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Daddy Issue 4

Re: Are you reading these emails?

By Joe NastaPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Daddy Issue 4
Photo by Mike C. Valdivia on Unsplash

To: [email protected]

From: [email protected]

Re: Are you reading these emails?

20 July 2022

Riverside Park


I don’t want to feel bad anymore, so I bought myself sunflowers. I brought them to Riverside Park so I could look at the water and New Jersey while I scowl from the bench and sweat profusely. What, feel emotions like shame, desire, anger, regret? Never! I bury my nose in the seeds to forget myself inside the sickly sweet. It’s easier to blame you for all my problems than take accountability for my actions. It’s too sunny for me to be happy, anyway. It’s one of those days when the weather is too perfect to be true: Believing that purity exists in this city is exhausting, so I refuse.

X. returned to our Puerto Vallarta condo in the early hours of the morning but he didn’t say anything about everything I had destroyed – he never asked me any questions, which is one of the reasons I loved spending time with him. He also didn’t drink so he always had a better grip on what was going on in my life than I did. There was so much I didn’t need to tell him, that he didn’t need to know the details of. Where your money came from, for one. Why I was often so angry, another. I wasn’t asleep when he entered the bedroom. The dawn, dim sunrise unbelievable but inevitable in its arrival, peered through the curtain to highlight the curve in X.’s neck and soften the sharper features of his jaw. He stood in the doorway. I rolled in the bed, rustled the feathers I’d torn from the pillow. He was so beautiful, such soft brown eyes.

When he lowered himself to the bed I pressed my lips into the muscle between his head and shoulder while his arms wrapped my shoulder blades, our legs intertwined. I could stop thinking. The deepest inhale. X.’s entire body tightened then released with the smile that rose and fell on his lips. Did I cry? None of your business. We laughed together. Another reason I loved him was how easily everything else slipped away when we held each other. Together, no words when we became the best versions of ourselves. The sugary sweat from his skin to my nostrils and tongue was nothing like your scent – No! How dare you ruin my memory. I hate that I can’t stop thinking of you. I swear when I was with him, I was with him. Doesn’t that make you happy?

The next day, we went to Mantamar. I sat on a lounge chair in the sand while X. hung out with all the boys in the pool. As you know, I don’t really like large groups of strangers. Unlike the sweltering humidity in New York, the weather on the beach was believable in its perfection. When the sand burned the soles of my feet I liked it. I smoked with a middle-aged man I met walking up the hill, flirted. I’m too lazy to write more about that now. Are you reading this? Do you miss me? I’ll be here on this bench until I pluck the last petals from these flowers if you want to come. I promise I won’t tell anybody this time.

I miss you,


*Note: This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this Vocal series are either the product of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Read Daddy Issue 3 here

Read Daddy Issue 5 here

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About the Creator

Joe Nasta

Hi! I'm a queer multimodal artist writing love poems in Seattle, one half of the art and poetry collective Eat Yr Manhood, and head curator of Stone Pacific Zine. Work in The Rumpus, Occulum, Peach Mag, dream boy book club, and others. :P

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