September 06, 2014

This Week: A Lesson In Discomfort

This week was supposed to be a ‘fresh start’ but it began by being a ‘rotten start’ because my fridge stopped working and all the things in the fridge melted and rotted and I had to throw them away soggy and wet.  It was like trashing dollar bills. 


You don’t realize how vital your refrigerator is until you don’t have it.  It is where you get ice to cool your drinks and it is where you get cold, filtered water.  It is where you keep your produce and dairy items and meat items.  When you go work out and you come home sweaty and dying for some cool refreshment it is no bueno drinking a glass of cool tap water, let me tell you!.  It is like a kick in the balls.  I dare you to try it. Nobody will do this.  It’s the opposite of sanity. 

I tried to salvage some things like eggs, tortillas, bacon and beer (important) by putting them into a cooler with ice.  Outside of the beer, everything got really soggy and every time I ate an egg I wondered if I would get sick.  I googled things about “room-temperature freshness”.  I ate cans of soup for lunch but I only had two, so the other two days I scrambled some eggs with Spam.  I didn’t get sick, but I also didn’t have any ketchup or Sriracha to put on the concoction because those “died in the fire.” 

At work we have the “stairs of death.” They are made of marble and I always knew I would fall on them one day.  Thursday was that day.  “Luckily” I fell up the stairs and not down them.  My right knee took the brunt.  It has two areas of blackness now; the area under my knee has a fist sized bruise and on the top right of my knee there is a bruise that is deceptively small-shaped like an arrowhead.  The small-shaped bruise is the hurtiest.  Even when I was doing nothing it hurted.  Today it felts better.  I said ‘felts better’ on purpose. That’s not a typo.  I wanted to say it that way because I like how that sounds right now. Right at this moment.  “Felts better”

My work doesn’t have any ice packs.

Then, yesterday at 4:30 when I was at work I sat down at my desk and my pants split.  I heard a truly comical ‘pants ripping’ sound in tandem with me sitting on my chair.  I smiled.  I reached under my ass and felt my underwear-clad ass cheek. I smiled and sort of silently laughed to myself.  From what I could feel, my pants had ripped from the bottom of my right ass cheek, up alongside my right pants pocket, to almost the waistband of my jeans.  My officemate noticed my weird facial expression and started asking me “What?” What?!” and I told her and it became a ‘hubub’ and word spread about my humorous predicament and it was pretty funny if I do say so myself. 

I wrapped a spare sweater I keep at the office around my waist as soon as it turned five oclock.

I came home and the house was hot. This whole week it’s been hot.  It’s been an emotional week with lots of heart-turmoil for various things but mostly one thing.  It’s like my heart took up crossfit and now it’s all ‘brainwashed in the cult of crossfit’ and I’m like, ‘when did I sign up for this?!?!’ and my heart is all, ‘you were always enrolled but the classes didn’t start until mid-year’ and I’m like, ‘fuucckkk this sucks, but THESE ABS THO!”  So last night, when I came home, all I wanted for my sore kneeheart and hotsweat face and exposedasscheek was a super cold dark beer beverage.  I felt ‘owed’ this beverage.  I felt I ‘deserved’ such a beverage.  But in my current world, what you feel you should get and what you want is not exactly what you are going to get. 

And, as apropos, I didn’t.


August 28, 2014

Come Pick Me Up

I look for you in the 140 characters.  You're usually always there.  A ticker-tape heartbeat visual pulse I can check to make sure you are breathing. I’m always checking. I’m like Santa. I’m like Santa Claus.




There are never enough words, are there?  I mean, there ARE enough words but none of them can bridge that gap, can they?  None of them are airplanes.  None of them true healers.  They are only Band AidsTM   Look, I will type words now:  face, hands, arms, tattoos, breath, blankets, gin, valet tickets, room service, surfboardt.  These words mean things and these words are beautiful but these words don’t do shit, Sherlock.  They just look back into brown eyes from this black screen and masturbate that tender heart for maybe one minute.  Two if I’m lucky.


I can type words all day.  And I will.  And I do.  I will toss these words around like drunks tossing midgets at a bar on St. Patrick’s Day.  I will connect words together and add some punctuation.  I will hit the space bar and the enter key a multitude of times.  I might even use a few emoticons.  You know, to add “flavor” and “personality.”  I try to be a charmer.  I will sign my name. Maybe some exes and ohs. I will type in an email address that will auto-fill because my gmail knows where I send most things.  I will hit send and I will refresh until I get bold back.  Then I will do it all again.


Distance is a bitch and a fuckface.  My life is its twin sister.  Try to help someone who lives so many miles away by typing words.  It’s hysterical.  It’s a fucking joke.

But I will do my best because I can’t not do it. 

I will do my best because I have to.


August 21, 2014

Life Raft

I will say his name: Hoops McGee.  His name out loud.  Some call him Bowman.  These are the words I can identify.  I call him Pops.  I’ve called him pops since I got here.  I needed a touchstone. He’s not my dad.  He’s who I go to when I am shattering.

You’d go to him too if you needed like I need.  He’s got a light.  This morning a young white man asked for inspiration, or at least I thought that’s what he said, or maybe I pretended, so I gave him Hoops.  I said, “Find yourself a bow-legged black man wearing a red t-shirt and jeans, brown suspenders, bright yellow headphones.  See this black man bopping down the sidewalk, lost in music.  There is your inspiration.”  There is Hoops.

I talk with Pops while he’s barbequing.  He stands over the sizzle and sputter, one elbow pointed, hand on his waist the other hand poking with his prongs, keeping the charred men in line.  Despite the overwhelming heat, he only sweats just enough.  I keep waiting for the sweat to cross over, flood his face like a girl who can’t hold back her tears any longer but it never comes to pass.

Bowman pokes and listens, pokes and listens.  He never says anything until I am finished even though the tale is redundant and crazy.  I can’t see his eyes through his sunglasses and I like it that way.  I like talking into the meat-smell and smoke.

“This place,” I say.  “This place is not where I came from and it’s not where I thought I was going and now that I’m here, I’m so lost.”

This is when Hoops nods.  Says, Mmm hmmm.

“I was walking along the road, the same road I’ve always walked.  Walked that road for 33 years or more, then BAPOW!!!  I end up here.”  I change the sound word every time and yell it loud and every time Pops jumps, laughs.

“Pops, I don’t know what ‘here’ is.  It’s the best place I’ve ever been, Pops, but it’s also the worst.  It’s upside down backwards and slanted. There’s the pain that comes up in the night, there’s the other pains that stab in the daytime. I’m not sure how everything works, how to get by… but its pure joy seeps into every pore in me!  How can that be, Pops?  How can a place be the greatest and the awfullest at the same time?”

Bowman stabs a roasty chunk, lifts it towards his face, tilts his head, puts it back.

I hang my head for a little, thinking of what I’m going to say next even though I know exactly what I’m going to say.

“I don’t know how to get out of here, Pops.  First of all, there’s no way in Hell I can go back.  This place is everything I’ve ever wanted, even with the hurt.  How can I go back after I’ve lived in such a Heaven?  I’d rather rip my soul away.  I can’t go forward because I don’t know the way; it’s that labyrinth, you know, the one past the mill that lays across Mount Truth, the one with the Poison Dragons. I’m scared I won’t make it, that I won’t get out alive.  But I can’t stay here, it’s killing me!”

Pops starts flipping the meat.  This is always the part where he flips the meat and this is always the part where I start crying.

“I don’t know what to do, Pops.”

That’s when Hoops puts down his prongs, takes off his sunglasses and dips his head just enough to make some of the sweat droplets join together to make big ones that then go sliding down his brown skin.  That’s when he tells me what he always tells me.  It has the same lingering beats, the same cadence and pause.  It feels thick with wisdom.  Pops delivers it to me like he’d been waiting his whole life to do so and maybe he has.  I’m not sure.

I keep hoping that one day I’ll finally be able to understand their language and Pops’ words will all make sense and I’ll know what I should do.  But right now it’s all gibberish. 

Pops hugs me with a dad’s strength and I walk away feeling a little bit better and I hold on to that little bit better for as long as it takes which isn’t very long and that’s why I go back the next day and the next day and the next thinking, today will be the day it’ll all make sense and I’ll know exactly what I should do.  But until that time, I’m going to hold on to the heaven through the pain because it’s worth it.  It’s my life raft.

August 18, 2014

We Are the Sun

It is morning and there is a truck somewhere, headed East, with a driver unaware he'd run me over.

This was a weekend where I wasn't there, but I was.

It is a sluggish morning.  I am wrenched and leaden.  My face is a burned leather.  My skin is two sizes too big, but not loose, it's puffed and tightened.  There is a heaviness in my head that is a familiar voice calling for more sleep.

There was nothing other than the sun to blame for this.  Sitting underneath it, doing nothing.  Enjoying its rays, how it brings people into it, lifts them up.  I let it bake me.

It's funny how sitting beneath something so beautiful for too long can wear you down.


August 09, 2014

The Game

Baker hid under the coffee table.  Contorted himself into a small oval.  Destiny didn’t find him until last but when she did it took him seven minutes to get out of there.  The coffee table wasn’t big enough to hold two large pizzas let alone cover a beast like Baker, but it did and we were astounded. 

“He’s missing some bones,” Hank said. 

“Obvs,” said Destiny.

Nobody helped him.  We were all too busy laughing while filming his struggle.

“This shit’s going on my YouTube,” Destiny said.

I got found first so it was my turn, pissed because it was a dent against my record.  I went into the bathroom, counted to 33, I left the light off; it made the transition into the black hotel room pain free.  Dark to dark.  Easy on the eyes.

“Ready or not, here I come!”

I could hear giggles and scrambling.  I let it waft and settle before I went out.

I crept quiet in my socks, impressed at their silence.  One room harboring four adults hiding in the darkness should give off more sound than what was lacking around me.  But this was the game.  This was how we played it.

I saw Destiny first; this bulbous shadow lying across the top of the small couch.  I filed the knowledge, she was It last time. I wanted to get Baker.  He was getting too good.

Instead I kicked Hank.  He was lying behind the drapes. 

“Mother FUCK Ashley!  That was my dick!”

“I didn’t mean it, Hank! I was just checking the dang drapes!”

“You need to kiss it, make it better.”  I could hear his smile in the darkness.  I could see it too; his green eyes glinting all mischievous-like, his little snaggle-tooth peeking out from his lips like a scout.

Hank was a total baby, especially when it game to the game.

He crawled out from under the drapes careful not to let the light in.  We got the side of the hotel where the sign was.  A bright flashy, announcement of where we were staying.  We had requested a room on the other side of the hotel, but we were late arrivals and there was nothing available. Bad luck.  For the game, anyway.

I tip-toed around until I found Baker, lying under the pillows at the top of the bed.  Then I got Destiny who then boasted about her great hiding place on top of the couch.  I didn’t tell her she was the first one I spotted. I let the sad girl have her moment.  She was our worst player.

We put the lights up and drank a little more, laughed a little more at Baker under the coffee table.

“Okay,” Hank asked, “ready?”

We put our drinks down and stood while he got himself into the bathroom and closed the door, shutting the lights before the slam.

While we’d been drinking I’d been eyeing a place next to the closet.  Baker had his black duffle on this little luggage stand and I figured I could bend myself around it, rainbow-like, and blend into it, morphed.  So, that’s where I went as soon as the door closed.  I didn’t follow the others.  I had a record to keep.

The scrambling was quiet this time.  No giggles from Destiny, no lumbering creaks and clunks from Baker.  This round felt serious.

“Ready or not, here I come!”

The bathroom door opened loud and I kept my breathing at barely.  My spot was in the annex to the left of the door, in the small entryway.  If he chose to search there first, I could be toast. 

Luckily, he went right.  A bigger space meant more hiding places.  Hank had the worst strategy.

Of course he found Destiny first.  She had tucked herself onto a chair.  Sitting there like some sort of Golden Retriever. He found Baker next but it was after a long while wherein Hank must’ve hit his shin against a couple things from the sound of his yelps and cussing.  I’d find out afterwards that Baker had Spiderman-wedged himself up the wall-corner, one foot balanced on top of a small end table.  This spot and the coffee table would go down as part of the game’s history.  We’d talk about it in the years to come, and then later at Baker’s funeral.  Shaking our heads with laughter, eyes wet with tears.

Hank found me last.  When his hands caressed the arc of my back in the dark, I kept still.  I wanted him to do it again. 

He did.


August 03, 2014

I Am The Squirm

I’m going to write some things now.

I came back to this buffering sky.  The last sky I was under was so blue and forever and it had the most incredible clouds.  This change figures; after you are in a place with such an imaginary sky, real life returns hard.  You put your regular shoes on and walk that same road you left the week before.  You trudge.  This buffering sky is a blank white and its hotwet and hangs.  Any definition is absent. There was rain this morning.  It’s a welcome back fuck you bitch, here you go again, remember this?  And I say, yes I do, and my stomach hurts because there is nowhere for me to go.

I turned in a manuscript a week or so ago and I just got notes back and I’m scared to look because when you are writing a manuscript it’s just Team You.  When an editor gets involved sometimes they don’t like the shoes you are wearing or they think if you put on some Spandex tights instead of your cotton Dolphin shorts it would make you run faster.  But sometimes you love your Dolphin shorts cuz they make your ass look great and they’re really comfortable.  Sometimes the editor wants to make you get rid of your “Body By Bacon” t-shirt because he doesn’t think it’s funny but you LOL’d until you peed yourself the first time you saw it and the material’s so soft and you love it so much and you will have to fight that editor to the death to let you keep your Body By Bacon shirt and its hard because, “I just love it. It just feels “right” is not the best argument.  I am bad at arguments so I will take my time opening the manuscript filled with notes because I like not looking at things.

Everything is great in the dark.

Anniversary cards are a big lie.  I picked up and read 40 of them at the CVS and none of them made any sense.  All gibberish.  All dead inside.  Intertwined hearts, a rainbow made of roses, pictures of sunsets behind mountain tops.  What is that?  I got a CVS guy to bring over the manager.  “Why are you selling cards that are meaningless?”  I shoved the one I was holding at him.  It had a silhouette of an older couple holding hands on the cover with hearts and shit on it.  The front said, “LPOZR MERYUNVICATE” and the inside had some sort of poem on the left in italics but it was mostly smeared and illegible.  On the right side it said, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”  “Tell my what this means!” I demanded.  He looked at me in a confused fashion.  “Umm, well, it’s a card about two people celebrating the love they’ve shared for a few decades and how they want to do it for a few decades more with the same person.”  That’s when I got pissed because I don’t like being messed with.  I started pulling out all the cards and shoving them at him.  All the cards with meaningless gibberish.  Words that meant nothing.  Made up shit.  “You’re going to tell me all of these say stuff that means things?!”  He was sort of struggling to hold all the cards I kept shoving at him and he also looked scared and that made it all feel so sexy.  I started to get a little excited but then he called security and all the sunsets and champagne bottles fell onto the floor.  As they were pulling me out of the aisle, I tried one last time to make sense of the cards, but no dice.  All the words were corpses.  But I bought one that had two cartoon dogs on it holding one bone between their mouths because I like cartoon dogs that share bones.

I watched a lot of movies yesterday because I was sick and not feeling good and there was that buffering sky pressing down on me so movies seemed like a good answer.

I can’t believe it took me this long to watch Mulholland Drive since I am such a big fan of David Lynch.  I loved it.  I really need to watch it again though zomg. I love his darkness. I love how he mixes ugly and beautiful. There is a truth to it.  It’s exactly how I think my insides look.

I’m realizing I’m doing that thing where I’m tearing myself apart.  Yesterday I peeled off all my toenails.  I did it in a way that hurt really bad.  I couldn’t see what I was doing, I just did and now two of my toes are literally almost without nail.  It hurt when I was doing it and they hurt right now. I don’t know how I will wear shoes today.  For the last week, I’ve been picking at hangnails.  My fingernails all broke off last week for no reason so now my bloody hangnails framing them make my hands look disgusting.  I’ve been paying special attention to the skin on my thumbs.  I’ve been ripping the skin from them; not just by the nail part, but just all over them.  I’ve peeled off layers.  They look like small fish have been chewing on them.  I can’t stop peeling myself. 

I’m also doing that thing where I can’t stop masturbating.  The kind where it starts ‘sexual’ but then it goes past that into just an act that is trying to get rid of something.  I’ve finished and then I’ve wanted/needed to immediately start over and do it again even though it’s too hard to do it again because I just came.  But I’ve done it anyway, to where it’s useless and sore.  It’s like an OCD hand-washing.  There is a scene in Mulholland Drive where Naomi Watts is violently crying on a couch.  At first, you can only see her face and her whole body is shaking but right away I knew she was also masturbating.  I knew this.  And then eventually the camera pans down and shows her rubbing herself furiously while she is crying her eyes out and I started to cry because I know. 

Because I know this right now.

I keep feeling bad because all I keep feeling is wanting to be alone.  Wanting to be away from people.  I’m so tired of putting myself aside for others, being who everyone needs me to be.  I’m one way for those people, one way for those other people and another for the other people.  But I’ve done it for so long.  I’ve segmented who I am.  It’s so clear; it’s been manifested via this blog, via all of my books and stories via a three-letter pseudonym that hates herself.  There’s xTx, there’s me and there’s that place in between that I think is who I really am.  And all I can do it sit with a sun that’s a stomach ache and literally peel off layers of skin and nail, and go at myself seeking some sort of release or ridding that isn’t going to come anytime soon or ever at all and I am a snake biting its tail.

I recently re-watched Blue Velvet which got me back into David Lynch which is why I watched Mulholland Drive.  The opening scene in Lynch’s Blue Velvet is an idyllic, small town scene.  White picket fences with perfect flowers against them, kids walking in line across a crosswalk, an old-timey fire truck driving by with a Dalmatian sitting next to a waving firemen, a man watering his lawn; a picture of perfection.   But then the man watering his lawn falls to the ground in some sort of distress,  his hose sprays arcs in the air.  He lies prone and a small dog comes over and bites, bites, bites at the water.  Lynch brings the camera in to this man, closer and closer, then past the man, into the perfectly green grass and then he goes past the grass to its underneath where you see a traffic of black bugs writhing just under the surface, a menacing thunder of clicking squirm blanketing under this ‘perfect.’ 

I am the squirm.