*by someone looking to join the living*
(frankie leone, just a man)
*i’ve always felt like a mummy wandering in the mist. other people are droplets of moisture hanging in the air. i grasp and grasp trying to dampen skin parched dry by a lifetime of isolation in my thoughts. sometimes i feel the coolness of other people’s compassion and kindness.
most of the time i’m not aware enough to see my own skin absorbing enough to look human.*
*in my efforts to hydrate my form i’ve journeyed into a world where fog is the deepest but hardest to grasp. the nightclub. i use free alcohol as dry ice, creating a fog around me so deep my vision is obstructed but these lanky dry limbs feel more among red-blooded beings than ever before. i pour drinks for ever-shifting smokey forms around me, wrap my arms and lips around phantoms, and watch them disappear in instants.
i know what i’m doing. self-awareness avails me nothing. i’ve ventured so deep into the fog i can’t see a way out but long for one with desperation. looking for sunrises and roses in a place the sun never shines and the flowers are all plastic has taken my hope.
in this place without love or light i look deep into the darkness to see a firefly. it’s the cherry of a burning cigarette. her. the reason i’ve stuck around so long. in a city that’s given me no answers to questions like, “why,” i’ve given her the responsibility of my solution. a solution to the problem of myself.
on the balcony of avenue nightclub on 10th avenue and 17th street i watch her kissing another man on the club floor. the fog clears. i feel dry but free. i start thinking about an exit.*
*it’s passed three am. most of my beautiful people, and her- my answer, have gotten in cabs tipsy off the complimentary champagne, vodka, and tequila my employer’s provided. a girl i was infatuated with a while ago is the only person remaining on the balcony with me. i recline on leather-upholstered booth smoking an electronic cigarette and grasping the last bottle of free booze the club provided me.
she’s not my solution but looks like a bandaid. i stumble my tattooed fingers across her smooth face and down her long neck. i grip her slim waist and draw her close. i press my lips on hers and tell her she’s gorgeous. an image of her is one of my fondest memories in this nightclub.
i tell her about it, “once, on the club floor, i watched you dance. you had a red mohawk and a cut up t shirt. you swayed and closed your eyes dancing. i’ll always remember it. thank you.”
“what song,” she asks.
“something with kanye west and jay-z.”
she laughs, “niggas in paris?”
“no, something about driving through brooklyn and the south side of chicago. it had a bumping beat. watching you made me feel alive.”
we continue to kiss. i grip her with all my strength by her hip and neck. i know she’ll be gone soon.
she draws away.
“i feel guilty kissing you,” she admits.
i look into her living blue eyes and ask in a low tone, “why?”
“i know this means more to you than it does to me.”
i think for a moment. “it is what is is,” i respond, pausing before questioning, “why don’t you want me?”
she laughs. “because you’re a promoter. it’s your job to make me feel wanted. why would i want an animal like that?”
“i understand. you know i don’t want to be a promoter right? i think you know why i’m here. i don’t want to be what i am just like you don’t want to be what you are.”
“i’m young and dumb,” she smiles in response.
“so we are what we are,” i answer refrain for a few seconds of a thousand years then say, “i’m going home.”
she looks shocked and offended, “fine, go. who’s going to pour the drinks though? who’s going to host your people. won’t you get in trouble?”
“they’ll be fine. liquor will find them. as for getting in trouble- i do what i do. always have. for better or worse. i’ve chosen to represent chaos.”
i hand her my bottle and she dumps it into her rocks glass.
“you’re so weird, but you’re the most interesting person i’ve ever known.”
i head towards the door.*
*and so my career as a promoter ends.
i get in a cab back to brooklyn. when i get home i start drafting resignation letters from a new macbook-pro. my “vintage” (ancient) macbook was stolen by a party guest i let crash on my torn-up couch a month ago.
i send them a week later.*
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