this one is on an envelope, from the session of the paper prompts. it’s addressed from “You know who. You know from where.” and yells BURN AFTER READING in the address field. here’s what i did with it:
“never put anything in writing-that way, there’s no evidence”.
this was the unsolicited advice that i got from that guy that kept popping up everywhere i looked during my last year of university. serving coffee in the campus bookstore, putting my clothes in a fitting room in a downtown boutique, swooping out from behind a mirror as i blurily examined myself in potentially new frames at the vision mart. a latino muslim, he was newly married in a long-distance relationship with an ismaili, the most intriguing of the sects. he was working all these jobs so that she could buy herself things to make up for his absence. it wasn’t clear why they had to be across the country from each other, but i accept information as it’s given to me, i don’t pry. people have always felt comfortable sharing with me, and i think that dynamic would change if i presented anything other than active listening. i remember walking with him one day from one job to the next, asking him not to smoke his cigarette right at that moment. he denied with indignation and a bird shit on his shoulder just as the word was coming out of his mouth and he cursed god (not spanish allah), but put out the cigarette that hadn’t yet made it to his lips. we all acknowledge in our own way. i was recounting the impending doom of the relationship i was in at the time, also long-distance, with someone who had no idea how to process my newfound elation from gracing a stage, so he chose to deal with it like a pouty child, trying to make me feel guilty for finding pleasure in something that didn’t involve him. there was no explaining that it wasn’t an either/or situation, but this was the same person who would attend a party, not dance, and sulk when i chose to dance, either alone or other people. we all manifest jealousy in our own ways. but back to edan-that’s EDAN, not EDEN, as in, the garden of paradise, but the aural coincidence is still of note. he was volunteering some love advice when his own situation was in shambles, as he had recently been to the bronx and met the woman, a latina muslim, that he wanted to build a tribe with. as a muslim, he rationalized, he could have up to three wives. but his confidence petered off with his voice as even he knew that this probably wouldn’t fly. we all bend the rules in our own way, but there’s always evidence. we can change its form or alter its course, but there will always be proof- somehow. and how must we trust those who we threaten, or are threatened by those we trust to utter such a vulnerable command-not just burn, nor just read, but burn after reading. we never know what will happen, as we all interpret instructions our own way.
i’m totally in love with this and am proud that i brought it all together in 20 minutes or so. woot.
libraries lately: yorkville, annette street, college/shaw, riverdale, runnymede
listening to: joey badass, recent prince (surprisingly love), chris brown x tyga (meh)
restos lately: le petit dejeuner, hanoi 3 seasons
coffee shops lately: gloria, reunion, novo (kensington), fool, redline
coffee shops left on ICP: 22
holds left: 37
bookshops lately: another story for vivek shrya’s launch of even this page is white
shoutout to lovely: toronto’s first post office
concert attending right now: omar/ivana santilli/glen lewis