Saturday, November 26, 2005

Chapter 28 (48,002 words out of 50,000)

28.

My mother’s giving me grief for going out – I need to get her and my father together again soon because this is starting to get ridiculous. I come home from a night out and she’s fucking passed out on the couch, some shloppy romance station on the cable box – off-air now – and she’s snoring and drooling and just ruining any fucking chance I have of getting laid. I haven’t gotten any pussy in the past week and I really either need to get this bitch our of the fucking house or go slumming with David. I can’t work any of the people in my usual circle because Agatha’s plugged in for the moment. If I didn’t know her better I’d say this bitch was working me – feels like something I would do – except I have a good understanding of where her skills in this matter lay – she’s mine, you know, I broke her a while ago. With the sex thing, it’s not even like she’s getting frustrated yet – she’ll casually invite me back to my place sometimes and I just picture my mother on the couch, looking alone and pathetic and tell her that things will be back to normal soon – by Christmas at the latest, I promise her, and she tells me it’s ok – that she understands – that if it was her mother she’d be doing the same.

That she needs to get some studying done anyway. That finals are coming up. That she doesn’t feel like she’s ready. I buy her some comfort coffee – she’s starting to acquire a taste for the good stuff – and send her on her way. She holds me a little closer, it’s as if she’s trying to comfort me, as if she feels bad for me and wants to let me know that she’s here for me – like she wants me to open up or some shit. I called my father yesterday and he says he’ll be willing to let her back in, that he misses having her around. He’s just sick of fucking eat McDonald’s every night – it’s amazing how these relationships become a matter of comfort, convenience – how people get so afraid to leave the person they’re with because a certain part of their life has simply become dependant on them. She should be out by next week, I’d imagine – one of them just needs to call the other. That’ll make Agatha happy – she won’t admit it, obviously, but I know her better than she knows herself – she’s so fucking transparent most of the time – she thinks she’s fucking Hollywood – she thinks she’s Audrey Hepburn and life is nothing but romance and love and puppies – she’s so fucking easy to please.

I kind of assess where I’m at and I think I keep losing sight of the goal – it’s kind of fucked – I can admit to that – it seems like everyday I have a new endgame – but it’ll all become clear soon enough, it always does. I’m sure there’s a clearer path to get there and I’ll see it in retrospect – it’s not like there are rewrites in life but you can at least learn from your mistakes and build on it. Not saying this is one big mistake – but I am saying that there may be a better way to get to where I want to get, wherever that may be.

Rambling a lot. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. Rambling. Changing course. Second guessing. Re-plotting. I feel pressed for time, I want to get back to where I was, to the stuff I was doing before this but at the same time I want to see this to fruition.

Haven’t heard back from Charles yet, been a couple of days. He’s supposed to be coming with me to Cynthia’s party tomorrow – he better deliver something before then. I wish I had the information before today – before this fucking Happy Hour – I feel so defenseless. I honestly have no idea how this is going to go but I need to be there to defend myself. Ed’s going to be drunk, Agatha’s going to be drunk – all of their coworkers are going to be drunk – there’s going to be an audience. It’s the perfect time to strike, it’s when I would do it.

I’ve been on edge lately, accusatory – maybe a little paranoid. I keep feeling like I need to find a way to get Agatha out of this potential shit-storm but then I ask myself why it even fucking matters – why am I even in this fucking shit-storm – how is this even a shit-storm? Why can’t I just work through it?

I feel like I’m losing control of this whole thing sometimes. I hate to admit it. I feel like someone else is controlling my life, like I’m a character in someone’s story and that someone keeps having different plans for me.

I feel like everything’s going somewhere, things are coming together, and I just don’t know what the final resolution is going to be.

That’s a scary place to be. For me, at least.

__________________

What the fuck. What the fuck.

“Joseph, my man, this is my friend Charles.”

What the fuck.

I missed this – there’s something here. What the fuck is going on. The way he introduced Charles – he knows I know Charles – he knows what I’m trying to do – what the fuck? Did he offer Charles something better? What the fuck could he even offer him. Oh. Wait. Wait, wait, wait.

“Yeah, yeah – I know Joseph – we go back.” No nigger camaraderie my ass. This is a fucking plot – this has to be a plot.

“No shit? Small world.” That fucking look – that fucking look – this is it, this is the end, unless I get Agatha out of here this is the fucking end. But what can I do? Fake sick? She’ll want to come home with me to make sure I’m OK and my mom would know I was faking sick – if there’s one thing a mom can do it’s tell when her child is faking sickness – no-matter how dysfunctional the mother in question that shit is like breathing for them – any moronic fucking mother can do it. I can’t go back to her place sick, she would question why I want to do that. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck – how did I miss this? Goddamn black people are so fucking hard to play sometimes – especially the ones with little to offer. All Charles had to offer me was the fact that he’s black and my fucking friend. Fuck!

“Yeah – how do you know Ed, Charles?” Agatha sense this tension it’s so fucking obvious – this whole conversation is awkward and robotic and she can tell – she has the most peculiar fucking expression on her face.

“The man can ring up one hell of a mochaccino.” Everyone laughs, inside Starbucks humor – I’m the fucking outsider here. Look at them all – Agatha is wearing a sweater from New York Inc, a big fucking fluffy-ass turtle-neck and pants from Anne Taylor. Ed is wearing some Polo clothes – black man’s fancy wear. No matter how much money these guys make they wear shit like polo and Hilfiger – that’s their going out gear. Charles with a basketball jersey – fucking Knicks. The other barrista, Ellen, got that outfit off of the front page of a fucking Land’s End catalogue – November’s. Joe’s shirt says Old Navy on it – he’s proud of the fact that he can’t afford a decent shirt without a cost that’s partially subsidized by being a fucking walking billboard. There’s some gap. Some fucking Banana Republic. J. Crew, Eddie Bauer, H&M – that guys wearing Cubavera – white as fuck and trying to rock Buena Vista Social Club knock-offs. They’re all drinking Miller Light because it’s on sale – it’s the goddamn Happy Hour featured drink. They’re all laughing, they’re all in on the fucking joke.

How’d I get here?

_____________

Miller Light tastes like piss. I don’t understand how these fucking people can drink it. They’re putting them down like water because it is fucking water. I had like ten and I don’t even feel drunk, I mean, maybe a little buzzed but that’s about the extent of it. I mean – just a little tipsy, you know – whatever the fuck you call it – like – a little elated, you know? I took off my sweater – it’s too hot – that fucking sweater cost more than everyone in this party’s goddamn outfits combined and Ed spilled beer on it and apologized and I can’t say shit because this isn’t my FUCKING show. Agatha keeps looking at me, she thinks I’m drunk, I know it – I can fucking tell – she thinks I’m being an anti-social asshole – she thinks I should mingle with these fucking commoners – talk about coffee and sports and graphic novels and whatever else these wannabe fucking hipsters are talking about. Charles hasn’t said shit to me all night – him and Ed. Fuck! I opened myself up to this shit. Agatha’s probably in on it already, too. She has that empowered thing – had it until I fucking got to her – she probably got a spark of it back after they told her the deal. She probably feels empowered again, she probably fucked both of these guys because I know she has a nasty streak – she probably took them at the same time – doing shit with them she’d never do with me – taking it in the ass – screaming in ecstasy – probably had these guys inviting the goddamn million-man march to swing by after the protest for a gang-fuck. White woman love to fuck black men, everyone knows that – and black men are fucking sexual predators – everyone knows that as well.

How the fuck did I get here?

But nobody said anything – they’re enjoying this – they’re leading me on and playing with me – they’re hanging this shit over my fucking head for as long as they can.

All of them. They’re all in on this. And I fucking missed it.

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