Marcus used to say everything we experienced was unique, because it was an echo of something else. Everything is a repetition of something we’ve lived before. Something someone else has lived before. It’s a duality thing.
Sitting on his front porch, drinking beer, he said, “My adult life is just an echo of my childhood.” He said, “Not many people notice this.”
Marcus, his explanation was he had once met a girl. With this girl, he had fallen madly in love with. She didn’t fall in anything with him. So he started writing her love letters, day after day. He wrote about her eyes.He wrote about her lips. He wrote about her hair, her voice, her ears. He wrote an essay about her cheekbones. He made his doctoral thesis about the movement of her hips. He won a Pulitzer prize for his book of poems, every single one of them about her legs. He dedicated his every living second to think new, more romantic shit for this woman. His words not mine.
Marcus, he liked to exaggerate things.
This girl, she flirts with other guys. She gets boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend. She fucks guy after guy after guy. All the time receiving letters. Letters saying “I love your eyes”, ” love your smile”, “I love the way your lips move when you talk.” Fucking some other guy reading “Your hair enchants me”. Sucking some other guy’s dick reading “I long for you like a slave longs for freedom”. Signed, Love, Marcus. Forever yours, Marcus. My life will forever be empty without you, your Marcus. A clean letter in the envelope. Soaked in her and some other guy’s sweat after. Traces of sperm. Traces of period blood.
Marcus says, “I sent her letters for years.” Even when mail became obsolete,the letters kept going. Marcus paid bike boys and carriers and runners. Dropping off letter after letter after letter. Piling up in her mailbox. Soaked with vaginal fluid. Soaked in saliva and stained with candle wax.Unrequited love at its finest.
So one day, Marcus decides it’s time to stop. He drives to her apartment and knocks on the front door. When she opens the door, her make up scrambled and her clothes torn, Marcus tells her he’s loved her for years. To this thing, this twisted, empty, superficial, dick-loving thing he says “I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you.” He says, “You don’t deserve all this.” He says, “Please let me make you happy.” He says, “Please be my girlfriend.”
Like he was seventeen years old. Fucking Marcus Press, asking a girl to be his girlfriend. This magnificent writer, warrior of fucking love, last true believer of true romance, he stands in the doorway and asks this fucking cunt to be his girlfriend.
The girl, her hair messed up, she looks at Marcus. If what’s forming in the corner of her mouth is drool or sperm, Marcus can’t tell. He doesn’t even think about it, that’s how much he loves this girl. From inside the room, Marcus hears snoring. Not one single snore, but a chorus of snores. This girl, Marcus’ own special goddess, his prayers and devotion all for her, she stands inside her apartment and says “No thanks.” She says, “But your letters really get me off, please don’t stop sending them.” This girl, this walking human trash, this complete and utter whore who doesn’t even charge for her services, she shuts the door in Marcus’ face.
So Marcus, he falls in depression. He doesn’t leave his house for a month. He writes hateful phrases on his walls. He writes hateful phrases on paper and later wins a Hugo award for it. He starts painting and sells a watercolor for a hundred thousand dollars. He doesn’t eat or drink or masturbate. He loses sixty pounds.
After exactly one year, he comes out of his house. His hair so long it nearly reaches his hips. His beard messy and with paint stains and splotches all over. So thin you can see his rib cage. His smile nearly as big as his fucking face. Marcus Press, reborn. After a week you can’t even tell he left.
“The funny thing”, Marcus says, “is this has happened to me exactly five times now.”