The curtains were open. The glass was clean. I just found out there are men who come around and clean it. I bet they wear orange jumpsuits. That's the "in" uniform around here for the working class.

I stared at the houseplants and the coatrack. So this is where he lived now. I stood between two shelves of the ceiling-high library. There were framed portraits. A still-life. Pretty much everything was new. The sun blasted through a cloud, lighting up the living room like it was on stage. I turned and fell into a dream. Fuck, there were even synthesizers playing in the background.

"What are you going to do?" he asked me, "How will you ever find your way back home?"

He thinks it's because of Fitz. At first I was like, "whatever, pass the Camenbert," but then I ended up drinking until four with him trying to convince him otherwise.

His house is a straight line of three floors. On each floor there are one and half rooms. I had to go downstairs to take a piss. The stairs are some narrow, tall ass killers. Don't front by wearing heavy boots like I did, word is bond.

"I think something happened that you're trying to forget," he said to me. I looked up into his eyes and saw kindness, concern.

"It doesn't matter," I said. "Whatever it was. It doesn't fucking touch me."

"I'm sure it's fine. I always had the impression that he's a good chap--harmless, at any rate."

"Don't be so sure!" I blurted out. It's one of many things I said last night that I wish I could take back.

Another was when we were at the hooker's, and I asked, "Will you do the same things you do to a boy to a girl?" She looked at me like I had four heads.

I wanted to pay her the same, or more. In the end it didn't matter because my friend couldn't go through with it. He couldn't stand the bluntness of the whole thing.

He's a good friend because he wants to save me. Only he doesn't know from what.

So instead of saving me we walked down narrow snowy streets carrying orange cinch sack bags from the Supermarket.

He said something, cracked a joke, playfully stretched a metaphor. We strolled onto the Grote Markt and bought tuna steaks. I pointed out a pineapple and he immediately scooped it up. The afternoon was perfect--neat and sweet, like the little mass produced coffee biscuits that come with every glass cup of koffie you buy.

Everything in it's place!--a great holiday!--loads of fun!--but all the while, he believes that my options are running out.

the right blog for amsterdam is anti

ms. phil gets up in the piece


Yanqui Blues on the SnelTrain

(Sung Altogether as we Round the Bend.)

The buildings fell away like cards as we rolled round the bend. I was on my way to Delft, a blue roofed town once imagined by Vermeer. We passed a hill covered with bare brown trees whose brown branches reached into the light at its crest. A little further along the tracks and the Earth opened up and the sky filled the train window—a grey, misting sky, in the middle of which something mysterious swung in and out of view. In fact at first it wasn’t anything for certain--just the shadow of something. It happened again. I didn’t know what it was but I knew something was flying about in the air over there. Oh my God, I thought, I’m seeing cartoon shit drop out of the sky, just like that time in Omaha.

I leaned back—my heart felt like it was stopping--even after I realized what it was that I was looking at: the slow, reluctantly turning turbine blades of the modern windmill. It was like a monster in the mist, Godzilla bringing his arm down in slow motion, turning a Tokyo skyscraper into Styrofoam dust right in front of our eyes. It moved through space like time itself, arcing gracefully (the time will come one day) and then spinning back down, domino style (walking alone in my own way).

“Yellow is the color of sunrays.”
I was the Don. The windmill was my destiny.

My camera’s broken and my laptop’s stolen. Someone was trying to break into my blogger account so I changed all the passwords. Sorry F & S, I’ve taken over for the time being…

The train passed rows of low lying buildings with colourful trim and rain soaked rooftops. I saw the letters, “SAME” spray painted across the side of one. A lavender sports car raced along on the highway, cloaked in our shadow.

We passed a long green field in the middle of which a single swan sat picking its butt.

Hopefully, whoever stole my laptop will have it stolen from them, in order to keep the wheel turning.

As for me, I'm slowing myself the fuck down...smoke if you got em.


Winner's Blues

Last night it happened again, that whole shit with my heart. For a good part of the evening I was seized up like a poisoned cockroach. It must be some kind of mind over matter thing when I’m high—a sign that my nerves are fuzzing out, I suppose.

For this and other reasons, I’m leaving Arizona. I bought a one-way ticket to Amsterdam. I leave this afternoon. I blew my dime and called up some European peeps. They all owe me, anyway. I was up in that piece for three plus years and I built some bridges.

I’ll be in Schiphol Airport just in time for the Wednesday rush hour. I can’t wait to get lost in the morning crowd, jostled about by people with their folded up Dagblad and DeVolskrant and speaking Dutch into microscopic cell phones. Those European smells of coffee, beer and sweat. And cigarettes.

Everything is cold and damp. The sky is white.

But what, if in order to make something happen, I were to make a sign?

Trixie doesn’t believe that I’m leaving. When I told her the plan she rolled her eyes and snapped her gum.

“There’s something wrong with you,” she said matter-of-factly.

“You’re probably right,” I said.

She went back to working on her James Brown cover album. She wore her dead father’s denim jacket out to the garage, where she had an ancient four-track set-up alongside an equally ancient (and dusty) Emerson stereo. Something from the early 90s. There were three black Air Jordan sneaker boxes stacked against a professional looking mic stand. The microphone itself was covered with duck tape, but still. She pulled up a folding chair and sat her skinny little girl butt in front of the mic. The pockets of the jacket were filled with green and white cables. She opened the top Jordan box and carefully selected two cassette tapes. She put them in the stereo and they began to play simultaneously—a warbling, fucked up twist of James Brown and something else, maybe Depeche Mode's, “Never let me down again”. Each playing at various, changing speeds, but never the correct one. It was like a drunken carousel. Here and there you could hear a signature chord from James Brown’s band, “Da-Da-Da-de-Da!” but it would be quickly submerged in a quicksand of sounds. The distortion was so great that it’s possible the tape had been turned upside down and wound back into the cassette.

Trixie waited out a certain number of syncopated, drunken beats before she sat up tall and brought a kazoo to her mouth with one hand and the mic with the other. She let out a series of high-pitched woops and sighs, even spitting and licking the microphone at one point. The effect of all this was both frightening and fascinating—like watching a crack head hit the pipe. Trixie’s eyes became wide and staring. The kazoo made it sound like she’d been turned into a robot. But no robot would ever make sounds like that. I could only make out a few bits of the spoken words interjected amongst the scatting. She seemed to be saying:

“You gotta serve somebody, could be the devil or the risen lord but you know you gotta serve somebody.”

Just now, Trixie looked over my shoulder and saw what I was writing.

“If you really go away, who’s going to help me market my album,” she said, pouting with her pink lip-gloss.

“Aren’t you going to finish the movie? My sister will be pissed—she bleached her hair and everything.”

“I’ll be back,” I said, pulling on a button down over my T-shirt.

“I promise.”


My pot dealer boyfuck…

Is gone, solid gone, and then he comes back and then he's gone again, and I’ve even got him on my goddamn digital camera, a myriad of shots—in all of them he’s leaving. He likes the dramatics of placing his hand on the door handle of his Lincoln. He stops with his fingers curled under, like the handle is a delicate seashell or another boy’s ball sack. Then he looks back at me, giving me a face like it’s the end of the world. I’ve come to realize that regardless of whether he’s actually leaving or not, it’s important that he has this moment, this pause with his hand on the door. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole leaving thing was constructed just for the sake of the moment. He’s such a faggot that way. All the same, it makes me shut up. Like when I was a little boy watching my father leave to go to work: I felt a strange mixture of anxiety coupled with a real desire to take his place that was so strong I’d usually be doubled over with stomach cramps a few minutes later, right after his trusty pine green Volvo pulled out of the drive.

I remember how I pressed my head into the wall and beat my skinny white neck with my fists. But that’s what being a fag is all about: you desperately want your own thing—you want there to be a show and for you to be able to run it. You want to go to work so bad, it hurts. C'mon, girlfriend, you know what the fuck I'm talking about. You can't tell me that even as a child you weren't all about making the green, making the scene...

Anyway, my pot dealer boyfuck needs to get back up to Purchase. He’s got customers up there, and his own credit card machine. He’s got it rigged so that an eighth shows up as “Miscellaneous” on a bill that looks like it came from the University bookstore. It's a genius system and besides, his shit's good. No wonder his pager lights up non-stop.

Neither of us even brings up the possibility of me going with him. It seems absurd that I would leave the City for some dorm room in a college town. In the end, the whole thing between us is too stupid for any of that, and we both know it. At points our actions are almost farcical.

The Terminator

He started up his car, some Dead C feedback nightmare blasting over the system. Suddenly he realized that he's forgotten his hat--The Eagles skully he just had on. He checked his jacket pockets, the corner of the car's sun visor...Nothing.

"But I just had it," he said, blinking heavily.

"That's what you get for smoking so much," I said, as I lit a Gauloise Blonde. I squinted and shifted my weight, like I was getting ready for him to make me a deal. All around us the afternoon was very clear.

"That's OK," he said, looking me straight in the eye. I felt myself being pushed by invisible fingers, right in the squishy part of my gut.

"The good thing about short term memory loss is that you remember whatever it was eventually."



I wrote an email today in which I described an episode from several years back, when the back of my knee was infected by a mysterious tick, and the doctor at the hospital was certain I'd have to have my leg amputated half way down. I went home thinking I was about to be crippled when Gramps, the German Shepherd in the house I was living at, attacked the welt on my leg and chewed out the poison. Then he licked the wound for days straight and eventually I got better. I don't even have a limp now or anything.

Then I think of Sterling, who has to live with her missing fingers every day. Two fingers aren't the same thing as half a leg, she'd be the first to admit, but still. I know it's especially tough for her because she did that shit to herself. She has to live with the story.

Once I asked her how it looked, her two fingers cut off clean from her hand, right there on the thick, lacquered wood of the paper cutter.

"It had a grid across it like graph paper," she said. "The blood ran into every nook and cranny. The cut was clean and straight. If not for the shooting blood, I would have been able to get a close up on a cross section inside my body, right there where those two fingers abruptly ended. My fresh stubs. They looked like the inside of a pocket pizza--round, factory squeezed disc of cheese in the center, surrounded by layers of sauce and meat."

Show Me Your Wound.

Raymi's Wound.


Theoretical Girls

I’m into it. The cold, the bad moods on the subway, the frozen fucking oranges down in Florida. I can think better in this kind of weather. As I wrote that last sentence I heard TRUE in my head, finishing the rhyme off—“I make the track wetter, bag extra cheddar.”

Or even better, Method Man can finish it off:

I put the fucking buck in the wild kid, I'm terror
Razor sharp, I sever
the head from the shoulders, I'm better
than my compeda, you mean competitor, whadeva!
Let's get together… (“Shame On a Nigga”)

I’m holding back on dishing the dirt about my phone conversation with TRUE. I know Fitzcarraldo’s dying to find out what she said to me, and he’ll have more time to hound me about it now that his pothead boytoy’s gone back to Purchase—but oh well, too bad. It’s between TRUE and myself. It’s good to have a secret with her again. I can feel her crazy vibe like an untamed angel on my shoulder. I’m reinvigorated; I know the plan. I stand tall beneath the midtown skyscrapers, carefully turning the razorblade in my mouth over and over with my tongue as I wait to cross the avenue. Steam rises from the manholes in slow motion, and the busses zoom past like spaceships. I head straight for the flagpole in front of Phillip Morris, where the overweight office workers are smoking their heads off. I can smell the cold coming off the metal as I carve my name in full view of the crowded sidewalk. I get as far as the first curve on the first ‘S’ before a navy blue security guard chases me down.

Sterling: my name’s Sterling Fassbinder. And I’m the biggest dyke you’ve ever met. Girls are my world. Girls with shiny hair who wear ear muffs that match the color of their Northface jackets. Tipsy girls who make their mustached boyfriends carry their Bloomie bags while they make eyes at strangers. Girls who step to the side and finish the page they’re on in their Norton paperback edition of Anna Karenina while everyone else rushes up the stairwell and out of the station.

Teenage girls with old eyes and too much powder on their faces. Lesbian girls with fat thighs and canvas sneakers. Girls with dreds and metallic pink eye shadow. Girls with perfect nails reading The Economist. Sporty girls jogging by with red faces.

I want to know them—I want to feel them.

A girl like Alana, who makes me wish I went to college, because her sedate brand of funny would make her the perfect roommate.

Or sweet Jenny, the Berkley girl in her indie world.

I’ve mentioned her before and I’ll mention her again, just so she knows I’m thinking about her. She’s straight and as much as it pains me to imagine her with another, I can’t help but think that she and Tony Pierce would make a really great couple. Their offspring would be a lyrical genius, no doubt. Either that or completely illiterate, you know how shit happens.

Whatever, it’s Friday everyone, go on and get your fuck on.

...And TRUEBOY, stay safe tonight...


I almost died last night. Word is bond I think I was dead for a couple of seconds, like one of those flatlining ER patients that Dr. Green brings back to life, only there was no Dr. Green, no IV drip and no TV cameras, just an old ass sagging couch filled with horsehair and the younger sister of the girl who was playing the part of Sterling in my movie--my “of the moment” desert epic about characters with European dreams and Hollywood realities. For some superstitious reason that I can’t remember I didn’t want to type out the girl’s name or give her a fake one when I wrote about her before. But whatever, I feel pretty certain that my near death experience set my Karma meter back to zero so let’s call the little dimebag slut “Trixie”, and make it short for Grace. She’s a 12 yr old heavy metal hair whore with an unexpectedly amazing one-man (one-girl) band that I keep meaning to tell you about. The music she makes is strictly next level. You’d never believe it by looking at her—I’ve decided that she must be one of those secret geniuses who’s so smart that they’re stupid. Trixie fucks 18yr olds and hangs out with stoners behind the town Kmart in her Kid Cock I mean Kid Rock T-shirt, smoking Virginia Slims and examining the sharp points she’s filed her nails into. The expression on her face is that of a monkey’s but underneath it I swear she’s the Mozart of electronic music. Shit, I’d like to tell you about her now but it’s important to get the details of this dying episode down before vaporization commences and the memories get left behind like days lost in the wake.

Of course the whole thing was my fault. Trixie and I were home alone. We sat on the couch in the living room and watched “Unfaithful”. I’d given everyone the night off from shooting because we all needed the rest but when it came to it, I couldn’t relax so I did coke off the glass table instead. I also had the one hitter stuffed with hash. I kept going from one to the other, see-sawing up and down, up and down until finally I thought, “This is stupid,” and scraped the rest of the coke into a single fat rail. I bent down just as Richard Gere’s wife rejected his advances in the bathtub. It was the rich person kind that stands on its own little gold feet.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I sat up. There were flashing white squares in front of my eyes, like department store snowflakes or a close-up on a disco ball. I blinked several times, rapidly, but they didn’t go away. My back clenched up and my legs started shaking. I stretched them out in front of me—I couldn’t feel my toes.

“What the fuck, I’m losing my extremities,” I mumbled, panicking.

“Whuh’d say?” Tricia asked. She snapped her gum; her eyes didn’t move from the screen.

“I said, ‘Bitch, I’m having a heart attack.’” It was true—my heart was going a million miles a minute. Not only that, it sputtered and throbbed to the point where it made wet sponge sounds in my chest. I felt a deep ache through to my back and all the way up my left shoulder. That was pretty bad but what was even worse was the knowledge of how unreliable this essential bodily function had suddenly become.

From one minute to the next, cardiac arrest...

(You think you’re mad, too unstable, kicking in chairs and knocking down tables in a restaurant, in a west end town, call the police there’s a madman around, run him down, underground, to a dive bar, in a…)

Actually what was really the worst weren’t the physical symptoms but the psychological shit. How I felt like I was going to stop breathing at any minute, and as a result how I kept giving myself the same goodbye speech: That’s it for you, _____. Your little race is over. Obviously, at a time like this I fell back on the name my mother gave me. It makes me a sucker, I know, but what can I say?

The pins and needles from my toes spread through the rest of me, traveling in waves that corresponded to the ecstatic rhythm of my heartbeat. I was leaving my body, I was sure of it. I started moaning, softly.

“Are you fucking losing your shit?” Trixie asked.

I slid down on the couch so that my head was resting beside her thigh. When I looked up she rose before me like a mountain. I drew some odd comfort over her sudden increase in stature. It didn’t seem like such a bad idea to make mountains out of kids.

“I’m dying,” I whispered.

“No, you aren’t,” she said, her eyes fixed on the TV behind me.

“Richard Gere’s getting old,” she pointed out, “But it’s still really hard for him not to be Richard Gere, you know what I’m saying?”

“You don’t understand, there’s something really wrong--help me.”

“OK, OK,” she half-heartedly placed her hand on my trembling shoulder. I looked up—her eyes were still on the screen.

As I watched, her face faded out and I was pulled into a shadowy expanse, filled with pink and turquoise galaxies gently swirling in the otherworldly light. It was an opening up—a feeling of endlessness far away from other people. Dissolving into it would be as simple as giving in to a waist-tugging current. I just had to let myself be swept away. The feeling was not altogether unpleasant.

I focused on Trixie’s thigh, on the exact shade of her retro jeans. Suddenly, it occurred to me that there was too much I’d miss.

Like Jamie's blog.



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.


"At Least I Got To See Vegas"

(Raymond Pettibon)

It's too late to turn back now, Sweet Pogeybait.

Yesterday I saw the world in blues and greens.

(Raymond Pettibon)

I’m listening to a Morrissey mix CD and smoking a spliff from the pothead 19 yr old I’ve been fucking since Friday. He’s Californian, in NY by way of SUNY Purchase. He drove down here for a party in his new Lincoln jeep. He got it from his stepfather, who’s one of the biggest weed guys on the west coast. This kid gets bricks of what he refers to as “mad fresh trees” wrapped up in aluminum and sent from Humboldt County via private jet and messenger. Yesterday, we smoked his purple threaded stuff, had sex and ordered in. Ladies, I’m relieved for my sake to report that this one’s a lot of fun—he politely talks his head off, non-stop, even when he’s got his dick up my ass. Believe me, it’s no thing—I think it’s cute the way he prattles on about the cold weather and his friends and the schools he’s gone to and a waterfall that he used to get high at in California. A lot about California, actually, about how much he misses LA, where he grew up. He was driving around the downtown and playing with the big boys at 14. His main people are out there. An important turning point was when he and his mom lost their house in the earthquake—the walls just fell in around them. It’s a miracle they weren’t killed. It was completely absurd at the same time that it was horrific: the grandfather clock in the living room shot across the floor and out their kitchen window, where it tumbled head first into the pool. “You can’t underestimate nature,” quothe the pothead, as he bit lustily into a cholesterol challenge bacon egg sandwich from Garden Grill (extra bacon, extra butter). He and his mom lived in their car for a while. That was when he vowed to make something out of himself—for her sake, if for no one else’s. Girl, give me a mama’s boy any day of the week. They’re so considerate, immediately offering to get you a glass of water and cigarettes after they fuck you down to a quivering pulp. He’s a dancer, so you know he looks good. By late yesterday afternoon, I’d smoked so much of his shit that I was paranoid. I was sweating it out over Solitaire on his bb. The kid noticed how pale I was and gave me the keys to the jeep so I could get some fresh air. Is he a keeper or what? The only thing he asked was for me not to touch the settings on his system. I clicked the key chain and “turned” on the ignition from a block away. I hopped in, closed the door with a satisfying click and leaned back to survey the scene for a sec in my Ray Bans. The dash was so tight it was practically empty, yet even without any dials the leather seat still managed to retain the vibe of a cockpit. I thought, maybe if I drop hints I’ll get him to buy me some metal. I’ve decided that I need some new bling. Iced-out platinum, perfect for the gray woolen days of winter. I’ve got the cash, but you ladies know that jewelry is the kind of thing that’s infinitely better when a well-endowed hunk buys it for you. So I decided to come up with a plan for dropping the suggestions—a blue print for hint handling that had to do with Kiehl’s thick Rose moisturizing lotion and a hand job. (Yes, I did just say ‘thick rose’). I turned up the volume and took off. It was a blindingly bright day but inside the jeep it was nice and dark, with perfect climate control so I could cruise in just my suit jacket, with my shirt unbuttoned around the neck and a Gauloise Blonde in my hand. I rolled up to lights and gunned it like a prince. This is Brooklyn, baby. Fags gets paid over here. I kept my fucktoy’s radio at 105.1 and checked in my mirrors as hooded men huddled in front of bodegas, smoking and making deals. Children in puffy jackets crossed intersections holding their parents hands. Other smaller ones sat still in bright triple goose down bundles, pushed around by teenagers in used, scratched-up prams. The sky was a perfect blue dome that was pulled upwards to a single point, like a baroque cathedral or a billowing circus tent.

I really like fucking this boy. For starts he’s always half-hard to begin with. I like watching him walk around the apartment in just his striped tube socks. He can’t sit still; he’s always turning a pirouette or stretching out his hamstring or something. At first I thought it was the whole dancer thing but now I think maybe it’s because he’s nervous. When we’re making out he often takes cigarette breaks. Things will really start to get going and he’ll tell me, “stop, hold-on” while he jumps up to have a smoke. I keep my hand around my cock while he hunches over the ashtray. I’m hypnotized by the muscles on his back—they’re like moving white marble in the half-light. I tell myself that what I’m looking at, what I’m beholden to is nothing less than the key shot—the genesis-- for a thousand movies that haven’t yet been made.

On his right shoulder is a blue-green tattoo of a pair of hands clasped in prayer. On his left shoulder are the same hands holding a gun.

When we do finally finish he retires to the kitchen table in my smoking jacket. He takes hits off the one-hitter and draws maps. He starts by sketching the outline of a continent on a blank piece of paper. Then he sets about filling in the countries, capitals, disputed borders and principalities. He does everything from Africa to India to Nassau County. A quick look at them and they seem pretty accurate to me. A typical map occupies him for about ten minutes, more or less. It’s the activity he’s capable of sustaining longest, which is perhaps why he does it over and over…

I’ve got to go but first I want to say something. TRUE, you should know that I think Sterling is pissed off for real this time. She won’t even talk to me. I bumped into Young & Hungry at CafĂ© Pick Me-Up and he said she wasn’t exactly pleased about her past getting the spotlight treatment on this blog. As a side note, Y&H treated me like he didn’t want to touch me with a ten-foot pole. Guilt by association—a ridiculous thing, but there you have it. Ridiculous sentiments tend to pop up when people are deeply hurt. It was a right dastardly thing to do, T, but of course you know that. She didn’t return my calls and I didn’t see her until Friday, when I spotted her at Subtonic. She was on the phone off in the corner, beige Kangol pulled over her left eye. That’s the hat she spilled the lime green paint on in the house on Long Island, unintentionally turning it into a piece of modern art. She smiled at something the person on the phone said, and the bar light caught her gold cap and made it sparkle. Despite everything she’s more a star than ever. She felt me looking and looked up—our eyes locked. She snapped her phone shut and coolly looked away. I received a sudden blast of misery broadcast directly from her brain into mine. When I recovered I tried to make my way over to her but she beat me out the door and disappeared onto the ice-covered streets.

Someone called me later on, telling me she was at a house party in Brooklyn. I took a car to Flatbush Ave, and found her in the back room of a railroad apartment, grinding up against a muscle bound black girl with long legs and short orange braids. Both of them had their shirts off—their bra straps had slipped down their glistening shoulders. A dark, dubbed out mix of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “Bonnie and Clyde” played and ostensibly they were dancing but actually they were merely stumbling around while they shoved their hands down each other’s pants. I found myself frozen under the archway—the red gel in the spinning party light made the place feel like it was moving—as though we’d come off the cinderblock foundation and were hurtling forward in space. A Puerto Rican guy put a plastic cup of beer in my hand and slapped me on the shoulder so that half of it was immediately spilled on my shoes. Good thing I hadn’t worn the Ballys. I noticed that most of the men in the swirling room were staring intently at Sterling and the girl—some of them were even openly rubbing their crotches. I decided to find something stronger than the beer so I nonchalantly drifted through the rest of the place. People were getting busy in every corner. I ended up doing a few bumps out on the fire escape. It was out there that I met the pothead, who was dangling upside down off one of the ladder rungs. He pulled himself up when he saw my French cigarettes and we’ve been together every hour since.

The last time I saw Sterling she was having her picture taken while getting her titties sucked by two plane Jane white girls. Knowing Sterling’s luck they were probably NYU sorority chicks with even drunker boyfriends somewhere nearby. Sterling, of course, doesn’t drink. She was doing all of this stone cold sober. I tilted my head and stared at her face that was frozen either in ecstasy or pain—I couldn’t tell which. Thankfully, the red light was off. The photographer (a bald and pierced dyke) had turned on an Ikea desk lamp, lending an officious air to the proceedings. I left shortly after.

Perhaps it’s for the best that I haven’t spoke to her. I really don’t know what to say. Sterling posted this thing once where she went on about my parents, but this was different, because you knew she’d be upset by it whereas I could give a shit. You and her used to be best friends. If this is all because of what happened between you and I, then really, I just don’t understand…

Anyway, on a more cheering note, I saw Glenn Reynolds on the Media Matters bit about blogging. Girl, can I get a wit-ness? PBS invited some other, boring blog people I’d never heard of before, but their only point was to prove that the Blogfather, Sir Instapundit, was in a class by himself. He was amazing. The producers made this set where the blogger sat by him or her self upon a small raised stage with a blacked-out silhouette of a table and an open laptop. There was a light pointed from the floor upon the blogger’s face and projections of text flashing “randomly” upon a screen in the background. I guess this was meant to convey the rush of high speed, rapid-fire under-the-radar communication. The soundtrack was some creepy vocoder mumbling that reminded me of the tune from A Nightmare on Elm Street, sung just slightly off pitch by girls jumping rope in slow motion: “One, two, Freddie’s coming for you, Three, Four, better lock your door, Five, Six, get your crucifix…” All this cheap “Tom Foolery” (as my father would say) worked against the other bloggers. They looked like green room dorks from high school—the kind who wore high waters and never got laid. But not Glenn Reynolds. I swear, as soon as he come on I was riveted, simply riveted to the point where I couldn’t have gotten up from the futon if I tried. He spoke in a clear, even monotone—his eyes were wide and didn’t seem to blink. The lights and flashing text made me think of Darth Vader when he’s sitting in his little black egg in The Empire Strikes Back. It was that whole sexy-kinda-evil vibe. I felt like he could move things with his mind. He was the intergalactic dark hero rising up from the smoke and ash of the conflict between the so-called Left and the so-called Right. He was here to lead us to another way—a philosophical, thought-provoking, question-asking way. A way of deliberation but not cowardice. A way of facts and figures and reason. For a moment, while I was watching, Glenn Reynolds became the promise of the Internet itself, the information superhighway, where anybody with a PC and a connection could begin the task of collecting information.

The gathering of knowledge: episteme.

One of the fucking best blog product names, “Instapundit”.

Another one...


oh, dag i didn't mean for you to eat the whole bag!



Core Conditioning at the trailer park with the boys

We broke in. Turned the rusted hotplate on high and made macaroni and cheese and hot dogs and drank shitty lite beer. I had a pain in my chest as I went through the kitchen drawers, looking for drugs. It felt like my lungs were stuck together. The boys laughed and called me a pussy as I leaned against the thin ass plastic wall. Outside the trailer the sky turned dark pink (rhubarb) and then a pale violet (all the stars were just like little fish). The boys stripped down to their underwear and rubbed bronzing oil on their bodies. They were going to give themselves movie star tans. Orange handprints covered their pimply backs like a secret language. I took hit after hit on a dirty inhaler that I found behind a box of Frosted Flakes.

It was like some kind of psycho film noir flick, but for the bluegrass playing.

(The T Stands for Terminator)

But Sterling, you're already dead...

But I wanted to tell you about the one man band, the one woman band, I should say—actually, it’s a one girl band--that of Sterling Fassbinder’s slutty twelve year old sister. Not the real Sterling Fassbinder, but the girl who’s playing her part in the desert epic I’m filming out here. The actress was just your typical small town, chain-smoking waitress until I cut and bleached her hair and taught her how to walk. The real Sterling Fassbinder is stuck back in Brooklyn and is a former junkie and sometimes DJ and a writer on this blog with two missing fingers and a day job on Park Avenue. The real Sterling Fassbinder doesn’t have a sister—she had a twin brother once but he drowned in front of her when they were four. He rode his tricycle into an uncovered pool and disappeared beneath the surface without making hardly a ripple, either in the water or in Sterling’s panic stricken brain. She forgot all about him—a feat of repression matched only by that of her parents, who became born again Christians and brain washed themselves and their daughter into believing it had always only been the three of them, a charade that was successful until years later, when Sterling and I were sleeping on the beach in Jersey and shooting enough drugs to kill a horse and she had a vision and ran out into the sea.

At that point she wasn’t only a dyke but she was a serious boy dyke, meaning she went around dressing and talking and acting like a boy. She was the kind of hardcore chick who kept the piece strapped on under her jeans when she went out the door. She was even thinking of scamming her way to Italy to get a chunk of flesh cut off her ass and fixed with hydraulic tubes and then sewn between her legs. She was going to have to get off the dope to have even half a chance at qualifying for this Frankenstein dick—even in Europe—but getting clean wasn’t an option at that point, which was actually a good thing because eventually the drugs cracked open her head and shook everything out of it, and on that fateful summer evening she could finally see that what she wanted wasn’t to be a boy but to be her brother. Her long lost twin brother named Sterling.

I remember grabbing the blanket and running into the foamy surf where she was flailing about like she was drowning, even though the water was only up to her shins. Her multitude of purple and green bruises turned dark and shiny like oil paint. A sound was coming out of her—it was like nothing I’d ever heard before, a tremendous, guttural moan making me think of birth and zombies.

I wrapped the blanket around her and led her out of the water. She was shaking uncontrollably. Her eyes didn’t seem to be working. She stopped moaning and started whispering the same words, over and over:

“But Sterling, you’re already dead. Sterling, you’re already dead.”

I tilted her face up towards the sky. I remember really wishing we had a camera, because her thousand-yard stare would have made a great picture. Something I could have held on to. As it is the only picture I have of the real Sterling Fassbinder is over exposed. She’s in my bathroom with the yellow tiles and the yellow bathtub and her face looks like a ghost. I showed it to the girl who’s playing her part but I don’t think it provided any real insights or inspiration.


Brett Lamb off the prop list

Hey man,

No doubt you're a smart and creative guy, and I love the Flash--that's what wowed us all in the beginning--but enduring the overwhelming lameness of your site requires more strength than I can muster. Word, I'm not going to go in deep with my criticisms unless you ask me to, but let's just say that it's encapsulated by the daily "slow song" entry. It's not like I argue with the song selection or that I don't find it a little bit sweet the way you stick to the formula "...at 70% normal speed." It's just lame that you do it at all. No one ever leaves a comment. They'll leave comments for other posts, just not the slow song ones. It's like they're trying to forget about it.

Actually, I almost left a comment about a slow song, once. It was the duet between Bjork and Thom Yorke, "I've Seen It All" at 70% normal speed. I was going to write, "How did you know?" but I never got around to it.

Oh, and the crap about Raymi...i don't give a fuck about worst means best and the Weisblott poll or any of that--it was the tone you had and the way you continue to write about it, as if you're gloating which would be strange because you didn't win anything...the whole thing just left a bad smell on you, like you've got poo-poo shoes now and we all know it.

The T Stands for Tampon

My period makes me weak. I know what other bitches say but my body gets too big for itself. I don’t mean fat, I’m talking about the goddamn negative energy that it creates—it’s too much for me to handle. I feel like I’m going to snap in two, cracking like a crab leg right along my spine. The energy is a runoff from the pain, like the energy I make my art from. The bleeding deflates me. My period is a leech that sucks my blood and spits it out again. I’m left a hobbled scarecrow: an empty, aching husk.

When it’s “that time of the month” I stop what I’m doing and hole up with a fat sack, some music, my notebooks and drawing pads. I don’t answer the phone and I tell anyone who asks that, “I’m sick, I’ve got my period, I need to be left the fuck alone, please—and when you go to the store get me a Jamaican raspberry ginger ale and a box of Cap N’ Crunch…yes, Peanut Butter. I’ll be OK, I’ll eat it dry. What? The remote control? Sure, I’ll take that.”

I don’t do anything all day but smoke my head off and draw faces from the television. Some people have said, “Yeah, but you couldn’t do that if you had a job, women still have to go to work,” and I say, “If I had a job I’d call in sick. Why the fuck not? What’s the phone for? So you don’t have to see someone if you aren’t feeling well and you can just call them and say, ‘hello, I’m not feeling well I’m not coming the fuck in to my stupid-ass job.’”

Sometimes, however, my whole plan gets rearranged, when the pain is so bad and my nerves are so shot and the weed doesn’t work, it just makes everything worse, until I’m pulling at my hair and turning up the stereo to block out the sound of my throbbing heart.
I’m pressed into a coal shaft between the centuries. I want to write it all down but instead it’s leaking out of me, unused, useless.

I’m the young city bandit, hold myself down single handed. Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown of thorns.

I sit by the bedroom window, listening to the traffic reports while cars and trucks snake up the highway on their way to work. I pause to think of the cause of it all before I spark some more shit and lie back in my Rive Gauche pinstripe trousers and wife beater, attempting to relax. The ceiling is still covered with early morning shadow. It seems that it’s always one hand iced with “LOVE” and the other with “HATE”, like Radio Raheem. I take off my Tag Heur and toss it to the side. The essence to letting a day slide is that you don’t need to know what time it is. I’ve also taken my platinum symbol off and locked it in the new high-tech security carrying case I "found" for my titanium laptop (also "found").



Notes written on the back page of Baudelaire's The Painter of Modern Life And Other Essays, L Train, 1:08PM

...the breeding classes recognize each other by their acceptable shoe wear and mid-range bags.
They sniff each other out for deformities in character and intention.

The city is like the pattern of red and white speckles on the floor--a swarming static, what my father called 'interference' as he adjusted the rabbit ears on top of the set.

B-boy, jailbait, grad student, busboy, mother, yuppy, rasta, convict...everyone's wearing the same "dirty" style jeans.


The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore.

My mind’s racing, but my hands are bound and my tongue’s tied. A knot, a nothing: that’s what I am, sitting alone in a stranger’s bedroom. The unscalable wall and everything hidden behind it; I’m that patch of promised land—the athletic, tomboy fuck that you’ve been searching for.

I’m the end station, the one on the dirty, washed-out corner where there’s the shitty little waffle shop with the cracked, hanging sign that also serves booze. Patrons press their fingernails in the yellow laminated place settings, unconsciously tracing the arcs of the silver military jets that are in that moment flying over their heads, miles above in the clear blue sky. Zoom Lens, Flight Patterns, powdered sugar and Grand Marnier. I’m the winding street covered with worn-down cobblestones that leads you, one slick and shiny square after another, to a record shop where you don’t speak the language.

I am the feeling you have as you pick through the crates; you keep your shoulders hunched while you chew on a plastic stir straw. Nonchalant.

I’m the fact that on a certain number of certain mornings, you’ve wanted nothing more than just to die, to have everything stop and then go on without you on it, like the melancholic feeling on a merry-go-round in those awful minutes of slow down, when you look forward to and at the same time are sad about the fact that you’ll have to soon get off.

If that’s the case, than what is even more me were the moments when you walked down the gravel path, clinging hands with each parent, one on either side of you as speakers crackled back to life in the summertime trees and the song of the carousel came back on.

You turned your head and watched that proud, glittery world start turning without you.

(The tinge of regret is smothered out by a glorious thought, "You're going home." You know you’re right.)

ulaan baatar, mongolia


A girl called TRUEBOY

Hey-o Luvs,

So it seems that some of our beloved readers are a bit in the dark about the nature of the gender confusion going on in this blog. Anti, another cutie reigned into our devious world by TRUE, points to the 'BOY' in her name and then to the 'poetress' on her email tag and rightly asks, "What gives?" Mr. Anti, let me echo that sentiment regarding TRUE--she's a tough nut to crack. As some of you may know, she ran off from Brooklyn mid-October and has been dealing coke and fucking with people's heads in order to fund an unfashionably out-of-date beatnik road trip through the mid and southwest of this dried-up tit of a nation of ours. She hasn't bothered to call or even email Sterling or myself since. We were supposed to be her closest friends, her "crew", her partners in crime, but for reasons unknown to us she's written us off completely. The only things we know of her are what she writes in this blog.

The original understanding (Sterling, correct me if I'm wrong) was that this was to be a space for the three of us to pitch ideas and carry-on back and forth about art and products and events. We'd then decide which projects we wanted to pursue and pool our funds, our time, and our abilities. A forum for a little three person patch of socialist art making idealism. Sounded stellar, but Sterling and I should have known something was up with the name BRANDTRUEBOY as well as the fact that try as we would, TRUE kept "forgetting" to make us administrators. To this day, the layout, permalinks, the sitemeter, and even the posts themselves are under her thumb. She can delete what she wants, post what she wants, etc. On the BRANDTRUEBOY farm, all the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

I have to admit that I never really thought other people would be reading this, but given the occasional comment or two, it seems that they are. For all I know we're the next Tony Pierce. Sacrilege to say so, I know! A blog nation of millions can't hold him back! He's got it going on in that cute, basketball nerd kind of way but it's Jim Treacher who really makes my pubes curl. He's always on point with the one-line zingers, the entertaining links, the witty self-effacement, whatever you want, sweetheart. I actually had a dream about him last night in which he was sitting next to me at a railway station waiting room. His face was a blur, but I remember that he wore a red and white striped rugby shirt with a super-starched collar. He leaned over and whispered, "Size matters," into my ear. I don't know what it was in reference to but his breath smelled like pineapples.

Hey, so the point of this was to seperate the girls from the boys and the women from the girls:

TRUEBOY: A girl.

Sterling Fassbinder: Also a girl, but a dyke.

Me (Fitzcarraldo): 100% Gay Male (so in other words, all woman)

In celebration of our little coming out party, I encourage you to explore, "My Vagina," a most informative and (for a 21yr old) mature site. Keep your eye out for my version, to be entitled, "My Man Twat". Coming soon.

On that note, I'll close with the following frivolous story. Please note, it helps to read it out loud:

So, not long ago, I was flying TWA (biz class, need you ask?) and checking out a hella cute blond flight steward. He was cruising me back: giving me the eye, dropping things and bending over in front of me, offering to fluff my pillow--you know, the usual mile high games. Anyway, it was time for coffee, so there he was, staring at my crotch and practically curtsying in front of me with the pot:

"Sir, would you like some of our TWA coffee?"

"Ahh, no thanks," I said, in my most demure voice, "But I will have some of your TWA tea."

He nodded and immediatley turned to the cart for the hot water, before what I said clicked in.

"You devil!" he whispered, his eyes shining wickedly, before a woman up front called out for a napkin and he sashayed away.




Jamie of this here known universe/gotham pictures i don't know what the blog is calledthought I was dissing him by linking him to "most cheated" but I was just high. OK, that's an excuse, another lie piled up like the cigarette butts in the ashtray in front of me. In all honesty I don't know why I thought he'd make a good "most cheated", maybe the sad, sleepy look in his eyes in the pic:

Anyway, i don't know why i'm explaining myself. i don't really do that anymore...so let's just say it's all about the picture...and the morning of 9/11...before anything happened. On Grahme Ave heading towards the subway. Man, I know it sounds all cryptic and drugged out but i think it was you...walking ahead of me with the same jeans as the picture. You had a book or something in the back pocket and I remember thinking, "damn, i wish i had jeans that fit like that so a book would stick out of my back pocket just the right amount..." It was early and the sky was that perfect blue. I'm not usually out and about and sober at that hour so i was taking in the whole scene like a visitor from another planet.

Maybe it wasn't you and i'm making a fool of myself...Maybe i just want it to be you because the back of that guy has been stuck in my head ever since that fucked up day and if fate brought me to him again, especially when we're both thousands of miles from brooklyn then maybe i'll have another scrap of evidence that fate exists on its own, without the need of silly poets and drunken rappers and one man (or woman) bands to make it up. I want to enlarge the picture and then enlarge it some more and then some more after that just like in the movie "Blow-Up", but it's digital, so all i'll get are a swarm of pixels, not an explanation for the murder...

whatever, i'm going to sleep my head is filled with styrofoam.

...most weeded...


Industry Trends


The girl was something else in her blue denim jeans. The Filipina version of J-Lo, except this girl could dance. She let me follow her from the club back to her place after I promised not to pull any ‘gay shit’ on her. She lived in Jersey Shitty, up in the Heights. I told her I was jealous of her public housing. The only thing was that all the furniture was busted. She and her friends got a good laugh out of watching my ass slide through the bottom of a folding chair. What did I care? I had nothing to prove. According to her I was already unlovable. I was just going to hang around until she made me believe it too. We listened to a DJ CLUE mix tape and ate peanut butter out of the jar with our fingers. The shine in her eyes made me wish I still smoked. It was the same shine as the boy next to her, the one who cradled her brown bare feet in his lap and claimed to be her cousin. The dutch made its way around for the second time. She demanded to know why I didn’t smoke so I told her I only had one lung. She believed it on account of my missing fingers, but it still pissed her off. She took a pink Tupperware bowl out of the fridge that was filled with dark brown water. It’s liquid chocolate, she said, from Manila, and then laughed when I had a sip (what a thing it was to make her laugh) because it was really pig’s blood.


Right when Sterling's sister said that about her shit, the pipes behind the bathroom mirror started humming violently. It was just like in the movie Eraserhead, when the otherworldly singing and moaning and breathing and dragging sounds float up and reverberate against the metal coils of the radiator. Only this was the desert, so there wasn't a radiator, just some gutted out space behind the thin plaster wall. Inside, among the hanging strips of pink insulation, someone or something had positioned itself to watch and wait. I was sure of it. I could see my terrified face reflected in the mirror as I slowly backed out into the carpeted hallway, arms akimbo. "You're in on it," I told Sterling's sister, who regarded me cooly, her heavily made-up eyes narrowed in suspicion. I don’t remember what happened next. I seemed to have blacked out.

It was night when I came to. I lay perfectly still in a strange bed. The covers smelled like dust and sweat. I held my breath and felt my teeth shaking. I was unbound, ungoverned. I closed my eyes and dreamed of an NYC punk street show in black and white, with a strange light bending over the hipster crowd like heaven itself, streaming through skyscrapers and illuminating boulevards, until everyone and everything was reduced to bare outlines. I woke up with a start at 3AM. I stretched my arms and creeped into the kitchen. I took the keys to the jeep and drove out to the canyons to read the signs.

I came back at daylight and snuck back into bed. The desert sunshine’s too much for me. I’ve become goth rock pale and I like it.

Sometimes, when I'm in one of these suburban houses, I’ll pause in the middle of the upstairs hall, doors and rooms ahead of me on each side, and I’ll cock my head like a dog in the shadows. It’s so silent that I swear I can hear the world stop. I plug in my titanium laptop and watch the red lights race to life along the front. Could it be that the separation has already begun? The lifting off and explosion of my mind’s innermost kernel? That web of beliefs, that sinking anthem, that one holds so dear…I found myself thinking these and other provocative thoughts as I turned a pen over and over in my hands. I looked down at the shiny silver wand, uncomprehendingly. I tried to imagine bits and pieces of myself, blown throughout the air.

…and a strange dust lands on your clothes,
and on your face…on your face…on your face…

(morrissey, "Everyday is Like Sunday")

I woke up after noon and decided to explore my new crashpad. Sterling’s sister was in the living room, listening to Avril Lavigne and lifting tiny pink weights, her face expressionless. She wore glittery aqua colored spandex shorts and a pink Everlast sports bra/tank top thingy. I felt the emptiness of the house on ever side of us as I watched her tiny round ass cheeks squeeze in, and then relax, squeeze in, and then relax.

Those weights couldn’t have been more than five pounds. It was all a show, the way she was straining and flexing like that. I stood emptyheaded in the foyer. I didn’t know what to do so I decided that I was hungry. She caught me moping towards the kitchen.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I’m hungry,” I confessed.

She let the weights fall from her hands, making twin thuds against the hardwood floor. Then she undid her pony tail and flipped her hair.

“You know what I mean.”

“Nope. I don’t.”

“OK, what I mean is, what do you want from this town—what do you want from my sister?” She took out a pink comb from her purse and started combing out her streaked blonde tresses.

“Nothing. Nada. I don’t want a thing from anyone. Just to make this little movie.”

“Why here, though?”

“Why not? For all you know the next scene takes place in Vienna, Austria.”

She looked at me blankly.

“You probably don’t know where that is,” I remarked, chuckling slightly.

“Hey! You don’t know what I know,” she said, pointing at me with her comb. Her eyes narrowed and then widened again.

“Do you wanna see something?” she asked, in a luring tone.

“Nah, that’s alright.”

“No,” she said holding her hand out to me, “I insist.”

“I was going to get something to eat.”

“But don’t you want to see my one man band, first?” She pouted and stuck out her stomach. I watched as a pink pointed finger adorned with sparkly blue polish drew an invisible line from the smooth swell of her tiny paunch to the edge of her belly button. Time stopped again as everything became very still. The previous night, in the canyons, I kept going back and forth on how old I thought she was. In this moment, however, she looked twelve again.


Gulf Shores


Today, I sat in a cafe right up in front against the tall glass windows. I stared out at all the passerbys and cars and meters being fed and all of it, even the sidewalks themselves were suffused with an alabaster glow, as if their insides swelled pearl-like beneath their skin. I ordered a tea with milk and honey and remembered a time walking along the beach with TRUE, just before a storm. She stopped and faced the sea, her arms folded. "See those whitecaps," she said, looking straight ahead, "They're a sign of ill portent."

I decided to leave the cafe. I put on my coat and by the time I was out the door and down the corrugated tin ramp that connected it to the sidewalk, it had started to snow. A hush fell over everything. I sang to myself and winked at all the pretty girls hurrying past. How come it always gets so silent when it snows?



This is a blog, after all

Hey Darlings,

Love the juxtapostition between the lo and the hi brow, literary hummings and drug infested slummings, but this is a blog, so perhaps I'll be the one to reign things in a bit with a citation/link/explanation "easy way out" (as TRUE liked to call them, back when she still obliged us with the occasional spoken word) typical blog post.

Found this on Plasticbag.org:

"One of the largest news stories in the UK at the moment is the ongoing siege in Hackney. A man is holed up in a flat with a hostage and a gun and has been for several days. Some of the neighbours have been evacuated from their homes or put under armed guard until the situation is resolved. Normally these people would be distant figures for me - our only connection the one-way cordon of the television set keeping us apart. But not any more. This is the age of the internet. So local residents are now talking to one another and to the outside world via UpMyStreet Conversations: "This is literally up my street". It's a fascinating on-the-ground view of everything that's going on in the area, and if you have any questions for the locals, that's where I'd go to ask them..."

Here's the link to the UpMyStreet Conversation that he's talking about. While reading it, I couldn't help but wonder how the posts would sound if the seige was taking place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here's my little theatrical experiment:

misanthrope22: so there's a siege with an armed gunman going on at n.6th and bedford and the police have blocked off everything between n.4th and nth 7th. great. how the fuck am i going to get my amp out of greg's place now?

antislut: the pigs are out in full force. all to bring down a lone vigilante who's fighting back against the man. do we even know that he has a gun? The Times says he's an unemployed 30 something. probably a victim of bloomberg's budget cuts. of course he's white, because they didn't feel it necessary to point out his race. if he was black or hispanic that would have been the first thing they printed in the article.

ameriKKKa: hey williamsburg, we brought this on ourselves. when a neighborhood is shamelessly gentrified and the original residents can no longer afford the sky high rents, they have no choice but to take up arms.

misanthrope22: does anyone know if the L Cafe is open? i really need a chai latte right about now.

ameriKKKa: instead of holding someone hostage, what the gunman should do is blow up that starbucks in disquise on n.5th. you aren't fooling us one bit with those white walls and piped-in Edith Piaf, corporate america! the glass display cases are too clean--the pastries too fresh--no way you're local!

I felt pretty smug, imagining the many possibilities for half-bored responses from my fellow Brooklynites. Life must go on: it takes more than a single gunman to ruffle our feathers. Then I read a BBC article on the siege and realized that this gunman might really have his shit together:

"Power to the flat in Graham Road has been cut off, but police have been delivering food parcels to the two men inside. A man has since been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle cannabis in a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was dropped off at the site of the siege."

It's Friday...smoke if you've got 'em, even if you're holding someone hostage in shit-hole Hackney, with an entire squad of police surrounding you!


Sterling's Sister

The girl who’s playing the part of Sterling in my movie lives in a little ranch style house at the end of a quiet, cactus-lined street. The thin-walled rooms are filled with third hand furniture and fake plastic trees. The first time I went there, my stomach was churning like a washing machine. I was stretched out across the bucket backseats of the girl’s old-ass, monkey shit orange colored Sentra, fly open and gripping my bloated gut, while she tried to drive as smoothly as possible. She kept reaching back and picking up a plastic GAP bag from the floor and shoving it onto my lap, from which it promptly fell off again.

“What do you think, it’s something you ate?”

“Nah,” I moaned, bringing my knees up to my chest. “My insides have turned into boiling oil.”

“What you need is a glass of milk.”

“No, I don’t. Don’t say that!” I screeched, pinching my arm as hard as I could so I’d resist the urge to tell her to fuck off.

We made it there just in time. I flew past her pointing finger into a bathroom covered in black tiles with amorphous patterns of gray smoke on them. I sat there, watching faces form and then recede back into the walls—narrow eyed spies and leering pornographers filmed in grainy black and white. I closed my eyes and imagined myself at an airport bar in the seventies, drinking a highball and tapping the ash of my thin white, ludicrously long cigarette into a purple-green glazed ceramic ashtray shaped like a pair of human lungs. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” I thought, as a chunky stream of bile hissed and sputtered out of my asshole. I was emptying out—there was more in me than I could be held accountable for. I held my head in my hands and offered a penance that while not exactly sincere was for the most part un-ironical. Wit is the second thing to go when you’re burning and twitching like a beetle on a pin. The first is any residual stock you might still put in the future.

When it was all over I looked into the toilet for the fucking rainbow colored Fruit Loops (I’ve branched off from Cap N’ Crunch) but instead I saw what appeared to be Spaghetti Ohs, all clumped together like they had been burnt at the bottom of a pot. Not a good sign, I thought, glancing up into the mirror as I resolutely washed my hands and smoothed down my static charged hair. I was wearing a freshly washed dark blue denim shirt. The collars were starched and my neck was clean. With the exception of my tits, I looked like an ex-con trying to make good. I mean, we women can be ex-cons trying to look good too, but then you think of floral print dresses, white canvas sneakers and consignment shop rayon jackets with padded shoulders, not some Cool Hand Luke shit like I was on with the denim.

I left the bathroom and ran straight into the twelve year old sister of the girl who’s playing the part of Sterling. She was hanging out under the collection of framed West highland terrier photos in the hallway.

“Hello there,” I said, closing the bathroom door behind me.

“Are you sick?” she asked, in that self-righteous, matter-of-fact tone that she always spoke in. She was still on Xmas break so she hung around her sister a lot. I let her around the set because she wasn’t the type of kid to start fiddling with stuff. Instead, she was one of those babies sporting the expertly applied MAC make-up and $400 Prada sling backs in the middle of nowhere, without a job and with a sister who made only peanuts as a hotel waitress. With her raccoon eyes and her conniving smile, I’d written her off as a dime bag slut the first time I laid eyes on her.

“I’m fine, sweetheart,” I told her, as I pulled my pack of Marlboros out of my jeans.

“Didn’t sound like you’re fine,” she informed me. She pouted with her heavily lined, blow job lips and held out her hand. I sighed and placed a smoke in her palm. She tossed it in her mouth and opened a Harley Davidson Zippo with a flick of her wrist as though she’d been smoking for years.

“What’d you do, throw-up?” she said, pushing past me and placing her hand on the bathroom door knob.

“Ahh, no, it was…the other. Hey, don’t go in there, OK?”

The girl kept her hand on the knob and slowly turned to face me. The expression on her face was death itself.

“You’re going to try and tell me what to do in my own house?”

“Suit yourself,” I said as she stepped into the reeking room.

“Hmm” she said, standing in front of the toilet. I watched her nostrils flare as she breathed deeply in and out. She placed her skinny, twelve year old hands on her skinny, twelve year old hips. She was trying to be tough so she let the cigarette dangle out of the corner of her mouth. I knew she was the kind of girl the boys went for, but to me she looked like a rodent with big, teased out hair. Her skin was so translucent and unhealthy that a myriad of eyelash sized red veins were visible on her forehead. “Megadeth” was carved into her forearm, fresh enough so that the letters were still swollen and raised against her skin.

“Hey, you know what?” she said, taking the cigarette out of her mouth and ashing it in the sink. “You don’t only talk like a nigger—you eat like one too!”

She took another sniff and laughed her grating hee-haw laugh. I had an urge to flatten her pink, blackhead covered nose with a single karate chop.

“No sir,” she said, shaking her head, “My shit doesn’t smell like that. Not one bit."