12.30.2002

You shuffled and your cards got dealt.


(Vic Chesnutt In Stockholm)

Sometimes, it's not worth it to go out--it's too much work. It's easier to just stay home and jerk off in front of the TV--or the monitor in my case because my set's fucked.



12.29.2002

Useful Information



When you're tripping on acid at 3AM and you've lost your interior monologue, go to Dunkin' Donuts so that you may partake in theirs.

12.27.2002

Sitting in my bedroom, alone and afraid on a Friday Nite and thinking of what makes Ian Curtis my hero...

Two reasons:

First, there was the suicide of Fumiya Liquide, who hanged himself like he always said he would. He dragged a huge block of ice into his Brooklyn loft and stood upon it in his old soccer cleats, slipping his head into the noose at the end of the rope that was tied to the steel ceiling rafters. It was a cool April morning: the police estimate that it took well over five hours for a sufficient amount of ice to melt away. There was an empty bourbon bottle on the kitchen table and a nearly full pack of cigarettes floating in the gigantic puddle on the floor. He must have tried to fish them out of his pocket, a difficult task when one is drunk and sliding along a block of ice with one's hands tied behind the back. Even if he had managed to get a smoke to his mouth, it would have been impossible to light.

In case there was any doubt as to his inspiration, Joy Division's Closer played on repeat on Fumiya's stereo. The canvases upon which he'd painted portraits of Ian Curtis were positioned around the block of ice.



The other reason is the word "again" in the chorus of "Love Will Tear Us Apart":
...when love, love will tear us apart...again
I'm making a list of my heros, living and dead. Raymi's near the top. She's alive. So is Shepard Fairey. Thank-you.

12.26.2002

Empty V



I told Fitz that the cheap-ass toilet paper he bought made my twat burn, but he was too absorbed in the Missy video and his Bushmills to pay any attention. He’s been chain smoking brown cigarettellos, the place was loaded with them—small stashes scattered throughout all the drawers like spare pencils. D, the guy who owned the house, liked them and porn, apparently. There were tapes and magazines in every room, sticking out sloppily from in between legitimate public literature. Thankfully, there weren’t any tissue boxes in sight, but who knows? I get yucked out thinking about him smearing it into the furniture after busting a nut to “The Gold Rush Boys" D’s got lung cancer so he’s bald and although he’s still overweight it’s like he’s shriveled. Fitz brought him around one time so I know what he used to look like. A fat, ugly fag. Right after meeting me he made a comment about tuna and muff diving and it was tacky and lame instead of provocative and funny. Maybe now he’ll get that taut skin cancer look—it can only help. He was here for one night—last Sunday, I think. The Land Rover is his—he didn’t want to drive it in from Manhattan after his fourth round of Chemo (or is it ‘Kemo’, I never know) so Fitz volunteered and got the keys to the place. We picked up D from the South Hampton train station. Of course we were late and were therefore afforded the wholly depressing sight of him standing slumped over on the platform, half asleep with his ski cap sliding off his head and no one else around. The three of us ate pasta and sausage and salad with homemade mustard dressing for dinner. No one mentioned the impending holiday, like normal people feel compelled to do. In fact, we barely spoke at all, preferring instead to stare out into space. Afterwards, D shuffled into the kitchen and mixed a tea with camomille flowers and weed and let it steep for an hour. His bedroom’s in the attic. He’s built a Buddhist shrine up there, complete with candles and a picture of the Dahli Llama and a red mat and matching red pillows embroidered with secret meanings in golden thread and a pair of crossed real-ass swords for gutting yourself in case that’s what comes up during a weekend away from the City.

Personally, what I can’t take about the place is the constant TV. I have one in my closet in Brooklyn, which I hardly take out. Fitz can sit in front of this one all day, lining up the empties. I can’t sit still that long. Suddenly, my general situation is outlined for me and it all becomes too much to handle. Last night, while Fitz was watching The Godfather, I wanted nothing more than to get back to my drafty bare place in the big BK. It was just turning Xmas and my crotch itched. All I had were the clothes on my back so I put on my Timbs and my Dutch military parka and I was out the door.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Fitz shouted. I turned around and saw him on the porch, blue velvet smoking jacket wide open. There was his white-ass, fuzz covered chest and skimpy navy blue boxers. In his right hand he gripped a tumbler half-full of whiskey and ice.

I kicked at the gravel filled drive. “I’m taking off. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” he shouted. Then he ran down the wooden steps, barefoot across the drive to the Land Rover. I think he thought he was Michael Corleone. He jumped inside and slammed his drink on the dashboard where it promptly slid off and spilled all over the passenger seat. He started the engine without missing a beat.

“Fitz, c’mon!”

“Wait, I’ll drive you,” I heard him shout. He threw on the headlights, blinding me. At the same time he gunned it.

I think I screamed, “Shit!” when I heard the stones shooting up and felt the rush of air as the car leapt at me. I crossed my arms over my face. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular.

At the last second he must have thrown the wheel all the way to the right--I don’t know exactly because I was blinded and couldn’t see a thing, but that’s what must have happened. The next thing I knew, he’d crashed into the 4000 year old Elm tree in the front yard. Yellow-green smoke filled the air.

“It’s OK, everything still works. Listen! You can still hear the music,” Fitz shouted from somewhere.

It was “Autumn Sweater,” by Yo La Tengo, the Kevin Shields remix. I thought to myself, that’s one of my faves, as I took off and ran the hell out of there.

12.24.2002

The "T" Stands For "Nice"


(link)

I’m getting a lot done now, on a steady diet of Scotch, Diet Coke and Aspirin, with a few handfuls of Cap N’ Crunch Peanut Butter thrown in here and there. I’m laying off the blow; I’ve got enough fucked-up body shakes and raw, telepathic mind power to take me through the night. NYC is a memory to me now (every day’s an endless dream of cigarettes and magazines) but if I close my eyes I can see you all—flickering about at the edge of the frame like ghosts. I’m looking back at you to see you looking back at me. Hey, Sterling…Hey, Fitzcarraldo…You give great movie head, in case you didn’t know. A silver camera…a titanium laptop…I’m procuring all the metals necessary to start a new country based on life, liberty and the pursuit of unreality. A citywide cinemascope. The hippy kids here think I’m some kind of visionary. They drove me through the canyon on the back of a pick-up with a thermos full of green tea and mushrooms. They wanted to see what I would see, but as we passed by the jagged god-fingered peaks a cloud passed in front of the moon and all I could make out were a thousand shades of black. I closed my eyes and it felt like my head was buried in a pile of dry leaves, but it was just the desert air, pressing and prickling.

“What is it, what do you see?” they asked.

“Nothing,” I said, viciously rubbing my face. “I’m alone. Alone, in the crowd…bathed in the yellow light of the show.”

“Which show, who is it?” they wanted to know. “Is it hip-hop? Nas? The Streets? Interpol? Nirvana? Kurt lives, man.”

“I don’t know. Wait. I’m surrounded by Fords. Chrome fenders and hubcaps. I’m in Detroit. It’s Kraftwerk, holy shit, I’m a member of Kraftwerk!”

There was some muttering among the kids as they reminded one another who Kraftwerk was. We were pulled over on the side of the road, next to a yellow sign warning of dangerous snakes. The girl who’s playing the part of Sterling Fassbinder stood strong and upright with her anorexic 12 year old sister perched high on her shoulders. I made a mental directorial note that both of them needed to have their hair bleached again.

“It’s the first Kraftwerk show in the States. Detroit, Michigan. Motor City. We’re expecting maybe a few handfuls of white computer nerds to show up. When they tell us that the arena is packed we can’t believe it. Who the fuck is listening to German synthesizer music out here in the middle of the U.S.? The curtain goes up and a sea of black faces erupts in a cheer. Flabbergasted, we turn on our machines and begin to play. The audience starts dancing. Dancing! Never, in our wildest dreams could we have imagined this happening…

It’s a brand new era…a new age of techno and house and hip-hop and I’m right on time. I’m smack in the middle of it. The scene will build around me.”

I opened my eyes and they were all looking at me, eyes glazed, mouths open, like they were watching TV. Sterling’s sister and I locked gazes. Her expression was one of quiet boredom. She alone wasn’t buying any of this. I got pissed off at her blasphemy. Who did she think she was?

I dug at a flat rock with my toe and lit a Marlboro 100. There was an iridescent swirl in the sky; the mushrooms kicked in a bit and suddenly I felt certain that a large silver curl was going to drop out of the sky, just like that time in Omaha. I forced myself to swallow my fear and look up. I stretched my arms out to the sky:

“Listen, everyone: I’m the real deal, Holyfield. I’ve got it going on two times. I’m not like the others, who will spend their entire lives grasping at the magic string, which they can see but never touch.”

12.23.2002



I’ve been thinking about poor girls and rich girls. The world would be a better place if more pussy was exchanged between the classes. Is there anything as delicious as a marathon make-out session with a girl who’s decidedly not of your “station”? Despite what you might have been told (regardless of which side you’re on) it’s not the big irreconcilable differences that prevent us from understanding each other. It’s not about mutual funds and it’s not about what car you drive. Outright material shit doesn’t come into play between two girls with throbbing crotches. It’s the little things that matter—cultural differences it helps to be aware of. For example, rich girls have kitchens and bathrooms that are clean but never spotless. This is a result of always having servants when they grew up. The poor girl shouldn’t take it personally that there’s scum around the drain and a pubic hair beneath the soap dish in the shower. Instead she should tell herself, “This rich bitch never learned how to get down on her knees. That’s what I’m here for.”


Poor girls fuck up by thinking they have to blow an entire paycheck on a single gift for their rich girl. You can’t give a girl who was born into money expensive gifts and expect to impress her. If she’s truly rich, she’ll only be happy with trifles. Something Italian but everyday and in a set of two, like plain white coffee cups on plain white saucers or thin-ass martini glasses. She’ll pull away the tissue paper and exclaim in the most heartbreaking way about how she really needs this. What happens next is one of the only real differences between wealthy European girls and wealthy American girls--the European girl will happily place the gift on its proper shelf while the American girl will wash it first.

12.21.2002

I Want To Be Your Dog--The Game Plan

Iggy Pop:

"I had very sophisticated tastes but my skills were very simple and the skills of the guys in the band were even more simple than mine. I thought that gave us a good 'in' for disaffected youth.

"I realized that if we played at a university, people who were highly intelligent and creative like the prof's might get it, but the students wouldn't get it because they're herd mentality or they wouldn't be in college in the first place. I was going for high school drop-outs, troubled drug kids, kids who were so totally into music that it wasn't just a part of a lifestyle. I knew anybody who was really into music would find it interesting what we were doing. That wasn't a constituency Elektra could see."

12.20.2002

No Scene



Sweetheart, don't listen to those dickheads. My girl Sterling and I are here on vacation. I've had several bottles of Beck's Dark. We're going to feather each other's hair in a second, like the baby birdies that we are.

We're so bored, sitting in the brightly lit kitchen of this oceanside house that we're talking about how those college geeks put down the fact that you're from Canada. Like being from the U.S. is so great. They're probably the kind of fucks who put a flag in their dorm room window. Or better yet on the blue cinderblock wall they give you to wake up to everyday. My dealer was telling me that he hated his trip to Amsterdam because everywhere he went he got ripped off. His Dutch friend (actually he was Chinese, but he lived in the Netherlands for awhile) told him that they did that because they didn't want Americans around. They figured that that if they ripped off our asses we wouldn't come back. "We hate your country," he told him. My dealer tried to explain it to me. "Look what happens when you kill someone over here. You go to prison for life. There--you know how long the sentence is? Four years."

I'm not sure what if anything that proves. I didn't notice that sort of thing during my stays in Amsterdam or Der Haag, but perhaps that's because I look rather European, so I don't get treated that way.

Rainy, freezing trees and an even more rainy and freezing beach. Sterling wants to go for a walk anyway. Poor thing is stretched so far out of shape she can't even begin to adjust to a natural rhythm. The little house shudders and shakes in the wind. We've got the TV on in one room and The Cure on the stereo in another and us in the kitchen, elbows on the brown formica countertop.

Robert Smith sings, "And if only I was sure that the head on the door was a dream-dream-dream." It's true that I'd like to piss her off. It's also true that she wants to stick her three finger claw between your legs. OK so those weren't her exact words. . See--she's reading over my shoulder and getting pissed like I said. FINE--of course it's not a claw, just three normal fingers. Whatever.

12.18.2002

i was up above it...


(quarlo.com)

Now I'm down, way down in it. Fitz picked me up at the bus stop. "Fuck work," he said, and waved me into the Land Rover. He was wearing his antique greatcoat. He looked like Napolean except many sizes bigger. But not in a bad way. He had on those shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather. I watched his feet go up and down and let myself go in the aura of security that his confident gear shifting created.

It wasn't until we hit the highway that the tears started rolling down my cheeks, fat and slow. It was relief--the sensation of lifting off of myself. "My hero," I said to Fitz. "Stop it, you're making me feel like a cowboy," he said. He spun through the stations on the radio before turning off the ancient stereo with an angry snap of his wrist. "I wish 'Tangled Up In Blue' was playing," he said. "Second verse--where he meets a girl who was married, soon to be divorced. 'I helped her out of a jam, I guess, but I used a little too much force.'"

Hours and miles later, he pulled out a string of sausages and dangled them over a metal pot. One was torn open length wise; the pink flaps of flesh swung luridly in the air.

"Well," he said, primly, and a joke or two flashed past his eyes before he changed his mind and whisked the small feast off his fork with an exacting flourish.

It can't be that far now, I thought--the words lighting up in my head as though spoken by someone else as I stared across the table strewn with newspapers and prescription pills, sugar and teacups.

We were on holiday. We'd make lamb stew for later; this was just a snack.

12.17.2002

These Asshole Days Blues



I think I'm in constant mourning. I do believe I've lost something, but I don't know what, exactly. That's why I spend hours alone in my apartment, moving things around.

12.16.2002

Weed, Destroy, Kill!!!




Some time off of writing. Some time off of pills.

I ran away because I was hungry and I couldn’t take it.

Weed, Destroy, Kill!!!

Guitar, cooking, body bags—the rock of crack as big as the Ritz.

I’m in Arizona getting some shooting done. I’m directing a little girl with a blonde flattop and a white tank top to be Sterling Fassbinder. It’s a tough part to act. “Never Let Me Down Again,” by Depeche Mode plays during the sequence when she tears down the desert highway in her convertible humvee. We have two cameras, lots of water, some food and beer in cans. When the sun sets and the bejeweled, black carpet sky rolls out with its strange, alien mountain coolness, it’s up to me to turn on the bright lights.

I wish there had been adequate time for rehearsal. As it is, we’ve got to boogie out of here before the Indians get sick of us. If I had my way, the leads would have worked out for 6-8 weeks, then stopped a week and a half before shooting and gone back to partying and taking drugs. That way they would have been firm, but natural looking. Right now, posing by the power station with their cigarettes and stiff collars of their vintage Polo shirts turned up, the best they look is natural.

Me, I’m another story altogether. Skin and bones, lying on my back, eating a Dove Bar. Lately, I’ve been choking whenever I eat meat. Well, not choking but I have the constant, maddening feeling of almost-choking. I’ve got to chew one bite of a turkey and cheese sandwich a thousand times until it’s like soup before I can even think about swallowing it.

I feel revolted. Maybe it’s because there are so many animals out west. Lately, I've become unnerved by how they look back at us: when all is said and done it’s true that animals and humans recognize one another like players on opposing teams, staring into each other’s helmets.

I don’t want to be a vampire. Wasn’t it Gandhi who went on about all that? Somehow, however, I know that even if I learn everything that he learned, I still wouldn’t be able to help doing it. The fact is, I like taking from people too much.

For example: I’ve been thinking about coming back to New York. If this transit strike still happens, the cops will be all tied up, like they are during any crisis. It will be a great time for illegal activity.



12.13.2002

Torture, Motherfucker



You best not show up in Brooklyn, bitch.

I've been looking for someone to take out some (barely) repressed childhood trauma on...

Maybe I can't remember everything that happened exactly, but I sure as fuck remember spreading my thin little legs for the doctor to examine my torn-up puss. I remember being ashamed at the horrified expression on his face. I remember the terrible baths that I had to take, every day for weeks. My mother put two spoonfuls of green stuff into the water that made my crotch burn like it was being dissolved by acid. I kept jumping up, splashing about and screaming. My mother had to bribe me to stay in the water by taping a gigantic rainbow swirl lollipop onto the wall.

Rainbows
, even back then.

Whatever man, those chemical baths made me stink like chlorine and cheese. It hurt so bad when I peed that I tried to stop drinking water so I wouldn't have to go. The longest I lasted was two days, when I fainted on the front steps of my house and cracked my head open.

I remember praying to god to stop me from peeing. I remember hating my pussy and stabbing it with tacks.

You resigned because you want some unity and some healing, huh, bitch? I know what will help me heal...

I'm gonna put a shotgun to your head and make you wrap a sheet of fiberglass around your dick and jerk off until you come.

I'm gonna pull some 1984 shit on you and fit a cage around your head filled with starving rats.

I'm gonna slice open your fat stomach and lower you over the side of a fishing boat so you can watch all the blue fish swarming around to eat your guts.

I'm gonna sew your ass cheeks shut, and keep feedin' ya, and feedin' ya, and feedin' ya...

12.12.2002

Darling Sterling,

Couldn’t help but read your last post with a Derridean eye, as I recently dusted off my copy of *Dissemination*. Strange to think back on how novel his writing seemed to so many: now most of them have joined me in (gently) poking fun at his overwrought deconstructionist “style”. I guess emulating Derrida’s hyphen and parenthetical laden texts is something you outgrow after college, like ironical haircuts.

Where D is at his best is as a reader. His long essay, “Plato’s Pharmacy” is an amazingly close reading of Plato’s dialogue, the *Phaedrus*. Your post brought to mind the first part of the essay, in which D examines the seemingly insignificant discussion between Socrates and his young student, Phaedrus, about the myth of Orinthyia. It’s early in the dialogue, and they are getting comfortable on the riverbank (hands in each other’s laps, no doubt, getting a short freak on). Phaedrus points out that according to myth, this was the spot in which the virgin Orinthyia was playing happily with a strange kid named Pharmacia, when suddenly Orinthyia was caught off-guard by a strong wind and blown into an abyss…whereupon she met her death. D takes a closer look at the scene:

“…let us in any case retain this: that a little spot, a little stitch or mesh (*macula*) woven into the back of the canvas, marks out for the entire dialogue the scene where that virgin was cast into the abyss, surprised by death while playing with Pharmacia. Pharmacia (*Pharmakeia*) is also a common noun signifying the administration of the *pharmakon, the drug: the medicine and/or poison…Through her games, Pharmacia has dragged down to death a virginal purity and an unpenetrated interior.” (P 70)

A Pharmakon is a “medicine” which is at once a poison and a remedy—like booze or a vaccine or the gas guzzling but oh-so-convenient automobile. Some guys have dicks which are Pharmakons--making you feel sick one minute and cured the next…And then sick again. A Pharmakon has the power to make “one stray from one’s general, natural, habitual paths and laws.” (ibid) Later on in the essay, Derrida will make the point that writing itself is a Pharmakon—unlike speech, which is immediate, in-your-face and fully present, writing takes you out of the everyday. When someone’s talking you can try and look them in the eye to see if they’re bullshitting you or not. Writing lets you lie, the anonymous little letters encourage you to make things up—it’s hard to get at the real person behind the strung together words and lines.

Imagine your fave blog writer standing in front of you, speaking aloud the content of their latest post… “Excuse, me yes…where was I? Right, ‘Nothing in here is true…’” Doesn’t quite work, huh?

We’re all virgins when we blog—that includes you, Sterling. Typing quietly with a wet pussy at fuck o’clock in the morning…your unpenetrated interior falling into the abyss. You and E. played around, but you didn’t take your clothes off—she didn’t see you naked—you remained untouched, both literally and metaphorically. E. doesn’t get you and you don’t trust her. She offers you Percocet, a Pharmakon if there ever was one—party drug and pain killer, medicine and narcotic. She leads you astray, keeps you up all night when you should be resting—leads you to find solace in another Pharmakon—Raymi’s deliciously naughty blog, the perfect pill for an unsatisfied “interior.”



Sterling and your girls…taking you away from yourself and then leaving you alone. You’re the one who told me that the only thing you do is fuck—an imperfect act in mimicry of a perfect circle. I think you want to be led astray from being led astray—and you’re right when you say the girl doesn’t matter: it’s about you trying to lose the feeling of losing yourself. Problem is, the only way you know how to do this is to lose yourself again.

Watch out for the wind, my dear—you never know when your playtime will be cut short...R.I.P. Mary Hansen of Stereolab.

12.11.2002

everyone else is doing it

At long last...comments. I'm passin the mic to all you sick druggie fucks.

i don't need a cook, girl, i need lunch...

Up all night even though I'm sick as a dog...I've got this girl E. over, asleep in my bed--it's that post-sex, pre-work hour when I need to be alone so I can think. Maybe I shouldn't say sex because in the six months I've known her we've never taken our clothes off, instead she gets on top of me and grinds down on my thigh, pressing through the layers of her jeans and my robe until she moves up and finds the hard bump of my hip bone jutting out. I hold her down by the small of her back--if I move my hands to her ass she gives a little snort and pulls away. In a few minutes we're both sweating. I'm sick and clammy--I'm reduced to skin and bone, like a prisoner servicing my cellmate.

She came over last night with lentil soup that she promptly burned on my stove--black beans turning into bullets of molten lava and orange shit shooting up and splattering the walls. She offerred me a Percocet. She's been selling them at work for three dollars a pill. "You're sick, so it's not the same thing as getting high. It's like medicine." I laughed at how she needed to justify a pharmaceutical's use as legitimate pain killer. No thanks, I told her, I'm strictly homeopathic these days.

Then she put on NPR and we listened to the news while she rubbed Vics on my back. She showed me the bruises on her shins and scabs on her knees from her recent trip to Death Valley. She and two friends got out of their pick-up and scrambled up and down the huge, alien rock formations in their jean shorts and hipster shoes. She was like a little boy in her ratty sweater vest and knobby elbows. Her hair was a thousand shades of drugstore blonde. She kept twirling it into nervous knots while we caught up.

"So, are you in love with TRUEBOY?" she asked.

"No, what makes you say that?"

"From your blog...things you wrote there..."

"That's all bullshit," I said. "I haven't even spoken to her for months."

"You don't have to talk to someone to love them," she informed me, matter-of-factly.

I wanted to tell her that I didn't love anyone, not a person--it was the moment I was after. The cinematic bubble that grows fat with seconds and then bursts, unceremoniously, like a pregnant pause interrupted by a screeching chair. I wanted to tell her that if I loved anyone at all it was my own stunt double, the one I had in my mind's eye as I replayed my fucks and flirts after the fact.

But I was too tired, too sick to explain. So I took her to bed instead.

Now here I am, trying to type quietly which I hate, my panties still wet from before. I feel like she's going to wake up any second and I don't want to get caught in the act. Maybe I can make it quick...tune into Raymiand think about her chapstick getting smeared on my face--big waxy rings of it on my tits...

12.10.2002

Email from Young and Hungry



Excerpt of an email from my producer, Young and Hungry, in response to my latest rant in which I systematically curse every electronic musician I can think of--including himself--for having lured me into this supposedly easy racket in which a few well placed bleeps equals a hit record. The whirls and crashes that make up my album, Liebling Farbe, sound exactly like my coffee perculator going through its morning routine--only without the warm bubbly black gratification at the end.

Anyway, you can tell how deep this guy is--the pic of the Berlin Radio Tower was included as an attachment. He's been obsessed with it, ever since he saw Wings of Desire. A few years ago he visited the city and saw it reflecting light in the shape of a cross. He pointed it out to the German girl he was with (the guy gets laid wherever he goes) and she said it was a big joke, that the communists went through all this trouble to abolish religion and they built this huge, state of the art radio tower that reflected a cross every afternoon. Not that Y&H is religious--just the opposite. He likes a good joke, though...

"RE: Fuck Aphex Twin

I’ll tell you it’s not easy to be in love with the ebb and flow of data, which rushes like a river through the innermost center of every great urban cityscape. One must adopt the discipline and meticulousness of a naturalist. However antiquated the notions of nature or the natural may be, the techniques of observation that these late 19th century scientists used are the same ones that we employ--at our monitors, in the studio and in the world. One gives oneself over to crossing the same rain lit corner at the same jingle-jangle hour of each new morning. One builds conduits, harbors--creating the means to float upon information waves to lands nonexistent. Downtown palaces, fountains spraying pina coloda up into the air--those Emperor’s New Pants that you saw (or thought you saw) in a flash at a subway turnstile, as your express train shot past a station, the longing that you feel in your gut as you stand before a glowing billboard. We are all passengers together. Whether riding on the crests of data waves or pressed into the murky sand beneath them, we are merely synthesized ornaments gathered for the party at the end of time.”



(link)

12.09.2002

Ill like Fargo



I’ll tell you, going outside in this town is over. Come November, folks are sharpening their alcoholic tendencies in preparation for the onslaught, the great covering over with cold that is winter. Now it's come, and everyone's getting down to it. JD, Johnny Walker Black, PBR out of the can. The few times they do go out it’s for some short, violent activity, such as chopping wood or pushing a car out of a ditch. But this is how the west was won, I tell myself. By people just like these. Big, strong people--with pale, thick necks. I'm like the runt with bad posture. They get everything done quickly and efficiently so as to maximize their drinking time. They rush around outside and run to the store and to the bank and to school and a thousand other places and meanwhile I'm getting fucked up the whole time, eating their food and watching their TV and not lifting a finger.



I tell myself if not for the coke I would have been exorcised from the indie rock circle a long time ago, but a part of me thinks that they couldn't get rid of me if they tried. I've left my indelible mark on this scene--like a pair of bitemarks on Conor Oberst's neck. My shtick is to come in the door tossing a tennis ball, up and down, up and down. They know what's coming next and gather round. I grab the ball and give it a squeeze, which pops it open a long the seams to reveal a clutter of plastic baggies' ziplocked heads. One can just make out the jagged horizon of white powder. The music changes to hip-hop.

Suddenly everybody's ready to make it happen...girls and boys alike, jumping up and down like they're already feeling their first line. That's when you know you're really anticipating something--when you can start feeling its effects before you even take it. These kids started out by telling themselves that it would only be a once a week thing, a way to get work done—and now I catch them arguing over a skimpy dime.

There's a guy here I call Television Man. A bunch of us hang out in his living room watching TV on his flat screen. He's got a Rubbermaid, clear plastic tub filled with sticky green buds and an entire library of Woody Allen and Herzog movies. You're going nowhere fast as soon as you sit your ass down. The walls are covered with figures and buildings and cars, each in baby pink or baby blue and all done with the same size hard bristle brush. I like to sit beneath the blue figure of a man looking down at the ground in front of what I believe to be a bodega. He could be praying or he could be thinking. Up above there are some swirls in the sky--planes or the shadow of planes.

I love Television man’s place around mid-morning. The cloud of fresh weed smoke in the air as everyone gets their first or second high of the day, the long, peaceful digitized rays that stretch out from the set and stroke our heads. The traffic shadows have stopped flashing on the wall—rush hour’s over. I imagine everyone’s firmly ensconced behind their desk in their little outdated, Midwestern office, earnestly living out their lives according to a moral code they got way back at dinner time, while here I am, selling drugs to their children and traveling through on the lonely highway that their tax dollars paved, resting my fat head in this town that is merely a station a long my way—nothing more, nothing less. How romantic does it get with my duffel bag and my parka, my black on black Yankees cap and my stash and my money in my shoe? Spouting Shakespeare. Climbing the water tower in the middle of the night with a can of Krink sticking out my back pocket...

I’ve got respect for these kids. They’ve got perfect corduroys and stolen varsity jackets and just the right kind of tousled hair. I like their swollen knuckles and sexy smiles.

“Do you have the movie *Fitzcarraldo*?” I ask Television Man.

“Yes, I do,” he says, and tips the rim of his cowboy hat, real gentleman-like.

“OK, well then I will take the camera.”

He smiles and takes something off the top of the shelf. I open my palm and he places a silver camera in it.

Television Man’s girlfriend is a leggy, befuddled looking brunette who has the power to suddenly appear from out of thin air. I never hear her coming. Now—for example—she’s come out of nowhere to put a disc into the set. I notice, with my casual eye for detail, that the button of her Diesel "dirty" denim jeans is undone.

I click on the camera and get everything focused by panning in and out on the television screen, where a small dinghy carrying Fitzcarraldo and his lady bobs up and down through the darkness to make it to shore, where the Opera is playing and Caruso is singing.

By the time I look up again, Television Man has his plaid, flannel shirt off. The morning shifts, zooms in on an angle on the shag carpet. My mind flashes through all the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms. More cheap wallpaper than one can take. I hold up the camera.

For years I have secretly known that I was not cut out for this kind of life but I do absolutely nothing to change it.

12.08.2002

A Clarification

...Not that I don't really like drips--as was perhaps implied in my remark on Swiss graffiti. The Basel graffiti that I saw didn't have any. I like drips; as much as I like anything used in the correct context.

Like on this Italian train:


(link)

I was going to write a thing about how it's great to be sick, but now I realize how ridiculous that is on a Sunday. On a Saturday it's one thing: Who wants to be healthy on a Saturday? To feel obliged to run around the city getting things done, or god forbid, shopping for xmas presents like an asshole. It’s better to be sick. But when you'r still sick on a Sunday, it's not so great anymore, so I'm not going to write about it.

12.06.2002

Darling,

I think the young lady pictured below might be better served in the hands of Sir Goose.

Fitz, obviously

Why do you women in this town let me look at you so bold?

There’s a pattern of scattered stones; there’s a game of chess; there’s ink welling up around a pen point paused on fine white paper. The Midwesterners are tentative at first. “So what, do you like, study graffiti?” “No, I do it.” They nod their cute white faces, hoping against hope that it’s true. Then the sky opens up and takes over. Line follows line; the bar empties, another back seat. Between the thought and the act, there’s me not able to think and not able to feel as I watch my blood slowly diluting in the toilet.


(link)

I'm giving the above pic to Tony to do something with...




Party People listen up: We could have been healthy and without fear, but the great tide of time has pulled back, and we are left clinging to puddles, gasping for life in a sudden shower.

I got dissed like Chevy Chase



"...living proof that you could actually snort the funniness right out of yourself."

Dandruff, black teeth, a big gut AND the roasted bag of my parents' mixed nuts?

Boo-ya, baby, It's on! I'm dusting off the files on your born again trailer trash moms as we speak!

(although it was pleasant to think back on our trip to Basel.)

Fitz, convincingly

P.S. Here's my future personal assistant. He's got a cute bald head--the kind that skinny tall guys who lose their hair early have that looks like there's an extra strong skull bone or a state of the art (read: thin) metal plate tucked in there. There's something about a man with a head injury...it tends to open up new and creative ways of thinking, like it did for Christopher Walken in the Dead Zone, or that guy on John Doe (is that show still around?) Of course, I can do without the scars, which is why (based on the photo on his 'about' page) Brett Lamb rules!

12.05.2002



Last night I met up with Fitzcarraldo at Cafe Pick Me Up. I hadn't seen him in weeks. First we weren't getting along and then he went to Switzerland to visit his folks, ostensibly for Thanksgiving but really to help his dad out with his mom's impending panic attack. Some people get these and it's a couple of hours or a day of discomfort but for her it's a major event, occuring four or five times a year and precipitated by weeks of irrational behavior, night sweats and palpitations. When the full hysterical shebang hits, it's generally a scene worthy of the fire department. That happened a couple of times when they lived in Maryland. Now they live in Basel, Switzerland, where Fitz's father does cancer research for Novartis, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. When mom gets shaky, Fitz's dad calls him up and tells him to jump on a plane. I went along a couple of times. I remember one autumn night, going with Fitz to pick his dad up from work in the Saab that we weren't allowed to smoke in. The long rows of labs, plants and administrative buildings formed a city within a city. The streets ran parallel to each other in straight lines, emptying out onto the avenue that we glided down upon. All at once men dressed in fall suit coats and carrying briefcases appeared, rushing out to the tram stops along the avenue with their heads down. The streetlights cast a blue, sinister glow over everything. One almost expected to see the Castle itself rising up over the Rheine, but that was in another country. The men walked alone, without any of the congeniality or lightheartedness that usually accompanies the end of a workday. They looked morose, beaten. These, I told myself, were soldiers on the frontline in the war against cancer. I don't remember seeing any women.

When Fitz's father slid into the passenger seat he said a brisk hello to me in the back without making eye contact, and proceeded to concentrate on his son's driving. He kept telling him to slow down, even though we were going below the speed limit. He also kept adjusting the electronic windows, not only on his side, but on Fitz's as well, in order to achieve the perfect "cross current."

Fitz's parents lived in a modern apartment building on a wide, tree-lined street. The rooms were square and white, with brand new tan parquet. Fitz showed me the bathroom in the master bedroom--bright yellow tiles and an equally yellow toilet with an octogonal shaped seat. Everything was very neat and quiet. Cars and trams had to shut off their engines when waiting at a light to reduce pollution. It was possible to receive a fine for excessive noise if one flushed one's toilet after 10pm. I felt conspicuous crunching through leaves on an empty street.

Even the graffiti was pristine--no dripping lines or sloppy overkill.




When I was there, Fitz's parents still hadn't unpacked all of the cardboard boxes they'd shipped from the States. They were discussing what to do with the various rooms. Novartis was ready to foot the bill for anything they might need. They provided them with the apartment, paid for the move and introduced Fitz's mother to the presidents of the Basel's American Ladies Club and the English Book Club, the members of which were all wives of men working for Novartis, many in the cancer research division. Fitz's mother was a stout, nervous woman who wore shapeless floral housedresses that were every bit the part of the suburban Maryland housewife, a role she seemed reluctant to relinquish, even though she claimed to be eager to learn Swiss-German and meet people from outside the ex-pat community. "Home", however, was still in the States, perhaps it always would be. I remember that she'd already received several large shipments from the U.S.--cardboard boxes to add to the cardboard boxes, filled with year supplies of Neutrogena shampoo and soap, Lean Cuisine frozen dinners and, curiously enough, Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix.

Fitz is simultaneously embarassed and intrigued by what he sees as his parents' boring, middle-class lives. He views all their neurotic tendencies in light of their Kitschy surroundings, prodding them to reveal their tics and tendancies, analyzing them and then falling into one of his disconcerning silences, in which he seems to be recalibrating his own exaggerated pastiche of a personality.

Fitz's father has been prescribing himself the largest possible dosage of Prozac since '91, when it was still in clinical trials. Before that he was an alcoholic prone to holing himself up in the lab for weeks on end, working and drinking in a sanctuary from the outside world, where he felt it was his duty to go up to people in the mall and warn them about the possible malignent nature of the mole on their forehead or the blistery pimple on the edge or their nostril. The sight of people smoking threw him into fits. He often pulled the car over on the highway to race across the lanes and remove a rubber strip or a piece of metal that he felt was dangerous and might cause an accident.

Fitz's mother, on the other hand, wasn't on any meds as she claimed she couldn't swallow the pills. She didn't want to know about other options for ingestion. One night, Fitz and I got her tipsy on Swiss wheat beer and she got to gossiping about the ladies in her groups. She also complained about the incompetency of the director of the cancer research division after we saw him featured in a news clip on local TV. She went on and on until Fitz's father woke up from his daze and told her not to talk about things she had no idea about. His voice was quite stern and gave us all a start. He sloshed his gingerale around in his glass and shot it back like it was whiskey. It was the only time when I was there that we came close to talking about his work.

I slept on a guess bed in Fitz's room. His mother kept barging in--once to bring in a stack of folded sheets at 2 in the morning, another time to wake us up at 5 and ask if we'd be using the car that day. Why it mattered to her, I don't know, as she didn't drive. Apparently she was trying to catch us in the act. She knew we were gay but that didn't make a difference.

Ever since I met his parents, I tend to refer back to them in my mind when I see him. I walked into Cafe Pick Me Up and there were drumrolls in my head--I imagined a booming voice, trembling with Dolby cinematic thunder:"...Ladies and Gentlemen, from out of the shadows of suburban neuroses rises the Marxist dilletante, purveyor of dialectical materialism and fine French wines." There he was, a tall guy with a gut and bad posture, wearing an expensive yet ill-fitting Dries Van Noten double breasted suit. I don't think he owns a pair of jeans. The brown leather attache case completed the Lacanian analyst look that he was going for.

There's perpetual dandruff on his collar and his teeth are already turning black. He drinks all the time, but unlike TRUE, he never acts drunk--never loses control. If for no other reason, I like him because he can speak in an informed and eloquent manner about almost anything from his anti-humanistic stance. This is to say that very little of what human beings do or say makes an emotional impression on him.

We drank black coffee and talked about this and that--the news, books, Henry Kissinger. There was no mention of his mother, or of TRUE--of the fact that she was still somewhere out west and hadn't made direct contact with either of us. All we had were her sporadic blog entries. There was also no mention of the fact that she and Fitz and fucked a couple of times just before she took off, which may or may not have made her a little loose in the screw.

When it comes down to it, Fitz is a really good listener. After a second cup of coffee and a brownie, I found myself spewing forth the dull facts of my current malaise. I realized it had been a while since I had someone to talk to. He sat heavily in his seat, arms folded--a Gauloise Blonde sticking out like an antenna from between the long fingers of his right hand.

I told him: "The only thing of any interest that I do is fuck. A completed act in mimicry of a perfect circle. I'm ashamed to say it but the girl hardly matters, in the end. They're all the same to me. Wham, bam thank you, Mam. Everything else in my life is unfinished. What do I have to show for myself besides the lousy paycheck that I get twice a month? Even that's transitory--here today and gone tomorrow. I can't even manage to save a single cent, although for the life of me I don't know what I spend it on. I can't even blame it on the bars, anymore. What have I done with my life? What have I produced? It seems possible that I made something of value, once, years ago, but maybe that's just the story that I tell myself. A story to keep the wolves at bay--a story to tell a girl while we're lying in bed: 'I used to make...one of them was even good enough to...' In the end it's come down to the fact that I've never found that special thing that I want to do--a noble pursuit, if you will--a valid process, the cataloguing of a new way of thinking.'

Fitz nodded and leaned his large frame over the table, staring down into his coffee. In person he's quiet and a little shy, something you wouldn't necessarily know from his blog entries. All that bullshit about him telling me that what I really want is a master. What I really want is to do something--something new, something revolutionary! I feel like I can't settle for less.

By way of a response, Fitz told me about a Godard movie. During a scene in a cafe, the audience listens to a conversation at a table while the camera focusses not on the people speaking, but directly down upon a cup of coffee, giving us a bird's eye view of the just stirred brown liquid. The camera moves closer as the people continue talking.

"Of course it's been done a million times in movies since," Fitz said in his most pedantic tone, "but as the converation goes on, full of banalities meant to reveal the impossibility for meaningful communication in today's world, there's actually a close-up of the *bubbles* in the coffee."

He picked up his cup, took a long sip and checked his look in the gilded mirror behind me.

12.03.2002

The arabesque of desire...a physical strain

I never said that you were running away from pussy--TRUE's or anyone elses. I think you want something else entirely.

I think you want a master. Someone to garner your every move--to yank down your jeans around your ankles like a little kid and to mess up your pompadour with a belittling shake of the fingers. You want a Mommy who will spank you. A Daddy who will fuck you. You're nostalgic because you haven't had any parents to speak of since you were 15. Sweetness, that sounds like heaven to me, but I guess the grass is always greener...

Your problem, just like TRUE's isn't the nature of your desire, but the fact that you won't admit it to yourself.

I'll tell you, it's good to be back in the City, although it might be colder here than it is in the Alps. I walked around town nevertheless, from early morning to afternoon. I watched the seagulls swarming overhead as the garbage trucks made their slow rounds. The park was full of flapping whiteness, from the green and brown ground to the half-lit sky. Along Bedford Ave people smoked like chimneys with hoods pulled tightly around their heads. I saw Noah and he didn't even say hello--I didn't take it personally--he was looking at the sidewalk in front of him as the wind blew straight in his face.

Green car windshields suffused with a yellow light. The smell of bleach in the subway.

Later, on Broadway, a window washer sped through his task. An olive skinned mannequin looked aghast from behind the pane of glass.

Oh, that reminds me. Girl, that picture of J-Lo is tacky. It's gots to go.

Fitz, sternly

Pearl told me you were in Switzerland for Thanksgiving...

Glad you're back and not incommunicado, old man. How are the 'rents?

Listen, Fitz, I'm not sure what you're talking about below. I never run away from pussy. In fact I have the opposite problem. Keeping my mind on the goal of the task at hand and not beautiful-wonderful-press-my-whole-face-all- the-way-up-in-there-so-that-the-tip-of-my-nose-grinds-against-the-clit-precious-dripping-wide-open-or-even-just-the-closed-slit-posing-demurely-atop-the-bed-sheets-waiting-for-me PUSSY!

And if you're implying that I'm repressing my feelings for TRUE you're solid wrong on that too. I'm such a sucker for the pootang that I'd even go down on her, as long as she washed that shit out first.

I like them black, white, yellow, puerto rican and hatian...It's all about the ladies, got it? I'm gonna say it loud...

Now TRUE on the other hand...well, your point's well taken. Least I hope it is, in whatever cedar backed, wild west closet she's currently hiding from the world in.



12.02.2002

Deux Choses

A protest: I hate our email tags. I sound like a right asshole.

AND

A reminder: The repressed, my Darlings, is always there, expressed in a perfectly articulate manner in symptoms and a host of other phenomena. What you're running away from won't go away.

Fitz, merrily






kidslogo.jpg

12.01.2002

Keith Haring died of AIDS on February 16, 1990. He was 31 years old...



"The whole thing that I had been following consistently since I had got to the scene two years before..., watching the trains, watching the graffiti on the trains while wanting to participate but not knowing exactly how. Not wanting to go and do my signature, not trying to emulate the way they were doing the pop cartoon thing, but knowing, being respectful of it and wanting to participate and be part of it...then having discovered this new vocabulary, having discovered this black surface which was the perfect material for many reasons."
--Haring, from interviews by John Gruen





"You can’t despair...because if you do, you just give up and you stop. To live with a fatal disease gives you a whole new perspective on life. Not that I needed any threat of death to appreciate life, because I’ve always appreciated life. I’ve always believed that you live life as fully and as completely as you can. Actually, I’ve always felt that if you have a long life, it’s a gift - and you’re lucky if that happens to you. But there’s no reason to count on it."




Pour a little out and blog-on...