The Older, newly arranged. Brandon Joyce.

I have been released. Released at last from the Great Neurosis, the weird pandemic of untested limitation and microanxiety. Maybe it has taken me twenty-seven years to do it, and maybe there is some strands of it left in me, but I feel good. I pass the days at the sweltering Athenæum with pleasure. Water spritzes out of my pores. I soak clothes in a matter of minutes. And I would not change a thing. As goofy as it sounds, I have a new appetite for rawer things and textured realities. I have little to show for these past few weeks—except for a more correct, moonward orientation.

I have no mattress. I sleep on the floor, on newspapers, on plastic bags and clothes, on my skatebruises from the night before. I sweat through the night and wake drenched, with pennies and bottlecaps clinging to me like lampreys. I look like a shipwreck survivor; like an overboard cruise captain. I have no money; no nothing. My sleep schedule is fucked and upside-down. But it’s all fine because all my thoughts are in order, and our local Rite-Aid is open 24 hours a day. Speaking of which….

Unpaid Endorsement: Shop at Rite-Aid. They have a New Section, with rice, beans, energy drinks, mango nectars, malta goyas, and bricks of espresso at Third World Prices. It is unbelievable. Rite-Aid is single-handedly keeping the warehouse alive. We, in turn, are keeping them solvent. Demotus and Regina, the cashiers, will receive their proper reward in heaven.

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