The Creature

Matthew Conradt, On Decline. 2015, collage, photo-transfer, and acrylic on mylar. 18 × 23”. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Conradt, On Decline. 2015, collage, photo-transfer, and acrylic on mylar. 18 × 23". Courtesy of the artist.

I had one friend. His name was Everett Everett. He was from the South. I had never been to the South. Everett Everett had gone to private elementary school and to private high school and then to an experimental college at the foot of a mountain range out west. He knew a lot of things that I didn’t know. He knew about people like Breece D’J Pancake and Ray Johnson and Alfred Ely Beach. People I’d never heard of. People that the other people I knew had never heard of, either. Everett Everett had grown up in a part of town with handsome estate houses in subdivisions named after plant life or winds or kinds of gardens. Where some of the houses have names. Where people drive, don’t walk much, stop their cars to ask, Are you all right? Do you need a ride? if they see you walking. If they see that you look a certain way. People who look a certain way there do not walk much.

He emailed first. Everett was his surname, but the name on the account, the name that appeared in my inbox the first time he wrote and every time thereafter, was Everett Everett. So that whenever I thought about him, the things we had done together, would soon do, he was Everett Everett. I don’t remember what I called him when I called his name aloud, if I ever did. Maybe I never had to. Mostly we spent time together one-on-one.

ive always wanted to go to the salt mines of poland, tall piles of white, air that looks chapped. i bought a painting yesterday of jfk and jackie that i dont know what to do with. they look frumpy and like jfk might have a thyroid problem.

I didn’t know what a person with a thyroid problem looked like.

I enjoyed Everett Everett’s face. He looked a little like Rick Moranis, but he was more handsome, I thought, and I guess a bit like Daniel Radcliffe, but Daniel Radcliffe when he was 11, not Daniel Radcliffe now. Maybe I will love Everett Everett, I thought. But I had a boyfriend, who, in retrospect, was not really a boyfriend, more of a medium for a kind of grim transference, and oh boy I had a certain discipline then.

“let’s go to poland,” I wrote.

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