I dreamed I was at a bar, or maybe I really was at a bar, & I had the Times magazine in front of me.
Do you need some help with that crossword? the bartender said.
I pulled it closer to myself, jealously.
No, I said.
My ex & I, the bartender mused, rinsing a glass, we used to get angry when the other one would fill in a word. My ex & I, I mused, counting my money, we used to fight over who got to hold the pen. Who got to hold it? he asked.
I did, I said. I always got to hold the pen, but somehow I never got to win a fight.
How cute are Swedes???? How much do I wish Jorgen was my friend? Also, if Jorgen wouldn't mind, I'd like to spend the afternoon drinking beers in a field with his best friend Joachim. Maybe the Swedes know about love parade ruffneck pee sex. Maybe these two could tell me what it is.
Ages ago I posted something about some Brazilian having gotten to my blog by searching "love parade ruffneck pee." Now I find, someone over in Deutschland reached my blog by searching "ruffneck loveparade sex." Is this some newfangled fetishistic subcultural, not to mention international, new category of sex that no one's told me about? Seems awfully ironic, since googling the shit only leads you to my blog, & obviously I'm clueless.
Speaking of google searches, I noticed that some poor soul got to my blog like this.
That's just sad.
Giving in to the grand tradition of converting the most banal, everyday public spaces into bars, I spent last nite at Brooklyn's latest example of ever so sincere irony, Check Cashing. We have a converted pool chemical supply shop, a converted pencil factory, & now a converted check cashing store. Makes this seem downright passé.
I wonder if, the more prosaic the location, the more exciting it is to get drunk there. If that's the case I'd have a hell of a time hanging out at a bar that was formerly my office. At my current office we've actually got this horseshoe-shaped structure right in the middle that would make a pretty gigantic bar. Sidle up next to it on a stool, dim those unforgiving flourescent lights, & you've got yourself a decent nightspot. PROS: killer view of Manhattan, quick jaunt from the bar to my blog, loads of gossip. CONS: discussing which shots to take in terms of ROI, basing the tip on whether or not the bartender is delivering value-added service, possibly being turned off drinking forever.
Oh, it is unfair. My friend Mike encountered the mother of all celebrities today. Madonna, Madge, the Material Girl, Esther, call her what you like, but Mike saw her, & not only that, he talked to her, & not only that, she talked to him, & not only that, but he had his brand-new camera phone on him so he got a picture of her.
Cruelly, a long-time Madonna fan like myself is stuck with a crappy ass Samsung whose screen went blank three days ago, & hasn't a hope of even glimpsing her from afar. Life is so unfair. It's not like Mike spent countless hours watching Desperately Seeking Susan & dancing around to Borderline in his underwear .... or is it?
I wonder how many true loves a person has. More crucially, I'd like to know how many times a person can have their heart crushed & their hopes dashed before they are finally rendered simply unable to love again. There was an idea in that book Memoirs of a Geisha, the audio version of which accompanied my friend Katie & me a good ways into a road trip from San Francisco to Providence many years ago, that men gain strength & power from the sexual act, but for women, it's as tho every time they make love, it's like another petal falling off a flower, or some such bullshit. Katie & I partied a lot at the time & so we laughed about it, but I remember feeling unsettled. That sort of observation doesn't have the power to hurt me anymore, but it strikes me that there is a limit to how much & how many times you can give of yourself to another person before you start running out, of yourself as it were.
Isn't it a grand miracle, everyone says, to take a chance on love, to trust another person wholly, to trust yourself to them? & if you don't, of course, you'll regret it. It's better to have loved & lost & all of that. But maybe it isn't. Maybe it's better to keep yourself to yourself, & be free. Or maybe it is better to forget all of that & think about shoes instead.
I have a lot of utter nothing to blog about today. I can't really be fucked to write about the sketchy one-room apartment on Long Beach where my friend Leyla & I stayed yesterday, with the violently flapping blinds & a suspicious lack of belongings. Nor do I want to write about how burnt I am or how tired I am or how guilty I feel for never learning my goddamn lesson about anything. Anything.
Yesterday & today I could cry at the drop of a hat. On the L.I.R.R. coming back to the city I got a bit weepy but it went away as fast as it started. Over tacos in Dumbo last nite I suddenly thought of this poem from The Pursuit of Love. The Radcliffe children thought it up to torture their sensitive sister Linda. It reduced her to tears instantly.
A little houseless match
It has no roof, no thatch
It lies alone, it makes no moan
That little houseless match. That's the sort of thing that could set me off today -- i.e., practically nothing.
Watching this hilarious video brought back ever so many lovely, hazy, blurred Austin memories. Sometime this summer I'd like to have a Mexican Martini party on my roof in honor of good old Trude's, but I'd dispense with the the cruel & unusual limit of two martinis a person & let my friends have as many as they felt like drinking, at their own risk as it were. I'd make a big batch of Mexican Martinis using the Trudy's Texas Star recipe, natch. Some people (idiots without proper tastebuds) claim that the best M.M. in Austin is to be found at the Cellar Door; this is utter bullshit, along the lines of Trude's bullshit claim that their shakerfull will yield about seven martinis. Christi Castillo & I called bullshit on that a long time ago, about five years ago probably, one hot summer nite at the Trudy's off Guadalupe, where we sat outside on the wooden benches, a pile of oilves between us, & made a bet as to how many of Trudy's crooked-stem glasses we could fill with our shakers. Christi thought it was about four, whereas I thought it was closer to five. Or perhaps it was vice-versa. I think we lost count after glass number three & had to order another shaker apiece & start counting from scratch. Needless to say, we never figured out which of us was correct, but we had a damn fine time trying, & I do know the number of glasses filled never approached seven. Of course greedy us liked to fill our glasses to the tippy-top, so the tequila hovered perilously round the rim & splashed salt into our drinks, & after a couple of glasses we'd be begging the waitress for new, freshly salted ones.
I was allergic to something in those martinis, but I loved them anyway. The offending ingredient was neither the tequila nor the cointreau, a Trudy's manager once informed me, but the fresh limes they used in their recipe. In the bathroom at Trude's sometimes I would pull my skirt down to pee & see a warm, spreading flush gathering itself across the tops of my thighs. I'd splash my face with cold water at the sink & go back out for more. Not having as many martinis as the Trudy's Nazis would allow was an unthinkable idea. There was something about downing those perfect concoctions in the sweltering heat, sitting opposite someone who was suddenly your best friend in the whole world, picking flaquities off your Botana sampler plate, wondering if you had enough time for a nap before you were off to Emo's, or de Ville, or the Drafthouse, that made you want to sit there all afternoon, confiding everything, in love with everything. It was a tease tho, because if you didn't watch out you ended up like those poor people in the video, stumbling across the lawn to the parking lot & slobbering on all over the nearest available dude. So maybe there's something to that limit, after all.
Today is Bloomsday. This evening I'm meeting Paul at Zablozki's for a drink -- so perhaps I will order a Guinness. Stuart is celebrating his Bloomsday in the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea of New Jersey. Sorry Stuart, but it was the only Joyce reference I could think of offhand.
VH1 has this slide show of "dirty rocker boys" from the '90s. I thought I would be in heaven but I wasn't. That's cos their slide show is crap! They don't have a single photo of Kurt Cobain or Mike Patton, & of the guys they do show, it's like they'e picked the worst possible photos ever. So I made my own slide show. Even tho you have to click on the links, rather than having the photos appear when you press a fancy pants arrow, it's still better than VH1's because I picked better photos & better people, & better photos of the same people.
It reminded me that we all end up alone, even former first ladies. This in turn reminded me that I recently dreamt I was a former first lady myself. I was on a tour of the White House with all of the other former first ladies, a surprising number of whom were still alive. I was in a panic because could not remember which former first lady I was supposed to be, which former president I was currently married to or had once been married to. I was fairly sure that I was Mamie Eisenhower, but then the tour guide addressed one of the other women as Mamie, so I was at a loss. I woke up thinking, "But of course, I would have to be Lady Bird Johnson," as tho it were obvious.
When I was at home I looked thru an awful lot of old journals. Most of them were pretty depressing. I liked this sad little entry, from March of 1997:
I am trying to remember that life is not poopy if you don't want it to be.
All the same, it is a little bit poopy.
The cicadas are expiring in Northern Virginia. Many of them are starving, & not a few are fluttering weakly on their backs, & a small portion still creeps forward slowly, very slowly, but most of them are already dead.
When I am with my family I am perennially fifteen, & fat. Eleven years vanish away: suddenly I'm clumsy, & quiet, & I'm sucking my drink down faster than anyone. Greedy as the cicadas drinking from the roots of trees, I want to get as much as I can before I sleep. & I won't ever transcend my adolescence.
Reading this article, about an alternative to this approach, I got distracted by the realization that the warm fleshy color I've been meaning to paint my bedroom for ages is the exact shade of the New York Observer. I wonder if I can request it at Sherwin Williams.
I took the subway today at lunch, to get away from midtown. Very often I have the urge, at midday, to get myself away from midtown. It was about 90 outside, as hot as I can remember it so far this year, & I rode down on the W & suddenly I saw that everybody around me was sleeping. I had had my eyes closed too, for a moment. I was resting my left hand against my neck, wanting to feel the way it feels when his hand is on my neck, very firm & sure, on my neck & against my jaw & brushing my ear. My eyes were closed but then I opened them, & I saw that across from me the woman in an embroidered Moroccan tunic also had her eyes closed, & the young black guy with headphones had his eyes closed, & across to the left there was a very large woman hunched against the window & her eyes were closed too. It was like a fairy tale, where the townspeople had all fallen asleep & time had been frozen & I was the only waking life on the train & sitting there with my eyes open I could almost will his hand to be there.
I think it lasted about three seconds ... but it was quite long enough for a fairy tale in this city.
"Somebody at one of these places asked me: 'What do you do? How do you write, create?' You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks, you make a pet out of it." Charles Bukowski
Today my skirt is too big & my shirt is too small & I'm pretty hungover because after the Bukowski movie we felt like having more than a couple of drinks. I don't know why I wasn't expecting much from the Bukowski movie, but it was fucking fantastic. It was one of the best movie-going experiences I've had in awhile. I'd forgotten how much I loved some of his poetry, & before that I had hardly seen any footage of him. It was amazing to see him buttoned up in a funny old-man shirt, sitting on the couch with a beer or something, crooning "How can you be so meeeeeeaaaan to me?" to his girlfriend Cupcakes. He's really so startlingly ugly & lovely & funny & sad. We were laughing almost the entire time, except for one uncomfortable scene where he kicked his wife away from him on the couch, & when he talked about his childhood, & at the end when he read one of my favorites, the poem about the bluebird, & I got pretty teary. So it goes like this.
there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I'm not going to let anybody see you.
there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's in there.
there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too tough for him, I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up? you want to screw up the works? you want to blow my book sales in Europe?
there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too clever, I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody's asleep. I say, I know that you're there, so don't be sad.
then I put him back, but he's singing a little in there, I haven't quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it's nice enough to make a man weep, but I don't weep, do you?
My ex-boyfriend called me out of the blue to say I look like that smarmy kiss-ass from School of Rock. (Far right in this pic.) The conversation went really fucking splendidly, as per usual.
x: You know who you look just like?
k: No, who?
x: That girl from School of Rock.
k: Who, Sarah Silverman? (blushing & pleased)
x: No, no. That one in the beret or whatever, who he makes the manager of the band.
k: The smarmy kiss-ass one? I remind you of her?
x: Not in personality. You look like her. I meant it as a compliment.
x: But she's a little kid.
x: I mean, I think she will blossom into looking like you.
k: That's great. You can tell she's a kiss-ass just by looking at her.
x: That was her character in the movie. Maybe she's a really great actress.
k: Sigh. OK. Thanks then, I guess.
x: You never take anything the right way. (pause) Listen, I'd totally have sex with her.
k: Oh. OK then.
Melissa is so in love with the Passion(R) Herbal Tea Lemonade over at Fourbucks, she's decided she wants to marry it. They're registered over at Marshall Fields.
So, evil best friend that I am, I'm having a fling with her fiancé. It is delicious.
I spent last nite getting shitfaced at a dark little gem of a bar in Bushwick called Kings County. If I lived in Bushwick it would be my Sweetwater. It's better than Sweetwater. The drinks were so strong we left before we heard all of our songs on the jukebox. Stumbling homeward through the barren, broken-glass & barbed-wire streets of Bushwick is a million times nicer when you are full of Jack Daniels & in excellent company. It's even better if, when you go home, you get to curl up on the couch with said company, a little bit of weed, & Beavis & Butthead Do America on DVD.
I just got a piece of spam from someone named Misty that says "Can you be any smaller, nemesis?"
I find that a bit insulting. For one thing, Misty called me her nemesis, which isn't nice. Then she asked if I could be any smaller, implying I'm insignificant as a nemesis or something. When I have a nemesis, I make sure to make as big a deal about it as possible. I usually call them by first & last name. I have this nemesis that lives in D.C. She started dating my ex-boyfriend & she also glommed onto a bunch of my friends down there. Quelle rat, as Holly Golightly would say. So I started using her first & last name at all times, & narrowing my eyes a lot, whenever I talked about her.
I'm living in Bushwick this week, taking care of Utz the dog & watering Belkys' plants. Everything is going great with Utz, but I'm a bit nervous about the plants. I forgot to mention to Belkys that I am vegetationally retarded & tend to kill plantlife when appointed to their care.
Bushwick is a nice change of pace tho, for me. It's nice to not walk by eight hundred people smoking cigarettes in front of Sea every time I go home. On the other hand, it would be nice to walk by something on the way from the subway, something besides gated warehouses & garbage trucks & broken glass. There's so much broken glass I fear for Utz's paws. He likes to go right for it, too. He also loves the stinky puddles of industrial waste & occasional pile of poo. We are having a great time tho. Last nite as I was laying on the couch passing out to Breakfast at Tiffany's (hence the H.G. reference above), Utz the dog wandered over to whisper in my ear, I love having you around Kat. It's like a tropical vacation for doggies. You're the best. Arf, arf! He really did, he really did.