Sunday, October 25, 2009


untitled, james.mcloughlin

what's wrong? she asks. i scratch my head awkwardly. i dun know i dun know. i feel numb i can't feel anything she gives me a worried glance. i stand in the middle of the room and stare at the lights made by the computer and speakers. little white LEDs. everything's black and white she says. she's right, i hadn't thought of it like that. it is. her curtains never let any light in, it's the darkest room i've ever seen - besides six white LED lights.___ i stare at the fan above my head, not able to move away from the center of the room. the XX plays on, god i love this cd.

___come here i'm beckoned. softly. it feels weird to be kissed. she asked if it annoys me when she strokes my arm. i don't know. it used to be pleasant. it should be pleasant. something's wrong yes, i nod. what? i don't know babe.


Mon 2:22am.

i tried cereal.

there's no nocturne here to write about. there is nothing to describe. everything is just where it is. that's all.


he lived in the upstairs room. eight years ago he said he was going/coming to follow his dreams. i'm not sure if anyone believed him even then. and he said he'd stick around a little while until he got himself sorted. bought a pack of cigarettes. walked to the park and shot some hoops. laughed late into the night watching stand-up comedy videos.
___two years later his mattress had black holes from cigarettes buds. he'd found a stray cat who'd sit outside his window. he'd jammed open the fly screen to let her in and she'd come and go. he'd wear something till the sweat marks became conspicuous, then he'd put it in a garbage bag and buy something else. he'd call them laundry, but he never did any. one day he came home and said he'd lost the car. an accident. arm in a cast. nothing else to say about it, he opened a fresh pack of smokes and busied himself until the doctor told him his bone hadn't fused straight because of them.
___he got fat. lost some hair. for a while he worked somewhere or somewhere else. but that's pretty much it. the rest of the time he sat in his room. nursing something even i can't conceive. red eyes and discernible sadness. sure you can smell the weed, but, at this point, what difference does it make? wanna get something to eat he asks? sure, sure, why not.
___when we were kids we'd laugh about how many cookies we could fit into our mouths. we hid the stack of porn in my room and we'd thank god everyday we found it all under a shrub in the gully. got into a huge fight once over his borrowing my ruler. he'd call Chopin chop-in to irk me, and we'd laugh about his marijuana anonymous meetings. J-O anonymous, that's what you need Q, jerk-off anonymous, and i'd crack up.
___so we eat. we shoot some hoops. we get pizza at a store outside of Universal Studios. once we saw a two-headed cobra at LA zoo together. true story. miracle, we saw miracles together. anyway the letters from the IRA and another speeding ticket just sit on the stairs waiting for him to pick up on his way up. he doesn't. no job in years. four? five? who knows now. he was away someone broke into his room it smelled funny. water bottles filled with urine lined the walls. laziness i guess, it's hard to get up sometimes. we can all understand that. mattress as an ashtray and cat hair everywhere. mounds of clothes, yellow as teeth get. unopened letters all over the place. a stack of porn (nice to see he kept the collection going). 14, maybe 18 empty cigarette packs and a couple of lighters. some burnt CDs. a basketball looking a little deflated.
___a good shadow can be hard to find. get it right you wanna hold on to it. a second car disappeared a little while later. his folks bought him a new one. expensive dream to follow this one. aren't they all? white socks with flip-flops. tease it all you want, we've all done that. he comes down into the kitchen and tells my sister to f*ck herself. she responds in kind. he drinks milk out the bottle. always has, always will. smoked as long as i remember. made me watch a propaganda documentary called Weed once - how great for us it was. whatever does it for you buddy. some like a puff of haze, some a flint-shaped pill. some like it in bottle, others like $60 for half and half. a cousin of mine goes for a massage. the gym. this guy i knew from school, he'd get worked up he'd go to a bar and find someone twice his size and pick a fight. seemed to work for him.
___when i get there he's left a tshirt for me. it has a music score printed on it. it's the first Bach sonata for solo violin. i know the image, it's Bach's handwriting. the d-minor sonata, look at that. it's gorgeous, soft too. makes me sad. the tshirt. the first-movement adagio. especially him. big cities... fall through the cracks. maybe that's all it is. just a little while until he got himself sorted out. we saw a two-headed cobra once. they're rare. turns out the two heads are always fighting. eventually one kills the other. and the weight of its death, carrying the limp head all over town tires the other out.

it's a big city. it's nice for driving around in. he knows a spot, best place to eat at 2am. sure, sure. like the ol' days i say.


Mon 2:59am.

time. ______?

i don't know.

must be something.


mar said...

amorcito....go play the piano, i swear it will help.

Anonymous said...

Lived in a house once that will forever be labelled in my mind as "The House of the Rising Sun." Cheapest rent in the city. The house was filled with immigrants, legal and illegal, that flowed in and out with regularity as rent was unpaid as often as it was paid. The exception was the Eritrean that turned tricks in one of the main level floors, which was somehow only disturbing when he screamed in a way that communicated eloquently that his pain was not all physical. The previous tenant of the room I rented died in his sleep though only 28 and seemingly healthy, which, no one felt necessary to tell me until I had been there for months. It sort of explained why, when I descended the broken stone steps to the basement where my room was located, my stomach fluttered sometimes, though I am not usually given to being unsettled by dark basements. My favourite roommate from that place disappeared one weekend leaving all of his worldly belongings behind and never coming back for them. Before he left he asked me for $10, said that he was good for it, he'd even sell me his MP3 player for $10. But I seriously had $12 for the rest of the month and so I said no, but f*%& you know.... I've gone 4 days without food and water before, surely I could have skipped some food then.... you know.......?

That place was condemned and I had to move out, I was the last tenant, and now all that remains is a parking lot.

But here's the thing, that was the place that I opened the most important book I've ever read. It was the book that diverted everything, though I never finished the book, so utterly blown away was I by the happenings in Tabriz that I could not finish it. So pained by the dark side of humanity that I could not read past that point. But I did read other books.... which lead to other books and that (to take out of context and plagiarize all in one) has made all the difference. That dark basement was where, for me, the light shone in the darkness.

Anyway Q, it's been too long and I apologize, but if I may be so bold... don't let the f&^*in watchmen beat you eh? There's a garden somewhere, but if one sits while the watchmen apply beatings, it doesn't get any closer.... I've spent enough time bleeding to know.