Eight Ounces of Milk Can Successfully Dilute the Bleach Inside

By - Oct 14, 2020


  1. It’s Tuesday morning, in Los Angeles. 
  2. My uncle Dave once told me that I should try healing, that I should probably heal, that I should look into finding healing. 
  3. This massage therapist says she can feel my pain. 
  4. This stranger says she’s got my phone number. 
  5. She’s barefoot, pregnant. One of ten thousand in California. 
  6. People can’t tell if I’m joking. 
  7. I’ve been trying to change for a long time now. 
  8. I can lay myself bare. I know how to defuse things. I insist on learning the hard way. I don’t ask for help. I disappoint my parents. I want to see the ocean. I need compassionate mental health care in an optimal environment. I wish I had a washboard stomach. I enjoy drinking on an empty stomach. I would probably commit suicide if I were a one hit wonder. I enjoy treats. I should save up some money. I should set up a checking account. I can’t hold down a job. I should ask for help. I shouldn’t call myself the things I call myself. I call myself these things in private. I can separate most things from real love. I need The Center For Healthy Sex. 
  9. There’s a tremendous bakery around the corner from The Center For Healthy Sex. 
  10. There’s a rash on my chest. 
  11. There’s always a rash on my chest. 
  12. My favorite nurse is sun damaged. 
  13. Didn’t anyone ever tell her about sunblock? 
  14. That would’ve been a small kindness. 
  15. My grandmother cannot put a name to a face. 
  16. My grandmother is ninety years old. 
  17. My grandfather was a longtime member of a social club.  
  18. They called themselves “The Romeos.”  
  19. The doctors tried injecting herpes into my grandfather’s brain, but it didn’t work. 
  20. Experiments never work.
  21. I’m naive. I’m clumsy.
  22. I’m bad at swallowing medicine.
  23. I’m outside outpatient treatment in Santa Monica. 
  24. I’m catching the breeze. 
  25. I’m concerned that I’m experiencing the beginnings of Parkinson’s disease.  
  26. I’m not watching my friends. 
  27. I’m not watching my friends insert ecstasy into their rectums. 
  28. I’m not drinking beer, smoking marijuana, or huffing a balloon with my eyes closed. 
  29. I chipped my tooth today. 
  30. The tooth I chipped when I fell off my bicycle when I was a kid. 
  31. Spanish, French, geometry, trigonometry…
  32. Jason says he can teach me everything I need to know about finance in seven minutes. 
  33. Jason’s wife had an affair with their solar energy contractor. Now, the contractor lives with Jason’s wife. They recently relocated to The Glenview Condominiums. The Glenview Condominiums are in Louisville, Kentucky. They took Jason’s daughter, too. 
  34. Jason is paying their rent. 
  35. Jason says, “Nothing is wrong with me.” 
  36. Jason is a total blowhard. 
  37. Jason says I have an analytical mind.  
  38. Ruby isn’t here. She didn’t show up this morning. She’s probably stuck in bed. She wants someone––a surgeon, an intruder––to cut the pain from her heart, to rip it out. 
  39. I tell her I can’t do that, I’m not qualified. 
  40. I’m not worried about Ruby. 
  41. She wants to be an environmental lawyer. 
  42. She’ll represent the seals and the whales. The sharks, too. The ocean. One day. 
  43. All my friends are on summer vacation. 
  44. I could be on vacation too, but there would be major consequences.  
  45. Even insects are better than consequences.  
  46. I don’t know what I want, but I want to know what the worst taste tastes like. I want to know why I know six Allegras, seven Livinias, and eight Courtneys. I want to know why they make school so hard. I want to know what spring cleaning feels like. I want to know how tight The Bible Belt squeezes. I want to know why maple syrup helps me remember things from my childhood. My father is shirtless. I am embarrassed. We are on the beach. I want to know why people do good things when nobody’s looking. I want to know how long I can stay.
  47. Another memory: my mother screaming at Samantha’s mother. 
  48. I had never seen anyone get that angry. Before, or since.  
  49. Don’t bullshit my mother. 
  50. In late 1992, on their first date, my parents saw The Crying Game.
  51. On Wednesday, Mom quit family counseling. 
  52. I make my bed. I lie in it. 
  53. As many-thousand nights before. 
  54. In group therapy, I talk about my father. How my father never taught me how to be a man, how I’m mad about it.  
  55. “So many fucking faggots in L.A.” 
  56. I hear this. I consider and reconsider it.
  57. It leaves Jason’s mouth, melds, and becomes one with the air trapped inside this room. A sad, deprived circle of fold-up chairs. A man with a long face begins to sob. Los Angeles is a very sensitive city. Everyone says that. Including Jason. 
  58. Jason says gay people are running the world. He’s convinced. 
  59. It’s 6:30 in the evening. It’s spring. The bright red sun blazes through the slats. The razored fragments of light strike all the bodies. I appreciate the weather.
  60. I sweat.  
  61. Jason talks about magazines and videos of dirty blondes––total babes––piling on top of each other.  
  62. They are clenching their jaws.  
  63. They are completely unfazed.