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[25 Mar 2009|02:58am]
You know what makes me sad? Remembering this place once a year.
Remembering what this used to be.
cmt

kt. [23 Dec 2005|12:59am]
drowning forests
heavy skies






it was a floating leaves type of thing.
a running through the desert type of thing.

a middle school era.



without dad, joel would call you child. in the morning he'd say, child, getup! getready!. at school it'd be child, try stealing us some food. child, did you do your homework?


mother was
good morning, good night.
hello, goodbye.
how are you, that's nice.
and
joel, take care of your brother.


at night joel would tell you, child, brush your teeth.
and child, go to sleep.

at two in the morning, yawning to see josh, he'd say, child, get out of the room.



I.
so, your brother tells everyone
mom, do you remember our house in waldorf?
sarah, you had your first steps there.
josh, you ran away to the mini mart just down the street.
interviewer, we were tortured at la plata high.
world, we grew up in waldorf.

and what you remember differs from the population's memory.

you can still see joel at nine years old, dad screaming, THE TOOL SHED NEEDS TO BE DONE BY FIVE, and your fence-less yard, the desert expanding to infinity. dad would hold up the gun and he'd aim out towards the horizon. he'd tell you, child, pull the trigger and when you would, he'd say, find it.

you'd gather the bullets well into sunset.



II.
when dad left, you were in the shower. he came in and he said, child, i'm going to get cigarettes. child, i'll bring you back some gum.

you were dirty for a year after.



III.
i was young when christ fouled my lips you wrote in your wide, expanding, infinate house yesterday on the cream colored walls. maybe you've read it somewhere.

maybe you're a genius.



IV.
you've never stepped foot in waldorf.
you think.


child, you're not positive.


yesterday you picked up the phone.
when joel came over, bags pack for the both of you, you called him
christ
and asked where.

where?

it took seven hours, car ride, and instead of your dreamed desert, child, this is what it should look like. waldorf. child, i think.

surrounded by trees.

child, you've got flowers of flesh.
you haven't heard those words from his lips since tenth grade.


that night you were scattered through the starry woods.



V.
you can never stop thinking in ages.

when you were seven, you wrote novels.
fairy tales seventy pages long.


child, i've never seen someone so talented.



VI.
at the dinner table you sat across from joel. mother at the head, sarah at your right.
josh no where to be found.

the salt and pepper shakers formed into little roosters.
identical. twins.
they turned to face each other, noses touching. beaks rubbing.


joel would watch you.
his buttons would watch you.



VII.
as a child, as a baby, mother would take you and joel into the second story bedroom. the room waiting for sarah.
leaving you out of the baby crib,
she'd open the window.

leaving the window open,
she'd walk away.



VIII.
in the woods. three weeks inside.

let's stay like this forever, you say and joel rolls over, arm drapped around your neck. he nods and you choke, changing colors.



your life was a perfect type of thing.

kt. [14 Jun 2005|11:33pm]
wandering through traffic.


At seventeen, Benji writes,
i wanna be amazing. great. i wanna be the greatest musician in the history of the world.

And follows it with,
joel says i swallow his cum like orange juice.

.

Chris- no, wait, Hambone- he says, "It's pretty normal," he says, "It's to be expected," and hands Benji the lastest teenie magazine.

The headlines are always the same:
FAVOURITE GC MEMBER RECOVERING DRUG ADDICT.
EXCLUSIVE! JOEL MADDEN'S DRUNKEN CONFESSION.
TWIN SPEAKS OUT ABOUT YEARS OF HEROIN USE.

This new one, the one Benji's just been handed, in it Joel says he still hides needles in the spine of his bible.

This is all news to Benji.

"It was two weeks," he says to no one. "Two weeks ago I had no idea. It just seems out of the blue."

.

Throughout the years, Benji has the pages numbered. Ten pages for one year.

"I don't write a lot. Really," he says.

The interviewer replies, "I asked when you first realized there was something going on with Joel."

Benji started his notebook at thirteen; it has one hundred sixty pages. At twenty eight, he'll have to buy a new one.

"I didn't."

.

Page four starts,
the frist thing i ever rember hering was joel and he said, "were goin to put u into the histery books"

.

Benji can't remember the last time he ate but his body keeps balloning.

He keeps a paper measuring tape in the lining of his guitar case. Last week, his stomach grew three inches.

He tried telling Billy. "You're full of shit," Billy said and left.

To his back, Benji sighed, "No, I'm full of lies."

.

Under Benji's bed are piles of articles, separated and color coded into folders.

Red: Hookers.
Blue: Overdoses.
Yellow: Past.

In big bubble letters, they state: CONFESSIONS.

.

On 81,
i like things simple. primary. life's too complicated anyways.

.

They're on TRL, introduced as "Good Charlotte," but really, it's just the two of them. Twins.

"Who the fuck cares about anyone else? Really, come on," Joel says backstage.

.

It was easy in the beginning. Benji realizes this. It was easy living. Uncomplicated. Except, of course, for Joel's cock in this ass. But it was easy. Dad left. Simple. School. Work. Sleep. Goddamnit primary.

Just.

Just.

Just living painless.

.

"SO WHERE'S CHRIS? AND WHAT HAPPENED TO PAUL? HIS LEG! O. M. G. I'M SENDING HIM GET WELL LETTERS!"

Benji smiles at Joel, he knows how to play it. The camera angles; he knows the game.

But Joel cringes and replies, "I fucked Chris's girlfriend and stabbed Paul after he flushed my coke."

Benji, his smile doesn't fade and he's learned when to laugh.

This is as good a time as any.

.

Last night Benji went on stake out, followed Joel to a club and was searched at the door, hands playing up his thighs, and he swears, he's never missed joel as much as that second.

Ran to the restroom and wrote, page 137, i need to think in complete sentences, comma abuser, there's no third person here.

At a table in the back, Joel's grasping a martini glass filled with ginger ale, and when Benji confronts him, he answers, "Just cut it, baby, I'm going into the media of it. It's all for you, you'll see."

.

It changes soon. Alcohol to drugs to depression. The next article says, Joel, "I WANT TO KILL MYSELF. I'M UNHAPPY."

He laughs, cackles, when Benji throws the magazine at him.

.

Benji, shit, he really doesn't remember any of this.

.

It's the end. Benji knows this. It's all ending in a single second.

"I didn't even have the time to get used to the suicide."

Joel presses his lips and shushes him. "You'll be a star. The grieving widow. You'll make millions from the inspiration. Think of it. This is our destiny- yours."

.

The headlines run to JOEL'S NEW CONFESSION: I'M IN LOVE WITH MY TWIN."

Benji can't read it. Joel's never been so famous.

.

21, joel calls me juliet when he comes.

.

Then time jumps a week. A single week. Just one and the tabloids, they all scream,

JOEL RUEBEN MADDEN ODs. PARAMEDICS TOO LATE.

.

Benji keeps with the bleeding fevers and writes.

kt. [29 Jan 2005|01:06pm]
age of assassins pt.II.
o1.o2.


Benji says, "I had a dream last night. Dreams of rotten lungs and guts."

And Joel replies, "Soldier, my ceramic boy, don't fucking think about it."

.

With his hands around Joel's waist, Benji begins writing a novel. Stuck in the back of his mind, he scribbles it down at freeway diners on unused napkins and shoves them into the pockets of his jeans.

.

Sometimes, Benji catches the news.

When Joel picks a booth next to the window and preoccupies his time with gulping coffee and searching for gun wielding undercover cops, Benji cranes his neck and tries to read the newscaster's lips. Sometimes Benji swears he sees Joel's face on the screen behind the cash register before Joel is throwing down money and dragging him out toward the motorcycle.

.

Benji thinks, SO THIS IS LIVING BACKWARD.

.

Benji's hair, it's now bright red and he's wearing violet contacts. His lips are precise, red, painted on. His skin is alabaster and when Benji looks at Joel, he sees himself. Joel, he realizes, is disguising himself as him, as Benji. How, he wonders, is that supposed to work?

.

At a grocery store in every county, Joel switches cyanide for Tylenol in the back restroom while Benji avoids eye contact with strangers as the motorcycle idles.

Benji feels like a clown.

.

This novel, Benji thinks, it's Pulp Fiction. It's John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. It's reality.

This novel, it's the reality Benji fantasizes while holding onto life.

.

He knows he can't really complain. There are things Benji doesn't miss. Not the job of stocking shelves. Not the customer always being right. Not paying the bills or taking out the trash. Benji doesn't miss the midnight screaming or the pounding on the doors. He doesn't miss the twenty locks on the door and the boards over the windows or washing out blood stains and Benji does NOT miss tripping over broken bats.

Benji hopes that this just means his life is getting better.

.

Once, Joel told him that all of it, everything, was just a vacation and then ran the motorcycle off the freeway, into the wind breaking trees, and across the train tracks. For a split second, Benji almost believed him.

.

It's possible, he thinks, that Joel is running from the FBI. It would explain a lot.

.

Maybe Benji is tired. Maybe he misses standing stationary. Maybe Benji is tired of being scared of men in dark glasses. Maybe Benji is only really scared of never finishing anything but Benji knows that being pressed to cheap hotel sheets gives him all the comfort and inspiration he needs.

[26 Jan 2005|04:54pm]
I LOVE HOW CRY BABY SENSITIVE THIS FANDOM HAS SUDDENLY BECOME. BOO-FUCKING-HOO.
:-*
cmt

p/j [21 Dec 2004|03:35pm]
1948 took sepia-and-white photos.


on your seventeenth birthday, benji takes you to the pier- the one with the carnival from end to end. the sign at the front says, CLOSED TO PUBLIC, but benji holds up the chain blocking the entrance and slides under.

you had overheard on the news that morning, your mother and father screaming in the background, that the pier was closed. you heard that the bars on their main attraction began to buckle under pressure. you heard that any trespassers would be arrested.

you've never broken the law before.

benji yells, "come on, paul!" and starts running.

you follow.

.

at the popcorn machine, benji grabs a bag and fills it. stale kernels fill your mouth and you remember hearing on the news, when the ride began to seesaw back and forth, people ran screaming from the park. you remember hearing that even the employees left their stations, cotton candy still spinning and rides still turning.

with benji leading the way, you wonder if those people are still stuck in the tilt-a-whirl and you're tempted to ask if he can feel eyes on him, too.

.

benji catches you staring at the fun house. its doors are shut and as you turn toward him, "benji? are there people in there? can you see them?" there's this thing shoved in your face.

with one eye closed and his hand on a lever, benji says, "it's just us. it's our reflection in the room of mirrors."

you press your palms to your cheeks. "where did you find that thing? that camera?"

he smiles wide. "i stole it from the av club. it's a classic." you turn your back on him. you hate cameras but he makes this sound in the back of his throat and huffs. "come on, paul. it's your birthday. i want to remember this for the rest of my life."

.

he's still got this video camera from the 1940s and every five minutes he whines about his hand. "paaaaaaaaaaaaaaul!" (you've counted the seconds he takes on your fingers.)

you say, "stop turning that stupid wheel, idiot boy."

.

on the way toward the center of the pier he explains to you how exactly the camera works. he tells you, this handle thing, here, you have to keep on turning it. you can't ever stop or the camera won't process what you're trying to record. or something like that. mark or mike, whatever, benji says, the av president, doesn't talk very well with his mouth full.

your disgusted face will be forever burned on film. he's circling you, catching every angle. he laughs at your expression but continues.

he tells you, there was this man named edwin land who created polaroid. the story was that in 1943 he was on vacation with his little kid and when he took her picture, she was such a brat that she wanted to see the picture right at that second. so, he created a plastic coated with these weird crystals that reduced glare and then later it was used for photographs.

you yawn, "i think i just fell asleep walking."

.

near the ice cream stand he suddenly screams, "STOP. WE'RE THERE," but you're busy watching the mint chocolate chip ooze down the side of the cart. when you look over the side, you can see it drip into the ocean.

you weren't aware that there was even a destination.

"come on, please. we're there!" benji begs but right about now, you're pretty much tired and fed up. "Please, baby," he tries again but you're fine not looking at him. you're fine watching the ice cream fall into the water.

he presses his hand under your shirt and you really think this might be the worst birthday ever but benji yanks on your shirt and turns you around.

.

the sun is setting and from where you are, if you look straight ahead, you can watch it set against the city skyline. above you, the stars are beginning to peak and benji, with his tongue shoved down your throat manages to mumble, "like it? happy birthday, gorgeous. i know you love the ferris wheel."

below you, if you look, is the carnival and the innards of the ride you're on. directly below you is the twisted mass of steel and electrical cords. each time the wheel moves, there's a groaning and the exposed wires crack.

it looks like fireworks but you slide your hand inside benji's pants and close your eyes.

one other announcement... [17 Dec 2004|04:31pm]
pauljoel anyone?
probably not.
cmt

for zyre (still icon ass kissing) even though she's mean WHERE'S MY PROMISED JOEL/PAUL?! [10 Dec 2004|05:07pm]
st helena sound
o1.o2.


romance is dead- paul says this as he walks out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around his head. when benji asks, what the fuck's under there? paul gives his grand unveiling. the only thing joel can think is, just in time for st. valentine's day.

paul's hair is now red.

.

they're still stuck in south carolina and joel really has no idea why. he wonders if he can walk to dc because all joel really wants is to be anywhere but roaming residential streets in their big tour bus. joel wants to be anywhere but near paul with his boxes of hair dye and stained towels that disappear in the morning.

.

joel asks their driver why. why can't they cross to north carolina. why can't they just GO HOME. fred shrugs. he tells joel he's just following orders and when joel's about to ask, who's orders, paul walks up.

paul says, we're in florence, now. right? i've always wanted to go to europe.

.

two days later, joel wakes up early and heads to the small bus bathroom.

on february 14th, joel is just so tried of fighting it.

on st. valentine's day (remember, joel, baby, it's a person's day and he was a saint. don't ever forget that.), joel dyes his hair red, too.
( 4 ) cmt

mt_t [05 Dec 2004|01:31pm]
st helena sound


One day Paul walks in with purple hair and pulls Joel to the side while Benji screams, PAUL'S A TELETUBBY.

Paul says, whispered in Joel's ear, "A long time ago we lived in Tokyo." Then he leaves, closing the door softly behind him.

Joel turns and tells Benji to shut it. He's laughing like a hyena.

.

Then Paul gets lost. He disappears somewhere between Bennettsville and Darlington in South Carolina and no one seems to notice until they have to replace him on stage. Joel's afraid they left him at the last gas station after Chesterfield. Joel's afraid they left him like you leave a sweater or your sun glasses, just forgotten on the counter next to the re-re-heated hot dogs.

.

A week later, Paul shows again with green hair and Benji screams, DIDN'T ANYONE TELL YOU BLONDS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO SWIM IN CHLORINE?

Paul says, "I met a friend in Georgia. In Glascock."

Joel tells Benji he belongs in a zoo.

kt [30 Nov 2004|10:28am]
dear joel: the days are repeating themselvesCollapse )

[06 Nov 2004|11:48am]
GOD. AM I REALLY THAT COOL THAT YOU HAVE TO STEAL MY LAYOUT?! WOW.


dear _06109,
you suck. get a life.
and next time, at least try changing the fucking colors, okay?
love, april
ps: what's up with the pussy friends only lock on your comments?
you must be pretty scared.
( 5 ) cmt

spb. [03 Nov 2004|04:20pm]
cradled in quotes.


benji thinks it’s coke.

joel thinks it’s heroin.

billy thinks it’s alcohol.

.

paul has a stash under his bed, hidden in a large doc martin shoe box. he tries to cover the red eyes and runny nose but lately he’s been excusing himself more often and he knows he has to admit his addiction. he knows that the hushed calls on benji’s cell are organizing an intervention but he just can’t seem to care.

the pull on his heart is growing stronger each day.

.

in the beginning paul didn’t need it until late at night when he couldn’t sleep. his chest only ached slightly and the contents of his shoebox just helped to take the edge off. there was only reality and he was sure that everything happened for a reason and he was sure everything was going to be fine. he was going to be fine. and paul was sure he really didn’t need it anymore. until the next time.

in the beginning, he was in control.

.

it’s noon time when the cravings begin. paul’s fingers begin to twitch and chris watches him cautiously as he stands. the election results scrolling at the bottom of the tv screen are long forgotten as paul moves towards the staircase.

“i know they want me stop you,” chris whispers when he’s out of sight. “but i can’t. i won‘t.”

when billy arrives at three, he’ll question chris and tattle to benji. joel will yell at him but chris knows things they don’t.

chris knows the truth.

.

paul’s fingers always burn with paper cuts and he think‘s they‘ll never heal. holding the doc martin shoebox in his lap, paul pulls out the first picture and tries his hardest not to bleed all over the photograph.

paul closes his eyes.

.

from drama class to lunch where aaron appears at your side and billy flutters his lashes at him but aaron steps to the side, pulling you with him.

he says, lets go. and now you’re somewhere near the ocean and it’s hours later.

he sets you on a drift log that snaps under your weight but he only laughs and takes off your shoes. next, he’s pulling you again, your arm squeezed between his fingers, and his hair is damp from the surrounding mist. your toes hit the water with a sudden shiver flowing through but his arms are wrapped around your chest so it’s not really all that cold.

he laughs, again, something that rumbles through your body, almost sending you into deja vu. he turns you around until the water hits your heels and there’s a pelican in your seat.

he says. he says, best friends forever. he says.

.

downstairs, chris thinks he should be more-

“what’s the word?” he asks. appreciative?

he should be more appreciative that paul told him his secrets but he really just feels-

“caught. dead. unloved. not good enough.”

.

you should marry the blues, aaron tells you. there’s a projector filming out darkness on the side of your white apartment complex wall and you haven’t asked him where he got it. or took it from. or stole it from.

aaron says, you should marry the blues but only after you’ve divorced me.

.

there’s a thank you card in paul’s doc martin shoebox and when paul opens it, it’s not enough to keep the room from spinning.


downstairs, chris is on the phone. it’s benji and he’s decided that the intervention is in an hour. chris has the phone pressed to the couch because he’s not really in the mood to think of all the people who are going to show.

“should i make snacks?” he asks the refrigerator.

“like, am i hosting this? or is paul?”

chris wonders what the hell an intervention is. if it’s going to be like “this is your life” chris isn’t sure he should be there. he’s never been a part of paul’s.

chris’s thumb hits the end button and he falls against the kitchen counter.

.

in faintly penciled block letters, you read: AUGUST. found in your locker the first day of school, the front of the card is a painted clown and you’re reminded of that gay serial killer. the one who’d dress as a clown for little kid birthday parties and then pick up boys to bury under his house.

you realize aaron has a bad habit of just appearing or maybe, that’s yours. your bad habit. he kisses the side of your neck and whispers 27 against your skin.

.

the doorbell rings and chris doesn’t run to answer it.


paul closes his doc martin shoebox and fingers the ring found at the bottom while shoving it under the bed. he slips it on and walks slowly down to the living room. he sees chris pressed against the wall. his face is pale and his eyes are red and paul thinks that his own must be mirroring it. there’s a noise to paul’s right.

“i know this might be too much, paul. but you need help.” benji places his hand on paul’s shoulder but paul moves away, looking around and he realizes there must be 10- 20- 30 people here.

suddenly the front door opens and there’s a blond head of hair and crystal eyes and paul could never NEVER forget them even if he tried.

“i’m late. i know.”

billy is out of his chair with a puppy dog demeanor paul forgot was still buried inside him. billy smiles up at aaron, fifteen again, and asks him if he needs a drink.

.

on the side of a grassy embankment, your eyes blur with speeding cars and chemistry should be now, you realize but you haven’t gone in three weeks. beside you, aaron’s hand pushes under your shirt and you sigh. you’d run into the freeway if he’d let you.

the future is hopeless, you mutter.

aaron presses you down and folds his body over yours. your ears are screaming with car horns.

he says, living isn’t a legacy, paul. you have to do something great and i know you will, baby.

[30 Oct 2004|09:46am]
because i like to brag:

guess who's seeing good charlotte tonight?

that's right. me. ha.

unfortunately, this means paul/aaron will have to be put on hold. sorry zyre. but you know what would be nice? coming home and finding paul/joel on my friends page. yes, that would be very nice. :)
( 1 ) cmt

[12 Oct 2004|08:14pm]

asdfghjkl;

kt. [12 Oct 2004|04:49pm]
dear joel: a love story.


Benji writes:

dear joel,
today it rained and i thought of you.



Benji writes:

dear joel,
today mama made pot roast and i thought of you.


and

dear joel,
today i took cash and lestat on a walk and i thought of you.



Benji shoves his letters into envelops and drives to the post office. Benji buys stamps. He comes home and throws them into Joel’s nightstand drawer and crawls into bed.


Benji writes:

dear joel,
remember that time when i threw you into the school pool right before third period? yeah.



Benji writes:

dear joel,
remember that one park where you’d push me on the swings?


and

dear joel,
remember when you used to kiss me? i do.



Benji presses his body against the tiled shower and imagines a second body against his own. Benji orders groceries online and throws them in the trash while Momma Madden comes over every Sunday and bakes. These cakes, they say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEL.” This happens every Sunday.


Benji writes:

dear joel,
knock. knock.



Benji writes:

dear joel,
who’s there?


and

dear joel,
my brother fucking billy. ha.



At night Benji dreams of repressed memories. He can see himself and Joel and he can dream about Joel’s lost kisses and Joel’s kidnapped embrace. Benji dreams of his legs wrapped around Joel’s waist and he dreams, he remembers Joel, Joel’s love songs. Benji forgets in the morning.


Benji writes:

dear joel,
i am not here.



Benji writes:

dear joel,
but i’m okay.


and

dear joel,
i don’t want to remember anymore.



Benji cries away alcohol and pukes up vicodin. He begins a letter entitled, I can’t even kill myself correctly, but throws it down the garbage disposal. Benji scrawls, “my eyes are fading,” on the bathroom mirror in forgotten eyeliner. Benji’s tv is tattooed through the dust and it says, “my faith is wearing thin.”

Up Benji’s left thigh is “now my heart is.” Down Benji’s right thigh is “an open wound.” Every day the scars fade and every day Benji is reminded of just how long Joel's been alone.


Benji writes:

dear joel,
today, i am fine.



Benji writes:

dear joel,
i kissed your picture and felt your lips. i am so happy.


and

dear joel,
this is
it. i love you. and i believe that every love story will be measured against ours. measured in hundreds of years.

mt__t [07 Oct 2004|11:34pm]
the moment’s near.
o1.o2.o3.o4.o5.o6.o7.o8.


you look at him. his face is scrunched in concentration and his knuckles are white against the steering wheel. the car radio won't work and the silence is killing you.

you say, "why vermont?" again but he doesn't answer.

you try, "is this about your dad?" you say, "does your dad have anything to do with vermont?" and right at that moment, there's a loud POP! and the tires scream.

with the car on the side of the road, joel whispers about a flat and not the right tools. he says, "we're sleeping here," and you suddenly need him to kiss you.

[05 Oct 2004|06:24pm]
the moment’s near.
o1.o2.o3.o4.o5.o6.o7.


it’s eleven in the morning and all you can see is this stretch of highway, winding around thousands of trees and streaks of sunlight. you think that you might have been following a river a while back but it’s disappeared and you don‘t know its name.

at the last gas station you tried to sneak out a map but joel caught you and the bruise on your upper arm still throbs. the second time someone’s touched you and you wonder if it will always hurt.

maybe i love you more than anything is too much to expect.
cmt

[04 Oct 2004|10:45pm]
only when you open your eyes.
o1.o2.o3.


outside billy's house you have to pull heart paul's hand away from your crotch and emo paul says, "i wanna cuddle." you sigh and ring the doorbell, praying linzi won’t answer.

fate, you find, is not on your side. she looks at you and you and you, before screaming, "BILLY!"

when his head suddenly pops around the corner and his face mirrors his girl friend's, you mutter, "yeah. i know this is weird."

emo paul yawns and says, "can we come in? it looks like it's going to rain," while heart paul pinches billy's cheeks.
( 3 ) cmt

[01 Oct 2004|03:08pm]
only when you open your eyes.
o1.o2.


in the car, emo paul finds your hidden dashboard confessional cd and sings along with the lyrics. he says, "i hope you two didn't just use me for some quick fuck."

heart paul strokes his head from the back seat. "of course not, we love you! right?" he answers, leaning forward.

you sigh, "right. right," and turn off the stereo.

at the stop light, five minutes from billy's house, heart paul and emo paul trade seats and you wave at the car next to you, holding back a scream.

"THAT'S RIGHT, GO AHEAD AND STARE."
( 1 ) cmt

spb [30 Sep 2004|04:02pm]
only when you open your eyes.
o1.


one day you wake up to yourself and he- you- stares at you, eyes open but not wide. he-you- doesn‘t seem surprised at all. you say, "very funny benji, what? is billy designing good charlotte halloween costumes now?" but when you roll over there’s another one.

another you.

.

when you step out of the bathroom, dripping wet from the shower, they’re still in bed. they look at you and you say, "okay, the joke’s over benji and joel, get out of my house." their eyes never waver and in unison, they answer, "we live here, too."

those voices- they’re no one’s but yours.

.

at breakfast they fight over the lucky charms and pick out all the marshmallows. they drink orange juice out of the carton and you try to remind yourself that that’s a nasty habit and you should really stop.

.

you name them over morning cartoons.

there’s heart paul. he’s the only one who’s tattoo hasn’t suddenly disappeared. he informed you early on he only watches the disney channel and he “aww’s” over minnie and mickey mouse. he calls you sweetie while he rubs the other you’s back under his shirt.

and then there’s emo paul. emo paul is dressed in black. he cries when a cartoon character runs off a cliff and when you tell him to be quiet, he cries harder.

.

at lunch, heart paul refuses to eat meat and emo paul cries over the dead animal in your sandwhich. you kiss him to shut him up.

five minutes later, you wonder if triplecest is a word when heart paul’s shirt is thrown across the room.

.

the next morning there’s two sets of arms around you and two heads buried in your neck. heart paul whimpers in his sleep and while you contemplate the expressions on your friend’s faces, you tell him, "shh."

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