Tag Archives: mdma

Coachella Day 3, Pt. 2: Saturday 90,000 People on Drugs

Saturday, April 13th, 2013 

Part 2

Trent and I were without much narcotics. There was some coke left over, in addition to a bag we found the night before, but finding privacy and still air for lines in the desert just puts me on edge. It wasn’t my scene for coke. Violent Femmes were on at 6pm that was the one band I wanted to see.

Today would be the day we wouldn’t let the rich kids get to us.

“I hate you white people because you are rapists, child molesters and sociopaths. Look at all the serial killers. They are all white! … and now you are taking over Coachella,” Trent said just before squeezing my knees affectionately. “No offense.”

“None taken,” I said casually. “I don’t consider myself white. I am a black, jazz singer trapped in a tone deaf white woman’s body.”

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Walking around asking strangers for drugs was hopeless the day before, with the exception of a middle-aged hippie from San Francisco.

“Do you know Molly?” Trent asked, as we pressed shoulders against each other on a hay stack.

He stopped. “I sure do. I know Lucy, too.”

“Lucy?” I asked. “Who is Lucy?”

He stepped closer to us and spoke quietly, but shrugged. “Lucy is acid.”

“Lucy in the sky, I get it,” I said, happily.

“How much do you need?” he asked.

“Just a few hits each.”

“Oh … I only deal in grams. A sheet of LSD would be around 40,” he said.

We didn’t have enough money to buy a sheet of acid when we wanted a psychedelic and MDMA or Molly or Ecstasy. We just needed a handful of party favors for the weekend. However, if my phone hadn’t died weeks later, that would have been a helpful business contact for Los Angeles. Acid is non-existent down here. We explained our position.

“I get it. I just can’t walk around with $5 bills filling up my wallet,” he said. We weren’t the big spenders. The college kids who hoarded their drugs and kept privately within their SUV campsites had a bigger spread, bought more drugs and could splurge. This guy financed parties.

The next kid we met, a spacey-Eskimo teenager stopped when we asked, “Do you have shrooms?”

“Shrooms …. Oh… I would really love to help you … but I ate them all.”

We did however find a cool young kid who sold us some good mushrooms at a decent price. I can’t recall much about the kid other than he seemed like the one person who was lucid and smart enough to sell drugs at Coachella.

Security Check Line at Coachella

Now, there was the security check into Coachella concert grounds. Naturally, because I was the girl, it would be easier for me to pass through carrying. Security guards don’t like to feel up girls. My secret was the purse. There was a zipper pocket inside. I put the drugs at the bottom and a big packet of handi-wipes on top of them. No one would think to take all my items out of the inner zipper. It would just hold up the line too long. The other place is behind a driver’s license or bill fold in my wallet.

On the final day at Coachella, one female security guard, the bull dyke type, felt up my bra. “Wait a minute! What’s this?” she said.

“My tits,” I said. “I know. I have big tits for my body type.”

“Hold on,” she said, calling over an equally bloated, blotchy faced, female guard with hair cut close to the skull and small earrings as if it was a last ditch effort to distinguish gender. She felt my breasts, too.

“She’s clear,” said the second guard.

“Ok,” the first guard said, motioning me through. I gave her a look of outrage and invasion. My eyes narrowed, my lips pursed and I glared. I picked up my purse with in total disgust; the same purse carefully carrying weed, a pipe, two packets of shrooms and leftover cocaine.

Trent Walks Ahead

Inside, we stopped by a few forgettable artists when we decided to duck into a tent and offer to get someone high in exchange for a light. That was harder than it sounded. This was no Woodstock. As social of an event as camping in the desert seems like it must be, it seemed the venues and concert-goers had fine-tuned the art of isolation, despite Coachella’s conception and design. Most people were drunk and bumped into you or cut you off in line without as much as a head nod. Others just avoided you. Once in a while there was someone who was passed out or fell sick. One girl was throwing up. Trent was holding her hair back and feeding her water. We found out the four kids standing nearby were her friends. They were too absorbed in the concert to help her.

“That’s your friend, she needs your help,” Trent said. They kind of nodded, bleary-eyed, smoking a joint and turned back to the concert. “Hey!” Trent said again, grabbing their arm. “She needs help. You have to stop what you’re doing and get her out of here.”  This time they were a little more awake and made the minimal effort to lift her up. Trent and I kind of chuckled about it, like the wind was knocked out of us. It didn’t matter how poor we were, what color our skin was, these people were so disassociated they didn’t even have each other.

Inside a tent, we found a volunteer who was chilling out off-duty. We asked him for a light in exchange for a bowl. He was friendly, mid-twenties, dressed comfortably with a little extra weight on him. He wasn’t over-weight, he just looked normal. He also smiled through his beard, made eye-contact and warmly regarded us. It was a bright ally in an unfriendly country.

As we sat down to pack the bowl, we spoke about our expectations and the people around us. “You know I expected something different. But whatever, they are doing here what they seem to want to. There are lots of perfect bodies. That takes a lot of discipline. They are goal-oriented and I respect that. But there is more to life than just reaching goals. Like, where is the love? I would like to see more love, more physical love, more self-love. I don’t know why it’s missing but maybe they don’t need it. Maybe it isn’t as important to them. I just come here, listen to the music and try to be kind,” the stranger said. We smoked not long before Trent yanked on my sleeve and said he had to leave.

The stranger sensed the sudden pain, like he too felt the heat of a flame and waved us goodbye without question.

Outside the tent, Trent walked quickly away, crumbling in tears. “He reminds me of Kent.” His last love. We are all haunted by loves, but until we fall in love again, the hauntings are a hassle, a chronic ache, a struggle. When a new love makes his way in, the spirit remains but is somehow friendlier. At least that is how I feel about my lost loves. The anger and resentment drains out of you, the disappointment fades, but the love remains.

starbucks all you need is love

***

Violent Femmes took the stage. We were late getting there. It was the one band I wanted to see. Initially, before the line-up for Coachella was announced, there were serious rumors that The Rolling Stones would headline. You can imagine what that did to a girl like me; I was practically foaming at the mouth. I wish I could say when the rumors were denounced, I let it go.

I never let it go. I held on to the fantasy until Saturday night. The truth was once I walked through the campground, waited in line through security to the festival grounds, I could see that it wasn’t the Stones crowd. Their music would be wasted here.

The other artist I wanted to see was Lou Reed, but he backed out the week before the festival. Last week he died. My heroes are ghosts.  It would be easy to say this left me with a disenchanted life, but I have been lucky thanks to Los Angeles and a little bit of resourcefulness and ingenuity. I have seen the greats, what’s left of them.

Violent Femmes is a weird little band. My best friend in high school introduced me to them. He was two years ahead, drove a pick-up truck and had a big crush on me. He liked a lot of things I didn’t really care for like Lord of the Rings (the books), martial arts, boy stuff. We still enjoyed Kubrick films together, shared pots of ramen we didn’t bother to scoop into separate bowls and went to Germany as exchange students in the same group. He was a good friend.

Violent+Femmes Original

His sister bought tickets to see the Violent Femmes at the county fair. She told Rob, my friend, that he could bring anyone he wanted … but me. She didn’t like me. That was my one chance to see them.

Now, twenty years later, here it was my second chance.

You could say they are “folk punk”. They are just a cool sound. Funny enough, they started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1980 through 1987 on their first run. I was trapped in that hole of a city from 1982-1991. My sister had an album by them and I never forgot the song “Confessions”. It wasn’t until I hit puberty that I invested in my own album, a best of. I sunk into the off-beat, whiny vocals, the grating bag pipes, the angry lyrics, the dark stories. Now they were old, and fucking thrilled to be playing again for a crowd.

VFemmes Lead

VFemmes Bag Pipes

I was into it. I knew the words. I wanted to dance but it was an odd scene. Only a few girls were moving and Trent was off to the side, checking his watch. He wasn’t into it. It was a good show. The sun set.

Violent Femmes

Next on our to-do list was a band called Sigur Ros. I never heard of them, but I live in my little room, with my classic rock, my books and dogs. People don’t sit around and share music anymore. We settled into a group hanging out on the grass not too far from the stage. We ate our shrooms.

A couple sat behind us to the left. A white couple, fairly average in looks, the girl with medium length brown hair and a black coat, her boyfriend a little larger, also in black, held her close. She looked so unhappy. So despondent.

After a few minutes, I looked over to check on her and watched a tear fall down her cheek. Her companion tried to console her, but she elbowed him away.

“Uh oh,” I said, tapping Trent. “The drugs are kicking in for someone.”

“Where?” he turned to look and suddenly her face was covered in tears. She shrunk and buried her head into his lap.

“Yikes. That was fast,” I said.

“Music is emotional business,” Trent said. “There are 90,000 people here and we are all on drugs.”

Snail Photo by Sarah Parvini

Coachella had a theme, though it wasn’t totally evident. There was a huge snail that moved an inch every so often across the grounds. I didn’t even know it was moving at all until Trent told me. Then he pointed out the large, decorative ladybugs and a praying mantis. “We are the ants,” he said.

praying mantis

When Sigur Ros came on, I had no idea what to expect. The mushrooms make you sick and sleepy at first, and then your eyes are reopened. I couldn’t see them through all the heads, but white light fell over us like we were children running underneath a parachute on a summer day. The music was gentle- a piano, a bowed guitar, percussion and the sound erupted into something new. Music I never heard before.

sigur ros guitar

sigur-ros star storm

sigur ros stage

A voice sang in Icelandic through the music. A feminine, angelic voice. Even listening to them now, as I write this, I feel chills run up from my ankles to my thigh. My heart pounds harder and my eyes tighten. What beauty. Who knew Iceland reinvented music?

The show peaked with a choir. Whether there really was a choir there or not, I cannot say for certain. I am not a journalist. I am a music lover and a drug user. I raised my hands high and felt warm tears spill down my face. The scream of the vocals weak but sharp, growing through the strings and lights. It was like a pharaoh’s voice screaming to us. It was a perfectly unique moment. And finally, I had my moment where I felt one with the selfish frat boys, the girl crying in her boyfriend’s arms, the drunk guy who bumped into me and the Eskimo who ate all his mushrooms. The music was the gel oozed between each individual and clenched us together.

Sigur ros

When the music stopped, the lights turned off and we all blinked out of our daze, still sticky from the thumping harmony. We slowly climbed away from each other, wet, touched, awake.

I turned to the people around me. “Ok. Where are the Stones?”

“The Stones?” an older guy said, with a beard and a biker scarf over his head. “You mean, The Rolling Stones?”

“Yeah, man. The Rolling Stones.”

“They couldn’t get them, but the Stone Roses took their place,” he said.

“Eh, that’s bull shit.” I turned to Trent, “What do we do now?”

“They were great, right?”

“Phenomenal.”

“Phoenix is on the other stage,” he said, leading me through the crowd to more music. It didn’t have the heart, and I hung back with Sigur Ros’ toy piano plucking my brain. The light from their stage still burning bright inside me.

“You want to go back?” Trent asked.

“Sure,” I said.

We stumbled across a pile of ice someone dumped on the grass. I stopped to address it, “Hey, you make great music.”

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Acid, Ecstasy and Disneyland

Ask me the first time I let Michael into my heart?

I can tell you the steps, the baby steps, he made across the line into that first pumping valve. The first memory is taking him to see The Hollywood Stones in winter of 2012. The Hollywood Stones, once called Sticky Fingers, is the Rolling Stones cover band who first introduced me to the music back in 2001 in Pomona. I liked it. When I saw them last year on the Queen Mary, I had familiarized myself with the albums “Sticky Fingers” and “Let It Bleed” just because they ushered me through the door. I schedule my entire month around seeing them. As I once said to their saxophone player outside an Orange County steakhouse, “Hearing ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ live is just a gift.”

Dancing to the Stones

Once, the mentor, who broke my heart and leveled my self-esteem with her post-semester evaluation, invited me to her house for a reading in her Topanga home. It was the perfect opportunity to touch base with her again and give some credibility to my commitment as a writer. When I saw that The Hollywood Stones were playing the same night, I looked over at Michael. “Should I pretend to struggle over this decision?” I scratched out my old mentor’s event and wrote HOLLYWOOD STONES on my wall calendar. When I dance, when I dance to the music, it becomes my religion. That is when I feel the most alive.

The first night I took Michael to see them I knew that it would be a good indicator of where we would end up. Abe, my ex, would quickly run and hide during my dances. Was it out of fear or embarrassment? I never really figured it out.

Michael was ordering us drinks when the Stones hit their first song on stage. I was walking out of the bathroom and I felt the eyes of the band on me. It was a small venue. I am always the first to dance during the first song. And I am always alone.

I looked over to the bar and waved in Michael’s direction then started dancing. Michael creeped on the dance floor in my winter’s jacket. He was wearing it so I wouldn’t have to lug it around. I stopped to smile at him, as he sauntered on the floor towards me, sliding each sleeve up his forearm. I looked at the lead singer, Dick Swagger, and I watched him smile.

That was one of my favorite moments.

Another was on New Year’s Eve in a gay bar called Akbar. It was free and a last ditch effort during a busy dog walking season. Michael, Trent (my gay boyfriend) and myself all walked in knowing the DJs were usually hit and miss. This night it was Elton John, The Animals, The Monkees, The Black Keys, Jet and even Nancy Sinatra. We had a bag of cocaine on us and Michael was regularly excusing himself to the bathroom to take a few bumps.

“Does he know to take it easy on that stuff?” Trent asked.

“I don’t think he has had that heart stopping, ‘I am dying’, moment yet,” I said.

He never did. When Whitney Houston came on, Michael knew he couldn’t leave the dance floor, so he cleared the stage in front of the DJ and set up lines for himself in front of everyone. I admire that fearlessness. I worry, but I still admire.

la bound

Another favorite moment of us, in this rather young relationship, is coming home from the AWP conference in Boston. It is a conference for writers and publishers. He picked me up from the airport. At the baggage claim, I watched him looking for me. As soon as he saw me, he grabbed my arm with such force it almost hurt. He yanked me in for a hard kiss. A real kiss. The kind you see on TV and convince yourself don’t really exist. I kissed him back, forgetting the department head and president of my school were there waiting for their baggage too. When I opened my eyes, his arm swung up in my face … with flowers.

There was the negative as well. Michael doesn’t understand why I maintain contact with my ex-boyfriends, ex-lovers. I told him, “I don’t know how you can be intimate with someone and not stay in touch. How can you stop caring?”

In fact, Michael was no longer in contact with the girl he was going to move back to Milwaukee for before we started seeing each other. I knew she was upset at him from various angry, bleeping text messages around the holidays. That always bugged me.

‘She blocked me, ok?” he defended.

Other things, as it did with other cohabitating partners, bothered me; eating cereal next to my head as he stood over me to read while I was writing, this tick of pulling and sniffing on his nostrils, and gagging himself with a toothbrush while brushing. The clanking of his spoon against the bowl. (That isn’t specific to him, my roommate Frank is creating the same jarring sound from the living room as I write this) His rearrangement of my garments in the dresser. Little things bothered me, but they never really contended with his undying love and devotion. Whenever you consolidate your life with someone else’s life, there is friction.

It is difficult talking about how I love people. Last year, I was really hurt with many people. My  roommate hung himself and died. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me a few days before agreeing to move in with me and take me to his cousin’s wedding. My parents kicked me out with no money or shelter. All that happens to a broke girl is a kick into survival mode. You still have affection for people, but you don’t invite them into your soul anymore. It is a liability. And, at that point, it would be just plain stupid.

Michael’s mother gave us a timeshare for a Disneyland tower. I stocked up on my favorite drugs; MDMA, acid and Ecstasy. Acid, for some reason, is in low supply in Los Angeles. Luckily, my roommate Frank had two cubes of sugar he was saving in a friend’s freezer.

We arrived. I was in a pink sock hat, heart pajama bottoms and a Doors shirt with a Hunter S. Thompson biography and a stack of oreo cookies under my arm. I expected the Disney staff to either be over-serving in typical Corporate-Magic fashion or ignore us. Instead, the staff seemed to know exactly why we were there.

HST Flip Off

“That’s a great book,” the Bell Hop said.

“I know. It is blowing me away,” I said.

“They only use the words of people that knew Hunter S. Thompson. It is one of my favorites.”

What a pleasant surprise. They were kind, assuming a lower but friendly tone with us as we were escorted to our hotel room. We got in and watched the afternoon burn off. When we woke up in the middle of the night after beer, Taco Bell and a nap I wanted to take the acid. Michael was reluctant, wanting to wait until we were in the park. The drugs would hit me long and hard. My friends know that drugs hit me in “a weird way.” I don’t know if it is my brain chemistry or what exactly, but I get a bang for my buck no matter what. That is why I always dose low and slow. Even things like cough syrup and tylenol were given to me in minimal and controlled doses as a child.

I dosed and Michael followed soon after. One of my favorite things to do is watch old Looney Tunes episodes on psychedelics. We had the pleasure of an old Sylvester the cat episode. When acid kicks in, you know. The colors start getting strong. So strong they almost leap out of your television set. You laugh so hard you start uncontrollably cackling until tears cool down your face. All of this happened in the course of one hour, but not with Michael.

Sylvester is after the mouse, but somehow the mouse was able to substitute himself for a kangaroo.  Of course, the house bull dog has no sympathy for Sylvester. Scared over a mouse? Get in there and do your job! Sylvester gets the shit kicked out of him, and when the bull dog sees the kangaroo, he grabs Sylvester by the scruff and drops them both on the back of the truck. “When you start seeing a 5-foot mouse, then its time to jump on the water wagon.” Both Sylvester and the dog look defeated as they are carted away.

This was hysterical, and I couldn’t stop laughing. How things happened and in what order I am not sure. I accidentally hit a switch on the wall, and our bed boards lit up with electronic fireworks and a lit Disney castle to the hard, strained chords of a music box orchestra. We were both astonished.

I had to leave for a cigarette and be by myself. I know Michael wasn’t feeling it and was quite disappointed. So I walked outside and smoked next to a few potted trees in a huge,empty, concrete parking lot. It was 4am so no one was there but the night crew.

I looked at a bush next to the ashtray. “You just want to be free to grow, huh? I understand.” Everything seemed so controlled and fake. Sectioned and tarred. I smoked two cigarettes and watched the night time sprinklers go on. I watched the leaves dance for water and touched their pointing tips to feel some life in this endless parking lot. “I am sorry,” I whispered.

I walked back into the hotel and got in the elevator with a Hispanic man from the cleaning crew. My pupils were the size of dimes. “These graveyard shifts will shorten your lifespan, man,” I said. He giggled.

The elevator doors opened to Michael, waving his arms. He was worried about me. After huffing and puffing, he took off down the hallway to our room. “Have a good night,” the night man smiled.

We got back in the room and I laughed off his tantrum. I was only gone for 20 minutes, the acid was expanding his time. “I was really worried about you. Like, where were you, man?” He was adopting my dated vocabulary.

“I was outside. Those plants don’t like it out there.”

He calmed down after 10 or 15 minutes of panting and complaining. We hugged and kissed. When he had to poop, I dragged the chair into the bathroom and sat outside the toilet door because I didn’t want to be alone. It wasn’t just that. Something is vulnerable about a man on the shitter. He kept the door closed but we giggled so hard, I toppled over on the chair as it rocked clumsily between bathroom tiles on the floor.

Suddenly famished, we ordered room service (something we couldn’t afford) and the cart never made it as far as the beds before we fed off the table in the hallway. It was a great first night. He enjoyed a California omelet. I inhaled fresh fruit and oatmeal. “I can understand now how someone like Lindsay Lohan can blow all her money in a hotel.” When we were done, the sun was rising and we decided it was no better time to unleash ourselves into the park. We were allotted early entrance as Disney residents.

It was a special day, we walked into baby ducks marching towards us with trust and confidence. “Is this real?” Michael asked.

I always hit Storybookland first. Mr. Toad and his Wild Ride. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Pinocchio. And Peter Pan. Jesus, those rides are like flipping through old library pages in the early 80s. In the 2010s, themes of crystals and the occult are evident. On acid, it is a lift to the curtain. Instead of the characters coming alive, I was more aware of the squeaky wheels under the ride. The flimsy cardboard as each sun-bleached character clumsily stumbled towards us before spinning away. The paint on the wall was of someone with talent but not allowed artistry. On acid, in Disneyland, you would like to believe everything comes alive. It doesn’t. Everything is revealed as it truly is: a farce.It was easier to surrender my imagination sober. Under the influence of psychedelics, all I could see was man instead of imagination.

It wasn’t as if this ruined my time however. We bought cotton candy.

“My parents never let me have cotton candy,” I said, feeling pink sugar dissolve on my tongue and teeth. “This is the best thing man ever invented.”

“Whenever you tell me about your childhood, I just feel sad,” Michael said.

Disneyland (2) Disneyland (1)

My mother worked at a dentistry school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was never allowed to eat a cookie without a glass of milk. To this day, the association of sugar without a cleaning entity leaves me feeling dirty. Cotton candy, sugar cereal and cookies were among the many offenders of bad teeth.

We rode the Merry-Go-Round. We happened across a horse drawn cart. I saw the horse and felt an immediate kinship. “I want to touch that horse.”

“I don’t think you can, baby,” Michael said, holding on to my wrist as if holding down a helium balloon.

“I think it wants me to pet it.”

The horse driver slowly stepped towards us, smiling but cautious. “I don’t think you can, baby.”

I sighed. “I love you,” I called to the horse. It bucked it’s head and vanilla mane towards me like it understood. I stomped away on the cobblestone path to Buffalo Bill’s Wild, Wild West. The Petting Zoo was closed.

Disneyland (4)Disneyland (3) Disneyland (5)

We hit the Pirates of the Caribbean and I watched as the pirate chasing women was now changed to pirates chasing each other while holding a stolen treasure. The “Buy A Wife” still remains, with one woman in a brazen, red dress eager for purchase. A child cried. “It’s ok,” I said, “It just called sex slavery.”

The lecherous pirate chasing a teenage girl (hiding in a barrel) chanting “”It’s sore I be to hoist me colors upon the likes of that shy little wench” was changed to “I be looking for a fine pork loin, I be” and (now) a cat peeking its head out of the barrel.

We hit the Haunted Mansion, which was the one time I was not able to carry myself. It was completely dark and the pathway started moving. I asked Michael to hold on to me so I wouldn’t fall. “Are you freaking out?” he asked.

“No, I am just disoriented. Hold on to me, please.”

Afterward, Michael had to smoke, so all the smokers huddled in a corner by Autotopia to suck on cancer sticks. I wasn’t interested. “Are you not feeling it?” I said.

“No. But I have already come to peace with the fact that I can just enjoy you feeling it,” Michael said.

“Well, let’s take the Ecstasy.”

“Now?” he asked.

I gave him his pill 20 minutes before giving in on mine. I was still on the tail coats of acid but there was no denying it was a weak dose. The ecstasy hit him on The Matterhorn. I was sitting behind him in a bumpy bobsled.  A white, hairy creature would sometimes coast out on rickety rails and clinking wheels with his hands raised in claws and his eyes burning red. As we whipped around snow-capped mountains, I watched Michael raise both hands as they gracefully lowered to either side of him, middle fingertip pressed to thumb in some kind of meditation pose. I will never forget that. I knew the ecstasy hit him as soon as he reached zen on the Matterhorn. I chuckled even though he couldn’t hear me on the rattling ride as we swept through, under and over mountains modeled poorly after the Swiss Alps.

When we got off, I turned to him and said, “So, what? Are the people of Switzerland terrorized by a large, white, snow bound monster?”

“I think it is modeled after the Abominable Snowman,” he said with lazy eyes.

We went to Indiana Jones, which is still one of the best rides at Disneyland. We still ducked when feeling the air from blow darts. The rock rolling towards us still felt believable in the second before the ride drops below it.

We took Mark Twain’s Riverboat to Tom Sawyer’s Island. We got over there and all we could do was sit in the sunshine and kiss. “Ewwww” a little girl screamed, pointing. We both turned to her and laughed. It was just a lovely afternoon. Ecstasy gives you a bigger lift than Molly (MDMA). You feel like you could fly with laughter, like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.

Back on the Mainland (Disneyland), there wasn’t much left to do. We made an appearance at Tomorrowland, though Space Mountain was more than I could admittedly deal with. Alice in Wonderland was a much needed stop. It’s a Small World. The Ecstasy had triggered strong maternal feelings and I was kissing the air within a few feet of stranger’s children. I am not sure I want children, but I can tell you they are amazing human beings.

They wore their pajamas. They ate their lollipops without inhibition, often leaving hard candy raindrops on their face and pants. They smiled when I smiled at them and cried only to their parents. All of them were carted in strollers, which was a bizarre sight. Children, all the way up to 10 years of age, were being carted around in rented strollers … not for fatigue but for speed and efficiency in the parents’ best interest. Stumbling on stroller parking was still one of the most bizarre sights I have seen. It seems we are rapidly approaching the life and times of Wall-E.

Stroller parking

Could children not walk anymore? Or could parents not be bothered with their short stride?

It was mid-afternoon when we took the tram back to our hotel room for lovemaking. Of course, the drugs had stripped me of all disguise and left me much like a little girl abandoned in a grocery store. I cried in the middle of lovemaking, walked to the other side of the suite and returned to Michael. This happened about four or five times in succession. Michael was patient.

“Work it out, baby,” he said, laying on the bed naked. His head pressed against the headboard with his thick, black hair brushed up and over his head like an Outsider from the 50s. His Italian eyes I once thought looked sad. Now, they looked heavy with seduction.

When I told my sister I was dating a full-blooded American-Italian she typed, “Yuck. Latin lovers are the worst.”

Those eyes brought me back, though. His arm was hung around the back of his head, stretching his biceps, almost forlornly watching. He didn’t try to wrangle me or cajole me back to the bed. He just watched me, feeling bad when I cried and satisfied when I returned. Recently, I watched “Scarface” and realized Michael had AL Pacino’s eyes. He knew I would be back and gave me the space to mourn my loss. When I wept, I don’t know what he thought I was thinking of or feeling. I can tell you the recurring memory was my parents kicking me out. If my parents can abandon me, anyone can. I had to cry it out, pathetically, naked, alone, next to the ice box and empty champagne bottle. I needed to work it out.

“Work it out, baby.”

al-pacino-20 al-pacino-20-1

To start my new family, I needed to mourn the old one. I cried and I came back to him.

We made love. We watched the Princess Story Time on the Resident Only Disney Channel. “Why is she using that voice? Doesn’t she know kids don’t like being condescended to? I can’t bear this.”

I took an MDMA pill. My serotonin was already depleted from the Ecstasy. However, I was launched into a world of floating pillows and white bed sheets like Jasmine the Agrabah princess. I couldn’t raise my physical senses any higher, but napped and levitated until the sun set.

a dreama dream 2

***

A lover of 5 years confessed to making out with his 1st cousin as a child and described walking into his father’s hospital room, while he was dying of lung cancer, then leaving immediately without saying a word. His father died before he could find the courage to speak.

Another lover of several months once described a moment where his birth mother accused him of being a “faggot” before abandoning him as an adolescent.

Love for a women is immediate. She opens her body to pregnancy and disease on the word of a man. She sacrifices her pulse and movement to a man, as he enters her. Men don’t experience this, though themselves are made of flesh, blood and bone. Words, you see, amount to nothing.

vag

It was much later in our relationship, in June, when I was having a nervous breakdown about residency, about love, life and rejection, that Michael invited me into the bathroom. “Do you want to watch me poop? Would that make you feel better?”

“Yeah,” I whimpered. It would. And it did.

I pulled a chair into our tiny bathroom and sat there holding his hand when I heard the first plop. I was crying all night and suddenly smiled. He could reveal as much of himself as I needed to … in order to love again.

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Light Me Up

Around the time Michael came into my life, there was a series of automotive misfortunes. There were so many supernatural disasters, I wrote a personal essay on  it. I planned on publishing it here in the blog, but for other reasons (grants, publication elsewhere) I am keeping it tucked away for now. So allow me to pussy foot around the car drama, what I not-so-fondly refer to as “Carma”, and address the relationship. My relationship.

Let me first lay some basic vehicular groundwork down:

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My 2007 hyundai was worth $5,000 in Portland. That was the price I was offered by a few small dealerships willing to do a trade. To make sure I got the hell out of the Northwest with my three dogs safe, I opted to keep the car and make it down to L.A. first before selling. However, in L.A., my car was only worth $3,000. This was a car I bought for $7k and just bought new wheels, new brakes and a new engine (twice over) for after three years of payments. When the brakes went out one night in Burbank, my wheels shut down, the car froze and everyone honked at me with all the care and understanding Los Angeles is known for. I parked the car, called a tow and then called Michael.

The car trouble followed me from 2011, when the engine blew out of the hyundai. Trekking back and forth to work from the border of the Angeles National forest was bad. Trying to pay off the $1,000 deductible while still making payments was worse. Fixing the car and being free for a few months was great until the engine blew again, 6 months later. Haggling with the mechanic, haggling with the insurance company and worst of all, depending on my senile, eccentric and catty parents for transport out of a very rural part of Washington state was the absolute worst. Now the goddamn thing was failing me on something as simple as brakes, now so severely damaged in just the month I was driving it, the minimum of cost to repair would be $500.

Michael and I had only been dating for a couple weeks and I was worried the latest of personal devastations would drive him away. There is always something bad that happens, and there is always a man who leaves around the time that something bad happens. When Michael arrived, he gave me a cigarette and laughed at me, watching as I kicked my car and made all the necessary calls. I negotiated a sale for the vehicle to the tow truck driver, ending up at $2700. Not bad … all things considered. I mean, it was a disappointment. I thought I could sell that car, buy a cheaper one and pay off the deposit on the new place maybe even get a new tattoo, replace the loose porcelain cap over my tooth, buy a fridge. I had to let all of that go now. So it wasn’t that bad considering I was at a bar in Burbank, nursing a martini and trying to make my 23-yr-old date laugh.  I’d hoped he wouldn’t notice how frazzled I was. It was just a car. It was just a bad investment. It was the end of my dreaming about what I could pull off, at least for awhile. He didn’t need to know all that yet.

 

Janisand my sundress

The car, I named Janis in 2009, took a pound of flesh out of me. The car payments I signed on for were fine on my salary, but I was laid off a month or so later. Those payments were my greatest expense for years, but I managed it while unemployed and, even at times, homeless. The mechanical problems with Janis were so emotionally and financially exhausting in the 3 years I owned her, that by the time her eyes rolled back in my arms that night, I really needed to let her go.

Michael, wanting to impress, offered me his vehicle to use while he bussed and walked to work. At the time, he was a receptionist at the same Doggie Daycare I worked for the few years prior to leaving LA. Now that I was back, I knew the resident sociopath there had been promoted to manager and there was no way in hell I was going to return as his employee. Not to mention, my former roommate, an emotionally retarded kid in her early twenties, was still working there. We ended on bad terms after she accused me of stealing her bed before leaving the apartment and leaving L.A. (Truth be told, the bitch withheld funds meant for flood damages to my unit from the landlord, and since I was subletting, my legal rights were limited in the matter … Not only did she lie about the amount refunded for the flooding, which drove me and my three dogs out of the unit entirely, but she reduced the “reported” moneys owed to me for rental of the bed I was using, so I took the bed as full payment. And I will sleep on it comfortably tonight.) She is fundamentally a bad person. Anyway, I didn’t need that kind of grief for $10 an hour.

working doggie daycare

Michael worked there for $12 an hour and didn’t have very many personality problems being that he was a boy (which put all males at an advantage with female upper management- I am assuming because they never got laid) and he was so easy-going. When Doggie Daycare got wind that he and I were dating, things changed. The imaginary war they had with me somehow transferred over to Michael. Managers were yelling at him for problems that occurred on the playground. For example, he was accused of failing to issue the proper naps to an aggressive dog who initiated a fight. During the time of the dogfight, Michael was greeting guests and filing paperwork in the lobby. Never mind the handful of employees left to supervise and monitor the dogs themselves on the playground. (Michael never worked on the playground, he was always stuck at the front desk. Something he hoped to change.) The HR woman, notoriously passive-aggressive, cut his hours- something she was famous for doing to employees who suddenly fell out of favor. I called her on it once. “That would be illegal!”she said.

“I know,” I returned. After a brief silence, “Ok, you can come in and work whenever you want to,” she said. And I did.

Only a few weeks before, everyone welcomed Michael back with open arms when he told them he wasn’t moving to Milwaukee afterall. Even the owner, known for being cold in person, embraced him. Now that he was in one spot and revoked his notice, he was thinking about putting in his notice again. He wanted to work somewhere he could spend more time with dogs, and less with people. Somewhere he wouldn’t have to worry about who defriended him, who was giving him the silent treatment and why … somewhere he wouldn’t be watched so meticulously for his next mistake so they could put pressure on him. Pressure to do what, exactly? Break up with me? I don’t know that I would go that far, or give them that much credit as thinking individuals. They were pushing him and no one would say why.

Pin down love

*

One day, while Michael was at work, I was pulling out of my driveway in his elantra when an Armenian woman, driving well over 35 miles an hour down a residential, took off the whole front end of Michael’s car. Despite the minor dent in her passenger side door, she cried, called the police and sued for injuries. Her father even came out (she was 45 years old, so don’t ask me why) and they obstructed our driveway for two hours after the incident until I asked them to move.

The small dent that won over my insurance and awarded HER injury

STUPID BITCH’S CAR: The small dent that won over my insurance and awarded HER injury

 

The car I walked out of without injury and with the full burden of the accident

MICHAEL’S CAR: The car I walked out of without injury and with the full burden of the accident

Leaning against yet another vehicle devastated by chance and bad luck, I lit up another much needed cigarette. A woman passing by stopped. “Don’t worry. You come into life with nothing. You leave with nothing.”

Michael walked to my house from work.  “You probably saved me from some horrible accident on the freeway. That car was a death trap. I am relieved really …” he said, holding my hand. “I am just glad you are ok.”

The insurance company found in favor of that Armenian woman since I was pulling out of the driveway and speed is nearly impossible to prove. That left both Michael and myself without a car. I have bussed it before, but with the sprawling city of L.A. and a job that required a vehicle, we were really screwed for a while.

My roommate, Frank, said “If that was my car and you were the one driving when that happened … I would be outta here. That was the test. It was his moment to save the day. Now nothing is going to break you two up.”

Michael put on a face for me, but I could tell by the brooding over his room-temperature 24 oz. can of Mickey’s that he was hit hard.  His kindness never wavered. He never lost his temper. He never raised his voice. He never held it over my head. It never resurfaced in arguments over other things. A few days later, he lost his iPhone while walking my dogs. When he came back, he fell face first onto my bed. I walked him to the 7Eleven and told him we could watch whatever movie he wanted and drink whatever he wanted … “The Bodyguard” he said.

“With … Whitney Houston?”

“Yeah.”

“… ok. Whatever you want.”

 

1563-THE BODYGUARD 保镖 pp 1563

 

Never once did he allow me to feel the pressure he was under. I wanted to be that kind of person. To be patient and kind, never a prisoner of resentment or negativity but always a solid, self-contained person who kept things in perspective. Unfortunately, I have the emotional maturity of a 14-year-old. Saying this aloud once to Michael, he crunched his brow and nodded heavily.

“Well, you know whose fault that is?” I said.

He knew the answer very well. “Your mother’s?” he said.

“That’s right. My mother.”

“That bitch …” he teased.

Instead of his patience and even-keeled mentality spreading to me, my ornery, argumentative and passionate mood swings passed over to him. In the beginning of our courtship, when we navigated around a bad driver who failed to put on their signal or cut us off, he would roll down his window and shout, “Hey, hey. I don’t like you! You suck!” Now, he would shout, “Hey, fuck you! Yeah, you! FUCK YOU!” Though, I never saw him at work, I sensed the attitude was carried over, and not without justification. That said, there was one person to blame for his sudden change of attitude, his willingness to say “no” to working a day he requested off or his refusal to absorb the blame from management on a bad day. Me.

I could also see my bad luck rubbing off on him and it scared me. He was the nicest person I had ever been with. He was working hard to impress me, so hard I could see it slowly killing him. He wasn’t smiling or laughing as much. He was exhausted from walking to work every day- initially he refused to take the bus because it was so unreliable. I didn’t want to lose him. It always seems as though I drag everyone I love down into my hole. Now, he was being buried in it.

“At least you acknowledge it,” Frank said in the kitchen one day. Hearing someone else say it made it real. So, I worked against it. I tried to make Michael laugh. I gave him blow jobs. Walked him to work with a thermos of coffee at 5am and told him outrageous stories as the sun rose. Then … I introduced him to drugs.

I am an advocate of drug use. For some reason, people turn my words and hear, “I advocate drug abuse.” No. I advocate drug use. I didn’t open up the crystal curtain to cure Michael of depression or distract him from life, I led him into that world to give him something back, to kick up some magic dust, to help him see the world beyond work every day, looming parking tickets and temperamental co-workers. I don’t have very much money, but you don’t need much to hop a comet and ride through another universe.

ecstasy bro feel the love

While we were car-less, he was dog-sitting in a mansion. During the early stages of courtship, it is difficult spending time away from each other. So I would drop by. Being a professional pet-sitter, I had no qualms with making myself at home there. Afterall, we played with the dogs more than we played with each other. Michael told me I could help myself to anything in the house, including a stocked beer fridge in the garage. One night, instead of beer and champagne, I brought a few pills of MDMA and my gay boyfriend, Trent. (I should add that Trent is also a professional dog-sitter, so though there might be a question of ethics here in violating the home of a client, those dogs were WELL taken care of.)

Michael insisted he didn’t feel it, even as he paced back and forth on his phone, sweating and shouting to a friend back home in Milwaukee how much he loved him. You could see Michael’s testosterone surge, which is a bit of a surprise from his typical boyishness. His voice, face and small(er) physique lead you to believe he is younger than he is, innocent, naive … and he is to some degree, at least more so than the rest of us. But on this particular night his voice deepened and he became more argumentative, more hard-headed, maybe even a little intense.

mdma pills

“I have never seen people respond to MDMA like this except when I am with you,” Trent said. A couple years before, we rolled with Frank in his Hollywood apartment, long before we were roommates. Out of the blue, Frank punched the couch. It put us on edge, but now I am beginning to understand that straight men, when flooded with dopamines and emotion, snap a little. I won’t pretend to suggest why other than acknowledging the obvious- men are raised to resist emotion, unless it comes in the form of anger.

“Can we have feelings talk, please?” Michael asked and asked and asked.

“Let’s just enjoy ourselves,” I said. “Feelings Talk” is always a push for Michael when he has had too much to drink, but now, more than ever, it was bouncing off the side of the wall and back in my face like a rubber ball and paddle.

“No!” I said finally. “NO we can not have feelings talk!”

“How dare you!” Michael said. Then I slapped him in the face. He claims it was hard but, if my hand wasn’t burning, it was just a love tap. He retreated to the master bedroom on the upper level, and I followed to ease his mind. The first time you do any drug, it is always good to have a veteran there to guide you through, keep your mind on track and your nerves soft. So I seduced him. There, the first time we made love that night, a small drop of blood smeared on the bed covers.

“Is that blood?” I said, turning pale.

Michael clapped his hands together, “It’s a mitzvah!”

The love-making resumed downstairs, in the guest bedroom. Trent would come down the short staircase occasionally, “Um, is this the bathroom?” he asked.

“Yeah, help yourself,” we said, not even thinking to close the bedroom door while we made love, even as Trent walked up and down the hallway. Every few hours, his head would pop around the side of Michael’s swinging scrotum, “Um … sorry to bother you again, but is the beer down here?”

“Yeah, come on down,” Michael said.

bidet

The guest bathroom had heated floors and a bidet. The bidet could spray warm water towards the genitals or the rectum. It was around this time I discovered the joys of “pulsating” mode. It also was wired with a companion drying device, oscillation available. The MDMA put my body in a constant state of engorged sensitivity. A touch of the human hand, a spray of hot water, the chill from cold bed sheets, the soft grain of fur on a dog’s back, it all engulfs you and the world is heightened. When I think about MDMA, I remember the night I discovered magic in the Puget Sound. In 1996, I went to school around there as an Undergrad. At night, we hiked down to the water and someone could take a stick, shove it down the placid black pool of water gently lapping up against the muddy beaches, and a trail of light would ignite behind the movement. The dinoflagellates (a single-celled organism that floats with the plankton) is bioluminesce; meaning when stimulated, it glows in the dark “either as a continuous glow or an instantaneous flash”.  Watching the unseen life light up like steps of vertebrae along the spine could only be, exist and happen, for one reason, at least one reason for an 18-year-old who didn’t know any better … simply to be beautiful. To reveal a world of wonder that has yet to be discovered. Those flashes of light find their way along the body and spirit when the night, company and drug line up perfectly. And in the magic of science, you find your place in the universe, if only for a few seconds.

bioluminescence_display_large

Tumbling around with Michael downstairs, and joking around with Trent upstairs was divine; my two favorite men in one house and all my senses tickled with physical and emotional love. It was one of the best nights of my life.

You don’t need drugs to appreciate the world, to reinvigorate sex and friendship, to make you laugh and cry about all the beautifully tragic things webbed into a fragile and complicated human being- but it helps.

 

25i

When morning came and we sent Michael out to find us food, I apologized to Trent. “Sorry we spent so much time having sex and leaving you up here alone.”

“That’s ok. It was sexy listening to all those noises. It really was. By the way, he is definitely straight.”

Later, Michael would complain about the evening, “I don’t know, you were kind of a downer. You brought me down, man.”

“Michael, you realize we had sex about 12 times in one night …”

“Oh … yeah.”

Later that week, Doggie Daycare suspected something was going on. Unfortunately, Trent, Michael and I all had ties to this Doggie Daycare. We all worked there, we all had friends who once worked there and some who still do. When we posted pictures to Facebook, someone squealed to management and before we knew it, the promoted sociopath of Doggie Daycare was making unexpected visits to the house.

“They said they found a marijuana pipe, saw all the beer was gone and claimed 500 miles was put on their car. Oh yeah, they also found the bloody sheets,” Michael said following a reprimand at work. I buried my face in my hands, horrified. There is no secret at Doggie Daycare. My previous boss, my previous co-workers, my ex-roommate, my enemies, my acquaintances, my friends all knew I had bloodied those sheets. It was a side effect from taking the morning after pill a few days before. My cheeks burned. The air was sucked out of my lungs. I lifted my head up, “Haven’t they ever heard of a party?”

Michael laughed. “They didn’t fire me, but I quit. I had to. I’ve worked there for years and they are going to send [Sociopath] to check on me? I’m sorry, but that’s an insult. I don’t need it.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yeah, fuck that place,” he said. “Anyway, I can’t go back now.”

My friend, Sascha, gave him a job at a dog training facility in Hollywood. Michael took a slight pay cut, lost hours in his work week and now had to bus it an hour each way into Hollywood. He claimed he was happier but I could see he was tired.

So, in the month we dated, Michael lost his car, his phone and his job.

“I am ruining your life,” I said.

“That’s ok,” he smiled, “I am having a good time.”

Unicorn-Art-Unicorn-Wallpaper-17

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Daytripping with Joshua

There were problems with Trent and Kent. I will rue the day I unknowingly assigned them rhyming names for this blog.

They have had a bumpy year, but were in love and living together in Kent’s new 1-bedroom in Highland Park, a more economic, more Hispanic, busier neighborhood than his last place in Silver Lake.

Kent told me that Trent drinks too much, says mean things and sometimes he is a completely different person.

I said, “That’s called Alcoholism.”

On Kent’s B-Day, Trent didn’t wish Kent a Happy Birthday or hug him or wake him up with a Birthday Blowjob. He instead got drunk and told him he didn’t want to spend his birthday, 3 days later, with Kent. He preferred to be alone.

During this time, they were both texting me. Trent stating he wanted to be a slut and was tiring of the relationship.

Kent struggling to understand where Trent was coming from, acknowledging it was Trent’s first adult relationship and battling with love and trust.

We were all supposed to go to Joshua Tree together, but now Kent was going to San Diego to visit his family and asked me to nudge Trent into camping alone with me for that weekend. He thought Trent needed space.

When the day arrived, Trent resisted. He sent me texts that he “wants to be alone” and “doesn’t feel like celebrating my birthday.” I knew he was in that dark apartment, draining a bottle of wine wondering when he could find himself in a dark corner with a stranger.

He reminded me so much of The Prophet. So wonderful, generous, witty and kind when sober, and cruel when intoxicated. I asked my therapist today, “Why do the best people I know have to be alcoholics? Is it because they need to balance their own evil somehow? The rest of us carry it around everyday. Maybe they save it all for when they are drunk.”

I was rushing around, I had a call back for a commercial, Baye from work was loaning me some camping gear including a hatchet, I left my damn phone charger at work and then I zoomed (and I rarely use that word, but I zoomed) to Kent’s to sweep up Trent before he was too drunk to deal with.

I arrived and called and called. No answer.

When a minivan left the parking garage, I nonchalantly walked through the garage and let myself in.

I knocked on the door and saw a flicker of movement.

Waited.

Kent opened the door.

He said, “He is in the shower.”

I said, “Oh. I thought you were in San Diego.”

Kent, “Not yet, I have a terrible headache. I can’t do anything.”

He wandered back to his bed and laid down in migraine position.

The water stopped and I shouted, “Hey Trent, do I get to see that legendary donger of yours, or do I have to wait for the weekend?”

I heard his laugh sparkle through the wall.

I sat on the edge of the bed and smoked a bowl with Kent.

Me, “Abe said that a lot of people are abducted in national parks.”

Kent, “Why would he tell you that?”

Me, “Because he is always functioning on a high level of paranoia. Don’t worry, I have a hatchet. But the last thing I want to do is be high on hallucinagenics when someone cuts off my head and fucks it.”

Trent came out of the bathroom looking androgynously beautiful.

Trent, “Oh my God, I don’t want that either.”

Me, “Don’t worry I have a hatchet.”

Trent, “I don’t want to chop someone with a hatchet when I am tripping either.”

Me, “I think it might be easier.”

Trent shuddered, “I don’t. I would just need to go in a corner somewhere.”

Me, “Don’t worry. Abe is always talking about women being abducted and men walking around with slip ties. I mean, I am not a 12 year-old Mexican girl, I think I am gonna be ok.”

Kent laughed, endlessly. “Did you hear what she just said?”

Trent, “Yes, that’s why I love her.”

After some negotiating about what Trent should pack, how much wine he’s consumed and whether or not Kent should join us anyway, they hugged and kissed. Trent was all mine.

We stopped at Target and got beer, food, a blanket and sleeping bag, kindling and a big, black sun hat for Trent.

Then we were officially off.

My car was a disaster again- I apologized but Trent didn’t care.

The windows were down and Janis was on the radio. He said, “This is good. New energy. I need that.”

I said, “Do you want to talk about what’s going on?”

He said, “I am just bored. We haven’t had sex in 2 months.”

Me, “Because of him or because of you?”

Trent, “Because of me. I don’t know, I’m just not interested. I miss going out and just meeting guys. It’s not emotional, I try explaining that to him. When I am done with them, I am done with them. Like, I don’t even care what your name is, Bye. (silence) Just that feeling of being used, I like that. But, I don’t know, we tried the threesome thing and that didn’t work. We don’t know what to do.”

Me, “Well, Dr. Phil says a successful relationship is falling in and out of love. You have a good thing, something I would kill for.”

Trent, “I know, he is so good to me. I am just so restless.”

Me, “What’s the best sex you have ever had?”

Trent, “It was with the Married Israeli.”

Me, “Married to a woman?”

Trent, “Yeah, he had kids. We would meet in these hotels and it was so wrong. We would just have the best sex because it was so wrong. He was so hot. Sneaking around in hotels and just . . . it was really hot. But even that diminished after awhile.”

I listened and thought about how different everything seems from the driver’s seat. Would I be so desperate for love and sex if I had it every day, in my home? Or do I cherish it because I fall for men who live far away, and can only make love on scheduled days?

I said, “And the drinking, do you . . . think you have control over that?”

Trent said, quite matter of factly, “Oh, no. I know I have a drinking problem.”

I gave a half nod. I didn’t know where to go from there.

The night set in when we turned off the 10 freeway and I said, “I think I have come up with a biological reason for rape.”

Trent said, “Oh?”

I said, “Yes, the only way to insure that the man is passing off the most dominant genes available is to insure that he is at least stronger than a female, so to dominate her and rape her would pass strong genes, or at least strong enough genes to be suitable for conception. A weaker man, who couldn’t fight off a female, wouldn’t have the opportunity.”

Trent took pause then said, “That seems like a very logical explanation for rape.”

I said, “Really?”

We laughed.

Me, “Well, I have thought about it.”

Trent, “No, really. It seems quite logical.”

We stopped first for firewood and a flashlight. The first gas station didn’t have a flashlight.

We decided, if we were going to go camping, we really needed a flashlight. So we stopped at the 711 and bought one.

When we got to the gates of Joshua Tree, the ranger said all the campsites were full and gave me the following directions to over-flow camping:

Turn north on Sunfair Road and travel two miles to Broadway. Turn right (east) on Broadway. The pavement will end about 100 yards after this turn. Travel one mile to a line of telephone poles running perpendicular (north and south). This one lane, unmarked dirt road is Cascade. Turn left (north) and travel ½ mile until a single lane, unmarked dirt road is passed. This road is Sunflower. Camping is allowed for the next ½ mile on the east side of Cascade.

I read the directions at least six times as we were driving until we found two other tents.

We found a spot close enough to the other tents, so that we could run to them in the night if one of us was killed by a serial killer, but were still far enough that we wouldn’t die immediately from their illegal campfires.

I said, “How is this spot, right here?”

Trent, “Is that a buck shot?”

Me, “Looks like it. That’s what we will call our first campsite. Buck shot.”

We pitched a tent in the dark and crawled into our sleeping bags with chips, salsa and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Me, “This is like, what’s it called crop?”

Trent, “Crop circles?”

Me, “No, where they pluck the crop?” I am used to my thesaurus.

Trent, “Harvest.”

Me, “Yes, this is where they send us so the aliens can harvest us.”

We laughed, but fell asleep to the sounds of little robotic tweeting. And I am not kidding.

We heard footsteps. Then we heard radio equipment.

Trent, “Did you hear that?”

Me, “Yes.”

Trent, “They are coming for us.”

Me, “Oh well, what can we do now?”

We waited. And I worried about my nightmares.

But I fell asleep, and slept the best I had in weeks. Occasionally, I would wake up to footsteps and weird computer sounds, and listen. Then I would fall asleep and wake up rested and pleasant again.

We woke up at 6:30am.

I googled campsites.

Me, “If we are going to grab a campsite, we have to do it early.”

Trent, “I am ready.”

We broke down our site.

Later we talked about it.

Me, “I slept better than I have in weeks.”

Trent, “I think they just came to observe us.”

Me, “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

We decided to camp in Jumbo Rock. A) Because Trent told me he heard there is a big rock where the aliens landed once a long time ago and B) It had the most camping sites, so mathematically, our likelihood of finding a spot was higher there than anywhere else in the park.

We slowly drove by the early risers, and Trent said, “He gave us a nod.”

I stopped my car and waited. A boy of about 20 approached. He was in between being a boy and being a man. Tall, with baby soft skin and ruffled bed head. When he looked tired, you saw the eyes of a child waking up Christmas morning, not the man, red, cracked and desperate for more time.

Boy, “22 is going to leave at noon. You can take that spot and we will take 21.”

We followed them to the payment post and both put in our money for the sites.

I saw the plates. Me, “They are from Massachusetts. Fucking adorable.”

We stopped at the head of the campground.

Me, “How much is it?”

Boy, “$5”

Me, “Oh wait . . . it says Senior Citizens are $5. We are $10.”

The boy turned to his blonde male companion, fair and sunburned of about the same age “Dang it! We haven’t been paying enough. I think our manual guide was wrong.”

I smiled.

Trent said, “Seal the envelope so your money doesn’t’ fall out.”

Boy, “Oh, I just close it.”

Trent licked the sticky glue on the inside of the flap and delicately pressed so that my $10 would be safe and we parted ways.

To kill time, first we went looking for Skull Rock.

We followed the path and ran into an older man, hiking alone. His skin was getting leathery.

Man, “Hey, do you guys know Skull Rock? Have you seen it?”

Trent, “No, we haven’t seen it yet.”

Man, “Huh. I have been up and down and can’t see it. Sometimes the light at certain points of the day makes a big difference.”

We politely exchanged backgrounds.

Man, “I live on the road. I have been living out of my truck for 10 years now.”

Me, “How do you support yourself, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Man, “I retired.”

Me, “You look too young to be retired.”

Man, “Thanks. I am 55.”

Me, “That is still young to be retired.”

Man, “Yeah, well, I took my severance package and hit the road. I have never been happier. Life is backwards. You work while you are young, and then get to travel when you are older, when your body is falling apart. It makes it more difficult than if you were young and still can really enjoy everything.”

Me, “That’s why I have been trying to enjoy things as much as possible these last two years I have been unemployed.”

Without looking at me, he said, “Well, enjoy it now. You will be back in the rat race before you know it.”

I stared at the back of his head, as he heavily found footing. I wanted to say, “No I won’t.” But I really don’t know.

♫ ♪ Got a good reason . . . for taking the easy way out. ♫ ♪

We all stopped on the path so he could zoom in on a small lizard with his camera, then lose where the lizard was because he zoomed in too far, then found it again and took a picture. Then we got closer and he wanted a better angle.

When we got to Skull Rock, there was no denying it was Skull Rock.

Man, “That’s Skull Rock . . . maybe . . . maybe its the way the light hits it.”

Trent pointed out the eyes and nose.

Man, “I guess you have to use your imagination.”

Not really.

We drove down to more attractions off the main road, before the sun got too hot.

The men, readers . . . the men were gorgeous. Young men, unpacking their gear, tall, athletic, too young to know what life is like making car payments.

I drove by a tall, white boy who couldn’t be more than 22.

I said, slowly, “Happy Birthday.”

We stopped and I watched a lean Asian man take off his shirt and his friend rub him down with suntan lotion.

We were sitting by my car, drinking water in the parking lot, and I said in a low voice to Trent, “Oh . . . my . . . God. Hot. And I never like Asian men.”

Trent turned to look under the large cosmic radius of his Sunday best.

Trent, “He’s cute.”

Me, “God, my sexual drive is ridiculous. Just driving my car turns me on now. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can feel hot sweat crawling up my neck just looking at that.”

The Asian man stopped to smile at me before putting on his shirt.

Me, “Oh shit, can you hear me from over there?”

Trent, “He is only two cars away. Who cares? Its the desert.”

Me, “Mmmm hmmm.” He turned and smiled back at me.

We hiked to Wall Street Mill and Barker Dam, killing time, eating oreos and talking about ourselves, the men we loved, and where we might end up.

When we got back to the site at 12:30, the previous campers were gone and we erected a tent. I put large rocks inside the corners to anchor the tent and accidentally ripped a small tear in the corner.

Trent, “BE CAREFUL!”

Me, “Shit, sorry. I break everything.”

A woman came up as we were setting up, “Excuse me. We really need a campsite. My dog is very sick and we are putting him down on Monday. This is his favorite campsite and we just want to give that to him before he goes.”

Trent, “Sorry. I know its hard. We got up at the crack of dawn to get this site.”

Woman, “We have been to two other campsites. God . . . I don’t know what to do.”

My first compulsion was to say, “Come join us on our site. I think there are 3 tents allowed per site.”

Then I thought, “This bitch is manipulating me.”

How does she know I am a dog person? The bumper stickers on my car parked right next to our camping spot number.

I smiled, coldly, “Sorry.”

We saw the dog later, it looked like a healthy 3-yr old with lots of energy.

Then we sat down, made some soup, opened a can of beer and split a pill. He put his half in his beer and I put mine in my soup.

There was a bathroom near the campsite. Women would take several minutes in there, and, I assume, not all of them could have had a gratuitous bowel movement.

I would wait, and wait and wait.

Me, “What is taking them so long? (to the bathroom) There is no flusher. Stop looking!”

Trent, “They are looking for the vanity.”

A plain girl with glasses came out and shot us a cold look.

Then we walked behind the site, through rocks that looked like faces and bookshelves. He in his black Sunday hat, and me, in my heart-shaped glasses.

We saw a hare the size of a small dog. His ears alone were at least 2 and a half feet long.

Trent sang out, “Oh Mr. Rabbit . . .”

The hare stopped and stared.

Me, “You are so handsome. I want to grab you and love you. Will you let me do that?”

Trent, “So handsome. You are beautiful, aren’t you?”

He flickered his tail but ran off before we could get a picture.

I walked by a plant and it left one perfect puncture on my forearm.

Me, “OW!”

One bead of blood formed.

Me, “The desert wants my blood.”

Trent touched it and said, “ouch.” His fingertip sent a wave of warmth through my body. Was the drug here, yet?

It took about an hour for our stomachs to break down the fine powder and flood our brains with color.

The first symptom is mad fits of laughter. At about 50 minutes or so, we had ourselves in fits of giggling.

I accidentally swept my foot through a cactus, and the cactus fell apart into green goo. I fell down laughing, “Oh no. Oh no. (quieting down) I am sorry, cactus.”

Trent, “Are you ok?”

There were spikes from the cactus sticking out of my shoe.

Me, “Yes, but look what I did to the cactus. He is dying.”

I tried to fold the pieces of his body back together.

Trent, “Oooh. Feel how gooey it is inside. Its . . . gelatinous.”

I felt it, it was fleshy and warm.

We sat and gave the cactus a moment of silence. Then Trent said, “He understands.”

Over the rocks, the afternoon sun got weaker. A cool breeze found us up high, and a cool, rocky heat kept us warm below.

Trent, “Ughhh, I just want a man. I just want to fuck!”

I texted Abe that morning knowing that sex would enhance my trip. I started thinking about when he would come so he could touch me. Then I thought if I would ever make love to Trent, and figured I would given the opportunity.

Trent said, “I have made love to men and women. Both are nice, I just prefer men. I will have sex with a girl, if a guy is present. I have done all of that already.”

I said, “I saw your tattoo when you were drying off in the shower. I didn’t know you had Billie Holiday on your shoulder.”

Trent, “Oh . . . yeah. I got that tattoo when I was 18, before I knew portraits weren’t the best tattoos to get.”

I said, “It’s good for a portrait.”

Trent, “Yeah, its hard to do tattoo portraits. Oh well.”

Me, “I like it.”

Two men passed us with white socks stretched to their mid calf in khaki long shorts.

I lifted my nose up to catch the salt of their sweat.

Me, “I smell them. I can smell them.”

I lifted my torso up to the sky so I could fly into a cloud of pheromones.

Trent, “You know there is something on the tip of your nose to attract you to mates. A sensitive part of your nose picks up pheromones.”

Me, “MMMM, white man.”

Trent, “I just want one right now, to come along and fuck me right here.”

Me, “I don’t know about men in these parts, I would get raped and you would killed. And I am the winner in that scenario.”

He broke down laughing.

His phone was always out, he was trying to catch a signal to tell Kent he was ok. Nothing came.

We crossed the highway and discovered designs of animals and people outlined with a collection of rocks. A turtle. An endless spiral to Pi. A man with the words, “Feed Me” spelled out in rocks around his head.

Trent bent down and put his hands on the rocks that outlined a human head.

Trent, “Put your hands on him. Feed him.”

We put both our hands on him and I pushed energy into the mouth.

The sun was fading and we were back at Skull Rock.

Me, “Hey, Trent. Have you seen Skull Rock?”

Trent, “No. Maybe it’s the way the light hits.”

Me, “No, just use your imagination.”

Trent, “Let’s take lots of photos of lizards.”

Me, “Wow, my hands are really big right now.”

I held them up, they looked to each be about the size of my head.

Me, “That’s why its so easy to climb. My hands are huge. Look!”

Trent looked and laughed.

Me, “Use your imagination.”

Trent, “Maybe its the way the light hits.”

I sang, “♫ ♪ Dayyyy tripper ♫ ♪

Trent continued the tune, “♫ ♪ It took me so long to find out . . . I found out. ♫ ♪

As the sun set, we made our way back to our campsite.

Trent said, “Oh look! There she is . . .”

I said, “Who?” Then saw the girl from the bathroom.

Me, “Oh, Miss Hygiene.”

She saw us and immediately collected her things and her friends and ran down the hill. I don’t know if it was the drug, but it certainly seemed like she was running away from us.

Trent, “Look, she is running away.”

Me, “She wants to be as far from us as possible. Geez, what’s her problem?”

We scampered down the hill, Trent in his Sunday hat and me, in my heart shaped sunglasses, laughing wildly at everything.

The campers kept away from us. They cooked their barbeque, and drank out of their water bottles, put on their State College Sweatshirts and kept far, far from us.

Trent and I negotiated on how to build a fire. We had a starter log and one of those push button lighters, and eventually it got started. I went back to my car and smoked a cigarette, then realized I lit a small fire in my car.

I don’t know how exactly, but the empty cigarette box turned into one big flame. I held it up, and blew on it, but flares of plastic and paper blew into my car. So I threw it outside and stomped on it.

Trent came around the large bush supporting our tent.

Trent, “There you are.”

Me, “I stopped a fire . . . in my car.”

Trent, “You have got to stop smoking.”

There is a dry bush, found in the parts of the desert, with long arms and fingernails waiting to scratch out your eyes and make you bleed. There is no life on her, no leaves, no flower, just the bitter daggers of a naked brush we named “Bertha.”

We only bought 6 logs for the fire at a nearby gas station. As we started our fire, and the night came upon us, the winds picked up and we realized we needed more wood.

I grabbed pieces of Bertha, who was reluctant to give any part of herself to us. The woman is just a bitch.

I broke off a couple branches and dropped them in the pile with the rest of the wood. When it was time to throw in more wood, I picked up her arms, and she grabbed a hold of my new purple, fleece blanket and whipped it around like it was a flag on the mountain of Iwo Jima.

I saw her arms, and those fists of rage reach around both sides of my blanket, and I fought. Trent sat there laughing as I broke free of her violent embrace.

I threw down the blanket and broke her arms with my foot.

Me, “Bertha. What a bitch.”

I used other kindling, and decided Bertha wanted more respect before being thrown into a fire of sacrifice.

So I sat across from her and ate some soup.

Trent came back from the bathroom and pointed at the fire.

Trent, “Is that Bertha in there?”

I said, “Oh no. That’s Bertha, right there.” I motioned to the standing brush across from me, over the fire.

Me, “Its the only damn plant I have ever had to take to dinner before using in a campfire.”

I spoke to her.

Me, “What more can I do for you? Would you like some of my soup?”

She stared at me. Stubborn. Dry.

I turned away from her and saw our tent flapping in the wind.

I fought. I fought hard. But I got that nasty woman in the fire and broken down for the flames. I even heard a bitter cackle from her, as her arm disintegrated in ash.

Trent, “We need more wood. I am really worried now.”

I went over to the campers two sites over and asked if I could use their wood. What I saw was at least two trees they cut down and stacked next to the fire, and a case of vodka bottles.

The two men looked Mongolian in nature and didn’t speak English. I kept repeating the one word I thought they would understand, “Money?” “Money. “Money!” They said, “No money. Take”

So I took a piece of a tree back and it kept us warm for awhile.

We sat there.

I pointed to the lone tree next to us.

Me, “Look at him. I think he wants to be called Freddy.”

Trent, “Pete.”

Me, “Petey. He just wants a little warmth from the fire. Just wants a little hello.”

His head was bobbing in the wind, like a shy, tall kid at the school dance.

Trent, “He is so polite. He doesn’t want to intrude. Please, Pete. Join us.”

Me, “Yes, you are more than welcome.”

He bobbed his head, his bark looking like a skinny tie between hunched shoulders and just the hint of a smile.

There was no time to enjoy this. We needed to think about the future. We needed more wood.

I grabbed the hatchet Baye gave me.

I said, “Let’s do this. We have to go out there and kill a tree.”

Trent obediently followed. Giggling. Shivering. On his own trip.

I touched the edge, “Hard to believe they used to scalp people with this. I guess the Native Americans weren’t perfectionists.”

We ran up the hill and I raised the hatchet to a tree, then shouted, “Psyche!”

The tree was not amused.

I said, “You look too healthy to kill. Just kidding.”

We ran further up and I started frantically bludgeoning a piece of a tree. We had no flashlight, only the flashlight app on Trent’s phone.

Then we heard the hiss of a zipper. A tent was 20 ft away, and they were getting out!

We ran, higher up the hill.

I said, “Here, let’s do this one.”

Trent, “Aww. He looks healthy.”

I said, “But he has 6 heads, and we only have one.”

He held it steady while I decapitated one of its bobbing faces.

I looked back, panting, holding the hatchet like an animal, like a beast. Something in me changed. I was an asshole. A self-serving, tree mutilating, hatchet wielding asshole.

In the dark, under the wind, I whispered a, “Sorry, but you will grow back.”

We went back to our fire. Bertha was almost gone, but let’s face it, she is everywhere all the time. The wind really picked up and the fire whipped my blanket over flying embers.

Trent was getting frustrated, “Be careful! You might catch fire.”

I said, “The desert will keep us safe.”

After 15 minutes I said:

“We have to go inside the tent.”

Trent said, “I know, the wind is just too much.”

We crawled inside and split another half of a pill. We poured each half into the synthetic, vegan creme of our oreos, and chased it with a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Then we fell to silence. The tent whipped. Our neighbors showed up and chatted. We shivered in our sleeping bags and I felt odd to be with a man I liked and have no sexual tension.

Car lights.

First white.

Then Red.

I looked out the open flap of our tent. Trent was asleep.

Abe was in a hoodie walking towards the small group of college kids chain-smoking over their fire.

I sent him a text earlier, before entering the park.

“Camping at Jumbo Rocks. Get map before coming.”

I didn’t think he would come.

What time was it?

I screamed a whisper, “ABE! ABE!! Over here.”

He turned and saw me, then walked around.

Abe’s big head thrust into our delicate little tent. The wind was still violent. It wanted Bertha back.

Abe, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Trent said, “Who is that?”

I said, “Abe.”

Trent said, “He actually came?”

I said, “I am staring at him.”

Abe said something to me, I don’t remember.

The stars in the sky were green, red and white. They weren’t shooting, but they were definitely moving. The whole universe was out there and alive in a rainbow of colors. I couldn’t focus on one thing, everything was in constant motion, varying in degrees of color and focus.

I said, “Oh my God, the sky is . . . moving. There are red stars.”

Abe, “You took those pills huh?”

Me, “Yes, we have been tripping since noon.”

Abe, “Cool.”

I retreated back into the tent, “It’s freezing out there.”

Abe smoked a cigarette.

I moved my sleeping bag so my body was inside the tent, while my head hung outside.

I saw Abe over the fire, he had a great fire going. The end of his lit cigarette smeared across the night sky, with what looked like a torch.

Trent, “What is he doing out there?”

Me, “He lit a torch.”

Trent, “A TORCH!?”

Me, “YEAH. He is waving it around.”

Abe leaned into me, with menacing eyes, “Bertha smells good!!”

Me, “He has Bertha in the fire and on his torch. He just comes in and dominates her, then gets what he wants. That’s the secret, isn’t it? Take what you want. Nature doesn’t want apologies. It wants domination.”

Trent, “He beat Bertha?”

Me, “YES!”

The orange from the flame on the end of the stick he was tapping left orbiting circles around my red and white stars. It was around this time, the ground started breathing white light. It lifted off the ground like fog, but it was thick, heavy like his headlights.

The manic fits of laughing ensued. Trent and I were a chorus of hysterics. Abe heard us from outside and chuckled.

It was around this time, the woman, probably around my age, who was in the tent next to ours with her 3-yr old child and husband, stomped over and said, “Its too late for this. I mean . . . enough is enough now. We have a child in our tent and its very late. You are ruining our trip.”

Abe apologized on our behalf, then stuck his big head back in the tent and said, “Ok, we have to quiet down now.”

Trent and I laughed hysterically, with our hands over our mouths and our abdominal muscles crunching with fits of gasping laughter. Tears were pouring down my face.

Me, “Ruining her trip? SHE is ruining OUR trip.”

Trent, “That’s right.”

Me, “Tomorrow morning, I want you to go see that little girl and say, “Sorry for ruining your trip, but you ruined my birthday.”

My voice lowered, almost into a bad Nixon impression, and I said, “If I want to go to the desert and use hallucinogenics, that’s my God damn right as an American citizen.”

Abe tried to reign us in.

We were laughing. The wind was blowing. The kids behind us were still chattering.

I knew we were being assholes.

But . . . come on. Its MY trip too, man.

Me, “And why didn’t her husband come out to talk to us? I’ll tell you why. CAUSE HE’S SLEEPING!”

Abe said quietly, hoping we would follow, “She won’t bother us again, ok?”

I turned to Trent, “It’s your birthday.”

Trent mumbled an intoxicated, “It is?”

Me, “Yes.”

Trent, “Time for a birthday drink.”

He opened a can of PBR.

Every 20 minutes, Trent and I were stumbling through the two campsites between us and the restroom, or, more suitably called, the big fucking hole in the ground.

Abe whispered, “You and Trent are going to the bathroom to pee a lot.”

I said, “I am not peeing. I just need to go somewhere and sit down for awhile.”

Abe, “Oh no.”

I said, “I think I have dysentery.”

Abe, “If you had dysentery on your diet, I would be amazed.”

Trent came in and collapsed on the ground. “Have you looked at the sky out there?”

Me, “I know.”

Trent, “It is so beautiful. I have never seen that many stars in my life.”

Me, “And they are all moving.”

We were lying in a pool of spilled beer.

We didn’t have the light or the energy to really do anything about it but complain, laugh, and open more.

The wind tore at the top of our tent.

Trent to the sky, “OKKKK, we get it.”

Me, “Jesus, is this about Bertha?”

Silence.

I turned to Trent, “It’s your birthday.”

Trent mumbled an intoxicated, “It is? Time for a birthday drink.”

The wind slapped on us more sporadically as the night stood still. Trent got quiet and his breathing became rhythmic.

Abe reached over and manually gave me an orgasm. When I came, I felt like white water was bursting through a door. The moment was so intense, my mind went blank in the spilling salty foam of adrenaline and serotonin. I lost my voice. My throat tickled and my body twitched in one epic convulsion. I didn’t care that Trent was right next to me. I didn’t care about the bitchy woman whining about our laughter in the middle of the night.

The floor was breathing white light, almost like a strobe but slow.

Long heartbeats of white, glowing light rising off the ground.

I said, “Do you see the white light?”

Abe said, “No.”

I said, “There is white light all around us. Its coming off the ground.”

Abe said, “Well, we are on sacred land, so that makes sense.”

His breathing slowed, and his responses stopped.

Both of them were asleep on either side of me now.

I laid there.

I couldn’t sleep.

I closed my eyes. Even the college kids were asleep now.

Voices came in my head. Male voices.

Men I never met before.

They were writers.

I could throw out names that came to mind, but I won’t claim I was speaking to them. I was high, let’s not forget.

Trent and I were discussing the beatniks earlier in the day, so Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg felt familiar.

It’s not as though I heard words ring through in their voices, it was more like a feeling being psychically communicated.

“Welcome” and “Enjoy”

Then I saw the corner of a mouth.

I knew it was Hunter. He was on my mind since my date with Buddy, and blogging about the duel suicide attempts. I never really noted that coincidence before. Of course, it connects my ego to greatness, but more importantly, he gives me permission to live the way I am called to live.

Recently, I have been writing publications in search of work and noting in my cover letters that I practice “Gonzo Journalism.” I have gotten no response.

From Hunter, this night, the message was more personal, again not in words, more in some kind of psychic greeting card I heard, “You gotta live like an asshole . . . at least some of the time.”

I thought to him, “But I mutilated a tree out there.”

He said, “Sometimes the freedom to live looks like an asshole carrying a hatchet.”

I thought about how Abe came in and made this beautiful fire in what felt like seconds, no apologies. He just took what he wanted and it made everything simpler. I have been apologizing for so long, I don’t even know what that feels like.

Now, if you read my blog, you might conclude that I am full of shit. An apologetic life is hardly prancing around Los Angeles with pit bulls and drugs, avoiding anything resembling a normal life. I have been doing what I want, but I have also been apologizing for it.

To be continued . . .

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Run, Rabbit, Run. Dig that Hole. Forget the Sun.

 

After a day of sleeping and eating Thai Food, I had yet another day off. I knew I had to clean. Someone gave me some pills, as it was explained to me, half speed/half MDMA. I thought this would help me focus on organizing my space.

I was plowing through the Best Oscar nominees for Best Picture and had started “Tree of Life” the night before. The thing is, my computer is short on a little memory, so the picture and audio smear and stutter when I have too many applications going. You play a surrealist film by Terrence Malick when you are just half asleep, and you don’t know what the hell is going on.

Playing it again after taking a hybrid narcotic was . . . indescribably confusing and oddly fascinating.

Now, before the pill had sunk into the cushioned hull of my lower torso, I had realized someone who commented on my reused profile pic had since defriended me. When? I don’t know, but I liked her. I thought she was nice.

I shot her an email:

Me: Just noticed I am no longer a friend? I always accidentally offend people.

Sorry for whatever it was.

Her: Hey,

You didn’t do anything specific, its was more my trying not to offend you.

Me: Its hard to offend me . . . but we can keep it vague if you prefer.

Happy V Day

Her: I can be honest with you if you wish but I imagine you have heard it all before.

Huh. Well . . .

I wrote: Wow. That sounds . . . um, not friendly?

Gosh, its a shame, cause I really liked you. I guess I am just an asshole.

If you read my last post, you know I was already in a dark place about everything social and professional. Basically, anything that has to do with people. You know that knot that forms in your stomach, to help prepare you for a real punch to the gut? It was forming.

Luckily, something else was growing faster . . . the drug.

I laid down on my bed and watched as, from what I remember, a soul ascended from the Earth and spun back into the energy field of our universe.

I felt warm tears spring down my face, and I felt good. I felt right.

One pill makes you larger,
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.

 

The video player indicated I was only halfway through the video, despite feeling like the entire day went by and this movie was never-ending.

The room looked dirty. Piles of clothes in opposite corners.

I looked at the keyboard. Was it really that dirty?

When logic and proportion,
Have fallen sloppy dead.

Another email from my defriend:

“;-) I’m not sure if its friendly or not.
You aren’t an asshole, there is just a little too much self imposed drama in your life and a lot of days it was taking all myself control not to tell you to knock it off and grow up. I didn’t think it was any of my business nor did I think it would make a bit of difference in your life but I also was having a hard time watching it without butting in so I defriended.

Thats all. I still read your blog sometimes and I do hope u get published someday….

So there it is…I’ve officially done what I was trying not to do, I hope you aren’t offended.”

Well . . . again, another person who has trouble tolerating me personally liked my blog. Jesus Christ, thank God for this thing or else my self-esteem would fall through the floor.

I wrote:
Not offended at all. I could use more friends like you, honestly.

Then I updated my status: “If I knew today was the day I would discover the origin of life and man vs. ego, I would have never sent that email this morning asking why someone defriended me.”

It was getting difficult to type.

I pinged back Abe:

Abe: So –can we have some time together today

Me: I need you here
right now
I took the pill
3:32 PM I AM ON SOME OTHER PLANET
please come here
now

Abe: just one

Me: that is all I need
I can not distinguish fantasy
from reality

Abe: come on

Me: I need a fucking cigarette
but I cannot drive
I am very happy
actually
but I am not at all in control
of anything
I need you
3:33 PM serious
ly
HURRY MAN

Abe: ok
relax

Me: Come to me
now

Abe: if thats possible

Me: I comandeth thee

Abe: come to me now?
haha

Me: NOW SHE SAYS

Abe: sexy

Me: I need you here now
seriously
like right now
3:34 PM I was hoping you got the psychic post it and were already here
I seriously need you
;like seriously

Abe: I got my car done

Me: I need your help
please come here now

Abe: I need you help with what?

Me: my perception of reality
the walls are moving
I am hallucinating
and laughing
3:35 PM and I think I have tapped into a million answers
but I might just be losing my mind
the keyboard is floating

Abe: OK just chill

Me: Abe
here

Abe: dont go anywhere

Me: NOQ
NOW
I cant
I need help
come here
pleasure me
tell me this
I see things
this movie
like is it the computer or my mind

Abe: OKOK

Me: making this movie do this

3:36 PM Abe: write it down

Me: I cant see my hands

Abe: Im leaving soon

Me: they are vibrating

Abe: Do you have any food?

Me: no
cookikes
I have COOKIES
they are almost gone
I need a cigarette
COME HERE
I NEED YOU
COME
ABE
ME
TREE OF LIFE
\
3:37 PM Abe: You better chilli and not go baserko on me
Im about to drive throught a shit load of traffic

Me: hurry
3:38 PM I am breaking through
to another plane of thought
but I need American Spirits
I wont make it to the 711
I ham FUCKED
IIPPPPPPPPP

Abe: You are tweeked out– got that

Me: happy
come here
co,me now

Abe: Breath slower and chillax

Around this time, I walked out to smoke a cigarette to steady my mind. The steps were bright and crooked, just like my little apartment.

I climbed into my car, dug through and found a cigarette butt to use up.

Looking around, trash on the ground with 3 empty coffee cups, mail on my dash, clothes from a shoot in the back seat by the foot rest with chewed up tennis balls.

I laughed, “Is this your low? You are ridiculous! Who lives like this? A new low. Ok, why not?”

I went into the upper apartment to shower off the smell of smoke, and wondered if I should not trip where my roommate killed himself. The fact of the matter was, my toilet was in there, so it would have to do.

I stuck my key in the lock. The lock got large for me, so I would have better aim. When the key was inside, it shrunk again.

And if you go off chasing rabbits,
And you know you’re going to fall,
Tell em’ a hookah-smoking caterpillar,
Has given you the call.

Go ask Alice, when she was just small.

On the toilet, I sat across from a new roll of toilet paper that was fluctuating size as veins formed in the walls. There is a boombox Alan gave me with one CD inside of it, “Nirvana UnPlugged.” He gave it to me last August. I am still haven’t changed the CD since I am not sick of the album.

The grain of the cement in the walls surfaced out of the dull yellow paint, and I felt warm water all over my body.  I listened to Kurt Cobain sing and the accordion in “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” crank notes out all over the bathroom, like the Earth was contracting and grinding.

The next track was a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”:

“I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for a foreign land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazeless stare, we walked a million hills
I must have died alone, a long long time ago

Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the World.”

I thought about Kurt Cobain and what an icon he became. I thought about Jim Morrison, “This is the land of the Pharaoh died.”

Was the Pharaoh Kurt?

Egypt.

What about Egypt?

I could see it in my mind, as veins pulsed throughout the shower and the walls slowly, calmly convulsed.

We are from Egypt. There we understand it didn’t matter who you were. Celebrity is bullshit. We are all here to spark movement in the a dragon . . . in a beast. To promote the evolution of life. To enlighten.

I went back downstairs to my apartment and laid down on the bed. I could feel Egypt. The work, how hard we all worked there.

Then I thought, my dogs were there with me. We were all buried together and now they are here with me again, in the next life.

*Footnote: Throughout the history of Ancient Egypt, animals were highly respected. In no other culture have animals been as influential in so many aspects of life, nor has any culture depicted animals as often in their artwork or writing. Egyptians believed that animals were crucial to both physical and spiritual survival—vital to physical survival because they were a major source of food and to spiritual survival based on how well a person treated animals during their life on earth. The Egyptian religion taught of life after death. In order to determine a person’s admittance or denial to the afterlife, the gods would ask a series of judgment questions. One of these crucial questions would be whether they had mistreated any animals during their life on earth. Because of this religious belief, the killing of an animal was considered a serious crime punishable by death.

-“A Few Remarks upon the Religious Significance of Animals in Ancient Egypt by H. Velde

Where the hell was Abe?

I got up and looked out the window. Light kept chasing over my window, like headlights brighter than the sun.

 

My head pressed against the window glass, but it was open. There was no glass. There was a liquid film between me and the rest of the world, and I knew I couldn’t go out there.

Remember, what the dormouse said . . . Feed your head . . . Feed your head.

So I put the movie back on.

And waited.

The light went away, and the cars outside changed. One was there all day. A few left and new ones reappeared down my dirt road. The cool air played with the water in my hair.

My animals were gorgeous. They slept and listened for intruders.

Brad was spun out of gold thread.

Once upon a time there lived a miller who had a beautiful daughter. One day the miller had to visit the king’s castle. While he was there, he happened to meet the king face to face. The king stopped and spoke to the miller. Hoping to impress the king, the miller boldly told him that he had a daughter who could spin straw into gold.

“Oh,” said the king, “that is indeed a wonderful gift. Tomorrow you must bring your daughter to my castle, so she may spin some gold for me.”

Then the miller was sorry he had lied, but he had to do as the king ordered.

This particular king loved gold more than anything else, so he was very pleased at the prospect of turning straw into gold. He led the poor girl into one of the giant castle rooms. There, in the middle of the room, stood a spinning wheel, and near it was a great heap of straw.

The king turned to the miller’s daughter, and said, “There is your spinning wheel, and here is the straw. If you do not spin all of it into gold by morning, your head shall be cut off.” Then the king left the room and locked the door.

That’s a bummer.

Very clever to spin my little dog into gold and give him to a poor girl like me.

What?

Esther went to the window, and came back. Her cropped ears moved like triangles independent of her body. Her big Disney eyes watched me as she paraded back and forth. Triangle horse.

Abe arrived.

I said, “Thank God, I need a cigarette.”

He handed me one and I went outside. The sun was setting over the mountain across from my apartment. I smiled.

He said, “What’s going on?”

I said, “I am tripping BALLS, man!”

He said, “Did you eat anything today?”

I said, “No, but I have had 6 cups of coffee.”

He chuckled, “Great.”

Then I added, “I have been trying to talk myself into getting that box of cereal out of my car for the last 6 hours.”

He laughed, “Just calm down, alright. I brought some bread.”

I said, “I am calm. I am happy. I mean, I have so much to tell you. This day started with me sending off an email to this girl who defriended me. And I asked why.”

He groaned, “Awww.”

I said, “No, its ok. It really is. We only ever had this very awkward Thanksgiving dinner with her husband so it really doesn’t matter. But thats the point. None of that bullshit matters. And I can see it now. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like me.”

I forgot about the one other time we hung out, she and her friends met me for a pedicure and left before paying the bill. So I had to make the salon call her and tell her to come back, since I wasn’t going to pay for everyone’s pedicure. They said it was an accident, but it was a bizarre, and unforgettably awkward accident.

Abe, “I think people do like you, they just . . . don’t want to get caught up in the storm.”

I nodded.

I said, “Its ok. I am used to people avoiding me.”

Inside, I laid out on my bed. With all the dogs and my balance, I was having trouble not sliding off of my bed.

Abe pulled out the folding chair across from my bed and sat down.

He said, “When you were young, you were dealing with emotionally mature things around other people on a different level. So, you got on their nerves. No big deal.”

I nodded and slid off my bed. I laughed, and kept trying to get back on, but Maggie wouldn’t move.

I laughed, “I mean . . . this is ridiculous . . . living like this. I am on a pile all the time. Piles there, a pile in my car. I mean .  . . this really is a low for me.”

I slid off again and we both laughed until we couldn’t stop tears.

He said, “Its good to laugh with you. Release, that’s what it is.”

I climbed back on and slid back on the far corner of the bed, behind Maggie, Esther and Brad. All three of them stared at him.

Abe, “They are protecting you.”

I smiled.

Me, “Alan said Brad protects my sleeping body.”

Abe, “Good!”

I said, “I have discovered that we are from Egypt.”

He said, “What did you take?”

I said, “I was told it was half speed and half MDMA but . . . I am full on hallucinating, man. I mean, more than I ever did with LSD.”

He said, “I don’t like you taking drugs from people. You have to be careful.”

Me, “I know, but I trust this person.”

He cut a pill in half and swallowed. Then he combined the discarded half of fine white powder into another capsule. He forcefully reminded me not to forget which pill was disproportionately more than the others.

Me, “This is pretty strong, I am not sure you should take it.”

He shrugged.

I said, “I have been trying to watch this movie for the last 12 hours.”

He said, “You have been doing other things, that’s all. And pausing the movie.”

I said, “But I deliberately kept myself from pausing . . . I thought.”

I played “Tree of Life” and the characters sputtered across the screen and odd, distorted screaming bombarded the soundtrack.

Abe, “Turn it off! Turn it off!”

I did.

He was feeding the dogs bread.

Maggie’s face looked drawn, with her huge caramel eyes staring up at Abe and long stretches of drool falling from the corner of her mouth to the floor.

Abe fed her one piece after another, and we laughed at how desperate for food she looked. (please note: she is on a diet)

We laughed so hard, he ended up handing her the whole roll and said, “Just take it, Maggie, take it all.”

She did and we wiped tears from our eyes. The laughing was deliciously mad.

He laid down next to me. We lay next to each other as night quieted the delightful shadows dancing around my walls. A web formed over my ceiling, turning red and green. Nothing was scary.

Abe, “Am I going to have to beat up all your ex-boyfriends?”

I said, “I don’t think any of them want to fight you.”

He thrust out a few ninja chops in the air then put his hand on his chest and I saw that he was about to cry.  In the two years I have known Abe, I have never seen him get emotional.

I put my arm across him for comfort and whispered that everything was ok.

He said, “I just felt all the things I had done wrong and all the things I have done right meet at a seam. And I felt ok about it all. Like I was dying.”

I nodded, “I felt that, too.”

Then he said, “I let down your Daddy. He trusted me. And your Mom liked me. Now, they don’t.”

I said, “Well, my father said I should stop sleeping with you, because you are wasting my time.”

He nodded with his eyes closed and squinting. Like the answer was in the back of his eye lids, if he just concentrated hard enough.

I shook him, “Don’t worry. Its life, that’s all. I am changing my whole name. I will be Rita.”

Abe, “Thats a terrible idea.”

Me, “Not Rita. All . . . All Things.”

He laughed and repeated it like a song. I can still feel his throat vibrate against my cheek.

He sat up, “Is there heroin in this? This is intense.”

I said, “I don’t . . . think so.”

He got up and started shaking his head and his body, trying to put his soul back in place.

I sized him up, “Hey . . . Shaman up! You gotta shaman up! (silence) I can’t give this drug to anyone. This is too intense. You need to really know how to keep your head. Luckily, I know what the hell I am doing.”

Abe shook again, “I’m alright.”

He offered me another cigarette and I said, “I can’t take cigarettes anymore. They are hurting me.”

He stood outside as my dogs urinated in the dirt pile that we call ‘My courtyard.’

Abe, “I can see into your little world. Brad does look like a little Prince. (he started laughing) And Esther looks like . . . a horse.”

Me, “That’s right! She is a triangle horse. You are on my trip or something.”

Abe chuckled, nodded, sucked the end of his cigarette, “I see it.”

Then he said, “I wonder what Trent is doing tonight?”

I said, “People always like being around Trent and me when they are on drugs, I think because we make people feel comfortable. Then they sober up and somehow its all our fault they are who they are, or they did what they did. Like . . . what the fuck?”

Abe wondrously chuckled again.

Then we made out to the “Ten Commandments” and he said, “I just want to see the Pharaoh die.”

I said, “That’s right. Land of the Pharaoh died. What Doors song is that . . . I know it. Now listen to this, I’ll tell you about the Texas . . . tell you about the Texas .  . . radio. WASP, that’s the song!”

I played it off YouTube and a live performance came up with them, on scratchy black and white film with faulty audio.

Jim Morrison held the microphone close to his mouth like he was waiting for a kiss. We listened to the song:

I wanna tell you ’bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
Comes out of the Virginia swamps
Cool and slow with plenty of precision
With a back beat narrow and hard to master.

Some call it heavenly in its brilliance.
Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream.
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft.
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
This is the land where the Pharaoh died.

The video would end abruptly. The browser would spin and a new Doors video came up.

I said, “Its funny, I have never seen these videos. All this time, I never thought about watching old videos of them on YouTube.”

He said, “Are you done? Are you not tripping anymore?”

I looked at my computer monitor. It was a close-up of Jim and he winked, then smiled right at me before continuing the song.

I said, “No . . . I am still hallucinating.”

Abe said, “You work tomorrow. You should sleep.”

Me, “I am fine. I will be fine tomorrow.”

It was 3am and the songs spun through old albums. The Doors looked happy at times and out of their element in others.

I sang song after song and said, “I know this music better than anything now. That’s strange.”

Its not as if I am an expert or have a photographic (or lyrical) memory of every note, but its fair to say, I know their music better than anything. And I totally blanked on the lyric that led me on my pill induced journey.

I turned it off and put on internet radio. A Doors song came on.

Me, “See? They follow me everywhere.”

Abe said, “She has good taste in music.”

The fourth hour passed and my eyes got heavy. Abe held me and told me he loved me.

I can see and understand that men love my experience, not necessarily me. The reckless abandon . . . its a fun place to visit.

***

What wert thou, dream-Alice in thy foster-father’s eyes? How shall he picture thee? Loving first, loving and gentle: loving as a dog (forgive the prosaic simile, but I know no earthly love so pure and perfect) and gentle as a fawn: then courteous—courteous to all, high or low, grand or grotesque, King or Caterpillar, even as though she were herself a King’s daughter, and her clothing wrought of gold: then trustful, ready to accept the wildest impossibilities with all that utter trust that only dreamers know; and lastly, curious—wildly curious, and with the eager enjoyment of Life that comes only in the happy hours of childhood, when all is new and fair, and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty words signifying nothing!


***

Later, I found out the pill didn’t have speed but rather 2ci. I feel it is the responsibility of the person handing you the pill to be upfront about what is inside it, but he admitted he never wanted me to be the guinea pig.

Thank God, I didn’t give it blindly on brief description to anyone else.

***

We fell asleep and in the morning, we hiked the dogs up the mountain behind my place.

I said, “I can forgive the strippers remark. Its that you are holding out for this girl from your past.”

He said, “No, but you two are connected. Her numbers are 201. Yours is one more, 202. Your names are the exact same numbers. And I thought she may be in Simi Valley or someplace north.”

Me, “Simi Valley?”

Abe, “North county. And you are here. Its like I manifested it.”

Me, “You haven’t kept up your side of the promises, either. I asked you in the beginning, my kiss comes with the promise of a timely response. You went days without contacting me again.”

Abe, “I know, I know, I am a shitty boyfriend.”

Me, “Yes you are. Which is why I am seeing another ex, because neither of you are good enough as one fulltime boyfriend, so both of you must be combined to make one whole boyfriend.”

Abe, “Great, so you’re seeing Alan and you are seeing Frank.”

Me, “No, Frank isn’t an ex. I saw Alan again. That’s it.”

He was quiet.

I added, “Nothing is serious.”

***

We went down to the closest cafe for a mediocre cup of coffee. Sitting together in the sun, we smiled at each other. I felt broken out of my depression. Liberated from all my mortal neuroticism.

Then, I asked about his cousin’s wedding . . . I knew it was coming up.

I said, “In two weeks? That’s soon. And who are you taking?”

He said, “My brother and I decided to forego our plus ones so other people could go to the wedding.”

My lips tightened.

He said, “We weren’t together when we got the invites. (silence) I can see you are upset about this.”

My voice was cracking, “I really believed you were going to invite me.”

I took a moment and really just kept repeating that.

He said, “Don’t take it so personally.”

I got up and paid the bill. As I walked to my car, he shuffled to keep up and I said, “You don’t want me to be apart of your family. Same thing with Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . you don’t want me as a girlfriend. You just want me as a mistress.”

He said, “Come on, don’t get upset.”

I looked him in the eye and said, “I never want to see you again.”

I opened my car door and said, “Give me a cigarette.”

When we worked on a film set together, in the beginning, before I ever knew that Abe would be a major love of my life, he came out to me during a night shoot and asked for a cigarette.

I gave him my last one.

He said, “No, I don’t want to take your last one.”

I said, “Please, it will help me quit.”

Two or three weeks later, my flirtation had grown and I was determined to get a date with him.

When we wrapped that weekend, I asked for a cigarette. He only had one left.

We both recognized the moment and groaned.

I said, “Keep it.”

He said, “No, this is about fate. You have to take it.”

So I did.

Now, two years later, in a parking lot in Sylmar with nothing left, he opened his pack and there was one cigarette left.

I said, “This is the perfect way to end the story.”

My fingers plucked it out of his hand and I drove off.

The fury, at myself for letting my mind get wrapped up in him over and over again. Its fucking insane.

Not to mention, he totally killed my New World buzz.

How quickly we slip back into life’s little box of small ideas. I tried so hard to remember what it felt like, to float over my worries about who thought what about me, but all my self-hatred just struck me again like hard light in a dim room.

Someone this afternoon said to me in the Doggie Daycare break room, “Its the difference between logic and emotion.”

Your name, your personality, your identity is all really irrelevant. Its what you inspire. Its what others learn from you and alter, so there is improvement.

Its the love that ruins me. I am smarter than this. Abe is a fucking waste of time.

Higher thought, Alice!

Then I got the text:

“Will you come to my cousin’s wedding with me, move in with me and your pack of dogs and have a magic baby with me?”

http://youtu.be/AxgGAnLvMwQ

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“Cheating? Me? Really? I bought you peanut butter and jelly yesterday.”

Christmas came and went. It was nice. Christmas Eve Dora’s mother invited us over for dinner after work. When Dora got the text she said, “Wow, we haven’t had dinner together for years, like 3-4 years.”

I said, “Really?” I know Dora struggled throughout high school. There was the divorce and her family splintered. Dora got the shite end of the deal, losing years of her innocence to very hard drugs. Now the spirit of the family was discovering itself again, without the male entities. The father still remains out of the picture and the brother lives in the Pacific Northwest.

I brought a cheap bottle of champagne and she made me a Tofurkey. Few things bring tears to the eye, but I can tell you, I really didn’t think I would have a Tofurkey this year. And there it was, cooked perfectly.

Dora’s sister arrived to with her husband, and I could tell Dora’s mom was ecstatic. She wasn’t so thrilled that she would exalt in Mid-Western Game Show Glory- you could just see it . . . her bustling around to cook and serve food while her words got light and fast. She got tipsy and giggled.

It was nice. Mitch even came, too.

I sipped the champagne and whispered, “Mmmmm, liquid gold.”

Dora, “You manage that Tofurkey.”

Me, “Oh, I’ll manage it.” I ate almost the entire thing.

Abe surprised me Christmas morning. I was annoyed he chose to spend every day of the holiday with his parents until they left town on Christmas Day. He offered to come out after they left, but my shift started at 2pm so what was the point  . . .

He showed up with gifts at 10am. We took the dogs to a park and then I fed them yummy food with large bones to follow. Maggie loved her bone so much, she refused to sit down to chew it. She consumed the whole 12 inch bone standing up. That dog is a tank.

By the time New Year’s came around, I had tickets for us to see The Chromatics and Glass Candy at Los Globos. I planned on getting 2 Mollys for us (MDMA) and dropping with Trent and Kent, who would meet us there.

Abe said, “Go to a gay club and do ecstasy? That’s not something I would normally do . . .  but what the heck, its New Years. Time for new things, right?”

I smiled.

Abe got a hotel room and a pink top hat with ‘Happy New Year’ printed across it. I got a tiara and wore my pink striped sequin dress. It was the moment when my life was going to change for the better.

I got off work at 8pm and Abe got lost on the way to the motel, so we didn’t get in the club until a little after 10pm and dropped together. Happy New Year.

Trent said, “I always worry it won’t be enough for me. That the dose will be too mild.”

I said, “I worry about the opposite. That its not enough.”

I wanted to dance, but the crowd was generally unpleasant.

Something called “Hipster” best defined by two separate and brief conversations I have had:

#1 Abe, “Why does everyone look like a socially retarded zombie in this part of town?”
Me, “Its called Hipster, babe. Its ‘in’ now.”

#2 (sitting in a car with Dora we watch three people cross the street)
Dora, “I kinda love the Hipster thing. Do whatever you want. Dress how ever you want.”
Me, “Black tights, with a plaid skirt, a military jacket and ballet slippers . . .”
Dora, “Not that . . . that is just . . . not even funny.”

Here we were, at a very cool club listening to very cool music, and nobody would smile.

I walked in smiling, and initially thought that my tiara gave the wrong impression- but I mean COME ON, the woman next to me had bird feathers glued to her face.

So we got up and started swaying to the music.  The flannel was a-plenty and everyone was pastey white with hanging faces. How tragic to be white, young and in Los Angeles.

This was the night when I was going to break off everything poisonous and heavy- so I let the music and drug take me away.

Abe, “Its kind of hot in here. Whooo!”

Abe doesn’t dance. He walks in the corner where he can stare at the sound system or he shifts weight from one foot to the other in the hopes it will match the music.

Abe shook the collar of his shirt, “Its really hot in here.”

I said, “That’s the drug baby. Enjoy it.”

One of the few times I feel warm in general is when I am on ecstasy.

He said, “Is there a giant hole behind me? It feels like people won’t stand behind me. What’s going on back there, can you look?”

I looked and said, “There is no one behind you but I don’t think its about you. Don’t let your low self-esteem wear on you.”

Abe said, “That would be hard considering I have no self esteem.”

I turned back to the music.

Trent and Kent were waving to the music like sea urchins. I turned back to Abe.

He said, “I love you, baby.”

I laughed, “I love you, too.”

I grabbed his arms and let him move with my body. The sequins felt coarse against my skin so I tried keeping my arms off my dress and rubbed against Abe.

He backed away suddenly and said, “Baby, you are giving me a (low voice) hard on. (normal voice) You can’t do that.”

I said, “Its called dirty dancing. No one is looking at us. Just look at me.”

He gave a breathy chuckle.

It was a mild dose of MDMA, which was fine since it left me in control.

We went back to Kent’s empty apartment.

Abe, “Trent says he has a big cock.”

Trent, “I do.”

Me, “Yes, I have heard stories about how big it is but have never had the pleasure.”

Abe, “You people talk about strange stuff.”

Me, “Its called just being open. Say whatever you think.”

Abe, “Um … once she (me) gave me a blowjob with champagne in her mouth and let some slide into my urethra and at first it was like, ‘whoa- that’s weird’ but then I thought, ‘that was kinda hot.”

Me (rubbing his back), “See? The truth will set you free.”

After an hour there, we went back to the hotel room to bathe and make love til 6:30 in the morning. It was one of the most erotic nights of my life.

I trusted him.

In the bathtub, I curled up against his chest and felt like I was kept warm inside the palm of his hand.

Everything was beautiful and intense.

When I woke up at 10am, he had breakfast set up for me on the vanity. He made coffee.

We made love again. Its kind of hard to orgasm on esctasy. It hard to explain. A large part of you is holding back because of the fear that the pleasure will be unmanageable. Unmanageable is such a clinical term . . . everything is already overwhelming to process; the thoughts, the touch, the time. With the orgasm, you completely surrender and I couldn’t give that to Abe yet.

Around 10:50am, I allowed one orgasm out. 11am was check-out.

We walked over to a Thai restaurant. He looked at me and said, “I am feeling really emotionally attached to you right now.”

I said, “Good, so this would be the right time to talk about moving in?”

I still thought building a love nest with Abe would be my salvation; from poverty and a self destructive lifestyle. I still see a beautiful little cottage with a yard, hot tea, music and animals. Jesus, doesn’t that sound nice?

Abe asked, “How can you work after last night?”

I said, “Are you kidding me? I work at a Doggie Daycare, coming down from ecstasy while cuddling with dogs sounds awesome.” And it was.

I showed up to work 15 minutes late with my hair down and a huge smile on my face.

HR said, “Your hair looks nicer today.”

I said, “That’s because I bathed.”

Audience, you can see how I got wrapped up in him again, right?

The Christmas morning surprise. The New Year’s Eve love making. The inch by inch discussion we had on moving in.

After making love one morning he said, “Why don’t you just give up the dogs and move in with me?”

I pulled away and said, “They are my kids. I need them. If you don’t understand that then we have no future. We aren’t compatible. I come with animals, period.”

He rolled closer to me and whispered in warm, morning breath that he understood.

A few days later, we spoke about how I wouldn’t take his last name if we married. He didn’t like that. I liked that he didn’t like that, but said, “I was born (my name) and I will die (my name). That’s who I am and that will never change.”

He said things like, “I see other couples walking around and they don’t truly love each other. I can appreciate real love and what we have. I am not blind” or “You don’t find a girl who wants to have your baby everyday, that means everything.”

We discussed what city we might live in, the compromises we would make.

I am a fool. Let me admit this right now. I AM A FOOL! But, if I don’t let my heart lead me some of the time, how can I live my dreams?

The last day I saw him, I kept drilling to understand why he was resisting moving in. I asked, “What are the problems, tell me and we will resolve them.”

Abe said, “You like LA more than Orange County.”

I said, “Thats true. Well, all my work is in LA and most of your work is in LA so its just practical. LA has personality and Orange County is one long strip mall. But, if we live close to the beach, I can move to Orange County. Not some beach where kids go for Spring Break. I don’t want to deal with girls degrading themselves.”

Abe said, “What are you talking about?”

Me, “That spring break bullshit I see. I don’t want to live by that.”

Abe, “OK, NO MORE DOGS! You can’t get anymore dogs.”

Me, “Agreed. I can’t take on anymore dogs. This is it, my final three. I would like to get back into fostering though, but we can talk about that later.”

Abe said, “Ok, with the dogs you won’t compromise. They have to have all access to the entire house and they destroy everything. That means they will destroy all my things, take up MY time and add more stress to MY life.”

I said, “What if we give them the garage and a yard? I can put my computer in the garage and write and watch movies with them. They can have their beds in there, and they will be totally removed from all the nice things.” (except for Brad)

Silence.

Me, “Does that sound reasonable?”

Abe, “ . . . Yes, that sounds reasonable.”

Me, “Good. I found this place, a 2-bedroom with a yard in Huntington Beach for $1400/month.”

Abe, “We need a place with a garage though-”

Me, “It does have a garage. Look.”

He looked.

Abe said, “Well that does look kind of a nice.  (reading) A couple blocks from the beach. (to me) What am I gonna do, go surfing every morning while you walk the dogs?”

I smiled with big eyes and said, “I have always wanted to take surfing lessons.”

I could see the wheels in his head turning. He smiled back at me, but there was something more.

***

About a week from New Year’s Day, I came home and saw my internet browser open to his email account, another account other than the one I email him through. Now, I don’t look through people’s phones or really investigate too much inside someone’s private devices except on occasion and guess what? This was one of those occasions.

I briefly rolled my eyes over the first page and saw Craigslist Ad “Missed Connections” under two postings. One titled “Hey Jerk” and the other “Then Maybe.”

I knew what this was about.

I clicked on “Then Maybe”:


“we can express our infatuation with eachother some day, in a setting that you feel is worthy of recognition.

Say you like me, so I can say I hate you for it. How does that sound?? Thats what you did to me here!!!

You must have a pair of ice cold feet lady. You’d be warm if you were standing next to me.”

Then, I clicked on “Hey Jerk”:


“Not everybody is fully capable of guiding their own self.
Maybe that’s why you make peoples heads explode?

I dont feel cruel or insensitive, but I guess I am now, thats what happens when you go mad about your feelings for someone.

I saw an add for My strange addiction. Thought about it. I don’t want to anger you. I did think about it because I have a very strange addiction.

God. Goths. Gwaudo!!! seriously, help me stop”

.
.
.

I scrolled through to see he had placed about 5-7 ads since December 30th.

I consider myself a fairly liberal person, and I want to understand. I do. But we had just gone through what I consider to be one of the best parts of our relationship, one of the most intimate weeks I have had with any man, and AT OUR BEST . . . he was still going to try to find her. If we were years into a relationship, maybe I could understand . . . but we were just starting out.

Who is she?

Yes, I know who Abe is looking for. When we met, I had listened as he described an obsession he had for a girl in Band during high school. Yes, a girl in BAND from HIGH SCHOOL. Her name was, let’s say . . . Hailey.

Hailey used to live down the street from Abe and they had some brief conversations, but never dated, never kissed, never really had a full conversation. She thought he was a creep- if not then even more so now.

He spent years looking for her, thinking he saw her at restaurants or in parking lots.

Abe posted these ads in Craigslist “Missing Connections” and would get caught up in conversations with anonymous people who led him to believe she was communicating with him in code.

He acknowledges this is insane, but he found a pattern  the date and time that messages were sent, songs that were send, character names that were used, and in his twisted, brilliant mind, he concocted a pattern.

Also, he acknowledged that it probably wasn’t Hailey sending him these messages, confusing him and fueling that addiction.

When we dated in 2010, I would occasionally check his email and found no ads posted after the date we started seeing each other. Ads posted prior to our first date were saved in an unmarked folder. I read through them while he took one of those 15 minute long dumps.

I understand obsession. I was obsessed with my first boyfriend, with a guitarist in Undergrad and The Prophet. It happens.

Even now, I will occasionally check on The Prophet’s name under google or his Facebook activity which is sparse. I will even check on Alan’s profile every once in a while out of curiosity. Never, though, have I EVER contacted them with the intention to satisfy an infatuation.

So, with dirty bed sheets and his scent still rubbed all over my body, I saw the words
we can express our infatuation with eachother some day” and it burned, it still burns. If I sit quietly enough, I can feel my heart stop.

So, I answered those two ads.

The first titled “Re: Hey Jerk”:

Me: “I’ve got a strange addiction too, its called falling for COMPLETE ASSHOLES!

Then the second titled “Re: Then Maybe”:

Me: “Say you like me, so I can say I hate you for it. How does that sound??

Oh yeah . . . I have a girlfriend. Oh never mind, she doesn’t matter. I just use her for sex and weed. I think I can put her off for another year while I ejaculate on her stomach until we get a chance to meet.

***

That night I ate half of a pot cookie because I knew I could never sleep. Even medicated, all I could do was lie there like someone took my entire brain and heart and turned it upside down so it could fall in pieces on the floor.

I dreamt about him with another woman.

Around 5:30am, I woke up.

That . . . fucking . . . ASSHOLE!

ME!? Sloppy seconds!?!? ME, Starfire, the one who turns down men at any public venue or who carries the heart of ex-lovers from childhood or OkCupid dates from the turn of the century . . . yeah, ME . . . I am the one he is settling for. This dork that had never had a girlfriend before in his life. Who had sex with three women in 30 years. This NERD who I thought was uniquely sexy and brilliant, HE THINKS HE CAN DO BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE . . . through his wealth of experience and keen observation skills.

HA!

Now, look, I am reasonable. I know if he met her now, he would be disappointed. He knows he will never meet her. And I will never put myself in the position of being the one he settles for, even while carrying an imaginary affair with someone who is probably not his soulmate- but who he would still rather share a bed with over me.

FUCK! IT CRUSHES ME!!!!! You know!? CRUSH! The word. C R U S H.

Verb: Press or squeeze (someone or something) with force or violence, typically causing serious damage or injury.

Synonyms:
verb.  smash – squash – squeeze – press – grind – pound
noun.  jam – squash – crowd – squeeze – throng

This fucking flattened my ego, my perception of him and our relationship, of everything I understood up to that point. It leveled it all and destroyed me.

I texted him little excerpts of the ads too, just in case he didn’t check email first.

Me: “We can express our infatuation with each other someday, in a setting you feel worthy of recognition. Say you like me, so I can say I hate you for it.”

First, I got the email back:

Abe: “Hey Ive told you before that I have a problem.

It makes me insane.  nobody is talking to me, but I cant stop looking at it and thinking someone is.

I’m sorry.

I want to stop looking at it.  I’ve been doing a good job.

thanks for looking through my stuff.”

Then the novel of texts he sent:

Abe: “Nobody is ever going to meet me from CL. Someone was messing with my head and it bugs me still like I’ll figure it out one day. I give up on the mystery.”

Abe: “It can be solved. Dont be mad. Its just me being mad at myself. Has nothing to do with U. Its just something insane I have to stop looking at.”

Abe, “Hey. R u going to respond or r u busy bashing me on facebook? Unnecessary.”

Abe, “Its strange, I knew this would happen. U r approaching something that I have seen happen. And U r on ur internet world all the time. Sometimes I am in mine writing to someone, whoever reposts. Look through the mail, nobody is ever writing back to me, nobody I’ve met, known or even had a real email. I know I am insane but its me writing to myself. I’ve been trying to understand why I do it when I know its BS, but sometimes I just do. I think I understand that its a flow of info that I need to understand and or remember and I’ll tell you why, ITS TO GET MY SHIT BACK, ITS DESTINY IN PLAY. Ull have documented it in the future, long time from now. U love me, right? U know I wouldn’t go meet a person from missed connections. Dangerous enough just reading in there. I love U and I wouldn’t hurt you like that. From the last 2 years all Ive wrote on CL is mean shit anyways. So don’t get mad. Forgive baby.”

Abe: (this was blank)

Abe: “U make me feel good.”

Abe: “Ive gone mad. I made myself nuts. Im crazy baby. Too much imagination.”

Me: “I never want to see your face again”

Abe, “Figures. U cant decipher what the writings mean, dont try. Men write to U all the time. U STILL TALK TO YR high school bf who is crazy! And U left your husband for an alcoholic. Now your hurt because I wrote someone who is not there? Ha!”

Abe: “Ok run away.”

Abe: “Ur so quick to run from my problems. Ur not a fair person. Thats why I give U resistance often, but U persist.”

Me: “I would have rather you fucked a girl who meant nothing than you obsess over another woman. I wouldn’t do that to you but perhaps you just never cared for me the same way I care for you.”

Me: “And thank you for pointing out my flaws after I discover you have been betraying me.”

Abe: “I have things to learn to.”

***

I spoke to my therapist about it. Thank FUCKING God my appointment was that very next morning.

She made two great points:

A) Its odd that Abe fell back on this obsession over a period of time where we got serious with our conversations on commitment. Abe was taking our relationship seriously and this triggered a fall back on old habits of obsessing over Hailey. My therapists suggest because maybe things got more serious than he was comfortable with or knew how to cope with.

B) With a meaningful relationship, its better to have a conversation with the person, for the sake of your future relationships. Cutting it off and toughening up isn’t going to benefit me with the next relationship.

That got me.

Of all the people to, albeit mentally, fuck around on me . . . Abe was the last person I suspected.  I don’t want him to change me into one of those paranoid, possessive, middle-aged women who has to roll her scent over everything and everyone so we know she is present. Here! Check.

He was so nice, so sweet. He pulled a stool up at the bar for me while he ordered my drink.

He took my jacket and pulled it over his arm to get out the creases before hanging it.

He told me I looked pretty and asked me to wait while he opened doors for me. I am just not used to it, so I have been working on waiting for the man to open the door,

He was a gentleman. And now, my gentleman had shattered the illusion that decency could ever exist in a modern relationship.

I had asked Abe, “Do you masturbate to Natalie Portman?”

Abe said, “No, I only ever masturbate to you.”

I said, “OK, what about before me?”

Abe paused, “Faceless Vaginas.”

He doesn’t look at porn (I know, I checked his computer and can tell from how he touches my body. When a man watches porn, he touches you like a coked out 20-yr old with no feeling below the neck). He doesn’t gawk at women. He doesn’t make me feel insignificant in a pool of pussy, like other men try to do. He made me feel special, but that was an illusion, wasn’t it?

He liked having a long distance girlfriend, especially one good in bed. I was never a soul mate.

Sure, maybe he would have moved in with me eventually, maybe even married me .  . . and I would be lying in bed wondering why he was up so late on the computer and why he was clearing his browser history so diligently.

Because even the love of my life believes there is still something better out there.

***

We decided to meet on my lunch break to discuss in person.

He never showed.

Abe: “I am not betraying you. I wanted to solve a mystery from a strange experience I had in ‘08. But there isn’t anymore info to see. I’ve solved it Abe style. Well not totally, but I see the correspondence so to make sense out of it all. Its actually really interesting. It brought U to me. We manifested each other into our lives. And, yo, Hailey is gay! She is gay, baby! She eats vagina and dresses like a boy! And is a born again bible thumper. And she has my magic crown since 1997 and won’t give it back willingly. Thought she could dodge me with the mystery and keep it wasting its power with her foolishness and selfishness. But U r going to intercept it for us. U r a special gal baby! How can I have feelings for a gay woman that I don’t know personally? According to CL I can’t. I don’t. I HATE HER FOR BEING SO BLIND? The crown had us both confused for over a decade. But I get it now. I can see it now.”

Abe: “I know that it exists and where it is and what I do with it- thats from not giving up for 3 years, though it hurt my mind repeatedly, and sounds nuts. I HAD TO UNDERSTAND THESE FACTS. AND IT WAS HARD BABY! Really damn hard! Nobody else can do what I have done. They don’t stand a chance at understanding this. But you can. If you can keep your mind on the light while U float through the dark. Read it again. Think about it.“

Ok, at this point I am assuming that you can see Abe is insane. He is crazy . . . but I like my men a little crazy, a little spiritual, a little spun out on the magic of the universe that seemed to die in everyone I knew after the 6th grade.

Abe: “I am infatuated with my missing spirit tools.  And I want it back. I want U to have it because U can really love me. U CAN HAVE IT ALL BABY!”

Me: “No, Abe, I can’t . You posted from late December-Jan 7th. Two days ago. And read responses on MY computer while I slept. Don’t ever say love with regards to us again.”

Me: “And I signed out of your hotmail. Reading them sickens me.”

Abe: “Ok . . . Oh Abe wrote to his imagination, lets explode in anger about it. Ur reluctant to change ur ways as well. Way to blow it up.”

Abe: “Stay mad. I dont care. If not one thing then the next. U have been mad every 3 days since . . .”

Abe: “I don’t bring even a quarter of conflicts to the table that you do . . . So whatever. I dont feel bad for writing to thin air. I dont . . .”

Abe: “I’ll just give all my magic away till I die forgotten. Sound good?”

Abe, “WE HAVE A RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM AND IM UPSET WITH YOU ABOUT IT! EVEN THOUGH IM MAKING THE PROBLEM. How fair of me.”

Abe: “I just finished work. I have to go home. I feel bad about hurting your feelings with my crazy imagination and odd past. Sorry, ok?”

Me: “Of all the men I thought would cheat on me, you were the absolute last person I expected. I don’t know how I will ever trust another man again.”

Abe, “Cheating? Me? Really? I bought you peanut butter and jelly yesterday.”

That is my favorite response so far. I want that engraved in a plaque somewhere. Eh, I will settle for a coffee mug. Hint* My birthday is a week away . . .

Me: “You were looking to cheat with Hailey. You posting a personal ad in a relationship is cheating. It doesn’t matter what condiments you brought to the table (I was proud of that) You were unfaithful to me. I am sure you will spin it differently for your friends and family. She had too many problems. She always argued. But deep down, no matter what you say to yourself or others, you know its because you were looking for another woman. And the fact that I wasn’t enough rips me apart but I am just glad I found out. Instead of fooling myself that you were some great guy. My guy. I am such an idiot!!”

Abe: “I am bad now. That sucks.”

Abe: “She is gay.”

Abe: I have an imaginary gay friend.”

Me: “It just doesn’t matter. I don’t trust you anymore.”

***

So, I worked. I smoked through a pack of cigarettes in 2 days. I found myself sporadically sobbing when I was alone.

This is supposed to be my year.

I refuse to picture his face in my mind anymore. When I think of him, I remove his face, the sound of his voice, his smell and every single thing about him. I just picture black.

I don’t want to remember his nose, or his laugh or his deodorant or the ridge of his circumcision inside of me. I barely want to remember his name.

The year just turned. My birthday was coming up and I had to go to San Diego to see Alan and get my things.

Fuck it.

Fuck him.

Fuck his peanut butter and jelly-

And fuck his imaginary gay friend.

This is still going to be my year.

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How to Fall In Love . . . for Dummies: The 2nd Date

I was driving to San Diego on 2 hours sleep from the night before. In general, I do think I am Wonder Woman, but on this particular night . . . I was not. I was nodding off at the wheel and occasionally veering into the lane next to me.

I did make it to San Diego in 2 hours with a full bladder and worries that Alan wouldn’t really like me based on our earlier FB exchange re: my spotting vagina.

 

Dear Prudence by the Beatles came on the car radio, that damn song was haunting me.

♫ ♪ Look around, round, round round round, round round ♫ ♪

 

When I showed up, we didn’t embrace or kiss. He just helped me with my bags, I ran up to use his bathroom and we parked my car. I returned to his long studio apartment and kinda just stared at him. What was I doing? I don’t know him.

Then he kissed me and my head felt light.

We sat down as he started up his volcano, which is a vaporizer that loads marijuana smoke into a large plastic bag you can suck from without having to worry about losing smoke through the nozzle or mouthpiece. It’s fairly intense. It made me stupid, which bothered me since with Alan you have to be on your toes. I don’t strive to be stupid by getting high, I strive to relax my mind so I can use it.

 

I grabbed some water from the kitchen and spilled it on the floor. I didn’t want him to see it, but since I took my contacts out, and couldn’t see paper towels rather only a pair of nice hand towels hanging from the oven door, I decided to use my bare foot to mop it up.

He walked back and said, “Uh oh, spilled water.” He mopped it up with the paper towels that were less than a foot from me on the counter.

I said, “Sorry, I used my foot to clean it up.”

He said, “Yeah, feet aren’t good for mopping up water.”

I said, “Well, if you want the play by play, I couldn’t see without my contacts and didn’t want to use your nice towels, so I thought I would try to clean it up without you knowing using my bare feet.”

He said, “That’s ok.”

Then I spilled water again, on the exact same spot.

He looked down and crumpled his brow in a lopsided grin. He said, “Do we need to get you a slurpie cup?”

I laughed my dork laugh and got down on my hands and knees to wipe it up.

 

When I sat down on the couch, he started talking about psychology studies from his Undergrad. He said, “We would ask subjects on Day 1, ‘Were you ever in the hospital?’ Then on day 2, we would ask all of them, even the ones that were never in the hospital, ‘Tell me about the time you were in the hospital.’ All of them had a story of some sort about being in the hospital. That’s how hard wired people are to lie, they would rather make up a story than contradict themselves.”

Now, I didn’t know how we got on this subject, but my first thought was, “Why the fuck is he telling me this?” Now, I was pretty stoned, so I am sure there was a reason why we went on the subject, but I think people will give you clues about themselves to give you a fighting chance before they fuck you over. Too cynical?

Then we moved on to how he was going to sue his current landlord, and added his name to a Revenge List. Now, Alan seems to have a lot of potential as a lawyer, and pretty much all my exes hate me so . . . yeah, I was scared.

I said, “Um . . . what happens if and when I piss you off? I am a little worried.”

He said, “Oh no, don’t worry. I never use my evil doings against the people I care about.”

I said, “You might not care about me after I upset you.”

Alan looked down and started arranging things, he said, “Noooo, don’t worry. Never against the people I care about.”

Then he gave me a box of Captain Crunch cereal. I smiled and said, “This is better than flowers.” I suddenly remembered I wanted to bring him a single rose but forgot in the madness of the week.

He said, “I saw it and just thought I would pick it up for you.”

I blushed.

Alan, “AND . . . I got you this.”

He handed me a bullet in a small baggie.

Alan continued, “I grabbed it from the autopsy I went to for class. I thought you would like it.”

I said, “Thank you. Did this . . . um . . . kill a person?” Cause, I don’t want that.

He said, “No, it was shot into the wall. I asked and made sure it didn’t hurt anybody first.”

Unusual, but I kind of dig it.

I said, “Thank you, I will find something cool to do with it.”

The bullet was barely being held together in one piece. The tip was clumsily hanging off the edge of the casing. I tucked it in the front pocket of my suitcase.

A song came on and I asked him who sang it.

He said, “I sent it to you on GChat.”

I said, “Oh, I will Shazam it.”

He said, “Reality and Fantasy.”

 

♫ ♪ The wall between reality and fantasy,

Is sometimes so small, and not so tall ♫ ♪

 

Then another version of Dear Prudence came on, this time by Dana Fuchs.

I said, “This song is following me, I wonder what it means. Songs get trapped in my mind and just spin around and around. I can’t stop thinking about them.”

 

♫ ♪ The clouds will be a daisy chain,

So let me see you smile again ♫ ♪

 

He said, “That’s how I feel about Reality and Fantasy. Its been in my mind since I came up to visit you.”

 

♫ ♪ I’ve looked into your eyes,

And it should make me feel so bright and satisfied,

The only thing I’ve learned,

Is just to fall and fall and fall . . .♫ ♪

 

I didn’t make the connection of what a romantic and potentially harmful association this was to me and our love affair. Fantasies don’t make mistakes or spill water on the floor or spot during sex.

I said, “I wonder why music becomes such an obsession.”

Alan, “A connection to the fourth dimension. It’s a measure of time moving forward we can understand, since time is so abstract. That’s the theory I have developed anyway, other people have written books about it but I don’t have time to read them.”

Damn, he is impressive.

We decided to go to bed since I was stupid and stoned, not to mention completely out of it from sleep deprivation.

We went to his bed and made love all night. In my mind, I couldn’t tell what was a dream and what was real, (♫ ♪ Reality and Fantasy ♫ ♪) but I don’t remember actually falling asleep or dreaming. I only remember rolling over and making love again and again.

*Sidenote:  He was using some kind of warming lubricant. That stuff turned my vagina into the Fourth of July.

When we woke up, it was almost noon, I think.

I said, “Was it me, or did we have sex all night long?”

Alan said, “I worked it out in my mind and think we did it every hour and a half with about 20-40 minutes in between.”

I said, “That was surreal.”

He smiled and put his arm around me. The boy is so skinny, I felt unsure about laying all my weight on him.

He said, “There is a Farmer’s Market down the street. I thought we could go down and get you some breakfast.”

We showered and walked down. Alan is very fair; it appears as though he hasn’t been in the sun . . . well, ever. He mentioned he didn’t like waiting in lines in the heat, and after mid-terms, I could tell he was struggling to be chipper and social. Then a man decided to cross in front of us, 6-inches from the booth where we were waiting for my vegan tamale, as opposed to walking behind us where everyone else was crossing, and he stepped on Alan.

Alan said, “Oh, well, excuse me.” With sweat beading over his mirrored sunglasses, I saw a flash of what is driving him to be the lawyer. The runaway foster kid who was waiting to collect heads stared at the large, middle-aged man with a cool, calculating irritation. I grabbed his arm and rubbed it. He melted and smiled at me.

Under the fury of the little guy who pays his way to go to school with rich kids, and assumes everyone is out for himself and gets stepped on my large men who want to make a point . . . there is a boy. I see him.

We went back to what he called “The Cave”, his shaded, cool studio apartment and ate food as graphics synched with music on his wide-screen TV.

 

We napped and made love. Really that is all I came there to do.

In the middle I said, “Ooh, cramp in my leg. Hold on.” I adjusted and executed a different sexual position.

After we were done he said, “I didn’t know anyone could do what you just did.”

I said, “I call it The Barbie, because when I made my Barbies have sex, they could never spread their legs.”

He said, “I’m pretty sure that’s how you would rape a man.”

Silence. I assumed all this time he wasn’t orgasming since he never pulled out.

I said, “You haven’t been cumming inside of me, have you?”

Alan said, “Um, well yeah. Last night . . .”

Me, “With the condom.”

Alan, ” . . . yeah. And a few more times after that. And just now.”

Me, “ALAN! God!”

Alan, “You said you started the pill!”

Me, “I just started, it takes a month to take effect. Shit.”

Alan, “I don’t know these things. (silence)  Well, if there was ever anyone I would want to accidentally impregnate, it would be you.” And he kissed my head.

Silence.

Me, “Sorry, I was just jumping ahead to me being pregnant and you being annoyed.”

 

Before we knew it, the sun set and a new night was ahead of us. We went to a burger joint where they served vegan burgers. I wasn’t talking a lot on this visit. Everything I said was measured. Instead of being the entertainment, as I usually am, I just faded quietly into the background.

Dear Prudence by Siouxsie and the Banshees came on.

I said, “Why is this song everywhere?”

♫ ♪ Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day ♫ ♪

With burger in my mouth I said, “This is it! This is the version that started it.”

 

We went home and then we dropped X.

He makes his own.

I said, “Sex is already so intense with you, I am kind of scared.”

He said, “I know, I am scared too.” And he handed me the pill.

I chased it with water, and about a half an hour later Alan was throwing up in the bathroom.

Now, when you just take on a lover, there is some debate about when you should enter the bathroom of which he pukes. I decided to give him his privacy when he yakked and enter with a glass of water during silences.

Alan, “I just can’t do drugs while I am in law school. My stomach is far too acidic from the stress.

I said, “Drink some water, stay hydrated.”

Alan, “I just want to puke everything out before putting anything in.”

Me, “Well, it will get the stomach acid off your vocal chords, which is important.”

He took a sip.

Then, sweaty and high, he crawled into my lap like a little boy and I held him. It was the most vulnerable I’d seen him and I really liked it. I kissed his wet hair and wiped it off his forehead.

Alan, “I really like that you are taking care of me.”

Me, “I just gave you some water.”

Alan, “That’s more than anyone has ever done for me.”

I held him closer and said, “Let me tell you a happy memory from my childhood.”

Silence.

Me, “I can’t think of one.”

Alan, “Sometimes when there is pressure to remember something, you can’t. Tell me about your first dog.”

I smiled, “I was 10 and I did a sit down protest in the living room. My grandfather knew someone giving up a dog, that was Chelsea. My grandfather was nice. He was the only one in my family I liked and he wasn’t even blood related.”

He smiled and put his hand on my knee.

I continued, “When I was 14, I came home late from school and my father dragged me into the house by my hair and told my mother to take me into the bathroom and check to see if I was still a virgin.”

His smile faded, “That doesn’t make any sense.”

I shrugged.Then I shook my head. Why did I have to tell him that?

Then he shared a childhood memory with me, equally perplexing and cruel. He chuckled a little, but I stared at him wondering why parents are so careless with young people. We remember everything.

I said, “I am falling in love with you.”   I swung my whole upper torso over the edge of the couch.

Alan, “I am falling for you, too.”

I said, “And I have to leave in 2 days.”

Alan, “Don’t think about that right now.”

 

***

Holding me, I leaned into his sweat.

Alan, “I would like to have one of my own, someday, but mostly I would like to take in some foster kids. Do things that way.”

I was worried he wasn’t interested in having kids. I followed his dark pupils back and forth. Tick tock.

Me, “That sounds great.”

 

***

Alan in the bathroom, “Well its official. I look like a 12 year-old 31 year-old.”

I smiled, “You look very young.”

 

***

Alan, “You are everything I have been praying for all this time. You are the fantasy, the perfect girl.”

Me, “Don’t say that.”

 

***

We talked and he said, “I think this trip is more about getting to know you than about sex, which isn’t what I expected but I like it.”

Then I tried on different clothes and modeled them in his bed for him.

He said, “You are so pretty, I don’t know what to do with you.”

I was getting lost in him. It felt good. Sometimes I don’t want to be me. It’s exhausting.

Am I me when performing for friends? Kind of. I guess I am. With Alan, I am who I was before I learned to make fun of myself . . . a quiet, tomboy who put on a little make-up and wore pretty clothes.

The next day we woke up, ate cereal and watched Jackass 3. I hadn’t seen any of them and was pleasantly surprised.  Also, it was the first time Alan smiled a real smile, not a forced grin. I stared at him so I could remember what it looked like, and I felt jealous that I hadn’t created it.

We napped, sometimes together, sometimes at different times. He tried working on my computer and doing his homework. I played Scrabble in my underwear all day.

The next morning, Monday, we were making love in doggie style when somehow I pulled his arm to chest muscle. Don’t ask me how from THAT position.

He was having trouble breathing and moved to the living room where he pressed his hand against his chest.

Alan, “It really hurts. I thought I was having a heart attack. My first thought was I should go to the hospital.”

I listened to him, massaged him, didn’t say anything out of total guilt.

Alan, “I have to take a muscle relaxer. Do you want one?”

I didn’t answer. I don’t know, do I?

He gave it to me and I dutifully swallowed it.

I looked inside the pill jar and saw a medley of different pills, different colors and sizes.

Me, “Where did you get all of these?”

Alan, “I swapped with a heroin addict who needed real pills to get him clean. (he held up the pill jar) This was the stuff the clinic gave him. He did X all the time, and took a pill that was cut with over 75% heroin. After that, he couldn’t get high anymore on just the X, that’s how it started.”

Me, “Oh.”

Alan, “That’s why I make my own X. Pure MDMA.”

Me, “They call them Mollys.”

The pill plunged into my stomach like a swan dive. My body slithered into nothingness.

Alan fell asleep, and I messed around a little on the internet, showered, ate, then fell asleep with him.

I woke up and gave him a blow job.

Alan, “I really love how you take care of me.”

Me, “I didn’t really do much. I should have done more.”

Alan, “No, you let me complain about the pain, stayed calm, massaged me, and now you gave me a blow job so I wouldn’t have to move. No one has ever done anything like that for me before.”

Who has this kid been dating?! Oh yeah . . . Jaq. What a bitch.

The greatest difference between Abe and Alan is Abe never thought twice about being taken care of. It never crossed his mind that he was lucky. To Alan, it was everything he was waiting for.

He continued, “You are really calming for me. I love being around you.”

No one would describe me as calming, except for Kent and Trent . . . and Alan, I guess. Maybe all the dope I have been smoking has altered me.  When I came home from college, my parents would feed me PM cold medicine so I would sleep through half of my visit. I am/can be very hyper. I am always on like a performer. Not with Alan. With Alan I am just a girl.

We went to the grocery store, and he asked I pick out food so he knew what to buy me next time.

The sun was setting and I would be leaving soon. I stopped talking and wouldn’t look at my phone.

 

We got home and he mentioned how he walked on foot from Florida to New Orleans when he was 15-16, during his Jack Kerouac phase. I said, “Really?”

He seriously thought about it then said, “Yeah, I did.”

I asked, “How did you make money, to feed yourself?”

He said, “Waffle Houses. I loved Waffle Houses. They paid cash every Friday. Which is pretty amazing to think about considering where I am right now. ”

I said, “It is amazing.”

Ok, I know I am being redundant, but yes, we made love again. Afterward, he asked, “When do you think you will be done with the whole acting thing? What is your end goal?”

I said, “I don’t know. Until I feel done with it. Sometimes I see things through and know when I have had enough. When I am done, I will know I am done. And I will do something else.”

Alan, “My end goal is $2 Million in liquid assets.”

Wow. Ok.

Alan, “Which actually isn’t that much.”

Me, “I know, especially considering all the foster kids . . . and the animal sanctuary.” I looked up and smiled.

He nodded very seriously.

We gave in to the night and fell asleep.

The alarm went off at 4am on Tuesday and I gathered my things. I couldn’t look at Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Wilson wouldn’t look at me.

Alan, “I know this is sad, but I have an easy weekend over the Fourth of July so I think I will come up. So we will see each other soon.”

Me, “But don’t you have to move that weekend?” He is moving from his evil landlord apartment to an apartment next to the Farmer’s Market half a mile away.

Alan, “I will just pack things up and have moving men do all the work.”

 

I kissed his neck, and then we walked Mr. Wilson.

It was dark out, and the taxi drivers were parking on the street to go home and sleep for the day.

Alan said, “Come on Wilson, is that spot good enough? No? Ok … ”

I said, “I love making love to you.”

Alan, “I love doing everything with you, even waiting for poop.”

I said, “Its funny, I have had no desire to smoke a cigarette when I am around you. I don’t smoke a lot, but I do socially.”

Alan, “With the volcano my lungs suffer, like I am a smoker. But it doesn’t taste like burnt asshole.”

I laughed. I could smell the detergent on the collar of his shirt.

We went up to drop off Wilson and I sat down.

He said, “If everything happens the way I want it to, and plan for it to, I will live in LA by December 2012. If not, the latest Spring 2013.”

I crunched my hat over my head and said, “I will be 35 then. Will you still want me?”

He leaned in and said, “Don’t worry about that.”

He walked me to my car and said very quickly, “This is sad, there is no way around the sad, so call me anytime, text me, and I will see you next weekend.”

I smiled and felt a brush of wet lips across my face.

I drove back, trying to summon the thrill of freedom and independence.  It was there, burning in the embers of our weekend.  However, nothing beats falling in love, does it?

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