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Marcus Bird’s “GAIJIN GIRL” Ebook, Great in-flight reading   Leave a comment

This is a collection of short stories that span the globe from Jamaica to Japan. Please read the story when you get a chance, and feel free to e-mail me feedback at the address included in the ebook sampler. Thanks in advance.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28255995/Gaijin-Girl-Ebook

Chinese Prostitutes, Strip Clubs and Jason Schwartzman   3 comments

I’m standing on a street corner, and a small Chinese prostitute is grabbing my arm.

“Do you want massage?” she asked.

“No thanks.” I said.

“Only two thousand yen. Come now, we go to second floor.”

“Seriously I’m good.” I replied.

Beside me, the same thing was happening to Rob. The two ladies were tiny, with intense eyes and relatively cute features. They were very aggressive, but finally we got away.

This is how the night started to wind down in Roppongi.

THREE HOURS EARLIER:..

I’m sitting in a pasta shop somewhere in Shibuya, chatting to a dancer that looks like a perfect ten model. Her name is Jeri,  and she’s in town for a dancing gig at  a club later on, somewhere in Roppongi. She is easily the hottest woman I’ve met since I’ve been to Tokyo.  She’s very friendly, and chatting to her is a pleasure. She reminds me of a dancer I saw when I went to club Womb a few months prior, but this is her first time in Japan.

“I’m from L.A, but the scene is really good here. I might come back.” She says.

She’s wearing a summer straw hat, a white skirt, and a tank top that reveals her voluptuous figure. She’s tanned and unblemished. Later Rob would tell me she’s mixed with a few things, but he couldn’t remember what exactly.

“I did this show,” she said. “With a  Japanese group called the MANEATERS.”

“Sounds bizarre.” I said with a laugh.

Jeri, Rob and I chat about traveling and our adventures, for a few minutes. “What are you guys doing tonight?” she says. “Maybe Roppongi or here in Shibuya.” Rob says to her. “I’m performing tonight at the Gallery in Roppongi.” She says. “You guys should check it out.”

Jeri was a professional Go-Go dancer.  Initially, Rob was confused.  “Is Go-Go dancing stripping?” he asked.

“No, its not.” She said.

I have to admit, I didn’t really know the difference either. But I was guessing Go-Go dancers were the hot girls who danced on elevated platforms in large clubs all over the world.

I got her number and she left. As she stood up, I was surprised to see how petite she was. She disappeared soon after, as Rob and I talked about what to eat. “Wow, what are the odds of meeting a girl like her randomly like that?” I said.
“I guess that’s  Tokyo for you.” Rob replied with a laugh.

Rob had come to Tokyo on a mission. To see the sights, go to a few museums and eat at a revolving sushi restaurant in Shibuya. We had no idea where it was. To describe Shibuya is to try and describe an endless concert with thousands of fans roaming the streets all the time, every day. Each time I travel to Shibuya, for a few minutes I feel a buzz in my head. So many people, so many lives and so many things happening at once really aren’t a part of my basic biological makeup I believe. When I’m there, I want to be a hunter-gatherer again, farming in the mountain with a gang of scruffy kids behind me gathering wood.

Rob asks someone where the restaurant is. The guy he asks is African, and like almost all the West Africans I’ve seen in Tokyo, he works in the area, promoting clubs or bars. He tells us where the restaurant is, a place where all the Sushi costs one hundred and twenty yen a piece. We step in, and Rob squeals with excitement. “We doing it son! Tokyo!”

A man in a chef’s hat points to a sign at the reception area. “You must eat at least seven dishes.” It read. “That’s cool with me.” I said.

We were ushered to a few seats around the back, and as we walked past the crowd a face stood out:  A small guy with a thick head of black hair and a very scruffy beard. I immediately recognized him as Jason Schwartzman, the actor. As we walked to our seat I rested my hand on his shoulder. “Hey man, are you a professional actor?” I said. “Why yes I am.” He replied. “Awesome, I love your work man!” I said while walking away. “Thank you.” He said with a smile.

The sushi at the bar was wicked delicious and I ended eating eight plates. Rob had nine. Beside me, a few feet away, Schwartzman was still hanging out in the restaurant. He was with  a slim blonde woman with delicate features; his wife. I went over. I chit-chatted with them for a while about Tokyo. He was in town to check out the opening of “Opening Ceremony”, a large store that has branches in New York and Los Angeles. “It’s opening Sunday. You should check it out, the store is going to be pretty amazing.”

Rob, who was behind me said: “Opening Sunday? Is that the name of the store?”

“No.” Jason said with a laugh. “The store is Opening Ceremony and it’s opening on Sunday.”

“Wow, the opening ceremony for Opening Ceremony is on Sunday when it opens.” I said.

We all laughed. Schwartzman was cool, and I snapped some pictures and got a video shout out for my webseries Marcus Bird :Jamaican in Japan . He was there with this wife, designer Brady Cunningham founder of eco-friendly clothing line, Souvenir.<>.

We said our goodbyes and he told me he’d checkout my website. This is one of the moments when I realized I needed a business card. I said peace, and he left the restaurant.

ONE HOUR LATER

Rob and I are in Gas panic. Blood red lights flood the room and people dance in the shadows. I explained to Rob that I’m a night owl, and that I feed on the night energy of Tokyo. He told me that since there are language barriers and it being a new country, he thought he’d rather see more terrain and sights that necessarily try to chat to women. This opinion changed rapidly when we started clubbing.

Inside GAS PANIC, cute girls were dancing, but it was the music that really set things off. Contemporary hip-hop blasted through speakers I couldn’t see, and the place was jumping. Cute Japanese girls with hair processed to look curly did Atlanta dances like they were born in America. Rob watched with amazement. One girl in particular, in pink overalls really understood the rhythm. I had seen Japanese girls dance before, to reggae and hip-hop, but I could understand Rob’s feelings. This was his first time EVER seeing Japanese people dance like black people.
“It’s sad man.” He said to me.” That these people try so hard to look like us, and so many black people don’t even love themselves.”

I looked at the girls as he said this. One wore an Atlanta cap with hip-hop jeans on. They all had curly hair and sang along to every T.I song that came over the airwaves. But they barely spoke English, if any. It was amazing. We hung out for a little while longer, getting the vibe started. Then we headed to Roppongi.

TWENTY FIVE MINUTES LATER

Tokyo has an endless stream of beautiful women walking the streets. Every minute or two, Rob and I would see women that made us stop, or at least take a peek. He was starting to see what people were talking about in regards to Tokyo.  It’s one thing to see a cute girl every now and then, but in hours we had seen thousands.

We are on the train, and two girls in front of me are looking at my feet and saying something about my shoes. “Big eh? “I say in Japanese. One giggles but pretends not to hear me. She’s been eyeing me since we got on the train in Shibuya. Our stop isn’t far away and it seems the girls aren’t going to our stop. I exit the train terminal and see a face I recognize. It’s a tall, gorgeous woman I met two weeks before. Miki.

I walk over to her and she greets me with a squeal of excitement. Her long, gorgeous arms wrap around me for a moment. I feel her strength. She immediately decides to come with us wherever we are going. We dump our stuff in a locker and head out. Club 911 is the next stop.

In minutes, Rob takes over a little corner near the top bar. Ladies are dancing and smiling, and I’m watching Miki do Samba to a Justin Timberlake song. She is really, really sexy. She sips on a drink and flashes a quiet smile at me every now and then. She’s the kind of woman that I like. Tall and strong, beautiful and fearless on the dance floor. The club is packed, but after a while I start to get antsy. 911 is really small, and in an hour, it starts to turn into a sausage fest. I want Miki to head to a spot called Bar 57 with us, but she says she has to surf in the morning. A little guy the size of her drink hanging beside her says otherwise to me, but I decide to leave. An older Japanese woman was feeling Rob.

“One more drink, and that’d probably be it.” He said with a laugh.

“Well I’m glad you didn’t have that drink.” I replied with a  smile.

Bar 57 was closing when we reached. It seemed like a hot spot, with expensive drinks, a nice interior and high ceilings. The stragglers were all in designer dresses and high heels. I liked the feel of the place. Maybe next time. We went back to the strip.

FIVE MINUTES LATER

We headed back down the strip. Every few feet a young African man would come up to us, offering us exclusive admission to a club or a strip bar. We went to Club 99 near Odeon and went upstairs. Drunk Japanese girls were dancing on the bar top, but like most places in Tokyo, you get ushered towards the bar first. They say free entry, but if you don’t buy a drink you get kicked out. The spot was a bit lame and we headed out.

The prostitutes found us again somehow and kept pleading with us to get a massage. “Jesus Christ.” These women are persistent.” I said. One of them was actually pretty cute, but knowing what her day job was…

TEN MINUTES LATER

We are hanging in front of a bar near the McDonald’s. I’m on my phone, trying to find out where The Rippongi Gallery is to see if I can catch a bit of Jeri’s performance, but none of the Africans on the strip seem to know where it is. It feels like a put on. “Do you see that?” Rob says.

I glance up and the two girls, now about twenty feet away, are looking back at us.

“Should  we talk to them? “ I said.

“You better take one for the team because I’m not.” Robert said.

I saw what he was talking about. Of the two girls, one was blimp-sized. I took at deep sigh and waved for them to come back. They giggled and kept walking, but as they got further away looked back more. Eventually, they returned. They wore matching black and white outfits and wore gray backpacks. A little odd. The bigger one started asking us a range of questions. “You guys kept looking back at us, so we were wondering what was going on.” I said to the larger one. “I’m sorry, my sister here was interested in you, but she doesn’t speak English.”

“Oh?” I replied. “What language does she speak?”

“Greek.” The girl replied.

“Do you need Windex?” Rob said immediately.

The girl gave him a strange look.
“I’m joking, I’m joking. I know that statement was mad ignorant.” Rob said with a laugh. I started laughing too, but it would be an entire day before I remembered that Windex reference came from the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The girl introduced herself as Athena and her sister as Mina. What was weird about Mina was that she progressively got better at English within minutes of meeting us. Rob made a joke about Atlanta and she laughed. I made a joke that required certain knowledge of American pop humor and bad English grammar and she laughed. Then she started speaking.

“I’m thirty-five.” She said.

We balked.

“Impossible!” I said.

I paused as three tall, leathery Japanese drag queens stormed past. The sisters asked us If we wanted to hang out. I said okay, but I really wasn’t feeling like taking one for the team. We walked towards a bar called Vi-bar, a bar I went to the day before. The girls became quiet, and it felt a little weird. After we stepped inside, a man came to me and asked me what I’m drinking. “One minute.” I said to him. I turned to Rob.

“Dude, you think these girls are hustling us?” I asked.

He shrugged his shoulders. Their accent changes, the weird backpacks, the greek names and everything felt wrong. “Let’s bounce.” Rob said. “Cool.” We headed back out to the madness of Roppongi at four thirty a.m

At the top of the strip, a smooth talking guy named Joe came up to us. He spun a fabulous tale about a strip club where we could drink all we want for thirty bucks and be dazzled and dazed by exotic dancers. I’m not a strip club guy, but the night was going so many places I said, “what the hell.” Rob was in agreement but we entered under a simple condition. If we didn’t like the spot, we’d leave, if we did we’d have to pay.

We walked back down the strip and stopped at a bar. I laughed. It was the same place the two “greek” girls had taken us to before. This time we went upstairs. A shady looking poster of a naked woman was at the door. We walked in, and it was empty, save a line of strippers standing in file facing us. It was a weird feeling, coming into the small, empty strip club with all the dancers watching us. One of the strippers was really hot. She had some sort of brazilian look about her. The rest weren’t so appealing. We thanked the staff and left.

Back outside, we walked back to the top of the strip and sat on a road barrier. The streets were still packed, but we knew the night was over. As we waited for the light to change, a pair of small hands grabbed me. It was the prostitute! Rob and I started laughing again. “Sorry, we go now. Back to hotel.” Rob said. We started crossing the street and one of them said, “I come to hotel with you!”

We laughed and turned around.

The night was over.

Losing Christmas….   2 comments

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Its raining outside, and somewhere my family is looking up at sunny skies, sharing smiles and eating a delicious breakfast. I won’t be with them anytime soon.

I’ve lost Chrstmas.

I don’t know how much people know about the stilted lives of those who aren’t American living in the U.S, but let’s just say, its not always pleasant. Details of why I’m forced to remain in lovely ol’ DC for the rest of the year are irrelevant.
I’ve lost this time with my family and a few friends, but I feel I lost Christmas a long time ago.
Tomorrow will be the fourth year anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. I can’t even believe it, it still feels like yesterday, like the way I feel when I forget my keys as I’m stepping out of the house, or the way I feel when I have something to do that’s on the tip of my tongue. It feels close, as if it’s a breath away, an arm’s length. But its not. Four whole years have passed since I visited the quiet hospital room with its green, ugly walls, where everyday I would greet my Grandfather with a smile and hug, feeling his bones press into my skin because he had lost so much weight. The staff loved him—he’s just that kind of guy—and I followed suit. Even though he was at the last stages of being eaten by cancer, he never showed much pain or anger. He would always entertain conversation if he could manage it. He was always laughing with the staff and telling me: “Mr. Marcus, good to see you.”
I only had two weeks to spend with him, and there were nights that I was falling asleep after spending the day there with him, and he would tell me to go out and have fun.
It’s hard watching someone with one lung breathe. The day before he died, one of his lungs collapsed, and watching him was heartbreaking. When you have one lung you are forced to exert all your efforts into breathing. Sucking in life-giving air is no longer something you do effortlessly awake or asleep, it becomes frightfully real. I watched him heave awkwardly for hours on end, while nurses stood by, their faces dark brown masks of death.
On the day he died, we were all standing around him, most of his immediate family, and we were there to see him go. His last words with his arms outstretched were “Sing for me”. Sing we did. His pastor was there, singing a quiet hymnal, and we stood by, our eyes filled with tears and our hearts in our mouths. As soon as he said those words, he wilted, and we knew he was gone. My mother grabbed us and rushed us beside him. “Tell him goodbye.” She said between breaths.

Tell him goodbye.

That was four years ago, and tomorrow a gathering will take place at my Grandmother’s house in Jamaica. People will play dominoes, eat Christmas cake and drink Sorrel (a yearly drink we brew) and talk about good times. I will be here in DC, watching rain pour from the sky like tears from my eyes four years ago.

In a way, I lost Christmas then.

A year later, I was in love. The worst kind you can be in, the unrequited kind. That Christmas I was unable to sleep, and I lost my appetite. The days went by in a blur, and all I could think of was a person I couldn’t see or touch. I couldn’t hear her voice or smell her hair, but at least, I had my family. I had the kind, consoling words of my Grandmother. She with her powerful hugs and sweet kisses. She calls me Marks. Then there were the outings with my father, the endless stream of Heinekens and staying out at bars until the sky becomes a purplish blue. I get to hear my father say, “This is my big son. Marcus.” To numerous people I’ve never met. Then there are the idle conversations with my sisters; joking about esoteric things you learn over twenty odd years of living with each other. The jokes that only you will ever find funny, the ones that pop up from the recesses of your memory in the same way your name does when a stranger asks you what your name is. You immediately go back in time, and you are ten and she is five, and you are both sitting with skinny arms and legs, calmly watching a Disney movie on the brand new VCR. I didn’t have love, but at least I had that. I had those memories around me to stymie the effects of my loss.

The next year, I lost a friend.

This also changed Christmas. No longer would I run to his house and laugh and recap the year, or traipse about Kingston, laughing at how well we were dressed, or more esoteric jokes. No more would we reminisce about riding through the hills during the summertime on our bikes; no more playing video games and crashing on couches. These memories were gone, wilted away like the moment my Grandfather left this Earth. We might think life is mundane and often empty; that the little things around us are the things we dislike the most. The little things family and friends might say to annoy us, the meals we used to hate, the little trips we didn’t like taking. But when those are gone, we are left with nothing but silence, a cavernous raging silence that we can’t escape. It stares at us from the heavens, drowning us in its malevolent laughter.

Treasure the moments.

A year after this one, I made sure to make Christmas what it should be. I relished the moment, hungrily went to all the parties, I went to all the dinners and I laughed at all the jokes. Losing love, family and friends makes you do that. It turns you into a leech for good emotion. Dammit, if I have three weeks out of a sad year to feel good, I will use them like an addict’s last hit of coke before rehab.
Today, that’s changed.

There is no love twittering about in my heart, no painful memories of someone nearby. There is no friend to call and laugh about esoteric jokes. There is no family nearby to hug and giggle with, no sisters around to laugh about old Disney movies and catfights when we were kids. All I have is the rain around me, the humming of my space heater to keep me company, and my thoughts.
It is said that we die alone, that when we exit this Earth, we do so the same way we came. I think this is true, but I also think we live alone. We may occasionally see people and go to places were others dwell, but in our minds we are forever by ourselves. We never completely open up to those around us, and our reality is uniquely our own. Time might pass and we might love and lose it, get married or have children, but in some way, people never truly know us. We spend most of our lives being trained not to tell people about ourselves, and then worry as we get older and experience states of undesirable disconnect. Thus, if we die alone, and we live alone, is dying like living? Are they one and the same?
I don’t know. But as I head out into another rainy evening and the wet drops soften my hair, mix with the salt on my skin and burn my eyes, I might have my answer.

Hello DC: Rubix Cube Party   Leave a comment

I’m at a Rubix cube party.
We all know the Rubix cube. It was a genius little device invented in the early 70’s by the Hungarian architecture dude. You spin the faces, line up the squares and make the colors match. We know how it works. At this party, we are the colors, and by the night’s end, we must be wearing one color of clothing. In a sense, we are squares on the cube.
Earlier in the evening, I was happily munching on Chicken Tibs at a local Ethiopian restaurant. I was eating with a good friend of mine. We spoke frankly about the diatribes of broken relationships, growth and Sean Penn’s new Movie, “Milk”.
Afterwards, we stepped out into the darkness of DC’s winter cold, and I bid her adieu. Then I hopped on the 70 bus towards Columbia heights. I spent the trip listening to dancehall, and watching the dark blobs that represent rowhouses go past in a dull blur.
I was sitting quietly, (like most people in the bus), but I was listening to sexually charged, uber-voilent dancehall music. I’m sure my hipster pants and trucker hat hid that fact nicely.
It’s really cold when I exit the bus to head towards the party, but there is something oddly stimulating about it.
Maybe it’s the feeling of the wind biting my fingertips, the little brown leaves that rustle above me whenever a gust of wind flashes by, or the fact that I’m underdressed. My fingers are burning me, and my jacket (stylish as it is) has no outer pockets for me to slip my fingers into.
I walk fast.
When I reach the party, there is no one milling outside. This makes perfect sense. Even the smokers are happily huddled inside, accepting warmth instead of tiny doses of nicotine, cyanide and a dozen other harmful chemicals.
As I step in, a guy wearing red tights, and a red dress walks past. His eyes are glassy with alcohol, and he has a wry smile. “I need your hat!” he says to a girl walking nearby. She is wearing dark leather pants, a red hat and a suede Jacket that looks straight out of a vampire movie. She chuckles and disappears into the small crowd of people occupying the space.
I personally am out of place with my outfit. I’m technically wearing full black, (even though I wore a yellow shirt to throw my outfit off) but I am determined to find matching yellow pants. I see one person dressed in yellow, a short girl with dark features. She is wearing what appears to be a yellow jacket around her waist, webbed yellow shoes, yellow stockings, a yellow hat and a yellow shirt. I groan, as I have nothing to trade. The idea of taking off my pants right there to put some yellow tights on isn’t stimulating yet. I need to get some alcohol.
I meet and greet the hosts, and I find out it’s a birthday party. I was invited by a girl I know, Ash, and she is decked out in a full red outfit; large red shirt that reads “Ameican Heritage”, red tights and a  red baseball cap. At some point later on in the night she will be completely blue, complete with a blue wig. “Would you like some whiskey?” she says to me as I step inside.
For a moment I pause, and my mind flashes back to Halloween weekend a month prior. I saw a blur of people, faces and felt the heat of different bars and houses on my face, then I remember waking up and not knowing where I was.
“I think I’ll get a beer.” I say with a smile. Ash starts talking to the girl in the full yellow. Behind me, a guy says. “She (yellow girl) looks like a creature from Final Fantasy.”
I spend the next ten minutes trying to remember what creature she  looked like. I was never a huge Final Fantasy fan, but I knew a few of the creatures.
When I was in high school and Playstation (not Playstaion two or three, not even PSOne… PLAYSTATION) was all the rage, when Final Fantasy seven came out, it was lauded as one of the greatest RPG’s of all time. I didn’t have a Playstation, I had an N64, and I forever regretted not feeding on the frenzies of my school mates. I wished I could have huddled under the tree where the nerds hung out and read backstory on the FF universe, talk about little creatures and boss fights and escape in that world of fantasy. Instead, I played games like Bomberman 64 and Turok. I’m thinking about this as i walk through the kitchen looking a cup, then a word pops into my head:
Chocobo.
That’s the thing the girl in the yellow looks like. It’s a little bird sort of creature. I walk down a narrow hallway and through six active conversations. Outside is  a keg, and I get a drink. The temperature feels like its dropped another six degrees, and I hurry up and go inside. After my first beer, I’m determined to get some yellow pants.
The music isn’t very inspiring. It sounds like slow lounge music mixed in with upbeat country or old pop songs. No one is dancing yet. I see the birthday boy (who I incorrectly called “Jesse” for most of the night) and say hello. He is wearing a hodgepodge of colors. He has an orange shirt on, tiny blue shorts and black socks, and he has an orange bandana tied on his head. “So, you are twenty five eh?” I say. “Yeah, maybe in a week it will hit me and I’ll either be like “oh god!” or “oh yeah!” He says with a laugh. “I’ve been there,” I say. “I’m definitely in the “oh god!” stage right now.”
He disappears down the same long hallway with two girls and I eye some cake. Lately I’ve been avoiding a lot of pastry, and I don’t feel like digging into a suger-laced cake while I’m drinking. Ash is standing beside two more girls who are working the Rubix. One is wearing full blue regalia and has a blue wig on. She does Madonna style poses as cameras flash in the background.
I smile and survey the rest of the party. It’s a weird mix. Some people are dressed very normal, in the usually array of jeans and jackets. Then there are a few hardcore guys, who I call the “Rubix dudes”.
For some reason, they are all wearing dresses, and I think their oufits were elaborate plans engineered by the women at the party (they are in the majority). One guy is about six foot three and wearing a green skirt, a green halter top, what looks like a shiny set of green leaves on a string around his neck and (I think) a green necklace. Another fellow, who I later find out is Mark, is wearing small,orange boy-underwear, what look  like orange tassles around his waist, and a v-neck orange shirt (above a green one) complemented by a knit orange hat. He has sharp eyes, a playfully expressive face,a moustache and goatee. He looks like Robin Hood, if Robin Hood left Nottingham to join the broadway cast of Mama Mia! And ended up doing West Side Story instead.
There are a few other guys who enthusiastically get into the Rubix-mode, but the guy that took the cake was a short, broad-chested fellow wearing a full white female outfit. It was his manliness—hairy chest and broad flat features—that made his outfit the funniest. A tiny white haltertop barley fit on his chest and he wore a small white dress, and what looked like a white hairnet…. Or head tie, I’m not familiar with what all forms of female clothing are called.
They Rubix dudes were constantly taking pictures, smiling and laughing. I was on my second beer now, but I didn’t feel like clothes swapping that much. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted to get my yellow pants. I started talking to Mr. T, a friendly-faced guy with a classic Midwest disposition. Ash told me he was apparently, a rubix cube expert.
We started discussing the dynamics near the front entrance. By this time I was on beer number four or five and sipping on a Bacardi ginger ale. Needless to say, talking about the concepts behind multiple planes and matching edges were lost on me. The music changed, and I started dancing with Ash.
At some point, I start a conversation with the tallest women at the party. One looks Scandinavian, and one looks German. I mention this to them.
“Hah! One laughs. I’m Swedish.” She says. “I’m German.” The other replies.
We talk for a few minutes about their amazing athletic abilities. (The swede did decathalon, long jump, high jump, 200M ,800M and deep sea shark hunting). The German did shotput, discus and javelin. (I guessed discus correctly).
Then the German speaks about one year of celibacy, and its implications as it relates to meeting people for “who they are.” I smile as she says this. “I wanted to know how it felt you know? To just not experience that for a year.”
I laugh, and say.”Most people know that feels for a good ten, fifteen years. I think they are too aware of celibacy.”
“Ten? Try twenty!” The Swede says with a laugh.
Ash is now in blue mode, and is dancing amongst friends, laughing and taking pictures. I wear the wig for a few minutes.
I go to the kitchen, and talk to two girls wearing black trucker hats. “What do your hats say?” I ask, squinting to read the writing on them. “Hah! You though it was Japanese didn’t you?” one of the girls says.
In fact, I didn’t think that, because I can read some Japanese. I was thinking it was some kind of Arabic language (and in my defense, the girls both had that “dark-ish” look. Long black hair, sharp dark brown eyes. Which means they could have Persian ancestry or just be from Manhattan.)
“It’s a hat our friend made. Its actually in English.” She points out what it says, and it becomes as clear as day. “ohhh….” I say. Then I look down, and see that she is wearing YELLOW PANTS.
“I said I’d get some yellow pants tonight.” I say seriously. “You have what I want.”
She swaps pants with me, and we snap pictures with her friend, who also has the pants on. Technically, they are little boy shorts, but I rather refer to them as pants.
I parade around in the pants for a while, and smile broadly. Ash comes over, she rubs her small hands across the small of my back. “I see you got your yellow pants.” She said. “Yes I’m a happy camper!” I reply.
I spend the next few minutes taking pictures of all the other emasculated men, including those I’ve named the White Russian, the Green Giant, Robinson Hood and the Black Tight. Outside where the keg is, people are huddled around a grill, talking about nothing in particular. I snap a few more pictures and go back inside.
The girls in the trucker hats are heading out, and I return the yellow pants. The party is beginning to thin out, and everyone is heading to wonderland. I feel a twinge of regret as I head out with Ash and Mr. T to wonderland. I was hoping I could wear my yellow pants there.

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:::FRIDAY NIGHT GUITAR HERO-INES::::   1 comment

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I’m looking at three hands protrude from a lamppost.

It’s a photograph, and I’m guessing its somewhere in Adams Morgan, that proverbial mish-mash of frat-boy meets sunshine Blond girl, that place where a hot summer night ends up with streets lined with wet slices of pizza and guys fighting police. I’m a little chilly, and I chuckle, remembering that in my Jamaican-ness I still haven’t figured out the proper technique for dressing for moderately cold weather. In Jamaica we just wear what feels comfortable, as opposed to what’s necessary. In a cold climate there is so much structure to what one wears. Tonight I’m wearing thin pants, a long-sleeved white t-shirt and a pink and blue shirt (can anyone say Gay Euro?). I also have a track Jacket, which luckily isn’t a bad choice. There was one winter night I wore the track Jacket and the temperature dropped ten degrees. That night, I hated being typically Caribbean.

I’m at an art exhibit, looking at photographs from DC’s budding geniuses. The picture I’m looking is by a photographer named Joshua. He is a part of the Ten Miles Square group, which I’ve never heard of. Around me, people float around in various states of distraction. I say distraction because few people are reading the short blurbs of the photographers. Instead they are idly gazing at the pictures, occasionally pointing and smirking and then going outside. There is free beer outside, and I don’t blame them. Most people are dressed for colder weather, which I’m guessing is necessary. I’m being 100% Jamaican tonight, comfortable.
There is only one cold night I remember in Jamaica, and it was when I had a 103 degree fever, and my mother was dousing me in alcohol and cool water to bring my temperature down. It is also the first time I remember being delirious, and later I would hear I was rambling about video games and women with small breasts. (Okay, this isn’t true, but I wish it was, I was twelve).

Tonight is warm. I’m at Fight Club! A spot betwixt two large main roads in a back alley. This place feels like the scene from a really cool indie movie. The door to enter is a huge piece of Zinc, and inside has skateboard ramps, junk and lots of people that wish they were artists. DC people don’t dress artsy, nor do they act it. I talk to two girls while looking on a series of photographs that depicts people in different perspectives of distance. “I’m weird.” One of them says. I ask her why, and she tells me she is weird simply because it is, like the Gulf War happening and socks always smelling bad at the wrong times. Her friend, who is at least six foot seven, agrees that she too is a bit weird. Actually, she said she felt like the person in another photograph parallel to the exhibit we were looking at. It was a clown in various areas in DC. She said she felt like the picture where the clown was sitting by himself in a train.
I didn’t get it.

I go outside to get some beer and schmooze with the attendants. The kegs aren’t working, and the beer is mostly foam, but I smile and make sure to tip them each time I come for another beer. Like dressing for the cold, tipping is something I learned in America. Tipping in Jamaica isn’t comfortable, or necessary. The value of tipping works out later on. At the bar, I get smiles from three average looking blonde girls, and this guy who looks like a German trapped in an American’s body.

There is a skating room in this spot, a semi-cavernous area with ramps that allow boarders to skate on walls, the ceiling and wipeout in glorious 3d. Several of the very distracted photo exhibit patrons aren’t distracted in here. They are fixed with generous aplomb, watching skaters with tight pants threaten their skulls with possible concussions. I have a fond relation to skateboarding. A few years ago, I decided to become a professional skateboarder. I tried this for two years and then my knees began hurting unforgivably anytime I tried to Ollie. Now, like the distracted herd, I just watch.

By the wall is a tall girl, with a Winona Ryder hair cut peering through a set of bars into the skate room (yes there is a window with prison style bars erected). I ask her a lame question, somewhere along the lines of: Are you a photographer? She laughs and says no, and I can see her features more clearly. A strong face, with high cheekbones, a straight nose and thin lips. I peg her to be European. “I am no a photo-grapher.” She says with a slight accent. I smile, my international travels haven’t failed me.
“Let me guess where you are from.” I say with a wry smile. Her eyes open slightly wider, and I can see her brain sending calculations my way:
1)    Who is this guy
2)    How does he know I’m foreign
3)    Why is he wearing a gay Euro shirt.
“You are from France.” I say.
I actually think she’s German, but I say France to throw off the scary factor pegging her might bring. “I’m from Germany.” She says with a smile. She laughs, and shows a row of very straight teeth. Germany has good orthodontists.
When I ask her what she’s doing in DC, she says, “Oh, I make marketing for a large car company.”  I raise an eyebrow, feeling my playful side emerge like a rude kid in a unsupervised environment.
“You ‘make’ marketing?” I say. “Did you ‘create’ industry as well?”
Before she can respond, I grab her and laugh. “I’m just kidding!” I say with a big smile.

Four more times that night, I would say she “makes marketing”. Its no longer just a playful jab at her English, it becomes our joke. A little insider thing that we’ll laugh about in a year when I meet up with her in Munich. I don’t know how, but it will happen. I already see myself at the Schoenfeld airport (or wherever takes me close to Munich).We will hug, drink strong beer and take a tour of the city, then when we become intimate, I will stand up in my underwear and proclaim “LET US MAKE SEX!”

Her English is actually very good, and a tall, intense German guy behind her seems very displeased that we are speaking. At some point, I go to get another beer. For a second, stepping outside feels like being in Jamaica. It is relatively warm, the sky is over head and I’m drinking in the presence of a lot of people. Back home we call these kinds of outings Sessions, sans the psychiatrists and immediate diagnoses of Bi-polar disorder.

I’m determined to get my money’s wroth (its ten bucks all you can drink ) and I’m starting to get a light buzz. A slight drizzle comes down, and a girl in front of me says: “ Hey, do black girls drink beer?” (She is black). She is surrounded by five cute women. “Of course not! Black women drink mixed drinks!” I say with a laugh. Her friends laugh. Conversation ensues and I find out these ladies all went to school in Texas together. Like most conversations in Washington D.C after the first three questions, people start asking what each person does. The sequence is usually:
Hello how are you?
Where are you from?
What do you do?

I tend not to speak like that. I tell the girls that I don’t like asking people what they do seconds after meeting them, so one of them, a statuesque Mexican girl, improvises. “What’s your favourite color?” she asks. In the light drizzle, I’m temporarily taken back to high school, when things like “favourite movie”, “favourite color” and “what did you do today” plagued my phone conversations with girls. Everyone in the group chats about their favorite color. I initially say my favourite color is light blue, but after two minutes I realize currently its light purple. At this point, all five girls begin chatting about my shirt. “Purple would look great on you,” one says.”Thanks.” I reply.

The conversation goes in and out for a while. Everyone is lightly buzzed, and we are all talking about nothing in particular, and certainly nothing important. I tell the ladies I’ll be sorry to leave soon because I’m heading to Wonderland. “Wonderland? That’s where we are going!” they say with a twinkle. “Ah, it’s settled then, we are all going there.” At this point, a guy I know, Patrick comes in, and entertains the group with hilarious dynamics regarding African parents and the pressure that comes with Barack Obama being the President-elect.
Putting on a faux Nigerian (or proper depending on how you look at it, he is Nigerian), he says. “My mother would say, ‘Obama is now the president of the United States. You need to be President of a company.”

His voice is hilarious, but I realize now that in typewritten form these things might not come across as that funny. I run upstairs to take a tinkle and run into the roommate of a girl I once hooked up with. “You know,” she says. “Mercedes went back to California.” (of course her name isn’t Mercedes!). “Oh.” I said. (Mercedes fell off the map several months ago, this revelation is news to me.) I chat to her for two minutes then run upstairs. There are about fifty people in line, and they don’t look distracted, but intensely focused. I have to find an alley. I run outside and find a little spot between two huge Garbage bins.

In the near distance, I hear the chatter of a large group of girls. Its my crew. They are a little drunk, but still cute. Out of five girls, four of them are roughly five foot eight. They almost start walking in the opposite direction of the metro, but I tell them the correct way nicely. I’ve learned that some girls get unusually angry over trivial things if they are corrected, like the day’s date, their name and the location of obvious places. We play little games in the metro station while we wait for the train to come. It’s a thirteen minute wait, and we end up snapping at least two dozen pictures from two different cameras and I pick up two of the girls and playfully spin them around.

On the train, we walk in all beer breath and loud laughs. The train is filled with people, and they all give us the “these people are drunk” eye. In a way, I probably was a little drunk. We take more pictures, with me lying in the laps of three of the girls, one girl danced on a pole, and another took a random picture with two guys chilling in the back. When we reach the Columbia heights metro stop, I speed up the escalator and run outside. Time to tinkle again. I find another quiet area between two large garbage pans again.

Tonight is quite random, but somewhat normal for me. I am a floater, like a little piece of flotsam on the sea. I head back to the metro station and take a quick look back down the steps of the escalator, but I don’t see the girls. I do a light jog to Wonderland, and I don’t see them in line. The bouncer knows me by face, and I try and break the line, and he forcefully (but in a friendly way) tells me I can’t cut the line. Its okay, and I go to the back, then see the girls appear in the distance.
“Where did you go!” they said. “You ditched us!” the tall Mexican says.

In the line (as always), one of the girls sees someone she recognizes and they start talking. I’ve been in the line for five minutes before I realize that there usually is never a line at Wonderland. When I reach inside, the place is like a tiny rugby locker room with a full team inside. I’m holding the hand of one of the girls, the only one under five foot eight. She’s never been to Wonderland and I’m leading her to the bathroom to show her where it is. I exchange strange pleasantries with a guy in line, and the little one goes in. I see the others come inside, and head straight to the bar. In the line, the tall Mexican kept mentioning going back to her place and playing guitar Hero. It sounded like fun. Five girls in their jammies, playing Guitar hero till five in the morning, good times.

There were endless people upstairs. The music was good and everyone was dancing. I rarely dance these days, but tonight I danced with everyone. I had a moment with the tall Mexican against the wall on the stage where the DJ was. Dancing with the girl who asked “Do black girls drink beer”, we hit the DJ deck and cause the music to stop for three seconds. I danced with the little one somewhere near the staircase. I did drunk Salsa with the other tall one (the third of four) somewhere near a coat rack. In the mix were several random (and oddly, short) girls. I ran into a few friends that I see every other week. These are people that pop up like the Men In Black. I could be in Dupont, Adams Morgan, George Town, or Kayaking on the Potomac. They would always roll by and say, “Wow Marcus, I see you everywhere!”

The rest of the night goes by in the usual blur. I am having a relatively good time, but I’m not ecstatic. My plan is working perfectly; that is, I planned to go to a photo exhibit and then probably hit up Wonderland afterwards. These girls were incidentals.

The girls say they are leaving. The Mexican mentions guitar hero again and her place. We leave, and I realize there are nine people now. Two very tall blonde guys are walking with us, as well as a short, strange-looking Ethiopian fellow. I don’t’ know where these guys came from, and what makes everything weirder is they aren’t’ speaking, just tagging behind. I found out the Ethiopian looking guy was a work colleague of the Mexican (or was it another one?) So he was in.

Its raining now, and a friend of mine is trying to get the play by play via phone. I foolishly keep texting him while rain drops are hitting the face of my phone. In a few minutes, the 4 and 9 button my phone stop working. Then, the phone starts mysteriously displaying random numbers on screen. Bad news.
I can’t text, and the phone shuts off a few times. We have been walking for about fifteen minutes, when the Mexican says, “I hope you have a way home, I’m not bringing you home with me.” I almost paused (if it wasn’t raining and I hadn’t walked god knows how far). “What do you mean?”
“You can’t come home with me,” she says in a sing-song voice.
“It’s raining…” I say.
“I’ve walked home in the rain before.” She replies, with an almost sarcastic smile on her face,

For a second, I wonder what’s happening. I wasn’t even interested in the Mexican, from early on she said she had a boyfriend. A few seconds after she makes her declaration of No guitar hero and pillow-fighting with five cute girls, we cross the street and everyone (except me ) goes into an apartment building.

I get upset for three minutes. I am upset mostly because my phone is not working, and it is raining and I don’t see any cabs. After three minutes, I laugh to myself. I’ve been in worse situations. Getting ditched by a few drunk girls a few steps from their doorway is child’s play. But I really wanted to play some guitar hero.

Like the shadows, dear Brutus….   Leave a comment

A man with tight plaid pants on shakes his ass to the groove of break beats. Behind him, a girl with long braids mimics his moves, aligning herself to his gyrations without ever touching him. I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye, and as I stand in front of a shadowy column in The Darkroom, a club on the Lower EastSide, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else.

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New York is many things. For some is spark of opportunity. Hidden between the folds of the highly contiguous buildings, packed streets and bright lights is a glimmer of hope. Hope of a dream of making it, doing what thousands (or more correctly hundreds of thousands have done in the past) which is make it big.
I’m not sure if I have these visions of grandeur. The pace of New York is getting to me. I thought girls in DC were flaky, but New York takes flaky o the Nth degree. I live in a world were people don’t answer their phones, sent stilted text messages to convey a point and only seem to want to say hello if they happen to see you online in Gchat.

.Quite disturbing.
Tonight, I floated between a few bars. I watched TV at this bar where the bartender, who is normally quite friendly, gives me a perfunctory hello. I’ve been going there for almost ten weeks and I sent her an e-mail, but something about me bothers her I’m guessing.

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On nights like these I feel like the shadows themselves. I stand in the darkest corner, watching bodies float by like wraiths. Voices are obscured by loud music, and they all coalesce and sound like the humming of bees overlayed by whatever the DJ decides to play. Its all good and well to enjoy the night life, (I for one, go out mostly because I am bored), but its becoming increasingly pointless. I’ve found myself in various parts of the world doing this same activity; walking around, talking to people, listening to music, sipping on a nameless beer brewed in a factory I’ll never visit… and its becoming meaningless.

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Tonight I met an English girl who is a designer for Urban outfitters. This brings the number of English women I’ve met since I’ve been in New York to probably fifty. She seems nice enough, telling me that “North England has the nicest people.” But I have no way to verify that. I have no sexual interest in her, even though she is cute. On nights like these I might say hello to certain girls to answer a pressing question. She didn’t look like an American (I thought her outfit looked ‘Mod’ style, and I was correct, but some would say it’s a lucky guess) so, I asked her. Therein lies the rub, dear Brutus.. or should I say Hamlet.

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Sometimes I talk to break the monotony of my thoughts. At some point I was punching notes into my Ipod about what to write. Beside me, while I was doing this, a girl bounced into a tall fellow, spilling some of his drink on her arm. Of course, the guy she was with (quite wrongly) took offense to this most egregious circumstance and proceeded to confront the tall guy. What made this scene funny was the fact that the guy was French, and spoke broken English. The girl was fine, the guy didn’t spill much beer on the girl to begin with, but the French guy started going on off about something involving his “girlfriend and his sister” which I didn’t understand. Maybe he meant to say “lover” and got the words mixed up. Either way, the tall fellow laughed, patted the French guy on the shoulder and walked back to his friends, who were both a good three inches taller than he was. But you guessed it, the French guy returned, filled with the indignation that has been put on so many television screens in my lifetime. No fight broke out, but a part of me wished the French man would produce a glove, and slap the tall guy in the face, shouting, “Sur incompetent Americaaan!”
Sadly, my life isn’t that interesting. I knew tonight was a lame night because I didn’t even eat my ritual slice of pizza. New York, New York. Oh how I love this love and hate relationship I share with the big apple.
Tomorrow I’ll probably wake up blearly eyed, feeling better about my situation. I’ll forge on towards bigger and better things, or find myself in another shady bar in some other part of the city, standing  as always in the shadows, watching life pass me by. Or maybe I won’t do that. I might be jogging down park avenue, looking at the opulence around me, and find myself thinking about the past. Screaming to myself, “What the fuck did I do wrong?”

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I’ve completely changed. I can’t even play video games anymore to interest myself. TV is boring and I find myself wanting to be far, far away. Maybe I was meant to be a world traveler, one of those guys who grows a thick beard and roams the earth, leaving mostly children in his wake. Maybe that’s my destiny. Who knows.
Yesterday I watched Forrest Gump for what must be the tenth time, and I found myself almost tearing up at certain scenes. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t really know what love was, nor did I have a strong grasp on the concept of death. Now, watching it after losing people in love and death multiple times, the move seemed completely fresh. I knew exactly how he felt when he was running. I’ve had my ‘Jenny’ on the mind too, and I’ve watched someone close to me die, seeing their life fade away in a few choked breaths while people around them screamed as if the resonance of their voices would trap the soul into the broken body.

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I like the fact that even a simple man like Forrest Gump can find love, and find a wife. Since I’ve been in New York, I’m truly convinced that American television perpetuates the ideal of extreme beauty being the most desirable attribute of a mate (male or female)  is wrong. Real life shows you that most people are average, and like average people. Above average is scary, a frightening visage of something you can’t compare to. Run with the average joe and you are safe. Go with the smart intellectual, and things get fuzzy.

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Either way, if we live in a world where Forrest Gump can get laid, then there is hope for anyone isn’t there? Who knows. Like I said before, I’m a fly on the wall. I stand in the shadows, watching people go by, hoping a big fucking swatter doesn’t mess with my flow.
Hah. Fly on the wall….

SILENT RAVE: NEW YORK+   1 comment

me at the silent rave

me at the silent rave

A man in a large costume that resembles a jar of mustard runs past me. As his yellow figure bobs oddly through a throng of sweaty, pubescent ravers, the crowd erupts into a cacophony of cheers. Somewhere, a voice shouts out. “Mustard man! Mustard Man!”. Then, a Japanese guy in a hat expertly designed in the figure of a chicken floats past. He spreads a pair of thin arms wide.
“Who wants to suck my cock?” he shouts. Behind me, a group of guys giggle. I stand in this chaos, snapping photos and floating quietly through the crowd. That’s the most interesting thing about this experience. Around me, hundreds of people are dancing excitedly. Bodies covered in sweat glisten under dimly lit New York street lamps. Tiny emo girls toss their dyed hair back and forth, strange shirtless guys do very homo erotic dances, and guys like the chicken man—there are a few of them around—all prance around, dancing to some quiet, unheard music. This is because they are dancing to their own music.
I’m at my first silent rave.
To see hundreds of people dancing with their telltale ipod headphones in their ears, all grinding to their own beat, is like seeing a music video on TV with the mute button on. But not only am I in this music video, but I’m an active participant, snapping photos, not trying to brush against too many of the girls present (many of them are teenagers). This would probably count as the second rave I’ve been to in the states. Like all raves, there are tons of very attractive women.
To my left, a Heidi Klum look alike wearing headphones straight out of an 80’s movie grooves beside her equally hot Asian friend. In front of me, a tall red head makes me think immediately of Berlin. All around, cute teeny-boppers, people with shaved heads, tatoos and t-shirts that read “I love NY” are all dancing.

Raving, in complete silence.
The silence is broken by screams which have no purpose. In rave music, people normally scream when the bass drops. Like most music, rave incorporates a specific tempo that keeps the crowd going for hours on end, ecstasy, cocaine or no. After a minute or so of the introductory song loop, a bass kick drops. This is where people scream and dance faster. Tonight, people are raving telephathically. The bass kicks in on one person’s headphones, and they broadcast it to everyone else with a scream. This spreads through the crowd like wildfire—people jump, run around and even mosh—and then the silence falls once more.
There is a natural tendency for human beings to feel threatened in the presence of large groups. If you’ve ever attended a large arena where a fight started, you might have “felt” a ripple through the collective consciousness of those present. You sense the anguish of those around you, you are caught in the bubble. For a moment, you and the crowd are one. Tonight is one of those nights.
I slip on my headphones and start playing a few trance tracks from a top 100 album I have. Almost instantly, I am in the bubble. As the sounds of voices, screams and bodies hopping around fades, I am part of the collective. All I hear are the snares, break beats and heavy basses while I look through my own personal windshield. Somewhere, a conga-line starts, and dozens of people begin sprinting in a sweeiping arc around the other ravers. For a second my radar gets tweaked. I get sensation of danger again. The groups of bodies darting through the crowd resemble the scene of a brawl. Bodies moving rapidly, touching, colliding. But the feeling subsides. These people are all here to have fun. They are happy being separate yet close.

A part of me wishes the rave was louder. At least I would have more to say.

Hospital blues and Darkroom Views   Leave a comment

I’m standing in the middle of a club, a hot place known as the Darkroom on the Lower East Side, and I’m not trying to hookup with girls. I’m trying to construct a narrative.

As weird as that sounds, sometimes I venture out, nicely dressed (usually with a tie or some odd accessory to accompany me) and I just stand up in bars, watching people interact and seeing the pluses and minuses of our social debacle. Since most of the bars I venture to mostly have white patrons, there is the inevitable observation about dancing, the odd hookups here and there and drinking. For most people it seems, alcohol is an escape from their problems, but not just that. It is an escape from reason. Not only are senses dulled, but also rational decisions.
“Maybe that guy sorta looks like Freddy Prinze after six drinks.” She says to herself. Maybe she doesn’t say this.
On nights like these, I watch the sharks float around—the guys that will talk to ANY chick—and I see how successful they are. They usually aren’t.

A quick grab of the waist, a stilted dance and a whisper in the ear of “Can I call you sometime?” never works. This might work if the girl is extremely drunk, but she’ll never answer the phone. You’ll call until your fingers are riddled with Carpal.

I haven’t felt like blogging for several weeks. I’m back in that mental void again. This week, I’ve had three or four dreams about an ex-girlfriend of mine that I really want to forget, and I’ve even had the unpleasant experience of being awake while my body is asleep. I have no idea what this means for me psychologically, but it was fucking frightening. I was dreaming that I was in my Grandmother’s house in Jamaica, which I have dubbed “The Palace”, and I walk home, to my apartment in NYC. (Hey it’s a dream, Jamaica and New York are a thought apart). When I reach back, I lay on the couch (where incidentally I am sleeping) and then I open my eyes. Only, I can’t move. The only thing I “think” I can move are my eyebrows, which do nothing to keep me awake.

Then I close my eyes again, and I’m immediately plunged back into a dream world. Only this time, I sense something very sinister watching me. I open the door to my apartment and the hallyway is eerily black. In the darkness, with my limited vision, I can see something moving in the background. Something dangerous. I run back to the couch and lay down.

Again, I open my eyes. I can’t move. All I can move are my eyebrows. I can’t scream and everything around me is still. It was frightening and weird. Until finally, I was able to get up, the 1,000 pound weight off my chest and the presence gone… for now.

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve falled into the aforementioned void. A funk which messes me up from time to time. I’m sort of enjoying New York, but I’ve been spending a few hours in the day visiting my Aunt in the hospital. This is a mentally taxing exercise. I hate hosptials, and I think going to one every single day is beginning to make me feel wired and filled with images of death.
Either way, tonight was the first night I went out in a while.
I haven’t felt the need to go out and try to meet people. I normally find this an annoying and disturbing process. Like many Friday nights, in the clubs I went to, there were large groups of girls dancing in tight circles, cock-blocking left and right. I was observing this of course, since I was constructing a narrative.
Inevitably, I met people. A small, very cute blonde wearing a white hat pulled me to the side at one point, but danced around me mostly. Her name was Amy. At some point her friend who was aptly named Mandy, (and also very blonde) said they were lovers. I believed them. In fact, for most of the night a majority of the girls in the club were dancing with each other, which lead me to think they might all be lesbians, or just fucking strange.
At another club, I met a girl named Milan. She was very cute. Like 30% cuter than Ashley simpson. I saw her reject a few guys. All my conversation with her was random. I was standing near her and lamented on hearing the “M.I.A” song for the tenth time that night. This comment peaked her interest, and she spoke to me for a little ewhile. But then, her two blonde friends (she was a brunette) left, so she was gone. Fleetingly.

I honestly don’t have much writing juice in me these days. I think I’ve said enough about my ex-girlfriend. I think I’ve said enough about the odd social situations I find myself in (good or bad) , and I think I’ve said enough about certain things I want to achieve.
I could write about the dozens of women I’ve met and kissed and messed with, but to what end? I’m no happier than a guy who failed his bar exam after three years of school and countless hours of studying.
I want to write for writing’s sake, like most writers, but that seems lame. No point writing unless on has an audience correct? Whoever reads my blog never posts. I somewhat do this as a personal reference for myself, but I also do it to stimulate the people around me.
I can’t say New York sucks, but I think I personally suck in New York at this point in time. That’s a joke by the way.

A part of me wants to talk about the Russian girl I met on the Subway, the Russian I met in Union Square and the Russian I met at this bar called Pianos. Or the three Aussies, the Swiss chick, the Candadians and the Infamous English. I could talk about how much i’m still in love with someone who has no desire to even seen me. But why? Why talk about your life if you are talking to yourself…
Alas. Such is life. Tortured dreams, and tortured events. Tomorrow its back to the hospital. May I have mental strength….

Super Craptastic   Leave a comment

I’m looking at a girl who looks like female version of Alan Rickman.

I’m in the subway station at the 2nd Ave stop, Lower East side New York. I’ve been traipsing around these points every other day for the last three weeks i’ve been here, and the stories are numerous. But i’m not feeling happy. Something is grinding at my insides–the little voids in this social vacuum we call our daily existence. For all intents and purposes I should feel good. But I’m not 100%.

This makes sense in an odd kind of way.

I got the emotional wind kicked out of me recently, and certain aspects of it re-entered my consciousness, just at the point when I didn’t need it. I was on the phone with my sister last night trying to work out the meaning of pointless communication.

“What’s the point of keeping in touch with people who aren’t interested in seeing you?” I said.

“Well, ” she responded. “I don’t know how to answer that.

“And why is it that when i’m far away from certain people they become so interested in what i’m up to… but if i’m in the area they are like ghosts in my life?”

“Well,” she said.” I don’t know how to answer that one either.”

I can’t answer it myself. Its become a tired routine, between myself and my significant others. I can be in their periphery, a stone’s throw away and I don’t hear anything. My cell phone becomes dead weight, and i wake up early on Saturday mornings feeling like a horny Grizzly bear in a land filled with male Shrews.

I can’t bother to try and rationalize the circumstances, the events, the back story or the whatevers. I’ve come to realize like most people, that most things don’t matter. What matters is what you want with your life, what you choose to take from it, and everything else is just… scenery.

Scenery like a long car ride from state to state. You look at it, occasionally something grabs your eye, sometimes you might stop for a while and get engaged with something, or you might stop for a long time before you get to your final stop. But its all fluff. Its all jibber jabber.

What matters is the end result. Sort of.

I haven’t felt like writing humorous anecdotes about the girls i’ve met in New York, and now there are too many to write about properly. This city is pretty fun–I’ve partied on a Monday–but at the same time it has the “vacuum” that all major cities have. That quiet divide in between what you have to do, and what you want to do. Everyone is busy, everyone is working, but sometimes in between the work and the train rides, the little conversations with the person standing in line to grab a Subway sandwidch, or helping the man across the street, everything stops. Then you remember you are painfully alone.

You can disguise this sensation in some ways. You can play loud music, read books, go running. Fool yourself into feeling a sense of company by sitting in the presence of others in Parks, or going to the movies.. but there are those days when you can’t fool yourself. This sadly, has been happening more often over the last several months than I like.

Its not a depressing feeling, because its a reality. If a guy doesn’t have a girl friend and maybe two people he speaks to every now and then its a little social conundrum. Especially for a guy who has no trouble meeting and interacting with people. Its like life’s antithesis to the “cool guy”.

But I’m rambling. ( I will never… EVER say “I digress”. I hate those two words. *brrrr*)

Do I want the flashing lights? Do I want the smiles of recognition from the masses? Do I want to be known?

I dunno. I’m a simple guy. Sometimes I just want to know that certain people close to me have a vested interested in me. That’s a start.

I’m afraid of become one of those super jaded people who roam through life always thinking a little devil is following them around and watching all their positive circumstances then they poke a broom in your back and shout out “YOU’RE FUCKED LITTLE MAN!”

Alas, I think i’m already there. Feeling jaded isn’t feeling depressed. Its reading the news and not feeling anything when people go missing. Not worrying about tomorrow even if people are going to start wailing on you with terrorist fist-jabs, and thinking every woman you meet will eventually screw you. (not in that way pervs!).

I should take notes from good old Shakes:

“… take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?” Okay this barely relates to what i’m saying, but I love a good Shakes quote.

The only solace I can take from the burgeoning jadedness that is life, is to realize I have ample writing fodder. I don’t have to be the only one feeling empty and floating around “this mortal coil”, so can my characters! and I can make them screw (not in that way) the chicks too! Sweet eh? The pen can give sweet revenge… but that’s a nerdy fantasy that never helps anyone, especially if the chicks that screw you (we’ve been over this) don’t read your books. Lost cause dudes and babes. Lost cause.

But i’ll figure it out. I’ll reteach myself to twiddle my thumbs with glee if it means buying a huge f-ing box of chocolate and a teddy bear the size of my ex-girlfriend and loads of anime to take me back to my innocent teen years.

Till then, the humorous anecdotes will continue I guess… with a morose undertone.

Cheers to unexpected e-mails.

Germany day 4: The Czech Republics, beaches and underground clubs   Leave a comment

 

Its Sunday afternoon. I just woke up with my head in my hands. I’m fully dressed, in my outfit from the night before. I hear room door open, and my roommate walks in and starts using his computer.

 

I vaguely remember a moment a few hours before.  I—

Burst into the room, obviously drunk and I struggle to take  off my shoes. My roommate, a Japanese dude named Yoshi, asks the obvious question: “Are you allright?” he says. “I’m fine.” I reply, then I flop into bed. A few seconds after hopping into bed, I feel like my head is spinning and I run to the bathroom. Yes, Berlin was that good.

This blog is in two parts: Day and Night.

DAY

For me, the day was somewhat introspective. A friend of mine was in Berlin for a few hours and I hung out with her. We shared a meal at a Vietnamese place near Weinmeisterstralle and chit-chatted about life. We traveled on the train a bit, took some pictures and talked about humanity and monogamy. She explained to me that her brother had been recently cheated on by his girlfriend of three years, and he was a mess. I said “damn,” to myself when I hear that, but that’s life. Who can really trust anyone?

Either way, after I said my goodbyes to her I hung out in Alexanderplatz for a little while. The best way to describe the place:

The area is the size of a stadium with no stadium. For a stretch of roughly half a mile, is nothing but pavement. Two massive buildings are on this concrete tundra, and people look like ants as they walk to and fro. It is almost like staring at infinity, or God’s empty paddling pool, its that big.

 

Yeah… so I was sitting there for a while just thinking about my life. Here I am in Berlin, sitting by myself. I’ve achieved a great goal by coming here, and I feel happy to be here, but my mind runs on many other things.  Occasionally, I think about my ex-girlfriend and wonder what she’s doing. I wonder if she’s sleeping alone, or with someone,  or taking a shower in the middle of a summer morning. I want to talk to her, but I’ve been afraid to call her lately. I don’t like feeling needy. I need to disconnect a bit. A statement I came up with for a book I’m working on has become a theme for me of late, especially since I’ve been traveling. This was supposed to be a statement in  a movie or something…. But basically two people are talking, and one person says. “You don’t know what love is like.” And one says,” Love can eat you, and love can sting you, but you’ll never know how small the world is until you are in love.”

This statement hit me profoundly (even though I came up with it). You can travel thousands of miles away from someone, but all you need is a thought to put them right beside you.

I didn’t mention it in my blogs when I was in France, but one night was really bad for me. A few years ago one of my best friends died, and  it has  affected me to this day. When I was in France, one on night in particular, I remember a conversation we had. “We are going to Japan.” He said, “We’ll travel, we’ll do it.” We had made plans to go to Europe as well, traveling, having fun sight seeing and living it up. That will never happen. I don’t know why that night in France that realization hi me so hard. In the middle of everything I was doing I started to feel like I was losing it—I wanted to network, to get into parties and have fun, but all I could think about was my friend.

Now I’m in Berlin, one of the places we might have traveled to. I don’t feel bad today, (not in the way I did in France) but sitting in this massive, expansive place can make a person think about things.

Sometimes I want to just forget everything I left behind. My past, my old apartment in DC, my past thoughts and memories. I didn’t’ really want to travel thousands of miles to sit and think about things I can’t change. I guess this is the real spice of life, sitting in a foreign country thinking about all things Marcus.

I also think about my family. I wonder what they are doing, how things are in Jamaica, and if they have any idea what I’m doing in Germany. I think of the future, a possible family of my own… and the next step for in my life. I think on these things for a while, then, I realize I need a drink. Fast.

 

NIGHT

I’m at the beach, in the middle of Berlin.

I’m near Freidrickstralle, an area that reminds me of bad b-movies with great art direction. I’m meeting up with the English girl I met the day before, and some of her friends.  On my way to meet them, I waited at the wrong street for a while. I saw a Pub Crawl taking place. Seeing all those tourists walking to a bar was like watching a 2008 American pilgrimage.  I’m sitting on my bike sipping a beer—I still havent’ realized I’m in the wrong place yet—and I talk to a few fellow standing by the road. When they hear I’m from Jamaica, they seem to be in shock. “Dude, why are you in Berlin?” they say. I try to answer this question when another guy comes up and he also asks me the same question. Why are you in Berlin?

Eventually, I meet up with the guys. They suggest we go to this place called “The Beach”.

This place is like a dream, I’m serious. A huge shadowy building is in front, and almost all of its surface is covered in graffiti, in the shadwos and in the lights, are people, walking through sand, yes, sand and sitting on benches, under tents, drinking and laughing.

What’s dream like about the place is that (a) we have this huge old German building creating the perfect spooky grunge backdrop. (b) we have sand in the middle of a big city, plus trees and beach chairs (c) graffiti makes the area seem dangerous, but its all very chill.

I half expect to see a six foot seven German man in a leather jacket covered with trinkets point to me and then I get tossed out by a few smaller but equally swarthy cronies on the street. I would lay on the ground for a moment gathering my senses when a huge boot would kick me in the ribs and someone would shout in a BAD accent, “Go back to zer Amerika!”

Of course that didn’t happen.  At this point I’m starting to feel a good buzz since I was pre-gaming (alone…sad I know) earlier. Liquid confidence gives me the balls to approach random German people, which I’ve found isn’t a pleasant experience. Germans seem friendly during the day, but at night it’s a whole different story. I see two Slovak looking ladies sitting down and I say my one liner:

“Halo, vie geht es inen?” (Hi, how are you?)

The give me a look that makes me feel like a wisp of grass that accidentally landed on the table. I say “whatever” and find my group. Vanessa is with her long time high school friend Rich and they seem to be getting very chummy. I get a few signals that I’m not supposed to be there when she keeps asking me which girls I want to talk to.

I’m not worried… this is Germany baby! I head over to a small bar where there is  a large group of VERY blonde women. I BS and get a drink and initiate some conversation with two of them. They are from the Czech republic! They speak perfect English. It turns out they are on a class trip to Berlin and they will be here until Monday. I met a Monica, Martina, Elle and someone else. They were all tall, pale and almost platinum blonde. “We are from Prague.” Martina said.  I want to go to Prague now.

I joke around with the ladies for a little while and get a few nasty looks from some of the Czech fellows sitting nearby. I dub the ladies, “The Czech Republics”.

After I chat with the ladies for a while I go back to Vanessa and crew. Massive, the Italian with an Aussie accent is part of the group now. He recommends buying drinks at a corner shop outside to save cash. I agree and follow him. A bottle of Beck’s twice the size of the one I bought in the company of the Czech girls for 3 euros is 1.50 at the stand. I talk to Massive for a few moments about German girls. He too agrees they are kind of hard to meet, but once you get in, oh boy!

At this point I’m probably drunk. I can’t tell for certain, but I started doing some crazy things. I get annoyed with Vanessa for a reason I can’t remember and spend the next hour in the company of the Czech Republics. Unfortunately, I met the teacher of the students (Monica) and breaking in to that group seems like a very shady exercise. The girls were 18 and 19 respectively. Plus massive German guys swarmed around, full of that “I am very tall and very strong” swagger.

I give up on the Czech Republics and head outside for another beer. This time I’m walking alone. The street is buzzing with life. I get a different beer, this one is a Berliner. The lady working the stand looks like a seasoned participant in life. She is in her late forties to early fifties, heavy set with red patches from overexposure to the sun and a hard face. She cracks it open. “Danke.” I say.

I’m walking back to The Beach and I see a tall attractive girl eating some pizza. I make conversation and she tells me about a club she’s going to.  “You should come.” She says.  A fellow pops up, a shorter guy (shorter than me, meaning VERY short by German standards) and this is Benny. At some point I whisper to the girl (who’s name is Marie) and ask her if Benny is her boyfriend. She laughs, a cute, twinkling German laugh. “He is too little!” she says, pointing at him. Benny hears the statement and smirks. Another guy comes along, also shorter than me. He is Yohan. Yohan gives me some vodka to sip on.

The adventure begins.

We take a turn off the main road, Oranienburgerstralle and go up a dark, quiet street. I’m definitely drunk now, and just going along for the ride. I learn that Marie spent one year in London, which explains her good English. She said she just finished school… high school! She’s 19. The group stops at gate that looks like it was stolen from the Bram Stoker’s Dracula prop set.  Two men in black jackets speak in hushed tones to Yohan and Benny. They check their IDs and wave us in. I’m looking for my ID, but I realize I left it back at the hotel. The bouncer waves me in. I follow the group through a very dark parking lot and we enter what looks like an apartment building. After walking up a small flight of stairs, I can hear the music pounding through the walls. House music!

I ask Marie how much is the entrance fee. “Its about six euros.” She says. I nod after she says this, and I turn to the bouncer. “Halo my friend!” I say with a big smile. He is short, but very muscular. “Mi name ist Marcus, from Jamaica, first time in Berlin!” I say. “Thomas.” He says, shaking my hand. “I am happy to be here!” I say with more energy. Then I turn back to the group. The guys paid, and I look at Thomas and he waves me in. Free entrance baby!

 

Two things happen at this point. First, I feel amazed. I’m in a real German club now. There were no tourists in this place. The interior of this building resembled a mini cathedral. There were several dance floors all packed with people. The air was hot and wet.

 

The second thing that happens is I lose the group. I was following Marie around for a few minutes, then she disappeared. After that, I was on my own. I think, and I emphasize, think  I bought another drink at this point but I can’t be sure. I vaguely remember having a conversation with a German guy who happily proclaimed he was 197 cm tall (probably like 6’6). The music was good, but I couldn’t really dance. I was people watching. I was inside, but I felt exposed. I’m this drunk Jamaican guy running around with a polo shirt with a tie on! This is where the night gets blurry.

So I lost the group and listened to some underground music for a while. I don’t think I attempted to talk to anyone seriously. I said hello to a few girls, but I needed some air. All the beer and Vodka was getting to me now.

I’m directed to an exit that puts me on a street I don’t know. The sky is a purplish-blue. Damn, its almost daybreak. I’m not walking straight and I’m lost in the middle of Berlin! I curse a little and stop almost everyone that walks past me:

“Ver is der Frederickstrasse?” I say. (Where is Frederick street?)

People point me in the right direction, but I walk around in a daze for a good twenty minute before I find “The beach” again. I go inside but everyone is gone. No Czech Republics, no English crew. I unlock my bike from the entrance of the beach and start riding home. I don’t know why, but I’m hit with an overwhelming desire to call my ex-girlfriend. For that moment, her voice was the only thing I wanted to hear. I think that desire saved me.

I could barely ride the bike straight and I had about a three mile stretch from where I was to my hotel. This mind you, is through winding roads and streets, between underpasses, ten lane roads, and over routes where these large (and deathly quiet) tram cars drive. Dangerous.

I fuel myself with thoughts of my ex, and this keeps me semi-sober for a while. Twice, I crash the bike. The first time, I almost rode into a wall and a did a poor braking exercise. The second time I had a full wipeout about two hundred feet from my hotel. Even though the sun is starting to rise, it’s still very dark. To get to my hotel I had to navigate through a narrow path filled with lots of trees and hedges. I was doing a good job. “yes, I’m almost there!” I said gleefully. In moments I would be inside my room, on Skype talking to the one person whose voice I wanted to hear. Then, I lost my equilibrium.

My front tire hit a hedge and the bike shifted into the hedge. I braked up, but badly and I fell to the ground. Now I’m on my back and the world is spinning. I try to get up but I can’t, I’m too wasted. I laugh.

“I’m in Germany!” I say to myself with a weak chuckle. I lay there for a minute or so, catching my breath. I think of calling my ex again, and I find a second wind. I get up and finish the ride to the hotel. I lock the bike outside and walk to my room. All I want to do is sleep, but somehow I take my laptop from its case and open it up. (The next morning I would see the laptop on the kitchen table and wonder how it got there). I call my ex but I’m not successful. She doesn’t answer the phone.

At this point the blog begins.

I flop into bed fully dressed hoping to sleep. The Berliner and Becks I drank don’t want to stay inside me, so I run to the bathroom. I go into the room and fall asleep immediately.

Wicked night.

 

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