Jordan Castro ~ Like an Animal Running

Standing, hunched, in his bed­room, he would plan to pack the bare essentials—one pair each of under­wear and socks, one t‑shirt for each day, one pair of jeans, a col­lared shirt—but would end up frus­trat­ed, confused.

Which under­wear, for exam­ple, looked best on him? Which fit in such a way, or were made from such mate­ri­als, that caused his gen­i­tals to sweat the least? And which, of these, might she be so famil­iar with that, even if they looked good on him, would look less good to her? She would like­ly only see him in his box­ers briefly—before and after show­ers, maybe while tak­ing them off.

He would dis­tract­ed­ly aban­don the half-fin­ished “under­wear pile” on the floor beside his bed, and regard the shoe box labeled “socks” which con­tained socks. One “exer­cise pair.” Two pairs of white ankle ones to wear with shorts. Would he pack shorts? It was ten degrees warmer there.

His trip would be five days includ­ing trav­el, and he, like an utter dement, would stand over the incom­plete piles of cloth­ing, then pace around his bed­room, sit­ting, stressed, on the edge of his bed, recit­ing the days he’d be gone—Wednesday, Thursday—qua­si-vocal­ly, in bleak, absent­ly spurt­ed syl­la­bles, star­ing blankly at a sock.

Then usu­al­ly some­thing would dis­tract him—his room­mate, the inter­net, often­times a text or phone call from her—for long enough, and until late enough, that he would decide to put off pack­ing until morn­ing, when he’d be so rushed, he wouldn’t have time to think about what he was, or wasn’t, packing.


Jordan Castro is the author of two poet­ry books, and is the man­ag­ing edi­tor of New York Tyrant.