When I eavesdropped I thought about the NSA. I thought that they must lose
words and intentions to static. They must fill in the opaque areas with their own readings and misreadings of data. They must hear the burr of power drills.
How is your sister, she said.
She’s a manic depressive, he said.
Was she a bummer last night, she said.
No he said.
I didn’t mean that she was a joy kill. Was she okay? Did she have a good time?
She has a girlfriend, he said. She’s Jewish. They’re not together together.
They are spending time together.
I’m not Jewish, she said. I wish I was jewish. I’m nothing. I wished I wrote like Gogol, Nabakov, Antrim,Trokl, Celan, Heine…
I don’t like men staring at me, she said. You don’t know what it is like to be a woman. The creepy ones want you to know that they are staring at you.
He stares at me. I want him to die. I want to punch him into oblivion.
I can see what he is thinking of doing to me. It’s disgusting. You’re a man.
You have no idea what it is like.
What if the guy is super cute, he said.
It doesn’t matter, she said. I don’t want some guy eye fucking me and raping me with his eyes.
I understand, he said.
I have to look kindly at women, I thought. But that can be misleading and creepy.
M has bluish black circles under her eyes. She looked like Myrle Streep comes
Her left eye was bloodshot.
I’m a handsome woman, M said.
I write, M said. I’m a critic. I can draw a little. When I get a good part I take it. I’m like Tilda.
Shut the fuck up is what I say to doubters, M said. I gave the detectives the serial number to my computer. They found it at a pawn shop. It had been used by a meth user. Shut the fuck up. You don’t like critics. I say shut the fuck up to them.
M had small white hairs on her face.
I gave her my twitter page. I thought she would obsess about me.
She doesn’t have relationships with men. She fucks them. She doesn’t even
fuck them. She gets fucked.
There’s a town in Oregon called boring, I said.
Shut the fuck up, M said.
What, I said.
Shut the fuck up, M said. Shut your hole king. What are you doing she said. Put your dick away. I’m handsome. Get the fuck out.
Sue was assaulted by a 25 year old sex offender. He grabbed her
wrist and put a knife to her throat. She threw herself down to the
ground. He wasn’t able to rape her. A man helped her.
He did eight years. He was placed in an half way house for sex offenders in Florida when he came out of prison. It was a place where the offenders were able to
support one another. It was ceased when officials thought the sex offenders
were looking to victimize children.
I know dudes who live in cars, said Sue. I need someone to drive me to whole foods so I can unload my cans. J lives in his car. He’s drinking himself to death. His mother sends him money.
You know a lot of people on the margins, I said.
Well yeah, Sue said. I have always been on the margins.
Sue lived with a man who had ocd and was dyslexic like herself for ten years.
She said it was impossible for them to lead a normal life. They never were able
to get to dinner dates. He never was able to keep a job for long. He became a drug
dealer. He gave a doctor he began seeing cocaine. She left him. He blackmailed her
for money. He said he would tell the authorities that he procured drugs for her. She didn’t want to lose her practice and complied. She thinks he’s deceased. She has no idea where he is nor does she want to know.
Sue is a great conversationalist. She is lonely. It is a shame that she never put it down
on paper. Conversation and walking are the more subversive activities in this digital age. Sue walks everywhere. She sucks in her breath. One day she will be on an oxygen tank. She has to stop walking every two blocks to sit and gather her breath.
I will be living in an apartment, I said. I was living in a house. At least I will have my space.
Yes at least you don’t have to live in a room, Sue said.
The worst feeling is when someone treats you in a way that you are stupid, I said.
The worst feeling is when they say that you aren’t trying and you are trying as hard as
you can, Lynne said.
That is true, I said.
Sue never knew what dyslexia was when she had it. She knew that she had a hard time
learning. She knew that she felt ashamed when they put her in groups for slow kids.
It wasn’t long after she had left college that she knew she was dyslexic.
When I came to the states from the Netherlands i didn’t speak a word of english.
The kids had me say shit and they laughed. I laughed with them. As I got older I knew I had other mental shit going on. If I didn’t know it I would have been insane.
Sue’s mother was ashamed of Lynne’s lack of academic acumen.
Sue looked like a Mao communist in her simple blue shirt with large pockets and
her long white and yellow hair under a blue cap.