1.20.2003


(quarlo.com)

TRUEBOY called me last night. What’s it been, 3, maybe 4 months since I heard from my best friend? Shit. She had to call me back a hundred times, as the cell of the person she was crashing with kept losing its charge. “Fucking cheap ass Sprint piece of shit,” she muttered, her voice hoarse with cigarettes and lack of sleep. “The Age of Communication,” I said, sardonically. “As if,” she replied.

It was morning by the time we hung up for good. I’ve been thinking about what to say about our conversation ever since. I pulled a chair up to the window and stared out at the clear blue sky. I remember Fitz telling me that the philosopher Wittgenstein had pointed out, “We don’t call the sky empty when it doesn’t have any clouds”. That may be true, but in the case of this particular sky it was indeed empty. This one—the sky right here over Brooklyn, on this day—January 20th 2003, was a clear glass bottle with nothing in it. Not even a bird or a plane. It was a prism—multiplying and then squaring the reflection of a reflection of a reflection. There was no substance up there, no meaning to interpret.

Believe me, I’m not the only person in New York who doesn't trust clear blue skies.

I went up to the roof to work on some “Liebling Farbe” T-shirts but it was too fucking cold. The shirts flapped crazily in the wind, like some kind of clothesline mayday signal. So I came inside and took off my boots and stood topless in front of the bathroom mirror. I rubbed some pomade in my hair and combed it into a pompadour. I put the silver hoops in my nipples and flipped out to “Crackity Jones” by the Pixies, yelping about like Black Francis until I was gasping for breath. Then I sat on the toilet with the dildo.
Later in the afternoon, I was looking through my files for pictures when I came across the first TRUEBOY notebook. I’m not sure why I have it; TRUE must have left it here by accident. The notebook—one of those wide-lined composition tablets sold in supermarkets and drug stores—is covered with coffee stains and graffiti. On the front cover there’s her TRUEBOY tag. The curves of the letters were intricate—culminating in sharp points that layered against each other like the crystalline structures of gem rock. The masterstroke was that the “E” of the TRUE and the “B” of BOY gripped a squirming, ludicrously smiling pink cartoon sperm. Although the tag was a photocopy of someone else’s work, TRUE (as she decided to use for short) had herself paraphrased Sonic Youth beneath it with a Sharpie, using the all caps hip-hop script that’s shows up everywhere now-a-days: I’m the boy, who’s learned to enjoy, invisibility.
I closed my eyes and pictured the old days: Both of us saddled up to the bar at 9 AM, making jokes and dodging mirrors. I remember how good I felt to be so far away from Jesus. The dusty curtains were drawn, there was only us in the world. TRUE had a black leather strap with a thick brass crucifix wrapped tightly around her neck. Strands of brown hair stuck out from underneath her black on black Yankees cap. The letters B-R-O-O are tattooed beneath the knuckles on her right hand, followed by K-L-Y-N on the left. In her blue eyes there’s a look of transportation—she stared at the wooden bar as though deciphering hieroglyphics buried deep in its fibers.

She’s got ocean eyes.

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