Monday, June 23, 2008

Avoiding Work

Avoiding work, writing scenes. A beginning that will most likely have no end. Much like all the other pieces of fiction I write. Don't judge too harshly.


I was fourteen when I met him--a skeletal rendition of a woman I had the possibility to become--naïve and never kissed. My jeans were baggy on my nonexistent hips and the fabric was ample enough to obscure my platform shoes. I wore a too big collared polo shirt that I had stolen from my older brother and silver rings on almost all my fingers.

It was the summer before my sophomore year of high school and most days were spent at my mother's Laundromat in the West Village doling change, cleaning lint filters, handing out dryer sheets and single serving packets of powdered soap. He walked in with a guitar case slung over one shoulder, a bulging bag of dirty clothes over the other. Hair hung in loose unwashed curls over his sad eyes and around his thin, white neck. He wore a simple white t-shirt and faded black jeans fitted tight to his narrow calves and he cleared his throat before he handed me three dollar bills and asked for quarters.

His soft voice had a buttery quality to it and I knew that when he sang, it was the kind of sound that weighed people down, made them slouch in their seats and close their eyes.

I avoided his eyes as I carefully counted out the coins but looked at him eagerly when I placed them into his hands. He hadn't looked at me at all up to this moment but when he finally did, he gave a few seconds of pause to take in my face before mumbling a soft "thank you," and walking away.

I pretended to read a book as I watched him load clothes into two separate machines taking care to sort colors and check pockets for loose change. When he was done he took note of the time and walked out into the steamy late June evening returning forty minutes later so I could watch him load them into a dryer and back again in an hour so I could watch him fold.

My mother wondered why I wanted to come to the store more days after that. I told her I was saving to buy a computer.

Two and a half weeks pass before my anonymous white boy--ten years my senior--reappears and this time my mother is with me behind the counter where I am writing in a marble notebook. My eyes shoot towards the door as they have grown accustomed to every time I hear the vacuum kiss of it swinging open and when I see him, I immediately look down, feeling my face fill with blood.


I find it so strange that I'm fine with posting aspects about my life but I feel wholly uncomfortable showing people my fiction.


Monday, June 16, 2008


I had a weekend.

Friday was W's birthday celebration at Zombie Hut in Carroll Gardens where their signature drink, the Frozen Zombie, comes in a slushy swirl of deceptively innocent pink. The first sip is pure Bacardi 151, the second is a sweet concoction that slides coolly down your throat until you're crawling home on your hands and knees speaking in tongues. I opted to stick with my usual vodka sodas and, at a wallet-friendly five bucks a pop, the $40 I had vowed to limit myself to for the evening went a very long way. Home at 4 AM, drunk, unable to resist the lure of food, I engorged myself in chorizo and bread and Parmesan cheese and watched bad television before falling into a fitful sleep.

But I was still up bright and early at 8:30 to trek to Long Island for a winery tour. One toasted bagel with tofu cream cheese, three vineyards, half of a fried softshell crab sandwich, one scoop of cappuccino heath bar ice cream, a stroll around the Strawberry Festival and my hangover was completely cured. Wine wasn't exactly the hair of the dog that bit me, but it was his cousin and did just fine.

I'm not much for whites but in the stifling heat and humidity, I developed a newfound appreciation for a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc outdoors. Delicious. I had considered wineries in the past, but after spending the final hours of sunlight lounging on huge cushioned lawn chairs in front of rows of vines with a glass of blush, it's now my life goal to own a vineyard in Italy or France. And after fiddling with my friend's dSLR, I'm dying for an Olympus E-420.

A long day that should have ended at ten when I was lying on my couch feeling bloated and fuzzy ended up powering on until 4 AM. Bowling and many pitchers of watered-down Coors Light later, I was home, drunk, again. But still ready for the Mets game the next afternoon. Eldest Bro and I decided to stay for the entire doubleheader, too tempted by the lure of a free game and the fantastic seats in the Loge boxes behind home plate that we had upgraded ourselves to. A huge dinner at a Korean restaurant with the family for Father's Day and a few shots of vile soju and... it's 3 AM. I have deadlines tomorrow that I most definitely will not hit. I have lost sleep that I should make up for. I have a headache and a stomachache and a neckache. But I'm feeling content and pensive so I decided to spit some brain spew.


Friday, June 13, 2008


After over a month of running around, sporadic emails, missed opportunities and scheduling conflicts, the Architect and I finally got together for our first date tonight. While there's no grand story here, all I can say is that it was lovely. Just that--lovely. He's the kind of guy that I should like and, for a change, I actually do like him. But he's flaky. We'll see where this goes.

I also got together with K today for the lunch we were supposed to have two months ago. I was more nervous to see him after three weeks without than to meet the Architect, but it was nice. We've achieved a level of comfort with one another where he tells me about certain aspects of his personal life and I've discovered that he is a) arrogant beyond all human comprehension, b) a manwhore that could rival Gene Simmons in manwhoreness, and c) a spoiled, old money rich kid who somehow has a Centurion Card. I probably shouldn't have said anything when I saw it peeking out of his wallet, but having never seen the almost mythical Black Card in person, I could help but blurt out, "You have a Black Card? How is that possible?" But to be fair, I know him well enough now not to be surprised that he places it rather strategically in the front slot. Predictably, he just shot me a self-satisfied smirk in response.

My spring fling, the Guitarist, left for Europe on Tuesday and I was a little blue. But he deserves a story all his own and I'll save it for another day.

When it rains, it pours.


Friday, June 06, 2008

The only question worth asking and the one you never want to ask...

Why, why, why, why?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I fall in love all the time. I fall in love with everything I see--people, places, songs, artists, images, words.

I fall in love with the view from the top of the Basilica di San Pietro melding ancient ruins and modern architecture into one breath. Guidebooks warning me not to fall into the canals of Venice and bored, thin boys with dirty hair and fedoras lazing around London's Brick Lane. I fall in love with Beth Gibbons's voice moving seamlessly between harsh and nasal to soft cooing. Thom Yorke's falsetto screeching emotions that I wish I had felt first. Jeff Buckley all bleeding hearts and self-pity, crooning songs about regrets that cling tight to his skin no matter how hard he scrubs. I fall in love with anonymous phrases on a page painting landscapes of experiences I haven't yet had. Photographs of strangers engaged in joy bursting candy colors of hugs and smiles, lips puckered into air kisses, fluorescent drinks in hand. I fall in love with people I meet once and dream into monoliths of perfection sliding coolly in and out of rooms, scenes, situations.

This is my modern romance. This is how I fall.

I know it's never real. It's a flighty thing that tumbles off the rooftops of buildings in cities I've once loved, and forgotten the instant my plane touched ground on where I needed to be now. The music grows tedious and tired, faceless words get a face that doesn't live up to the fantasy I've intricately formulated in my mind. Photographs fade into painful reminders of happier times that left to take residence in someone else's life.

But every now and then a memory returns and, for a moment, I feel that fondness again. I place my hand across my chest and I close my eyes and think of how much I loved. I love, love, love--all the time. An adoration so deep it bends me in half; makes me want to peel the skin off my bones and see how something so consuming could live inside me. Directed towards everything but holding onto nothing like the wind blowing in and licking my cheeks briefly before going away. And no matter how hard I cling, it slips through my fingertips like grain.