You have to understand I had been passive aggressively trying to get myself killed for months. I was also on a constant vigil for “writing material” which, I now know, is basically the same thing as passive aggressively trying to get myself killed.
I left the party without telling anyone where I was going. I followed Daniel to his apartment and into what I assumed was his bedroom. I didn’t flinch when he locked his bedroom door. When I finally realized this was not, in fact, a bedroom, but an empty room with a few boxes in a corner, I shrugged and started taking off my clothes. I thought “Maybe I’ll get a poem out of this.”
This is a story I first heard Saeed tell at another party, his own, and he held the room with it, it tilted on his axis. It was supposed to be wild, something crazy and, because crazy, funny—but there was always this dark, unsettling thread running through it, even during his magnetic, hilarious jujitsu demonstration.
At the Rumpus, Saeed tells the story again, but here the darkness is not a thread but the fabric. Who reading this hasn’t felt the same way, when Saeed says (my favorite line): “I need you to know that, in that unlit, wood-floored room, I was more interested in the story of my life than my life.” This is still a story, but one in which its writer has reclaimed what always should be our first interest, our most important; here Saeed insists upon his life.