Stories from The Window at 125, By Danielle Abrams

DAY 7

8.7.13

HEY HEY

HO HO

CAPITALISM’S GOTTA GO!!!!!!!!!!

(Text JUSTICE to 62227

to demand that the DOJ address filing a civil rights violation against GEORGE ZIMMERMAN)

HAS EVERYONE FORGOTTEN ABOUT GEORGE ZIMMERMAN?  THEY REMEMBER TRAYVON MARTIN, THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB.  THEY HAVE PUT ZIMMERMAN, THE MONSTER, OUT OF THEIR MINDS.  INJUSTICE IS TOO EXHAUSTING, TOO HARD TO FIGHT.  DEPRESSION, NUMBNESS, EASIER TO SOOTHE.  GREASY FOOD, SHOP “THERAPY”, CANDY CRUSH, NEW MARTINI CONCOCTIONS, BLUNTS, SPLIFFS, CABLE TV AND ESPN, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. IF YOU HAD ALL THESE YUMMYS TO CHOOSE FROM, WOULDN’T YOU PREFER TO KEEP TRAYVON AND NOT ZIMMPERMAN IN YOUR MIND TOO?

I WISH I COULD HAVE A BANNER THAT RAN ACROSS THE TOP OF MY SCREEN AS ON THE CROWN OF A HALAL TRUCK AND READ:

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN

IT SHOULD HAVE THE COLOR OF A TERROR ALERT. 

THIS MORNING I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW EACH PIECE OF CLOTHING I’M WEARING HAS A STORY.  BY THE WAY, TODAY IS MY LAST DAY IN THE WINDOW WHICH MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I’VE GOTTA MAKE IT GOOD REALLY GOOD.  photo 2[1]

OKAY SO LIKE MY SHIRT.  I GOT THIS RECENTLY AT A THRIFT STORE IN MONTAUK.  I BOUGHT IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS BUT I FELT REALLY GUILTY BECAUSE I HAD NO MONEY.  I WAS ACTUALLY IN THAT TRECHEROUS PLACE OF HAVING TO ASK MY MOM TO BORROW MONEY TO MAKE MY RENT.  I DID NOT FEEL LIKE I WAS ENTITLED TO ANY SOUVENIERS, EXCEPT FOR SOME MUSTY SCHMATAH FROM THRIFT STORE.  I FELT THE TEXTURE OF THIS SHIRT AND LOVED IT.  IT HAS THE KIND OF TEXTURE THAT I WORK TOWARDS SANS FABRIC SOFTENER IN ALL OF MY CLOTHING.  I WASN’T SURE ABOUT HOW I FELT ABOUT THE GRAY.  WOULD PEOPLE THINK IT WAS DINGY WHITE?  HOW DID I FEEL ABOUT DINGY WHITE?  I WAS AMBIVALENT.  DIRTY MAN CAN BE HOT. DIRTY MAN MIGHT MEAN GIVING IN MY DAPPER CARD FOR GOOD.  WHAT I DID NOT LIKE IS THAT THE SHIRT CAME FROM THE GAP.  EVEN THOUGH MUCH OF MY WEAR HAS COME FROM THE GAP/OLD NAVY/BANANA REPUBLIC THORUGH THE YEARS, I BECAME VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED TO THIS CONGLOMERATE (IN ADDITION TO TIMBERLAND, MACYS, AND KOHLS I THINK) WHEN I LEARNED THAT THEY WERE THE FEW HOLDOUTS WHEN SAFETY MEASURES WERE BEING IMPLEMENTED AT FACTORIES IN BANGLADESH. 

I LIVE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE THERE ARE 2 LONG STREETS, ALMOST LIKE ALLEYS, THAT HAVE BUSINESSES THAT CATER TO THE BANGLADESH COMMUNITY.  COULD ONE SAY “BENGALI”? 

“IT’S FUCKIN’ SICK,” HE SAID

(PEOPLE CAN WATCH THIS PIECE FOR THE DURATION OF HALF THEIR CIGARETTE.  IF I WAS SITTING HERE TOPLESS, I’D HOLD THEIR ATTENTION FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES)

I’M SO SAD THIS IS OVER.  FUCK.  WHERE AM I GONNA GO AND WRITE AFTER THIS.  WHERE AM I GONNA BE SUPPORTED FOR MY WRITING.

LAST DAY.  CLOSING TODAY.  FREE READING.

NOW THE VEST.  I BOUGHT THE VEST ON ONE OF THE LAST DATES THAT ME AND THE MARRIED WOMAN HAD.  I DON’T REMEMBER IF WE KISSED OR NOT.  IT WAS JANUARY, AND WE WERE TRYING TO BE FRIENDS.  WE WENT TO A PLACE THAT I HAD SUGGESTED FOR BRUNCH, BECAUSE I HAD BEEN THERE FOR A SCRUMPTIOUS DINNER AND THE BRUNCH SUCKED.  SHE WAS GRACIOUS ABOUT IT, BUT I KNEW SHE WAS TAKING NOTES BECAUSE SHE KEPT A LEDGER IN HER PURSE.  ONE FOR HER HUSBAND AND ONE FOR ME.

WE HAD PASSED THE POINT WHERE SHE WOULD FEEL ME UP UNDER THE TABLE.  IF I TRIED TO TOUCH HER ABOVE THE TABLE, SHE’D SAY, “C’MON.  I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO TRY TO BE FRIENDS.”  FEELING ME UP UNDER THE TABLE WAS MUCH MORE COMPELLING TO HER WHEN SHE WAS SITTING NEXT TO HER HUSBAND.  I TRIED CONSIDERING ENTERING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TWO OF THEM.  I DID NOT FEEL VERY THREATENED BECAUSE HE COULDN’T GET IT UP ANYWAY.  I JUST DIDN’T KNOW HOW I FELT ABOUT HIM WATCHING SHE AND I HAVING SEX.

NEED A/C.  HUMID.

SO WE WERE BEING PLATONIC THAT MORNING, AND WE WENT INTO A BOUTIQUE WHERE MY EX-GIRLFRIEND HAD PREVIOUSLY BOUGHT ME A BEAUTIFUL BELT WITH SILVER STUDS.  I DID NOT BRING THIS UP TO MARRIED BECAUSE SHE WOULD DROP SNYDE REMARKS, AND I ALSO FELT BAD ABOUT THE BELT BECAUSE IT NO LONGER FIT LIKE IT ONCE DID BECAUSE I WAS GAINING WEIGHT.  MARRIED WOULD TAKE INFORMATION LIKE THAT, PULVERIZE IT INTO A TOXIC SMOOTHIE, AND MAKE ME DRINK ITS BACKWASH.  SHE WANTED ANY OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS MY WEIGHTGAIN.  I FELT UNCOMFORTABLE BEING IN A STORE WITH HER, EXPECIALLY BECAUSE FOR THE MOST PART I LIKED THE CLOTHES IN THIS STORE, AND I KNEW I MIGHT WANT TO TRY SOMETHING ON.  I WASN’T SURE WHAT MY NEW SIZE WAS, AND I DID NOT WANT HER TO BE PART OF THIS DETERMINATION.

LAST DAY.  CLOSING TODAY.  FREE READING.

SHE LOOKED AT THE WOMEN’S CLOTHES.  LOOSE, EARTH-COLORED, DIAPHANOUS FABRICS.  ALMOST LIKE SOFT GARBAGE BAGS OR photo 4NEWSPRINT PAPER MADE OF UNPREDICTABLE PATTERNS.  I LOOKED AT THE MEN’S CLOTHES.  NOT AT THE ACID WASH JEANS WITH THE OVERSTITCHED POCKETS, AND DEFINITELY NOT AT THE BELTS.  I LOOKED AT GARMENTS THAT ADORNED THE PARTS OF THE BODY THAT STILL FELT SAFE TO ME.  SHIRTS AND VESTS.  I KNEW I WAS GETTING MORE BUTCH RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER EYES.  SHE WAS INVESTED IN BEING WITH MORE OF A “GIRL,” AND SHE ENCOURAGED ME TO GROW MY HAIR, AND EVEN WEAR WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR.  JOCKEY FOR SHE.  FOR YEARS, I HAD BEEN WEARING BOXER BRIEFS.  ONE OF MY FIRST RETURNS TO FEELING LIKE A MAN WAS RIGHT IN THIS STORE, RIGHT IN HER FACE.  I PULLED THIS VEST OFF THE RACK, AND REALIZED I COULD NOT CLOSE IT OVER MY TITS.  SHAME FAT SHAME.  I QUICKLY PULLED THE NEXT SIZE UP OFF THE RACK AND IT CLOSED FINE.  WHEW!  I WAS RELIEVED UNTIL I REALIZED THAT THE ARMPITS OF THE VEST WERE HANGING DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF MY BRA.  MARRIED SAID, “THAT’S WAY TOO BIG FOR YOU!”  I WAS SO RELIEVED THAT OUR STORY IN THIS STORE WAS NOT TURNING OUT TO BE ABOUT MY WEIGHT GAIN.  SHE WAS TELLING ME TO GO FOR A SMALLER SIZE.  THAT’S WHAT THIN PEOPLE GET TOLD, AND I NEVER SAW MYSELF AS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.  I DEFINITELY DIDN’T THINK THAT SHE SAW ME THAT WAY ANYMORE.  HER REJECTION OF MY BODY WHICH WAS SIMULTANEOUS WITH HER TURNING ME AWAY FOR HER HUSBAND MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS GETTING SURGERY WITHOUT ANAESTHESIA.

MY EX’S SON, MATTHEW, IS GETTING A LYMPHNODE REMOVED ON MONDAY.  PLEASE THINK OF HIS NAME WITH BLESSINGS, AND ANYTHING THAT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF WELL-BRING.  THANK YOU.

I BOUGHT THE VEST WHICH WAS A BIG FINANCIAL DEAL FOR ME AT THE TIME.  I THOUGHT IT WAS QUITE BUTCH, ALMOST LIKE A COWBOY VEST, BUT 2 YEARS LATER (WITHOUT THE MARRIED LOVER), I STARTED TO NOTICE A FLEUR DE LIS PATTERN ON THE BACK OF THE VEST.  THIS IS THE WORST PART OF THE VEST.  THANKFULLY, IT ON THE REAR SO I DON’T HAVE TO NOTICE IT VERY OFTEN.  I DO SEE THE FLOWERS WHEN THE VEST IS HANGING IN MY CLOSET.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE OBJECTS IS THE LION ANIMATRON THERE IS A DOOR IN THE LION’S BELLY THAT OPENS UP AND YOU CAN WIND UP ITS MECHANICS.  I’M WRONG, YOU WIND UP THE LION’S TAIL,THE LION ROARS, AND THEN A DOOR IN THE LION’S CAVITY OPENS.  WHAT WAS KEPT INSIDE?  IT WAS A GIFT FOR FRANCE.  THAT IS SURMISED BECAUSE A FLEUR DE LIS WAS PAINTED ON IT.  WHAT WOULD BE INSIDE OF MY CAVITY IF IT POPPED OPEN?  GASTRITIS.  WHICH, BY THE WAY, I’VE HAD FOR THE PAST WEEK.  I’VE ALSO HAD A LOT OF MEXICAN AND HALAL CART HOT SAUCE.

MY COUSIN POSTED A BLUNT ON INSTAGRAM.  IT WAS ON A POCKED UP TABLE.  SHE WROTE SOMETHING IN EUBONICS ABOUT WAITING FOR HER HUBBIN’ TO COME HOME SO THEY COULD SMOKE “THIS BLUNT” TOGETHER.  HER FRIENDS ALL CHIMED IN WITH COMMENTS LIKE, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH THE NEW BABY IN THE HOUSE.”

SO I CHIMED IN MINE: “GET A BABYSITTER, AND TAKE IT TO THE THE PORCH.”

LATER WHEN I CHECKED INSTAGRAM, I KNOW MY COUSIN WAS PISSED.  SHE RESPONDED CURTLY, “WE WENT OUTSIDE.” (NO EUBONICS).  GOD,HER BABY IS REALLY PRECIOUS.  LONG HAIR THAT LOOKS LIKE IT’S GETTING GREASED UP AND PUSHED OVER TO THE SIDE.  I HOPE SHE’S NOT GETTING HIM STARTED WITH THAT DIPPITY DOO OR NU NILE.

MY MOTHER CAME TO VISIT THE OTHER DAY.  SHE NOTICED THE SCAR ON MY ARM.  A SCAR FROM A MOSQUITO BITE.  SHE ALWAYS NOTICES MY SCRAPES AND BRUISES.  THANKFULLY, SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO DISCUSS THE WHITEHEADS AND BLACKHEADS ALTHOUGH SHE HAS PLENTY OF GOOD ADVICE FOR TREATING THESE IF YOU ASK FOR IT.  I WAS LAUGHING THE WAY MY SISTER AND I HAD THE SAME REASONING ABOUT GETTING SUMMERTIME PIMPLES.  “YOUR SKIN GETS TOO MUCH SUN, AND THEN OVERPRODUCES OIL.”  GUESS WHO TAUGHT US THAT?  MY MOM.  TOLD US SEPARATELY AND THEN WE TAUGHT EACH OTHER.

THE SUN NEVER PIMPLED UP MY SKIN.  IT ACTIVATED SOME CANCER CELLS.  A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS TEACHING IN ANN ARBOR, ONE OF THE LEAST SUNNY PLACES ON EARTH, WHAT I THOUGH WAS A PIMPLE AND KEPT ON TRYING TO POP THE PUSS FROM, TURNED OUT TO BE A CANCER LUMP.  I WAS ACTUALLY KIND OF HAPPY BECAUSE I WAS IN THE THROES OF MISERY WITH MARRIED AND WANTED TO DIE, YET DIDN’T HAVE THE COURAGE TO KILL MYSELF.  SHE SAID THAT SHE WANTED TO FILL HER POCKETS WITH STONES AND WALK INTO THE SEA, BUT SHE WAS JUST BEING MELODRAMATIC.

WORKING FOR A RICH COLLEGE, I HAD GOOD HEALTH INSURANCE.  WHAT WAS INTERESTING WAS THAT SO MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES AND EVEN THE DEAN HAD CANCER TOO.  I WONDERED IF SOMETHING ABOUT WORKING IN THIS DEPARTMENT GAVE PEOPLE CANCER.  AFTER A YEAR OF SITTING OF FACULTY CRITS, COMMITTEES, AND MEETINGS, I COULD SEE WHY CANCER MIGHT HAVE TURNED INTO A GROUP CONTAGION. 

I REMEMBER WHEN THE DEAN, NOW DEAD, TOLD EVERYONE THAT THERE WOULD BE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE FOR ALL FACULTY TO HAVE A PHYSICAL.  HE ADDED IN THAT EVENTUALLY THIS WOULD BE REQUIRED.  ONE OF THE DEARHEARTS I WORKED WITH WHO CAME TO MY AID WHEN I WAS IN TROUBLE CHALLENGED THIS IDEA.  SHE SAID, “THIS REMINDS ME OF WHAT HITLER DID WHEN HE TRIED TO GET THE THIRD REICH TO FOLLOW A PARTICULAR HEALTH REGIME.”  DURING THAT FACULTY MEETING, SHE TAUGHT US THAT HITLER WANTED EVERYONE TO EAT WHEAT BREAD.  I LOVED HER FOR EQUATING THE COLLEGE’S AND ADOLF HITLER’S HEALTH PLAN.

FUCK.  I’M HUNGRY.  I’M NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO MAKE IT UNTIL  THAT 3:00 MEETING WITH SALETTE.  MAYBE I SHOULD CALL HERE AND ASK HER IF WE CAN MAKE IT EARLIER.  BUSINESS PEOPLE CAN’T SHIMMY THEIR SCHEDULES LIKE THE UNDEREMPLOYED.

LAST DAY.  CLOSING TODAY.  FREE READING.

I JUST HAD A FANTASY THAT BARACK OBAMA CAME TO THE WINDOW.  HE AND MICHELLE.  WHAT WOULD I SAY TO THEM?  I DID NOT VOITE  FOR THEM IN THE LAST ELECTION.I LIKE THAT JILL STEIN.  THEY’RE ALL CROOKED.  WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.

photo 3[1]I HAD A DREAM THE OTHER NIGHT ABOUT MY CAT.  MY 17 YEAR OLD DREAMGIRL, STELLA.  SHE’S BEEN PUKING UP A LOT OF HAIRBALLS LATELY.  THAT NIGHT WAS A PARTICULARLY GRUESOME KIND OF NIGHT.  SHE’S NOT SUCH A LARGE CAT, BUT HER HAIRBALLS AVERAGED 2-3” IN LENGTHY, PERFECTLY COILED.  IN MY DREAM, SHE WAS PUKING THEM UP AND SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO BRING MY ATTENTION TO IT.  I SAID, “DON’T WORRY.  THEY’RE JUST HAIRBALLS.  THE PERSON (A MAN) SAID, “NO, THERE’S SOMETHING MORE THAN HAIRBALLS.”  I WENT OVER AND LOOKED AT MY LITTLE GRAY AND WHITE GIRL RETCHING AND OUT OF HER MOUTH WAS COMING HAIR, BUT ALSO A SANDCRAB.  THE ONES THAT LOOK LIKE LITTLE CHUBBY FINGERS.  WHEN I LOOKED CLOSELY, I REALIZED THAT THE SANDCRAB WAS NOT A REAL ONE.  THE REAL ONES TEND TO BE A LITTLE GRAY AND BLUE AND PINK.  THIS ONE WAS PLASTIC AND IT’S COLOR WAS BEIGE DYE NUMBER 5.  I FELT SO BAD THINKING OF STELLA HAVING TO PURGE THIS SHARP EDGED PLASTIC TOY THROUGH HER TENDER INSIDES.  SHE WOULD HAVE HAD A MUCH EASIER TIME PUKING UP A REAL SANDCRAB.

I GOT THE PANTS AT THE GAP.  I WAS GOING ON A SHOPPING SPREE AS I OFTEN DID BEFORE GOING OUT WITH THE MARRIED WOMAN.  WE HADN’T SEEN EACH OTHER IN A LONG TIME AND WE WERE GOING OUT ON A VALENTINE’S DAY DATE EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THE WEEKEND AFTER VALENTINE’S DAY.  I’M NOT SURE WHY BUT I WAS AT THE GAP NEAR CHELSEA.  THE ONE ON 23RD STREET.  I RARELY GO TO SEE ART ANYMORE SO I DON’T KNOW WHY I WAS THERE.  

I DIDN’T KNOW WHETHER TO SHOP RIGHT (MEN’S) OR LEFT (WOMEN’S) WHEN I GOT INTO THE STORE.  I REMEMBERED TELLING MARRIED THAT SOMETHING – I THINK IT WAS A PAIR OF LEVI’S – THAT I HAD GOTTEN THAT WAS A WOMEN’S SIZE FIT ME MUCH BETTER.  SHE SAID, “NO DUH.”

I NEEDED A PAIR OF PANTS.  I GOT A PAIR OF JEANS IN THE MEN’S DEPARTMENT.  DARK DENIM, WHICH I JUST REALIZED IS OUT OF STYLE.  OUT OF STYLE WAS NEVER A PROBLEM WHEN I WAS A REAL BUTCH DYKE.  AS SOON AS I BECAME A “PROFESSIONAL” LESBIAN, BEING “IN” OR “OUT OF STYLE” BECAME A NEW THING TO WORRY ABOUT.  I’M NOT GOING TO THROW OUT MY DARK DENIM JEANS, THOUGH.  I AM TOO POOR TO PART WITH CLOTHES.  I AM, ONCE AGAIN, A BUTCH DYKE AND DARK JEANS ULTIMATELY BOTHER ME LESS THAN A FLEUR DE LIS BACK.

YOU CAN TELL WHO’S WHO IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD BY OWHO WEARS AN ID ATTACHED TO THEIR BODIES WITH A NECKLACE OR A PINCHY CLIP, AND WHO DOESN’T HAVE TO WEAR ANYTHING AT ALL. THE CRISPER AND WHITER THEIR SHIRTS ARE, THE HIGHER UP THEY ARE.  THE BETTER THEIR SUITS FIT – LIKE OBAMA’S SUITS ARE FLAWLESS – THE MORE MONEY THEY HAVE.  IF YOU’RE WEALTHY, YOU CAN HAVE A TAILOR DESIGN YOUR CLOTHES SO THAT YOUR WEIGHT GAINS AND “PROBLEM AREAS” NEVER SHOW.

FRANKLY, I LOVE LOOKING AT A GREAT DEAL OF THE WOMEN IN THIS AREA.  I LIKE THAT THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO SHOW THEIR SUMMERTIME ASS AND THIGHS.  I FEEL PROTECTIVE OF THEM KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE TO GO INTO OFFICE ENVIRONMENTS WHERE THEY RUN THE RISK OF BEING OGGLED AND OBJECTIFIED IN THE SAME WAY THAT I AM BEING LECHEROUS.  I WANT TO TELL THEM TO LEAVE JP MORGAN AND COME HOME WITH ME.  “BUT DON’T CHANGE YOUR OUTFIT, BABY…” (SPOKEN LIKE BARRY WHITE)  TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY I AM LETTING MYSELF GET DISTRACTED LIKE THIS. 

I LEARNED THAT IT WAS OKAY TO TURN WOMEN INTO SEXUAL PLAYTHINGS WHEN I MOVED TO SAN FRANCISCO.  IN THE BUTCH/FEMME photo 5COMMUNITY, SHE WAS A “PRETTY LITTLE THING” OR A “BUXOM BEAUTY” AND I WAS A MAN/BOY/STUD/BUTCH/DADDY.

NOBODY WAS THEMSELVES, AND OF COURSE IT MADE SEX HOT.  THE COMMUNITY WAS RADICALIZED BY BEING DEFINED BY AN EROTIC ENERGY THAT WAS DEPENDENT UPON GENDER AND ROLE PLAY.

I REMEMBER WHEN MY GIRLFRIEND AT THE TIME LEFT ME A CARD WITH TWO WOMEN SITTING ON IT.  THE TWO WOMEN LOOKED ALIKE.  BOTH HAD LONG HAIR. 


 

HEY HEY

HO HO

CAPITALISM’S GOTTA GO!!!!!!!!!!

(Text JUSTICE to 62227

to demand that the DOJ FILE a civil rights violation against GEORGE ZIMMERMAN)


DAY 6

8.5.13

WHY DON’T PEOPLE FLUSH THE TOILET ANYMORE?

WHY DON’T THEY CLEAN UP AFTER THEIR DOGS?

WHY DON’T THEY SAY “EXCUSE ME” IF THEY HAVE TO FART OR BURP OR SPIT?

I HAVE TO STRENGTHEN MY ARMOR AGAINST DISGUST.  I NEVER KNOW WHEN I’M GOING TO BE FILLED WITH SUCH A FEELING OF THE ABJECT THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN.

I USED TO NOT CARE ABOUT WEARING MY SHOES IN THE HOUSE.  NOW I COME HOME WITH A FEELING ON MY SOLES THAT IS A PATINA OF ALL BODY EXCRETIONS AND DECOMPOSING GARBABE.

THAT IS WHAT THE BODY RIDS ITSELF OF ANYWAY?  DECOMPOSING GARBAGE.

MY MOTHER IS VISITING TODAY AT THE END OF THE DAY. WE WILL GO TO HENRY’S TOGETHER.  HENRY’S IS A ROOFTOP BAR AT THE TOP OF THE ROGER SMITH HOTEL.  IT IS NAMED AFTER A BULL TERRIER THAT IS OWNED BY A MEMBER OF THE HOTEL STAFF.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT BUT I EXPECT PINK MARIGOLDS AND A “WONDERFUL VIEW”…OF BRICK AND SKY.  WHY ARE WE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A VIEW?  IS IT JUST SOMETHING TO SAY? 

I LIKE WHEN MY PROJECTS HAVE A POINT OF ENTRY FOR MY MOTHER.  I LOVED THAT RICHARD MEYER’S MOTHER WAS AT THE BOOK PARTY FOR HE AND CATHERINE’S NEW BOOK: “ART AND QUEER CULTURE.”  YOU SHOULD BUY IT, EVEN THOUGH I SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN IT.  I SAY THAT WITH LIGHTNESS OF HEART.

MY MOTHER LIKES A DRINK AND SHE LIKES A GOOD VIEW SO A ROOFTOP MARIGILDED BAR WILL BE PERFECT FOR HER.  SHE’LL THINK THAT WHAT I’M DOING IS IMPORTANT, AND THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME.

I LIKE WHEN THE TRUCK DRIVERS READ WHAT I WRITE AS THEY SIT AT RED LIGHTS.

I LIKE WHEN THE TOURISTS READ WHAT I WRITE.  THIS IS WHAT A REAL NEW YORKER TALKS LIKE.

I LIKE WHEN THE BUSINESS PEOPLE STOP WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO READ.  THEY PROBABLY WONDER, “WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WACKY HOTEL NOW?”

AM I THE THING TO STOP FOR, TO TAKE PICTURES FOR, OR IS THE PERFORMANCE/INSTALLATION THE THING TO STOP FOR?”

photo 1[1]THAT PRET COFFEE AROUND THE CORNER KICKS ASS.  IT IS AT ITS PEAK WITH HALF AND HALF THAT I DON’T NORMALLY USE.  BUT AS MY FRIEND CHRIS USED TO SAY ABOUT COCAINE: “IT HITS THE PEASURE CENTER OF YOUR BRAIN.”  OOOOOO, WHEN I WAS HIGH ON COKE I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT.

GETTING THE GUESTS TODAY: RYN, MY MOM AND DAD, AND CEE.  I LOVE THE LOVE BUT TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, IT’S DISTRACTING.  I AM HERE TO WRITE.  I KNOW FOR SURE THAT I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO ONE OF THOSE CUNTRY (INTENTIONAL TYPE-O) RESIDENCIES.  MAYBE IF IT’S IN MAINE.  BUT I DEFINITELY DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND OTHER ARTISTS.  THEY MAKE ME NERVOUS AND I START COMPARING MYSELF TO THEM.  HOW THEY WORK, THEIR CAREERS, THEIR INCOME, THEIR JOBS IN ACKADEMIA, AND OF COURSE THEIR FRIENDS AND THEIR BODIES.  WHAT UGLINESS LIVES IN MY SOUL.

AND YET, HOW CAN I CREATE A NARRATIVE THAT EXISTS OUTSIDE OF THE DOMINANT ONE THAT IS CREATED BY GALLERIES, ART SCHOOLS, MUSEUMS, AND RESIDENCIES.  THERE ARE SOME ARTISTS THAT RISE TO THE TOP LIKE CURD.  GREG SHOLETTE MIGHT SAY THAT IN ORDER TO HAVE A TOP, WE NEED THOSE OF US WHO ARE HERE AT THE BOTTOM.  AND THEN THERE IS THE ELUSIVE QUESTION AS TO WHY SOME ARTISTS RISE AND SOME ARTISTS FLOAT LIKE A BOBBIN, OR SINK.  ANSWERING THAT QUESTION CAN BE AS HARD AS FINDING THE CLITORIS.

WE ARTISTS HAVE ALL BEEN TRAINED LIKE OBEDIENT DOGS TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO HAVE THE LAST SAY IN THE ART WORLD.  RATHER THAN ASKING QUESTIONS LIKE, “WHY HIM AND NOT ME?” OR EVEN TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF ONE ANOTHER FOR EXAMPLE:

THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT TROPICAL FISH.  HOW COME YOU DIDN’T ASK JACQUES COSTEAU’S DAUGHTER TO CONTRIBUTE WORK?”

WHEN WE DO GET A LITTLE BIT OF A RISE IN THE HIERARCHY, WE TRY TO PROMOTE OUR FRIENDS.  THIS MAKES SUCCESSFUL ARTISTS EXIST IN A CLICQUE.  THAT IS ELITIST AND DOES NOT ENABLE MULTIPLE VIEWPOINTS AND A DIVERSITY OF EXPRESSION.  IT DOES ENABLE KICK ASS OPENING PARTIES WITH ALL OF THE SAME KINDS OF PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO ALL OF THE SAME KINDS OF MUSIC AND DRINK THE SAME BRAND OF BEER.

I HAVE BEEN FRIENDS WITH ARTISTS WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL.  IN AMERICA, THIS IS A CRUCIAL STEP.  ONCE YOU’RE IN THE BIENNIAL, YOU ARE SUCCULENT.  GALLERIES WANT YOU IN THEIR “STABLE.”  ARTISTS THINK THEY’RE SET.  THEY GO TO A COUPLE OF FANCY WHITNEY PARTIES, BUY NEW CLOTHES, GET LOTS OF CALLS AND EMAILS (“SO AND SO WANTS TO HAVE A STUDIO VISIT WITH YOU), GET INVITED TO DINNER PARTIES OF SOME “BIG NAME” CURATORS AND ART CRITICS.  BEING CLOAKED WITH ALL OF THIS SPECIAL ACCOUTRIMENT BUILDS A WALL BETWEEN YOU AND MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE INTERFACED WITH YOUR GROWTH:  FROM ART SCHOOL, GRADUATE SCHOOL, RESIDENCIES, STUDIO-SHARES, AND NEIGHBORS.

YOUR TIME IS BUSY AND YOUR DEALER TEACHES YOU QUICKLY HOW TO CREATE A HIERARCHY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO SOCIALIZE WITH AND PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT. 

DAMN, YOU DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE HOW AMBITIOUS YOU WERE UNTIL THE MONEY STARTS COMING IN OUR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY START GETTING FLOWN ON FIRST-CLASS TRIPS TO EUROPE.  YOU RECOGNIZE THAT YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO EVERYTHING YOUR DEALER TELLS YOU.  IT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.  IT WOULD BE DEMORALIZING TO GO BACKWARDS EVEN AN INCH.

OLD FRIENDS WHO HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN YEARS LEAVE YOU NOTES AT YOUR SHOWS.  THE GALLERY SMILES IN THEIR FACES, AND SAYS, “SHE’LL LOVE GETTING YOUR NOTE.”  AND THEN THEY TOSS THE NOTE IN THE GARBAGE.  YOU ALSO GET AN EMAIL ADDRESS THAT CAN ONLY BE ACCESSED BY THOSE WITH WHOM YOU HAVE PROFESSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, YOUR DEALER, AND A FEW PERSONAL FRIENDS.

YOU HAVE VERY LITTLE TIME FOR THE FRIENDS THAT HOLD YOU UP.  ONLY THE FRIENDS CAN HELP YOUR CAREER.

BUSINESSMEN AND EURO MEN IN THE WINDOW.  I WONDER HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT ME HAVING A VOICE, PARTICULARLY A VOICE ABOUT THE HIERARCHY OF ARTISTS.  ONE OF THEM TALKED ABOUT MY TATTOOS.  I HEARD HIM.

 

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FAIL?

I LOST MY JOB.  I WAS DEMORALIZED.  I LOST HALF OF MY SALARY, AND MY ESTEEM AS A FULL-TIME ART PROFESSOR.  I WAS LIVING IN THE photo 4MIDWEST AND I GOT TO RETURN TO NEW YORK.  THIS WAS NOT GOOD NEWS AT THE TIME BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE. 

IT TOOK ABOUT 2 YEARS FOR ME TO RECOGNIZE THAT I WAS TRAUMATIZED.  I MUST TELL YOU THAT I THOUGHT TRAUMA WAS RESERVED FOR OTHER PEOPLE.  PEOPLE WHO GOT THEIR ASS KICKED PARTICULARY BY THEIR OWN FAMILY, PEOPLE WHO WERE IN FIRES OR ENDURED WAY INTENSE ACCIDENTS, SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, THOSE WHO LOST THEIR HOMES, AND I’M SURE I CAN THINK OF MORE.

LOSING A JOB IN THE MIDWEST SHOULD NOT CONSTITUTE TRAUMA.  I WAS AFRAID TO DRIVE, THOUGHT EVERY CAR WANTED TO HIT ME, WORRIED THAT I WAS NOT KEEPING A CLEAN ENOUGH HOME (I.E. EXCESSIVE CONCERN ABOUT THE CAT HAIR THAT WAS FLYING AROUND, THOUGHT THE DISHES WERE TALKING TO ME (AT A LOW VOLUME) WHEN I WAS WASHING THEM.  THEY’D SAY THINGS LIKE, “DON’T DO ME.  DO THE KNIVES FIRST.” THERE WERE THE PSYCHIATRIC INTERVENTIONS.  THAT HAD NOT HAPPENED SINCE 1993 AND JOINED THE “PROZAC NATION.”  MAN OH MAN, IT WAS HARD TO GIVE UP THAT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR TITLE BULLSHIT, EVEN THOUGH I HATED ANN ARBOR.  EVERYONE IN ACADEMIA PUTS THE GRANTING OF TENURE, WHICH IS A 6 YEAR ENDURANCE, AT THE CENTER OF THEIR SELF WORTH.  I COULDN’T EVEN MAKE IT PAST 3 YEARS.  MY MOST RADICAL COLLEAGUES SAID, “CONGRATULATIONS.  THEY DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE YOU.”  I FOUND SOME SOLACE IN THAT. 

BEING HIRED AS AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR SIGNIFIED THAT I HAD REACHED A PINNACLE IN MY CARRER, AND I HAD STARTED DOING EXACTLY WHAT MY COLLEAGUES IN THE BIENNIAL DO.  I CONCEPTUALIZED A HIERARCHY AND   THERE IS A SAYING:

WHEN I’M IN A CROWD, I ALWAYS SURVEY WHO IS BETTER THAN ME AND WHO IS LESS THAN ME.

FUCK!  SO I WENT INTO THE HOSPITAL 3X WHEN I LOST MY JOB.  I DID NOT WANT TO SLASH MY THROAT OR WRISTS, OR TAKE RAT POISON, WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO WHEN I WAS HOSPITALIZED AT 24.  NONETHELESS, I WAS SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT I HAD TO SAY, “I AM HAVING SUICIDAL IDEATION,” IN ORDER TO HAVE MY INSURANCE COVER MY STAYS IN THE HOSPITAL.  YOU KNOW YOU’RE REALLY SICK WHEN YOU LIKE THE HOSPITAL.  I DIDN’T EVEN CARE THAT THE BITCH QUACK OF A DOCTOR ACCUSED ME OF NOT TAKING MY MEDICINE.  I WONDERED IF SHE WAS TAKING HERS.  I LIKED LOOKING AT HER SEXY CALVES WALKING UP AND DOWN THE HOSPITAL’S TILED CORRIDORS IN 5” DESIGNER HEELS.    I SHOULD SAY THAT I LIKE THINKING ABOUT IT NOW BECAUSE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE HOSPITAL YOU HAVE NO LIBIDO.  THAT WAS THE MICHIGAN HOSPITAL.  SHE WAS A MORON AND DISCHARGED ME BEFORE GETTING MY MEDICATION DOSAGES RIGHT.  I WAS TRYING TO HIDE MY “BREAKDOWN” (AS A FRIEND DESCIBED IT, OK……………..) FROM THE STUDENTS IN MY GRADUATE SEMINAR.  MY DEAREST COLLEAGUE, AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT, WHO KNEW EXACTLY WHY I WAS LOSING MY JOB.  SHE WOULD GO AND SIT WITH MY GRADUATES DURING THE SEMINAR AND WHEN THEY ASKED WHAT WAS GOING ON, SHE WOULD PROVIDE COMPASSIONATE YET VAGUE ANSWERS.  MY GRADUATES PETITIONED THE SCHOOL.  I WAS AND STILL AM DEEPLY TOUCHED THAT THEY DID THAT.  THAT PETITION IS STILL ONLINE AND I WORRY ABOUT IT SURFACING WHEN I BECOME A FINALIST AT A FULL-TIME JOB.

I DON’T THINK I’M READY TO BE A PROFESSOR.  I NEED TO APPROACH ACADEMIA WITH A LIGHT TOUCH.  MY IDENTITY AND SENSE OF SELF-WORTH IS EMBROILED IN BEING A PROFESSOR.  I WANT TO BE REWARDED FOR THE WAY I THINK.  THE WANT IS TOO MUCH.  I HAVE LEARNED THAT THERE ARE WAYS TO SURRENDER THIS WANT.  MAKE TEACHING MORE ABOUT THE STUDENTS AND LESS ABOUT ME.  I WAS LISTENING TO AN ECONOMIST ON WBAI YESTERDAY.  STUDENTS ARE IN THE MOST FUCKED PLACE IN TERMS OF THE ECONOMY.  AS AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO DISCUSS AND CREATE A CURRICULUM THAT DEALS WITH FINANCE.  I LOVE THAT ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO IS AN ADJUNCT TOO SENT ME HIS IDEAS FOR MONEY MAKING.  I DO FIND MYSELF GRAVITATING TOWARDS MEN WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH MONEY.  I FEEL LIKE THEY WILL MAKE IT ALL OKAY.

WHEN I RETURNED TO NEW YORK, I TOOK A ONE-BEDROOM APARTMENT.  SO MANY DECISIONS ABOUT WHETHER I SHOULD TAKE THE SETTLEMENT MONEY I GOT FROM THE SCHOOL AND BUY AN APARTMENT ONE OF THE GENTRIFYING COMPLEXES IN THE BK , BANK THE MONEY AND START WORKING FULL-TIME SO I WOULD HAVE A “CUSHION” WHEN I WANT TO BUY.  EVERYBODY HAD A CHIME TO RING.  I JUST WANTED TO SLEEP.  STILL DO, QUITE OFTEN.  I TOOK A 3 HOUR NAP YESTERDAY IN FACT.

SO I WATCHED MY CATS DOZE, AND LET THE SILVERWARE TALK TO ME, AND IN BETWEEN I SLEPT AND WATCHED MOVIES.  I HAD 2 LESBIAN NEIGHBORS.  THEY WERE MY ANGELS.  THEY TOLD MY EX GIRLFRIEND ABOUT AN A APARTMENT IN THEIR BUILDING, AND HANDED ME THE KEYS ON THE MORNING I ARRIVED FROM ANN ARBOR.  ONE OF MY “GAYBORS” HAS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. WE WERE BOTH HOME EVERY DAY.  EVEN THOUGH, WE BOTH LIVED ON THE 7TH FLOOR,  WE USED TO TEXT EACH OTHER BACK AND FORTH:

GAYBOR 1: I MADE CHICKEN SOUP. WANNA COME OVER

GAYBOR 2: I’M TAKING A NAP AND NEED TO KEEP SLEEPING

ANOTHER DAY:

GAYBOR 2: HEY! I JUST MADE BANANA PANCAKES.  COME ON OVER.  BRING SYRUP!

GAYBOR 1: OH HONEY. I’M STILL ASLEEP

photo 3IT WAS REALLY HARD WHEN I CAME BACK BECAUSE I WAS INVITED TO TEACH PART-TIME AT THE SCHOOLS WHERE I WAS WORKING BEFFORE I GOT THE JOB AS A FULL-TIME PROFESSOR.  MY EGO FELT SLAUGHTERED AND I COULD NOT SEE THAT THERE WAS ANYTHING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR.  I RETURNED TO CUNY, SMELLED THE ROTTING KETCHUP, SPENT 20 MINUTES LOOKING FOR A PIECE OF CHALK, AND YET MY STUDENTS-ALL AFRICAN AMERICAN AND CARRIBEAN NEVER QUESTIONED AN ASSIGNMENT OR A GRADE I GAVE THEM.  IF THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE A VALUE DRAWING, FOR INSTANCE, I DIDN’T HEAR THAT WHINEY SHIT THAT I’D HEAR FROM MY UNDERGRADUATES IN ANN ARBOR WHO WERE SPENDING 60K A YEAR TO GO TO SCHOOL.  THEY’D SAY TO ME, “YOU DIDN’T EXPLAIN IT WELL!”  MY BLACK AND CARRIBEAN STUDENTS WOULD FEEL LIKE THEY FAILED.  THE TEACHER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  I LIKE WHEN THEY BITCH TO ME ABOUT THEIR GRADES, THE CUNY KIDS.

I DRAGGED MY ASS AROUND, MUMBLING TO FRIENDS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL FAILURE AND THE TURMOIL IN MY LIFE.  MY PARTNER AND I OF 5 YEARS BROKE UP WHEN I WAS IN MICHIGAN.  I MUMBLED BECAUSE I WAS DISCONNECTED TO THE CAUSE OF MY MISERY.  YET, THE DEPRESSION KEPT SURFACING.  “DANIELLE HASN’T GOTTEN OUT OF BED IN 5 DAYS,” THE DISHSOAP WOULD SAY.  MY MOTHER WOULD REPLY,”CAN YOU JUST GET OUT AND GO TO THE GYM.” MY THERAPIST WOULD TELL ME THAT I NEEDED TO HAVE CONTACT WITH THREE PEOPLE – EVEN IF IT WAS JUST A HUMAN ON THE STREET.  I ALSO REMEMBER HER TELLING ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE THERAPEUTIC CAPACITY OF SWINGING MY ARMS AS I WALKED.  SOMETHING ABOUT SWINGING MY LEFT ARM AS MY RIGHT ARM STEPPED FORWARD AND VICE VERSA HER MOST WORTHWHILE ADVICE WAS WHEN SHE TOLD ME TO SEE ALL THE STUFF THAT WAS GOING ON FOR ARIES ON ASTROLOGY.COM

I’D LAY IN BED AND WATCH NETFLIX “WATCH INSTANTLY” FILMS.  ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH ADDICTION.  ANYTHING THAT WAS MADE IN THE 60S OR 70S.  ANYTHING THAT DEPICTED A PRE-GENTRIFIED NEW YORK CITY.  JEEZ, WASN’T NEW YORK ALWAYS BEING GENTRIFIED BY SOMEBODY?  I DO REMEMBER FEELING NURSED THROUGH A DEPRESSION BY WATCHING ALL OF THE EPISODES OF CAGNEY AND LACEY.  I USED TO WATCH THEM ON REGULAR TV WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE.  I WAS SOOTHED BY THEM THEN.

MY LAST HOSPITALIZATION WAS THE MOST EFFECTIVE.  I WENT TO A PLACE IN CONNECTICUT THAT WAS CALLED SILVER HILL.  HARRY CONNICK JR.’S DAUGHTER WAS BEING TREATED AT THE SAME TIME FOR DRUG ADDICTION, AND I SAW HIM IN THE LOBBY.  HE DIDN’T LOOK HAPPY.  MY COUSIN TOOK ME TO SILVER HILL BECAUSE HE HAD JUST BEEN REALEASED.  HE TOLD ME YOU COULD SMOKE, AND THAT’S ALL I CARED ABOUT.  HE ALSO TOLD ME ABOUT THE AMENITIES: THE SALAD BAR, THE OMELETTE BAR, THE FOCACCIA BAR, AND HOW THEY MAKE YOUR BED AND LAY OUT YOUR SLIPPERS.  I DIDN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF THIS, BUT I LIKED THAT HE WAS DOING THE TALKING BECAUSE I COULDN’T.

I REMEMBER A BUSINESSMAN WHO WOULD WATCH THE STOCK MARKET NUMBERS.  HE WOULD YELL AND SLAM HIS HAND INTO HIS FIST LIKE HE WAS WATCHING AN ATHLETIC EVENT.

THAT SAME MAN AND I BONDED OVER THE KIND OF CORNED BEEF HASH WE LIKED.  THE HOSPITAL SERVED A MEATY KIND OF HASH, PROBABLY WITH LITTLE OR NO BY PRODUCT.  HE SAID, “I HATE THIS.  I LIKE THE KIND THAT’S LIKE DOG FOOD!”  I COMPLETELY AGREED.

THERE WERE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO WERE HOOKED ON XANAX.  THEY WOULD NOD OFF IN GROUPS.  WE WOULD ALL LAUGH BECAUSE OF THE ABSURDITY OF WATCHING SOMEONE FALLOUT OF A CHAIR, WHILE WE WERE LEARNING ABOUT COGNITIVE THERAPY. 

I REMEMBERED THE FOOD CAUSING ME A GREAT DEAL OF TENSION.  I WAS STARTING TO GAIN WEIGHT, AFTER A 100 POUND WEIGHT LOSS, AND KNEW MY MARRIED LOVER WHO I WAS ALREADY LOSING WOULD NOT FEEL ATTRACTED TO MY BODY.

GETTING WELL WAS EASY.  THERE WAS AN ADJUSTMENT MADE IN MY LITHIUM.  HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR ME TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE LITHIUM I TAKE EVERY DAY IS THE SAME SHIT THAT GOES IN A BATTERY?!

WAIT A MINUTE.  I LIE, I LIE, AND I AM TOO WIPED TO GO BACK AND EDIT.  I GOT WACKY BECAUSE I WAS TRYING TO QUIT SMOKING AND I WAS TAKING CHANTAX.  MY COUSIN APPRECIATED THE SMOKING AT SILVER LAKE BECAUSE HE WAS A SMOKER, BUT I WAS ALREADY WELL ON MY NON-SMOKING WAY.

IN MY MIND, GETTING BETTER AT THE HOSPITAL WAS DUE TO “A LITTLE R&R” (THAT’S WHAT MY FELLOW PATIENTS CALLED IT), SHAKING THE EFFECTS OF THE CHANTAX, AND UPPING THE LITHIUM.  I WAS SURPISED THAT THERE WAS NOTHING CIRCUMSTANTIAL FOR ME TO PROCESS.  ON THE DAY OF MY DISCHARGE, I MET WITH A SHRINK WHO WAS NOT THE SAME SHRINK THAT I HAD BEEN WORKING WITH UP UNTIL THIS POINT.  THIS SHRINK WENT RIGHT FOR THE JUGULAR.  HE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MY AFFAIR, WHICH WAS NOT COMPLETELY OVER.  HE SAID, “WELL, YOU COULD MAKE IT WORK IF IT WAS SOMETHING THAT SHE, YOU, AND HER HUSBAND AGREE ON.”  I KNEW THAT THIS WAS NOT POSSIBLE.  I WAS CRYING.  CRYING IN THE SAME WAY I ONLY CRIED WITH HER.  SHE’D SAY I WAS “INCONSOLABLE.”  SHE’D TELL ME THAT I WAS “SOBBING.”  SHE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO COMFORT ME, OR ANYONE.  SHE WAS IMPATIENT AND SHE MOCKED ME.  THAT DOCTOR KNEW EXACTLY WHERE IT HURT, LIKE A GOOD MASSEUSE. HE LET ME CRY AND DID NOT SAY ANYTHING.  MAYBE HE HAD A SOFT SMILE.

DISCO

 

DAY 5

8.2.13

photo 3I WISH YOU THE KIND OF DAY THAT MAKES YOU THINK, “HEY!  THIS WAS A PRETTY GOOD SUMMER AFTER ALL!”

I HAD TO START MY DAY OFF BY SETTING A BOUNDARY.  OH JOY!  I HATE EVEN HAVING TO USE THAT WORD.  IT SOUNDS LIKE I HAVE A PARTNER AND WE’RE IN COUPLES COUNSELING, OR THAT I AM WORKING ON HAVING A PARTNER AND PRACTICING MY BOUNDARIES WITH EVERYONE I COME INTO CONTACT WITH.

I CAME IN THIS MORNING AND THE DOOR TO THE GALLERY THAT HOUSES THE WINDOW WAS WAY WIDE OPEN.  THERE ARE SOME GUYS THAT WORK FOR THE HOTEL, AND THEY WERE SCHLEPPING SHEETS OF PLYWOOD BACK AND FORTH FROM THIS GALLERY TO THE GALLERY AROUND THE CORNER, AND THEY DID NOT FORGET LOCKE THE DOOR.  THEY DID NOT CLOSE THE DOOR.  I WONDERED IF ROGER SMITH WAS READY TO BUY ME A NEW COMPUTER.  I KNOW MY NON-LAWYER WOULDN’T STAND A CHANCE AGAINST HIS VERY POSH  LAWYER, SO I JUST FIGURED I’D BE OUT OF A COMPUTER.  I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “SHOULD I LET THIS GO AND NOT BE SEEN AS A BITCH?” “MAYBE I’LL JUST DROP AN EMAIL TO DANIKA, THE TOUGH AS NAILS CURATOR.  SHE’LL RIP THEM A NEW ONE.” 

I KNEW THAT IF WAS EVER GOING TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE LOVED AND GET LAID AGAIN, I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS.  HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING.  I CAN’T TELL YOU I WAS NOT PISSED.  USUALLY I TRY TO WAIT UNITL MY FIRE DIES DOWN. 

THE BOYS CAME BACK INTO THIS GALLERY AND I SAID, “GUYS, COULD YOU PLEASE TRY TO REMEMBER TO CLOSE AND LOCK THE DOOR BEHIND YOU.”  THE EXTRA GOOD LOOKING ONE SAID, “YES, BUT WE WERE ONLY GONE FOR A MINUTE.”  I HEARD MY MOTHER COME OUT OF MY MOUTH AS ID SAID, “YES, AND IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE TO STEAL A COMPUTER AND THERE ARE TWO OF THEM HERE.”  I DID NOT YELL, BUT I HAD A SNARKY COMEBACK.  THESE SOMETIMES WORK AND SOMETIMES DON’T, AND I END UP SOUNDING LIKE AN IDIOT WHEN THEY DO NOT.  I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I? 

SO, THE EXTRA GOOD LOOKING ONE SEEMED SHOCK THAT I WOULD TALK TO HIM WITH A FORKED TONGUE, BUT THE GOOD LUCKING ONE WHO’S MORE NEW AGE AND HAS A GIRL PARTNER SEEMED TO GET WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.  HE DID THE OK, OK, OK, OK.

I WAS STILL STINGING THOUGH, AND I LOOKED NASTILY AT THE OTHER GUY AND SAID, “I DON’T HAVE THE KIND OF MONEY TO JUST GO BUYING A NEW COMPUTER IF THIS ONE GETS STOLEN.”  THIS PART WAS UNNECESSARY.  I AM STRESSED ABOUT MONEY AND I WANTED TO BRING HIM INTO MY WOE.

I JUST GOT A FEW WORDS OF SUPPORT FROM MY DARLING FRIEND, NANCY.  SHE KNOWS THE SCORE.  SHE’S FROM JACKSON HEIGHTS, AND WE GREW UP MORE OR LESS DURING THE SAME DECADE.  NEW YORK IN THE 70S AND YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.  EVERYTHING WAS STEALABLE.  YOU HAD TO WATCH YOUR SHIT ALL THE TIME.  MY MOTHER, WHO WORKED IN THE BRONX, USED TO PARK HER OMEGA UNDERNEATH HER CLASSROOM WINDOW.  SHE HAD A PLATE PUT OVER THE LOCK ON THE TRUCK BECAUSE SOMEONE HAD ALREADY BROKEN IN AND STOLE HER ICE SKATES. 

I WASN’T ALLOWED TO GO TO THE HIGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND ART BECAUSE THE CITY WAS SO BAD AND MY MOTHER DID NOT
photo 4 WANT ME ON THE SUBWAYS.  THIS WAS 1982.  THE CITY’S SUTURES WERE STILL HEALING.  SO MANY OF US ARE NOSTALGIC ABOUT THESE MOMENTS, BUT I DON’T THINK WE ARE ROMANTICIZING THE POVERTY OF THE PAST.  WE ARE INSTEAD, YEARNING FOR THE INDIVIDUALITY, THE UBIQUITOUS OF FAMILY BUSINESSES, AND INIMITABLE CHARACTES THAT WERE ONCE THE ECOLOGY OF THE CITY.  MY HEART BREAKS AND I HAVE INCONSOLABLE GRIEF AT THE CHAIN STORES, AT THE NAUSEATING TEENYBOPPER CLUB MUSIC THAT POORLY SAMPLES GREAT DISCO FROM 92 KTU.  THE MUSIC MAKES YOU WANT TO BUY THOSE GODFORSAKEN CLOTHES THAT COME FROM FACTORIES THAT EXPLOIT LABORERS AND BURN DOWN RIGHT TO THE GROUND WITH THE PEOPLE INSIDE, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO FIRE EXITS.

I LIKE THE WAY NANCY RESPONDED.  IF YOU FEEL INCLINED TO RESPOND TO ANY OF THIS,

I WELCOME YOUR TEXTS

646-318-4632

IF YOU ABUSE MY NUMBER I WILL HAVE DYKES ON BIKES RUN YOU OVER.

I ALWAYS GET HAIR IN MY KEYBOARD.  MY HOUSE IS LIKE A FURBALL. 

RESTRAINT OF PEN AND TONGUE.  SINCE EMBARKING ON THE STUDY OF ART, I LEARNED THAT MY IMPULSIVE IMPULSES WERE THE BEST ONES.  EVERYTHING ELSE WAS REPRESSED BULLSHIT, AND I WAS FUCKING UP THE PAINTING.  I STUDIED ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST PAINTING.  OR I SHOULD SAY, “I ACTED OUT ABSTRACT EXPRESSIOIST PAINTING.”  IT FUNCTIONED IN A VERY EFFECTIVE WAY WHILE I WAS DOING IT.  IT WAS SO MACHO AND I WAS SO STRAIGHT, SO CLOSETED.  PAINTING AGGRESSIVELY, MUSCULARLY, ACCUMULATIVELY, AND SCRAPING IT OFF WITH A KNIFE SATISFIED THE PENT-UP URGE TO COURAGEOUSLY COME OUT AND TO MAKE LOVE PASSIONATELY WITH A WOMAN.  WORKING THAT WAY TAUGHT ME HOW TO REALLY START A PROJECT.  I COULD START MANY PROJECTS AT ONCE. I NEVER REALLY LEARNED HOW TO RESOLVE A PROJECT.  I RELIED ON ONE OF MY TEACHERS TO ACTUALLY SAY, “STOP PAINTING.”  CURRENTLY, I RELY ON MY EX-GIRLFRIED TO SAY, “OKAY.  THIS IS HOW YOU WRAP IT UP.” I DON’T REALLY WANT TO WRITE ABOUT THE PROCESS OF MAKING ART.  I WILL TELL YOU THAT I THINK ABOUT HOW TO ATTENUATE THIS RESIDENCY.  I HAVE LEARNED THAT IT IS USEFUL TO WRITE IN PUBLIC SPACES.  BUT I KIND OF KNEW THAT  FROM WRITING IN CAFES.  I WOULD LIKE TO MAINTAIN THE 4 HOURS SHIFTS – MAYBE TWICE A WEEK, MAYBE 3 TIMES A WEEK.

photo 5THERE IS SOMETHING, ALTHOUGH, ABOUT WRITING IN A COMMUNITY THAT I FEEL SEPARATE FROM.  I’M NOT SURE WHAT THAT IS, BUT A SENSE OF IMMEDIACY IS CREATED.  I COULD SEE WORKING THIS WAY IN A KOSHER CAFÉ, MAYBE HASIDIC, AT A KENNEDY FRIED CHICKEN IN FLATBUSH, AT A BAR IN WILLIAMSBURG, AT THE PROSPECT PARK PLAYGROUND, ETC.  I WOULD HAVE TO GET NOICE MUFFLING, NOT NOICE CANCELLING EARPLUGS.  EAR COVERS WOULD MAKE ME TOO OBVIOUS. 

I THINK THIS REALLY SAYS SOMETHING.

COULD I TYPE IN CHURCH, A MOSQUE, OR SYNAGOGUE.  THE PROCESS OF LEARNING ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG WOULD CREATE PIVOTS IN THE WORK.

THERE’S ALWAYS A TONE OF ANNOYING QUESTIONS ABOUT:

  1. 1.   DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A BOOK?
  2. 2.   IS THIS FOR A READING?
  3. 3.   MOST RECENTLY, I WAS ASKED NOT TO DO A READING EVEN THOUGH THAT’S WHERE LIVE ART IS NOW LOCATED.  I WAS ASKED TO DO A CHARACTER.  WHAT AM I?  A CHILDREN’S CLOWN?

IF ONLY YOU MORONS KNEW WHAT I WAS WRITING ABOUT!  ALL DUDES LOVE A LESBIAN NARRATIVE.

LESBIAN NARRATIVE AND I EVEN PUT A MONEY TISSUE IN THE WINDOW. 

MY MOTHER AND MY SISTER ALWAYS TEASE ME FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP A SECRET.  MY BLABBERMOUTH IS A KNOWN FACT IN MY FAMILY.  I COME FROM A FAMILY – ON BOTH SIDES – WHERE SECRETS ARE IMPORTANT.  STUPID SECRETS.  THE KIND THAT DEFAMES ONE’S CHARACTER, NOT THE KIND THAT WOULD REALLY HURT SOMEONE.

I WAS JUST LET IN ON SOME INFORMATION THAT SHOULD BE A SECRET, AND I’M GOING TO LEAVE IT AT THAT.  ALL I’LL TELL YOU IS THAT BUSINESSMEN ARE PIGS.  I BECOME PIGGY IN THEIR PRESENCE.  I MAKE SURE TO TELL THEM THAT MY DICK IS BIGGER THAN THEIRS, WHILE I’M LAUGHING AND GETTING THEM TO SPILL.

I COULD TYPE IN A LUNCHROOM AT JP MORGAN CHASE.  FAT CHANCE!

DON’T READ THE MUSEUM LABEL.  READ THE SECRETS!

MY FATHER COULD GIVE TWO SHITS THAT I CAN’T KEEP SECRETS EVEN THOUGH HE PREFACES EVERYTHING WITH, “DON’T TELL YOUR MOTHER I TOLD YOU THIS.”  HE DOESN’T LIKE WHEN I TELL MY MOTHER HE SMOKES, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS ALREADY AWARE OF THIS. 

I HAVE MADE MY MOTHER AND SISTER UNCOMFORTABLE THROUGH THIS WRITING.  I ASKED MYSELF IF I WAS TAKING THE SAME RISKS THAT I WAS ASKING THEM TO

TAKE.  I DON’T THINK SO, BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.

LET’S START WITH MY BODY:

MY BODY’S SIZE AND CHRONIC WEIGHT SWINGS.  UP AND DOWN FROM 15 TO 100 POUNDS SINCE MY BAS MITZVAH IN 1982.  THIS CREATES GREAT GRIEF, SHAME, AND VULNERABILITY

MY BREASTS.  MUCH TOO BIG.  I WANT TO WEAR NO BRA.  I DON’T LIKE THE PROFILE THAT MY 40DD/D CREATES.  THERE IS A CERTAIN PANACEA IN SEEING THAT MY BREASTS STICK OUT AS FAR AS MY STOMACH.  BIG BREASTS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL.  OTHER PEOPLE’S BIG BREASTS.  I ACTUALLY PREFER THEM OVER  SMALL BREASTS.

MY BREASTS ARE SO BIG THAT THEY COLLECT SWEAT AND DEVELOP WHITEHEADS UNDERNEATH THEM.  I TAKE A PERVERSE PLEASURE IN POPPING THEM.  I WOULD NEVER TELL OR SHOW THIS TO A LOVER.  MAYBE MY FRIEND IDEXA.  I NEVER TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THE SMELL OF BRAS, BUT MINE SMELLS LIKE YEAST AFTER A 2 OR 3 DAY WEARING. 

I DON’T WANT TO WEAR A FUCKING BRA.  MASTECTOMIES HAVE BECOME VERY MAINSTREAM IN THE GENDERQUEER COMMUNITY.  THERE ARE EVEN FUNDRAISERS THAT ARE CALLED “CHECKS FOR PECS.” I’VE BEEN OF A MIXED MIND.  AS A MASCULINE WOMAN, I UNDERSTAND THE DESIRE TO RID ONESELF OF BREASTS.  ON THE OTHER HAND, I’VE THOUGH T ABOUT HOW MANY WOMAN I KNOW WHO HAVE HAD TO SAY GOODBYE TO THEIR BREASTS DUE TO ILLNESS.  I CAN’T PUT MY BREASTS INTO THAT POT FOR COSMETIC OR PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS.

MY STOMACH.  BEING PART OF THE DYKE COMMUNITY IS TEACHING ME TO LOVE MY BELLY.  I LIKE WEARING MY SHORTS AND JEANS BELOW MY WAIST.  IT FEELS SEXY IN ITS GENDERFUCKERY.  BUT I’M NOT SURE I REALLY WANT TO LOOK LIKE A BEER BELLY DRINKING KIND OF MAN.  I WAS RIDING THE TRAIN HOME ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, AND GOT A GLIMPSE OF THAT STOMACH AND HOW IT WAS COLLAPSING ON TO MY THICK THIGHS AND I DID NOT LOVE IT THEN. 

MY BODY HAS AN INNER RECORDING THAT HISSES: THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! LOOK AT THOSE THIN MOTHER FUCKERS IN THEIR NEON SNEAKERS AND SWEATY BACKS.  I HEAR MY EX-LOVER – THE ANOREXIC – WHO TOLD ME THAT SHE WOULD NOT LIKE ME IF I GAINED WEIGHT.  I WAS 35 POUNDS LIGHTER WHEN I SEDUCED HER.  I CALLED THAT MY “FIGHTING WEIGHT.”  I STARTED GAINING WEIGHT.  OF COURSE I DID.  I’M ADDICTED TO FOOD, AND WHEN MARRIED TOLD ME “SHE DIDN’T WANT TO CHANGE HER LIFE” FOOD BEGAN TO GLISTEN LIKE JEWELS IN A BOX.  SHE ONCE SAID TO ME, “YOU EAT A LOT.”  SINCE THEN, I HAVE WONDERED WHAT A LOT IS.  SHE ALSO TOLD ME WHEN SHE NOTICED WEIGHT GAIN AND SAID, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS AFTER YOU WORKED SO HARD.”

RELEASING WEIGHT IS NOT A JOB, IT IS NOT WORK.  I DO NOT GO ON DIETS ANYMORE.  I DO WORK WITH OTHERS WHO STRUGGLE WITH AN EATING DISORDER.  OUR COMBINED EFFORTS AND SHARED EXPERIENCE KEEPS ME BUOYANT.  EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO UNRAVEL THE WAYS THAT MY EMOTIONAL IMPULSES AND ISOLATION INTERFACE WITH FOOD.  I TRY NOT TO SOUND TOO WOO WOO, BUT THIS HAS WORKED FOR ME.  I’M NOT GETTING HOSPITALIZED.  FROM MY 100 POUND WEIGHT LOSS, I HAVE KEPT 65 OFF, AND MAINTAINING MY RECOVERY FROM AN EATING DISORDER IS CENTRAL TO MY WELL BEING.  I DON’T TREAT RECOVERY AS A SUBJECT OF CRITIQUE.  IT IS BECAUSE OF RECOVERY THAT I CAN SIT HERE AND RIGHT ALL OF THIS.  THE MARRIED WOMAN HATED MY RECOVERY.  SHE TOLD ME TO STOP TALKING IN “THAT WAY.”  SHE DRANK SO MUCH THAT I WOULD HAVE TO HOLD HER UPRIGHT AS WE WALKED BACK TO HER HOME.  I HAVE NOT HAD A DRINK IN 3 YEARS, AND 17 YEARS PRIOR TO THAT.  WHY WAS I A TRIPOD FOR A DRUNK LOVER?  I LOVED THE TASTE OF WINE IN HER MOUTH EVEN THOUGH I WAS NEVER A WINE DRINKER.  I STILL LIKE THE SMELL OF BEER THAT COMES OUT OF SUMMERTIME SALOONS.  THE NEON LETTERING THAT SIMPLY SPELLS OUT B-A-R.  THE KIND OF LETTERING THAT SOME HIPSTER FROM MINNEAPOLIS WANTS TO BUY AND PUT IN HIS LOFT.  SORRY MINNEAPOLIS. 

HE HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO THAT SIGN.  THE KINDS OF B-A-RS THAT HE KNOWS HAVE STUPID NAMES LIKE “SURFING ANUS” OR WORSE YET “ART BAR” WHEN HE GOES TO THESE BARS, HE HAS FANTASIES ABOUT BEING IN MAX’S KANSAS CITY WITH THE WARHOL CLAN AND ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE AND PATTI SMITH.  HE ALSO THINKS THERE IS URBAN GRIT IN A B-A-R SIGN AND THAT IS COOL.  HE’S SO ENCHANTED BY THE NY DECAY THAT HE NEVER CLEANS THE SIGN AND IT BRINGS ALL KINDS OF FESTERINGS INTO HIS LOFT INCLUDING BEDBUGS!  IF THERE WAS ANYTHING THAT WAS GOING TO DRIVE OUT THE MIDWEST WANNABES, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BEDBUGS.  MOST OF THEM STAYED, UNLESS THEY WERE FORCED TO GO TO REHAB. 

LAST SUMMER, I BROUGHT A PARTICULAR TOPIC OF CONVERSATION TO EVERY BBQ AND SOCIAL EVENT I ATTENDED.  I TRIED TO SHED LIGHT ON AN OCCURRENCE I FEARED EVERY NIGHT BEFORE HEADING TO BED.  I ESPECIALLY FELT DREAD EVERYTIME I GOT UP TO GO TO THE BATHROM OR TO GO INTO THE KITCHEN FOR A SNACK. I ANTICIPATED AND KNEW THE DAY WOULD COME WHEN I WOULD BE ASSAULTED BY A 1.5-2” WATERBUG IN MY HOME.  I’VE ALWAYS HAD PHOBIAS ABOUT BUGS.  AS A KID, I STEPPED ON A YELLOW JACKET AT MY GRANDPARENTS.  WHEN I WAS A TEEN, THERE WAS A WASP NEST THAT GREW OUTSIDE MY ROOM EVERY SUMMER.  I REMEMBER WAKING UP TO THE SILENT CLICKY, HISSY SOUND OF THE DIRTY WASPS BOUNCING AGAINST THE CORRUGATED TILES ON MY BEDROOM CEILING.  I WOULD JUMP OUT OF BED SCREAMING, AND MY MOTHER WOULD SAY, “YOU KNOW…YOU’RE REALLY PSYCHOTIC.”

  

DAY 4

7.31.13

I’VE HAD A DIFFICULT START TODAY.  I KIND OF HATE THE HI-TECH ASPECT OF THIS PROJECT.  MY GREATEST PLEASURE COMES FROM DOING THE WRITING.  OKAY, I SEE THAT THE TECH STUFF IS WORKING SO I FEEL LIKE I CAN PROCEED.  I HAVE MORE ON MY MIND ABOUT FAMILY TODAY: MY FAMILY, THE REPRESENTAITONS OF FAMILY.  I AM INTERESTED IN THE WAY THAT THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION HAS INTERVENED UPON FAMILY STRUCTURES; IT PROMOTES “FAMILY VALUES” THROUGH POSTERS ON THE SUBWAY.

SUBWAY ADVERTISING IS EFFECTIVE.  PEOPLE CANNOT CHECK OUT WITH IPHONES AND CIGARETTES.  THEY MAY READ OR SLEEP.  I KNOW ONE WOMAN WHO CLOSED HER SENSES TO THE SUBWAY BY LISTENING TO MUSIC, WEARING DARK GLASSES, AND PUTTING SCENTED OIL UNDER HER NOSE.  SHE HAD TO DO THESE THINGS BECAUSE SHE HAD TO GO TO WORK.  SHE WAS A NURSERY SCHOOL TEACHER.

BLOOMBERG YOU MOTHER FUCKER, I HATE YOU!  PIECE OF SHIT GREEDY SCUMBAG.  YOU AND GIULIANI WORKED VERY EFFECTIVELY TO DESTROY NEW YORK.  YOU ARE TRYING TO ANNIHILATE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MAINTAINED AND CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN NEW YORK’S LABOR FORCE AND DIVERSITY.  YOU AND YOUR GODDAMN SHITIBIKES.  I’D LIKE TO PUT YOUR ASS ON ONE OF THOSE BABY BIKES WITH NO HELMET AND WATCH YOU RIDE THROUGH MIDTOWN.  I AM NOT NOSTALGIC, NO NO NO, I JUST FEEL LIKE I AM BEING SQUEEZED OUT OF THE PLACE WHERE I WAS BORN, WHERE I WORK, WHERE I PAY TAXES, TOLLS, AND TICKETS LIKE PUSS FROM A PIMPLE.

I WATCH WHO BLOOMBERG WANTS TO BRING IN TO THE CITY.  AT LEAST I HAVE A STORY ABOUT IT.  THEY ARE ALL THE SAME SHADE OF WHITE.  THEY ALL WEAR BUSINESS ATTIRE.  I BET THEY USE THE WORD “SUPPER” INSTEAD OF DINNER OR A BITE OR NOTHING AT ALL.  THEY COME TO NEW YORK AND THEY ARE FREAKED OUT.  NEW YORK IS DELICIOUSLY FRIGHTENING.  SO THEY ENGAGE THEMSELVES IN ACTIVITIES THAT CREATE THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL.  THEY STOP EATING, JOIN A GYM THAT THEY GO TO EVERY NIGHT AFTER WORK (IF THEY COME FROM FARMLAND, THEY GO EARLY IN THE MORNING BEFORE WORK), AND THEY FIND THE NEAREST CHAIN RESTAURANT TO DINE AT EVERY EVENING.  THEY EVEN GET THE SAME DISH: BURGER SALAD, CHICKEN SALAD, MEXICAN SALAD, FALAFFEL SALAD.  THEY ARE DEVELOPING photo 4“INTERNATIONAL” TASTE BUDS.  NOW, HOW DO THESE STRANGE BLONDE CREATURES AFFORD TO LIVE HERE…IN THE CITY?  I WAS BORN IN FLUSHING, AND I’VE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO UPGRADE TO BROOKLYN AND NOT EVEN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, WILLIAMSBURG, OR DUMBO.  I’VE ALWAYS LIVED IN THOSE PARTS OF TOWN WHERE MY MOST OBNOXIOUS FRIENDS WOULD TELL ME THAT THEY WERE NOT COMING OUT TO VISIT ME BECAUSE I WAS TOO “FAR.”  AVENUE P: A BIKE RIDE TO CONEY ISLAND: I COULD BY CHICKEN ORGAN MEAT CHEAPLY AT THE CHINESE MARKET AND TAKE IT HOME AND COOK IT UP FOR MY CAT.  I ALSO LIVED IN FLATBUSH, AT A TIME WHEN MY NEIGHBOR JON WOULD COME UP OUT OF THE SUBWAY AND BLACK FOLKS OUT ON THE STREET WOULD SAY, “WHITE BOY.  WHITE BOY.”  FLATBUSH WAS DIRTY AND POOR, AND REMINDED ME OF THE WHITE JEWISH FLIGHT OF THE 1950s.  AFTER THE WARS (WWII AND KOREAN), THE GOVERNMENT TOOK CARE OF ITS WHITE VETERANS BY HONORING THEM WITH MIDDLE CLASS HOUSING.  MY GRANDMA AND GRANDPA (THE WHITE JEWISH ONES) WHO FELL IN LOVE AT TILDEN HIGH SCHOOL AND FREQUENTED THE FUN FUN FUN PLACES IN FLATBUSH, BROOKLYN ENDED UP MOVING TO WASHINGTON D.C. AND LATER BAYSIDE, QUEENS AFTER THEY GOT MARRIED.  THEY HAD NO USE FOR FLATBUSH ANYMORE.  SURPRISINGLY, MY GRANDFATHER’S MOTHER, “NANA,” WHO WROTE RHYMING CANDYBOX POETRY STAYED IN FLATBUSH, ON CHURCH AVENUE.  WE ALWAYS LAUGH ABOUT A DRY CLEANER BENEATH NANA’S THAT PROMISED TO REMOVE STAINS THAT CAME FROM OIL, URINE, FECES, AND VOMIT.

CRUSHED SKITTLES.

NEW YORK SIGNS ARE RIDICULOUS.  THIS PROJECT HAS GIVEN ME THE CHANCE TO TAKE PICTURES OF THEM ON THE TRAIN.  EITHER THEY MAKE NO SENSE OR THEY ARE STUPIDLY CONTROLLING AND AGGRESSIVE.  I’D LIKE TO GET A JOB WRITING SIGNS FOR THE CITY.  I’D LIKE TO BE EVEN MORE OBVIOUS ABOUT THE WAY THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION IS GETTING ALL UP IN YOUR BUSINESS.

I WONDER WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE THIS MAN’S AGE AND SMOKE.  WHAT DOES 65 AND SMOKING FEEL LIKE?  HE MAKES IT LOOK SO NICE.  HE MAKES A LOT OF MONEY.  HIS SUIT LOOKS CUSTOM TAILORED.  HE HAS NO INTEREST IN ME.  HE READS THE DAILY NEWS, WHICH HAS THE WORD ABOUT NPR ON THE COVER.  I’M SURE THERE ARE A LOT OF “PATRIOTIC” AMERICANS WHO ARE MAD AS HELL.

THE SIGN ON THE METER BOX READS:

UNAUTHORIZED REMOVAL PROHIBITED CALL 311 FOR ASSISTANCE

THERE IS NO PUNCTUATION.  WHO THE FUCK WOULD WANET TO REMOV THAT BOX.  THERE IS NO MONEY IN THAT THING; IT IS NOT THE HOURGLASS PIGGY BANK THAT I MISS SO MUCH.  I PARTICULARLY LOVED WHEN I COULD THROW A SHOPPING BAG OVER A BROKEN ONE.  HA HA ON YOU, YOU FUCKED UP CITY!

AND THEN CALL 311 FOR ASSISTANCE.  311 IS A WAITING ROOM THAT WILL TAKE YOU NO PLACE BUT HELL.  IT IS BLOOMBERG’S INVENTION.  HE WANTED TO PROVIDE A SPACE FOR NEW YORKERS TO BITCH AND COMPLAIN BUT NO RESPONSIBILTY WOULD BE TAKEN.  MOST NEW YORKERS ARE AWARE OF THIS BY NOW.  I THINK BLOOMBERG’S NEXT STEP WILL BE TO TRACK YOUR 311 CALLS.  IF YOU ARE A FREQUENT CALLER, HE WILL SEE TO IT THAT YOU ARE NOT PARDONED FOR ANY OF YOUR PARKING TICKETS.  YOUR CASES WITH THE CITY OVER LANDLORD’S OVERCHARGING YOU, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND FOOD POISONING IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL WILL NEVER REACH THE FRONT OF THE LINE.

ONE MORE THING ABOUT THAT SIGN.  IF I CALL 311 FOR ASSISTANCE, AM I CALLING TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE WITH REMOVING THE METER BOX.  AM I NOT “AUTHORIZED” TO REMOVE THE METER BY MYSELF?

SHAKY HANDS, SHAKY, SHAKY

THERE IS A CORRELATION WITH THE DIET COKE, BUT THERE IS NO BEVERAGE I’D RATHER HAVE AFTER COFFEE.

CHILDREN IN MY FAMILY: MY LITTLE COUSIN MIA NOTICES THAT MY MOTHER CALLS LIQUIDS WE DRINK, BEVERAGES.  SHE ASKS HER OWN MOTHER FOR A “BEVERAGE.”

NEW BABY JUNIOR, MY SECOND COUSIN

BORN TO MY COUSIN AND HER BOYFRIEND (CALL HIM “HUBBIN’”) WHO BOTH APPEAR BLACK.  MY COUSIN WAS ACTUALLY BORN TO ONE MIXED PARENT.

THEY BABY CAME OUT WITH VERY LIGHT SKIN.  BEAUTIFUL BABY.  WHAT BABY ISN’T?

MY COUSIN POSTS PICTURES OF JUNIOR ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM.  SHE GETS LOTS OF “LIKES.”  PICTURES OF BABIES ALWAYS DO.  SHE ALSO GETS A RANGE OF COMMENTS THAT ARE WRITTEN IN EUBONICS.  SHE WRITES BACK IN EUBONICS AS WELL.  SHE ANSWERS EVERYBODY’S COMMENTS.  IN THE MIDST OF HER COMMENTS, SOMEONE ALWAYS WRITES:

THAT BABY LOOKS WHITE.

SHE USUALLY RESPONDS WITH:

LOL, YEA I KNOW.

AFTER SEEING THESE COMMENTS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS — REALLY SINCE THE BABY WAS BORN – TODAY I REPLIED TO ONE OF HER FRIENDS WHO WAS OF THE WHY HE SO WHITE INQUIRY.  TO HER FRIEND, I WROTE:

@HERFRIEND: IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY

MY COUSIN RESPONDED WITH “LOL.  YEA, I KNOW.”

EVEN I, OF THE VANILLA CHOCOLATE VARIETY, WAS SURPRISED WHEN I SAW JUNIOR. I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO HAVE A PRIVILEGE THAT HE DIDN’T ASK FOR, THAT HIS MOTHER AND FATHER NEVER HAD, AND HE WAS GOING TO STRUGGLE.  I HOPED, AND THEN DIDN’T HOPE HE WAS GOING TO GET DARKIER AND THAT HIS HAIR WAS GOING TO GET COURSER OVER TIME.  IN ALL OF THE PICTURES, HIS COMPLEXION AND HIS HAIR STAYS THE SAME.  HE DOES HAVE A BLACK NOSE, A WIDE NOSE.  THIS IS WHERE I SEE HIS BLACKNESS, HIS FATHER.  I AM GLAD HE IS HERE.  HE JOINS ME, MY SISTER, AND 3 OF MY COUSINS IN THE HIGH YELLOW MIXIE MELTING POT OF MY FAMILY.  WE WILL NOT TELL HIM HOW TO GET ALONG.  WE WILL SHOW HIM.  DANCING TOGETHER.  EATING.  ANIMATED CONVERSATION.  HE MIGHT DRINK, THAT’S IN THE FAMILY TOO.  WE WILL LAUGH AND GOSSIP.

I HAVE REALLY GROWN TO LOVE MY COUSIN THROUGH WATCHING HER NAVIGATE THE REACTIONS TO HER BABY’S RACIAL APPEARANCE.  SHE IS LETTING IT RIDE.  LETTING ALL OF HER FRIENDS (WHO ARE BLACK) PERCEIVE AND REMARK ON THE BABY’S RACIAL APPEARANCE.  NOTICE IT, GET OVER IT, AND LET’S MOVE ON.  I NEED A DAMN BABYSITTER.  LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOVE.

FREE TAMPONS AT THE ROGER SMITH HOTEL, FREE GREEN APPLES TOO

I HAVE REALIZED THAT ONE CAN WALK INTO ANY HOTEL AND THERE IS USUALLY A REST ROOM IN THE LOBBY.  YOU CAN SIMPLY ASK ONE OF THE HOTEL STAFF, AND IF THEY ASK IF YOU’RE A GUEST, SAY: YES!

FOLKS AREN’T STOPPING, FOLKS AREN’T READING.  SHOULLD I PUT BIG MONEY SIGNS: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

SEE, HE LOOKED!

OK, NOW I AM BEING SOPHOMORIC.  I WANTED TO DISCUSS NYC SIGNS AND THEIR MESSAGES ABOUT FAMILY MANAGEMENT.  I STARTED THE MORNING WITH A SIGN THAT SHOWED 2 ADORABLE LATINA GIRLS IN THE PARK.  ONE HAD WHAT APPEARED TO BE DOWNS SYNDROME; THE OTHER DID NOT.  THEN THERE WAS STUFF TO READ, NOT IN SPANISH BUT IN ENGLISH:

BE THE REASON THEY’RE STILL A FAMILY

REASON WAS HIGHLIGHTED.  IN SMALLER CASE LETTERS, THERE WAS WRITIN ABOUT ENCOURGING NYC’ERS TO FOSTER OR photo 5-1ADOPT AND KEEPING SIBLINGS TOGETHER.  THEN THE POSTER GOT THAT STUPID BUBBLE LETTER NYC EMBLEM IN THE CORNER, BLOOMBERG’S GRIMY STAMP.

I WAS PISSED BY THE OPPORTUNISM IN THIS POSTER.  COULD THE GIRLS REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE BEING ASKED TO REPRESENT?  THE PSYCHOLOGICAL LEVELS THAT THE SIGN WAS SEEKING TO IMPACT. 

THAT POSTER MADE ME WANT TO ADOPT THESE SISTERS; TO KEEP THEM TOGETHER.  AND I DON’T WANT KIDS.  I HAVE CATS.  WHY DO I NOT WANT KIDS?  I CAN’T AFFORD A KID!  AND I NEVER WANT TO HAVE TO SAY NO TO A KID BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY.

I THOUGHT OF PEOPLE POORER THAN ME.  PEOPLE THAT HAVE A GREATER CHANCE OF BEING GRANTED FOSTER OR ADOPTIION RIGHTS (I.E. THEY ARE STRAIGHT AND COUPLED).  THEY WOULD WITHOUT A DOUBT BE ENCOURAGED TO FOSTER OR ADOPT THESE CHILDREN, AND PROMISED THE BENEFITS OF THE NYC HUMAN SERVICE SYSTEMS.  FOOD STAMPS, FREE HEALTHCARE, SUBSIDIZED HOUSING, AND ALL THOSE OTHER GIFTS FROM THE CITY OF NY.  BEING OFFERED THESE GOODIES WOULD CERTIANLY MAKE ME WANT TO ADOPT KIDS.  THE $200/MO TO FEED ME AND MY KIDS.  I SPEND THAT AMOUNT IN TWO WEEKS BECAUSE I BUY MOST OF MY FOOD FROM ORGANIC FARMS.  FREE HEALTHCARE, WELL, HOW LONG MUST ME AND MY DOWN’S SYNDROME CHILD SIT IN ONE OF NYC’S PUBLIC DOCTOR’S WAITING ROOM.  SHOULD WE JUST GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM?  PUBLIC HOUSING.  I REMEMBER HURRICANE SANDY.  RESIDENTS OF PUBLIC HOUSING WERE ONE OF THE LAST POPULATIONS TO HAVE SERVICES RESTORED.  NO HEAT, NO ELECTRICITY, AND NO HOT WATER.  BLOOMBERG BLAMED THE RESIDENTS FOR NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS.  THEY DID NOT DO WHAT THEY WERE TOLD TO DO.  THEY THEY THEY THEY WHO THEY?  TOLD TO DO.  TELL ME WHAT TO DO MR. MAYOR.  ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.  THE RESIDENTS WOULD NOT LEAVE THEIR APARTMENTS.  THEY DID NOT WANT TO BE KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOMES.  THEY DID NOT WANT TO BE ROBBED.  THEY DID NOT WANT TO BE HOMELESS.

AND IT WAS NOT ONLY NYCHA.

ROCKAWAY, JAMAICA, ANY PLACE THERE WERE POOR BLACK PEOPLE AND WATER.

HENRY MILLER WROTE SOMETHING ABOUT THE MAGIC THAT HAPPENS WHEN WATER MEETS SAND.  HE WAS TALKING ABOUT CONEY ISLAND.  I HEARD IT ON KEN BURNS’ DOCUMENTARY.

WHAT MIGHT ONE CALL SANDY?  WHEN WATER HIT THE SHORE, IT WASHED AWAY THE BULLSHIT TO REVEAL THE SEVERE DISPARITIES IN THIS CITY THAT MAKE MY EYES HOT WITH TEARS AND PUT MY GUTS IN AGONY WITH RAGE.

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN TO SIC AGAINST THE SYSTEM, AS IT KEEPS WHIPPING ME EVERYWHERE ALL OVER.  IT GRANTS ME WITH PRETTY LITTLE ZIRCONEUM CRYSTALS:

COLLAPSE OF DOMA

ACQUITTAL OF MANNING

INFORMING ME OF THE CALORIES IN A BIG MAC

A PHONE NUMBER TO CALL THE MTA IF I’D LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WEEKEND SERVICE.

311, A CATCH ALL NUMBER FOR EVERY LEVEL OF THE CITY’S COMPLAINTS

WHO’S STREETS?  OUR STREETS.

I AM IN A NASTY MOOD TODAY.

photo 2-1WHEN I WAS ON LUNCH, I LOOKED AT ALL THE WHITE COLLAR WORKING PEOPLE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND I ASKED MYSELF WHY I DISTINGUISH MYSELF FROM THEM IN SUCH A SEVERE MANNER.  I LAUGH AT THE WAY THEY DRESS.  I ASSUME THEY ARE THE MINDLESS COGS OF CAPITALISM; THAT THEY HAVE NO SENSE OF THE GLOBAL DESTRUCTION IN WHICH THEY PARTICIPATE.  I THINK THEY HAVE NO CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.  THEY ARE HOMOPHOBIC AND RACIST AND SEXIST AND COLONIALIST, AND IF YOU EVER CALLED THEM ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES, THEY WOULD HONESTLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT.  IT WOULD TAKE A LIFETIME TO EXPLAIN WHY THEIR IDEOLOGIES HURT ME AND MAKE ME ANGRY.  I THINK THEY LOOK DOWN ON ME BECAUSE I AM AN ARTIST WITH AN UNSTEADY INCOME AND I WORK PAYING JOBS AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.  I THINK THEY THINK VEGETARIANISM IS SILLY.  I THINK THEY BLAME IDIOTIC BEHAVIOR WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX ON ALCOHOL.  I THINK THEY’RE LIVES REVOLVE AROUND THE NEXT HAPPY HOUR.  THEY HAVE NOT LOOKED AT THEIR CHILDHOOD ISSUES.  THEY READ THE NY TIMES ONLY FOR THE REAL ESTATE SECTION. THEY KNOW THAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE READING THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, BUT IT USUALLY SITS AT THE SIDE OF THE BED.  I CAN’T READ THE WOMEN ENTIRELY, BUT TODAY THE OWNER OF THE ROGER SMITH HOTEL TOLD ME THAT THE WOMEN AROUND HERE WERE “REALLY BEAUTIFUL.”  I ASKED HIM IF HE THOUGHT I SHOULD GUSSY UP.  HIS COMMENT IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE COMPONENTS OF MY FOUL MOOD. 

ON THE OTHER HAND, IT MIGHT CHALLENGE THE PROJECT IF I DID COME IN LIKE A “WORKING GIRL.”  IT IS MINISKIRT SEASON.  AND HOW DOES ONE WEAR HIGH HEELS WITHOUT PANTYHOSE.  PINCHING AND CHAFING.

I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF FUCKING THAT GOES ON IN THE COPY ROOM AROUND HERE.  SO, WHAT ELSE IS NEW?  PEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE ALWAYS LIKE TO GET IT ON.  IF YOU WANT TO CREATE HEAT IN THE BEDROOM, JUST INSTALL A COPIER.

INTERESTING TO LISTEN TO THE MEN TALK AT THE FOOD CARTS AT LUNCHTIME.  IN THEIR BABY BLUE AND PINK SHIRTS, THEY ARE VERY GENTILE.  THEY COMPARE THE BALSAMIC CHICKEN FOCACCIA SANDWICH WITH THE ROASTED VEGETABLE SANDWICH.  THEY ARE NOT GAY, BUT HAVE CLIMBED INTO ANOTHER KIND OF MASCULINITY.  THEY TAKE WOMEN OUT ON EXPENSIVE DATES AND SOMEONE THEY WERE ONCE IN LOVE WITH TAUGHT HIM HOW TO USE A FORK PROPERLY.

I HAD THE TURKEY MUENSTER SANDWICH.  AND I DEFINITELY UNDERSTAND THE DESIRE TO SMOKE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.  WHEN YOU SMOKE, YOU BELONG.  KARL MARX TALKED ABOUT ALIENATED LABOR.  IT IS MUCH TOO RISKY TO BUILD SOLIDARITY THAT CONNECTS THE OFFICE CUBICLES.  THE NEXT BEST WAY OF SHARING IN EACH OTHER’S WOES IS BY SMOKING TOGETHER, OR BY ASKING A STRANGER FOR A LIGHT.  IT IS NO LONGER APPROPRIATE TO BUM CIGARETTES OFF OF PEOPLE (DO YOU HEAR THAT, DAD?!!!!)  I AM AN ALIENATED LABORER, AND I HAVE NO WAY TO REACH THESE PEOPLE.  I WANT TO COMMISERATE WITH THEM BUT INSTEAD I AM A WORK OF ART BEHIND A PANE OF GLASS.  MAYBE IF I WAS TEACHING MYSELF HOW TO DO EXCEL SPREADSHEETS, ONE OF THE WOMEN COULD COME IN AND HELP ME.  AND YES, I AM VERY AWARE THAT I AM ASSIGNING A GENDER TO THAT TASK.

ONE OF THE MEN MIGHT HELP ME DETERMINE HOW TO INVEST MY MONEY, WHENEVER I WIND UP HAVING SOME MONEY.

WHAT COULD WE DO TOGETHER?  WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE?  WHO DO YOU WANT TO BRING IN AS NY’S NEXT MAYOR?  WHAT’S SHITTY AT THE OFFICE?  WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE?  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ASK ME?  WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ME?  WHY DO YOU SMOKE?  WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP OR ALONE?  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE CHILDREN?  HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WORK IN AN OFFICE EVERY DAY?  WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?  CANDY CRUSH?

WHY ARE WE SO SEPARATE?

WHY WON’T YOU READ?  WHY DON’T PEOPLE READ? 

I DON’T READ EITHER.

  

DAY 3

7.29.13

THE HONEYMOON IS OVER.

photo 1I AM STARTING TO FEEL THE SAME IRRITATION AND ANNOYANCE AND HURTFUL REJECTION IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AS IN MOST NEIGHBORHOODS I FREQUENT.  THE ROMANCE OF MIDTOWN HAS PASSED, AND THE SAME SHIT TAKES PLACE HERE THAT I SEE AND GET DISGUSTED BY EVERYWHERE ELSE.  WHEN I WENT TO GET THE KEY TO THE STOREFRONT, THE FRONT DESK CLERK WHO SEES ME EVERY DAY AND KNOWS (SHOULD KNOW) WHAT I’M HERE FOR MADE ME WAIT AND WAIT.  HE HAD WEALTHY TOURISTS TO TAKE CARE OF.  THEY AND THEIR CREDIT CARDS.  MY CREDIT CARD GETS CHARGED AN ADDITIONAL $40 PER MONTH BECAUSE OF INTEREST.  WHEN I SIGNED UP FOR THE CARD, I WAS GOING TO USE IT ONLY IN THE CASE OF EMERGENCIES.  THAT BOUNDARY WAS CROSSED QUITE QUICKLY.  I NEEDED FURNITURE, PLANE TICKETS, CLOTHES, AND I HAD TO BUY EXPENSIVE PRESENTS FOR MY MARRIED LOVER.  I ALSO NEVER READ THE CONDITIONS OF THE CARD: THAT THE ZERO PERCENT INTEREST RATE WAS ONLY GOOD FOR ONE YEAR.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING, EXCEPT THAT I WOULD ONLY USE THE CARD IN EMERGENCIES.  HE WAS SKILLFULLY SLIDING THE TOURISTS’ CREDIT CARDS, FILLING IN FORMS ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN, AND TALKING ON THE PHONE, AND HE MADE ME WAIT AND WAIT JUST TO GET A FUCKING KEY WITH A YELLOW RIBBON AND I WONDERED ABOUT THE LIFESTYLE ONE LIVES IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO VACATION IN NYC AT PRIME TRAVEL SEASON (STINKY VOMIT STREET SEASON), AND STAY AT A MIDTOWN HOTEL.

HOW CAN I BE HUNGRY ALREADY?  I THINK IT’S THE RHYTHM OF THE WORKERS GOING TO LUNCH.  I ACTUALLY FELT GUILTY TODAY WHEN I DIDN’T GET STARTED TILL AFTER 11.  I SET UP THIS PROJECT SO MY WORK DAY BEGINS AT 11, THEY GET INTO THIS SPITTY, SHITTY, LOUD, BLUE SHIRTED, CIGGY SMOKY CITY AT 9 OR EVEN 8.  WHEN DID THE WORK DAY BEGIN AT 7:30.  MY GRANDFATHER USED TO LIKE TO GET TO WORK AT 7 OR 7:30 BUT THAT WAS SO HE COULD DRIVE IN FROM QUEENS AND BEAT THE TRAFFIC.

I WILL EAT AT 1PM

HA, I JUST REALIZED THAT WATCHING THIS MUST BE LIKE WATCHING A LYNDA TUTORIAL, WHICH MOVES MUCH TOO QUICKLY FOR ME.  I TRIED TO USE LYNDA TO TEACH ME HOW TO TEACH COMPUTER GRAPHICS.  THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT TOO WELL.  I ALSO HIRED TOMMY (THE COWBOY) TO TEACH ME PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR.  I WAS SO DISHEARTENED BY THESE PROGRAMS.  I’M NOT SURE IF IT WAS BECAUSE OF THEIR POPULARIphoto 4TY OR IF THEY MADE ME FEEL OLD AND LEFT BEHIND.  I COULD NOT SEE AND DID NOT HAVE ANY VISCERAL SENSE OF WHAT THE FUCK TO DO WITH THEM.  AND GOD, TEACHING THIS SHIT. THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR DISCOVERY IN LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE THEM.  I KNOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD DISAGREE, AND I AM OPEN TO THIS BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH COMPUTER GRAPHICS FOR MORE THAN ONE SEMESTER.

I DO LIKE ABOUT COMPUTER GRAPHICS IS A KIND OF DRAG TO CONVEY MESSAGES.  I GUESS LIKE ANY MEDIA OR PROCESS, I LIKE WHEN THEY ARE USED CONCIOUSLY —- NOT JUST BECAUSE THEY LOOK COOL.  I TRIED TO ORGANIZE A TENANTS MEETING IN MY BUILDING.  I GOT A GREAT PHOTO OF A HOUSE THAT WAS BEING TIPPED OVER.  BECAUSE OF COMPUTER GRAPHICS, I WAS ABLE TO CENTER THE PICTURE AND PROVIDE MY NEIGHBORS WITH DETAILS ABOUT THE MEETING IN ENGLISH, POLISH, AND RUSSIAN.  I THINK C.G. MAKES PEOPLE TAKE INFORMATION SERIOUSLY.  I AM A FAN OF SCOTCH TAPE, SCISSORS, GLUE BUMPS, GLITTER, GOOGLY EYES, AND MY GRANDFATHER’S HANDWRITING IN MARKER.

WHEN I WENT IT TO GET THE KEY THIS MORNING, THE HOTEL HAD THAT WONDERFUL SMELL THAT HOTELS OFTEN HAVE.  THAT TOXIC RUG CLEANER THAT IS PROBABLY BUBBLING OVER THE BRIM OF CLEANING BUCKETS WITH GMOs.  I COVET THAT SMELL.  EVERY SUMMER IT WAS UP MY NOSE AT THE HOST FARM LUXURY RESORT IN LANCASTER, PA.  MY GRANDPARENTS TOOK ME HERE ON VACATION.  THEY WERE NOT TAKING ME WITH THEM.  THEY WERE TAKING ME.  IT WAS A VACATION FOR ME, THEIR ONLY GRANDCHILD.  WE WOULD START OFF ON THE BELT PARKWAY AND SOMEHOW WIND UP ON THE NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE.  ONCE YOU LEAVE NY, EVERYTHING BECOMES A TURNPIKE,  AT THE BELT, I WAS ENCHANTED AND TERRIFIED BY LOOKING OUT THE REAR WINDOW.  UP ABOVE WAS PARACHUTE JUMP AT CONEY ISLAND.  IT WAS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, AND IT HAD STRINGS THAT HUNG DOWN FROM THE TOP.  IT LOOKED LIKE A SCARY SPIDER.  I ALSO REMEMBER THE PARACHUTES, LIKE DIRTY DIAPERS.  I ACTUALLY AM NOT SURE IF I WAS MORE FRIGHTENED BY THE SPIDER OR BY THE NOTION THAT TRAVELING UP SO FAR IS A CHOICE THAT ONE MIGHT MAKE IN THEIR LIFE.  I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS, AND THE SKY THAT SOME MIGHT CALL HEAVEN IS ACTUALLY MY HELL, EVEN THOUGH I AM JEWISH.

I HAVE TO PEE BUT I WANT A GOAL, LIKE FINISH 2 PAGES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM AND YOU’RE ALLOWED TO PEE.  1:00 AND YOU’RE ALLOWED TO EAT.  FOLLOWING MY OWN RULES MAKES ME FEEL LIKE MY LIFE IS NOT FALLING APART.  MY FRIEND ARTHUR WOULD SAY, “YOU ARE A VERY GOOD PERSON.”

I ALSO JUST REALIZED THAT I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT THERE WITH THOSE PEOPLE.  WHEN I MOVED TO MICHIGAN, I STARTED TO RECOGNIZE MY AGOROPHOBIA.  I WOULD SPEND THE WHOLE DAY —- BY MYSELF —- GOING TO BIKRAM YOGA, GOING TO WHOLE FOODS, DOING THE LAUNDRY, FOLDING THE LAUNDRY, PLANNING CLASSES, TAKING A LONG NAP, COOKING LUNCH, COOKING DINNER.  I DID NOT NOTICE UNTIL LATE IN THE DAY THAT I HAD NOT SEEN OR TALKED TO A SINGLE PERSON, AND THE ONLY THING THAT BOTHERED ME IS THAT IT DID NOT BOTHER ME.  WHEN I NOTICED THAT I WAS TALKING TO MY OWN HEAD ALL DAY, I DID FEEL THE LONELINESS AND EMPTINESS THAT WAS PRESCRIBED (PROSCRIBED?)

THAT GUY’S OUTFIT WAS REALLY CUTE.  BEIGE CHINOS THAT CAME UP TO HIS ANKLES (THERE’S A WORD FOR THOSE TYPES OF PANTS.  THE WOMEN WORE THEM IN GREASE.  PEDAL PUSHERS?), FOREST GREEN SHIRT, AND THOSE SUSTAINABLE SHOES IN BLUE AND GOLD.  TOM’S!  YOU BUY A PAIR, THEY SAY, AND A GOAT IS GIVEN TO A VILLAGE.

MY FIRST IDEA FOR THIS PROJECT WAS TO MAKE THIS A SMOKING ROOM.  THAT WOULD HAVE GONE OVER WELL.  THERE IS SOMETHING I’D  LIKE TO FURTHER MINE.  SOMETHING ABOUT GETTING LOTS OF PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING IN A TINY SPACE THAT HAS OTHERWISE “TURNED” TABOO.  MUCH MUCH OF THAT HERE IN NY.

MY SISTER WANTED TO GO INTO AMERICAN GIRL THE OTHER DAY.  I REFUSED.  “YOU CAN GO ‘HEAD, BUT I’LL WAIT OUTSIDE.”  OF COURSE, SHE WOULDN’T GO.   SHE’S THE LITTLE SISTER AND I AM THE ALPHA SISTER.photo 2

MY SISTER SAYS THAT SHE DIDN’T REMEMBER HAVING A BIG SISTER.  I WAS 15 WHEN SHE WAS BORN.  I DON’T REMEMBER HAVING A LITTLE SISTER.  SHE WAS MY MOTHER’S CHILD, AND I WAS ANNOYED WHEN THE AUDIENCE SAID:

YOU HAVE A BUILT IN BABYSITTER.

MY FAMILY HAS AN AUDIENCE.  MY MOTHER’S FAMILY HAD AN AUDIENCE AS WELL.  THEY WERE BALLROOM DANCERS.  MY FATHER’S FAMILY IS EACH OTHER’S AUDIENCE.

MY SISTER WAS MY MOTHER’S NEW THING.  LIKE A CAR, A PIECE OF JEWELRY, A NEW DRESS, A RENOVATION ON THE KITCHEN, A 20 POUND WEIGHT LOSS.  SHE WAS MY MOTHER’S TO CUDDLE, TO DRESS IN OUTFITS ADORNED WITH CHAZERAI AND TO INTERFACE WITH PLAY GROUPS, ICE SKATING, DANCE LESSONS, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS.  I’VE NEVER KNOWN HOW TO RELATE TO COLLABORATIVELY COVET MY MOTHER’S NEW THINGS.  SHE, ON THE OTHER HAND, DOES A GOOD JOB LOVING MY THREE CATS. 

MY MOTHER HAS TRIED IN SUBTLE AND NOT SO SUBTLE WAYS TO GET ME TO RETURN TO THERAPY.  I THINK SHE IS ALARMED BY THE WAY I CAN’T LET OFFENSES SLIDE OFF OF ME, AS IF I’M MADE OF TEFLON PRODUCED IN THE ZEN LAB.  (I AM A LITTLE FOGGY FROM LUNCH AND FEEL THE NEED OF A BOOST OF CAFFEINE…CAN SOMEBODY BRING ME A CUPPA COFFEE????)

THE MINUTE MY MOTHER WANTS TO PUT ME IN THERAPY THERE IS A POWER STRUGGLE.  IN MY MIND, I START ARTICULATING A LITANY OF REASONS WHY SHE SHOULD BE IN THERAPY.  IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ME WHO HAS TO GO INTO THERAPY, SINCE I WAS 11.  I USED TO CRY WHEN MY MOTHER WENT OUT DANCING WITH HER FRIENDS.  I HAD NO PROBLEM WITH HER FRIENDS OR HER DANCING.  SHE JUST WOULDN’T COME HOME UNTIL 4 MAYBE 5 IN THE MORNING.  I COULD NOT SLEEP BECAUSE I THOUGHT SHE HAD BEEN KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT.  I REMEMBER MY DOPEY THERAPIST TELLING ME THAT THIS WAS ACTUALLY MY FANTASY; I WANTED HER TO GET KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT.  STEINBERG WAS THE THERAPIST’S NAME.  CHERYL STEINBERG.  SHE WAS ACTUALLY THE SAME SHRINK THAT TOLD ME THAT MY DESIRE TO KISS MY BEST FRIEND IN HIGH SCHOOL WAS ONLY A FEELING.  IT DID NOT NEED TO BE ACTED ON.

YES IT DID.

EVEN THOUGH IT TURNED OUT MISERABLY.

MY MOTHER IS A HOT YOGA INSTRUCTOR.  SHE WORKS PART TIME AND IS PART TIME RETIRED.  SHE ALSO GOES TO THE GYM ALMOST EVERY DAY FOR A 2-HOUR WORKOUT.  SHE IS LIKE JANE FONDA AND DOES NOT MIND WHEN YOU CALL HER THAT.  SHE HAS ALWAYS MET CONVENTIONAL STANDARDS FOR BEAUTY, AND WHEN SHE HAS EXCEEDED THOSE TIGHT BORDERS USUALLY BY WAY OF WEIGHT, SHE HITS THE WEIGHT WATCHERS CLASSROOMS.  MY MOTHER IS MIGHTY.  ME, MY FATHER, AND MY SISTER ALWAYS LOOK TO HER FOR THE FINAL WORD.  WHAT MOVIE WILL WE SEE? WILL WE STAY AT THE HOTEL ANOTHER NIGHT? ARE WE GOING TO HAVE COFFEE AND DESSERT OR JUST LEAVE?  DO WE LIKE OR NOT LIKE THE WOMAN ACROSS THE STREET?

WE (ME, MY FATHER, AND MY SISTER) ARE NOT THAT DOCILE.  WE REBEL AGAINST THE POWER WE PERCEIVE MY MOTHER HAS IN OUR INDIVIDUAL WAYS.  MY FATHER IS A LABOR ACTIVIST AND A POLITICAL ACTIVIST.  HIS LABOR ACTIVISM THREATENED HIS LIVELIHOOD, WHICH MY MOTHER WOULD NOT TOLERATE.  HE IS ALSO A PROTESTER.  WE ALL LAUGH WITH A HEARTINESS THAT TRIES TO PRICK AT MY MOTHER BECAUSE SHE WOULD NOT GET UP AT 4 TO GET ON A PISSY SMELLING BUS TO HEAD DOWN TO WASHINGTON.  SHE NODS AS IF TO SAY, “THAT’S RIGHT.  YOU GO ON AND HAVE A GOOD TIME WITHOUT ME.”  MY MOTHER MAINTAINS HER POWER BECAUSE SHE IS IMMUNE TO TEASING.  SHE WAS THE MIDDLE CHILD, AND HER OLDER BROTHER IS EXTREMELY TACTICAL. 

MY FATHER IS EFFECTIVE IN HIS ABILITY TO CREATE A PERSONA THAT MY MOTHER CANNOT STAND.  HE LIKES THRIFT STORE CLOTHING, BUT DOES NOT HAphoto_4VE RETRO TASTE.  HE PICKS OUT CLOTHES FOR THEIR FABRIC.  SO THEY WON’T MAKE HIM SWEAT TOO MUCH.  HE ALSO LIKES CLOTHES THAT YOU CAN THROW IN THE AIR AND THEY’LL SLOWLY FLOAT DOWN (LIKE IN THE FABRIC SOFTENER COMMERCIALS).  I HAVE STOOD IN CLOTHING STORES WITH HIM TOSSING SHIRTS UP AND DOWN.  ON A RECENT TRIP TO MONTAUK, MY FATHER BOUGHT A CREAM COLORED SATIN JACKET WITH ONLY A FEW STAINS. WHEN MY MOTHER ARRIVED, AND MY FATHER PROUDLY SHOWED HER WHAT HE BOUGHT SHE SAID, “FINE.  YOU CAN WEAR THAT WHEN YOU RIDE YOUR 3-WHEEL BICYCLE AND GO TO THE SENIOR CENTER.  DON’T YOU EVER WEAR THAT WITH ME.” (MY FATHER HAS AN ADULT TRICYCLE).

HE SAID, “WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH IT?”

HE DAMN WELL KNEW WHY SHE HATED IT, AND IT WAS JUST THEN THAT I REALIZED HOW MUCH EFFORT HE WAS WILLING TO PUT INTO ROUSING HER.  IF THAT AIN’T LOVE, I KNOW WHAT IS.

MY FATHER LOOKED AT ME WITH THOSE “YOU SEE HOW SHE IS EYEBROWS” AND LAUGHED THE WAY ONE DOES WHEN THEY ARE TICKLED BY TORTURING SOMEBODY ELSE.  HE WANTED ME TO COLLUDE WITH HIM AGAINST MY MOTHER, AND IT WAS FUNNY, BUT I AM TIRED OF SEEING MY MOTHER AS THE BITCH AND MY FATHER AS THE SAVIOR.  FOR YEARS, I THOUGHT THAT MY MOTHER WAS BREAKING ME APART AND MY FATHER WAS PUTTING ME BACK TOGETHER WITH A FEW STITCHES.  HE’D FEED ME SPAGHETTI’OS, TAKE ME TO THE JUNKYARD, OR WE’D GO FOR A RIDE IN HIS WORK TRUCK.  HIS MEDICINAL ABILITIES WERE AN ILLUSION.

MY SISTER FIGHTS BACK VERY DIRECTLY.  I KNOW SHE HAS DEVELOPED EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES.  I WONDER, ALTHOUGH, IF THEY ARE SOMETIMES AT THE EXPENSE OF CREATING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SCENARIOS.  THIS WOULD NOT BE SURPRISING AS THE PREDOMINANCE OF ADDICTION AND USE  OF PSYCHOPHARMACEUTICALS HAS BEEN AN ANTIDOTE A NIHILISTIC CLAN.  MY MOTHER JUST WANTS “HER GIRLS” (AS SHE REFERS TO MY SISTER AND I) TO BE HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND TO MAKE NICE LIVINGS.  IN MY CASE, SHE WOULD SAY THAT SHE “JUST THINKS IT WOULD BE NICE IF I WOULD HAVE SOMEONE.”

THEN THERE’S ME.  HOW DO I REBEL AGAINST MY MOTHER?  GOD, I AM SO ANGRY AND SO SENSITIVE.  I WOULD BE A CURSE ON ANY MOTHER.  I DO FEAR THAT I AM BEING A LITTLE MARTYRISH SO LET ME TRY AGAIN.  I DRAINED MY MOTHER WHEN I WAS YOUNG WITH MY NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED.  I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO CAMP WHEN I WAS 6 SO I WOULD CRY

(SHE’S SMOKING CAPRI!)

EVERY MORNING AND SAY MY STOMACH HURT AND MY MOTHER WAS TRYING TO HAVE HER SUMMER VACATION AND GO TO THE BEACH WITH HER FRIENDS, AND THEN SHE HAD THIS LITTLE KID SO SAD SO HEARTBROKEN EACH DAY.  THIS IS A FAMILIAR SCENE IN MANY OF MY RELATIONSHIPS.

I HAD NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS.  I WAS HYSTERICAL.

MY MOTHER HAD NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS.  SHE WAS HELPLESS (25 YEARS OLD) AND IRRITATED.

WHEN I AM IN STRIFE WITH A LOVER, THIS SITUATION PRESENTS ITSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  MY SAD-MAD FEELINGS ARE SO COLOSSAL THAT NOBODY ELSE’S FEELINGS CAN HAVE SPACE.  THEY CAN’T POSSIBLY FEEL SAD-MAD (LIKE MY MOTHER) BECAUSE THE DEPTH AND INTENSITY OF THEIR FEELINGS DOES NOT HOLD A CANDLE TO MINE.  SO MY MOTHER GAVE IN AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS (THE TIME PERIOD MIGHT BE INACCURATE ALTHOUGH MY MOTHER MIGHT TELL YOU THAT THE WHOLE THING IS INACCURATE), MY MOTHER GAVE IN.

FIRST , WE WENT TO SEE HER OLDER BROTHER WHO WAS NOW A TACTICAL PSYCHOTHERAPIST WHO OFFERED PROFOUND INSIGHT AND DIRECTION.

MOM: SHE DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO CAMP.

BROTHER: IF SHE DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO CAMP, WHY ARE YOU MAKING HER GO TO CAMP?

THAT NIGHT, MY MOTHER AND I WENT HOME.  SHE EXPLAINED ON THE CAR RIDE BACK FROM BROOKLYN THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO GO TO CAMP IF I DIDN’T WANT TO.  I FELT RELIEVED.  WHEN WE GOT HOME, MY MOTHER WENT AHEAD AND MADE MY BAGGED LUNCH FOR THE NEXT DAY, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT.  IN MY LUNCH, SHE PUT AND OATMEAL COOKIE.  BY PUTTING THE COOKIE IN MY LUNCH, MY MOTHER WAS SHOWING THAT SHE WAS REALLY SURRENDERING (BY LETTING ME EAT SWEETS).  I WANTED TO GO TO CAMP THE NEXT DAY.

I’M DRINKING THE MAJORITY OF MY COFFEE TODAY WITHOUT EQUAL.  I HAD ONE ICED COFFEE AND ONE DIET PEPSI.  BUT THE HOT COFFEE HAS BEEN EQUAL FREE.  I EVEN TOOK THE EQUAL CUP OFF MY KITCHEN COUNTER.  NOW DIET ORANGE SODA I DON’T THINK I CAN EVER GIVE UP.  THANKFULLY, IT’S NOT SO READILY AVAILABLE.

HE’S NOT MARCHING ON WASHINGTON MUCH ANYMORE.  HE’S ALSO NOT GETTING HIS ASS KICKED IN UNION MEETINGS, BUT HE INVOLVES HIMSELF IN POLITICS ON A COMMUNITY LEVEL.  HE IS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE LOCAL SENIOR CENTER WHERE HE ALSO WORKS AS A SECURITY GUARD.  UNLIKE MY MOTHER WHO DOES YOGA IN A 100 DEGREE ROOM, MY FATHER TAKES CLASSES IN CHAIR YOGA.  HE GETS UP IN THE MORNING TO HEAD DOWN TO THE COMMUNITY GARDEN WHERE HE IS BEFRIENDING THE CHINESE GARDENERS.  HIS AMICABILITY HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS SHIFT. 

DAY 2

7.26.13

photoMY FRIEND TOMMY CAME TO VISIT ME TODAY.  HE IS THE ONE ON THE STREET WEARING THE COWBOY HAT.  URBAN COWBOY ALTHOUGH HE’S NO JOHN TRAVOLTA.  WAS JOHN TRAVOLTA URBAN ANYWAY?  HE WAS A DIANETICIAN.

I MET TOMMY AT QUEENS COLLEGE, WHEN I WAS HIRED AS AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR.  HE WAS AN MFA STUDENT AND I WAS A BELOVED PROFESSOR.  I WAS ASKED TO TEACH ALL KINDS OF ADVANCED AND GRADUATE LEVEL CLASSES THAT WHOOPED UP MY EGO.  AND TOMMY WAS IN ONE OF THOSE SPLENDID CLASSES.  I THINK PERFORMANCE AND THEN I THINK HE WAS IN SOME SEMINAR I TAUGHT ABOUT THE BLURRING OF ART AND LIFE.  HE WAS A STELLAR STUDENT.

TOMMY DID AN ARTWORK IN WHICH HE SWITCHED ROLES WITH THE DEPARTMENT’S ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT.  MARILYN.  MARILYN WAS OVERWORKED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, AND A MARTYR.  SHE WOULD OCCASIONALLY SPIT INSULTS AND THREATS AT THE FACULTY AND STUDENTS.  THIS THE STATE OF MOST CUNY LABORERS.  THEY ARE PISSED.  I REMEMBER HANGING OUT WITH MARILYN BY THE XEROX COPIER (I REALIZE I AM NAUSEOUS BECAUSE OF THIS PAINT SMELL.  I AM SO SENSITIVE TO SMELLS.) AND I WAS TELLING HER THAT I HAD JUST QUIT SMOKING.  I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF AND FELT LIKE BRAGGING.  SHE SIZED UP MY BODY AND SAID, “YEAH, WELL YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON’T PICK UP OTHER ADDICTIONS.”  IT TOOK ME MORE THAN A MINUTE THAT MARILYN WAS REFERRING TO MY SIZE.  SHE WAS MISERABLE AND CRUEL.

TOMMY, AS MARILYN, WAS HIS CALM AND KIND SELF.  HE ALSO WORE A VEST AND A TIE.  MARILYN, WHO ALREADY LOVED TOMMY, OVERLOOKED HIS TASKS OF FILING AND XEROXING WITH PRIDE.  I THINK SHE SAW THE IMPORTANCE OF HER JOB.  I’D LIKE TO TALK MORE ABOUT THIS TO TOMMY.  MAYBE HE’LL POST.

AS AN ADJUNCT, I GET TO GO INTO THE SCHOOL, AND BE THE COMPASSIONATE AND SUPPORTIVE TEACHER BECAUSE I AM UNTETHERED BY NAVIGATING THE photo 5LABYRINTHINE PAPERWORK OF THE CUNY SYSTEM. I GET TO TALK TO MY STUDENTS ABOUT THE FEELINGS THEY HAVE ABOUT BEING ARTISTS.  I GET TO HEAR THEIR GRIPES.  I HAVE ALSO BEEN A BITCH AS AN ADJUNCT.  JUST AS EMBITTERED, IF NOT MORE, THAN THE SLAVE-DRIVEN ASSISTANT PROFESSORS.

THIS IS WHY.  AS A CUNY ADJUNCT, MY EXPERIENCES HAVE ENTAILED

(I HEAR MY MOTHER REMINDING ME THAT WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY MIGHT BE THE END OF GETTING WORK IN THE CUNY SYSTEM.

ME: MOM, CUNY IS NOT ON TOP OF ANYTHING.  ESPECIALLY WHAT IS SAID PUBLICLY BY SOME Farshtinkener ADJUNCT!)

CLASSES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED A DAY BEFORE I AM ABOUT TO TEACH THEM

THERE ARE TOO MANY STUDENTS IN MY STUDIO AND WRITING CLASSES.  I CANNOT ACCOMMODATE THEM ALL.

MORE THAN ONCE, I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID ON TIME

BATHROOMS ARE HORRIFIC (I NEED NOT GO INTO DETAIL).  THE BATHROOM ACROSS FROM THE COLLEGE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAS 2 MATS ON THE FLOOR TO COLLECT SPILLAGE; HAND CREAM; AND A BASKET FILLED WITH ESSENCE AND EBONY MAGAZINE, BLACK ROMANCE NOVELS, AND LITERATURE THAT PROSTHELETIZES THAT JESUS IS OUR LORD SAVIOR.  I TELL MY STUDENTS TO GO UPSTAIRS TO USE THIS BATHROOM. THEY ARE ENTITLED TO USE THIS BATHROOM

THERE IS FOOD ON THE FLOORS OF THE COLLEGE.  THERE IS A PERVASIVE SMELL OF KETCHUP AND MORE THAN ONCE, I HAVE SLIPPED ON A GREASY FRENCH FRY UPON STEPPING OFF THE ELEVATOR.

FEELING NAUSEOUS/AIR

WHEN TOMMY WAS HERE, WE NOTICED THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF THE BRICK BUILDING ON THE REAR SIDE OF THE BUILDING.  ACTUALLY, HE NOTICED IT BECAUSE HE HAS AN EYE FOR THE DETAIL OF NEW YORK CONSTRUCTION.  AT THE TOP OF THE BUILDING,THE BRICKS WERE SLIGHTLY RECESSED AND LAID OUT DIAGONALLY.  IN USUAL FORM, I ROMANTICIZED EARLY CONSTRUCTION AND POINTED TO THE SHODDY INSTALLATION OF A CINDERBLOCK BEHIND US.  IT WAS WEDGED IN PLACE BY CEMENT THAT, ALTHOUGH DRY, SHOWED THAT IT ONCE OOZED BETWEEN THE CRACKS. I SAID, “THIS IS THE KIND OF SHIT THAT THE WORKERS DO NOW.  PROBABLY CAUSE THEY’RE ALL DRUNK.”

TOMMY RESPONDED, “OH, I’M SURE THAT THEY WERE DRUNK BACK THEN AS WELL.”

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “YES, ALL THAT REPETITIVE WORK WOULD DRIVE SOMEONE TO DRINK.  NOT ALCOHOLISM, OF COURSE.”

TOMMY WAS RAISED IN A 4 OR 5 STORY BROWNSTONE IN THE WEST VILLAGE.  IT WAS PROBABLY SCHLOCK WHEN HIS PARENTS BROUGHT IT, BUT NOW IT’S A GOLDMINE.  HE SEEMS TO WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS PARENTS’ FORTUNE AND LIVES IN CHELSEA’S PENN SOUTH BUILDING WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO KIDS.

I SHOWED TOMMY THE REMNANTS OF THE STRIP BAR THAT WAS ONCE IN THE BUILDING WHERE I AM WORKING.  AM I A TOPLESS DANCER WITH PASTIES (LOOKS LIKE PASTRIES) IN THE WINDOW?  TOMMY AND I LIKE TO SHOW EACH OTHER OUR FINDS.  I TOOK HIM IN THE BACK WHERE I FOUND THIS GOLDEN WALLPAPER WITH A RED VELVET FLORAL PATTERN SEMI-AFFIXED TO THE WALL.

I ASKED WHEN THE STRIP CLUB WAS CLOSED.  I WAS TOLD THE EARLY 90’S WHEN GIULIANI WAS MAYOR.  I WONDER HOW MANY STRIP CLUBS AND TRIPLE X MOVIE SHOPS WERE ONCE IN THIS AREA.  A VESTIGE OF THE PAST EXISTS IN THE FACT THAT THERE ARE STILL 2 PHONE BOOTHS ON THE BLOCK.  I WILL CHECK IF THEY WORK.  I AM NOW PHOBIC ABOUT USING PHONE BOOTHS BECAUSE PEOPLE’S MOUTHS ARE NEAR THEM.

photo 2WHAT’S UP WITH THE NEW PLASTIC CAST WITH THE CURVED BOTTOM?  I WOULD HATE HAVING ONE OF THOSE THINGS ON MY BROKEN BONE.  I WANT A GOOD OLD PLASTER CAST SO MY FRIENDS CAN SIGN THEIR NAMES AND DRAW PICTURES

I WAS AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AND GOT DEMOTED.  IT WAS SHOCKING, STILL IS.  I AM NOW AN ADJUNCT AT 2 CUNY SCHOOLS.  AT FIRST IT WAS HARD TO GIVE UP ALL OF THE BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM’S VETTING.  WANNA KNOW WHAT THAT IS?  I’LL TELL YOU.

MOVING EXPENSES

A STUDIO (WHICH I HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE)

START UP FUNDS ($7 OR $10,000 I CAN’T REMEMBER)

LOTS OF FREE FOOD AT FANCY RESTAURANTS.  FOOD LIKE BLACKENED TUNA.

A P-CARD WHICH IS A CREDIT CARD THAT YOU CAN USE TO TAKE IMPORTANT PEOPLE OUT TO DINNER.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MONEY ($2-5,000).  YES, YOU HAD TO APPLY FOR IT BUT YOU COULD SIMPLY PUT DROOL ON THE PAGE AND GET THE MONEY.  THE UNIVERSITY FELT LIKE YOU WERE WORTH DEVELOPING.

HERE’S THE OTHER BENEFIT.  THIS ONE STINGS MOST.  THE SCHOOL WOULD PAY FOR EVERY CONFERENCE YOU NEEDED TO ATTEND FOR YOUR “PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT”

MY SALARY WAS SOMETHING LIKE $70,000.  THIS IS WHAT I EARN NOW IN 2 YEARS (IF MY COURSES ARE NOT CANCELLED)

I FELT LIKE I WAS A CEO OR AN UPPER ADMINISTRATOR AND I LOVED IT!  I FELT POWERFUL AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHER PEOPLE, LIKE THE DEPARTMENT’S SECRETARY, FUNDRAISING PERSON, AND HUMAN RESOURCES GUY.  THEY WORKED MORE HOURS, MORE DAYS, AND ACCOMPLISHED MORE PROJECTS TO MAKE THAT SCHOOL FUNCTION AND YET, THEY WERE PROBABLY EARNING $30,000 A YEAR LESS THAN ME.

MY SISTER JUST TEXTED.  SHE’S COMING FOR LUNCH.  WE LOVE TO EAT, TOGETHER.

I’M ENJOYING THIS RESIDENCY SO MUCH.  I WOKE UP THIS MORNING AND FELT LIKE IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY.  LIKE I WAS GOING TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY PARTY.  MAYBE IT IS A BIRTHDAY PARTY.  I DON’T KNOW.  IT’S OPENING MY EYES.  MAKING THIS NEIGHBORHOOD, MY NEIGHBORHOOD DIMENSIONAL, SPECTACULAR (AS IN SPECTACLE).  I AM AWAKE.  ALMOST TOO AWAKE.  IF THE SHRINKS WERE READING THIS, THEY’D WANT TO UP MY LITHIUM.  MEDICATE, TRY NOT TO HATE, DEVIATE, ROLLER SKATE, ROLLER SKATE, ROLLER SKATE.

LET ME TELL FACEBOOK FRIENDS THAT THEY CAN COME AND READ ALONG.

I HOPE I’M NOT BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS WITH MY EXCESSIVE REMINDERS ABOUT THIS WORK.  I WORRY WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT ME.

CHECKING FACEBOOK.  I WANT TO SEE IF ANYONE IS READING.  NICE.  THAT’LL FREEZE ME UP

FUNNY HOW FACEBOOK IS A SIFTER FOR A GROUP OF FRIENDS THAT LOVE YOU DEARLY IN A PARTICULAR KIND OF WAY.  THEY LOVE YOU SO MUCH FROM AFAR.  I’M GOOD AT THAT KIND OF LOVE.  I MUST NOT MAKE THE ERROR THAT FACEBOOK FRIENDS ARE MY MOST LOYAL FRIENDS, MY REAL FRIENDS, THE ONES THAT WOULD DONATE A KIDNEY IF I WAS DYING.  JESUS, LOOK AT HOW I’M MAKING A HIERARCHY

THANK YOU RYN, YOLANDA, AND LONG BEACH ANDREA.  THANK YOU ALSO JUDITH FOR COMING ON YESTERDAY!  GOD, I FEEL LIKE CAPTAIN KANGAROO.  YOUR POSTS MAKE ME FEEL WONDERFUL.  I’M NOT SURE WHY YOU CAN’T POST ON USTREAM.

IF I HAVE MONEY AFTER THIS, I WANT TO GET ANOTHER TATTOO, BUT I KNOW IT’S BETTER TO WAIT UNTIL THE WINTER WHEN MY SKIN WON’T BE EXPOSED TO THE SUN.

I CAN WRITE WITH PEOPLE HERE TODAY. I LIKE THE ENERGY OF THEIR MOVEMENT THEIR FOOTSTEPS THAT I SEE ON THE PERIPHERY.  I LONG TO LOOK AT THEM BUT I DON’T THINK THEY’D LIKE THAT.

MOM, HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT HOW TO GET ON USTREAM?

THERE’S THAT UNTICKETABLE BLUE MOPED AGAIN.  WHO OWNS THAT?  OH SHIT, THERE’S ANOTHER PHONE BOOTH RIGHT IN FRONT, TO THE LEFT OF THE WINDOW.

THERE IS A ZUMBA CLASS NEXT DOOR, IN THE SAME SPACE WHERE THE AUCTION WAS YESTERDAY.  YESTERDAY THERE WAS A SALE ON GOLD.  TODAY I WAS photo 1INVITED BY THE OWNER OF THE ZUMBA BUSINESS TO BE HER GUEST FOR A YOGA CLASS.  IT WAS VERY SWEET OF HER TO INVITE ME BUT I KNEW IT WASN’T MY VIBE.  IT WOULD FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.  NOT SURE WHY.  I STEREOTYPED HER.  FROSTED BLOND HAIR, BLUE EYELINER, SPANDEX LOUD PATTERNED OUTFIT.   WHAT IS MY ISSUE WITH HER?  I KNOW I AM AFRAID THAT WOMEN LIKE HER WILL THINK I’M SCARY, UNACCEPTABLE, FREAKISH.  THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE. WOMEN THAT MEET THE CONVENTIONAL BEAUTY STANDARD GET A LOT OF POWER.  THEY HAVE MEN ON THEIR SIDE.  THEY WORK IN CAHOOTS.

ON THE OTHER HAND,  SHE BELONGS IN ONE OF ROGER SMITH’S ART SPACES JUST AS MUCH AS I DO.  THERE IS A BUDDHA IN THE WINDOW OF HER SPACE.  MAYBE I SHOULD GET A BUDDHA FOR MY WINDOW TOO.  SHE SAID THAT ALL THESE COMPANIES PROMOTED HER TODAY.  THAT’S GOOD.  SHE DID HER HOMEWORK.  I’M ALL FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS.

I WILL BE OUT OF HERE BY 5:00 WHEN HER CLASS BEGINS, BUT I’D LIKE TO FIND A WAY TO TALK MORE.  HER PRACTICE IS AS IMPORTANT AS MINE.

MY SISTER IS HERE.  IT’S TIME FOR LUNCH.  SHE IS THE FIRST PERSON WHO CAME CLOSE TO THE WINDOW.  I FEEL LIKE I MUST HURRY NOW BECAUSE YOU NEVER LEAVE AN ABRAMS WAITING TO EAT.

 

DAY 1

7.25.13

photo

   photo1

I’M LATE. THIS PROJECT WAS SUPPOSED TO BEGIN AT 11AM BUT IT DIDN’T BECAUSE I WAS LATE.  I HATE WHEN I’M LATE.  IT MAKES ME THINK THAT PEOPLE WILL HATE ME.  THAT THEY’VE BEGUN TO HATE ME IN THE DURATION OF WAITING FOR ME, AND THAT THEY THINK I’M A LOSER.  MAYBE I’M PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE OR PERFORMING THE REBELLIOUS ARTIST.  I KNOW VERY FEW WOMEN ARTISTS WHO THINK THEY HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO BE LATE.

I HAD SO MUCH TO SAY ON THE TRAIN ON THE WAY HERE.  I WAS BURSTING WITH WORDS ON THE F, THE 6 AND NOW I’M AS STIFF AS A QUARTZ CRYSTAL.  PEOPLE STOP BY, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, AND I WANT THEM TO MAKE IT BETTER.

I RODE THE 6 AND THERE WAS A CAMP THAT CAME ON THE TRAIN.  CHILDREN WITH KELLY GREEN PAL T-SHIRTS (PAL = POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE).  THEY WERE BROWN AND GOLDEN WITH BRAIDS AND SHORT SHEARED HAIRCUTS.  I WAS ONCE A PAL ART DIRECTOR (HYPERBOLIC JOB TITLE FOR BEING AN ART COUNSELOR) IN BROWNSVILLE.  I THINK IT WAS BEFORE 9/11.  BROWNSVILLE WAS A CRY FAR AWAY FROM WHAT I KNEW OF FLUSHING WHERE I GREW UP AND BENSONHURST WHERE I LIVED AT THE TIME.

WHEN PEOPLE WALK BY AND STOP AND LOOK AT THE SCREEN, SHOULD I MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THEM?  I FEEL VULNERABLE (WHATEVER THAT MEANS) AND UNSURE OF MYSELF.  I AM SELF-CONSCIOUS AND UNABLE TO WRITE.  I WANT THEM TO GO AWAY SO I CAN WRITE.  I ALSO WANT THEM TO COME TO THE WINDOW SO I CAN BE NOTICED.  I WANT THE PIECE TO BE NOTICED.  I ALSO WANT TO BECOME FAMOUS BY ACCIDENT…HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH IT AT ALL.

WHEN I GOT OFF THE BLUE LINE TO WORK IN BROWNSVILLE, I WAS STUNG BY THE POVERTY.  I REMEMBER A LIQUOR STORE WITH SAGGING ARCHITECTURE AND PLEXIGLAS EVERYTHING THAT SEPARATED THE BOOZE AND THE BOOZE CLERK FROM THE PEOPLE.  (KIND OF LIKE THE WAY THIS GLASS IS SEPARATING ME FROM THE PEDESTRIANS).  THIS BARRIER HAD A DIFFERENT GOAL OF COURSE.  IT MAINTAINED AN ORDER AMONG COMMUNITY MEMBERS THAT USED MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY CHEAP WINE AND JOHNNY WALKER BLACK ON THE WEEKENDS TO KEEP FROM KILLING THEMSELVES.

AS I WALKED TOWARDS THE SCHOOL WHERE THE PAL AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS WERE HELD, I SAW WHY ONE MIGHT WANT TO DIE — IN TERMS OF MY CRITERIA FOR “CIVILIZED” ENVIRONMENTS.  POVERTY WAS A SEA POPULATED BY ABANDONED CARS, INDIGENOUS SPECIES OF GRASS, OLD CLOTHES, CIGARETTE PACKS, AND BROKEN GLASS.  MY HEART BROKE WHEN I SAW A LAWN CHAIR IN FRONT OF A HOUSE THAT HAD CLEARLY BEEN THORUGH A FIRE OR WAS IN THE MIDST OF BEING SOLD.  AN OLD TIMER SAT IN THE LAWN CHAIR LOOKING, NO EXPRESSION, WONDERING WHAT THAT WHITE WOMAN (ME) WAS DOING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.  PROBABLY A CASE WORKER.

IN BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOODS, THE COPS’ INFLUENCE ON THE KIDS APPEAR IN FUNNY WAYS. CAMPERS AND COUNSELORS FORCED TO WEAR THE WORD “POLICE” ON THE FREE T-SHIRTS THEY GET WHEN THEY SIGN UP.  THERE IS

ALSO A MURAL ON THE SIDE OF A BED STUY FIRESTONE STATION.  THE IMAGES ARE PORTRAITS OF DEAD COPS.  THEY WERE MADE IN MEMORIAM AND THE COPS LOOK LIKE THE PUPPETS OF THE POLICEMAN, THE FIREFIGHTER, AND THE MILKMAN, THAT I PLAYED PRETEND WITH IN KINDERGARTEN.  THE PORTRAITS APPEAR PROFOUNDLY ARTIFICIAL. THE BLACK OFFICER’S SKIN LOOKS LIKE MILK MIXED WITH CHOCOLATE FLAVORED QUIK.  THE WHITE OR LATINO OFFICER HAS A PENCIL THIN SALVADOR DALI MOUSTACHE.

WHO PAINTED THESE MURALS?  IS THIS “OUTSIDER ART” MADE BY THE GRIEVING COPS?  MY DISGUSTED THINKING LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT THE COPS MADE THE NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS FROM THE PROJECT PAINT THESE PORTRAITS.  PAINTING THESE DEAD COPS WOULD TEACH THEM TO HAVE “RESPECT” FOR AUTHORITY.  WHAT IF THE COPS PAINTED PORTRAITS OF THE DEAD NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS?

I JUST WENT AROUND THE CORNER TO GET AN ICED COFFEE.  I SHOULD BE MAKING MY OWN AND SAVING MONEY.  CONVERSELY, MY TASTE FOR COFFEE HAS GOTTEN MORE AND MORE OPULENT THROUGH THE YEARS.  I HAVE MOVED FROM $1.50 CUP OF ICED COFFEE BOUGHT AT THE BODEGA (YOU BRING A CUP OF ICE FORM THE ICE CREAM FREEZERTO THE FRONT OF THE DELI AND THE COFFEE IS MADE FOR YOU.  WHEN I MOVED TO PARK SLOPE, HOWEVER, I GOT INTO ALL THAT ESPRESSO BASED SHIT, AND NO LONGER HAD TO BRING ANYTHING TO THE COUNTER.  ICE, COFFEE, SUGAR, NOTHING.  THE VALUE OF MY COFFEE IMMEDIATELY INCREASED TO $4.  I BELONGED IN THE SLOPE.  I WAS DRINKING THEIR COFFEE.

UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, TODAY THERE IS AN AUCTION NEXT DOOR.  ROLEX WATCHES AND COINS ARE FOR SALE.  THERE IS A REAL-LIVE AUCTIONEER WITH A LAVALIER MICROPHONE STRAPPED AROUND HIS CHIN.  HE LOOKS LIKE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.  AM I ALLOWED TO SAY THAT?

THERE ARE SPEAKERS OUTSIDE OF THE STOREFRONT AND THE AUCTION IS TAKING PLACE INSIDE OF THE STOREFRONT.  PEOPLE ARE GATHERING AROUND THE STORE BECAUSE THERE IS SOUND AND GOLD ON BLACK VELVET THAT GLITTERS UNDER HALOGEN LIGHTS BEHIND PLEXIGLAS.  AUCTIONS ARE EXCITING, I IMAGINE.  I’M KIND OF INTERESTED IN ALL THAT GLASS.  WHO GETS TO HAVE A SEAT AT THE AUCTION?  WHO STANDS OUTSIDE BUT STILL PARTICIPATES BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE VICINITY LISTENING TO THAT CADENCE FROM THE AUCTIONEER.  LIKE MONEY DROPPING FROM A SLOT MACHINE.  ROLEX WATCHES AND GOLDEN COINS SEEM SO DATED.  I REMEMBER COVETING THEM IN THE 80’S WITH MY GREEK GIRLFRIENDS.  WE WANTED OUR BOYFRIENDS TO BUY US ROLEX WATCHES AND GOLD ROPE CHAINS.  I AM SHOCKED THERE IS STILL A MARKET FOR THEM.  DO PEOPLE BUY THEM, PLUCK OUT THE WATCH FACE, AND MELT THE GOLD SO THEY CAN BUY REAL ESTATE.

PARANOID THAT SOMEONE’S GOING TO COME OVER TO YELL AT ME FOR SAYING THAT THE AUCTIONEER LOOKS LIKE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.

I CAME IN THIS MORNING AND SHOT MY WAD.  RIGHT NOW, I AM QUIETLY COMFORTED BY THE SIGN THAT READS “PAHARMACY”, THE METER THAT IS SYMMETRICALLY IN MY LINE OF VISION, AND THE SIGN THAT READS “NO STANDING ANYTIME”.  I FEEL SECURE THAT MY CAR IS LEGALLY PARKED IN BROOKLYN.  I WONDER WHY THAT MOPED HAS THE RIGHT TO PARK ON THE NO STANDING ANYTIME STREET.  PROBABLY BELONGS TO A COP.

FUNNY HOW THE MEN ALL DRESS ALIKE DOWN HERE.  FUNNY HOW VERY FEW ARE IN SHAPE.  FUNNY HOW SO MANY OF THEM SMOKE.  I SMELL THE OUTER BOROUGH.  I SENSE MY PEOPLE.  AS AN OFFICE WORKER IN 1986, I REMEMBER THE COMMUTE FROM FLUSHING.  THE BUS TO THE 7TRAIN.  I WAS A GIRL THEN WITH A REAL LIVE BOYFRIEND SO I WORE FLATS THAT FROZE MY TOES IN THE RAIN AND IN THE SLUSH.  I REMEMBER BEING HUNGOVER ON THAT TRAIN, FEIGNING ILLNESS SO I COULD GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY DESK, THE PHONE, AND THE FALSE HELLOS.  THE MOVIE “WORKING GIRL” CAME OUT AND I SO IDENTIFIED WITH MELANIE GRIFFITH TRAVELING INTO MANHATTAN FROM STATEN ISLAND WITH HER BIG HAIR AND BROAD-SHOULDERED COAT.  I REMEMBER THINKING THAT MY EMPLOYER SHOULD PAY ME FOR 3 HOURS OF TRAVEL TIME IT TOOK TO GET TO WORK.

I COULDN’T HOLD MY JOB DOWN THROUGH THE SUMMER.  I WANTED TO GET BACK TO THE BAR, WANTED TO GO TO THE HAMPTONS.  I DID NOT WANT WORK TO GET IN THE WAY OF MY DRINKING.  AND IT DID NOT.  AFTER DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE, I RE-ENROLLED, AWARE THAT ANYTHING WAS BETTER THAN A 9-5 COMMITMENT.  SINCE 1986, I HAVE AVOIDED FULL TIME WORK.  EVEN THOUGH I KNOW LONGER DRINK, WORK STILL GETS IN THE WAY.

I DID WORK FOR A LITTLE WHILE AS A FULL-TIME SCHOOL TEACHER AT ERASMUS CAMPUS IN FLATBUSH.  THIS IS WHERE BARBARA STREISAND, ELLIOT GOULD, AND EVERYBODY’S JEWISH FATHER AND MOTHER WENT TO SCHOOL.  PEOPLE GLEAM WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT ERASMUS, AND THEY ALWAYS MENTION A FAMOUS CLASSMATE.

WHEN I TAUGHT AT ERASMUS, THE SCHOOL WAS READY TO CLOSE.  THE CAMPUS WAS DIVIDED INTO 4 SCHOOLS AS A WAY OF CONTROLLING THE STUDENTS AND THE CITY’S FUNDING.    I WAS THE ART TEACHER AT THE SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS.  IN SPITE OF THE SCHOOL’S NAME, MY STUDENTS HAD NO INTEREST IN SCIENCE OR MATH.  THEY WERE INTERESTED IN POKEMON, VIDEO GAMES, AND FASHION BRANDS SUCH AS ECKO, TIMBERLAND (A.K.A. TIMS), AND THAT OTHER DESIGNER WHO WAS TRIPPED OUT ABOUT HOW THE BLACK MARKET (NOT “BLACK MARKET”) TOOK TO HIS CLOTHES.

I NEED LUNCH.  IF MINE TASTES LIKE SHIT, I AM GOING TO THE HALAL CART.

MY FRIEND JUST CALLED TO TELL ME THAT SHE’S OVERWROUGHT WITH DOGSITTING GIGS.  SHE’S A VET BUT LOST HER JOB BECAUSE SHE SUFFERS FROM ANOREXIA.  SHE NOW WORKS FOR FRIENDS AND TAKES ON THE ROUGHEST DOG CASES.  SHE CALLED TO TELL ME THAT SHE’S FALLING OFF TRACK IN TERMS OF TAKING GOOD CARE OF HERSELF BECAUSE SHE’S COMMITTING HERSELF TO TOO MANY DOGS. FOR A WHILE AND WASN’T THROWING UP OR ENGAGING IN SELF-DESTRUCTIVE EATING HABITS.   I USUALLY AVOID ANOREXICS.  I AM FRIGHTENED BY THEIR APPEARANCE AND I AM ASHAMED TO SAY THAT.  THEIR FRAGILITY TRIGGERS A SEVERE EMPATHIC RESPONSE WITHIN.  SOMETHING ABOUT K., HOWEVER, MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH HER.  AS SHE KNOWS AND HAS SAID ABOUT HERSELF, SHE IS A “SPITFIRE.”  EVEN THOUGH SHE’S NO MORE THAN 80 POUNDS, HER CROGGY VOICE, DOG MASTERY, AND TOUGH INSIGHT MAKE HER MONUMENTAL.  SHE REORGANIZES MY ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT BODY SIZE, BIG OR SMALL.

I FELL IN LOVE WITH ANOTHER ANOREXIC.  ROMANTIC LOVE.  I DON’T FEEL THAT I CAN REALLY WRITE ABOUT THIS, BUT THIS EXPERIENCE WEIGHS ON EVERY THOUGHT I THINK.

WHITE, RED, AND BLACK SEEMS TO BE THE COLOR THEME TODAY.  I SEE IT ON THE GROUND LEVEL SIGNS FOR THE HOTEL ROGER SMITH.  IT IS TTHE PALETTE OF COLOR THAT ANNOUNCES THE AUCTION.  A MAN WHO WAS PAID TO HOLD A SIGN IN THE FACES OF PEDESTRIANS WEARS AN I “HEART” NEW YORK T-SHIRT.  WHITE, RED, AND BLACK AS WELL.

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND RE(A)D ALL OVER?  A PERSON WITH AN INDETERMINATE RACIAL IDENTITY.

ALTHOUGH I DON’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF MAKING THE WORK AS PART OF THE WORK, I’M GOING TO SAY SOMETHING ANYWAY.  THIS IS NOT THE “WORK” SO WHY WORRY?  THERE IS SOMETHING I’VE NEEDED AS A PERFORMER, AND THAT IS THE ABILITY TO NOT BE ROCKED BY MY AUDIENCES.  SHOWING THEM WHAT I GOT IS JUST AS INTERACTIVE AS PARTICIPATORY WORK.  I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME SITTING WITHIN MY TRUTH WHEN I PERFORM (OH GOD, I HATE THIS KIND OF LANGUAGE)

AS A NOTE: THIS PROJECT IS TEACHING ME HOW TO MAKE WORK IN FRONT OF OTHERS.

I’M GETTING TIRED.  2:20.  CLOSE TO NAP TIME.  GOD, I HATE ADMITTING THAT I NEED NAPS.  A WEEK AGO, I REALIZED THAT JUST NODDING OFF FOR 5 MINUTES GAVE ME THE SAME BENEFITS OF A 2 HOUR NAP, EVEN THOUGH I FELT LIKE I WAS HAVING A SUBTLE SEIZURE.  THERE’S NOTHING LIKE LAYING DOWN IN THE MID-AFTERNOON SOFTNESS.  WORK IS DONE, CATS ARE READY, THERE’S A WHOLE EVENING AND THIRD MEAL TO ANTICIPATE.  THINGS FEEL SAFE.  MID-AFTERNOON IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF DAY TO HAVE SEX TOO.  YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME WITH A SEX-IN-THE-MORNING LOVER.  NO MATTER HOW MUCH I LOVE HER.  NIGHT TIME IS NO GOOD BECAUSE THE TRAUMA OF THE DAY HAS SET IN, AND I’M ALREADY BEGINNING TO PANIC ABOUT TOMORROW.  I CAN’T GO FROM CLEANING A SINK FULL OF DISHES INTO FOREPLAY.

TODAY I SAW A SIGN ON THE SUBWAY THAT MADE ME WANT TO SCREAM-LAUGH LIKE A LUNATIC.  THE DEMORALIZATION OF RIDING THE SUBWAY BEGINS AS SOON AS I DESCEND FROM THE STREET.  TODAY, I WAS MORE APPALLED BY RUNNING INTO A WRITER FRIEND WHO’S READING I MISSED.  ALTHOUGH SHE DIDN’T SAY SO, HER JAW WAS TIGHT AND I COULD SEE THAT SHE WAS HURT. I EXPLAINED THAT I WAS IN THE MIDST OF A DOGSITTING JOB THAT HAD GONE AWRY AND HAD BEEN BITTEN BY THE DOG (I’M FINE).  SHE UNDERSTOOD VISIBLY, BUT I COULD SEE SHE WAS STILL WOUNDED.  I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH HER DISAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE I GREW UP IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF FAST-FORGIVENESS.  NO GRUDGES, NO SULKING.  SO, I GOT ANNOYED AND THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “I DON’T NEED HER AS A FRIEND ANYWAY.”  SHE DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT WHERE I WAS GOING AND WHAT I WAS DOING TODAY, MY “PROJECT” AS SHE CALLED IT.  “HAVE FUN WITH YOUR PROJECT.”

I FEEL LIKE I COULD COUNT THE NUMBER OF BLACK WOMEN THAT HAVE PASSED BY ON HALF A HAND.  I ONLY SAY THIS BECAUSE A BLACK WOMAN JUST PASSED, BARELY GLANCED IN THE WINDOW, AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “SHE DOESN’T KNOW I’M BLACK.  THIS IS NOT A BLACK PROJECT.”  SHE MIGHT EVEN BE THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN I SAW TODAY.

MY FRIEND SARAH JUST TEXTED.  HER MOTHER IS DYING.  SHE WILL HAVE TO GO TO NORTH CAROLINA TO BE THERE AS HER MOTHER “CROSSES OVER” (SARAH’S LANGUAGE).  SARAH AND I CALL ONE ANOTHER THE LOVE OF EACH OTHER’S LIVES.

WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WOULD DIRVE THEIR CAR THROUGH MIDTOWN IF NOT FOR WORK?

I JUST SAW BLACK MEN WITH DREADS AND BRAIDS AND BLACK WOMEN WITH NATURALS, AND BLACK CHILDREN IN CAMP T-SHIRTS AND RAIN SLICKERS.  NOT THE P.A.L.

SO MANY PLUMES OF SMOKE.  WHERE ARE ALL THESE SMOKERS FROM?  SMOKE, POT BELLIES, TOURISTS, AND OVERPRICED UMBRELLAS.

THIS STREET HAS 6-HOUR PARKING.  I COULD BRING MY CAR HERE.

BEFORE I SIGN OUT, I WANT TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SIGN IN THE SUBWAY.  ONCE AGAIN, I WAS REMINDED THAT THE MTA WAS WATCHING OUT FOR ME.

TO IMPROVE SAFETY, WE’RE INSTALLING

SURVEILLANCE CAMS ON 1,150 MORE BUSES.  SMILE.

WHAT AN OBNOXIOUS FUCKING SIGN!  DOES THE MTA HONESTLY THINK THAT PEOPLE HEAR THAT THERE WILL BE MORE SURVEILLANCE, AND GET EXCITED…FEEL THAT THERE IS GREATER SAFETY AND SECURITY? IS THERE ANYONE WHO IS THAT COMPLICIT?  EVEN THE GREATEST PATRIOT DOES NOT WISH TO BE WATCHED AS HE WANKS.

THOSE FUCKERS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SAYING, AND WHEN THEY SAY SMILE THEY ARE DIGGING THE KNIFE IN DEEPLY AND GIVING IT A TWIST.