Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
The next thud you hear is my self-esteem smacking against pavement. It sounds exactly the way balls against ass does not.
I'll blame it on The Internet. Fuck GMail. Fuck the way my fingers slip over the mouse. My hands are slick with disappointment and someone else's sweat. I didn't want to do touch him anyway. Hated the way his humble cock poked through his shorts. The way he breathed like I was putting out cigarettes on his tonsils.
I am too old for bicurious pussies.
Rene was first. "Meet me at 5:30." He said. "My house is your house. You will fuck me until I can't walk anymore, and then I will crawl to you so we can fuck some more."
But before sex, before Rene's quivering cock, I'm meeting a friend at the book store. "Maybe you should call me Goat With A Thousand Young when you talk about me in your journal." He says. No more requests for your names. For now he is Cheerio. And he'll either like it or won't. "Are you not allowed to take a shower at Clitty's?"
I'm not staying at Clitty's, but do I smell? Am I covered in? Oh, right. There's still a bit of blood on my hands from nosebleed #374.2. I head to the bathroom, wash it off. Come back and get the Cheerio seal of approval. We talk novels and bad poetry, and I'm off.
Rene's house isn't quite where he said it would be. Or, more correctly, not where I thought he said it would be. I am walking on sleepless pavement. I can feel sweat forming on my back. My knees need to crack.
"Hi." He says when I finally arrive at the house.
"Hey." I smile. He had problems sending a pic. His AIM was wonky. My GMail fucken sucked today. He was cuter than I feared. "Nice apartment." If you're into college minimalism.
His room is a bed, a desk, no wall decorations, no throw rug, no pictures on his desk, just a computer.
"Mind if I shower?" I ask.
He smiles, sweetly. I take my backpack into his halfbath. Soap, check. I turn on the water. Scrub scrub. Why am I doing this? Have I learned nothing since I started this journal? Why on Earth would I...my dick nods to attention. Right.
I walk back to Rene's bedroom. He is on the phone. "Ok." He says to the phone. Then, to me, "Sorry, I have to go. I was hoping you would be here an hour ago."
"Oh." Unfuck. "Ok."
Luckily, there was a backup plan. Eric wanted me to meet him at a bar on the other side of Harvard Square. I had a half an hour to get there before he said he'd just go home and beat off. A bus arrives at the end of Rene's street, just as I get there. The bus goes straight to the bar, but I feel compelled to get off at Harvard. I recognize a friend from poetry slam on the sidewalk. We talk about nothing. I stop in at the computer cave and check my e-mail. One message from Eric. "Fuck. Don't come. My roommate is gonna be home after all. Sorry dude. Don't come."
Unfuck you, too.
I check scattered e-mails. Thanks to fucken GMail I have the e-mail that my new landlord sent at 11 fucken in the morning asking me to call him before 6. It's 6:30. No keys for the new place.
Among spam and Livejournal comments, floating like an obese duck in jello, is another e-mail from Robert. Robert and I have been trying to hook up all week. He's a kind of chunky Chinese guy. Not kind of. Chunky. He's in the closet. Closets are my least favorite rooms in the house. "I really want you to come over now." He says.
So I hop on the next bus. Walk over to his iron gated apartment complex. "Nice apartment." I say, and this time I mean it.
He doesn't say thanks, just angles his head like he's considering cracking his neck.
Fear Factor is on the TV, and he wants to finish watching it. Whatever, I'm early. Just as the third stunt is about to begin, his shaking hand goes up my shirt. "I love redheads." He says. "Are you...all red?" This is time #6,327 someone has asked me this.
"Want to check?"
And my pants are coming down. He doesn't even bother unbuttoning the pants. I must be losing weight. He is not, but that's ok. He is breathing like I'm putting out cigarette butts on his tonsils. I can smell him freaking out. See the word fag roll across his pupils. He touches my cock like it's a doorknob on fire. I kiss his neck. I don't know why. I don't mean it. I grab his ass. I think someone with his weight should have a better ass. He does have a nice cock, though. I start to gently tug and "I can't do this." He says. "I'm sorry."
"Are you sure?" I ask, knowing the answer.
"Yea. You can stay and watch the end of Fear Factor...maybe...tomorrow night we could...?"
No, we can't. You won't want to tomorrow night either. We are too ugly to fuck. You are too nervous. I am a nosebleed to your asthma. All I want to do is go back to the home I don't have.
The streetlights shake their heads as I walk by. I'm taking the T back to Allston. I am shooting flare guns at closet cases. Help me, I think I wanted this. Wanted a night of accidental cockteasers, weak willed fags who couldn't find their spine with their backs. People who can't kiss or look at themselves when they masturbate.
At the next internet cafe, I get an IM from Timmy. He's missed me so much he hasn't e-mailed me in a year. But he lives in Allston now. I am in Allston. Turns out, I'm right down the street from his house. Do I want to stop over? Sure, this night can't get any worse, right? I'm a writer, I'll write myself a goddamned fucken happy-ass Hollywood ending to tonight.
But I don't live in Hollywood.
As soon as I get in the house, he grabs my hand and pushes it to his tiny, tiny erection. I do not have a large dick. Timmy has a toothpick. "What took you so long?" He asks.
"I ran into a bunch of drunken stupid frat boys at Redneck's." And...you're wearing a necklace with a greek symbol on it. Great.
He smiles, then asks, "Do you suck dick?"
"Sometimes." I say. "You?"
"Nope." Then he is in my mouth. Pushing me with his sweaty hands. He's small. Even if he wasn't drunk, I could easily push him away, but what the fuck, he begins poorly jerking me off as I suck him.
His cock tastes like PBR.
It takes him ten seconds, fifteen, and....he's done. I've had bigger sneezes.
I stand up and present him with my dick.
"No, dude." He says. "I'm done. Tired."
"You're not even going to jerk me off."
He gets this truly evil grin on his face. "Welcome to the Frat House."
He'd been waiting to say that all night. I want to say something equally scathing in return, like welcome to the fag house or something. Instead, I let my teeth do the talking for me.
I grab my bag, and hurry out the door and into the street. I'm so thirsty, and disgusted. I head into the Store 24 for a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, precisely because it has a terrible shitty aftertaste that tastes nothing like Timmy's dick.
I think I see Timmy on my way out of the store, but I'm probably just being paranoid. And so what if it was him? At his level of drunkenness, I could have cockslapped him unconscious.
Rene will call tomorrow, but I won't pick up. Eric will see me online and debate sending an IM. He probably won't. Eric will wait until another day when his roommate will show up at the last moment. I don't think I'll be hearing from Timmy again.
I have already blocked them all from seeing me for who they are.
Bartenders know me best when I'm not drinking. And maybe that's the problem.
Judy at The Cantab says it looks like I'm starting to be less depressed. I had no idea I looked depressed. I thought that safe that hit me bounced off my skull without leaving so much as a dent. My eyes aren't puffy because I've been crying, I just haven't been sleeping well.
Amy at The Lizard Lounge thanks me for the book I gave her. When the check comes, it's about twice as much as I expected. "You didn't pay for your dinner last Saturday." She says. Which does explain the extra $20 I've had floating around this week. I apologize so profusely she has to shine the fog from between the two os in "I'm sorry" in order to see me. "Oh, don't worry about it, dear." She says. "You were so very into your writing that I didn't want to disturb you."
I have been so far from reality this week, I can't see it with the Hubble telescope. I can't see it with a far reaching pop culture reference. Reality is so far away from me, it doesn't even have oxygen.
"Are you working yet?" Amy asks me. And I'm not, not because I'm lazy or they're awful or anything, I just suck at making plans this week.
As Amy talks to me about her recent trip to Hawaii, I watch a quarter fall out of her hair and on to the pavement. It bounces once, twice, then rolls under a bush. This is bad. We're inside. There are no bushes here. I am in pretty desperate need of some sleep.
I'm debating whether to check my e-mail when Regie Motherfucken Gibson sits down next to me and begins talking to me about transgender issues, people claiming to be multiples, and the politics of slam poetry. Slam politics don't interest me anymore. I am not transgendered. I think most multiples would shit their pants if they ever interacted with a real schizophrenic.
Regie is one of the greatest conversationalists in the world, but it's much more fun to talk about things we disagree about, and we can't come up with anything we disagree on. I agree that most people are bilovual, but the subject of bisexual poets disturbs me. We tell numerous stories about women who have an epiphany that they hate men, and then suddenly they're lesbians. Personally, I find that extremely belittling and bullshit. Real lesbians, like real gay guys are sexually attracted to someone of their own gender for the same reasons heterosexuals are attracted to people of the opposite gender. Phermones and chemistry.
Last week, I was hanging out with one of them open relationship slam poet people (my friend Ellen) and one of her lovers. The lover was a kind of cute little bearded dude. He seemed smart, funny. But something seemed off to me. It wasn't just that he looked ridiculously young or that he kind of reminded me of an even younger looking Elvis. There was just...something.
Turns out he was a she. And, see, it's chemistry. I didn't know he was trans. Physically, he was very much a he. Mentally, very very much a he. To the point he spent time grabbing me inappropriately and talking about how much he liked to fuck guys. All this while his girlfriend was walking between us. My conciousness 100% believed this person was a guy. But my nose knew differently. It said, there is something off in the testosterone/estrogen quotient said "I am so not attracted to this very cute, smart, funny, person. And it's not just because he has a girlfriend."
Benny once told me how he picked up a drag queen at a club. It wasn't a Crying Game moment. He knew it was a drag queen, but "The dude was easily one of the hottest looking women I'd ever seen. The hair. The face. The body. Everything. Perfect. We went back to my place, he laid down on my bed, everything tucked carefully out of sight, and I...I just couldn't do anything. I wanted to kiss him, but then...I can't explain it. He was wearing perfume, and was everything girly, but my brain said "man" and that was the end of it. I couldn't be gay if I wanted to."
"So," Regie asks after I relay the Benny story to him, "the bisexual thing pisses you off too?" We're not talking about bisexuals in general, but women (and it's always only women) who take the mic and go on and on about their bisexuality. Women who have a bad experience with an ex, "go lesbian" for a few years, and then shut their homosexuality off like it was a movie of the week.
"It's bullshit. And I hate that people buy it." I say. "If a man were ever like 'Yea, I dated this girl in high school and she was a real bitch to me, so I decided to be gay.' he'd alternate between being laughed at and having the crap beaten out of him. Sure, if he were hot, most gay guys would probably fuck him, but that wouldn't make him any gayer than the Shania Twain and Ani Difranco t-shirts he'd no doubt start picking up at thrift shops in an effort to be more visible."
And then our conversation slips into slam politics, people pimping their race/gender/sexual orientation/blah/blah/blah. Later that night I catch The Body Count Slam at The Cantab. Two good friends doing some of their best work, but EVERY poem (with the exception of the cactus one) involves someone dying or dead. Mark Twain used to keep track of casualty figures in the collections of bad poets. I started taking down the notes last night. Four sexual orientation related deaths, two suicides, two overdoses, and a really mean archangel wiping out all of humanity out of spite. After the second tiebreaker between dead victim poems, I had to get out of the room.
Today I am back to playing e-tag with people who can't figure out what they want or what their plans are. Basically, I'm talking to better looking versions of myself. Forget strength, give me sleep, contentedness.
It's Sunday afternoon and God has gone fishing for compliments in a puddle of mud. All I have are four notebooks, this park bench, and five hours until soon arrives. My faith is in escrow. If you draw lines between my freckles you end up with a map of my failures.
I woke up this morning to the sound of birds chirping broken glass. Wind chimes whispered promises of contentment. I opened my eyes and found myself in the temple of another man. I turned to Mecca and preyed on forgiveness.
I took a bus without windows to a city I can't navigate. The bookstores were all out of Maps, and Mapquest told me they were six miles between where I was sitting and where I wanted to be soon. The problem with soon is that it never comes as fast as I'd like, but it goes too quickly. I decided I'd get to soon sooner if I walked the wrong way down a one way street, and sure enough my six mile journey was only a half mile long. The world is getting smaller by the minute.
I believe all this is in direct proportion to the expansion of my dreams. As my imagination gets bigger, your reality is shrinking. Soon, you will all be swallowed by it.
Still inbetween homes at the moment, couch surfing mostly with Zuzu and Celeste. At times like this, my eating gets very erratic. I don't get hungry very often, but when I do, I tend to eat utter garbage. Today, I decided to stick to a very specific mealplan. Only things that come from the ocean went into my mouth.
For brunch, Goldfish. For dinner, a healthy meal of Swedish Fish. And, of course, for desert, Phish Food.
By Saturday, I shall weigh five hundred pounds.
This month is an ostrich on a canoe. Midnight, June 30th/July 1st, and I am running to catch one of the last busses to take me to the last train between me, and Clitty's house. Clitty, who is moving the very next day, has offered me a bean bag and conversation. But first must come the bus. I am thinking "Future Fry Cook. Future Fry Cook." This may be the last time I ever take this bus, and wouldn't it be funny to run into him again.
Instead, I see a hot guy fidgeting under the T sign. "Thank God." He says. "There's another bus coming?"
I reach into my pocket and pull out a stack of bus schedules. Like a good magician's assistant, he picks out the schedule for the 101, which will whisk us to Sullivan Square.
"Wow." He says. "Are you always so prepared?"
"No, I'm moving, and I found my T schedules just as I was leaving the house." Tonight has been cast glances out of focus. Move out. Is this my suitcase? Pile of unmarked papers. Where is my cell phone? Do I have everything I need? Turn off the air conditioner. "Where are you headed?"
"Me, too." I say, feeling inappropriately closer to him. "I'm going to stay with a friend on Ashton Street."
"I live on Ashton Street." He says. "Weird."
And the bus comes, and we exchange horrible roommate stories. My Melissa Plummer stories are trumped by his tale of a roommate who stole all of his possessions while he was at work, down to pictures of his girlfriend and his underwear. He keeps looking at me like I'm his favorite pint of Ben & Jerry's, and I think, hmmm...maybe something could happen, I mean...pictures of his girlfriend. He casually drops his girlfriend so many times during our conversation, that I think, perhaps, I should pick her up.
I'm tempted to get off at the same T stop as him, and talk more, maybe exchange contact info, but I want food and stability and focus.
At the all night pizza/sub place, the frat boys are screaming obscenities at the guy behind the counter. "Fuck moo." Says one. I presume I have missed the context for this.
I order chicken fingers, and Cherry Coke, and contact info for hot guys who are as oblivious to drunken frat language as I am. Two out of three ain't a Meatloaf song.
Clitty is tired, and chatty when I get there. I eat chicken fingers in her kitchen, let her cat chew my fingernails for me.
I want my own place. No more Landlord. A former and recurrent coworker has a friend "I think you two would get along great, but he's kind of particular about" and I don't care what he's particular about, I'm done moving in with particular people I don't know.
I know Zuzu. I know her particularities, and how best to mesh with them. So I head over to her house. Pup Ratzinger licks my eyes out, and nibbles off my nose. For once, I may have needed it.
For two days, we shop together. Mainly meaning, she shops, I assist as best I can. No one is selling focus or a way for me to move my suitcases, or a permanent place for me to move them to.
After Zuzu's, I spend time on Celeste's couch, playing The Vagina Game with her and Trick. It's fun, but I don't want to stay. I should be on The Vineyard this week, spending time with my Dad, but the people I'd planned on traveling with are having their own trauma. Little tragedies, like my own. I find myself longing for the days when I could turn my tiny grain of sand problems into beaches large enough for me to spread a blanket on and get comfortable. Melodrama seems just out of reach.
"I am so out of touch with the world." I tell Zuzu. "I focus on every day so precisely, that I have no concept of how to handle my future."
She pours me another Kahlua and Stoli.
Celeste, Trick, and I share a few Ginger Beer and Stolis.
I can't drink enough to sleep.
I've been spending loads of time with Zuzu and Celeste for the last few days. I then realized, spending time with Zuzu is not a very intelligent way to try and stay sane. She's one of my favorite people in the world, but the only time her and stable belong in the same sentence is when she's looking to buy a horse.
While watching Adult Swim with Celeste and her rockstar boyfriend, we began playing The Game. Not the rapper. The Game is something Celeste told me about months ago, and we occasionally break into without warning. The rules are simple, you take the name of a movie or an album or a TV show or whatever, and substitute one of the words in the title with the word "Vagina". Favorite results that I can remember are:
The Lord of the Vagina
The Hunt For Red Vagina
Dude, Where's My Vagina?
Requiem for a Vagina
Vagina Night Fever -or- Saturday Night Vagina
The Thin Red Vagina
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Vagina
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spottless Vagina
Fast Vagina at Ridgemont High
Vagina Fast, Vagina Furious
Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Vagina
Willy Wonka and the Vagina Factory
The Vagina Monologues
The Vagina Takes Manhattan
The Vagina Before Christmas
The Five Thousand Vaginas of Dr. T
The Vagina Who Stole Christmas -or- The Grinch Who Stole Vagina
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Vagina Club Band
The Vagina From The Black Lagoon
Scary Vagina 3
Buffy the Vagina Slayer
The Vagina Chainsaw Massacre
Sisterhood of the Traveling Vaginas
The Longest Vagina
Joe Versus the Vagina
10 Things I Hate About Vagina
under the vagina
boys for vagina
songs from the choirgirl vagina
to vagina and back
strange little vaginae
vagina's walk (or, scarlet's vagina)
tales of a vagina
i'm not a pretty vagina
up up up up up vagina
so much shouting, so much vagina
reckoning/vagina (or: vagina/revelling)
Fried Green Vaginas
Vagina vs. Predator
The Man in the Iron Vagina
As Vagina As It Gets
Good Vagina Hunting
The Muppets Take Vagina
A Midsummer Night Vagina
50 Ways to Leave Your Vagina
Vagina Fantasy: the Spirit Within (Or, Final Fantasy: the Vagina Within)
Night of the Living Vagina (Vagina of the Living Dead)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Vagina
The Sound of Vagina (The Vagina of Music)
The Usual Vaginas
My Big Fat Greek Vagina
American Vagina X
Cat on a Hot Tin Vagina
The Cat in the Vagina!
Babe 2: Pig in the Vagina
The Amityville Vagina
The Blair Witch Vagina
Bonfire of the Vaginas
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Vagina
Dead Vagina Walking
Dirty Pretty Vaginas
I'm Gonna Git You, Vagina
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Vagina
Oh Vagina, Where Art Thou?
All's Quiet on the Western Vagina
A Clockwork Vagina
Full Metal Vagina
Vaginas Wide Shut
Riding In Vagina With Boys
Raiders of the Lost Vagina
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Vagina
Indiana Jones And The Vagina Crusade
The Unbearable Vagina of Being
The Vagina of King George
The Vagina Vs. Larry Flynt
Velvet Vagina (or Vagina Goldmine)
Wag the Vagina
A Fish Called Vagina
What Vaginas May Come
The Talented Mr. Vagina
The Vagina Strikes Back
Return of the Vagina
The Phantom Vagina -or- The Vagina Menace
Monty Vagina's Flying Circus
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Vagina
Vaginas of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl
Three Men And A Little Vagina
The Vaginas Of Baron Munchausen
It's ten years since the abortion, and she is finally having her baby. There is grace of God and sweet hosannah in every sentence of her e-mail because this time the baby will be born.
Jennifer, I am happy that you are happy with the impending birth, and your faith to Your Lord is admirable, but don't expect me to join in the ecstasy. I know you haven't told your husband what we did. Nor your parents. Nor the father of the child you didn't have. I know this is probably eating you from the inside much more than it is eating me. But I need to know, how do you sleep at night when, over the course of three days, you send me an announcement of your pregnancy, followed by pro-life propoganda. You, of all people, know what sort of situations young girls get into. And if you think you made the wrong decision, fine, but unfuck you for wanting to take those options away from all those other young girls. If you'd had the baby, you'd be miserable and Godless. I'd probably being playing straight man while sleeping with men behind your back. Your parents would have disowned you, and you'd never have had the opportunity to meet your current husband. Is that the only world Your God approves of? If so, are you going to hell for murder or hypocrisy?
If you make good on your threat of making me godfather, be prepared. The first gift I give h(im)(er) will be a wish that (s)he grow will grow up to be as smart, brave, and beautiful as h(is)(er) mother was before she confused Jesus with judgment. Before she placed The Bible before her own history.
I hope your child will love you with the stubborn love you've given to your God. The way I loved you before you decided to be perfect.