He stands apart from me, the placement of his body the only visible part of the topography we once created, who kissed who and when. Deer in the headlights, sweet as burned sugar. His gestures are shy, terrified. I wonder, when I remember, if he is happy. (If he still thinks about his decisions.) His hair still smells like heartbreak.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men lie like dogs. There is also the negative side.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
I assumed, somewhat foolishly, that when Cansec was over, I’d get to rest, have a space to breathe. Apparently not. I just took a minute to chart out my next few weeks with a calendar in front of me and realized my weekends for the next month have already been assigned.
This weekend I’m going to the Juno‘s for work, bringing David along for his birthday. Next weekend, April 4-5, I’m going over to Victoria. The weekend after that, April 11-12, I’m going to be in Seattle ghosting Norwescon. The weekend after that, April 18-19, I’m again in Victoria with Ray, Nicole, and maybe Wayne to drop in on Esme and Nicholas, who has a gig. Then again the weekend after that, April 25-16, for his next gig, playing strip-club funk at Monty’s, and, even more bizarrely, for the grand opening of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, which has apparently been completely taken over by oddball hacker friends who all wanted a shot at the Olympics and free downtown parking.
Given this sort of schedule, I’m not sure when I intend to eventually sleep. Perhaps when I’m dead. Or better, when I’m dancing. Mercy knows I need the exercise, given how erratically/oddly I’ve been eating. First there came the week of meat, then the weekend of ice-cream breakfasts topped with chocolate and raspberry liqueur. Nothing I would ever complain about, though I am beginning to forget what a vegetable looks like, except that now that I’m not continually on my feet, all I want to do is sort of laze around until my break down the door weekends, an option that, though attractive, will simply Not Do. So, given that I work nine to five, and Tuesdays are Secret Film School, who wants to go swimming?
A new comic in The Secret Knots: “On Spam“
Morning just wasn’t sporting today. Dinner last night, an improbable feast of only meat, cowboy delivered by sword to each table, led into a punishing bout of intense karaoke that lasted until an unwholesome, head smashing o’clock in the morning. I slept poorly at the hotel in a spare bed on the 19th floor offered by someone who lacks a real name, certain I should have simply tried to stay awake for tradition’s sake, curled up on the 31st floor, quick in a couch, a chatting apostle at the altar of party, until dawn wedged streaky fingers into the surgical gray sky.
Tonight instead, perhaps. Tomorrow almost certainly. Tonight, though, Dragos may have my house keys, but I’m not going back until later, until after I go home and dye my hair, charge my damned camera battery, and cook dinner with David. (It pained me almost physically to be on the rooftop deck of the Wall Center penthouse and not be able to take pictures.) I need rest. I am yawning at my desk, half baked, certain that I have not been eating enough to keep myself cohesive, and my eyes are trying to lock closed when I blink. No matter the addictive charm or ballistic voltage offered by CanSec, I am not quite caught up with myself for unrestricted thrills.
A drunken devil shaking ass in my face, people made of masks that are taken apart and fed to fish, someone downing a mason jar full of bodily fluids, and Pestilence complaining that his Avian Flu has turned into the Avian Rash. Everything new, self mocking beautiful.
Theater Under the Gun, Theater of Fear. Tuesday a graceful priest shall admit how he used his parish as vessels for empty lust. Wednesday, the actors will be ignored for the coats they carry, the characters they create from their hands. Michael will be there from Calgary. Something to do with nudity and buckets of water. It’s always precious and insane. It’s true. Triumphant. It swallowed me the way I prayed it would, the way I wanted it to. When it spat me out this morning, my bones had been replaced by lead. Today should be recovery, a due time taken out and away, but instead I feel like I’m going to die. I need to sleep, I need to remember to eat, not go swimming with crazy englishmen before breakfast. Too late.
Getting home at six:thirty, falling into bed at seven. Dawn approaching, hours ticking by, and we’re not noticing. We’re stretching out, our feet under the coffee table, playing I Never. Somehow at the after party, the birthday of one of the directors. She reminds me of Karen. She reminds me of sitting on the roof of the Cultch, crawling out the tiny cupola and leaning against the harsh black angle of the shingle. The smile I gave my life, seeing the city like that for the very first time, the karaoke inside that not even actors would sing. BBQ’s and crying backstage. The Felix Culpa Red Cross fundraiser, the show that for the first time called me on stage for a bow.
I should have kissed that man. His tawny coat, his tawny hair. The only time I would have left my life then.
She and I were standing on a picnic table on the roof, a pool to our left, a drop of fifteen stories to our right. Starry night, orange lights, the red ember of her cigarette. If I had leapt, I could have cleared the edge. Elegance in casual movement, flicking the flame to burn. She admires my sacrifice she say, my bravery at leaving when I needed to. It’s been so nice to see you again. The same drifting from conversation to conversation, It’s Been So Nice To See You, It’s Been So Long. Are You Working Again? and I’m considering it. I’m not sure how to break back in, except for this, except for here. Barcley street. Picasso scrawl on the palm of my hand. This is where I wanted to be, this is where I’m glad. Changing the conversation from young little admissions about sex to the political shift encapsulated by the internet, by raves, by sex meaning death to the newer generations. Thinking that one of these days, I have to learn how to get drunk. It felt really good not to be recognized by Kevin Conway. Score the only point for my new hair.
I thought I had a long walk ahead, a slender goodbye slipping into a taxi behind me, but instead I stayed up with DK’s scratchy sweater, no way to return it to him except for his address. Apartment 301. Crows, Dali posters, paintings that look familiar. A private rooftop deck. I answered the phone barely lucid enough to cancel my gamelan rehearsal. I dreamed of actors this morning, I woke with lines of dialogue wrapped around my hands and tongue, the image of an upside-down church, my pillows being books and a ferret, a pile of crushed velvet clothes. I almost fell asleep in the hot tub, leaning on Stephen’s shoulder. I almost thought about canceling tonight.
Titus tonight, by the way. Titus Andronicus at the Jericho Arts Center, 1675 Discovery, at 8pm. Admission by donation.