Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First flu

My mother declared this to be my first flu, though it seems impossible at my age, me being too old for firsts by now and there having been so very many assorted ailments along the way since that day, long ago, when the doctor rent me from her. Screaming, probably.

I mean to say that I am likely to have been the party doing the screaming, not the doctor. I cannot say for certain.

Almost from the get-go there has been hacking. Fountainous discharges. Infections and wounds of all variety. Over a lifetime, this body has played host to viruses and bacteria big and small, both foreign and domestic, some of which, I imagine, stuck around and remain to this moment, here and now, biding their time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Part 7: The side effects of time travel

This is the part of my story I had intended to be the conclusion. Not just an ending – no, that would never satisfy a mind like mine – but a real first-rate, proper conclusion, with lessons learned, themes brought together. The whole nine yards, as they say.

But now that I have arrived here, I find that it is merely the end. There were no lessons learned. No grander themes. Some people died, others broke up, and most kept on doing things exactly as they’d been doing them before.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Part 6: The time I thought Jamie was dead

“[Stonie’s] diary, found days later, included a list of people he threatened to kill.” – chron.com

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3 days later:

“Hello, ossifers! I almost said ‘officers.’ Ossifers. I mean I’m the one who called about the window watch your step there. Thanks sorry. Harry Hamid yes absolutely but the apartment and the window are up h-here, here, second floor, offsif… everything is on the second floor except my girlfriend why I called she’s missing watch your step. The cats are still there though they sent four of you – three, four, yes – because the murderer lived’s’s in that one you know about the kill list right? Was I on the kill list, no, right? Harry Hamid? You’d have to tell me, right? – rules, I’m right, right? Sorry really if I’m babbling, f-fight or the flight – you know! – and aluminum and I do not make apologies for natural body responses. Bodily. I’m shaking! Look!

“Look, the window is here like this and he could be anywhere, like a perimeter maybe? There’s four of you. Someone strong broke in like that, right, and she’s missing and she was involved with him. No, no, not with the murders I mean like romantically you know. Yes, my girlfriend. Yes, I mean, yes. Like that. Of course.

“This bottle, here, he touched this bottle. I saw him. You can get fingerprints off this bottle if you need – what? Off what? My g- how could you get his fingerprints off my girlfr – ooh. Oh, I get it haha yes I get it. Because they…

“No, it’s not ransacked, it always looked like this. I know. No. You want me to stay out here? The blood on the kitchen wall was already there! If you find her body in there – her, Jamie – ((sniffle)) don’t tell me, I can’t – or tell me, you have done this or you’re trained, what’s the best way like preparation in case yes or no? She loved animals and I love her and I don’t know if I can find another girlfriend.

“I can give you a list of places and her job and the bottle and her diary to help find-”

The officer put his hand on my shoulder. He said, “Sir, can I get you to be quiet for just a moment?”

He leaned over the railing and said, “Yes ma’am?”

It was a little girl’s voice, not a ma’am. “Are you looking for that lady that lives there?”

All four of the officers stepped up. “Have you seen her?”

The little girl went on. “I saw her drunk and she fell out of her car. She locked her keys in her car and got mad. Then she went up the stairs and broke her window. But she fell down again and again and she couldn’t climb in.”

The officer said, “Did you see where she went after that?”

The little girl pointed. “She’s asleep in the big laundry room we all use.”

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They found Stonie’s body down by the coast the next day. They said he’d been dead for some time.

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“Part 1: A true crime story” is HERE.
“Part 2: A boy who killed some people” is HERE.
“Part 3: The other voice” is HERE.
“Part 4: Stonie’s bottle” is HERE.
“Part 5: Murder in Montrose” is HERE.

- This is a news article about Stonie and the murders. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Part 5: Murder in Montrose

The cops and the papers and even Stonie’s mom, they told a story, later on, of what happened that day after Stonie left Jamie’s balcony. And if it is not a true story, well, I had no means of disproving it and still do not.

But if it was not a true story then the world is a better place after all.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Part 4: Stonie's bottle

I was unfamiliar with the term “head” as used in the diary, that is, to mean “oral sex performed upon a woman.” Whether this was owing to my own lack of worldliness or to it being a neologism of Jamie’s generation or to Jamie having misused the term entirely, I don’t know.

I have never seen it used in this sense outside the diary entry, written fourteen years ago now.

Yes, I read her diary, a blue hardbacked book with off-white pages.

And yes, I know that was wrong, probably.

The diary entry in question said this (or else something very much like this): “I got head from Stonie and I screamed so loud I can’t believe the neighbors didn’t call the cops.”

This was read by me – and understood, too, despite the unfamiliar use of the crucial term – without the gut punch, that familiar blow to the groin and the belly I usually felt upon learning of a betrayal**. Maybe I’m admitting too much here…

I wasn’t upset.

Then, two days later, I arrived at Jamie’s apartment and there she was, sitting with Stonie out on the balcony. The two of them, drinking beers, and they were talking of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.

I wasn’t upset then, either. I joined them and their beers.

And Stonie? O, he was young and mostly tattoos and piercings and he had those gauge things in his ears. You know, where it looked as though tiny people could use his earlobes for swings? Despite the screaming in the diary, I did not feel threatened.

The boy was fine. Polite, yes. Asked about my job and my musical tastes. All of that. When he left for home, Jamie and I stayed sitting there, drinking beers and watching children who played by the pool, but not speaking.

I picked up a beer and sucked at it.

Jamie broke the silence and said, “Oh!” She said, “That was the beer Stonie was drinking.”

Still I watched the children.

I said, “What? Are you worried I’m going to catch something nasty off of Stonie’s bottle?”


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**“Betrayal” is too strong a word and not the right word but I am leaving it in anyway. For color.  

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Part 3: The other voice

Once upon a time, while I was sleeping, a black cat fell onto my chest. 

I woke up screaming. You would have too, I believe. No one expects a black cat to fall onto their chest while they’re sleeping. At least not the first time it happens. After that first time, of course, it’s different. It is less of a shock and in time, can even become a matter of routine.

The human sternum can break under thirty pounds of pressure. The cat weighed twenty-eight pounds.

While it was happening, I did not know it was a black cat and I did not know it weighed twenty-eight pounds. I did not know my sternum might almost have been broken. Something big had slugged me in my chest while I slept was all I knew. That was enough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Part 2: A boy who killed some people

2015:

There were crepe myrtles alongside the house near the a/c condenser and they were nothing like the crepe myrtles out by the street. The leaves were longer, the flowers pinker, and the branches had grown up and out until they rivaled the height of the building.

Out front, on that plot of land some call a berm or a devil’s strip but for which I possessed no term, there were bushes of oval leaves and red flowers and the branches had only grown taller than me once, during the summer my grandfather died.

Mad Slaughter sucked at a cigarette that pointed straight out from her lips and every time she inhaled, she sucked in her cheeks like someone drinking an ice cream float through a straw. The pack on her back was threadbare camo she’d bought from the army surplus. That’s where the cool kids got their things.

She said, “I knew a boy who killed some people. I watched her watching the crepe myrtle – the big one by the house – and she knew I watched her but Mad was not the sort of girl to mind.

“He lived in the apartment next door to us.” She turned to meet my eyes. To gauge the impact of her story.

“He was doing the woman who lived upstairs.”

This story sounded familiar.

It was my story, too, or a mirror image of my own, at any rate, and as she went on, I searched for myself in it but I was not there.

Mad would have been eight, probably, when it happened and (presumably) living with parents of good enough sense to shield their young daughter from the gory details but somehow she knew it all.

I said, “You knew Stonie, too, huh?” and immediately regretted it. She broke eye contact. I had robbed her of her story.

The pink flowers each had five petals and they weighed down the branches and the landlord never cut them back in winter like he did with the ones out front.

She said, “This is oleander,” which explained why this crepe myrtle looked nothing like the crepe myrtles out front. The flower looked fine in her hair.

She said, “The thing about oleander is it’s poisonous. If a dog is unfortunate enough to eat the leaves, the dog will die. It happens sometimes.”

I watched her walking back to the house.

Poisonous leaves.

That explained the crickets. 



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Part 1 is HERE.

References from “Fascist Dyke Motors”:
- Mad Slaughter is the real name of a real person who first appeared in a 2014 Katy post called Adorable.”

- “That explained the crickets” refers to the death of some pets in a 2015 Katy post called A Murder Mystery.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Part 1: A true crime story

I would love to tell you a story now.

Murder puts in an appearance in this story – the one I want to tell you – and cuckolding, too, and the eating of drugs, to boot, if you can believe it. So it is quite the story. Completely true. I will tell it in parts, owing both to its length and to my own unfortunate state of pathological distractibility.

I will start it and then return to it from time to time until I’ve finished. I need to tell this the right way. I owe it as much, if that makes any sense, and I do believe it to.

This is the story I would love to tell you.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

We never saw it coming

Tiny cars are our problem. Tiny. Each car tinier than the last. Unnerving.

I see them in their smallness. Out in the streets. It is a wonder I do not crash my car in all my staring.

Question: How is it that a person – an average-sized human person with average-sized human hands, average-sized human legs, and a torso of sufficient dimensions to hold heart and lungs and gall bladder – could, with the laws of physics being what they are, fold into such a thimble?

Answer: They can’t. It simply cannot be done, the laws of physics being what they are. I have the charts to prove it. The grids. The equations. I have binder after binder of research. Affidavits from world-renowned geometricians.

It cannot be done and yet, driving down the road today (always down the road, for I have yet to witness one going up the slightest incline) I look over and into the next lane and I see a matchbox car with an average-sized human head poking up behind the steering wheel.

Impossible!

The head fills the entirety of the interior!

Hypothesis (though admittedly less than fully-formed): We are invaded. The invaders have come with their tiny cars and their (more or less) average-sized human heads with miniscule bodies. Or perhaps no bodies at all but mere tentacles sprouting just below the neck. Flagella, really.

Question: Have you seen a person, an honest-to-God human person, like your boss, your drug dealer, or your great uncle Charlie, climbing out from inside one of these tiny, tiny cars?

Answer: No, you haven’t. No, you won’t.

Tiny cars are our problem. An evil has arrived unnoticed. Perhaps – perhaps! – they have come from out in the stars or from some dimension a hair’s breath away or from inside the Earth itself, where they’ve been biding their time and waiting for oh-so-long.

Question: But waiting for what? 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Jamie and Adri


Two thousand eight was the year of Jamie and of Adri blogs. It was a time when Jamie was still my girlfriend. It was a time when there were still Adri blogs.

These things were important things, you understand, to me.

Many others enjoyed my Adri blogs but Jamie enjoyed them most of all, I believe, until finally, I found myself writing them just for her.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The astronaut

I will begin now by speaking to you of the view. To me, it resembles nothing so much as 1998, or at least how I remember 1998 looking. There was no tether in those days yet the view was very much the same.

I pray this analogy works, by the end. I, whose analogies so rarely work. In it – in this analogy of mine – I am an astronaut and you are all standing there in amazement, looking up, wide-eyed at my record-breaking feat.

At my spacewalk, I mean.

And this is the way that it always feels, exactly, for me, after a fourth day of sobriety. The distance between my spaceship and me, it’s so great now as to seem nearly as though I might never return. I will return. But with each of the moments that pass, it feels like pushing the record that much further.

Perhaps one more night!

Perhaps even one more night.

“In science news this morning, Harry Hamid has spent his fifth consecutive day floating in space outside his spaceship. It’s now his longest spacewalk since September 2014. Should he manage a sixth day, it would be his longest stretch since way back in 2009…”

I take these spacewalks of mine with one hand always on the tether. Firmly. See? On the tether. The cord that connects me to my spaceship.

My spaceship being a bottle in this analogy, it is supposed, and my great accomplishment not really an accomplishment at all to anyone but someone like me. Someone trying to remember what the view in 1998 looked like.

I am an astronaut. I am five days out.

Watch me go!

“Oooooh!” “Aaaaah!”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The girl in the red pants

So there’s this girl.

There’s always a girl – isn’t there? – though God knows why, at this point.

This girl wears red pants. Every other Friday, the red pants. Like clockwork, which is a ridiculous simile, clockwork having no need for pants.

Why did I say that? I will delete it, surely, before I post this.

This girl – this woman, really – wears the pants to highlight what she believes to be her best attribute, but she is wrong. Her best attribute has nothing to do with pants because her best attribute is her nose. An Aztec nose, I believe, with hardly a break in its slope down from the forehead for the tiny divot between the eyes.

I talk with her sometimes, though never on a Friday of the Red Pants.

I try to view her in profile but this proves surprisingly difficult and involves much pointing at distant objects.

She was born on the day I graduated high school and if I had three hundred pictures of her, I would make her into one of my blog characters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Adventures

It is always the same. On one day and only on one day each week, this happens:

I sit in an impossibly tiny office. The office is underground, beneath the Harris County Law Library. If I fail, at least once every two minutes, to wave my hands about me in the air, then the office lights shut off.

On this one day each week, people come down underground to see me and to talk to me. The people ask me questions about how they might go about doing legal actions on their own. They lack what we call “representation”, you see, because they are too poor or too stubborn or too demanding.

This is how the people find me: They go to court, trying to, say, get a divorce, or trying to get their kids back from a husband or a lover, and the judge says, “No. No, you’ve mucked this all up by trying to do it yourself.”

The judge says, “Now go across the street and talk to the man sitting in the dark beneath the law library and he will tell you how to un-muck this. If it can be un-mucked.”

This is my job.

Or this is one-fifth of my job, at any rate, which is quite a lot if you add all the time up together.

When the people come down to see me, I say, “Hello there. How are you doing?” while I wave my hands about me in the air. The people probably believe I am waving hello at them but I am not. I am trying to turn the lights back on. You know this.

They usually respond by crying. Maybe they say, “Awful. I am doing awful.”

I say, “No one ever comes down here to see me when they are happy.”

Sometimes – well, not anymore, obviously, but before last week, sometimes – when no one was down to see me I would sit and I would think about my secret identities and what Adri, Katy, and Nasreen might be up to just then.

I don’t have secret identities anymore. You could say I killed them.

I don’t even have a writing voice anymore. This is not a writing voice.

Not yet.

Soon I will find my writing voice, however, and again we will have great adventures together, even from all the way down here, underground, waving our hands about us in the dark. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Deep breath

I wish I knew what to say. Hello there? Pleased to meet you? Hiya, perhaps? I’ll just get on with it:

For ten years, I was different people.

At first – not at my first, naturally, but at first when I’d started in as the different people – I was Adri. 2006 to 2010. Adri was reckless. Probably amoral. A hyper-sexual ginger who’d get in and out of troubles with her old friend, Harry.

But even in those days, I was not a reckless, probably amoral, hyper-sexual ginger.

Next I was Katy. 2011-2015. Of Katy, I will now list a few characteristics, just as I did with Adri. Katy was an intermittently homeless lesbian. What else? She was unfortunate, even to an extreme degree, I suppose. A co-worker, Harry, helped her to even the score at times.

If there was a score.

Either way, I was not an unfortunate, intermittently homeless lesbian.

Finally, I was Nasreen. This was in 2016, mostly. Nasreen was a pretty American Muslim who talked of little things and loved her family most of all. A man named Harry got mixed up in all of it somehow, as tended to happen with the people I was.

But I was not a pretty American Muslim who talked of little things and loved my family most of all. I was Harry.

I’m Harry.

This is the story of my rise and fall.