Counting Backwards Is Easier

James & I avoiding the storm

Your boyfriend has to DJ tonight and you will hang out in the background, sipping vodka-Perriers and dancing. When your friends will get there they will put their bags and their coats underneath the DJ booth and run to the bar to cash-in the drink tickets he will give them. You will hear that song you love and you will know that he’s playing it for you, and so you’ll lean over and kiss him on the cheek, but only on the cheek, and be careful not to leave lipstick marks. When Kendra did it, it was different. She’s a go-go dancer and it’s practically part of her performance. He only left it on because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She’s sensitive. Anyways, he loves the way you dance. You think that this may be why he noticed you 2 years ago. That and your green eyes. “Have you met Julie?” It’s the new girl. He says her name in french, the way you’re supposed to since she’s from Quebec. “We’re using her for the flyer this month.” You don’t hate her. She’s not his type. You’re his type. And she’s just being affectionate because she’s a little drunk. Anyways, it’s just a flyer. If he used you for the flyer it would be a little weird, so you won’t even bring it up. Hey, where did they go? Andy, his DJ partner, says they went to do a bump. You’re not jealous. You’re secure. You love this song. You really love this song and you’re dancing extra hard and you’re squeezing your eyes shut, but you can still see the color of the lights through your eyelids.

(re-written and edited in the part of the performance where Chili Gonzales stands on the piano and plays ‘King of Pain’ with his feet)

The Pathologicals

Ali

I have had a crush on you for almost two years. You were always “Dave’s girlfriend”. The girl with the pretty eyes, the pretty bangs, the pretty cheekbones and who was always pretty much in a relationship. Tonight you were standing alone near coatcheck, and I didn’t even notice you in this incredibly “fashion-conscious-party-traffic” until you grabbed my arm and yelled my name above the noise. I could tell something was wrong right away, but I ignored it and mechanically recited my “I haven’t seen you in forever” party script. You were a little drunk and your hands slipped into mine as you started telling me that you and Dave broke up. You leaned on the wall and said that it was nice to see me and that we should hang out more now and that you liked how I was dressed tonight. I suddenly felt this “horniness mixed with guilt” feeling– which I hear is a common wave of emotion amongst male “night-lifers” who aren’t sociopaths. But not because of Dave (he’s 34, he’s a rock star and he obviously broke up with you because he wants to bang more 20 year old chicks while he’s still almost young). No, I felt guilty because of Valeriae, the girl that I’ve been seeing for a few months. We still call it “seeing” to not jinx it. She is beautiful and commited and we may be soulmates, who knows? We’re at that point where we steal each other’s common phrases because we hang out so much, and obviously we’re about to use the L word any day now. Yeah, it’s serious. But despite all of that I can still hear myself telling you that we should go see Shutter Island tomorrow night. We’re sitting on the corner of the elevated dancefloor for 45 minutes, talking. I really feel like kissing you. You keep putting your head on my shoulder and going quiet everytime some drunk girl comes to talk to me. I really feel like kissing you. I think about Valeriae and how she’s been hanging out with this guy Thomas lately, you know, since I’ve “been really busy” and since, you know, “he’s obviously gay so it doesn’t matter”. I really feel like kissing you. I think about all of Valeriae’s other endless rationalizations and how they kind of piss me off. When I turn to look at you, you’re already smiling at me and your fingers tighten their grip on my hand and you lower your eyes and I notice that your hair has three different colors in it and that you look so beautiful with the multicolored lights illuminating your face.

(written on a napkin at Outback Restaurant on the verge of tears wondering if what happened was cheating or not and if anything would ever be the same again)

Costieres De Nimes, A Chiraz

Europe on $10 a day

You have a glass of red wine and you quickly forget your diet, your goals… and why you shouldn’t text him again… and that you were going home right after this… and that Thursday is your “party night”, not Tuesday… But the conversation is so intelligent and you’re getting to know these new people better and you never know when “party perfection” will strike like this again and “the iron is hot” right now and there are people paying attention to your shoes and your funny stories. Jessica is waiting for you to study but you can’t… you can’t possibly leave now. So you call. You shouldn’t have called. She hears your voice and knows you’re drunk and she’s upset. Oh and by the way, your parents called. And your ex called. Fuck. You need some coke. The promoter puts some on the back of his hand right in the middle of the dance-floor and you guys do a bump while Oasis is playing in the background. Now you’re sitting in a booth with a male model talking about fashion and about who is real and who isn’t real. You get a panic attack. You have to leave. You’re leaving. The club is packed, and you’ve lost your new friends and you can’t find your jacket. You start crying and a photographer takes your picture and you yell at him and people laugh and he takes your picture again and you jump into the nearest cab and your head is spinning so you put it back against the leather seat and you say… “Brooklyn.”

(written quickly after the tattoo’d girl left the Lit bathroom)