12

I am twelve and sitting in your basement on the tiled cold floor. A pot of paint almost tips and I catch it. My reflexes are sharp. 


On the bright screen a message sits, unopened. We have both begun to experiment with the art of leaving a message unread. Twelve, and we know its power. The illustrious weight of leaving it there, hanging, on the other end of a long underground chord. 


We define ourselves in similarities and dissonances. You like green. My favourite colour needs to be something else. You have always hated the ending of Grease. The last five minutes of it make my heart swarm and I lose my vision in red lipstick and black leather. You steal your mother’s wine. I light a cigarette. 


Twelve and the man hanging on the other end of a long underground chord is nothing more than a whimsical notion. Like a mobile that hangs from a disconcerted ceiling over a sleepy crib, we watch him dangle himself before us. 


It is six months before he threads our skin with green and laces our cigarettes. You are Jane Birkin. I am always Mary Jane. 


In church, we learn that twelve was the age Jesus was left at the temple to fend for himself. We too feel this fending. This feeling of isolation. We pray never to be found.