Posted in Uncategorized on February 23rd, 2009 by eddie

I watched my mother sleep this morning. She seemed peaceful. I wonder if she was dreaming of Dad, in his vase, talking to her over dinner like I always imagined when I was a kid. Talking to her, not me.I wonder if she will miss me. I wonder if I pulled back the blanket if there would be a black mark on her leg, or her stomach, or her arm. It’s not beyond possibility.

Stephanie sat across from me at lunch. I took her to some diner without a name. It seemed like a safe place, neutral. She had big tired bags under her eyes but she was so happy, so bright. She was like a light bulb, just…turned on. Not like sexually, but like a switch had been flipped inside her. I looked at her for a long time. Like she was someone I didn’t know. Like she was someone new.

I didn’t tell her. I couldn’t. That I work for a woman who sort of implied you could be killed for what you’re doing but I’m not really sure that’s what she meant but I didn’t know how to ask and why did you keep me out? Why was it so important to keep me out? I just looked at her. She put her hands flat on the table. I put mine over them. She didn’t say anything either. The flensings on her neck were so dark and crazy, like hands choking her. I just wanted it to be over, whatever today was supposed to be, I wanted it to be over.

“Ok,” Steph said.

“Ok what?”

“Ok, come here.”

And she kissed me over the table. Not like before, but slowly and carefully and deliberately, so I’d know she meant it. When the kiss broke–and it broke, like a glass falling–she took me by the hand, out of the diner. I got in her car and she still wasn’t talking, but I know the way to her house pretty well, so I got it. I understood. Fuck Lizzy. Fuck all of them.

Stephanie tasted like a city on fire.

Unbearable Cities

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15th, 2009 by eddie

How am I supposed to do that?

Lizzy said: it’s not my problem.

But seriously. How?

Contain Stephanie? And Wren? Jack if I can? Jack, who’s so wired in he uploads shit to YouTube about the city. I’m living on borrowed grace, she says.

A girl came in today. She had beautiful work: a medieval Babylon cityscape all around her stomach. But she cried and cried. Her boyfriend was a medievalist, she thought it would impress him. It did, but he left her anyway, and she couldn’t bear it.

God, I miss her. Stephanie. My girl. The girl I never loved. How can you contain something so totally outside you?

I called and told her I wanted to have lunch. I named a place. A diner by the freeway, with great home fries. Steph loves home fries.

I don’t really know what I mean to do. Lizzy shrugged and I didn’t like the shrug at all. You destroy ink with light. It’s what you do. A girl shouldn’t be so hard.

And if I do. If I do I have proven myself. If I do someone will let me go. They’ll spare someone. Maybe Lizzy. Maybe not. I have this vision of a house full of boys and girls with unbearable cities on their skin, waiting to be assigned to some poor asshole who’s proven himself.

I want to hear the sounds of that place. I want to hear its voice. I want it so badly. But I can’t tell if I want it because Stephanie has it, or for itself. And I’m supposed to take it away from her, so that I can get there myself.

Oh Steph. You don’t even read this anymore. I know: I’m the only admin who logs in. Why couldn’t you just let me in on your own?

I feel like shit. But I haven’t canceled lunch. I keep scratching my hand, as though the mark is already there. I’ve started to bleed.

Flesh always bleeds. It might not respond to light, but…I know Steph can bear flensing. She’d be ok. It would hurt, but she’d be ok.

She’d be ok.

This Message Will Self-Destruct

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9th, 2009 by eddie

I did my first work for Lizzy today. It was easy. No customers. Steph didn’t come in. She left a message and said she’d be out dancing with Wren and Jack. I wanted to say: don’t tell me that shit. It just makes me actually want to work for Lizzy, instead of having nowhere else to go.

My mom loved seeing me working at home with a computer. She would so much rather have a nice, respectable son who works with computers than someone who essentially has a huge ray-gun he points at people with inadvisable scribblings on them.

I like the ray gun.

I searched Craiglist. I found a guy who had posted an ad looking for people in the New York area, people like him, people with a funny mark.

This is what his ad said:

Seeking travelers to the borough of Palimpsest. Unexplained spontaneous tattoos? Bad dreams? Find me. Please, find me.

I liked him, a little. It sounded like a real ad. Like you could buy him and take him home and keep him in your closet. I used the admin passwords Lizzy gave me to delete it, and my own brain to follow the poor guy around the web, where he’d posted in half a dozen places Lizzy also had access to. I deleted everything. I felt really bad by the end, like I’d betrayed someone. After all, I post about this shit, and for some reason Lizzy lets it stand.

I added “Sorry, brother” to the various automated notifications and removed it when I was finished. He’d get my message, and a few hundred other poor souls selling Viagra where they shouldn’t or harassing some girl who never wanted anything to do with them. But they wouldn’t understand. Just the guy with the bad dreams. That’s what this is all about, I guess. The people who understand. What they can see that others can’t. In that sense, I’m just as good as they are. The ones who travel. I understand, even if I don’t.

When the day was over, Lizzy came to the door and paid me. I didn’t want money. She nuzzled in close to me and kissed me, biting my lip hard enough to draw blood. She grabbed and pushed at me, unbuttoning my pants. I let her, and just like I thought she would, she backed off, looking sly. She thought she was teasing me. But you have to want someone for teasing to work. And if I just told her to take her blood money and shove it, I might still have a chance with the girl I did want. Who understood, and probably better.

But for some reason, I didn’t. I guess it was nice to be mauled, even a little.


The Devil and the CDC

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2nd, 2009 by eddie

A woman came to visit me today. I had finally dragged my ass back into the office and this chick comes in and takes off her pants and there’s a fucking map on the inside of her thigh. I wanted to punch it, but I’m not that kind of guy.

So she sits there buttoning up her pants and says she reads my site and we need to talk. She understands me, she feels my pain. Steph and Wren and Jack are a pack of assholes and assholes need to be dealt with and don’t I agree?

Uh, sure, I say.

She says a name to me and I don’t know it. Casimira. The devil, as far as this woman is concerned. If it weren’t for her, none of this would be necessary. But she’s an anarchist, and she’s a public health hazard and blah blah blah. Don’t I agree that viruses should in the main keep to themselves and not spread? Isn’t that what the CDC is for?

Well, call the CDC, I say.

She gets mad and says that would spoil the whole point of keeping it secret. I just look at her. She’s kind of pretty, in that damaged sort of way. Too thin and frantic, like a chihuahua jumping around in a girl’s body. She snaps her fingers in my face like I’m an idiot. She has work for me, she says. Important work. And if I work long enough for her, and am loyal and strong, then they will spare someone to kiss me into the city.

There’s a club for me, she says. Her club.

But the first thing I have to do is stop blogging and get Stephanie under control. She’s a timebomb, patient zero.

She hasn’t slept with anyone but Wren. Maybe Jack, I tell her.

We know her type.

Ok, then.

My name’s Lizzy, the girl says. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.