Lost and Jealous – Elizabeth Victoria Aldrich & Tom Thirst
June 9, 2020
One morning, Tuesday gets up, takes a shower, and then nearly passes out on the tiles because he realizes that his head is baby soft while he’s conditioning. It doesn’t hurt so much as it confuses and worries him because his head is supposed to be fucking hard as a rock and it isn’t and that is strange.
He calls his doctor, his goddamn doctor, seriously, that was his first mistake, who calls the goddamn cops ‘cause he is acting like a complete fucking lunatic, apparently, and they make him sit in this room, all alone, this white white white room and he worries that they’ll fucking euthanize him or something and starts crying and they call his father.
His fucking father.
Talking to his father really only ever goes like:
are you on drugs son?
oh no no no no no.
Tuesday is not on drugs, Tuesday is fine, everything is fine, but his father called this morning and called him Jack and called him son and told him that he needs to meet with the lawyers on Friday morning and Tuesday threw up just listening to his fathers’ voice on the machine and Tuesday is so weak and he hates himself.
He needs to meet with the lawyers about the money that his mother left him when she died left him not his father because his father was cheating on her and didn’t deserve it anyway and Tuesday was just a baby so maybe he did deserve it. It’s a lot of money that he’s already spent a lot of on college and on rent and on grad school and on drugs.
He buys a bottle of Stoli Elit on his way home from the lawyers, pours it into an emptied out Pellegrino bottle and takes it with him on the subway.
Tuesday sort of hates the LA Red Line. He hates all public transport, it’s just that he doesn’t hate it equally because he hates it in LA the most because LA is already hot and crowded and filled with disgusting people speaking languages that he doesn’t understand wearing clothes that make his skin crawl with their tattoos and their fucked up hair thinking that they’re so fucking special when they aren’t and this is all so condensed on the bus and moreso on the subway, each tiny little car filled with people during rush hour which is when Tuesday usually needs to go places.
He can’t have a car anymore because he can’t drive anymore because they took away his license because he is a crazy person a freak a fucking lunatic.
Tuesday is crazy because his mother was crazy because that’s what inbreeding does to people.
His name is Tuesday actually even though people think that it isn’t. It’s Tuesday which is a weird name for a kid but his middle name is Jack and that is what people called him when he was little but at all of the hospitals they call him Tuesday so that must be his name.
She says it like by the way the stupid fucking nurse like she thinks that that is actually his name, like she thinks that anyone in his entire life intentionally called him Tuesday By-The-Way because that is a real name and the stupidity of other people is just fucking astounding.
He goes in and talks to some people and when he leaves he has a bottle of pills in his hand but that’s when he leaves the building proper not just that room or is it.
He has a fucked up memory.
That’ll be the drugs his therapist says when he brings it up once. His therapist is not the cliché Less Than Zero therapist who simply does not care; his therapist just does not believe that Tuesday can be saved the way that other people can be saved because Tuesdays’ therapist knows that Tuesday is only here so that he can avoid being put in some kind of an institution.
That’ll be the drugs is something his therapist says a lot because she doesn’t approve of Tuesday’s ideas of fun of health of pills.
Tuesday doesn’t care what she thinks, though, does he, so whatever.
Tuesday doesn’t even believe in psychology.
It honestly isn’t that Tuesday never tried to believe in psychology though because he did but he also ended up slitting his wrists in the middle of a class, Psychology 101, stylized on the old-fashioned blackboard and on the class syllabus as psych one oh one exclamation point because as he says later to his appointed psychiatrist basic psychology can fuck with anyone’s head. He did it during a midterm, nice and quiet, so nobody really noticed until the kid two rows up got caught cheating off of his cell phone and everyone looked to watch him get kicked out of the room and just as the professor was telling everyone to get back to work the girl in the seat above him exclaimed oh my god someone call an ambulance and it took him five slow minutes to realize that the ambulance was for him.
To be completely truthful, Tuesday sometimes thinks about getting a new therapist, but then he figures that the one he has now might be insulted, like when you don’t want to get picked for a team in freshman Political Science but everyone ends up on a team so you need a team and when people don’t pick you, you get a little pissed off. Just because you don’t want them doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t want you.
Tuesday’s therapist doesn’t want him but she likes that he needs her.
i want it to be like a film the guy singer rapper something is telling E! News i want it to be like a film, all the videos together but with more scenes to, uh. to fill in the blanks and Tuesday mouths along with the TV because he’s seen this one before. Twice, actually. Also, he has seen six episodes of Sex and the City, at least five episodes in a row of the Kardashians and a Diane Keaton movie after that and his therapist called and when Tuesday told her all this, what he’d been up to over the past twenty-four hours, she asked if she should send someone over there like maybe she thought ‘reality tv’ was super secret code for ‘hardcore drugs.’
Hardcore because his therapist probably wouldn’t call the cops over a little pot. Probably, right, because the woman isn’t exactly Justin Timberlake but they probably smoke the same amount of weed.
He hung up when she told him that she thought maybe Tuesday was a little too disconnected from reality.
On screen, rapper singer whoever is saying again i want it to be like a film and maybe he’s talking about his record but Tuesday isn’t entirely sure how he is the one who is disconnected from reality when sane people can go around saying shit like this and have it be normal because life is not a film. It just really truly absolutely isn’t, is it, because there’s no preproduction where they cast your parents and the obstetrician and the nurses and they don’t clean up your vocals in post, and they never play it all in 3D at the fucking Arclight.
Tuesday is absolutely not disconnected from reality; he is just so connected is the problem, he is so connected, that sometimes he just can’t be.
Tuesday figures he should really just get a new therapist.
There is a new run of RENT that someone is putting on in LA and someone got a hold of one of his screen tests from years ago which is basically just him smiling close-mouthed and awkward at the camera, trying to hide his track marks while answering horribly invasive questions about his parents splitting up and that time he got arrested for solicitation of prostitution and how he did on his SATs and now that they have this top secret oh so flattering video footage, they want him to be a part of the project.
But Tuesday is not an actor. In fact, he was hardly even a model, so to call him an actor would really be reaching. He ignores all the meetings and calls and lunches that Rosa tries to set up for him and ignores the scripts that are sent over and eventually that all dies down.
RENT is Tuesday’s very favorite musical and he doesn’t want to ruin it for himself and maybe that’s selfish but he doesn’t care because that is what he is.
He is selfish and he is very very bad for being that way but he doesn’t really care.
He made money doing catalog work through high school except when he went off to grad school one of his professors, who ended up being the professor he had to work under for a huge research project, turned out to be one of the sad old fucks who wouldn’t take advantage of a virgin, or definitely not a female one, at least, the kind of asshole who liked teenage boys with deep dark undereye circles and too much money and not enough common sense.
And so then he made money during grad school beating people up in back alleys.
Also, in grad school, he made money selling undergrads variants of ecstasy that he picked up from hipsters in Wicker Park and fucked with in his bathroom but whatever that’s kind of completely irrelevant to everything and he never tells anyone about it.
He was sober after he turned eighteen until he moved back to California and then back to the fucking City of Angels unless of course you count that time in jail (which he doesn’t) or all those times he got drunk at college (he doesn’t, again—college is stressful and Tuesday has always been a nervous drinker).
This feeling of being so wasted that he can barely stand is not a new feeling; it’s just not so welcome. Falling off the wagon is something Tuesday has sort of been avoiding for a few months and this is just worrisome frankly. Except not really because he’s too wasted to care but he’s sure it’ll be a thing for him in a few days.
They meet at a party because he eyes her ass all night, thinking about anal and rimming and role-playing although how he gets from B to C, he has no idea. She’s bent over the kitchen counter at this random fucking party, drinking raspberry vodka like that’s not five kinds of disgusting and it’s also sort of like no one has bothered to tell her that she’s practically fully grown now and shouldn’t be positioning herself like that wearing dresses that short unless she’s going to fucking follow through because otherwise she’s just a goddamn tease and nobody likes that.
He pushes up behind her and tells her just that, that she’s a goddamn tease, but also that he kind of wants to fuck her, wants to fuck her ass, and get her pregnant if that’s even possible, because he’s not so sure how anal works actually when it comes to that sort of thing.
If he’s being honest, he was really wasted that night. He doesn’t really remember what she said after that but she tells him later, like years later, that she was really sort of freaked out until he gave her some Vicodin and then he couldn’t get it up anyway, so.
So it didn’t matter.
He does remember though, her voice, because it was sexy and fucked to all hell, like she’d been sucking dick all night and she had the lips for it so he wouldn’t have, like. Doubted it or anything, until of course the first time she sucked him and clearly had no idea what she was doing.
The point is though.
The point is that she had no fucking right being a fucking virgin for so long, Jesus Christ.
He spent most of his seventeen strung out on smack so it makes a weird kind of a sense that he attracts the sort of seventeen-year-old who isn’t above using him for drugs and money and food and sex.
And it’s sort of funny that that ranks so low on his list of priorities actually which is why all of his friends are so shocked, so incredulous, so dude you’re not hitting that?, and he says no no i’m fucking not don’t talk about her like that even when he’s got her sat in his lap, and he’s thinking about if he can fuck her really quick in the bathroom before Katy gets there.
She sighs and rasps out that she just wants to get high.
Tuesday doesn’t really know what to say to that, he’s been like that, has been seventeen and wanted to be strung out except, well no.
He hasn’t wanted wanted wanted drugs since he was fifteen and straight out of rehab and it had taken him a long weekend and half a week of community college tacked on to a brand fucking new boarding school before he had found a dealer who didn’t want to fuck him or sell him to someone who did want to, anyway, in exchange for that good fucking feeling.
But the point.
Yeah, okay, the point is, he knows what it feels like to need to be high.
He’s not so sure, though, that this is ultimately the right thing to do, giving drugs to this little girl lost because he’s sure that she’s done them before except for how he was entirely fucking certain that she’d had sex before and then she bled all over his fucking thousand dollar sheets. And yeah maybe he hadn’t been so gentle or what the fuck ever but if Tuesday knows anything in the world, it’s that that lying little whore definitely had a goddamn intact hymen before he fucked her.
He settles for maybe later, baby and guides her head down to his lap because she may as well be doing something and it’s not like she’s got money to pay rent.
she’s hot the kid says one day talking about a girl who works the bar at Lamill. She’s probably a lesbian. or worse, an artist because that’s the sort of person who lives around Silverlake but Tuesday doesn’t say that, just smiles and says yeah totally and ignores Paisley’s comments about random people. He could fucking care less who she thinks he thinks is attractive.
And it’s sort of a funny story how they started living together, one that eventually he’ll tell people with a huge fucking grin on his face like right you wish you were me wasn’t i fucking insane but right now it seems like probably the last thing that he should be doing, really. She’s not so young that it’s weird that they fuck but it’s probably illegal that he’s letting her hide out at his place instead of living at her parents’ and going to school or what the fuck ever kids are supposed to do. She maintains that for people who want her around, her parents and her teachers and her fucking friends sure as hell don’t act like they like her so he figures, you know, whatever, he’ll give baby what she wants and he won’t fucking bother her about it. Tuesday doesn’t care if she’s there or if she’s at home. He doesn’t.
paisley is an absolute darling is what his agent tells him the night after he drags the kid to lunch with them just darling, adorable, you should let me have someone take some polaroids of her and he vetoes it immediately because the last thing he wants is for the kid to have some cash of her own. He says that she’s an agoraphobe meaning that she’s afraid of cameras and Rosa orders an Old-Fashioned like she really means god give me strength before she tells him that word doesn’t mean what you think it means and he tells her no but thanks for the offer and Rosa looks at him like she knows that he’s bullshitting her and what’s more, he knows that she knows it. But he just shrugs and texts his dealer while he tells Rosa that she can just fuck right off.
They aren’t a thing when they first fuck contrary to what everyone seems to think after the fact. No one seems to remember that he was in fact dating Kate Katy Kay who he mostly called honey and sometimes sweetheart if he was feeling generous because he didn’t really like her and she was only going out with him because he was someone and she wasn’t anyone just yet but her agent thought that her career might take off if she was seen with the right people. He wasn’t the right person or one of the right people but his people were or his people’s people anyway because unfortunately for Kate Katy Kay he stopped seeing those people right around when he started seeing her because drugs got interesting again in a way that they hadn’t been for a long time and that was shocking but it was so so so good too.
But he is properly dating her is the point, he’s dating her, and taking her to premieres and screenings and to dinner and when he starts up with the kid, it’s a lot different, it’s Paisley crashed out in his spare bedroom, and he crawls into bed with her one night when Kate is being frigid and the kid is wasted enough to let him do what he wants and afterwards there’s blood everywhere and at the time she tells him it’s just her period and that he shouldn’t worry about it and to just keep going to fuck her harder she can take it come on oh fucking son of a bitch but then she doesn’t clean it up before he sees in the morning and he remembers and oh holy shit what the fuck.
That God awful G6 song is playing one night from just about everyone in the world’s speakers, nonfuckingstop and Paisley hates that song. She does she really does the same way she hates ice cream like every time she sees an ice cream cone, she says how much she hates it, which is really a lot of hate because Tuesday hates football, for example, but he hardly ever mentions it to people. She’s the same about the song, too — bitches and moans stumbling along behind him and it’s funny how she does that like a newborn kitten or something just establishing how to walk only she’s doing it in four inch heels on a shitty unpaved excuse of a sidewalk so he guesses if he laughs she’ll be angry. He’d like that, actually, to see some goddamn anger but he never does, not from her, never sees anything but boredom and on occasion rare rare rare occasion he sees the purest prettiest fucking misery, the kind he could never even imagine.
It’s maybe why he keeps her around, really, because she hurts so goddamn pretty and doesn’t even know it.
He’s on the phone with Katy one night, letting her talk talk talk so that she thinks he’s really listening, about her go-see today with a designer from Paris who was in LA to do something or other with someone who matters someone who wasn’t Katy so why are they even talking about it is what Tuesday wants to know, but he doesn’t ask because he doesn’t actually want to pick a fight because none of it matters. His dealer is coming by in a bit, a friend of a friend of a friend, except not at all and he was supposed to be there already, actually, where is he he was supposed to show up at ten and drug dealers, Tuesday knows, are the worst scum in the world because if there is anyone you don’t want to keep waiting, it’s an addict, but dealers always do because they have all the power and they know it, the goddamn bastards.
Paisley comes into his room mumbling nonsensically and crawling into his lap like a dog going outside to die.
He pulls at her hair, pretty shiny curls wrapping around his calloused fingertips and asks hey are you gonna throw up? She ignores him in favor of moaning and Tuesday ignores it, tugs harder at her hair. He doesn’t want her to fucking vomit all over him or his Pratesi sheets, Jesus Christ on a crutch.
He ends up abandoning the phone on the bed in favor of dragging her into the bathtub, and stroking her pretty shiny hair and cooing at her until she falls asleep. Kids are needy little creatures, need constant love and affection and it’s a good thing that he’s good at faking that stuff or this one would’ve killed herself already. At the funeral they’d have to say something like: gone out to buy a new dress and ended up playing in traffic. That one’s good. He should write it down, maybe try and write some poetry or a screenplay or something. It’d be way Less Than Zero, totally something out of an Ellis novel, but Tuesday thinks maybe he’s LA enough to swing it.
But she’s really pretty, his Paisley, pretty and cherubic and innocent and naive, even when he’s slept with her and she’s technically not, she’s spoiled, ruined for everyone that comes after him. Although, Tuesday’s not so sure that anyone is coming after him unless he tells her that someone should because she doesn’t seem to get much out of sex except drugs. So if he ever told her to fuck a dealer, she probably would, which is interesting but it’s not like he can’t pay for his vices, thanks, and everyone knows that.
She’s pretty in the way that means it makes sense that she’s a virgin when they meet, like she’s hot but probably hasn’t always been that way and, like, by the time she sort of started growing into everything, everyone just assumed that someone else had already deflowered her and there went half the fun right there.
Tuesday knows that a lot of guys his age won’t really go for a virgin without good reason, like if it’s a girl they’ve been after for awhile and didn’t know she was a virgin until like halfway in, or if they knew she was and the whole fun was watching that pretty polished purity ring fall to the floor during the post-coital bliss.
He, personally, likes the sense of first, the delusion of only, which probably comes from being a youngest child and getting hand-me-downs until he was twelve, he doesn’t really know.
Older guys though — and there’s just so fucking many in LA — will go for a virgin any fucking time of day because, well, like at that age, what else are you going to do, really, fuck women your own age? No way, where’s the fucking fun in that? And Tuesday imagines that they like the feeling of ownership that they get, fucking these tiny delicate little creatures, and making them feel good and warm and loved.
And he doesn’t really go in for that kind of sex, but then, he’s only twenty-two.
He’s got time.
Tuesday goes on a trip to New York, doesn’t take Paisley because he likes to kid himself that she’s still in school, but also he thinks it’s probably illegal to take minors across state lines and he buys a lot of stuff and catches some shitty Off Broadway play and turns down a chance to fuck these hot Russian sisters who apparently are models or at least they want to be because he thinks they’re like, fourteen or something and he has standards. Kind of.
Paisley is kicking her feet, sitting on the dryer, when he gets in from LAX and he whistles at her from the doorway to get her to follow him into the closet which isn’t really a closet at all but he had too many clothes and too many bedrooms and it made sense to shove his computer into the real closet and his clothes into the spare rooms.
He’s got bags and bags and bags and the kid ignores them until he starts pulling out Betsy Johnson dresses and shoes from Yves Saint Laurent and tubes of Diorshow mascara because that’s what every model he’s ever worked with has sworn by and his girl is wearing mascara by Maybelline and that’s just not on. She eyes them all carefully like she doesn’t want to take them and try them and twirl in circles in them until she’s positive that they’re hers and Tuesday wants to be offended that she thinks that he would screw with her like that, tease with such a pretty present and then take it away for fun but it does sound exactly like the sort of thing that he would do.
do you want something to eat he asks her, asks because she hasn’t eaten since he got back two days ago and she hadn’t eaten anything the day that he left and there’s a very good chance that she’s just been sitting on the dryer staring at the ceiling for the past five days and that’s probably the worst way to raise a child, is killing them by starvation.
He ends up making her a grilled cheese sandwich and nearly burns his fucking finger off in the process and tells her that she’d better be fucking grateful for it because Jesus fuck his fucking finger.
Paisley tells him that maybe she wants to move somewhere and do something she doesn’t know what but she hates this and does he ever feel that way, lost and confused, because he’s got everything so figured out and it makes her really jealous of him sometimes. Lost and jealous. Tuesday wants to tell her that he doesn’t have anything at all worked out, but he also wants to tell her how much he would hate it if she left and that he would have to follow her or kill her to keep her because he couldn’t be on his own now, he just couldn’t.
He settles for squeezing at her waist and telling her soft and slow and serious that he wants to climb inside her skin and live inside of her head and have vacations in her heart and his darling darling girl just smiles and pets his hair, all yeah jack i know.
honeyhoneyhoney is what he sings into the answering machine today. The stylist is trying to force him into a brown leather jacket and it’s hideous and he is trying to refuse it by calling and waking Paisley up. What he wants to say next is i don’t even know what to say to you. you couldn’t stop crying yesterday, telling me you loved me but that i was really fucking scaring you like that was supposed to mean something to me or something. it’s dark here and cold and i’m feeling depressingly useless. i’d miss you but you’re doing enough of that for the both of us, you’re always just so so sad but it’s all right baby. everything’s fine, baby, tout va bien, everything’s fine.
What he does say, in the end, is they’re trying to make me wear a brown jacket. brown washes me out, doesn’t it, honey? i think it does and i don’t want to wear it so i won’t. let’s get chinese food for dinner.
those shoes look really comfortable Paisley says to Katerina Katy Kat like she actually believes the words coming out of her mouth and she’s trashed but not trashed enough to think that Manolos of any kind are really very comfortable at all so Tuesday finds this funny enough to laugh at. Paisley and Katy shoot him equally exasperated looks but it’s not like he cares, really, because he’s flying really really high and anyway what does he know about shoes? Nothing, that’s what, except for what he’s gotten from W and select issues of Nylon because he’s not entirely certain that the people at Nylon always know what they’re doing.
He doesn’t like tattoos and even if he did like them, he wouldn’t be able to have any because letting people take pretty pictures of him is how he makes money and money is how he gets smack and smack is what makes him want to live.
Paisley comes home with tout va bien tattooed around her wrist one day, and he thinks it’s the hottest fucking thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Also, though, like not at all because it’s fucking hideous and everything, dark dark dark script pressed against the soft pretty skin of her wrist.
He is fairly certain that she does not even speak French but he hopes to god that she at least knows what it means. it’s getting harder and harder to take you out in public, is what he says, and she gives him a look like she fucking knows that he doesn’t mean it, really.
But he does. He really does.
fuck you Paisley says, all sleepy and irritable and tiny and adorably messy and perfect. fuck you seriously fuck off.
It’s all inconsequential, though, because she’s only upset because she thinks that he’s drunk and high and waking her up for no reason, but Tuesday’s got a reason he absolutely does. babybabybaby he slurs i’d shoot the fucking moon for you, baby.
fuck off, jack the kid moans irritably, shrugging off his wandering hands and curling up in her blankets.
i’m not so sure what that even means he barrels on but it’s gotta mean something right? i’m just so in love with you baby.
you’re just so plastered, jack.
nonononono he whines, pulling her hair to get her to look at him. It isn’t fair, she’s not paying attention and no one ever pays attention to him, not the way that he’d like. i just love you so much and
And Tuesday wakes up in the morning in Paisley’s bed, cold because there are no blankets and he’s just wearing his underwear. It’s not the worst situation he’s ever woken up in but he can’t remember the night before and he’s practically naked in a room that’s covered with pink glitter and he mumbles irritably at the vanity mirror when did my life turn into a ke$ha video before he pukes onto Paisley’s nail polish collection.
He thinks that if he ever got a tattoo, he’d be courteous about it. It’d be a warning label. It’d be big, and loud, and obnoxious, so that you couldn’t ignore it. Maybe across his forehead. And it’d say something like BEWARE. FRIGHTENING. HIDEOUS. AWFUL. DANGEROUS. Something like that.
i never screamed when i was a baby Tuesday says.
sure you did, jack.
He is drunk which is why he says it and he doesn’t usually drink so much but the pills are really bad for him and anyway, he’ll have to get a drug test soon and it is better to just drink except he can’t really control his words when he is drunk, now can he?
no, not ever, my mama was always so confused. she shook me, real hard, once, ‘cause i was so quiet, when i was two and they took us to the hospital.
and then what?
and then nothing. she was crazy, i was fine. nothing.
Nobody cares about Tuesday’s oh so fucking tragic sob story. No one no one no one not even or especially not, maybe, Paisley. Paisley is gorgeous and sweet and lovely but she doesn’t care not at all because she doesn’t care about him because she doesn’t love him like he loves her but then.
No one ever really loves you the way you love them.
baby baby baby he sings into the phone waiting for the kid to pick up. He’s calling because he wants Paisley to get up and get dressed, so that they can go out but she’s not answering her cell so he’s stuck calling the landline and she never answers that because she can’t get into the way that he can, the rotary phone. It’s old and green and she thinks that it’s weird and that he doesn’t even need a landline and nobody does but this right here is proof positive that he does, so there.
When Tuesday was a kid and people were just starting to buy cell phones, his mother went out one day and came back with these men with this box and directed them to move it into the sitting room and when she opened it up, it was this big blue phone box that she called a police box and she just sat there grinning at it and when Tuesday’s father got home, they had a fight, shouting about doctors or something.
It was the coolest phone he’d ever even seen but his father won the fight so they got rid of it.
Tuesday never screamed as a baby, only that is not entirely true.
He is sure that he did, at some point, scream and cry and throw tantrums, but for the most part, everyone describes him as being a quiet little thing that hid behind his mothers’ expensive skirts.
But if there is one thing that Tuesday knows to be true, it is that other people’s descriptions are hardly ever reliable.
Other people are not reliable and Tuesday is in the hospital and he doesn’t really know how it happened he just knows that he wakes up there and his psychiatrist is there talking to some other doctor, shaking his head, like he’s disappointed and the incompetent psychologist that he has yet to stop seeing is in the back, hovering, and Tuesday goes straight back to sleep.
what’s your name baby?
paisley she giggles. you know that, jack.
i do now, baby tuesday says. are you more sober ‘n me?
everyone’s more sober than you.
you are a lying liar who lies princess paisley.
but you love it, right?
He falls asleep again and he doesn’t exactly remember not remembering Paisley but he assumes that he must’ve because he remembers asking her name and the nurse who catches him awake tells him that his sweet little girlfriend just ran out for coffee but she’ll be back soon.
Tuesday takes a moment to process this and opens his mouth and rasps out god why before passing out again.
hi hi hi baby Tuesday slurs hi hi hi.
how are you, jack?
i’m so good. i’m so better he explains, making sure his eyes go wide and blown and serious.
your pupils are huge she says. Paisley Paisley Paisley. His pretty perfect princess Paisley. She doesn’t take him seriously but neither do the doctors and it’s all okay because he is good now he is so so so good and if the doctors won’t take him seriously but will give him drugs then that is okay and everything is fine. what do they have you on?
so much Tuesday giggles, stressing the word so because it is imperative and she should know that. i’m on so much.
tuesday, your name is tuesday, Paisley asks him disbelievingly because it is a ridiculous name and he used to tell everyone that his name was Jack just so that he could avoid this very question but that got old when his agent told him at sixteen that a Tuesday J. Bitheway would make more money than a Jack T. Bitheway and he hadn’t really believed her but he figured whatever he’d go with his first name if that would make her leave him alone about it already. He landed the contract with Diesel a week after he changed his name on his headshots and portfolio. It was only slightly embarrassing given the amount of drugs he was on at the time, because nothing really feels quite so bad when you’re high.
They’ve given him some really good drugs in the hospital, though, and he doesn’t feel very bad now, either.
she has these eyes.
she has these bright, pretty eyes like she always wants to cry Tuesday tries to explain and i don’t know how to stop it you know because she’s always so sad and how could anyone be that sad all the time when they have someone who loves them so much? i mean, they say all you need is love but it’s not true or i’d still have a mother.
The doctor looks at him and then says i think maybe you have a problem distinguishing the past from the present.
you know, paisley isn’t your mother. you do know that, don’t you, tuesday?
fuck you Tuesday spits you don’t understand.
He has nightmares in the hospital, like he used to have nightmares when he was little, and he wakes up sweating and screaming and the nurses and the doctors are all terrified because Tuesday shouldn’t be doing that because of the drugs they have him on but he’s still doing it because he is a lunatic because he is a freak.
His father used to call his mother every pet name in the book: baby, sweetheart, angel, darling. All day, every day, and Tuesday wasn’t even sure that she had a real name until she died and suddenly there it was on a tombstone and falling from the lips of everyone he had ever met, telling him how very sad they were and how brave they could tell he was being, when all he was really doing was standing there.
baby baby baby.
He calls Paisley baby and sweetheart and angel and darling and pretends that it doesn’t mean anything.
Tuesday spends a week in the hospital flying so high and feeling so good and then they let him out and he goes home and he checks that his bedroom door is locked seven times before he sleeps.
He wakes up in the bathtub with his face pressed against the cool marble and when he pushes up to get out he sees himself in the mirror and he is a wreck. Tuesday Jack Bitheway is a mess. He looks like one of those hipster indie fag fucks who want desperately to look like Kurt Cobain he is that kind of a wreck.
Paisley starts coming to bed with him to sleep to cuddle to talk even though the doctors told her in hushed voices, thinking that Tuesday couldn’t hear them from across the tiny fucking room Jesus Christ, that she probably shouldn’t because Tuesday might get violent in his sleep.
Tuesday is a lot bigger than Paisley is and he could snap her in half with one hand he thinks sometimes but it’s not that he wants to. It’s just that he is pretty certain that it could happen.
you’re just a little depressed, baby Paisley says.
i don’t feel depressed he mumbles against her chest. i feel bored.
that’ll happen she says, blows smoke out the side of her mouth. She’s smoking now, American Spirits, because she hangs out in Silverlake during the day. Tuesday doesn’t care. it’ll stop eventually. get some sleep.
He doesn’t realize that he does sleep but he figures that he must because he wakes up in the dark as she’s slipping back into bed next to him, murmuring hey, no, s’alright. back to sleep, baby.
But somehow he’s suddenly sick, vomiting violent and vulgar and captivating, like Tuesday cannot stop looking at it.
She murmurs quietly allright?
yeah he says slowly, drags his fingertips through what he’s almost certain is part of one of his intestines. yeah, i’m good.
i think you’re going crazy, baby Paisley says to him one night. hmm? you think that sometimes?
He just shrugs. who the fuck cares, really.
does it hurt?
Tuesday doesn’t actually know what that means and wants to ignore it but he can’t so he says what?
nobody loves you. does that hurt? Paisley asks, with all the innocence of someone who has been adored their entire life. He wants to hit her but it’s not her fault that he’s such a fuck up and
And it’s really weird to wake up in this bed where it’s cold and he’s alone and he knows it wasn’t like that last night but maybe that’s what last nights are — always different and always perfect and mornings after are the worst in the world because it hurts to even exist when you wake up after always and more and perfect and harder and forever and you’re suddenly alone and wanting.
He doesn’t smile enough, or so Paisley says.
Tuesday thinks that Paisley can go and get fucked, that’s what he thinks.
Maybe he doesn’t want to smile.
And anyway, he does smile, in fact, Tuesday smiles all the fucking time and Paisley is just a self-absorbed little cunt who doesn’t pay attention to him, that’s all, just like no one ever pays attention to him.
He sits with a bottle of rum and his old psychology textbook, locked in his bedroom closet with an old flashlight, like seriously old like Fisher Price he doesn’t even know why he has it and he doesn’t understand why they didn’t want to keep him in the hospital longer. Tuesday is just such a fucking lunatic and he’s exhibiting all these signs of major depression and he can only conclude that they didn’t keep him for any longer than they did because they don’t care about him because he’s a loser and a deadbeat and nobody loves him and they knew that and so they didn’t care.
They have a fight, a stupid fight, because they are essentially children and so it’s funny that they fight about children because Paisley is pregnant and she has been for almost four fucking months and it’s his kid or so she says but it’s not living inside of him, is it, so how the fuck can it possibly be his anyway what the hell kind of logic is that.
So they have a fight and Paisley says god just leave me alone just fucking stay away from me and then she goes away.
He does leave her alone and stay away because she’ll come back and want him again eventually so long as he doesn’t do anything else to make her mad at him or so Tuesday hopes, anyway.
She doesn’t come to see him for a few weeks and he’s been very seriously contemplating suicide for at least four days when Paisley suddenly wraps him up in her arms and murmurs nonsensical endearments against his hair and puts him to bed.
As it turns out, Pregnant Paisley is actually just as annoying as Virginal Paisley and as Cockslut Paisley, the same way that all of Tuesdays’ sisters’ Barbie dolls were the same and so there was really no reason for her to freak out when he set the ginger one on fire because the blonde was, like. The exact same.
Paisley’s parents freak the fuck out but Tuesday doesn’t really care because if they really cared about their kid then she wouldn’t have even met Tuesday in the first place and he’s never going to be like that, like them, he’s fucking always going to care about his kid absolutely and maybe it’s a mistake to say that to Paisleys’ father because he punches Tuesday in the fucking face and it chips one of his teeth.
Tuesday doesn’t actually make a habit of pussying out of fights but Paisley is starting to look angry, like, at him, and so he just leaves it, says fuck it and walks out to wait for her by the car.
He spends the better part of three months sipping green tea smoothies and walking around the Beverly Center trying to work up the courage to go into Tiffany’s and when he finally does, the salesgirl looks him up and down like what are you doing here no way can you afford anything here and then somehow it clicks like somehow one time she saw him in a catalog or on a billboard or in a magazine and she is just like oh hello mister bitheway and he walks right back out and tries to pretend that it never happened.
Tuesday is not old enough for people to be calling him mister.
Someone decides to do Les Misérables in town so takes Paisley to see that and is bored through the whole thing and this kid who dealt him drugs at a UCLA frat party once is playing Jean Valjean and that’s kind of funny for about ten minutes and then Tuesday goes to the bathroom and has a Seconal because those usually take awhile and anyway, he’s feeling like he won’t be able to sleep very well tonight.
it’s okay it’s okay it’s okay Tuesday mutters at X. why won’t you stop that baby?
Paisley scowls at him from the nursery doorway. jack make him stop.
i’m trying okay shut up.
Tuesday’s new therapist has suggested that maybe a baby is the last thing his relationship needs but his therapist is an asshole, and he can go get fucked, seriously, because what does he even know, Tuesday is totally mature enough for a baby, he can do this, and the fact that Paisley is still practically just a baby herself, only fucking eighteen, doesn’t even mean anything because Tuesday has got this shit on lock, okay, totally. Babies are easy. Babies love Tuesday because babies know what’s up. He’d just be happier if the kid didn’t have such a stupid name.
Paisley, of course, insists that Jordan is a lovely name and anyway she carried the little bastard around for eight months so she should get to make the final decision but Tuesday disagrees because it’s his first baby and possibly his only one and he’s the one who’s going to have to pay for the kid for its whole life probably and the name Jordan makes him sick like physically ill like he has fits over it he really does and now he’s going to have to look at it all the time on bank statements and shit and it’s depressing.
Paisley tells him to grow the fuck up and he refuses to talk to her and everyone else but the baby for a week but it’s okay because she ends up demanding what exactly do you want to call him then? and suddenly Jordan is X even if Paisley refuses to let him amend the birth certificate.
Tuesday goes to see RENT on opening night and he goddamn hates it, so. Maybe he wouldn’t have ruined it at all but it still would’ve been ruined. It’s a very small consolation.