Coming Home

Jimmy Chen

I found a porn actress who looked just like you. In my favorite of her oeuvre, I pause the clip at the exact moment her overwhelmed expression seems to betray the realization of regret—mascara, spit, and the semen of five men smeared on her face as a translucent mask—and furiously masturbate to the screenshot, upwards to five times a night, only briefly surveying her face for sentimental effect, but ultimately losing myself inside the pixels of her eyes, at the scintillating glint of what appeared to be a tear squeezed out of its duct by either by an enormous cock having transgressed a throat, or simply a sad feeling from behind a face. I mention this not to degrade you, nor as a perverse compliment, but simply as insight to how we are violated by things we cannot unsee. The pieces of your head on the gravel had a pornographic and hallucinatory effect on me. I hung out by the tracks at night, leaning against the very concrete pillars which bore the overpasses above, and watched you in a mental zoetrope of flickering images place your head on the tracks. From a distance, the approaching headlights would find your form, as loving chiaroscuro, as if Caravaggio had won the bid to paint this religious scene. A loud whistle does not need the Doppler effect. It just gets fucking louder and louder. I got your letter. You mentioned going to the tracks every day for two weeks and meeting an angel in the form of a cocoon who lived under a butterfly. Crazy you. That was just a homeless person inside a sleeping bag under a tent. As the train comes, each nanosecond of imminence to where your head laid procrastinating into full days, carefully arranged into a monthly grid whose boxes would merely be crossed off one by one, for as many days as infinity would allow, and if I could stretch out time like cheese in a pizza commercial, the train would never arrive. But it always passes in a roar, a puff of air in one ear and locked forever.