Is This Desire?
Yeah it’s a full moon again and it seems to be workin’ itself towards being on the crazy downside and I’m out in the alley in front of my building working on my car’s pesky exhaust leak. When I feel someone pass behind me and I look up to see the back of an extremely tall woman wearing only a leather jacket that barely covers her ass and these impossibly elevated red high heels and from my point of view down here on the ground she appears to be seven feet tall and most of her is ebony legs. Yet when she reaches the front door of my building she gracefully turns her head in my direction catching me staring at her and says “Baby, ya got yo-self a monster there” And I’m only assuming that she’s referring to my car whose engine is running and almost as exposed as she is with the hood up and a guttural growl coming outta the tailpipes. And with that said she disappears behind the glare of the illuminated glass door.
Of course seeing half naked working girls saunter across dirt parking lots is a bit strange; yet I’ve seen odder things out here. However it is only 7pm and the night is still young, even for a Monday night, and with the lunar pull exercising its sway on the neighborhood anything is possible. Except unfortunately it’s one of those evenings where I really don’t have any hopes or unrequited needs to fulfill and the thought of doing something out of the ordinary seems like too much of a scripted ordeal to bother with. So rather than think about it right now I go back to re-gluing bits of loose rubber around the hatchback of my car that are supposed to act as seals, thus keeping out that damn exhaust that’s making me hack out gloomy bits of my lungs. If I had wanted too I’d a kept smoking in order to do that. So why I gotta be cursed with carbon monoxide poisoning instead of fresh air and a bad ass car that leaks fumes?
Whenever I’m doing something like this mindless manual labor type shit I’m left to whatever thoughts invade my brain and what I’m pondering at this very moment is the horoscope I read yesterday that ended with: “Get ready for the second half of the best year of my life!” And I can’t help but think that if this is the best year of my life, well, I suppose that it suffices to say that I almost started crying after I read that. Because if this is indeed the best year of my life, then I might as well just give it up or at least bow out gracefully before I have to think about it any more. For I can’t remember the last time that I felt this irritable and discontent without the faintest idea of what to do with myself in order to not feel this way.
If this is the best my life has to offer, well….
It’s not like I haven’t gone through times of indecision before—like years ago when I was living in that crack-hotel on Folsom and working the nightshift at the insane asylum. And don’t let me leave out that I was sharing the room with Natasha, who had started drinking again, and would get plastered all night while I was at work, so that I’d come home to find her in our hotel room passed out drunk. I’d be exhausted from working an all night shift, not to mention the horrid rush hour commute home, and there’d be valiums and empty beer bottles on the bedside table to greet me instead of my girlfriend. As you may well imagine this was a really hard time for me as I was fresh out of rehab trying to decide if I was gonna try and do the right thing this time and stay clean or go back to using heroin and robbing financial establishments as an occupation, a career move that would have certainly left me incarcerated for the rest of my natural born life.
And I remember being in the car and thinking that I gotta get away from all this and it was this foggy morning and I was on the freeway driving through Daly City on my way back into town after a night at work and I really didn’t want to go home yet but I had no place else to go, and I was really depressed and being quite venomously negative about every aspect of my life; for it seemed to me at the time that I hated my job because I really hated working nights and never being awake or at the very least present for the day time; I wanted a new car not this battered Honda that I was driving; and I certainly wanted a better place to live rather than a dirty little room in a crackhead infested hotel. But most of all I wanted a relationship with someone that wasn’t drinking or using and who gave a shit if it bothered me. And right when I was at my most miserablist I looked out of the passenger side window and passing me with all its barred-windowed glory was the Sheriff’s bus from the county jail taking the day’s worth of prisoners to the Hall of Justice for their trials and court appearances. It took me less than a second to snap out of it as just a little over four years earlier I had been on that exact bus shackled in chains and going to court—feeling totally depressed since it was all futile fighting a three strikes case, so what was the use anyway if I was never getting out this shit alive!
And now just what was it that I was whining about here? After all there’s a guy on Bryant Street that dances and sings while he’s pulling out aluminum cans from greasy trash bins. And what about all those hippie kids in the park that give out free food to the homeless and expect nothing in return? Then of course there’s guys like the one that’s laying in the dirt not four feet away from me who when he finally emerges from his drunken stupor scares the living shit outta me because mistakenly I had thought him to be nothing but a pile of rags and garbage. Yet after I get over my initial shock and the guy stops laughing like a spastic hyena and uprights himself I come to realize that the whole time I’ve been working on my car he’s been right there in that ditch asleep. And so in some misguided act of compassion I give him a dollar so he can start his day of drinking, or to be more on the honest side, I give it to him so he’ll go away because he’s giving me the creeps.
And now, finally alone, I’m left wondering about the woman who trounced by earlier in that tiny leather coat and how I assumed that she was a ho. And do I really need to label her like that or is it just obvious and I’m only reiterating a fact that no one else would dispute? Just because she’s running around half naked on Perry Street doesn’t prove a thing because I’ve seen other women do that before. But usually it’s because they’ve been up for a week straight smoking crack and now they’re seeing bugs come out of their skin! But you know, come to think of it, I’ve never heard any of those women ever utter a complete sentence or a syllable for that matter either.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the moon is still full and up in the sky and the cars speed by above on the onramps to the Bay Bridge and as usual, now that the sun has set, the wind dies down as the night is settling in for its share of the day’s twenty four hours. In the end I do seem to encourage my suffering by what I desire, for if I wasn’t so hung up on the car I’d still be driving the dilapidated Honda as it was reliable, and who cares what it looked like as long as it got me there. Then I wouldn’t be out here all afternoon and into the night working on it. If I wasn’t so god damn picky or afraid to engage in a relationship again I’d a never been caught staring at a hooker’s ass or left with the lingering images of her legs, and these bitter memories of Natasha and me would somehow resolve themselves. Yet hopefully I learn form my past mistakes and also the ones that I’m currently making, so it’s with a bit of reluctance that put the car in gear and go off into the night in search of I know not what.