Another Look at Lonely I
“Don’t buy a house,” my friend says. We are parked outside of my apartment. Dinner was lovely, but he told his husband he wanted to drive me home. “I don’t know how much more I can take,” the house has been under construction for three years, their daughter is in her grating teens, and his husband, who he has called Sunshine since he introduced us so many years ago, just keeps believing everything will work itself out. “It’s like I am the only one worried, the only one looking ahead.” My friend came here from Mexico with nothing, less than nothing—not even the language. I understand how terrifying it is. To a point. A regular home would never take three years. They are building a mansion. That’s not an exaggeration. My friend built a life for himself with his own hands, sure, but it got a big damn upgrade with Sunshine. Sunshine gave him a home with two dishwashers just for the hell of it, and a toilet that talks to you and washes your ass. Sunshine wants to send their daughter to an expensive school in Boston. He doesn’t mind taking out a loan or two. “He says he has a plan,” and I ask my friend if his husband’s plans ever work out. “Sure, but it’s different this time.” When they brought me to the place they bought, before they started knocking out walls, I said Holy Shit and meant it. I ask my friend if he’d like to come upstairs for some tea, but he says he has to get back. “We need to hang out more,” he says, like he always does, but I am always the one calling. And it’s Sunshine who invited me to dinner. I start the teapot in this apartment I rent. Owning is overrated.
J.D. Isip’s full-length poetry collections include Kissing the Wound (Moon Tide Press, 2023) and Pocketing Feathers (Sadie Girl Press, 2015). His third collection, tentatively titled I Wasn’t Finished, will be released by Moon Tide Press at the end of 2024 or early 2025. He is a contributing editor for The Blue Mountain Review. J.D. teaches at Collin College in Plano, Texas, where he lives with his dogs, Ivy and Bucky.