Monday, November 30, 2009

Psychic Worms.

Tecato Gusano
Reading I-Jest with my fully blaring Masta Killa in the Macbook foreground is like Gregorian Munkdom for Idiots—it don’t work so good. But I’m doing it anyways. Punishing myself. Counting down to my alone time, peeking at the sweet sin sophomore I’m staying with, Leila, as she slips into a black bra and a black cashmere dress. She’s got heathered charcoal hosiery on under the light thing. She makes a static sound around the place as she walks around. She’s got one of those tiny bodies that still has hips. Jittery. Some of those C-cup things that defy gravity. Gingerly. We’re talking about Paul Anka’s wife, Anna Anka, the Swede, the slut. AA thinks blowing Paul each morning is just all part of the contract, part of making sure he sticks around. I laugh. I tell her that sounds really awful. What’s Your Fantasy comes on. She puts her cleavage down on DFW and puts three of my fingers in her mouth. She looks in my eyes. She does it good. She giggles and heads out the door. Head to toes. Then I’m alone. I’m farting a lot and can feel a Nescafé miracle materializing down below. Haven’t gotten work done in a few days, but today feels good. I read on.

Micranots’ Illegal Business bashes through China White and Special K around page 200. Reading now feels like trying to rock a mean down tempo Freddie Freeloader pastiche on Ukelele to the sounds of 200 decibels of 21st Century Schizoid Man, or like Enter Sandman, Girl Talk style. Sugar and caffeine follow the K somewhere down the list. There is none in this little sweetheart’s house. No sugar. Only instant coffee and bio honey and no fat milk. My dump finally can’t wait any longer and I take it. I want to shower really bad, get myself all clean afterwards, but she’s taken the keys to the shower. She doesn’t like me using it, getting comfy, while she’s out. I am the lo-fi kept man. I don’t mind too bad. I move onto 202. Put on my Pleasure Palace shirt. I pop my collar. Pull on my American Apparel Classic Girl thermal tights. I ride it out.

“White people have a house, why don’t I get a house”. I’ve only stayed with girls over here. Girls just wanna help. They see the sickness, they see my own not-too-square one meal a day plan and man they just really wanna help, they want to feed me Turkish coffee, and cucumbers and goat cheese, Swedish bread (aka crackers) and caviar. Swedish caviar is like a granulous lox simili that comes out of a metal tube. They wanna set me up with a ‘buddy’ system. They want me to get out and feel it up, live! Rise! Tare it up with them. Ratchet to the Death. They want to make sure I get off on the right foot, preferably in the mid-morning. They give me blue balls and nights of the softest legs. Have me just lock the door when I leave. Text them at 3. TTYL. Right now it’s noon and I’m feeling the shakes and the last of yesterday’s wine is gone. Leila’s got a picture of her she’s been hauling around for 23 years. It ignores me, sipping on black licorice tea across from me. I fathom that I make out a deviated septum. “Big Girl” comes on. I pop some Ibuprofen.

I meet her later at her best friend’s house. I’ve got all my stuff in my bag, though I don’t tell her. My dump was a little rough and I can’t take my eyes off the shower, down the hall. We talk shit, this and that, London, internships, Berlin ticket checkers, punks. We talk Dizzee for a while. My girl in the black dress needs to take a call from home, takes it in the hall. Her hand leaves the nape of my neck and she smiles at me on her way out. Her friend gives me a sweet smile. She’s nice. Nessa. High waisted pleated skirt and burgundy Docs. We talk Love Will Tell Us Apart. Leila pops back in and puts her boots on. She’s gotta go for about an hour or so. I got everything in my bag, I tell her I’ll be fine. She comes over and pops her tiny red-haired body in my lap and gives me a wet, darting kiss, a little slap. Her friend smiles, looking away. And she prances off.

Nessa makes us some coffee, says she’ll make us some late lunch. I follow her into the kitchen. I sit on the counter, in front of her, on the cutting board. She waves a knife in my face. I’m gonna flippin’ kill you she says. Flippin’.  I tell her I’ll give her head if she lets me take a shower. She smiles. I take the shower first. I write a poem in my little notebook. I tie a little bag of potpourri I find in the bathroom around my dick. There’s some kind of door in the floor in there, which interests me for a moment. I can imagine wormy things crawling around in there I do a little mock krumping in the mirror to make sure my gear is all comfy. I pop some Dizzee on the ipod speakers in there. I come out smiling. She smiles too.

Later on we’re at some burlesque show the girls wanted to see. Something in the poor part of town, somewhere they can kind of slum it. Cover is cheap and drinks aren’t. We’re watching an Asian girl getting out of a suitcase ass first. It’s not bad at all and we all just mostly watch. Meanwhile Leila is acting like a girl out with friends and the new boyfriend for the first time. She puts her lips on my back. Nessa just smiles. Girlfriends. They brought along their other BFF, who is even prettier than they are. Her name’s Lena. Lena used to date a guy who slapped her around once in a while. She spoke to him the other day, speaks fondly of him now. Lena is a terribly well made girl. You can always count on the really really pretty one’s to put up with that type of stuff. I wonder why they do. I used to sleep with a girl who liked it, but that was different. That girl could’ve probably kicked my ass. Lena doesn’t have a mark on her face now. I give her a kind, honest smile. She sips on ten Euro Vodka Redbull and lets me drink half of it. She’s a sweetheart.

Later we’re out around the corner having a drink. Nessa and Leila are fucking hungry, so I tell them they should go down to the McDs around the corner or get a kebab or something. Me and Lena aren’t too hungry though, we’d rather just sit here and drink. So the two head off, and Nessa gives me a knowing smile, though I don’t think she knows anything. Lena gives me one of those too. She asks me where I’m sleeping tonight. I tell her I don’t know. She tells me she likes having a guy slap her around sometimes, whilst they fuck. Though she says Do It, not Fuck. I tell her I like doing the slapping sometimes. She orders us two more drinks. She has a sip, and I suck a bit of mine back. She’s got good leg and shows some of them. The corner we’re in is dark. She tells me she’s going to the men’s room. I suck on my drink some more. The waitress gives me a look I don’t appreciate. I take a trip to the men’s room.

Lena’s cheeks and neck are a little overly red and she’s just kind of laughing at the sight of it in the mirror. This girl is a good kind of crazy, I think. She let’s me at it with her compact and I fix it all up. I give her a long wet kiss. I give her my number. I like this one. When we get back to the table, the girls are back and they’ve got this look. I know that look. They brought us some fries. I lean in and grab my highball, get it down fast. They all exchange loud words in German that let’s me in on different levels of indignation and anger. Lena doesn’t seem too mad though. The girls keep yelling, but I can’t help but not really care. Still, I keep my eyes on Lena, feeling a little bad for her. I can hear the two getting up and I’m still looking at Lena, who is kind of trying to not look at me. And then one of the two slaps me. And Lena gives me a look. And I kind of ask if like she’ll still have me, without saying it. And she just gives a look that’s all wishes and glitter and a plea that says she just can’t. I can’t blame her.

Finally they’re gone, and I’ve got three drinks in my hands that I take to an empty stool at the bar. I go back to the table for my bag and I see Lena’s left a pack of Menthol Pall Malls and I grab those. I light one and suck on it, sitting down at the bar by the knowing waitress. She’s off now, tallying her cash, but I can tell she’s thinking something as I sit down. I give a sigh and push a drink over to her. She looks up and I just look back. I think a bit about Lena. I don’t feel too great, but, you know, I don’t mind too bad. The waitress finally gives me a little I-know-buddy type of shrug. I swivel around towards the bar. She orders us a couple of shots. Chartreuse. We suck them down. She orders another round. We let them sit. I get out I-Jest.

We get another round as the bar finally empties. I offer to pay, but she says she’s all good, these are her promos for the night. I work in bars back home and I let them know, tell the bartender I can do all the bottles. He says that’d be great and pours me another, pours himself one too and asks about my tattoo. I tell him my girlfriend did it, no compromise, I ask about his. We have another. She hands me a pile of twenties to recount for her. I do. Hand it back. I get done with the bottles and she asks if I’ve got any place to stay tonight. I tell her I don’t know. I check my cellphone. I got a new email from my girlfriend, back home. I write her back. The waitress is done, finally, and so is the bartender. They tell me to grab my stuff and follow them. We head down the street to their place. It’s not very nice, but better than I’ve seen in the past. Her name’s Becky she says. His name is Mort. I say Mort, and he says I know. We have a bit a chuckle and he asks if I want a beer and I say yaah sure. I sit on the couch and he hands me one and the three of us just sit around drinking, barely talking. Finally Mort gets up and says goodnight and heads to his room. Becky asks what the deal was with the whole night and I tell her. She gets it, I think. She gets a couple more beers and sits next to me. We drink for a little while longer. Finally she says her bed is big enough for two, but I can’t try any shit. I say that’s fine. I don’t mind. She’s not bad looking at all. She reminds me of someone. I tell her I’m tired, and we head into bed, get down to our undies and get in. I make a bit of a joke, I don’t really remember what, but it goes over well. She leans over me, all this reddish hair in my face, and turns the light off. We fall asleep in 5. I dream of tropics and cancer. Everyone dies in the dream.

I wake up around 4 and she’s right up on me. Her cold butt pressing up against my hip. I say Becky and she turns over closer, mouth right on my neck. I say Becky again and she gives a slow licking kiss, gives it a suck with a slight pop. My dick starts to rise. She folds one of my legs between hers and we kiss. She kind of smells like my girlfriend. My dick keeps rising. And I just take it from there. Keep on with it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

small bit from the large novella

Plane travel is a bit of an anaphora, and the writer decides it’s a fine mind-fuck, given the right circumstances. It’s flailing through the sky and wondering about home and mouse poison. It’s impatient comfort getting off. It’s wishing for a Montreal snow storm out the window. It’s getting on the S-Bahn S9 and back heading into Neukölln, Berlin, home. It’s looking for the cat and finding none of course. It’s whispering Jesco, kitty. It’s a fine night sleep in a double bed that’s not as fine a sleep as a queen size bed with a warm body to pick at in the night. It’s no internet. It’s heating. It’s no gas stove. It’s home. For now. It’s not home. It’s cheap beer. It’s litres of milk for comfort. It’s watching Star Trek like comfort food. A bowl of bacon and crème frische, tomatoes, paprika and kebab seasoning, and hard week old bread softened up in the sauce. It’s comfort food, that don’t work too good. Like watching your home cave in on itself. Watching from a safe distance. Feeling sick on a full stomach.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The mouse file continued. Thanks Fellini.

All I do is think about it, but I say that’s too much I say it rides me mad I say I want to write and not just think it and if I think without writing I start thinking about not writing and I get angsty and do not write, or write badly, which takes me off the wholesome rise I intend to continue on and augment. I get sad. I get sick. I get sickened with the sad self, so screamingly sickened in fact that’s why I’m doing it, popping movie file after movie file after tv episode into the VLC. I am trying to overload myself with something else, boil up an idea, get myself well and fashionably, self-consciously high on the discomfort over someone else’s art and the notions it involves me in, the writing thoughts. The shame. At my own not writing. I want to simmer till I’m boiling and be all vapor and eventually a conceit of eroded copper colored tailings at the bottom of a non stick pan, me ready, doing. I want to overdue it.
I am watching Fellini. I watch because it makes me jealous and eventually disgusted with myself, and then I think I’m tired and then I think just a few more minutes and then something happens on screen that dissolves everything else momentarily. E.g. like just now, in the wake of getting seriously bored, and muscling past the half, suddenly he is in a harem of his women, imagined and wading in every boyhood fantasy through an upgraded lens, bubble baths and seaside gypsy whores, wives and lovers, up in the attic for the older than 26, down in my lap when they’re younger, and I can’t help but think about the constrant reconstruction effort every bit of work I put together is. I see myself on the screen, narrating. I am transfixed, I mean incapable of moving, moved and effaced and stranded in the black and white kooky solipsistic funk of pure art. I mean finally I like it, I like it a lot, and it inspires. But it is so pure and imperfect and complex that I can’t help but just keep breathing hard and thinking that the mouse, like my mouse chipping away at the hall walls, the mouse which more or less ruined my past night and upon which (whom?) I placed the burden of today’s misfortunate lack of writing, or ‘writing’, or quality material thereof—stuff that can, decidedly, stubbornly, truly, not be worked, like poop —I mean the mouse seems myself in something else. I am to the mouse as the film is to me; I am imitated and simulacrum-ed and seamlessly replaced, transcended by what a man with a thoroughly different background, I mean an Italian with different age and taste in glasses, has thought up filmed and placed before me (me, protagon, understander, complicit bystander, sycophant) myself, momentarily, to myself.
In this gift, I am torn between basking in the lengthening of the moment, and cementing it here, on my own screen, and it aches, as I am transfixed. I can hear the long overdue water having boiled entirely away in the kitchen, leaving the orange sediments telling what I tell. I hear the pop in the distance like popcorn with the last drop gone like a swan song, like 8 and a half ounces finally done. They call it typewriting and I type—my arms and hand move like another’s arms and hands. Which makes me sick, as if I were watching through a camera, through a window of a moving car, capturing. Every piece should be a swan song. Every piece should be the last piece I put together, before moving on, changed. Every piece demolishes and rebuilds. Every piece is good old pain.
I sound like a teenager. I am here. I am now. I am wondering if the cup of tea I’ve fixed is still drinkable, and why the girl on the third floor that lent me the rat poison pellets answered the door with her pants showing her underwear through a clearly unzipped and unbuttoned pair of pants and why such a girl—I mean a devout German protestant—why would she do that. It made me feel poopy. I am bored and self-loathing and lonely right now. Irish friends of friends where suppose to call last night. They didn’t. I am alone. With a damned mouse. Why am I so scared to go to sleep if I know the bucked trap or the poison will get it? I am alone. I am a fraud. The mouse is a reminder. The mouse is a half-assed conceit. I am sick.
I sip my mint tea and try to forget about it all. There’s stuff on the screen. I’ve done this. This is me reading it through. I pat myself on the back and try not to vomit on the keyboard. I’ve done something. Later, I get this published and am sad at how ugly it is and sadder at how accepted it is and I become a pedant and a drunk like everyone else. I live fashionably and never alone. I become a clotheshorse. I start thinking I am also a serious photographer. I get a student of mine to publish pictures in his friend’s start-up press. They are horrible. I go around comparing myself to DFW. I will never be DFW. I am a fraud reading DFW. I compare myself to Fellini and Bukowski. I have nothing they have but the women. That’s a lie. I am here. I am sick here, now, then. Late at night I come home from the Copa and I watch episodes of brit com and vomit into a bucket. I have mice for pets. They are in another room. I hate them. They remind.
Fellini seems to love himself, which is a brave thing to do. He refuses the need to absolve himself, to say ‘Hi, I hate myself’. He avoids self-medication. He inspires.

Monday, November 16, 2009

German Bucket Trap, complete with platform and deturgent boxes, circa 2009. Failed. The pellets, on the other hand, did not.
Mouse is dead. Ambivalently, oddly, missed.

Party Time

Here is how to do it: say yes when another woman asks you out on what lacks the pretext of, but will inevitably be like, a date. Say great when she says it is a costume party, that you should dress up.
Here is how to text her out of worry regarding the possibilities available in the dress-up department and suggest you dress up as a 1966 mod and creepy photographer à la Blow Up, knowing full well she is somewhat of an Antonioni nut, though it may be a part-time and certainly private thing. She does not know that you know this, but when she texts back that this is “awesome!” be sure to take it as an attempt at flirting à la Nokia.
Here is how to practice being a creepy photographer by having your 18-55mm Nikkor Vibration Reduction standard zoom and auto-focus lens become one with a cock-eyed, slowly but surely more and more jacked, elderly pug on the S-Bahn. Take several 1/30 shutter speed shots from various angles from your seat directly across from the pooch, and learn how to detract the attention from the creepy photographer by photographing something way creepier. Take a few slow exposure shots when the dog is staring dreamily into the lens, fully erect.
Here is how to waste money on yet another beard and hair trimmer after ruining the battery of the last one half way through a haircut. This is how you do the top and the wrong part of the sides before having die out while still on your head, trying to eat your scalp.
Here is how to pick out a 20 euros shirt at a Mitte thrift-store by asking a 19-year-old girl what she thinks, tight and red? Loose and yellow?
Here’s how to spend 30 Euros on a brand new philips corded and cordless beard trimmer, simply because you don’t trust anyone else, especially not a profesionnal, to give you a trim. Here’s how to do it yourself if you want it done right. Here’s how to waste money without honestly regretting it.
Here’s how to remember to avoid buying Antonioni-style white 501 jeans.
Here’s how to dress up appropriately as a creepy mod that does not look gay: blue 510 skinny jeans, red wide-lappel fitted white and red plaid shirt, Black John Fluevog wingitp boots with tan laces, black and washed Levi’s jean jacket, thrift Saint-Laurent perfecto, camera, trimmer perfected stubble, buzzed head, Nivea men’s aftershave and body lotion. Jean jacket buttons should be set to fitted, not loose, button all the way up to the penultimate one, red and black plaid lambswool scarf rapped Palestine style, though not a keffiyeh. Those are disrespectful and tacky.
Here’s how to walk like you have a knife in your camera hand. This is how you wrap a camera’s Nikon band around your wrist tightly.
Here’s how to look like you don’t care by talking pictures in the Hallesches Tor U-Bahn. This is how you cup your hand around the lens Antonioni style. This is also how to wait for your ‘date’.
Here’s how to follow her lead all while looking careless. Here’s how you walk slightly behind a woman without looking like you are following her lead. Here’s how you walk. Here’s how she knows you are not following.
Here’s how to talk about your horrible ex-roomie whom you are renting from without sounding misogynistic. Make it sound like every disgusting quality you describe is an obvious antithesis to your ‘date’s’ own qualities.
Here’s how to get the German’s at the party to talk to you: do not talk, just sit, enjoy the boredom and drink other people’s alcohol. The German’s will talk to you.
Here’s how to get in on a conversation about Star Wars, which your ‘date’ has not seen, without sounding geeky. She has not seen it even though she has come to the party as Darth Vader’s sister. Here’s how to mention it nicely without alienating her. Here’s how she laughs.
Here’s how to not look overdressed at the ‘Sweet Sin’ themed party by not taking off you black and washed Levi’s jean jacket. Trust me on this.
Here’s how to talk to girls and easily keep their attention by telling them you are in Berlin to write and knowing it to be true. Here’s how you describe what writing a poem feels like. Here’s how you describe money and socializing in contrast with the artist’s life. Here’s how your palm looks when they eat out of it while you feign to look away.
Here’s how to seem worldly by speaking perfect French with an accent they have never heard. Here is how to brush off some nice guy’s idea of Quebec French as something else than actual French. Do it nicely by correcting his syntax like a tutor, not a poet; but still do it.
Here’s how to do something so naturally and disgust yourself in the process: when a girl tries to explain to you how great it is that you are doing what you are doing, really doing it, feign that it is hard to hear, lean in and put your hand on her midriff to better hear. Do this several times without her feigning any type of disdain. Get bored with it.
Here’s how to get to the bathroom while making the click of your boots sound manly. This is how a strut is successful.
Here’s how to notice the shirt you bought for the lecherous occasion is in fact eerily similar, almost identical, to the shirt you wore to your (current) girlfriend’s birthday party no less than eight weeks ago. Here's how to realize you look like the lo-fi version of the Sartorialist. This is how you sigh in the bathroom and make the effort to put a smile on before heading back to midriff girl.
Here’s how to realize she’s moved on to some other dude, and move onto another girl by asking for a full glass of her Vodka. Here’s how she laughs. Here’s how her laugh buries your ‘date’ telling you she is leaving.
Here’s how to become a worst guy over the years: slowly realize no one will ever call you on anything. The only one’s calling you will be admittedly worst guys. Guilt becomes problematically absent.
Here’s how to control yourself by taking pictures of the table and talking to what must be a couple.
Here’s how the girl of the couple tells you they are not a couple by telling you about her apparent boyfriend’s boyfriend, in French.
Here’s how to realize the kitchen floor has been absurdly dirtied by the not-yet-over party, which in turn is how to realize you are too old for this. Grow-up.
Here’s how to leave and have the Tequila guy, who seams to have taken quite a liking to you, follow you. Here’s how to loose him by simply walking in the opposite direction down the street when he runs off. Here’s how to do it alone, take the U-Bahn to Neukolln.
Here’s how to walk home from Neukolln and start to notice a pain in your right ankle that is real and was not there before the party.
Here’s how to fold your shirt neatly as to keep it wrinkle free for next time. Here’s how to hope against a next time.
Here’s how to think you are resisting absolving anything by writing it down. Here’s how to not forget. Here’s how to absolve by making.
Here’s how to self-medicate with raw back-bacon. Here’s how to eat cream cheese and chives with dry, cold and old pizza crust. This is how you make a point of getting into the plastic container’s corners with it.
Here’s how to sleep like the dead, dirty and already pasty. This is how the world remembers you. Like formication in the morning. Here’s how to say never again earnestly without meaning it. Here’s how that works. Here’s the keyboard. Here’s compartmentalizing. Here’s finishing off Blow Up, seeing where it goes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer's Block Saturday

sunflower oil like a chaser.

Christ, a month in this
high ceiling one room flat
with a surly lovesick roomie, one
    crazed cunt
reorganizing my undie pile and
    talking through the bathroom door
while I’m trying to poop.
The writing's good when you got
    something to hate.

But now she’s gone
and now there’s a mouse, eating
Christmas cookies
on the bedroom floor,
and there’s bottles of beer around
    that it doesn’t touch and that
didn’t do much for the writing.

The cookie moves around in the dim light
of blank Word files waiting,
Last of the Summer Wine on the TV.

The mouse keeps me up all night
    and the next day
I’m still not
and I blame it,
cause I can.

I set my mind on sunflower oil bucket traps
and poison pellet buffets.

I'm still not writing the next day
and I wait for the rodent to go softly, take pics of
    the little traps, prove that I am trying

I eat some
cold soup and
hate myself a little more.
I feel sick.

I imagine the mouse giving birth and
before you know it I imagine they’re eating away
at my hard drive, fucking their brothers and sisters
by the nightlight of my Macbook's backlit keys
and I loose
the few pieces I’ve
stuck together.

I imagine I die a little, and just
become a full time bartender
or cook.
Let what I do go from ‘write’ to
    ‘pour Boreal pints, two at a time’ or
‘cook beef ravioli’.

Hopefully the mouse dies seamlessly.
Hopefully the mouse dies first.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paris and its tiny parks and opere beauties. Paris is like a movie.

kids in paris

She walks down the street with those kids like a blues minuet, the kind of independent blond with short hair who dates articulate black blues musicians who write a mean Chinaski pastiche. She’s self-made. She’s a tough broad, firm, young, educated, no bullshit. She’s been taking care of these kids as she gets through a French class at la Sorbonne, but no one knows that, no one knows her place is free as fuck and has green floors, no one knows she’s getting paid to play scrabble with the little ladies of the house. These people think she’s the kids’ mother. Izaure spits a bit as she whispers happily,
—Ils pensent tous que tu es maman! Tes cheveux!
So they think she’s tough as a well manicured, immaculately enameled nail. She’s blond. Teeth and grit. She’s busty and she thrives on the shit that makes these other folks throw-up their cornflakes. It is written that she was selling pictures of her babies to greeting card companies and then galleries when I was still just fingering girls in Park-X and cumming too early. A lady. Mademoiselle. Class. She knows how to wear a turtleneck dress and knows how to work cleavage, for herself. I mean Class. If they think these kids are hers then these kids are hers. Let them stare, let them ‘ce rinser l’oeil’ at the self-made goddess in black leather converse, a steadfast lover of a woman with fists like polished piano ivory. This woman wears the pants. This woman’s come a long way, baby, and she don’t even smoke.

The kids’ parents are getting a divorce and it’s been hard on them. These seem popular ages for the occurrence. The parents have been worrying about themselves, and the 9er and the 12er have kind of fallen into the blond Swedish miss’ arms. She adores them and they’re making due. Kids are strong little fuckers. Happy telling faces. We walk down the street talking love and the 9er, Izaure, just looks up at us, as she crisscrosses backwards, hopping or something,
—L’amour, c’est beau. Mais l’amour, c’est difficile.
Kids kill me, and we smile kindly at her, she lovingly, with a little laughing sigh. She scruffs her hair.
I’m too dark to look like the dad here. People are smiling, looking me over, wondering what a man in skinny jeans can provide—i.e. wondering what to call a man in skinny jeans. They barely ask, even rhetorically, if I’m worthy. I don’t mind. Low expectations. I get a fuzz out of her hair. I blow it out and above and mademoiselle smiles, tightens her grip briefly. We watch Izaure is doing the Charleston in her brown high heels. She walks like a lady. Not bad at all. You can see bits of stuffed paper rolling over the edges of the shoes, some little bits she’s used to make them fit, some little bits flying off, like little white clouds in the street. She swivels around and gives an Audrey-Hepburn pose, one hand on her hip. She gives a coy, severe and closed-lip smile, like a Soho magazine girl out fto make a killing.
—Aimes-tu le ping-pong? she asks.
—Mais oui!
—Ah ben…
She shrugs and goes back to her business, does a little road-to-Oz tap-dance down the walk. She’s her own little Garland with all that red hair flashing in the breeze. She falls behind with her favorite demoiselle.

I buy a couple of 2-euro apples and give the nicer one to the 12er, Aimée. She says ‘Vank you’ and gives me a one-eyed squinter of a smile, the sun illuminating her face. She’s cute in her glasses. She’s the first baby portrait that made it big in a gallery I imagine. ‘Première lunettes à Aimée, en couleur’. She’s quiet, sweet little knock of Cons, a nerdy little genius waiting to turn into a Swedish no BS fox like ‘maman’. ‘Maman’ is coming up behind us doing a hip-roller of a dance with Izaure excitedly imitating.
—Look, she screams. Nous dansons comme des gonzesses américaines! Ooowwwwoooo!
‘Maman’ biffs her ear playfully as they walk past us and all we head down butte Montmartre. We sit in Auvers Park before getting on the metro home. ‘Maman’ has homework to do, so we do it. Aimée scouts out the bushes and does a little secret interpretive dance of her own. She hums to herself. Izaure is off doing something confusingly unexplainable, but innocent and lovely all the same. Aimée sneezes into some dandelines. Izaure laughs. They both laugh.
—Des pits sans lits!!!
They run off together through the park and I bum a cigarette and smoke it softly, thoroughly. ‘Maman’ clears her throat, leans on my arm a bit. She smiles with some mock earnest eyes, mouth closed, pen to paper like a 1920s paper man.
—With who do you play backgammon?
I dump the cigarette and chew on Orbit. The caplets are in a paper rapping. They do not know how to package gum over here.
—Avec qui joues-tu au backgammon? I think.
She writes on and finishes up quickly, with a little help. I think about home a bit and feign hunger. We head on down into the metro.

It gets crowded pretty fast and the kids are holding hands, telling us about their day at school. Izaure smells her red locks, licking a bit of them. Aimée is talking history class, opening up.
—Mais Marie-Antoinette! Pfff.
But some man is slowly squashing her as the wagon fills up. I see Izaure getting pulled down by her sister’s arm getting pushed away. She keeps on, all muffled.
—Dorlotte la gerlotte!
Some kids just don’t complain sometimes, like they think they’re besides the point. These two are unphased. Izaure looks like she’s bowing. Aimée’s so close to the guy’s jacket we can hear her breathing loudly against the Gore-Tex, her nose protruding from one side. ‘Maman’ finally steps in. She cusses him out. Even uses ‘tabarnak’, like a good Quebec girl, which no one understands but me. It’s epic. And then after a short pause everyone else is cussing him out, cause that’s what Parisians do. It’s our stop and the yelling is still going on. The kids are keeling over, covering their mouths, a couple of giggling little ditties looking up at the wagon of yellers. Indignation. It’s funny, and I look at ‘maman’ and she laughs too, finally, and I smile. No one doubts who the boss is. I slowly pull the bunch off.

We’re walking down the street. We pass a McDonald’s seeping out onto the street, overflowing with frenchies. We’re nearing home and we buy some arugula, some chicken, some cheese. A couple of bottles of wine. I tell her about an idea I have for a story. I take a picture of Izaure doing an MC Hammer. ‘Maman’ is holding my pinkie finger. I do a little MC hammer myself. ‘The picture’s all wavy from the dimming light and I show it to her.
—‘Intouchable, in November light’
She laughs. They all laugh. Aimée even breaks into a tutting routine for a second or two, with her hands half way in her sleeves. I close a shutter on that one too and she hears me, straightens right up, covering a giggle. ‘Maman’ pulls on my finger and I look over at her, all freckles and tough broad. She looks good.
Life’s doing fine for now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the roomate...reedited.


Seldom though it may be, when I bob my head slightly to the music, it is not for her enjoyment, but rather to keep on titanically avoiding defeat. I bob my head with a shrink's wit—not one who wishes to make the other, the kook, feel they are understood and compassionately in good hands, though that may indeed be the by product, but rather as a mere attempt at presenting the façade of indifference, to communicate an apparent, flawless, albeit dishonest, unflappability. No one is indifferent to Michael Jackson, for better or worst, and coming back home to the vibrating sonic skunk of 1987’s Bad pounding through the foot thick walls and into the garden is an example of what it takes to make me pray the gay student (fashion administration, of course) and the 20 year old econ. major will accept me into their home and its grey, seriously custodial aesthetic. But still, for now, I am here, I am smiling, and I am limply, though aptly, bobbing my head to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” in an apartment with acoustics similar to a 1986 club, specifically when said club is failing and overly loud and empty and everyone inside—say me and my wretched wreck of roommate—are pretending not to mind the dismal time. She says she shall go out very soon. I type on, and affect unaffectedness. In 20 maybe. I am a rock, reliably inanimate, mostly. I drink water out of a Flensburger bottle and crack my knuckles. I visualize grinding my teeth like a yogi cage fighter. I want to die, though that is merely an expression, I guess. I want to kick the chair from under her and MJ, which is a euphemism, I guess.

Here is an example of the lack of self-awareness and lack of selflessness roomie-darling demonstrates: she is a self-proclaimed light-smoker who smokes, feet away from my bed (i.e., let’s face it, daybed), at least one 17-cigarette-pack's worth of hand-rolled Kingsgaard death-sticks everyday. I am a non-smoker. She rolls, smokes, waits maybe ten minutes, and rolls again. She then smokes again. And waits ten till her next roll. Maybe. Maybe less. And so forth. Till 3 AM. Maybe. If she's tired. Or later. She claims her recent intake of the carcinogens is related to the stresses of being out of school and, intentionally, out of work—two things she, irony of ironies, quit because of feelings of overwhelming stress. Self-awareness. She’s also quite loud when she cooks, and eats for two, though she is quite plainly only one. She is lovesick for a child to love her, though. To love her she says. Not to love.

Here is an example of her capacity for ‘love’ of loved ones: we are at the one bar worth drinking at down the street. I have, previously insisted I really want to stay in and work on stuff, but she insists, over the phone, that we meet, in 20, at most, for a quick drink or two. An hour later she shows up and we drink a drink—my nursed bottle almost gone already—and finally my second. A friend phones her in tears. A close friend she describes as, lovely, beautiful, close, sweet, selfless. The line cuts out. Bad reception in the bar. She just keeps on drinking with a sigh, rolling a cigarette, lighting up in the non-smoking section. I ask her what’s up. Her friend, the lovely one, is in tears she says. I ask if she’ll, like, call her back. Bah, she says, don’t feel like it, later. I tell her I’m going after I get this last Flens down. The phone rings again. Again, the close friend. Again, in tears. Again, the connection cuts out. Again, she sighs, rolls, lights up. Shall we have another she says. No I says. Call your friend back I says. Oh No she says, when we’re done she says, I buy you another you shall buy me breakfast. No. Come on. No, we’re done. Call your friend. She doesn’t.

Here is an example of her pathologically lying neediness: she offers her place to me for a month, has me move in and crash on her daybed. She sets me up nicely, tells me she’s leaving in three days. She has me pretend I’m her cousin for most of her friends, for reasons she refuses to sight. She tells me she’s leaving in five days. She has me come home to visit her home neighbourhood, tells me come home at 2, my appointment is at 13, we’ll leave at 14 she says. When I get there she changes it to 16, then 18, the 20. I waste a day. She tells me she’s leaving in six days. Tells me she’s booked the ticket. Tells me she asked her sister to book the ticket. Tells me she does not believe a person can be happy living alone. Tells me she hates living alone. Tells me she’s leaving in four days. Told me this two weeks ago. I ask her when she’s leaving. She doesn’t answer.

Here is an example of her stupidity: she tells this same close lovely friend that I am very much comfortable around her, very much myself. She decides I will when she asks whether I shall miss her when she’s away in Denmark.

Here’s an example of her troubling depression: she sleeps 14 hours a day. She denies unhappiness.

Here’s a second example of her stupidity: she buys spinach in the frozen box format.

Here’s a lasting example of her stupidity: she reads, if she reads anything, stuff like Rumi poems. She thinks they are deep.

Here’s an example of her peculiar and paradoxical form of boring: she goes out most nights and tries to drag me along every time. She stays out late. She drinks habitually. But it takes her half an hour to drink a glass of wine and she feels that 9h30, which is the time her friends normally want to meet, is unnecessarily and problematically late.

Here’s an example of her single-mindedness’ many dimensions: she uses “shall” instead of “could”, she uses “shall” instead of “would”, she uses “shall” instead of “may”, she uses “shall” instead of “will”. She never uses “please”. She never uses “thank you”.

Here’s a conflicting example of her troubling depression: she thinks happy people shall inspire her to be happy. They shall be quite inspiring she says.

Here’s an example of how unreliable she is: the clock on the stove, her alarm clock, the kitchen’s wall-mounted tea-kettle clock, her watch and her cell phone all indicate different times, none of which are right.

Here’s an example of how she has changed over these few years: pictures of her former 24-year-old self are undeniably of a beautiful girl and now she is somehow fully ignorable in the looks department. This is a conceit.

Here’s an example of how she makes me uncomfortable: she makes this sound I’ve never heard elsewhere that sounds like a live animal’s jaw is breaking and blowing a cavitation bubble at the same time. All this occurs within her mouth. She makes it all the time. I ask her to stop. She winces depressively, as in a reverie, looking away. She does not answer.

Here is an example of her confused simple-mindedness: another Michael Jackson album comes on.

Here’s an example of something she does which seems so puzzling and insulting one cannot even get mad due to the confusingly shocking consistency of the said something: four out of five questions you ask her are simply ignored.

Here’s an example of her stubborn incapacity to change: the music is skipping because it is a CD-ROM.

Another example of her stupidity, though perhaps more specifically her stubbornness, or even more specifically her simple-mindedness through the limited spectrum of her lack of selflessness: she just turns down the sound instead of skipping to the next song.

I skip forward. Her jaw cracks. She rolls another. I write on.

After about three hours I says when is she going.

As “Heal the world” crescendos and shrivels my ears, kicking me in the face, I nod my head. When I says. Shall you make it louder she says. I cough a bit on some second-hand Kingsgaard. I make it louder.

When I shall she says.

Shall you make it louder she says.

I bob my head and write on.

You’re strange she says.

Yes I says.

November 8th, almost everything is closed on Sonntag.

I'm away. I'm reading David's blog and I'm pleased and i wonder why don't I have a blog, so I want a blog, and here I am. There's David with a blog. In Berlin. In a cafe just like Myriade with an American in skinny jeans pouring the shots behind the bar. I asked him if he was from Mile-End. He's not. He's from DC. But he's nice. They have a scrabble board. A German one. But still.
I am enjoying myself. I am drinking less. I am taking non blurry pics with my DSLR. I have not been going out as much. I miss everything. But this is good. I'm living alone, me a mouse, a cockroach... I killed the roach yesterday. With scissors. I've made a little MTL style routine for myself, minus the bars, which isn't much of an MTL routine, but still. Berlin is like Montreal with more sausage, less poutine, crap fries, real crap pizza and a vaster variety of hipsters, though a lower occurence of skinny jean men. Life is A-OK. Everyone thinks I'm a turk. They stare at my jeans, perplexed. Only the gays stare at me for me. I write, I write, I DON'T WRITE, I write that down, I write more that day, I hate myself a bit, I feed the mouse poison. Little blue pellets. I've got bucket traps going too. It's a work in progress. I read Bukowski and DFW in bed and the mouse scratches on in the hall happily, with it's little poison dispenser and bucket trap with sunflower oil at the bottom. It thinks it's alone. Like peeping in on someone taking their bath, or doing their yoga. Eavesdropping through a door. Feral.
Nothing much has happened or happens and sometimes I drink to make something happen, but it doesn't help much. I watch movies to bore myself when the writing won't come out. It works. The product isn't always a recompense. I eat 69 centimes camemberts and 39 centimes frozen garlic baguettes. I do pushups. I drink cherry juice. I am patient with myself. I avoid a social life with some success. Things are taking shape. I'm sharing. Things you might like. Stories. Pictures. Stories.
Tomorrow is the day the wall fell 20 years ago.