The 18th of September – New York, New York

(found with an overwhelming nervousness because the apartment has a view of the Park)

Dear Paul,

I’m, well, I’m not going to make it. I’m just not. Just no. Just say no.

I’m not going to make it into the office today.

Have you seen this new business card?

It is a constant pain and sharp. The always humming of a chainsaw engine as it falls down through a stairwell. The roar of a thousand car alarms waking up a city block. The fear-filled and full-throated scream of a person as she bangs on closed doors while I walk behind her in the hallway.

But I’m terribly in touch with humanity.

I’ve perfected my appearance, see. He says to check out having a tanning bed installed in my apartment like he does. But he compliments my tan, understand? He doesn’t. Understand. Not like I do. A tanning bed in the apartment leads to overuse. Peeling skin, blotchiness, et cetera. People have no restraint. People have no understanding, not of what it takes. They talk about growth and improvement. They talk about their interests and their passions. They talk about the inside.

The inside doesn’t matter.

But these people. They shake my hand and fail to feel the cold in my palm, instead focus on the steel, the toughness. They don’t know what it takes. They don’t understand what it means to not feel, to not ever, to need what I need in order to.

The mask is slipping off. I feel it loosening around the edges, the edges where it used to feel tight. Just wait until the mask comes off. I am spineless.

And she said I’m inhuman.

Warm Regards,

Patrick

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