Portland, OR February 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 § 0

myGw5b on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Sitting at the stage (where you sit if you're making it rain), was an older couple, maybe 45 years old. A man, with, I will say it, a fairly unattractive wife. There they sat, his hand in her lap, while before him elegant young women revealed to the world their inner demons. He stared while she put money on the counter for him, and they were spending a lot of money. The truth was cold: they were doing this so that later on they'd be able to have sex again. I think it was a middle-class nightmare.

Chrysalis: One particularly dirty girl, who wasn't even wearing panties when she took the stage, sat doggy-style with her ass and V in his face, her ankles resting on his shoulders. As his wife proceeded to tip her dollar by dollar, the dancer proceeded to spread herself wider and wider, pulling one cheek further and further from the other. The man stared in and sort of nodded his head with every labial inch revealed, until he was staring not just AT her but IN her. Where I was sitting, I had the unfortunate angle of seeing the whole thing myself. I realized that he was paying to look deeper, not into her but into the vast black chasm of his own soul, the dark and psychological interior abyss that confronts every human in its own unique way. His wife was having the same experience, as she looked at her husband's hypnotic nodding and saw her marriage decayed. If you followed that gaze from her eyes to his, and from his eyes through the innards of that dancer to the dancer's eyes as she looked back to the pole at the center of the stage and the lit doorway to the dressing room beyond, you would realize that the same depraved sentiment was shared by all: no matter how deep into the psychological rabbit hole we go, we will always be looking into the mirror. 

City of Syrup Pt. 5, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011 § 0

It's worth asking something. Where was I going? Maybe to the video store, maybe to drive past Laura's house, maybe just for a drive. I was going into this shit, my home, with its hills and lawns and parks. That's where I was going. With its bus routes to New York and the women on the bus with sunglasses who chew their gum at you. Their eyes hide behind big round shades and their teeth shimmer and they hold the New York Times in a roll and they just hold it tightly there.

City of Syrup, 2011 pt.2

Thursday, June 2, 2011 § 0

Photographs and text from the ongoing project, CITY OF SYRUP

“Step a way from the vending machine,” Mike says with his palms facing the glass, slowly backing off. “Danger, danger.” He says this with a precise robot monotone, and it's good for a laugh.
I'm at my chair, looking into the office kitchen from an off-angle, obscured by a wall and the fluorescent lights bouncing off the vending machine glass, only half of Mike's body visible to me, his hands still vertical in the danger-danger position. This must be, this can only be, a secret code, another language, a set of organized and encrypted actions. Step uh-way from the vending machine.
I gaze off at the potted plants by the window and then back to the bright-white computer screen in front of me, then drift off again to the kitchen where a tiny damp dot of sweat is forming on the small of Mike's back, as he pops his change into the slot one coin at a time, pressing each in fully with his thumb. A perfect circle of darkness, slowly expanding over his button-down shirt, seeping into the cotton fibers, saturating every particle and thread. Ceaseless dampness.
My mind is gone and my eyes turn back to the computer screen. Blinking new messages in a morse code dance.

“What was the name of that driving instructor again?”
“The Iranian.”
“He had like, sunglasses. Always wore that small hat.”
“Al, the Iranian.”
“Fucking, he used to hit on the high school girls that he taught how to drive.”
“One time he picked me up for my lesson, what were we, 16? And he said, 'Oh you live right around the corner from that Maddy girl? She is so fucking beautiful.' Like 55-year old Iranian dude.”
“He told me that he went out into the desert and found a special scorpion, which he killed and took home, dehydrated and minced, and then smoked. He smoked this fucking scorpion and started hallucinating.”
“Didn't he drive trucks in Russia too? Through the steppe or whatever. He had a head-on collision on the side of a mountain, he said it was a true shit-storm. He sensed his truck was going over the guardrail, down the side of this Russian mountain, to fall thousands of feet, and he managed to climb into the rear compartment and somehow that's how he survived.”
“He crawled into the back of the truck and somehow that, like, protected him.”
“My instructor was named Raffi. I mean, that's what I called him. I don't actually know his name. But he reminded me of Raffi. He had me drive to Panera Bread so he could get sandwiches."
“You guys want to smoke some hashish? I got it from Al's connect.”
Jules takes out a small ball of tinfoil and unfurls it to reveal the white resin within. Out come rolling papers, filter, ballpoint pen. The rest of us watch while Jules rolls, a thing of beauty. He rolls like a champion.
“Jules, you roll like a fucking Blackwater mercenary.”
This hash joint is a small triumph.
“You roll like Robert Deniro man. In fucking Taxi Driver.”
“That's my fucking dude right there. Yo Jules you're my fucking dude.”
Quiet again for the lighting and first couple of hits.
“Shut. Up man no one says that.”
“We all think it.”
A crack in the conversation, in which these small truths rise to the top like struggling crabs in a bucket.
“It's true though, I mean we all think we're the shit. Like, ohhh you wanna smoke trees? Like, yo hella faded.”
“Like, sticky-icky.”
“Like, um.”
So blazed.”
Yeah, let's burn. Let's burn man!
Fuck that shit think you cool cause you smoke weed. I smoke hella weeeeeed.
“Yeah except fuck that west coast shit. Hella, hecka. That's bullshit.
I smoke weed like a dungeon dragon.”
“That's what's good.”
Perfectly rounded, executive sentences. Efficiency of communication and say only the most important, meaningful things. How much can you say, really, without saying much at all. Dot dot dash dot dash.
“Have you seen Baby Elephants In Kiddie Pool?”
“Yo have you seen Dog Puke Sex?”
“Tickling Child Chimpanzee.”
“Gorilla Sucks Own Dick.”
“Have you seen, um. Monster Truck Jumps 747.”
“Rogue Helicopter Pilot.”
“Local Town Hall Meeting Goes Awry, Caldwell, NJ.”
“North Korea Mass Games 2010.”
We cram on to the couch, our brains fully flooded with hash-feelings. And there they are, one million North Koreans in a stadium executing synchronized dances to create messages for Kim-Jong Il. Grouping together to form roses and hearts and Korean characters, like a marching band times a hundred.
“It's like this. Every person in the stands gets a massive oversized book with like a hundred monotone pages. For every seat in the stadium, there is a specific book. They hold their books up, and then at the exact right time, they flip the page. When this happens the overall image changes.”
“Like pixels.”
“I need to find one of these books.”
“I need to call it a night.”