Where am I? What’s the time? (Two for the time). This Public Enemy sample loops in my head and I hate that. The coke fueled compulsion. Repetitive thoughts. Well, at least it’s a song and not something else. I just popped a Xanax. Or a Valium. Which one is the blue? I don’t care anymore.
It’s so late it is early and the sun is up and everything is grey and I’m glad I threw out my clock. Wait. This is a laptop. It tells time right. 10:28 in the morning it looks like. And I’m alone again. Alone and hot and cold and my hair is wet. I think I took a shower. I think I did. I don’t know. I’m alone but I’m writing so that’s a start. Told everyone I was writing a book so I guess I should.
I keep thinking if I write I’ll be somebody. I keep thinking about my book launch party and how I’ll make my grand en-trance. And heads will turn like I’m Norma Desmond as the princess in the castle and I’m her. She’s me. I’m a dead actress. I don’t mean Gloria Swanson. I mean Norma Desmond. Me and her, we speak.
“I said. Siddown.”
I’m repeating those words over and over and over and over again until I have the perfect intonations rolling off my tongue. I’m sitting on my bed and I’m typing on my laptop and I’m wearing a pair of panties and a dirty tank top that smells like the guy I stole it from. What was his name again?
I met this guy. He’s a writer. Never seen him up but I wasn’t looking. I used to look when guys wrote on the trains. When everything was covered with paint and markers and that’s all you could see. Names you couldn’t read and names that didn’t make sense and all I could see were surfaces covered by autographs from boys I’d never met. Everywhere was ink and paint and energy. Inside and out. It was claustrophobic, suffocating like the smoke in the last car.
And then those trains went out of service and everything was shiny and new, or it was the old red birds with the straphangers that always kept me off balance. And I’d be standing there on the train and the train would be packed and then the train would stop between stations and the lights would go out. And everything was pitch black and everyone was silent and my heart would begin to pound and I got real nervous. And I could feel the sweat in my armpits and on my top lip and I would pull my purse tighter to my body and I would shift so that no one had their dick in my ass. And when the lights would come back on I would breathe a huge sigh of relief and I could feel the tension in my shoulders melting inch by inch. And then the train would pull into the station and sometimes I would get out, just to get air and walk it off.
I always fancied myself a writer but I was afraid to claim this fact for being a writer requires a leap of faith. Okay, it is not so much a writer in the general sense. It is author, the author of books of all sorts. Of course novelist is the ideal because it is shrouded in greatness, though who is to say that is truth in the universal sense?
I am typing seventy words a minute right now, using four fingers on my Mac Airbook, la di da. But at the same time, I want to run away. I want to write nonsense on my blog because that it pleases me. I don’t have to impress anyone. I don’t have to work. I just get to write and write and if I don’t like it, I can delete it Just. Like. That.
I met this guy. I thought that it was Him. We met one day on the street. I think he was a messenger. Walking down 44th Street through Times Square. Back when they had those big fences up with all the portraits on them. And I kept looking at those portraits and I kept wondering why them and not me. I thought that there should be a big photo of me up, for all the world to see.
He told me that he writes. I love it and I hate it. I can’t decide if he’s corny or not. Sometimes I think guys get away with too much. It’s just like this city. It sucks you in. There’s no fucking escape.
This Xanax isn’t really working. I’m getting used to it and my heart is still pounding only I’ve started hearing another song in my head. It’s the theme to Diff’rent Strokes only it’s sped up like a 33 on 78 rpm and I have a turntable somewhere and I have a couple of albums but I never spin. I’d like to be a DJ like I’d like to be an MC like I’d like to write graffiti. I feel like such a wannabe.
But I’m not. I’m from the Bronx, this is my birthright. I’m from the 70s and. Wait, what year is it?
Mmm that’s a bit of an aside. Perhaps I will delete it from the final manuscript—or perhaps not. That’s why I love writing, writing is freedom as nothing else is, except for falling in love, because both require being absolutely naked. They require a kind of confidence and trust in oneself that provokes the deepest vulnerabilities, the belief, the faith that this matters, that I matter, to myself, and that you matter to me.
The next day I awoke, I mean, it was already the next day when I took him home. Probably fell asleep at five in the morning. Awoke at nine. I’m like that. I don’t sleep well. And I can’t ever sleep with a man in my bed. The minute I fall asleep, I feel myself get nervous and my eyes open and maybe an hour has passed. And I’m wired, always wired. And I’m happy and nervous and stressed and I’m thinking about how there’s a man in my bed and I can have sex.
And I want it. Sex? I mean, I guess? I want to love. And to be loved. And I figure that if I give a guy sex he will understand that I am giving myself to please him. Because isn’t that love? To give? I’ll give him my body and I’ll give him my house and I’ll give him my drugs and I don’t know, what else is left?
I rubbed up against him and I began to purr and it felt so good to have another body next to me and I felt him stir. And his eyes crinkled as they opened and the glare of the sun through the windows made him wince and he looked at me and asked, “What time is it?”
“Nine!” I told him, happily. And he looked sickened when he saw me, and sickened when he saw where he was, and he rolled over and put the pillow over his head and I cursed him in my mind but I held my tongue.
I like to look in windows, especially when I can see my reflection upon a world of which I have no part. Like in Hollywood, land where money is the art. Undoubtedly many of you will disagree. You have put film on a pedestal because you believe. But me, I find it a form of mind control, a passive viewing experience where your interpretation is part of the script. There is something about the moving image which manipulates the mind into thinking it is thinking for itself. But me, I work in books and photography and art so what I love most is… silence.
But that’s ironic, as you clearly see. I talk too much. That’s how I learned to write. I realized, no one I know would listen to eighty thousand spoken words for I am not Scheherazade.
“Your gift is to express that which cannot be said,” my girl once told me. Actually, she didn’t. She said something to the effect that I helped people articulate their ideas. But I revised the quote to suit my own needs. Nothing exists unless I want it to.
Moral of the story is I didn’t fuck him. Instead I kicked him out. “Get out,” I said with some flim flam thang tied at the waist, smoking a cigarette at my desk with my legs crossed in disgust. My left foot is kicking to the beat of the rhythm of the night but I bet it was after noon. And he’s looking at me to see if I am joking and my eyes are hard as nails. I wanna say, “Did I stutter?” but that seems like too much so I take another drag of my cigarette as I watch him coldly as he gets dressed. And I feel this kind of power, I guess. Like he’s a little pig and I’m a big bad—who cares.
I don’t think this is his tank top. I wouldn’t keep his shit. I’d light it up in a bonfire and set off the smoke alarms. Wait. I disconnected them. Good. I blaze too much. I keep the windows closed and I smoke out the hallway and I dig that lady in the next apartment hates me. I can hear her on the phone. The walls are thin. Sometimes I take a glass and hold my ear to the wall and but all I hear is the ocean.