Saturday, June 25, 2016

fishnets, snuggling, and intimacy

Fishnets, snuggling, and intimacy

We had the biggest fight.

I wish I could get out of going out tonight. I mean after last night.

I said from the beginning that I'm not interested in setting down any roots because I am still planning on moving to California, I haven't been writing about it much because of my hands and it's been hard to write at all because of the typing thing

I guess I have been ….miffed? --that I haven't heard from him since that night we saw that super hero movie.

When I first started seeing him he was OK about us not sharing every detail of our life with each other.

I guess I sense he's lying. Whenever I feel like this sense that—something is up – something shuts down in me. I guess it's self preservation. I never wanted to get into dating again, so I am not really, it's not something I am actively initiating. Isn't that always when everyone seems to want you? I think it was a week after that night.... the other fight, remember? Why are the most poigent lovers the ones who fight with you the most? I mean, does it even matter—what does it mean, or does it mean anything? maybe more actually.... because whey you don't care, you just let it go and you drop it, you don't have those knocked down dragged out fights that fill you with all this.... what do you even call that? The oppoiste of nothingness, of nonfeeling, meaningless.... wait, it was before that or....I forget, but I met someone really cool a couple of weeks ago. He came into where I work. It was just one of those things-- chance, really, I guess, because ….

so, Heath got really pissed when he saw a text come from this person on my phone. This is what made last night so obnoxious because I was just going to go work out at the gym and go straight home becaseu I prabably shouldn't even be doing that. It's just been over a week from surgery and I have been working and working out like I think I'm 21 or something. Heath sent me a text while I was at the gym and was like, 'hey, you want to meet me for a drink?' so, I thought, why not, Friday night, next week is going to be busy, have some fun.

He always looks amazing, especially when I haven't seen him in awhile.

So he tells me, since he's the best man at his friend's wedding, he's had to do all these annoying things. This is his excuse for why I haven't heard from him, and no, I didn't ask him for one, he offered this.

I wish I didn't get pulled in by stupid things, especially when it's only physical. He wore that purple shirt too with those jeans. I know he was trying because he even went up to the bar and came back with my favorite drink without me even asking. He also wore my favorite cologne of his.... Sauvage. Because since I said something, now this is the one he always wears when we're together.

I don't know who he has on his phone and I don't ask. If he's texting to someone, I usually get up and walk away and if he receives a text while he's with me, I won't even look at his reaction because that's passive aggressive social media manipulation; bullshit. We've talked about that so if he's starting this with me now, then that's a red flag.

Really, it was almost two weeks since I heard from him. He tells me it's only been a little over a week. He didn't even call me to see how my surgery went. It's like my husband all over again. Everyone I have ever been with actually. I realized this recently—the other day, texting KM, actually—that people I date are only ever into themselves. They only talk about their problems, their day, what they want, etc. and I expect it, actually, because that's what it's always been like. I've never been with a listener, or someone who will be intimate about me; pay attention; remember what was bothering me; ask me how I am; want to snuggle. They just want to have someone to sleep with, have someone listen to them, and be ready to do what they want when they want and I know this. I guess this is why I am maintaining the illusion that I am not involved with anyone because I don't really feel involved when it requires nothing deep or personal on my part.

I like the advantage of this too because it's safe, I can walk away and always have been able to, I never have actually shared anything that deep of myself because these lovers wouldn't detect it was there to share or have the capacity to be interested.

But I guess there is still the sleeping child in me laying dormant who wishes sometimes. More like longs for. I don't really wish for this. It's been reconciled and laid to rest within my psyche not to need this. It's when disaster strikes, you know? When I feel haunted. I guess it's my vulnerable moments when I come home after an appointment. Life stuff. Real life stuff. You know, when most of the people in your life disappear because society is set up to ignore that we are all going to die one day, so when a taste of reality imposes it's ugly self upon your life, people pretend to be superior to mortality.

The night I met Drew was that day when it wouldn't stop raining recently. I made it to work, miraculously. It was really slow at work because people melt in the rain. He came in looking for a graduation gift for his niece and it was weird because I mentioned how my daughter was graudating too he was shocked I had a kid old enough to graduate and I was thinking that about him about his niece. This guy looks like it hasn't been all that long since he graduated himself, but of course, it has because of what he does, which I don't feel like getting into right now.

So, anyway, later, it was actually very late, like eleven, because I was the last person leaving the gym and there were no cars in the parking lot and of course, guess what happens? Herbie melts in the rain too, we all know. I was stranded there. When it's like that it won't even work with a jump. I really need to pick up a tarp or something. But then this guy is standing outside my window getting soaked and I was actually terrified of him, like, alarmed, until I recognized him. There is something distinctive about him, it's not just the imposing height but it's the set of his shoulders and build. He also has an unsual ring he wears that I saw. So I opened the door.

I only started to talk to him because I can sense things about people and the day he had come in, he had been there about an hour with me helping him. It could have even been longer than that, I don't remember. This is the kind of guy that never seems to be phased by anything; just really smart and goodlooking but nice; you can tell he comes from a good family and the type I was always too shy to have the chance to get to know. It was pure chance that I knew what he should get for his niece because she sounded so much like my daughter, so instead of walking away and leaving me to fix everything for him with the gift box, etc. he was helping me, even though he was clueless about what I was doing, but he saw I was having trouble with my hands, so he was holding things to help me do everything. I guess that really touched me. It wasn't just the choir-boy eyes and eyelashes and the inky dark brows.

So, I told him I'd be OK once the engine dried, then it would start again. I was going to call Uber. He said,
“but I can't leave you alone in a dark parking lot.”
I said I would be fine and it would be just as foolish of me to trust a total stranger! But that is what made him start flirting with me, because he said something like,
“you can't call someone a total stranger who has been rescued by someone from family shame.”

Refering to his niece's graduation gift because that day he said he was in danger of the perils of family shame if he didn't find the right graduation gift for his niece. It made me laugh. So I told him he needed to be rescued from the monsoon because he was in danger of drowning; clothes were soaked through. He walked around and folded himself into the passenger seat of my car and my car never looked so small inside.

He wound up convincing me to get a coffee with him. He drives a really big SUV that's dark blue and shiny, I am bad at remembering car makes but it looks new and smells like it is. But he doesn't really live around here, it turns out. He's from Clawson and so is his family but he lives in Chicago usually and only comes here a few times a year to check on his parents' house because they don't live here anymore either except around certain times of the year. They live in Arizona, I think he said. Some place like that. Maybe Florida? Some area people retire to, he told me the name but I forget. They come back for Christmas and sometimes late spring or summer, so he's the one who has to maintain the property and take care of having things repaired.

He's funny. Completely different from me; extremely outgoing, for instance, and he has like a loud but gentle voice and he has a lot of physical energy.... you know, I can't say that I have anything in common with him, though but I like listening to him talk about things. His life is so different than mine and when he's talking, I don't have to. Which is usually the case with me with most people anyway. I get to ask the questions because I am curious and this makes him want to keep talking. And forget to ask me about me. He knows where I grew up, where I went to school, that I haven't seen my husband in a year and we're no longer together, where I work and that I'm trying to recover from being disabled.

If I wanted to be honest with myself, I would say that it is only a physical attraction. Like it is with Bryan. But with Bryan, he is more my physical type and more my type; creative, likes pretty things, is into the same kinky things as me. I get the feeling that Drew is more the classic all American diet kind of guy. Bryan wants to open a pottery shop and Drew is considering setting up a web business in the field he works in. which one fits my lifestyle? Which one would be ready to pack up a car and blaze out to the west in search of dharma, smoke weed with me and lay naked on a shore after dark when it's prohibited?

Neither. None. Because it would be all about them, they wouldn't see me. I am invisible. Like all my lovers have been to me, they don't bother to know me or read anything I write or want to encourage me and feel amazed by me. Worshipped? Men don't do that. Women do. I have been worshipped by women, though, and that is weird. Would I want a man to? Maybe a little.

Anyway, Bryan wound up getting plastered because he decided to be weird about this text I got. Totally innocent text too. It only said, “avoiding puddles?” Why is this problematic to Bryan? I know exactly why, it's because this is another Player tactic. Too much like my Tinder experiences; the Player capital. It's got to be a cover up. I don't think he's really jealous, I think he is pissed about something else. Someone. I am just his choice to subjecgate it to. Do I care if it's a boy or a girl? Not really. Would I still want to fuck him?

Do I?

This morning he appoligized. So he's taking me to play miniature gold with his friends later.... can't wait. Then some restuarant, a club or something out by Rochester Hills.

He says, “look hot.”

Maybe I should just not shower and be dripping with sweat.

He says,
“wear those shoes I bought you.”

Red houchis. The kind that only look good with fishnet stockings and a leather skirt.

Do I have to go? Maybe if I convince him to wear my outfit instead.

Cartoon end:

 >.<      ^^

Fuji Juji: fluffy says that we miss u so much. 

Goki: meow ^^

Fuji Juji: fluffy doesn't understand why u went away:( 
>.<  ^^

^^: meow

>.<: fluffy says meow & O!where r u Otokonoko? please play with us again

_ _   .....................zzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

my Marquis deSide; Scroll to Chapter twelfth ofJune

 Ascending from Hell; intro 


Chapter: Eighth of June '16

What do you do with pain? I've stored mine away. And when they come back and haunt me, which they always do, sweeping down from the attic, I am dragged down to hell. 

You know, it seems only right to put that in some place where it does not overcast your skies. 

I suppose it was foolish of me. You can't run away forever. Because they really do fall out of the attic, onto your head. Sometimes literally. I can only rage in this very fine and narrow chamber. I want to explode. I want to rage. The only place I can is inside. So I guess the implosion is something like a black hole, I don't know.... For me, I turn to art. You put the pain there, and then it comes out to be a thing of beauty because something beautiful come out of the agony. Beautiful to the self. It represents exactly what is being suffered as its energy leaves you to go to some other place. This time the page. Other times, the canvas. 

My first serious abstract piece now. Never tried it before. As I should. I always get lost inside patterns. Seeing scenes and faces. Amazed at what is sold so high for two shapes in two different colors, I want to try. It will be freeing. This is what I think, you know. But, for me, I have to complicate things. My first attempt is a spiraling, wormhole. It's too late to change it because the first layer dried with a lot of texture. I have no choice but to trust it; I'm committed to it. The point of the exercise, I guess. 

So what does this stand for? Leaping....leap of faith? Leaping to my death? Avoiding these things hitting me on the head. It could be that, I keep bumping my head a lot. 

I know that the recent revelations of my repressed memories have caused some kind of deep, emotional upheaval in me. I guess, in its way, it is changing me. First it is the attic, yes? Then it is the closest--those old skeletons that you can't force back in anymore. But why? Why now? I keep asking myself this. Even as I know that never would be better timing for me.

I feel like I'm changing, and not by my conscious will. This is what is scaring me the most. Something is leaping out of me, some repressed instinct and its enraged now. It really freaks me out because I do things now.... asserted myself with perfect response and later.... I think I was such a fucking asshole. Was I right to stand up for myself? So uncomfortable with these questions.

What I'm avoiding today is writing about what's really bothering me. But it seems I've always found the perfect guy who will  end up hurting me the most each time. Because my husband who was Elvis (has left the building), bears his ugly head at me now, live from New York. 
I am getting flashbacks of my last New York divorce. I fall apart. I am the wicked witch all melted across the floor.

Now is as any time could be the best place to start. I always start at the end, read the last page first, don't you?

8th of June '16

Today I am dangerously distracted, I sort of scared the shit out of myself leaving work. I'm a walking disaster. I really hope 'Janine' didn't see that. I think she's worried about me.... and I'm trying so hard not to seem like I'm falling apart. But I am a mess; quite. My hands are so bad now I am always hurting myself. I can't hold anything anymore. I get what was to be my first surgery to save my hands a week from today. I have been so excited thinking that I will be able to paint again, draw, make stuff. So he really hurt me, you see, and he did it on purpose and I don't know why. He was so abusive to me in just his texting. So really cruel and, now I see, twisted. I have been away from him for more than a year. I am returning back to myself, but there is so kind of fucked up damage he left me with. Like this feeling that I can't relax, he's around the corner. 

I'm so confused about this. How did I not see what he was doing to me? But it was the begging he did after. I didn't have the heart to leave him. So many times. He would beg me and it killed me. But he refused to see what a monster he is. He always says how he is the most gentlest person. He is Dr. Jekkel and Mr. Hyde. I still get the worst chills remembering the crazed look in his eyes, the way his fingers pinched cruelly into my skin because he held me by my arms to keep me from running away. And I couldn't once I was caught. In his Hulk persona he has the strength of bull, I've seen him do some unbelievable things. Things that, you know, I knew were not cool. Only, you must see, he didn't start out this way. When we met, he wasn't like this. Hmmm.... well.... actually, that is totally not true. Case in point: the loading dock at Pearl Paint. The sizzor incident, oh, and the time dear Fred, this sweet older gentleman who was--was it the Ramones? manager? He was really very cool, but a pop, you know; he'd clank his dentures like it was pulling a smile. Pearl.... anyway, in those days everbody called us 'the Dawn and Chris Show." I have no idea why that became a thing there. I think the morning crew were like a sewing circle and I'm not just saying that, I witnessed it in plain sight. We had.... I need to come up with a name for her.... let's call her "Catty," like Hello Catty. I really wanted to be friends with her too, it's too bad. I really admired her work and I guess I was a bit in awe of her. Very pretty lady, older than me by like a parental level, really smart, smart ass too and when she wasn't at Pearl, she was a professor of art. She go teach classes after her shift at the store. But she just didn't like me for some reason. I don't know if it was just because she resented me having to remove some coveted items in the 'behind the glass' locked up paint. Amazing material. I always drooled handling such gorgeous material. But I don't blame her but I was just doing my job. She took her section very seriously. Well, it's the jewel in the crown at any art store. There it was called 'Art Paint' and it had everything. Mediums you never even heard of. I always promised myself that one day I was going to buy this jar of paint pigment; it was my second favorite color--redviolet. Needless to say I never did. It was a cool couple hundred. 

So, I have a feeling Catty is behind the germination of the term, "the Dawn and Chris show".

It's an odd thing about me; I am really just this super shy person who wants to blend into the background, stay under the radar kind of person. So it seems odd to me that, despite all my efforts, I end up being the one everbody is talking about. It's ironic, isn't it? I see people who love attention and look to get it which is kind of really hilarious to me. So.... this is what ended up happening to me there. There is something pretty cool to me to have had the opportunity to have worked there. I'm an artist, even if I never show anything I do, I've always been. I come from a few generations of artists. My grandfather was incredible and he once told me he could have worked for Walt Disney. It broke my heart because his mother, a Russian immigrant, told him there was no money in art. That he needed to get a practical job.... So, I learned how to draw before I learned how to talk. Maybe that's why I think in pictures. I digress. I do that a lot, I'm afraid. But you do that in journals.....

So, it was mandatory in my mother's rule that I always had a sketch book and I always had to be working on something. She was also an artist, the house always smelled like linseed oil; I love that smell. She was really my main art teacher, the ones at school I never learned as much from, but she went to Prat.... so, as a family, we traveled all through Europe to see all the great masters work. We hit every museum. I wasn't one of those kids who complained about this--except my feet got tired-- I devoured all these impressions. I remember all of it and it started at age five; that was the year I literally skipped over to the Mona Lisa crying out "it's Leonardo Davincci's work!" What a geek, I know. And then all these other tourists were laughing and clapping because I knew this. But this was not what I intended, I was just excited. 

Oh, yeah--that's what I was writing about....

So, I don't know why they were so interested in talking about me. I was hired there to do overnight inventory and transfers, so I would come into work at seven PM and work until three AM. Which is why rrr.... 'Jerome' called me PM Dawn. 

To Catty, what I was doing was stealing from everyone's beloved sections. The transfers went to other Pearls; the the on Canal Street got most of it. Long story, but not mine to tell.

What this sewing circle didn't know was that both my parents had just passed away right after a divorce and custody, which I lost. Ironically, I needed the overnight job so that I was free to be my exhusband's babysitter --for our child. This had to have been my all time lowest point in my life. I'd leave work at three, taking Hempstead turnpike to Cedarhurst where we lived on the railroad tracks! Ok, maybe a foot or two from it. But the entire apartment building shook each time the trains passed, like in that Woody Allen movie. 

The best part was that I got to have the most amazing years with my daughter because I got to stay in the apartment-- it was more convenient but very awkward. My bedroom was the living room. New York is not really affordable to a ruined mom having to start at the bottom of the career path I had put on hold to be a mom. So, that's why I was there. Yes, my lowest point. But I got up again.

Usually, I was going on no sleep... 3:30 home, wake up three hours later, get daughter ready for school, the first years, drive her to school, then wait for the bus. It was actually a good thing that this older gent who drove her school bus had a thing for me because he had to wake me up by calling the home phone because the bus was outside with my daughter on it. That only happened once. Again, my neighbors talked about me. People need to get a hobby.

This is where I met my husband. By the time he had joined the staff, everybody had already adopted me there, because I  worked there for a few years doing that shift. It was like I was somehow endeared to them, even though they liked to talk about me. Yet.... you know, families put up with all your shit, right? Or supposed to (no! Not mine). OK, I may have given them some cause to talk. But.... it was not my fault. None of it was. Obviously, I have a lot of history with Pearl. And my entire point really was that, Pearl was one of those monumental places you thought would be cool to work at, if you're an artist, I mean. Even when I went to Bard, which was way up from there, all the art students ever talked about was how great that store was. It was famous by name to me before I even saw one. My mom always talked about the one on Canal Street from one of her many past lives.

By the time Chris was working there I was already making all the guys in the warehouse run around for me, actually, the sales floor guys too. I don't know exactly why. They were all these young guys fresh out of art school and I would see them in passing, they were leaving as I was coming in. What is it about artists and beauty? Each guy was more beautiful than the next but they all needed models and they would keep asking me if I would. I got around it with the mom excuse, because I don't really like taking my clothes off just to be stared at; that's uncomfortable for me. These were the guys who taught me the word Milf. Because I thought it was some insult to have attached to me, they seemed to think it was cool to be sexist, but names, as you know, don't have any meaning for me.

I wouldn't say I was notorious. That would be awful. I think I went a little crazy, I think this is actually one of the many ways I lose it. If I find myself under more pressure than is comfortable and still more is added to breaking, I sort of snap. Only not the way most people snap. With me, it's always delayed reaction. I guess now we know my real neurosis is repression, go figure, it never occurred to me..... 

I wasn't sleeping. That is really when my insomnia set in because my average sleep was 3 hours. On a good sleep; usually more like four half hours, half sleep.

This naughty "reputation" was actually founded. It turns out I can be pretty wild if I set my mind to it, and I do it with all the works; full on wild girl. Because, actually, I was really severely depressed and I was trying to run away from hell that was chasing after me. Going without sleep is almost like a drug, it's like always being high, and I had to keep going. There really was nothing I had to look forward to, I knew once I left my ex-husband's position as babysitter I wouldn't get to live with my daughter anymore. This really was at the center of my pain, I guess I needed to rage or go crazy. I went for crazy. 

It didn't help that for, what? three years? four? I kept vampire hours. My entire society were there two other people I worked with for eight hours, locked inside this huge airplane hanger sized place with two twenty-one year old guys.

We got to be pretty close. But those were some of the most hilarious nights of my life! That is a story right there.... those crazy nights. 

9th of June

(My daughter graduates from high school today!)

"The Breakfast Club is born"

When I say that was the lowest point of my life, I guess it's appropo to illustrate further; my bedroom was actually the living room but I should mention, there was no furniture. For weeks my bed was a hard wood floor. With pillows. And the trains going by every fifteen minutes. Can you see it? Like a Scorcese scene with the shadows on the wall; I watch the light patterns move across the wall.

So, that's how it was. But that was a cool living room. It was in the shape of a triangle because our apartment was one of the ones who were the building's corner. We were the turning point. The whole wall was all windows. They lined up with the railroad tracks. You can hear it, right? Chacacaca as the vibration becomes louder, eventually turning into screeching train, electrocution of the ear drums horn. Those fuckers did that every night and I'm sure still do. But that's part of the charm, that's why they charge you so much. You also get the cement dust up your sinuses and all over everything. Thrown in for free. It's so weird; I lived on Washington Avenue there and when we first moved here (Michigan) we lived on Washington avenue. One more odd coincidence in my life that is often disturbing. Both times heartbreak.

I knew Chris through Frankie. They were best friends. Are. Cheech and Chong. 

Yes, there is a story here and frighteningly true, truth really is stranger than fiction, you know? 

We were known as the 'Night Crew'--- don't laugh! But that's what we were. First it was me and Frank's squared; like in the math way. Two Frank's equals squared. So I was stuck in a building for eight straight hours every night from 7PM until 3:00AM. We used to make jokes that we were like an experiment they were conducting; a suburban biosphere and they did even have cameras on us. But Frank 1 knew where they all were and adjusted them accordingly each night. Remembering to put them back before we left. 

The first time I met Frankie was at my interview there. Within this building which was vastly just this huge building without any dividers what so ever. It was bigger than the inside horseback riding track where I used to ride. It was exhausting to have to walk all around that place a million times a day. Which is what we did every night. I knew every crack in every part of that place. I knew where all the hidden erasers were. And Catty's secret drawer where she kept the hundred dollar Filberts. I liked to rearrange her drawer just to fuck with her. She always gave me this sneer, like she knew. 

At my interview was 'Toni'-- I had thought that Toni was going to interview me but it turned out to be this little twerpy guy he called in. Toni--that's not really his name--was what they used to call 'Macho-gay' and on reflection now I think he reminded me of Mr. Page. Weird pattern for me to find myself idolizing this specific personality type. It's like I was brought up by the parents in the Birdcage. 

Toni sat there all egotistical in that way that Leo's have. His hair was always perfect, black and later day Freddie Mercury style (oh dear). He even had that mustache but he pulled it off with easy charm; he was charismatic. I adore him. Physically fit and good looking in that New York Italian way, including the accent. But then, everyone there has the accent. When I first got to New York for the first time I thought they were putting it on. I couldn't believe people really sounded like that in real life. Even though my parents were from there and never lost theirs. I never got the accent only  my sister did, but I left a lot and came and went. Twice to Michigan.

Toni looked at me with like the evil eye that day. I thought I was going to hate him because he was exuding that bitchie-queen attitude that revolts me. I think he thought he was going to hate me too. I remember him sitting there in the office, there was a squared off part of the place that was the inside office. They had their own staff and worked regular business hours, like the warehouse people. They were tight knit and years of the same people who had always worked together. Twenty years, one since high school and had grown kids when I met him.

We sat in part of that office for that interview what I later learned was 'Josh's' desk--who was married to 'Jane' (who still to this day still hates me). Josh was a an amazing artist.... but just as amazingly weird. Someone said he had dropped a lot of acid in his youth and now only drank Absinthe which he got on the black market, or something. Frankie liked to embellish his stories.

Toni was chewing on a toothpick with his chair tilted back and both his feet pressed up against the desk side shooting questions at me. I love interviews, it's like an oxymoron about me. For me, it's like an opportunity to study human characteristics. It's good for reference I could use later in a story, like now. Toni fascinated me, I was strangely attracted to him but not necessarily sexually, more like a father figure. I know that doesn't make sense, but I did point out that he reminded me of Mr. Page and--hence illustrates the mold of a pattern. He also reminded me strongly of my mother--the Good Witch, not the Sunwitch, her alter ego. Don't forget, she was a Leo.

My first impression of Frankie was....I want to laugh! he looked like he was straight off the boat from Sicily. You can tell his genes came direct from Italian soil, not yet homogenized with American Italians. So he has that kind of face, smooth symmetry of bone stucture, olive complexion, brown hair like sable and even his eyes are olive color. I think he reminded me of what I imagined Shakespeare's Romeo to look like, some silly subconscious imaginings. He was adorable and beautiful with hardly enough facial hair for that mustache he was trying to grow that was becomingly pencil thin. Like those images of old Itlalian tailors with the measuring tape draped over each shoulder, dressed in a three piece suit and crisp white shirt underneath. Only today he wore green khaki and a burnt orange t-shirt and a flannel that were all these colors. He was a little guy too, maybe a few inches taller than me and super skinny. 

He looked so awkward sitting there trying to interview me. He was twenty-one-- ok, almost. He was an artist and a very serious one, it was his heart and soul, it's all he ever wanted to do. He'd gone to Pratt and just back recently from an apprenticeship with some big artist in Colorado; so, he was very cocky.

I got the job. Obviously. And later, when he knew me better he told me he was terrified of me at the interview, which made me laugh in his face. He was so stupid and twisted but a fucking genius at his work.

So I worked with two guys named Frank. Alone in a mini-airport sized place. We used the loud speaker all night to communicate, but if you were upstairs in the attic you couldn't hear it. Or that little dungeon by the styrofoam balls and the mini architecture trees. The dungeon. I won't go there--another time--but only if I am willing to confess my sins.

So if I called out,
"Hey Frank!"

They wouldn't know which one I meant. But if one of them did, they'd know it was the other one. So, I had to make the distinction clear because Frank one and two is still confusing if you don't hear the number clear. Conveniently, Patch's last name was Patch. So that's what I called the other guy who wasn't Frankie.

Patch..... the other 21 year old. He was the opposite of Frankie. Actually, they were like oil and water. There had been some kind of shit that went down between them, they never really explained it all to me but I know both characters well and can fill in the blanks. I mean, eight hours straight with these two. Both liked to play pranks..... and both were brilliant at them. 

Patch was really big, and proudly Polish with the street smart New York attitude. There was some shady gang stuff fringing about Patch as well as other staff employees and the general locals. There's Hempstead, and then Hofstra and the blending/clash of both that was quietly prevalent but background to the atmosphere's climate, so to speak. Because there was also those wannabe artists who just posers who were there to pretend to be only fooling their own misguided self. They were first customers who came in clueless with their art professor's required materials all listed on their sheets of paper. They'd say, "where are your tortellinis?" Before giving up their sheets to a staff member; next victim of whinning. Back to school was a nightmare, sad to watch all my fantasy paint brushes that I could only dream about in the hands of someone who was going to just leave it soaking for weeks in a jar molding to its ruination as their nasel question posed is,
"Do these come in pink?"

Like the Raphael brushes.

I think that was really my favorite section there.

Our first night of 'the Night Crew' I remember clearly, and it forshadowed perfectly what the next segment of my life would be like every day. First: I learned about the animosity between these two guys. First from one Feank than the other. Both found the opportunity to pull me aside and explain their side of the story. 

That first night Frankie spent in the office on his phone with his girlfriend pretending to be going over the inventory reports. He was our boss! What a funny joke, I knew this job would be a piece of cake. Patch and I sneaked up on Frankie to listen to his phone call. His phone calls were always pure entertainment to eavesdrop on, not that he really cared if you heard because he was usually shouting everything he was saying. Wow, drama? He was the queen.

After awhile, we got bored and actually went back to work. The first night was to do counts of those minuscule architecture trees and all that shit like: long white strips that I never found out what they were for but each one had a twelve digit number and you had to find out how many of each. Accurately. There were little trees too. You had to find the right scale though. Sometimes you would think you found the right one but then you found out they came in four different scales. So, it got tedious. 7,8,9,10,11 o'clock..... The windows lined the entire store. When is look out into Hempstead Turnpike I could only see black because all the light were on in the store. It felt like being in a fish bowl if you went near the windows. It wasn't a safe neighborhood. One time someone did break through the glass front door while we were there. 

The night we did our first count, it was just Patch and I. It took an hour to do one tiny row.

Patch and I started to go a bit nuts. It was so ridiculous. I remember it was some time around midnight, we were at that point of slap happy and I sunk onto the cold terrazzo floor with this heavy scanner and piles of trees everywhere in my lap. Patch started to talk. He was so funny, he sounded like Rocky to me. He says,
"Do you know what that little shit did?" And he does that thing, it's like what that Jay guy does with Silent Bob, that over the shoulder conspiring head and shoulder jerk. He is referring to the other Frank, of course. 

Patch says,
"Have you met 'Jack'?"

I have no idea who he means. 

"Ok, well, he's one of the warehouse guys--you know, big guy, he does all the packing and shipping by the loading dock, right?"

Vaguely, sure, whatever, so?

"This little shit orders 50 thousand of something and not 500....." Patch stops to laugh at Frankie thinking about it. Then he says, "you don't want to piss of Jack, ok?"

Sure. Yeah. Right. Like I even know what he's talking about.

It turns out that It too Jsck eight hours all day to haul in all these pallets. He wasn't pleased and it put his other work behind. When Frankie came in to work that day, Jack's bellow could be heard from the loading dock through the front of the store-- which is quite a jog.

"But that's not why I hate that little shit,"Patch says. He looks me dead in the eye, 
"Once you know him a little better you'll know the fucked up shit that little asshole does."

He was right. Frankie was/is a little shit asshole. But he charms you. You know? Until he keeps burning you.

But I was impartial, I was actually very fond of both of them. We shared that biosphere for a long time. They were just both different personalities. Both artists; totally different styles and sneering at the other for superiority. Artists are pretty fucked up individuals.

Apparently, this thing that went down between them had something to do with a girl. Of course. And all parties denied all accusations. I'd put my money on Patch's though.

But, it was the twerp I got involved with. Patch suspected and one night to test Frankie, Patch suddenly caught hold of me in the art paint area, right in front of Frankie and picked me up off the floor and open mouth kissed me just to see Frankie's reaction. And Frankie never was a good poker face, and that's all Patch had to do to figure out that something was up between the little shit and me. This added something of a triangular competition of possession between them and I was the prey. I remember noting to myself this observation that boys of this generation are extremely chauvinistic and wondered what this would manifest into. It's like getting sucked into some alternate reality. I had no idea.

The point of this telling of those Pearl years? This paints a backdrop, if you will, to illustrate the world that I found myself in. Like Alice. Because then maybe it is possible to explain why.

Why Chris? What delusion was I under.....

Chapter tenth of June '16

rebel without a.....

I began my position at Pearl just months after my parents died. My head was full of holes, like Swiss cheese. I didn't know who I was and I didn't know what I should be feeling....

You know, I feel like I've been in hiding for my whole life. This is what stunk about my childhood; you know, where I learned to stay under the radar; why I had to. The whole subject of this is very touchy to my family when they were alive. There was this secret about me, but nobody talked about it. I always got that uncomfortable sense when I entered the room. I felt unwelcome there so I kept a lot to myself. I was a kind of outsider from that life. Their life. It was a surreal reality. And one hard to keep track of or keep up with. My dad most likely wasn't my dad. But when you are told something all your life, it imbues itself in you. I knew we were not like other families. Other families did not separate one kid from the immediate family. My sister accepted this as the natural way of the world. So, hierarchy, maybe? Older sister gets it all? The pretty dresses, the parties, the praise, the extra piece of cake. I got what was left over. And leather belts.

Looking back on that now it really scares me how far removed our family was from real life. You know what else goes with art? Madness. We were four generations, I suspect more as Grandpa's mother was an expert seamstress, not just of artists but of lunatics. Only that really came from Grandma. You can see distinct family traits passed down, I look at Grandma's picture often and wonder what she makes of me. She and I were very close, but she also had the cruel streak, she could make me feel like shit in two seconds. But I see my face in hers. I see where the genealogy passes through each of us. Do we take a part of them with us too? I think that's evolution. Only I don't think it stops at temporal. It has been three or more decades since I lost her but I always carry her with me. I hear her giving me advice. She was the toughest person I've ever known, she was insurmountable. Everybody admired her, and not only did she have style, she was a wild one. Imagine New York in her time! They used to tell me stories. Radio city music hall, Coney Island.... Listening while thinking of Grandpa as a little boy, as he described. They were an interesting match. I look at Grandma and she actually gives me strength. Sometimes she was my best friend as she was to 85% of the family. The rest weren't talking to her. She was a roaring twenties flapper girl. She was the first girl in her family to cut her hair and she was the youngest sibling of twelve others. Their mother.... poor thing, quit the world a few years, soon after the birth of her last one, who was Grandma. Grandma's memory of her mother was of an incident about an orange. Her mother split it in two and gave the other sister the bigger piece. Grandma was three and to her that was a type of rejection but then I told her that maybe it was just because her sister was older and that's just how it was. She would let me win some arguments, but usually, no and so my grandfather would laugh at us bickering and he'd always say, 
"It's the Mexican stand off again."

Which really frustrated me more because he usually took my side of things. I loved my grandfather. He was so sweet, at least to me. He had a big soft spot for me as he had for Trish (the other family secret bastard, they must run in the family too). I guess he tried to fill the father role for her and I because both of us grew up with an Electra complex. 

So many times I wished I could tell them what was going on. Only, when I tried something weird would happen. They told me not to talk about it. Like they already knew. Grandpa's eyes got red and she shushed him and told him to go watch TV. Then she took me in the kitchen and gave me a cookie.

If you want to talk about 'notorious' then that would be my mother. Well all of us, I guess. I know to any outsider, all this would seem incredible. No, I have not begun.

Turns out my mother had a whole secret life. And not just one time. I guess this really was her M.O. It was shocking when we found out she had once been married to this guy who turned out to be a eunuch. Only I am starting to think that is one of her tall tales. Usually she provided very few details when it was actual. When she lied she added too many details. I would see her lie to somebody right in front of me. I remember finding this horrible and I even told her. But she didn't care and when I was a kid, she'd just laugh it off. She'd say something about white lies or that sometimes it's better to lie to someone to spare their feelings. This is when I stopped trusting her. I think I realized she was making me play along with a game that I'd always loose. Shut up and stand in the corner. Don't argue with me, you listen to what I say. I'd say, "so what if I don't agree?"

Then she'd make this sound, like actually a roar. Rage. She let hers out regularly like warnings of canon ball explosives. She was scary.

So I caught on that our family was like one of those fucked up ones you'd hear them watching on t.v. about. Maybe that's where they got their ideas. Only those people in the news were usually drug attics with eaten out skin. Our family was popular with friends and everyone saw this happy family. They were wealthy. I mean, how many antiques did my mother have? and then her diamond collection, her furs, her shoes, her handbags (another family trait in females is the handbag obsession. I have a theory it may have stemmed from previous ancestors who were possibly nomadic). 

But I don't care about that life. It was another lifetime and it belonged to someone who was not me. 

The shift for me was this one day when she said the strangest thing to me. I was asking her if I was going to go to college one day to become something and she patted the seat she sat in to sit beside her. But I didn't go. She said, "what if you always just stayed with me?"

She was serious. She was telling me that I really had no future. But if I stayed, remained her little lackey, she would keep me; like her pet. 

She saw a whole different world I never have. I don't understand the one she lived in. I couldn't stay there, I couldn't trust her. 

It must be this; this really is the exact moment that I had to grow up fast. I knew it because if I didn't, I wasn't going to get out. Alive. I was five.

My mom was a jet setter before she met him. Which is something like a groupie, or was to her. She went looking for the life that was just like the movies and she had charm, charisma and beauty. So she could make anyone believe that life is a movie. Very few people, once caught by her smile, could resist her charm. She could get us first class seats, extra bottle of wine, a secret sale on a $1000 desk; because she was smart, she really was--when she wanted to be. But she wanted to be catered to instead, she needed her lackeys and her audience and to have everything done for her. She ruled. Like Marie Antoinette. 

About a year ago someone came across some old pictures of my mother. In the picture s is a little baby girl who would be about fifteen years older than me. There were several, and my mother in those pictures looked about eighteen. She was pictured with a mysterious male person who was obviously with her and just wearing bottoms as they posed for the pictures together, looking very pre-hippie hippie love shack....but they were very obviously together and very cozy with the baby. On the back of these photos is my mother's hand writing documenting the event with the baby's name neatly written, as she always did with family photos.

So the mystery about me is not really so 'out there' to imagine. And by then.... well, she set her sights in politics and ran with another kind of crowd before she met who she married. She was drawn to fame. It is not hard to guess the rest. You see, she met this one guy that, well, she never got over and she was always telling me about him when my 'dad' wasn't around and I knew he had to be pretty important because she had twee of those campaign buttons with his face on it. Could you imagine the scandal had it got out? 

I know Grandpa knew it all. He was the one who always had to clean up the mess for everyone (identify Trish's dead body after she o.d.ed) and protect their reputation in the opinionated Forrest Hills neighborhood they lived in because .....he was a pushover about his girls and had a big heart. 

So, now everyone is gone. And also gone is any hope I'd ever get any answers about who I really am. The secrets went with them. My parents died six weeks apart, soon after 9/11, which I had a front row seat of from my Cedarhurst window because the apartment was down the road from JFK and next to the train station that is twenty minutes from the City. 

It was a fucked up time. But when I started at Pearl it was 2002, right? I know that it was right after my dad died, and the finalized divorce papers for me was September 1, 2001, so all this occurred back to back. I'm sure that's why I've been stuck in combat mode so long because.... Well, then I met Chris at Pearl not too long after that, maybe a year later? who I didn't realize at the time was bi-polar or that I was walking into a burning building.

Which brings us back to Pearl and where I was about Frankie......

The Interlude..... 

A lot of the time it was only Frankie and me at the store.

Yes, I know it is obvious and inevitable that I started having sex with him.... You know, it's different when you watch a wreck from how it is when you're in the wreck.... You have to experience it, I guess. As I wrote, I do repress. I admit it. That is how I get through life, how I got through it and maybe it made me crazy but maybe my life is just crazy and maybe it could be possible that maybe  it's not even my fault. 

I don't know anymore because now I see I never knew.

Only I'm sick of it. I'm over it. 

So back to my life at that point that has just lost everything.... how did I keep up the momentum? I didn't really. I was drifting, given up and letting the current take me and I didn't care where.

So, you know, I had no life line. Still don't but it seems now to no longer matter. Frankie was my best friend for awhile. All those years we worked together there. We got close because we were always alone there together. And even when Patch was there. And later Chris-- before I got involved with him. Because I'd never even met him yet. I hardly knew or knew of him, actually. Just that Frankie talked about him all the time and they had some kind of gay experience that Frankie was obsessed about. 

So weird, we were sitting one night in the office. I was in 'Dotty's' chair and we were snacking and going over transfers together, he was in front of the fax machine in a rolling grey office chair.

Suddenly he looks at me and he says,
"I just realized something! You kind of look like him!"

Which I don't at all, but his work is very Picasso inspired; maybe it obscures and smears vision. 

Then he says,
"Maybe it's just the hair. You both have the same color hair."

Back then my hair was almost blonde; over the years my auburn hair has progressively turned from a dark red gradually faded to copper and then turning rose gold which is what happens when you are born redheaded; it turns blond as you get older until it's towhead. But on me, personally, I hate it blonde; it makes me look too much like my mother because she was blonde and I look a lot like her. First thing in the morning I don't want to see my mother in my mirror staring back at me.

So when Frankie first knew me it was strawberry blonde.

Eventually I did something drastic (which all my life I'd never done; I never experimented with my hair up until my Pearl days) and made it the extreme opposite; I made it blue black which I kept for a couple of years (it completely changed my looks and I wanted to be someone else for awhile).

But anyway, he is vaguely saying something about colors, absorbed in dreamland about it as he tells me lately he's been painting in shades of tangerines and celadons and seems to consider this significant, lost in thought. He looks for depth in its meaning, seeing associations he never verbalized that maybe made sense in his pot head. 

I was confused about a lot of things about myself during that time; everything; especially lost about who I really was; searching for self and personal identity. Still am. 

I felt so cold and alone. And in the beginning he was so sweet. He did really nice things for me. He was one of those thoughtful types of boyfriends. He'd surprise me with coffee perfectly fixed as he knew I liked it, brought me food because it bothered him that I didn't eat and helped me with transfers when my work load was piling up. He could be so thoughtful and excessively generous when he chose to be. Really, he was so cute and really sensitive; he said the most adorable things too, sweet, like poetry, really beautiful in a way he never really shows anyone. So, we got close. He used to sound like my mother telling me how he thought I should do my makeup or that he thought I should go shopping and get myself new clothes more often. He used to actually believe my mother was using him to channel herself .... he is another Leo. He helped me mourn for her. Because he listened, and was demonstrative and affectionate and then he dragged me outside

.... like that time in the rain....

the parking lot was a river, so Frankie and I decided it would be fun to run through the parking lot jumping in puddles,

 so we did, 

    with the rain crashing down on us 

soaking us through; 

clothes, hair, everything dripping 

as we drenched each other with the waves we created and couldn't stop laughing.... it was so great, it was the best feeling free, turning your face up to a million pin dots falling at you from the sky and letting it do what umbrellas don't let happen, letting it hit you and feeling this force of the natural world, its water pouring from your arms and fingertips onto the cement ground with  chaotic mind blowing  crashing drowning out all other sound.... and with it, all thought.... totally high not just from the blunt. I think about that, splashing in a monsoon how that washes the dullness of a gritty world, and makes your hair into a waterfall 

        .....not caring about anything.....

wishing life was always like this 

But then reality. 

It enters his memory. 

What is it about people who say they don't want commitments --to be the first to act like they do and then they start to lie?

I was fine the way it was. I didn't want more, just honesty and to feel I could trust again. I think that is always my mistake.

I was not thinking beyond next month, I was so numb inside. He just made me happy and he kept me going and living in the present and in the moment; he made the ghosts go away and I loved being with him, he was ridiculous and exciting, he shoved me back into life and out of my parents tombs.... 

doing art projects with him every night, he taught me so much about mediums and influenced my work , inspired me to look at art a new way.... but maybe was too critical 

We watched films about Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat and spent hours talking about art as we doodled. He'd pull out a room sized sheet of paper and we'd dump paint from the pails straight onto it, working opposite sides with opposite colors until they over lapped.

I think our favorite thing to do was paint together. Silently but so connected to each other.

I mean it's trouble, when you think about it, Toni, what were you thinking? leaving us together alone in a building all night! Toni once said to me,
"Oh, I didn't trust that little weasel from the moment I met him, as far as I could throw him," and he would neatly flick his cigarette from the loading dock where everyone smoked and bullshitted, caught up with each other. Toni goes, looking at me, 

"I figured things would be OK as long as you were there."

And Frankie, who never smoked unless it had thc, would cackle when Toni said things like this (probably already high from before) and then loudly proclaim across the airplane length of the loading dock entrance so that everyone could hear,

"Ha, ha! She's worse than me, she's usually the one daring me to!"

I didn't confirm or deny. If a smile began, I'd look away to hide it. And by the silence, I knew Toni was staring at the back of my head. Toni and Frankie were always entertainment. There's Jane (fish face 55?) Josh (56?) Dotty (46?), Earnie (67?), Jack (51), Sully (23, completely deaf but the most loved one there because he was a big smartass and his hearing aids never worked so he'd shout at me, "what are you doing Dawn Marine!?!"-- I forget why he called me that. He called me Punky Brewster too and GI Jane and I was also Dawnie Guns by a few others because all these really big guys were impressed that I could haul heavy equipment and pack it to ship without any help, usually climbing up the equipment to tape up the cardboard around it with these idiots watching me) 'Bobbie' (she was about 55) April (53? one of the campers from Eisenhower park) , Lisa (56? another camper at Eisenhower, neighbor of April's at the park), Veronica (26) (who used a  vintage lunch box as a purse and liked China print clothing) and then Patch who would always quietly appear, sneak up behind me and scare the shit out if me because these three guys together we're all the biggest show offs, and the staff expected it. Oh, and there was Tim (33 going on 33 for the last six years)! he didn't smoke either but since that was where everyone was socializing, it was a good place to find someone who would listen to him if they didn't see him coming. And Robby (28 going on 21) who drove and fixed up a muscle car, "Paddles" (23) from the paper counter standing the tallest of everyone and the cutest guy there but also the quietest. Dan (60?) and Abner (72?) from custom framing and Fred (Pop. 71?) who would grunt disapprovingly, jingling the change in his pocket, sometimes smoking a cigar and mumbling about being on the clock before he'd walk away and set himself back in his spot in the cash office next to the safe.  

Toni liked me for several reasons. First, he called me a fag-hag endearingly which was actually a compliment because he didn't show his gay side in front of the rest of the staff who were still under the delusion that he was straight. That just shows how oblivious those morning people were and, actually, the entire staff. So I was privy to his stories. He didn't bother to stop talking if I showed up while he was flirting with the Franks squared as he related last night's date. He didn't even try to tame it down, I heard it all uncut. Another thing about artists is they all seem to be kinda gay. Because they all kinda are, in my experience, boys and girls. So Toni enjoyed all the eye candy of all these young boys same as I did and we often shared opinions. He's maybe about ten years older than me (he never revealed his age) but he's the kind of sexy-ageless type that will always be sexy and always look great. Well, that's because he wouldn't have it any other way being as vain as he is. 

Toni was really the one everyone liked to talk about. Because he was so flamboyant. Which is why it blows my mind that people couldn't tell he was gay. He and Frankie are very much alike actually, besides both being New York Italian and both Leo's. He had a thing for two people on our staff. One was Frankie and the other was Patch. So, the two people I worked with were his pets. He let them get away with murder. Didn't bother to hide it either. They amused him. And they loved amusing him. Toni also liked to tip their scales a lot; he knew about the grudge they had for each other and played on it (the whole staff knew. It was a huge staff but everyone knew everything about each other--or thought they did).  

Patch and Frankie would compete for his attention. It was normal for me to come into work and have to wait around to get my transfer lists because Jane hated me. I had to wait until she was done in the office to start my work because the computer and printer I needed was, I guess, too close to her desk. I confused her work space, apparently. She was nasty about it with this nasty fish like mean face, so I avoided her like somebody's used baby diaper. I'd see her and go the other way even if I had to go all the way around the store to get where I needed to go. 

Sometimes Frankie gave me something to do to kill some time. I'd take some of his count sheets and set myself up in pens or beads, count for about an hour till the place closed and everyone else left but the night crew--and sometimes/often Toni too. He liked hanging out with us when we were working. He didn't care that we were on the clock and decided to sit down and bull shit awhile with him. For hours too! 

I think he secretly envied me for my work shifts. I got to look at these boys all night even as they really were the biggest chauvinists. My first night there I just wore jeans and no makeup. But this was the only other thing the Franfs square d agreed on, they said,
"No offense but.... since you're the chick, can you maybe jazz up your outfits when you work?" (Patch).

"Yeah! Put on some lipstick, don't you have some red lipstick at home?" (Frankie).

I didn't do it because they asked but I did feel this gave me permission. I should have expected that it would get around the place the things I did end up wearing. I felt so lucky to be able to strip off my bra and go around in a small tshirt all night because that place was like a sauna with the loading dock gate down. Seriously though, if Jane only knew what occupied her seat at night, she'd have had palpitations.

Another side of Toni came out when it was just us four. He had the potential to be every bit as naughty as the three of us were. The time Frankie was freaking out because he thought he heard someone was on the roof and called Toni from his cell phone while hiding in a closet somewhere. I was there but I had no idea what was going on, Frankie was always freaking out about something. So Toni shows up around 2AM with a rifle and it's loaded. He arrives like the Mod Squad. Was Patch there that night? I think he was actually. Because I think it had actually been him on the roof, doing this on purpose because Patch never quit. He was with us the night we were up on the roof drinking --was it called zinos?? what was that horrible stuff? and the police showed up. We were hiding behind those tubular vents up there. It's really cool up there, you could have a really big party or a concert. But anyway, they eventually left, I mean the cops, but it was the other time they showed up and Frankie and I we were on the loading dock outside smoking.... something....and that time I thought we were cooked because we were definitely baked. The night crew had a reputation, but well deserved. 

I started working at Pearl on April fools. Actually, it was March thirty-first as the shift began on March 31 at 7PM but then ended April 1 at 3 AM. Thus began Night Crew 101-- portending the future of my life there. 

The Franks had already been working there a couple of years when I first started. They were veterans already and me-- I had no idea what I'd gotten my myself into with them. Because the one thing they both did ever agree on was when the idea occurred to one of them to do a prank on someone on the staff, they became a couple of conspiring detonators. I never got involved but I was always impressed with how creative they both really were. That night they went around to every desk in the office and the warehouse and.... fucked things up. 

It was Earnie who got it the worst, he was the retired New York City cop.

Frankie soaked his seat with water, even the hemorrhoid donut pillow before we left and to make sure it would still be wet five hours later, he lined the bottom somehow with plastic or plaster or both.

This became a yearly tradition. I think that could have spawned our bad reputation.  

But Toni never did anything about it when everyone would complain about us. He would say,

"how would you like to take their shift next week? You want to come in every night and do inventory counts all night? Be my guest. No? Didn't think so, so shut up. They get the work done and I don't care what goes on here as long as they don't burn the building down."

Toni could say things like that with no repercussions because even if Toni might piss you off sometimes, everybody liked him. He could be tough and an asshole if required but, the years he was the manager at Pearl were the best years at that place to all of us who worked there because it was always crazy and fun; a nut house. 

So one night when it was just Frankie and I (Patch didn't ever work Friday's, he was finishing up his degree at FIT). Pearl had tried branching out into selling things besides art supplies, carrying trendy home decor objects like resin sculptures or clay vases, some mass produced run off Neo Classical attempts at a Napoleon bust or an unfinished statue, glow in the dark mugs, whatever but things that just don't go in an art store. Maybe the buyers were bored and wanted to play outside. But needless to say it was a bad idea because they always lost money and I wound up transferring it all to Canal Street so-- just a bad idea, so there were these scooters Pearl decided to sell. They sat there for a year and I think someone returned one and it came back broken. But they tried to sell it at 25,30,50,75% off and nobody bought them, they were there forever until I eventually transferred them to Canal street. 

So, imp faced but brilliant Frankie says with a shit eating grin,
"Do you wanna race?" And then he cackles like Peter Pan and skips off to get them. 

When he comes back he says,
"Wait a minute, wait a minute.... I think it's time for--"and takes out the blunt, "there's something we gotta do first, come here, come here," he says.

It was a good idea for me. He was totally right. He always gave me great advice. It was so much fun. We went around and around listening to music over the loud speaker blasting away. He liked to put that song Mary Moon on because he used to call me that singing the song to me. Around and around and he made a kind of routine with each turn telling me to follow his direction, it didn't matter because I was behind him.

Yeah, we were bad, it was fun.

So, life at Pearl took on its own routine, there were a lot of people working there and everyone was comfortable being weird in front of each other, nobody noticed because they were too worried about themself. So, this boy was always getting chicks stuffing their phone numbers in his jeans, I wanted to call it off right away anyway but.... he got intense, and it overwhelmed the situation. Only he is another who dispenses cruelty like tic tacks. I said he was an asshole. Is. He has a thief's code of morals and a cold blooded heart to match, peeling off girlfriends like slithering out of his own skin. He has cheated on every girlfriend he ever has had. He needs to. That is his will to be. He's a demon. You think he means it this time? Everyone falls for it the first dozen times. Even Toni said that. He knew what was happening because that's the way Frank is, he makes everyone hear his business like its world breaking news. So if he's sad we all have to listen to him whine and poor thing, the unfairness of things because his girlfriend is just not putting out enough to satisfy his rabbit-metabolism sexdrive. To be honest , I wanted a break because I've always kept my pace longer and with more necessity, hmmm..... So to speak. But sometimes I want to do something else, you know? Write a poem, read a Brontë novel; things he wouldn't understand and I guess it's weird to think that I don't need that much dependency in a relationship

        no, that..... isn't really completely true....but.... 

 I only discovered this recently......

         but i don't always crave society. I try to escape it and part of the reason for that is I'm just bored by it....
       a cynic is just a disappointed romantic and this is the cynic's simple riddle:

If I can fly all the time, I will come always back, and will always be true but only if you trust me too

I will not hurt you unless you give me reason to,
next to your side I will 
forever stand faithful by 

and I will never say goodbye.... unless you lie
The year Chris started there Frankie and I were wearing thin. I had witnessed him through half a dozen breakups (girls and boys--and I'm the only one who really knows all this. We didn't just fuck each other in every possible place at Pearl and on whose ever desk we were in the mood for and more than once a night there, then again later. But we were also 'girlfriends', we were close in a way guys usually aren't capable of and there's no way to fake that. We had a duel strange unconditional --nearing on obsession-- closeness. I recognized how the how warped our relationship was and wanted to walk away so many times, only he made that so hard for me ....he and I had so many secret break ups and reunions but he broke the rules every time and I had to figure out how to defuse this dangerous sexual addiction we had for each other because it's impossible to resist something that you're powerless to. And the torment he put me through, the jealous games he played, the insanity that took over me was misery. He was cruel. He'd kiss someone right in front of me. Then come over and.... never mind that I had a whole other life to worry about when I went home. 

You look and reflect then hopefully make your peace with it and then you fold it up and put it away, maybe for good, unless.....

you need to find another key to some lost discarded self 
that contains the premise for which the codes were based on 
with hints drawn from why they ever came to be, only to be then left behind 
on the floor of an ivory tower; long abandoned, masks.....    

Chapter twelfth of June '16 Sunday girl 

My Marquis de Side

It's very easy to allow other people's opinions of you to influence how you see yourself. I never gave myself credit for credibility. I always thought that maybe I HAD dreamt all this shit up, doubting my own reality from the brain washing cover ups.

If I had been born into an average normal family, rich or poor, my losing custody never would have happened. Because most families help each other, and people don't know and have no idea what my family life was like. People assume the worst about me. You see, I just couldn't afford a lawyer by myself, and I got toasted by my first husband's well paid shark. His family threw their money into a hat. You know, by legal 'rights' they have to assign you one. Oh I got one-- I wound up with the shark's buddy, they were in it together. I never had a chance. New York laws are subjective, I mean, more so than most states pretend to be. But, I'm kind of phobic about New York now.

So I think a lot of people got the wrong impression of me. A mother loses custody to unfit moms, so automatically that idea was put in everyone's mind. I guess I felt "well, I've got nothing left to lose anymore. If they are going to assume the worst about me then I might as well have fun with it." I guess it was self destructive behavior but who cares? There was no one around to stop me. It really gives you an enormous sense of power to be in your thirties and no family member around to know what shit you were getting yourself into. No ridicule. I could do whatever I wanted. Even as I always could have because nobody really cared as long as it didn't reflect on them. I mean after my grandfather died. Because that's when I encountered the reality of a bastard's inheritance. Not that I even knew yet that that was what I was. I can be extremely obtuse if you shove it in my face. If it leaves an impression at all it appears in the subconscious like a moment of clarity. Like the day I figured out that the guy on those campaign buttons in my mother's jewelry box was probably my real dad. That was like an explosion in my brain, I did a 180 around the railroad track and went to the library to find books about him. I stared at pictures until they closed finally seeing my face in someone.

I have a very confused sexual orientation. That is to say.... this is the purpose of Electra. It's an archetype in my world. In Electra world. I think as I find myself scratching my head trying to unknot my double negatives, this is where to interject. This is one of the essential themes of the dictionary. Because I picked it intentionally a very long time ago. But it is hard to discuss. I'm aware that as a piece it is necessary to confront the center from which all this story ever had to take place at all. In my head.

Where do I even start....? I don't remember how far back Electra goes-- even after I called this archetype that. It had to have been a combination of things. One was when Grandma and Trish died. Another example of things happening back to back to back. Grandma passed away and it rocked the entire family from Florida to New York and then Trish o.d.-ed only a couple months later. She was a lot older than me. About seventeen years. Maybe eighteen. I used to wish she was my real mom. Almost fooled myself into believing it too. When I say that I idolized her, I mean, after she died I built a shrine for her in my room. I only had the privilege of getting to know her the last couple years of her life. But I always idolized her from afar. She was the equivalent of a rock star to me. She was the one in the family that everyone always talked about because there was a lot to say about her. Everyone adored her. Except my sister and my dad. Even my mom adored her maybe the most. I suspect even more than her own kids. Trish was the first grandchild and the only one for about ten years before her mother got married and had another child. Him we should call.... "Guido." Because Trish's mother, my aunt "Essy" had married a gentile, a New York Italian. 'Gentile' meaning: not Jewish.  And this is another interesting thing, the whole family is Jewish, but I was not brought up Jewish, like my sister. Either that was because my 'dad' had never accepted me as his daughter or because....? Don't know. This is another really big thing that separated me from all of them but who knows, there actually are quite a lot of reasons but I think what it came down to for my father was (because he didn't want to bring me to temple where everyone knew him and his family was actually orthodox) that it was notably obvious that I didn't look like him; he was always saying that too, he never let it go but this is how he'd say it, "yes! I know it seems hard to believe but this is my other daughter who obviously did not get her good looks from me!"

Every time. The fact is that he happens to have looked an awful lot like Woody Allen. And as a kid I did always wonder why I didn't look like anybody in my family. On my mother's side there are definitely some relatives with similar features but not a lot and sometimes I see Trish in my face and Grandpa and Grandma.... I hope Grandpa, anyway. Sometimes I worry, maybe that could have been a family pattern (in which case, all bets are off for figuring out part of my identity from genealogy, unless i join an archeology excavation to dig through the route those nomads took because we know about the bag thing. Even my daughter got it, but with her it's phone cases and back packs. And she's an artist too, naturally, and a writer/literature buff like me. So, proof that you can take the daughter from the mommy but you can't take the mommy from the kid.)
But my grandfather was a blonde, blue eyed man with very WASPy features, and he told me that was how he got jobs because in his day, apparently, New York was full of a bunch of prejudice people. During the Depression he told me that the competition for jobs was brutal so any edge he had he used (he was no slouch, never! He was a college graduate and a CPA and he did it on his own). He was the smartest person I ever knew. He always had the answer. To anything.

He also had a family to support and they traveled all over the the US so he could find work during the Depression. My mom told me she went to more schools than the number of years you go to school. I'm sure that was....quite significant. I know because I went only to five different schools, not counting college or nursery school. You learn, you see-- you learn how to reinvent yourself from doing it so many times. It's key to mention. Created selves, you see? Whatever you did wrong in the third grade nobody knows at the new school. You get a full "reset" and nobody would ever guess. I think that was, for me, the most powerful advantage I got to learn to have which almost makes up for the eating shit part of my life. So, I think my mother caught on fast and ran with it. Who would even know if she were lying? She learned how to become a kind of con artist; fraud. Those formative years leave their fingerprints.

To map out the variables happening it became helpful to come up with names for the categories; personas; as well as to find the parallels between why those particular ones came about and what do they stand for; symbolize.  

I learned this from my mother and now you see how it happened. I do remember all of it. They say children don't remember far back but I do, very far back. Because there were things that happened that are impossible to forget.

Because I have tried.

You see, I caught on that I was dealing with at least two different mommys. There definitely was a nice mommy. Because I don't think I could have loved her as much as I did if that never existed. It was also only because I loved that nice mommy so much that I could forgive her and excuse all that she did. It's true. I loved her to my detriment. Blindly. And I site this as to why I have always been tormented by romantic love. I over look and excuse. I don't recognize mistreatment. 

Between Mommy and Daddy who would I associate more with love? 

This defines why my romantic concepts of love never seem to resemble my dad. Besides the obvious, in looks or background but also in some other way which I still grope to see. Only it still stumps me exactly what it is even as I know that as soon as a person does this I turn disgusted of the person. I don't even notice it happening to me, just suddenly the switch has occurred. 

But there was an exception. And I'm sure if I could understand that exception better I would understand something critical to all of this. I know this because of what happened to me a few months ago, some hair trigger I never knew was there inside me got released and shot me out like a canon. I know exactly when it happened too. I need to know why though.

I was extremely attached to my mother, so when she hurt me it had the power to devastate me and make me  hate myself. My mother was good at hurting people, right in the heart with salt and acid poured on top. That was the cause-- the self harm i mean-- what initiated the first time I did and what's perpetuated the occupation; that's what happened, the way it came about, and believe me that was the better action to take than not. I promise you. So I did everything I could to not upset her, I really did. I tried so hard. We had some really nice times too and that was the good mommy. I named that one "the Good Witch" because to me she was like the one in the Wizard of Oz movie. Which explains the nightmare I had as a kid but I'll save that story. 

The Good Witch in my life was happiness and sunshine, Greynolds Park in Florida and Hollywood Beach near where we lived there until I was eleven. She was a sun worshipper, in those days we were always at the beach. That was my mom's getaway. Or the park. At the beach we took her raft, the same one always because it was this heavy duty one that lasted forever and it was also really big. The night before the beach she would blow it up in the living room, turning blue.  

The three of us would drag it over the sand to the ocean; my mom, my older sister and me. Then together we would all get on and we would just float....surfing the waves for the whole afternoon. I used to fall asleep. Those days were like being inside a fantasy, that raft became our whole world and I used to wish we never had to get off because out there on that magical raft, everybody was happy. Without him. I didn't want to go back.

And at the park she took us out on a row boat and I saw pretty trees that shaded pathways over the water that made stories in my mind; misty, dreamy stories because this water world to me became a fairy kingdom and that was what my first daydreams were made of.

My mother was very demanding, she put a lot of emphasis on looks and popularity and she forced it on me. I resisted. But like I said, she could really hurt and she began using names on me that were mean. Drip, sad sack, fatso, lesbian, nerd, weirdo.... to name a few. So, I did what she said because I felt so hideous. 

This is the beginning of the formation of selves for me. It went like this: get home, front door closed, the costumes come off. That is when personas changed. In public, she was this really nice Donna Reed mother that all kids we knew wanted as their mom. If they only knew . My mother had a phone voice too that went with another persona. When we traveled to Europe even my dad turned into a nice dad to me. 

So, I started writing all this down to keep it all straight. To figure out what brought out the good ones and vice versa. But I wrote this down too for another reason; to verify that what I thought I remembered really did happen, because, you see, she would always say I made it up or I must have dreamed it or had quite an imagination.

I remember her talking to me about really odd things. We were having a conversation about someone, no idea who anymore but it had something to do with a homosexual man. Maybe it was a friend of hers, maybe I was asking her about him but it was someone I had just met. So she said,
"I think he has an Oedipal Complex."

I was like in kindergarten. But I remember this conversation. My mother and I were in their bedroom and she was doing something in front of the mirror at her dressing table where she was sitting. It was before that conversation about me going to college and her suggestion to be always with her like some kind of purse dog my whole life. 

Anyway, it always stuck in my head because when she explained,
"That's when a boy is in love with his mother."

I really wasn't getting the point until she said,
"People like that can't be with anyone who will take the place of their mothers because they feel it's unfaithful to their mothers. So instead they pick the opposite sex of their mother to fall in love with."

This too was part of the germination of Electra. Only, I hated my father and I worshipped my mother. Yet, I have been in search of father all my life up until recently when I faced the reality that it was time to let go of that ambition and finally free myself because I figured out how to get through life, didn't I? without one and well, I definitely don't want to be Mariel Hemingway in 'Manhattan' even if I still could and maybe I've become too arrogant to want that anymore. The cynic. Because I don't need it. I don't want it. And I don't need anyone. Right? 

My confusion over my sense of genders and attractions are absolutely tied up in this. But also, before I started kindergarten I had always thought that I was a boy. You know how siblings can be, you spend more time with them than your parents, or that's how it was for me. You get most of your information from these people if they are older than you because they still remember baby talk so they serve as interpreters but often give you erroneous data for whatever reason.

I really believed I was a boy because she told me I was and even introduced me to her friends on our block as her little brother. But I really believed it! My mother got a good laugh at this when she realized my error in thinking. 

To only complicate my ignorance more, before my mother corrected me, I was very worried about myself in this regard. The problem was: I was very bad at being a boy.

I realize this seems ridiculous and silly but I don't think people may realize how impactful your first residual self image is. Like the time I was playing with the boys from our neighborhood because my sister sent me off telling me I wasn't supposed to be with the girls (they were playing dolls in our carport and I didn't have to be persuaded any further). 

So I got stuck on the fence. No, literally. There were five of us running together doing some war game I didn't understand and I couldn't keep up so all the boys complained I was too slow. So, we had a huge yard, two or three houses could have fit on it and baseball games on our block were always at our yard. There was a fence where the backyard was. Mark was leading us all around and then it came time to climb the fence and hop over and keep running through the yard to his house next door. I knew I'd never make it, I never could do that and I was right because my foot was caught and twisted and my jodhpurs got caught in the metal prongs along with some skin that was caught; jodhpurs and skin both kind of torn open. At the crotch-- well near, had I been a real boy it might have changed there. So I was caught on the fence and the worst part was I felt ashamed that I failed miserably at being a boy and Mark was going to think I was a sissy. Because I had my first massive crush and it was Mark, the boy next door which made me feel another kind of shame that I didn't know by its name but I believed it was caused by my Oedipal complex. 

These things, with others, are what were the aspects of my confusion over gender-self-image in relation to sexual orientation. Besides madness and art, latent homosexuality runs in the family on my grandmother's side (but if only I could say it's this simple). Compound this with a dozen siblings cramped in one small walk up in Manhattan at the prelude of the Great Depression and having no mom. My mother had like a million cousins, and often someone would be about to be evicted so sometimes all these cousins were all stuck together in one small apartment because the families couldn't afford their own shelter so cousins and aunts and uncles back then were all very close having shared these experiences together. They bonded, there were no jobs so no money and things were very bad for these families. It was common in those days for parents to place their kids in orphanages when they couldn't afford to feed their kids. That happened to my grandmother, my grandfather, my aunt Essy and my mother. I think something happens to a psyche that there is no avoiding when people live in peril. Freud wrote a lot about people like this because these neuroses occurred often enough for him to focus on this subject and the times they lived in caused a kind of psychological epidemic, especially first generation Americans because those people came over as refugees escaping horrors we'll never know. But these things--leave fingerprints on people and these people become parents and then their kids get them  as parents; parents who are not really working so great on all four burners, you know? It's not their fault but this is how it happens. Am I making excuses for my mother? I think it's necessary to point to these variables as part of the equation. Because, I know my mom wasn't ok. I know things damaged her and I know this because I'm the one she used to talk to all the time. She used to call me her little psychiatrist, because well, that's what she needed and I could feel it, I always could and I guess I felt like.... I was willing to be a martyr if it helped her get through life. I forgave her, I always forgave her; even when she wouldn't talk to me anymore.

We had this uncle--cousin twice or fourteenth removed (a huge family I never knew but saw all their pictures) or something. He lived in Italy since the war. He had escaped the draft and couldn't return to the US and then had a job for a long time working with Estée Lauder. Like the actual person but it was on this cruise ship or something. I imagined him something like Richard Gere in American Gigolo when he was young. I did meet him because we were in Florence to go see "David" which ultimately changed my life. 

That day was nearly idyllic, their home was so beautiful.

That day too I fell in love with Michaelangelo on the spot. I heard them, you know, they were behind me, my dad, etc. making fun of me. 

They laughed at me because I could not step away, I was polarized by this statue and it made me cry. After that my reaction to Pietà sent me right over. I don't know what it was. I think the beauty touched my sensibilities thinking of hands that created this. Pygmalion. To be touched by hands like these, I thought that it would be pure bliss. I was a very strange girl, I joke about the Beetlejuice thing but, I recognized a similarity (Winona's free). But maybe more the Mermaids character she played.

So our cousin/uncle..... He lived on a gorgeous vineyard with his secret gay partner and they made wine together and ran a few inns together. They were really nice and I wished I could live there too. It was in the mountains.

So what is my gay story? I've explained the gender problem I had to overcome but it seems I identify a lot with feminine gay men as ridiculous as that sounds. I once half seriously joked that I was Oscar Wilde reincarnated but really it's more like I think I'm Lord Alfred Douglas. Don't worry I am only half serious-- but I think I use this to illustrate a point because all these asides aren't really digressions, they're clues. They are kind of words. I do it to hide but not as affectation. I'm doing this to climb out or follow the yellow brick road. These suggestions.....They incapsulate vaguely what I am reaching to say but I still don't really understand myself only that it has always been like this. It's weird. What I'm drawn to in a man.... and then....but I think maybe in this case.... The opposite is attracted often instead and usually a straight close friend of mine, and it's confusing to me. So naturally it has presented problems. A lot of women/girls are attracted to this weird presence I must ooze unawares which communicates something I didn't really intend. 

I think this really goes back to my mother. She had a weird, actually, romantic manner towards me that really was always there. My dad became acutely aware of this when I was starting to grow up. I believe now that it had to have had something to do with my appearance because my resemblance to the button guy was becoming flagrantly obvious I see now. But back then I had no idea what these silent wars were all about. So she would dote on me quite a lot around age eleven or twelve, constantly grooming my hair and fixing my eye brows, rubbing make up discreetly like I was a show horse. Until one day my dad shout enraged to stop to it. He went reaching toward me to backhanded hit me with his knuckles but I wasn't five any more and my instincts were sharp by then. He said, nearly gagging as though frothing with hatred,
"I can't stand it anymore! You're always trimming and fussing, it's like your pruning the rose bush, or a topiary tree! I won't have it any more."

So I looked at my mom and she looked shocked and pale but she shushed me out of their room. You could always hear the fighting through the walls.

Do I get any closer to explain? I think it is that I believe she wanted me to be her Oedipus. So she made me that. She once told me she was molding me as if from clay. An artist's fixation. I think her fingerprints left something indelible on me. My duality is mixed up. I have been with females but I don't think that is enough for me or what I want. Maybe if it should occur but I don't seek it.


There is always that margin of doubt with anything that hasn't been proven...... but you know what really scares me more than anything? If I found out that my punisher who rejected me was really my father--I'm not sure I could psychologically survive that knowledge.

Around the time I started at Pearl I was going through a kind of severe resentment towards male people, no offense to my male friends, I got over it, I only get flare ups once in a while now. Then do my fucku mantra.... I had been dating some interesting women to see if I like it or not. At first it was like how you feel when you decide to have Japanese food on Saturday instead of Thai. So, I guess it was the novelty but it was fun. I think encountering so many frighteningly fucked up women was too draining for my nature

and then, again, I don't want to play with dolls but I can't climb fences with the big boys. 

I think that is what I could identify with so much in REM's music. Michael Stipes attempts to define his ambiguity through his lyrics and mood was a kind of connection and therapy so I was always a huge REM fan; all the alternatives actually.
But specifically Michael Stipe. He was a kind of herald for me, like David Bowie was. It could be that everyone is like this and I'm just willing to be honest. Or I am really just that different. I don't know. Should I know? Does this actually make sense to anyone besides me?

Pearl continued.....

I think now how obviously remiss I'm being not to illuminate some details about the antics between he and I. I don't intend to be at all crude so if that's what it seemed..... I'm not that much between he and I really was the energy we felt around each other and it used to piss off Toni when he heard us working together saying we sounded like an old married couple. But feeling catty he added, rolling his eyes,
"I'm not sure who wears the pants though."

But no, it was a surprise the first time. To me anyway. I was shocked. I was totally set up too, looking back--which illustrates my flaw of obtuseness. He was such a pig, now that I think of it. But in the context after weeks of us talking about our lives, bored to death at 12:30 AM scanning mindless barcodes that were seriously fucking with my dyslexia. You go batty so you have to talk. That's when we both shared our gay experiences, it's actually funny now to me looking back. People don't know this about him. For instance, this fixation he had on his best friend. He'd talk about him a lot. The guy --his best friend I mean--sounded very mixed up from what Frankie was saying, he kept getting kicked out every place he lived. he got kicked out when he was moving away from here.... damn those patterns they really trip you up. But I really didn't like when he talked about him. Something creepy about it. I should have remembered that.

But, I didn't consider Frankie as lover material for me from my first impressions of him. I thought he was a ridiculously silly boy that everyone indulged like a four year old. I didn't take him seriously, he actually irritated me. I mean, I work because I need money, right? To live. I needed to work. He pulled shit like calling off for 4/20. So Toni calls me to say,
"Sorry, your asshole boss decided to call off and he is the key person."

Really? Fuck that little shit! Patch and I were ready to kill him. He had no conscience. Has no.

But it was this one day, all three of us were up at the front at the end of our work shift and we all decide to share our sketch book doodles. That's when I saw their work for the first time. I expected Patch to be talented but I didn't expect Frankie to be. I don't know what happens when I am over come by an artist's work. It is like that time in front of David. I just fall in love. And that is what was behind my sexual addiction for him. I don't know what his was for me but I lasted longer as his lover than all the others. He has the gift, but not the emotional depth. He never understood "Wave Girl" and insulted it. Like my mom would have. I don't pay attention to rules and I don't try too hard to imitate life when I paint. Because, really, for me, all the fun is in the pallet unless I'm in the mood for detail. 

I loved his work. But he didn't love mine back and that hurt a lot

         so I guess maybe instead I was just his muse that he wanted to make his secret mistress because he did ask me to. I didn't know these thoughts were going through his mind all that time before the headache incident. He had a migraine, he said. He was whining about it saying it hurt really bad. He had his head on the ledge by the fax machine inside his arms and asked if I would rub his head....

What do you do with a four year old boy who's whining? So I do it, like a dunce and then he turns in the swivel seat walking his feet around and stops there... his legs wide open; it's plainly displayed and boldly propositioned and very ready for action;I saw the outline and was mildly impressed. I guess it was the gremlin face though and the crocodile olive oil eyes. 

How romantic. Real sweep you off your feet approach. I so was not expecting this. Patch, yes. Because he'd already propositioned me, not that I minded. 

I guess I surprise myself sometimes. A lot, actually. Sometimes I have no idea what I am about to do and hair trigger released I'm suddenly doing a cabaret act.

Twice that night it happened. It began on that chair.... we moved over to Josh's desk.... it wasn't comfortable.... and we wound up on Jane's. 

We got to Toni's desk another time. One time I marked an X on the floor in art paint where it had happened that other time.... and pointed it out to Frankie one day while the store was open and people were shopping and walking around it. Stupid. Stupid times, really, I know, but who was there to stop me or even to care? This was coming from rage

 ....that time when I got him back?when I put my foot in his mouth figuratively speaking and when I gave him the boot, literally.... his white Buick, so funny, my only prank and the best one ever, if only Patch had been there....