2. Arizona, July 2001

yeah, if yr wondering what the fuck im doin with these posts that go back in time and shit...well, fitz started it...

no, seriously, this is a little series we planned to kick off the fabled "new" site with. the dot calm. but now that there's a whole new scheme for that URL, which you'll find out about soon enough we're gonna fuck that shit up right HRRRRRRRR...

those of u who have been with us for more than a minute might recognize bits from past posts i hit u with.

that's cuz i write all that shit down, first

as in, pen and paper

ive got a drawer filled with little black books

they are the source

the central generator--

the real originals

i am just a copy

a wanna be mover and shaker

in another century of fakers...

my only chance is to let the words speak for themselves.


I’m getting a lot done now, on a steady diet of Scotch, Diet Coke and Asprin with a handful of Cap n’ Crunch Peanut Butter thrown in here and there. And my daily dose, of course. I’m laying off the Blow—it’s hard to find out here and besides, I’ve got enough raw, telepathic mind power to take me through the night. NYC is a memory to me now (everyday’s an endless dream, of cigarettes and magazines) but if I close my eyes I can see all those I left behind—they flicker about the edge of the frame like glitches or ghosts. Hey, there’s my girl Sterling…and my fag, Fitzcarraldo…they give me great imaginary movie head, taking me by the hand for wide screen, letterboxed excursions down dear old memory lane. Everything looks so beautiful while I’m lying on my back with the sky wrung out over my head like a gigantic, multi-colored washcloth. A silver camera…a titanium laptop…I’m procuring all the metals necessary to help us start a new country out here based on life, liberty and the tenacious pursuit of unreality. A valley-wide cinemascope. I had my induction about a month ago. The kids think I’m a visionary. At first I was worried that I’d stumbled upon one of those hippie cults that you hear about, but I quickly realized that couldn’t be the case, as it was all about freedom of choice and finding your own path through the desert. And fuck it if they are hippies. What difference do any of these labels make? They weren’t non-violent pussies, that’s for sure. We lived in tents and robbed trailers and popped pills and tripped balls. The desert was our playground. Every day was a winning proposition, outside of society, like Patti Smith.

One night, they woke me and told me it wasn’t safe where we were. There was a blur of activity as everyone helped to pull up camp. I walked around with ground glass in my joints and watched as one after another my peoples hopped onto the back of beat-up bikes and ancient, rusted cars. Five kids helped me gather my things and then drove me through the canyon in the back of a pick-up with a thermos full of green tea and ground up mushrooms. There were Dictaphones and camcorders buzzing away—they wanted to see what I would see, and record the moment for posterity, but as we rolled slow motion beneath 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.

I moved my head from side to side, trying to shake off the sensation. The kids thought I was seeing shit.

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

“Are we going to make it to the rendezvous? Are we going to be safe?”

“I’ve got nothing,” I said, rubbing my face. My skin felt like fake leather. I wished they would let me sleep. I was getting weary of this game. “I don’t see anything,” I said, which was of course the truth.

“I’m all alone,” I said.

I opened my eyes and was temporarily blinded by the headlights of a passing SUV.

“I’m alone…bathed…in the yellow light of the show.”

“What show? Who is it?”

I closed my eyes. Ahh, well, just once more…what’s the harm? Believe it or not, I was sober enough to see how ridiculous I was, but fucked-up enough to enjoy it.

Besides, it wasn’t all a lie. There were times out there in the desert when I really did feel something moving through me. A strange, unexplainable power that very well might have been supernatural.

I started to dramatize...

“Yes, here it is…something’s coming through now…I’m a member of Kraftwerk, and we’re about to play our first show in the states in Detroit, Michigan. Motor city. I can see it! There’s the whole 70s vibe—everything looks like it was filmed in super-eight. We’re expecting maybe a few handfuls of 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 looks back at us in anticipation. A flash overtakes my body and I nearly lose composure. But I manage to step out onto the bright, shining stage and walk straight to my machine. All at once we begin to play. It doesn’t seem to be an activity that I have anything to do with, yet my hands are moving. The audience starts dancing. Dancing! I look up and see a human wave, rising and falling in time to the beat, undulating out into infinity.

Never, in our wildest dreams, had we ever imagined anything like this happening.”

I opened my eyes. The kids were completely quiet. Dumbfounded. They shook from side to side in the pickup bed like dolls, discussing with one another what this could possibly mean.

I remember thinking, wow, I pulled another good one, but as I had this thought, the moon came out from behind the cloud and the mushrooms kicked in to that next level, in which the sound of a low flying plane over head melted across my brain like a slab of butter, and I had to try and remember who I was and why I was in the position to make elaborate jokes at other people’s expense.

We were picking up speed. The other side of the highway was a blur.

(It’s my job to get us out of here safely, I thought, having suddenly become filled with a ludicrous sense of purpose)

What am I doing?

Where am I?

Who am I?

At that moment I came to the unsettling conclusion that I was more of a mix of certain carefully chosen styles than a person.

“OK. Party people!” I said. “I’m going to enumerate my identities for all of you, in order of importance. And by importance, I mean societal relevance and not according to my own personal preference, ya dig?”

They nodded their shaggy heads, ready for anything. Stoned and dethroned. Wearing next year’s style, despite their stupidity (or maybe because of it).

A number of them had perfect bone structure, lean builds and golden brown tans. They could have been young Greek lords or Calvin Klein models, lounging languorously around a giant urn and getting paid for it.

But then there were others—myself included—who were pale misfits, skinny or fat, with fucked-up skin and eyes that were either too far apart or too close together. Bad hair. Dandruff. Scars. It wasn’t like high school, where we would have been automatically relegated to the bottom of the social barrel. Deep in the chewy center of a drug subcultcha, the value system of the outside world no longer applies. In the desert, when you’re high all the time, it’s an inner light that matters. An inner beauty, based on need and companionship.

We shared everything, food, water, books, bodies.

“First and foremost, I’m a woman. Second, I’m white. Third, I’m young. And fourth, I’m American.”

Marco shouted, “I think American should be first.”

“Of course you would, you’ve got a dick,” I said, and everyone laughed.

“What about being an artist,” a small voice asked. It was the twelve year old Trixie Treat, the genius-slut, who was shivering in the corner from cold and lack of sleep.

“Fuck all that other stuff. Isn’t that what you really are?”

“Darling, I see what you’re saying, and a hundred or maybe even fifty years ago, yes, it would have been the case. I would have been an artist. But times have changed and TV has clipped our attention spans and it is no longer possible to be one thing any more than it is to get through an entire cable TV so-called program without changing the channel, at least once.

“Listen up,” I said, blinking my eyes against the wind as I turned to look each of them in the eyes.

“I am part of a new breed of artist. Rather than spend years working on a single canvas or score, we prefer to work sporadically, on several projects at once. The different works are usually united by a shared aesthetic that bounces back and forth between mediums. It’s like a game of hot potato with one player.

The new artist is a counterfeiter—a simulacrum, The Matrix itself.

The new artist grew up surrounded by a wealth of contradictions, i.e., the overflowing bounty of the suburban wasteland.

The new artist believes ordering-in is a lifestyle choice, best exemplified by answering the door wearing nothing but a pair of socks.

The new artist is not a hippie. He/she does not like to share drugs.

The new artist is sick of lip service, professionalism and contracts.

The new artist doesn’t know for sure who is real.

The new artist understands that all art is always already business art, but that one must be in a constant rebellion against this state of affairs. The best, most effective way to rebel is by making art.

The new artist is not like the others, who will spend their entire lives grasping at the magic string, which they can see but can never touch.

The new artist sees the string, tears it down and throws it in a plate of spaghetti to eat for dinner.”

I opened my eyes. My listeners were transfixed, whispering back and forth with one another, as they repeated bits of what I’d said and tried to get to the meaning of it.

I sat with my back against the driver’s window, stunned and uncertain at what had just transpired. The last bit was Goethe, that much I knew. I stared out at the highway that dissolved into darkness, like the wake of white surf left behind a ship. Several cars had passed us in the opposite direction, but now, for the first time I made out a pair of headlights behind us, growing brighter by the second. They were in a hurry, whoever it was. I sat facing them, squinting into the face of the unknown driver.

My comrades took notice. Elena, a big-boned, half-black, half-Romanian girl grabbed my shoulder.

“Here. Sit facing the other side,” she said.

I nodded my head and obeyed, automatically, giving a last glance out to the anonymous fellow traveler—or travelers.

(You see, deep in the folded recesses of my mind, I already suspected…I already knew who was coming for me…I could feel them getting closer, the same way a lonely lover can know without knowing that his lover has decided to come back to him…alone in a late night diner, oblivious to the world, he absentmindedly runs his finger across a laminated menu and traces the arc of the silver plane that is carrying her home at that very second…)

Thousands of feet above…as invisible as the Holy Ghost…three miles high and rising…

now more than ever.

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