Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feeling It All Goes Without Saying

They had a bed - actually two mattresses one on top of another in the corner of the room. The top mattress was half covered with a red blanket and the other half was draped over Gwen like a tent. It was the bottom corner of the blanket and it hung over her head. The tip of the blanket was resting in her naked crotch. She was a recluse tonight. Leon was kicking a spoon around the floor. It became difficult for him when the spoon bounced into a corner. There were four corners – the room was a white rectangle. Leon would struggle a bit, but would refuse to remove his hands from his armpits to fix the spoon. The rest of them were on the floor. They were telling the time in a drug talk - sprawled around the floor in a carpet constellation. The stereo was kicking out dust noise. Carol lit a match and connected the little flame to another match and then to a cigarette. It was the brightest light in the place. She connected the flame a third of the way up the cigarette – a little above the filter. The white paper browned in color as she rotated it with her thumb and middle finger. She was lying down on her back with her head barely propped up on the bottom mattress. She extended one leg out and bent the other one up making a feminine pose. Then she tried to take a drag of the cigarette, but it wasn’t lit properly. The filter caught fire and flared up in the corner of her mouth. If you watched closely you could have seen it melting her skin. She tried to hurriedly spit it out, but it was stuck to her lip. She let out a little yelp as the burning filter dangled into her chin. Leon became distracted by this and came to the rescue. He knelt down to her level – removed a hand from his armpit and flicked it off her lip in one motion. It landed in the corner. Carol then pretended to exhale a long gasp of smoke and sunk a little lower onto the floor. Gwen peeked out from the blanket. She looked as if she was sweating. She looked over at Leon who was now shaking a bit. He was trying to place his hands exactly where they were before – in his armpits. They were all outrageously thin, but together they were big time.

Earlier that day the sun was out. It strung along the trees, the buildings, and the people. The people kept moving around in circles and lines, the buildings and trees stood still. The people all looked sparkling clean, even more so when the sun hit them. Some of them wore suits, suits that looked like nothing but suits. Others wore dresses, the women were wearing dresses – a variety of different colors and cuts. Some of the people were stationary on park benches or in bus stops, and some of the others were parading around animals or small children. There were cars too. The cars did just about the same things as the people. There was grass in different shapes and heights; it silently fit in between the buildings and at the feet of the trees. All the buildings were crawling with people. You could see them from the streets. Levels and levels of people separated by cement and glass. As you looked further up the buildings, the people got smaller; their desks and computers… even the windows, they all got smaller. The streets were very much a place for people. The people seemed to need the streets, to get around and to feel connected. They’re the grid-like tracks that seem to organize a person, no matter how lost they get.

Being lost is really quite something. It is considered a bad thing – to be lost. It seems pretty black and white. If you are lost, you must not be doing well and that is understood as a bad thing. Being lost may not be a bad thing; the only bad things are the bad things themselves. And I can’t remember ever seeing any bad things. It’s all speculation. I’ve seen people with no idea of the time of day and they were moving along just fine; is that not what is called being lost? Lets just say, for example, you get yourself lost and it spooks you a little bit, what do you do? Do you look around the streets or up at the buildings? Do you read a street sign? Do you look inside yourself? Do you probe the closest person or object for information? And if you do any of this, what do you get? What do you find? Do you find your way from a street sign? Or whatever direction the wind is blowing? Do you get directions from another person and find yourself? You know better then anybody what is going on and where you are. You know what is up and how, somehow, everything else is down. You need no direction. ‘Direction’ is something that’s connected to your ‘best interests’. And how often do people let their best interests guide them? An individual’s best interest’s are nothing compared to their desires. And a desire is one thing that you cannot misplace. You can change them, since you are, indeed, in control. Sometimes desires line up with your best interests, but they transcend their logic making logic itself obsolete. Desire. along with whatever physical or mental capabilities you have, will always take you as far as you can go in life. These three things combined are your currency, they’re all the chips you’ve got and they’re cashing themselves in. Sit back and relax a bit.


The room was there before they were. It was white before they were. There is thin maroon carpet spread out across the floor. They end up there and they begin there, when they don’t begin there, at the start of the day, they just proceed anyways. The room often seems different to them, though it will usually be the same old place. It is appreciated and they are grateful to be there, it’s a bare neutral environment that houses all sorts of their projections. Projections of themselves; sometimes it’s directed amongst eachother, sometimes it’s an inner monologue, and sometimes it’s a damp pile on the floor or even dripping from the walls. It is a shelter, and it is also their vehicle. Tonight, the blanket is being pinned to the wall as an ornament. Carol is in charge of this. No one has thought of sleeping and likely wont until tomorrow. There’s a bucket of drugs sitting in the center of the room. They already played the game where they pretended that no one knew how the drugs got there, but they all knew. They all help each other out, whatever that entails.

They were all doing the drugs for different reasons. Drugs are another thing, another one of those things that are perceived as bad and harmful. The act of taking drugs, when you boil it down, is an incentive based process. The same can be said about pretty much any other action an individual can become involved in. But it produces a different output or product. Just the same way you may want to make money to buy something, a car or maybe a handful of diamonds, you have the incentive of gain and you use certain tools and methods to get to that point. People take drugs to get to a certain point too, but on a very internal and individual level. The output is not a tangible object you can show off or hold in your hand, now wouldn’t that be considered honorable? Whether it is working hard to gain objects such as a car, or smoking crack to laugh a little different; all people reserve the right to do whatever falls within their capabilities. And it is a choice that is consciously made within the individual, no matter what end of the spectrum it may be.

If you believe anything I just said, then Leon is a hero, he’s a shining night of integrity. Leon participates in anything that will heighten his chances of mental retardation or increase his naivety; he hasn’t had many achievements in this field so far... Though, he doesn’t talk much any more, in fact he doesn’t talk at all. And the others are following suit. If there was ever a person that you could say; ‘he knows what he’s doing’ it would be Leon. And he really does. He hasn’t been taking drugs for his whole life, maybe ten or so years. His honor is something he can’t conceal; he was brought into the world with integrity, respect, and morals. He’s the man to help you, he surely does know how. Just the same as everybody else in this place – the whole world… We were all born into being and becoming a small piece of society; actually we were all born with a little piece. A piece that is all ours to call our own; we can live it out, build it up, showcase it, deny it, or kill it off. Leon was dealt a piece that wouldn’t shut up. The intuitive piece that can see bullshit walking down the street. The piece that can smell every spec of bullshit that has ever peeled from the universal asshole; the piece that smells it all – all the time. Its been a burden for him, he used to involve himself, he used to have the incentive to help people; to point things out, to be the guide. He tries to deny it, but he’ll always be the guide, it’s his habitual nature.

Gwen does them purely out of a self-hatred, she enjoys torturing herself, though it’s a hard thing to keep up, mortality and all. she’s the type that would have done drugs in silence her entire life had Carol and Leon not stumbled upon her. She’s quite secretive, but there’s not much she could hide from the others. She’s the quietest of the silent.

All three of them are extraordinarily conscientious people, especially socially and economically. Carol shoots up for vanity, for the aesthetics and statement of picturesque misery that it gives off. Sometimes a photographer comes by the room to document Carol. He sometimes stays for hours on end and she never disappoints. She is a born performer.

Anyways they’re all in the room. It is closer to day light then night anymore. The bucket of drugs has been tipped over, pills cascaded in tentacles of lines across the carpet. Sheets of lsd, syringes and dimebags too. Leon had his shirt off – leon usually has his shirt off at all times. He couldn’t take the heat. The heat of the room, the heat of the city. He was nodding his head a bit. The stereo was plugged in and was sitting where the pillows should be on the bed. It was making beautiful music for them, classical compositions spread through every corner of the room. Leon’s head hung a little to the right shoulder tonight. He seemed content, they all seemed content tonight. Carol was on the floor with her back up against the wall. With her toes she could reach some of the pills. With her big toe she would press the pills into the carpet and then retract her foot causing the pill to jump up a little bit. She did this until a good amount of the pills were close enough to reach with her hands. Close enough to swallow. Every now and then she would gesture to the hanging red blanket on the wall. It altered the space for them. She stood up in front of it – cigarette in hand and composed an image of herself on the blanket. She stood to the bottom left corner of it clutching her right shoulder with her left hand and with her right hand she gripped a cigarette between her middle and index fingers making a fist. She’d pull a big drag from her fist and cloud the smoke out towards the top right corner of the blanket then she’d roll her eyes down a bit. Leon and Gwen were on the bed across from her, enjoying the show. Carol was getting egged on, she’d just had this idea of a handstand image where she would leave the cigarette in her mouth and lean her body up into the middle of the blanket. Her arms were strong tonight, she barely quivered. Blowing the smoke out the side of her mouth, her face turning red, her hair still dirty blond. She liked to show off the moles on her ribcage. And you could definitely see them. Her shirt had lopsided down, getting caught on her breasts. She crossed her legs at the ankles and lowered herself to the ground slowly and methodically, like a true strung out gymnist. She weasled her way into a position where she was lying on the ground with her legs still crossed, propped against the blanket on the wall. Looking up at her companions. She looked like a blade of grass in the afterglow of creation.

For Gwen to seem content was a rare thing, none of them knew how she became content. It was just a fact of the times, which happened every month or so. Tonight she was drinking the red wine Leon had picked up from the streets earlier in the day. Gwen was no orator, she only used her voice when she needed to, and even then it was a rarity. But tonight she sang everything like it was gold tapestries unfolding out of her tiny mouth and into the room. Her arms guided the air above the bed, splashing wine bottle in hand, to an orchestration of virtual purity. Taking long wisps of it and exhaling it back into song. She stood up on the bed and tucked her long brown hair to the side of neck. She seemed to float off the bed. Then she looked back at Leon who was profusely sweating through his forehead and held out her hand. Leon accepted and soon they were on either side of Carol. All six of their thin, characteristic legs pointing to the ceiling. They shared drags from Carol’s cigarette and listened to Gwen sing songs of words and sometimes of notes. For this couple of minutes they all felt the gluttony of being, they knew in their minds and blood streams that they must be doing something right.

Gwen took the keys to the room from her pocket. And held them up in the air as far as she could reach like a trophy. They all looked at the keys a bit, before she tossed them behind her – hitting the side of the metal drug bucket. This broke up the moment. Leon struggled to his feet leaving a sweat stain on the carpet. Where his buttocks rested, there was a puddle of sweat that resembled a butterfly. He slicked his wet shoulder length hair back and behind his ears. And knelt down to the bucket and opened up one of the bags full of powder. He tore a little hole off the top corner of it with his teeth and palmed the bag. He scowered the room for the spoon. Carol – who barely takes her eyes off Leon pointed to the side of the bed with a red painted toe. And with another motion she propelled herself to an upright sitting position and tossed him a box of wooden matches. Leon didn’t see the toss, as he was bent over picking up the spoon. The matches bounced off his ear and fell to the floor. He untied his shoelace belt and sat on the edge of the bed. He fastened a small loop on one end of the lace and threaded the other end through the hole. Then he stuck out his left arm and guided the laced loop up it, resting it around his bicep. He took hold of the lace in his teeth and synched it tight. Carol and Gwen were watching him do the routine. It was through Leon that they both began the realize the merits of drug use. Leon then reached the floor with his free arm and picked up a brand new syringe and sat it next to him on the bed. He picked up the bag of powder and the spoon and poured its contexts into the spoons basin. Carol took hold of a few matches and lit them under the spoon. They made eye contact briefly as he tore open the packaging on the syringe with his long shaky fingernails. The powder began to morph into liquid and soon the task of melting the powder was completed. Leon dipped the tip of the needle into the liquid and sucked it all up into the cartridge. Then he flicked the belly of the syringe until the bubbles had subsided. He bit harder into the lace in his mouth and strained his neck in the opposite direction of his arm. It was getting harder to find a vein, but there was still a chance; a purple bulging line was forming in the wrist of his elbow. He had trouble connecting the point to the vain, because his hand was shaking fiercely. But Gwen stepped in, connecting it to where it wanted to be. Leon took a deep breath and shot it all in, exhaled and hunched forward a bit.

He then stood up and took a handful of pills. The Pills were uppers, he ate five of them and washed them down with some wine. Leon retreated to the bed in a fetal position and immediately let out a groan of satisfaction. Then came the vomit, they knew it was coming. Carol grabbed the empty bucket and held it under his chin. He got it all out and began to weep.

It was a warming sort of weep. The girls lay on either side of him, Gwen held the wine and looked to the blanket on the wall. Which now looked a little moist, it was very humid in there. Carol was watching Leon’s shoulder blades move with his sobs. He rolled to his back and the look on his face was bright, his mouth was opening, making a smile. Mucus and tears were rolling from his nose to his lips. His eyes were bright too, a look of accomplishment. Carol was enthralled by this expression and began to pursue it. She suggested a dance with her arms. She glided them in loops above his face. She swayed her head back and forth and poured out a look of admiration. She pulled out three cigarettes and lit them all. She was the focal point of the room again. And she knew it as she stood up and off the bed, all three cigarettes dangling in her mouth. Spinning slowly, she handed out the cigarettes and continued along the floor to the blanket with her back to the bed. She pulled off her shirt and let her pants drop. Completely naked, she yanked the blanket from its pins and wrapped herself in it, turned around and looked at the two faces. Leon to Gwen, then Gwen to Leon who had now straightened himself up a bit. She extended her arms making a cape, then she pounced towards them. Swooping them both into the blanket; producing a flurry of red, skin, hair, and smoke. The cigarettes fell from the hands to the floor. The bodies mashed together, fingers felt hair, and mouths washed the skin. Carol was looking for sex, but all she found was heat and sleep.


Leon came home with armfuls of stuff. He had paper, paints, brushes, pens, and pencils. The paper was in a huge scroll that stood about five feet in height and stretched forty in length. He began wrapping and tacking it to the walls and the ceiling. The girls were elsewhere. He did indeed notice their absence, but it was of no real consequence to him. Though he was physically in the room, he was elsewhere too. He finished the task with the paper and pulled the bed to the very center of the room. He even laid a sheet of paper across the bed and rested the supplies on top of it. He found the bucket from last night on the floor and filled it with red paint. He was moving quickly today, driven and gestural. He grabbed a thick brush and began to walk circles in the room. He paced for quite a while, developing a rhythm and a relationship with the corners. Then came the point where he naturally began to paint a line near the bottom of the paper, at about ankle height. He guided the brush along wall after wall in a crouched walk until there was a red horizontal line all along the bottom of the room. He kept walking his path without stopping and began a new line of paint, about half an inch above the original. With this new line he continued in the same fashion, but near the end of the cycle, he glided the brush up a little bit then down again. Creating a small lump in the line. Leon seemed pleased and excited by this invention. He finished the rotation and began again, tracing the previous line, still keeping about half an inch up. When he came to the lump below, he followed the new line along and over it. He continued this process methodically for hours until he could no longer reach fresh paper. He was finished; he‘d created an organized pattern of lines that ran organically along all the walls. Where the lump was first created it had branched out and grown into a giant abscess of movement. The room was alive with red stripes. He made a space and stretched out on the bed. Examining his efforts. Lying there, what to do now?

He began with his arms. Lying on his back he reached them up in front of him. Started turning his wrists back and forth with cupped palms. Then came the fingers, he bent them down one at a time starting with his left pinky. And continued on down the line of fingers until they were all clasped into fists. Then he recoiled them, starting with the right pinky all the way back to the left. He kept doing this while his wrists kept turning. His mouth began to open up and down creating ovals. Every time he shut his mouth and pursed his lips he bore his teeth to the ceiling before making another oval. He tilted his head back and forth – side to side. Seeing the red he made, seeing the repetition and also the variety on the walls. His hands, arms, and head feeling precedent and alive to his otherwise dormant body; he grasped two handfuls of hair and took turns between his fists pulling it and stretching his scalp. This continued as he clenched the muscles in his torso and then all the way down his legs to his toes, in a wavelike fashion. Every muscle, every bodily function he could think of, that was his target, it was his thing to accomplish. He wanted to feel it all. In the bottom of his lungs he started a small voice and reeled it up through his throat. Beginning to scream, he could even feel the blood flowing in his neck. Taking long pulls of air then exhaling in sheer screams that lasted as long as he could stretch them. He took off his pants and chucked them in a corner, then came the shirt which he ripped open and off from the collar. Naked, motionless, and active; he attempted to piss. He took hold of his dick and pointed it to the wall on his left and tried to shower the place. Nothing, confused. He mustered up another thunder roll of strength starting from the belly of his throat, down through his intestines, into his bowels. Pushed for it – expecting a bubble of fecal, no shit – nothing. He became enraged and began masturbating. Faster then he had ever done it before. This seemed a last resort. This always seems a last resort. Leon had no erection and he feared the situation. He became more and more frustrated by his flaccid cock, he even tried ripping it off its hinges with his bare hands. The whole process from afar resembled a man who was merely trying to realize his potential.

Lying on the bed, examining what he had done, what had taken place in the room. The stripes on the wall, realizing his exhausted body. He rustled through his new supplies and found a black marker. Sat on the edge of the bed, feeling very sober, knowing he hadn’t taken anything but air. He started to draw eyes on his face. Using the mirrored convex of a spoon he drew two linear eyes below his real ones, on his cheeks and two on his forehead. He liked the idea of these new eyes. The fact that they weren’t real – the fact that he had just put them there with simple application. The reality that they could see exactly what he could see. The new eyes could retain the same amount of information – nothing. And that is an alarming thought. They were eyes that didn’t pass judgment on anything, they didn’t insist on anything, they just did their job, to see and be seen. He continued, drawing an eye on each palm, each knee cap, each shoulder, and even one on the end of his limp cock that hung between his legs, staring straight to the floor. He closed his real eyes and stood near to where the door to the room would open. He stood like that for hours, naked and motionless, the opposite action of what he had been doing with the paint. He wasn’t using his sight; he wasn’t really using his body either. He felt no less active, no less involved in anything. This was also an uncomfortable thought to think.

Carol came through the door carrying a case of beer. Behind her was the photographer. She looked to Leon, saw the collection of eyes staring at her and stood on the spot. The photographer saw them too. The immediate reaction for them seemed to be, ‘how could this scene be made into a photograph? How can we use this prop of a man in one of our pictures?’ Leon sensed their presence, he heard them come in. Standing ever so still, even more so then when he was alone, he resolved to do nothing, nothing but stand and breath. To let them do their thing, and if they interfered - so be it. Flashes started going off as the photographer began to set up. Carol was examining the painted walls, impressed by the turn of the day’s events. She too, was beginning to think of Leon as a prop, a fixture of the room’s presentation. She got a thumbs-up from the photographer, and she knelt down on her knees in front of Leon. From this height she could see the eye on his cock staring into her.

She was intimidated, threatened by his silence; she personified the seeing-eye cock to be a display of Leon’s insight. In spite of this, she took control, grasping his cock in her left hand, pointing it towards the camera. Holding it like a weapon, as if at any moment the thing could start to spasm and destroy the shoot. The photographer was loving it, he too looked worried, but the show must go on! Carol was wearing a one-piece bandana, it hung like a poncho that concealed and revealed exactly what she wanted. A bit of cleavage, a lot of leg, and an opening in the back that let her dirty blond hair lie freely on bare skin. She started to jack the thing off, but soon realized she should use her right hand (which is stronger) – she switched sides and continued. After a little while the cock morphed in her hand, it grew harder and longer. The eye on the end of it began to change, bulge and crack. She was getting really into it. Blazing a smile, flexing all her most feminine features accordingly. The photographer switched lenses, strapping on a fish eye. He came closer to the one eyed phallus, but still kept his distance. Carol had the thing in two hands now, just clutching it. Then she had an idea. She whipped off her bandana and crawled between Leon’s legs and sat on her knees once again. Positioned her head just high enough so that his balls rested on her blond scalp. She navigated his cock in front of her nose and closed her eyes. The photographer got the point. From his angle he could see a beautiful girl, motionless, eyes closed, cock for a nose yet also for sight - esthetic sight. A cycloptic metaphor! He framed it to look as though the girl who had been objectified by numerous chemical substances all her life, was now letting her desire peel into an organic sense of being controlled by mankind. The submission of the class structures under the dictation and sanction of man’s all knowing, seeing-eye cock. It would be the end, the hallmark of Carol’s photo essay. She just continued to sit there, in some sort of conceived nirvana. The erection faded, the photographer packed up and left, Carol was falling asleep.

She woke up in the full lotus position, legs crossed, naked, hanging cock nowhere to be seen. Leon in fact had left the room. She hardly thought of the earlier scene, what had happened. She knew she did the right thing, she knew the photos would turn out. She basked in the red painted walls, the empty and throbbing room. She cracked one of her beers and began the process of peeling off the label. She was very specific in doing this. She really did have an eye for the esthetics of consumption. Appreciating the form of the glass bottle, and even more so when all the paper and glue was removed. She crushed the paper into little balls and placed them skillfully between each of her bare toes. When she drank enough beer and peeled enough labels, it was now time to paint her nails. A task she cherished and only executed in solitude.

Searching through the different paints she came upon the color, ‘vert’. She knew very well that the color was infact green, but for her it was vert. She picked up the tube of paint and squeezed a little droplet to the end of a slim paintbrush. With delicate strokes she applied the color to each nail, being careful not to cross paths with her skin. It was a simple enough task, but it was just one of those things for her, something that marks an era of time, no matter the duration. Some people will let the days of the week tell them when a ‘fresh start’ is just around the corner, and some people like Carol signify it with a physical action.

She lazily paced the room, thinking her thoughts more and more as the time went on. She began to realize the relationship she had with the space; the space of the room. How it effects her. More often then not Gwen, Leon or the photographer are accompanying her. Rarely would she stick around the place if she is not being watched. She noticed that they were her catalysts, the subjects that propelled her to do things, to make a scene of herself; to dramatize a situation. Maybe that’s why she held the simple acts of nail painting and label peeling so dearly to her heart, it was one of a few things that she had an inner incentive to participate in, no matter whose eyes were on her. But then again, what is nail painting? What does it say about her, or any person for that matter? Every action says something; it speaks a message of the individual, louder then words. Even though she painted her nails alone, and liked it that way, the result of it suggests herself as a presentation, objectifying parts of her own body to the judgment of others. This thought began to fuck with her a little bit.

Still laying around, the room was dry. She was getting frustrated. Seeing what she is not. Everything a person sees is what they are not. The paint on the walls, the qualities of other people, it just happens that way. It becomes draining. Carol lit a cigarette and began to organize the bottles in one of the corners. She made a row of them on the floor, spacing some of them out a little further then others. She did this slowly, paying close attention to each individual bottle. The more you look at something, the more important it becomes, she began to realize. She saw how the more she looked to the bottles, the walls; the more she let herself think about these things, the more precedent they became. The same goes for other people, inadequacies and all. There are glass bottles all across the globe, the same bottles – labels, everything. But once you hold one in your hand and give it the littlest amount of thought, you develop a relationship with it, something that will not fade. Even if you toss it from the window, smash it in a dumpster, no matter what you do to it; you will always be attached to the bottle in some way. Especially so, if you consciously dispose of it. The same goes for people, people you’ve touched, people that have touched you, even people you have only seen or heard for a split second. They all make an impact, they all influence your individual state of being; in different ways and magnitudes.

Carol began to feel clever, she felt masterful thinking these thoughts. Then again they bit into her, making her realize just how out of control she is, and how everyone is in their own lives. Carol is a whore, we’re all whores. It’s like Fragonard’s The Swing, the picture depicts a female figure on a swing, legs flailing, kicking her shoes off – a mistress. Then you see the portrait of the male figure, lying in the grass, staring up between her legs. The man in question is also the commissioning body for the work. The whore is the eye of indulgence. The mistress on the swing could never be a whore alone.


Gwen came through the door. Tears in her eyes running on down her face. Kicking off her shoes she looked to Carol. Carol looked to her as Gwen’s eyes wandered the red striped walls. Taking off her jacket and purse, tossing them on the bed she went closer to a wall and began to run her hand along it. Under the jacket she was naked from the waist up. Carol began to follow. She too touched the stripes for the first time. Then she reached ahead to Gwen’s shoulder. At this, she turned around. The two women’s eyes met. Gwen’s cheeks red and wet, Carol’s eyes frustrated and looking for something. They embraced and Gwen began to sob. Her bare shoulders shaking a bit; Carol broke free and picked up the red blanket from the bed and returned. She wrapped it around Gwen and synched it tight with her hand. She was holding the blanket like a jacket, where the collar would have been. She pulled Gwen, whose arms were now tightly pressed to her sides, closer and kissed her wet lips. They were both kissing, not just Carol, who now held the blanket together with one hand and with the other, wrapped it around Gwen. Resting it firmly on the small of her back. Still slowly kissing each other, they began to lose their balance. Carol took charge, directing Gwen’s back to the wall. Gwen opened up the blanket and closed it again with Carol inside. Her naked breasts pressed into Carols dress. The tears were still flowing. The embrace got tighter, things got hotter. The two bodies were focusing on each other. If it wasn’t for Gwen’s shoulders pinning the blanket to the wall, it too would have fallen.

Eventually it did. It shrank to the floor as the two of them made their way to the bed. Pens, paper, paint, and the two beautiful naked women cluttered the mattress. They began to paint each other colors. Red lines like the fur of an arrow ran up and down Gwen’s legs. Carol had one thin black line that ran and looped all across her chest, neck and pelvis. No more tears from Gwen, only a few groans of appreciation as Carol began to poke the mouth of a bottle into her vag. Carol was back in the game, putting on a show. She was off in her own world again, adapting to the presence of Gwen, building up the situation. She started to get oblivious of the act at hand, it became a routine that she hardly payed attention to. After a while, the bottle had been in and out of Gwen hundreds of times. Her pleasure had faded completely. Gwen motioned to Carol, who got the picture and stopped. Gwen reached down and pulled the wet bottle from her groin and chucked it against the wall. It smashed. Gwen tried to fall asleep. Carol put on Gwen’s coat and left the room.


Gwen on the bed alone, attempting to let her eyelids fall in on themselves. Eyes that felt shot at, over worked. She’d been crying for at least an hour before she’d made it into the room. Past the foot of the bed, in the corner was the smashed bottle from earlier. It was in, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven larger pieces, and some of the glass had just turned to rice-sized dust. She was frustrated, oddly enough she wasn’t feeling violated by Carol, but frustrated nonetheless. She walked over to the corner and picked up a shard that looked the most durable. Laid back down on the bed, tears began to form, but they drained within her. She had dried up. Examining the short, red painted lines running along her legs… she began to trace along each one with the glass. She wasn’t timid in doing this; as she plunged the glass into herself and dragged it along at the same depth with each stroke. She was alone – how she liked it. She continued along the first leg, blood started to peel from the wounds and mix in with the red paint.

Leon came through the door. He had a cigarette in one hand and a cassette tape in the other. He saw his creation of lines in the room, and Gwen on the bed. It was a rare occasion when he came to the room and Gwen was there by herself. He also noticed the red lines of paint and blood on her legs. He stood around for a moment or so. Very silently, he seemed a bit taken with Gwen today. He didn’t disturb her actions. This was a prime example of person doing things within their levels of capability. Instead of intervening, he walked to the stereo and stuck in the tape and pressed play. Classical music again, it announced itself through the room, along the stripped walls, surrounding Leon and Gwen. Leon sat down on the floor, back to the wall – near the broken glass and began to watch Gwen. She had continued her process, and had moved onto the second leg. Leon just sat there, smoking his cigarettes. He thought it very out of character for Gwen to be doing this. He squinted at her to make sure - yes it was definitely Gwen. Good ol’ naked bleeding Gwen.

She couldn’t figure out what she was doing. So used to this idea of mutilation. So accustomed to doing it alone, for herself. Baffled she hadn’t immediately stopped when Leon walked in the room. Had Carol rubbed off on her? She couldn’t stop yet, not yet anyways. More leg to cut! Avoiding Leon’s eyes she continued as naturally as she could. Leon walked past the bed and turned up the volume on the stereo. Then he sat back down on the floor. The musical composition was one that started slow and soft, it had been producing these tiny cells of noise that would repeat themselves, residually the notes got louder - more complex. But they had the same make up, the same structure… Gwen continued, along down her leg. The Same strokes with the glass, more cuts, more blood. The more confused she became. It’d been maybe an hour of this routine. She was feeling a bit faint. Leon hadn’t taken his eyes off of her. He too was perplexed. Smoking and enthralled.

Then she gave out, she’d almost finished the second leg when her upright body collapsed to the bed. She’d lost a lot of her blood, had roughly 200 cuts running along her legs. He got up, picked the blanket up off the floor and made his way to the bed. He wrapped her limp body into the blanket and picked her up. He carefully held her, as to support her head and neck making sure to keep the blanket tight around her damaged legs. He carried her out of the room. Leaving it empty, orchestra blaring, blood on the bed, stripes on the walls; an empty room full of impact.


That evening, Carol came through the door. She was expecting to see Gwen sleeping on the bed. She had brought with her some LSD. The acid was already in her system. Taking off her coat (that was actually Gwen’s) she tossed it on the bed, as the coat hit the bed she noticed the blood. Blood and broken glass. There it was, dripped and smeared all across the top mattress. The red blanket was nowhere to be seen, neither was Gwen. She walked over to the stereo, turned on the radio, but couldn’t find any working stations. Noticing a tape in the deck, she rewound it and pressed play. Sat on the edge of the bed. The tiny cells of music began to announce themselves again. Piecing together what might have happened she sat there, stationary, unresolved. The music developed, her thoughts developed too; finally deciding that the scene by which she sat involved nothing, but the loss of someone’s blood and that was that, nothing she could really do about it. At this she decided to clean it up.

She left the room with the metal bucket in hand. Upon returning the bucket was filled with hot water, sponge, and soap. She gathered up all the glass and placed it in a neat little pile in the corner. The music had built its way up to a plateau of intensity. On her knees she scrubbed the mattress hard. Even taking her nails to it trying to scrape off the stain. No luck. She kept at it for about another hour, managing to turn the red into a bit of an orange color. Flipping the mattress would be the only way to make the blood disappear. She did this, the other side was much whiter, she liked this side of things better. The problem was dealt with. She sat on the edge of the new clean bed. Entranced by the patterned wall, knowing she was high on drugs. She opened her mouth, eating little mouthfuls of air. Hearing a knock on the door, she swallowed as much air as she could handle. Went to the door, opened it up – there was the photographer. A big shit eating grin on his face. Motioning him in, She sat back down on the bed. He proceeded to communicate that the photo essay turned out marvelously, and that a private council for the arts would like to host an exhibition of the work as well as purchase the entire collection as well as the artwork in the background of the last pictures, Leons work. Carol smiled a bit, and exhaled a large gasp of air. Stared at the photograph oddly then lit a cigarette. She offered him one, he declined; he’s quit smoking. The photographer looked like he was high too, him and his muse. They sat around planning the event for a while, before Carol asked him to politely leave. He was too much to be around at the moment.

Beginning to feel hungry, she left the room to track down something to eat. Returning with a one-liter tub of neapolitan ice-cream and some flax seeds, Carol placed herself on the bed again. Which seemed to be turning into her safe haven. Spotting the spoon in the corner near the stereo, she picked it up and sat down again. This time on the middle of the bed. Pouring the flax over the ice cream - she dug in. Huge spoonfuls of dairy. Beginning to realize that this was the first time that the spoon has ever been used for its intended function.


Days went by. Carol was the only one in the room. She hadn’t seen Leon or Gwen at all. She didn’t look too far for them, knowing she didn’t know where to start. Trying to continue along just the same. With the thoughts in mind that she was not half a person walking around, that she didn’t need to be immersed in company to live her life, didn’t need to perform to be herself. She was excited for the exhibition. The photographer had promised critical acclaim. Imagining the faces in the exhibition hall, all the people entranced by what she could do, what she could form herself into. She was sculpture, a renaissance woman. Wondering if she indeed would be praised? What did she want out of the whole thing? If they loved her, what would they want from her? More of this, more of this behavior? Had she pigeon holed herself? Was she a typecast junkie? Or would someone realize her potential and scout her out to perform in some new realm of presentation? Would she appreciate it? She knew she once had a message to share, a pinpointed incentive for why she was propelling in the direction she was, but now it was a tad vague. Nonetheless she would be more known to others and things would be more known to her.


A week, seven whole days, since Carol found the blood and the broken glass, Leon limped into the room. Unshaven and drunk, drunk and stumbling. Looked like he hadn’t slept in a year. Lost some weight… Still had some of Gwen’s blood on his fore arms and shirt. Spotted the clean looking mattress immediately. Fell down upon it and sleep washed over him. He slept and slept for a long time. Almost in a comatose state he just couldn’t wake up, His body wanted to function, but his consciousness would not follow along. Near the end of the first day of sleep, Leon pissed the bed – he pissed and shit the bed. Not waking up at all, the shit began to crust to his pubic and thigh hair. Lying there, an onlooker would see death on him, death all over him lying there, chest barely rising and sinking. And the stench! The stench was the most signifying thing as Carol and the photographer came through the door. They arrived after two days of his sleep.

They had come to remove the painted wallpaper for the exhibition. Saw Leon’s body, nothing looked unusual. He just looked asleep, as he was wearing pants – covering up the shit stains. The piss had sank and dried into the fresh new side of the mattress. They didn’t put two and two together until all the paper was removed from the walls and Carol sat down for a breather on the bed. There she noticed the yellow stain surrounding Leon. She began to pull off his pants, assuming he merely pissed them, then she saw the shit. Now she was a little worried. She hadn’t been home for a couple days, didn’t know how long he’d been there.... Couldn’t really see his chest breathing – she climbed on top of him. Tears welling up in her eyes she started to slap him. Slapping him hard, shaking him by the shoulders. The photographer even flicked Leon’s toe once. After a few more fierce slaps, Leon woke up. Woke up to Carol, shaking him. He was on his back and she was straddling his torso. He puked, the vomit barely emerged from his lips. Barely had the energy to eject the fluid from his pipes. Leon started to choke on the gravity soup. Carol flipped him over. The photographer grabbed his camera. She sat him up on the edge of the bed and began the Heimlich maneuver. Pumping two cupped fists into the ceiling of his ribcage. She dislodged the vomit. The vomit plummeted all over the scroll of his artwork. He didn’t know what the hell was going on. He had succeeded, he really had. The photographer snapped only one photo at this point, at the point where Leon had vomited on the scroll and was in mid tilt, in the process of falling off the bed. Falling off to pass out again.

Slightly aggravated, the photographer insisted that the two of them leave, that the work needed to be dropped off at the exhibition hall soon. They both decided to think Leon would be fine, that he would recover. They were correct in thinking this. Maybe Leon didn’t succeed after all. For that split second of conscious delirium he was bliss stricken. That particular stream of vomit was the first gold he’d ever produced. If he had the use of his arms he would have swung out for it, to catch it and bath in it. To try and swallow it, to choke again and again.

The surroundings had changed - the room had changed. Gwen was still missing. Leon was waking up for good. His stripes were gone, a little pile of glass stood on the carpet. He was sore. His arms and legs, all his joints ached when he began to use them. Seeing the glass immediately reminded him of Gwen. All of what had happened to her. Then he saw the shit between his legs, chalked in there, around his genitals. The piss too, he saw the stain. Struggling to his feet he looked for the spoon. Found it, and was confused by it. It looked like there was food stuck to it. Something didn’t seem right about it. Regardless, he sat back down on the bed, spoon in hand. Started to scrape the shit off his skin with the spoon. It came off in little curds, sometimes with pubic hairs tangled amongst it. Leon finished the task and cupped the shit crumbs in his hands and dumped them into the bucket. Then made his way over to the glass, he put that in the bucket too.

Pulling his pants back on, and walked out the door.

The hospital was across town, Leon knew the way. It was a week ago that he carried Gwen there. Since she was bleeding and all. He carried her the entire way there. Dropped her off at the emergency doors and began to feel strange. He began to have feelings; DESPAIR, FEAR, COMPASSION, HONOR. So on and so forth he had a panic attack. The kind of panic attack that you don’t really give a fuck about. The kind that lets you walk around a city - day and night, eating the air. Letting it all hang out. The kind that leaves you a wreck, shitting yourself and sleeping two days straight. Anyways he was heading to the hospital, to check on Gwen. Or at least to pick her up and place her back where he found her.


Showing up on the hospital grounds. The weather played a role. It was sunny out. Old folks rolling in chairs or pacing in walkers smoking cigarettes. A man with tears in his eyes takes off his coat. People limping and coughing in most directions. Shirtless Leon felt comfortable with these surroundings. He sat outside the emergency doors finishing his cigarette. The doors where people really wanna go, the place they all really wanna make it out of. Running in, and limping back out. He peered through the tinted glass doors, behind them he could see the outline of Gwen. Gwen in the most beautiful gown he could imagine. The doors opened, some people escorted a young boy in a wheelchair out. As this happened he got a better look at her. She hadn’t noticed him, standing at some sort of reception desk – looked as though she was signing papers. Finishing the last drags of cigarette he walked in the doors. Coming up from behind her he could see the gown clear as day. All white with hospital insignia on the back collar. Her legs would have been exposed, he could’ve seen em if they weren’t bandaged completely. Standing next to her at the counter, she noticed him. The man on the other side of the counter looked up too. He searched the desk and handed Leon a set of papers. Leon looked to Gwen, She motioned him to attend to the papers. He signed the papers stating his involvement with Gwen, that he was indeed – her live-in boyfriend, a valid effort to get her out. All papers signed and handed over. They were free to go.

Walking slow out the doors. Heading home. Gwen stopped for a moment. Sitting in the grass just off the sidewalk. Leon sat too. He lit two smokes in his mouth, passed her one. Sitting there, she began to unwrap one of her legs. Leon felt himself put an arm on her shoulder. He must have had the desire to do so. It took her about ten minutes to get all the white tape and bandages off. A real sight to be seen. Leon noticed that the stitches looked like the fur of an arrow. Removing his hand from her shoulder, he gently glided it from foot to hip over the stitches. Each slice had about 15 little whiskers peeking out to the day. For the first time since he came to meet her, Gwen looked to Leon. Gave him a good long look with both eyes. Both eyes, real eyes, they were vacant. Gwen’s vacant constipated eyes. Leon didn’t like to see them. With his eyes he said ‘what the fuck do you expect’.

Pulling out a handful of grass. He looked to his hands. Guessing he had likely 80 little green blades in one hand. He pulled another handful and rested its contents in the lap of her gown. He did the same with the first fistful. Then he started to rest the blades on her leg. The green of the grass, masking the curdled blood and the stitches a little bit. He kept on doing this until she had a little green blade for every cut. Then he stood up and started to walk down the street – towards the room. This was all he had. This was him noticing, this was his compassion. She stood up too. Walking behind him the entire way home.


An opium pipe on a sunny day. A sunny day is nothing in a white room. An opium pipe in a white room between Leon’s fingers. The stereo on again – classical music again. Gwen was there too. Looking at things, the blank walls, The bucket full of shit dust, a yellow stain on the bed. Leon pacing, pacing and kicking that spoon again. Compassion was around him, he slouched on a wall. A fresh blank wall. Hardly wondering where the stripes went, he touched the wall – massaging it with both hands. The bowl had been smoked. The ashes of which mingled in the bucket. Placing his hands as high as he could reach them on the wall. Applying all his pressure to the tips of his extended fingers he smoothly dragged them down the wall in a bit of a swaying pattern. At the foot of the wall he fisted both hands, then began to roll his knuckles up the wall. Both hands at the same time, all his love could have been expelled here. Wishing he could waste it all on the wall, he just continued. A white neutral wall, changing no colors at all accepting all Leon had to give. He got what he thought was it all out, after hours of massaging the thing. Now there was a distinct pattern of fingerprint oil and dirt. Running up and down the wall like a path. A path where someone had been.

Then came the head. It sat atop Leon’s shoulders all his life… he paced away from the wall. Turned around, bent his skull down and charged the wall. Contact was made, a beauty of an announcement. Skull completely submerged in the sheet of drywall. Breaking up just enough space for his headache to continue in another room. Feet still on the ground, body bent at the waist, torso pointing to the wall, head through the wall. He could still hear the music playing. Throbbing head, a little stream of blood traced through his scalp and streamed to his eye sockets. Letting his legs give out, gravity came alive once again. His body dropped a couple feet to the ground. Knees on the carpet, his head was in far enough that it didn’t come out just yet. Though his neck had ripped and torn a wide line down the wall from the initial point of entry.

Gwen took him by the shoulders and pulled his head out of the wall. He came out pretty easily, and was reborn to the room. Dazed, bleeding, and high. She lowered him to the carpet. Gwen was beginning to understand him. He never felt so neutral, so content. She never felt his body so loose. He was smitten with something, something that was now beyond himself. She moved away from him briefly, to remove her gown. To make herself applicable, she held it like a cloth in her hand and brushed the dust and the blood off his face. Then she tossed it in the bucket. The bucket that could hold so much, the bucket that was the pit of their projection’s discharge.

She decided to leave him be and retreated to the bed. When she first noticed the piss stain on the bed, she didn’t think about her. She didn’t think about a week ago when she passed out in the same bed. Bathing in her own blood, didn’t think where it went, but she did now. Just for a second. Leon’s piss had reminded her. His piss and her mortality. They scolded her all about mortality in the hospital, she had no defense to them – nothing they wanted to hear. That’s why they kept her so long. But really, she had no defense to herself, and the rest of ‘em didn’t either. No one has a defense against mortality; it just happens – goes without saying. She fell asleep to this thought.


It was the day of Carol’s exhibition. Gwen had woken up, she’d had a good sleep. Carol wasn’t around. Leon was in the bed with her. He was laying on his side near the edge of the bed, he was still asleep. She laid in bed for about an hour, looking at the walls familiarizing herself with the room. She was home. Spotting the hole in the wall from Leon’s head, she wondered how he was doing. She didn’t want to wake him. Instead she got out of bed and dressed herself. Wondered about the room for a bit and began to tidy up the place, putting all sorts of trash into the bucket. Dusting off the stereo and straitening up Leon’s art supplies. Feeling content with the room, she left Leon there. Out the door and into the streets. The weather was cooling off, it was the season called Fall. She saw people doing people things in the street, starting cars – taking out the trash. Cars moving slowly down the neighborhood street. Some of the people were merely walking around, just like her. She liked these people, and decided to keep an eye on them. Most of them ended up getting into cars or walking into different office buildings. She continued to walk. She found herself walking across a bridge that stretched over a river. It was a wide river and along with the flow of water came sharp winds. She stood on that thing and watched the motion of it all. The wind blowing through her hair and up her sleeves. The motion was everywhere, the water, the cars on the bridge behind her. Even her, she was in motion too.


A white cloud began to form above them. It was white all around in a shape. Everybody looked up. The cloud looked nowhere it just looked like a cloud. Still. They all looked up. Leon, Gwen, and Carol were out doors looking up. They had created an era. An era that went without saying. It all just goes without saying. The projections, the drugs, the lines, the blood, the shit, the piss, the guts, all the eyes they had. Real eyes; a white cloud.


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