I wanna take you to my place near the river. It is clean and small and dark. This is where we can practice splendid isolation and I can make you feel OK again. This is where the drugs get taken, unless you don’t want any, which is fine too. There is no TV, no internet and no telephone. I have my Treo celly, of course, which also has internet, but besides the door buzzer that’s the only interactive portal to the outside world—and it’s in my pocket.

The non-interactive portal is the radio.

Besides that there is a beat-up IBM ThinkPad with the wireless card ripped out, and a bright red Tivoli Audio portable speaker (which is also a radio) that is attached, via a black cable with golden ends, to my 40 GB iPod, named Gretl.

There is a glass table and a blue swivel chair, and a large bed covered by a madras cover.

This is where you’ll lie down, among the candy-striped pillows from Thailand.

I have pens and paper and books and weed and The Peaceful Deli delivers beer if you want it. The Duane Reade on the corner is open 24 hours.

In fact, everything can be delivered. I can google the number. As long as you have cold hard cash, you can get anything in Manhattan.

In Brussels, I asked an Egyptian woman if you could order food around the clock in Cairo and she said, “Of course! Cairo is a civilized city.”

Come with me and live out the apex of western civilization, as I’ve reformulated it.

…As I’ve re-worked it, re-washed it, re-torn it.

Re-read it:

If you were here you’d make me like my books so much more cuz I’d wanna share them with you…for hours…in bed…like we are escaping through a secret passageway to a world in the floor, past the end of the glass bowl and the city limits, the fake fears and the fake signposts of the everyday, the worry, the stress, the debts you owe, the people you’ve lied to, the songs that you should know the words to cuz they saved yr life…

We could tell each other stories. I’ll play with your hair.

We control the data input. We keep out the daily regime of America.

There is a black and white photo of Truman Capote taped on the otherwise bare white wall. I tore it from the latest issue of the New Yorker. He is my age: shirtless and beautiful—his delicate looking head is tilted back and his eyes are closed.

He is a small, caged animal wanting to be set free and so am I.

There might be The Pet Shop Boys playing, there might be coffee brewing on the tiny white stove…

I buy very expensive Italian coffee.

It is quiet at my place. When the music is off the sounds of the city are scenes out in the distance. You close your eyes and listen like a little child, sitting in the swivel chair and swiveling from side to side. You can live out other dreams, other lives, in the sounds you hear during spare seconds.

(How do you know this won’t be what you miss most about your time alive? These “in between” moments when nothing much was happening and nothing was expected of you, and the traffic over on the FDR formed a protective buzz like a halo around the moment, the inside out of what you hear when you put a seashell up to your ear?)

I know what it’s like to want to fall apart and to have forgotten how to do it. Like when you start crying and no tears come out. I’ve had my shoulders so tense it’s taken four codeine pills to get them to relax. I know what it’s like to wait for the morning light, when the minutes feel like hours and canyons of hopes and fears stretch through the room. And you’re listening to music and drinking bottled water and the yellow world around your desk lamp is your life preserver…

It’s OK. All of that is over, now. Yr with me now and I’m going to protect you.

BRANDTRUEBOY will stand in front of you and take the force of the blow.

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