I had very few hours of sleep. But Saturday was such a big day. I woke up for my tattoo appointment. I didn’t put any effort into myself, just some clean (enough) clothes and washed my make-up off. I hadn’t realized how worn I had become until I took my make-up off. My make-up started off rough/smudgy and heroin chic. Then it just BECAME rough and smudgy. The bags under my eyes were no longer smudged eyeliner. They were just time and sadness. Illness. Malnourishment.
I left wearing nothing but age on my face. I should’ve have driven but I did anyway, to my appointment. In the blaring fucking hot sun. As soon as I walked into the tattoo shop I realized I had fucked up, something was wrong. The girl managing the books was different from Candace. Appointment was cancelled. No, it never existed. Maybe it did. White out. Who was wrong? As this awkward exchange continued I glanced over at my artist, as she and a few of the other artists penciled in drawings on stencil paper. She looked confused and even vaguely worried. I must’ve looked a wreck. Tweaking out, essentially, at the desk. Defeated, I left. I crashed into my bed at home. My body was weary.
I woke up hating myself, as usual. I decided I would never leave my bed again. No way, no how. But the sweetest text rang on my phone. It sounds like a microwave. That’s what Tory always said. “Don’t forget your second poetry debut, honey.” I peeled myself from my sheets. I was so cold. I looked in the mirror and I was still rough as ever. I looked so “Girl, Interrupted”. I was alarming. Swathed in thick fleece, I emerged from the house. Staring dreamily out the car window as we got closer to downtown. I texted Peter, I let him know that I am in no condition to be handling anyone’s heart. As he texted back, we both arrived at the alley way.
I took my place on a blanket, stoney and gravelly. I curled into myself as much as possible. Trying to brace for impact. I was so afraid to socialize again after what had happened. I didn’t know if Sandor was going to say something. I quickly realized my poems were too dark to present. But I did it anyway. Everyone was so fucking unnerved. I was shaking when I read them, wringing my hands and spitting out poetry, rapid fire. I stayed and listened to everyone. Someone opened up about her recent hospitalization. Someone started rapping and it got exponentially misogynistic and violent. J.C snapped at him, shut him down immediately. It was nice. There was a lecture about safe space. The session ended with some amazing poetry by a brilliant feminist poet. It was her first time. JC enthused about her poetry. Asked her to perform publicly but caught her nepotism in time to make me still feel a bit included. But, I couldn’t help feel sad. I vomited all of the ink and ash I had in me and everyone was so shocked and horrified they did not know what to do. It doesn’t make me want to stop, but it makes me want to pull away from them. I texted Peter almost as soon as I arrived. “Do you want to fuck later?” He checked his phone but he never responded. He just laid in the alley, occasionally making a vague reference to it. I think he was trying to decide if he should or not. Which I guess is very noble of him. The thought hadn’t really crossed my mind until now. I left feeling so emotionally drained. I grabbed a coffee with Peter and went home to prepare for the evening.
It was Loughlin’s birthday. I once again emerged from my cave but this time showered and cleanly made up. I looked good. Deadly, even. But that was no accident. When your make-up is on point, your life is on point. Apparently. But it so rings true. I hung around Kaz’s for a while, looking for Loughlin. He kept darting all over, it was really hard to capture him. I was with Paul for a long time, enjoying his company. But I couldn’t help but feel urgency for some reason. So, I darted around too. I found him hiding at the goth event at Mikado. I felt relaxed and safe in there. Goth music speaking to my soul, Jaegermeister pumping through my blood. Dim lights and warm tea candles. The television above the bar was playing some sports event, which was so strange considering the rest of the atmosphere. But nevertheless, some regular was sitting at the bar, a-la Duck Dynasty, drinking and watching the game. Loughlin toyed with me for a while about my feminist vest, but all very sarcastically. Unfortunately, his friend didn’t pick up on the sarcasm and just blatantly began being misogynistic for a laugh. The situation died down a bit and I wandered off. Flirting with the same girl, repeatedly. I’m asking her the same fucking questions and not getting any deeper each time. Oh well, I think she is here with her boyfriend. Peter appears in the doorway and I flock to him, “I don’t want to see Travis tonight.” He tells me that Travis is at Kaz’s as we speak. So, we leave. I told him I needed cigarettes and he said Joel had some. To Joel! We pay too much money for cigarettes in front of a garbage bin on the street. Joel is on his lunch break, apparently this is a thing he does. Peter says he wants to show me the Labyrinth. We start to wander towards Rockfords again. In front of us I can see Travis in bright red. Bright red mohawk. Looking deviously good. As we get nearer and nearer I try to figure out what to say. By the time we made it to him, I was so driven by purpose and direction that I gave him a fleeting, “Hello.” I think that unnerved him slightly. It was almost as if he didn’t care but a small part of him cared and it upset him. We went into this building, I’m 90% sure it was a crack house. We began to wander the halls which were indeed a labyrinth. Peter was telling me about how it can be really easy to escape from the cops in there. We met a few dead ends but ended up out on the roof. There were a few other people there, the denizens of some apartment above. They descended the staircase to smoke or whatever they were doing. They did not expect us. Peter rolled the joint while we sat on the tar roof. Staring over the building at the highway. I tried not to look at Travis’ apartment because the memories would sting much too much. We smoked and it burned. I spoke about conspiracies and children. I must have rambled for ages. I started to notice that the people from the apartment were looking out of their windows at us, panicked. I didn’t want to upset the crackheads so I suggested we join life again.
Back on the street, everything had finally began to start. People I knew were around again, everyone was getting drunk enough. We floated between Kaz’s and Mikado for the majority of the night. Upon heading back to Mikado, I found Colin.
To be continued, Peter joins me thusly.