Feb 14, 2007
Paiboon is going to China for a couple of years for technical school. He’s leaving in a few days. He’s at Mom’s. I’d gone there looking for K. Hadn’t seen him in a few days. We hug in parting, as we never have before. and we ride a twisty, windy roller coaster chute downstairs while still holding each other. It was totally romantic and fun. At the bottom, I tell him to keep in touch and good luck and all that.
His demeanor now changed and he makes sexual advances on me and I back off, making it very clear I’m not interested. Again he advances and again I push him away.
Can I use your phone? I ask him. Someone had called in my abandoned car yesterday, which K was driving. And I wanted to know where it was. Maybe I could find him before anything drastic happens.
I grab the phonebook but am somewhere else--a gallery? A show before I can look for number. There are so many phonebooks there that I flipped through many out-of-state once before I find a Brattleboro one. Even still, something distracts me from calling them.
Earlier, downtown, I had run into Audrey Garfield and her sister and family who were visiting. Sister was very friendly with me, having remembered me from her last visit. We graduate from talking at a small café table to talking while under bed sheets together with her husband, though nothing sexual was happening or expected of any of us. It was pretty comfortable anyway. She sometimes felt like Taina and not Audrey’s sister.
She was telling me that Crown publishing was going to be contacting K soon for a deal. Her mother warned her against telling me, since I’m also a writer looking for a deal and she works for a publisher. But I am not jealous or offended, more fascinated. She then shows me the piece he’d gotten published--it looked like a tear sheet from a Chrysalis Reader. I was amazed--it was a beautiful, passionate love poem--obsession, actually was more like it. Heart-wrenching meditation of the names of the boys he’s infatuated or in love with. So Crown wanted to do a book from a Lao-American who’s coming out and struggling with that. I’m totally into it and happy for him. And this echoes, much deeper in the piece he'd let me read earlier, about his infatuation with a certain man, Teoun, who also shows up in this piece. Last bit of advice she gives me was that he was going to go cry his eyes out for a couple of days--this is what he’s told her last he saw her.
The day was getting dark as I went around looking for him, and I passed a guy who said he’s called the police about me car, it was parked, unoccupied for a long time. I said, Thanks, and that’s when I started off to my parents’ house, to use the phone, also on the off chance that K was there.
Throughout this dream, I kept passing Matt Fisher. He’d nodded or waved in acknowledgment. And he’s a sad vision, too. Always in a sweater, a backpack, always as if he’s just been crying all afternoon. But also, I know that every time I see him is because he’s decided it wasn’t all worth it to kill oneself and end it. That this time he was going to keep trying.
And I remembered acknowledging the amount of trust K must have felt in me and in Taina to have shown those writings to us in the first place. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to be publicly outed, not yet anyway.