i don’t want to grow up

The Years of Horses, Snakes, and Rabbits

for Katie and Ethan

I am certain that I have loved two people in my life.  They are gone now, and in their absence, larger certainties begin to fade.

Having recently become the de facto curator of the entirety of the Ethan James archives—and the sole caretaker of anything that might approach a legacy—I will strive to explain my friend. There is no way of talking about Ethan—at least not during the time in which I knew him—without also talking about Katie.

There was nothing rational about my friend. In no area of life did this ring more true than in his relationship with Katie. For her part, Katie followed arcs of progress and regress that wavered indiscriminately between paralysis and destruction.

It is probably more useful to think of “The Years of Horses, Snakes, and Rabbits” as a headline rather than a title. This was what Ethan called his notebooks. Or perhaps it was the entire predicament of his life that he was referring to. In any event, for reasons that will perhaps become evident, I decided to stick with his structural designations. I will also work in Ethan’s own material as best I can—and I will do my best to try and give this some kind of structure.

I don’t know exactly what form this will ultimately take, but I think of this as a kind of introduction to a project that is as much a personal catharsis as an explanation of invaluable friends that I miss more than I can explain here. There is sadness involved in these stories and notes, but there was more comedy in that strange mad genius than I can possibly convey in a few introductory paragraphs. So, with that…details to follow.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

notebooks_Ethan_James

have your ghost meet my ghost in the room at the end of the hall

the walls are closing in, we agreed.

hills like white trumpet calls

the sand storms dune we hope sun-soaked beneath bare feet;

I dream of a collaborative tropical escape: run busted hand

up mended leg;

fuck it all away.

it’s a million o’clock in late February and the Sirens sound off

across the polar vortex.

i awake to an announcement coming over the intercom:

“no skin.  i repeat, no skin.”