Here is a list of things I like:
Big red doors, floor to ceiling mirrors, motivational quotes.
I want some dogs eventually, too.
I was educated equally on furious rivers,
construction sites, tall mountains. Growing up
my mom would actually not go through a door
until one of my brothers or I opened it for her.
Like everybody, I have experienced
both great tragedy and great ecstasy
in moments. If I say something offensive understand
it’s quite probably from ignorance
and I would like to learn.
I am an empty essay. Odysseus or Sisyphus.
I like being near the ocean, which is odd
since the only waves where I grew up
were in the wheat fields.
I’m painfully awkward
at beginnings. Honestly,
I get third hand embarrassment, from watching people
get second hand embarrassment,
from my initial anxiety. Sometimes it is hard for me
to break the ice. I just don’t know
what to say. Art is my passion and my most valued
skill set. As a kid, I made my own comic books
for my captive little brother
and sister audience. I would write, draw, color,
and staple all of them. I grew up
in a single-parent family so as far as I’m concerned
women have always been
in charge. I have a lot of respect
for women. I have a terrific relationship
with my family and many, many
friends. I grow ever fonder of
this whole being alive business. At first
I had my doubts, and justifiably so;
I learned to carry myself
before too long.
I don’t sing a lot of karaoke
but when I do my favorite song is “I’d do anything for you”
by Meatloaf. Probably the only thing I won’t do
is go clubbing. It’s just not my thing. I like all things
romantically antiquated, like three-piece suits,
pomade, the occasional eye-patch on the Irish writer.
When the zombie apocalypse strikes
I’ll still be able to play music
on my 1917 hand crank Victrola. A friend
recently told me I’m the coolest person she knows.
Until only a few years ago, when letting people up to the loft,
we’d throw a key out of the window.
Raised well, with loving, caring parents, somehow
ended up as a dirty old man. I guess I’m old fashioned
by saying this, but I’m not into having sex
with different girls different nights
of the week. I started over
with a brand new life
here to which I’m still acclimating.
Solidario. Rebelde. Duende. I think
I have a rather extensive vocabulary. I see the brilliance
of existence gradually burning
through the shroud
of the mundane. I love to dress up
and be a beautiful girl. The greatest joy I’ve ever felt
was sharing my life with someone. Our memories
are all we really own
in the end. Eventually
the right one will come along
that won’t “friend zone” me. Maybe
that will be you.
I’m not majorly into astrology, but
I’ve been told I’m a typical libra. I tend to look
at arguments from both sides
of the fence. I’m not a player. I’m not
a ‘smooth operator’. I’m real. I’m just a man,
looking for someone to love. Someone
who can be my co-seed for a family unit. I love
studying the metaphysical properties of gems
and minerals. I stay curious
because I’m obsessed with finding the few
bits of magic and mystery that this world
may offer. The quickest way to my heart
is offering me a beer so dark
I can’t see through it. I recently had to start
wearing glasses. A lot has changed
since I first wrote this, years ago,
and 2018 has been tumultuous. I’m at the beginning
of chapter three in my life. Please
be direct with me and don’t expect me to guess
what you want. For your birthday,
if I ask you what you want to do, and you
say nothing, then I won’t plan anything.
If I ask you what want to drink, and you say water,
I’ll get you water. If you’re still reading this, then maybe
there is hope. Maybe you’re starting to understand
the plight of men in the current emasculated culture
that is modern America. I’ve been called
a late bloomer. It’s getting pretty late, I hope
these buds open up soon.
I have a hard-earned dark and detestable
sense of humor from years and years
of slinging hash and I will make you hate yourself
for laughing. I have often wondered
if I perceive the world differently than others
because within me everything
has its own sensation
and motion. Progress
is a must. Pretension is anathema.
I really like beer and food. Drink deeply
of that wellspring and remember
its sweetness. The sun is coming. My memory
is one in a billion. I hold two
world records in memory. I want you
to think of me
like a father, as a guide
and a guardian of sorts. Soon enough
will only know
the parched bitterness
of only the things that were. When I die,
let the buzzards eat me.
For more information about this piece, see this issue's legend.
Meg Freitag was born in Maine. She holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers. She is the author of Edith (BOAAT, 2017). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Boston Review, and Black Warrior Review, among other journals.
1207 Salina St.
Austin, TX 78702
I lived alone in this 2-bedroom “Sunday House” for 2 years while pursuing my MFA. It was built in the 1910s and would sway back and forth during storms or if I danced or jumped up and down. There was no heat and no AC. My dog would dig up the strangest things in the yard. It was, then, the “rough” part of town. I was dreadfully attached to this little house, or the idea of it, and continued to live there after several drive-by shootings, after being robbed on my front porch returning home from the airport, after the house was burglarized by a neighbor and all my belongings stolen. Even after my pet parakeet, Jonathan, froze to death during a cold snap one winter, I still stayed.