“I’m telling you, you’re gonna love it.”
“There is absolutely no way I’m going to like it.”
“Come on, it won’t be that bad.”
“It sounds awful.”

James was always trying to get me to do shit. The first time I ate glass, they were there, egging me on. They posted a clip of it on their story while I was picking at my gums. I remember them saying, 

“If Lucas Abela¹ can do it, why can’t you?”

So, I swallowed some. We kept on hanging out. What else would I do? Their suggestions kept getting a little riskier, a bit more reckless. When they convinced me to try robbing a grave, I declined. I wasn’t into it. My ma would hate me for it. So, James said,

“You’ll never be an R.L. Stine² character.” 

And for whatever reason, that really did it. I dug up a grave, but it turns out, they lock some coffins so all I took were the ghosts. 

I haven’t been sleeping right. I thought this thing with James wasn’t going to work out. Their hot pink leather pants and infected stick-n-pokes couldn’t be in my life any longer. I was going to break it off. I thought maybe I’d text them and this would all be settled. They were already at my door.

“Have you tried salvia³ before?”

“No. No James, I’m done. I’m tired. I kind of just want to get a job.” 

James looked at me for a moment. They looked me up and down, they lingered on the down. Their red-heart earring dangled like a pendulum. Their eyes intent, staring into my hips for what felt like an eternity.

“No. Nope. I don’t think we should keep hanging out. I don’t think we’re good for each other—”

James’ lips moved up and down, slowly, mocking me. They patted their bald head and rubbed their flat stomach and began screeching. Howling.

“Do you remember that time Hanatarash⁴ bulldozed that club?” 

“No. What? I wasn’t alive. Wasn’t that in the 80s?”

“What if I told you, I could get us a bulldozer?” Their green eyes lit up with what my ma would call, “the devil’s passion.” I know this, it isn’t going to happen again. 

“James, I’m done. I haven’t slept in months. I think I need to get exorcised?” 

“Jen, you will never ever be a moderately well-known but still largely obscure harsh-noise artist if you don’t do this. Like, nobody will like you.” I finally heard it. The teeth still left in their mouth clicked with each syllable and everything was clarity. I wasn’t going to fall for it. 

“Where would you even work, anyway? Nobody’s hiring.” James’ shoulders dropped. It felt like I was talking to someone else. They weren’t interested in trying to bulldoze a basement gig anymore. 

“I don’t know, I really don’t want to but like rent’s coming up and—”


“I was just going to start delivering packages, like just for a few weeks or something”

“I still have this bag of salvia.”

“I really don’t—”

“I’m telling you, you’re gonna love it.”

“There is absolutely no way I’m going to like it.”


  1. Lucas Abela is an Australian harsh noise musician known for creating and playing an instrument comprised of glass and contact microphones. The instrument is played by mouth and by hand. 
  2. That guy who wrote Goosebumps.
  3. A mistake.
  4. Japanese harsh noise band from the 80s that pioneered the genre and received notoriety from being banned from several countries after bulldozing a club as one of their performances.

Eros Livieratos studied philosophy and creative writing at WPNUJ and is a current Ohio State University MFA Candidate. Eros’ writing tackles topics of race, sexuality, capitalism, aesthetics, and technology. Eros plays in noise bands in Columbus, OH and can often be found yelling about aesthetics & automation in your local basement.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower