Archives for posts with tag: distance

I’ve been living in a luxury hotel for the last 40 days and 40 nights. There are routines here.

I am in a play. The setting of the play is a hotel room. Our production is site-specific. I live in the hotel room where we perform the play twice a night, five nights a week. So half of my home is covered in army netting, bamboo, tropical plants, a crushed velvet tiger painting and houses 28 chairs for audience members. It’s lush. There are fruit flies. The sheets have big flowers on them. Pink, Red.  I watched How to Marry A Millionaire here on Netflix Instant and Marilyn Monroe kept calling things Creamy.

Yesterday I was sick with a gross cold. I was in the other half of the suite. It is bleach white and charcoal. Plates on the wall. Faders on the light switches. The deepest bath tub in America. I spent 32 hours in a king size bed with a pile of dirty kleenexes, a casio keyboard that me and my sister and brother got for christmas one year, a sack of clementines, and some really slow wifi energy charges inside of my laptop computer.

I heard a maid come in. I heard her walk through where the audience sits, past the bed where I pretend to almost have sex in front of an audience eighty times a night Wednesday thru Sunday, and then I saw her peek her head around the corner to where I was lying with my kleenexes.  I muted the episode of Smash I was watching on Hulu. She wanted to know if she could clean the room. I didn’t know. Could she? Is it her job or my job to clean this up? If I’m sick, isn’t it my mom’s job? Could I go somewhere in my pajamas? Or could I just lay in the bed while she changed the sheets? Am I a quadriplegic?

We both had these “honor thy mother and father” looks on our faces like we were about to get the shit kicked out of us if we did the wrong thing.

“I’m sick,” I said. And laughed a tiny bit to let her know that being sick is…funny?

When should she come back to clean, she wanted to know.  In my congested nasal passages, the answer was Never, but I didn’t want to get her in trouble with mom and dad. I made up a time. 5pm. But I knew how Groundhog’s Day that would be. She’d come in at 5pm and walk past the chairs, the ferocious tiger painting. She’d turn the corner and see me still trying to stream Smash on Hulu at 240 pixels per second, but this time it would be obvious that I had eaten some microwave oatmeal.

So I backpedaled on the 5pm thing. And we hovered in anxious silence. Sad giggles. Neither of us spoke the other’s language.   I wanted to be honest with her. (And with everybody I would ever meet.) And once I remembered that, I knew what to say. I pointed to the phone.  “Oh, I’ll just call down when I’m ready?”

Our faces changed. It was like we were giving each other secret back rubs in another dimension.

“You just call them.”

Now we knew the things to say. We said them.

She walked back through the Tennessee Williams set and was gone.

Until the next day at around the same time.

A pile of unpeeled fava beans and Whiskey Wilson the Pomeranian-papillon blonde make this a Wednesday in May, make this northern Californian spring.  The shrinking potion and scattered clothing and my immigrant houseplant mark my arrival, as always – you will know me by the texture of mess in your apartment.

This summer we’ll both move away from trains and I’ll worry about everything – as usual: work, money, fiction, The Right Thing To Do – and you’ll continue to be too busy to stretch or ice your hurt knee.  There is so much.  Paperwork and bean-peeling and boxes to pack and suitcases to buy and airplane rides to pay for and sleep through.  Tuition to earn.  There is the sublettor to find and there will never be an end to the unanswered e-mails and phone calls. There will never be an end to the unread books and unwritten grant applications.  And there is the bed-making and sheet-destroying, there are the songs to listen to and wine that must be drunk.  There is always, always the necessary filming and performing of pornography.  Mascara to put on and wash off.

I can’t believe we’re here: running the dog at seven forty-three a.m. in a deserted patch of Golden Gate Park with one leaky cup of coffee between us.  The crows that Whiskey Will chases through the particulate grey are bigger than he is; they swoop black-patent-shine just above his head and land in a cluster, ten feet away from his frantic, galloping body before taking off again, with absolute grace and disregard.  We’re sleepy and unwashed in elasticized clothing.  Two different meanings for the word “jumper”.  The dog eats two-thirds of a corn-cherry scone while we try to teach him to come when called, and I wish that someone would do this for me, would teach me my name.


The number of  things I have lost

on airplanes: eighteen hundred and ninety seven.  In hotel rooms: Sixteen hundred and sixteen things.  On bus benches, trains, and other stations of public transit: ten thousand and fifty-two.  These things include:

A fur-collared, cinch-waisted jacket with four coffee stains and three red-wine stains on its cuffs and hem.

An almost-full journal stuffed with lust-poems written on pieces of order-pad from Pannikin Coffee Shop and Café in Point Loma, San Diego.

Forty-seven pairs of underpants in assorted colors, fabrics, and styles including: bikini, boy-short, crotchless, tap-pant, and thong.

A red leather jacket with cigarette-burned lining and no buttons.

A three-pound bag of tangerines.

Fourteen packages of chewing gum.

A Thrifty Drugs Brand disposable flash camera containing exposures that, if developed, would undoubtedly be illegal to possess in Texas.

Three pairs of prescription eyeglasses in unflattering, sale-priced plastic frames.

A porcelain doll (named: Amelia) in a blue-lace dress

Two hundred and seventy-nine novels, poetry collections, feminist anthologies, vegetarian cookbooks, algebra workbooks, history texts and science lab guides.

One Revlon Cocoa Disco lipstick.

Four hundred and eight rhinestone-stud earrings.

Seven hundred and nine dollars and twenty-two cents.

A drawing of a pink brontosaurus by Lily O’Malley, age five and a half.

Ninety-seven toothbrushes.

Sixteen gloves.

An electric popcorn popper.

One almost-full tube of Loreal Sublime Bronze Cream.

Nine hundred and two hairpins.

A green post-it on which was written my brother’s new address.

This is of course not including items lost at dinner parties and dance clubs, while bicycling down Mission Street, in a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, out the window of an office building in Tucson, in moving trucks, and in the clothes-dryer at a Laundromat in Atlanta.  Neither does this count include items that may have fallen from the van at EZ Mart in Newkirk, Oklahoma while stopping midway through a cross-country drive to buy seventeen gallons of gasoline and a bottle of Diet Rite Cola.

because I am about to get laid.  Sorry dudes.

goodbye soupy sales

goodbye soupy sales

dull razor

distance

empty spray tan bottle

grey

not enough hot water

cook for me please

hormonal birth control

dry skin

what happened to daylight

limited text interpretation

finger and toe nail polish does not match

where are all the good shoes

the whiskey we bought when you were here has all been drunk

also my ring keeps snagging on my tights

also these shoes suck

also I need a bookshelf

I do not  think it’s fun to be scared

please cook me something

please come here

squishy grapes

reprinted interviews

upstate new york, northern california, why are you all so far away?