Friday, November 30, 2012

Old enough


Outside Barry's office there’s an empty park with grass so green it looks fake, I touch it just to make sure. It's funny how Lechmere is the end of the line, but it's also right on the water in Cambridge facing the Boston skyline. Not Andrea and the skyline that I'm used to, but all the buildings in the financial district. Oh, there's Andrea, if you look the other way. But anyway I figure since no one's around I'll just lie in the grass for a few minutes, maybe even take off my shirt and feel the sun on my skin now that it's getting warm but not too warm. I was worried about spring in Boston, worried that there would only be a few days and then the horror of summer like in DC, but actually it's lasting kind of a long time, it even gets chilly at night and that's my favorite part.

            The next time I start the hypnosis on that boulder at Tire Beach in San Francisco, like in that picture of me at that dance workshop, holding a shopping cart while balancing above the water. I'm writing numbers on a piece of clear plastic with wet pink chalk, and then erasing them, Barry says when we get to number one I'll feel completely relaxed and at ease. It's funny how these simple mind games actually work.

Except then I need to put my parents in a cage, but how do they keep getting out? Maybe something taller, an opaque box with neon lights on the outside to warn you, except then I start crying because I'm trapped in a cave, way at the bottom of that falling and falling in Alice in Wonderland, mushrooms and butterflies rushing past me but then I'm stuck at the bottom until wait, all the fear drops away and I feel so relaxed, floating like I'm on ecstasy, pure MDMA and I'm watching the lights moving, although now I need to pull myself out of the ditch with a rope except there’s my father and I'm smacking his face with a heavy metal pitchfork but still it keeps coming back. I'm hanging from a rope, I mean the rope is squeezing my throat and my head expands until it's a balloon, my father playing with my penis oh how I hate that word and it's tiny, he's tickling my balls and then he puts it all in his mouth, looking up at me and I want to poke his eyes out but I can't move and then pop, there goes my head: I can't find my body the middle of my body, chest to thighs, it's all gone.

            There it is, hanging there like a piece of meat. But what are the things that I brought that make me feel safe? Moby’s Ambient because it's so calm. My journal, but I bring that everywhere. Close to the Knives. I've decided to go to therapy twice a week, Barry says there's a lot coming up so I could use more time. Afterwards I go outside and it's kind of like I'm on a different planet, everything is darker even though it's the middle of the day — it shouldn't be darker, should it?

I still feel like the center of my body is gone, my head way up in the sky. It's drizzling but I like the fresh air although I need some sun on my face to get rid of my acne. Did I mention the movie screen at therapy, watch it on a movie screen and that will make it safer, you have control. Control: that's a word Barry uses a lot. Safety. But then I was watching Alice in Wonderland in black and white, the rows and rows of empty seats and my father reaching between my legs and Alice just keeps falling and falling until I start screaming and we have to leave early. My father says he was wrong: he thought I was old enough to go to an adult movie.

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let's take a break for therapy


Whenever I get to a new therapist’s office, the first thing I do is study all the furniture so I can figure out how it's different from my father's office. That's a strategy I learned from another therapist. Because usually the first thing I notice is that it's not that different at all, and why are all psychiatrist’s office the same, but then I try to let that go and instead I focus on the fact that this furniture has a cherry finish, not teak. The ceilings are higher, bigger windows. Way more light. The carpet is kind of plush. There isn't any art.

This therapist, Barry, isn't actually a psychiatrist, but he's a PhD psychologist so my parents will still pay for it. They don't know that he specializes in hypnotherapy. And yes, he has a beard and glasses, just like my father.      

Right away I tell Barry that I'm getting ready to confront my father, so I want to go right to the memories that I'm aware of but I can’t always feel. I want to figure out everything that happened, I want to know exactly when and where and I know maybe that's impossible but if I can't know then at least I want to feel it.

            I tell him about my last therapist. I thought I was pretty clear with him too, but then whenever I started to talk about memories he would back away. Or, I guess I never talked about the deeper memories — I would just share something small, maybe I was testing him to see what he would think so I would tell him about how, when I was a kid, I would be taking a shower and my father would unlock the bathroom door with a scissors and I would scream get the fuck out, hide my dick with a sponge, but he would just laugh and say he needed to piss. I always hated that word, piss, because of my father. He had his own bathroom, and even if my mother was in that bathroom then there was another one downstairs.

            And the last therapist, Bryce, who also had a beard and glasses, but lighter hair, almost blonde, although probably not natural, the last therapist said: Maybe that was just horseplay. And right then I froze, didn't know what to say, couldn't speak, felt like a little kid all broken and scared. But then, when I left Providence and decided to stop seeing him, and I asked him about this, and all the other times when he moved away from the abuse I was trying to talk about, he told me I was giving him mixed messages.

            Barry says he hears what I'm saying, we can always check in about everything, this is an active process. He tells me that with hypnotherapy, I always have control. I'm the one that puts myself into a trance, he's just there to guide me and I can always come out of it. He asks me to close my eyes and lean back in the chair that's kind of like the chairs in my father's office, but fancier, fancier and bulkier and uglier, but more comfortable, lean back in this chair and imagine a relaxing place. Right away I think about dancing, the music all around me, the darkness and the lights and everyone kind of floating to the sky, oh that was easy, I'm floating to the sky all calm but then there's my father in a corner, what's my father doing in this club and Barry says where would you like him to be? So then I put my father in a big cylindrical box in the center of the club, but he keeps reaching his hand out of the box and there's my mother too, maybe if I make the box bigger? But it's already time to stop. Barry asks me to bring things that make me feel safe to the next session — music, objects, whatever I want. Of course I think about bringing drugs, but I know that's not what he means.

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's underneath


Okay, here's the secret to success at the Burlington Mall: a few quick bumps of coke and a few hits of pot before you leave the house. And yes, it can’t hurt if you sprinkle a little of the coke onto the pot in the bowl before smoking, honey I can hardly speak it's so good with my eyes rolling back. Abby just does the coke because she's driving, and I guess it’s after rush-hour traffic because we’re practically floating over the cars all the way there until we get to some enormous parking lot. I forgot about shopping mall parking lots – I mean this is ridiculous it’s so large, mostly empty right now but can there really be this many cars, I mean this many cars in all the world?

And yes, I am dressed for the occasion in plaid, plaid, plaid, and plaid – plaid polyester shirt, white and blue and purple, that gorgeous rainbow plaid skirt, the tights that are almost neon — and yes, honey, those plaid stack heels that I finally succeeded in obtaining from Newberry Street. The first time I went into that store where Sage used to work, and they were in the window — vintage plaid stack heels, size 11 in men's, I kid you not. I mean usually I don't wear heels because they fuck up my feet and my body hurts enough as it is, but they're actually the right size. Okay, these hurt my feet too, but definitely not as much as regular heels would, that's for sure, so I wear them on special occasions: and we all know that the Burlington Mall is a special occasion.

Anyway, the first time I saw these heels in the store window I asked the owner about them and he said were $249 — okay, forget that shit. But then I kept going back and staring at them, and then, a few months later they weren't in the window anymore, but behind the counter and I asked the person working that day if someone had bought them, but no, they were just changing the window display. How much are they, I asked, and the salesperson said I don't know, how about $35? Honey, that was the fastest I've ever taken cash out of my purse, I can tell you that.

Speaking of purses, I'm slightly jealous of one of Abby’s Dollar-a-pound scores — it's not the most glamorous item, but honey there is so much room inside — I swear you could fit a refrigerator in manner, and no one would even notice. Abby wasn't going to get dressed up, but then I guess I inspired her — today she's going with the short red wig that's my favorite, slacks with a blazer, and some sensible heels. Yes, it's true that the Burlington Mall doesn't know what to do with us — when we walk by the teens in cliques they literally go silent. People stare, but then they look away, and we walk on: honey, I'll take this runway, thank you.

Sure, from time to time we hear the usual existential questions. Like: is that a man? Or: what you got in your pants? And yes, there’s the uncontrollable giggling around that corner, and yes, you guessed right if you thought that Lord & Taylor would not exactly give us the service we deserve, but honey I wasn't planning on buying anything at Lord & Taylor anyway — I can get my Laura Ashley Liz Claiborne Donna Karan crap somewhere else, okay? Today it’s all about Contempo Casuals, anyway. Although then we can’t find Contempo Casuals so we go to Merry-go-round instead.

Usually Merry-Go-Round is not that exciting, I mean how much lycra shiny shirts can you really wear? But honey this time it's amazing. The prize is definitely matching little pink dresses that kind of look like they're made of terrycloth, plus I get one that’s white and pink and gingham. And then, all of these amazing see-through mesh shirts that somehow look sophisticated stretched across my skin— this one that's all black flowers, kind of like lace, and then the blue one that makes my skin look blue like an alien. These are the kinds of things that people buy from Allston Beat or wherever for like a hundred dollars, but here everything’s so cheap we don't even have to stuff things into our purses — like those blue shirts are on sale for $5.99 — I kid you not, $5.99, I get all three of the ones in my size, that way no one can copy me. Not like anyone we know is going to be coming out to the Burlington Mall to get clubwear anytime soon, but still.

Abby gets a pair of shoes at Payless that actually kind of fit, and then we're sitting in the food court trying to act like we don't notice that everyone is staring — oh, yes, these stirfried rotten vegetables are so good, and Abby's getting nervous because it turns out she accumulated a few extra layers back in the Merry-Go-Round dressing rooms, so we decide to go outside to put things in the car. Abby’s undressing while I do a few bumps of K because I'm getting edgy— oh, honey, it's going to be amazing at the Burlington Mall on K. I hand Abby the vial and look around for my water, where is my water, and when I finally find it I look outside at Lord & Taylor and oh no, maybe I did too much K because I can't help thinking this looks exactly like White Flint Mall where I used to go with my father. I’m staring at that name in script over the exact same white façade that I used to stare at as a kid, could I really be back at White Flint? I look out the window to see, then down at the hand rest, the one I pulled apart as a kid because it was made of some strange gummy material, and will I ever get out of this car? I'm trying to say something to Abby but all I can do is stare into space — does she know what's going on? I can't say anything because I feel too scared, like my father is in the car and something horrible is about to happen but I'm trapped. And, my father is outside the car, lurking around one of those cars, ready to jump on me from behind. And, my father is waiting for me inside the mall. And, he’s looking at me from Lord & Taylor, his eyes are inside the L the O the R the D, no don’t look at the &, the T the A the Y the L and oh, especially that second O, R. There’s so much space inside that O. No – stop looking at it. Stop. Look out the window, look at something else. No, not that hand rest. Don't. Look. At. That. Hand rest.

 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A fantastic prepublication blurb for The End of San Francisco!!!




Mattilda is a dazzling writer of uncommon truths, a challenging writer who refuses to conform to conventionality. Her agitation is an inspiration.
—Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A lake that's been poisoned


Speaking of progress, maybe you guessed that Abby isn't working at Glad Day anymore, with all the glamour on the girl block, saving for our new apartment with $20 tricks although she does get some good regulars who aren't so cheap. I say our new apartment, but it's not like anyone has called us. Oops, watch out for this K-hole on the stairwell, I'm just going to stay here a while, okay? Yes, it's the after-after-hours at our house again and now the X is literally yellow so you rush to the bathroom to vomit, too much heroin I mean everyone else rushes to the bathroom to vomit but luckily for me it’s just uncontrollable diarrhea although some people actually like the vomiting, heroin for sure, so I only take a half and it just makes me feel like I'm caving in until I do a bunch of coke so then I'm annoyed and edgy until finally too much K so here I am on the stairs oh I love these stairs who knew these stairs would be so comfortable. Maybe I'll just stay here for the rest of my life as everyone walks by, why are they all going so fast and there's Elana del Monte.

Elana, I say, and this guy with Elana’s plucked eyebrows looks at me with some blank distant sneer that I recognize from somewhere, where am I again, oh, this carpet, I love the feel of this carpet that yes, I know I usually hate because it's disgusting, but feel it, okay? Oh, let me touch my chest, arms, the back of my head, okay maybe there is some ecstasy in that ecstasy, I'll just close my eyes and drift away, there’s music in my head, a swirling tunnel and then all the colors pull away from one another until it's a cat's cradle. Then diamond shapes like some kind of videogame version of backgammon and this is when I realize I can make it do whatever I want, bouncing balls, rainbow spiral splatter paint, a big field filled with fluorescent orange trees and pink cats with diamond spider eyes and I'm dancing with some kind of swirly pattern projecting onto the walls I'm pulsating into tiny spaces and then expanding in light on stage until a black background clears everything and then I'm on top of someone's shiny car in a rainstorm no it's a cave filled with shimmering stalactites no it's the beach in  all that sun and all through this my arms are flailing around like I'm fitting myself into myself and there’s Abby biting her nails and saying Mattilda. Mattilda. Mattilda, are you there, we've got something special.

Oh, Abby’s touching me and when I open my eyes there's Elana again — no, not Elana, that awful guy with the plucked eyebrows but where’s Abby? Oh, right next to him except that her eyes look so far away, staring at me like I'm in a laboratory and where are her eyes with those tiny tiny pupils, what's going on? And Abby says it again: Let's go in the bathroom, for something special.

Oh, something special, okay, I guess I can get up, as long as the carpet doesn't swallow me, I'll just hold the railing, wait this is fun, no, slower, okay, you go ahead, and then when I finally get to the bathroom I'm making faces in the mirror to make sure that’s me, Abby’s sitting at the vanity with Elana who’s not Elana, cutting lines but I don't want any more coke and Abby says Mattilda, it's not coke — it's crystal. And when I look at her eyes again I notice that the blue is sparkling but it's like a lake that's been poisoned and I’m scared so I leave the room without even saying anything, go downstairs and now I realize that’s the look in everyone's eyes and Abby rushes downstairs as I'm going into my room and she says are you okay?

I say: I left San Francisco because of crystal— don't wake me up until it's over, okay? And then I go in my room and lock the door, cut up some Xanax and snort it, take two Doxepin, put on Moby’s Ambient and get in bed for I don't know how long, it feels like a roller coaster not a futon and when I get up the clock says 6:12 but I can't tell if it's morning or evening and I go to the kitchen for some water. Abby’s still awake but the house is quiet and I say don't ever let anyone bring crystal into our house again, and she nods her head but I'm not sure if she understands, so I say: Someone else will have to post the after-after-hours from now on, okay?

And then I just feel sad, or maybe I already felt sad, and I can tell that Abby feels sad too, I mean of course she's sad because she’s been up all night on crystal so now we're sad together which is better than being sad apart.

I don't know if I'll ever sleep again, Abby says.

I don't know if I'll ever feel anything, I say. I fucking hate this town.

And Abby says: I fucking hate this town.

And I say: I fucking hate this town.

And Abby says: I fucking hate this town.

So then we go down the list about everything in Boston that we hate, or not everything because then we would never be able to finish speaking, but enough that eventually we’re so annoyed that it's actually funny, and then somehow once I figure out that it's morning we decide we should go to the Burlington Mall to go shopping for outfits, since I'm sure there's a Contempo Casuals or something like that there, right, and then we can get matching dresses, but first we need to get ready to go out. Abby says she doesn't need a shower, and when I look at her kind of strangely she says oh, okay, so I make some oats with cinnamon and stevia, oh these are good, maybe I just needed to eat, and when Abby come down she tries to eat a bite but then she put down her spoon and goes over to the sink to spit it out. Sorry, Mattilda, she says, but everything tastes like sand, and then she lights a cigarette and I guess it's my turn for a shower.

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

10,000 Screaming Faggots


Trick number 12 has the largest dog I've ever seen, it takes up the whole sofa, snoring. Wait, do dogs snore? Actually, this dog might be larger than the sofa because the sofa is caving in, and the dog's head is hanging over the side; the dog hairs are everywhere and the whole living room smells like urine. Yes, let's go in the bedroom. Trick number 13 lives on Sean's street, and it's kind of spooky because when he comes to the door he actually looks like Sean. Yes, he is 20 years older but at first I'm wondering if Sean is playing some kind of joke on me, like why would this 40-year-old be dressed like Sean dressing like a 12-year-old, anyway, but then I remember that’s a popular look in Boston.

Speaking of Sean, did I tell you about her heels — yes, heels! She debuted them on our last visit to Avalon, or not the last visit but the one before — black heels, several inches tall, almost stilettos. I mean they don't exactly make her tall, but they do make her taller. Preppy boy with overcoat, in stilettos, honey, bring it on. Now she wears them whenever we go out, or maybe not at the bars but definitely at the clubs — I'll take that as a sign of progress.

            Trick number 14 wants me to come right over, but we're just about to leave for the Loft. So that's not number 14, but it does remind me to tell you about all the flakes, even though I guess in this case I'm the flake but no, really, like the one who keeps paging me, over and over, and then whenever I call him back he just wants to ask about my feet. Last time he said: Do they smell more like roses, or cinnamon? Then, the one who keeps calling to ask me if I’ll have sex with him and his girlfriend — I already told him no. If his girlfriend wants to watch, that's fine, but he'll have to give me an extra hundred. This time he wants a discount, because he and his girlfriend are planning on having a baby.

            Here's trick number 14: who knew that I would be spending so much time in Cambridge? It's the guy with the big black dildo again—the ones who tire me out the most are always the ones who call me back, that's why I never have any regulars. Trick number 15: mostly he just wants to talk about Ab Fab, he says this is his favorite episode so I try to pay attention for a moment. He keeps rewinding the part where Edina or Patsy or whoever that is in the zebra print coat leans over to some snooty gay couple and says, "Marlena and Judy rolled into one, is it?" I can't tell if he's laughing at the gay couple, or at Edina and Patsy, but at least he serves Stoli — yes, another cocktail, please.

            Trick number 16 keeps saying you didn't tell me it was pink. He means my hair. But I always tell them, it's part of my routine on the phone. He says: I thought you were joking. A hundred dollars to leave — I’ll count that one. The tricks in Boston are generally much friendlier than the ones in San Francisco. Or, not friendlier, but more polite. No, not polite, repressed. Yes, even the aggressive ones are repressed, like number 17, who asks me to stick my tongue out so he can see if I have any diseases, and then when I look in his medicine cabinet it's filled with pills. And 18, who keeps whining fuck me, fuck me, fuck me, even though I'm not the slightest bit hard. I prefer 19, who isn’t turning me on at all and they keep getting distracted by the sweat stains at his armpits, and that smell, until he starts rubbing my thighs, and then I'm wondering how it's this one who knows exactly what to do, how? Trick number 20 wants to do ecstasy together, but he's never done drugs, any drugs. He wants me to get the ecstasy — honey, I'll get it, but I'm not bringing it back.

The funny part is when I walk out on the street in my favorite neighborhood — yes, the South End — and I'm trying to figure out who's worse, the gay people who look at me like I'm trash, or the straight people who look at me like I'm going to mug them. But then there's some baseball cap realness tragedy staring at me, I figure it's just the usual straight boy getting ready to beat his meat I mean beat my meat I mean beat me so I keep walking but then from behind me he keeps saying hey, hey, and something makes me turn around, even though the straight boys do that all the time but it turns out this guy recognizes me from Avalon. Tells me he just smoked coke out of a TV antenna at Evan Aubergine's house, Evan’s in love with him and at least he gets free drugs, he's in Harvard Business School and he has to get through it somehow, and I'm not sure what he wants from me until he says: Can I suck your dick? Just like that — kind of funny and now I notice he’s hot in that tragic way, and then we're upstairs in his apartment filled with big brown sofas and Orientalist art but anyway afterwards I go to Luxor to meet Abby and there's Jason Fontana and one of his friends right outside. Apparently they’re trying to decide whether to go in because they don't have ID — of course, I say, of course — so then I guide them up the stairs and it turns out Sean is already there with Jon B and Richie so it's sceney as all hell, and where’s Abby?

But wait – did I mention that now that we’ve listened to that Michael Sheehan mix on our boombox at home about 50 times, we notice that the song isn't about 10,000 screaming faggots, but 1000. Although that's still a lot of screaming faggots, right? But now we're starting to wonder if faggots isn't even in the original song, and Michael is just mixing that over, which would be even hotter.

 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Time


Trick number nine — no, it's 10, right, 10? This guy kind of looks like Santa Claus except his beard is even bigger and he wants me to kiss him. I hate beards, they always remind me of my father, even though I know this guy couldn't be my father because he's old enough to be my father's father's father, right? But I guess if I close my eyes his beard is kind of soft, not scratchy like my father's, gross, don't think about that, just think about the way it’s kind of comforting in his arms like I'm a little kid but then just when I start to get relaxed he says he wants to fuck me — are you kidding?

Wait, he wants me to fuck him. No, he wants me to suck him off. No, he wants me to play with his nipples. No, he wants me to sit on his lap again. No, he wants to fuck me, do I have a condom? No, he wants me to fuck him. No, he wants me to lick his armpits.

Just at the right moment, I glance in the direction of the hotel clock: he gets the point. I mean I can tell he's not going to offer to pay for another hour, just by the way that I noticed the toiletries from other hotels arranged by his shaving case in the bathroom. He says: You’re amazing, thank you —unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to come, it's been about 25 years.

Trick number 11: Do I count the guy who makes me go all the way over to some fictitious address in Newton? I guess not. Back on the T, time for the payphones on Newberry Street, did I tell you the excitement with Hooked on Phonics? Yes, Hooked on Phonics – it turns out that if you call their 1-800 number, but then don't say anything when they answer, and then stay on the phone after the operator hangs up you get a dial tone and you can call anywhere you want for free. For some reason it only works at these particular payphones, in front of the garage just down the street from Urban Outfitters, so ever since Sage told me and Abby about Hooked on Phonics there's new meaning to Newberry Street, that's for sure. So here I am on Newberry Street in the rain, asking JoAnne for advice about where to meet queers with politics in Boston, even though she's never been to Boston, and she says what about a punk show?

Are you kidding? I don't even know where they have punk shows in Boston – I mean I hate punk shows!

But the best part is that then after it stops raining I'm sitting in front of the library, trying to figure out whether to go home or to wait around in the Westin lobby on those comfortable sofas by the payphones to see if I get a trick. Some guy’s saying hey punk, are you a punk, hey punk— I guess so, I say, just to get him to go away, but why do people keep asking me that? I'm not talking about random punk homophobes, like high school or something, but people who don't look like they could possibly know anything about punk, who the hell are these people? Anyway, I don't know what it is about this moment, maybe the disgust on his face when I say I guess so, and suddenly I realize oh, he means punk as in faggot, I'm such an idiot. So then I start to obsess about all those missed opportunities when I just said I guess so, like I was ashamed or something, when I should have looked those guys right in the eyes and said obviously I’m a faggot, honey. But I guess there's still time — there's always time for homophobes in Boston, that's for sure.

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A pillow all around my body


Oh — I didn't even tell you. The other night when I was stuck in a K-hole in the kitchen, everyone kept coming in and saying are you okay but I couldn't say anything until Abby handed me a vial of coke and even then I can hardly tell what it was until she did it first, but then, thank you, rescued by cocaine although then of course I did way too much, smoking all this pot to try to fall asleep but I was just lying in bed after everyone else had already passed out. I guess it was the afternoon so maybe I had passed out a little bit but then I was awake again, gritting my teeth and the phone started ringing so I picked it up. It was Melissa and she was in a panic, telling me how horrible it was living in her house with her father, she would listen to him at night pacing the halls and she couldn't leave her room she was so scared. And then she kept almost saying what she wanted to stay, what I've been waiting for her to say, and I was trying to wait a little longer except then she switched topics and started telling me how the thing that hurts her the most is that she knows I don't want the same thing from her as she wants for me. And the ironic part is that right before that I really felt close to her, so close that it almost felt like we were the same person. Or, maybe not the same person but like I was there with her in that hallway, waiting for her father.

 But then she was talking about how I don't want what she wants, that same conversation we had so many times in San Francisco which is even more annoying now since we’re living across the country from one another. Then at some point she was asking me why I wasn't saying much, and the truth is that I was trying to listen. In fact, I was listening so carefully that I could hear the sound of the wind blowing the blinds in her room up and down. But then when she asked that question, suddenly I just felt guilty that I was kind of strung out, and I didn't even have a chance to say that I was trying to sleep when she called, maybe I was even sleeping. And right then I realized how high I still felt, lying in bed feeling my body floating and maybe that was part of why it was hard to pay attention except it wasn't my body floating it was everything around me. And so I said: I know I should have told you this before, but I'm really high. And right then Melissa got really quiet, so quiet I could hear the humming of the phone. Then she said: Yes, you should have told me that earlier. Call me sometime when you're not high.

And then when I got off the phone I felt like a terrible terrible friend, maybe not even a friend just some drugged-out mess and when the hell was I really going to sleep so I started rummaging through my drawer for some Xanax even though doxepin helps more but I'm trying not to take that too much so I don't get addicted. So I snorted half a Xanax, oh I love that rush, swallowed another one and got back in bed—talk about floating on the ceiling and how can I still be this wired, how much coke did I do last night, maybe I should just get up, oh wait, yes, here's that soft sinking like there's a pillow all around my body and I don't even need to hold on, thank you.

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh, look – All That Sheltering Emptiness, the short 16mm film I made in collaboration with Gina Carducci is playing at MIX NYC this weekend…

 It's only a few years old, but it's already been chosen for the "classics" program to celebrate 25 years of the MIX Festival – hooray! Here are the details:

Dirty Looks: The First 25 Years of MIX NYC - Living Through Oblivion
6pm Friday, November 16, 2012
Gina will be there in person!

THE MIX FACTORY
339 Butler St. (btw. 3rd and 4th Ave.) in Brooklyn!
(Subway: B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5, D, N, R to Atlantic/Pacific)
mixnyc.org
 

Here's the facebook invite...

South End realness


Trick number nine: this one really is South End realness —there's a picture of Ronald Reagan in her bedroom. Maybe that's beyond South End realness. Usually I try not to get fucked if I can avoid it, but I guess this time I can’t. Afterwards I'm walking down the street and suddenly it's like I'm going to shit in my pants, so I rush into some bar I've never seen before — oh, it's Fritz’s, the gay sports bar, which might be the only gay bar in Boston that I haven't been to yet. Just as I'm in the bathroom, I get a page, and when I get to the payphone it turns out the guy is staying at the Chandler Inn, where is that exactly? Upstairs from Fritz’s – you've got to be kidding!

I go back in the bathroom to shit some more and then I grab a cocktail, why not, and when I get upstairs he kind of looks shocked, I figure it's because I've arrived so fast but maybe it's something about my hair because that's what he's looking at when he says: you really are punk. About five times. Of course I'm thinking honey, I'm way too much of a queen to be punk, but that's not what I say. He’s already handed me the money anyway, which means I'm undressing him and turns out he's a good kisser and his mouth is so mentholated that it opens up my sinuses, he's actually pretty sexy for some guppy, sucking my dick right away and I'm starting to think I should have a cocktail right before every trick, right? Or right before everything. I mean I feel that good, maybe Fritz's is the answer. But then about 5 minutes later there's someone knocking on the door and this guy jumps up and says oh, I forgot to tell you.

            Turns out it's his boyfriend, and we have to get dressed really fast and pretend we just met in the bar downstairs. Are you serious?

            His boyfriend looks confused. I'm sure I look confused. But then somehow we’re all on the bed together and for a few minutes I actually get to do that thing where I don't know who's touching me or where I can just close my eyes and lie back and yes, I do start to think about whether it's true that the only time I have sex in a bed is when I'm turning a trick but whatever, this time I can just close my eyes and relax and when we're done they want to take me downstairs for a cocktail — okay, I can't refuse, even if it is a sports bar, and when I head to the bathroom at one point the first guy follows me a moment later and he says you handled that really well, thank you, hands me a hundred-dollar bill and honey, I know it sounds like I'm making a lot of money, I mean I guess I am making a lot of money but as we all know it will not last. But really, can you believe that no one has called Abby or me from that glamorous roommate ad we put up all over town? Boston is so fucking tired.

 

Today's weather in Seattle

The clouds are high, mostly white with a tissue of gray, unfortunately no sun breaks yet although the light is surprisingly bright, considering the intermittent steady drizzle (steadily intermittent, and intermittently steady) – perfect time for a walk, it's definitely brighter than your seasonal affective disorder lamp although hopefully you won't need sunglasses.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Eat the full moon


Here's how it works: I'm outside looking inside through the windows of my apartment, maybe I'm on the fire escape or maybe this is just how I get inside. The windows are large like a screen for everything, and on the sofa in the shadows I think I see Jon Curley. Now I'm coming in through the window and I say Jon?

He looks over, and then I start telling him how yes I was angry when he fucked me over 12 years ago and left me vulnerable to our landlord’s aggression, but now I'm just curious to hear how he's doing. But also I realize I still can't see his face really, and there are a lot of people named Jon, right? I should've said Jon Curley, just to make sure, and then we’re eating, I've ordered vegan pizza, puffy in the box and I asked him if he wants some, yes, and when I look at him this time his whole face is covered in a beautiful green and black knit like he’s just been yarn bombed, and then the rest of him is a cape in every color and oh the knitting is so incredible like someone's grandmother transported into today and I say oh, you look amazing, and then when I look in the pizza box again I realize there's only one piece left, did I really eat that much?

 And I say: pizza just tastes like bread – because, sometimes in dreams you state the obvious like it's a revelation and then the revelation becomes obvious. But what am I doing eating pizza anyway when I'm allergic to wheat, although it doesn't seem to be affecting me right now, but I realize I didn't even ask what kind of oil they use, I'm going to be sick for sure but I open the box again, this time it's a box for just one slice but whereas my slices were thick and square, this one is triangular and extra-thin, and I say what's on this one? It looks like sausage, and Jon says don't eat that, comes over and then we’re naked, I'm holding on to his thigh from behind in a kind of embrace, so thick and strong and Jon takes a spoon and drops something into my mouth, a big round creamy ball of something like putting maybe, but I don't want to swallow until I know what it is so I'm trying to ask while also appreciating the texture and Jon says you can do it, you can eat the full moon, like he's cheering me on, we’re buddies in that way of straight masculine tradition and as the round ball of whatever it is start to go down my throat, I wake up.

 Thinking: Jon never had muscular thighs, so maybe that part was about Chris, the comfort of physicality that I'm missing. And I also realize that Jon was maybe the only straight guy who I've never really been friends with since coming into a queer identity. There was a sort of comfort in his interest in my politics and exploits, a camaraderie that I remember appreciating, an excitement with one another when we were in the room together that was a kind of bond until our landlord broke into our apartment and stole everything to try to get us to move out but that just made me decide we needed to stop paying rent and I don't know if I want to tell the whole story right now but eventually Jon took himself off the lease, and moved out, leaving me doubly vulnerable because I was never on the lease, and now I can appreciate how scary for Jon it might have been when the landlord was pounding on our door, demanding a deposit that Jon had agreed to. No, wait – I'm getting it wrong. That happened after Jon left. First, the landlord was just calling to say there was going to be trouble, then Jon went in and signed lease through a bulletproof glass window even though we'd agreed ahead of time that he wouldn't sign anything. But I said I wasn't in the mood to tell the whole story, yet. Probably this just sounds confusing right now. But what I appreciated from the dream was the comfort, made me wonder what was going on with Jon right now, or me, and my friendships with other men, males, faggots and not, mostly faggots but not enough, queens and where are they, and yes there was this batch of ecstasy for a while in New York, Boston, probably the whole East Coast, wherever, full moons they were called and you split it in half for one hit, the full moon for two hits, although this was something softer, chewier, something to swallow and embrace although maybe there's always a crash.

 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Soon


I was on such a roll with my new novel, Sketchtasy, but then I had to take a break to focus on final edits for The End of San Francisco. And then, starting to organize the book tour for The End of San Francisco. Now I need to get back to writing Sketchtasy, but I'm finding it hard to start again. I will start, within the next few days, I'm pretty sure of that, but it’s tricky. A few days ago, I looked at some of the most recent parts, and I was looking at it through such a different lens – the lens of editing a 15th draft, like with The End of San Francisco. That's not the lens I need with Sketchtasy yet. First I need to do all the writing!

So I need to get back to that place where it just rolls through me, I wake up thinking about it, I'm plotting out all the turns in my head, thinking about different directions, which way will it go? Getting right into that moment those moments of 1995 in Boston and just letting it flow, grow, build into the world I’m conjuring. Soon.