"I met bryan about a year and a half ago when he went into my shop and applied for a job. thought he was an odd kind of fella but I liked him. try being his boss. I came to work one day and he had his face fully painted with a mandarine dot placed carefully on his lower lip. "bryan" I yelled "this is a yuppie snobby close-minded sort of place" "do you want me to lose my job?" he smiled fully and the next thing I (k)new teenage girls were walking by with same mandarine dot."
the rain is pulsing hard then soft on the asphalt outside the habit. on the way over i sluched through the wide yellow leaves layering the walkways and the rain thitter tatted onto them leaving a sound like whispering tiny flat chimes. i was mesmerized and stood ankle deep in the fallen three fingered leaves beneathe the naked tree. the rain skitterd fast into the street and the street lights blurred with drizzly halos. i was soaked, i was serenaded, i was silent and solitary on the streets of portland in the autumn evening that had just slunk in and curled itself around the buildings and boulevards of this river city. wreathed and tendriled the ivy of night lays its dark vines on these soon to be sleeping people and i wander in the residue of there hectic day time lives the fallen penny or two, the spit out pink wad of gum, the curled and crumpled bright plastics of cheap snacks, the lost and water smeared pages of a-b and c-d of a filofax, recipts and shiny aluminium wrappers, and on the Hawthorne bridge one battered running shoe (was it nike?). i wander past all of this and wonder is it really cleaner here than in los angeles because of the concideration of the people or just the lack of people? and if it is just the lack of people then would the world be a better place with less people and how many less would there have to be for it to be a much better place? should we just spread them farther apart or reduce the clots and blights of them in the dense and crammed places. if they were wild dogs shitting in the streets and growling at passers by, crusted with open sores and rife with tick and flea would not we shoot them? yet we claim they reason and in that we can speak to them or fine them or hassle them into behaving in a more attractive way. and still they do not. are they really reasonalble. most of them are quite nice. what do we do. dare we do nothing. and the rain is sogging my brain and the news of the day is not cheery or bright. we suspect that there are microscopic and unwanted visitors roaming in the regions that are best left girded. and with two jobs and no days off when do we have our second and more scientific opinion. do you need to know this. no. and some of you probably did not read this. but to those of you who did, beware. this is the begining of the days in portland. sometimes it will be like this, sometimes it will be fiction, sometimes it will be fun, and who is to say what any of it really is. notes and whatnot from above.
and it keeps on coming.
these days in portland are swirly with snow and streets are glurky with slush i walked in the chill wonderment that is the new and first snowfall of the year. before thanksgiving is that a omen of some sort. and the radio stations are loosing there transmission power. the streets are white and untrod and everything looks like a holiday card or some one else life. even the barbwire and chainlink around the auto yard on the way here were delightful to see. i went down clay on the way to the habit. there is a square that splits out the streets and slows down the residential transit. there is a sizable rose garden in the square and the grassy pathes that criss cross it laid like puffy velvet until stepped upon then they crack and slog up your shoes. the swollen pink and pale heads of the late and now sleeping roses are laded with a thin mantle of frost and glitter. they are enchated like princesses from old and forgotten tales, they are dark of stem and leaf with just the faintest shadow of white tracing the vein and back of branch and bracht. there is a bench but it is frozen snowy and not reciving visitors i suppose. slowly i tread through the fragile snow and broken grass, gazing on the roses fat and slumbering and watching the twirl and tremble of the flakes as they descend onto my cheeks and chin. there is no one out, not even driving. and under this dark sky is only i and the drifting snow and the swooning roses. the houses watch me with there warm yellow windows and now white roofs. the tall leaveless trees stand outstreached to the night and their hundreds of fingers are clinging to the once and rare flake of snow. thier arms drip with pale and glimmer and if the weather holds they will have new clothes tommorow. and i will too as the clothes i am wearing are not condusive to slog and mush. they are my work clothes, well pressed pants and crisp dress shirts. overpriced dress coats and shoes that are not waterproof and now more than ever in need of a shine. so this is my day in portland just weather no news. but then again there may be something tommorow so much for now
and the days are wimpering in the wet and grey of passing clouds and people who forgot their umbrellas. i need no umbrella as today is the day of the laundry down in the basement of the weselly arms, an old and thick brick building in a quiet corner of porland. the basement is long and wide but only a foot taller than i. there are three washers that drain into three deep sinks and three dryers that billow and fume there hot air out of a cracked and boarded window. there is a sloppy broken green chair and a long tatterd sofa of gold and crimson. it is warm and humid and the sofa is just long enough for sleeping. the walls are that pale and not so comforting as some decortators seem to think butter yellow found in kitchens and waiting rooms all across suburban america and the floor is laid clean and flat in the oceans of industrial pale green linoleum that click clacks under the heels of payless pumps and snick squeaks under the knock off sneakers of women and men, girls and boys of all ages in the halls of public schools and free clinics and social service offices that are open like festering wounds to all who can find or want them entrenched in the face of this nation. so under the pale white celing laced with indoor laundry lines i am lying on the sofa and drifting off to the thumble rumble bumble of the trio of dryers thunking away at my whites, darks and colors. there is still a half roll of quarters on the folding table next to the short box of surf. later i may go to the market and taste the chocolate treats of that marvelous hershey from pennsylvania. but for now i am just wondering what to do, you see i have to move or find new roomates by january 1 because miss kitty and mississippi are planing to move to the lower willamette city of eugene. mississippi is not where he is from or how he talks. it is a cruelty and an epithet for he is em eye crooked letter crooked letter eye crooked letter crooked letter eye humpback humpback eye. like a question mark he is stooped and his left leg is turned out a bit so it seems like he is always in fifth position. his spine is warped with scoliosis (not jeff spicoli-osis or he would be blond and dazed and wearing black checked slip on vans.) he is not timid about this as it has been his bane and back for years and he has been called mississippi for so long i do not know his real name. on warm days or days of short laundry he walks about the house in just jeans and his brace. like a silver praying mantis with leather legs and its circular mandibles locked around his neck it sits rigid and glinting on the line of his back while slightly in the shadow and rise of his skin you can see the vertabre link and curve like tired soldiers on the march home. there is the occasional burst of acne under or by the straps that bloom and fade in the hotter weather like flesh roses. but this is not a derisive vision of mississippi this is just what i see of a man who is not my closest friend but is somehow a person that i depend on sometimes and on those rare heart cold nights i am curious as to the touch of that not so similar flesh the often exposed only an armslenght away curve that has defined and decided his visual position in this american society of eyes. he and miss kitty. she who is lithe and a fallen dancer with short shorn hair and way out cat eye glasses have been a pair for as long as i have known them and some say for years afore that. and will they marry i do not know but will they move this is certain. and i will miss them but that is not the pressing concern. how will i make the rent or should i move to a smaller private place that is the question. and that is what i am mulling over on the sofa in the laundry basement of someone elses apartment complex (did i forget to tell you this is not where i live anymore? sorry this is where the diva lives and for a time i lived here to and there are copies of the copies of keys she gave me that i kept without her knowing so that i could do laundry without the freak show of portland wandering in and out of my rinse cycles.) and the dryers are humming me sleepy. so i am going to jaunt over to the market and grab up some chocolate before i succumb to slumber. well gotta go.
and this is the satuday that we decide to go out and lurk amongst the men of portland as the last man to fancy us has gone to san francisco to live with someone else and this is just a thing. not good not bad, passing and later to be forgotten in the years of alzhimers and aluminium. we will wait then for the perfect one as the others have all been flawed with absence and absinthe. so key one is no alcohol or other sense altering over addictive items of joy. this eliminates one third of the gay men in portland maybe more. next, no lovely viral suprises or contagens as i have no medical insurance or desire to need it. and away go half of them. someone who is not constantly looking over their shoulder wondering how other people are handling their homosexuality, just someone who can be without being overdramitised or parinoid. and while narrowing it down to 12 people lets make it a 6'5" dark auburn with green eyes and a trim build. so when he walks in that is the one we will say hello to. and since he will not then i will just sit here in the silverado a great and vile meat market of half ugly men and useless sex with alcoholics. so what do we do here in the dark and bone bending music laden lurkim of desire, we write. we write alot. there is an energy in a bar, the white noise of backbeats and high voiced singers, clanking glasses and cackling queens. the drive to ignore all of this pushes me into my writing and into my writing go you and i for this is before your little pale eyes and you are wondering why you are reading it. or are you. in this deafening and smoke layered market of deviants and the dammned the brave and the desparate approach me and comment on the oddity of some one writing in their midst. is this a feeble attempt by aged trolls and chubby happy babies to lure me into a conversation that may lead to their bed. hahahahahahahahaha. there is not one person in this dungeon that i would have sex with let alone date and these days it is the presence of mind that is more important that the touch. it is dark and i am alone but not drunk or stupid so alone here i will remain and alone with you. do you mind. should i buy you a drink? perhaps just a tonic water to refresh you. some one just asked me why i am not having fun. so i said what to you concider fun. did they say "fun, natural fun"? no, there is no one here that clever. and would these people even have heard of the tom tom club? perhaps not. "fun is dancing and smiling and having a good time." well i do not dance and writig is fun to me. but they can not grasp this concept as writing must not be fun to them so there is the reason right there to stop speaking in his general direction. and we do. it lumbers away. i need to shave tomorrow, i can feel the stubble between the lines of my beard. the evening wears on and the alcohol flows into the flaming shriekhng lisping gullets of these increasingly flamboyant by the hour and glass drama queens in the corner and a separate covey at the bar. it is almost midnight and the crowd has doubled, rain sprinkles on the shoulders of their coats and matted in their hair so to the mirror in the bathroom they hurry to see if a baseball cap is needed. they come they go they do not speak of michealangelo they just leer and slur and when maddona bopps on it is the great fag singalong to borderline. can you sing and smoke and drink all at the same time? plenty of boys here can and they do yet not i. does this make us a bad fag are we somehow lacking the appropriate fagability? is it something we would want? no so there is no mourning of that loss. now it is neil carter singing the theme to her popular sit com "give me a break" the evil which unleashed joey lawrence upon the world the child actor to adorable and stupid to have a different name for his chacter. atleast marykate and ashley olsen can respond to cue lines that do not tag thier names, but as twins i suppose they had to evolve faster and better responses. is this phenomenon common to all twins- the rapid acceleration of acting genes? hmmmmm, should all actors be twins? should we use fertility clinics to create the casts of the supershows of the new century? millions of government dollars are probably spent on this very subject every year! your hard squeezed tax dollars are being spent to bring you a better commercial driven world. and speaking of commercials have you noticed just how much the new rembrant ultra white commercial looks just like the opening sequence from rocky horror picture show? and who other than movie stars and dentists wives or husbands have beyond perfect white teeth? teeth are not naturally ever that white even if you pull them out of a skull and polish them up for jewelry. just ask an elephant. oh the glamour of special whiteners. just like biz, the joy of degergent teeth. and what do you do with such ultra white teeth? become a super hero and blind evil where ever it raises its ugly plaque canquerd head? beware evil DR. G (gingivitis) it is ultra tooth! cavity free crimefightger and champion of dentists to the stars. with side kick flossie (moppsie and cottontail stayed home to raid mr mcgregors garden) the quickest lariat in the world they dazzle and bind crime and grime to the down and out and keep the land safe and american moviestar true for you and me. read on of their further adventures in you dentists waiting room and while you are waiting try the minty sample inside! well i am done with that for now. my tiny table is being invaded by drag queens. slinking in like unhappy half plucked parrots in their bad wigs and wet feather cuffs and collars. oh that rain of portland, thank the heavens they are wearing M.A.C. or their faces would be running into their animal print tights. one is wearing enough rhinestones in her ears to make liberace turn in his gold and mink crypt. how do her lobes take it? my lobes (frontal) can not take it any more. if i were epilleptic the sparkle alone would send me into convulsions. it is only sending me into revultions so i am going to go and wander home in the rain and sleep the sleep of a portlandian.
and in my dream i am shopping in a bookstore. the shelves are tall and wooden reaching far above my head, is there a ceiling? i do not look up that far, just at eye level and my eyes are blurred with the spines of books all the blacks and reds and blues of books in common bindings so simple and sought only by title or author. stacks and stacks of racks and racks of books, black red and blue and i am searching, but for what? for whom? i do not know but i am compelled. briefly there is a vibrant with color and verve. in is black and white checked around the edges and has the "SNAP OUT OF IT" girl as a self portrait of mary englebright. it is her biography titled "my checkered past." in my mind this is very clever as i notice it but pass by. it is not what i am searching for. but what is, who is? i wander alone and in the library silence of abandoned rooms dry and light with the scent of cloth bindings and crisp paper. only the towers of books and i and in this i wander on for i am searching and i am searching in blue calfskin dress shoes. why i look at my feet is beyond me but i know that these are my best shoes. and they fall with hushed steps among the black and red and blue books shelved and shelved and walled and walled around me. i roll my eyes along the spines and wonder where it ends. where is the ceiling? i can not see that far up, there is just more books and why do i wonder where the ceiling is. because i know that what i am looking for is on the second floor, the floor above so if there is not a ceiling then how is there a second level? the stairs. if i can just find the stairs then everything will work itself out. the stairs are in the corner, they are always in the corner but where is the corner. the shelves and shelves of books run on and on and there are no walls where are the corners if there are no walls? i speed past the books and at the first cross way i turn. there is no wall to be seen at the end of its long runner of carpet. every direction just ends in a point on the far horizon like an arrow, like a pin. i pass the black red and blue spines, i whisk whisk quicker on the carpet in my shoes. i run, i turn, i run, i turn, the spines speed on black, red, blue, black, red, blue, black, red, blur blur blur blur. my blue shoes are speedy and the best but where are the stairs? all is quiet and there is no one here the air is dry and the shelves are tall and my shoes whisk whisk whisk on the carpet where are the damn stairs! and then the phone rings. it is a sharp burrrrr in the still air. i stop. it rings again. i turn and follow the sound. the shelves are tall and the air is still and then the phone rings agian. i walk. i walk and it is quiet for too long. where is the phone. i turn and there is a small round table. on the table is a white phoneish blop of plastic. it is simple and clunky with no dial or buttons. i pick up the handleish thing. there are no holes in the mouthpiece or earpiece. i hold it to my ear. there is a dial tone. it is mesmerizing. the low tone like a purring bee that lays fat and sleepy on the phone line. it does not stop. there is just a dial tone. no operator asking you to try again. i wonder how this phone works with now buttons or dial. no holes for transmitting or reciving sound. the tone calms me and i have forgotten to move or blink. my eyes feel dry. i wonder. i wonder and i dare. I speak one word "Nicole". and then she says "hello?" i do not know what to say. i stop breathing. she says "hello". i have forgotten how to breathe. i feel my blood stop. i am cold. she says "hello, are you there" i am afraid, i am still to stone, i am afraid because in my mind i know that she is dead. there is a click and then the dial tone resumes. the stillness cracks and breathe licks into my lungs cold and quick. i ache. i cry. i collapse. shivering and snot clogged i am on the floor. the floor is marble and white. tiny viens of mica and sodalite twinkle in the blur of my eyes. it is cold and i lift my head. there are 14 small round windows opaque and high on the walls. they are quarterd like marksmen's eyes and there are 7 on the left and 7 on the right. the farthest left one is broken and the clear summer sun aches through and splashes on the face of an angel. there is an angel carved of stone holding a baby angel on its lap beside and rising from the right are more angels in various ages of childhood and as they arch overhead they are teen grown and older into mid adulthood till back around they stand on the left side and then to the seated angel the eye falls. there are 28 of them with faces in glee and sorrow, rage and piety, there is a wondering 11 year-old and a screaming 15 year-old and a laughing 22 year-old. each face and hand and shoulder and bend of the spine is different and holds the key emotion of that year that age. they all have the same evolving face under the long and short and twice permed hair. they are the ages and the angels of my sister. the seated angel is on the foot of the rose carved cube that is the stone cap to my sisters coffin. there is a mask on the eldest angel. eyes closed, face serene, hair in a bun i know that mask is the death mask made last september and tied with the black silk ribbon by my trembling hands. under that mask she is open eyed and smirking like she knows a secret. the secret i know too. that when the ribbon rots away and the mask falls to shatter on the floor she shall be reborn and all will be well. i sit on the bench. the bench is made of prostrate angels, faces in hands and one wing crooked and raised to form the arm the other laid out at an angle to the back and met by the other wing to form the seat. there is a hammer on the bench. i wonder if, i wonder if, i wonder if i crack the mask with the hammer will that bring her back. can i sped up destiny can i break the seal of death and relese her soul onto this earth again so i will not ache so much. i wonder. and i fear, what if the hammer goes to hard and fractures the face beneath, what if all is broken and irreparable. what if i destroy the only chance there is in my haste. the hammer is heavy in my hand, the want is heavy in my mind, my shoes are heavy on the floor. i can not rise. the infant angel crinkles its face. the stone lips part. it cries. and cries and cries and i awake and the crying continues. there is a baby in the living room. it is the offspring of mississippi and miss kitty's friend who are staying over for two days. they have the great and odd oregon names of their age group. leaf and harmony the parents of owen. owen is a family name and they know there will be torment from the small of body and mind but they will face that when it arrives. now is the time to deal with the hunger or the soiled diaper or the general sleep crankies that are the all and everything of being one. owen is a walking fiend. he trucks around the house thunk thunk thunk on those milkbottle legs and smiles out of that big melon head. this baby is not fat. this is a solid mass of muscle chunked and clunked into a grinning shining baby. after i stumble out to see these nice people and there tonka truck of joy harmony says, "your that guy from the bijou." and she is right. that is another letter altogether but suffice it to say that "you are that guy from the bijou" is my second name here in oregon. and we sat around watching sunday afternoon tv and playing the baby's favourite game, accending noises. the baby says aaaaahhhhhhgggggghhhh and then you say AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGHHHHH. and then the baby says aaaaaaaggggggggggaaaaaaaaahhhhhh and then you say AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH and so on and so on rasing or lowering pitch with each turn. big smiles with this game. so later that night we all have dinner and watch return of the jedi on the sci fi channel and the baby sleeps. as i have to work in the morning so do i and that is the end of that. there might be more to say but this was a pre-thanksgiving storie and you can see by the date you recived this that it has been postponed. sorry. yesterday i saw the mary engelbright calander and it is called "my checkerd past" so i deduced that must have seen it in the coner of my mind and it appeared in my dream unbidden. oh well. i did entertain thoughts of psychic power but it is not on my belief list this month. maybe in january. miss kitty is the psychic of the house as that is how she makes her money. she reads tarot for a psychic telephone service. and she makes art and she is thinking of starting a band called cool petals out of nothing but bassists and ofcourse cool bass petals. well gotta go make new mail.
thanksgiving is just a fat and sleeping memory today now that advent is opening its little paper doors. my calender has a little star behind the paper flap, what about yours? channaka is on the 5th and here i sit with no cards mailed and all the best intentions set in the dusty corners of my clothes closet. thanksgiving was with the Diva in her top floor apartment now resplendant with waterstains the size of not so small children as the roof was being earthquake-proofed and re-tarred to protect against the oncomeing wet winter. well the rain snuck in and danced its drenching self all over the torn up roof and down the ceiling and walls of the Diva's apartment. so the decor was a bit lackng. there was no art on the wall or books on the shelves as everything went into boxes and plastic to keep away the ominious damp and eventual decay that is the marriage of water and paper. the Diva made the most marvelous black cherry and hazelnut stuffing with perhaps too much port and not enough pepper but i am still eating the leftovers so there is no hand bitting coming from this fed mouth. and there was turkey to hold the stuffing and cranberry sauce from a can and mashed potatoes from the hand mixer. the turkey(also a bit slick with port and butter but ever so moist and golden brown) stepped in and provided the base for the gravy as well so it was the most helpful guest. and best enjoyed. there was also acorn squash and carrots and asparagus and way too many biscuts, which is a good thing for what else is the extra gravy for if not turkey and biscut sandwiches? all i brought to the event was the wine and the floral centerpiece. many lovely orchids of pale green and yellow and tall vibarant purple and white ones. i know the girls who run the flower carts in downtown and get the pretty posies at remarkably low prices. and while i was buying them the guy from the burrito cart across the way jaunted over to get change and noticed me and said. "hey, you are that guy from the bijou" then he told my flower child "this guy man, whenever i was down and out in eugene on the lack of cool and diverse people i would go to the bijou and this guy would make my day." i was speechless. pleased and flatterd ofcourse but unable to thank him as he darted back to his cart. this is just one of the many times this happens. and sometimes i wonder if it will ever stop or if i should go back to the bijou. or something. but for dinner all was lovely just the Diva and i and her handpainted plate of ST. Timothy at the monastary watching over the monks as they write. it is old and from her childhood moved up from being the traditional roll plate to being a proped halo of porcelin above the television to watch over us as we dined. and watch well it did for all was tasty and eagerly eaten. we chatted we drank we ate pie we parted. and thanksgiving was tucked away and savored for another year. there was no rain on the walk home and has not been much rain in the intervening days. just a sprinkle or two and a brief hail storm at 2 this afternoon. but all is dry and dark as i sit at type this to you and yours and the other eyes all around that peek and pry and wonder why. there will be more as there is always something to say about portland. in fact i went to a party with mississippi and miss kitty last saturday. but that is for later. save room for dessert.
happy happy on this eve of the celebration of lights. hope you have a lovely and well fed eight days of candles and dradles and small gifts of great meaning and tasty foods. i am working after sundown which is forbbiden so thank the heavens i am not orthodox or for that matter jewish at all. but if you are then have a plesant and joyous rememberace of the great miricle. very little is happening right now although there are things i could type about that have happend and are now history and not great and powerful like OZ but they have happened nonetheless. the rain is on everyones mind these days. not to mention on their shoes and carpets and rooftops and windshields and hats and ubmrellas. it is on the minds of the homeless most of all, probably because it is directly plink plink plinking through thier scalps onto their beer slogged cerebellums. and they ask can i spare any change? can i share some change? can i give change to the homeless? or my favourite mantra, chanted by a woman who lurks as a squalid warted lump of tangled thin grey hair and half the womens clothes rack from goodwill, "change for the homeless." and i agree there should be change for the homeless. drastic, swift and certain change that transforms the human debris from piles of shivering flesh and begging words to clean and dignified humans that produce some positive effect on the society around them. guilt and disgust are not positive effects. and if they are not redeamable (and everyone is if they try) then onto the compost pile and into the ground to nourish the world they will come back into in a better way we hope. but is this very channukka-esque sentiment? no. and this is not to say that all must be nice but it all must be known. it is what you do with what you know that can change the world.
and we have been stricken with malaise thus langurous and silent have we been. i have missed you all and this is just a moment or two of time to tell you the basics of what has happend. to begin at the beginning is always best so back and back and way back we go to the party i told you i would chat about in the last letter. it was a dark and quiet saturday night and miss kitty and mississippi were invited to a wherehouse party around 10ish. wherehouse parties never seem to have exact start times and always take place at night. so into the big green machine, mississippi's old and peeling '70s van that is a most grim dark green and muraled with the odd fantasy viking and his sled totting polar bears under the twins moons of some far and away ice planet. this is the monster in which belly we are to travel to the party of artists musicans and other various deadbeats and interesting people. and in the night the ice planet is not just on the outside of the van. oh the chilly and unupolsterd metal of this monster. so over the bridge and bump cachunk pathunk to north portland we go. the werehouse is in what would be a groovey neighbourhood if the people lived in nice houses and there was not an auto yard across the street. it is merely funky. the werehouse is long but not wide (just wide enough) and there are not more than 30 or so people so it seems very empty. there is a juggler who has set himself on fire. just a little fire on the top of his head. he uses it to set the clubs he tosses about aflame. there is lots of pie and crackers but no real main course on any of the tables lining the walls and scattered with half picked at food. there are a few children and many over 40 and several under 30 but none under 18 (the children do not count for they were not able to arrive on their own power.) there is a girl on old white roller skates. the spirit of Tootie lives on! Kim Fields did not act in vain. the juggler is no longer on fire. now he is just loud and making things spin. the children are facinated, miss kitty has cornered the roller girl. mississippi has gone to find his musican friends. (they are all bassits) i sit and eat pie and watch the juggler. now miss kitty is rolling around and asking people if they have lived in eugene. some man named Darryl (with no other brother named Darryl) is chating at me. i am not paying attention, he is drunk, smells of the sour berry and fermented grain. it makes me dizzy because he is too close. i go to the bathroom because maybe i need to but mostly because it is far from him. after i close the door it opens again. lo and behold there is no lock and there stands Darryl. we are not amused. he closes the door. he touches my arm. i recoil and glare icicles into his heart. the drunk know nothing of haugty stares so my efforts are wasted. and so is Darryl. i find this method of flirting to be annoying. i find his wedding ring to be repelent. so i ask what his wife would say. he says that merridith knows and does not care. well, i do. this is explaind in short quick mean words and i leave. he remains, now i do need to pee. there is an alley on the side of the werehouse and there is where we go. the DJ is there too. he claims never to use indoor facilities. he would rather commune with the planet or some such granola nonsense that only truly stoned people can come up with and still sound plausible. when i go back in mississippi is arguing with someone about chord changes or something musical that i have no knowlege of. there was no music in the house of my childhood. the stereo was bought when i was 18. music is foriegn and strange to me. but like all exotic things it has its facination. any way he is twisted up and speaking out the side of his mouth as he does when intent on the point. now some other girl in orange tights and a silver lame mary jane dress is rolling about in the white skates. oh tootie how you have touched the lives of girls all over. i sit with my soda and watch Darryl hit on some other guy who is also too drunk and does not seem to realize that he is a target of lust. oh well. mississippi comes up behind me and starts kneading my shoulders. he says i am too tight. i say i am always this way, it does not bother me. he continues to work over the little knots under my neck. we are waiting for miss kitty. we are both tired of this scene and miss kitty is winding up her last conversation. it is almost 1 and work calls to me in the morning. before we leave cambra shows up she says that there is a job opening at her work and i should apply. i tell her i will send my resume over in the morning. (there are millions of bike messangers in this burg and several are at my beck and call as we are chatty with them on the corners of downtown. the days pass by and i recive a call on friday that The Decorator wants to interveiw me on wednesday for the receptinist postion. you see right now we work in a paper salon and our voice (refered to as THE VOICE) is not being utilize to its best potential. we give good phone. truly. so we are excited and waiting. the weekend passes with brisk wind and short showers but mostly clear. and then on to monday the 9th when the morning is low and grey with eyetightening chill and the skin of my face feels this not for there is a fever harbored deep in my bones. onward to work we trudge as there is only i to open the shop and i have worked with fever before. how did this fever come to rest in my bones? with the evil money train that chuggs in and out of my hands every day in this holiday season. dieseses and gossip travel on the backs that are green and with the fingers of the masses. i have been stricken but not laid assunder. the patrons wander in and out like listless ghosts just touching, looking, and perhaps buying and with a smile and a wheeze that sounds like hello we serve them as we can. Linda the owner comes in at 11 and says "are you ok" apparently we are not pulling off the illusion of health as well as we thought. so after she wrangles the truth of our condition out of us she sends us away to rest and be well afore the holiday crush thunders in on the last legs of christalmightymas. so we go and lay and cough and snot and try to feel okay faster. there are no sick days on our pay schedule. no work is no money and this is a problem on the low end of the salary world where we dwell. so one day. one day that is two days away from our interview. that is not so bad. we watch a lot of television because the alpha waves pulse into you body and pummel all the germs on their micro-orgasmic level. there is a reason for 70's television re-runs and glitter riddled game shows, they break down into micro warriors and help to fight for our health and well being. thank you love boat and merv griffen. Miss kitty left her pychic office (The back table draped in black and purple velvet with hundreds of candles and shiny paperback books where she keeps the "psychic phone" A battered white princess phone that is hooked into her second line for work) and made me her famous "Flu buster soup" which contains lots of tofu and little red fire peppers and really big chunks of carrots and celery that are still crisp. it was very good soup but i did not have the heart to tell her that it was not the flu that i had. you see i was not achey i was just fevery and becomeing the fort knox of phlegm as it seemed that all the snot in the world had lodged itself in my sinuses and lungs. hack hack, honk honk, and spittoooo. the music of my illness. mississippi went to 7-11 on the corner and bought 7-up(as though one can be sick without it) and ibuprofen for breaking the fever. the television droned on and changed colors but not input. the alpha waves battled on, my eyes ached a bit but from the televison or my headache i could not tell. i ate two bowls of soup and drank a liter of 7 up used up a roll of toilet paper blowing out big wet slugs of mucus and saw monty python and the holy grail twice. it was time to go to bed. before we went to bed miss kitty did a quick tarot reading. there were a few cards i recognized and some that i could not remember the reasons for. mostly swords. never good. it seems that she read "the house of health rests in your bowels" and some other bits but it did say all would go soon. so to sleep we go. and for a while we did sleep until we awoke at 2 am. hot and dehydrated, the skin of our arms felt tight and on the verge of peeling away my lungs were like a kiln. each breath could fire pottery. i have the lungs of riku. and the walls waver and blur. is it the heat from my flesh? do i radiate mirage waves like the sand hills of the desert? this is not good, i think back on what miss kitty said. when was the last time i took a shit (well gave one really) not yesterday, nor the day before, or the day before or back as far as my fevered brain could recall. and with this lack of water in my system there will be now movement of the bowel soon. what to do. perhaps ex-lax could be our salvation. we are fevered, we are desparate. we are broke until friday! we scrabble through all pockets of pants and shirts. there is a fiver in our coat. please god let exlax be less than five dollars. please let there be ex-lax at the 7-11. funny how when there is no one else there is always god. perhaps it is just our catholic upbringing. anyway into sloppy jeans and flannel shirts we stumble and clumble bump out into the slicing wind and cold to the 7-11 just a block away. merciful heavens there is ex-lax and it is only 3.60 there is enough for a bottle of orange juice. (to a fever driven mind this last ditch effort makes sense) we trundle home. the box promises "gentle overnight releif." no e.t.a. on the relief, no approximate hours of waiting. just "gentle overnight relief" well, most people sleep for 8 hours so we figure on 10am for results and this would be beautiful as it is only tuesday and that gives us a day to recover for the wed interview. so we sleep. we wake. we pulse and radiate kelvins. There is a desparate cold bathe that takes every effort of will we have left to immerse ourself into the frigid water. the rippls of our heartbeat give us a moment of foucs to drift away on as the shivering consumes our flesh. clenching the sides of the tub and willing the fever down we wait. and we wait and we get out and towel ourself to dry and warm and slip back into bed. which at this time we will tell you is just two comfortors on the hardwood floor and a sleeping bag. many many feather pillows under our head and a cold wall to lean our face against. 10 am slips under the door and whispers in our ear. we swat it away for all noise bothers us now and the cracked peeling onion of a nose dripping in the middle of our face is not improving our temper. there is not a tick of movement in our bowels. we wonder, dare we take two more? how long is "overnight"? what planet were these tests conducted on? Uranus land of eternal night? we pause, we decide, we dare. and so the new e.t.a. is 4 pm tuesday. still enought time to make the interview in fairly decent shape. (perhaps) the baking of our body breaks us. we do not move except to get more water and make water. at 1pm the desparation of inertia grips us. we cannot see without the mirage rippling of the room. we have forgotten how it feels to breath out of both nostrils. we have hocked up a coffee cup full of little green phlegm slugs. it is a micro-cosm of bacteria and glunk. we have created a new universe. and into the toilet it goes. ha ha ha. and into the cold bath go we again as the delirium is fun but disturbing. we are so dry we do not even sweat in all this heat. we wait. we tremble. we hope. and the time slips past our concious self and unconcious self like eels and rainbows and other thin elusive things that one sees rarely. it is 5pm and there is no rumbling in our tumbly. this is bad. we have passed two "overnight" time frames (on this planet.) and nothing has passed from us. we ponder yet more of the tiny chocolates of salvation. dare we? should we? what of tommorow and the interveiw? well we cannot go ill but can we go on the frequent bathroom express? hhhmmmmm. we are fevered, we are desparate. we dare. and twenty minutes later our body saves itself. we throw up the bitter yellow chemicals that are the drano of human plumbing and minutes later great plugs and streams of malaise carrying waste rush free into there new and happy porcelin home. the fever breaks within the hour. we are exhausted from lying around and battling the heat. we sleep. the dreams are not there it is only dark and deep. we awake. it is 2am somthing is wrong. there is more than us in our longjohns. the good news is that it is contained within our undergarments. the bad news is there is so much that our undergarments are containing. We shower and rinse out the longjohns at the same time. this is one more reason not to be a nurse. it is bad enough to clean up your own diapers. to clean the diapers of others every day, now that is icky. and clean and slightly worried and in fresh clothes we sleep again set to get up for our 11 am appointment with THE DESIGNER. at 9am we dare to look in the mirror and it is not a good thing. i can shave away the darkness from the jaw and lip but the soft black skin under the eyes will remain. there are no cucumbers in the house. the flaking skin from the fever dried eyebrows and cheeks is brushed away just to renew itself and the blood cherry of a nose is still running on one nostril and crammed full of gloopy green slugs of fun. Oh boy! we wear the brown suit and blue shirt as the black suit and white shirt would probably enhance the plague ridden look we are trying desparatly to avoid. the bus we need is stopping soon so out the door we bolt with only enough money for a bus ticket and a phone call in our pocket. there is the bus and we run to catch it. it would not bode well to be late and look like shit. we sit and rest and try not to cough on the other passengers. the offices are on 21st and Northern. we pass 18th. We pass 20th. we go over a bridge and then end up on 25th. something is wrong so we get off. there the miracle of the gas station right at the stop and in the parking lot of all gas stations are phones so we scrounge out the last nickle and dimes we have and call the office. we are on the wrong side of the river. right bus, wrong direction. well, atleast they know i am going to be late. so to the other side of the street to wait for the other bus we go. and wait we do. and it arrives and we get on board and sit in the back slipping in and out of semi-conciousness trying not to miss our stop. so up and around and over to North West (tres trendy) we go and get out at the right stop this time. jaunt, jaunt, jaunt to the office and we are only 15 minutes late. THE DESIGNER is there and her in house accountant and her co designer. the interview begins. they talk and i might be listening i might be focusing all my will on not passing out, or blowing snot wads all over the hand carved cherry wood and maple table, or trying not to loose bowel control or smell like shit. i maintain direct eye contact to keep my eyes from rolling back into my head, i sit up strait to maintain that little bit of pain in my spine that keeps me awake, i smile because i am cleching my teeth in desparation. i make sounds that are of agreement with what ever she is saying. something about typing. i can. something about making coffee. sure. something about using a fax machine overseas. certainly. what are you doing today. "nothing" i say out loud "calling in sick to work and sleeping" i say inside. Well can you start today? Sure. so now i am filling out W-4s and I-9s and what ever else is needed. i am working at the interior design firm as a recptionist. i am trying not to be sick. i am bewildered and happy and moving forward with my life. all is well and soon we will be too. it has been a while now and it is tuesday dec. 18th. we worked at the paper salon over the weekend and today we were at the design firm. tommorrow is paper salon and up till christmal. but after perhaps they will let us go early and the design firm can have us after the 25th. we shall see. this is a bit long, sorry but we just do not get over here much anymore and this is just some of what we are hoping to email you. we will try to be better. big love from above.
this is just to say have a happy and lovely holiday time in the various places which you reside. thank you for your attention as you read all the ramblings that flow out of our fingers. be knowing that there is great love for you all pulsing out of the million flash a minute light streams that whisk across this vaccuum sealed glass box that you read this on. touch the screen, feel the whir and hum of the light as it whisks by. feel the warm and slight tempurature of the glass. the static electricity of crackle and dust on your fingers. that is the big love from above that i send you from portland. it banks the fires of my heart to know that you are there reading this. there is someone out there. someone who knows that all is well and moving in my world. a world of no nearby relitives (a blessing and a curse) a world of few near and dear friends and a world of no lovers or sex toys. you are the light touch of the cheek, the soft of a hand on the low jaw line drawn and removed with kindness. you are my little ones and my beloved. silent and away and in the dark. but that is ok. it is enough that you are there. and for that we are glad. thank you and be well.
Well my little ones it seems that some of you are not happy with reciving my notes of love so if some of you are silent in your protesatiions just say no more mail please and away you will go. i will miss you but if you are not happy i am not going to inflict myself upon you. there is so much to say these days. first the habit where i type all this is moving so they aer closed from now until janmmuary 15 or so. this then is the last letter for a while so we will tell you a little of what has been happing and then bid you all farewell for a few weeks. miss kitty was making tin ornimants the other day. she was sitting in the big orange chair with the cabbage rose print smeared across the low slung arms. She cuts all the stars and holly leaves freehand. her art is always impulse and never suffers from structure or precision. some are fat and short armed like plump childrens hands, some are thin and twist like the wind was cutting them and forgot the give and line of form. the holly leaves are purely and interpetational flash and glint of nature. the squint of her turned good eye (the other is lazy and is often over dialated blinking 3 to 8 times more often than the other.) through the black and rhinestone cat peaked glasses indicates intent study and thought. the wiz and gears of the right brain are pip pop plucking away. the whisk of the scissors on the tin has a sharp quick rhythm and each finisheed piece just ta tats onto the pile around the stumpy clawed feet of the chair. itis quite a nest of tin shards and scraps and stars wreathed about and she hovers above it all like a mother bird who has picked up a hobby while waiting for the eggs to hatch. she is wearing her favorite old world print leggings and a black sloppy sweater that her blind (to the DMV and the social security office.) grandmother insists on knitting for her every birthday. one sleeve is only 5 inches longer than the other. unfortunatly the other sleeve is 4 inches too long and they do not roll up well with out the big red ribbons miss kitty has sewn onto the cuffs to tie them back.the collar is a bit wide and the hem is slanted in quite the fashionable way. but all of miss kitty fits into it and that is all she needs so she wears it and the 6 others in their various and sometimes not matching shades. there is one marvelous blue sweater that must have been made of remnant yarn skiens but the way it is knit you know grandma kitty must have thought they were all the same shade. oddly it is quite lovely as only an accident with the best intentions can be. and tuck legged and brow lined miss kitty snip snips away. Mississippi is at the catering company. he is baking twitsy rolls and tiny cakes for the madness of christalmightymas mississippi is no longer with muzurka. the band and he found some deep seated hostilities and basic musical differeces and poked and prodded those into inflamed and firey ire until there could be no more of he for them or they for he. but here in the little house miss kittys short shorn hair bobs to the beat of shonen knife. a kikky little ditty called blue oyster poisoning. they are a great all girl band out of japan(so sayth miss k) one of several miss kitty has been listening to these days. most of the CDs are in japanese but shonen knife is in english. well this song is. thier accents are so heavy and i am not really paying attention so they could be singing in japanese now. miss kitty sings along and snips in time. the cats are skitter scattering thhrough the house. which is chasig which i never know but magneta is twice as big as jasmine the kitten and still the fights seem to end in the kittens favor. The days have been dry ad cold for a while and in those days miss kitty and mississippi have gone to seattle to see mississippi's brother who is composing a series of tapes and note for his book on the punk rock movement from 1901 to the present. he has been down a few times and explained a bit of what he is doing but like shonen knife he is interesting for the exotic quality of his knowledge and we do not listen to well. after a day in the big S (ha ha) they are all jaunting back to colorado to see their families. you see misssissippi and miss kitty grew up in the same town but never met until they were in eugene and then the merger began and a few years and two failed bands later they are here in portland. well not now but they will be back after chirstmas. it is lonely here now just me and the cats. they are cozy and deep purrying black and tan critters but there is no real witty banter about the bad movies on the sci fi channel with them. but my lap is warm and rumbly with there prescence. the other big news is the paper salon had its holiday party on friday. we went to a Greek restruant which on the menu "guarentees good food and fun." and yes there was a lot of fun. first fun were the dollr dishes that were spray painted silver and flung freely to smash on the wooden floor in front of the band i must have spent 15 dollars on plates and so did everyone else at our table. there was a definite beer to plate ratio. the first round of beers and plates were both drunk slowly and smashed timidly (the fear of shards flying into other guests for we are all responsible and warped with christian values.) the next round of beers which came with dinner and after the first bt of dancing (which only the owner and a few of the already snookered patrons who were drinking long before we arrrived participated in) brought more plates and after dinner and beer they were more exuberently flung. and on each plate we wrote the name of the evil that plagued us during this holi-o-doli day season. this ofcourse was a practice that required more plates. so another round of beer and plates. (you see it is the only way to get the waitresses attention is to order more beer.) and a bit of greek line dancing now that our joints and sensibilities were a bit more lubricated. at the end of the dancing we smashed our plates with glee. we were having guarenteed fun. all the smashed plates are swept into a hollow space under the band stage. the front is lined with little doors that flip up so the silver shards can be swept away not to endanger the toes of clumsy drunk dancers who had smashed the plates just moments before. and then it was time for the ouzo contest. several people were selected a birthday girl and a man at his bachelor party and some other guys and gals. the game is to pour the ouzo directly into the mouth of the participant and count. the highest count wins and the prize is a lovely "powered by ouzo" shirt. the bachelor boy won with an impressive and nausiating 63. the counting was timed like seconds so go ahead, pour out one miniutes worth of ouzo and see how much that is. all drunk directly and with tears streaming across your ever redding face. yikes. but the birthday girl did go all the way to 42 and she won a shirt too. most cut out at 10 but one other joe college guy made it to 48 before he made the stop signal and then ran to the bathroom. he was not seen for a very long time. the band played a different greek song. the dancing was the same. then a little table liftng with the power of teeth courtesy of the owner. much plate smashing from all of the tables. special note. you must toss your plate face down with a bit of spin high into the air to have it shatter in the most satisfiying way. the closer to the celing you get the more bits the plate explodes into. and then a little desert. much tastyness just like dinner. and now a bit of belly dancing. this was not a woman. this was a deamon temptress in a womans body. snakes do no undulate so smoothly. and old testement phrases pop into mind like "Get thee behind me satan" and "flee from this unholy city for it has the mark of gods vengance upon it." this woman was lovely and every man in the room had his head tilted to gaze upon her as though it was such an effort to keep from openly drooling that they lost partial motor control of their necks. she ofcourse had little affect on me. what interest have i in the gyrations of a woman. even if they defy the laws of pysical matter. she has the secret of cats who lay with their front paw flat afore them and thier hind legs to the side with a flash of belly twist in the middle. perhaps she taught them this trick. she was fashy and veily with a jewel in her belly and all the men could have had their shoes and wallets stolen and they would have never known. but when she was done (to the dismay of most men) everyone still had their shoes and wallets so the night ended well. and now it is time to go for there is not much else to say. well there are things to say but the barista is making us leave and this is the end. big love from above.
This is just to say that soon there will be a bit more email in your live and this may or may not be to your likeing because it will be long and it will be life not the tidy and kind life of polite and civil people but not the lurid and tempting life of the brash and impertenent underculture that seemst to be the darling and reviled of spring of the 30 second instant media just add water (in the form of tears or cold sweat) society that presents is face on the mass that may not wear it so well, it will just be life. not always mine but based on some of the realities of my wake up and stretch walkabout and eat sometimes sit sometimes talk all the time think and then yawn and turn down the day to rest life that is my time in portland the the land of bridges and trees.
this page created 7 dec 96