something and you want to tell me, but you want me to drag it out of you, don't you? You want me to say 'Oh, poor baby. What's wrong? Tell mommy.' Just tell me, Kyle."

"It doesn't make any sense."

"Just take what's in your head and say it."

"I don't . . ."

"Don't what?"

"Understand my head . . . or something."

"You love being cryptic, don't you? Look. I'm going to bed. I'm delirious."

"But."

"What? But what?"

"I . . ." It was painful. I groaned. "I love you."

"G'night."

I hung up the phone and put it down in the grass. The grass was dewy and my hand got wet. I wiped it on my jeans. I didn't want my fingers to be slippery. I noticed that the grass was green. I took the green lighter out of my pocket and stared at it. Green is a damn good color. I wonder if Darcy noticed that I never said her name.

I knelt down by the porch steps and reached underneath. I pulled out the box I keep next to the coffee can. It's not a hiding place or anything. My parents wouldn't care if I was out here with a gun. I opened the box and took out the gun. It didn't feel as cold as I thought it would.

I'd meant to have a picture of Darcy in the box. I don't know why, just to look at. I knew she would laugh, though, so I never had the nerve to take one. I really want her picture now. I really want Darcy now. She's right. I would give anything for her arms around me, her hands on me. She could take away the pain. But Darcy's not here. It's me and the box, and the box is open and waiting.

I just wish I'd said her name.


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