Pigeon

8 Apr

This is a story from my old blog but since I am still writing about this world, I thought I would share it.

Pigeon

Nobody knew who she was or much of anything about her except for what they saw. Some people are just natural-born secrets. While others like myself are, pretty much an open book. You see me on the street first thing you say to yourself is “drunk”.

Pigeon on the other hand didn’t need any mood altering substances to help her leave the misery of this world far behind. All she needed were her wings which she made of chewing gum and feathers. It took her nearly three years to collect enough gum from the undersides of park benches and patio tables. The feathers took longer since she only used those that she plucked from the wind or from birds who no longer needed their bodies to soar high in the heavens.

I was never able to ascertain whether Pigeon thought of herself as an angel or if she really believed she was a bird. And this was not for any lack of trying on my part. Pigeon never spoke. Not one word in all the years that she lived on the street had any of us ever heard her utter a sound. Not even when she swooped down from the eaves of St. Mikes to sink her toenails into the back of some hapless rat did she scream in triumph. Not even when Silk tried to force her with the broken bottle held close to her eye, but Silk screamed when she drove the blade through his guts.

I often wondered how she saw herself. If as she soared by the huge mirrored windows she saw beauty or if like us she saw a grotesque. Because the truth is, no matter how much the people living in houses like to romanticize it in their books, movies and photographs, there is nothing beautiful out here on the streets, nothing, not even in our dreams, not even when I’m loaded.

And if you are not bad to look at when you get here, you’ll be nothing to write home about by the time they roll you into a body bag and throw you in a pit with the rest of us unknown soldiers.

Pigeon at least was unique covered in her filth and feathers. Eventually that’s all she was. No clothes just feathers. Talons sprouted from the ends of her toes and fingers which she now used instead of a blade. Now she spent all of her time in the air or on rooftops. We would see her circling the park, messing on cop cars. Soon she had a whole flock of pigeons flapping their wings beside her across the night sky. And then she was gone. And we never saw her again. Some people figured it was Silk who finally got his revenge, others thought she probably ate some of the poison the city puts down to keep the pigeon population from getting too out of hand. Me, I think she got caught in one of those traps that those bird freaks set on their roofs. You know those guys that have the coops and all those birds in cages. I think Pigeon is in one of them coops being trained. And one day we’re going to look up and see her streaking across the sky with one of those bands on her legs, wings flapping faster than a hummingbird trying to beat some record. She’d beat it too. I’d bet money on it. Pigeon would break that fucking record.

The Climb

2 Apr

The Climb

 

Winnie flexed the toes on her right hand. With her left she clamped down on the misaligned brick and pulled herself up. She was almost at the top now, almost at the end of her journey. She threw her head back and let her neck extend so that she could see just how far she’d come. Down below the streetcars looked like caterpillars. She wondered what would happen if she wept. Would the frenzied specks be washed away? Would panic ensue? Did it really matter? It was no longer her world. She belonged to the sky.

Climbers usually left the ground once puberty hit and they had enjoyed their right. Climbers bore only one offspring. Once that baby was born and all twenty toes were counted. The parent was free to seek the homeland.

Winnie had been terrified that she would bear more than one child like Davinia. Climbers did not consider multiple births to be a blessing like the Swimmers or even the Creepers. It was the mother’s duty to choose the strongest of all her babies to be raised by the governing body and then throw the remainders into the subways to be crushed underfoot by the commuters.

Winnie would never forget that day. Never. It was carved into her memory like the Roman numbers on the side of the building she climbed. Davinia had made her choice and the governing body had looked in the holy scrips for a name. They chose Florence to be forever known as she who eats Prozac and carried the child into the great Lilly Hall.

Davinia waited until not even the scent of them remained and then she tore her birthing robe into wide strips and bound her two remaining babies to her breast. Taking long strides that built in momentum until she was almost flying Davinia hit the wall and began scrabbling as fast as she could. Winnie could not believe her eyes. Davinia was committing sacrilege. Not only was she making the journey skyward with the unblessed but she was contaminating the very clouds themselves with the living dead.

Even though Winnie knew in her toes that Davinia was committing blasphemy there was a part of her that prayed that somehow, someway she would triumph and cross the line to sky before the Disciplinarians could shoot her with their strength drainers.

‘Faster’ Winnie screamed to herself as watched Davinia desperately searching for a toehold. Davinia was almost there now. She just had another story to go. Winnie felt her hearts exploding in her chests. ‘Safe.’ Davinia was safe. The Disciplinarians had finally arrived but it was too late. Davinia was over the line and could not be touched. Winnie turned away. She would think of Davinia safe with her two babies all the way home.

A sound like buildings collapsing almost burst Winnie’s eardrums and then nothing, not even the low drone of the billions of pigeons nesting wherever there was a merest hint of space. Winnie did not need to turn around. She knew then that the great book of Pharmaceuticals lied.

Winnie preferred to remember Davinia safe and skyward rather than broken on the ground and she made a promise to herself, a promise that she was keeping now.

Winnie sat with her legs dangling over the edge of the gleaming silver building. She could feel her baby moving inside her. Baby? Perhaps there were more. It didn’t matter now because even if there were a dozen little climbers inside of her they were all safe and she would name them after the clouds.

Drawn Out

25 Mar

Drawn Out

I know it sounds crazy but my lover Miranda has a tattoo that talks to me. And I think I’m in love with it. Okay so it did start after a night of E but that was only once. But I have been conversing with it for months now and I swear on my mother’s grave that I am stone cold sober. I feel funny saying “it” when her name is Tempest. Actually she didn’t have a name but I thought she looked a lot like Tempest Storm the burlesque star so I asked her if she minded me calling her that. She said she didn’t mind what I called her as long as it wasn’t anything ending in a y like Suzy or Mindy. And nothing hyphenated like Bobby Jo or Pammy Sue. I asked her what she thought of Pamela Jo Beth and she told me to fuck off. I like a woman who swears. My last relationship wouldn’t say cunt if her mouth was full of it.

But there is more to Tempest than profanity or a skimpy pirate outfit. She is a real hardcore existentialist. Seriously. She can quote Being and Nothingness like other people quote Beatle lyrics. And she’s hilarious. Last night she looks at me with a totally straight face and says “I ink therefore I am.” I laughed so hard I almost woke up Miranda.

To be totally honest with you the only thing that is holding Miranda and me together is Tempest. I think about her day and night. I love the fact that both the plume and the Jolly Roger on her hat are the same blood red as her lipstick. Her hair is like the sunset sky over Tortuga and as for the rest of her? What can I say? They don’t call her a pinup for nothing.

Miranda on the other hand is so one dimensional.  She loves Jane Siberry for fuck sakes. And all she reads are those blink and you’re rich books by that lesbian with the enormous white teeth and spray on tan when she isn’t completely engrossed in that other woman that has all those books that have you Standing, Jumping, Sitting, Lying or Squatting For Your Life.

Tempest polished off the Alexandria Quartet in 3 hours and then began to devour Maldoror. And can you believe it she too is insane about Pendrecki. Miranda can’t bear to even listen to the opening bars of the Polish Requiem without screaming for the Tylenol.

Oh God how I wish Miranda was a tattoo on Tempest’s body instead of the other way around. I asked her once what she thought might happen if I got her tattooed on my forearm? But even as I asked I knew it wouldn’t be the same. Tempest suggested that we talk to Miranda and let her know how we feel. Maybe once she understood how in love we were she would do everything she could to help us be together forever. But I told Tempest that she was being naïve if she thought Miranda would be anything but a total bitch about the whole thing. In fact I told her Miranda would do everything she could to make sure that Tempest and I never saw each other again as long as she lived.

There was only one solution. We would have to elope.

By the time we crossed the border into Detroit the stitches were beginning to pull. I reached into my tote bag and pulled out the cocoa butter and slathered a thick layer over Tempest’s sleeping form. She looked so good on my forearm I wanted to ask the woman beside me if she didn’t think we made a cute looking couple. But there was something about the way she was looking at my handiwork that made me feel like Frankenstein’s monster. ‘Oh well’ I thought ‘some people never like to see anyone happy’.

Inked

19 Mar

Inked

I met her at a party. It was one of those Queen Street warehouse things where everyone is a novella unto themselves. And you can choose to skim or become embroiled. She was mostly naked except for the art which was everywhere and the jewelry which was more specific. I guessed she was a dancer. It was the way she walked with that crippled grace that is shared by birds and ballerinas. I tried to imagine her in toe shoes. It wasn’t hard. In fact it was easy to visualize her slashing her way across the stage feet like razors, blue dreds sparking like chains on tarmac.

I must have been staring because she walked right over to me and slid her card into the pocket where I keep my keys. She kept her hand there a moment while she stroked the rest of me with her eyes. “I want to do you. Call me if you’re interested.”

 

I watched her make her way across the room slipping cards into a few more pockets before she left. I took the card out of my pocket to see just what it was she wanted to do with me.

 

I didn’t have any tattoos. I could never come up with an image that I wouldn’t get tired of. And then there was that whole fade factor, sure the panther looks hot while it’s black but not so much when it turns green. But I couldn’t get her out of my head. I kept telling myself that it was way more than insane to get inked just so I could see her again. I decided that crazy was more fun anyway.

 

She inked out of her home. She had an apartment in a converted soap factory just around the corner from where the party had been. Her name was Bete and her dreds were now electric violet. She was still pretty much naked.

 

“Normally, I charge about 100.00 an hour but I have a thing about being the first.”

I had no idea what it was that I was going to look at every day for the rest of my life. It was one of the conditions. If I would let her do whatever she wanted wherever she wanted, she would ink me for free. She promised that she had no designs on my face. No pun intended.

 

The needle pierced my skin just as the rich notes of Bach’s first cello solo filled the room. The pain seemed to ebb and swell with the music. It was such an intimate pain that it could almost be defined as sexual. And yet there was a connection much deeper than that. It was as if she was the ink.

 

When she was finished she took me to an enormous mirror. She stood there with me almost as mesmerized by the piece as I. It was exquisite. It was haunting. It was vivid. It was alive. I could almost feel her snakes writhing on my ribs, her eyes turning me to granite as she whispered my name.

 

Bete traced the Medusa that she had etched into my skin with her fingertips. She kissed me deeply, knowingly as if we had just made love for hours. She bandaged me and dressed me and sent me home wanting more, wanting to be covered from head to toe.

 

I have never been a highly sexual person. Oh don’t get me wrong I totally dig it but my body has never ruled me except in a couple of occasions. So it was highly unusual for me to be making out in bars and taking strange chicks home even after I had established their lack of intellect. But that’s exactly what I was doing night after night, day after day, month after month until Medusa spoke.

 

At first I thought it was the E but the woman in my bed heard it too. Not only heard it but saw it. “Oh my god, you’re tattoo is like trying to say something. Wow her lips are even moving.”

I looked down at my ribs and saw that she was right. Medusa was speaking but so quietly that I could barely hear her above the snakes because the snakes were hissing too.

 

“I can’t hear you. You have to speak up.” I said.

The Medusa smiled. It was a cold reptilian smile than never quite managed to convince.

“You are very beautiful.” She said to the woman on top of me. “I could look at you forever.”

 

There was something in the way she said it. Something final like the enactment of a law or the signing of a death warrant that made me know even before I felt it and it happened fast. I had just enough time to roll off the bed before my companion had been turned into a solid piece of obsidian.

Medusa sighed. “Stunning isn’t she?”

I couldn’t help but agree. She was indeed. In fact she was far more beautiful than she had been in life. Unfortunately though this left me with a huge problem, well not huge really but seriously inconvenient. This was obviously the last time I would ever bring a woman home. From now on I would have to go to their place.

Phantom Pain

12 Mar

Sometimes goofing around with a friend can inspire a story. Actually in this case it inspired more than one. But this is the first. I am lucky I have a couple of people that just seem to ignite my creativity by just riffing or hanging. I’m not sure what it is but it’s very enjoyable.

 

Phantom Pain

 

Have you ever forced yourself to do something that either scared the living shit right out of you or was just so completely out of character that nobody would believe you’d done it if you didn’t have visual proof? What about something incredibly stupid, humiliating even, just to challenge yourself? If your answer is no then you are not going to get why I decided to get Simone’s lips inked onto my inner thigh. Unless of course you have ever had Simone’s lips actually on your inner thigh and then I’m pretty sure you’re feeling me.

 

I have a lot of ink but it’s concentrated mostly on my left arm and back. I don’t like the look of random ink. I believe that placement of art on your body is even more important than placement of art on your walls. But in this case I was recreating a memory. I knew it was going to hurt. I wanted it to. It was appropriate that it did. And I wanted to feel… anxious, jittery… so I went to a shop I’d never been, in an area of town that got really fucking restless as soon as the streetlights came on and then someone usually shot them out again. Like I said “incredibly stupid”.

 

The neon sign was a vivid red against the black of the glass and the reflection of the bikes parked in front. I was hoping the bikes belonged to the bars on either side but I wasn’t holding my breath. Besides not all bikers were psychotic, some of them were sociopaths. Let’s face it nobody does charming like a sociopath. But I was not looking for a relationship; I was looking for an artist.

 

It took me a minute or twelve to get used to the dim. If it wasn’t for the buzz I would have thought the place was deserted but from the sound there were at least two people inking. Once my pupils dilated to the best of their ability I could see that there were three.  But that’s about all I could swear to. I couldn’t tell if they were male/female, white, brown, old, scarred, conjoined or scaled. The shape farthest away from the door beckoned. I found myself shuffling so as not to bump into anything violently. Funny, you’d think I would have turned and run. Not me, I was so scared I could feel the blood draining from my face and yet it just made everything seem more perfect.

 

By the time I got to the station I could see that the pale beckoning hand belonged to a woman of indeterminate age and not the ghost of Christmas Past. Her hair was long, dark and hung in her face. I have no idea what her eyes looked like. I could not see them. For all I knew she had no eyes. I told her what I was looking for. Pulled the letter with Simone’s lip print on it out of my pocket and held it out to her. She motioned for me to put the letter on her table. I took off my jeans and jumped up on the bench. I knew it was my imagination but it smelled of the fear of the countless others who had lain before me in anticipation of that first jolt. No two people tattoo the same. You could get an identical image done in exactly the same place by 8 different people and they will all feel completely different ranging from almost nothing to excruciating. I know this sounds nuts but I like it to hurt just enough to make it feel like a bit of a heroic quest. Not a Beowulf quest, I don’t think I have the pain tolerance for that but at least fording a raging river or walking into a gale. This was like neither.

 

To be completely honest I really couldn’t tell you what it felt like because I can’t remember getting the tattoo at all. I just know I got it because I can see it but other than that… nada. In fact I have been wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the fucking place and where it was.

 

People who believe in ghosts believe that almost anything can be haunted. And conversely that anything dead can be a ghost like even a whale or a wolf spider. I don’t know about you but I find real spiders terrifying enough without adding a whole invisible, moving through walls and even your body, element. Fortunately I’m not a big believer in the paranormal so ectoplasmic arachnids remain the stuff of nightmares. I am however on the verge of believing in transmundane tattoo parlors because my new ink… is interactive.

 

I know, I sound nuts. Maybe I am. Not that I’m complaining. There was a reason I wanted to remember Simone’s lips on my inner thigh and now I feel them every night, many times a night. The only thing is I’m not getting a lot of sleep. Oh well I guess I can sleep when I’m dead.

Semantics

5 Mar

Semantics

 

Would you say there’s something wrong with somebody who has never been loved? I mean romantically not platonically or in a familial way. And I’m not talking about sex… Is there a significant difference between making love, having sex and fucking? I mean aside from poets can people really tell the difference between having someone make love to you and having someone love fucking you?

 

What does it feel like to look into a face knowing that you will be spending the rest of your life with it? How do you see that face after fifteen, twenty, thirty years? Is it the same as when you have a cat from the time it’s a baby and even when the cat is going on eighteen years you still see the kitten in its face? I have never been able to do that with people just cats and occasionally a friend’s dog.

 

What makes people who need people so goddamned lucky?

 

I try very hard not to need people who are not professionals. I have no problem needing my psychiatrist or my dentist or my cable repairman, the Geek Squad, my cats, the occasional hooker, my pharmacist, but I prefer to want my friends. I can love friends. I am never in love with them. I never go to bed with them. So if you are my friend we will never end up naked and if we ever did… we weren’t really friends at the time.

 

Candy was my best friend. I told her everything. When I tell somebody things, confidential, not for just anybody’s ears things, I don’t do it for advice or to burden the person, I am just sharing facts. It is very important to me that friends get me right. So it caused me great concern when Candy… got me wrong.

 

To this day I still don’t understand it. I have gone over it and over it, day after day after month after year and it was not my fault. I know unequivocally that I said and did nothing to lead Candy to believe that I was interested in anything other than her companionship. When people saw us on the street and asked if we were together I made it crystal clear that we were friends. And everybody got it. I thought.

 

Miriam, my best friend says I was stupid not to see it coming; that I was naïve to think that just because you lay it all out for someone that they will respect where you are coming from. Miriam says people listen to what you say thinking all along that they can get you to change your mind later when they’ve worked on you a while. I never change my mind about people. If you give me reason not to trust you, I will never trust you. I may hang out with you and do shit with you, I might even help you but I will never place myself in a position where your behavior matters. I will never count on you. I will always have a back-up plan. Miriam says she knew Candy was in love with me from the first time she saw me. But I don’t believe it. If you love somebody you don’t betray them.

 

I gave Candy a key to my place. I gave it to her so that if something happened to me my cats would be okay. She gave me a key to her place too because her buzzer was always broken. We had a lot of things in common. Our favorite movie was Fulltime Killer starring Andy Lau. We both loved food so spicy that the first bite would make our foreheads bead with sweat. Candy hated pop music especially female vocalists with “girl” voices and so did I. We were the only lesbians we knew that did not enjoy Heart. We wore black jeans, detested kids, loved our steak blue, knew what a Viola Da Gamba was and read everything we could get our hands on by Gore Vidal.

 

Saturday mornings I would go to her place in my pajamas and she would make French toast with brioche and we would lie on the floor watching cartoons.  Wednesdays she would come to mine, watch American Horror Story and eat my pasta.  Two days a week we hung out. Does this seem like anything other than friends to you? Seriously I don’t know where Miriam gets her ideas. We were friends.

 

Until the Wednesday she came up behind me while I was cooking my hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olive sauce with rigatoni and started kissing my neck. I could feel her breasts pushing up against my back. She was naked. Her hands were moving towards the buttons on my shirt. Her breath was coming in soft little pants in my ear. I tried to imagine what I could possibly say to her to get her to stop. To push time back so that I could not feel her fingers slide across my chest causing every centimeter of skin touched to crawl.  I did not want to turn. Did not want to see her body quivering with anticipation for a lust I could not feel. I did not want her to see the loathing in my eyes. I felt like a cat cornered by adolescent boys. And the longer I waited, the longer I did nothing, praying she would notice my complete detachment, the angrier I became when she just continued grinding her hips into my… Until finally the thought of that pending suffocating kiss drove me into such a panic that I stopped chopping the red chili peppers and drove the knife backwards into her face.

 

At first there was no change just the same rhythmic rolling of her hips and then a spasm, then another more and more violent accompanied by a gush of hot soaking my hair, my clothes until her body slapped against the ceramic tiles.  The rigatoni was boiling. I picked one out with a fork and tasted it. Perfect. I turned off the burners, sprinkled the basil over the sauce and drained the rigatoni.

 

The pasta was the best I have ever made. American Horror Story was a repeat. Not that it was any excuse but I wondered if she’d known.

True Sentiment

28 Feb

So I am kind of cheating here because I wrote this story a while ago but I have had a kind of stressful couple of weeks and tonight my agida is over and I am inexplicably sleepy in that little kid conking out kind of way. I am blessed (and I rarely use this word) with amazing, loving, kind, fucktabulous friends. Two of whom in particular made it possible for me to breathe. Anyway I really love this story which is not typical of what I write at all but it deals with love and profound connection.

 

……………………………………………

True Sentiment

 

Magda and Elizabet were really more like sisters than friends. And really it would have been easier on both families if they had been for they loved each other with that obsessive intensity that only little girls are capable of. They truly believed that death would come if ever they were separated and in fact it almost did when at the tender age of 7 Elizabet came down with rheumatic fever.

Magda barely ate or slept for the two weeks that Elizabet lay near death in her room just across the alley from Magda’s own. In fact the distance between the two houses was so small that had Elizabet’s window been open Magda could have climbed across and sat with her friend but for the first time since the two girls had befriended each other the window was shut and locked.

And when the wait was finally over the news was not good. In fact from Magda’s perspective Elizabet might as well have passed away. The fever had left her friend blind and her parents were sending her hundreds of miles away to a place where Elizabet could continue her education in an environment that would also help her deal with her new dark world.

‘If only they had let her see Elizabet’ Magda thought ‘then maybe she would have lost her sight too and she could go with her friend and not be stuck here with no one to play with but roly-poly Yeorgi.’

The week before Elizabet was to go on the train with her parents Magda ran away and was missing for a day and a half before the milkman found her in a comatose state soaking wet on the bank of the river. She was so cold her lips were blue and when she finally regained consciousness she had been struck as sightless as her friend.

The village Doctor told Magda’s parents that he was certain that the girls sight would come back, that it was a case of psychological rather than physiological blindness but the child wept so piteously at the idea of being left behind in her new state of sightlessness that her parents finally relented and allowed her to go to the Institute for the Blind with her friend.

For the first time ever the girls had a fight. Magda found the school absolutely terrifying while Elizabet had assimilated in no time at all. They were still inseparable but Elizabet seemed to be positively gifted at overcoming the hardship of being blind while Magda struggled with everything. For some reason the comprehension of Braille eluded her and she could not tell China from England on the big globe that dominated the front of the Geography room. Before her accident Magda had been a gifted pianist but now she played so clumsily that her Liszt sounded like a toddler banging the keys. Elizabet on the other hand was becoming a competent flute player. But none of this mattered to Magda because she was with Elizabet. They shared all the same classes, slept side by side in the dormitory, bathed together and spent every free period heads practically conjoined whispering about the things only best friends talk about.

In fact Magda would have gladly spent the rest of her life-like this if it hadn’t been for the well-meaning Head Mistress who saw in Elizabet the making of a teacher somewhat like the famous Annie Sullivan. She had written to Elizabet’s parents who were of course delighted that Miss Hutsler thought Elizabet might be able to actually make a living for herself and gave the headmistress permission to do whatever she saw fit to make their handicapped child self-sufficient. Of course Magda was thrilled for her friend until she found out that it meant Elizabet would be leaving the Institute at the end of term to go to America and study at the school that Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller had set up for those gifted like Elizabet to become teachers for those living in perpetual twilight like herself.

It was then that a miraculous thing happened and Magda started to make huge strides in her own accomplishments. Soon she had recovered almost all her skill on the piano and she and Elizabeth would perform short concerts after the evening meal for the students and teachers in the conservatory. She even surpassed her friend in the sciences. But when it came to Braille she was only moderately adequate. Still however the headmistress decided that Magda too should go to America and become a teacher.

And there they stayed until Elizabet now 85 had been diagnosed with a tumor in her stomach that could not be removed. She wanted to die at home. But before that she wanted to revisit the Institute where the two girls had grown into women and found the means to live happily together which would have been a miracle even for sighted women.

Together they stood at the foot of the long staircase that led up to the enormous front doors. Arm in arm they wandered the deserted hallways until they came to the old geography room and Elizabet placed her hands on the enormous globe and gave it a spin.

It was only then that Elizabet took her friends face in her hands and said “Thank you for all these years my friend.” and kissed her on the lips.

Magda with tears in her eyes stared at her friend`s wrinkled and spotted face framed in the silver braids wound tightly around her head like a crown and said “How long have you known?”

Elizabet smiled and shook her head. “I have known from the beginning Magda. I may be blind but I have always been able to see you.”

The two friends continued their tour arm in arm even after the sun had disappeared from the sky and they were wandering in the dark. Even though the electricity was still on in the long-deserted school Magda did not turn on the lights. She was after all with Elizabet and as long as they were together Magda had everything she needed.

Lucid Dreaming

21 Feb

Lucid Dreaming

 

Lisa awoke one night to find herself sitting cross legged on her dresser staring at her sleeping body and she wasn’t even high. She was however thoroughly disgusted to discover that she snored like a man. And that her utter bitch of an ex had been right all along.

 

Never having been outside her body before she wasn’t too sure what the rules were. She remembered reading once that there was a slender silver thread that kept your spirit linked to your body if you were experiencing astral projection but she did not seem to have one so maybe she was dying. The blankets looked like they were moving rhythmically but that could just be the cat. She needed to go and listen to her heart beat, feel her forehead and see if she felt clammy or whatever you do to see if someone is healthy. She tried climbing off of the dresser but found it was taking forever. It was as if the floor was moving farther away with each step she took towards it. Lisa could not believe she was destined to spend whatever the fuck this was eternity or the onset of night terrors on top of a white Ikea dresser. There had to be some way down.

 

Maybe she could fly? In every dream Lisa had ever had about flying all she had done to take off was raise her arms and then lean forward so that all her weight was in her abdomen and then lift her legs straight out, which was exactly how she had taught herself how to swim. Maybe she should try that now.

 

She shut her eyes and let herself fall. When she didn’t hit ground she opened her eyes and found she was floating directly over the bed. Nefertiti opened one blue eye and then another. Using the pretext of an urgent bath to camouflage her interest, the cat began to calculate just how much energy it would require to leap upon her floating mistress and if it would be worth the effort.

 

Lisa swam down to her snoring self and wondered if maybe she wasn’t snoring at all, if maybe what she was hearing was Cheyne-Stokes or the death rattle or whatever it was called.  Hovering inches above the prostrate form Lisa pulled the covers down. The sleeping or dying Lisa rolled over and tried to pull the covers back under her chin. A fight ensued until the hovering Lisa pulled so hard the sleeper awoke glaring angrily into her own eyes.

 

Lisa leapt out of bed, heart racing. Just one night she would like to sleep all the way through without waking herself up.

 

 

Cristina Part 2

13 Feb

Cristina Part 2

Christmas is to crazy what full moons are to lycanthropy. I do not know why but I suspect it is the noise and the repetition. There is more repetition at Christmas then at any other statutory holiday. Fa la la la la la la la.

I do not enjoy repetition or noise. Which is why I do not like children. Children can repeat one syllable for an entire day fall asleep and then start over the next day without breaking their rhythm or changing their intonation.

The other thing in my opinion that contributes to the rise of mental crisis during this time of year are turkeys. I do not like to eat things that are stuffed. To me the whole concept of removing everything the turkey was born with to put other stuff in borders on the psychopathic. And people are so blasé about the whole thing like there is nothing objectionable to having a conversation while your hand is shoved up a dead bird’s orifice. You can not make me eat something that you have had your whole hand in. I do not like outside things going inside and visa versa. Especially if those inside things are red.

Red is a very busy color. Christmas is also a very red time of year. Santa Claus wears a red suit which is why he is able to travel from one side of the world to the other in less than 12 hours. He could never get all those presents delivered if he was wearing blue. I do not need to tell you why.

Dr. Ableman says there is no direct correlation between color and events. But I know that Dr. Ableman prevaricates. I know this because every Christmas he tells me that my husband is here to visit and I know I have never been married. I know this because marriage would interfere with my waitressing. Single waitresses make much better tips. I do not make a lot of tips here. Not even when I go to all the trouble of freshly squeezing a pineapple to make juice. The people here especially the nurses are very cheap. I do not however let it deter me from giving good service.

Do you know why else I know Dr. Ableman is prevaricating about my being married? Every year it is a different man claiming to be my husband. First off it was a young man in a very well-tailored suit with a smart striped shirt. This year it is an old man in a leather jacket and a turtleneck sweater. I am far too young to be married to such an old man. He must be at least 50!!! And I would never be the wife of anyone who wore a turtleneck. I think they look obscene. I do not need to tell you why.

Most times I am polite and ask the imposter if he would like to see a menu. Although quite frankly I am always relieved when he says no because there are no menus. I do not understand how they expect me to be a good waitress with no menus. I offer to squeeze him a pineapple or get him a smart cocktail. And usually he smiles and says no and goes away. This year was different. This year he touched me. Everybody knows you are not allowed to touch your waitress. Everybody knows this. But he tried to take my hand in his and I could not breathe and I tried to pull away and he kept holding on and everything got very loud and red. And then I was in my room and I could not sit up because there were straps around me. I have no idea how this happened. But I blame it on the red.

Christmas is no holiday for a waitress, no indeed. Christmas is to waiting what June is to weddings. The holidays make people very loud. Sometimes they are angry loud and sometimes they are happy loud. Here they are sometimes both at the same time. There are always more people here at Christmas than any other time. And it is all I can do to keep up with the rush. I like to try to greet people as soon as they arrive. There is nothing worse than sitting at your table and not knowing who your server is.

Today Dr. Ableman was wearing a sweater with polar bears on it and a red tie. I have never seen this sweater before. But I have seen the tie. This is the tie that he always wears with his grey plaid jacket. I do not think he should be wearing it with this sweater. I think he should put on his jacket. And I do not like a sweater that has animals on it. I also do not like an animal print. Whenever I see an animal print I can’t stop looking for the eyes. I cannot concentrate on anything that Dr. Ableman is saying because the polar bears are looking at me. And just so you know none of them are drinking coke. I do not drink coke either. I drink water.

Dr. Ableman is talking about the man. The man who touched me. He is telling me that he will not be coming again. He is telling me that the man came this year to tell me that. Only he says “my husband.” And I say I do not care because I DO NOT HAVE A HUSBAND. Dr. Ableman suggests that I take a look at some pictures that the stranger has left for me. I ask if I am supposed to tell him what I think they look like and he says no. Just look.

They are pictures of somebody’s family. There is a mommy, a daddy and two little girls. They look very pale and shiny. They are too clean. They make my eyes hurt. They live in a big house. I think there must be at least a thousand other people living there because it is so big but Dr. Ableman says no only the four very clean people live there. And the dog. It is a small black dog with a flat face and big ears like a bat. Or maybe it is a bat. I do not know. The pictures are very loud.

Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year for us waitresses no matter where we are working. And by Christmas I mean the day after Halloween till December 30th. Out there you can tell it is Christmas because when you wake up November morning there are colored lights everywhere and all the store windows are filled with fairies and Santas and beautiful mannequins wearing clothes that you only wear at Christmas unless you have a lot of money and then you wear gold and silver all the time although I did watch a show once that said metallics are fashionable all year-long and it’s especially chic to mix your metals. I personally prefer to keep my metals separate. I also do not like my bra and panties touching so I keep them in separate drawers and never absolutely never wear a one piece bathing suit or a leotard like dancers wear.

In here you can tell it is Christmas because the halls are full of people wandering around looking lost and sad. Some of them have bandages on their wrists. I have never had bandages on my wrists although I think they look very stylish in a Michael Jackson kind of way.

I like to wait until they have decided where they are most comfortable and then I make my way over with a big smile and tell them what the specials are. I would give them menus but for some reason we are still waiting for them to come from the printers. Personally I would fire these printers because we have been waiting at least 5 years. Call me crazy but I do not see how you can possibly make any money as a printer if you take over 5 years to print 100 menus. But then this is a government contract so…

I try to work as much as possible during Christmas. It keeps my mind off things. Things like ribbons of red that steam and melt. And carolers that sing so loud my ears hurt. Christmas is so loud it makes me want to curl up into a tiny ball under my bed only that is the first place they look for me when I disappear off the floor. Sometimes I wish they would hire someone else so that I would not be the only waitress here. I have asked Dr. Ableman time and time again. I have told him that it is impossible to give good service and make any tips if you are serving over 100 people at a time. In fact to be honest with you I have not got a single tip in all the time I have been here and I am an excellent waitress. I bring the water right away and never make you wait for your cream. I will even bring you ketchup to put on your French toast without raising even one eyebrow.

Today Dr. Ableman asked me a question. It made me very nervous because I do not like to answer questions of a personal nature. I am happy to answer any and all questions about our freshly squeezed pineapple juice and what exact vegetables are in our mélange but I do not feel that it is a part of my job description to talk about why I do not like red.

These Walls Can Speak

7 Feb

These Walls Can Speak

At first I could not breathe between these walls, there was no room for my lungs to expand, no air just insulation and dust. So tightly was I packed between the two by fours and the drywall that I could not even open my mouth to scream so I whispered my despair. So soft was my pleading that only those who understood the utter hopelessness of deliverance from those who are stronger came to offer the solace of their teeth and claws, mandibles and pincers.

My thoughts grew stronger with every tear at my flesh. When my eyes left their sockets carried away ever so delicately between the tiny white razor sharp teeth of my rodent deliverers I began to truly see. I saw deep into the heart of my killer. I was able to count the minutest rays on the tail end star on Cassiopeia.

My ears were harvested by an enterprising centipede which left me free to hear the steps of a flea on a bar of soap. Touch, taste and smell were lost completely but in their place was the capacity to focus like never before. I was thought and emotion. And they constantly warred within me till I became the stuff that night terrors are made of. And yet underneath it all I was able to dredge up a fleeting moment or two of sheer optimism.

This feeling had nothing to do with God. I have never been a believer, not even when those hands were around my neck did I hedge my bets and call out. I died in silence just like I lived. I am not however silent in my death. My bones crack like sapless branches behind the headboard of their bed. I articulate my condemnation in their ears as they sleep, their dogs howling in solidarity.

I make their most precious things disappear or lie broken where they will cut their feet. And I write on every wall, on every surface, on every inch of awareness that killing me has only anchored me deeper in their lives. That I am here behind these walls where they have placed me and I am waiting for them to join me.