Friday, February 26, 2016

swallow my spit

Tim and I stopped at the supermarket before I took him home. Get me some chips, he said from the passenger window. Okay. Love you, he calls. Love you, too, I smile back. I entered the market. Casually amble the aisles. I saw him at midnight. It’s in the back, he says. Do I go straight for it? No. I skip his aisle. Walk casual. He’s restocking. The store is cold. Practically empty. I pull over my sweater. I grab what I grab and walk back. Still cold. Through his aisle. He tells me to stop. Need help? Nah I’m good, I stutter. He continues to work. I stop. Look at his back. His hair. His ears. He turns and looks at me. I stare. His eyes. His lips. His eyebrows. That style. He continues to work. I take off my sweater. Hey, I stutter. Swallow my spit. He turns. I just wanted to say. He raises a brow. I hope you don’t find this offensive. He blinks. I think you’re handsome. My aorta spills. Do I look at him? No. I go straight. Straight for the register.
I’m never doing that again, is what I tell myself. He’s perfect, is why I object. I adore his type. Should I do that again? I don’t know. I can. But it’s not right. This is where the story gets confusing. And I apologize. I’m not normal, you see. I’m not supposed to do that. It’s wrong. But I can’t help it. My heart goes cold when I don’t. It goes numb when I do. I can’t accept it. I’m tired. A kind of tired that medication can’t cure. A kind of tired that sleep can’t fix. I’m normal. A normal son. A normal brother. But please god, can I be a normal boy.
Back at the car, Tim smiles, You get my chips. Ah, nah...sorry. Forgot. I start the car and as we pull out of the lot, he places his hand on my leg. Love you, babe. Yeah, I know. Love you, too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a shit storm's a comin'

I realize none of you give a rat's ass, but I am spending my day locked behind my desk, scribbling out plot points concerning my next book. It will tell the story of William Burroughs’s time in Mexico City in 1953 and deal with the 'accidental' shooting of his wife, Joan Volmer Burroughs. I am penning it, using factual documents, as a "fucked-up love story". Depression? Drugs? Alcoholism? Homosexual tendencies? Schizophrenic nightmares? All wrapped in the self-loathing romance of two Americans living in the slums of Mexico? I am extremely passionate about writing this!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

napkin scribbles from a 3:36am coffee binge

Lately we’d been living on the road. From hotel to motel, to sometimes sleeping on the freeway; our feet would touch the dirty ground but it stopped affecting us long ago. As the shapeless clothes found life from the hour glass figure that use to be poor; rippled roof tops eased into our minds. Power lines traced out figurines in the distance, leading as our map to a place we’d like to go. But it happened, whenever we entered a gas station or a restaurant the newspaper would be at the front, telling the stories we didn’t want to hear. Lie after lie, as the booth accompanied us to our food. Once we ate, once we left, we decided to take to the road and stay on it. Since every time we passed someone, they felt older than we were even if that was not the case; chasing after something was not what we were doing but catching up to a displaced time line was where we were heading.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

writer's block

Here is yet another excerpt from the Burroughs novel I am working on. Though it may be switched by time of publication, this is the opening to chapter three: It's Kind of a Glow focusing heavily on William's and Joan's current relationship, a mutual but somewhat unstable truce. William had just began his cure from dope and is beginning to drink heavily. This chapter also introduces The Bounty Bar with all the expat regulars. Once again, this is a first draft, so...

For the Cris sake do you actually think that laying a woman makes someone heterosexual? I have been laying women for the past 15 years and haven’t heard any complaints from the women either.* What does that prove except that I was hard up at that time? Laying a woman so far as I am concerned is O.K. if I can’t score for a boy. But laying one woman or a thousand merely emphasizes the fact that a woman is not what I want. Better than nothing, of course, like a tortilla is better than no food. But no matter how many tortillas I eat I still want a steak.**
   “You got a kick out of that, didn’t you, Joanie?” William asked with an almost imperceptible smirk. He sat typing at his desk. Joan lounged on the sagging couch grasping a glass of tequila in one hand and the letter to Ginsberg in the other.
   She chuckled from her editorial comments written with a pencil on the typed letter. By the first asterisk she scrawled: “Correct!” By the second: “Around the 20th of the month, things get a bit tight and he lives on tortillas.”
   “At least a bit of a laugh I think on Allen’s end.” She said.
   William loudly snorted, clearing his sinuses. “Joan, though tolerant of my personal sexual preferences, I realize you cannot remain unaffected by the irony of our mutual situation.”
   She gulped a shot of her tequila and pointed with yellow stained fingers at the letter in her free hand, taking a drag from a cigarette, she added, “What’s interesting about this is it reveals to dear Allen that you and I do have sex, at least sporadically. And that, apparently, is my only kick.”
   “Indeed.” William droned. He reached for the chilled martini next to his typewriter, sipped it. “Tortillas, I have found, are an acquired taste. Unsavory and somewhat tasteless to the palate but serves to sate ones hunger.” Before Joan could utter a retort, William loudly removed the paper from the machine’s roll carriage and quickly continued, “Here is my current dispatch to Jack. Tell me, what do you think?”
   He passed her the letter. She scanned it with crimson eyes. It read: Mexico is an oriental country that reflects 2000 years of disease and poverty and degradation and stupidity and slavery and brutality and psychic and physical terrorism. Mexico is sinister and gloomy and chaotic with the special chaos of a dream. I like it myself, but it isn’t everybody’s taste, and don’t expect to find anything like Lowell…No Mexican knows any other Mexican, and when a Mexican kills someone (Mexico DF has about the highest murder rate of any city in the world), it is usually his best friend. I guess they find a friend less frightening than a stranger.
   Joan handed the correspondence back, “This aggressive ambiguity you feel toward Mexico seems quite apparent. Tell me, how true was the sentence: “I like it myself, but it isn’t everybody’s taste”? Are you actually attempting to affirm your irrefutably underground identity? Evidently with Mexico being an underground country compared to stateside, isn’t it impetuous of you to write it off or reject it out of hand? The truth being, in my humble opinion of course, despite the sordidness and uncivilized behavior of Mexican society, Mexico still remains alluring to you, and again, it is simply my respectful observation, there exists a certain empathy between the two of you, a distant yet genuine communicating vessel. I believe you have found your time/space location.”
   William sat brooding at the typed letter, marked with corrections and additions in pencil on the yellowed onion paper. He emitted a resigned sigh. “To be honest, Joanie, I actually do not know how much longer I will be around Mexico City. As you are fully aware, the money from Texas is still pending. When I do receive it, we certainly will be taking off for points south.”
   She curled up with her feet onto the couch, propped herself on the arm, clutching a fresh glass of tequila. She coyly smirked, “I am thrilled you said we, Bill. We as in myself and the children or we as in whatever adolescent infatuation you have snared at that given moment?”
   He didn’t answer her. Instead, he retrieved a folded letter from a small pile next to the over-flowing ashtray. He glanced over it and commented in a dry monotone, “Did I mention to you the latest concerning Allen and Huncke’s current dramatic fiasco? As a result of allowing Huncke to flop in his apartment to stash stolen loot, and then getting busted, Allen, in lieu of a jail term, apparently landed himself in the Columbia Psychiatric Institute.”
   “Our wayward muse in the nuthouse once again? Whenever will he learn?” She gulped the tequila down, grabbed the bottle, refilled it.
   “On my end with this dire debacle, as I continue to write Junk, I am now dealing with Allen, Lucien being out of the picture as my agent, by the way. I have been forwarding revisions of the manuscript, uncluttering any theoretical references quoted by Wilhelm Reich. In his last letter, Allen arrogantly replied he is under the impression that the manuscript is simply a justification of my habit. I retorted in turn what in the name of God did he mean by saying the book is a “justification” for junk or myself taking junk? I don’t justify nothing to nobody. As a matter of fact, if I may say so myself, the book is the only accurate account I ever read of the real horror of junk. I never meant it as justification or deterrent or anything but an accurate account of what I experienced during the time I was on junk.”
   Joan took a long drag from her cigarette, blowing billowing gray plumes into the already dank room. “Will you be including any of your current escapades with Old Dave? I imagine it would constitute an interesting contrast of New York compared to Mexico City. Give it an intercontinental slant. And on that note, where is Old Dave? I haven’t smelled him of late.”
   “We…don’t talk.” William mumbled.
   He had purposefully kept away from Dave Tesorero. Old Dave owed William three hundred pesos lent to him so he could sell a share of dope and give back five hundred. Dave wasn’t seen for weeks after the deal. It didn’t matter. William knew he could kiss those pesos goodbye. He didn’t need Dave around, anyway. His cure was going as planned and certainly did not want Old Dave schlepping around having an adverse effect on him. Although he had stopped shooting heroin and reduced his alcohol intake to three martinis a day, William did smoked opium once a week, considering the narcotic harmless.
   Joan clumsily attempted to roll off the couch and to go relieve her bladder. She lost her balance and fell onto the floor. William apathetically glanced at her. He returned to his typing as if she was not in the room. Bumping the end table, she accidentally knocked off the tequila bottle. The clear liquid soaked into the already stained throw rug.
   “Oh, hell.” Joan muttered.
   With much effort, she tottered to her feet and smiled. “Well, Bill, it’s nearly five. You want to grab the kids and head down to The Bounty? Get out for a bit?”
   He stopped typing. Glanced at the near empty martini glass on the cluttered table. William’s lower back was sore from sitting at the desk all afternoon. He stood and grabbed the remainder of the martini, gulping it down. “I could use a break. Certainly. Round up the brats and I’ll wait for you down in the courtyard.”

Friday, February 05, 2016

past midnight

My cell phone rings.
“Hey,” he greets me. I hear the distinct sound of rocks crunching beneath his feet, so I realize he’s walking. Probably returning to his house from one of those neurotic midnight pacings he does.
“Hey,” I reply, suppressing my protective instinct and swallowing the lecture I was going to give him about wandering around outside by his self. Let him make his own mistakes, I think as I sink into an antique armchair by the window. Dark outside. So dark.
“Remember a few months ago?” he asks. I mumble something similar to Mmhm, though I literally have no idea what he wants me to remember. A whole lot of shit - just a whole hell of a lot - occurred a few months ago. I let him talk and assume I’ll catch up eventually.
“Remember when I said I was over it?” Oh, no… please, not this again…  “Well, I’m not.” Big surprise there. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I just can’t. I can’t let it go. Remember when I said that I wouldn’t do anything?”
At this point I sit up in my chair. My breathe is short. My chest is tingling. In the still of the night, I can hear my heart rapidly beating.
There is a very specific way one has to deal with this young man. I haven’t known him long enough to figure out all of it, but still, I know more than anyone else. He’s tested my patience and occasionally my sanity with his constant questions and irrational way of thinking, yet I’ve proven myself capable to handle everything he hurls my way. Until tonight.
Because right now, every alarm and flashing red light in my mind is going off. On the line, I hear one door shut and a second open, muffled metallic clinks, and the sound of several heavy objects being dumped on a table.
I am now on my feet.
“Ok, listen, you’re not -” I begin, stalling for time while I stumble around in the darkness of my own house with the phone in one hand and a dying flashlight in the other, attempting to find where I’d flung my coat in a fire-hazard maze of moving boxes.
“Remember when I called off my plan for revenge?” he says, coolly, casually, cutting me off. One by one, I hear him loading them and wonder no more about the clinking sounds. I stop searching for the coat. Suddenly, I don’t have any spit left in my mouth.
Fuck it, I think, heading toward the door and preparing myself to enter a bone-chilling winter night at 2:53am. I curse the moonless sky. Could’ve sworn he had a prescription for sleeping pills.
I mutter and stutter, struggling to come up with a reply in between breaths as I run. If I can get there in time, I can stop him. On the line again, there are the sounds of his own front door opening and the careful setting of his rifle case to rest in the floor.
“Yeah, well, forget what I said before,” he continues, ignoring me. “It’s back on.”

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I’ve lost every concept of time there is and I literally do not feel anytime passing. My anxiety’s getting worse and there’s not a day that goes by without that familiar pulsation or a panic attack. I’ve lost a grip on everything and I’ve spun out of control. I can’t keep gripping onto everything anymore and I want to let go but I know that I can’t. No one really cares, no one’s dependent on me. Not kai, not you, not anyone. I don’t have a purpose anymore apart from telling myself I’m better when I’ve never felt more insignificant in my life. I want to restart everything. I want to live a new life and make better choices, because where I’m going at the moment is not where I want to end up.
I don’t know why I’m here anymore. No one really cares about me and no one matters to me much anymore. I’m so fucking weird and everyone sees it. I hate the way I act, I hate the way I am, I hate the way I look. To put it shortly, I hate myself, and in a way I never thought I’d feel.