Thursday, August 30, 2012

Entertainers


Ms. Marshall called a house meeting tonight — to talk about Abby's drinking, are you kidding? Abby and I already have plans – I get paid today and we’re going to Bertucci’s for vegan pizza and cocktails— we don't go there often because it's kind of expensive, usually it's red curry at Thai Dish or momos and hummous at Trident, but you can only have so many momos, right? This is only our second time at Bertucci’s, but now that we have Heavy-Handed Wendy’s schedule we know exactly when to go – she pours a 16-ounce glass pretty much full of Absolut, and charges you for one cocktail — so, truth be told, we’re actually saving money when we go, right?

I mean, it is true that Abby starts every day with vodka over ice, but honey, she just got out of a relationship with Champagne Shampoodle, and you'd be drinking every afternoon too if you went out with that bitch. Especially if she was still living in your house. The worst part is that now Sham is stealing things from everyone — drugs, money, clothing — I caught her the other day with one of my black t-shirts on – oh no, Ms. One, she said, this is Calvin Klein. Bitch, a Calvin Klein T-shirt is $12, I just have them because the black doesn't fade so quickly. And, now I have to mark them all with my initials. Now everyone's getting locks on their doors, which is kind of depressing and can you believe the other night Sham-bam took out this suitcase phone in her car and acted like she was going to call someone – oh, Ms. One, Daddy cut it off. Then she stopped at Shell and asked if anyone wanted anything, since I guess that's the one credit card she has left. Don't ask me what I was doing in her car.

I bet Ms. Marshall is going to accuse Abby of all the drama, so we really don't need to be there just to check out the effects of the tanning salon on the skin of the 17-year-old. But what should we get on the pizza? Broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, onions — artichokes, I don't know about artichokes. Okay, let's try them.

And yes, here come those magical cocktails – I don't even like Absolut, but I do like Heavy-Handed Wendy, that's for sure. Oh, the artichokes — these are delicious! Should we get another cocktail?

 I have to say that the T is so much more fun after help from Heavy-Handed Wendy — Abby and I are queening it up on the platform and no one’s even bothering us, or if they are bothering us then we don't notice. The other day I was waiting for the train, and some guy came up to me and said: Your ass stinks.

Honey, I said, what are you doing smelling my ass?

And he said: You know what I want to do with your ass?

Kiss it?

And he picked up some discarded soda can from the ground, and then stomped down on it. Then he finished the bottle of whatever he was drinking, took it out of the paper bag and said: You know what I'll do with your head afterwards? And he hurled the bottle up against the wall; it smashed all over the tracks.

Luckily he got on a different train. But then I was painting my nails on the platform, and this group of kids walked by, I guess they were getting out of school or something and what was I doing up so early anyway but these kids couldn't be more than 12 or 13 years old and the kid in the back with crooked glasses and a bowl cut kept staring at me. And I couldn't help but think that when I was 12 I had crooked glasses and a bowl cut, so I was smiling at him, trying to be friendly, and he came over and looked at me and asked: Are you gay?

Honey, I said, I'm a faggot.

And he scrunched up his face and said ew, that’s GROSS. And then, can you believe that some old woman sitting there looked at me like I was the one creating a scene, it's a good thing she didn't say anything because then I really would have.

But that wasn't all – then I got on the train and someone sitting in front of me turned around and said: Stop following me, faggot. And then, after a few minutes, he got up and change seats so he was right behind me and then he started punching the seat, over and over again, saying faggot faggot faggot FAGGOT, faggot faggot faggot FAGGOT — I mean, it was kind of a good rhythm for late-night runway but this was the middle of the day and the point was that I didn't want him to think that I was scared so I didn't get up. And I didn't want to look back because I didn't even want him to realize that I noticed the whole seat was shaking, but he kept getting louder and louder and of course no one in the train said anything and I kept wondering if he was going to stab me so finally I turned around and said bitch I know I'm a faggot, but is that really what you want the whole train to know about you? And he took his hand like he was going to punch me in the face right there but then instead he slammed it into the seat so hard that his hand started bleeding, and I didn't want to get blood on me so I got out at the next stop just as I heard him yelling about how that faggot’s gonna give him AIDS.

Anyway, tonight there are no incidents, which is a rarity, and when we get home everyone's already in bed or something, even better. Abby goes to bed too because tomorrow she's visiting her family and the Christian fundamentalist cult in Bel Air, Maryland so she has to get up early, what a nightmare and speaking of nightmares it turns out everyone isn't in bed yet, because then Sham-bam arrives with Sean and they want to go to the Eagle. After a few bumps of coke I'm easily convinced but the Eagle is as boring as ever and then we’re back at home and somehow we all decide to stay up and go with Abby to the airport, Champagne promised her a while ago that she would drive and I guess she's actually following through, probably because of the coke. Sean and I are doing bumps of K in the backseat and should we bring it inside or would that be dangerous. We all hug Abby goodbye and honey can you believe these runways they have at the airport I love these runways but Champagne won't let us stay, she says we'll get arrested so we drive all the way back to the Savin Hill T and Sean and I head right back to Logan, more of that CK One in our noses, the one that doesn't smell like the poison every faggot Boston sprays all over just to block my nose, I swear if the fire extinguishers went off at Avalon the floor would just be coated with cologne and honey don't you realize I need to get lots of things into this nose I need it clear yes clear for that pure roller coaster white and yes, it turns out we have to take a shuttle bus to really get to the airport but we meet Elena, Sean says she has fierce hair and oh, she's just turned 60, happy birthday! She wants to know if we’re entertainers.

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This time with a job


Speaking of abusive fathers, at least he didn't scream at me when I told him I was leaving school, all he said was that he and my mother wouldn't be able to support me anymore. Like I didn't know that already. Then he asked me if I wanted to go to therapy. Of course — therapy will solve everything, right?

Actually, I do want to go to therapy to get ready to confront him about sexually abusing me, so I told him I would think about it. At least he didn't ask for the car back – not that they would have any use for this 1981 piece of junk that's going to break down at any moment, but it certainly is useful for getting home after the T stops running. And honey, the T stops running at midnight – it's like Boston really want to sponsor drunk driving, or something.

I'm probably going to take an escort ad out soon, but I figured this time I'll do it with a job, so I'm not so dependent on turning tricks, right? Yes, I've got my pager already — with a clear purple case so you can see the insides. It was the cheapest one. And, the good thing about telemarketing is that you can look however you want — that's why all my first jobs were phone canvassing, kind of different I guess because with canvassing you're just convincing people to give money to a nonprofit that doesn't really do anything, but at least they're actually giving money to that nonprofit, not just 10 cents and then the rest goes to whatever horrible bank I'm really working for. The only thing that makes me think it's kind of okay is that people can choose to use a credit card or not, right? Just run it up, honey, and then run, okay?

And, you can’t beat the hours — 5:30 to 9:30, Monday through Friday, that’s club kid realness. And at least I get to talk about drugs with bisexual Sheri in the smoking lounge — it’s not the worst job in the world. She wants me to have sex with her boyfriend, but I'm not convinced. I've been at this lovely job for three weeks already, and since my rent is so cheap it actually pays the bills. Not that I don't need three more jobs to pay for party favors, right? For now I have savings — I've always been good at saving. Soon I'll take out an ad, and get back to counting $20 bills.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We Were Here -- streaming online!

Amazing – you can stream David Weissman's entire film We Were Here, about the AIDS crisis in San Francisco (especially the early years) – I saw it at the Castro Theater among an audience of mostly gay men a generation older than me and pretty much everyone there was crying, myself included -- what a beautiful experience. There are definitely critiques to be made -- here's my own – but overall it's amazing documentation and Ed Wolf's participation is simply stunning…

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Uncommon clout


Yes, here I am doing business in the exclusive Copley Place—if my glamorous office faced the atrium, I might be able to watch the entrance to Neiman Marcus, can you imagine? But, instead, yes it's true, I only have a little cubicle next to another cubicle, facing another cubicle, facing, well, facing me, I guess. My highly sought-after job consists of making crank calls for the Uncommon Clout Visa Card — you know, the card that gives back to the gay and lesbian community. With every purchase — and, when I say gives back, honey, I do mean gives back!

That's right—every time you use your Uncommon Clout Visa card, we make a donation of 10 cents to the nonprofit of your choice. Ten cents, honey — that nonprofit is going to be rolling in it before you can even click your diamond-encrusted ruby slippers and say there's no place like Neiman Marcus, there's no place like Neiman Marcus. You'll just be using that card, honey, using that card and saving our gay children 10 cents at a time. And now, you don't even have to call 1-800 GAY CLOUT today because you’ve got this bitch on the phone to set you up with the debt bondage you’ve been looking for.

Yes, I know that gay clout is 8 letters and your standard phone number is only seven, but GAY CLOT just wouldn't be as catchy, right? Plus, there’s absolutely no annual fee, a low 9.9% APR for your first six months, credit lines of up to $25,000—and, you can request an additional free card for your domestic partner or anyone else you want to authorize to use your account. Yes, even your domesticated French poodle! If just a few hundred thousand people use this card regularly, we can truly make a difference by supporting worthless institutions and businesses that happen to call themselves gay or gay-friendly.

Oh, no — there's no pressure at all, I'll just sign you up, and then you can cancel when you get your balance up to $24,999. I'm not working for the collectors, honey, all I need is your name, address, and Social Security number. Or actually, if you want, you can just give me your abusive father’s name, address, and Social Security number, and we’ll go with that. We here at Uncommon Clout are nothing if not flexible and I would like my two-dollar commission. Talk about a shopping spree!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Your hair is beautiful

When I wake up, I'm collapsed on a sofa and Sean is waving her hands in front of my face and saying Mattilda, are you there, Mattilda, this is Dawn Davenport, Back Bay station, Dawn Davenport and I know she's talking to me but I can't say anything. When I look at her eyes I see my eyes but upside-down and everything in the room is dark and buzzing like there's suddenly a shadow over and around and inside everything. It's like reverse ecstasy, how do I get out?

Somehow then we're in the car and I'm trying not to look outside, too bright and sharp like my eyes might break, where are we going, oh, we’re going home yes home, maybe I said something and I look at my clock, 3 pm and I don't know how I'm going to sleep so I snort some doxepin, take a Xanax and throw off my clothes and get in bed and for a while everything is zooming past me, like I'm having conversations in my head with Abby who isn't here, she's at work, but she's here in my head and eventually the clouds start slowing down and oh, I love it here under the covers, and then someone's knocking at my door.
         Mattilda, Mattilda, wake up—we’re going to miss Avalon.
Avalon?
Mattilda, it's almost midnight.
Midnight? What do you mean? I look at the clock, somehow can't figure out 11:30 when it's dark outside and oh, I'm so hungry.
Okay, I'm getting up.
I put on my robe, and it feels sensual even though everything hurts, maybe I'm still feeling the good part of the ecstasy a bit—I guess I got my eight hours of sleep, maybe I'll be okay.
Abby’s sitting in the kitchen smoking a cigarette; she's wearing the same outfit, including the sunglasses. Did you sleep?
A little bit.
Are you sure you want to go to Avalon?
Mattilda, we have to go to Avalon.
Why?
The photo booth.
 
Oh, okay. I need to eat something first, and then take a shower. It'll be a while—we probably won't get there until the last minute.
 
That's okay.
 
I'm already starting to feel sad in that way that feels like it will never end—at least I had that Xanax last night, what am I going to do when I run out of the samples from my father's medicine cabinet—don't worry about that now, I still probably have 50 of those. I open the refrigerator—oh, I'm so glad I got this hummous and tabouli—Abby, do you want some hummous and tabouli?
 
I put the pita bread on the table, and we dip it in—oh, this is delicious! Abby’s smoking in between tiny bites and I eat pretty much the whole container of hummous, which makes sense because I hardly ate anything at all yesterday – oh, wait, is that really the same glass of orange juice on the table, I mean I don't usually believe in doing drugs in the morning but this isn't really the morning, is it? An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a quarter glass of ecstasy-laced orange juice and yes, just the right amount to bring that softness back to my head, okay now I'm ready for my shower yes this shower is amazing I can't believe I didn't try this yesterday and then I'm downstairs and I throw together the perfect outfit, paisley housecoats one over the other, pink on top, purple on the bottom almost like petticoats with my combat boots and pink, purple and green plaid tights—Newberry Street is good for something—but what should I do with my hair—oh, I know, green rollers and now Sean and Billy are downstairs too, Sean is trying to get the last little bit of coke out of the vial and Billy's eating my pita bread without asking but at the moment I don't care I'm just so glad I don't feel hideously horrible, deathly and disastrous, you girls going out tonight and then just like that we’re in the car.
 
Sure, we don't get there until just before closing and by then I already feel like I'm crashing again but Jason waves us in and right when we walk in the door they're playing that song that goes "Your hair is beautifu-ul,” and yes I’m giving slow runway as we make our way through the endless glitz of carpet and the bar that never ends and the fancy lights and the dance floor full of Boston's finest messes and I lean over to the tired bitches looking at me like they've never seen anything like it and I say yes, my hair. Bitch. Yes. My. Hair. Yes.
 
Turn, stop for the camera, turn again—yes, bitch, my, hair, yes, bitch, my, hair— speeding up with the beats and Sean starts to sing it, pointing at me, your hair, and Abby’s got her Long Island ice tea and she's doing that thing where she hums and sways with her eyes closed and the straw in her mouth and Billy’s whining about needing a drink and just then the music stops.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Don't say fall, okay?

I've pretty much always hated the summer, and looked forward to the fall with anxious anticipation, but here in Seattle it’s a different story. We had a week of 90-degree weather and yes, it was a bit too warm, but as soon as it shifted back into 60 and cloudy, oh no -- I got right into that Seattle mode of worrying please, please not fall yet – there must be more summer, more summer, right?

I guess I planned pretty well for Seattle summer, not directly but before I moved to Santa Fe I decided that, for the first time in over 15 years, I would wear shorts, shorts and tank tops and sandals, actually, and that was so so helpful in that desert sun where even on a 65-degree day it kind of burns right through you. And now that I live in Seattle, I've turned into one of the people who throws off all my clothes to lie in the sun in my boxers at a moment’s notice, even if it's not really sunny, just to try, to try to get a little bit of sun and it's funny because I don't think I've been this tan since I lived for a summer on the beach in 2000, I mean I always try to get a little bit of color on my skin, vitamin D, but I've also been paranoid about ever exposing myself before 2 pm, and no one has seemed to notice my subtle glow, or perhaps they notice the glow but don't realize it’s the sun, right? But now, people keep saying oh, you're tan!

So I guess I'm tan, in Seattle, and it is impressive how much we all love the sun here, while living in the dark, but no, not the dark, let's not talk about the dark yet – first, more sun, please more sun, although I will say that the cooler air that's blowing in is softer and fresher, don't say fall air though, okay, not fall just fresh. Not dark, just light, and yes, now I'm one of those people who goes outside in shorts and a tank top when it's really perhaps a bit too chilly, although I've always gotten overheated way too easily so perhaps it's not a surprise that now that I crossed that border and decided to wear shorts I really don't want to wear anything else, at least not for a little while, okay?

 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can't we stay in the garden

Back up those escalators, I'm so glad to be back! Except now people are rushing around and it's kind of overwhelming until we get to the garden, oh all these beautiful plants I'm touching the petals to see which are the softest oh look at the lilies I love these orange lilies but really orange lilies have yellow and red and peach and pink and even a tiny bit of green inside but what about the red ones with orange and white — oh, and pink ones with white stripes and magenta dots but still yellow at the tips of the stamen, that's what those are called, right, the pollen parts? And oh, when you touch the magenta dots they're kind of raised up like little bumps, weird, what do you think that means?

These lilies feel like velvet although the new buds feel like plastic, do you think the buds are real? Usually I don't like the smell of lilies but these don't smell at all and what about these purple flowers that already look dried out, stattice, is that what they're called like crumply little mountains in your hands and look at those blue carnations they can't be real but oh so so soft is that why people like carnations, not just because they're cheap but what about the droopy Gerbera daisies with plastic holding them up straight kind of like a cartoon in pink, red, yellow, orange— Gerbera daisies Gerbera daisies Gerbera daisies it's kind of hard to say and those roses look sad except the peach ones – oh, yellow, look at the yellow I like the yellow so soft and bright at the same time. Roses kind of feel like tissue paper but oh no, don't blow your nose on a rose that would be allergy drama and ouch, these bright purple flowers that look like pom-poms are actually prickly and these orchids are fun to look at but they kind of feel fake even though they're in soil or not soil but rocks and then their roots grow out like they're looking for the sun too and maybe those roots are fake too although would they make fake roots?

Oh — and the bonsai trees so cute I love bonsai trees curling around like the beginning in the end yes let's have both and what about that little house on the tree, are there people in that tree house I can't tell. Would I like to live in a house like that on a bonsai tree, I don't think so but maybe for a little while if there's a nice view.

Wait, I never realized the leaves of these red flowers that my grandmother used to have in her window boxes, what are they called? Geraniums – the leaves, you wouldn't imagine it because they don't look like much but oh, they're almost as soft as the lilies, velvet pants but so light it's like you're wearing air a pair of geranium leaf velvet pants but not this color maybe the color of those lilies but I never realized the yellow part at the center of these white daisies would be so hard, you could hurt someone with the center of these daisies but what are these puffy pink flowers kind of like mums but more delicate except when you touch them they bounce right back like sponges with a little water that spurts out and oh I love this game it's so much fun but why does Billy keep poking me and pulling my arm and laughing until he says Mattilda, we have to go!

Why? I love this garden! It's not a garden, Mattilda—this is a flower shop. A flower shop. Oh, a flower shop. That's why that woman keeps smiling at me, I just thought she was looking at the garden too. Should I get something? I need to get something for Abby.

I pick out the biggest pink Gerbera daisy, I mean the one with the longest stem and the woman working there says I like your earrings, thank you, and then Billy drags me away, she wants to get something in the food court. I feel like a little kid, can’t we just stay in the garden?

Oh, the food court — should I get something here too? I don't know if I'm hungry. Maybe a juice, do they have juice? Where's Sean? She's in the bathroom. Oh, the bathroom – I'll be right back.

Oh I love this bathroom — it's so, white! There's Sean staring in the mirror, doing her hair. How long have I been here, she asks, still staring in the mirror. I don't know. My name is Seansè, she says. Oh hi, Seansè — your hair looks nice. I look in the mirror — yes, my eyes, yes! Someone's behind us — oh, do you need to use the sink? We love it here. Seansè, I'm going to go out and get a juice, do you want a juice? But wait — I don't even know if they have juice. Juicy. Oh, I love this mirror — let's just stay here. I can't believe I did three hits of ecstasy. Do you think I'll be okay? Thank you for the juice, Mattilda. Do they have juice? The orange juice. Oh, the orange juice. Let's get orange juice. Do you want to go outside together? I don't know if I can handle it alone.

Back into the food court and what on earth is Billy eating, something disgusting – where did you go, she asks with big eyes, but she's just worried we did more drugs without her. My head is racing now, did I do another bump with Sean? There's too much going on in here – can we go across the street to visit Abby? Oh, wait — there's the juice bar — carrot, they even have carrot – oh, yes, extra-large, please extra-large, do you have ginger? No ginger. Parsley?

Back down those escalators and outside it’s so bright I can feel my eyes jumping out and yes, I love this juice, I love it out here and then upstairs into the store oh I love this store, why don't I come here more often? Everything by the counter is Priscilla Priscilla Priscilla but I do like these colors, maybe she's not as bad as I thought she was, although she sure needs a lot of lube and DVDs and postcards — I thought this was a bookstore, I keep saying, I thought this was a bookstore!

Is that really a book about Ab Fab? Oh – I did want to read this book by Esther Newton about Cherry Grove, but not now the words are just spinning around at me. Neil Jordan, did he write The Crying Game? Sean and Billy go in the back to look at porn, but where's Abby – there are customers around, but there’s no one behind the counter.

Just then I hear a snorting sound and Abby jumps up from behind the counter – girl, you did not just do that! I hand her the flower and she starts waving it like a magic wand – oh Mattilda, it matches my outfit. And she's right, it does, it does. What's that Guides to Bodily Fluids—oh, it's a RE Search publication, like Angry Women. And is this really Foucault at the front counter—I need some lube with my Foucault and Gay Europe and the new Herb Ritts book, please. But, wait – what's this music? I love this music! Mattilda, it's the Pet Shop Boys. You hate the Pet Shop Boys. Maybe I was wrong. But what's this? Safer Sexy? I don't know, I just sell Elbow Grease. Can I borrow your makeup, I say.

Sure, Mattilda, she says, and hands me her vial. I head to the bathroom and do a couple bumps – oh, that's what I needed. Everything is slower now. My hair looks perfect, even brighter than before. This sweater is so soft. I sit on the toilet and nothing comes out, but it feels good to put my hands under my sweater, rub my thighs—suddenly I just want to hold someone, I guess this is why people like to have sex on X. My eyes are closed, but there's a lot going on anyway, and then when I start to stand up it's like I can suddenly see the floor on the wall, that's kind of nice, but wait, I never realized there were two people dancing on the toilet paper, yes on every square, dancing but sometimes the leg or the arms or the torso is cut off, wait let me take some of this outside and yes, when I open the door to walk down the hall my feet sink into the ground, yes, slow it down, turn around, lost and found.

Back at the counter, Abby’s ringing up someone's postcards and an Eros Guide. Thank you for shopping at Glad Day, she says. I hand her the vial – thank you, just what I needed. I want some of that, Billy whines, and Abby taps some on the counter, good move because otherwise Billy would do the whole thing but she looks startled – not here, she says, and Abby ducks down behind the counter. Yours or mine, I say, and Billy looks both ways and then leans over. When she stands up she's smiling and I notice that she must've just plucked her eyebrows. And, when did she bleach her hair again, no roots! Why is she wearing that baseball cap? Why would anyone wear a baseball cap? Her eyes are so blue, when did they get so blue, not blue like eyes but blue like, blue like what? Wait, colored contacts! I brought you something, she says, and hands me a magazine.

Thrust. What do you think it means? For men in heat to beat their meat, Billy reads, and someone in the store laughs. Are you beating your meat, I say, but he doesn't respond.

I open the magazine and there's a Cowboys and Indians spread – oh, no. Billy hands me another: Stroke. Sex with a cop – gross, but his dick is kind of hot— wait, not a cop! I pick up Safer Sexy. Oh, it's pictures of couples having sex on black backgrounds with slogans like "Men Who Love Men Love to Protect Them" and "SLIP on a condom SLAP on some lube SLAM his arse-hole”

Arse-hole, Billy says, and starts laughing. Slam his arse-hole.

"INVEST IN A QUEER FUTURE – BUY RUBBER!,” With a picture of a guy in an Outrage! T-shirt holding his cock in a condom, I want to suck him off. Now. Maybe in the bathroom? And then "LOVE OR LUST – Whatever your preference keep it risk free." I love this book.

Sean’s starting to get impatient, so I hand him a square of toilet paper. Look, I say, two people dancing. Look. And Abby says thank you for your purchases, ladies, and puts Safer Sexy in a bag. Thank you for the flower, Abby says—I'll see you at home, and then she ducks back down for another bump, I can't believe she does it like that at work, and then she jumps back up like a monkey in a box wait not a monkey, what is it that jumps up like that, all moral, whack a mole, and then Abby wait a second, do you need to go to the bathroom, and hands me the vial again, do I need to go to the bathroom, I mean sure, I do a whole capful because I can feel myself getting edgy again, I really shouldn't have done three hits of X but then we’re on Boylston and I can't figure out which way we should go.

Oh, there's Andrea so we start walking in her direction. Billy and I are holding hands so we can walk and Sean says did you do more K—oh! I need. More K! So then she rushes back to the store while we wait in Copley Square. It seems like a while but it might just be a few minutes, I'm kind of sweating and kind of cold and

Billy says Mattilda, you're doing that thing with your mouth. Oh. And your eyes, where are your eyes? Oh.

Sean wants to go to Moka, okay, and when we start walking suddenly there's a gust of wind and everything is so bright, my feet sinking into the ground it's a good thing we’re holding hands because I can't tell which way the cars are going they’re so fast I'm sweating too much I hate sweating and maybe if I close my eyes, okay, good thing I'm in the middle, this is the longest walk of my life but I'll make it, who's that yelling, why so much noise, do you think we’re close, how much further, is there somewhere else we can go, can’t we just sit down here, are you sure this is the right way, oh, Neiman Marcus, oh, how far is that, it's right there and inside everything is buzzing I walk down the steps so many steps I don't remember these steps could there really be this many steps and then I fall right into a black hole.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

And I love it

Everyone's sitting on sofas now but the music’s still going and if I let my eyes flutter a little I can imagine we’re back at the club, not the Loft because there's nowhere really to sit, maybe downstairs at Quest. John B says that sweater is fierce, and I can't tell whether she's being shady. She’s always shady. I go back in my room and take out the other two hits of ecstasy, put one in my mouth and go in the living room for orange juice. Abby’s in the corner with Traci Lords, doing another bump. Abby, I say, I just did another hit of X. I love you, Abby says, eyes closed like she's watching TV behind her head and the room suddenly feels lighter, yes the vitamin C and this music, yes this music even if I'm the only one dancing but wait, is that really Michael Sheehan on our sofa? I'm petting the sofa and saying Michael Sheehan, I love this music and Michael asks me something about what K feels like.

Someone, give Michael Sheehan of bump of K!

Sean says Michael Sheehan doesn't do drugs – really? What is it like to hang out with all of us? Michael's laughing and I'm petting the sofa and then I have an idea — wait a second, if we go into Abby's room we can climb out onto the roof and watch the sunrise. Oh, this orange juice is amazing – Sean, let’s get the candy and go out on the roof!

The roof?

Yes, the roof.

So then there we are in Abby's room climbing out the window to sit outside in the sun and yes the light in my eyes oh I love this light – first it's just me, Sean, and Billy, and then somehow Abby shows up with everyone else and we’re crowded out there in the light my eyes rolling back and I don't think I've ever seen our landlord before but somehow just at that moment she decides to show up, I mean I guess she and her girlfriend supposedly live downstairs but I've never seen them and at first I'm thinking oh no, a bunch of drugged-out faggots on the roof, this is the end, but she just looks up and says a beautiful day, isn't it? And we’re all nodding our heads – beautiful, yes, a beautiful day.

So then I lean back and close my eyes and suddenly everything is shooting up into my head and I don't even know what everyone else is saying or doing, I mean I can hear their voices but it's all going so fast and then when I open my eyes I realize Abby's holding my hand and Sean is talking to us, something about how everyone just left and somehow that's the funniest thing I've ever heard, how long has it been, maybe hours or days or weeks or years and Abby’s petting my sweater and Sean is gritting her teeth but smiling too and then I look at Abby and she still has her eyes closed and I can feel the texture of the roof kind of grinding into my skin but it doesn't matter, nothing matters except this feeling in my head and Sean hands me a glass of orange juice, really, I don't know, really, how did you get that here? On the roof? How did we get here, yes, how did we get here!

Just then I realize my mouth is awfully dry, so I take a sip and boom it's like the sun is suddenly in my eyes or I'm in the sun flying through the sky a landscape of rooftops, some are getting lighter and some darker and some brighter and sometimes part of a tree moves just slightly and look, I say, look, that tree is alive! Abby still has her eyes closed — beautiful, she says, beautiful. Sean starts laughing and now we've all got our eyes closed but then I start to picture all of us falling off to the cement down below and yes, I think that would hurt. So when we get inside it's almost like one motion – Abby taps some K onto her dresser and Sean some coke and then they blend it together and I wonder how long this has been going on, what have I been missing, and Sean says you did another hit of X, right, and I nod my head, and he says do you want some CK One and bitch that's brilliant, I start twirling around in the room but where's the music?

They do their lines and I'm still trying to figure out whether I need anything, I guess not yet, maybe some K but I don't want coke to mess with the X I mean I'm already chewing on my tongue and let's go downstairs. Yes, Michael Sheehan left the tape in the boombox I can hardly believe it and now we have the whole downstairs to ourselves, Abby starts shaking her body and making cat noises, where did you get all that energy, oh, I know, and is this really our house? There’s the candy in the middle of the floor – maybe I'll try some licorice, oh no it takes too long to chew and Sean’s choking just looking at me: Mattilda, the expression on your face, and Abby says something about needing to go to work soon

Work?

Work.

Work!

Sean takes a look at his vial, still half-full – okay, I'll drive, he says.

Yes, let's all go together. But first I need to take a shower—wait, did I already take a shower? Abby, do you need the bathroom?

Mattilda, it's yours.

What's in the boombox in the bathroom – Moby, I forgot how much I love this album – this water – oh the rain the rain the rain on my skin in my face in my hair dripping colors on my face and the music telling me I’m feeling so real, I'm feeling so real — and sure I know this real really isn't so real at all but I can forget while I'm rubbing my chest my legs and that feeling in my head and someone's knocking at the door, come in!

Sean comes in and sits at the vanity: Want a bump? Sure. I lean my head out of the shower and Sean says have some coke and a smile. Oh my God it burns, why did I just do that coke? How come you're doing it in here? I don't want to give Billy any.

I walk downstairs in my robe and now I'm too wired. Abby’s standing in the middle of the living room and shaking her head back and forth, still making cat sounds, why did I do that coke?

I go in my room and get my zeppelin, come back in the living room – shit, I need to bring back the X. Billy’s suddenly sitting next to me: I want some. So then we’re passing it around, five or six hits and I'm getting the diagonal feeling in my head again, yes, but I don't want to crash so I go in my room and get the other hit, I know I was supposed to be saving this for a while but whatever. Abby, do you want some orange juice? I tap a little bit of the capsule into the juice and take a sip: magic. Pass it around, I say, there's something special in it. Special, Sean says – what's special? Oh. Billy says: I like special. Gabby mumbles it. How is she going to work?

I look at the clock — who cares, I love this day and yes it will all fall apart but soon enough we’re floating over the Mass Ave Bridge and yes the sun is too bright now but all you have to do is let your eyelids flicker and you can see the water zooming into the sky it's my favorite ride and then we’re going back over again. I'm cheering and Billy's yelling fierce and Abby’s eyes are closed and when we drop her off she looks sad: Come visit, okay?

Of course! Give me a kiss – honey, there's something on your nose. Sean parks the car and yes, there’s Andrea again so I'm blowing kisses and Billy says who's Andrea?

Andrea, I say – pointing at the John Hancock Tower.

You're crazy.

And I love it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The green one

We get outside and it's almost light out, but what's going on? Juniper and Sage are working their platforms up and down the lot, music blasting from their car, that’s the kick that Billy’s trying to work and I didn't even see them inside, no wait I saw them hugging the speakers but how did they get outside and what is this music, this music is amazing it's like the dance floor out here in the parking lot our own parking lot the yellow lights and Andrea, yellow now too, or yellow and white and black and yes, the headlights of the car you ruminating our runway and I'll try that kick too, now walk, give it, shake your hips and live it, and then the music stops and Lisa gets out of the car jingling her keys.

What song was that, I say. Debbie Gibson’s new song, Sage says. No, really. Really. Who mixed it? Juniper – it's his first song.

I love it— we’re having after-hours at our house, do you want to come over?

But they have to go home, Lisa’s driving and she’s not high. Billy says they're going home to fuck, and she looks me in the eyes like she just said something naughty. All of them? No, Mattilda, Juniper and Sage.

Is it starting to get light or is it just my eyes, Sean says Richie and Michael are coming—I give him my keys: Can we go over the Mass Ave Bridge first? Mattilda, Sean says, not the Mass Ave. Bridge. Please.

So then we’ve got a caravan: Richie and Michael just behind us, Lana del Monte behind them, and maybe another few cars. Okay, maybe not The Mass Ave. Bridge this time, I'll just look at the lights on our way home and then maybe we can much the sunset.

Sunrise, Billy giggles. That's right, I say, sunrise. Abby’s snorting something – what's that, I say. K. Billy giggles again. Abby hands me the vial and I don't know if I'm ready yet, well, okay, maybe just a little oh yes this seat is so comfortable and why don’t we have any music, oh, here goes the car, yes, this is so much fun and Billy’s giggling in the backseat: what's all this stuff back here?

Oh, yes, I say, yes, we have refreshments, help yourself to refreshments. Everything’s blowing and flowing by and I love the stoplights especially green yes I love the green but oh, red, red’s kind of nice too but what about yellow, no yellow and then we’re at our house and no one’s lost, kind of a miracle. Richie and Michael are with some blonde woman – that's Traci Lords, Sean says, Traci Lords is in a K-hole.

Then there’s Elana with Jon B, and I don't know the rest of the people but we all make our way upstairs and I put all the candy out in the living room in bowls, bring out the orange juice with glasses. Richie’s looking around – how many people live here? Too many, I say, but there's a lot of space. Richie says is it expensive? No, I say, we all pay less than $200. No way, Richie says, you are fierce. And I realize he's looking at Bobby who's coming downstairs with Brian, I guess it's time to drive him to work, and Richie says Champagne!

And Billy says Richie, oh Miss One it’s so good to see you!

Champagne lives here too, Richie asks, and Bobby giggles like they’re best friends and Champagne is her favorite pet name. She doesn't even realize Richie is reading her.

Orange juice, I ask, and pull out a glass. No, Miss One, I've got to get to work.

Work, Abby mumbles.

Work, Billy shrieks.

Champagne doesn't work – I guess she means she needs to get Brian to work, perfect timing.

Michael puts a tape in the boombox and no way, 10,000 screaming faggots, right in our living room and everyone's saying it – really, 10,000, really? Sean says it's 1000 — honey, keep counting. And I go to the bathroom to take a shower oh yes this is what I needed yes the rain the beach the sunrise the feeling in my skin this is my skin yes my skin but then I feel a tiny bit of sadness behind my eyes and I get scared: not yet, please not yet. Maybe I should get out of the shower, how long have I been in the air? I picked out the green chenille sweater because it's so soft, burgundy on underneath so it shines through all the worn parts in the sweater I love this sweater and yes, my hair looks amazing so fresh but I can't be crashing yet, can I? Back in my room I remember I have two more hits of X, I bought three because it's the good stuff, should I take another one now? I can't decide. Maybe I should have some candy. I go in the kitchen and stare at the colors in the bowl – do I eat candy? Lifesavers – oh, this is good, green, I like the green one.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hugging the speakers

I can't believe that actually works, and then we start walking up the stairs but wait, Abby, do you hear that beat, Abby, listen — Abby yes it’s “Witch Doktor,” yes—and I'm giving everything yes everything on that first floor dance floor, empty, it's empty just for us the whole floor is our runway I'm flying through the air and just when I think it couldn’t possibly get better Richie throws in that laugh track song so it's the shriek drumroll from “Witch Doktor” with oh ha-ha-ha-ha ha-ha-ha-ha oh ha-ha-ha-ha ha-ha-ha-ha and then there’s my shrieking too and I love this dress for dancing even though it flies up when I do the kick and then I'm shaking my head back and forth then screaming and staring at Richie while pointing my finger – you, yes you. And she’s pointing her finger at me and then Abby pulls my hand oh, I guess she wants to go upstairs — by, Richie!

This is a long staircase, and when we get to the top oh I jump right onto the dance floor and Abby heads for the bathroom. There’s Billy with her new platforms that don't taper at the bottom so she's having a hard time balancing, sucking on a lollipop while attempting to throw in some kicks– she holds out her arms: Fierce, she says, your hair looks fierce! Fierce!

You look fierce, I say. I'm not sure if I really mean it, but I know she's trying and that's what counts. Then I look over at the side and there’s Sean in her overcoat, she comes over and says I thought you weren't going to make it.

I made it!

Then we’re all on the dance floor, Sean rarely gets on the dance floor so I know she's wired and these beats yes these beats and the way I can just look at that person over there and suddenly it's like we're the same body oh and his eyes yes his eyes yes and my head rolling back twirl around stumble into flip almost in the floor but still my feat yes that guy’s feet our feet and turn, the lasers, when did they get blue and purple and green too shooting past my face and my head side to side, in and out, I'm in the lasers and there’s Billy yelling fierce and Sean bouncing a bit, turn again pull in my breath and up to my arms swaying and now I'm so close to this guy I don't know I can feel his breath, turn, back around, he's kind of cute, the best part is that move with the hips and the bounce and I move my moves into the space between his eyes and the beat and maybe he can join us afterwards, maybe we can drive over the Mass Ave. bridge for the sunrise, holding hands in the back seat oh the light yes these lights there's purple in this red, turn, Billy’s really kicking now Sean’s on the sidelines and Abby stumbles over and I do that almost-falling thing towards the queen next to me who holds up her arms like help, dive down and Abby’s waving me over so I twirl off the dance floor still dancing even though Abby’s still, eyes almost closed, leaning against the wall for support, wonder what happened in that bathroom and she's saying something to me, what did you say?

Mattilda, I love you. Oh. I love you!

And I know it's the ecstasy so I close my eyes to feel it but also I know it's love so I open my eyes to look more closely, Abby’s curly hair kind of reddish in this light and she reaches over her hand and I kiss it, keep dancing a little with the hips into feet and Sean looks over with big eyes and says: Traci Lords was here.

Traci Lords? The porn star? Yes, Sean says, Traci Lords is fierce.

And how did Billy get over here, now she's taller than all of us, yelling fierce! Fierce! And: Sean put Traci Lords in a k-hole.

And there’s her song, maybe that's what they're talking about – 1000 screaming faggots, 1000 screaming faggots! Even Sean can't help but dance to that one, the whole crowd is going wild and Billy’s working that patent leather tank top and lycra bike shorts and the lasers are blasting past our heads and Juniper and Sage are hugging the speakers in their bossiest wedding cake sneaker platforms, I hope they don't lose their hearing but all of us, all of us are hugging the speakers and oh no, the music’s ending.

What, I say, what's going on? I'm just getting started. Billy says Mattilda, you got here late. After-hours at our house! Billy starts giggling and jumping up and down: Mattilda, you’re doing that thing with your lips. What thing with my lips?

And then we're both laughing and I lean my head back and let my eyes go somewhere else and Billy's holding my hand and I already hear Sean telling everyone after-hours at Mattilda and Abby’s, after-hours at Mattilda and Abby’s and oh, I want to invite that boy, where’s that boy I was dancing with and Sean says which one, oh, I can't find him, and where’s my sweater?

Oh, downstairs. I left it downstairs. Thank you so much, I say to the guys at the front who almost didn't let us in. Sean asks them if they want a bump. Sean, don't say that!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Mass hysteria

Inside it’s yes, oh yes, I love this light flickering my eyes up into my head and Abby, do we need anything? Abby gets a blow pop, it's already in her mouth so we don't need to pay for it but I get tabouli and hummous and pita bread for later. Andrea is shining up above and we throw the food in the car and step into the Prudential Center to levitate up the escalators, yes we've got the camera and Abby jumps up on the booth or not booth, what do you call this, a cart I guess a cart that sells something when it opens but right now there's just a sign that says WATCH OUT, maybe that's the name of this cart maybe that's my name but right now Abby’s up there, ready to ride but

Abby, what are you watching out for? You, bitch. Me? Yes, you. Bitch.

Abby's eyes light up every time she says bitch and then I say look, look at me and then she pushes the sunglasses down and we’re looking at each other and yes, there’s MASS HYSTERIA, just behind Abby's head – that's my picture. But wait— all the candy in clear bins, different shapes and sizes of blue, green, aqua, cobalt, fluorescent pink, silver, gold, bronze, orange, white, off-white, beige, squishy gooey purple, chocolate, is chocolate a color? Texture: licorice bits, salt water taffy, fudge, banana chips, gross, banana chips and look, gum drops in all different sizes and sour balls, ouch, I do like sour balls and yes, let's get a picture together. Now, get one of me. Wait – candy, let's get candy!

We're back at Star Market and I could stare at the colors all night long, but what should we get? I don't even eat candy really, or I try not to but I love the colors, Abby what should we get, there's so much to choose from, let's just grab a few bags, maybe lemon drops and Lifesavers and what else? And oh — orange juice, let's get orange juice, vitamin C will bring back the colors, let's get the huge one with the pulp, that's fresher, do you like the pulp, and oh, what time is it? Almost 4:30. I don’t like the pulp.

We better get to the Loft. I'll get the one without the pulp. Are you sure?

We go outside and Andrea, there's Andrea! Oh, I love her from this angle, so sharp and elegant and sly, are you sure we should go? Abby holds my hand and this time I'm looking at her eyes through the sunglasses, blue lenses, your eyes are so blue. Your hands are cold, she says. Yes, I say, yes. We glide in the spaceship down a deserted Boylston, but it's so late the door guy at the Loft doesn't want to let us in -- everyone's expecting us, I say. You have to let us in.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A family picture

I throw my coat-dress back on the bed, and we take my disposable camera and rush upstairs and start knocking on Chris Marshall's door. Bobby's the one who comes to the door: What is it?

A family picture, Abby says, and Bobby says just a minute. Abby and I look at each other: really? And then I go down the hall to knock on Billy’s door, and Abby heads for Siobhan’s, and pretty soon we’re all in Abby's room. Siobhan and Billy are rubbing their eyes and lighting cigarettes but Chris is already ready to pose with his shirt off, modeling that tanning salon chest, and how does his hair always stay in place? He must have put some mousse in. Bobby’s wearing one of Chris’s BUM Equipment sweatshirts with plaid pajama bottoms and a baseball cap, does it really say JOCKS? They really do look married.

Siobhan’s girlfriend is there, and she looks angry –maybe she can take the picture? No, wait — Sean, where were you? Okay, now Siobhan and Rachel look angry, Billy looks stunned, Abby's got her sunglasses on now, and my eyes are rolling back. Then it's done: Abby and I are alone again.

What time is it? 3 am. Did that really happen? I think so. Should we go to the Loft? Really, you want to go to the Loft? I think it would be fun. Okay. I guess I'm ready. Should we stop at Copley? Yes, let's stop at Copley! Wait, how are we going to get there? Drive. Do you think that will be okay? Yes. Okay.

I go back to my room for that sweater dress or dress sweater or whatever it is, yes I love my space alien couture but Abby, aren’t you going to be cold without a jacket, you should bring a jacket. I don't have one. Are you sure?

Then we’re up in the spaceship on the highway looking directly at the stars so bright like a tunnel and oh I never realized the way they blink so much and when I close my eyes I can feel us flying through the sky yes the sky let’s never come down but wait, maybe I shouldn't close my eyes. Oh, good – there's the exit. Okay. Slower now, don't fly away, like we're gliding through the streets and there’s Star Market.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The lights

I'm dying my hair while I'm waiting for the X to kick in, I told Abby it would be better to do it at home where we could relax instead of all that stress at the Loft, right? Especially now that we got the good stuff.

My hair works the best if I leave the dye in for a few days – plus, you can do anything with it while the dye is still in, so I pull out the fuchsia sides like wings and then twist up the purple in the middle like a bow or a knot, honey this is a good look. I go downstairs and Abby looks at me and smiles and says Mattilda, your hair! I say I like it when you call me Mattilda, and Gabby says Mattilda, your hair, I love it, and then I look at her eyes and yes, honey, here it is, let's go. Abby starts talking to me about her sweater: I don't feel comfortable in this, I don't think it looks good, do you?

I don't like giving people fashion advice – sure, it looks like something her mother picked out when she was 10, but fags in Boston love the infantilized preppy look. I'm noticing the texture of my robe, so I rub Abby’s sweater and oh, it’s soft too, and I guess I'm starting to do that thing with my tongue that everyone always notices, and Abby says what do you think? I don't know, I say – whatever makes you comfortable. She looks kind of perplexed and touches my arm: Will you wait for me? Sure, I say, and she goes upstairs.

I've never noticed how comfortable this sofa is – and oh, this robe, it's amazing. That chandelier, has that always been there? There’s pink, purple, green, red, orange, blue in each bulb – oh, look at all the colors!

I can feel my eyes fluttering and this is great, I could stay on this sofa for the rest of my life, yes this ugly brown corduroy sofa, where did we get this sofa? Abby comes down in a new outfit, pink T-shirt with a purple heart drawn over one nipple and a red star on the other, smiley-face boxers pulled up over the baggy striped jeans, rolled up at the bottom. What do you think, Abby asks.

Gorgeous, I say – you look gorgeous, where did you get that shirt? I made it, she says, and then I notice she's wearing lipstick. Honey, I say, you better work. And she holds out a permanent marker, and says: Do you think I should use this for eyeliner?

Honey, that's a permanent marker.

I know.

It might hurt.

Do you think it will be worth it?

Honey, how are you feeling?

Oh, Mattilda, thank you.

Look at the lights, oh the lights.

Mattilda, I'm never wearing that sweater again.

What did you do with it?

I threw it away.

Where.

Out the window.

You, bitch, are fierce.

No, bitch, you are fierce.

Do you want to go to Star Market?

Why?

The lights.

I'll be right back, Abby says, so I go in my bedroom and look for something to wear, something I can pull on over this hair. Oh, yes – that blue nightgown with the silver flowers on it, yes it’s so soft, oh yes. I better look in the mirror. This looks perfect with my nails – oh, my nails. I'm sitting in the bathroom looking at my silver nails, the way they shine differently from different angles and Abby knocks, can I come in?

So then we sit together on the bench in front of the vanity, looking in the mirror and I see the eyeliner around her eyes. I love it, I say, and she takes out a yellow highlighter and closes one eyelid, rubs it on, over and over, and then the other, opens her eyes.

Yes, I say. Yes.

She’s holding my hand and we’re looking in the mirror at each other's eyes.

I love your dress.

Thank you, I say.

Mattilda, I'm having so much fun!

Me too – look at my nails.

Oh, your nails.

Should we go downstairs?

I love these stairs.

We get to my room and I put on that crazy purple sweater coat-dress thing that looks like it's made out of a shag rug. Mattilda, where did you get that? Dollar-a-Pound – my favorite place in Boston. You'll have to take me there. Definitely. Do you want to go there now? Yes. No – it's not open. Where should we go? Star Market. No, wait – the Prudential Center. Isn’t it closed? Not the middle – we could do runway. Yes, runway. The lights. The lights, Mattilda, I'm ready for the lights. Let's get a family picture first. A family picture!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Oh, my – more glamour, indeed…

Oh, wait – did I show you this? Right across from the Stranger office, I love it!

Unimaginable

It's hard to write much about Seattle in 2012 when I spend so much time thinking about Boston in 1995, right? But, there's a lot to write about Seattle too, so I think I'll at least tried to throw in some hints to remind myself. Like last night at Steamworks, and on my way I always think to myself what is the one thing I want the most, this time it's to make out with someone I actually think it's really hot, and not just hot in the moment or not hot at all but maybe okay, and then that actually happens, the one tattooed guy giving a bit of fashion subcultural realness I guess and then making out is great actually, sucking cock too and all these guys coming up which I can tell is what he likes, what I like too usually, but not these guys, let me tell you, then he wants to go for a walk but I keep hugging since everything goes in a circle I mean a square we keep running into one another but then I realize it's over and will there ever be a time when people don't feel the need to grab your dick before anything else, probably not, maybe I should leave, I got what I was looking for anyway but of course I stay although the good part is I start my dancing runway, strange comments out of nowhere to whoever walk by, of course no one will speak to me, the ones who wanted me before no longer do except one guy does pause to say nice move, it was a nice move I will say, my specialty fly in the air then to the floor and twist around and the best part is I'm reminding myself of these specifics to include in Sketchtasy, the Boston novel, and then I see the original guy sprawled out on that gymnastics force or whatever it is, ass up in the air waiting for whomever, I keep walking, then I'm back and whomever has arrived, I can't decide if it's hot but I stand in the front so he can suck my dick anyway, not a good angle but then I stand up onto the gymnastics whatever it is, come too fast and then I'm walking around again, kind of sad maybe, need to dance more to bring back the beauty, the beauty that these girls can’t stand, there is the one who's always here who I had sex with once yes he chased me and it was hot but he won't even acknowledge me but it doesn't matter, I have that feeling in my body from the music and whatever else that is never but somehow still here, and then when I leave I feel better, it's not so late, still warm outside because summer arrived yesterday, yes August 4 summer arrived in Seattle and I'm thinking about a little girl in the park who stood under one of those big evergreen trees and said it's so green it's unimaginable.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

"Endorse, Donate, Evangelize" – I can't get this slogan out of my head!

But, where does it come from, you ask… Pat Robertson? George W. Obama? No, no – it's from the most recent newsletter of the Greater Seattle Business Association ("greater," in this case, means gay). I can't tell if the GSBA created this amazing slogan on its own, or if it comes directly from Washington United for Marriage – in any case, have you been to church lately? God is waiting…