maybe if i shut my eyes, the trouble will be split between us...

oh, how we love pretending--the three of us, banged up and cashed out after a five day party, having lived out our dirty dreams with a cast of sly eyed cabana boys in crisp polo shirts and bowling hats, brown skinned beauties covered with blue-white droplets of shimmering pool water, high rolling NBA players down for the Pan Am games, broad shouldered mafiosas from staten island...everyone, anyone, the entire hotel knows us, we give pounds on the back under the chandeliers, fitz buys bottles of don perrion three at a time at 250 a pop, he hits up the cab drivers for drugs and plays thousand dollar hands of blackjack until the casino closes.

proximity brings out the differences between us: as soon as we got into the room fitz and TRUE unlocked the mini bar, while i stood there with the laminated card, exclaiming over the prices...

my daddy would have beat the shit out of me if i ever even THOUGHT of doing that, i remarked as they twisted off the plastic latch.

too wired to sleep, i spent last night in the marble lobby, sipping tea and listening to the white noise rush of the manmade waterfall just outside the door. the tree frogs chirped mournfully while a moustached security guard shifted his weight and checked his watch. suddenly, i heard a familiar laugh. TRUE came caraousing through with two lean black guys. she walked between them-- her arms thrown around their shoulders in a familiar, flirtatious manner. they were on their way to the tacky club with the blue neon doors, the one TRUE dissed all day long but kept ending up at every night nonetheless. i watched her tan face light up with laughter as she turned from side to side to listen to the two men. beneath the eager ring of their voices was the unmistakeable low buzz of lust. they were natives, she was a tourist--everything was scripted under the grand old title "having fun". i gave a pitiful little wave but she didn' t see me. i thought about calling out to her but decided against it. in a second she was gone and the lobby was quiet. the security guard checked his watch again.

i had that empty, anxious feeling, like at the end of a pivotal scene in a play, when the dramatic bolt has been tightened as far as it will go and everything and everyone is strained and creaking under the pressure.

there was no curtain--the endless banner of time kept unrolling in plain view, even though there was nothing to look at save for the glistening shine of the spotless floor.

...the world is a stage and the stage is a world...

...at first light i sank like a lead anchor into the powdery volcanic sand... i stared up at the parasailers hovering like angels in the green blue sky and found myself cursing the sea, and then myself, both for no real reason other than the fact that i could.

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