so i dunno. the past is a strange thing: stories strung together like pearls on a string. i've been unravelling it for some time and at considerable cost. what does it say (if anything) about the blogger before u NOW if i tell u that when i was in high school my best friend was raped in her bed while i was passed out drunk on the stairs a few feet away? she struggled and shouted but i was all partied out and deaf as a doornail. it was her house but we threw the parties together. she did all the planning and i played the part of the moral sounding board. for instance, she'd be making jello shots and about to pour in a double dose of vodka...i dunno, she'd say, her voice heavy with consternation, maybe i shouldn't... and i'd say, yeah, of course u should! and then i'd get her to pour in even MORE. everyone came from all the schools cuz our parties were the best. the guy who raped her was someone we had been in the same classes with since the 1st grade--those classes being the nerdy, honors track robo-learning horsecrap. he was tall and bashful and always smiling and looking at the floor. she came running out of the room and knocked into me as she charged down the steps and out the front door. "fuck you, bitch!" i shouted groggily. she owed me ten dollars, which was why i had been waiting.

maybe you'll know who i am if i tell u stories about my heart of glass, and how id stand in the mirror pressing hard on the green and purple bruises across my chest to change the way they looked, so that when i took off my shirt for him again he wouldn't see that they were in the shape of his hands and fingers and become really sad.

or i could tell u about my heart of stone, and how after i got my second degree i turned my mind into a movie multiplex in an american mall, with a middle brow plot on every screen to ensure that i'd never concentrate on any one of them long enough to understand a lick of what was going on.

or i could tell u about the recent past, and all the coincidences and lies and dreams and fantasies...about the low, low place i sank to two weeks ago, when i found myself wandering around downtown going no where fast with no one to stop me. i made my way to union square, exhausted, and searched for an empty spot on a bench, passing students and couples and old people staring vacantly and druggies scratching at their skin and stoners rubbing at their eyes and cigarette smokers taking deep, contemplative drags while other people ate late lunches, or flirted half-heartedly or stared off into space, and all i wanted was to sit down and try to find a way to stop thinking, cuz if i could do that on my own maybe i wouldn't end up in a bar, spending my last dollars on poison...so i found myself trailing a girl who was also looking to sit down. she carried a bag from cosi's and she turned her head back and forth, an anxious, annoyed expression on her face. finally, an inexplicably empty bench appeared before us...it was too good to be true, i stood off to the side while she scanned it for puke or shit or a dead animal or god knows what...but there was nothing. she sat down at one end and i collapsed at the other...too tired at first to see what was across from us...a man, homeless for sure, in a filthy, ripped t-shirt with sweat running down his face and neck. he had on sweatpants that were little more than tatters, the cuff on his left leg half covering a bloody stump where the foot should have been. the stump was crawling with maggots and baby flies that buzzed in a small black cloud. oh man, i moaned at the same time that the girl on the other end of the bench smashed her cosi bag closed again. so that's why this was the only empty bench in the whole park. i couldn't believe i was seeing something like this in the middle of gentrified manhattan. it didn't occur to me at the time that i couldn't think of him as being a real, living man but only as a disgusting sight that i was being subjected to. i didn't think to go get help, or to give him some money, or to sit beside him for awhile...i dunno...i got up and started walking again...upset, unable to muster up even any compassion any more, unable to change the garbage into gold...and when i saw the girl racing ahead, pissed off at the world i knew my face was twisted and ugly like hers and i felt like i might as well have been already dead so i got up to head for the bar where there was a real chance that could happen.

as sad and revealing and crazy as these stories might be, what i'd rather tell u about is the future, and how im already a big part of it. but im late so it will have to wait for another time.

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