Archive for the interactions Category

Back around the streets

Posted in interactions, Jess, life, nights, philly, sex on July 11, 2010 by staticity

Walking down a no-name road at one thirty has a certain aimless freedom attached to the yellow lane line. There was no traffic- for a Saturday night I figured the traffic would hold off until at least two (after last call.)  One thirty a.m. is a little like a cheap version of four. No one is out, you can walk in the middle of the road and not have to worry about getting hit, but unlike four a.m. your night may have not ended and the future isn’t always in sight.
I went over to P.s  house for dinner. He made pork with a sauce of shallots drenched in some sort of creamy sauce that meandered around the pork more than a park person on a bench. It was delicious. There were mashed potatoes with real chives that I watched him dice on the counter. Olive oil. The light kind because he knows I have ‘certain ways of doing things.’  The vegetables were miked four four and a half minutes. I did that part.
We talked a little about our awkward source of relationship that we have fumbled upon in only the hours between midnight and five. I won’t hold hands in public. I won’t hug. I notice the fingers-on-lower-back position more acutely than most. I don’t kiss. Sex however….

While he’s in the bathroom I slam on my jeans and buckle my belt as fast as possible. My shirt is hiding under the jeans and I like the way my body looks in the mirror. Slim. Bent over because there is a cramp in my back. Spinal betrayal.  Cigarettes in back pocket. Hips leaned against a door frame. My hair is a little matted, my make up is half steamed off. My voice has that sound to it I had forgotten about. In a minute I’ll be smoking a cigarette on the back porch with my feet up on the fence.  Ten minutes and I can run away and never look back.
There are other parties to go to. A friend of his is having one a few streets down, in some other connection of his neatly.manicured. neighborhood. A friend of mine wants me to go to a bar with her, but it’s too late now. It’s one thirty.
Why don’t you stay the night? He brings up the fact he has air conditioning and two huge comforters. No- I have to get going. I don’t tell him this is my favorite part of my life. Walking down empty roads that turn from neighborhoods to streets of almost equal emptiness. We hug, I say goodbye – and then I am completely free from any entanglement that I might have gotten caught up in. My body is swaying to the headphones jammed in my ear. Professor Longhair.  The best music to dance to- I think of my favorite memory of dancing with my partner in crime in a Minneapolis apartment for hours on end. Someday I will go back and see the Zooloo King.
It’s two when I get into the apartment. I lie on the floor and talk to my kitty Suzanne for awhile before Jess calls. She’s telling me she got arrested a couple nights ago. It was rough, she says, but she just gave them a sob story and she got out in seven hours. She has the ‘I beat the system’ voice, but I know she’s scared. She’s sitting on a stoop outside of St. Bernard street in West Philadelphia and I can hear the guys come up to her.
“Sam called.” She says in that far off voice and I know she’s talking about the same guy she’s been infatuated with for years. Her first love. And for an hour of heaven, we talk about clothes and guys  we’ve dated and everything that’s changed and everything that seems the same.  While the future may not be rising yet, we do always seem to know what keeps coming around.

the golden day

Posted in adventure, interactions, life, relationships, values with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by staticity

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of edu—cation
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”

Tonight was probably the best night of my life. When I was in high school I used to look at a slide projector in my math class and wonder if it was as bored and stuck as us students. Even now I’m convinced that objects in life have feelings.
This one guy used to come into my remedial math class late every day. He would slouch against the door way and say ‘Don’ be so mad misses. Y’know what happened to me?” He’d laugh and lean way back in a chair to tell us all a story. “Well, I’ll tell you, but you gotta swear not to tell nobody. ALright, well I was just ‘borrowing’ my sisters car keys this morning when I saw something funny from the window. I looked out and I swear to God, Swear it! I saw two men in dresses and football helmets just looting my neighbors house! I Couldn’t have none of that… I spent all my morning in a grand fight with those queens. Damn i never knew such good looking boys could fight!”
The teachers gave up on him. They eventually just enjoyed listening to his stories and the rest of us had someone to make us smile. No more slide projector feelings for us in math. That guy quit quit high school halfway through the year and no one saw him again.

When I quit, I wrote out my memories of that math class and all the people in it. There was the guy who played with puppets in the back row. The guy who didn’t speak english but knew the words ‘flower power.’ There was the girl with the earrings we all fit our fists into.
I hung the piece of writing on my wall and called it my introduction to life outside the box. it was my certificate of high school education until tonight.

Tonight was a celebration. Tonight was mexican food, margaritas, family.

the water closet

Posted in adventure, interactions, life with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by staticity

The Water Closet.

2001

“Fuck him! Fuck him to death!” A girl covered in long, black, gauze, screamed through an empty hallway. Her wrists were bruised and her eyes were dark with mascara running to escape down her cheeks. She punched the door to her mom’s closet before looking up and realizing I was still standing with her in the empty house of her mothers.

“I’m sorry, let me just take a shower and I’ll feel better.” My friend of two weeks, appologized with a flat voice lingering through the hallway.
I watched her disappear into the bathroom with the antique bath tub that had claws built into the bottom of it and a shower nozzle connected to the back wall. Before enough time had passed, I heard her climb into the tub and turn the water on.
I knocked on the door to see if she was okay. No answer. I knocked again, a little louder this time.

“Come in.” She said in a voice that seemed to waver a little with the water.
I walked into the bathroom to find her crouched in the bathtub with all her clothes on and freezing cold water pouring down from the shower nozzle. Her hair hung in wet, messy, black, strands and her fists were clenched with rage and empty confusion. She looked up at me from her crouched position and started a slow, weak, smile across her face. She motioned her arms around the bath tub and looked up hopelessly to the shower nozzle.

“It’s the only thing that really works for an angry day.”

_

2004

In high school I was at a party with a girl I had known briefly through other house parties and lunch at school. I pulled out a couple pills of ecstasy and gave one to ‘Rose’ so she could enjoy the night that was turning more and more magical by the minute. The boys were dancing to techno music in the kitchen and soon we were in the middle of it all, clutching the fake, white, fur collars we had wrapped around to protect us from winter. It was too hot to care anymore.
Rose and I felt our way to the bathroom so we could slow down for a minute. I fished out a strobe light from the other room and plugged it into the darkness. All we could see were flashes of each others faces and bodies as we sat side by side on the blinking bath tub.
“We should take a shower.” I giggled. “A strobe shower.”
“Yes!”  She switched on the faucet until drops were like glitter, blinking from the strobe flashes every second.

We undressed, not caring about who knew we were in the bathroom or what we were going to say to each other at school the next morning. We danced to the music playing loudly in the kitchen and whipped our hair around to shake off the loose water glitter that fell around us.

Rose smiled, extending her arms to the faucet. “This is perfect.”

.

_

2007

In a dingy house with sewage problems and hijacked morals, I slowly turn on the shower faucet and survey the status of our bath tub. The tub is slowly disappearing through the floorboards and it’s only a matter of weeks before I fear it will slip through completely to the dining room.  I imagine myself naked and sprawled over the slightly moldy tub, trying to figure out why I was in the dining room with all the squatters who stayed downstairs for free.

I hop into the shower for approximately five minutes every day. I don’t want to touch the sides of the bath tub for fear of some sort of cakey dirt or bug rubbing against me. Two bottles of expensive shampoo with a perfumed scent sit slightly opened on the edge of the tub. They aren’t mine, I know they must be my roommates. She’s into hard drugs and lives in the same filth we do, but there is something always clean about her. Even if she won’t dare take a shower in the filthy bathroom, she always smells nice.

The bathroom door opens hurridly and slams with the same abrupt force. I peer out of the shower curtain to see my roommate eagerly pull out a dish of powder makeup and some eye liner from inside one of the cabinet drawers. With out hesitating to wonder why the shower was running in a supposedly empty bathroom, she brushed the powder on to her face quickly.  I stop the shower faucet and grab a towel that is hanging on a metal rack.

“Jesus!” My roommate screams and spins around. “Christ! I didn’t know you were in here. I’ll get out.” She grabs her makeup from the sink counter and heads for the door.
“No, it’s okay… we’re only in the bathroom…” I try calling after her, but she has already disappeared, leaving only a scent of clean air to linger with the dirt.
_

2008

A girl with brightly dyed hair sat almost completely hidden underwater in her bath tub. A window was built right in front of the shower which seemed odd considering she lived in the city. There was no escaping the window, no curtains, no place to hide, but no real care either. She sat with out bubbles and englufed with smoke that glided from her mentholated cigarettes.

She ashed off the side to nowhere particular. Her knees poked out from under the water as she asked me what I thought. Of what? Of her latest love affairs. Of going to college. Of what another girl had said to her just the other day. Of the hidden meanings and agendas of life outside the bathroom door.

I climbed into the tub with her, self conscious at first. Was my hair sticking to the side of my ears the way it does when it’s too wet to look good?  When was the last time I shaved my legs? Did I bring my cigarettes up too?

“I just want to stay in the tub forever. Sometimes I really think I could….” Her eyes glazed over the window view of a city block with abandoned buildings and children riding bikes.  “I’d just have someone else buy me some cigarettes from the store, I could be all set.”
“Let’s do it.” I said. “We could eat sandwiches in the tub.”
She smiled, making room for my legs to stretch out toward the window. “Perhaps we should.”

Lady Like

Posted in interactions, life, relationships, values with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by staticity

Things I’ve learned from the women in my family:

-White wine is for chicken, fish, and sometimes pork

-Cocktail hour is at six, sometimes five.

-Boston has cocktail hour all day long

-Bloody mary is for Sunday morning

-Ladies DO NOT smoke on the street

-Pick up a tea pot with your right hand and the tea cup with your left… always at the same time

-walk slowly into a room

-always sip tea, never gulp. First sip is for grattitude. Second sip is for taste. Third sip is for friendship, always leave just a little in the cup.

-shoulders must be balanced with elbows for good posture

-always wear a hat to the horse races

-Corsets ruin the figure

-Never confuse yellow diamonds with topaz

-Never talk about yourself on the first date

– silps are sexy, garters are not

– Men should always come to the door on a date, never ever honk.

The County Fair

Posted in insanity, interactions, life with tags , , , , on August 1, 2008 by staticity

This year the fair offers contests to amuse city dwellers and country cousins alike, from hot dog-eating competitions to husband-calling contests—-The Daily Progress

I’m not sure what a Husband Calling Contest is exactly, but it sounds like Virginia’s county fair has come to town again. If carnie’s and large women in tube tops are your thing, than bring all the funnel cake you can find and come on down for more.  The county fair made front page headline for Charlottesville’s newspaper, The Daily Progress.

Farming and living ‘off the fat of the land’ may be more of a thing of the past, however it is not extinct in the rural hollows and counties surrounding Albemarle. Many people still farm and abide by the small town living style. Some of the highlights of the fair this year consist of:

A ferris wheel

An educational talk about bees and their special spot in the food chain

Petting farm animals

Funnel Cake (of course)

Country music and Blue grass

Carnival booths

and family fun!

Do you remember the county fair when you were a kid? I’d love to hear of some memories from it, I always had lots of fun with my sisters and friends. If there’s not a lot to do where you live, a fair can be somewhat magical when the sun sets and the tilt-a-whirl is glowing neon.

miss greene county fair

miss greene county fair

Ladytron

Posted in adventure, interactions, life, philly with tags , , , , on July 4, 2008 by staticity

I went to a Ladytron show the other night. “Don’t dress up.” I was told by the queen of Philadelphia outtings…. It was at the TLA so I figured, eh…south street… who knows.

We walked in with our jeans hanging off our ass and tight shirts only to find data rock jumping around on stage. The drinks were way over priced so we watched A bunch of high school kids in front of us   jumping along with the music. Data rock was okay but their show was kind of long so they had to keep reminding people of Ladytron by telling us they were playing. Everytime they mentioned Ladytron the crowd would get enthusiastic because we all thought it was datarock’s last song. denada.

Ladytron finally came on after a long set of d.j. songs and waiting in the dim light with a bunch of people dressed up in either goth clothes or short dresses. I started to feel out of place. The two girl singers in the group looked like they had taken the H train to get there. Their eyes were all dim and the expressions were lifeless. we figured heroin, who knows if anyone else thought so. They played a good set, but we couldn’t really hear their voices too well over the booming electronica that fuzzed out the speakers.

Dave and I cut out a couple songs early. Jess took her friend to the subway station so he could get home and my partner in crime was off finding water ice or something. We sat on the stoop waiting and watching as a crowd of sixteen year olds (most likely) stumbled out the doors ass drunk. They fell over each other and had to sit down on the curb to wait for a cab. Probably the most adventurous night they’ve ever had. who knows….

17th district

Posted in grunge, interactions, philly, values with tags , , , on June 25, 2008 by staticity

I live in District 17.  Here is a news report:

On 05-29-2008, at approximately 4:00 AM, a woman was walking in the 1500 S. 21st Street when she was approached from behind by an unknown B/M. The male grabbed the victim by the neck, punched her in the face and then forced her to the ground. At this point, the offender pulled a condom out of his pocket. The victim kicked the offender and she fled on foot. The male ran after the victim and began pulling her hair. The victim continued to fight and scream causing the offender to flee the location on foot.

Officers stopped the male at 21st and Tasker Streets based on the flash information. The victim was able to positively identify the offender as the male who had assaulted her. The offender was placed under arrest by officers from the

17th District.

There is a sense of pride as people talk about the 17th district. It’s not quite in West Philly, but close enough for me. A neighbor comes in sometimes to sit in the living room and chat with my roommate. He is constantly talking about some kind of violence and with a smile, he always tells us about the times he wins the fight. Rarely will he tell us about the times he got mugged or punched in the face.  I hear kids playing with toy guns on our block. The parents laugh and pretend to arrest them as they squeal with laughter.

Late at night the district rolls over. The kids are asleep or crying in their cribs and the parents aren’t so different from the alley cats. I find dark faces creeping along the alleyways, hidden in doorways, asleep in a corner. People watch guard of their corner as big drug deals come in. The men playing dice on the corner laugh loudly and whistle at the girls walking by.  We shut our doors and roll over.