The Process

6

At night we argue until I decide to spend the next day cleaning the house, and what I do is hire someone else to do it while I clean the crevices in my teeth, because I thought I smelled the dying person smell on them, because my agreement was to become gone as soon as the old breath happened in this life, and it’s too early as just the other day I got home first and was alone and the cats were out because they’re not here and I was shocked and disabled by my solitude and as a result shocked and upset at the inability to be around nobody, not even fur balls and skin balls with legs, and I walked around and around and laid down and was forced to go inside my own body, which I rarely have to do.  She got home a few minutes later, and I could come out again, and I didn’t have to stare at my own hands anymore; I looked at her, because I like to, and she is not me.  Today we drank coffee and ate pasta and I put on an alpaca hat and scrubbed her skin in the shower because I had already washed my hair because I had gone to the gym to exercise in vain, so vain, because I know I will be stopping soon and have so much more weight to gain than to lose, because that is usually the case for most people, and there’s a long way to go until the opposite is true, and this concept forces a person to realize This Fat Ass is the smallest version of itself left in this lifetime, and that forces a person to befriend it or even to just stop dreaming of looking like a skinny Asian or white man.  The hat in the shower got damp, and I figure my hair smells a lot like a barnyard animal, which is probably gross to everyone around me, which is no one, so it’s alright.  And I worry, a little, about the cleaning person coming in, because I hope it brings its own soap and stuff, and paper towels, too, because we are out.  But when I was four, my babysitter washed my brother and sister with shampoo in the bath, and she told me it was the same thing as soap, and she was right, and I liked it, and to this day it makes me think anything is transferrable, like any glue, and my girl says there is shoe glue to glue shoes back together and ceramic glue to glue ceramics back together, and the only ones I knew were Gorilla and Elmer’s and the two questions are “why are so many things breaking?” and “if shoe glue is for shoes and ceramic glue is for ceramics, then is Gorilla glue really for gorillas, or do gorillas just trump everything, and if part A is true, then who is Elmer, and is he fine?”  But I’m more worried about talking to the cleaning person, because I am not supposed to leave it here alone, in case it steals all my broken shoes and ceramics.  I don’t know where I’m supposed to hide while it cleans, so I chose not to have my bed made so that I can use my bed as a private island.  Can I tell the person that the private bed island is sound proofed?  Does the cleaning person supervisor role allow me to get drunk on the Isle of Bed while the person is there?  Do I have to give it a drink if I’m having one?  Should I  offer it a snack?  Should I get cash for a tip?  Can it use shampoo to wash the floor?  Is it voting for Trump?  I’ve eaten 6 slices of turkey and some poofy but not puffed Cheetos today.  My dad said he eats canned beans and broccoli for lunch, and I agreed with him that sometimes I just eat food that barely qualifies as it in the name of energy or even health, such as the time I ate mainly chickpeas out of the can for days because of poverty but actually because of being lazy and disgusting.  But if I want to get something with good flavor in it, I will have to go quickly in case the cleaning person gets here too early while I’m flossing and listening to Patti Smith and breaking and glueing and having sore muscles that make me want halal food which is so delicious.  And my sister wants to talk on the phone–and that is what I’ll do!  I’ll Skype my sister so that I can ignore the cleaning person!  And she can watch me in case it is secretly a killer on the loose and that way she will have all the clues!  I like it, I like it a lot a lot.

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no pigeon

Don’t heavensplain don’t splay arms with water// like the time my mother said God becomes an answer by deductive logic// when i go put my face in model magic and feed me sandwiches and wet my lips with dirty martini ice, but after don’t touch me//

had i been thinking of things happening for a reason i would then have been saying I was grateful to know in advance that I was useless to the situation instead of finding out anyway// but I was because of the previous time//

–and in the same way that we arrive into strange clans there is no likely way to die back into them—-like your parents birthed you into one and then killed you out and back in–

i was more accustomed to people complaining first// but then everyone always is// like me// like i have been from the first day//

you only yewed outside the bedroom// did you only have diabetes in the living room.  But it was hot and you were tired & hot & tired & hot & tired & hot & tired probably//probably//probably

///////my new white outfits and your christmas stocking i fashioned from scrap upholstery.//////

everything and your spot at the table and your reverse matriarchy and your Renaissance era neck ruffle and murse and all your belongings which i considered part of my own

\reh/

Wake Stop Baby

One day I had a baby cat and the next day I didn’t have a baby cat and since then I’ve fallen asleep and woken up something like seven times and maybe I’m asleep or awake
Now I dream of him sometimes sometimes I’ve dreamed of fighting for my life with a back hoe at a swingers’ party and a black haired girl that walked a bridge from England to Australia and ended up standing on stones under a waterfall and last night I was in a colosseum waiting to be called into a gathering of three hundred people who would be beating and fucking each other for fun and I was scared and scared and scared until it started and nobody did anything besides stand around and everyone was ugly. I come
Home crying sometimes on a small lady who lays me down and says it’s ok and kisses me and tells me I can eat as many dumplings as I want because she hasn’t woken up either and we’ve since been incapable of forgetting touching the cold skin of what ended up being our first born child or something of the sort even if he was a baby cat that looked like and alien liked to wear dog clothes when we put him down in the ground on the blanket I was born into which we used to wrap him in to keep him warm. The night he died I met my brother’s girlfriend and made her hula hoop for us and got her drunk like it needed to go away for her too like she had ever known us or him which she hadn’t. In Chicago we cooked and we ate and drank and thought
Something like the more we consumed the less we would think but we couldn’t eat our baby cat
Into oblivion just now I’ve gotten this I’ve
Had a time with a book and a coffee and a table and alone and it would be all well and good and separate if it didn’t end in having to poop in which case I would go to the bathroom and find myself in a stand off with the big yellow tub of litter I used to use for him saying you are just you are at this point just my squatty potty, because there is no baby cat here.

Crawling Back Up in It

The dimming is

good.  Most days, I want to be alone in a dark

bar for hours but when I have the day I take its

sun and shit.  And walk and sit and breathe and think

about the dark bar and when I go

in I’ll want this and when I stay, I’ll want this, and

I want then I want then I want and want and the bartender

dims the lights and I think it’s OK the way I am.  I come

into my skin and I’m hidden and shown and unassociated and

disassociated as are the rest of the people.  I think

about American Horror Story the Hotel.  I think about Lady Gaga.  I want to know why we all need somewhere safe.  It’s just a show; this is also just a show.  And that’s a reason to not think so much.  The guy forgets he goes to the hotel; he forgets

he’s a killer.  We wash it down down

down and forget also; we are at home and then we exit

dark and we strap the faces and costumes and shit tight tight and that’s that.  Rather than

stay. |in the hotel they were ghosts| I were was am

out and the rules in the sun, oh the rules, but the sun feels possible–wants me to?

People and Dead Wine

All the directions are just to continue.  Veering is fancy.  Do we just
?  Continue for 17 miles.  Colder, now it’s warm.  And it’s white
out.  In the house, we talk about the winter season and the not having
people.  My fairy wine unicorn says a shitty restaurant in town serves grandma food.  The sausage
man says hauw dayer jshou eensult grondmazher layk zhat?  Grondmazher is vanderfahl.  Unicorn’s husband served us meatballs last night; he learned to cook from a mother who didn’t want him to burden a woman.  Grondmazher is vanderfahl.  And the unicorn had served her husband a tuna sandwich with two cabbage leaves, and he said, “you could kill a man like that.”  It’s all stories to say between rows of vines.  We’re looking

out.  The sudden chill will freeze the buds on the vines, and there may be no grapes this year.  My mother and I think on it and later in the day drink a bottle.  Will there be wine?  Maybe cider.  I think about the diaper smell of fermenting cider I once harbored in my room.  And then of the winery smelling like diapers, and it made me sad.   The sausage

man is yelling about zhe preezon ghard, his wife.  I cant evuhn fahrt weezhout hehr purmeesshun.  We are smirking.  We are laughing at all of this; we continue.

SCreen

I saw the screen and it was flat and

I thought it was paper I am

drunk but also thankful to

remember 2D and such

And what if cookie monster cupcakes are alive but can’t talk because they have cookies in their mouths?

If you are sitting inside yourself, you might stop and imagine what would happen if you got so far outside of it that you became a cupcake on the ground somewhere, like Africa.  Sitting on the ground, maybe part of your cake section gone and still with your swirl of pink frosting intact.  I’ve been in my bed, like this, in a skin of me, in my legs, all day long, and the sun is down and I wonder if I will go to a different place where the way I am is irrelevant and falls away, and I inch up that cyclone of circuitous change where you sway back and forth between ideals but the context is not the same as you wind into each new orbital.  Will I go somewhere where I become endlessly hungry and there is no food and there is something worse that I have to worry about, or will I go somewhere where sleep is not needed, and I can do anything all the time, or will I go somewhere where no one understands what I am saying but they think I’m cute, so I can relax, and I become a cat?  Or will I go somewhere with little oxygen, and I get tired and I can only be awake for two hours a day, and my life is devoid of progress save one small feat, such as having been able to watch all of “Arrested Development” again before I die?  Or knit a sweater.  Or will I go somewhere where no one can get pregnant, and the only person who can doesn’t want it, and then suddenly we are anti-choice, and I feel ashamed but scared for the end of life?  Or will I eat so much butter that I will float in the next Biblical flood and God will laugh and say “I had a plan for you,” and I will be saved by something I refuse to believe, and I will laugh and then stab myself to wake up and then die and end up in heaven and the only people who survive the flood repopulate the world and worship women and butter and the next stage of religion and the world is quite opposite to now?  Or am I a dog or a pillow or a desk or a bag of chips or a vampire goat rainbow spirit?  Will the world ever switch with us and go to the bars and sleep while we spin around endlessly for its sake, or not?  And is there anyone who knows whether I’ll need to use my legs after 30 more years, and will they be ok, or what?  And what if cookie monster cupcakes are alive but can’t talk because they have cookies in their mouths?  And what if bread created the gluten free propaganda because it’s an alien trying to take over the world?  I really like bread.  And what if I become a bread alien?  And what if bread had Roe vs. Wade and the mother could stop the yeast, because it wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t an alien at all, but it was a responsible person, but then we couldn’t eat very much bread anymore.  Or maybe the bread aliens invented the gluten free propaganda because they passed Roe vs. Wade, and they want to give us realistic expectations of how much bread there will be for us all.  And here I think I am, or something.

If I Resolved

On December 30th, my boss asked us if we had any New Years resolutions, as we prepared for the following day’s New Years Eve dinner.  Assuming she was at least half joking, I laughed, as the cook next to me also let out a defeatist “ha…”

“Nope,” we said.  She laughed and said something about, ‘oh you jaded people,’ and I started to wonder if she was serious.  It was not unlike the feeling I got when I started working at Prune, and a co-worker handed me the employee handbook to take home and read.  The next day, she asked if I’d read it, and I kind of laughed, ‘yes,’ with that knowing, sarcastic “who really reads the entire handbook,” tone.

“You should really read it. It’s an amazing handbook.  Everyone reads it,” she told me, slapping me out of my cocoon of irony for a second.

‘Well, fuck,’ I thought.  ‘My boss, who is older than me and has a lot more life shit under her belt (who is therefore inevitably more experienced in the art of being demoralized), is very possibly contemplating a New Years resolution.  Does this mean that a) she has the discipline to turn her shit around at the drop of a hat, unlike most? b) she has more hope for herself than I/many do?  c) I am just a washed up, sarcastic, cynical, hopeless bitch? d) all of the above e) none of the above…’

I didn’t think much more about it until the resolutions started to crop up all around me: people everywhere spoke of their plans to be more fit, to be more organized, to spend less money, and to drink less.  Gyms all touted promotions to help the born again fit people reach their goals.  People in the restaurant became fewer and far between, at least for the week.  And then I start to find myself waking up each morning in a sea of misgivings, tortilla chips, dirty laundry, or all three.

Should I make a resolution?  I’m quite the ever changing human despite most of the static ways I’ve developed over the last five, ten, or twenty years…I was not sure.

I began to run through the steps in case I thought I should try it for once.  Step one of making a New Years resolution is making a mental list of things you despise about yourself or things in which society would prefer you did not engage.  It should be a 70/30  mix of things you want to stop doing and things you want to just do a little better.

My list began:

Health:If I actually did think I could change, I would want to lose 8-41 pounds and spend at least an hour at the gym every day.  I would want to drink 80% less alcohol.

Money: I would stop spending all my money and save half of my pay every week.  I would spend more on art materials and things for my hobbies instead of booze.

Hairless cats:  I would own one and find the best way to get it declawed painlessly so that it would not hurt Lucky and also wouldn’t be sad and in pain and prone to opiate addiction if it ever struck out on its own in the event of my untimely death.

Education/mental health: I would read a book.  Any book.  I haven’t read more than two or three books in the past five years, and I only read them because I had great American writer FOMO.  They were A Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar.  No one ever assigned them to me in the past.  Ideally, someone is resolving to tighten up the English curriculum in high schools right now…

Life attitude: I would try to be less apathetic and fast to shoot down or satirize ideas or attempts of others.  I would also try more things in earnest and be more open to public failure if it should come to that.  I might even hate myself one modicum less for showing genuine/unabashed enthusiasm!

Failing all these ideas, I would take the route in which I say I just want to embrace myself for the way I am and take myself with all my flaws, in a nice station wagon, and ride off into the fuchsia sunset of self-love.  Unfortunately, while I like that idea OK, I kind of feel like it’s the same thing as not making a resolution AT ALL.  Or like making a resolution and then getting really drunk and deciding you’re beautiful, don’t need no man, no gym, no kale, no nothing.  So I would not choose the self-love path.

After all this rumination, I spent a day with my girlfriend doing all the things you don’t do after New Years Day.  We slept in, watched a movie while eating a leftover bacon-chicken sub and corn chips.  We lounged around the apartment with no plan to put our piles of clothes into any hampers of any kind.  I put tequila in my coffee.  We exited our house only to go eat a fuck ton of Joe’s Shanghai and get foot massages at a place that claims you have an anus in your ankle and went as far up my leg as my ovaries.  We came home and watched ANOTHER movie.  We ate the leftovers.  We drank wine.  We dipped anything we could find in ranch dip.  And we had the best day ever.

And I had a couple of vague wonderings of what would happen if I had not eaten seven meals or walked more than thirty minutes that day or cleaned the house.  But I didn’t care.  And I wondered if I could resolve to resolve myself.  And give in to my ways without having to hate myself OR ply myself with the inner propaganda reel of self support.   But I won’t be able to do that either.  It will always be a mix, a conflict, an ebbing and flowing of disgust, loathing, excitement, pride, and apathy.  This is the end part where you write a heavy hitting conclusive statement that isn’t too corny but also leaves the reader with a feeling of being moved or settled.   I don’t have one, but I will say that I went to the gym today and have also eaten almost a whole sleeve of saltines, and I feel glad that I worked out and also glad that I rediscovered the very satisfying, mouth-coating comfort that is the saltine cracker.  It tastes like a bag of oyster crackers resolved to get itself whole and thin.  Get it?  -____-

And We Were Busy, as Usual

I thought, today, how we won’t have the time to watch lightning together.  How that was fine but sad, how lonely but crowded life has become with the slews of people and words we don’t know but adulterate with during lightning storms, lacking each other’s presence.

Smile