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.

It happened in a different time. In those days, people were shorter and lived near the water and George W. Bush was the President and I still nursed dreams of fame – or if not of fame per se, then of infamy, at least. Sometimes at night, I ate drugs and painted shadows on the walls.

I do not mean this in any figurative sense. I mean that I ate drugs and then I painted shadows on the walls of my apartment. While wearing a mask. Listening to recordings of African drumming.

Like I said, it was a different time.

“Well, that’s sort of fucked up, now, isn’t it?” Jamie said. She saw it all out of context, though, in the cold light of day, as they say. The shadows on the walls and the paints on the tables and the discarded mask lying on the floor.

“I won’t be staying here,” Jamie said and she did not stay there. Some nights, I slept alone in my apartment of shadows. Other nights, I stayed with Jamie over at her place.

Her place had no shadows, only cats and sometimes, a murderer.
Jamie, in a different time. 

35 comments:

  1. You say while wearing a mask. I hope the proper wording of that isn't while wearing ONLY a mask. I love a true crime story, but I haven't eaten nearly enough drugs to take on that kind of visual.

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    1. Not usually, because the shadows I was painting came in through a huge window at the front of my apartment, and that required me to pull up the blinds.

      I don't remember every night clearly enough to say for sure, though.

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  2. But, what kinds of drugs? This is important, because it may tell us something about the nature of your shadow drawings and how you got inspired to wear the mask.
    Also I need to know if you have good taste in drugs. Sounds likely to have been psychedelics though, so almost no wrong answers there. (;

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    1. Assuming my real life people don't find this page, I might hit the topic of drugs someday. There's none to speak of (other than alcohol) for many years now.

      The weird thing about the (unnamed) hallucinogen at issue in this past was that it made me like the dark. Basically, I have been afraid of the dark for my entire life, but on these occasions thought standing around in the dark or dim light sounded like a great idea.

      I've never read that that was an inherent characteristic of the drug. But it happened with me consistently.

      But don't do drugs, kids.

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    2. Darkness leaves a lot to fill in, something your brain eagerly does when under the influence. I can certainly imagine why it seemed appealing to you at the time. No better opportunity to tell your fears off, right?

      I'm not a kid, so I'll happily continue to do as I please.

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    3. I just don't want to be the one to discourage someone from healthy living.

      If you end up on "Cops" (do they have that in the Netherlands area?), high on meth or something and screaming, "Harry made it look glamorous!" I'd never forgive myself.

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  3. hmm i suspected u r quite well versed in drugs ha ha.This is a wonderful start.It starts sweet and description is excellent.Every sentence is poetic.Last sentence abput jamie house is superb.What to say.I simply love it,especially those shadow paintings

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    1. Yesterday, you almost convinced me that I need to push through this story before wandering off to something else. It's not going to be easy, but I am going to try.

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  4. Unlike the Beer for the Shower boys, I don't give a shit if you were nekkid while painting. As a lesbian (a REAL lesbian, unlike certain people I could name *cough* KATY *cough*), you've got nuttin I'm interested in anyway. No, what intrigues me is the MASK. Do you mean one of those safety masks so you wouldn't get high from the paint fumes? Surely not. That seems unlikely, given your drug eating hobby. You'd WELCOME the consequences of breathing in paint fumes in an enclosed space. So was it a mask like, say, the Lone Ranger's mask? Maybe it was an African tribal mask, given the drumming? Or was it a full rubber Halloween mask, like those joke ones of Richard Nixon or maybe even George W himself?

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    1. You know, it occurred to me that writing as a lesbian and then as a Muslim-American was in some ways sort of like doing blackface. It didn't bother me enough to keep me from doing it, but the idea was always there at the back of my mind.

      The mask was just a plastic white mask that covered my whole face. Which in some ways was creepier than if it had been a mask of something or someone.

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  5. I'm with you so far. On every point, I think. Various masks, motorcycle, welding, safety, decorative... The pile of drugs I consumed before my stroke in 2008 is both varied and enormous. And then there was the loft. The loft was the tiny living space we inhabited from '88 to '90, four feet high, six feet wide, and maybe twenty feet long, with a ladder from the kitchen area as access to it.
    When we vacated that space, the demolition guys tore out the sheetrock and replaced it rather than paint over what was there. Our work isn't easily described, but it took a quart of white primer, dozens of little color bottles, and then a quart of Prussian blue that turned all of the negative space into midnight or deep space.
    And as for the murderer, that place was behind the MacArthur BART station and those years were the height of the crack epidemic, and there were three murders within thirty feet of our front door while we lived there.
    Perhaps some day I will tell you the story of the convicted murderer we were friends with in those days, he's not around any more, but his story is hilarious, in its own little way.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. You have lived a full life.

      I just ran "MacArthur BART station" and read the "reviews" on Google. Apparently, I ought to be cautious of it after dark.

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    2. That's what they say. The night of the earthquake in '89, they closed the Transbay Tube and all of the sudden there were all of these people in business clothes with briefcases wandering around the neighborhood trying to find a way to get home. We were very concerned for their safety, but as far as I know, everyone behaved themselves...

      -Doug in Oakland

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    3. I don't take nearly enough care when it comes to staying in safe surroundings, and I've never had any trouble here in Houston. Someday it is going to bite me in the ass, but I'm more than halfway through with life (I hope) and all good, so far.

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  6. Was it a serial killer hockey mask? A First World War trench warfare gas mask? A twee Domino mask, pre French Revolution? Do tell.

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    1. Not anything nearly so creative.

      Just a white plastic mask that covered my face, held on by a string.

      Recently, I found a picture in an old photobucket account where I'm wearing it. If I can find it again, I'll post it as part of this story series.

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  7. I was picturing just a nuisance dust mask. I don't remember wearing any mask while doing drugs. The traditional hallucinogens were always more comforting than the lab stuff. At least to me.

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    1. On your last point: Definitely. Although at this point, I don't know that I'd be comfortable on anything at all, and it's not worth it to feel irritable or annoyed.

      Maybe I'm just turning into a grouchy old man!

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  8. You're just silly.

    You always was silly.

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    1. Probably. I try not to take myself too seriously.

      I used to take myself too seriously, and that was no fun at all.

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  9. "pathological distractibility" - isn't a result of our handheld technology?
    You must enjoy mysteries. intriguing start to your story

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    1. If that gives me an excuse for being easily distracted, then I'll go with that.

      The truth is I'm not sure I was ever much more focused than I am now.

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  10. I wonder who the cuckold is. On pure facts, it's slightly more likely to be you than the murderer. It could be a third person, of course.

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    1. Suspense!

      Sex, drugs, and murder are all things that Nasreen never would have dealt with.

      So the new blog is paying dividends already.

      Delete
  11. I do the African drumming thing myself, but painted shadows on the walls would creep me out. Actually, I'd be fine with it in the hallway of an airport or something. Where I sleep? No way.

    I have to remind myself that Bush is history now. I have to remind myself that Reagan isn't current events. I don't actually feel all that old.

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    1. Yes, if it weren't for the fact that I know some kids who have basically grown up since then, I wouldn't really grasp that any time had gone by at all.

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    2. That includes my own kids. I guess that might have something to do with the funny looks they keep giving me.

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  12. This was quite interesting! So, I'm not the only one that given the current national circumstances views the era of George W. Bush as a different epoch. Given how much I disliked that man during his time in the White House, it shakes me to my core to think I would rather have him back as POTUS than the narcissistic fool living there now.

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    1. I've been living in this same townhouse since the last two years of the Bush Administration (moved in the weekend that the Dems won Congress in 2006), so it's hard to grasp how much time has passsed.

      But though things haven't changed much in my house since then, I guess the outside world has changed quite a bit.

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  13. Shadows are just not as impressive, terrifying or... all that visible during the day. But murder? Well, murder is often quite bright and bloody. I shall read the rest of this story at night... since I enjoy a shadow or three.

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    1. I had this enormous window at the front of my apartment, and the lights around the pool cast the shadows of plants and railings against my back wall.

      I wonder how many coats of paint it took to cover my art project for the next tenants.

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  14. Very, very interesting Harry! When you were talking about painting shadows on the walls, one of the things I love doing, is dancing in my bedroom. I have a white door, and when I dance my shadow reflects on it. When I move my arms, I see the way a crow would move. I'm not doing any drugs! LOL! I'm anxious to read the rest of your story!

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. Shadows are great, and unfortunately, my fear of the dark kept me from figuring that out when I was younger.

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  15. An intriguing and eerie beginning. For a short time I lived in an apartment where the previous occupant had started an interesting painting project. The dump kind of inspired that sort of thing and if I had been there longer I might have embarked on my own project.

    Awaiting the continuation of this story.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. It has to be a certain kind of neighborhood if a previous tenant starts an art projectr on the walls and landlord doesn't feel the need to paint over it before the next tenant moves in.

      I've lived in that kind of neighborhood for years.

      Assuming I can afford to continue to live here now that it's been gentrified, I will.

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