The Process

Month: November, 2014

In a Vacuum

White box vacuum here
is my reaction space for
knowing them.

When we are done with
us there is no real friction
to fuck us or smudge us.

Patter off opposite
vector | “the bed was
made” | “the body was
released” | “the door was
shut”

Friction problems error of
fastening or slipping waking
sweating lone body outside
vacuum.  No error no error no error.

When we were young, we
didn’t care for science | the heart was
pickled.

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The Lost Kids

THREE

After drinks, Seamus and I decide to grab a growler of something and continue the shenanigans at my place.  It’s not our fault that we both have Pringles syndrome.  It’s a genetic problem, where once you pop, the fun don’t stop, and you just sort of drink until something interesting happens or you pass out.  I grab a gallon of cider from the place on the corner.  We’re on the other side of Queens, so we request an Uber.  As Seamus rambles about his next set of sculpture ideas, I watch the small car icon circle around the nearby blocks on my phone screen.  The driver is lost, of course.  The driver is six minutes away.  The driver is 18 minutes away.  The driver is approaching.  The driver is seven minutes away.  The driver has arrived.  Bullshit system…

We get in the car.  “Are you Gretchel?”

“Huh?  My name is Gretchen…I don’t really know how that gets messed up…It’s like…a pretty normal name.  Dude, did he just call me Gretchel?  Is that a name, ever?”

“Gretch, shut up, man…who cares?”

“Ugh..”

Seamus is sitting in the front of the car.  The chairs are plush, which is something that reminds me of children and their boogers.  You know, when you’re a kid, and your friend’s mom has that mini van with plush seats, and you just always know that your friend’s little brother rubbed his snot all over the seats, and it will forever be encrusted in the soft material?  Leather seats just make so much more sense…But as I sink into the seat and start to warm up in the heat of the car, I get tired.  The driver is talking to Seamus about the food he used to cook.  He’s from the Caribbean.

“…and we always usin’ de coconut in ou’ cookin’, unnastand?  Now I buy de coconut milk in de sto’.  Bat we used to be crackin’ opun de coconuts and poundin’ de meat wit de wata inside…”  He talks about his cooking a while longer and segues into a monologue about how lizards are pets over here, but in his home country, they’re food.

“When I was a kid,” Seamus starts, “my mom took me to a store where they were selling rabbits and asked me which one I liked best.  I thought we were getting one as a pet, but as soon as I chose it, they hung it up, stuck its throat, and skinned it.  I was horrified.  I can’t eat meat to this day.”

I ignore Seamus’s meatless lifestyle, because I want to stay friends.  I just can’t stand vegetarians or vegans as regular dining companions.  Them and their speeches about where to find protein, as if it was some scavenger hunt.  It’s terrible.  In fact, I went through a phase in which I used that dating app, Tinder, to rebel against the vegan institution. For some reason, lesbians and vegans are almost as mutually inclusive as peanut butter and jelly.  I gave up, though, after I had enough conversations that went like this:

Stranger: “Hey cutie”

Me: “Are you a vegan?”

Stranger: “Um…yes.”

Me: “There is no valid reason for your eating habits.  Please discontinue your useless avoidance of animal products!”

Stranger: “*silence*”…

But that’s neither here nor there.  Or anywhere, maybe.  Anyway, the driver is surprised to hear that Seamus’s mom allowed him to choose what he ate:

“When I was a kid, ya didn’t have no say in what ya madda makin’ fa’ dinnah, son.  If I even look at my madda the wrong way, I get my ass beat.  Back den, you get a beatin fa’ everythin’, son.  And dese days, ya hit ya kid, dey call de cops, an’ it’s a crime.  I tell ya, son, I got a daughta’.  She’s twenty yea’s old.  I say, “we goin’ on vacation.”  I take dem back to my country, I teach ha’ a lessun, son.  I tea’ ha ass up.  And den we come back here, I don’t lift a finga’, son.  But de kids dey don’t have de respect.  I don’t do nuthin’ illegal, son.  But ya gotta teach dem, unnastand?  You know, son? When I play hooky as a kid, my madda break a chai’ ovah my back, son.  She don’ play.  An’ I don’ evah play de hooky again, son.”

As I try to decide if I’m hearing all this right, I begin to feel nauseous.  Who is this guy’s daughter?  Where is she?  What did he do to her?  The plush is on my skin, and the heat makes breathing thick.  My feet and hands tingle and sweat, and my lips are wet with saliva.

“Shay, let’s walk.”  He turns around and looks sorry, embarrassed for not saying anything to the driver, maybe.

“Excuse me… can you pull over, dude?  Here is good.”

“You sho’, son?”

“Yeah.”  We don’t tip the bastard, and he starts mouthing off about the entitlement of our generation as we shut the doors over his lunacy and walk away.  We’re about ten minutes from my place, anyway.

“Shay, that guy was such a douche…like how the fuck does Uber employ people like that?  You can’t fucking say that shit to people you’re driving around.  He was bragging about abusing his fucking daughter.  Like what the fuck is that shit about?  How are we supposed to hear something like that and then not be able to do anything to fucking help?”

“I know.”  We open the cider and start to drink it from the growler as we walk down the street.  I have this theory that there aren’t any cops in Queens.  There are just these garden gnomes that ticket cars parked in the wrong places.  It’s cold, but the cider starts to warm me up and removes the recency of our car ride.  When you’re powerless, sometimes you have to fill up the powerlessness and be it, I have found.  The truth of it makes me sad, sometimes, but it’s a rare occurrence.

We get to my place, and I open the door.  “Jesus H. Christ!” Seamus flares his nostrils and purses his lips at the stench emanating from my building.

“So…there’s this cat that dies in its own feces about once a week in one of these first floor apartments…sorry about that, but I find four days out of seven, the place smells like glade, man.  I swear…”  We run up the four flights of stairs to my place to escape the nastiness, and I shut the door as soon as we’re in to seal out the demons.  One of my roommates, Vanessa, is burning some fucking Yankee Candle in her room that is supposed to smell like cake and fairy poop or grape soda or some bullshit.  It beats the dead cat.

“Gretchen…I don’t even know if that was a cat shit smell,” Seamus continues, bitter for being hostage to scents. “Have you ever heard of scaphism?”

“Is that the one where ancient Greeks took someone they sentenced to death and rubbed them in honey and then force-fed them honey and milk until they were shitting themselves and then tied them in between two canoes with their hands and feet bound outside the canoes so that pests would be attracted to them and come feast on them as they died in their own poop as they floated around in a lake?  I have looked at all the names on the mailboxes here, and they’re all Russian.  I don’t think any of them know about scaphism.  I do think they know about cats.  It’s cats, Shay.”

“If you insist.”  Seamus goes to the fridge for a beer, since we drank all the cider.  I wait for his reaction with a buzzed grin.  “Where is all the Stella!”  There is no beer in the fridge, because I drank it all the other day after a long night at work.

“Can you go to the store?,” I ask, widening my big, blue eyes to make him feel guilty.  “I’m tired and cold.”  Seamus is the laziest bastard on the planet, but I know he’ll do it for me, because he’s secretly in love with me.  It might sound cocky, but it’s true.  It sucks for him, because the Stella was technically his.

My great-great-aunt Barb taught me that you always keep your best friends’ liquor in your house if you’re a good person.  She used to have us sneak airplane bottles of whiskey into the nursing home for the two men in her life (both named Jack, as convenience would have it).  Jack one liked Makers Mark, and Jack two liked Jim Beam.  Jack one was a douchebag, if you ask me.  Now, Jack two, I could respect, because I never held up well against Jim Beam, and as far as I know, Jim Beam was not Jack two’s primary reason for shitting his Depends.  Barb never drank either Jack’s whiskey.  She knew how to keep it chill like a true gangster, and I just don’t have her collectedness.  But I digress.

“Ugh…I hate you…What do you want?”

“Whatever you want, dude.  But actually there’s this place down the street that sells decent white wine for like five bucks on sale, and I don’t really know what’s wrong with it.  I think it’s actually a mistake.  Go grab a couple bottles of that, and we can get house-wife status together.  C’mon.  I have new yarn.  We can scarf-knit race.

“It’s winter!  You want white wine?”

“Yeah please…Or surprise me.  I don’t care.  Grab a bottle of Fernet, actually.  We can Skype Hem!”  Seamus doesn’t really like Hemingway.  He thinks he’s a bad influence on me, but I can’t honestly say who is worse.  And Seamus has only met Hem once.  “OK we don’t have to Skype Hem, but just get ye’ to the store!  Jesus, man, I can feel the sobriety coming on…ain’t nobody got time to be hungover at eight PM.”

“Yes ma’am.”

After he leaves, I open the fridge to look for some food.  I only have some leftover dumplings from a couple days ago.  Vanessa has hummus, and Eddie has spaghetti and meatballs.  I cut off half a meatball and gulp it down, ravenous.  To cover my tracks, I turn the remaining meatball half on its side, propping it up against some spaghetti to make it look whole.  Hopefully, Eddie will be high when he eats it and not really notice or remember the strange half-meatball.  Then, I take a few spoonfuls of Vanessa’s hummus.  Fuck…it’s so good.  I eat half of the tub before putting it back.  I will buy her a new one later.  Or something.

When Seamus gets back, he pulls out two bottles of cold Chardonnay.

“Woooo–the housewife hour is upon us!”

“Woo!”  He smiles, clearly priding himself on his ability to stir up some enthusiasm from my normal monotonous stoicism.

“Oh!  There you are!  With the sun setting so early in the winter, there are only so many hours in a day I can see you when you’re not smiling.”

“Bitchhh…”

“Cheers, dude.”  I open the two bottles, and we drink straight from them, like the fancy people that we are.

“L’chaim, biatch.”

“Something like that.”

The Lost Kids

TWO

So I call up Hem, and it goes to voicemail: “I am not here…or you aren’t.  Is anyone here?  I am not.  What is a phone?…Hey, it’s Hem.  If this is real life, leave me some words of encouragement.”

“Hey, dude, it’s Gretch.  Just calling to say hey and catch up.  I don’t know if this is real life.  If this is a dream, that would be amazing, because I just dumped half a cup of cream in my coffee thinking it was milk, and I don’t want to buy another after waiting in line and spending three dollars on it at fucking La Colombe.  Goddamn hipster unlabeled pitcher of dairy product bullshit.  Oh…I think it’s half and half.  Still, ugh.  Alright.  Call me back.”

I don’t like any sugar in my coffee, and I only drink cappuccinos or cortados on my days off, because money.  On work days, I drink coffee with milk.  Not skim, because that’s bullshit.  Not almond milk, because that’s water thickened with various gums with a touch of almond added for the name…not soy milk because why…not coconut milk because why…not rice milk because I don’t put rice in my coffee…you know.  It’s all OK, what you people are doing to your coffee, because that is what you do.  But I drink my coffee with milk.   La Colombe is good but also distinctly for the posers and masochists who like to wait in line.  I am the latter.

I walk out into the streets with my nose in my phone as usual.  I compulsively check it every few minutes.  It’s a nasty habit I picked up from being alive in this generation, but it happens.  I check my bank account and want to shit my pants.  Maybe I should email that guy on Craigslist who wanted to get spanked for two hundred bucks a pop.  Maybe not.  Tomorrow is pay day.

I get on the subway home; I had gone into the city to wander around, but it had proved pointless.  On the subway, there is a woman with a razor scooter.  She must be about sixty or thirty-something with a meth habit, but it’s unclear.  Who still rides a razor scooter?  I put on my headphones and turn up my lady, Iggy.  “And can’t nobody turn me off.  And if I was a dick, I would be hard, but you would make me soft–my godddd…” Everyone has their creep move on the subway.  Mine is laughing to myself about rap lyrics.

The thing I hate the most about the subway is being a hostage to mouths.  Talking, chewing, clicking, licking, smacking, singing…everyone and their mouths.  I’ve had a terrible time on subways watching all the mouths while I’m listening to my music…I’ve felt surrounded by aliens with this gaping orifice for excess and monotony.  It’s quite ruinous after a while, really.  The way to go about it is to get above ground for air as quickly as possible after the ride.  I don’t know what the fuck it’s about, either, but it’s what happens.  Occasionally, I think to myself that one only has to ride the subway to boost one’s self esteem.  In life, there is beauty and ugly, but down in the train, it’s a different class of it.  Looking at my subway compatriots is the time I most consider taking care of my health.  I mean, Jesus.

Once I’m back in Queens and above ground with my air, I get a few texts from friends also off work.  Seamus wants to grab a drink, and I can’t think of any reason why not.  Seamus and I met at a local AA chapter.  I remember it well, although it was over a year ago.  Seamus was this quiet black dude who never spoke at these fucking meetings.  At the fifth meeting, I finally decided to talk.  It’s every bit as cliché as it appears in the movies.  “I’m Gretchen, and I’m an alcoholic and an addict.”

“Hi, Gretchen.”

“It’s been five weeks since my last drink.  I never thought my drinking was that out of control, but I drank a lot every day.  I was visiting Austin, TX to see family, and I went to explore the city one day while they were all going to see a movie.  I forget what it was.  Some bullshit.  Ah–“Twenty-two Jump Street.”  So I thought, fuck that movie–I’m just gonna go check out the town.  I had never been to Texas before.

So it’s evening, and I pass a strip club.  “Bare Austin,” I think it was called.  I’d been to a bar earlier, and I had a few beers and whiskies, but I was fine.  I go in, and there’s some girl dancing on the pole, but it’s not too packed in there.  I grab a Modelo and sit at the pole.  I reach into my bag for money, and by some fucking awkward circumstance, I only have dollar coins.  I have no idea how I got them.  But I’m aware that pelting the stripper with Sacagawea-printed metal is not the way to go.

So I’m making neat little stacks of my coins on the side of the stage while she shakes her tits around and tells me about the cool spots to visit in town.  It was an oddly tour-guide-like pole dance.  But whatever.  So time gets away from me, and I’ve been there drinking for like two hours, and suddenly I’m being shaken awake by the bartender.  And she’s all like, “excuse me, ma’am but you can’t be sleepin’ in the bar…” And I’m all fucking embarrassed and dazed, so I pay and run out of there.  So I get in my cousin’s car that I borrowed and head home, but right when I’m turning onto her street, I hear a siren and realize I’m being pulled over.

Long story short, ten minutes later I’m walking the line, and ten minutes after that, I’m in fucking hand cuffs in the back of the cop’s car because I blew a point-one-eight.  And I had to do all this bullshit like have a mug shot taken and get finger printed and the like.  And I swear to god, the guy taking my prints had the least efficient method for finger printing.  It took him three times longer than necessary, at least.  I should be a cop, for fuck’s sake….”

“Gretchen…language, please.”

“Ah, fuck off.  I’m done anyway.  We all know how the story ends anyway, right?  I’m here.”  I sat down and listened to a few other sob stories.  Why did I even go?  I should’ve just sat and listened, but I guess I get bored.

And after that meeting, Seamus came up to me after and started laughing like he was gonna piss his pants or something.  I’d never even seen the guy smile, either.  And I thought he was older, but up close I guessed he must’ve been somewhere under thirty.  “Your parents make you come here?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“Want to grab a beer?”

“Yeah.  Let’s get out of here.”  We emerged from the dimly lit church into the blindingly bright winter day.  All the snow had melted and refrozen as ice in the streets, and the wind whipped our cheeks as we wandered around the block to an old pub.  It’s weird on the Upper East Side, how there are a smattering of old, shitty pubs amongst the ritziness.

We got to talking and drinking.  I don’t really give a shit about Guiness, but it’s the first thing I could think to order at a place like that, and having gone five–er, three–weeks without a drink, I didn’t much care.  I’m not a goddamn alcoholic…I just made a mistake.  “You’re not an alcoholic until you quit,” I’ve heard some Irish people say.  I agree.

Seamus grew up in Harlem.  He had gone to Columbia on a full ride, but his drinking got in the way, and he got kicked out.  C’est la vie.  He since became a sculptor and dabbled in other media as well.  He’d been in this AA thing for a few months, but he was tired of it, like me.  I mean, maybe this guy had some real issues, but it wasn’t my life to judge.  And he’d been back on the bottle for a couple weeks already, so it wasn’t my fault he was drinking again.  After that, I would go workshop at Seamus’s apartment with him.  Sometimes he would teach me to sculpt, sometimes I would write while he did his shit, sometimes we would take shots and race to see who could knit a longer scarf during one hour’s time.  I always won at that one.  Mine always had runs in it from dropped stitches, but that’s not against the rules.

It turns out Seamus is in Queens visiting an art dealer, so I meet him for a beer.  After a couple rounds and going through the usual updates, he asks me about work.  “Fuck…”

“Oh, here we go…”

“So I’m having this crisis where I don’t think I like food anymore.”

“Do elaborate.”

“It just doesn’t make any sense.  Why care about it?  It’s nourishment, right?  And we want it to taste good, sure.  But I’m losing faith in the ritual/fetishization of the meal.  It’s a meal.  People go out, order food, spend all this money, and it’s like fucking done in an hour.  Often, the food is a let down.  There’s so much wrong with it.”

“But people love going out to eat…I understand, but I still don’t see what your problem is.  You love cooking, right?”

“Well I had this dream recently, right?  So in my dream, I’m making this elaborate meal, and suddenly I feel this sense of ecstasy and calm.  And I think to myself, I love cooking.  And when I woke up, I felt so weird about it.  I haven’t felt that way about making food in so long.  And I have so many problems with cooking.  Garnishes, for example.  Why does every dish need a bright green garnish?  Why?  There is only one possible answer.  One way to make sense of it.”

“What?”

“That makeup is to women what garnishes are to food: code for “please eat me.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“You know I’m right!  Or like a male peacock.  I am bright. Let us mate.  Bright garnishes are like a dish’s way of saying, “please mate your mouth with me right now.  And I guess that’s fine, but I still think it’s ridiculous.  Like, at least the birds’ feathers still function.  How often have you felt that some little piece of chive made your meal worthwhile?  Fuck that.”

“You’re overthinking it…”

“I don’t know, man.  And like, food is the most ephemeral high you could have.  You put it in your mouth, it’s good.  Done.  Soon you’re bored eating the food.  Soon you’re full.  It’s in the past before you know it.  No lasting effects.  It’s not like drinking, where at least you know you may be up to no good later.  Or perhaps that over drinks you are slowly becoming more attractive to your companion.  Right?  Agree with me.  We’re three beers in.  I’m gorgeous, no?

“Of course you are.”

“Food is an enigma, man.  Sometimes I think I’m only in it because it was my first muse.  I’m gonna join the dark side.  Foray into non-funtional art.  It’s easier without the blurred lines.  Food is either food or art or an abomination of the in-between.  Or the best combination of both.  But it’s dangerous to not know.”

Apartment

There’s a nostalgic thing to entering
a house these days.  All of us belonging to
caves carved out of decaying siding, sometimes
graves of pissing cats or protection from
the grey weather.  We dwell in dim rooms:
small, scantily blanketed places for sleeping,
fucking, rolling loose joints, or being the
walls.  When there’s silence, there are
voices yanking or softly laughing or sitting
with their balls hanging out of their basketball
shorts.  The mosquitos call us blood brothers.  If
there is a circumcision of establishment, we are
it.  Foreskin houses, it takes longer to find
the kitchen.  Closer in from the grey, maybe.  Makes
a person wonder if Plato drove a Benz (and who
was aware of what) when it sleeps in socks against
dilapidated radiators.  In my dream,
I had a Le Creuset pot.

The Lost Kids

ONE

I stopped feeling lonely when I remembered to check in with Hemingway.  It’d been a long time, and the bastard hadn’t texted or called.  But he’s just the type of friend that reminds you you’ve got people despite the ostensible.  I had just finished up with some business on the Upper East.  Stranger things all the time with these narcissistic art people.  One day it’s Warhol and his movie of couples macking it, and the next it’s a guy planning to recreate the film starring himself.  Well, to be honest, I didn’t mind co-starring, considering the money.  I had found the dude online, looking for a girl to come make out for a hundred bucks.  I’m no whore or anything, but money talks, and I’ll be damned if a college education wasn’t enough to teach me that a hundred bucks for twenty minutes of my time is a higher rate than the ten fifty an hour I’m getting downtown at the restaurant.  I took Economics; I know about high risk-high reward.  That is why I went with a pair of scissors in my bag.

When I got to the place, I wasn’t entirely sure about the high risk part, but the address was to a brownstone, so I walked in.  It was a fancy neighborhood.  And yeah, I know about facades, but don’t forget about the high reward part.  So I walked in, and I smelled weed, so I knew I was probably at the right place.  Sure enough, this scruffy artist emerged from the door up the stairs when I knocked.  If you’ve ever met a stranger like this, it goes like “hi”/ “yes, hello..”/ “come in”/ “thank you…” and then the door shuts and they offer for you to put your bag down, and you think about your scissors and locate where the person’s kidneys must be before you see the person’s Shiba Inu in the corner and decide it must be okay and surrender your bag to the offered chair back.

I looked around at his posters, wine bottles, shiny floors, and furniture.  Must be nice, I thought.  I mean, the dude wasn’t young.  Maybe by the time I’m fifty, I won’t be needing roommates either, but that depends on how far I can get in my career before I lose my shit.  A guy at the bank today was asking me if I was a chef at my job, and I was too hungover to smile when I said no.  Everyone assumes you’re the head fucking chef.  I should’ve asked him if he was the owner of the bank.  Anyway, this artist shows me his idea for the film, shows me the windowsill where our makeoutery will occur, shows me his nice filming equipment, etc.  And I’m there like let’s do this thing, because I have a date and I need time to brush your saliva and my guilt out of my gullet beforehand.

So we make out in three different takes.  It’s awkward because I’m tiny and he’s tall, awkward because I haven’t kissed a man in over a year, awkward because it was at once the longest kiss I’ve had in a while and the worst.  I wondered if he agreed it was terrible.  Or if it was his first kiss.  By the end of the last take, I did start to contemplate whether I would sustain post traumatic stress issues from it, but there was this healing moment when he handed me the hundred dollar bill.  I was like, well that’s what that bill looks like.  And then I got all socialist and divided the money amongst a number of bars downtown.  No trauma was sustained.

So anyway, I woke up the other day feeling all crappy and alone in the world.  I got out of bed and walked to the corner for a bagel, and Ishan finally stopped questioning me on my untoasted bagel preference.  It felt OK to be accepted on that end, but being a regular at the bagel shop wasn’t the sense of belonging I was looking for at the moment.  I bought a scratch off and lost.  It was one of those stupid crossword ones.  I used to win them sometimes–fifty bucks, once.  But anyway, when I went back up to my apartment, I saw something my cousin posted on Facebook about France, and I thought of Hemingway.  I love the guy, but I think moving to Paris after college was a douche move on his part.  Look, I hate America too, but New York is easily as good as Paris, and either way you slice it, Ebola will get to every country eventually.  So maybe I’m a little bitter that he left.  But we have our adventures overseas from each other, and when we compare notes, it’s more of the same shenanigans.

I hadn’t checked in with him in a while, so I pulled up my last email to him to see where I left him.  It read,

“Hey man,

How’s that Paris life treating you, you fancy fuck?  Come back to New York so we can sit in bars together and talk about the merits of butt sex when we’re sitting next to people who are clearly on their first date!  I miss you.  I’m finally settling into my new neighborhood, and I think it might be a secret lesbian Mecca.  I’m not sure yet, so I’ll keep you posted, but I’m seeing a lot of butch haircuts and Birkenstocks.  Oh.  And there’s this lady who rides around town in a scooter for disabled people with a parrot on her shoulder.  A goddamn parrot!  They don’t write this shit in the movies.

I had the weirdest night last weekend.  Remember I told you about the girl I went home with from that 80s party?  Well I ran into her at this bar the other night, and it was awkward, because I left her that fucked up haiku about sorry for falling asleep in the middle of it, and it turned out she was straight anyway.  Total wannabe bi girl, but straight as an arrow.  On the bright side, she let me crash on her couch after the bar.  And her roommate offered me coffee and a phone charge when I woke up like it was some four star hotel or something.  I’m not making this up.  And we got to talking about beer, and she gave me a bottle of her favorite brew.  I’m pretty sure I’m ok with free beer from kind, cute strangers.  Unfortunately, I don’t think she was hitting on me, though.  Everyone wants a big butch these days.  I don’t get that.  I made this horrible mistake of eschewing the institution of categories, and it’s not working out well.  Someone called me a chapstick lesbian, but I’m thinking I’m more of a “needs chapstick lesbian.”  Real talk though, this weather is drying out my lips like a motherfucker.  Maybe that’s the issue.

How are you, though?  I feel like I only get random snapchats from you all captioned, “Don’t drop the baguette!” from various raves you’ve attended.  You really need to come up with a catchier phrase.  Haha..catchy…I think I’m punny.  Speaking of, how are the boys?  I’m guessing they love your American ass, but who knows.  I’ve heard Parisians can be bitches.  I want to hear about your life!

Love you,

Gretch”

He had responded,

“Gretchennnn!  I miss you more.  Calm your horses on this meeting people thing.  It sounds like you’re getting enough for us both.  And what the hell with these nice people inviting you into their homes and offering you free beer in the morning?  Was there a turn down service?  I don’t understand.  I’ve been kicked out of people’s flats here.  Like “OK, this is not a thing, bye, I’m going to bed, go back to whatever arrondissement you came from.”

Still, though, I have been having a lot of fun.  I finally straightened shit out with my work visa, so I can finally get a job.  I don’t want to work, but I’m down to my final Euro, and I’m getting a little partied out, too.  These French people can hang!  Like if you and I thought our blood was made of a 30% wine solution, I fear for the vampire that tries to feast on the Parisians.

You’re done with “don’t drop the baguette”?!  It still gets me every time.  Unclear why.  Ughhh wait so this is so annoying, but I think all French toilets are low-flush.  Everyone has a toilet brush for deuce-dropping purposes, and it freaks me out.  I think as soon as I get rich, I’m gonna get a fancy, American style toilet in my place.  It’s awful.

Oh, I actually do have a story for you.  So I met this guy at a club, and we left at like two in the morning, which is pretty early still for me these days, and we went to buy some blow.  We each do like two small lines, go back to the club, dance our asses off, and then leave to go back to his place.  And at this point, we were starting to come down and we bumped some to keep going (he was going to skip work).  So we’re walking into his place, and this tiny little old lady catches me grinding my teeth a little, and she grabs me by the arm (you know that intense old lady grip–like rivaling Jack and Rose in Titanic).  She looks me in the eyes like she knows what’s up, and then she says in this raspy French, “can I get some?” I died.  She had to be like 90 years old.  I absolutely did not give an old lady coke, but nonetheless…what is my life coming to?

Alright, well I have to go, but we should Skype sometime.  I know our schedules never work, but you know…one day.

Bye, bitch (haha my phone always auto-corrects it to butch!  It knows!)

Hem”

What a guy.  Basically the male version of me, but not at all.  I thought about booking a trip to see him, but I was pretty damn sure I wouldn’t have the money until tax returns come in.  I mean, with my luck, I’ll owe money back to the government, but whatever.  I hate thinking about the government.  Just the other day, my friend, Jen, was telling me her family was all on her dick to vote.  And I didn’t vote either.  The way she saw it, her parents were Republican for money reasons.  And she has Democratic values, but she’s also not making enough money to give a shit either way.  We decided we are definitely fucked either way, so fuck voting.  At least until we read up on what exactly is going on.  We are pretty sure no one really knows.

Homeboy

Narcissus drowned in himself; I
had been thinking of his ism as a
survival mechanism…
funny.  Either

delusion or loophole.

I dressed in all white to
restore order and I smoothed
sheets and looked in the mirror
again.  My face was

round from dehydration.  water : mirror :: handsome:
round.  This is the survival part: flaw/
ripple/ mirrors are harder to get in
your lungs.  Noticed

hanging boxers, ribs, goneness {
conditional narcissism = survival} or
it takes dedication to drown in a mirror.  In any
case, how
long…I should have

said “narcissism : drown :: introspect :
survive,” but that’s conjecture.  In any
case, the freezing of the lakes will be the judge
of that and keep us here with our
mirrors and pillowy
lungs.  One detail was

Narcissus didn’t have Instagram
followers or
care.  He was
enough. #river

Holiday Sweater Part 1

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also available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/listing/210012800/holiday-sweater

Each is unique

Facts

1.  The coffee is hot today.
2.  The Louise Gluck anthology is not a coaster.
3.  A down comforter is an infinite number of cup holders.
4.  That’s Nutella.
5.  No, I don’t eat Nutella in my bed.
6.  OK, sometimes.
7.  Any and all stuffed animals live face-down.
8.  It’s better that way.
9.  Where did all this dust come from.
10.  Swiffers should be made of callused feet.
11.  Pendleton blankets are for horses.
12.  I am a horse.
13.  I never want to see a carrot again.
14.  Fleece-naw.
15.  Seahorse, maybe.
16.  Underwater flying is dismissed as swimming.

Same Food

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It’s OK to switch to pastry.  And visa versa.  We get it, you experimented in culinary school.  You can’t help it.  Food is fluid.  #samefood

It’s Hyperactive Bean Water; Shut up about It

The coffee is never strong
enough.  The first cup is proper,
though, with its milk ratio and all.  That
I can expect.  The second cup is diluted,
and I can expect that, being uncertain about using
more milk.  I boil the water
in a pot and then pour it into the French press.
Depending on your grace with it, bystanders may
think that’s a craft method.  It’s about as
craft as a bucket drum.  We make do.  Absolute
value of the beat or flavor is the final score, anyway.  My
friend said, “you need a kettle.”  I laughed, like
who am I, Neil Peart?  Coffee’s cold now, anyway.
Maybe just drink the damn thing and shut
up about it.  One thing’s for sure: the Louise
Gluck anthology is not a coaster.  Well
fuck me, am I supposed to get a table or
something?  Who am I, Martha Stewart?  Just a kid
trying to have some coffee.  The line between
expectation and entitlement is too delicate; most
of us haven’t done any worse than consider the words
more or better, anyway.  Really, really…just shut up
and drink it.