Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Sickness.

Reading
Chuck here says reading is kind of a neutral reactive way to spend an evening. I’m reading it right here off the page. It’s 1:33 in my last proper night away from home and I disagree with Chuck. I’m awake and smiling. I’m basking immobile in the Cotard’s syndrome Chuck describes and I imagine I am enjoy it. Cotard’s syndrome, Chuck tells me, is when one revels (sometimes unintentionally, somewhat) in the belief that one is dead. I am trying to do this while feeding my soul a soul’s satiation of perfectly imagined violence. I am feeding it alabaster ash like an evening desert, burning. I am sitting right up against my room’s white tiled coal stove. Neutral and reactive are useless. My feet are warmly up on the iron door, I am reading Chuck and making, making, like a psychopath. I am method radiating like radon-laced floors. I am the dubstep pulsing through the floor from the bar below, a fever. I am killing the plants on the desk with a thought. I am dreaming like the dead and I am cooking up a world where I use a woman in a way she wishes to be used, in the Korova bathroom, which is a tricky bathroom to ‘use’ in. In this world I return to a booth and a gorgeous girlfriend, and I tell her we should go back home and make love. This world agrees with me and we go home, and in this world we have mice, little grey mice, and we stare at a mouse in a bucket trap when we get in and my girlfriend gives me a look that says she knows something. She smiles. She puts on my Van Morrison It’s Too Late to Stop Now, Disc 2, Side 1, Track 4. Listen to the Lion. She then straightens the blade of my brand new Bertoldi hatchet and tapes it to her hand with blue duct tape.  She kills the mouse. She then yells “Let’s fuck.” The hatchet is dripping. And I ask her if everything is as per usual, if things are kosher and my girlfriend let’s me know I am acting unusual. So we have very full and energy-depleting sex, and in this world I remember nothing after that. Except for the review I get post-humously. I don’t know what that means, but it’s there and I made it. I don’t care if that’s a good thing. Reading is dreaming for writers. Reading is insomnia. These are my habits.

The phone rings. I am not in Europe anymore. I am back in town. I am reading Chuck’s words again, after leaving a friend’s copy of his book in Europe. I got a new copy a few hours ago. Now things are back to normal. Chuck is still wrong about reading. I’ve been reading since I got this copy. Now the phone is ringing. And now I’m answering, and as a result of a recent book I’ve been reading, not Chuck’s, I say,
“Mmmyellow?” into the receiver.
It’s her. She says,
“Where the hell are you?”
I’m reading and holding our cat hostage in the air by the scruff of his neck. I say,
“I am reading and petting the cat.” There’s a silence. She then says,
“Well, aren’t you coming down?” I say,
“I kind of lost track of time. I don’t know that I can catch the last 124 now. Plus I don’t want to see her” I’m still reading. The cat is meowing at me. The cat is meowing and letting me know that whatever I am attempting right now is at his direct disadvantage. You win, the cat says sadly. I can hear her breathing on the other end. She says,
“Her? Her who?”
“You know, her, ‘that cunt’. That loose whore of a child.”
“She’s twenty.”
“And a horrible lovemeloveme girl. I want her dead.”
“Why do you say these things?”
“I’m not leaving the house.”
“Well, fine, whatever.”
“Don’t whatever me.”
“Fine, whatever.”
“Right.”
“Bye.”
I drop the cat.
“Tata my love.”
She hangs up abruptly. I keep on reading.

Ten minutes later I get a text saying “I’m sorry.”
I don’t answer.
Ten pages later I leave the house.

I go to the bar down the street. I meet people I’m supposed to meet there. We talk. A girl I don’t know is sitting with the people I meet. She looks like Parker Posey, if Parker Posey never smiled. She is chewing gum like it’s the sickness, the spider, the addiction. I look at her and she looks back and I put my hand out like a woman, palm down and I say,
“Mmmyellow.”
She barely shakes my hand with two of her fingers. I say,
“Who are you?” She says,
“Carly.” Pretty girls often have names like white trash. I say,
“OK.” I order four whiskey shots. I down two, give her one, order a root beer, ask for more ice, and, after the ice comes, I drink exactly an ounce and a quarter of root beer and I pour the last shot into the rootbeer. She stares at me. She thinks this is unusual. I am a dubstep concert. I squirm in my seat. My phone tells me I have a text message. I read it. It’s very sweet. I don’t answer. Then Carly says,
“Who are you?” and I say,
“It’s nice to meet you Grace!”
She orders us more shots. We do them. Then she says,
“What’s your name?”
And I say something trenchant and confusing about something relating to reading. She smiles. I tell her I read this in a dream. I arm wrestle a friend and loose. I say to her,
“Do you like to dance?”
“Yeah, I like to dance, you?”
“Oh, I dance.”
“Do you want to dance?” I gyrate uncontrollably in my seat with a stone cold look. I am a clever sample of Mario Bros. fireballs. She is amused. I say,
“Oh, I want to dance.”
We ask the guys and everyone wants to dance. We hop on the last 124 and head to Copacabana. When we arrive we have two drinks and a shot and go upstairs to Korova. When we get there we dance. I dance well. She dances surprisingly well. We kiss on the dance floor. We hump like teenagers. The teenagers around us laugh, but we’re not laughing. We’re humping like teenagers.

She pulls me towards the bar. We do a shot. I imagine the base being louder. The music sucks. I dance around her minimally like I should be sampled. I say something oblique about the obliteration of words in the dub era. I have no idea what I’m talking about. She pulls me into the bathroom.

She tells me she wants to be used. She says “used” like it preceeds “needle.” I think I’ve had too much to drink. I can’t get hard. So I tell her maybe I shouldn’t use her. She says,
“You fucking suck man.” I say,
“That’s not getting me any harder.” She says,
“Sorry.” She smiles. She spits in her hand.

I use her the way she wants me to.

She exits first. I wash up. A friend of a friend comes into the bathroom. He’s older. They’re all older. He looks unhappy. He says,
“She’s got a boyfriend you know.” He’s wearing a piano key belt buckle. I say,
“I don’t.” He says,
“Why do you do these things?” I don’t answer. I assume the question’s rhetorical. He says,
“What’s wrong with you?” I punch him in the belt buckle. His face is fat. He leaves the bathroom. I finish cleaning up.

I exit and see my girlfriend sitting at the bar. She looks drunk. She’s not smiling. My drunk girlfriend Claire is at the bar. I walk over to her and ask her when she got here. She says,
“Oh, just now.” I say,
“Harry cabbed us out here.” She says,
“Uh hun.” I kiss her cheek and stick two cans of beer in my coat pockets. I put my lips on her warm neck. I say,
“Let’s go home and fuck.” She says,
“Sure.” She says it the way she says,
“Sure” sometimes. Says like she says
“Whatever” sometimes.
We leave.
I never see Carly again.

We get home and there’s a mouse in the bucket trap. The cat’s in the bucket trap with it. The mouse is dead. The cat looks confused like this was done to it. Like a live hooker and a dead hooker in a trunk. Like magic. Claire takes him into the bathroom to clean him, but I say I’ll do it. I grab the cat. She says,
“Sure.” I do it.

When I come out again she’s naked and straightening the big knife. She swivels her head slowly and looks at me. She says,
“DO YOU WANT A SAND WITCH?” I smile. She smiles back like she’s asking me to never smile again. I smile anyway. She stabs a can of pineapples. I stop smiling.
She walks past me like a beautiful woman on the street hating you for even looking and goes over to the record player. She puts on, with some difficulty, ‘Somewhere Along the Line’ off of Side 2 of Billy Joel’s Piano Man. She comes over and unbuckles my pants, crouches down and stares me in the crotch. She screams, “LET’S FUCK”, looks up, spits in her hand and smacks my crotch. She does this to hurt me. She looks back down and straight ahead. I can hear her breathing. I can hear her nostrils flare. This is someone I hurt. She then asks my crotch if I want a sandwich with an Ontarian accent. I wait. Then I say,
“Sure.”
She gets back up without looking at me and walks into the bedroom. She shuts the door behind her.
I get the blow dryer out of the bathroom. I blow dry the cat.
Then I read some more and I write a story.
I sleep a dreamless sleep.





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