i read this at kgb bar in manhatten hosted by em brill may 12 2022
Posting is an art form that receives very little critical attention. it is something girls do. theories of subjectivity sound much more sexy and important. since posting is a subjective practice, it’s much more fragile, looser, messier. as a transcription of live thought, posting’s destined for confusion because the mind does not stay still for very long. as an art-making practice, it’s incoherent and essentially flawed.
Smell of semen trees in the air. bitter, bony, liquid condensed in the clouds, come from white flowers makes a morning walk. You came to me with your hands over your eyes. Nestled in a bulrush basket. Knowing another person is knowing a black hole.
I’m sitting on my bed, staring off into space until I feel my phone buzz. My hands neatly are folded on my lap, my legs dangle from the edge of my bed to rest my feet gently on the wooden floor. I am Victorian Patience. Black high-necked collar chokes me.
When my phone buzzes, I leap for it.
I stand up quickly from my perch on the bed. Blood rushes from pools in my legs up through my veins, to my stomach, my heart, my head. I feel dizzy. My knees buckle and I fall backwards. My teeth ache.
my teeth ache. my teeth stand in pain so badly, like hot fingers in my mouth fondling my cavities. when i get high, they’re all i can think about. every time i brush my teeth, scarlet replaces sterile aquamarine foam.
i’m in an uber to the airport in late spring. i’m seated in the backseat, windows down. the breeze like someone’s breath passes onto my face. the other day you asked me, in a perfect world, would you have children?
i trace the logic of the question in my head. I think it’s funny the way you phrased it. If it was a perfect world, of course i would have children. children would be welcomed in the perfect world, cradles lined with honey, and unlimited data. all babies would be born with unwrinkled faces. school would be a place our progeny looked forward to going. they’d never walk through the woods for an hour to stand on the edge of the quarry and contemplate drowning. the world would never suck days of their lives away with hypnotism performed by a screen. your question made me realize deciding to have children is an action taken in spite of environmental shortcomings.
what i’m trying to say is, it depresses me, the amount of conversations i’ve had with people my age where they insist it’s wrong to have children anymore. the statistics they offer are correct, and the argument is convincing. children are a joy we can’t afford to entertain.
in september i went with a casual acquaintance of mine to an apartment building off central park to meet a man she had arranged an encounter with on craigslist. he was israeli, he worked in finance, he had a foot fetish. he offered her 500$ for 30 minutes of contact with her feet (her mistake, if i had to pin it down, was perhaps, not inquiring what kind of contact, specifically, he sought). we met him outside his building, he was late. we stood there awkwardly, at the foot of the hulking edifice, chatting only enough to placate our anxieties. we were toys waiting to be played with. as a child, i wondered if my stuffed animals talked to each other while waiting for me to come home from school. when he finally arrived, i took out my keys, and fiddled with them slowly to pry open the stiff metal ring, pull off the hot pink canister of mace, and place it in her hands, ostentatiously. she went up with him. she lasted not even 10 minutes. he tried to put his penis in her armpit. she walked out with 100 dollars, and i admired how uncracked her face was. i thought to myself, i would’ve cried. i am finicky and bad at thinking on my feet. we met up with friends at whiskey tavern after that, the bar right by the prison with the bubbled glass hallway. she bought us all cosmos. she giggled along with the rest of us, smoking outside the bar in the indian summer heat. she was slower than the group to laugh. a girl would tell a joke, and we would cackle and careen immediately, full of the rapture of free drinks in manhattan. she watched us react first, and then her lips moved upward to bare her teeth, and her eyes writhed to fill crinkled crows feet.
six months later i never see her anymore. the israeli benefactor led the orientation for my new remote finance job. he sat in front of the camera with his legs spread, sucked his juul, and instructed us how to customize our work dashboards to maximize efficiency and minimize idle time. i knew it was him when he swapped one hollow pod in his vape out for a full one. he watched them change with the same greedy focus as my bony hands passing the fuchsia mace to my friend.