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supercomputer
by jordan castro

deckfight press, 2011

Table of Contents 1. Supercomputer 2. Pettibone 3. Stray 4. Back To The Trap House

Supercomputer Im sitting. Standing. Listening to Neva Dinova. Mallory isnt here. She went to Michigan. Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away. (My mom said we are leaving for Michigan in an hour.) Surreal. Stop thinking about Mallory. Work on your novel. Think about something else. Think about your novel. There is pizza downstairs. No e-mails. Mallory is on her way to Michigan. Organic Echinacea tea. Gmail chat.

Facebook. Friday night. (Im sorry I let you down, I wish I didnt have to go.) King of Kong on the couch downstairs. We were going to watch it. (You didnt let me down.) I was going to surprise her. Watch it alone. Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away. Percocet. Adderall. Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away. Supercomputer by Neva Dinova is playing on repeat. Focus on your novel. Your novel about Mallory. Its sunny outside. Ty and Paul are skateboarding. Go outside. Exercise. The sun is shining through the window. Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away.

Mallory just texted. (Whats up lub.) En route to Michigan. (Writing. Drinking tea.) Im walking downstairs. Dont eat, youre not hungry. Im opening the refrigerator. Its sunny outside. Im looking at pizza. Im taking a carrot from the shelf, putting it into my mouth. Walking away from the fridge. Moving toward the couch. Victory. Looking at a novel. Reading the novel. Im blowing my nose, putting the tissue on the table. Work on your novel. Whenever you read you just think of what youre reading in terms of your

writing anyway. What is wrong with you? Im looking around vacantly. Stop thinking about yourself for once, asshole. Mallory is not coming over. Pizza. King of Kong. Lub. My mom is staring at me. My face feels heavy. (I thought you guys left. No, not yet, your Dad is taking Ty and his friends to the game, then were leaving. Oh. You thought you were all alone. Good thing you didnt, you know, start doing anything weird or anything. Yeah. Okay, well Ill leave you alone. Okay.)

Organic Echinacea tea. Red ceramic mug. Favorite cup. Pizza. Carbs. Novel. Goals. Im walking to the kitchen, past the kitchen, to my bedroom. Neva Dinova on repeat. Empty the garbage can. Tissues. Germs. Im running downstairs, retrieving a garbage bag. Emptying the trashcan in my bedroom. Emptying the trashcan in my bathroom. Running downstairs with the garbage bag. Mom. (Hello, gorgeous.)

Mallory is not in Solon. (Hey.) Mallory is on her way to Michigan. Mallorys mom never calls her gorgeous probably. There are things that cant be changed or made up for. Be nice all the time. Be nicer. To her. All the time. Make her things more often. Give her all of your money. Text her more. Think nicer thoughts about her. Bedroom. Neva Dinova. Im sitting with bad posture. Im closing the internet, opening a Word document. Im looking at my novel. All of your friends suck.

Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away. Dont work on your novel unless you feel like working on your novel. Im calling Evan. (Hello? Hey, what are you doing? About to go to my house with David to eat dinner. We just had practice. Oh, what are you doing tonight? I think were just going to keep working on stuff, but if something changes Ill call you. Nevermind. No man, I mean Nevermind. Are you sure? Yeah. [Pause] Zach talked about hanging out after the show tomorrow, did you want to do that? What? I dont know Zach just said you guys talked about hanging out.

Yeah, well have to like, have a sleepover though Itll be late. Yeah. With who? I dont know Zach said you invited him. Yeah... I guess Id be down if its just you, him, and me. Should I pick you up tomorrow before the show? Im going with David. Oh. Okay. Sorry man. Its cool. Bye. Bye.) Im staring at the computer screen. The sun is setting. Lub. Victory. David is going to the show. That means Martha will probably be there. I want to shrink.

I want to shrink underneath covers, never see anyone again. I want to never see anyone ever again. You should text Mallory. Im looking at Twitter. Im looking at the Twitter page for Adderall-XR. Im looking at my Twitter page. I want to evaporate. Organic Echinacea tea. Neva Dinova on repeat. David will know if you dont invite him to the sleepover. Im doing push-ups. What if Dad doesnt let you have a sleepover? He will say youre too sick. It will be okay. Im doing sit-ups. Just tell him youre better. Something like this has happened before. Text Mallory something nice.

Im blowing my nose, throwing the tissue away. i love you. i feel happy, alone, away from the world, thinking abt you. Im blowing my noise, throwing the tissue away.

Pettibone me. I arrive home from work and I reek like pizza and garbage. Nobody is home to greet me because there is nobody to be home to greet I call my Dad. My Dad says that in life you either reek like pizza and garbage or you dont. Im barely listening.

I walk toward the refrigerator and I look inside. There is no beer inside of the refrigerator because I did not buy beer to be inside of the refrigerator. My life fucking sucks. I play with my moustache. I did not ask to be born. I hang up the phone. I think When will all you bitches die? I think Wassup to all you people. I think Just thought, Wassup to all you people. I open my laptop and stare at things.

I feel things mildly, like through a screen door or a cloud of smoke. Pizza and garbage, I guess. I remove my clothing. I sit on the couch like a sack of shit. This is my life. I stare at my limp penis. I think God damn bitch. I think God damn all you fucking bitches. *

Its Saturday night and I hear my Dad say that in life you either drink Bud Light or you dont. Its my cousins birthday. There is college football on T.V. Someone says that college football is better than the NFL because it is more about action and less about style. Someone says that that is basketball, dipshit. I think Dipset. I think Dipset excitedly.

I move toward a cooler that has a piece of paper taped to it. Beer is written on the piece of paper in large, skinny letters. I open a beer and drink it quickly. I think Fuck it in a detached monotone. I think Fuck it in a manner like Im angrily referencing something that exists in concrete reality. Im not. I look at my aunt and I think Shes okay for being old, or something. I dont know if Id fuck her. I look at my aunts ass. I hear my Dad say that in life you either go to college or you dont. * Its dark outside and Im lying in bed alone. Im lying in bed and there is nobody lying in bed with me. It is 4:46 a.m. I cant fall asleep. I stand up. I drink a glass of water.

I stare at myself in the mirror. I think You are a piece of shit. I think Young Money, nigger... YME, nigger in a drastically exaggerated rappers tone of voice. I make my hand into a fist and I place it vertically underneath my mouth like a microphone. I angle my fist so that its tilted upwards. I whisper Now check it. I whisper One, two. I rhythmically whisper things about money. I look at myself in the mirror and lower my fist. My facial muscles do things. I whisper the word bitches. I walk toward bed. I stare at my bed. I lie down on my bed. I lie down on the right side of my body. I lie down on the left side of my body. I lie down on the right side of my body. I move my legs and I adjust my blankets.

I lie down on my back. I stare at the ceiling. It is 5:07 a.m. I open my laptop. *

Im in the library sweating profusely. Reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine about Lil Wayne. I imagine my dad saying that in life you either go to the library or you dont. I think My balls reekey deekey in a quiet monotone. I look up from the magazine and I stare openly at a group of black people who are crowded around one computer. Nothing in my life will ever amount to anything substantial. The black people disperse and each resume use of their individual computers. The article says that Lil Wayne hires people to pre-roll his blunts for him. The article says that when Lil Wayne is in the studio, he cant function like a normal human being because he is so absorbed in what he is doing. I skim the last four paragraphs of the article and place the magazine back

onto the shelf. * The Cavs are beating the Celtics 113 to 83. Were fucking destroying, I say to people. Were fucking destroying them. Im drinking organic beer. Im saying things to people. I feel my face move toward Sashas face. Our lips touch. Gina and Frank are somewhere in the house. Ginas parents house. Im drinking a glass of chardonnay. Frank and I walk up a flight of stairs and into Ginas bedroom. We play a Green Day song with acoustic guitars. We play a The Avett Brothers song. Im drinking a can of Coors Light brand beer.

Im drinking chardonnay out of the bottle. Sasha and I are in Ginas parents bedroom. Our lips are touching and our tongues are doing things. We are drunk. Im touching her breasts over her dress. Im looking at her lying on the bed. Shes beautiful. Im drunk. She stands up and removes her dress. Shes fucking beautiful. Our lips are touching and our tongues are doing things. Sasha is removesing my shirt and tie. Sasha is on top of me, She kissesing my neck and my chest. I think Oh yeah. She says I want to do whatever you want baby. I think Oh yeah. We move.Sasha and I move and Im on top of Sasha, pulling her underwear down around her ankles. Our bodiestongues are doing things.

My life becomes something bright and fast moving.

* Im driving down the narrow strip of concrete that leads to my apartment complex. Its been a one-way construction zone for the past year or so and theres a four-foot drop on the right side of where Im driving. Whenever I tell people that I live off of Pettibone they act like its the worst thing in the world to have to drive through construction. It is 2:04 a.m. The road is bumpy. Im drunk. Its raining. I imagine my Dad in the passenger seat saying that in life you either drive through construction or you dont. I turn up the volume of the CD player in my car. Rap music blares from the speakers and I crack open the window, forgetting about the rain.

I immediately roll up the window and glance quickly to my left. I turn up the volume of the CD player in my car. I sing along with the lyrics. I nod my head and make facial expressions like Im experiencing excruciating pain. I yell Yeah nigga. I immediately look into my rearview mirror. There is nothing. It is 2:06 a.m. I think Drunk in the family. I think Bonified hustler. I look at my cell phone. I look at my speedometer. I press my foot lightly against the break pedal. I listen to the music coming from the CD player. I nod my head and make noises on every downbeat. I feel the bass rhythm and I make an intense facial expression. I drive past my apartment complex. I accept it, and move on.

Stray Im sweeping the floor. The cat will die soon whether I feed it now or not. Im sweeping the floor and the fucking cat is going to starve to death. If I go outside with food, my co-workers will say things. They will whisper. I dont want them to whisper. The fucking cat. I cant save it either way. Im sweeping the floor. I cant save the fucking goddamn cat. I want to scream. A cell phone is ringing, playing a loop from a popular radio song. Really? Hes calling me now? (I hear this 8-10 times a night) I just got here and the bastard is calling me! What could he possibly need?

What is so urgent he has to call me already? Fucking hell. I am sweeping quickly. I am sweeping like a manic fucking douche bag. I am sweeping like this in order to decrease the amount of time I spend sweeping, to increase the amount of time I have to do other things. Things I want to do. Read, I dont know. Fucking hell. I am lifting mats, sweeping beneath them. The mats are black and rubbery. There are smudge marks on my fingers. I am sweeping with the speed and agility of an uninhibited people. I am sweeping with the speed and agility of an uninhibited people on Adderall sweeping like a fucking shit-dick. I bump into Laura. S-Sorry, I mumble. She doesnt hear me. S-, I begin again.

I stop myself. You are a dickhead. You wouldnt even feed the fucking cat. You suck, bro. The floor is littered with vegetables. Onions. Green peppers. They need to be swept. I sweep them. I should beat myself with this broom until I die. I am going to kill myself right now. Why are you doing it like that,? says Laura. I dont realize she is staring at me until she asks this. Today is her birthday. She doesnt say how old she is. I dont ask. You were just reading, looking tired like two minutes ago. Are you on crack?

She smiles. She smiles wanly, I think. I shrug. Continue. Dont let people get in your way. You are a robot. You are a machine. Programmed for efficiency. ` I hang the broom and dustpan in the bathroom. I pee. Atoms, I think. Things are just atoms. Things are just atoms in motion. Which, technically, is the same as not-motion. The arbitrary, binary nature of the universe. I flush the toilet. I run the water for a few seconds to make it sound like I am washing my hands. (I will wash them soon, after I mop and put the mats back.)

The cat is probably gone now. The cat is gone now. Its too late. I cant save it. I spray water from the hose attached to the sink directly into the mop bucket. My boss explicitly told me not to do this. Spray it into a container first, he said. Not the bucket. The fucking cat. I pour soap into the bucket, mixing it into the water with the mop as I pour. It looks murky. (This is the word I think immediately, and sporadically, later, while mopping, driving home, and once or twice while lying in bed. Murky.) I begin mopping with what feels like finesse. I vaguely think of something Japanese. Caffeine. Adderall. I should drink caffeine now and function at a lower level of energy at school

tomorrow. A lower level of consciousness. A lower plane. This is good. I am becoming a robot. Good. Great. Neato. No problem. The mop gets caught beneath the leg of a table. I yank the mop. Soap flings upwards and hits me in the eye. I crouch and remove the mop from beneath the table using my hands. I resume mopping, more recklessly this time. I am sliding the mop in and out of corners, behind trashcans, under tables. I am practically running. My co-workers are outside smoking. This is my chance. I am alone.

I am saved. I double my speed, literally running backwards, the mop slipping and sliding in front of me. I finish within seconds. I dump the water out. I roll the mop and bucket into the back room. I run around putting mats back, chairs down. I am done. I sit down and open a novel. In the novel, there are two characters named Will. It is thrilling. This novel is fucking thrilling, I think. Thrilling fucking shit. I am profound. Thinking profound things. In a pizza shop. I hate working. I dont want to work.

I hate capitalism. I hate not-capitalism. Fuck the world, fuck it all. Just kidding, I dont know. I mean I do know. Fuck the world; I hate the world. I hate bosses. Cops. Politicians. Parents. Teachers. (Okay, maybe not parents.) Lawyers. (Yeah, not parents.) Soldiers. I am in this fucking pizza shop. Reading a novel. My co-workers are inside now, walking where I mopped, making it muddy again. I dont care.

I hate the world. I hate myself. I am going to kill myself now. No. I will not kill myself. Not yet. I will leave, go home, shower. Check my e-mail, work on writing, eat something, drink caffeine. No. I will not drink caffeine. I will lower my tolerance, go to sleep early tonight. Self-improvement. Robot, sweeper man. The store phone rings. The cat is outside. No - the cat is gone. The cat is definitely gone. I answer the phone. (Hello, this is Uncle Marios, how may I help you?)

There is a pause, breathing. (Hello?) Click. Phewf. I turn around wildly and immediately make eye contact with Laura, who is standing right behind me. Dont worry, I say stupidly, It was a wrong number. What? she asks. The cat is still outside. Laura is looking at me. I want to disappear. I want to evaporate. I want to evaporate and rain down onto Laura as organic green tea. With agave nectar. I start to speak, then stop myself. There is nothing to say. Organic green tea with agave nectar. I am going to do things tonight.

Work on writing, respond to e-mails, kill my shit-ass self. Nothing, I say. Laura doesnt hear me. She has turned, walked out the door. My other co-workers arent around. I am alone again. I look outside at Laura. She is talking on her cell phone, laughing.

Back to the Trap House We pull into the driveway and I immediately get a feeling like we should leave but Jennifer says its ok so I get out of the car and ask whats going on. Shake hands, say hi. James, Brian, Eric, Andrew and Alex are all standing in the garage, high, Alex smoking what looks like a Parliament, staring. Delonte and Raul walk through the door and into the garage. They started some shit they shouldnt have fucking started, says Delonte, looking at his cell phone. Two zones and a fucking track. What happened? I ask, confused, ready to leave. Are you fucking serious? says Eric. Yeah, says Delonte, still looking at his phone. What the fuck is going on? What happened? I ask again, to no one specifically, noticing the blunt behind Brians ear. When he pulled that little squirt gun looking thing out I thought nigga was kidding. I was like, Fuck nigga tryina do? Nigga tryina super soak me or some shit? I thought nigga was fuckin kidding. James. That wasnt no fucking strap. Should I leave? I ask Andrew. Can I still cop that quarter?

No, says Andrew then Delonte says Just go downstairs and Im walking downstairs and I smell marijuana and I begin to realize what I think just happened. Did... did Delonte just get robbed? I ask Raul. Yeah, says Raul. Some fucking nigger pulled a gun on Delonte and ran away like a bitch. Raul reaches under Delontes bed and retrieves a cardboard box, a gigantic bag of weed. Holy shit, I say quietly. How much did you want? Is a quarter for one-ten cool? I ask, amazed at the amount of weed hes holding. Delonte was going to hook me up with a quarter for one-ten. Yeah for sure. But just cause youre my dude Castro. Sweet, I say, Thanks. Andrew comes downstairs with Greg and says something about murking people. Greg says the name of the person who robbed Delonte and everyone starts saying that hes fucked and for a brief moment I feel sorry for him but then quickly snap out of it as I remember Jennifer and ask Andrew if I should leave. No.

Wheres that scale? asks Raul, touching things on a desk, a bed, a bookshelf with bongs on it. This is Friedmans bud, says Greg, holding up a small plastic container containing a small amount of weed. He puts the weed into a bag then hands Raul the scale. Is this good bud? I ask. I mean, I have other bud, says Raul. This is some fruit though, its straight. Its fruit? Yeah. Okay, sweet, I say, still feeling like I should just leave, forget the drugs. God damn it, Im thinking. I stand there and say Sweet five times before Delonte comes downstairs with Alex. He picks up a blanket and throws it. Fuck, he says. Did they take one bag or two? They took two, says Andrew. I saw them run out and the kid had a bag in both hands. There was a bag here, says Delonte, throwing another blanket off of his bed.

No there wasnt, says Raul. I put it in the box, they only took two. Fuck, says Delonte. Why didnt you just like, murk them? I ask. Alex shrugs. Because they had a gun. They werent going to shoot anyone, I say. They werent going to shoot anyone. Yeah but they had fucking guns, says Andrew. It was like, a tiny ass gun but it was still a fucking gun. Those kids dont know what the fuck they started, says Delonte. Should I leave? I ask. Jennifers here. No, its fine, someone says. Id get the fuck out of here soon, says Delonte. Those kids are going to get fucking shot. I know where he lives, says Greg. Jesus, I think. I just want my weed so I can leave. Should I leave? I ask. Jennifers here. No, chill out bro, no. says Raul while weighing the weed as I wait anxiously, hands in my pockets, feeling like a cop or a big black guy is going to run into the basement at any moment and kill me.

Can you weigh a gram separately? I ask. Jesus. You want... a gram... oh, yeah for sure. Just like, keep taking it... off or something until a gram is left... No man, this is 7.2, so thats straight. Ima just... Raul takes the weed off the scale, puts some of it back on the scale. One gram, my man, he says while handing me two Ziploc bags. I hand him the money and he thanks me. We stand around for a second then I say Welp then I guess Ill see ya or something stupid then shake everyones hands and walk upstairs. I say bye to James and Brian who are standing there like statues, oddly calm given the situation, then hug Eric and say bye to Alex, Andrew, Greg. I say Good luck and Be safe then get into the car, pull out quickly. Yeah bro, were like, here. Ok. I pull into Anthonys driveway and wait. He runs out of the garage,

Jordan Castro (b. 1992) is the co-author of two poetry chapbooks, Assuming Size (Monster House Press, 2010) and think tank for human beings in general. He is the author of two ebooks and has been widely published on the internet. He maintains the blog 'animal sorrow' [http://smokingonanemptystomach.blogspot.com] and a twitter account [http://twitter.com/jordan_castro].