It sucks to feel it. To know it’s coming, yet just sit with it like a shameful, paralyzed little bitch. Especially in public. That attack erupting within you–magma at the dermis. You can see sound waves–not really, but kinda… Really. You feel them narrowing in on you. Them and everything else. The rolling of Spanish r’s as Dominican abuelitas speak way too loudly in the way too crowded way too hot subway car. They’re trilling these r’s (it’s their thing) at decibels with crests like a tsunami. You want them to stop talking. This is a pollution. But, you can’t talk. You can’t anything. You stopped working. And, you’re going to have to manage. Don’t make eye contact. The air is suffocating and it’s pulling you out into its riptide. Don’t get pulled out. Not too far. Space is fluid. Silvia Plath writes about seeking refuge in that vacant real estate under her bed (she also traded stories of suicide w/ Anne Sexton). You know what she was talking about. The why of it all. You know she was hiding, waiting-out an internal storm, a melancholic-narcissist, an understudy for the role of her own corpse. I tried that once in seventh grade. Why not, can’t hurt. Hid under my bed for a near-hour and tried to calm myself. Until the dust bunnies and asthma won. Those faint-whistled breaths, like a machine, but human, but like a machine; and, you know you’re not quite yourself in that moment, or anything, but you somehow oddly feel better. Lack of oxygen isn’t all bad. People say their goodbyes, but you’re here. They compliment, and embrace, and smile, a half-smile that’s half-happy and half-something-else that isn’t quite clear. But, you’re here. You probably have the same look on your face, but are too dumb and too removed to register it. And, you listen to these words that they say, this blend of wisdom and well-wishing and perhaps a note of envy. It feels like you’re an acquaintance at your own eulogy. There’s d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e. She was a blahblahblah… I always knew her to be blahblahblah… You want to scream: “I’m here!” But, you’re not. Not really. Not completely. You’re an abstraction of someone you once were, or are becoming–a fragmented, animated piece. Picasso would’ve painted over you and started over. There’s too much contradiction, even for his palette. That should be added to the to-do list, the must-do list–be there, be present–but, do do it this time. Be resolute. You pause the tape of the day’s conversations. Hit rewind–nah, rip out the magnetic rrrrrrribbon and throw it out. You stare at that random vertex in the universe. That outlier vertex that just doesn’t quite make sense in man-made engineering. And, calculate. Estimate. Stop this. You’re imploding. Stop thinking. Stop. Is it 45 degrees? No. Focus. It’s more like 60–because if you make a right angle, it’s clearly angling more than its complementary half. 46-60 degrees. Within that range. Don’t touch your eyes in public places. You have a phobia that all public surface areas are hatcheries of pinkeye. Don’t worry. No one can see you with your sunglasses on. You’re in the dark and so is everyone else.
Overheard, line of the night: “You take my time, my mind, my Kung Pao chicken… I don’t got energy for this.”
No, there’s no Seinfeldesque punchline cued up. I really want to know: Why do they have cellphones? Who’s calling them? Or, is it simply what marketing psychology refers to as FOMO–fear of missing it–with the rest of society? Pretend you’re on the now network whilst–reality check–you’re talking to yourself. Technology: Man’s coverup for schizophrenics and loners. (The you, and only you network.) Are the bums Instagramming selfies, candy-crushing it, tweeting, getting hashtag happy and updating their Facebook statuses–#still homeless. What kind of plan are they on? Is nationwide roaming a given? Who’s paying their monthly bills? I bet the Patriot Act is in on this, which means bums getting their LTE-on is subsidized by our tax dollars. Life, liberty and the pursuit of cellular service… blahblahblah… Thomas Jefferson, but I’ll be damned if I pay overages!
Today, I got mail—tangible mail, not AOL style. In the era of online everything, I love it when the postman taps my box with a sampling of envelopes. Yes, most of it is junk. We’re talking 99.9th percentile; but with junk, comes the cathartic carnage of tearing shit open and shredding them to diamond, crosscut bits. That whir of destruction… it does something for me.
Today, I got mail addressed to me and my imaginary husband (who apparently decided to take my name), soliciting our joint purchase of memorial property. The advert slogan reads: Let’s Face It Now. How about, let’s not! GEE-Zus (yea, I’m calling out the one with the “ca-pi-tal G and the Z-zizzy”)! Firstly, I’m from America! And, a ladysapien at that. My average life expectancy peaks at 81.2 years. U-S-A! U-S-A! Being happa-Jappa, genetics could have me afloat even longer at 87.3 years. Yatta! Sugoi! (Jappa-femmes being second only to the Andorrians by three-tenths of a year. I hope those three-tenths fall in the winter months—fuck winter). I’ve got some decades—plural—in me. I’ve yet to even experience half of my expected life’s potential. So, why does Pinelawn Memorial Park and Garden Mausoleums (the Largest in the East) want to have this necro-jizz fiesta over my “peace of mind?” They’re assholes, that’s why. Assholes that prey on the fears of individuals in their prime, one Pinelawn booklet at a time.
Below, is a list of my specific hang-ups with PMPGM (the L in the E):
- The salutation “Dear Friend:” Don’t call me friend. We’re not friends, friendo. Nor are we going to be friends en la futura. I want to be burned. And then scattered. Let me burn. Let me scatter.
- The collage of couples staring at the inanimate—walls, plaques, fountains, statues, gazebos, Grecian pillars, oh and all those headstones—giving us a pensive, yet serene three-quarter profile. It’s depression in soft-focused technicolor.
- The limited-time, complimentary offer of “Our Family Registry,” which appears to be the fifty-seven page, Martha Stewart scrapbook equivalent to organizing all the death shit you care to muster while you’re doing your life shit. Yea, I’m envisioning a monochromatic theme for the will page with perhaps mulberry paper and other mixed media. Though, I’m worried about the acidic migration…
I, like the many of us still breathing, am afraid of death, or dying, or both—probably both. So I, like the many us, do not like to think about it, or get junk mail cautioning me that I, like all the processed muck* in my fridge, have an expiration date (*Note to self: Bullet) Eat less processed muck; Addendum) Learn to cook, therefore becoming less reliant on said processed muck.). Does my carton of Stonyfield, smooth and creamy, low-fat, USDA organic, French vanilla yogurt know that it expired two days ago? No. It’s just sourly fading out from this world. He was a great source of protein and oddly pesticide-free. Unlike organic dairy products, I can’t fade out in that bliss of sour ignorance in the Kingdom of Frigidaire. I have to be reminded, prodded and hustled even–it’s time to decide your last plot point and fill in the remaining bits of storyline accordingly.
Summation: I’m afraid of dying. And black holes, and roller coasters, and eyeballs, and MRSA, and the Hadron Collider (because of its potential to create black holes), and space (too much of it, or too little), and orphaned mattresses left on the sidewalks of NYC and the life aquatic, swimming beneath me in the ocean. And, most of these fears orbit around the phobia core of–death. En fin de la fin. (The outlier fears orbit circa neurosis on overdrive.)
I’m officially three weeks behind in Game of Thrones.
Goodnight, new moon.
Here’s my like-list, published early this week:
1. Drunk bike-riding on breezy summer nights
2. Inappropriate questions/dinner conversations held at very proper dinner tables
4. Key lime pie… Mmm–yes, key lime pie
5. The contours of my back in a backless dress
6. Driving fast in a snowstorm (when snowflakes look like the stars in all those science fiction movies once the spaceship engages in warp speed)
7. Kitchen seductions, foreplay substituting for appetizers while cooking with the Lion
8. When people say “please” and “thank you” and “I’m sorry” and “you’re right” and mean it
9. Answering questions about my race/ethnicity with blatant lies (lies that can continue, if prompted, with elaborate backstories)
10. The fog–when it’s thick and low to the ground
I. Rivers Cuomo’s “Across the Sea” is my current jam, echoing the etat de vie of my foreign lover and me–minus the statutory rapey undertone (yes, I made “rape” an adjective). Well, the chorus at least. Well, the first two lines of the chorus.
Why are you so far away from me?
I need help and you’re way across the sea
I could never touch you
I think it would be wrong
I’ve got your letter
You’ve got my song
II. Said lover states that it is good to drink in prime numbers. I just have to decide which prime number for the eve.
III. Dreamt of a bushy*, red-headed ghost that made me chauffeur her about rural America. Worse, prior to being drafted into her service, she stole the parking spot (read: ditch between a gravel road and cornfield) that I had been patiently waiting for with her own car… Bushy ghosts!
*The linguistic hybrid of “bossy” and “pushy” coined in a drunken slur by RG.
If you have a dog, than you are a dog walker–a near axiom of the Law of Contradiction. (Unless, you keep your pet hostage in your dwelling until the ASPCA comes, rescues said “man’s best friend” and uses the video footage as B-roll for their campaign against animal cruelty with Sarah McLachlan singing “Angel” in the background.)
Dear Urban Dog Walkers:
As you are well aware, the outside world is our four-legged friendos’ urinal/squatter–all of it. Yet, we have the power of the leash. This is the code of curb your dog. And, we have the responsibility of dookie duty. This is akin to one of the 10 Commandments: Thou shalt not let shit lie.
As I’m crouching at dog’s-eye-view to pick up the smattering of Remi’s excrement that is Turd Fest 2015, I see this companion piece–this pile of desiccated shit, a pathetic attempt at camouflage amidst the fertilizer. Do I pick it up while I’m down there, because “I might as well”? A good Samaritan on shit patrol? No. Because, I don’t have Samaritan blood coursing in my veins–good or bad. Why should your negligence somehow burden me and my often misguided conscience because Remi and I went on our potty promenade later in the morn? Hm? Pick up your pet’s shit!