Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Supermodel

I'm squeezing tofu over the spinach and Calvin wants to know what that's good for. I say protein, iron, B-vitamins. He says are you vegetarian? I say I'm vegan and then I have to explain what that means. He says wow, I never thought of that, wow. And: Is that spinach? Yeah. Wow—what a great idea, wow—and then Brian is calling him. Brian sounds like he's about to pass out, Calvin says okay, well I'll see you later, okay? He looks right at me, I try not to notice how pretty his eyes are—sky blue and glassy from the coke. I'm confused.

I'm finishing my food and Calvin comes back downstairs, he says Brian and Dave went to bed and do you mind if I hang with you? I say as long as you don't distract me. Because Brian Marshall, the tanning salon queen, did you meet him? Calvin shakes his head no, I say well he'll throw a fit if I don't get my stuff out of the living room. Calvin says well I can help you, I mean I don't mind. His eyes are wide and his lip is vibrating, he takes a ball of tin foil out of his pocket and says do you have anywhere for me to cut this?

I can feel my eyes getting wide. I get Calvin my drug mirror, and he starts cutting the coke. He says you want some? I say is it good? He says yeah it's great blow, fucking great, and there's a lot left, we should split it. I say no, I need to concentrate, but he's not listening: C'mon, I'll just cut you a little line.

Calvin cuts the coke and I wash the dishes. When I'm done, he's got two huge lines on the mirror. I say I just want a little. He does his line and I'm not breathing. Hands me the rolled-up dollar bill and I snort the other line, oh it burns I fucking love it. I can feel my eyeballs in the back of my head, lids closed and when I open my eyes I'm high. I say you're right, that stuff is great. I can't believe it.

Calvin's looking me in the eyes again and I'm looking away. We go into the living room and everything feels slow but frantic, in twenty minutes all my shit is in my room and we're doing another line. I lean my head back and wow. We go in my room, Calvin's on the bed and I'm unpacking boxes. The phone rings and it's Sean saying bitch it's almost one, you better get your ass down here, everyone's waiting. I say all right, just a few minutes, all right.

Calvin says what's up, I say they want me to meet them at the Eagle. He says can I come. I say it's a gay bar. He says I don't mind. All right, I say, and we do some more coke. Damn these straightboys are generous – Sean will never even give you a bump unless you trade her something for it. I check my hair in the mirror and I look hot, every strand of flamingo pink and pillarbox red and the magenta blend in between is in place. Calvin says he'll drive – sounds like a good idea to me.

Calvin's got this tiny little red sports car and we're both wired. I lean my head back and think I shouldn't have done that coke, I shouldn't have done that coke. But then I think fuck it I might as well enjoy it and Calvin puts on "You're So Vain"—classic rock, gross. He says is this okay—I'm nuts about Stevie Nicks—I'm thinking did he really just say I'm nuts? Nuts and blow. He says are you okay, I nod yes.

We get to the Eagle and there's our little youth corner in the back of the bar. Everyone's screaming for me and I'm actually happy to see them. Abby's got his ass against the bar and he's holding Bobby and swaying—they better break up soon, gotta get that bitch out of my house. Billy pokes me and grunts, like he always does. Sean’s eyes get big and she says Oh. You brought. The straight. Boy.

Calvin's the wet dream of just about everyone in the bar: preppy blond boy in jeans and a flannel, so Boston. The Eagle's all South End middle-aged guppies and then us. I get a drink and Jack the bartender looks me up and down, well I bet you've got a big dick, huh. He does that every week.

Billy wants some of my drink, of course – I grab him a cocktail from nearby and say drink this and he acts all shocked but then he drinks it. Bobby's over touching Calvin's ass and giggling. Calvin's totally into it. I'm wired. Abby’s trying to keep her eyes open – she says oh honey I'm messy. I say what's new? Sean's pacing the bar and some queen comes up to me, says is that Mizrahi? I say no, Dollar-a-Pound, and Billy grunts – I'm laughing and the queen doesn't know what to say. Everyone's all about class in Boston.

I get another drink and then I motion to Calvin, we head to the bathroom. He’s about to take out the coke and some queen comes in, takes out his coke, I say can I have a bump? He scrunches up his nose at me and leaves. I finish my cocktail while Calvin gets out the coke, he says do you have a dollar. I say put it on my hand and he pours a pile on, I snort it up then lick my hand, tasty. He snorts the rest from the foil and then I lick it, his eyes are bulging. I say thanks. Then I study my hair in the mirror and everything still looks great, the magenta matches the stripe in my plaid pants and both the red and the magenta contrast so well with the green sweater. I'm on fire tonight.

Someone opens the bathroom door, stares at my hair and says you look like a parrot. She thinks she's reading me but I love it—I lick my lips and say thank you honey. The guy's looking Calvin up and down. Calvin's pretending to piss, or wait he's pissing and I'm just laughing, head up against the wall, loving my rush I could stay here forever. We go back into the bar, Calvin says what are we going to do afterwards? I say maybe Billy can get us into the Loft.

Brian goes over to his pool buddies and I go back to the bar. Abby's getting sad, Billy and Sean are bored. I buy two madrasses and hand one to Sean, tell him to split it with Billy. Their eyes light up. Abby's swaying and here comes Bobby, sashaying down the aisle to—no way, is it "Supermodel?” Then we're all up on the runway—no one knows what to do with us. I'm pushing Bobby aside, cackling and saying you're no supermodel honey. But she actually can walk—even if she is so exaggerated it's scary, she does work it.

Then the song's over and it's Crystal Waters – usually the DJ’s bad, but not this bad. Abby's still leaning against the bar, eyes shut and she's kind of nodding—oh no. Abby, I say, and he opens his eyes, wha-at. I say honey you're a mess, and he shuts his eyes again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parsley garlic

JoAnne and I hang up and then I'm sitting on the new carpet remnant I put over the old shag carpet in my empty room because the landlord wouldn't let me tear it out and it's disgusting, talk about allergies. The straightboys are yelling in the other room and I'm thinking about the first time I met Abby at Glad Day or not the first time but the time when I was putting up my roommate flyers that no one ever responded to, I mean I called myself a vegetarian faggot so they wouldn't get confused but, anyway, Abby who was Abe then, the fag behind the counter, said guess what, some friends and I found a place in Dorchester and we need someone else to join the lease. I didn't even know where Dorchester was, but I went over and I couldn't believe this enormous place: two floors, starting on the second floor with a living room and dining room, huge kitchen and even an extra area in the front like a study or something. One bedroom on that floor, and then seven more rooms upstairs, not to mention the bathroom with a separate vanity area. All for $975 a month. You couldn't beat that.

So it started with four of us. I barely even knew Abby, just that she was friendly and had recently escaped a Christian Fundamentalist family in Bel Air, Maryland. Then there was Siobhan, a classic pothead dyke with droopy eyelids. The last one I met was Brian Marshall, seventeen going on forty—tanning salon, frosted hair, overalls with one strap undone, even in the winter. I could tell he already hated me. At least we were all queer. Or something. Then Brian from the Coast Guard moved in—he's Siobhan's friend. Everyone calls him Straightboy to distinguish him from Brian Marshall, but I think that’s tacky. At least he's not in town very often, he just needs somewhere for when the boat docks or whatever. And now Sean and Bobby and Billy are practically living here too, they might as well start paying rent.

Bobby's calling me—Miss One, you're missing the party. She’s the most ridiculous person on earth, but I go into the living room anyway. Everyone's fawning over the straightboys and what's playing now? Led Zepellin—"gonna squeeze the lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg." One of the straightboys is doing air guitar. I thought it couldn't get any worse than the Priscilla soundtrack. I introduce myself and Bobby says aren't they all so cute? He's disgusting.

Apparently the Coast Guard boys have been drinking since 10 a.m. when they were painting the dock of the boat; now they're so drunk they look like they're swimming, one of them's cute I guess but whatever. His name's Calvin. They all want me to have some beer; they're drinking Milwaukee's Best and I only drink vodka. Billy's giggling and Sean and Abby are chain-smoking and Bobby's perm is looking greasier than ever and he's talking about all his gowns. He says: It's hard for me to hang out with anyone who doesn't know the difference between Armani and Versace. Nobody's ever seen Bobby’s gowns, apparently her daddy took them away when they had a fight. As far as I know, Bobby's never even put on a dress, but he talks like he's the mother of the House of Wehhhhhhhhbstah, Mass., don't make me reeeeeeeeeeeead you, Miss One.

I go into the living room to move my stuff. Brian stumbles in all red-faced, pats me on the back and says can you get me some coke? I say not unless we're in a club. He says can we go somewhere? I say I've gotta move my stuff, but you can head over to the Combat Zone and there will be plenty of people selling. It's kind of a joke—three smashed white straightboys looking for coke in the Combat Zone, yeah here's some fifty-dollar laxatives, sure—but boom like that they're all up and out the door and the music's off. Bobby starts cleaning up the cans and dumping out the ashtrays, saying oh what a mess, Miss One, then sighing like she's the richest housewife in the world, saying: It's what a mother does.

I'm sitting on my futon, trying to focus, and Bobby turns on the Priscilla soundrack. She's singing along and I'm about to smack her, then everyone's on my futon and I've got that smile that hurts my jaw. Sean’s wearing that overcoat, does she ever take that overcoat off? Whining about how she needs cocktails and doesn't anyone want to go to the Eagle and Bobby grunts, comes over to pinch Sean's cheeks, and says oh, my messy daughter. Bobby shakes her Fendi keychain, looks at me and says: It's what a mother does.

They all say meet us there, okay? Abby looks me in the eyes like bitch you betta, and then four kisses for me, luckily three sets of lips and Bobby's cheeks, and then they're off. I'm fantasizing about car crashes and then I realize Priscilla's still on. I think about throwing it away, but instead I just press eject. Back to the living room and I pick up my boxes, one by one—into my room.

I put some water on for pasta and wash spinach for a salad and then I hear someone at the door—already? Sure enough, it's the straightboys falling up the stairs. I'm stirring my pasta, and it couldn't be more than a few minutes later when Calvin comes in. He's coked up for sure, looking at my pasta like it's the most amazing thing he's ever seen. I say it's just parsley garlic fettucine. He says oh I eat a lot of pasta, you need loads of carbs when you're working out and I'm trying to bulk up, you know—parsley garlic, I'll have to try that.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What we do in Seattle

Seattle realness, honey: I'm telling Randy there this summer has finally arrived, those gorgeous days when you think the sun will never end. But then it does. Four days later. I think we've only had one sunny day since then, except for when the sun peers out of the clouds before dusk, like yesterday when I rushed out to the park and took off my clothes and felt it, really felt it, oh how I love those moments and I guess without Seattle realness I wouldn't have those moments, right?

It's funny, because when we had those four or five days of sun in a row I started to get worried that it would be too hot for me, because you know how I am with the heat, right? That's why Seattle is a good place for me, at least in terms of the weather. I mean, that's what I say now, in the middle of the summer. We'll see what I say in February.

But now – I have all of the tactics ready. Starting with a walk at the beginning of the day – it may seem depressing from inside, but then you go out and yes, that fresh air, it’s back with the clouds, especially when the humidity drops and it's chilly again, cold even. Stay out for an hour or more, this is the time of day when it's light even if it's dark. And then, whenever it starts to get a little sunny, rush outside, take off your clothes as soon as possible. Doesn't matter who's looking – this is Seattle, this is what we do in Seattle.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hollering in the other room (Back to writing the new novel…)

Later I'm walking home from the T, so glad I got this coat—it's so heavy it almost hurts my shoulders, but it comes close to keeping me warm. I got a little scared when I realized it was probably from the German military and is it from before or after but I can't think about that too much, maybe just the velvet at the collar and the arms and how I'm not shivering so much. I step inside the house, and someone's blasting some awful music. I'm walking up the stairs and what the fuck, someone's playing "Aqualung" in my house. I can't believe it.

I get to the living room and there's Brian with three of his buddies from the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard boys are hollering and there are beer cans everywhere, I feel like I'm in a frat house. And Abby, Sean, Bobby, and Billy are all drinking with the straightboys like they're sorority girls, Bobby giggles and says want a beer? Gross. I walk into my room, even though there's nothing in my room – everything’s in the living room. That's what I'm supposed to do tonight, move my shit in because I'm finally done painting and I put the new carpet in and all.

I call JoAnne, who tells me Chrissie's in jail in Idaho or Florida, she stole a trick's car in Seattle and took off. She says Andee had a panic attack on Halloween and she told him listen, you're totally inconveniencing me. She says he's not eating anything, and all he does is smoke pot all day and you put your hand on his heart and it's like a motor. And then she went over Jack and Jamie’s house and some man turned blue and someone there was smacking the guy to try to wake him up and someone else was screaming and crying and JoAnne started laughing: Okay, let's get high. She says: I don't know if I can kick, heroin takes care of me.

She doesn't really have options —there's her mother's house in Seattle where her brother beats her, or Jack and Jamie and junk in San Francisco. I want to say come stay with me, but what the hell would she do in Boston with a bunch of Coast Guard guys hollering in the other room? So instead I say: You can come here if you know you're not going to get strung out. And then I'm thinking about San Francisco and being a whore, people dying of AIDS, trying to make a living, all those years of hating anyone who called me young and then with JoAnne I finally realized we could share our rage and make it into something else and what am I doing now? JoAnne asks me to send me the papers I've written for school but I'm embarrassed because I feel like Brown is draining away everything I've just found and why do I get so dehydrated every night and I'm sick of driving back and forth from Providence to Boston but really that's not the problem it's just every time I hear someone say the word ontology or epistemology or liminal I want to die.