Losing a Little Bit of Loss by Heavy Chew

All her stuff is still in our room. Not her and my room, my and his: my roommate's, her man's. She's overdosed on something called D_______. Died. He's in police custody. I don't know why, I'm not the police. So that, right now, it's, I suppose, my room. So I'm in my room when the news reaches me, confined to my room since I'm not yet sure what to do with this information, with the strong light that pours into the common area from large picture windows all around, this being a corner apartment. Light is piped into this room, over the top of rude walls falling short of the ceiling always. With the light surrounding me, by which I can see all her stuff, all of it exploding out of assorted containers which cover every inch of the room of gray wall-to-wall carpeting. Weird bunches and uneven whatevers beneath it.

I hear, “Who's in there?” I answer him. “Did you get whoever's email?” What email? Who cares, she's dead, she's died. “Hello?” I want to ignore the voice at this point in the conversation because whoever doesn't know she's dead. And what's the point of telling him, surely that's not what I'm supposed to do with this information because if it were I'd be out there telling him and not in here doing what I'm doing. Which is looking through these containers of stuff.

So she's got a lot of—whatever you call it. Rich stuff. Shoes, bags, dresses, jewelry, coats. Fortresses of it round my bed. Why do I care?

Through the incapacitation of the emotion I'm processing I realized I love her, am in love with her, want to be with her, all of that stuff. Though she's dead. And even in death belongs to my roommate. Maybe even more now.

These are the things I'd know as her things were I her man.

The rich family which occupies a loft. There's a lot of art, and even more of these strange antique musical instruments from South America. It's a massive space. A musical family. Right now it's a large receiving hall with people sick with worry ranged around the contrabasses and possible harps and 'cellos with weird carvings. Someone, probably her dad, has put on music. Just his iTunes library on shuffle. Right now it's They Might Be Giants. There are cops here.

Whoever asks me if I want to smoke some pot laced with Ketamine. We sit in the common area of our apartment share on a couch, with a vantage of the picture windows. They look out on the East River, and since the sun's setting I must have been in the room a while, figuring out what to do with the stuff, as though I'd been deputed to figure that out. I can't sell it, but I can give it away. But only to one or many who specifically request(s) it.

The sun is behind what of the city we can see, pouring through the cracks and over rude walls always failing to reach the top. The light which is dying and is purple crossing the Brooklyn Bridge dimly, then up through the lazy murmuring of the water, cresting purple lights and, in their glimmering eyes, an infinitude of color, and back again, to the next bridge, and thousands of bridges after that, all in a line, slinking over the horizon.

I see him handcuffed by the bar. Her parents have a bar too. I can tell he's been crying.

“What happened?” He begins to tell me and then I can tell he's been crying. Because the fun's over. He's a boredom. I move along.

I return to the carved upright bass, or what I think is a bass, the one that seized my attention earlier. In a lull between songs I pluck at the strings. He came here to tell her dad about her. Her dad was alone. He called the cops. He didn't call them on anyone, but when they arrived they thought it appropriate to act as though they'd been called on him, whoever. And at some point they'll take him in, or whatever. Again, I don't know why. Because it's the thing you do at this point.



I don't want to see her despairing dad. I imagine an ugly display. It doesn't surprise me that I still can't empathize with her dad or her man. But, yes, it is so that I love her. And that I didn't realize that I did until she died. The lull of which I spoke is long, the canned music seems to be done and for some reason there's a band in the corner on a slapdash stage, tuning instruments, a crowd of mourners gathering near them.

And I see her. She's leading the band, actually. Which doesn't make much sense until I remember,—or perhaps found out for the first time in that moment because I never knew,—that she had a twin sister. The twin produced from her cloak a bundle of sepia sheets of fine stationery.

“These are the songs which form the cycle my sister had been working on when she died. It was essentially complete. I think it would be a fitting tribute to her memory if we were to perform them.”

I join the crowd. I get close enough to see what's written on the sheets. Only lyrics and the abbreviated names of chords: Emaj7, Cm7, G5add9, Dsus4/F, and others. The band begins to produce noise. It's supposed to be some discordant mess but then something amazing happens: which is, real, genuine, new music.

A deconstructed pop song in free time. The main attraction is catching the beat, broken and rambling, implied only. The drummer plays with brushes, producing shimmering accents to the arpeggiations of the two stringed instruments, knowing each its own rhythm and notion of time, but all in profound commune, all rambling and weathery, but, finally, of a whole.

The twin's voice is something beautiful and sad. Hoarse from screaming at this dead dad of whoever's girlfriend, whom I've never met, so that tonight she's contralto, or what might be confused for one by ears less discriminating, or she's a young smoker. She hasn't memorized the contents of the sheets as the players appear to have done, so that she's reciting, to music, and musically, the lyric.

This free music becomes even freer, the young woman's smoky voice weaves in and out of the swirling mass of it, no single word more audible or weightier than another. Voice, overtones of highly tuned up drum skins, string instruments plucked or thumped or strummed, all drown together in the murkiness of it, stripped of shape, now pure tonal gesturing from which swirling mass is now incarnated the dead whoever's girlfriend whom I love, gesturing from across the river.

I approach her after the presentation: You sang beautifully. I'd like to be your manager and biggest fan. Drop the band, but keep the sound. The band didn't intend it but what it produced in its accident idiocy was and is magical: simple, free, pure expression, pure freedom of expression. We'll recruit Jazz undergrads from the city's many valued conservatoires, those who'll understand perfectly what is meant by the words “free rock idiom.” Your first gig: Sin-é, circa 1994.

The optional harmless earthborn factional haunting
Betrayed to and bounded by the caramel process
The monochrome rain lording over normal drains
The optional harmless earthborn factional haunting

Betrayed to and bounded by the caramel process
Crumply mouth out crawls from which hymning
The area is momentarily feathered by absurdity
Betrayed to and bounded by the caramel process

The monochrome rain lording over normal drains
The smart gorgeous collectable apple is to blame
A blind pilot of foggy design reduced to a stain
The monochrome rain lording over normal drains