February 3rd, 2010


playing at power

playing at power

I wasn't hungry
i'd eaten two slices after yoga
before going to give the massage
but Artichoke is a good pizza
so I went there to eat
I had 8 minutes to wait for the bus
it was snowing
beautiful outside
but cold

I ordered, and began waiting
some meek little kid starts talking to the brash Italian kid working there
his name is Vinny, he's huge and boisterous
the kid, obviously Jewish, early 30's
is asking something in a terribly sincere tone

Vinny makes him repeat it louder
makes him explain it
the kid doesn't say "kosher"
he asks what kinda rennet there is in it
I'm not stoned or drunk
and I was befuddled by the clunky request
what's up?
Vinny doesn't get it
says he doesn't know if his cheese has animal or vegetable rennet, if he even knows what rennet is
I speak up
helpful fool that I am
tell him the packaging would say if it were animal or vegetable
I've noticed it for years
never understood why
Vinny ask him if he's vegan or something
which seems dumb to me
the kid looks put out
Vin tells him he's in the wrong place

I ask him if it's an allergic thing or a " I hate to kill baby cows for their gall bladder" thing
he says "Neither", exasperated
Vinny says "what brands of cheese can you eat?"
the kid lists a few
Vinny says: "you'll be fine, that's all I'm saying"

then they all start talking about my hat
I tell them the story of buying it in London
then finding out it was an Afghani freedom fighter hat ( some would call them Northern Pakistani terrorists )
but it keeps me warm

the Jewish kid decides to buy a slice
and asks Vinny how long he's been making pizza in this city...
I'm still oblivious
but Vinny looks him in the eye and tells him he grew up making it
Does the kid like Chicken?
yeah, he explains, but can only eat it from certain places...
... trailing off elipses in his meek voice.
he's a handsome guy
why's it such a big fucking deal that he's kosher?
Vinny says -Yeah, and you can't mix it with the cheese, right
the kid blurts "I'm Jewish"
Vinny says "You're Orthodox."
Vinny says " I grew up in Boro Park!"
and only slightly knowing what I'm doing I say, "Yeah, I had a chassidic boyfriend once"
he never told me animal rennet in cheese wasn't kosher.., thinking about it, of course! but why would I ever think about it?
and why would I say that
than to put the screws in this meek Jewish boy
who's obviously ashamed of being who he is
and resents us for not respecting his arcane belief system
it's all so subtle
these little shoves
Vinny says " You know Jerusalem 2?! my dad put the lights in there!"
coming back to common ground, letting the jew know he knew exactly what was going on
playing cat and mouse
the Kid takes his slice of pizza "your dad's an electrician? The pizza there sucks"
he turns and leaves
I say " He could have just asked if your pizza is Kosher"
Vinny says " Oh, I knew what he wanted, I just like giving them hell"

all this push-pull
it's obviously fun for the cat
scary and traumatizing for the mouse
but he ain't dumb either
he's playing into it
so he's gotta like it

but am I a bird or lizard or something?
why is this always shocking to me?

After the massage
which wasn't a massage
more like petting a rare beast who needed some love
and far more attention than he was interested in earning
I walked out and the snow was beautiful
I was kinda tired
but figured i'd go to nowhere for a drink coz it was a beautiful night

the G train was at the platform as I walked in
and figured I'd go ahead and make that mistake

of course the fucking thing stopped half way
and we had to wait ten minutes for the connecting train

when that train arrived
the announcer sounded like some inmate on holiday from a mental hospital...
but the skinny conductor in my car had some words with some heirarchical superior about something
the fat little guy turned around and barked at him " you want me to shut this shit down? " stares nails and spins back to walk on..

That, I thought to myself, is why I can never have another Job
having to deal with regular human power dynamic bullshit
just not interested, fuck you very much
being put in some system where I'm considered less-than some stupid bastard who gets off throwing his insignificant weight around

when I get to nowhere
I say hi to a guy I know
feeling embarassed I didn't show up at his art event last night
but offering no explanations
I'm really tired of excuses
I've decided they are useless
and I'm doing my best not to play with them anymore

I walk around a bit and catch the eye of some guy who told me I'd given him a massage a few years ago

I don't remember anything but his face
I tell him I'm happy and tired, just led a yoga class and fucked a porn star...
but refuse to tell him which one.
he's wearing gold Italian shoes and purple socks
and launches into a long story about how horrible Indiana is

I know
I don't need to hear it
and some cute guy is smiling at me
adorable bear all bashful like
I excuse myself from the handsome but irritating guy next to me and go talk to the bear

we met last time I was here
I gave him my card
he told me he'd looked through my site
and was happy to see me again
he's there with his boyfriend
there are many odd pauses
so I start rubbing him
he's very cute and there is lots of sexual energy between us
he asks me what I do

I do my best

and him?
he tells me he's a retail manager
I pull out of him what and where
and it's nothing arty (i always think of the NoWhere bears as Arty)
so I wait for the "and I'm writing a novel" or "I also make movies"
instead it's "my boyfriend just graduated with a masters in fine art"
I feel odd
big adorable man
with a boy friend
and only offering love and adoration, not a brainy boy
so sweet
but kinda off limits to me
what can I do with that?
hot sex? break my heart?
I'm not very good at making friends with men I can't keep at mind's length...
which leads me to talking with his BF
been together two years
and already living together
Just graduated NYU....
I bring up N, did he study with him?
yes of course
glowing reviews
calls him "the least cluttered person he'd ever met"
I can't help it and make a stab at that one
so he asks me how I know him so well
and I say we dated, call him my X
and spill myself all over the place

I never say "dated", don't think in Xes, but there i go again
just trying to associate myself
another power play

I wasn't feeling bad about any of this til I wrote it out
do my words put a hurtful spin on things?
or is it how I let events emotionally sink in?

the black kids on the train went to the same high school
the one with corn rows is telling the chubby psp player all the teachers that got fired for something or other
there is some power dynamic going on here
but they're on the same team of course

the adults always lose against the kids

(writing at home, eight minutes later)
( i was so engrossed writing this, i didn't finish on the train, i wrote all the way down the long 1 tunnel... got to the mouth of it and finished typing watching the snow fall... clicked off airplane mode and hit 'send'... then i noticed there was a kid standing next to me. he said hello... through about thirty feet of thick murky water. he said he'd seen me around. around where? around here. he asked where i was from. he was missing my responses. he kept repeating my name, incorrectly, as if it might mean something if he could just remember it... i felt his dick and his need and i wasn't interested in either.. i wanted to watch the beautiful snow fall in the orange lights and blanket everything... everything... he waited next to be, blinking like a dog... waiting... tall skinny black boy with a do-rag on and a purple beanie.. i jumped out into the snow and stared up into the sky... i started heading towards my house and said good night... he followed me... asking my name again.. i said good-night... and just as i turned my bend, i noticed he was waiting at the corner to see if i'd turn around... he gave up just a second too soon... though i wouldn't have taken him in any how... i'm not into collecting waifs and stays.. i do feel for them though. )