04/21/13

two short stories.


1.

I thought I wasn’t going to see my ex boyfriend when I went back to Montana, but that turned out to be wrong. He picked me up in the Orange Street Food Farm parking lot in the dead of night after all the bars were closed. Everything he owned was piled up in the backseat. It was snowing and I didn’t know where he was taking me. He told me I looked pretty in a soft and unfamiliar voice and I knew I was doomed.

The next morning, a couple of old men called my ex boyfriend about the moose antlers he had for sale on craigslist. We got in the $300 silver Subaru we bought together in November and drove to the old Walmart off of Brooks to rondevu with one of the old men. I thought the old man wanted to buy the moose antlers so he could display them on his wall as though he’d killed the moose himself, and it seemed pretty weird and sad, but again I had the wrong idea. It turns out you can make chandeliers and lamps out of the material, and Montanans go fucking wild for creepy antler crafts. My ex boyfriend sold the moose antlers along with a set of elk antlers for $50, but the man said they were worth twice that. My ex boyfriend knows about a place where there are 15 or 16 elk antlers just lying around, and the old man said he would be very interested in that.  Elk antlers go for $8 a pound. I think the elk’s life is worth more, but no one cares, so it isn't.

We’d shared a two bedroom house together on the Westside for four earth-shattering months, but it ended pretty swiftly when I absconded to Seattle under the cloak of night in January. I was thinking that I still loved him, and it was a feeling like if stabbing were something that felt good and people were into.

There was no traffic on the street and the mountains looked cold and right on top of us. we were headed back to his friend’s house to hang out and pass the time until the next thing.

“What happened to my bike?” I asked. We both pictured the black frame and the gold rims. The gears didn’t work so it was a pretty shitty bike, but still it was all I had and I wanted to take it back to Seattle. Nobody thought I'd be back for it; he'd thrown it away or it had been stolen. The bike was long gone and it made me feel tired. With regards to the bike situation, I was back to square one.

2.

The newspaper sent me to review the film adaptation of On the Road. I was glad because I love money, but I never liked the book, and the guy who just dumped me loves it, so it was a mixed bag I guess. I saw the one o' clock showing alone in a mostly empty theater on a rainy Thursday in Seattle. The movie made me think a lot about my life because it’s a dreamy story about writers who don't have jobs and like to get fucked up. The character's don't know they're going to become famous and then die of alcoholism anyway; it's depressing. When I got off the bus on Lake City Way I felt like I was someone else. I felt as though someone had stepped into my body and was taking over, but it's always just me.

A man leaning against the wall near the Value Village called out to me and I walked toward him. He wanted me to sit down and hang out. It seemed like it would make him happy so I agreed. A second mad person approached us, a woman this time. She said she found the man I was sitting next to attractive. If you looked closely you could see that he'd been handsome once, but now he went on and on about a divorce that could have happened last week or never, and it showed.

The lady said I was okay-looking too but she assured me she wasn’t a lesbian. I said I didn’t care. She got a little graphic about what she wanted to do to the guy. Her and the man bickered and I couldn’t figure out whether they’d met before this moment or not. They were like crazy hounds circling each other and sniffing.

The woman opened her backpack and showed us a bunch of pills. She kept waving around the bottles, saying, “Social Security gives me all these pills with the money but I don’t take them.” She really wanted to unload all these pills on me. There were white oval pills and round orange ones. I held out my hand and said, “No, don’t," and then I put the pills in the front pocket of my backpack.  I was trying to get her to show me the labels on the bottles so we knew what we were dealing with here, but she kept flirting with the man and I couldn't get her attention.

The lady pulled out a third bottle and turned it around magically in her hands. I could see by the look in her eyes that the third bottle of pills meant something. A few hours earlier, my roommate had given me a mini bottle of cinnamon flavored whiskey. He said to me, “Use this when the time is right.” Long story short, I traded the mini bottle for a handful of pills from a woman with wild hair and broken glasses.

The man had his own agenda but lord knows what that was. He wanted to go find weed. I said it seemed like a good time, but we were strangers on a city street corner in a shitty part of Seattle, and even though that sounds like a recipe for finding drugs, you’d be surprised how helpless you really are when the time comes. I just wanted to go home and look up what the pills were on the internet. Every pill comes with a unique number and letter, so anything you find in a change purse or buried in the carpet can be identified. It’s as if the drug companies knew what they were doing.

The man followed me down the street for a few blocks. I had a few hundred dollars in my wallet for rent, but his puppy-like energy suggested he didn’t have much power inside of him for violence and I wasn’t afraid. He followed me for a while and then I dodged him in a complicated move involving a grocery store restroom. The other pills turned out to be Lexapro and some kind of stomach ulcer medication, so not worth much, but the muscle relaxers are nice for going to sleep at night.

Do you think you're better than me? We’re exactly the same. On you it just looks a little different.

04/3/13

7 don’t kill yourself tips.

1. There’s no such thing as death.
There’s no shortcuts ever, right? You fall asleep here, you wake up somewhere else. No ghost has ever not regretted that time she hanged herself in the basement. Watch Faust. Read Sartre’s No Exit. Don’t be frightened, but for real, there’s no exit.

2. It hurts a lot.
Every kind of suicide hurts. Lots of pills make your organs shut down, like they’re walking down a flight of stairs and also on fire. A gun, a knife, a rope. You’ve seen a magician floundering in a tank with no key. Did it look like a wet hug? You’ll be so alone; don’t do it.

3. Make girls laugh instead.
Think about it: A giggling girl, and you did that to her. What is better? Start by whispering in her ear some acerbic truth about the situation. If you want to go in for the kill, imply that she’s special and powerful, but in a weird way. They love it. Making girls laugh can be a hobby, like stamp collecting. Bet you never thought of that.

4. Animals.
Anybody can get a dog to love them. You could be a horrible friend to the humans around you, you could murder people in the street or smash flat screen televisions for no reason, and if you walk a dog once a day and give him food, to him you will be the lord of your apartment. Crows: they’re fucking everywhere. Decide to become spellbound with feelings of love and magic every time you see a crow because you love crows so much and suddenly your life is filled with love that can’t be helped.

5. Movies.
Just watch movies all day instead. Watch every Quentin Tarantino movie, every Martin Scorsese movie, every Woody Allen movie, The Godfather trilogy, almost every David Lynch movie, the original Total Recall, Logans Run, Altered States, All the Die Hard movies, Welcome to the Dollhouse, both Bill and Ted movies, half the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, one quarter of the Friday the thirteenth movies, Jurassic Park 1 and 3, all the Alfred Hitchcock movies, Every movie about Christ, Buddha and the devil, all the David Mamet movies, every Charlie Kaufman movie, a lot of documentaries, even the long boring documentaries, just watch all the movies, because even though it’s not the same thing as life, it’s close, and later if you’re up to it you can talk to people on the internet about the movies.

6. Heroin?
Not a good idea. A last resort, definitely. Heroin often causes suicide, sure. But maybe it hasn’t gotten its claws in you yet and you’re standing on a ledge. You want to feel better, right? The point of suicide is to feel better. You’ve already proven you’ve got nothing to lose, so find a man in a dark alley and ask him. Oh no, is it dangerous? You’re not afraid of getting cut. Put the needle in your arm and re-evaluate. Maybe you don’t know the way to do that and you can make a friend out of whoever teaches you how. And if you’re back on the ledge in 6 months, you’ve bought some time. Does time matter? Does it do any good? Nobody knows!

7. Move.
Unhappiness follows you everywhere like a starving animal, sure, but some places are better than others. Waterford, Michigan is bad, but Guantanamo Bay is worse. A prison is bad because everyone is mean and none of your friends are with you, but strapped to a heavy rock at the bottom of the ocean is a thousand times more lonely. If you’re thinking about killing yourself because no one in your town understands you, try another town. The girls around here are snobs; go south, they’re more fun. Go where everybody’s cousin lives. Keep moving at a steady clip until the world decides it’s done with you. That’s the way it is anyway. You can’t change it so don’t try.  And you probably won’t get to hover around and watch everyone mourn. You’ll just upset everybody.