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Flat cat, head pressed into the pillow, sleeps that way every night, curling around my head; my protective halo, orange and purring each time I turn. Sometimes I think he changes color, in the dark no one would know, he grows larger, thinner, wings sprout from his shoulders and he hovers above, the hum of his wings I mistake for purring and the swish of his tail as it dangles down to my face I think is just him beside me, curled around me, but no, he's lengthened to fill the room, knock out the ceiling and let moonlight in.
Sheila looked at fabric online. Giraffe print, kaleidoscope print, khaki diamond print. She remembered how much fabric she had at home; a rouge flower print, a black speckled print, scraps from a long green dress she made last spring. Was it really last spring? She sighed; how time got away, how life bunched up around the needle, how the fabric tore when overworked. She worried a stain by her coffee cup; many days sitting at the computer browsing options, so many paths she could take in life; all the ways to treat thread; all the forms of threads through time.
By ten o'clock all the data was input. The pile moved from the right side of the monitor to the left. Fred rubbed his forehead and sighed. Inputting that data was supposed to be the bulk of his work for the day, with it done he was hazarding a supervisory reprimand for not looking busy; a catch-22 he was not prepared to face. Fred considered his options, eyes roving the work station, feeling marked with a curse. He'd always been an over achiever in some regards. He did his work quickly and accurately but he never desired being the boss.
I saw old friends today; those people who were with me before tattoos but after drug experimentation; those people that were there for the pivotal transformation from hardly ever talking to talking a bit more. Today they saw me talking fluently, fearlessly, using techniques like The Flooded Smile and Greet As Though It Were a Child. I wasn't born naturally jabbering. I was quiet, reduced to hand signals and occasional whispers to a trusted parent. Now I look at these old friends and see how hollow, how dislocated they are. I worked for my pleasure. They dwindle, fallen into patterns.
She felt the tingle two days ago. It was a slight itch, a minor irritation which flared over night into a protruding fever blister; never before had she encountered such a thing. She was upset, pointing it out to friends with disdain and a worried look. Most of them told they could hardly see it. She was nonplussed. She swabbed it with hydrogen peroxide and watched it bubble white. She went to bed, praying to whatever gods might hear. The next morning it had grown, puffing across the top of her lip and climbing toward her nostril. She groaned, miserable.
Nearly every day I wonder what people would think if I were to die suddenly. I examine my underpants with this in mind. I feel around my pockets, tossing out old lists and lint balls. Today I forgot to be careful and I realize it while fumbling around my coat for keys - one pocket is filled with Q-tips. When did I need Q-tips? Why did I put them in my inside pocket? What would the cops, undertaker, family think of this? Would it be clue to the mystery of my demise? Could these Q-tips hang a man for my death?
My cat loves me. He thinks he comforts me as he curls onto my pillow, sleeping right above my head, a paw stretched out to my cheek, his tail quiet on my shoulder. This cat doesn't realize his weight tips the pillow, making me uncomfortable. Some days I can convince him to sleep beside me but by morning he can be found curled around my head, purring contentedly, closing his eyes as I look at him, exuding every ounce of love a human could ever want from a cat. Ideally, anyone would want this devotion. Me, my shoulders ache painfully.
He cheated on me. And I am trying to be the supportive one. Last night he told me, cried, apologized, insisted it wasn't anything - a drunken mistake while on tour. Now I can see all the holes left by his drinking; the things he would have done had he not been filling the time with beer. Does he remember her face? Would he do it again knowing I won't carve his eyes out while he sleeps? Believe me, I'd love revenge. I journalized all my cursing, slapping, knife throwing and tried to sleep on it. No dice. Will AA help?
He had a religious experience, gave himself up to god, on his knees, hands together and pressed to temples, beside his bed, carpet itching his shins. He whispered, "God, I am ready for you to take me away. I give myself over to you. I am giving myself to you, giving myself to you, giving myself to you."Nothing happened. The next day he experienced his inner voice for the first time. It said, "What do you think? Is it working? It seems to be. If you keep this up you might just convince yourself that you're talking to god.-
I was sitting at the park watching the ducks beat each other, tiny white bugs flit through the air - side stroking the elements of my breath. A dusty, moldy traveler with a bedroll and matted hair strolled by, looking at me from under tanned, dirty heavy eyelids, stray eyebrows curling down his face. He paused beside me, looked at the ducks, nodded his head, looked at his black and frostbitten fingers, looked at me sideways and nodded again. I pretended not to notice. One duck, white with a cockatiel-like head plume, was being accosted by a large oily black duck.
Before I was born my mother had already had shock treatments, she was pumped up on thorazine and lithium. I think I knew the moment I was born that I'd landed in the wrong family. It was as though I was excited to be alive but knew I was in for a long, unhappy, confused and distressing haul. No amount of consolation or good intention can take that away. Fortunately I didn't have to spend thousands of dollars on therapy. The State funds my life because I'm crazy too. At least that's what they tell me when I refuse meds.
I wish I could say I'm staying at my mother's. Wouldn't that be gratifying in a perverse, stereotype fulfilling kind of way? It would be a situation where I took lots of bubble baths, with scented candles, and read women's magazines. She and I would go to the market and pick out slick slabs of fish to fry. And we'd grouse over the hardships of life. She'd sing Patsy Kline and I'd get choked up. She'd tell me how my father wooed her and try to force more food at every meal. "Whatever you choose to do I'm behind, dearest.-
I'm so lonely. I can hear Matthew in the next room talking shop on the phone. Down the hall a woman lets out a huge yawn. I consider stepping away for a while. The restroom offers only a tintsy touch of privacy. My eyes ache and I think about sleeping. If I worked in a larger building, a building with broom closets and a defunct boiler room then I'd secret away, holding the door handle until the jamb met so no one could hear. Inside would be dark solace. Wrapped in tarp, squat on scrub brush, contemplating my sweet freedoms.
Spent the night with Mr. H. and what a night it was. C convinced Mr. H to buy everything. We went from ginger infused drinks to super white tuna sushi to vodka tonics to a breast show. It was paradise. And the dollars flowed. The girls were fun, every one of them talked with C & I, chatting about how this piercing wasn't worth it, what a particular tattoo meant (Love, of course), and what it's like to be a single mom in love with mayonnaise. One girl, blond and thin, was out of body - "skull fucked,"said Mr. H.
The day watching movies: Hedwig, Bottle Rocket, Ray, On The Town. I wish her video collection was bigger but am glad for the stray movie I hadn't seen or would watch again. Hedwig - how many times can I watch this movie? If I had followed my dreams then in 1993 I would have moved to NYC. Odds are good I would have seen the stage show. Instead I was chicken. Chickened out. Unable to save for a ticket, unwilling to hitchhike, too antisocial to make connections or simply split in the name of adventure; this year I will finally go.
She told me of her idea: a classy strip joint; an air of mystery; girls presented like ladies; fine drinks, mixed; savory dishes, presentation, artistry; girls working routines and professionally trained as dancers. I said, Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬ËœThere's a big resurgence in Burlesque - sounds a lot like what you're thinking of.' She processed that and continued. I kept thinking, Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœburlesque, what you're describing is burlesque.' But I didn't say it as she elaborated on her ideas. Glitzkreig was the one troupe I could think of immediately. When I got home I was flooded with other names - nothing located in our immediate vicinity.
He told me he wants to be religious, that to progress as a person he needs to find a god, the only trouble being he can't figure which god to choose. He could follow some Kami or Brahman or revert to his upbringing and pray to the holy virgin. He didn't feel the catholic way, though. It was present in his life for years but it never called him. Now he flounders. He asks me for my opinion. I never went to church so I told him to be a Quaker and he laughed. I said, "No, really. No kidding.-
He kept thinking of Marilyn Monroe, particularly that dress she wore in Some Like it Hot, the one where the straps across her back snapped open and no one stopped the film shoot to repair it, or if they did it just snapped open again and was swinging around like a diamond encrusted rescue line. He imagined himself grabbing that thread and looping it around his hand and, like a wrangler, hauling her to him. He'd kiss her like Cary Grant minus the LSD. His hands would settle on the crest of her rear, he would be satisfied, happy man.
Headline: Israel fortsÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¤tter anfalla Libanon. The wrong number and the urge to puke, Monday morning, no Tuesday, wait today's Wednesday and someone is bringing fish tacos for lunch - I'm not kidding. Sometimes you can't make this shit up. Upheaval in the East, parties on the Eastside, $50 to see a corny Klimt in NYC. There should be a law. My Inbox is empty, but so is my bottle of hand sanitizer. It ends up meaning nothing in the face of explosions, gored heads, ruined ruins. Onsdag, halv miljon mÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¤nniskor, dÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¶dats, dÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¶dats, dÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¶dats. Beatings in Puget Sound, sex shows in Holland.
Once upon a time I had a boyfriend who wanted to be a Monk, he read 7 Story Mountain and Mount Analogue and then tormented me by joining a summer Buddhist camp for adult boys seeking escape from the capitalistic grind. Some religions are cheap escape from obligation to having a LIFE. Proof = he joined the Army then used the old Gay Magazine in the Locker trick to get dismissed. Since then he's been a chronically depressed bartender for one of Portland's finer BritPubs. As we all know, time stands still in BritPubs. I think it's the bread pudding.
Battle of Falkirk; stylish brown knitted sweater; girl lighting a fag: these things are unrelated outside of my noticing them each today. The girl, in short skirt and low-cut stretch top, pulled a pack of smokes from one tiny pocket on her orange corduroy purse. She held a book awkwardly while lighting up, the book was about the Battle of Falkirk. You might wonder where the stylish brown sweater comes in. The girl resumed reading, her fingers independently inserting the hard-pack back into the pocket. Enter Sweater in the form of a man walking by, pausing, and asking her name.
The X family by-and-large are notoriously introverted and eccentric people who embrace bummed out, confused, depressed, sensitive and reclusive types. Depression is rewarded in family X. While others raise kids to be successful and outgoing, family X loves inner turmoil and metaphysical questions that challenge religious belief. Hopefully that is no deterent. Hopefully you can succeed where others failed. If your attitude doesn't spoil your happiness and functionality, it is possible that you will find yourself unable to find motivation, spend hours every day concerned about the odds of failure and the value of persuit. Welcome to your new family.
The heat has killed off my ability to exit the house. I've taken to styling myself after my cat — pressed flat to the floor, limbs stretched out, praying for reprieve from the heat. When I have energy I comb my cat. With each pull of the brush her whole coat seems peeling off and yet the hair surges down her spine. I consider dunking her under water but she would never forgive me. So I dunk myself instead, drawing a cold lavender bath. As each foot sinks in my memory flashes to beach front dares, salt water dives, goose pimples.
He keeps interrupting my work. I try to spend an hour every morning writing but my boss keeps walking by. Granted, I could wake up an hour earlier and do the writing at home but that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? The purpose is to get paid what I'm worth and if I'm not doing some writing on the clock then I'm definitely underpaid. Just that single hour, and honestly it isn't a full hour most days, it's usually twenty minutes, justifies my crappy hourly wage. So why does he have to walk by and check? Maybe jealousy?
Night Court, underground tubes and rails of rusted, graffited, abandoned NYC subway. The sitcom never touched on the grime of reality. The people down here are pale. None of the Manhattan tanning lotion and ten minute, fifteen dollar meditations under heat lamps; no stand and spray booths where nudes walk in gooseflesh and come out baked with pineapple. The subway has history, the subway hustled four generations and more by now to shopping and work. Hand in hand, shopping and work. Except for those who stay underground; teenage mutant ninja turtles, smoke rings and grease pens. Where is the revolution?
Earlier than usual, I make my rounds. Peanut butter, radio, hand gun. I'm ready for another day. The smell of the bodies makes me sick but I've gotten so I can ignore it. One barfy hiccup and the nausea passes. I can't wait til I get promoted. Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of my position, better than peeling potatoes, but my dream is to be sitting at a desk shuffling papers and growing a gut. That's when you know you've made it — when you can't buckle your belt because your gut's so big. Always something to look forward to.
This morning I woke up and all I could think about was Vasa. The good ship Vasa, 1628 and ready to conquer the Spanish, she set sail through the harbor to pick up the soldiers primed for battle waiting just a short distance from the heart of Stockholm. The gun ports were open and the crew was cheered on by a crowd of admirers excited at this, the finest ship Sweden had yet produced. As the crew proudly paraded, the ship cut water like an eel, listed to a side as water rushed in the gun holes, flooded and sank.
He says it's all about the judges, that every contest is dictated by the whim of the judges. A judge could have an agenda, or an attitude or be bullied into a decision by other judges. It can be political, he said. It can be a farce. He was very persuasive in his argument, bold face type and exclamation points. He said, Contests are essentially about the tastes of the judge or judges, not about writers. Always remember this — ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU WIN. And all I could think was 'When I Win & when _I_ win & when I WIN!
You'd think with how paranoid he is about closing the curtains at night that he wouldn't want to leave them open during the day. Turns out that he is obsessed with having curtains open during the day. Even if that means letting in blasting heat that we then have to battle when we get home. Many days I've gone and closed the curtains after he's left for the day. I intentionally stay home a few minutes late to do this. Does that mean I'm obsessed? He believes the weatherman. Even though the sun is up early and sky is clear.
Supply delivery is due today. In fact, it should be here by now. Just like all other deliveries one expects in life, they always seem to arrive late, one day late or just an hour short of deadline. Close enough that the heart doesn't quicken until it is too late. And too late ends up meaning you're screwed with no other options but a creative excuse, a quick jerry rig or a heated call to some poor sap working in a cube two thousand miles away. We don't realize how much we don't need the expected delivery, blessed by mistake.
I pulled a flower from a bouquet by the reception desk. The stem had gone limp and the bulb of flower bent over in a slump of beaten down dismay. I empathized with the ruin of this single flower mingled with perky English Garden blooms, this little dark purple puff of petals begged for my attention. I walked it to the lunchroom and cut the excess stem away, wadded some paper towel into a tumbler and added enough water to keep it alive. It is a shame the flower was cut in the first place. The selfish things we do.
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