i sit in front of a typewriter. a smith corona 250. plugged in to speakers. the audience leans forward. "she's really good, " i hear someone whisper. i type an experimental *** then a +++++ tuning up. i white out one of the +'s.
be(more)fore they let me type, i was a receptionist. i used to feel like an attractive hood ornament, leaning across my desk. "good morning, mr. larson. hey, dave, heading to lunch?"
they never heard me.
unlike sheila. she was one of the secretaries on the 17th floor of the 1111 3rd ave. building. she had a gimmick. she whispered, "dick me," to every lawyer who passed her in the hall. in those days, all of them were male, and, at first none of them could quite believe it. but since sheila began to say "dick me" all the time, they came to like it.
that little moment of voltage.
sheila in her stocking feet, tongue slipping through her lips.
i was impressed with the amount of attention she got with just two words, but dick me was not the reason i became a secretary. sommmtimmmmmmme afterrrrr i made my first typo, i began to make them on purpose. by the time i was typing affidavits, i had fallen in love with the sound of a typewriter. royals at first. their hammer-strung clacking. then the purr of an electric. and it seemed to me even then, as i sat in white blouses and blue mid-calf skirts, that something interesting could be done with a ===========^^^()().
The hardest part to explain is the reliance on friction, the way that the loops sit. The way the knot feels.
(more) Do you remember the first time your eyes went wide? You were finally not alone. You finally knew you were alone. You found the light. You sat in the dark. You thought, and you didn't have to think. This was words. You read them or you wrote them. Which was it again? Call and repsonse in multiple dialects.
I don't have a good grasp of the rhyme scheme. The meter I don't find it until the last line. Slow on the uptake. (tap tap tap).
I want you to lay next to me. There are stars above us. No, cardboard. The first time I tried to get this close to someone, I had to come up for air. There was not enough oxygen with my face buried in body, and I thought I might perish. So I turned away and slept well. This time we won't face each other, but we can still tell when our respiration is linked.
Is it middle class? Bohemian? Elitist? Navelgazing/egotistical/martyrish
also a profound waste of time.
Do you know the one about the old quarry and what they would do there? Did it terrify you to imagine all of those rituals of work and commerce and hedonism? I kept hearing the same thing again and again, and I tried to understand the significance of the hearsay, but I still see a space where slabs of red stone are missing from the hillside. You understand, you don't.
One string turned on itself, choked up, secure, holding it's own hand, the first part of a gift, before the best part.
(this was supposed to be 'main event'. eating peaches while typing, oops!)
"Why is it that we can't be content?"
It hung there for a moment, that question, and it felt sweet and good to be actually caring for the thoughts we said to each other.
"Sometimes I'll delete a whole passage of something I've written, long ones sometimes, just because it's not perfect. I know I can do better and I don't want to work and toil over something that's refusing to bend to my will."
"I wish you wouldn't tell me stuff like that. I think you should save every word that you write."
"Oh come on, you would never do that."
"Well yeah, that's cause I'm not as good as..."
"Shut up! That's bullshit! Take it back right now."
"Okay. Okay. But that's just what I'm talking about; I always come up with lame-o lines like, 'that's cause I'm not as good as you.' Blech! So that's the stuff that I edit. You, on the other hand come up with awesome lines like,
'If Laine comes up with one more bullshit comment like that I'm gonna bludgeon him with that giant crystal ashtray he refuses to empty. I wonder if you can kill someone without breaking the skin?'
and then you delete it because you don't like where the whole page is headed. It's a crime."
"I fucking love that line and I am going to steal it from you."
"I would be open to trading it for sexual favors."
"Yeah, that's gonna happen. I think I'll just steal it."
We sat quiet for awhile, looking at each others work on paper. Being together doing this seemed important and it still does. Fills us with heat and sorrow. We dare each other to be alive. (less)
Shadows crisply on the floor divide the space like architects dream.
There in that dream extend freakish shadow figures lanky as only Dali could have thought.
(more) Meditatively slow movements into grace are made around the floor by contrast of receding light and long shadow.
The space is scrubbed freakishly clean to glisten. Obstacles to clarity dispersed so that space comes into evidence.
They pace their quiet circle to emphasize the bird sound and the river like hush of the highway.
They pace until the silence is dipped into by a wooden clack.
Silence, then "clack!". Shorter silence then "clack!" Silence shorter yet and "clack!".
The rhythm bounces tighter together as like a spinning coin orbits smaller and faster until it halts.
The shadows now still on the floor are seated.
Into stillness, deeper into breath.
It is called to an end. The egos casting their shadows take definition again.
Those people no longer just their breath and shadows and rustling say their parting words and bow.
I remember that first night
just like it was yesterday
it was quiet
enough to hear your heart beating
in time with mine
your eyes were tired
(more) but the sparkle remained
because it never leaves you, ever
it was freezing that night
your hands should have felt like ice
but they burned fire
and sent shockwaves through my starved body
curling my toes
there was this one moment
when I looked at you
and saw your eyes greedy on my face
looking for a sign maybe
and you whispered low and urgent against my mouth
it became difficult to tell
where my breath ended and your breath began
there was a sacredness to it all
as if the hand of God himself came down from above
giving us His seal of approval
and I bowed my head
in silent prayer and submission
willing you to take what belonged to you all along
and you grinned
mischievous-like as we trembled together
secure in the knowledge
it really is all worth it
and knowing beyond a doubt
we could get used to this(less)
The room was completely silent. One man, sitting in his chair, looked down at his servant with unchanging blue eyes. The servant, his knee to the floor, didn't even dare to breathe.
"Atzal Sutohon Rahal Haed." The servant winced at the mention of his full name. "I though(more)t we were past this." The silence continued. "SPEAK!"
"I'm sorry, my lord... I was sure that-"
"If you were so sure, then how did this happen!" He stood up from his chair, frustrated. "You are my best knight, there is no one I trust more." He sat down again. "Stand up, no need to bow before me. Now, tell me what happened." Atzal swallowed anxiously.
"Lord Aphasos, we tried to catch him. I had my best troops scouring the castle. But he was quick. He was able to evade even Diali." Aphasos raised his brow in surprise.
"Even Diali? What a formidable foe." Atzal nodded. "Damage report?"
"One couch, three paintings, and our food supplies for the week. Currently, we have him cornered in the garden," Atzal replied.
"Good. Get rid of him now," Aphasos ordered. "One more thing..."
The sweat was popping out on his forehead as the professor continued to speak of the crime scene. You'd have thought that was where your eyes would have gone but there was one thing that caught your interest first. It was his bow tie. The old fashioned type that you hardly ever(more) see except perhaps on tv or the movies. That tie was such a funny color that he could have never found a shirt that didn't clash. His hair was styled in an old fashioned way. One would wonder where he found someone who could do that in a modern boutique.(less)