I was leaning on Sang’s bathroom sink. I was staring at his Van Gogh shower curtain. I could somehow feel the colors piercing my eyes. The room was spinning. I’m falling. Sit on the toilet, the voice in my head told me. It doesn’t have to be so painful, it repeated. I sat. I didn’t recognize the voice. It didn’t matter. I could see into the colors. The blue swirl tight around the centers; the yellows push out to the sides.
Yellows to the margins, huh? Is that an Asian crack, motherfucker?
Sang would ask that, if he were here—the voice—inside my mind—inside these colors—said through warm laughter. But he isn’t here—I answered.
Sang already had colors in his eyes—an artist. He didn’t need the curtain. He was gazing and smiling into space.
What do you see? What are you thinking? I kept asking. I was killing his ride. He asked me to stop with the questions. Just like that.
Stop with the questions, man. I’m tripping hard.
He asked me to leave him alone. I wandered into the bathroom, felt rejected. Until the shower curtain swallowed my eyes. I could see my whole life in the brush stroke swirling—a rainbow of pain, of pleasure. There were moments of light bursting from every direction, bursting at me, and moments when the light was inside me—trying to burst itself outward. And that’s just life, I whispered, with tears on my eye lashes. And my life isn’t all that bad. Not at all, the voice in my head reassured me—it’s a life that’s simple, without being dull, passionate without self-destructing and…
Do you know how long you’ve been in here? Sang looked tired. He was standing in the doorway of the bathroom. He had to piss. I didn’t answer. You’ve been in here for two hours, dude! Get out. I have to piss, he said.
I walked out in silence, dazed. Two hours?
Did the ‘shrooms ever hit you, Sang asked over his shoulder. His visions had started long before mine.
I think I just fell in love with myself, I answered. Sang just burst out laughing, and closed the bathroom door.
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Sang Lee is Dead: memoirs in fragments
by Charles Bivona
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Poetry & Poetics w/ Charles Bivona