Thursday, July 27, 2017

On




Many years ago I was afraid to be alone. Now, I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't have time alone to reflect. I think when you are always on and trying to be what they want you to be you lose perspective of you who you are. Ultimately you start to question if it's fun. Is it still fun? I have more fun being very boring more than I do being interesting. 

Anyhoo here's an old one from my novel about being what they want you to be. A lot of people haven't read it. The ones that have keep asking me to release the book already. 

Enjoy!
Kisses,  m.






5 a.m.

(9-2-2010)


My bare skin is cold. It’s 5am when I wake up. I look over at this interesting naked man in the bed who is only wearing smeared lipstick and too much eye make-up. He looks more like a member of The Killers circa 2005 than just some guy. I roll over and start pulling the newspaper off of my arms, my face and out of my mouth. He kept trying to put this tissue paper in my mouth last night. Something about eating my words that I can’t remember. It’s not more than two feet away I see the blunt force object that he wanted me to hit him with. Flashbacks of screams pokes and paper being shoved in my mouth are at the front of my headache. He rolls over to reveal that he’s still hard. I just want him to leave already and let this be over.


I keep thinking how the mornings after the interesting nights are always the hardest to clean up. Comings and goings at all hours. Mornings though are usually spent with men in this fashion. The interesting ones, who aren’t at all concerned with why I’m spending time with them, where it’s leading, and this one is the worst kind. He doesn’t know. He thinks we are connecting. Bet he even thinks this is my place. Damn. He’s awake. Wanting more. They always want more. Maybe he’ll roll over and fall asleep again afterwards.


It’s almost always 5am. When it happens. When I wake up. I could complain like other women about being alone, but typically I’m not. I could complain that it’s another man and another bed, but I won’t. Even while this one is wanting, giving more and screaming out her name, it’s all ok. Although I want him to leave so I can be alone, I let him stay because he doesn’t know.


Its evening, another night, and another place. Its 5am somewhere else I suppose. Eight hours from now in the future that has happened yet. The bed is completely saturated in a thick sticky wetness and I’m still wearing a very large strap-on. Rolling over there’s an older man in the bed with his hands bound by leather cuffs. Next to him there’s a young man face down with fresh contusions running up his bare back. Between his legs there’s a cord and a stop. I can feel the stickiness in my hair as I pull it forward. Pieces of my blonde look black from this wetness. I wipe the stickiness from my face and remove the brace from my mouth while getting out of bed to step out of the leather garter belt. I need a shower and a cigarette.


There’s a man standing in the bedroom doorway when I come out of the shower. He’s waiting while another man removes the boy from the room. The older man is looking out the window at the brightly lit view of Paris and masturbating. He yells in Mandarin that the view is beautiful, his favorite. The man at the door is speaking Mandarin. He is doing this for that man’s benefit. I ask him in English “what do you want me to do?” and he yells in Mandarin for me to come see the view. I go and see the view. The man at the door keeps watching. He touches my hair before telling me in Mandarin to spread my legs and lean up against the window. I do. While he comes close to finishing up, the man watching steps in and closes the door. It’s at this moment I’m pretty sure I don’t get paid enough.


It’s 8am. Adrian’s awake again. This time he wants me to sit on his lap while we eat breakfast. Tells me something about being able to connect. I don’t want to eat after he says this. I don’t want to eat while doing this, but I do. I ask him about her, the one he screams about while we’re eating breakfast. While I’m sitting on his lap, connecting I ask because he doesn’t know. It’s ok to ask because he doesn’t know. He doesn’t’ want to talk about it and finds another way to ruin breakfast for me.


After I’ve showered again and removed the pieces of cereal from my hair I call the airport for his flight change while he rinses the pieces of toast and eggs off. My instructions were explicit that he leaves town today between three and eight. The airline rebooked his flight for 3:15 and I’m trying to find his passport when I find something interesting in another pocket of his jacket. The other interesting thing peaks my interest as I read the name from his passport to the woman on the line. I flip it over and try to figure out why he’s holding it in his pocket. The woman confirms the flight and he comes out of the bathroom as I hang up the line. I ask him about her again, Felicia. He drops his towel and asks me if I want another shower. I think why the hell not. If we’re going to go another round it may as well be in the shower.


It’s 10am and not long after another shower when I surprisingly feel more connected to this man. It’s after a moment of raw emotion that he shared instead of using me. A moment when he trusted me and confided in me some of his war-torn damage experienced at the hand of a woman he loved.


“You want to know about her?” he says between biting and pulling at my bottom lip.

“Uh-hmmm,” I moan while water pulsates against my back in a circular pattern.

“6 months.” His tone changes along with his hand movements.

“And…”

“I thought that was...” He gets a little rougher.

“Don’t.” I hold his face to stop him from pushing. “Just tell me.”

“There was always… always another.”  He stops and I understand there’s pain.

There’s nothing left to say when this man breaks. No words to help with this release. I just wrap myself tighter around his body and hold him, letting him fall through the cracks.


We’re lying on the floor and he’s playing with my waist. Telling me about the imaginary lines that come out of my abdomen and lead me around in the world. Leading me to him. Then him to me to another shower.  There’s laughter instead of tears when he’s telling me this. And I’m glad he doesn’t know.


Somewhere it’s 5am when I’m naked, standing on the edge of a balcony in the middle of LA. Its 80 degrees and a man behind me is whispering in my ear and pressing himself against me. Telling me that he’s only happy when it rains while he leans in then wraps his hands tighter around my waist. Another man is spraying us with a large water hose while he leans in further. I try to shift my weight while his happiness interferes with my balance. The water feels good on my warm skin while the man’s laughter hurts my head. But he’s so happy. And this is what that feels like.


The happy man isn’t happy for long and decides that Vicodin chased by a hand job from a Korean Masseuse is a better idea instead of me, the blonde from behind on the balcony while he pretends its raining. The masseuse arrives and he decides that I can’t watch but the man with the large water hose can. I’m in the hall calling back the woman who arranges these things. I’m on the seventh ring when the happy man is on all fours getting spanked by the large water hose man while the Korean girl is trying to do her job. I turn away to handle my business.

“Annie, it’s me.” I whisper in the line.

“I’m glad you called. I’ve got another one that’s interesting.”

“I’m tired of interesting.”

“You’ll like this one. It’s in France.”

“Why France?”

“This one travels. Business.”

“Why me?”

“He has some specifics that… you’re the only one of my girls that doesn’t have restrictions. Unless…”

“Unless what?”

“Has anything changed? No. I’m just tired of interesting. When do I leave?”

As I hang up the Water hose man and the Korean girl are the outside of the happy man’s sandwich. This is what happy feels like now.


Lunch is in a tiny sandwich place around the corner from the brownstone in Brooklyn I’m supposed to live in. Adrian seems happier today than yesterday. Much more like a person. I think this is the first time I’ve called anyone by their name afterwards. Or had lunch with them. He smiles a lot and I think it’s charming. He tells me about his friend Alex and mentions a girl Jemma he used to date but is friends with. Tells me about going to LA. Then he talks to me about Andy and asks how I know him. I tell him the truth. That we’re associated by some business. He keeps smiling and so I tell him about Rembrandt instead of Van Gogh to change the subject. He loves discussing art and I’m not ready to ask about the interesting thing I found in his pocket this morning.


We’re walking around the park talking about the Met, my work and then he somewhere between two trees he kisses me. I don’t know what he’s thinking but it’s nice. I decide that its time I asked him about the interesting something from this morning. That tiny piece of paper that rested so neatly between the two folds of his pocket has a story to tell and there’s no way it could go unnoticed.


On the flight back from Paris I realize that it’s actually 5am somewhere I used to be. I keep thinking about the colors in the morning when dawn breaks across the horizon as I check my email from Annie. She has another interesting job that I might be able to help her with. I respond that I need more money for that last job. I’m ordering a Vodka Martini from the steward when her response back tells me it’s already in the account and that I need to make verbal contact with the client before taking the next job. She says it is interesting and sends her apologies. I phone the client who isn’t shy about the details. He says his name is Andrew W. and that I must call him Andy because everyone does. Then he tells me that I’m for a friend of his, but he can’t know about it. He needs me for about two days and that there are specifics I must be aware of. I tell him I’m in because specifics are what I do.


It’s a little before 5am when a man picks me up at the airport. He brings a bag of clothes and tells me to change. I do. Then I ask for Andy. He says when we get there you’ll meet him. He tells me that I’m going to be pretending to be a friend of Andy’s and that I’ll be staying at a place in Brooklyn before telling me I work at the Met for the next two days. He hands me a Louis Vuitton bag full of cards, incidental money and keys with an address for the place in Brooklyn. A place where I’m supposed to do whatever is wanted and things will get interesting. I pull on the remaining pieces of the ensemble when he wants to know more.

“What’s your name honey?”

“Is that important?”

“It is if you want to get paid? Full service. Full name.”

“Can’t I just use a fake with your friend? It isn’t like he’ll know.”

“Look, honey. Quit playing games. Just tell me your name...”


Chelsea Raye Grant. That’s what my mother used to yell at me when she wanted me. Sometimes it was when I would be out by the pool working on my tan instead of going to school. I don’t know why but when he asks for my full name I’m thinking about that last time she got mad at me. It’s been years since I’ve seen her but that feeling of nostalgia creeps into my mind for a moment and I’m remembering her face. The way her mouth curled up and her teeth showed. Recalling those final words between us is like opening an old box of photos. It’s not how you remembered but it must be the truth. The sting of her slap when I told her I wanted to go to New York and be a dancer. How much I wanted to study art and live in SOHO instead of going to Stanford for Law or Medicine like her and my father. Just like I was one of her patients, she informed me of how wrong I was that I was ruining my life. And she’d probably tell me she was right if she were here now. Maybe she was right. I don’t know.


“Honey, you ok. Sorry about that.”

“No. I’m alright. No one has used my full name in a long time.”

“See your badge. For the Met. It has your name now.”

“Oh, tell me about your friend.”

“He’s interesting.”

“I thought so.”


It’s not anywhere near 5am when we’re sitting on a park bench and watching the world around us connecting. I’m lying across his lap and he’s playing with my legs. I think we’re almost comfortable enough to talk about this interesting thing. It’s taken a while to get the courage to ask him about it but I think it’s time when he takes off my right shoe. I smile and slip my hand into his pocket.

“What’s this?” I ask him pretending not to know.

“I don’t know. Maybe you should reach a little deeper.”

“I will.” I pull out my hand and the folded paper comes with it.

“What’s it look like?” he says. I unfold it then show him.

“It’s a sonogram.”

“It’s nothing. Garbage. Throw it away.”

“If it’s nothing why do you have it?”

“Because she gave it to me.”

“Who? I don’t understand. Is it yours?”

“Felicia. Was.” He pushes my legs aside and gets up. “Throw it away. Fuck, I need a hit.”

“Come on.”I get up and touch his arm then face.

“She wanted to hurt me again. So she did.”

“I’m sorry.” I don’t have the words again so I just hold him. Further into the cracks.


The car picks up a man in front of Tiffany’s. Its 5am. I can’t believe this is what I’m doing for the next day when he stumbles in looking for someone named Alex. The man dressing me in the car introduces us. I smile and tell him good morning. He smiles and tells me I look like the Mona Lisa with blonde hair only prettier. I laugh and he keeps telling me he loves my laugh. The man in the car rubs my thigh and winks.


At Andy’s there are a handful of people that Adrian talks to but doesn’t know while doing lines. I don’t feel comfortable with the drugs, but he seems to be coherent enough. There’s a Jack, a Mina, a Michael, a Sam, a Betsy Ross Grandison from Long Island that looks like a linebacker in a pair of sole-less heels. It seems that there’s simply everyone except an Alex at this morning event. An Alex that Adrian insists on finding. Somewhere between Betsy’s shoes and Adrian’s lines, my introduction to Andy is fabulously staged. We’re simply a pair of old friends reuniting for a bit of business. Adrian stops doing lines and talks with us about his missing friend Alex. Andy pulls me aside and whispers a reminder about the details. Details about his flight being booked for LA and the overwhelming need to talk him out of it in my own interesting way. There are more details that include something about this missing Alex who hasn’t left yet and is leaving tomorrow morning instead. Andy faux kisses me before saying that he has to leave the party, but we’re welcomed to stay until Adrian’s flight later.


11am. I‘m wondering when this will get interesting as I continue to talk with Adrian about art and reinforce the lies they want me to tell him. About my connections and the arrangements I’ve made for his flight. About this place in Brooklyn. About the work at the Met. He loves the lies. Somewhere between 11:30am and Noon after leaving his friend Alex another message he tells me he’s never ridden the ferry to Staten Island. I tell him we should go and that he has plenty of time before he has to be at the airport. It’s a lie, but we can’t sit around and wait for his flight if he’s supposed to miss it.


At the airport terminal there’s a woman that takes the itinerary and then turns it into a ticket. While I’m getting the ticket I remember how the ferry ride proved to be more difficult than interesting to get through without his candy reminded of this because I can see him trying to take a hit from the counter. Shrugging his head and missing the hit. It was the same way he shrugged when I kept asking him to put it away because I didn’t feel comfortable around drugs earlier. And then I see him trying to use his phone again while a security guard watches. Even on the ferry between talking to me and looking at the view he was trying to call his friend Alex. He kept telling me about the view of the city, how it’s beautiful and he loves it before telling me I’m Mona Lisa in the middle of the ocean. The woman says it will be another five minutes to process the ticket. And I think of him telling me about Van Gogh and the whores before telling me about his ear.


The woman is finished. It’s been ten minutes instead of five. When she hands me the boarding pass I’m still thinking about him earlier and realize that it was the longest time I’ve spent on a boat since I was a child with anyone other than my father. He looks happy when I return to him with the ticket. The flight is soon but I tell him we could do other things instead of flying right now because he doesn’t need to know why he can’t get on that plane. He doesn’t know he’s being manipulated when he tells me he wants to but he can’t. Using my best my smile I tell him there are always later flights. I rub his hand gently and tell him that he doesn’t need the candy anymore. He doesn’t know so it’s okay to say it. Then I touch his face and tell him that I want to show him my place in Brooklyn. While I keep rubbing his hand and touching his face he tells me it’s okay but we’ll need to stop for some things and I know this is where it gets interesting.


In a cab on the way to the airport he says he wants to tell me more about her. I didn’t ask to know. He just tells me this before he tells me he’s going to do a line. I look at the rearview mirror and the driver is watching. I tell him I’ll make it interesting if he skips the line and the story. He smiles and says “how interesting?” as he unzips his pants. The driver is still watching in the mirror and turning his head around. I tell him let’s get out and talk about it. This makes the driver upset and he goes back to looking at the road. Somewhere along the way I find myself kissing him in the back of the cab instead of doing anything interesting. He never tells me more about her and I’m still glad he doesn’t know.


We’re at the airport. He’s taking his time in the bathroom and I know why. I don’t want him to go. Go back to the drugs. Go back to his disconnect from the pain. I like the lie that we’ve become. It isn’t real but the illusion is so much better. He’s emerging from the men’s room dancing to the airport musak version of Big Pimpin. There’s a security guard that moves with him to the beat and a kid that gives him a high five mid shuffle. The whole moment is ridiculous, and I think I want him to stay more. But he’s leaving. Telling me that he’ll see me next time and I know that it won’t be true. Because even though I’m me, I’m really not. And because even though he’s him, he won’t be soon. For the moment he’s kissing me and I’m kissing him back before he goes through airport security and leaves when I want him to stay. Because it’s ok if I’m not alone.


“5am. Wake up.” Her words come off the line without a hello.

“It’s 3:45pm. I’m not asleep.” I tell her. The plane has only been in the air for thirty-five minutes and its time for the next job.

“Are you ready for the next one, 5am?”

“I guess so.”

“This last one wasn’t too specific I hope.”

“No. Not at all. I didn’t mind it so much…”

“How was it?”

“Anything but interesting.”



Interesting. This is more than interesting that I’ve been left alone. I take a hit while looking at a pair of diamond earrings that I can’t afford without cash in my hand but it doesn’t stop me from looking or thinking about buying them. Shopping without money in your hand isn't recommended but I can't get back into the car. Can I? There’s a man with a hat looking at me in the store window when I realize that it’s just you looking at me and Alex is really gone now. The car left less then fifteen minutes ago and only I got out. There must be a mistake is all I can think when it happens. But it happens and calling Alex’s line only gets me Andy. Andy tells me he will send a car, but it is going to take some time. I tell him that time is all I have. He tells me his friend is coming to get me. I need another hit while I wait on the curb. After 30 minutes a homeless man takes a hit from me while passing through. I can’t seem to remember what happened before Alex left but it wasn’t good because you're still hear in my head all silent and smug. It wasn’t something you said, was it? I keep wondering if I will catch up to Alex before he leaves to LA. I don’t want to miss the flight. But you tell me it’s too late when a car pulls up. There’s a man and a woman inside. I don’t know them but she’s beautiful and I want to get in. So do you. Let’s go. 


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