(three)

20 Jun

Four nights a week I volunteer at a hospice just outside the demarcation line of the city. Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow. That’s not really the name; it’s what I like to call it. The place is off Florida Avenue. You know it. That brown, asbestos-infested edifice down by the fish market where the Italian guy slices off capicolla and pancetta with a rusty knife, and wraps baccala in newspaper. All the while screaming at you: ma vafangu you lousy gagootz! It’s atrocious watching people wither away to nothing. But it’s also a type of addiction. My addiction: observing death take over a complex system. They don’t have support groups for that. That’s why I go to the others. The cancers. The thyroids. The blood disorders. To see how they apply their twelve steps, and plagiarize. Or adapt. Or adjust. I live in other people’s stories. Remember? A copy of a copy of a copy. I am an insomniac haunted by Kafka’s Felice and her rotting teeth. You know Felice? She was his first love. Only he despised her teeth. And now, so do I. I live in his books. I live in his Castle.
yea gimme a manhattan, add bitters.
I’ve seen people being decapitated with dull knives, or being tied up and shot in the head, or thrown off buildings handcuffed, landing on their necks or spines. In Rwanda I’ve seen men and women with their limbs cut off and sewed back on, but reversed. You ever wanna know what it looks like to have legs for arms and arms for legs? Come have a few drinks with me. And don’t call me a boy. Don’t you dare ever call me that. I’m not a boy.
Forget it. Don’t ask me about it. I told you, it’s an addiction. It makes my insides turn and I can barely hold dry toast. But I go back and relive that. Over and over, I go back. With no support group.
Tonight I empty bed pans.
They still have those. I pissed in a yellow, plastic one when I was a child and lived in a two room apartment on the eighth floor of the O.N.T. building in Bucharest.
have I told you about the time I waved to Nixon’s motorcade from the red room window of our apartment? remind me one day.
And turning them over to change the bedding. That’s my task tonight. Bob Rothstein shits himself and here I am with a suitcase full of cloth towels and soap and water. Upsidaisy old man. I turn him over and wipe off the dried excrement from around his cheeks and bottom of his thighs. I once studied to be an LPN.
Licensed Practical Nurse. It didn’t work out so well. They gave me the day shift and I couldn’t step out into the morning. That was the year I spent living in my car. The trick is to find a parking lot which has long, pole lights with concrete bases and A/C outlets built into them. That was the year my parents are buried.
yea I know I’m switching tenses. are you paying attention?
After that, I studied to be a pharmacist. And then a pilot. My friend passed on a copy of the DSM and I became addicted to being addicted. I cleaned people’s apartments for three years. It’s amazing the number of dildos I found stashed under mattresses, or the amount of pornography stacked on the DVD player. I became addicted to that, too. Pornography. Only that lasted a few months. There’s only so much you can do. So many holes you can stick body parts into. And I’m not into pigs or donkeys or dogs, although in Amsterdam I paid to watch a leggy blonde go down on a horse.
Don’t ask me about that. It turns my stomach. I cannot even hold toast. I got off pornography one day. I just stopped watching. That’s how it was for cigarettes, too. One morning I woke up and just had coffee. Twenty-two years of smoking just off the bed. I got off it. Don’t ask me how. I don’t know anything about anything anymore.
remind me to tell you about a girl named Trese who came and turned everything upside down for me during a long winter in which i contemplated going out with a Luger.
Yea.
Remind me.
Because I lost my heart. I buried it somewhere. And she saved me.

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13 Responses to “(three)”

  1. Anonymous 20/06/2007 at 6:51 PM #

    Hey, a long time off. I’m glad you’re back. This stuff, I don’t even know what to make of it. It’s just great satirical stuff man. Is it related to the others? The ones with Tramby Quirke? I love it.
    J

  2. Anonymous 20/06/2007 at 7:05 PM #

    Hi there. I’ve been coming here from Tisha’s blog and may I say I have never read anything like this anywhere in books, much less on a blog. You are an unbelievable writer. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

  3. billy 20/06/2007 at 8:26 PM #

    wicked stories man

  4. slyboots2 21/06/2007 at 3:49 AM #

    Dude- I like this. On an entirely different and no doubt inappropriate note- this was fun:

    Heyy.

    (you might not enjoy- but I thought I’d share.)

  5. Lx 21/06/2007 at 10:46 AM #

    everyone, thanks much.
    sly, that was more weird than funny; of course, watching it at 5:45 am might’ve had something to do with it. but i like it, nevertheless.
    thanks.

  6. mad 21/06/2007 at 4:00 PM #

    Dr. Thompson would be proud. Good stuff man. But I’d still like to hear about the donkey.

  7. dr. zombieswan 21/06/2007 at 5:18 PM #

    I once read the blog out there by a porn clerk (was it called true confessions of a porn clerk? I think so….) it was fascinating what she had to say about working in a porn store. Really interesting the types of addictions people can aquire.

    Like to cacti. You know, poking themselves with poisonous ones or something. :) It’s very Zen.

    I like the new writing, and your experiment with this style is working well.

    I still miss the personal bits. But that’s apparently because I am a gossip lover.

  8. Lx 21/06/2007 at 5:35 PM #

    Doc, I put up “personal bits” from time to time–and leave them up for about a day; then I usually delete them. They hold no value for me. I know, I should write “with the audience in mind.” I’m working on that. It’s probably why I cannot publish what I really want. These tidbits are difficult, because really they are for me, and they’ll be coherently assembled into one novel, at one point, when my personal life isn’t undergoing such major work. But I’m still trying to craft these so they stand somewhat alone as blog entries.

    I’ll keep in mind that some people may want to hear personal details, although I will point out that there are plenty of little things within these pieces that reflect personal experience.

  9. Anonymous 21/06/2007 at 5:42 PM #

    Like bestiality in Amsterdam?

  10. Lx 21/06/2007 at 7:24 PM #

    …AAAND some that are fictitious.

  11. Anonymous 21/06/2007 at 8:41 PM #

    When aren’t the lot of us in the midst of major construction? If you ask me, it’s constantly or at least it should be. I’m guessing that the most creative and profound stuff that we come up with is when we’re teetering at that “edge”. I’m thinking about how little children, babies, toddlers, behave when they’re about to master something they’ve been working on. They get cranky as hell or stop napping cold turkey or behave in other ways that seem out of the ordinary. And then suddenly they make a huge leap forward. Bam! Got it! Then it starts all over again. I see no reason why that cycle should ever stop for us just because we grow up.

    I’m not sure where this was going but it seemed like it related somehow. Anyway…

    I like the fact that your personal stuff helps us see a little deeper into your fiction. I’ve had the fortune of getting to know you in person a little bit, but even that little bit has hooked me into your writing more than if I had never had that opportunity. I think the personal tidbits help pull everyone in. Please keep baiting us, Lx. We like it!

    Eh

  12. Lx 21/06/2007 at 9:09 PM #

    i know where you’re going with that Eh.
    thank you for reading, always.

  13. Janete 01/07/2007 at 4:25 AM #

    I like your imagery, the vivid senses, very atmospheric..you can see it, smell it, taste it..

    well done, once again!

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