Marcel Speaks to Edward and Henry at Heathrow Airport
For Patrick James
|I met Patrick at MOMA in September, but it all really started when his head
began to bleed and he realized he had holes in his
hands and water was gushing from his side like a fire hydrant in summer.
"Fuck," he said, "I've got stigmata."
After that, I took him to see the new Almodóvar movie and his arm kept sweetly
brushing against mine and I got turned on. I thought
he might introduce me to hipsters in Brooklyn, but
he just kept saying that he didn't know any hipsters
Then, one frosty evening he spent the night with me at my apartment and after
we did the things that people like us do in the dark
he told me about how he met you two in
Philadelphia at a dive bar with a drag queen running
karaoke. He thoroughly recounted the white hotel
room. He glorified your robust and serenading
bodies. He numbered the lines of Henry's ribs.
He said that he had acquired the ability to be two people at once, and in that
context a threesome was incidental.
(I think that was an excuse).
He said he was in love with both of you.
He remembered your cologne and the obsequious
way you asked questions about Joni Mitchell.
Edward, he admitted you were a gentleman.
And, as he described these miraculous things the
blood streaked his face and he held up his hands and
said, "Shit, stigmata again."
Patrick aspired to speak the explicit thing, his voice like trees towering in a row.
Instead, it came out as sophistry.
Then about a month ago I cooked him shrimp risotto and he mentioned that
he had unearthed a photograph of Edward which
was taken in the backseat of a taxi in Paris. Henry,
he told me he read about you in the paper,
how you were relentlessly choreographing your
dance of death.
|He was not blessed that time. I drew us a lavender bath and we sat in the
tub and I waited for the consecrated wounds, but
they didn't come. He babbled incessantly about
Caetano Veloso, as if to prove his knowledge of
Brazilian culture. I guess he figured it would
impress me. I dried him off, poured a glass of Pinot
Noir, and called my mom in São Paolo.
I began to comprehend that he might be a bit wacky.
He did erratic things—but I recognized longing for
what it was. Patrick was a child.
So, one hot night while he was reading a biography of Diaghilev, little
drops of red peppered the page and a river spilled
from his side. "Damn," he said and tried to plug up
the holes. And yet, his body kept weeping and
groaning with an odor of sanctity. I drew him
another bath and realized we could never really be
together because there was too much divine
Afterwards, I dressed him in my Calvin Klein underwear and made him prance
around the living room. It pleased me until he
paused for a moment and serenely gazed at his
image in the impartial mirror. Then he said,
"Sometimes I think I might be a hermaphrodite."
Patrick James, a 2007 graduate of Manhattan School of Music, is a writer, composer, and performer. He lives in Astoria, New York.