Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Day 16: Perspicuity (part a)...
Status: It is May and it is exactly four years ago
Physiology: and everything is perspicuous although nobody seems to know the definition what that word means. It is spring and you are lying down in supine posture in St. Mary’s cemetery in West Peoria and you don’t know where you are. There is the clover-minty scent of freshly mowed cemetery grass inhaled at ground level attacking your olfactory senses with hints of opening day ballpark nostalgia and there is a grisly sepulcher twenty feet to your imminent right and there is the girl who must be all of eight years old riding a pink bicycle with training wheels on a Sunday afternoon and her mom has a cell phone pressed into her ear like she is trying to hear the thrash and furl of the ocean. From your periphery lying face-up in the grass the mother and daughter look like church steeples in a children’s pop-up book about accepting death around Easter time.
“Are you okay?” The solicitous lady says to you the way solicitous people talk on afterschool television specials, still holding her cell. You despise how people can’t take a shit without consulting their fucking cell phones.
“My daughter saw you over there and we were worried. We thought you were dead or had been shot or something You were just lying there motionless and we couldn’t tell if you were breathing.”
“I’m fine,” You tell them everything is perspicuous.
The West Peoria fire alarm siren was beginning to ache into an ear-splintering neighborhood caterwaul as if presaging the arrival of an impending Nazi blitzkrieg. The sky is the color of windshield wiper fluid and the last thing you remember was trying to get a handjob from the emaciated girl you met inside the nicotine cumulus of the Owl’s Nest who wanted to meet someone in St. Mary’s cemetery to get what she kept referring to as “powder.”
The solicitous lady is looking at you like you are some sort of doe that got caught in a bear trap. Her finger tips are splayed and she is pressing both of her hands down against something invisible telling you just to go ahead and stay put now. That help is on the way.
You stand up even though the lady is telling you just to stay where you are and not move. A small herd of human beings attired in weekend shorts and polo shirts and visors who look like they have premium dental insurance have gathered near the front of the cemetery in an octagon of shoulders of limbs and they are pointing. When you left the Owl’s Nest you took your beer with you. It is a Budweiser and it is still half full and somehow you had the foresight to plant it behind the tombstone before you passed out. Normally you don’t drink Budweiser but the moment you entered the Owl’s Nest sexy Rachel just handed it to you from behind the bar gratis.
“I’m fine,” You inform her. You have an apartment near Bradley put you have been staying down the road on the corner of Heading ave and Sterling.
As you get up you look back and peripherally espy the amber-stem of the half chug Budweiser saluting like a miniature flag on Memorial day from behind the tombstone you were using as a surrogate pillow. The lady continues to blather and you smile and gesture you fingers in the same exact manner as if mirroring her antics.
“I’m fine,” You tell her. “I’m perspicuous.”
“You’re what?” She says, sounding like she is from Chicago.
“I’m perspicuous. Everything is okay.”
It all started nine hours earlier with Tecate and the Nuclear woods.
You got off of work at 7am this morning and you meandered through the nuclear woods, down past dry run creek, the trees still possessing a hint of autumn, branches resembling arthritic limbs trying to raise their hands for a glass of water in the back of the geriatric ward. It feels peaceful to be in nature, and a month from now the woods will be a vernal nest of chlorophyll, but for now it is peaceful and you are killing time until 8am when the liquor store opens.
The liquor store used to be a convenient store twenty years’ ago when you were a kid and there used to be Take 5 dance studio across the street where your parents’ made you take tumbling because you were a clumsy kid who wore thick glasses and was always bumping into things. After tumbling you go across the street with your friend Jason Ayres and purchase Garbage Pail Kids with change you generously usurped from a vase in your parents’ bedroom. One day while purchasing Garbage Pail Kids your friend Jason Ayres points to the magazines behind the counter.
“Those magazines—inside they have pictures of naked girls.” He tells you.
You don’t know what to say.
Dual decades later you find yourself in the same Convenient store, only now the bulk of the establishment is dedicated to bottle-brimming aisles containing hard-core alcoholic proof. Perhaps thinking of Cinco de Mayo you purchase twin Tecates. You get a 40 of Ice house and an Oil can of Foster Bitter. It is Sunday morning. As you walk down Bradley Avenue you can hear the bells of St. Mark’s chime in beckoning falsettos. You ferry the beer in a plastic bag fraught with sudsy beer bliss the way yuppies carry plastic bags in their free hand when they walk their dogs. It is spring and all is right in the world even though you are exhausted from working third shift the night before.
En route home you smell flowers that you are sure no has named yet.
When you arrive to your apartment on Bradley Avenue you sit down at your writers’ desk and begin to drink. You watch the patrons enter St. Mark’s church across the street. You straddle your chair, sit at the same desk that once belonged to your late father and begin to drink while pecking sentences into the egg-white shell of the page hoping a metaphor will hatch
You once had internet access on your desktop computer but once you super-glued the USP portal shut (‘I gave my desktop a hysterectomy,’ You tell your befuddled friends) because instead of writing all you ever did was phuck around on facebook and look at copious amounts of porn before returning back to the cyber-visage of her face, brush the arrowhead cursor across her forehead, across the auburn tresses of her hair, wondering if she ever thinks of you from time to time.
Sometimes when you looked at her profile status you get pissed off because you think she is back with him.
You continue to drink. You comb through your novel. Your baby. You use to always refer to your novel as your ‘illegitimate daughter.’
When you first became a writer you wanted to be David Foster Wallace. You wore a bandana and glasses to your first creative writing class taught by the great Thomas Palaekeel at Bradley University. You’ve read Infinite Jest anywhere between 20 and 40 times. You wanted to write novels like Ulysses and The Recognition. You think parts of Gravity’s Rainbow is just seriously overrated and that Pynchon was just getting away with post-modern pedantic blather and that he just gets away with shit.
You want to write a large cement block tome where the reader can move in with emotional baggage and furniture containing what in the words of your mentor DFW, “What it feels like to be a fucking human being vs. a rather sophisticated mammal.” At last count your ‘ illegitimate daughter’ weighs in at 1146 single-space pages or, 377, 780 words. You have made surgical cuts with a grammatical scalpel. You have bleed over each line. Three years ago it was 700 pages and you used to refer to your daughter as your fat four old. Now she is portly eight and kind of looks like the bee girl trying to do a pirouette in the Blind Melon video destined for greatness.
You look at your novel and smile. Across the street priests clad in billowing robes of white are shaking hands with exiting parishioners. You look at her picture again, her red hair, the LETTER TO MY LOVER t-shirt she was wearing just for you. The picture that her sister took while she was in partying in Chile and got drunk and thought about you.
It is ten in the morning. You realize you are out of beer. Without locking the door to your apartment you leave the building and walk down Bradley avenue again, in search of something to drink.
In St. Mary’s cemetery the police officer is asking if you are okay.
“I’m fine. I’m perspicuous.” You tell the police officer, who has short hair and looks like he votes republican.
“You are what?” The officer inquires.
Jesus, you think. Perspicuous. It means limpid dumb fuck, It means lucid. It means everything is translucent and clear. It means removing streak free cutlery from your washing machine in your kitchen after a dinner party where the steaks were served medium-rare. You want to rip badge and call him an illiterate fuck and tell him you would have given your left-testicle to have gone to his high school. To have lived in the area code of down where kids didn’t feel like a statistic all the time.
You want to tell him all this but the only word you can think of is perspicuous.
“I’m perspicuous. I was just drinking at the Owl’s Nest and I think someone might have doctored my drink.” You tell him, prevaricating the truth.
The officer could easily ticket you for public drunkenness but instead he looks like he believes you. For the most part every in West Peoria is family except for the thugs who modulate up from the southside and start shit. The police officer continues to nod his gruff countenance as if listening to music on a i-pad. You are thankful that you had the foresight to spike your beer in a secluded cove that isn’t visible from where you are standing right now.
Just as you think he is going to let you go an ambulance arrives.
“You might want to talk to these people.” The officer says.
You arrive back at the liquor store on Western avenue less than three hours from your last purchase. The middle-eastern man behind the counter who you always talk about international soccer with smiles and makes a joke and asks if you are back for more. Judging from the amount of beers you have inhaled so guzzled from various aluminum oz. far you have drank anywhere 8 -11 beers in a three hours period. Your plan is: Buy some more beer. Go home and write at your computer. Pass out around three in the afternoon. Sleep until ten. Go to work and continue writing.
Keeping with the Cinco de Mayo theme you purchase two more 24 oz. Teacate’s and a six pack of Negro Modelo dark.
As you walk home you think that everything is right in the world. You know longer hurt all the time when you are drinking beer.
Once a week you have been sneaking a cube of Sam Adams’ sampler blend into the woods in Bradley park and you sit in a secluded spot in the foliage of the gulch behind the tennis courts where people play ultimate Frisbee and drink beers and smoke. Some days you quote poems by Walt Whitman from memory. Poems about the body electric. Poems about being with someone you love as being enough. Poems about love being unreturned.
You drink beer. Sam Adam’s Boston Ale (not to be confused with Boston Lager). Sam Adam’s now defunct Heffeweisen. Sam India Pale Ale.
Some nights you pass out in the woods and wake up around 9:30, a spring tint blanketed the exact spot of the waning sun.
As a rule you always pee outside in nature marking your territory as if shaking a bubble wand.
Two Springs’ earlier you hung out with the red-headed girl of your dreams in this park. The first time you kissed was near the chain fountain of hole 9 on the Frisbee golf course. You lifted her up and enveloped her bottom limbs around your torso as if being mandated by a neon emblem to fasten your seatbelt during turbulence on an international flight. You hoisted her up and swiveled your enjoined torso and then took a step back. You lifted her on top of the picnic table, groping her upper thigh below the seat of her denim jeans. You lie down facing upwards as if counting clouds and plant her looking into you above you.
You want her on top of you. You want her to straddle your limbs and dry-hump the hell out of your thoroughly battered heart.
Like beer, you think drinking from the draught of her lips will heal you.
You are thinking about her and before you realize it you have finished four Negro Modelo’s and one Tecate. You refrain from writing and unplug your computer because you don’t want to monopolize the entire day looking at her picture again. It is now past noon and the liquor store that is closer to you apartment in campus town is open. You walk into campus down, slap down a twenty and purchase Sam Smith’s Oatmeal stout, a 24 oz. PBR and another 24 oz. Tecate and a pack of cheap Santa Fe grape tasting cigarillos.
Your plan is this: Go home to your apartment and listen to music loud and drink beer until you pass out and then go to work at 10pm. It is nearing one in the afternoon and you have drank around sixteen beers. As you walk past St. Mark’s parish the last mass is exiting. A Hispanic family looks at you holding the see through bag of Tecate and nods.
Inside your apartment you blast music and continue to slam beers. Last week you found two albums in Goodwill bin close to where you live. Listening to music on the crackle and purr of vinyl is like listening to music for the first time. You put on Tom Petty’s FULL MOON FEVER. You start crooning as if a coyote and a crescent moon when Free Fallin’ comes on. You start dancing in almost native American pow-wow fashion during YOUR SO BAD. For some reason you grew up thinking that song ‘I WON’T BACK DOWN was called, “I WANT THAT DAME,” which kinda of makes sense due to the equine nature of Tom Petty’s countenance. You feel no need to crash and continue dancing and twirling in dervish fashion around the book shelves of your apartment. When Dancing at the ZOMBIE ZOO comes on you start yelling at college girls walking past your apartment.
All is right in the world. You take off Full Moon Fever and put on a Journey album you found. Singing along to the lyrics of Only the Young survive. It is two o'clock in the afternoon and you have already drank 24 beers. In two hours time you will find yourself trussed on a gurney in the back of an ambulance and they will tell you that there is enought alcohol in your system to kill you but for now, you are here, you are immortal.
You are drunk. You no longer hurt.
Right here at this pocket of time and space you are dancing like Shiva and the vinvyl scratches of Journey is blasting and you are happy.
You are perspicuous.