WHEN I FIRST saw Terry, he was standing outside of the Pico Grande, drinking gin from a glass beer boot and swaying in the hot balmy air. He was pale as snow and favored alleys with pastel backdrops feeling somehow they brought him vitality. We bought medianoche sandwiches and ate them on a lifeguard’s chair near midnight as he composed limericks about sea urchins and suicide.
We went back to his apartment; a dark third floor unit his mother had bought from a cocaine cowboy in the ‘80s. He undressed in the shower and stood bashfully behind the curtain until I dragged him out. His body was like a sack of leftover flour in a warehouse after a flood: porous, sticky and lacking in any form but I didn’t care. I kissed his neck and found myself falling pantless into the shag carpet, starry eyed and chilled to the bone from the gurgling A/C.
Breaking Point: His mother, a ninety-nine year old mute with no hair who lived the basement. She wrote long, measured messages to him on paper napkins. He often read them aloud to me, laughing jocularly at her wicked humor but later when I saw them myself they were simply chicken scratch.