it's up to me now to turn on the bright lights...


There's sand in the back of my skull. Right there, in that three finger-wide indentation where the neck begins. It goes, "Swish, swish" like a fucking bean bag everytime I turn to look over my shoulder. Something's up with my eyesight as well. Behind me, the world has a slight red tint and in front of me it's blue. That means I must be the white. I'm a part of a magical flag; a magical color sandwich sold the world over in thinly laminated cardboard boxes...too bad there's a real distaste for Americans over here. I feel like the stink at a dinner party when someone secretly passes gas. Guess you could say my accent really cuts the cheese. Everyone at the table wrinkles their noses and shifts uncomfortably in their seats, but no one says a word.

I don't admit to anything--I'm just passing through; the situation is not of my making. I only read the papers like everyone else. My Dutch friends want to know if Americans are really as pro-war as they seem. They sit in their brightly colored plastic chairs and spread thick yellow butter and chocolate sprinkles on their toast and look up at me with big round eyes. (You've got those phaser eyes) They don't get any news of American anti-war protests and are surprised to hear about how many have taken place. Their leaders are fine-tuning and bullshitting like anyone else, working hard at keeping whole populations in the dark--meanwhile they've taken apart their guns and are giving them a good oiling. One thing that's clear is that something is going to happen. I thought maybe that feeling was only in the States, but it's here as well. Inevitably, my friends want to argue about the situation. They're old hippies and founding members of the Dutch anti-apartheid movement. They want to smoke and gesticulate and figure things out. It's all too much for me so I excuse myself and go out to watch the ducks on the Amstel River.

Everything aches. I'm popping Nurofen by the handful, but it doesn't make a dent in the pain. Old ladies pass on bikes; kids wearing baggie jeans smoke hash in a huddle and snicker at the passer-bys. Germans in their fancy eyewear, the French with their too-thin tailored jackets, the Brits with their bad skin and fly away hair. Americans looking lost but happy...all these groups, within which there are sub-groups, made-up of families and couples and friends looking for a good time. Where do I fit in? (Why do you come here? And why do you hang around?) I slip into a movie theater, I get on and off trams. No one tells me what to do. Last night I drank half a bottle of Jack and several pints of beer. I puked up the entire contents of my stomach in a rain soaked gutter near the Stadhuis. A police car idled on the corner. Inside the pigs were laughing their heads off as I lost my balance and swung violently from side to side. I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and shuffled over to the passenger side door. I banged repeatedly on the window with an open palm.

"Why don't you stop me?" I demanded. "Why don't you put an end to it all?"

The window rolled down and one of the cops stuck his head out. I remember being impressed by his baby-face. He had a fresh crew cut and razor burn. He asked me where I was staying.

"I don't know," I answered. "I don't know how to get back home."

His partner leaned over baby-face's shoulder. For a long time he didn't do anything and then he slowly took out a long pad and clicked open a pen. I saw myself reflected in his mirrored shades. It was at that moment that I realized the party had reached its final, most humiliating stage: I was officially the girl with puke breath and cum in her hair.

"I just need a Heineken," I told them, as they ushered me into the back seat. "Just een pintja, first OK...a real quick one...?"

There was no response. The car jumped forward, spraying water in every direction.

I'm the boy, who's learned to enjoy, invisibility...

pink haired girl eases my troubled basehead nerves.

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