What They Said While You Were Sleeping

Wishy washy wispy writing 🙂

I re-visit this city in my dreams, they call it New York, but it’s only a segment, mostly depopulated it feels, many scant boroughs. Last night I wasn’t myself, but an actor in this film with no cameras, following around these characters I had never met before. I was a different name, a different look, and my friends on the run from something. 

Hiding in plain sight, an abandoned building owned by a Chinese tyrant, mat on the floor with hot plates cookware and memories of having a shred of a life, toothy grins in reminiscence. 

When alone, one asks himself if God abandoned him long ago, that his faith and yearning is all an exercise in absence. I wake up from these dreams with copyrighted songs exchanging on loop in the corners of my ears. if you refuse to acknowledge the clicking in the distance, it rings tinnitus until death, another one of life’s tiny murders recorded in the data minute. Here, I consult with the ghosts.

There’s an uncomfortable, true melancholy in daze like these, that take place in this city. They remind me of all that aimless drifting, moving molasses walk down these streets. All this soulless wander, broken by the end of it. You had nowhere else to go. So you’re forced endless to relive the feeling, only in a place you once believed to be your personal Mecca, the great city where all questions will be answered. It turns out to be as lost as anywhere else, barren urban wasteland, hardly any noise to register. The inner fear is deafening. The realization, a house of bricks, that you’re still stuck with yourself no matter what you do. And these experiences you so desire will always elude you, time is just ticking past and your dreams in memorium a long time behind you. I sick with tremor knowing how much time i’ve wasted these last dying years, when I gave it all in. Yet, I persisted, I lived.

So we must comfort ourselves in the belief that there is a certain higher class that can afford to deny the small thoughts: having a shower, what time is necessary to cook chicken thighs. Little shit. I’ve ascended past the stars and shot skyscrapers high into the atmosphere, and I wake up at 2 in the morning asking myself if carbon monoxide poisoning is possible in this apartment I live in. Try to sleep some more, maybe that’ll help take a few more years off your life. Pray for death. Keep praying for death to save you. 

The gene pool goes away and it’s the blessing you wish for. Your family was just so terrible, your lineage just so devastatingly racist, it’s best to get that vasectomy when your dick starts working properly so that there’s no point of return. Freeze the eggs, tie the tubes, and watch the world float by you on shit creek, where you’ll have a lovely state-mandated trailer in reward for your brave sacrifice. 

That phone ringing in the background sounds ancient, we’re much too advanced now. We hardly need to trifle with frivolity like time past. We’re a progressive generation, everything moves forward no matter the cost to life expectancy. Sending ashes into the atmosphere is a dying business.

Always at the precipice, never penetrating. Enough has always been my specialty. When I was close, it was always surrounded by some form of disgust — an audience spectacle, diarrhea in a bathtub, or a deceptive trap of rubber bands elastic. Sometimes i’m jealous of the eunuch. Other times I remember they didn’t have a choice. I entertain the thought of killing for your scarcity. Lovers are doomed to Hellfire, i’m glad to be a brick. My therapist absolved me of my guilt.

I used to have some class, some style. Wear the makeup, dress the hair, underwear. Sleep eat pray on a futon, the indentation of the weight of your fat back will only make minor scoliosis, I delineate. I won’t ever pay for a chiropractor, i’ll wait a few years for a friend to fail Physical Therapy classes and get a cheap session on the baby-changer in an Applebee’s bathroom.

I’m reminded somehow of sitting in the back of a Greyhound bus, I think it was on it’s way to Albuquerque. The blue piss liquid sloshing gravity behind me I could hear it, I picked the hottest seat in the house. I was always blessed with these shallow lucks, the seat next to me someone less homeless looking than usual. He still seemed to have his entire life tied into suitcases. We need to bring all of our Star Wars t-shirts and a microwave with us in case the plague takes over. We pay for experiences in this country.

Not like overcrowded India, where this Christian pastor is from. He marveled in Virginia, at a ground that he could actually see. Comparatively, he said in India that the entire fountain would be covered in people, the ground and the sky, pictures impossible. He thanked God that the Christians came and civilized his people. He believed they would still be banging rocks and sticks together without the will of the Bible. Who knows now if he was right. Even then I believed him. How do you argue with somebody who has faith? Especially in what they know to be true? He enjoyed reclining barefoot and eating a bag of grapes he brought in a plastic bag. The Middle East is so quirky.

The great joy of aging, if there is only one, is that for better or worse you tend to stop caring as to whether or not you’re lying to yourself. A reliable victim to the pangs of circumstance, with a heavily refracted glint of worth. My survival instinctual, doomed to the mores of life’s appointed remediation. Trifle worries: dying on the toilet, getting shockwaved by shower water during a thunderstorm.

I’m starting to care no longer that my transmissions go unseen, unanswered. Perhaps it’s best this way. Little children needn’t be seen nor heard, we’ll just scrounge in the grass under the trees for a few more years before we’re worth any heed. With the internet, I am immortal above the visceral nothing.

True Intellectual Freedom

A guest article by Anonímo

I’m a gay guidance counselor and I don’t do anything wrong.

I’ve used my status to do something good for the world. I have to spread the truth against ignorance, bring it to the public school bitches that don’t know any better. I see them gawk at from behind their wrinkling botox and their bifocals, they deserve to be punished for their internalized bigotry.

I’m a gay guidance counselor and I know my feelings are real.

I get paid to put on a show for four hours, I knew theater class in High School was going to be worth something. Tree in the background yesterday, mole for change tomorrow. I used to hate having Subway every day for lunch, but free food honestly makes any job worth it. I hope Jared gets castrated for making us look bad.

I’m a gay guidance counselor and I love to waste people’s time.

I’m against violence, i’m glad there were never any gay terrorists — we’d lose the sympathy momentum we got from Stonewall and the AIDS crisis. Sometimes I wish I lived back then, got to experience what the real dangerous gay was like. I mean, it’s not so bad now. We’re a little more out in the open. I want everybody to meet my husband.

I’m a gay guidance counselor and I want you to feel my pain.

I’m a Mexican too, so the oppression I face in this America is unspeakable. I rose to this position by playing pretend, hetero’s are so stupid. We should stop lobbying for political office, legitimizing gayness in a world that doesn’t want us. Penetrate the public school system like I did. These gringos excused the pitch in my voice for sheer flamboyance. Now they work with my schedule. They work for me.

I’m a gay guidance counselor and I know i’m doing the right thing.

My lessons plans are made up as I go along, the school board is too afraid of me to ask what i’m teaching. I like to make the teachers uncomfortable. I like to make them think of insults and yell them at me while I stand in the center of attention. I like to make them admit they’re racist. I like to make them admit they might be gay. I know they aren’t. They dress too poorly for that.

I’m a gay guidance counselor and i’m going to change the world.

The State has to spend money on something so it looks like they’re making an effort in preparing its workforce for “sensitivity events.” These teachers have to show up to my trainings or else they get write-ups. One day, they’re going to be forced to tell our story, our history. Finally. 

I’m a gay guidance counselor and it’s already too late.

Water and Fragments — Three Months in Bogtown

If you look out over the Mississippi when you stand near the ferry gate, you can almost pretend that the shit and filth swilling underneath the dock was a simple man-made climate disaster, and not the will of God to create a plague that wipes the glowing neon smirk off this town’s face.

It was all for the experience, so you believe, and you spend most of your days off from the café pacing around the same two neighborhoods you’ve imagined were safe in such a town. There’s some pride to be held in telling people that you paid $100 a month for a prestigious gym. Tennessee Williams worked out here, they say. I believe this sauna room is a bathhouse. Am I paranoid or am I the hottest young piece of ass there is? These looks confuse me.

Hipness pervades, pierces the neck of every town and infects viral, coffee shop next to bakery next to amateur theater. This neighborhood was wiped clean after Katrina, some of these buildings never recovered. Anything south of Rampart became cracked pallets. Opportunity presents itself even in disaster. This is the hot vacation spot, danger is never applicable to the careful investor. Buy up all the dead property and HGTV it into beauty, revitalize the neighborhood, pretend to retain a culture that was happy bathing in it’s own filth.

This is my absolution, from the stain I willed onto myself after toiling away in the beignet. Days I near cried but couldn’t find the tears walking alone from work down the same street every day. Feeling the ripping in my body and my neck veins tighten. I’m always clenched in this town. I walk out alone at night with a subconscious death wish like everybody else.

Moving here should’ve been an indicator of the coming trial. Craigslist has always been reliable for me, so i’ll move into this hippie-house in a sprouting gentrified area. Funny how the only person that saw how I was living was an acquaintance from the past town. I was delusional enough to think that I could fuck her, with all this new weight on me, her borrowing her parent’s car for a few hours. I mired in lay-less agony for a continued period, no prospects on my horizon except for a girl I worked with, afro-haired mulatto Rouge princess. Hostess at the cafe, graphic design student full time.

I often wondered if she was being taught by the 35 year-old woman I met on a sporadic performance vacation. A gaunt woman with a stretched smile, polka dot dress. Traced the lining of my hands and humoring the idea of a date to Applebees. “There aren’t even any in the city!” She laughed instead of saying no. The no came months later, while I was lying in my bed in that cold rotting Bayou mansion, in an essay-form e-mail detailing her happy relationship and happy life. I wish I kept the e-mail now for evidence, I couldn’t generate devastating friendzone literature like that if I tried.

Cooming every day, this is the language. I wasn’t good for much anything else. My writing had stalled for the last year, and I wasn’t exactly having these vast experiences I was hoping for. Instead, I realized that I was living the same routine as a retired 60 year-old REAL boomer hippie. Day in, day out. He never had a real job his whole life — he mostly worked Renaissance Faires and played shitty Bayou music on a grand piano in the French Quarter. He spent all day, every day, huffing pot and listening to Communist radio in his room. His house was cold, his sound insufferable.

He was a victim of constant socialization. I wasn’t allowed to be the depressive hermit I was — he’d make me come out of my room to interact with the revolving door of hippies that come in and out of his house, crashing on the futon in his living room. This was especially bad around Mardi Gras. I was of course relegated to the small hitch trailer in the backyard, where I saved a special bag of Hot Cheetoh’s for the rain nights to come, my bomber jacket completely ruined watching a parade on Canal St. 

This holiday, in reality, is only about three days in Real People Time. However, in New Orleans time, three days is actually month. Maybe even a year. Like Christmas, the beads go up about three months early, people start to pour in from all over the world, and there’s this excitement permeating in the still-believed facade layer of this town that all things are good and beautiful. The layer that’s all purples and greens and naked tits. The layer that covers up the ever present rampant crime and corruption of the government, the late-night screaming ambulances up and down Elysian Fields, the ATV’s and dirt bikes raced by gang members on residential streets, the deli grocery store drug fronts. Who cares, i’m on vacation! I can walk around outside with a Margarita and make friends with an old black guy! What a magical city.

Fat Tuesday came and went. Some gender-androgynous longhair brought himherther’s spouse’s cremated ashes in a shoebox. We marched down a poorly planned route among the streets. Everybody was outside. Naked, dancing, on drugs. Rolling around giant homemade floats, costumed up, shopping carts with beer kegs and bluetooth speakers — this is what the apocalypse was going to look like. I’m drunk on absinthe from the old man’s flask, high from pot infused Fruity Pebble sheetcake, flying a knit flag in front of the procession dressed like a steampunk reject. God would’ve been only so kind to kill me then with stray Uzi fire. I wasn’t to be given up on so soon, unfortunately.

Procession procession, down the aged canals of disgust. The highlight being a highway underpass, where we marched through known gang territory. Black families lined up their cars next to big beat amplifiers and frier booths to watch the independent parades. We were a group of old white hippies, a three-piece jazz band, and a cajun folk duo dressed in elven garb. It was a bad cartoon come alive, we marched behind deadlock traffic.

Finally, we ended at the Mississippi. Trite references to Confederacy of Dunces, ashes tossed into the water. The gay old man on ecstasy dressed as Beetlejuice had to writhe with orgasm in the corner because he was creaming too loud during the eulogy. We popped cheap fireworks into the already infested waters. A grown man wearing a Pikachu hat shed a tear under his sunglasses as we funeral-danced back home, thank God. A successful holiday, only five people were shot with AK-47’s.

I moved to this town during the January freeze of the Tricentennial Celebration. I had this unshowered pallor on my face the first week or so, pacing in the streets looking for a job and trying to open a bank account. In these wanders I found a mall across the street from the Harrah’s Casino — empty like all of the others. Behind the entrance was a large display of the city’s sordid history. Year after year, every step forward bookended with a cataclysm. The gay revolution, a town fire. Legal alcoholism, a great flood. The Devil runs this city. Gang violence, drug trouble, corrupted authorities, his joyful investment. God’s attempt at erasures, clean slates, were sheer measures of mercy. But what good is the Word when it’s preached to the bog bullfrogs? Whose tune is so intoxicating.