She was a plain looking young woman; hazel eyes, brown hair, age twenty. She had a finite memory, the limits of which were self-imposed. On one side the limit prevented her from remembering anything that ever happened to her before age five. That was the age something good happened. She could not tell you what happened before, only that it was bad. She became loved at age five, and ever since. She was an avid reader, and particularly loved anything by Dostoyevsky. She preferred brown paper bags to plastic, at the grocery store. They reminded her of going to the grocery store with her father, as a child. After her mother died drunk behind the wheel in a late-night backroad collision with another drunk driver, coming home from the apartment of her lover. Just before she turned five. She remembered carrying a brown bag in her arms, and the sound and smell of the paper. Following her dad to the car. Age five. A plain brown bag crumpling, but secure in her arms.
He was a dark-haired young man, with a cut and a part in his hair like William Butler Yeats, portrait of an artist. He had a smart way of talking, walking, thinking, responding. But was naive to love. He had a family history of bipolar. There was also a family history of running away, but this was only known by interstate records of relocations. He was twenty-five. He was ambitious to a fault. Job promotions and self-glorification would always have to come before anything else. These successes could be shared, so long as whomever shared them decided to forego anything that would get in the way of them. His mother had died young in Calcutta, of self-sacrifice. He had no Indian in his blood. He missed his mother. His memory of her was the only thing that got in the way of his uncanny ability to drown everything out and focus his clear mind on his unparallelled effort to succeed. He used to read, and preferred Tolstoy to Dostoyevsky.
to be continued…
Katya Mills, 08/13
The curtain closes and lights go down. Everyone and desperation herself comes along and bulldozes through everything, just to get in touch. Human resource department? So and so demands we run that by such and such. Now and then but no later than now. And no sooner than then. Translated? do not put it off. Rather than be something distasteful, choose to be nothing at all. Nothing. Nada. Substance? Dissipates like the audience down the aisle… like confetti, down, tumbling down from the sky.
Okay, well, i keep tryin real hard to turn this moment, this day, this memory falling like heavy sitting room drapes over me; my thin and fragile half-broken quarter-bleached thin volume of a history of my life as dramatically raced through the last seven or eight years i suppose, the length, so very recent some days or weeks in my memory, and much of the rest falls out into moodswings of greater density and greater into an anonymous telltale of a nervous lovin heart (52 bpm on the average this week). And how would i possibly be truthfully reporting dedicated personal vitals to you? Who do i feel like today? Well, this is personal but I will tell you, no bullshit… an unemployed, overeducated, working-class downgrade. From automaton to human being. The best fuckin dowgrade you ever fuckin seen.
As for the rest of them? The contradictions were stoppages of their so called progress with questions filling up all that cold air in their heads, teeth showing with rembrandt smiles. Twenty thirteen, and the whole operation suddenly seemed on edge of the ice ready to fall into the pond. Back to serene. No longer obtuse. No longer obscene.
For you and me, me and you? Like waking out from under the worst of worst dreams. Like that time back in ’98, you know, up in Chicago. Where latin kings played with queens behind victory gardens on Pulaski. There we were. Homeless in the mind. Looking for the same old shit. Fragments of water, dripping off the lake street el trax. When what was underground rose to the surface, and into thin cold air. So easily. Icicle clear. Meeting your conscious understanding, even at any odd angle. Life fully hydrated. Frozen into stalagtite-hard times.
This was life on her terms.
She had to stop, finally. Stop and let it all catch up. For christs sake! she was third person self-referential… couple hundred miles north of LA. (that is confidential). She clear broke some memory divide back in November, cause November was gone. She knew she would hold out on herself until November. Now here she had overplayed herself, overworked her sedentary nerve, shit. This was no joke. ER material. Like microwaving your bagel a minute beyond life. The day in the life of some bread. From soft sweet breakfast treat to hard candy red. To go screaming across the sea of head and neck buoys, direct into the goiter of (too much information).
His tired eyes rose like a dawn rocker of the mission style rhetoric. Five fingers down low asking for a slow ball over grande central station. He was used to being on standby, or standby rotation. He blamed this on his eyes. Poor tired eggwhites, dark marbles in the middle. The kind of eyes that stare at you and permit you one last breath.
The hands gripped down on twelve oclock. The trial had ended by then. He was clearly innocent. Turned and smiled toward his only friend. Caught the yellowed teeth of one of his many hated accusers, instead. Where was she?
Meet the opposing party’s interpreter at the bistro two blocks down from city lights. Where the long legged gal in white tights butters up to wheat ciabatta. Ha. There she was! Drinking her bombay tonic and his. Saphirre in her eyes. Somebody’s damages would cover the lunch check.
The olive oil days were over. He should have known. He beat his head into the mahoganey like Perry Mason lost a case. So began the vinegar taste in the back of his throat, phase. He felt a feeling he knew well. All his bones shifted like some skeleton robot gone up and shorted out. Computer dissociative.
Off some where walking now with the interpreter was the girl. Saturnine with a lemon twist. Her freckles, sun kissed. The new fucking smart phone attache foreplay. Distraction impact high and non-resistant. She made a lovely nouveau interpreter’s assistant.
Not no store bought, this jam he had got himself in now, praying with a cigarrette out on the steps of the halls of justice. This jam was more like apricot preserves or some shit. Some district attorney’s intern’s intern, gave him a menacing look and an evil eye. No smoking on the steps to the halls of justice. Dummy.
The numb required affective treatment.
The emotional burst and asunder, as shot from the gun,
left a hole only silence could fill.
Now they come for their scheduled fair dosing of real hell all fucked over. Through one of any of the senses. Pick one. This is not no rocking chair turn of pages, in some dim lit dusty living room. No. Too dead end for this century. Seems most imaginations are no longer built to overcome that kinda scene…more like efficient, careful, non-impact modern cars. Modern thoughts. Compartmentalized. Prepackaged, prelabelled, shipped. Big brown cardboard boxes picked up by big brown burly men. Taken to big brown trucks, double parked. Modern. All Quiet and eco-friendly. From sender to sendee. No more sweet thundering like some mid-century chevy. Without any smoke trails, train whistles become uselessly gigantic like beached whales. Modernity.
We lift battery powered cigarrettes against their cuban cigars perched like hindenberg hydrogen bombs, on hang nails. We label the old ways sleepy, and ship them away with an old paradigm stamp. Feels good. Until we realize something is missing. It’s too quiet, spell-checked out and passported –century now come of age @ twenty-one — halfway creepy.
Well there will be some. But mostly what was and less is. Presence is a motherfucker in a technologically-formfitted times. Hard to be sorry for those whose bases got stolen out from under them. Hard to be sorry for you and me. On our cell phones, about to get mugged. Best of luck to those who still guard them. The old ways, I mean. May you not go senile before you have lost all our disinterest. Favor moves fast, from Myspace to Facebook, then down into the Tumblr, non-plussed and discarded. Like some underage kid tossed out the bar. Poor boy, slurs our century behind heineken and glass. Fucking carded.