Thursday, November 27, 2008

What makes it human

Let's just say that the reading is not particularly well-attended, although the space is fascinating -- it's an old-school meatpacking district loft in the neighborhood that’s now a realness playground for the excessively rich you take a rickety commercial elevator directly from the street, through what appears to be an actual woodshop, and then into the back where there's a bar and places to sit and I'm thinking about the sex party that's happening later and how crowded it will be, except I notice that already people are smoking and that brings on my panic, the smoking is in the front of the place but I know it's going to ruin my life and I want to ask to go on first so that I can leave but I'm stuck in this familiar place of not wanting to cause an uncomfortable moment or scene about what is really my basic health but it's so tiring that I have to say something sometimes it feels better to get stuck. Until after. Luckily Paula’s with me, she thinks I'm right I should ask to read first so we can escape and I go up to the host just as she's about to introduce the first performer and she says I can go second, which is the end of the first set and then the music is good and I want to dance, already I'm sad about the sex party and dancing I'm going to miss later or maybe people are just smoking now because it’s early? I'm going back and forth about it in my head, until Paula says what is the best thing that could happen?

I say amazing sex and no smoke, and Paula says no, amazing sex and there’s smoke all over and would it be worth it? No, it wouldn't be worth it at all -- that would be three weeks out of my life, so then I realize I can't go and that makes me sad that I'm banished from these places that actually mean something to me although Paula says it's good that I know how to take care of myself. Dinner is delicious and then I'm over at Jason's loft where I'm staying while he's out of town, looking on craigslist, yes craigslist in New York or the death of New York which was already dead but now really dead except actually I've liked my stay in New York this time and that’s because of people like Gina and Paula and Killer who actually know what it means to look out for me, to think about the hazards in the world as I experience them and try to intervene to make things easier or more gorgeous and hopeful.

But anyway, in this enormous posh Tribeca loft the dream of New York another kind of death I'm on craigslist responding to someone who wants to pay someone younger but not that much younger to suck him off, even though I don't want to get sucked off really that sounds boring at the moment I want the reverse but he says he's generous so why not see what that means, especially when he responds to pictures of me that actually look like me but then he wants a lower rate -- I just suck you off and you enjoy, he says, and then I remember oh that's what tricks think and anyway there's someone else who sounds more fun, wants me on my knees looking for the best angle -- he doesn't say that about the best angle but that's what I notice when I'm there in his apartment a New York specialty the size of a Tribeca loft closet in a building before fire escapes, someone who was in the Angels of Light owns or manages it, lighting sconces in the hallways like candles but electric and this guy points out the fake candle wax.

He wonders if I've been here before because I know where the bathroom is, down the hall and he says there are a lot of fags in the building but I just noticed the bathroom when I walked in because the door was open, gorgeous old tub but no shower that seems difficult. I've been to another building kind of like this with a lot of fags, except in that one the doors were made of plywood with cheap padlocks to supposedly secure something. But anyway I'm sucking his cock, that’s what I was looking for even though he smokes but he stopped before I got here, fan blowing everything out or maybe air in, yes in is what's happening now because he wants to turn it off but I say let's leave it, anyway I'm sucking his cock and yes yes yes I'm sucking his cock the way he positions my head and I keep choking he wanted me to choke that's what he said in the ad but also he wants my throat I kind of want to lean my head back except there's nowhere back to lean on but anyway there's time to appreciate the curve maybe this is the way people suck my cock the curve he's reading the most recent Tom Spanbauer book but mostly nonfiction something about genetics and destiny but written by a journalist not a scientist and in his set of tiny drawers: a plastic bag of vermillion, a wolf’s jaw that he says was his ex-boyfriend, gum erasers he's a tattoo artist. Maybe I like the swallowing part the best because of the way he's shaking and hitting the bottom of his loft bed over and over with a sound like he's angry I mean maybe I like that part best except for chatting afterwards which is what makes it human, ready for a walk outside in the cold yes the cold is when there is actually air in New York but first I'm drinking glass after glass of water there's an old sink in his room and actually his friend djed the reading but he didn't feel like going I liked her music and he says a boy named Mattilda, I'm sure we're going to run into each other again.


dandy said...

geez, your book tour could be another book. "wants me on my knees looking for the best angle".
such a good line

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Dandy -- and yay for another book!

Love --

kayti said...

Hi Mattilda, I am back from St.Paul, MN. I would love for you to write a book about book touring. I hope your wearing one of your fancy ties when I see you.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Kayti, looking forward to seeing you -- and I may, indeed, be wearing a fancy tie...

love --