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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

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A Comfortable Madness Middle of the night. Purple air heavy with the smell of lilacs. Tayla and I sat on the patio smoking. The baby slept in the living room. “Do you think this’ll work?” Tayla asked. I shrugged. Nerves made Tayla antsy. Her eyes darted around the night like mice looking for the door out of a trap. “This isn’t good,” Tayla said. “I know he’s real. To you. But…” When Gid came out of the shadows, I was ready for him. He came and he stopped with his back to the porch light. His shoulders were lined with hard, indigo light and his hair hung around his head like a halo. “There he is,” I said. Tayla’s head snapped around. “I don’t,” she said. “There’s nothing there.” “So,” Gid said. I shook my head. I stood, tall and strong. “I love you,” he said. “No.” “Butter…” Tayla said. “No.” I stepped up and I grabbed his chin. His chin was hard and sharp. He jerked away but I grabbed him again. Light flickered. Everything went still, as if the world were waiting to see what was going to happen. “Son of a bitch,” Tayla said, kicking her chair back and nearly toppling over. “See?” I asked. “No,” Gid said. “She’s blind.” “Fuck,” Tayla said, terrified. “Look at me,” I said.

He fought with me, but there was a new kind of strength in my hands. I held him tight. “Stop,” he said. His voice sounded desperate. “I need you,” he said. I turned his face to the light and there it was. For the first time, I saw him for what he was. He was a man, only a man. “I’m not like you,” he said. “No one is.” “Please,” he said. I let him go and he stepped away. Tayla came and stood with me. “It’s time for you to go,” I said. “Butter…” I held up my hand. “I’m done,” I said. It took a second, but he started to fade. The edges of his body disintegrated. He turned to lavender sparks and vanished in the wind. “Jesus,” Tayla asked. “What the hell?” I took her hand. “That was real,” she said. “Told you.” “But what?” she asked. “I mean what…” “I don’t know.” Slowly, things went back to normal. The voices I’d grown up with came back. They were too real, but not real enough. They warned me about the strangers on the street, the murderers on the corner. I closed my eyes. Tayla pulled me close and held tight, standing with me in a comfortable madness.

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    Comfortable Madness William L. Alto

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    Dedication For Lisa, who showed me

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    still the only teacher who let me g

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    I reached for his face, but it was

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    the curb. I smoked and paced, and I

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    med thing? Was this the start of an

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    Science and Spirit They made physic

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    Target I was neither the biggest ki

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    Crossing the Line In English, we ta

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    Episode Voices and faces bubbled ou

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    God Porn Four girls stood in front

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    Lunch Color drained away except for

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    Telling Secrets Miss Tris sat with

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    Water I danced and Tayla played. Ta

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    “We have to do something,” Miss

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    Insomnia Sun rise. Jays screamed in

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    Love and Madness Our bed was old. K

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    Someday Queertopia was the last tab

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    There were no words. There were no

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    Voices and Visions Night. Everythin

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    Answered Questions Tayla sat in the

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    A Thing Homecoming. I didn’t want

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    I backed away. People were really s

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    Tayla rolled over and looked at me.

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    Delusions I was too cold. White air

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    Room A creek ran on the edge of tow

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    Questions Water dribbled through a

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    Show Folks came through the door, t

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    gathered in his fists and face. I s

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    “I love you,” he said. Was this

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    Spells in the Corner The music was

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    Silence. We looked at Tad. He shrug

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    The Mormons stumbled and turned. Th

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    “I understand,” Tayla said. “

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    PE I watched the game without watch

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    He got off the couch and came to me

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    Tayla grunted in her sleep. I didn

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    I didn’t know that for sure. Gid

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    How do you explain what it was like

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    Air seemed to slice through me. Par

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    Glass The room was mine. The walls

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    “I love you,” she said. Sweet w

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    “Turn away from sin,” he shoute

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    down and grabbed my arm. He hauled

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    Secrets Sadness verged on depressio

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    Real Enough Orion hung in the south

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    Escape Tayla and Angie took me to t

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    We crouched behind a hedge. The cop

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    Shit Follows Voices told me to run.

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    “You’re dying,” he said. Spot

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    Emergency Darkness. Thick, vast and

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    Friends Miss Tris and Tad came with

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    At the corner, I sat in a hard chai

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    Awkward Everyone stared at Angie an

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    The Dead On the edge of sleep, just

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    Real and Not Real Visiting hours st

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    I stared at the trees on the other

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    Home Part of me thought things woul

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    He was a wall of bone and muscle. H

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    She came back to the bathroom. “I

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    Tayla put on Duke Ellington. We hel

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    gulped down. That was it. This was

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    Worry Broken leg. Broken ribs. Disl

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    “She hates me,” I said, soundin

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    Soon I knew things. I knew someday

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    Open Communication Pain and oxy str

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    Tayla gave her the finger. I grinne

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    “You’ll make it,” Tad said. I

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    Love Oxy made everything okay. Not

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    Things Come Out “Sweet Jesus,”

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    Fight For days, we fought but we fo

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    “Really?” she asked. The word h

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    An old man stopped. He looked from

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    Faith There he was. Gid. In the win

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    The First Shot Queertopia. Tayla, r

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    Always and Forever I dreamed of lig

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    Temptation Last call. The stage emp

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    Empty Promises It started. But then

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    Gifts Music lifted into the air, br

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    Object of Admiration Mr. Skarey cal

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    Black birds came from the corners.

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    This Body I dreamed of music, compl

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    Miracles I was late. I was never la

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    laughing. I had nothing to laugh ab

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    “You’re talking religion,” Co

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    Tayla’s drawn face tore at me.

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    This Is Love First, I saw his hands

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    Making Sure Posters of smiling wome

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    Something Hard and Sad Rain fell li

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    Looking Forward Dance team girls ga

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    Closet Water stains made dark masks

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    “You okay?” he asked. “Fine,

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    “The baby! Jesus, the baby!” So

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    “I love you,” Gid said. He went

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    “You’re not a guy,” he said.

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    Heavy Music and movement. I spun an

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  • Page 197 and 198: “They did nothing to you,” Gid
  • Page 199 and 200: I smiled a fake smile. Tayla watche
  • Page 201 and 202: “Really,” I said. “They can s
  • Page 203 and 204: I closed my eyes. “Let’s go,”
  • Page 205 and 206: “What’s up?” she asked. “Te
  • Page 207 and 208: I smoked and waited. Tayla came and
  • Page 209 and 210: Waiting I danced. I danced and hope
  • Page 211 and 212: The Talk “What’s his name?” T
  • Page 213 and 214: Almost a Victim I sat on the floor
  • Page 215 and 216: pushing his fingers into my pie and
  • Page 217 and 218: “She thinks I cheated,” I said.
  • Page 219 and 220: “You know better.” Suddenly, I
  • Page 221 and 222: “You know,” she said. “No one
  • Page 223 and 224: “No,” I said. “Yes. And other
  • Page 225 and 226: “I know.” Her fingers squeezed
  • Page 227 and 228: That put an end to it.
  • Page 229 and 230: “What happens,” I asked, “if
  • Page 231 and 232: didn’t trust her because they ass
  • Page 233 and 234: “Have you thought of adoption?”
  • Page 235 and 236: “I have some newborn clothes here
  • Page 237 and 238: Safe Dead folks filled the room wit
  • Page 239 and 240: Consequences Mr. Skarey’s office
  • Page 241 and 242: A Domestic Moment I lay on the bed
  • Page 243 and 244: Birth It started with a rush of wat
  • Page 245: When they handed me my son, I cried