Archive for the ‘sex’ Tag

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

Losing Christmas….   2 comments

rainydaycentralpark

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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Hello DC: Shorts Party in Adams Morgan   Leave a comment

I’m standing outside Asylum, a bar in the heart of Adams Morgan. I’m trying to pull up my pants to make shorts, because I’ve found a nice little party. I can see in the window the movement of lots of bodies; the windows is thick with sweat and I can hear the echo of indie music.
I see a guy I know, Mick and he gives me a one over before I go to the bouncer. The bouncer is a man with a gentle face—he could have been a hobbit any of the Lord of the Rings movies—and he has a long head of wavy, semi-straight hair. I could see him sitting on this stool thirty years ago, with a beard to accompany the hair, smiling at people with those fairy tale eyes.
Its been a slow night. Thursdays are like that sometimes (at least in DC), and I just came from Saint Ex where I was hanging with a few friends of mine. Since I’ve returned to DC a little cloud has been growing over my head. I’m not sure what it is. Part of me thinks it latent memories popping up and leaping to the forefront of my conscious mind, but I have a theory that involves pretending to be a superhero and eating lots of potatoes that might get rid of it.
Saint Ex is on 14th street and I walked the four block stretch to hit Adams Morgan, where I had no real intentions. Anyone worth their salt knows that Thursday night in Washington DC is much more happening during the lovely summer months. Now the nights are getting cooler and congress is in session, so all the happy-go-lucky Capitol hill people have to go easy on the booze and coke for a bit and actually process reality.
So, I’m ready to go into this shorts party. Intially the bouncer said “I think those pants of his are too tight to roll up into shorts.” I disagreed. After a little effort, my biker/hipster black pants became glorified shorts. They grabbed at my knees like a gleefully obese child, but they worked. I would only need them to walk in. I hand the bouncer my ID, and I’m in.
I’m hit with a wave of heat and a thick smell. This smell is common to almost every bar I’ve been in with lots of people dancing inside. Its like a slice of salami that’s been left in a plastic Tupperware case for a few hours mixed with beer suds. Depending on the night, and the number of people in attendance, this scent can be mild, or downright disgusting. Tonight, the smell is at code yellow: Tolerable.
The party is definitely indie for DC. That or a lot of college people are out and about. The first girl I see is wearing what appears to be her boyfriend’s t-shirt and her eyes are glazed with the veil of inebriation. To my left, two tall shirtless guy with beach bodies dance with bottles of champagne in their hands, sipping while doing a very Euro-gay movement to the rhythm. They aren’t the only shirtless ones.
Two more guys, dancing on a large leather couch with its back resting on a wall covered in mirrors are grinding like the women in front of them are tossing dollars bills their way. One is wearing swim trunks half the size of the doozy that Daniel Craig wore in Casino Royale, and the other guy seems like he’s tripping on drugs, because he’s look at the ceiling, rubbing his thigh and dancing in a way that suggest the ceiling is a woman he’s trying to bed and this is his only chance at getting laid.
Within seconds of doing this sweep of the room, a girl yanks my tie (I’m wearing my customary t-shirt and tie) and pulls me to her left (my right) as she walks by. I chuckle, but she really has a tight grip on the thing. She reaches back—I think to grab my hand—but she misses by a mile and just slightly touches my crotch. Then, just like she appeared, she disappears into the sweaty throng of dancers.
I stand where I am for a moment. The music is good, the vibe isnt’ bad, but I’m not feeling like letting loose. The cloud is still following me, sprinkling me with bits of rain like that unfortunate Carebear that was always depressed. Now THAT guy had issues. Imagine living in a happy cherubic land where you can get doped up on “good feelings” by rubbing your stomach and saying “CARE BEAR STARE!” and you are the one schmuck that gets stuck with a rain cloud that follows you everywhere? I wouldnt’ be surprised in that carebear had an E true Hollywood story involving prositutes, latent homosexuality and some connection to Kevin Bacon.
A bunch of guys that look like the perfect entourage for a low-key rapper are in the back. They seem drunk, and they are doing wild things, like tossing the balls from a ball pool located near the window into the crowd, and spraying Champagne and beer on everyone. This action startles me at first. People spraying the bubbly for no reason usually pisses people off, gets girls made about their hair being wet and kills the party. But not tonight.
These guys sprayed at least four bottles of Champagne all over the people immediately beside them and no one stopped dancing. It was like a strange sexual display, with people getting sprayed on and cheering by guys wearing dark glasses with huge, lecherous grins.
At this point, the shirtless guys have all united on the leather couch and are all dancing with bottles in their hands. The last time I’ve seen a display like this was at South Beach, where a friend and I happened to a see a purple box way in the distance as we walked down the beach on Spring Break a few years back. As we got closer to this purple box, it was actually a large structure. From this structure was music. Pulsing, pumping, trance music. I got excited because I was thinking “Beach party, yeah!” and as neared the thing we saw hands in the air, heard people cheering and I got even more excited. We walked past a port-a-potty where a long line of guys were waiting to pee. But then, not only were guys waiting to pee, but there were guys everywhere. In fact, there were NO girls to be seen. The purple box was a gay party.
At this gay party, every man was hairless and had a body that Brad Pitt would envy. It was a garish display of the Miami gay scene and also a reflection of what working out can really do for a guy. Either way, seeing those four shirtless guys on that couch, looking over a mixed crowd dancing and being sprayed with champagne was, somewhat awkward, but oddly familiar.
As good as the music was, I didn’t feel like dancing. I entertained light conversation with a few people and then left. Maybe I was tired from working out earlier in the evening, or maybe trying to figure out the narrative of a new book I’m working on is taking up more mental energy that I realize. Whatever it is, next time there’s a shorts party going on. I’m wearing shorts, and I just might end up shirtless.

Hello DC, old friend.   Leave a comment

I’m sitting in Tryst, a cool little tea/café place in the warm, sweaty bosom of Adams Morgan.
I’ve always fantasized about having a sweet little laptop to bring to this place; this place with its hidden speakers playing random selections from groups like The Who and the Fuguees, while occasionally glancing at the semi-yuppie crowd eating expensive brownies and gulping down green tea.
I’ve achieved this goal, but the sense of victory is lukewarm. I’ve been using my sleek little Macbook pro for a while—multiple countries of use not withstanding—and coming to Tryst with it doesn’t feel like an incredible achievement, but hey, I’ve done it.
Being back in DC is like stepping into the shade when twilight falls over the earth. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. There’s a sense in me of extreme familiarity with my surroundings. Outside, a cool, gentlemanly breeze blows in a way that makes me feel like I’m being caressed by a thousand hands. There was no one on the street when I walked around earlier, so the wind felt like mine and mine alone.
Compared to the savage, endless pace of New York, DC is like a breath of chocolate Fresh air. Already I’ve “run into” several people I know, within the span of 24 hours. A few walks here and there, and I hear “Marcus!”. Today I spent two hours with my tall Serbian friend, watching her laugh as we chat about old times. (Old times being six months prior). She saw me walking on the road, and with cute pink ipod and olive skin in tow, followed me to Tryst.
On a phone conversation with my father, I said” New York is rapid, rapacious and filled with a convalescence of high-energy individuals living in a contiguous environment.”
Oh okay, I didn’t say that, but I did use the word “contiguous” at some point.  Maybe I feel relaxed in DC because I have no more trappings here. Maybe I feel relaxed because a warehouse of memories are contained within the borders of this tiny city. Nasty, sexual memories, memories of brutal physical pain, quiet, internal agony and thick, viscous depression. I’ve run the gamut here, and my mind and body know it.
When you are familiar with a place, your mind extends in all directions. You can’t get lost. You can only get robbed. I can walk for hours and know exactly where I am, not question what side street is this, I know the price of that, and “let’s not go to that place because I might run into so-and-so”. You know the deal.
But it seems, this reunion of Jamaican and American city has some pyrrhic undertones. I feel I am truly saying goodbye to this place. In more ways that one. I used to be somewhat afraid of coming back to the city.  The memories I’ve had here roam the spectrum pretty well, but my last few months here before my departure to Europe (and many a drunken night) were filled with a kind of emotional despair the likes of which I don’t’ want to experience any time soon.
Coming here, I’m reminded of my maturity and how this place has solidly contributed to it. I remember giving the wrong kinds of girls a nice letter, the wrong girls thoughtful gifts, being unintentionally mean to an old person on the bus and promising never to do it again. I remember almost fighting a bouncer and glad I didn’t. I remember tearing a ligament in my knee, and spending ungodly hours in pain. I remember some of my cute girlfriends—they feel like old, dusty photos—and I remember people who have flickered in and out of my life, like how holograms look in science fiction movies.
But this isn’t some huge goodbye to the chocolate city. I’m sure I might return here if I have good reason to. But I have more reasons not to return.
This is a city of schools, non profits and people with politically inclined careers. For the mad artists like myself, who feed on visions of purple candy and being famous for “drawing and designing stuff”, this isn’t the place for me.
Either way, this isn’t some bard’s goodbye, or some classic like Ode to joy. This is me sitting in a little café, writing in the dim light, on my sleek, shiny (and relatively new) laptop.
Hello again DC. May you send forth your maidens, so that I may defile them.

Avenue C + Blonde Girls + Indie Music   Leave a comment

I’m leaning against a wall.

Above me strobe light casts a spasmodic, reverberating glow of multicolored light on pale bodies, all dancing to the frantic beat of The Killers. I’m in a club near Avenue C, a place called 40 C, and I’m standing quietly, watching everything and nothing.
As I close my eyes, I imagine myself running hand in hand with the girl of my dreams through a mystical meadow, naked and insouciant, as our body parts flap in the breeze like tissue paper caught under a car tire. This hasn’t been my first stop tonight. But for some reason, it feels like the thousandth stop in so many nights of my life.
An hour and a half earlier, I passed through a bar. As I walked in, a girl grabbed me by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.” She said. I sized her up briefly. She was tall, blonde, with dark piercing eyes, a long almost hawkish nose, and thin yet protruding lips. “I’m thinking of heading to this bar across the street,” I said. This wasn’t a lie—even thogh I’d just went into this bar for no more than thirty seconds—the bar across the street had better light and cuter girls.
She starts following me and then her eyes pop open like someone pulled the light switch in her head. “I have to find my friend.” She says. “When you see her, you’ll be amazed. She’s the most beautiful girl ever. She is amazing.”
This reference made me pause. Number one, why was this girl pitching her friend to me, and number two, why would I find this girl attractive? or even beautiful? Thoughts immediately came to mind of a tall, hideous woman, with sharp grating teeth and meaty breath. This thought flew away pretty quickly. We move through the thick crowd, wet with the smell of beer and sweat and went to the bar. There, I saw a girl with a head of large curls with dark features. Like her friend, she had piercing eyes. But I didn’t find her that attractive. Her friend (who remains nameless) says something to her and then grabs my arm again and heads towards the door. Then, a tall guy who looks like Mowgli from Jungle book (if Mowgli had grown up and started modeling for Armani) grabs “the beauty” and starts talking to her. We all go outside as a group and the friend (blondie) repeats the beautiful friend pitch. “Isn’t my friend the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?” she said.
I look briefly at her friend, and she gives me a look that can only be described as “eww”. I find this repulsive. “Hey lady, I didn’t say you were beautiful!” They say they are heading to some bar up the street. Mowgli gives me an uneasy look and grabs the “beautiful” girl around the waist.
I have known this group of people for all of three or four minutes. They leave, I don’t follow them.

As they leave, two cute girls walk past me to go into the bar. One of them girl rests her hand on my shoulder. “g’night fabulous.” She says nocomittaly, and disappears down a pair of dark steps. I’m tempted to follow her inside and say hello, but I decide not to. I have no energy to do this. My social desires to interact with people occasionally get scooped out like old moldy ice cream and tossed into a back alley somewhere.
I have a quick drink at a bar across the street, a place called Max Fish, and watch people play pool. At some point I realize all I do these days is people watching, walking around like a wraith, all but invisible, if it weren’t for this pesky thing called a body I’m wrapped up in.
I end up at this spot where a guy I know asks me what I’m trying to do.
“What kind of girls do you like?” he asks. “Women.” I reply with a smirk. “But generally, tall ones, with interesting dispositions, but generally girls who like me.” I say this with a smirk as well.
“Well you need to head to Nublue, a spot on Avenue C between seventh and eighth.” He said. This was coming from a guy who owned a bar in the area—mandatory ponytail included—and I thought about it. Avenue C was a good ten minute walk from where I was, and this place might not even be jumping. But face with another boring night of the same ol’ bars in the LES I decided to go. I walk slowly past a few clubs, seeing throngs of people outside talking, smoking and laughing.
When I reach Avenue C, I’m in a blank zone. I walked a block too far and ended up almost on Avenue D, had to sneak a tinkle in front of a bush (directly in front of what I think was a church), and then felt annoyed by the time I reached where I was supposed to be. I stop at a place labeled 40C, and ask a few girls in the line if this is NuBlue. “No,” a cute girl with platinum blonde hair says. The guy checking IDs, a flaming guy with straightened hair and pants that would make Dave Navarro blush tells me NuBlue (which, up to this point I believe is spelled “New Blue”) is a block down the road. When I reach, a (obviously black) bouncer sits in a cheap plastic chair, and gives me an indifferent look. Admission is ten bucks, and I don’t feel like making the investment. I ask him what kind of music is playing inside, and he says Brazilian and house. I’m still not tempted.
A few guys come out and tell me there are very few ladies inside. At 40C, the line was chock full of little indie chicks. I head to 40C.
This brings me back to me leaning on the DJ booth. After paying five bucks to get into the spot, I become lost in the noise around me. The girls here are dressed very nicely, but they aren’t any friendlier than girls anywhere else. Lots of guys with Pete Wentz hairstyles, float around with big smiles on their faces. It seems everyone has black hair, tight pants and an “interesting” fashion sense. I see one other black guy in the entire place, a man that looks like he’s in his forties sporting a head of thick locks and a sharp jacket. The music is very good, but this doesn’t inspire me to dance. I stand near one of the bathrooms for a few minutes, watching people interact. The indie crowd always fascinates me. People are more energetic and lively. The occassions are trumped up with energy and riddled with a hazy sense of the status quo. Everyone knows how to dress, people dance for the sake of dancing and the DJ looks like Edward Scissorhands. I can’t say it was surreal, but in some way it was cool.
At some point a song plays that I can’t name that takes me back to Barcelona. For a split second, I’m there beside my then-girlfriend, happy and blissful without a fucking care in the world. Then I blink, and I’m back on the dance floor, somewhere off Avenue C.
At some point, I end up leaning on the DJ booth disinterestedly staring at the people dancing in front of me. I find how sad this image must look—the tall (other) black guy in the indie club standing in the most obvious place in the club staring at nothing—and I think someone else notices it too. A girl beside me says something, and I realize it’s the girl I had spoken to earlier in the line. “Hey, didn’t you ask me earlier if this was NuBlue?” she says. I give a stilted response and entertain light conversation. She introduces me to her friends, but my social radar doesn’t’ inspire me to keep talking. She is cute, verily so, in a nice black skirt. She reminds me of Brittany Murphy, but that comparison doesn’t make me feel anything. She’s with two other friends and I my energy is low. I suddenly feel like sleeping, and lean against the DJ booth once more.
At some point, a woman talks to me. “I can hook you up with any guy or girl you want.” She says with a smile on her face. I’m not sure if should be flattered or wonder if I’m projecting a bisexual vibe. I ask her why she’s good at this sort of thing. “I’m freshly divorced,” she says, her eerie smile never losing its brilliance, “and I’m happy!”
I take this into consideration, nod, and lean against the wall again. I see the blonde and her friends leaving. She waves to me, and somewhere inside me, I curse briefly. The chick liked me.
After another ten minutes I leave. The music was getting better and the DJ was amped up, but I didn’t feel like staying, even after he shouted “Okay you sexy motherfuckers start moving! Two for one drinks for the next hour!”
When I went out side, ironically it was raining. It was fitting, as if the earth was aligned to my somber mood. I spend five minutes standing in a group of people that curse a lot. A drunk girl kept bouncing into me. She was literally inches away from me and acted like I wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt truly invisible. There I was, standing in a group of seven people, all talking around me, while I watched light reflect on falling raindrops on Avenue C.
I say screw it, and head out into the rain. By the time I reach my pizza place for my ritual slice, I’m soaked. I walk inside with a wet head of hair and a light chill running up my back. I wolf down the slice and go home.
Another wonderful night.

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….

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