Thursday, December 29, 2011

christmas in los angeles


spent christmas break house sitting for a former professor, which is to say, i spent the holidays in book heaven. alone. was strange having so much space to myself, a whole house, backyard in which to romp, take my clothes off, scrape my shins against fat cacti, read janet frame's owls do cry, and eat peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. my sole companion: a blind, deaf dog who i repeatedly startled by touching too quickly, forgetting to first let him sniff, lick my hand.  for the first three days, i seldom ventured beyond my spot on the back porch. stretched out on a knit hammock, in a fat pill of light, i read trashy biographies of elvis, scanning each page for references to the clitoris. she’s a beautiful girl. i wouldn’t lay a hand on her. but to have her sit on your face! the king supposedly said about the then fourteen year old priscilla. still, many of his “friends and handlers” asserted that she was "a virgin, at least technically" on her wedding day. president wilson, on the other hand, remained a virgin, of every sort, until twenty-eight. curled beneath a faux fur blanket, i started and finished alex forman’s delightful tall, slim, & erect, a gossip’s guide to the presidents. jefferson, apparently, could not ride a horse for months due to boils on his ass. hayes felt a crazed and tender devotion to his sister. at night, i put myself to sleep by imagining buchannan whispering to his lover in moment of total privacy, unmatched bliss, your cock is a cocoon and its going to live inside me and be recycled.

on xmas eve, as afternoon browned into evening, my daily headache (usually mild in nature) morphed into an otherworldly migraine. to experience persistent physical pain in the way of migraines, stomach cramps, insomnia, etc is to be aware, at all times, of yr body—its immense powers, limitations, ability to humiliate yr intelligence entirely. no sooner do i feel as if i have “figured it out,” could predict the onset down to most infinitesimal detail, do i find myself leveled out, face spangled with sweat, hair slicked with vomit. i must submit, let myself go with it, knowing i will emerge, as with many of life’s most lonely and degrading things, having learned nothing whatsoever.

i laid down on the faded purple couch and prepared myself for the worst. no music, light. i dreamed what i always dream of when dazed with pain: heaps of sticky, swollen nugs waiting to be ground up, smoked. i fantasize about getting so stoned that my body forgets to be a body at all. fantasize, too, about a single, exquisite fuck, a pleasure so totalizing, wholly satisfying as to permanently snuff all the other needs of my body: eating, sleeping, not sleeping, shitting, or for one, the urgent need to be touched all over, all at once, when there is no one but me around in a strange house.

woke christmas morning ache-free, that is, radiant. fried an omelet then snuggled with the dog in the hammock while watching the neighbors open gifts, take out the trash, slice up a ham. called my mother and sister who, for the past week, had sent me an endless stream of pictures of themselves in cut off shorts, drinking mai tais on a beach somewhere in north florida. it is always too expensive for me to fly home for christmas. besides, i don’t like to travel, never learned how. until i moved to california, i had never cruised beyond the deep south, had only seen the ocean twice. i am very grateful that my nephew gets to take so many trips, see all there is to see, including real life palm trees. many hours later, after several neighbors have tossed their farmed pines to the curb, a man knocked on the door, a delivery from the local liquor store. cabernet. from yr mother. i curtsied and kissed his hand bless you. decided to ditch the books, celebrate the best way i know how: wine spilt down the front of my slip, dancing across the hardwood to chris kenner c’mon let me show you where its at, c’mon the name of the place is i like it like that.