Monday, October 26, 2009

im always on the computer but i dont know anything about html. not a bit of it. not even a smidgen. it is a code i dont even try to crack. just another riddle ill never solve. i cant even begin to create a webpage - something that, from the looks of it, any idiot can do. but i wouldnt know the how or where or what about any of it. and you know what? i dont want to. i dont even want to know whats behind the curtain. i just like the words and the pretty colors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My super woke me up at nine in the morning the other day, knocking on my door in quick, urgent raps. I answered it in my underwear and rubbing my bleary eyes and shivering in the cold. He was wearing sweat pants and a sweatshirt with his hood up. I think he had just woken up as well.

He wanted to let me know that I had to reinstall my radiator. I took it out when I moved in because it’s in an awkward area that takes up valuable real estate in my living room. If I had left it in I’d have nowhere to put my television or my third bookshelf or the tall stereo speaker that’s not connected to anything. It isn’t too large, but the placement of it makes putting anything against that wall nearly impossible.

He said the tenants were beginning to complain about the cold, and he would have to turn on the heat. When I asked him if he could still turn it on without my radiator being installed he said he could but I would be sorry. It gets like an ice box in there, he warned. I thought about this and felt the goose bumps on my arms and chest and shuddered in the chill of my hallway. We went to where the radiator is to be placed and he saw my dilemma but again he warned that I would much rather be warm in the winter than not. I thought about this again. I looked at the wall and made mental measurements. I told him to wait a week.

He agreed and turned to leave but before he left he reminded me that he has a lot of senior citizen tenants that all need there heat and that he would need to turn on the heat that day. I said that was fine. To make sure my absent radiator didn’t cause a pipe leak he told me he would have to go to the basement and turn on the boiler then he would be back up to check to see if any water was dripping. That’s fine, I said. I’ll see you soon.

He went downstairs and I went back to my living room and looked at the wall and sighed and wondered what I would do and which sacrifice I would make. The kitties jumped all around the couch and my desk, still excited that a new person had visited, thinking maybe we would all play.


When he reentered he apologized for all the screaming. I asked if someone was being evicted and he explained that it was a neighborhood drug addict that everyone knew, camping out in the hallway trying to escape the cold. Outside the sky was dreary and grey and the rain fell hard and slanted on the pavement. The drug addict, a woman, slept on porches and beneath trees during the summer. I had wondered what she did when the seasons changed.

I’d seen him talking to her before, in a friendly manner. So I was aware he knew who she was. She burdens herself with bags and bags, filled with items she hopes to sell or maybe that she needs herself. Like I said, everyone knew her. She is short and dark and frail thin. Her face is hard but it’s built to smile even though I know she never smiles anymore. After so long involved in misery even the happiest moments cant make up the distance between joy and despair. Not when they rarely come, as I’m sure they rarely do for her. She only shows worry and suspicion. Her eyes are small and hyper aware. Being a homeless woman in New York leaves little room relief. There is no mercy in the gutters.

So she had camped out in the hallway, in a darkened corner next to an older tenants apartment. The tenant I’m sure knew she was there and didn’t mind. The super though, can’t allow it, so had to kick her out and had to be firm about it. I suppose this is the nature of their relationship. After thinking of it a while, I supposed there couldn’t be much of any other way.

He checked the pipe for leakage and said there was none. As he left I followed him into the hallway and I saw her with all her bags pulling out into cold morning. He warned me again that my apartment would soon be an icebox. I acknowledged this with a nod and said thank you. Then I went to the living room and again looked at the position of my TV and wondered what I would do if I had to move it. There aren’t many more areas it can fit. I decided to brave the cold for a while. A bitter air swept in and a chill rushed through the house.

It could be worse, I thought.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

vague entry for the sake of it

I’ve been falling behind in school. It is my own undoing; I’ve been skipping classes, doing papers at the last minute, letting time waste by without any concern for my academic obligations. It is because my head is in another place.

I think of her mostly. And if not thinking of her then thinking of how I can be a better person for her. Even though I don’t have her. Cant have her. Wont have her. I still think of it. I think sometimes maybe that’s her allure. I hope that’s her allure.

Though I know its not.

And then there are the others. The ones that stand in front of me with their arms open and their breast heaving and willing let me have them and sometimes I do have them because I have nothing else and who am I to say no.

They don’t get in the way though. With them it is simply flesh upon flesh. They don’t know who I am and I don’t care to know who they are. It makes me feel like a piece of shit sometimes, when I ignore their calls or shrug when they ask me a personal question. But this is all I can offer and if they don’t want it then they can move on. I surely will.

Besides, they don’t bring me down. They don’t consume my thoughts. They are just the skin of midnight and the shed of dawn. It is not a very flattering approach, I admit, but I cannot belong to them and as long as we are clear on that then living and breathing between us can go much easier.

She knows about them. I’ve told her once and then she found out through other means and we both agreed that what is done is done but I can tell we were both hurt. By the truth and the untold truths and the spaces in between. But this is what we are made up of —us— these serpentine roads fraught with longing and loss and hurt and misery and also peppered with burst of joy that explode above like an awaited celebration and when the remnants rain down they burn, leaving scars. This we know and we both live with and it’s because we simply live and not because we want to.

And when we are apart I wonder where she is and who she is with and how she feels about who she is with and I sequester these questions in my heart and when we see one another I smile.

And when we are apart I sit and stare and I pet the cats and clean the house and I wait and I keep waiting.

Instead of doing school work.

These post have gotten too personal of recent. But this is what this blog was meant to be. This is why I don’t know anyone who reads it. Or at least why I hope no one I know reads it. Because all these thoughts and these strange things in my heart are mine and only mine and the world can pick them apart or ignore them and I wont care, as long as they don’t ask questions. Because if I cant write about my flaws or how my flaws make this up this ache then what else can I write about?

I will have more stories later. For now if you read you go through what I go through.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


The day does not start with the sun in my eyes or with the aroma of coffee in the air or with a sleepy blinking and a stretch. It starts with me pulling the comforter from my tangled body and my legs slowly swinging over the side of the bed and me staring at the clock and then the floor and then feeling an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. The dull massage of panic simmering inside. Faint rays of daylight barely reaching at my bedroom door. Everything within me rising with the sun.

I get up and struggle to my computer and hope she is online so that I can say hi. It is the first thing I do every morning and while I do it I cough into my hand and phlegm gathers in my throat and I spit it into the trashcan next to my desk. I stare at it sliding into the crumpled paper and cigarette ash and think of my future and wait for her to say hi back. She usually does but I secretly I feel one day she wont.

I get up and make a pot of cheap coffee —using toilet papers squares as filters because I recently ran out and have been too lazy or busy to go to the store and buy more— then I go back to my computer and sit down and stare into the screen as if inside it lie all the solutions. Like the ones and zeros that make it up can in some way provide an answer for me, a cure for my anxieties, as if beneath its words there is a mystery unraveled and I have just yet to discover it.

Shes says hi back and there is a boiling I feel in my stomach and at the same time a profound hollowness and I cough again and spit into the trashcan and it is as if I’m being choked but from the inside out. I ask how she is doing and she says fine.

I go to pour myself a cup of coffee and I wonder what she means by fine. Fine is a word used to replace other, more truthful words. Fine is a word only meant to placate a conversation, instead of encourage it further. There is nothing behind fine, it means simply things are without any worry or contentment. To be fine is to not be pleased nor be troubled. It is to be and no one can just be. You say fine when you want to say nothing else. When you say it there is a period at the end. You are fine. End of story.

When I sit back at the computer she has asked how I am and without pausing I say fine as well.

I sip my coffee and light a cigarette. The gray sky washes light along the avenue outside. Miles climbs on my desk and sits in front of the screen and then jumps off towards the windowsill because a bird flew by. He stares at it flies off into the sky above the rooftops and i follow his eyes and the bird gets smaller and further away. I cough again, this time in a fit, and a huge pool of mucous rolls into my throat and I get up and go to the bathroom and spit it into the toilet. I cough again, my stomach like a collection of knots and my chest broken and wheezing like a machine with parts in it that don’t belong. I lean over the bowl and let myself get consumed with racks and gasp until finally gooey bile releases itself from my mouth. A hideous retching noise echoes along the tiles of my bathroom and the cats stare up at me without concern.

I wipe my mouth and brush my teeth and walk back to my desk, through the bedroom and stepping over dirty jeans and single socks and sighing as things I should sweep stick upon the soles of my feet and again I wonder about my future.

I sit down in front of the computer again and I try to think of something to say to her, even though I know I don’t have to, that shes not asking me to, I still think of something to say to her. Inside my stomach is brawling with last nights alcohol and nerves and mucous and I cant remember the last time I ate. I think about writing. I try to ignore everything I feel. I open a word doc and the page is long and blank and intimidating. It is the horizon and it reaches on forever. I decide to write something even if it is nothing. My stomach turns again and I light another cigarette. I wonder if it is too early for a beer. The coffee is lukewarm and everything around me is silent.

I ask her how she slept last night.

It is the only thing I can think of saying.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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