Three Stories

Fuckboy Russell

My friend Russell used to think the word fuckboy meant “one who fucks with something,” “fuck with” meaning “to like.” He would say things, for example, like “I fuck with that song, I’m a fuckboy.” Or, “Nice shirt, I’m a fuckboy.” I had recently gotten out of rehab and Russell was helping me to not do heroin. “Stay close to God and perform his work well,” he would say, “and the rest will be provided.” Another thing: “Have you had their corned beef? I’m a fuckboy.”


One day while smoking cigarettes on the couch in Russell’s living room, I told him that I’d never heard fuckboy used in that way, that I’d always heard it used to mean something different, something bad.


There’s a lot I don’t remember, but this is still something I think about.


He is mad the street is full of potholes.

He swears at them under his breath.

Later, he will ask a coworker how they are formed.

Incredibly Difficult to Have

Having been consistently wrong about most things that seemed true in the past, and having come to terms with the suspicion that any new thing which disproved an old thing would also most likely seem wrong in the future, he resigned himself to a malleable kind of knowing; an intentional, and oftentimes lazy, not-kind of knowing; an intuitive affinity for impermanence, like a nomad. His lack of conviction—his “lack of a lack of conviction,” he thought, correcting himself in a tone he recognized as once having described as “humorously grim” in a tweet—was learned and relearned repeatedly, in a more regimented manner than the things which he may or may not have either had or not had conviction in, and such an outlook was nothing if not lonely. He developed a fear of definitive sentences and male voices, and this, as you can imagine, was making conversations incredibly difficult to have.  

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