If I’m re-reading this, I survived. I gotta remember that.
This isn’t really day 1, it’s the first day I could find a pen and paper and light and time. All together. I’ve got all the time always [until I die or agree to go into City work, easy fare for the pale of my skin, I hated the weak luster but now from lacking everything green I am worth something again.] but cohesiveness is hard to come by.
There is always a bee wherever I sit; the smell of my anxiety must attract it: sweet stress hormones. But I hate it less and less every day, soon I will name it, name it after someone I once loved who is now gone – who do I pick?
This journal is begun because my goals have ended. I am tabula rasa, in dreams I am a spy in empty rooms, looking for the souls of my now-dead loves and friends. I don’t rest and so I am tired, but even the right to exhaustion is the right to be alive in a body that must be cared for, by me, by others. But now, I’m really alone and the caring is too hard because it’s also remembering, wanting to go on, and I want to do neither.
I woke up to the taste of my own bile again today. I’m wishing someone could wipe it away but anyone who might have is gone, or at least gone to me because I left. And now I’m who’s left and they were right to stay because it’s gotta be easier to be dead together than alive on your own.
What about my exhaustion is so sexy? There’s a war being fought for the international right for rich assimiliationist assholes to sit down in comfort and seclusion behind walls, all official – and then there’s the rest of us, thousands of people and families with no choice but to stand up to face loss and make something new together. Shaking together and alone when we get horrific news. It’s the unsounding of hope that will tear us apart, and I’m not sure if I can bear to see the end of history, which is coming. I’m sure there’s an end in sight for all of us, for me…
Fuck this rambling, I’ve got to go to work.
Women used to cover their hair to honor their submission before men and god, years ago – now they do it to hide the fact that it’s falling out because public submission is meaningless. They’re closer to god now, I suppose, one less layer separating the cranium from the heavens. Fucking stories that people believe, but the more I worry the more I want even something that is an outright lie to believe in. Without my old identity I’m so happy because it’s easy to just be. Panicking, sure, but being nonetheless.
I have to record this even though I don’t want to: that which is named becomes real, and the mysterious fades into oblivion. I was out of town for work, which I will go into later, and while love in a time of war is dangerous, work in a time of war is terribly hard, so I was happy to have hustled a few clients out of town to make the carbon offset of my trip pay for itself.
With me was my usual overstuffed suitcase of work and play clothes, my plamtop console/space station command, identity papers and a few mementos I always travel with: favored pictures of my PLP and lovers, a hankie my favorite gave me, a bag my mother sewed.
And while I was gone my city was attacked, bombed apparently. Mostly destroyed, the remainder closed up to the rest of the country. Some of my friends are probably stuck inside. But most of them are…gone. I can’t write this without my hands shaking.
It’s impossible to communicate much from in there to out here, because the tracker barriers here block what the lazers and electrofields there don’t. I get a SMS now and again but not from anyone I loved so hard I fell down puking when I heard the news. Its so hard to think about I prefer to imagine the entire place as having pulled an Atlantis. And I’m stuck in this new, awful city where all I have is work and the luxury of a shitload of time to myself.
There. I wrote it. It begins.
I want a day off from this stress, from working and schlepping and working and schlepping and doing it over and over faster and faster to quell this loneliness that is going to kill me either way. There is no immaculate and safe place for my stone waiting for me, only a gust of flat passion in the night, and even that is inconsistent. I miss her body. I hate this city. This was supposed to be a WORK VACATION.
If I can’t sweep up at the Club tonight, it’s because the last guy left is always such a mess. And you know that it’s guys who do that – feel they have the right to leave a trail – well maybe it’s not guys but their macho. And still, I’m only hit on by fellow part-chimps who are young and losing teeth. As if no one told us to floss. As if no one told us that the end of the world would fucking suck. I lost so much, but not everything. I’m looking for balance and my ground, the space in my brain that lusts for knowledge and people. It’s just really hard to get to that part right now.
Found out today. Not the reason behind this madness but got a piece of the puzzle. The group moved in closer, I let them. I moved in closer. I knew a few people out here. Fucked a couple. Made things with others. Played on the internet with others, but no real closeness. No one I know for sure I can trust.
There’s a girl out there who wants my life. I want to tell her: it’s not so rosy. It’s a bell curve, a sine wave, it repeats so very good and so extraordinarily bad. This was supposed to be the year I met somebody new, the year of excellence. And then. I was only supposed to be out here for three weeks, get away from the coldest and most depressing part of winter in the City, and that’s when they bombed it.
My first thought was my people and my second thought was my rent-stabilized apartment and that’s when I knew I was fucking twisted. And now all I think about is facts, the facts of war and the facts of oil and plastic, what is behind the war that’s being fought over the last few precious barrels of the stuff.
Industrial polyester fibers, yarns and ropes are used in tire reinforcements, fabrics for conveyor belts, safety belts, coated fabrics and plastic reinforcements with high-energy absorption. Polyester fiber is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, comforters and upholstery padding. Polyesters are also used to make bottles, films, tarpaulin, canoes, liquid crystal displays, holograms, filters, dielectric film for capacitors, film insulation for wire and insulating tapes. Polyesters are widely used as a finish on high-quality wood products such as guitars, pianos and vehicle/yacht interiors. Thixotropic properties of spray-applicable polyesters make them ideal for use on open-grain timbers, as they can quickly fill wood grain, with a high-build film thickness per coat. Cured polyesters can be sanded and polished to a high-gloss, durable finish. Unsaturated polyesters (UPR) are thermosetting resins. They are used as casting materials, fiberglass laminating resins and non-metallic auto-body fillers. Fiberglass-reinforced unsaturated polyesters find wide application in bodies of yachts and as body parts of cars.”
Polyester is in fucking everything. Plastic, the root of polyester is in everything. And petroleum, the root of plastic… is in motherfucking everything. Take away the crude, and you’ve taken away the materials. This shit is not renewable, but taking the plastic molecules back is possible. And that’s what makes the world go round, lately: Plastic. Fucking fighting and destroying each other and the whole goddamn earth over who will get to still make and have plastic things.
It’s smoggy all the time now. This terrible basin cant hold everything, it refuses to hold me, but it traps, moisturizes, and releases smog like a kid backfiring their new used cor for fun. Just everywhere, just gross. If you love something set it free, this part of the world loves chemicals. Always did.
I’m thinking that Dolly’s Mountain Angel will eventually get two doors down, but not this year. This year she’s a motherfucking hustler bitch who will be sweet for your money or your heart but if you cross her she’s got blades in her big hair. And that’s real.
Realised that I never really knew that many people anyway, back home. What is even the use of counting, numbers are for memories and I’m working against those at the moment. Chris, Blake, Sandy, Ally, Salt, Dodge. Oh fuck I shouldn’t lie on paper – if I could have my late night crew back I’d give every dollar I hustle to whatever FamSave org asks for it.
Now that I’m drifting, should I tell my mind I’m on vacation, or in exile? A husk of my former glory or thoroughly engaged with thoughts that will be shared with nobody. A survivor’s conundrum. Though, I’m thinking of using the word “prevailer” instead. I always hated that word cuz it’s in the past, but at the moment I’m without future, and I’m just here in my goddamn little hut shaking and stuck in the only things I know: that bomb took out just about everything that was NYC. There are a lot of new rules, and this is definitely NOT vacation anymore. This is work, and I guess, this is my new life.
The air doesn’t smell like chemicals today, it smells like shit. The farms to the north and west must be decomposing or maybe just using non-chemical fertilizer?
Saw the group I like yesterday, don’t know where they stay but I bet it’s nicer than this. More bodies makes better projects. If I wasn’t so fucking freaked out I would have asked. I need so much right now, where do I start?
I went over to the Fort, the bar where I can stand to be, not the one I was at when I heard. There, my new friend Cory told me there’s a secret. Does she mean a group? A plan? An activity? She was drunk and I was sober – my favorite way to retain information. Some folks are always working to change things, everywhere, and so are they, folks Cory knows. I want to know more: will they feel like letting me in? Will through our collective sorrow come answers? Can I still make new friends even when I’m in pieces?
When people talk to themselves I used to think it was for attention, but now I know it’s to quell the superexpansion of the ego – to keep it from melting into everything and becoming nothing.
I found what must be the last bathroom in the Union that works. The water runs cool and clear and its not guaranteed by a board and a chairman and that makes it all the more beautiful. Dad’s not in charge of this space, or in charge of fiction for that matter. The tiles shine, not because they are clean but because they are so dirty the grime is falling off. Everyone wants to be the most special, the dealmaker, the first in line. But this bathroom easily ruins that, you are in LINE dear. And its not so bad, maybe there is a higher order and your chemical makeup can tell you all about it. Chemicals, things I now know so much about.
“Although there are many polyesters, the term “polyester” as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate (PET).” Says Wikipedia. Just rolls off the tougne, right?
Still, Wikipedia, after all these years. Sometimes collectively-made things rule because everything known gets organized and BOOM you don’t have to change your entries on chemistry you can just add new headings as new information gets organized, and update as needed. Such a flexible place for Cartesianism to live. I don’t know shit about chem, physics is my jam. I had to learn about fabrics for work at the Club, but living in this peak-oil world is an education about What Things Are Made Of: plastic, y’all.
“Fabrics woven or knitted from polyester thread or yarn are used extensively in apparel and home furnishings, from shirts and pants to jackets and hats, bed sheets, blankets, upholstered furniture and computer mouse mats. Polyester fabrics can provide specific advantages over natural fabrics, such as improved wrinkle resistance, durability and high color retention.”
As for me, I know fabrics, can touch them and tell you what the fibers and poly terephtalates are. Nylon, rayon, lycra, and dear sweet spandex. My truest true loves. My moneymakers. Clients love this shit, and thus I am financially sustainable with my totally precious and high-value clothes.
Vomit. Ugh, the whole world looks and smells like the taste and feel of puking blood. Dire, metallic, the inside gone out. I think I can’t play rosy glasses in a world this exposed. Its like all my secrets have to come out, too. They shake themselves out through my muscles that won’t stop twitching. I know about this phenomena. This isn’t the first time I’ve been scared in life. The fact that it’s been going on for days and days and days is new, though.
I worry that the folks I’ve so far found to hang out with wouldn’t understand what I say when I say “I’m shaking,” and that scares me, too. But who the fuck understands trauma? Who is affected and how do we caretake across all the bullshit that comes out and up? Some of us organize and some of us fall apart. All know is: without people, I’m gonna flatline fast.
I was going through the checkpoint today to get into the InnerCity to work, and looking at the people around me, I’m thinking that the curvy folks like me are more likely to make it, and all the skinny babes who gorged themselves on tiny amounts protein may fail to survive. What does it mean? Should I have offered more meals to be made along the way? The torture I felt about my hips is now tinged with guilt at the fact that they might save me. I think back to when there used to be unemployement cuz there used to be real jobs, not these contracty-client things. To when I used to worry about recycling as an option, or to put gas in my vehicles. To when gas was something people like me bought regularly. And fuck me, because all these are just the thoughts you think when you don’t want to think about how you feel.