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'm standing outside of The Anorexic, waiting for Ben, who is half an hour late, to show up. On my way here, I ran into a poetry acquaintance who'd recorded one of my spoken word shows a few months before. While most of the tracks are fairly mecentric, there's a couple of tracks I did with Ben, Celeste, and Wiz. I am in the midst of listening to Ben sing, via my headphones, when my cellphone rings. "You need to come home right away." He says. "The cat is pink."
I go home to his apartment right away. Sure enough, Rufus the Asscat is pink. "It's an organic, non-poisonous hair dye." Ben's friend, who is sporting blue hair, says. Ben's hair is green. Ben's other friend's hair matches Asscat's fur.
"So, is this a good trip?" I ask Ben.
"Oh, yes!" All three of them say at once.
"Great. I'm gonna get some Cherry Coke." And when I open the refrigerator, in the place where my Cherry Coke usually sits, is my industrial sized stapler. "Why is my stapler in the fridge?"
"Oh, the places it has been." Blue hair says.
Pink hair chimes in, "The things it has stapled."
"You really have to try some of this." Ben says. "We each took just one hit. It took a while to kick in, but it's...I mean, wow."
So I open up the freezer, and take out one of the sugar cubes. And, what the hell, I have a high tolerance, I pull out another one and suck them both into nothingness. I open a box of Cheez-Itz while the three already high members of the room torment the cat.
"Cheez-Itz?" Ben inquires. "Might I have some." And he swoops a monstrous hand full of Cheez-Itz and begins slowly crunching them. "It's like I'm crushing entire civilizations with my mouth. Desert civilizations. These Cheez-Itz taste like sand. Delicious, delicious sand."
I laugh, and begin to pet Asscat, who has wandered away from the freak contingency, and has approached me for, perhaps, solace. I take a sip of Cherry Coke, put it down, pet Asscat, then go to pick the bottle up again. It's not there. It's not anywhere near me on the floor.
"It's on top of the bookshelf." Blue hair laughs.
"Oh, the places it's gone." Ben says.
And I"m not sure if what he's saying is funny, but I laugh anyway, because the cat is pink, and my stapler should, perhaps, be writing postcards, and I'm starting to think maybe this is acid is hitting me just a little bit faster than I thought it would.
"Ben?" Ben, the cat is pink. You've turned safety light green and god I want to touch your hair. Your friends are blue and neanderthal. please help me Ben help me please I shouldn't have taken two tabs at once. Everything was fine until the lights came on and Ben, the fucken cat looks pink to me.
"What?" He asks.
Ben, your Neanderthal friend tripping face and talking close needs to leave, but the door is a jar of mayonnaise that I can't open with arthritic hands.
"I'm gonna go to the Sleven. The Sleven. The Seveneeeeleven. Do you want anything?"
Ben, help me please me help I love this feeling of shifting time and rubbing the little Communist cat under your bed but I have to get out of the room and away from your friend and get cigarettes for you because stop waving me away I love you and the room keeps shifting and the cat is pink and Neanderthal. and I am hungry and thirsty still can't find missing Cherry Coke so off I go to the inconvenience store and maybe also get cigarettes
"Ben." I say, hugging myself in the elevator. I put my headphones on, and start listening to the track I recorded with Ben and Wiz. "Ben." I say.
Ben, the man in front of me in line is trying to buy cigarettes with a pile of nickles. The agitated man behind the counter scratching dandruff over counter waves me over because he probably thinks I am in a hurry but the thing is I am swimming and forgot cigarettes, left the store with more Cheez-Itz and Cherry Coke and some sort of god it was awesome candy bar.
Ben, if the opportunity ever comes to do two tabs of acid, go outside on a cold autumn night, and listen to a CD of yourself performing a poem about schizophrenia, take it. It was so awesome I forgot how to chew.
When I get back to the apartment, everyone is either asleep or not there anymore or both. I make my way over to my van seat, flop down on it and stare at him. At some point I heard myself whispering "Ben, help me. Please. Ben."
Ben, when your Neanderthal friend left us it was it was it was time is broken and sometime morning and I was in the bathroom making faces in the mirror. How could you ever love someone so ugly? And morning is coming and light and I look ugly in light but it's dark and I could kiss you now but won't because that would be ugly and imperfect and instead I go to the freezer and take out a third sugar cube and mmmmmmmmm gone.
Ben, in retrospect, the third hit was a bad idea.
The wall over Ben's bed has the costume angel of death that I'm supposed to wear to Celeste's party on the left side, a poster of a beautiful boy with the word Never written all over it on the right side, and inbetween is a gigantic American flag. I am seizing angel of death side and Ben is never and beautiful and America is the bed between us. And Ben, wake up, don't let Safey trip lonely no more. When you're awake everything smile fuzzy and petting pretty poor pink Asscat under your bed and everything mostly okay moving furniture compulsive cleaning Ben continuing to tackle the ever expanding mess of my life and we were all awake together and "Wake up please Ben wake up I'm lonely" Ben is sleeping America. Can't wake him because Safey, Ben needs to be sleeping now, has ten a.m. job up by seven shower smile dress hello wash out green hair cat isn't pink Good Morning This is Ben how may I help you?
Ben, I really hope you were sleeping when my face went all "Please me Ben help please me."Fear and Loathing and breath seizing cracking fear out of joints and the hallway beckoned and I answered and why aren't you looking for me?
Ben, these Cheez-Itz taste like sand.
Ben, I don't think I've ever articulated how much your Never poster scares the fuck out of me. I stare at him and dark angel and the clouds are advancing morning purple and bright eyes and it's cold here and the clouds platoon of dreams that will never rain fruition advance and unfuck clouds and unfuck you getting up for work but I won't let you oversleep I'm a responsible friend waving and never oversleeping and never sleeping and never scares me Ben.
I get off the van seat, all twitchy and stoplight. I've got a notebook on the desk, which I pick up and start writing in. Blue ink overlaps red ink. And there is no time to process. See, some mornings the pen moves so fast it bends to your will bleeding words and those are the good mornings when the radiator only clinks when it's time to get up and the neighbors don't mind the singing but would you mind so terribly much turning down the volume of your dreams And words and thoughts sometimes get lost in the margins of notebooks Well to make a proper omelot you must first lean to crack, then collect the best that remains scramble scramble add some ham salsa tomato bacon where are my fingers? this pen is so shiny right now and yes i could return to help me Ben please but that's so overlydependentgay and my voice is lower scramble scramble voila ohmlet omlit Omelet is not an early morning word Who on Earth would invent a breakfast word so imfuckenpossible to spell Unfuck not being able to spell Awmlette egg dish within which other things are folded I may not be able to spell you but I can spell desideras and omniscient and other words that are way more important than some stupid breakfast words This is why I only eat sane people things for breakfast like Lobster Benedict which turns lobster in your stomach and he's never loved you
Ben, every time I close my eyes the room goes precise and geometric patterns of darkness and never angel and someone is screaming perfectly ordered someone is screaming and I think it's me the most horrific gyroscope ever
Ben, see that meteor coming toward Earth? See how it's shaped like your face and smiling?
Ben, the third hit, on my all time list of good ideas, not so much on it. That third hit is Elvis. Clarissa. Arifuckenzona. Your beautiful pink cat has been tethering me sane for broken time now and he thinks my writing of this journal is bad and he keeps knocking it out of my hands as though this book were responsible for rancid farts, Jimmy Fallon movies, the Serbian genocide, and holding his cat mother hostage and doing unspeakable non-cat things to her
Ben, the colors of this morning are roof worthy and decidedly matching this book and ink and even the cat Brava If every morning were so youtiful and vivid I'd be a morning alarm not necessarily clock morning person gazing out on Allston at first light watching college urchins and homeless students and vagrant businessmen knowing my morning even alone without you caring is so much more Interesting and worth living than theirs and this is not the greatest place in the world to say kiss me but please do it will stop me making silly scary mirror faces while you sleep
Ben, beautiful green safety traffic light hair go gently into this no doubt for you seizure inducing i'm sorry day
Ben, writing loud again no good music Safey think like vacuum and every stupid and every honest and every insafemode line and love line and frustration is sand The real geometry is smiling while your face melts
I hope this wears off soon I'm losing my language and i can't kiss him figure out how best to kiss him get over this and his sweaterfish is breathing on the desk while he is sleeping quietly and the pink cat is licking my feet and the chirruping where's the chirruping coming from oh yes alarm
Ben, if this is rebuilding I am wholly fuck all you ain't kidding wrecked but the thing is, I was wrong. Most people let their substances their addictions wreck their lives. Big pink neanderthal balls schtupping large puzzle pieces they'll never get back, allowing them to feel more comfortable traveling from "Hi, nice to meet you" to "That was subpar, be a dear and lock the door behind you when you leave." Me however I am for some godawfullythoughtnotwellout reason using substances to build elaborate but shit looking spiderweb bridges to people who are so close, the only things between us are these unnecessary rebuilt bridges
I wake you up on time good wifey infagmode You smirk pink kitten I did that sorry and washout green you go au natural work I sit sentry in your bed You tired excuse want call in sick so I sit sentry knowing that with me in your bed you won't go anywhere near it and this is either hilarious how awful that revelation is or awful how hilarious it is
Ben, I'm thinking that third hit is your sour face regarding pink puss you slam door shut between us There is waaaaaaay too much light in this room now Kiss Kiss Good morning