Anna McConnell

excerpts from the decline of the wasp notebooks: the black notebook


ISSUE 21 | RAW MATERIALS | OCT 2012

“Raw Materials”: because lately my mind fuzzes when I try to remember how those days traipsing around the wild with Nigh were, because how it is, in that moment, is not at all the same as how the “experience”—which implies Mind fusing with the inevitable tick-tock of time—is. So I’ve given you my notebooks from then, which I wrote with great attention to the hippie god of The Here and the Now. My notebook, then, is “raw material”—because it certainly doesn’t get at “experience”; I’d want to call them evidence, but evidence of what? They simply are what they are: raw material: unadorned, crude, sloppy. Raw Material: because we were five months in, unadorned, crude, and sloppy ourselves. Raw Materials: because Barnaby was a Primativist, and some people were (much to my pleasure) beginning to label me as an anarcho-primativist, with my infected lip ring and scowl that inevitably comes when you put an anxiety-ridden trust fund kid in the wild and then make her leave. I really did fall in love with all that “raw material”—the trees, uncut; the wild, un-landscaped; and I really resent what it’s always turning into: human waste, corn fields, “Little America.” All right.

AND WE LAID OUT OUR BODIES DOWN BY THE RIVER AFTER THE COMMUNITY DANCE DOWN IN THE FORKS, THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR FINAL NIGHT AT THE WOLF.

And in the morning we looked forward to waking up to the sound of the sun rising and twinkling on the river just as Barnaby said we would. But we are woken instead by a male voice hooting YO! BARNABY! YO! IS THAT YOU? BARNABY! and it is somebody called “Mikey,” some crazy local that used to live at The Wolf. He is with a friend and some kid who seems really, really pissed off and keeps talking about how unfair “this” is and how he wants to go home. We laugh and ignore him, and take hits from the bowl that Mikey offers us. Mikey offers us a ride so we don’t have to hike the seven-miles back up to The Wolf, and we look at each other and shrug. Barnaby says something under his breath about how good thing it’s morning, it seems like Mikey’s alright… I don’t quite know what that means and I am too tired to process it. Ten minutes later we’re in the car and I understand. Mikey seems like any other young hippie or something close to a young hippie that’s a little off, or at least like a local who appreciates young hippies and knows them: he’s got bumper stickers on the dash that say “I HEART HIPPIE CHICKS” and of course, one for The Dead, and plenty of dhoops and is blaring Dylan. But right off the bat Mikey starts speeding up the road. By speeding I mean to say like seventy mph which might not sound like speeding but you’ve got to understand that these are all might-as-well-be-dirt roads that are absurdly narrow, with room only for one car at a time, and they wind up these absurdly high mountains; these roads are on the face of the mountain and there is no barrier between the road and tumbling down the mountain, I mean, if you hit a stick or another car or a deer or anything, one little shift of the wheel and you’ll go barreling down the mountain. There’s no barriers or anything, just a lot of beat-up looking white posts that are put there to signal “this is an especially crumbly and dangerous part of the mountain, or the road, so watch out.” These are the very roads that Nigh’d been talking about ever since I first met him—he told me about them the very night that we met. That’s how notorious they are. And he was always talking about, and we’re always talking about, what happens if you meet a car coming the opposite direction on one of these roads? Somebody’s got to die—somebody’s going to have to swerve—and it’s either swerve into the rock face of the mountain, or tumble down the side of the mountain… We’d talk about how we’d rather go, and have decided that, should it come to that, Nigh will swerve into the face of the mountain. Although tumbling down into all of that would be pretty beautiful… Anyhow, yes, these are roads that are alright—kind of—if you go, say, twenty or thirty miles an hour… I mean, even then it’s always going to be dangerous but it’s a little better. But here Mikey is going seventy and with no signs of slowing down. And I’m getting tense and am gripping onto Nigh’s knees and coughing and trying with bodily noises to indicate to Mikey his guest’s discomfort, in the hopes that he’ll take a hint, but Mikey’s got this intense manic look in this eyes and the music is turned way way up high and there’s no recognition there. And I get up the courage to do something that I never do, what I mean is stand up for myself and be demanding and sound mom-ish, and I say, umm excuse me (but of course, I have to say it like, many times and very loudly because Mikey’s not hearing me, excuse me excuse me I don’t mean to be a nag but could you PLEASE, PLEASE slow down? Well, Mikey gives me a look like who is this fucking chick and a little nod and keeps speeding. You get the picture. A very very long drive like this. And in the course of the drive, it is let out that Mikey got loaded on Meth right before offering us the ride. My first experience around someone on meth… great. Well, I keep repeating my excuse me’s? but to no avail and I whisper to Nigh whether it’d be possible for him to let us out right here but for various reasons, all practical, it is practically impossible for us to get out of the car—so we’re stuck. And I just pray and pray and pray. And when it’s all over, Nigh told me that he just became very comfortable with the thought that he was going to die that morning, that he reconciled himself to it and all that. That he remembered what we’d practiced with the White Light and the Circle. And when it’s all over (because we didn’t meet any on-comers on that road, thank God), we’re all standing outside at a vista overlooking the valleys and the mountains and it is all very very beautiful and serene and we are way high up in the mountains, up in the sky, overlooking a blanket of trees. And I whisper to Barnaby, ooh so that’s the guy who’s flipped his car on the road three times in the past year… and Barnaby nods, yeah. And my very last sight of Mikey is this: we’d had this bottle of whisky that was empty and which we’d been lugging around all over with us to keep water in, to use as a water bottle and also to recycle. It still had a little bit of whisky in it so some could call it watered down whisky but we just called it water, to quench our thirst. And I offered it to Mikey as some sort of peace offering—see if he wanted a swig of water—and he took it from me, looked at it, and then, without a word, shrugged and chucked it far into the blanket forest below.

BACKPACKING IN MOUNT SHASTA WITH BARNABY AND NIGH AND EMMA FUCKING GOLDMAN, THE PUP THAT WE HAVE CHOSEN FROM PIG’S LITTER OF PUPS. EMMA FUCKING GOLDMAN IS PROBABLY TOO YOUNG TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER MAMA AND SHE PUKES AND SHITS ALL OVER THE TENT AND THE SLEEPING BAG. BUT WE ARE ALL SICK AND I INVOLUNTARILY RALPH ALL OVER THE BLANKETS, TOO, AFTER HAVING HAD SPENT THE MORNING WHINING TO NIGH WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO WITH A PUKING PUPPY? EMMA FUCKING GOLDMAN DESPITE HAVING NEVER LEFT THE RANCH BEFORE AND DESPITE BEING ALL OF EIGHT INCHES TALL PROVES TO BE A GREAT TRAVELER: BARRELING HER BODY OVER BRANCHES THAT ARE BIGGER THAN SHE; KEEPING UP WITH US. MOUNT SHASTA IS STILL SNOWED IN UP TOP BUT WE FIND A NICE NOOK IN THE FOREST TO SET UP CAMP. SCATTERED WITH THE TALL PINES ARE GIANT ROCKS THAT LOOK LIKE ROCKS EXPLODED, I MEAN, THEY ARE ALL BIG AND SURPRISINGLY LIGHT AND POROUS, LIKE STAGE SET ROCKS. THIS IS BECAUSE THEY’RE LAVA ROCKS: MOUNT SHASTA IS A VOLCANO. MOUNT SHASTA IS ALSO AN ENERGY VORTEX, AND HARRISON FROM THE WOLF TELLS US TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR LEMURIANS. ANYHOW. WE’VE ALL GOT COLDS THAT HAVE LINGERED DESPITE THE TINCTURES THAT WE’VE TAKEN OUT OF BLACK BEAR’S “MEDICINE ROOM”, AND I SPEND OUR TIME ROLLED UP IN BLANKETS LYING IN THE WORMY DIRT READING EMMA GOLDMAN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND TAKING SWIGS OF PBR TO NUMB THE ACHE. NIGH AND BARNABY SNIFFLE A LOT AND BUILD A BEAUTIFUL HEARTH OUT OF SCATTERED ROCK.

Especially this time of year, when everything comes alive.

_____________________

We collect snow for water. Our mothers would be astonished if they could witness our idiocy: the three of us all feverish, hovered over a hobo fire eatin kidney beans half still cold half firey hot, passing around this blackened can and slurping up beans from the flimsy spork that Nigh bargained the QuikMart lady for. We’ve all got giant snot lards lodged up our nasal canals and we are hot with fever and dizzy from the altitude and the pot, sitting in the pitch black, and Nigh wretches behind us. Enormous black ants are everywhere, inside the yellow triangle tent, too. Emma Fucking Goldman had the shits all over the quilt the first night we took her away from Momma Pig so I said that I did not want her, what would we do with Emma Fucking Goldman who shits and whines all the time, and so on the way over we stopped at the Laundromat in Weed and Nigh and Barnaby washed the quilt as I sulked in the parking lot. But later that same night I puked involuntarily convulsively and scarily carrot pieces all over the tent and the freshly washed sleeping bag and the freshly washed quilt.

Well, now I’ve placed Emma Fucking Goldman by my feet so she can clean em. I haven’t showered since… since… Berkeley? who knows but by now my feet have dark grey splotches and spots seemingly welded into me and even the water at God’s Hand could not remove these spots, even Emma Fucking Goldman’s mouth could not remove them.

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Barnaby. Comparison of the Palestinian plight to the resistance of “The Coconut People.” Barnaby. She’s like, ‘dang, every time I drop a bottle of beer I get the whole six-pack!’ Beer specialist. Now that’s a cool job. And wrinkly-nosed Emma and her cloudy nigh sky-blue eyes.

_____________________

I can feel so many layers of dirt and plaque around my teeth that it is more like they have just grown thicker, grown a little yellow coat. And I am afraid to look at them and Barnaby’s teeth are mossy and yellow and incurable. And the other night we were drunk and Barnaby yelled maniacally about being a crust punk and I was unsure whether is this it? but I cheered him on with yeah yeah!!!s and then it was him going, shit! look! and my teeth—my teeth are rot-ten! and I kept going yeah! yeah! yeah! and continued on in my stoned drunk affirmatives and then Barnaby bared his teeth and I caught a glimpse of black holes embedded in the rotten holes of his black-rot rotted-out teeth.

_____________________

No no no no don’t chew on my stuff that’s a very expensive backpack gonna last me like six years I don’t wanna get another back pack for a very long time. Barnaby has a strange thing with money: he’s always talking about money; that pack cost me six hundred dollars and my six hundred dollar pack. And with regards to the fire pit that’s made out of volcanic rock cause we’re squatting a volcano, it’s: looks like an expensive person’s pit. Looks like the kind of pit you’d find in an expensive person’s house.

_____________________

Barnaby picked his nose deeply and without shame this morning /
as if part of his morning ritual as I hit the bowl, /
crouching over the volcanic hearth and tending to her coals, his five foot five body still half in his cocoon-esque sleeping bag, like some kind of animal.

I always knew I wanted to do manual labor, he talks to me. Always knew I wanted to do something where I was making real stuff with my hands. He tells me about his days at the Big Apple circus, where he worked on their lights and slept—they all slept—in three-to-a-bunk bunk-bed trailers in Lincoln Center. When yer handling sledge hammers all the time, you get to be gooo-oood with a sledge hammer. You get bored—start doin tricks with a sledge hammer, that’s how he got started doing Strong Man contests. Used to balance a sledge hammer on the palm of his hand, then work the hammer till the hammer was balancing on the tips of his two fingers, then hop the hammer back and forth between his toes and fingertips. Justine got real good at the eight pound hammer, too. (This was when the two of them were still a couple; they’d met there at the circus, teamed up and ran around together collecting signatures for the legalization of pot, which eventually landed them in California.) Anyhow, at the end of the show, they’d have the techies come out and take a bow and the audience liked it when you did a trick for them, so he and she would do tricks for the audience with their hammers as a third man juggled in between. Being in the circus was what made him realize society and politics were all just theatre: just a ton of lights and multi-million dollar screens—you get a bunch of acts doing different shit all at once and then set up the spotlights so they’re all tumbling around in everything all at once, get the audience so they’re looking back and forth and back and forth at a zillion of keens all at once- so they don’t realize what crap it actually is, how the people on the stage are actually doing nothing.

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Shoplifting from REI. Getting caught. What’s the deal with the gloves, man? the employee asked the dwarf. Well, I live out in the woods and my hands are always getting cut up clearing brush, chopping wood and shit and I don’t have any money and I was tired of my hands getting all cut up and bloody and shit. And as for the underwear, I only have one pair of underwear, man.

_____________________

Anarchy permits stealing because “property is theft”? I thought “property is theft” meant share what you got? I love you, Nigh.

_____________________

poison oak
madrones
manzanillas
brush-clearing
haul
ground squirrels
Maremma
nubian goats
mustard greens

_____________________

Mullein and tension tamer, many tinctures and brain and memory stimulator (Good for us stoners.) His big interest, he tells me, is to make his own medicine. Gonna provide me my own health care.

_____________________

Emma Fucking Goldman’s golden green dried-up schmear on my notebook, shit and piss and dirt and snot and semen and vaginal wetness and sore burning in throat, congested head and weak lungs compounded together into nobody-know-ing-what-or-how-old-it-is-anymore, all of our sicknesses mid together, Emma Fucking Goldman’s too, steamed up in snow-water and puppy tongue and gnats in the mushroom. Extra protein, says Nigh. Sure, I think, but must it all be mixed up with the vegetables and steamed in this thrice-used gold and black tin foil? And I did not want to eat the breakfast that was melted snow mixed with mouse-gnawed oatmeal and instant cream of wheat and fancy organic peanut butter mixed with a twig sooty already from the twig and the ash and cowboy style coffee that we all sick bugs have been slurping on, little red mouths and spotty dregs of coffee dribbled over the muck for “moistening.”

_____________________

A conversation about DMT.

BLACK BUTTE IS A CENTER FOR TRAIN-HOPPING AND HOBO-LIFE CULTURE IN WEED. THEY’VE GOT A BUNCH OF OLD RAIL CARS SET UP WITH A LIBRARY IN ONE, AN ART GALLERY/MUSIC SPACE IN ANOTHER. WE GO THERE FOR A WORK PARTY, AND HELLA PUNKS FROM THE BAY HAVE HOPPED TRAINS TO GET THERE, AND WE ALL WORK DURING THE DAY (CHOPPING WOOD, DE-NAILING BOARDS, ET CETERA), EAT COMMUNAL MUSH, AND LISTEN TO PUNK BANDS AND GYPSIES PLAY AT NIGHT...

My body is floating outta my skin though my heart is very much in my body. My heart is beating fast cause I took Adderall this morning that I chased with generic DayQuil, Adderall although I hadn’t taken it for almost a week because I cried this morning because when we woke up it had been pouring and Emma Fucking Goldman had pissed and shat in the tent again and the tent still smelled vomit-y from when I ralphed whole carrots up all over the yellow thing. Wet raindrops seeped onto the roof. A few holes made a whole difference, so everything was cold and wet either from the rain or Emma Fucking Goldman’s pee and in the morning Nigh held the tent up with his head and said, we gotta save yer fucking iPhone! but the iPhone was not on my side of the blanket so I groaned and rolled but then in the end it was, it was on my side, and anyways the whole thing was boring and ended up with me taking Adderall and no coffee.

But the people here are like superheroes, decked out daily in their costumes and gear. Enola has got blue eyes and a snaggle tooth, she’s a vampire, and has a tattoo on her wrist bone that is >0.5%, that stands for the Kombucha train-hopping gang—they’re straight-edge and hop trains and drink Kombucha. And Jane has a boar’s dick bone plunged across her septum, and her long black hair is weaved into a collection of artifacts. There are so many patches and fabrics stitched onto bodies like second skin, and the girls tote leather pouches that knock against their hips, knives dangling against bare thighs. (There is one girl who is so sexy that I imagine if Nigh looks at her he’ll have to jerk off to her image for a long, long time. He tells me that he undresses girls with his eyes—that he’ll suddenly strip a girl and imagine fucking from behind; this fact makes me want to die whenever I see this girl. I need to fix my jealousy because it’s not Nigh’s fault he can’t help it but I can’t…)

_____________________

Do you want to shave half of my head at a gas station what’s the worst that could happen I’ll look more like the Buddha…

NIGH AND I DRIVE TO ASHLAND, OREGON SO NIGH CAN GET HIS BORING BI-MONTHLY BLOOD DRAW AT THE ASHLAND COMMUNITY CENTER HOSPITAL LENDING LIBRARY AND FREE RESOURCE HUB BECAUSE AFTER ALL THIS WE CANNOT FORGET THAT HE IS STILL FOREVER SICK.

ALSO: EMMA FUCKING GOLDMAN IS DEAD. WE GAVE HER AWAY TO SOME KIDS AT BLACK BUTTE, THINKING SHE’D HAVE A BETTER LIFE HOPPING TRAINS THAN BEING CHAINED UP WITH SQUARES IN A SQUARE IN NE, BUT THEN ONE OF THE KIDS POSTED ON F-BOOK “I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED”... HE’D JUST GONE TO SHIT AND WHEN HE CAME BACK, “SWITCH” THE PUP HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR.

ALSO: MIGHT AS WELL MENTION HERE THAT FIRST THING I GOT DONE WHEN WE LEFT B.B. WAS GET A HOOK SHOVED THROUGH THE CENTER OF MY LIP. PUT IT IN THE CENTER, THOUGH, SO I’D LOOK CENTERED LIKE THE BUDDHA.

Joseph fell like a moon into my well. The shadow I expected washed away. No matter!
And I wonder why I ever thought to use language. So do I pity you, comrades,
because you believe you are doing something of importance. When in fact it’s all pointless.

_____________________

The Ashland Community Center Hospital Lending Library and Free Resource Hub has free information on prevention and dis-ease and an electric fireplace in the middle of muddled pastel grey blocks. We picked up two hitchhikers and two dogs on the way to the hospital: they pointed out the China Express that they’d slept behind the last time they were out. Real good spot. There’s a group of home bums living out there. Whole bunch of home bums. And the blonde receptionist at the hospital has been hostile and suspicious of Nigh and me but under the guise of strained voice plus tight smile. (Better than the buxom girls in tight shirts blue with their company’s logo that refused us clam chowders samples and that stand outside eight-hours-a-day kissing ass to tourists on the pristine docks of the Monterey bay, Steve Jobs blue. And in Palo Alto, the genius bar was adorned in wreaths.)

So the hitchhikers squat The China Express by choice, yet another of the many possible ways to welcome the morning. BE in time: yer already there: BE / BE / BE / MORE / MORE/ MORE/ BE MORE / BE MORE / BE MORE / CAUSE WE’RE ALREADY HERE: HERE AND NOW / HERE AND NOW / HERE AND NOW : and the stick-like flowers shiver spasmodically outside the clean big window-wall. Artificial bamboo shoots stand by the wall. Sterling silver earring posts secured snug on untouched white lobes, and lime green and white cables mimic green and white upholstery. Two five-hundred-piece puzzles are stacked behind the glossy ceramic table lamp. Plop plop plop: a bull frog is creeping somewhere in the fish tank.

We’re creepers, Nigh and I. One hitchhikers says that we’ll go back to where we came from. ‘Cause we, humans, don’t behave like the rest of the creatures on this planet. So where do we belong? I crane my neck to ask. Don’t know, he answers, gesturing towards Infinite Space with his eyebrows and fingernail.

_____________________

Oh Father, Thank You That When We Sit Together In The Car That We Are Not
Alone On This Journey.

_____________________

Two-in-one sleeping
bag. Hand heads towards crotch for rub:
Pee-soaked crotch, dripping
Black bush pubes in log-cabin-
Black night. Hand jerks. “Ew!”

He doesn’t even try anymore.

PORTLAND, OREGON. NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT STUMPTOWN, JUST HERE TO RENEW FOOD STAMPS AND SLEEP OUT IN THE CAR OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT OFFICE. FUCK IN THE FRONT SEAT UNTIL THE SECURITY GUARD COMES AND TELLS US THAT IF WE NEED SOMEWHERE TO SLEEP, WE CAN SLEEP ON THE SIDEWALK, IT’S SAFE. WE STAY AT A LAME COUCH-SURFING COUPLE’S HOUSE THE NEXT NIGHT, THEY WERE MILITANT ANARCHIST VEGANS AND THEIR WHOLE HOUSE REEKED OF RODENT SHIT, CAUSE THEY HAD A SEVERELY RETARDED CAT IN A CAGE AND A BUNCH OF RABBITS IN CAGES, CAGES ALL OVER THEIR KITCHEN, AND SPENT THE WHOLE TIME BITCHING TO US ABOUT THEIR MILITANT VEGAN CAUSES, AND HOW TO WARN THE SAND HILL CRANES FROM HUNTERS BY FLASHING SHINY OBJECTS TOWARDS THE SKY.

-I don’t know. When I think about what this place looked like hundreds of years ago, something in me… I get all crazy irrational. I mean, I could understand a few trees—even a lot—fifty percent. But did they have to cut it all down? My mind can’t process it. It goes all irrational. It’s the same when I think about war. How can people do that to each other?

-But I don’t think that people are inherently bad. I mean, that’s the only thing that could explain it—but I don’t think that humans are evil. It might have something to do with the state. Specialization. People aren’t in control of their choices; they’re not able to take responsibility for their actions. If they could see the whole. the whole effect, they wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t be complicit. But there’s the one who slices up the wood, the one who carries it away… they don’t see the whole forest disappear.

Put someone in charge of manning the boxcars, another in charge of the execution. Eichmann in Jerusalem. There’s a law that was passed this year that makes it illegal to share food with homeless people in parks. Necessary, these disposable peoples?

BOISE, IDAHO. (‘CAUSE IT WAS ON THE WAY AND I WAS CURIOUS. WE WERE GOING TO STAY AT A PUNK HOUSE THAT ONE OF THE PUP-KILLING KIDS RECOMMENDED. WE GOT TO BOISE WE WENT AND VISITED THE MOST GIANT SEQUOIA AND THE PUNKS WHO HAD A CLEAN HOUSE POLICY (GOOD CHRISTIAN PUNKS) AND LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL ROADKILL, WHAT A WONDER, LET’S LAY IT OUT AND WONDER AT IT. DECIDED THAT LINCOLN WAS BETTER, AND WE WERE STILL SNIVELLY AND BARF-Y, AND SO WE BOOKED IT BACK TO NEBRASKA INSTEAD…)

That street’s called Pig Street and right when I am done saying Pig Street a woman fatter than a pig like not a human like a freak of nature walks to her car grinning still and I remember what that kid said about us not being from this earth because we don’t act like other creatures act.

_____________________

THE
LORD
WILL
PRESERVE
THE
FAITHFUL
slow and creeping in a flashing red LED billboard, and nigh blows the ash
out of the rock pipe.

BACK IN GOD’S COUNTRY. DRIVING THROUGH WYOMING ON I-84; SLEEP IN THE CAR IN THE PARKING LOT OF “LITTLE AMERICA.” VISIONS OF OCCUPYING THE HAMPTONS, FILLING THE HAMPTONS WITH ANARCHIST PROPAGANDA. (NIGH AND I WILL BE THERE SOON, SO NIGH CAN MEET MY PARENTS AT MY PARENT’S HOUSE IN THE HAMPTONS.)

We play cows and graveyards. 1 point if you see cows on yer side; go back to zero if a graveyard is spotted. We add “signs of Christianity” for another point, and abortion signs for five, because there aren’t enough cows or graveyards. Not even enough signs. No signs for rest areas, no signs for gas. Just flat.

The feed lots.

The end of the reign of terror. Hillary Clinton speaks in a robot voice. Assad lies to Damascus about the weather. It is raining and he tells you it is sunshine. A spit in yer face. The United States is no better. It follows the same principle, the same rules of the theatre, the game. Lie and watch. The people freeze. He said we lived in a water planet, a shaky voice calls in the radio show. Half the planet will be gone by 2024. The moose know. Mt. Hood is heating up. Cough. The animals are on their way—something is up. The pyramids and Mars. Lately I think home, I don’t know why… But when I look, when I look at Mars I see home.. Years later, I start to remember things. I get to be seventeen, nineteen years old. I remember, I’m making solar panels for the government. I met a man; his name was Merv. He told me anytime I didn’t have a job, to call him. That he was a millionaire… I started to recall some of the things they said to me. They said, you’re going to start remembering what we’ve said when the end-times get closer….

I asked her how she was doing? and she said how it was. I said, how are you doing? And the gas station attendant replied, did you find everything okay. The world is getting scary. And all the commercials are for atomic clocks. Clocks for the end of the world. The gravitational pull… I can’t think about that kind of stuff. And Beth still has panic attacks about the apocalypse so she cannot watch Melancholia. Is that a sign? And at four forty five in the morning we stumble across ten ads for LITTLE AMERICA off I-84 featuring hot showers, hotel rooms, a gym, a swimming pool, a playground with dinosaurs! and the cleanest, biggest rest rooms you’ve ever seen.

__________________________________

LITTLE AMERICA is a business. LITTLE AMERICA is on the fucking road map: we drive through it and there are houses within LITTLE AMERICA, houses that people actually live in permanently, live in this rest area that’s so exploded that it got put on the map even though it is still, in the end, a rest area, which is unbelievable and true. We are back in the land of upsy-daisy, it is seven in the morning and there are nasty fat girls with oiled skin like some seals. Comically small hand purses dangle from their fat wrists. They toy plastic key chains with letters in plastic crystals (to warn the Sand Hill cranes, to shoo them away from the hunters, hold a shiny object—a mirror, a crystal, foil—up to the sky) and make coo-ing noises involuntarily, acting self-righteous and self-righteously irritated when the small Cambodian in blue says that it’ll be fifteen minutes until the fryer is ready.

Well. The toilets are automatic, that’s something.

Do not forget. The anarchist propaganda. I would like to occupy the one percent, I would like to occupy the Hamptons. I would at least like to tag the bathroom walls in anger:

YOU ARE THE ONE PERCENT. YOU ARE THE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, LIVING OFF THE WORK AND THE SOUL OF THE WORLD, PRODUCING NOTHING BUT WASTE.

MONEY IS NOT REAL. MONEY IS THE ANTICHRIST. IF YOU MADE YER CAREER IN THE GAME “MONEY”, IF YOU’RE EXPLOITING OTHERS, IF YOU’RE LIVING FOR MONEY, THEN YOU’RE NOT LIVING PAST 12/21 AND YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MOTHER NATURE AND FOR THE COLLAPSE OF THE UNIVERSE.

THANK YOU FOR FUCKING IT UP YOU SHALLOW FUCKHEADS. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. SHAME ON YOU. SHAME ON YOU. SHAME ON YOU.

Back in the land where all the water is sucked down from underneath you as soon as you scoot to wipe. Yer hand doesn’t even get to witness what you have produced. So much for checking the health of yer shit. Just waste. All this waste produced, TROMPLING on The Mother. You can’t even see your waste, which I’d betcha is unhealthy, because you are fed pure shit. Zizek has a joke about how different whiteys handle their shit. Insert it.*

*As soon as you flush the toilet, you are right in the middle of ideology. Variations in European toilet architecture, and by extension the entire host of means by which Western humans relate to their excrement, are in a very tangible sense the product of national ideologies, particularly attitudes of disgust and valuations of that which has been made external to the body. Schematically: the French are revolutionary, and thus their shit is swept away rapidly and efficiently, guillotine-like; the English are pragmatic, allowing their fecal matter to float passively in water; and the Germans are contemplative, taking the time to inspect their bowel movements in a form of deep introspection. But all three acknowledge that what is inside must come out, and when it does we must have in place some mechanism to manage it. (David Showalter, “Thinking jersey shore”, Midway review.)

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O O OOO LITTLE AMERICA THANK YOU FOR MY TWO EGGS SCRAMBLED with wheat, butter on the side, thank you for the two fifty nine value thank you for the brand new garbage bins double-wrapped in plastic and brought in by a truck and I watch the two young employees unwrap the shrink wrap (and throw that into another equivocal trash bin): one girl lifts up the bin, pressing its lip against her polo shirt breasts; the other girl, in matching uniform, bends over…. O O OOO LITTLE AMERICA THANK YOU FOR FOURTEEN BOTTLES OF TABASCO SAUCE, fourteen bottles of Golden Yellow mustard, fourteen bottles of money made of sugar, and fourteen bottles of Heinz Red Ketchup and Heinz Green Relish…

I-80 EAST.

The footprint on this page is from giving Nigh head on I-80. It’s a fun game, Nigh convinces me, because normally you’re like ooo, the sucking, the blowing, concentrating on the back-of-the-mouth and the hitting-something-hard and the back-of-the-teeth and (now) the feeling of the sliver of cold metal from the hook around my lip. (All that face.) But with “car head” yer focused on all that but yer also concentrated on staying on the road. It’s like MMMMMMMM (and Nigh imitates trying to concentrate on driving while close to cum-ing.)

All that face: understanding Nigh’s desires. I confront him about the way he checked out the Little American women. He denies it, and I remind him how I know him well… To which he responds, I only imagined that one woman blowing me, and that was due to the circumstance. I couldn’t help it—she was eating an ice cream cone!

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State troopers. A giant white Jesus with open arms parallels the Nebraska state line. Flatness. Dullness. Runza’s dull grilled chicken sandwich out of boredom. Slack faces of boredom and bitter chipper voices behind glass prepare the Runza bag and a gold cross dangles from the bosom. The good life. The persistent fear of cops hiding in the bushes, crouching in their leather seats half hidden in the prairie. Learn to swim/ learn to swim/ learn to swim… let L.A. crash in into the Bay… Tool on the radio. See the flat nothing. Nigh’s idea is to put a hippie’s Little America on the east side of Wyoming—‘cause hippies need to make money, too; they give free land out there ‘cause there is nothing.

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I love you, butterfly. I love you, Atlantic. (Peering into my face) I love you, peanut butter face. My hole is sore from peanut butter carrots and cum. Yellow crust builds in the crevice of my silvery hoop, and I whoop in pain every time it is bumped. Yer not supposed to stretch out the wound. It is healing, and when I unlock my jaw the wound cannot close up. But Nebraska’s so void of anything to look at…

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And every now and then we’d catch a whiff of something so bad we’d cry, and Nigh’d say, c’mon c’mon where are you, feed lot?

THE POLYAMORY CONVERSATION. MEXICAN BUFFET, NE.

MMMMMMMMMMMMM AREN’T THESE POTATOES GO-OD? the morbidly obese, half-retarded, drool drooling in one long thick stream gobbily down his chin and into his lost-dick crotch man at the Mexican buffet asks no one in particular. I’M GONNA GIT ME THE TACO SALAD NEXT. We have treated ourselves to Mexican after so long, and we talk about what we will do with our sex drives when Nigh goes to East Wind for the summer while I stay in New York to write my novel. Nigh once against suggests polyamory: the guideline being that we can sleep with anyone so long as we don’t like them enough to fall in love with them; the principle being that we should do what makes us happy, and the thought of the other person being happy should make us happier.

I flip-flop on the matter, at first saying no outright, saying that I am not at the revolutionary point of detaching from my jealousy, and then changing my mind when Nigh says he’d think of me MORE if he could fuck other girls. He’d think of me every time he saw “our bead” dangling from a black cord down his bronze and naked chest, while taking off my shirt, straddling a girl and about to fuck her… Word for word: I’d think of you every time I took off my shirt and saw that bead. Because if he wasn’t having sex with other people, he would just imagine having sex with them; but if he could have sex with them, well, then once he’d done the deed he would lose his curiosity.

So I play out the crude New Yorker, speaking loudly and clearly in the big empty (save for the one Nebraskan family that consists of two sophomoric girls and their heavy-set parents, and the half-retard) restaurant. I’m practically yelling as I talk about fucking and multiple partners, because the family annoys me with their family buffet. I’m using “fuck” for sex and talking about how yeah, I’ll fuck a lot of people if we’re doing the polyamory thing. I’ll fuck a lot in New York City. I’ll fuck Tom and I’ll fuck Henry, to start, and I’ll fuck Liam, too, because Liam and I always fuck in between relationships. And I yell about how I like to grind on the dance floor, and make out with multiple dudes. At first Nigh is supportive, saying how he does not mind the thought of some guy getting me off, licking and sucking and eating me out. It turns him on, in fact. If it gets you off, it gets me off. But then the list of fuck buddies gets longer, it extends from one hand to two hands and soon I am rapping the salt shaker against the table to name more possibilities, and Nigh gets quieter and starts looking around the room, tells me to pipe down, and that it’s not fair anymore because there aren’t so many girls at East Wind and anyhow, the idea wasn’t supposed to be that we came up with lists in our heads beforehand of who we would fuck, the idea was supposed to be just to know that we could if we wanted to—just so we knew that we were free.

He gets quiet, I pay the bill, we leave.