< Today The Sky is Blue and White with
Bright Blue Spots and a Small Pale
Moon and I Will Destroy Our
Relationship Today

by Tao Lin >


I’m home from college. It’s 3 a.m. or something. I’ve been watching movies on television. It’s very dark out. I’m walking through the house. My mom’s asleep. My brother’s asleep. My dad’s asleep. Our house is big. I try not to make any noise. All the lights are off. The dogs are sleeping too. There’s a night-light by the stairs. It’s on. I sleep upstairs in the room above the garage. It’s quiet. I don’t want to wake anyone. I don’t make any noise as I go up the stairs. It’s very dark. My door is closed. I open it.

I can’t sleep. I’m lying on my bed. I’m thinking how there’s no way out of anything. The pillow is too hard. I’m looking at the clock across the room on the computer desk. Its green numbers change to 4:25. I stand beside my bed. It’s dark. My body is exposed. There are three windows to this room. I don’t know if something will come at me. All this dark area on my chest and legs that I can’t see if anything’s there. I run a little to the light. My heart is beating very fast. I turn on the light and turn around. There is nothing in my room. Besides my bed and all that stuff. The ceiling fan is not on. On the ground are lingerie catalogues from earlier.

It’s around 4:45 a.m. I’m looking out the window at the reservoir across the street. I’m looking at the moon, up and to the right. It’s a stone, glowing, drifting away. I look for clouds. I see stars. A plane. The street is somewhat lit. There are streetlamps. I’ve been home two days. There is still the Summer ahead, like a beach or parking lot. It’s 5:10 and I’m at the other window, which overlooks the driveway. I’m putting my head out the window. I twist my torso out and I sit, facing my room, on the sill. There’s the roof out here. I can climb up maybe. I’m standing on the sill, holding the top corners of the window. I’m trying to reach the ledge of the roof. I can’t sleep. I need to be on the roof. I’m moving my foot to the side frame of the window to try and leverage myself up. I’m almost there. I have two fingers touching a shingle of the roof. The shingles are like a dog’s tongue. I’m falling. I’m trying to use my hands to pull my head and neck and body up, but there’s only air. The top of my head hits the driveway. It makes a noise like an egg cracking.

The sun’s coming up somewhere. I can see the ceiling of my room from here. The lights are on inside. I didn’t turn them off. I’m in pain. I think what hurts is my head. I can’t move my legs. I think I can move my hands but I’m not sure. They feel numb. But if they feel numb that means I can feel them. I don’t know what this means. I hear a car on the road. Birds are chirping. I’m on the driveway. Something walks by on my left. A lizard. What hurts most is a patch on the top of my head. I can feel the hairs sticking out like toothpicks. My blood feels warm. I imagine a dark red pool around my head.

I hear silverware in the house. The dogs are barking. Someone opens the window by the front door. My brother says something. He says the word omelet. The television is on. It’s CNN. I think I feel a little hungry. My contact lenses are getting dry. I close my eyes. I see a dark orange light. The sun is steep behind my head. I feel tired. It feels like there are large grapes inside of my eyeballs. I’m falling asleep. The driveway is very hard. It feels good.

I wake to a rumbling noise. I don’t know where I am. I’m thinking there are classes to go to. Is there a Chinese test today? Is it Monday? I see the sky and some of a house. I remember I’m at home. But what room? There’s a cloud above that looks like a steak. I remember falling from the window. The rumbling noise is a car. I can’t raise my head to see what’s coming. I see a blue curve of my mom’s minivan coming out of the garage. It’s coming very close to me. It’s going to run over my legs. I feel a pull in my neck, at the back of my scalp, by my left ear. My body moves a little. The minivan goes into the street. I listen until it’s gone. Everything is very quiet. I wonder about my leg.

I remember how I was watching The Rules of Attraction on TV last night. I was doing sit-ups on the carpet. I did push-ups with my back straight and my head up, like the Sphinx. I was drinking green tea and eating purple grapes. I wonder where I’ll be in ten hours. Ten days. A year. I’m thinking this isn’t so bad. Forty or sixty more years. Then it’s over. There are hours like this, like parts of a day, and then there are years. Things can pass. They can go by quietly when you aren’t doing anything. Nothing can happen. It’s okay. It’s not so bad.

I see a body in the window of my room. The body is blurry. My contact lenses are dry again. I wonder if they’ll slide to the backs of my eyeballs. I hear my brother’s voice. It says, Shit, Mom. His voice sounds very quiet but I know he is shouting. I try to say something. I feel a small pressure in the back of my throat. I don’t really hurt anymore. I can’t feel anything. I wonder about this. If I can’t feel anything am I paralyzed? If I’m paralyzed how can I feel that I’m not feeling anything? Mom, says my brother. I’m trying to concentrate on the part of myself where there’s the feeling of not being able to feel. I can’t focus anywhere. It feels like the sky is pressing out from my insides. There’s just a numbness everywhere. I think I can feel the driveway, like another leg or body, another unfeeling part of me.