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1:27 pm | 02 March 2004 | how we handle our midnights

Midnights smell like Depeche Mode. Rain swamps sidewalks, Atlantises lawns. The dog walks like a crane, looking for the most pissworthy patch.

I wake up every two hours, watching the light on the walls go from orange to blue to lavender to white, watching the palms' shadows finger the icing-thick cheap-landlord paint job that muffles the mouldings. The man in line ahead of me at the gas station wears a scrupulous brown canvas coat, smells of tobacco and mint. Not menthol cigarettes, though. His moustache is neat; he chews Winterfresh gum. It is the only winter here. The gas station smells of burnt coffee and sunlight. The sunlight tastes like running.

Outside the library the bums sound like jokes strained through rusty screendoors. Tuesday tastes like three pennies on the sidewalk. I wonder why, in the midst of thirty bums, nobody has collected them. They glint as I walk past, corners of books cutting into my white arms. They are all three tails-up. Even bums have standards.

The grocery strike is over. The placards are soggy in this dim facsimile of winter. Gary Numan and sarsparilla candy, driving dartingly through short city streets. Work tastes like dust and my newfound allergy to cat hair. Home smells like a damp dog, Swiffer wet-cloths and oil paint.

Wherever the fuck you are, you sound like The Tide is High. You sound like The Boy Racer. I'm jealous, but that's all--etc. When I think of my sister in London it's always nighttime in my head. When Fredrick calls it smells like grey in New York. When Joel calls my phone rings crazily, like small children unattended in a Moonwalk inflatable house. I have given up whiskey for Lent.

I had Hpnotic (sp?) in a warehouse party. It was like blue Boone's Farm for gangstas. I try to think of a joke involving "playa" as in playboy and "playa" as in Spanish place-name. Don't hate the Playa, hate the game. Sports fans, take note. I meet European gallery-owners with suspicious regularity. My brother writes to say he has overheard our parents doing the...you know. Rites of passage. We sympathise.

I am mostly whatever but still partially ohmygod. The latter bobs to the surface like a drowned man at every five a.m. and I weight it back down with Shiraz and phonecalls. My mother dreams my right breast is bleeding. I know that means something. I know that means something. clm.


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