Friday, September 28, 2012

Damsel in distress

Then I go in my room for my zeppelin and what the fuck, I can't find it anywhere. I know Champagne didn't take that, because she doesn't even smoke pot – my pot’s right in the drawer where it belongs, but where is the fucking pipe? I yell for Abby, do you have a pipe?
Abby’s wearing the ratty blonde wig, with a cute black dress and those wobbly heels, and for a minute I think about how funny it is that now we’re both turning tricks and fuck it I need a drink but the T’s going to close soon and I don't want to drive home again. Abby says she was going to take a cab anyway, it'll be her treat, okay let's go. Two cocktails at Luxor and I'm feeling much better, yes in spite of those bitches trying to throw shade our way — honey, you're going to have to keep throwing because I'm not catching it. So then I go over to Jacque’s with Abby and some guy comes right over to me and says how do I know what’s in your pants? Gross.
But he won't leave me alone — I'll give you 20, he says, I'll give you 20 just to see. A hundred is my starting point, I say, and he says what are you drinking. A Stoli madras, I say — and one for my friend.
Do you see what I mean? As soon as you start turning tricks, it happens all the time. Here I am at Jacque’s, just dressed in my normal clothes, I mean I'm not even wearing tights and some guy’s acting like he's really intrigued to find out what's in my pants. Apparently they don't have Stoli here — I can't tell if he's lying, or just cheap, but I drink the cocktail anyway and then he says I'll give you 20 just to see, like he hasn't said that twice already, and I guess that's cab fare since I'm already out too late, so then I hold out my hand for the 20, go in the bathroom and I unzip my pants, he gets on his knees like he's going to do something but I zip right back up, head over to the bar, and kiss Abby goodbye.
Yes it's the next day and honey I am strung out to hell — I’m rushing out of the house to get groceries, drive a few blocks but then I realize I forgot my grocery bags so I go back, run up the stairs to my room and there’s Champagne with an electric screwdriver, taking the lock off my bedroom door. What the hell are you doing, I say. Oh, she says, I didn't expect you to come back so soon. I'll put this back on the door.
I don't even know what to say I’m so shocked, or not shocked but irritated, enraged, what the fuck, but I need to get some broccoli and tofu before Bread & Circus closes so I leave the house anyway and then when I get home I look around my room to see if anything’s gone — I have no idea, really, so I go upstairs and knock on Sham’s door and when she opens I say I'm just going to look around and see if there's anything of mine in here. And she looks at me like she’s some damsel in distress but I start rummaging through her drawers anyway, sure enough there's another one of my t-shirts — look at this, I say, this one has my name on the label, and I hold it up to her face but she just puts her hand out like I'm the one giving her drama — I can’t even deal with looking at her anymore so I go back downstairs.
Then, in the morning, someone's causing a big scene in the kitchen which is pretty rare, I was worried about living with all these meat-eaters when I moved in but usually I'm the only one who cooks anything. Today I can smell the bacon grease from my room, and then I hear Shamboom’s giggle and it sounds like everyone is in there eating something she cooked, sure enough she’s saying Miss One, it's what a mother does — oh you bitch, you bitch, you fucking bitch!
Luckily I fall back asleep but when I wake up I go in the kitchen and it's like every pot in the house is lying on the counter, filled with bacon grease. How the fuck am I going to cook? Finally I take all the dirty pots and throw them in a garbage bag and put them outside on the porch, then I write a note that says clean your fucking dishes, and when Abby comes home I say this is ridiculous, we have to move out as soon as possible, okay?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, honey – this hurts my heart in so many ways...

Yes, darling, the proposal for a rainbow crosswalk on Capitol Hill in Seattle, oh my…
Realistically, many people are already short on donation dollars and the Approve R-74 campaign will most certainly need more of them before November. Should we put the crosswalk on hold and focus solely on the marriage campaign? Should we construct the crosswalk as a celebration if we win, or an inspiration to continue the fight if we lose? These are legitimate questions for the community to consider.


Okay, the funny thing about turning tricks again is that as soon as you start it feels like you've been doing it your whole life, right? So, let me tell you about my first 20 tricks, and then I'll stop, because by then I'll be too bored. The first one from my ad is in Porter Square, why do I keep ending up in Porter Square? At least it's on the Red Line.

We’re making out and his breath is awful but I'm just pretending not to notice, although after a while I can't take it anymore so I start sucking his dick and he says oh, you're so good at that, oh, yes, oh, yes, he's really moaning so I pull away a bit and start jerking him off with spit and then he grabs my face with both hands and pulls me up so he can look me right in the eyes and then I have to study his pasty complexion, so many colors of pink and red in his white white skin and then he makes some noise between a whine and a shriek, can't tell if it's pleasure or pain but then he says Tyler, I love you. I love you – I love you, Tyler.

Is not holding my head anymore so I start kissing his neck, but then he pulls my head back and looks me in the eyes again: I love you. I go back to kissing his neck, trying to make it as passionate as possible, but here he goes again pulling my head back and I realize he's surprisingly strong. Say that you love me, he says. Say it.

There's a lot I will say to these tricks – you know, role-play, fantasies, whatever – but I'm not going to say I love you. That's tired – I'm not going to lie like that. It's demeaning.

Trick number two is on the other end of the Red Line, actually past the Red Line because I have to take the commuter rail and then wait for him to pick me up. This is a coke trick, he told me ahead of time, and yes, honey, this coke is good, the only problem is that we have to have sex. I forgot how much I hate having sex on coke — neither of us can get hard and everything he does to me feels like the most annoying thing ever until he says do you want to do some more blow? Yes, please, but then I can't even enjoy the high because he's pulling at my dick or poking at my asshole with his fingers, telling me how beautiful it is. Oh it's so beautiful, he keeps saying, staring at my asshole, and I kind of want to smack him I mean I would be hard since you behind me and I guess I could pretend to lose my balance and sit on my face but he would probably love that anyway. Yeah I want to fuck that asshole, he says, and I just play along because I know he's never going to get hard, and then we do more coke and he tells me I have the prettiest asshole he's ever seen, is that supposed to be a compliment?

Soon enough an hour’s up so I ask him if he wants me to stay longer, yes he does but he acts surprised that I'm charging by the hour. He says I thought maybe we could just hang out and do more blow, and enjoy ourselves. Obviously that's when I should say let's get going, but I'm already crashing, dammit, so then we're doing line after line and I'm so wired it's like my head is going to pop and now I can't keep myself from laughing whenever he grabs my dick, yuck, but then whenever I decide to leave I start to crash, could I already be crashing that fast I mean coke is ridiculous and he says do you want to do some more, yes, but then that means his scratchy mouth is back on my dick and I'm making faces in the mirror, sticking out my tongue, opening my mouth all big, posing for the mirror – you, bitch, yes, you. Who the hell has a mirror like this in the bedroom, well, you know.

I need a fucking cocktail, that's what I'm thinking, but he already told me he doesn't drink, he's in the program. Um, what program is that? Has it really been two more hours? Get me in the fucking shower — feels good at first, but then I'm starting to feel strung out to hell so after I get dressed I say can I get another line for the road. Sure, he says, as long as I can get some more action. I wonder if this is how hookers get violent, but he's dressed too, so I figure he’s just kidding, and he does lay out two huge lines, I'm not sure if one is for me and one for him but I do both anyway, yes yes yes yes yes but just when I start to close my eyes he's trying to kiss me again and I try not to grimace when I say I need to go before the train stops running.

Can I see you again, he says, and I say sure, even though I'm thinking no way in hell, and when I finally get home I'm a total mess. Abby’s getting dressed for the girl block — are you okay, she says. Oh my God, I say, I did way too much coke, way too much, and Abby says she's jealous, but I say bitch if you saw this guy you would not be jealous.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The only way I can deal with everything

JoAnne starts talking about her relationship with Brenda who’s 48, she smokes cigars and wears dirty undershirts with suspenders and slacks. She's my daddy, JoAnne says—her eyes get all wild when she sees me. She used to be a mechanic but now she lives off SSI — and, you know.

You know what, I say.

I can't say it on the phone.

Oh, right, of course.

They do speedballs together and then Brenda ties JoAnne up and leaves the house, sometimes for hours or at least it feels like it until Brenda comes back and beats JoAnne until she’s screaming. Sometimes JoAnne feels like she’s about to pass out from all that pain but Brenda knows what she's doing so she always unties the ropes at just the right moment — she knows how to hurt me without hurting me, JoAnne says, although when the drugs wear off everything is so sore that sometimes it's hard to sleep. But then my daddy holds me, JoAnne says, she holds me in her arms and I cry like I've never cried before. My daddy holds me, JoAnne says in this way I've never heard her talk before. My daddy holds me, and it's okay.

I know what you're thinking, JoAnne says — I know you're thinking this isn't healthy, that is reenacting abuse, but it's the only way I can deal, the only way I can deal with everything. I don't have any other choice. What was it you wanted to tell me?

After I get off the phone, I think about how sometimes I feel so lonely talking to the people I love. And sometimes I feel so lonely talking to the people I hate. And sometimes I just feel lonely.

The house phone starts ringing so I go in the other room to listen to the machine pick up but there's no message. Then my phone starts ringing and sure enough it's Sean. She says you'll never guess what happened to Elana del Monte. She got bashed. In front of her new apartment. There was blood and everything. She's moving back in with her parents. In Woburn.

Woburn — are you serious? Why is she moving?

Mattilda, she just got bashed. In front of her apartment. She shouldn't have moved to Roxbury.

What's wrong with Roxbury? I like the part of Roxbury where she lived. It's not that different from Dorchester.

I'm just glad I live in the South End.


Do you want to get cocktails?

I just had cocktails. I'm depressed.

Maybe you need more.

Maybe. What’s Elana’s number?

You can’t call her — she's in the hospital.

What — are you kidding?

No, I told you it was serious.

Can we visit her? Maybe we could bring flowers.

We can’t visit her.

Why not?

She's not out to her parents.

Are you serious? And she's moving back in with them? Let's get cocktails.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Did I do something wrong

Oh, right – my date, have I ever gone on a date before? It's funny how someone who I didn't really notice suddenly seems like the hottest guy in the world, now that he's interested in me. The way his eyebrows arch, but not artificially, those big pink chapped lips, the way he keeps looking at me and I'm not even sure what we’re talking about, just glad that he hasn’t asked me whether I have a new job, since then I would have to say I'm a hooker and then this would be over.

Good thing these cocktails are so strong and Bruno doesn't even think that pizza without cheese is strange, he says his mother used to make it that way sometimes, she said it was more authentic although Bruno’s Greek and Lebanese so neither of us know what his mother meant by that. He only lives a few blocks away, so of course we had over to his place – must be really expensive but his apartment is kind of depressing, I mean it faces an air shaft mostly but the worst part is that there's nothing on the walls except a mirror with a big old frame, no books really, a huge TV, a bed with a plaid comforter and luckily we’re on that right away, he's grinding up against me yes his tongue tastes so good, I mean vodka and orange juice just like me but it's nice to be so close to someone and when he takes off his shirt his skin is so pale with such dark hair and I love it when he wraps his arms around me and squeezes tight and two of my ribs make a cracking sound, can't believe how hard he is when he pulls off his pants, when I was a kid I used to worry that there was something wrong with me because my dick curves so much and I would wonder if I was really hard. Now Bruno's he’s behind me, biting my neck which feels great, and then there’s his dick poking at my asshole which is fine but then his voice changes, suddenly all deep and filled with masculine stupidity: you really want me to fuck you, don't you, yeah, you really want my cock inside you, yeah you want it don't you.

Oh, no – what just happened, before he was so shy and well-mannered and now it's like I'm with someone in a bad porn video and where is my voice? I start to pull away but he pulls me closer, spits on his dick and grabs me and somehow his dick just goes right in without even hurting that much, has that ever happened before, startles me and suddenly I'm kind of frozen I fall onto my stomach now he's thrusting on top of me, hand pressing into my back and yeah, he's saying, yeah you want it, yeah — finally I pull away as hard as I can, his dick slips out I turn towards him and he looks surprised, says what's wrong?

So much is wrong, but I don't know how to say it. I just say I don't really want to get fucked right now, and he says oh, you want me to put on a condom, reaches into his nightstand drawer, pulls one out, opens it and slides it on his dick, lube, pushes me onto my back and climbs on top of me, what's going on? He's grinding up against me, panting, grunting, not even kissing me anymore, it's like I'm in bed with someone who's possessed and I say listen, this isn't working, but he’s poking at my ass again anyway so I pull myself away, stand up and say I think I have to go.

Suddenly he looks like a little kid: what's wrong, he says? Did I do something wrong?

I don't even know where to start, so I just say why don't we talk about it later. I find my clothes in a bundle on the floor and I realize I'm kind of shaking. Bruno's looking at me with the saddest look in his eyes – oh, okay, he says. I'm dressed but he’s still shirtless and so cute; now I just feel awful, like I'm a horrible person for hurting this guy who just turned into a monster. Exposed brick on the wall behind his face is what I notice, faded flowers in the hallway carpet, outside everything seems faster, the T is so close to his apartment and for a moment I think about living in the Back Bay but it's too expensive and do I want that anyway. I do like Bay Village, the way it gets all dark at night and everyone's out on the street. Here’s the T, and then back at home I call JoAnne.

Monday, September 24, 2012

If you return

The bedroom light is blue and he wants to take my clothes off for me, sure, then I'm standing there naked and he’s petting my skin — so smooth, he says. Thank you. Do you want to take your clothes off too, yes, so he holds his arms up and I pull off his sweater for him: the scary thing is that his body is all bones. I guess I noticed before that his face was kind of gaunt, but I thought maybe that was just the dark facial hair and pale skin, but now I can see all of his ribs, and when he takes his pants off his dick looks strange kind of standing up, like it’s too healthy for his body but I get on top of him in bed anyway and he groans, I kiss him on the lips and he kind of gasps. I can feel his hard-on under my chest, I'm starting to get hard too from the pressure of our bodies even though when I look at his face in this light I can only really think about death.

Lie down next to me, he says, and then he's touching me way too softly and I'm trying not to cringe. I try to guide his hand so the touch is firmer but he keeps changing it—it's funny how I could sit in the living room doing nothing for several hours and it could feel totally relaxing but now it's just a few minutes in bed and I want to cringe but he moves my hand to his dick while he grabs mine, I spit in my hand and he says oh, that's great, just like that, oh, this is so nice, oh, you're such a nice guy, oh, and then when he comes he spasms really fast and lies down on the bed, I look at the clock: 4:30, that means $400.

He asks me if I want a towel, sure. I go to the bathroom and when I get back in the living room he counts out the money, tips me two extra 20s, thank you, and he asks if he can call me sometime so I give him my pager number. It's funny when we go outside, because it doesn't really feel much darker than inside and the drive seems shorter, maybe because the streets were quiet before but now they're deserted and I'm starting to wonder about Sean and Abby. Ehe trick says he can tell I'm a really smart guy, and then he asks me if I'm in school. For some reason I don't feel like pretending, so I say too smart for school and he says I think I know what you mean. When we get to the block he says are you sure I can't drop you somewhere else, it’s awfully late, and I say no, this will be perfect, I'm going to meet my friends, and he says I've really enjoyed my time with you tonight and I hope we can make this a regular thing.

I hope so too, actually, especially since I quit my job at Uncommon Clout. I guess I didn't really quit, I just couldn't deal with going in anymore after the second day of doing those surveys. Everyone else liked the surveys better because we got paid $15 an hour and didn't have to make any commissions, but all of the questions were about smoking so I knew we were getting paid by Philip Morris or something horrible like that and then I just couldn't get myself to go in again. I mean credit cards are gross, but not as gross as Philip Morris.

It's funny, too, because that boy at work who was always watching me, who asked me questions about my hair dye and my purse and my nails and pretty much every piece of clothing I wore, I just thought he was some clueless straight guy but turns out he’s gay because he asked me out on a date. A date — I don't even know what that is, but when he said that I looked at him closer for a second and I realized oh, he's kind of hot, and I guess I get confused whenever someone's flirting with me so then I looked down.

But now I'm back on the block, deserted, although when I get to my car there's a note from Sean saying she and Abby are out looking for me, at the police station, area D, whatever that means — really, the police station? And then a second note, saying now they're at the Loft, make sure to page her if I return, there are payphones directly behind me. If I return — has it really been that long?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Some kinds of repetition

But get this — three days later, Abby and Sean and I are at home and Sean says let's go to the block. What do you mean, I say, ready to read. But it turns out she means she wants to turn a trick. Yes, her parents are rich, but she needs some extra money for her coke habit. I can't tell if she's just playing games, but I figure I'll suspend disbelief so I put on some outfit that disguises my glamour and we head over there.

The block in Boston is weird because it's the right in the Back Bay by the Park Plaza and the Public Garden, kind of a posh area for a hustling strip, right? It's even called St. James Avenue, although it's not much of an avenue since it only lasts a few blocks There's only one other hustler there and he doesn't look happy about our arrival — whatever, honey, we can share. Sean, Abby and I spread out so people can approach us separately. I suggested a hundred dollars an hour but really I'm not sure what you can get on the street in Boston. Cars keep approaching Sean and she talks to them, but no deal, and then some guy pulls over to me, I say 100 an hour and he says he lives in Roslindale, is that okay?

I've never even heard of Roslindale, so I say how far is it. Twenty minutes. I say as long as you pay me by the hour, including travel, and drive me back. 100 up front. He says I'd like to see you for a few hours, and I say sure. We drive a few blocks away and he counts out five twenties, I think about how you can be a bit more demanding on the street.

He tells me he chose me because of my bandanna, reminds him of the ‘70s and am I a counterculture type of guy? It's funny that I was trying to hide that part. It feels like a long drive but strangely calm even though we’re not talking that much. His house is at the top of a hill, and when we get inside it’s still pretty dark even after he turns on the lights because all the bulbs are red, he must not like the light because he has dark curtains over all the windows and I can tell he never opens them because the plants are trying to push their way through.

He asks me if I want a drink, sure, a screwdriver sounds good but he says how about a greyhound since I only have grapefruit. I didn't know that was called a greyhound, and he says do you like music? I always think that the funniest question, I mean is there anyone who doesn't like music and he wants to know what kind. Mostly I listen to dance music — house, techno, ambient – but I also like blues. Oh, blues, he says — I love the blues. And then he puts on Etta James, which I don't really think of as blues, but his sound system is amazing and we just sit there for a while and talk about the music. Maybe a half hour of Etta James and then he starts playing Aretha Franklin and Edith Piaf and Serge Gainesbourg, turns out he lived in France for a while in his 20s, and then he asks what I think of classical music, I don't know, so then he puts on Brahms and at first it sounds kind of ominous but then he’s pointing out every instrument as it comes in, actually he's talking about each instrument like it's a person and then I start to think about cartoons with classical music but also I realize something about how all music is really the same, right, I mean some people complain about house music because they say it's so repetitive, but really punk is just as repetitive, right? Music is repetition, that's the point. Everyone hates some kinds of repetition, and loves others.

I start to feel myself kind of sinking into the sofa like I'm high but all I have is this cocktail and Brahms and I don't think he laced my cocktail, did he, and after a while he takes my hand and we just sit there like that for a while in silence, listening to the instruments that somehow sound like voices, it all builds and flies and falls and I'm thinking maybe I could go to a classical music concert like on those billboards by Bread & Circus, is that the symphony? I mean maybe I could go if it wasn't for all the awful people there.

I wouldn't mind another cocktail, I wonder how long this is going to go on although I guess I could sit here like this for the rest of the night if he wants to pay me, just close my eyes a little, yes that's the best way to hear it all, the speakers booming in all corners of the room and I can feel my breath in my chest but also his breath in his hand and then eventually the music ends, I think he said it was a symphony, right, not a concerto although what's the difference, maybe I'll ask, but then he says do you want to go in the bedroom?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What are you

But now Sean's on the phone: okay, I guess I can go to Sporters without drinking — I do like Adam who’s the bartender. We bonded this one time when some drunk leaned over the bar and yelled: What the fuck are you?

Excuse me, Adam said.

Are you black, or are you white, this mess asked, and Adam said I'm black and white, with red all over, but if you ask me that again then you'll be the one who's read, and I thought that was the best line because was she talking about making that bitch red or reading her? Both, I'm sure, because Adam is pretty clever, but, in any case, soon after that Sean, Billy, Abby and I were the only drunk messes left and then Adam started pouring shots and said this round is on me, which was pretty hilarious because every round is on her, right? I mean don't worry, we know how to tip, at least a dollar per drink — one time she started counting out the tips to pay for a round of our drinks and I said no, don't do that, that's for you, honey!

But now whenever we get there, I look Adam up and down and say what the fuck are you? And he says: what the fuck are you? And I say: what the fuck are you?

Sometimes we like to go further, and everyone else gets impatient because they want cocktails, but honey, this is fun, right, let's have fun with our cocktails, okay?

I’m a Cheeto with the cheese missing.

No, bitch, I'm a Dorito at the Tostito factory.

I'm an Oreo without the stuffing.

I'm the stuffing without an Oreo. Polly want a cracker?

If I wanted a cracker I'd be at Store 24.

Honey, it's just down the street.

Bitch, speaking of crackers, what do you want to drink?

So Sporters, all right, sure, I'll drive. Beacon Hill, here we go. Who knows where Billy is this time, so it's just me, Abby and Sean. Kind of better that way. Adam thinks it's funny that I'm not drinking so he keeps piling up empty glasses around me and for a moment I start to wonder if he's flirting with me, at one point he actually leans over and whispers something in my ear but I can't hear him so I just smile and then the bar’s closing, see you next week. Then, of course, on our way back Sean keeps going on and on about how we have to drive by the block, we have to. If I see anyone I know, she says, I'll make a whole lot of noise.

What you talking about, I say —you've been hanging out with Madison all the time now, and didn't you say she was a hooker? And Sean starts to tell me Madison never worked the block, he found other ways to do it. And I say what's the difference and she says Mattilda, my parents are rich. And I say that's your problem — you grew up with it, and you haven't gotten over it. And then I get really angry and I stop the car in the middle of Newberry Street and yell I can't deal with your classist shit! And then I slam the door and storm away.

I don't know where the hell I'm going, but I'm going really fast. I'm almost at Copley Square, bolting toward Andrea but then I realize I'm leaving Abby in the car and she didn't do anything so I go back and they're both still in the car so I say sorry, Abby — Sean, where do you want to be dropped off?

It's moments like these when I wonder why I stopped smoking, but anyway we go to Sean's dorm and sort of end up talking outside, I'm telling her she always puts on such airs, says all these tired shady things, talking about Billy being on welfare, what's wrong with welfare? How she would never, ever, ever work the block, how it's dirty and degrading. And then at Avalon she walks around like some superstar because all the stupidest pompous pointless assholes will talk to her because she looks like some preppy little kid.

Sean says it isn’t classism, it's just how she talks and she doesn't mean it, and I say I believe you don't mean it but that's not how it sounds. And it hurts people — I just want you to think about it, okay? I really like you and I value our friendship and the adventures we have together, and that's why I'm angry. I know it's something ingrained in you, but I just want you to think about it. Sean says okay, and then I ask him if he wants a hug, so we hug goodbye and then Abby and I head home, what a night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A schedule

Anyway, Sean calls and she wants to get cocktails, but I tell her I'm not drinking for a week, remember? She says I thought you were joking — it’s Wednesday, she says, we have to go to Sporters. Which is funny as hell, because it's not like Sporters is a particularly glamorous destination. We just started going there because there's nothing else to do on a Wednesday, and Abby knows the bartender who always gives us free cocktails. Sporters is the oldest gay bar in Boston — usually there's no one there, but when there is someone they look like they might be the oldest part of the bar. Tut it's kind of a funny place, with all these Christmas lights on the ceiling or not Christmas because they're white but you almost have to duck to walk around and then right next door is some leather bar that’s kind of part of Sporters, I mean when you go to the bathroom you're in the other bar, but I think that bar is only open on weekends. It looks kind of spooky. And actually Sporters was what made me take a break from drinking or drugs for a week, that means I only have two days left because I never drink on Thursdays, Thursdays is Paradise.

I guess we kind of have a schedule now — Avalon on Sundays, Quest on Mondays, Luxor on Tuesdays, Sporters on Wednesdays, Thursdays we split up because I go to Paradise but everyone else goes to Man Ray where they play ‘80s bullshit and then Friday we usually go to the Eagle, sometimes end up at Paradise, and Saturdays is the Loft for me and maybe Quest first, but Quest on Saturdays is kind of boring so usually I skip it and meet everyone at the Loft, actually that's how the after-afterhours started at our house, since I always do my X at 2 and everyone else takes it at midnight, so then I’m like wait, everyone, come over our house! I mean I'm always trying not to do X, but then, well we know the story. Our after-afterhours is actually working out pretty well so far, especially now that Abby and I are selling K thanks to Billy's job at the veterinarian — yes, we can share with the cats, honey, meow.

I mean Billy's former job — but she didn't get fired for taking six bottles of ketamine to our house, she got fired because she kept flaking and I would flake too if I had to get to Woburn for work, let me tell you. Not that I've ever been to Woburn, but judging from what I've heard I don't think I'll be there anytime soon. But, anyway, last week at Sporters I did too much K, and then Billy wanted to go somewhere to get coke, really, why do you need coke? But then she started whining, so I said okay, I'll drive, and I don't know how long it took us because at every intersection I started pushing on the brakes from so far away that we would miss the light, because I couldn't tell how long it would take, I mean I was worried we would slide past but then I was worried that the cops would notice we were driving so slow. It was ridiculous – I remember when I wouldn't drive if I’d even had a sip of alcohol, but I guess times have changed, honey, times have changed. At least we got to listen to a little bit of jazz on Mass Ave — I don't know where it was coming from, but I got distracted and everyone had to tell me to keep driving.

Anyway, it turned out that the place where Billy was getting coke was the projects in Roxbury so there we were, three drugged-out white faggots in a Volvo sitting on this pitch dark street looking kind of conspicuous, right? Why it was so dark there, I don't know, I was just glad the K had worn off but then while we were waiting Sean started to say that Billy was really getting crack — who cares, what's the difference?

It did take a while, though, and Sean kept saying maybe Billy's dead – honey, you're being ridiculous. And then eventually Billy came back looking really messy, with some guy who I guess was her friend but then he didn't even know Billy’s name but when we got home they went in the bedroom together and of course Billy didn't offer us anything. She's shady.

Speaking of shady, after the two of them went into Billy's room Sean said she was scared to stay in our house and I don't know if it was because the guy was black or if it was because we’d picked him up from the projects but I told Sean she could take her racist shit somewhere else, and I went upstairs to get ready for bed. When I got downstairs, Sean was already snoring on the sofa, I don't know how she does that.

I will say that whatever Billy did that night, the next day she looked horrible, dark dark lines under her eyes and when I got up she was in the kitchen scratching at the sink drain with a knife. What you doing, I said, and she looked up at me like she was startled. It kind of smelled like something was burning, I actually looked around but the stove wasn’t on and when I looked back at her I noticed these really dark lines under her eyes. Yes, you could go shopping with the bags under my eyes, that for sure, but the lines under Billy’s eyes were way scarier, maybe because her eyes were kind of bulging out. I guess her eyes are always bulging out, but this time it kind of looked like they were stuck, like someone had put fake eyes in place of her eyes. Are you okay, I said, and she didn't say anything.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Between trees

But let me tell you about when they cut down all the reeds, I stood there so startled like someone had punched me, it just fell down into my guts and I was totally sober, no drugs or alcohol just that mad desire for desire and then I walked over to the center of the park by this one big tree and it was like 10 or 20, maybe even 30 guys grabbing onto one another, another tree almost and damn I wanted to be in the center so badly but then once I was there I realized everyone was too frantic, I'm not sure why, maybe because of the exposure, but then this one guy started grinding against me and suddenly there was so much passion, tasting his lips, tongue, cigarettes and beer and something rancid too and we stumbled back and almost fell but really walked hugging he pushed me up against this other tree, kind of exposed but didn't matter to me all I wanted was his body on mine we’re here, we are here for each other and sure I know it won't last but still while it lasts it really lasts.

One day it would be wonderful to actually hold someone who can hold it all but everyone's too afraid of me in Boston, and then when someone isn't too afraid I get so confused like could he really be attracted to me and then I can't say anything. But my point is that in the Fens you don't need to say anything you just search, sometimes it can be depressing too when everyone is staying away or looking at me like bitch stay away but almost always I eventually get to that supreme moment of spaciousness, usually sooner more than later I mean it's not hard to get me on my knees and goddamn I need those moments, but oh, I should tell you this story, it's kind of funny, this guy who came right up to me and said you look like a GQ model, what are you doing here?

Now, I'm pretty sure there's no one in GQ with fluorescent hair, but that did sound kind of promising and he was pretty cute, but he didn't even want to make out, he said I was too special. This was back when the reeds were still there, he was standing right at the beginning of the promenade, but not going inside just staring at me like I was some kind of wonder but I guess I was too special even to talk to, because pretty soon he was making his way through the reeds without me.


A fun event in Seattle on Thursday!

I love anecdotes like these – Tonya Lockyer, director of Velocity Dance Center (where I'm having a fun public conversation on Thursday) told me a few days ago that, when she mentioned the event at two restaurants she ate at in one day, the waiter at each place told her he was reading Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots right now – can you believe it? Maybe I need to go to more restaurants -- if only they served something I wasn't allergic to... In any case, here are the details on Thursday's event, hope to see you there...
Speakeasy Roundtable: The Art of Politics + the Politics of Queer
Keith Hennessy & Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in conversation
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 pm
Velocity Founders Theater
Velocity Dance Center
1621 12th Avenue, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98122
Free – and, even free food at the end! (Donations accepted)
And, the Facebook invite

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To play

It’s tempting to say that fall leaves have never made me sad, and on a strict level that may be true. I've always dreaded summer, and looked forward to fall. So amazing that I arrived in Santa Fe just before the leaves started to fall, and so exciting when they did – I’d spent the last 10 falls in San Francisco, where when the leaves fall off certain trees you just look at those trees like they're confused. They are confused.

            Two falls in Santa Fe, and nothing could be more beautiful than that season in that place, even if. Well, we already know: even if there was nothing else besides that beauty. But when I say that on a strict level it may be true that the fall leaves have never made me sad, that it's always been a relief when summer has come to an end, it's also true that as soon as fall begins there's something in my body that triggers I kind of sadness, a closing off, something internal and confusing. Really this happens with every seasonal shift, but fall is always the most surprising because I've always looked forward to it.

Here it's different: as soon as summer starts, people are debating whether it's over. And, I've never lived somewhere where I've loved summer: this is the first time. As soon as I sensed the fall air blowing in, that gorgeous cool moisture that I've always loved, I started to get scared. What will I do on my walks in the morning, if I can't lie down in the sun in Volunteer Park? And now that, even on a warm day, the nights become chilly, something that I always appreciated about San Francisco, but when that happens here I become worried: is it over, already?

The truth is that the last few months have been so stunningly gorgeous. The truth is that, when it really starts raining the air will be so fresh and I will love that too. The truth is that I don't even like the heat, if I have to do anything besides go to the park, or to the beach, if I have to sit anywhere in the sun without taking my clothes off. For the first few months after I arrived, people kept apologizing: it's not usually this bad. Or: this is been the worst winter ever. But now I receive a phone call from the distance, Pacific Northwest relocated to Idaho, receiving news of a potential record streak of sunny days: you picked the right year to move to Seattle.

I think I did pick the right year, the year when it's the right place for me. Even if my health is still so awful and overwhelming. Even if I still don't know if and/or when things will get better, better for me. Still now I walk outside, a few more fall leaves now than when I first started to notice them and I think oh, this is beautiful, I love these leaves, I want to play. Today I'm trying to stay out of the sun because I think I'm getting burnt. I always worry that I'm getting burnt, but then it's not really happening but now I think it's really happening. It's hard to stay out of the sun when you're not sure how much longer it will last.


A pro-gay marriage poster from Washington United for Marriage – speaking the truth, I guess…

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Obama is not the lesser of evils, but the more effective evil"

Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford tears it up on last Friday's Democracy Now -- too bad he had to deal with a silencing onslaught from Michael Eric Dyson, oh my – nevertheless, his analysis remains steadfast except for one slip when he starts talking about how he has friends who he respects who will be voting for Obama (who cares!) – but, "the more effective evil" is so effective of a quote I'm in awe…

Pay particular attention to the shade

As soon as Abby gets back from visiting the cult, she says let's go to Dollar-a-Pound. Of course we get there just before closing, but rummaging around in the piles of clothes on the floor I still manage to find a white belt, green pants, a big pink change purse, and this tiny gingham shirt in all different colors. Abby’s busy throwing so much stuff into a bag I can hardly believe it — dresses, a black purse, even a ratty blonde wig.

I get 2 pounds of stuff, and Abby gets 35. That's a lot of dresses. Then as soon as we get home, she's throwing all these disastrous outfits together — gorgeous, I love it! She even puts on makeup, and it looks pretty good – where'd you learn to do that?

Kevyn Aucoin.

Kevyn Aucoin’s got nothing on you.

News update: Elana del Monte is bringing cunty to Boston. Or, at least, she's the first one we hear using it. I don't know how I feel about it at first -- can you really say cunty without being a misogynist asshole? But when Elana del Monte throws down wicked cunty, that, my dear, is Boston realness, and although I may hate Boston I do live for Boston realness. And then, just the other night she turned to me and said Mattilda, you are cunt. And, I know that no one else thinks about these things so much, or no one else around me, but I just thought that was the most brilliant way to turn something potentially hideous into the most gorgeous compliment. So now I live for Elana del Monte, Elana del Monte and Dollar-a-Pound. I know you're saying: there must be something else that's good about Boston, right?

Okay, okay, well, of course there's driving over the Mass Ave Bridge at sunrise when you're crashing from ecstasy — bring it back, bring it back! Oh, and Five Seasons in Jamaica Plain – that is a delicious vegan restaurant, I'll give you that, if you can ever get there. I always end up at Buddha’s Delight instead, where I can only eat the hot and sour soup with brown rice, because everything else on the menu is fried or coated in sugar, but I do like that hot and sour soup, okay?

Oh, the DJs, of course – Michael and Richie, thank you for the music. The drugs were good until everyone started doing coke instead of ecstasy. And honey, this new batch of ecstasy – those big flat round tablets that everyone loves, it's like heroin and speed smashed together, what a mess. But I was supposed to be talking about the good things about Boston. Oh — don't let me forget the Fens.

But first, a rule: whenever you hear a bunch of shady bitches in Boston reading someone, pay particular attention to the shade because it might contain unintended advice. For example, when some hideous creature says watch out for her, she might give you AIDS — I saw her coming out of the Fens, well hello — look up the address of the Fens and boom, you’re in heaven.

The Fens is a park, in case you were wondering. The kind of park that's better after dark, not that I can be sure since I've never been there during the day, but you know what I mean. I mean I live for those paths through the reeds, careful not to step into something almost like a swamp, and make sure to get on your knees in the drier parts, okay?

Oh, wait — I have been there during the day! Remember that time when I went there just as the sun was rising because I was so wired that I couldn't sleep and I was getting horny and lonely the way that always happens when the drugs fade or keep going but in the wrong way and I wasn't sure whether anyone would be there but honey, can you believe it, I ended up making out with the hottest boy as the sun was rising on our faces, then we stepped behind the biggest chunk of reeds and yes it was freezing out but the way your bodies keep you warm I mean someone else's body, his, and the look in his eyes when he came, my tongue back into his mouth and yes I gave him my number, he won't call but after that at least I could sleep.

Usually it's not so romantic, I have to practically force people’s faces over to my lips to get that kiss because honey, if you're sucking my cock then you need to at least take my tongue, okay? People are so hilarious about come, and I don't mean in terms of telling you when, which everyone should do, I try not to get come in my mouth – risk reduction, right? I mean we all know there's no such thing as safe sex, just safer, and that's what I'm trying to accomplish.

But my point is that when there's some guy who's just been sucking your dick, and then he stands up and won't even kiss you – bitch, get over here! At least a hug, I need a hug, okay? But the worst faggots in the Fens are the ones that practically run when you say anything — but wait, I was trying to tell you about the beauty, stumbling through those reeds with all the other drunks, stumbling into these arms oh these arms and the way his head arches his back at that moment or my hands in his hair, yes I try not to mess up people's hair because I like mine to stay in place, right, but still my hands in his hair or the texture of his neck while I'm biting it, yes his hands up my shirt holding me holding everything and then when it just becomes a pile of guys, someone grabbing your dick and someone rubbing your legs and someone trying to get his fingers in your asshole, stop, no, stop — stop! But I love it when someone presses himself against me from behind, how can this position that feels so safe be anything else and we know it’s so much more and so much less and maybe that frightening possibility makes the beauty so much stronger and then, now that Abby comes with me too, not always but sometimes, even Sean occasionally although never to cruise, she's too proper, Sean stays over at the table in the distance where everyone smokes pot and giggles and throws down shady comments about everyone else and that part is fun too but only after the real fun, pulling up my pants and shaking my head in the wind and stumbling over to that table where sometimes no one’s left but me so then the table’s waiting and I sit down to catch my breath and study the way the air is somehow always foggier in this park, and even in the winter when it's freezing I suddenly feel kind of warm.


Sunday, September 09, 2012

What will happen next

            Eric is on the phone, asking me about Critical Resistance, how was Critical Resistance? What do you mean — did I go to Critical Resistance? Oh, you mean the protest at Juvenile Hall — the people who organized that aren’t officially part of Critical Resistance, although they were talking about forming a chapter but there was something about the abolition politics of Critical Resistance that wasn’t the same as their own, I can't remember exactly how, but I could find out more about that.

            It's kind of strange that Eric is asking me about a protest that took place several months ago, but then it starts to get noisy in my apartment — hold on a second, I think there's a protest outside. Maybe the Student Debt Noise Brigade, that goes by every Wednesday — but wait, it's not Wednesday, what day is it?

            I lean my head out the window, but I can't see anything, so then I go downstairs and I'm still talking to Eric until I notice I forgot the phone, and that's when I realize that I'm sleeping, which is great, because I was trying to fall back asleep, so then when I go back inside of course I go into a different house, I wonder if I ever have a dream when I go back into the same house, but anyway in this house, which is the same house in the dream even though we’re in a different city in some garage-type space whereas before I was in my actual apartment in Seattle, talking on the phone without the phone, but anyway in this new house Laurie has just returned from a trip and she's exhausted, lying down in the garage and I look up at the TV, images of her in all different positions of discomfort, how was your trip?

            Oh, I know — I can understand, yes, of course, exhausting. And somehow that's when I wake up, a little later than I wanted but not too much later but the strangest part is that once I'm awake I have all this energy, strange because my sleep was so interrupted and of course I'm worried all this energy will fall away as soon as I eat, but then I eat and I still have energy, time for my morning walk and I wonder what will happen next.


Saturday, September 08, 2012

A mile away

I'm in my apartment with my sister, a view of glass towers. Alex wants to know if a condo needs to be two bedrooms or more – no, this could be a condo, anything could be a condo – a closet could be a condo. Oh, no – a mouse, I see a mouse in the kitchen, ready to crawl under the sink but Alex reaches over and catches it in his hand. It's tiny, smaller than a finger. He holds a small light bulb to the mouse – what should we do with it?

No, I say – let's take it outside. A large red dog is waiting at the elevator – did it eat the mouse? No, Alex still has it. The elevator starts to open on the other side, but when we push lobby it closes. I start to wonder if it's really true that you have to release a mouse a mile away, in order for it not to go back in your house, and then when I'm waking up I think about how Sarah Schulman says towards the end of her new book that the lights in the new Frank Gehry building shift, making the building seem like it's alive, just like New York, but a Frank Gehry building on the West Side Highway just makes me think of death.



Thursday, September 06, 2012

Am I going to come down

And then the room goes dark again, I'm living a different life, is this my life?  Everything surges to my head or maybe it's down to the ground, I can't tell; I'm holding onto the wall so I don't fall. Sean is talking, I can't believe how high I am, what drug did I just do? Sean says it's K but I don't believe her, there must be something X in this; or something else.  I've never felt this exact high before.

            Then I can't think again, the music's so loud. Sean says he wishes the music was louder so I know it must be soft but it feels like it's coming from the inside of my head and I wish I could get up but I can't.  I ask Sean to hold my hand and then everything is lighter, I'm clearer but how did I get here and am I going to come down?

            I keep going into the other worlds, I don't know how to explain them.  They're the outsides of touch, the insides of feeling turned over and over, flip, over and over.  Then still, the world rushing through me but slow, I'm stuck.  I realize that Sean isn't just some random fag from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who always wears that same overcoat because he says it's expensive, really expensive, not an overcoat I guess although I always call it that, more like a raincoat, is it raining but now I realize Sean has created this new drug and he’s testing it out on me.  How can I get more of this drug?

            Then there's another window and Sean is whispering something, I think he wants to go but I can't move; I hope he doesn't leave me here.  Then a wave moves down and now I'm kind of back, lower at least, closer and I can barely hear the music though the lights are way up.  I say I just went deep, and then I'm gone again, there's a fog in the room I'm in the fog.

            Okay: I can barely walk, one twentieth of a step at a time and I'm holding my purse that suddenly feels so heavy like I'm carrying everything in my life until we're outside, did everyone notice how messy I am? Yes, outside, yes, I'm glad we're outside, it was the right decision.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Beyond and then a window

You didn't tell me we were going into this clothing store — the whole thing is like a k-hole, do you think they designed it that way? No, don't do that thing with your hands, no! Back on the T, will we ever get off the T and Sean is saying something and waving his hands and I know I did that big bump in the bathroom but I didn't expect this to happen I mean we're sitting on the T and I'm worried this water is going to fall out of my hands and I'm going to shit on the floor, will people notice?

            No, I’m on the toilet.  Put the water down. I don't know how long I've been in here because everything is going too fast, entire parts of my life zooming by and I look out of the stall but it's not a stall I mean we're on the T, right, and I can't see anything except a greyish black.

            Am I shitting on the T?  All the energy in my head is going up, up, up, and I'm on the T and in the bathroom and at the Loft and Sean is saying something but I can't get up, can't stop the rush to my head, how did this happen to me?  People from all different periods of my life are talking to me, in different rooms that appear in front of me like a slideshow no wait those are the doors to the T, these are the people on the T but there's the burgundy room with those ominous light fixtures, the forest green room with hard carpet, the orange room with sunlight to bright through the vertical blinds and then I'm alone. 

            All the energy in my head is going up and down at the same time, spreading me out, and I'm shitting into the toilet I think, got to wipe, is anyone waiting?  No one.  And then I'm somewhere else again, I don't know where except I know I'm dying, how did this happen?  I'm not ready to die, but I know I have to relax into it, I can feel the energy in my body dispersing into the air and it will be better if I relax.  Death is better if you relax.

            Then I'm back, how can I get out of this bathroom?  How could I be this high?  Then my head's gone again and if I survive, will I ever be able to explain this?  The rooms are checker-board then cement, one's an underground cave and I'm sprawled on the floor in tones of red, indigo, chrome like a fashion spread only this is deep relaxed panicking fear my body vibrating, everything vibrating, I'm vibrating with everything and it's all me. 

            I pull myself out, deep breath, I've got to remember to breathe, deep breath.  I'm going to be fine; I stand up, finish wiping, and then I almost can't move again but I push myself out of the bathroom, over to Sean who’s looking kind of agitated, oh the Someday Cafe, and she holds out her hand, I hand her the vial and say watch out, I think I did too much, and then everything's going up and down and outward but I'm still, the room is cavernous and dense.  The music fades in and out-- someone's turning the lights up and down, which is brilliant, but where am I again? I understand now how William Burroughs wrote so much about drugs as windows into the beyond.  Except for me, I'm beyond and then a window comes and for a second I'm back, oh there's Sean at the table, does he know how high I am? Oh he’s smiling, so sweet, patting my back which brings me back to the room, I can feel each individual vertebrae moving and I'm okay now, I'm at the Someday Cafe, Sean must be a massage therapist, how his touch brought me back. 


Saturday, September 01, 2012


This place is amazing, the blue carpet that goes on and on and on —we should come here more often. Welcome, we’re saying to everyone who stares, turning around and around but I need to smoke some pot so we get back on the T where of course Sean is announcing all the stops, she really should be a conductor, wait, maybe Sean is the conductor and look at the way the light is vibrating the train and somehow we're already at Revere Beach and everyone's in shock at the station. Sean puts on my blue glasses that don't have lenses, there's lots that can fit in my purse and maybe these lovely senior so-called citizens don't like my silver lamé jacket or maybe they’re just jealous because I've got rollers in my hair too and honey, the contrast between green and pink is simply stunning.

The beach is empty because of all the wind, where’s the boardwalk I guess it blew away and they replaced it with this cement walkway, hi ladies, hi ladies, hi ladies we keep saying but everyone stares blankly and look at those funny condo-type things except who would want a condo over here and everything is so bright it reminds me of San Francisco but where am I going to smoke pot with all this wind. I'm glad I brought this mohair sweater and Sean takes pictures, luckily I have enough spray in my hair to keep it in place and it's freshly flamingo pink in the sun and I can't figure out where to smoke pot so let's do a few more bumps here on the ledge surrounding the ocean, just cover your face with my sweater oh CK One they finally figured out the formula girl so we can breathe, yes breathe, breathe, breathe and then we’re out of coke but don't worry I’ve got more K and yes oh yes the ocean I love the air and this sand although it's awfully hard to walk, don't you think it's hard to walk is it always this hard in the sand and how do people do it I mean driving would be worse although don't get me wrong, no one's driving on the sand it’s just us stumbling like our platforms are going down into the earth but honey, are you wearing platforms, I'm not, and look at all that sky although I need to get something to eat, should we go somewhere to eat or maybe I'm not hungry, are you hungry, I mean we should probably eat something, right?

Okay, you're right, it is kind of cold —Quincy Market, yes, let's go to Quincy Market! Today we are tourists— every line on the T. Except the Orange Line. I don't like orange —it isn't good for my complexion.

Of course, Sean gets obsessed with Maverick, Maverick, Maverick, Maverick Station so we get off but the exit is all fluorescents and I'm looking in my purse for my sunglasses, where are my sunglasses but Sean keeps saying fabulous — fabulous. And very. Blue.

We are on the blue line.

It should be of note that we rode the entire blue line today.

An accomplishment, indeed.

What about that ad?

That ad?

A $799 living room package grill?

I don't know what it means.

Package, girl. Opening soon.

On Tremont Street.

In the fabulous.

South End.

Don't go there.

I'm not going there.

I saw you there.


Last night.

I saw you there, bitch.

Never again.

Never again.

But how do we end up at the Prudential Center — oh, right, Sean was craving mall cuisine — Flamer’s, to be specific, yes, honey, flamers. I try to get them to sell me one of their cucumbers but they just look at me like I'm on drugs oh wait I am on drugs and I end up with Panda Express stirfried rotten vegetables, my favorite.

Quincy Market: we convinced ourselves there would be sofas in the bathrooms since the tourists get up so early and need to rest, right, rest, honey we need sofas but the bathrooms at Quincy Market are almost as bad as the music at Bobby’s. Now, don't get confused – I'm not talking about Champagne's house because remember that bitch lives with me, although it is true that the music at my house can be pretty damn awful, don't get me started about Priscilla again. But, when I say Bobby's of course I mean the worst bar in Boston, and we all know there's a lot of competition. Sean and Abby still go there sometimes — they say the boys are cute, but that's only if you're looking for 12-year-olds or chickenhawks wearing fake gold chains and baggy white T-shirts and way too much cologne, okay?

So let's have a salad — oh, what is this in my mouth, help, what is this? You didn't tell me this restaurant was called Horrible Salads of the Earth and Sean says we've started so many fascinating conversations with strangers today, so Reverians and Bostonians must not be as snotty as we thought, perhaps it just takes a little bit of CK One to improve the picture and did you notice those windows, those windows are immaculate!

Get a picture of me in that potted plant.

But there’s no plant.

That's what I mean — I am a potted plant! Thank you.

Back in the food court, here's what our new friends are saying:

Jason: I like tuna casserole, I eat most anything.

Nicole: He’s a human vacuum.

Some woman walking by: Facial hair, it’s a bitch. Surgicreme, Nair — it doesn't work.

Some guy walking by: Whoa, get a look at that, whoa!

A group of teenage girls: Were you on Ricki Lake?

            Then we go all the way to Porter Square for the macrobiotic Japanese place, and also for Red Line realness, but of course they're closed. They’re always closed. Someday Cafe forced us into Davis Square and there are so many k-holes in that bathroom, honey let's get to the Fens so I can smoke some pot already, okay — I'm getting more and more strung out by the minute, what time is it anyway? Never mind. I don't want to know.