DEACTIVATED

I am liberated from facebook. Too great was the seduction of attempting to captain this rudderless clunker of an existence without being approached by mutinous acquaintances who only want to talk about how inappropriate I am on facebook.

You are the nuns I caught window-shopping in Florence. My silence gets criticized as much as my tirades. My affection and my disaffection both get construed as affected. But of course, continue to judge me harshly and stalkingly over here and to bore me with your deep thoughts about how I should or shouldn’t when I bump into you in the street. After all, I am nothing without you. I love you.

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Posted in Yo!

the mother also falls; new show material

While I was in Sharon, Massachusetts minding a beagle and my incessant rape fantasies masquerading as worst nightmares, my mother was in Queens calling my grandmother, who had already fallen and was lying on the floor next to a pile of her own shit, which she had wrapped in a moth-ravaged purple wool tablecloth.

With one yank, she’d pulled down the tablecloth so that it could perform the duty of its lifetime. With the tablecloth, fell a box of old photographs, a salt shaker and pepper mill, and a magnifying glass that cracked upon impact. My grandmother, Baba, had the presence of mind to cover her fecal matter but not enough of it to tell my mother what the presiding matter was: that she had fallen and couldn’t get herself up ever again. “I’m fine…” my grandmother said.

“Did you take the Boniva?” my mother asked, plaintively. My mom’s voice was as lifeless as she was hoping my grandmother would be very soon.

“Sure I took the Boniva.” my grandmother answered.

“Oh, good because I made a mental note to ask you about that last night, so now I have and you say you did. Boy, am I glad you’ve taken that Boniva!” My mother’s sudden delight was shrill and unconvincing.

There emerged a pregnant pause from which neither knew how to return. The two breathed loudly in unison, both lying on their backs, both hosting nearly identically enlarged adenoids. After all, they were mother and daughter.

My mother thought of telling my grandmother all sorts of things. She thought of saying that she’d just started eating something called Pirate’s Booty, a delicious and low-calorie cheesy popcorn snack that might just tip the scales, so to speak, in her battle of the bulge. She thought of saying that Joel was killed in a shoot-out with some drug smuggler on The Wire. She thought of saying that she was frightened at her own inability to walk more than a few steps without exhaustion and agony, that she was starting to take Percocet regularly, and her dependence terrified her, at least during her comedowns it did. She thought of saying she had never been lonelier in her whole entire life and Mommy, why didn’t you touch me ever when I was a child? Why didn’t you hold me when your crazed Amazonian cousin who shared your name tried to stab me with a knife? I was six! You could have held me.  But instead she said, “Yup, I’m glad you’re taking that Boniva.”

“What’s Boniva?”

“Mom, Don’t be silly, you know what Boniva is.” My mom bit into a cheeze-it and then into her tongue, drawing blood. The sheer power of her annoyance, worry, and boredom could eviscerate pretzel and lingual artery, both.

“What’s the matter with you? Of course I know why I take boniva,” my grandmother scoffed.

“Fabulous, so we can say that you’ve taken the Boniva?” Her tongue was already swelling so she sounded like a chewing person with down syndrome. No offense to people with down syndrome but that’s what she sounded like, and really why would you be offended? My mother is awesome and you would be lucky to have her identify as one of you, plus aren’t you kind of constitutively forgiving, or is that just a stereotype? In any case, my mom blotted her tongue with a used tissue and rolled her eyes.

“What is this Boniva of which you speak?” my grandmother offered.

The conversation was so ordinarily depressing, my grandmother so dependably confused, that my mother didn’t notice anything was differently awry. She could tell you later what would have sounded the alarm: If the conversation had been remotely tolerable, my mother would have called the police or at least the doorman. As it stood, my mother said “Ok then, mom. I love you. Now hang up the phone before I hang up.”

Then my mother hung up the phone, mouth-fucked a few more cheeze-its, fitted her sleep apnea mask in place, breathed deeply twice, lay there, lay there, lay there, still lay there, took off her mask, fumbled for a cheeky Ativan and swallowed it without water, then readjusted her sleep apnea mask. The imprint of the elastic strap and nasal cannula would leave a skin-toned mustache pattern above her lip, which was quite flattering and very pleasant to the touch, she conceded. I understand. When I get a pimple above my lip, to the right, where a mole might hang out on a French lady, I often feel more attractive than when it fades. I should smear Crisco on my upper lip.

By the following day, my grandmother was naked on the hard wood floor. Her pants and shirt fit perfectly over some new excrement, as if the ensemble had been made for it. She was shivering. Her dentures rattled against her gums with the reflexive vibrations so she spit the dentures out.

My mother called, as usual. “Hi mom!” my mother crowed.

“Hi Boniva…” My grandmother replied. Her voice was quavering by this point, and of course she sounded perceptibly toothless.  In two days, she hadn’t had a sip of liquid or morsel of food, except for an overly salted half of her high school senior class photograph, and a heavily peppered baby picture of her Hasidic cousin, Reba. Then she groaned abruptly as fragments of Reba flaked off the walls of her small intestine.

My mother hung up the phone as if she had suddenly found out that someone had dipped the receiver in AIDS. She tried to strangle herself with her sleep apnea mask and when that wouldn’t work, she popped a couple of Ativan and watched a double episode of Hoarders on Lifetime.

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My favorite text from the Dixon Place show…

Does anyone know whether penile queefs are even possible? This fragment of a “letter” by Jimmy that I performed for that show at Dixon Place for Little Theatre suggests that they are. I’m fond of this passage, regardless:

“…I shit you not, the deep tones Mara blew out of my rod were didgereedoo-ish and the rhythm of the suck, Yakshagana. The phrases expressed through penile queefs were time-stretched pitch-shifters with queasy pockets of delay, and pregnant drop-outs that Mallarmè would have commended.’

“I always wanted to amount to something without having to work at it, and a lot of people ask me if I’m a musician, with my wicked style… especially since I’ve been rocking that pair of Sketchers I took off Herbie, after they cut the rope and waited for the medical examiner to arrive. ‘We could record this stuff!’ I hollered.  ‘We could be heroes!’ I whined. The rhythm shifted, became riddlingly cock-ophonous, and Mara’s eyes bulged as she strained to look up. I was wilting. I def shouldn’t have approached her with this goldmine opportunity at that moment but we’d talk later… though she’d have to get her teeth fixed if we were gonna take it to the next level… Dutifully, I held her ponytail like it was a rein, and started pistoning in and out of her word-hole. ‘Yah! Yah! Yah!!! Now Git!’ I cried. Perplexingly, Mara seemed to glare at me, but my bruiser perked up with the new beat I meated out. Shit, my dirty tube sock della warmed vaseline sure never felt this good.” 2/15/12

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if you smile…

then they will never share their eye make-up. they will always notice that your fingernails are dirty. they will pretend that they hate egg salad. they will keep their pills close to their breasts. they will ask you what you do. they will clock people at bars and whimsically vomit into your handbag and stray motorcycle helmets.  they will disdain memoir, find it beneath them. they will read somewhere that it was uncreative to recollect and yet sinful to reconstitute. they won’t forgive you for leaving the light on in the kitchen.  they will have skinny legs. they will say “no worries” when you haven’t apologized. they will make collages, mostly on pillow cases, out of moth-eaten scarves. they will say “thanks for your patience.” they will tell people you always left wet towels on the floor. they will be proud of their filing systems. they will like salvaging materials, but will mind you repurposing a dead grandfather. they will say “wha happen?” when you ask them to move their shopping carts?  they will claim that bugs like to bite them, and only them. they will brag that they give the best blowjobs. they will find your posts too expulsive. they will text ‘hope all is well’ when your father is in the i.c.u.  they will practice constant uptalk, finishing declarations at the highest pitch, just begging for agreement. they will tell you to direct puppet theatre.

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A Scar is Born

After seeing an online video that documented one of my live performances, my day-job boss started treating me like so many squares of toilet paper, abused to rect-ify tender skin after birthing an insolent, steroidally-massive mud baby.  When he admitted his provocation, I took the video down from Vimeo, along with implicating text, and then I grovelled for weeks.

At the same time, an estranged cousin, who serves as a police officer in Bridgeport, messaged me through Facebook after seeing my profile photo. He cautioned me to take the image down as he was concerned that it would preclude my receiving great job offers… as if merely that one photo stood in the way of my becoming Managing Director of Endless Breadstick Distribution at Olive Garden.

Notably, I hadn’t seen him since I was twelve, but he correctly assumed I was destitute. I privatized my profile photo.

But without potential for global humiliation, my flame flickered and I developed a pronounced glabellar wrinkle. I also became constipated but that’s another story, and maybe unrelated.

Thankfully, my shame transfigured into benignly violent rage, and thus a scar is born and this space at which you might poke and prod her, erected.

2/10/12

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