outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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05.21.04, friday afternoon

Oy veh. Yet again I've managed to find a winner of an employer, another severely mismanaged establishment, with three or four people calling themselves Boss. Although the upscale restaurant serves alcohol and food whose prices, per dish, would allow a homeless individual to sleep in a roach-infested bed for one night, we are lucky to see even low-traffic coffeeshop tips. Time to hit the pavement again.

Despite the poor tips, the workers seem unworried. I don't know how they make rent or why they are not restless. Oksana, a young Russian woman who recently moved to the US after meeting a military officer in South Korea ("just two hours from Russia"), says she does not worry; her husband works. I smile, my heart wry, and want to go home, quickly, and write.

. . .

After work, I biked home, cursing myself for submitting that one week's notice too, too soon and mulling over whether or not I should seek employment at the downtown micro-brewery or the upscale bakery in the City. In front of our building was an overturned semi, surrounded by fire trucks. Not as rare an occurrence as it should be, maybe once or twice a year. Pity the pedestrian who might find himself on the sidewalk at such a not-so-rare moment!

. . .

My key is in a very sticky lock this month; although the lock is hard to jimmy open, at least the stickiness is not from the blood of a naif at the mercy of the circumstances that has brought her to her fate like a gilt box of raspberry cordials to be unwrapped and devoured, carmine trickle running jowl-side.

Not that this is related at all to my co-worker, who was happily married in a Las Vegas hotel ("the one where Michael Jordan got married!"), in decolletage and long white satin train. I turn to the story of Bluebeard because of where I am from, what I am expected to become, and what I am always leaving, all the time, bound by a cord uncoiling from and recoiling to the mute woman imagined by people whose blood I share but whose vision I do not, a woman whose shape I will never assume. My heart is tender; it lacks the sharpness of a mouth or the calcium-rich nails of a hand that instinctively knows how to make itself into a fist.

So there might never be a final rupture with the past, or past expectations; I live in a present conditioned by anxiety, guilt, and unmitigated hatred for capitalism and the State. I'm so tired of instability, but what can I do? I wholeheartedly choose this life, my love, my love for a life not bound to a suit and a fancy ring and hopes for material wealth.

An un-american dream perhaps, but really a dream of expatriation from this war-mongering nation to a place I have not seen yet (and knowing that, yes, a City of Refuge may only exist as an infinitely tantalizing utopian idea in my lifetime), a dream of a sustainable rootlessness where I do not answer to anything but my friendships, my writing, my principles and my tried-and-true Love.


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