Sunday, January 29, 2012

The best part

Now I know why I don't eat canned beans -- because they taste like a can. Doesn't matter how long you cook them -- it's been three hours with these adzuki beans -- forget it, time to cook the dried mung beans. The fluorescent lights in this hotel room -- ground-level, facing a parking lot: you get the point. I can see the neon sign of the Lowe’s, that's my view.

But then there are the train tracks, behind the hotel and that's where I'm walking, shirt off in the sun it’s just me on the side of the tracks, wrong side which means the right side, whatever side I'm on -- gravel and dirt that feels like sand and for a while I wonder why, nowhere near the beach I mean probably 50 or 60 miles, right? But then I remember: this was desert, before it became farmland feeding and draining the whole country. Gravel and dirt that feels like sand in my body in the sun, suddenly there’s desire too and I'm touching my skin, a hard-on even and I wonder about jerking off here on the side of the tracks where jerking off was meant to be but then I'm tired again and back in fluorescents.

Sundays in San Dimas, sung in my head over and over to the tune of Sundays in Savannah, one of Nina Simone's most beautiful songs, even if it is about church. Even if I won't be in San Dimas on a Sunday, I do understand these towns more, after Santa Fe -- you look up at the mountains, past strip mall hell, and you wonder. Back on the train tracks, maybe it's the next day or maybe it was earlier, I watch someone scale the wall behind Lowe's, climb up to her bike, sunglasses half on and half off and she waits a full minute or two to catch her breath is what I'm thinking, catch her breath from whatever she’s obtained in the best way possible, before riding off.

The Claremont event is fantastic, soothing actually – yes the space is gorgeous and I am relaxed, but more than that it's about the way the audience is breathing and laughing and learning with me, that's what I'm feeling anyway, especially afterwards at the reception, where people come up to get their books signed and tell me stories about my work, their work, to dream about public sex spaces and spaces for the intimacies we all crave and that's what I feel somehow, these intimacies.

Oh, the air conditioning on the train -- yes, I wish I left that car with all the air conditioning and my head, today, my head, but also there’s the exhaustion, my head, today my goal is to go to the beach, feet in the sand, sun on my body and that I already did but yes I need more except my head: so hard to feel anything like pleasure, this exhausted, this drained, the train, even with the ocean on my feet, soft wet sand, now I will lie down.

Wait: not just air conditioning, but the horrible toxic floral scent in the bed, why the bad why I should have run into one of those department stores Davka and I drove by and bought a new bottom sheet I mean I thought of that, but then I thought no, that's not something I need, is it? It is. It was. It will be.

I mean I travel with a top sheet, for that exact reason, and who knows if just getting rid of the bottom sheet would have gotten rid of the horrible toxic floral scent anyway, didn't I ask about that ahead of time? I must have, right? But let's get back to the beach: the second time is more exciting somehow, turning the corner and there are the mountains. Yes, an endless row of hideous palm trees too and straight people playing volleyball, soccer, golden purse swing-about, someone whistles at me but still, the rocks in the wet sand and my feet in the water oh my feet in the water I didn't realize that would be the best part.

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