Sunday, February 9, 2014


I wonder how many bodies are buried in the Playa Del Rey Wetlands. I wander, my heart, we're a bunch of wandering hearts searching and scanning like security alarms. Earlier on the radio, that Puerto Rican kid on This American Life made an afternoon car ride with a woman I did not love, evident. He sang, danced, blushed for an undercover cop, while this stoic woman and I had nothing but a bedroom. She was nicer after sex, usually. She left to shower. I laid in bed naked, then put my underwear on. She sat down and agreed with my earlier overture to talk. Then those tears left her eyes and I was staring in the mirror, captivated by the veins running through my forearms, wild and active as she eradicated me from her time and future. I was interested. Putting one sock on at a time as she wanted something serious. A Converse sneaker falling apart, while she knew what her feelings should have been. That it wasn't me, despite the way her body would shake and thrash under mine, she couldn't let herself caress me with a genuine adoration. I had this point later on at dinner with friends; that the intensity of our physical attraction only highlighted the deficiencies in our interests of each other and thus perpetuated the absence of an emotional tenderness that neither of us was interested in giving.

I speak like an English professor when I get drunk.

I agreed. My heart was thin. Women my age were misaligned. We had nothing in common. She didn't want to be there for me, it was intentional she said. Her energy was heavy and Nordic. I was not nearly as captivated by data as I was a story. An L.A. guy stringing along unpromising sex for his own Ego, keep pleasuring her, drive home all that affection gentle and thunderous, all that affection you have nowhere else to go, because she'd come deeply over and over again onto you, soak under your touch and you'd hold onto her arms and head and neck while she jerked and contorted almost seizure-like, soaking wet, you bringing this to her and knowing it can't go on but taking in the temporary cure, while available. You, knowing with the end, that a two week fling before departure and a two week fling after an arrival, are two very different circumstances, even if they belonged to the same two people.

I walked across the street to my car. Wondered if any of the different drivers stopping at the light were perceiving me and if they cared. Because it felt like I was being watched, with fresh-shaven after-glow flushed cheeks and the calm certitude in my stride that sometimes a goodbye is the best answer to greeting a recognizeable freedom. Janis Joplin sang Bobby McGee in my ear. "Freedom's just another word for, nothing left to lose." She had been listening to Janis Joplin a few days ago, on the phone, wanting me to come over. But I was tired, tired of her, and the act and she said I could sense things like no one else she'd ever met, except herself.

Whiskey. Wine. Oily Almonds. Friends. Prawns. Ravioli with dripping egg yolk inside. Music. Laughter. Marijuana from a vaporizer. Fish. Conversation lively and flawed. Every human interaction has its imperfections and they are supposed to be this way. They have to be imperfect, so be gentle on the memory. I slept on their couch beneath their loft bedroom. They slept with the television on. I folded the blanket. Freshened up. Went outside, my blood on fire, no perception of the actual temperature. Started my car. Drove past those wetlands and numberless bodies buried beneath the swamp.

She never asked about my dad. I made sure to include that. I didn't want a shoulder to cry on, only noticed that she was cold. Then she cried more. Explained it was intentional. Why were those tears streaming like spilling buckets down her face like that? Relief from getting away? Already? I'd hardly known anyone less and my feelings weren't hurt. I was in agreement. I was fine. Why was she crying so hard? What did she want from me? Who was she trying to console? Was she weeping for fear of her own uncertain life to come? Why did she get in touch with me in the first place? Lips like hers could find a man anywhere. I was fine. Putting one article of clothing on at a time. Stepping out into a world of potential, with a cure.

Later, I had made the responsible choice of sleeping on that couch. Sleeping it off. Passing the wet burial grounds. Lincoln. Arriving home and having art installation dream photographs. A moon made of little tiles, rotating, composed of all these little tiles, equal urine yellow. And I was alive.