I slept horribly in this freezing apartment, air blowing on me in the dark after the hot shower that couldn't get hot enough. The towel I found in the closet was the next best thing to feeling good. The bed, while large, is repulsive with its thin blanketing. I am cold. The cat living here sits next to me while I try to fall asleep in denial of my discomfort, and as I wake repeatedly throughout the night I see its massive dark form a blob near the window, on top of dressers, elsewhere. Even I do not warm this bed with my body.
I wake up every hour until at 5am I decide to go to the kitchen, where the darkness is still dark but has never really lowered totally with Manhattan. I hope neighbors are not awake at this hour on a Sunday and angled to see into the apartment to see me nakedly ghosting through the rooms. I eat almond butter. I eat spicy peanut butter. I eat churned butter. The cream cheese in the fridge is not scallion, it's mold. The bacon is uncooked in shrink-wrap. There is chocolate protein powder that tastes like I have been shipwrecked and am lasting on provisions. I enjoy making do with having to scavenge my needs; there is always romance in an emergency. Your body just needs macros and calories, some which are better than others, but ultimately fuel is fuel if you are left for dead. Last night I was asked if I was OK. How are you doing? Do you need to leave? Do you want to leave? Are you OK? I was advised to have an emergency. I suggested pulling the fire alarm but even in jest I was thankful I saw none. I don't want everyone else to enter into my adrenaline rush. This was not an emergency. This was Saturday night and now it's Sunday morning and my needs have changed with the calendar.
My fantasy of being stranded on a deserted island would include coconuts and sardines, although I don't believe I could catch the fish. Pigs would be easier to hunt. Chickens would be unlikely to be found. Not all the grasses would be edible, if any. The chances of me becoming stranded on a deserted island are indirectly affected by the support and losses found on land. If I get a big job should I go to the island? If I lose what kept me going should I stay on the land? Isn't it funny that you cannot have island any other way than by saying is land with the sneaking slip-out of the s as in, the s is for me. S is for disabled viewing. S is for unflattering perspective. S is for keeping the horizon out of sight. S is for submit standby second selfish. S is for subject someone something. S is for substitute special satisfy. S is for sorry. S is for save. S is for save as new file format. S is for change.
I am listening to the zeal of the director eager to discuss his thinking and desires. I am listening to the wrap of the year's program, the final word. I am listening to the sadness as that sinks in, like a bruise developing. There is next year. I am listening to myself grow ready and eager to start on next year. I am listening to myself deny myself the truth of how long I have been gone, how many months at isolation. I am listening to myself debate if I should sneak into the other movie after getting onto the guest list, after meeting the director who I have met before, after my friend suggested to come and then to come out to the afterparty off Avenue C.
C is for can you?
I debate if I will see my friend at the afterparty and if I will see him after that.
Ultimately I go nowhere after. My feet are in pain, my head is still numb, I have not had any water. I decide to go home early and sleep. I get into bed at 1:30am but at least I am under two down comforters.
The director talking at the close of the night, the weekend's end, discusses his joy at having "met this location on Google" when talking about placement and the Internet and the shaping of the self through the world-wide exploration of the world wide web. He uses the word sensation. S is for sensation. It grabs me by the nape of my neck, standing to the side of the theatre. I am holding a microphone in my hand, long and dense with its stored energy inside; it is off. I check to make sure it is off. It is off in my hands and not repeating the sounds of my breathing or my heartbeat as I rest it on my breast plate. Nic Collins taught me to capture sound echoing off my bones when trying to record the sensation of the sounds of my own body. This microphone weighs to me a heavy sensation. When was the last time someone described to you a sensation without discussing tabloid gossip and medical symptoms? I think of how I would want someone to use sensation with me, in conversation. I just want it to come naturally, without poise without lying.
My thought breaks, I pivot memories; before hearing the director I had just described the sensation of how reading Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury for the first time had lit up my mind with recognition at the unsignalled breaks and multiple running thoughts at once, told through a lack of understanding by Benjy, the narrator as retardation printed as thought forms, the unreliable narrator thinking in handicap, handicaps lock. I had thought, when I first read him, that I finally understood my own thought processing a little better, the broken sentences, the malchronological tangents like listening to a crowd all at once and piecing together their sentences.
A sensation is the same as sex is the same as the physical spectacle of an emotional moment.
S is for spectacle.
Can a spectacle repeat or is it never twice the same?
I say my goodbyes to people with the envelopment of their bodies in my arms, their arms around me. What are they saying with the pressure or lack of pressure when they embrace and break from me, detach from me, I from them. It is the symbiosis of social cues: this is over. I am thanked largely and sincerely. I am told to come back. I am given countless emails. I am asked for my email. I am given several apartments for the night. I am told that I have gone "from black and white to living color." I am referred recommended forwarded praised. I am told the same endearment in many ways by many people by text, by email, by mouth: "You're doing great," and "You're doing so well," and "I care about you," and "I care that you are happy," and "Your happiness is important to me," and I wonder what my happiness looks like and what it transmits to other people without my asking or dictating in order to share its importance to someone else entirely, the importance over their other thoughts and feelings and people and selves. Is it a shape or a color or a living thing, is it a living thing inside of me, is it inside of me at all, or is happiness a thought on the same meter as the intangible in which case it cannot be measured in which case it is theoretical and therefore does not exist in reality? In which case it is not really. Is the use of the word really to signify that the subject is placed and is happening and exists in reality?
S is for regardless, as in, without regard.
S is for unseen, off-screen, unheard, untouched, untold.
S is for remembered fondly.
S is for exists really.
S is for nevertheless.