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I like men. Tall ones, short ones, hairy and bald, loudly bombastic, passively kind, and oh how I love those dark ones, the ones who want to die or bring me down with them. And the ones who think that they are better than me, with big ideas and expansive vocabularies. And the ones that drink hard, bourbon and cigarettes. I love a man who smokes. Once in bed they are all the same, they fuck,then they tell me they love me, or are in love with me, or will always love me. But none of them are him.
It was the year that it all went black. Ghosts lingered above me as I slept, basements and blue carpet and buckets full of piss. I made jam from fallen blackberries, and no one would eat it. It was the year that I got a lot of bruises. Light-bulbs cracked daintly when thrown at the wall above my head, ripped shirts, empty fridge and blacking out in the supermarket. It is the year that I start caring, a man and a dog, cat dander and un-mopped floors. I’ll build monuments to my years and only he will see them.
In me there is nothing good. I have a habit of lying and cheating, although I never really stole anything, except someone's truth. I tried to make it mine and when it didn't fit I gave it to someone else who really didn't know what to do with it, but who I convinced otherwise. Then that person started to realize that "their" truth wasn't working, and I had no truth anyway so all my lies were real and when he'd complain I'd simply be demure and thank him for grabbing my breasts. There is no such thing as bad.
I spend days with monsters as "Ms. Boss-lady" (a.k.a. RED)-serving the forgotten ones. Some have half a brain. Others have seen and heard too much. Their thoughts spill out through bare windows and un-marked doors. There is always one moaning, and one wandering the halls knocking on empty rooms for a fix. Some say the ghost of Danny O. walks nights searching for the guy that hacked off his legs. At least today there was no blood to clean. The truth is, I'm the monster, not Midnight, Shorty, Ace, Ice, Detroit, Tennessee, and Angela Blackstarr, they're all okay.
A day of shopping, and a picnic in the park. I asked him if he would fuck me after I get pregnant, he asked me to pretend we were the ones having an affair. Two pair of shoes for me, Neil, Joni, and Bob...heartsick songs for him. I play Achelois- driving away the very pain I've caused. We stopped by the library before home, I chose "The Guide To Natural Child Birth". The shrink says triads are stronger than dyads, although not always healthy that way. He got a book on Rock and Roll and "101 ways to gamble".
I almost wish I had never given him an excuse to think that he is better than me. He thinks a gut reaction to a film is unjust, too subjective, non-artistic. "Were you not using your gut when you so artistically put the kitchen chair through the window?" I could have taken a picture and it would have been art, you could write it into the line of a poem and it would be infinite madness. Not pretentious nonsensical prattle between two over-stuffed minds, I have seen films like this and my gut tells me this isn't art.
Tonight I got really baked. I started a charcoal of a face,turned it upside down into a tulip within 10 excruciating minutes. Thinking is madness.I was out of my head enough to link an enthusiastic story about a spastic and a pit bull to the last line of Miller's SEXUS. No one got it, anyway I stopped pushing the point before I even finished my sentence. There was lunch today, leaving him amazed at our ability to alter reality. So was I. Wasn't that how we got where we are in the first place, my dear K?
The days were clear blue, the color of sky and the shirts he’d wear when we would meet under the dogwood at Mundi. Our talk miming rhythm like the chirp of a spring cicada. He’d take my feet, cradle them in his hands - while I fought tearing flesh with my kiss. Some days I would arrive first and watch as he crossed the sun stained lot to our table under the leaves. I would look around and then smile. We were in public after all and there was something to hide. Now we’ve no one to hide from but ourselves...
She said that would be great, it would just suck if you couldn't come to my wedding. What she really meant was it would suck if you got pregnant because you would take all the attention away from me, especially since you have done that all our lives, your life has only been a series of impulses, and besides I'm the older one and I'm supposed to be the first, your husband doesn't even have a job, when I asked you if you're still smoking and drinking I knew you were lying, and what the hell does bohemian mean anyway?
Tonight we'll go out, Argus first for drinks with the birthday girl, I'll pass on that one because I am just an intruder turned traitor. They've always known what bad character P and K have. From me they did not expect such a lousy whore. Besides, the last time I saw all those guys I was coked up and teetering on the heels of my black patent boots, hiding out in someone else’s bathroom all night calling up old demons and refusing to put to rest the new ones, I wouldn't want that to happen again, and neither would they.
It comes like sleep these days, with a slow thud; suddenly it’s upon me. I am caught for days in its fleshy web, smelling of loam and surf in a land-locked state. There is no reason to fight it except in needing salvation. So my body will become mine again, not to be shared with that burgeoning glow as a thought, an afterthought, a pause in my day. There will be time to mask my disappointment in visions of youth re-claimed. Even I will know that every time is time, but for now I will just stick to repenting.
There is everything here, days of sun, grassy parks, the dog we love, the book stores with their stuffed shelves, finding him tucked between the stacks searching out Vollmann for me, for him. Juice, and bread, and smokes, and then sex at 3:00, pulling the curtains closed, pulling my legs apart, I shut my eyes. Sometimes I search for too much in him, and there seems to be no truth, I get lost in this formidable gray between he and I, we and us, them and they... There you are, here I am, this is the day I will marry.
I pretend that you're dead. On the train, after a hasty goodbye I think "That man reminded me so much of him". He did, and you remind me so much of then, and so I stay away and so I play stranger to your knowing glance. At times like this I could dive right in, but he'd not forgive me, and he would know, and I would've sacrificed my self again for this lingering need that you were never the cause of. You knew this woman once, now she's dead, but oddly enough I remind you so much of her...
The cat scratches in front of her food dish like it's the litter box. She keeps at it forever. She hops down and then walks through the curtained closet to her real litter box, I can't help but wonder if she’s chewing at scented synthetic sand crystals like she's somehow come across this really large food dish that is so big she can walk in it. Wow. That must be great, to think such a grand thing and make it real, live it, and know it, and never let it end. I wish I were that much of a fool.
Do you want a ride? No, I think not. I mean a ride home, not a "ride". And no to that one too. I’m certainly not some foolish nymph, a dear trollop in his Nabakovian nightmare, the one he thinks real, the one he beds at night, she who keeps him from his demise, and inflated insurance rates, and letters to proceed that will only lead him down a dead road, So that then the family that "kills" will be gone some morning when it’s too late to admit he should’ve first set them free with his truth years ago...
The suns a' blaze and they are out of Jim Beam all over this damn town...At my corner store, at the airport, in the Castro Bistro where he wanted me to drink in effort to reach the place where his words would sear my sense of self, and so he could talk his sub-meanings, and counter meanings and "controlled environs" in which every meaning is his meaning. That meaning, this meaning... Sometimes I mean nothing but this grating circular motion, and webbed toes hiding beneath fishnet stockings. All I mean is there better be Beam in L.A.
There's not much for me to do in a town full of spiky haired leather jacketed, frosty pink lens clad ingrates, but to make fun. But to my dismay I made fun of the least deserving, that woman in the striped pull over with her breasts down to her knees, and that pretty and plump girl, Flower, stewing and wincing every time one of us said pussy too loud. Or that best friend of mine who shacked up and then lied to her trust-funded boyfriend of a few weeks over her incessantly ringing cell phone. They're not that funny.
I felt afraid that it wouldn't feel the same and I’d turn around while you lifted my bags into the car and run towards the first plane out of here. Then I tasted the salt from your sweat on your lips when you pushed them against mine, and your legs looked so strong when you crouched to take me from behind, and your words, they tell more than the assumptions of tired old friends and picnickers that make and sell lies. And I meant it when I said: “I like this because no one can ever know what we know.”
Letter to a 13 year old girl: There will be plenty of time for you to put on make-up in layers so that those zits you are so ashamed of will not show through when you come face to face with that asshole who took you out in his pick-up truck and forced you under a tree. There’s plenty of time for adultery later when you are "happily" married and you can't seem to hang on to those loose ends that point to you as the culprit, whore-ing, lying youth thieving wasted woman... so right now just keep your friends.
Where is my dear sweet K? Transcendental rube turned vagabond. He once communed with the spiders of god in a hut off the coast of Costa Rica, walked barefoot for years among nettles and brine, fell in and out of those dark ladies beds, jail cells and lavish hotels... and all that time never needing a dime. Now here he is putting it on to claim a piece for himself, minus the curling up and tapping of words, amidst the moan of solaces poem. Why he has returned to the land of the dead is my own sorrow to bear.
Breathing dusty fumes, black bags, empty med bottles, Enfamil, rusty old shoes and Seridel’s half smoked Cubans. Gina wailed like a mourning dirge, padding down blood stained carpet, 400 lbs of her, arm crooked around a cane yelling: “I fucking hate you, you threw away my stuff, I’m gonna burn down the building, burn it down, burn it fucking down!” I think they were surprised to see me down there, gloves on, tossing cardboard. The staff downstairs thinks I should call non-emergency on Gina’s threat… How futile. Let it burn, and put an end to this digging through shit.
Who would've thought that a digital mechanism could alter the truth? Those things are supposed to record, document, and archive all that which has really passed. 12:12 am- outgoing call to P. There was no outgoing call to P., only a lazy soft conversation with K. in a bar off Haight after Down by Law on the big screen. Is this his tool to trip me up... my suspicion leads me to think that it was purchased for the very reason why we justify those tracking devices attached to wild animals, so that we may "understand their primal behavior and patterns".
Age 25: Sucking on the asses of gray old men that love to tell me what to do, they never spend a day where it really happens, the only blood and piss and shit they see is their own, and that is nothing but comforting, realizing ones own mortality. Seeing crack heads, junkies, drunks and crazies take a crap and piss in a bucket, pricking ruptured veins with old needles, eyes rolling back into their heads, into their minds into their sick hard hearts. I'm too young. I’m too smart to be stuck here, denying myself the freedom that selfishness pervades.
I let it come in waves, almost as if I enjoy its searing spirit-obliterating shame. I entertain its ideas of failure, and disrespect any inkling of that soft voice that hums "It does not matter... all effort is progress, remember… you will create inevitably!" for its more ferocious and seductive snarl of "You FUCK UP! You FUCKING FUCKED UP!" Nothing will be enough, all the paint on the brush will dry, the brush too will die and its wasted carcass will become a more significant reminder than the colored strokes of what was supposed to be the beginning.
Letter to a 59 year old woman- Do you wish you’d fucked more, and hadn’t thrown away that half-Japanese bookworm who never made any sense, even though he wasn't better in bed than anything you'd already had, he liked your eyes, and thought you’d live forever in his alternate universe? Do you like it that your husband knows when you lie now, and accepts the fact that you’re a whore and lets you break dishes, curse and come to bed caked in clay or paint and live in his real universe forever, even when you sag and smell old?
Just pretend it's a Mamet play, he said, as we stood at the door after the first ring, waiting breathless for the sound of galloping feet, and then the boys slant eyes peeping through the curtain, followed by his father, the third in the three of us hiding something. We got drunk, and held babies, and ate a lot and laughed and really only got nervous or guilty or panicked at the end when we were leaving before we even knew that we were going, and once outside we looked at each other, and said "Why should she ever know?"
Nothing he says makes a difference. There is no feeling in your limbs, toes, in between your legs. There is no light but dark and there you are feeling like you're too young to be here and too old to reckon with. He is so sweet, he is so strong, he believes in the power of you and him, and you want to believe, and you know that some days you will, but for now, the only rest is in sleep, and in avoided pills, and booze and in waking again tomorrow to hide amongst the files and insomniacs…
He's a mean old daddy, with the forgiveness of a saint. Nothing I do surprises him, and most of what I do hurts. He likes it when I’m sweet, even more he likes to call me Crazy Lady, Freak Girl, M and Face and I call him Piece Of Shit, and he laughs, and I tell him I hate him, and he knows I never will. I'm just young and I hate me, and someday he'll see me walking from the barn to the house, my face wrinkled and bare and he'll know why he did this. So will I.
He's playing poker. Up one hundred, and the dollar signs light up in my eyes, but being cautious and wistful over this baby I could be carrying, I tell him to pull out. He won't and he'll come home less a hundred, and I'll bite my tongue because there are worse things he could have done, and really all I want is to see him a little longer today and make it to that movie and to the bar tonight without having to yell. He's allowed to be a fuck up and there is nothing I expect from him anyway.
I can't believe that I ever took my clothes off for that stranger. A wife and her husband’s friend should never fuck. A wife and her husband should though. Like last night for hours, and today when he gets home before the sun sets, on the clean sheets on our bed. I'll love him as long as I can, and then I'll learn to love him again, there is no love left for that other, now he's going to have to be a friend to me, and to the husband that should have never brought his woman to this city.
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