Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In this, the wee hours of the goddamned morning in February, I can’t conjure up an idea, a form, a sentence---hell, not even a Last Will and Testament in case I should be as lucky to drop dead of a massive, inhuman coronary, to be discovered days later, when the stench and the vague brownish ooze seeping through my forlorn Chinese-red carpet, through the wood and God knows what construction material, would drip right onto the second-floor ceiling---namely, my housemates’ and plop! right onto either Bob’s or Vic’s arm, or worse, dinner plate: What a laugh that might be! Oh, I could cackle at the very thought! Right down to my ever-painful wisdom tooth which essentially, has decided to do an impersonation of Mount St Helens on my mouth from the right side with at intervals of eighteen months or so, but not now!
The two of them sitting in their much-worn loveseat, side by side as they always do ever since they took up house twenty-nine years ago when Ogden Avenue was a haven for derelicts, white trash, pushers, and loud Puerto Ricans who had either left New York City---not the glamorous city it has become thanks to Giuliani---or had plain emigrated inwards; sitting watching the Movie of the Week. [Mind you, that’d be one of my rentals from Netflix, which in this case would be “I’m Not There”, an experience I’d been evading since I placed it on my queue over fourteen months ago and decided to forget in lieu of delving into writing, a thing I can’t seem to do tonight, and here we are back at Square-Fucking-One.] Quietude, intimacy, and complacency flowing through them both with the subtlety of a conversation that does not require words but a glance, a smile, and a little bit of sign-language due to the fact Vic lost his hearing a little under three years ago, the facts which shall remain untold. The movie, somewhat droll, a kaleidoscopic potpourri showcasing the many different facets of Bob Dylan as seen by some of the greatest actors of our time, and then---
No one notices, no one even flinches. It hasn’t quite hit their consciousness.
Not yet, at least.
Onto Victor’s thigh encased in blue-jeans, faded with age and the wear-and-tear. He, however, dismisses it having just taken a sip from his very tasty home-made soda [He’s into all these little do-it-yourself projects and what a talent he is! He can sew pretty nifty garments in one fell swoop---Fashion Avenue has nothing on him!---, he can cook his way through a delectable feast of the most complicated dishes---hell, he’d leave Emeril and that insane Brit who yells a lot (I don’t know his name now nor do I care) in the fucking dust. He can paint, and I don’t mean your garden-variety amateur still-lives that any moron with a little movement in the wrist and a paintbrush could do, I mean real paintings and let’s not even stop there; he has a talent for photography and photo-editing that is mind-boggling and I won’t even want to get started on his overwhelming ability to create cartoon stories complete with his own characters and superheroes with back stories I sometimes wish I had that amount of talent in me, but all I can do is write (Ha! Not tonight, Ivan!) and occasionally, doodle when I get too bored and need to make sure I’m safely navigating the only world that is of any interest to me---mine.]. Anyway, Vic and the drop that is my drop, my own decomposition making its way down to their living, as if to say, “Could I have a little sip of that lovely Australian Merlot, Bob?” Or: “Is the movie as boring as I dreaded it would be? And please, don’t forget to place it in the return envelope, by the way---I wouldn’t want it to stay here for eternity, you know.”
Eternity: that’s a concept for ya. A permutation of time, the knowledge that you’re going to have to go to that appointment with that sadist of a dentist and Take Care of that Wisdom Tooth, the moment when you open the door and your past comes rushing at you and it’s not pleasant, or when your impending orgasm and nothingness fills the body in one screaming Nirvana.
There I’d be, oozing for eternity, and what’d they care? I mean nothing to them, not now when they’re sitting side by side, Husband and Husband, I’m just that tenant who lives upstairs and whom they see once a week (but not this time, not this week, and I wonder why). I might as well be---
Nah, they still don’t notice. Neither does Buddy, our trusty Akita, lying down, content, by Daddy’s side in his own world, sometimes trying to follow Daddy’s and Bob’s conversations with his deep amber eyes that can speak volumes even now at his tenth year. He probably senses something’s a little off with this picture---where’s Ivan? Where’s Uncle Ivan? Why is it so cold in here?
And what’s that smell??
Huh, Daddy? Can you smell what I’m smelling?
Apparently, not: Vic offers Buddy a pat on the head with his coarse, overworked hands, Buddy replies with several tender licks and a nudge to Vic's fingers, and all is well.
For a bit.
Hell yeah! Now the drip is questioning. It’s a feisty drip. Oh, it’s testy alright. It has demands. It wants to know “Hey you faggots, haven’t you noticed that something is collecting on your ceiling?? What is wrong with you two??
Maybe it---I shouldn’t just drip. Maybe I should really let loose, black blood, bile, human waste---hell, why stop here? Why not just melt my dead body into some indescribable black goo that would just dump itself onto the two of them?
Oh, that would be just fine. Just dandy. Really. This is what Ivan has become---a mass of sterile black goo that cannot produce a word even now, an oil spill, toxic and deranged and dejected, a re-enactment of that car commercials where the unlucky driver gets a whole ocean of oil dumped on him.
Nah. I can just imagine it---I’d go “Floooooo0sh!” into the living room, tainting the carpet and the furniture, "Flooooooosh" onto Bob as he washes his merlot down his throat, "Splat!" onto Vic and Buddy...
...and they’d still be watching the TV as if nothing had happened, entertained by Heath Ledger’s next-to-last performance, perhaps. Hell I can see Bob say, “I knew it. I knew that one day the ceiling would collapse. We should have moved out of the house.”
And not to be outdone, Vic would concur in sign-language. And later, clean the mess with his trusty Dyson.
Their evening, mind you, would not be interrupted by something as simple as a ceiling cave-in.
Not even if the cave-in was yours truly, who by then would be shrieking in ten-million tiny mouths to an audience of zero as I drip all over the room: “You goddamn motherfucking sons a’ bitches, I! am! HERE!” Buddy moans as Bob and Vic stare relentlessly into the TV in insane calm that will not be deterred by some unexpected visitor.
I’m a quivering mass of rage now. “Hey! Hey! Stop the fucking movie, stop the drinking and smell the coffee you clueless dimwits! Hey!! Holy motherfucking hell I can’t believe this: I’m in a three-some, for Christ’s sake, and not the good kind! I’m a home-wrecker, and dead, too! I’ve literally wrecked your HOUSE!!!”
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
She treads onto the stage in the aplomb she is known for---after all, she is a prize-winning Holstein and her milk is widely applauded for its rich, alabaster creaminess---her movements laden with the arrogance of one who has reached the top of his game. But never fear: she is perfectly aware of her audience sitting rapt before her as if she were a muse descended from Heaven---she is that riveting. They love how she, complacent, munches away through a clump of hay with relaxed gusto whilst the pianist in the background---we don't need to know his name; he is not important---flexes his fingers in the manner of a man who is a self-deprecating master at handling ivory keys and prepares to touch the first notes of this delicate gem he is about to perform.
His fingers come alive and the song begins proper; however, she does not move---she never does. She might as well be Buddha standing on all fours---then again, it's in India where she'd be worshiped, but this is Carnegie Hall, not the Temple of Bhavani, and instead of incense, there is a pungent whiff of something far less pleasurable to the senses that it seems to be emerging out from her thunderous rear and onto the polished floor with an audible plop-pluh-ploppity-plop---!. Her face a sea of bovine serenity, her eyes black pearls, she conveys the enigmatic half-smile of what a certain artist might have rendered, had this been a more notorious female, i. e. La Gioconda.
Now, her key arrives, the moment when her voice must be heard, when she must lay to rest that God-awful myth that Edith Piaf (how she hates her!) was---and still is---the world's most powerful singer. Here she goes:
"In a sentimental MOOOOOOOOOO-----"