Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
I must still look like a poet. Or a drug addict. The two aren't necessarily indistinguishable. But while I'm waiting for the train home from Sora's, a guy offers me some trees for some haze, and I don't think he's trying to solve global warming.
I have no trees. The only haze is in my mind, because I didn't sleep much last night. It was my turn to sleep on the floor, and my body clock is more of a blinking digital 12:00 VCR flash (which I suspect is the real reason DVDs were invented).
I get on the train and am surprised to see an old friend back from Africa who shares smacknothing talk with me between Providence and Boston, where I pack, and go to meet another bus. The beginning of my trek to Dallas.
I noted several years ago that Cerberus is actually a Greyhound. I think if Americans were serious about rehabilitating criminals, instead of sending them to jail, they'd put them on a bus for a week. This theory is shot to hell when I discover my first seatmate is fresh from jail and headed to rehab I said no, no, no. He entertains me with the level of lies I haven't heard since I deported Elvis almost a decade ago. And then I fall asleep. Wake up in New York. Grand Central Fuck Yourself Port Afuckenkillyourselfthority. The 9:15 bus I'm supposed to take doesn't exist. The next one is, of course, 11:45, and it will be pack packed. And, of course, the really obese woman in front of me clicks her seat back against my knees, and a woman and her toddler squeeze in next to me. And the baby rarely cries but she kicks and grabs my arm. And the mother's knee is in my hip, and it's like this all the way to fucken Richmond Virginia.
Richmond to Roanoake to everywhichwhere Caroliginiasee, the bus is a hive of crackheads and loud women and crying oh my god kids. And somewhere in Tennessee Nate gets on. Nate. Nnnnnnnnnnate.
If I wasn't stupidly Sorafied (he is not stupid, I am not stupid, I am using it as in wicked, as in hella, as in completely), I'd have noticed sooner how unnervingly sexy he is. Not beautiful like Sora. Not hot like...hot people. He looks like what would happen if Gary Sinese got Tobey Maguire pregnant. And he's of course Irish, and is reading The Hitchhiker's Guide, and I am reading The World According To Garp, which makes us best buddies because obviously we're both nerds who are Irish who listen to The Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues. And everything is a racist joke to him, except the religious ones. And hours pass. He is showing me pictures of his fiancee, asking if I approve. And she's obviously also Irish, and pretty, and, sure I approve of why not her?
"It's just..." and he stares at me, "I've always had a thing for redheads..." And the stare keeps lingering there, like someone sprayed Axe bodyspray in a microwave.
"O...k. I don't really have a type, in that way. But. Good for you."
And he is a kicked puppy that I keep feeding and at my god every stop he wants to know what I'm buying and oh man I'm tired but the conversation and the sleep can't coincide and he has so much to say and instead of a knee in my hip, it's a tongue in my ear, and not in the cool way that Sora does it.
"And I'm a soldier." He says. "So when I say Fuck Bush, I know what I'm talking about and" yip yip bubbledy bloo. And he keeps touching my leg, which is not his beautiful fiancee. And all I want to do is sleep, and I don't think I've eaten anything since my God Boston.
When he switches buses in Texarcana, he takes down all my info so that we can keep in touch. I can't imagine what I'll say if he ever actually calls or writes.
And blissful then sleep until Dallllllllldallllllldalllas. Where poets and old friends and a camera await me.
While the national poetry slam starts in Austin on Tuesday, there is a pre-nationals invitational tournament in Dallas on Sunday night. So I left Boston a little oh god too early. And the rest of my team doesn't arrive until Monday, so instead of competing, I volunteer to record the event. Put down poetry book, pick up tripod and video and lay down on weird angle floor. And so many people I've not maybe purposefully maybe not seen for a while. I am called by hot_rod_poet's name no less than a dozen times (mostly by the same person). This is because all white people from Boston look alike. Even though, according to my last show in Boston, I am actually a 6'2 black man named Wiz.
After the show and some requisite drinks and food, I hang out with my not teammates (another team from Boston comprised of people I have previously been on teams with), and then there is...then there is drunkoolery. And beer? "I want a beer." Someone drunk drunk tipsily tells me.
"I" of course "don't have any beer." I look around for support. There is drunk boy, drunk boy's nearly as drunk friend, Asterisk, and Insaferubenmode, a friend of mine who (obviously) has nearly the same name.
Drunk Boy invites all to get beer with him at the gas station across the street. When Asterisk, Insaferubenmode, and I decline, he says "Anyone who doesn't get beer with me is gay."
He is, in fact, two thirds correct. But Asterisk looks mock horrified and Drunk Boy says, "Oh, you know I'm kidding. I'm as bisexual as they come."
And his friend says "On your face."
And Asterisk and I are of course obliged along with Insaferubenmode to begin BeerQuest. Which fails. But I do get to see Drunk Boy climb a pole and run super speedy across the street and then Asterisk says "I couldn't fuck him. When he gets drunk his eyes go crazy, and I can't tell if he's looking for me or looking at me." And there is much laughter, and you know, I hardly ever spend time with just Asterisk, and we amuse ourselves muchly.
Then Asterisk goes to sleep, and I grab my bathing suit and head to the pool where Drunk Boy, Drunk Boy's friend, pageloads of LJ friend/poets and some sort of family reunion that has nothing to do with poetry but who have decided to record some video of performing poets who are swimming and making, according to the management, too much noise, since the pool is supposed to have been closed for three hours so be quiet anyway.
And it's not that I was looking to see Drunk Boy naked, it just sort of happened, and good for him and good for whichever sex and whichever person he ends up with because well, yea, good for him and everyone involved. And I am involved, but not with him, with Sora and. And. Well, you know. He's no but who is Sora.
And it occurs to me I should have been sleeping hours ago. But the pool. And the computer. And Dallas. And LJ poet friends. And the maniac from Albuquerque (not a slam poet) who is in town for American Idol with his band, a novel he's working on, his website, a team of flying reindeer, the blueprints to Fort Knox, and a whole other wagon full of bullshit if anyone believes the first few piles he shovels at you. And, you know, naked on your face.
And in a few couple maybe less than one hours I'm off to Austin and don't ask me how but you know it will happen and more poetry and dizzy and blur and more naked would be great and I wish Sora were here (though he needn't be but I wouldn't mind naked), but rumor has it Ben is coming in how did this happen stead.
This is meanfunny I guess but I don't know where Ben is planning on staying. But I have an idea. I brought some masking tape. I'm thinking of taping off a section of the hotel room I'm sharing with Wiz, fifteen inches by four feet, and labeling it "Van Seat" in honor of the "bed" I slept on in his house.
It was more comfortable than Sora's floor (but that's not my usual place when I stay over), and didn't smell as badly as the Greyhound seats, but it was still you know a too small van seat for my long legs, and really I just always need an excuse for something to do.