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On the L

Dear Sir,

Here we are at the end of another work day. I made it through a tedious day. I don’t know how your work day went but I’m going to assume you’re tired. I have to assume that. Nothing else can even remotely justify your behavior and even the excuse of being tired is pretty flimsy. I want to let you know that I’m aware of the fact that you don’t know how big you are and therefore don’t know what spaces you can fit in. Like last night on the train when you sat next to me. The space was built for two people. You equal more than that. I’m pretty sure you could take up the whole space by yourself and be pretty comfortable. Problem was that I was already sitting down. Chivalry in this instance was definitely dead. I’m going to guess that you are well over 6 feet and somewhere around 350. I must inform you that when you decided to cram your large frame into the seat next to me and mash me up against the wall I didn’t think my day could get any better. But you were the cake topper. I’m also going to assume you have no shame and that you’ve done this before. You sat down with some difficulty, sliding down the wall of the seat slowly like that somehow makes it better. You didn’t apologize for shoving me up against the wall, you didn’t even look my way. You’re an old hand at this sort of thing. Bravo. So this is just me letting you know that I know what you’re about. Not cool man, not cool. Either way you have a nice evening.

Sincerely,
Joy

Kimmy Blues

I won’t be your Rover baby
You can’t bring me to heel
Only dogs play fetch sucka
And this here woman is made of steel
You done me so wrong
It was just one woman after the next
Well I tell ya what baby
Call them bitches up next time you want some sex
I’m done with you
Won’t be no leash round my neck
I said I’m done with you
Won’t be no leash round my neck
You done worn out your welcome
So call the next one to come fetch
We had some real good times baby
All night long
Real, real good times baby
You would love me right down to the bone
But it done been too many a nights I had to wait for you to come on home. 
So now I’ll sleep in my empty bed
All cold and alone
But I tell ya one thing baby
The next one is  coming
And it won’t be long
I said the next one is coming
And it won’t be long 
I’m done with you
Won’t be no leash round my neck
I said I’m done with you
Won’t be no leash round my neck
You done worn out your welcome
So call the next one to come fetch

Under the Influence

I’m thinking of the things I think about while I’m thinking of other things. Walking home under the influence, I am acutely aware of my many layered thought patterns. I feel extremely profound at this moment. I let myself drift. I am willing, open, intoxicated.

While I walk I wander away in my head. In my head I wonder why I can walk. I think of why I’m here and what it means. I look skyward and try to see the stars but the lights of the city block all but the brightest from view. I feel small. I am just a dot floating in a vast universe. I am a part of it all. I am just me too. A single being filled with dreams, goals, and purpose. I feel the weight of my body as I put one foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right; I make my way home. I am not even close to sober. I am also seriously dehydrated. It makes no matter water awaits. One arm is holding the strap of my purse. I feel you arm. I feel the sweat that collects where my elbow bends. Soon it will drip down my arm and on to the ground. I leave pieces of myself behind everywhere I go. That dot of sweat will evaporate and journey skyward. I wonder if it will come back to me somehow. My other arm swings freely with my house keys dangling from my ring finger. Their jingle announces my presence to those walking ahead of me. The blocks between the train station and my apartment disappear beneath my feet as if they never existed. If I look back will they still be there?

I love everyone. Why not? We are beautiful, mortal, and finite. Let’s do what makes us happy. I just did. Red wine makes me happy. Sharing it with friends makes me happier still. There is no belligerence in my drunkenness. I am tolerant and understanding. As I walk I think of the shirtless man I saw on the train when I was coming home. He was still drinking. A cup, a smile, and a brown paper bag. He was like me. He seemed content. I’d say he was in his sixties. I stared at him and made up his life story in my head. He is sun burned and covered in gray hair from chest to belly. I decide he is the lone survivor of a shipwreck. It was his last voyage upon the seas before his retirement. He had spent his entire life journeying from port to port. He has seen the world. The brown bag he cradles lovingly holds a bottle of rum. Why not, it fits into my story. He even has a handlebar mustache; this is perfect. He misses his shipmates and the rum helps him with his sorrow. It’s a hard thing to lose a loved one. I miss my dad and the wine helps my sorrow. This guy has lost a crew. Men he has traveled the seas with his whole life. See, I knew we were connected somehow. I love this city. Look what you can find on the train. A kindred spirit content in inebriation. Seeing him makes me smile. He’s completely at ease, he smiles back. We have an understanding. He knows about my grief and I know about his. His shipmates and my Dad. I drank to mine and he’s still drinking to his. The other passengers look at him askance but not me. I understand. We will both weep later but tonight we honored our dead with drink.

Almost home. I can’t wait to take my bra off. My jeans will follow that. I need some water. I smile at children out on this late summer’s night. No school for you and aren’t you happy about that. I would be happy too. They run after each other and squeal with delight. They are so carefree. In my drunkeness I am filled with hope. I know the resilience of children. I watch as one young boy falls. A full out sprawl. His face contorts into a grimace as he begins to cry. His mother comes to his aid, lifting him up by his arm with one hand and brushing off his clothes with the other. She wipes his tears away and whispers soothing words. He pulls himself free and continues running. See…life goes on.

I turn the corner on to my block and immediately feel the urge to pee. As usual I see people sitting on the front steps that don’t even live in my building. I shout at them in my head as I make my approach: “Hark! What are these fell creatures that doth litter my front steps?! Move aside foul wretches! I’m trying to get in to my home. I have many things to think of while I think of this! I can’t think of you too! Back, I say, back!” What comes out of my mouth is:”Excuse me.” They mumble apologies and move aside so I can get in. The urge to pee is stronger now but I stop to check my mail box out of habit.

I live on the first floor, my apartment is just a few feet away. I start to do the pee dance while I hold my mail in one hand and attempt to put the key in the lock. I get it on the second try. I drop everything and run for the bathroom. Ahhhh…sweet relief. I peel out of my clothes, turn on the shower, get in and begin to cry. Tomorrow will be better.

Desire

Such beauty as I have seen in you cannot be contained within my mind’s eye

It must be set free

And as the desire slips from my lips I can imagine it touches you in the places I’ve seen when I close my eyes

I am jagged glass…but the silk in my tongue will soothe you

And perhaps you’d think of me…

too

Restless

I lock my doors to keep myself contained.

Cuz if let loose there’d be no way to explain just how I do the things I do…It would be absolutely insane so I maintain that I can’t be made to roam outside the home outside my dome and chile please believe that the things I do indoors are a cause for pausing and thinking… is she alright?  Especially at night when I let the waves wash over me.  I’m howling at the moon scratching and sniffing myself.  Can’t keep still.  I’m peeling the paint off the walls and dressing the doors with my ecstasy and it’s plain to see that I ain’t right but what I am is besides the point and only half the plight.  I turn the couch inside out to get better rest.  Sleep on the ceiling with my legs on the floor.  Dance to the beat of sirens outside my window and the weed man on my stoop, giggling cuz he ain’t got nowhere else to go so he’s just gone insane.  I step over bums in my hallway and flush my dreams down the toilet after I wipe my ass with my textbooks.  I haven’t found a direction to go in so I’m spinning and wasting away inside this container.  Don’t let me out I’m not ready for my close up.  I’d rather hold myself hostage and send my mother cries for help disguised as ransom notes and choke on the screams in my throat that got my heart racing and racing and racing to get out of my chest cuz it can’t find no rest there.  No love no hope no peace…like whores reading psalms while johns shoot Ave Marias down their throats.  I defeat my purpose in one sentence.  Less than perfect, far from beautiful and almost finished, so I keep my half ass inside.  Locked up.  The world don’t need to know wassup.  With me.  That’s why I make sure I turn the key and check the lock   cuz civilization already tried to get the best of me in the form of diabetes.  I turned inwardly to get some better levels…been too sweet lately…so I’m keepin the outside from me and the world at bay…revolving on my own axis….I’d offer up my soul if it wasn’t already missing…I ‘d even apologize for my absence but I’m too busy rearranging the furniture.

Adrift

Tonight I’m going to eat sin and swallow iniquity. I’m going to shame the devil into believing in Me. Dance on a tightrope made of my fears. Rejoice in the flaws that make me so human. Revel in humility. Try and try again. I’m gonna get up after I’ve fallen. Make a mistake. Help someone. Smile and laugh and smile some more. I’m going to cry my eyes out. Learn something new. Pass on a good word. Sit in silence. Become lost in my thoughts. Wonder about people. Try to understand. Hold my temper. Listen to a friend. Renew my resolve. Pursue my dreams. Write, write, write. Edit.

Suburbia

This post is about a trip I took to visit my sister, Nicole, last summer.

I know nothing about the care of flowers, plants, trees etc or what I like to call house lore. I’m at my sister’s house in Pennsylvania and I volunteer to water her flower bed. I grab the hose that’s sitting on the porch in the hose thingy and I press the nozzle. I’m ready to water the plants! My sister, seeing my excitement, took the wind out of my sails and informed me that first she needs to trim the dead blossoms. Ok. She’s learned a whole bunch since moving here five years ago. This comes from many attempts to have a small garden and many dead plants. This particular set was purchased at Home Depot in May. I was there when she picked them out and they have flourished. Yay! So now she’s finished trimming the flowers and I approach with the hose, squeeze the nozzle and nothing comes out. Huh? She told me I need to go around to the side of the house and turn the water on. Ok. So I traipse around to the side of the house and she calls my attention to the newly mowed backyard which we’ll be spending time in later. Awesome! I turn on the water, come back around to the front and successfully water the flowers. It felt good. I think I can own a home. I know next to nothing about it but I’m open to learning. Ain’t that life anyway?

I’m sitting out on the front porch taking in the breeze and feeling the vibe of this suburban life. Nikki lives on a quiet tree lined street in east Philadelphia. The cicadas and other insects are playing a symphony for my enjoyment. They titter and rattle and go on about their insect lives. They do what they are meant to. There’s a pleasant, cool breeze blowing, the sun is shining and I’m glad to be here. I worry a chin hair that I forgot to pluck. This is becoming an all out war. Me against the hairs that pop up unwanted on my chin. Ugh, the vagaries of getting older. I wonder how many mosquito bites I’ll collect today. I picked up a few last week. I’m not eager to add to my collection but this place is too close to nature so I feel it’s inevitable. I bought my Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream with me so I’m prepared. I’m typing this on my iTouch and I find the experience much better than typing on my Android phone. I feel the beginnings of a switch here. Maybe my next phone will be an iPhone. We shall see. I do admire Apple products.

The plan for today is to have a barbecue out back. I helped my sister prep the meat. I sprayed the backyard with bug repellent and added new charcoal to the grill. I could get used to this kind of thing. It’s a definite change of pace. In Brooklyn my day might consist of holding my breath as I walk though the train station so as not to breathe in too much urine. The burgers and hot dogs take no time at all to cook. The ribs will take the longest and the steaks are small so those will be done soon too. I’m hungry. I carry a tray of hot dogs and hamburgers back into the house because I need to get some food in me. I prep a plate with a burger, a hot dog and some of my sisters cold pasta salad. I decide to take it out to the front porch and eat it. I finish it fairly quickly but was soon driven back into the house because there were just too many bugs out there. My sister said well you didn’t spray up there, come sit out back. Ok. I sit out back and while there are no bugs I witness some sort of wriggly, squirmy thing dancing on the pavement. Flee! I’m back in the house. Fuck nature! That type of thing makes my hackles rise. Blech.

Sometime after my flight of fright…

I just finished eating a delicious BBQ rib. Yum! It made me wish I had a lion’s tongue so that I could lick the bone and scrape all the meat off in one swipe. I’ve often wished that I had a lion so that when my back itches he could lick it. I think that would feel good. Obviously this lion would have to be well trained. Well one can only dream. Soon enough it will be time for me to head back home. I never stay long. Two days tops. While I do enjoy the peace and quiet of this neighborhood, my heart is still in Brooklyn.

Train Boogers

Why do people talk to you when they see that you have earbuds in? I wear them just so I don’t have to talk to anybody. I have a very short haircut so you can’t miss them. But it never fails. Someone will come up to me and start talking when there are plenty of people about without headphones on at all. I especially don’t want to talk to people to and from my commute to work. I’m usually listening to music to drown out any conversations going on around me and reading a book. All on my iTouch. I like to cocoon myself in a world of my own creation so the train ride seems less traumatic. I usually emerge from the train in an almost trance-like state. I’m going through the motions but I am running on auto-pilot.


A few months ago this guy sits next to me on the L train. He looked like he just came from the gym and he smelled like it too. A few stops go by and I realize that he’s talking at me. I sigh inwardly and remove an earbud. Let’s see what he wants. He starts flapping his gums. I nod and smile. He tells me he’s a personal trainer and just came from a session. That explains the smell. He tells me his family is from Senegal. He says some racist shit, I try not to look at the white people on the train. Finally he gets to the point and asks if I’m married. I lie and say yes, he gets off the train at the next stop and I can go back to my music and my reading.


A week after this fragrant incident, once again on the L train, a young guy maybe early 20’s, sits next to me. I can see him giving me sidelong glances. I’m like whatever. He proceeds to pick his nose and toss the treasure on the floor of the subway car. Ok. Then he decides to talk to me. Once again, earbud out, inward sigh. He asks if I’m reading a book on my iTouch and if so how. I tell him about the kindle app and he tells me he went to culinary school but now he’s interested in horticulture. From the looks of him I’m thinking he wants to start a pot farm. He looks like a cross between a giraffe and Travie McCoy from Gym Class Heroes. He explains he found a book he wanted to get from Barnes and Noble but it was too expensive. I told him Amazon would probably have it for a lower price. We talked about organic food, going vegan and rooftop gardens. As we chatted I noticed we were drawing the attention of the other people left on the train. I can’t imagine why. Maybe they too had witnessed his enthusiastic booger picking and wondered why I was speaking to him. Whatever, it’s New York. I’m sure I’ve spoken to booger pickers before. I was just ignorant of the fact having not been there to witness it. Travie’s stop came, he thanked me for my info (no handshakes) and I went back to my reading and music. No harm no foul. I wonder if he ever got the app or the book.

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