Thursday, August 6, 2009
Part 2 of The DAIZY Trilogy
3 short stories by Walter Cessna
Photographs of Brandon & Lindsey by Walt Cessna NYC 07
I wiped my nose with a dirty dollar bill that I found after I poked my hand into my pocket only to encounter a hole, a couple of roaches, a Bic that had ceased functioning a few years ago and not a single fuckin’ Kleenex.
The day wasn’t especially a great one, or a sunny one. Not even a gloomy one. It was just one of those days that float aimlessly with no purpose and isn’t that the best thing about a day like that anyway? Yeah, sure.
I didn’t exactly need to wipe my honker, but it was bleeding and the blood was getting on my new white shirt, so I rubbed the odorific George W. across my red smeared nose and tried not to drip any red drops on my once crisp Banana republic shirt that now resembled something from it’s bastard step brother The Gap after a dramatic discount.
It seemed to be happening all the time lately. I started the day looking so fresh and so clean…clean. I’m sorry Miss Jackson (hello, Outkast), but this is for real. I ended up a fucked up piece of blood stained roadkill. Yet somehow I always survived. How fuckin’ lucky for me. Yeah, sure.
The dollar barely soaked up anything, so I resigned myself to looking like a buzz saw victim and attempted to hail a cab during the lovely and extremely annoying early a.m. rush hour of NYC. Sixth Avenue and Fourteenth St. to be exact.
It seemed as if I had been standing on that goddamn corner for almost an hour when some poor fuck cabbie took pity on me and didn’t even seem to notice the fact blood was streaming out of my nose like molten lava.
Where could I go? My place was out of the question because Roger would be home and there’s not enough room in this story to even begin to explain that situation (although I can in one word. Tired. Tacky. Ok, two words. Bite me).
I had worn out my welcome at every single persons house that I used to call a friend and even the ones that used to admit being related to me. Even my own mother wouldn’t unlock the door of her condo for me, her only son. I used to be her favorite (pain in the ass, that is). Yeah, sure.
It looked like I had one choice. In order to get at least a good days sleep and get my shit cleaned the fuck up, I was going to have to lose a bit of whatever pride I had left and eat some pussy. Not just any pussy, mind you. This was prime East Village babe material that even a big fag like me could appreciate for her Russ Meyer proportions, attitude and un-adjustment.
Her name was Dandy Outlaw and she was at least forty-six years old, give a decade or two (or three, the way she looked). She claimed to be a very sassy thirty-five, but the coke whore wrinkles permanently etched stone like into her facial crevices was a dead give away to her true age. Add that to the fact that she liked to dress up as her favorite teen pop star Christina Aguilera, even though she had neither the bearings or the belly button to do it justice and you had the makings of a tasty yet tacky treat. Yeah, sure.
Back in my daze of San Francisco, we have a lovely little area called 6th and Mission, which translates loosely into “fifth gateway to Hell”. Dandy once called the entire block home and often made her presence felt, although no one was ever exactly touched by it, dear. She lived in a residential hotel, which was a polite way of saying “crack whore central”. I’m starting to notice a theme of double meaning without the excitement of an entendre developing here so I’m gonna quit while I’m ahead. Bite me. Hard. Harder! Thank you.
That was where we first met and if I could get my ecstasy stained brain to co-operate, I recall it was almost twenty years ago when I was still a ravishing yet terminally decadent twenty-five. I had a taste for badly lit bars in poorly determined neighborhoods, preferring to linger with those who had stopped mingling with the normal world a long time ago. Down here, at 6th and Mission, time stopped yet no one could stand still. Tweaking like fire flies without light and giving off a murky glow tainted by their own impending self-destruction. It’s inhabitants found it to be a happy kinda’ place, if ya know what I mean. A place that they called home, even if to others it was hell.
Dandy was a real bute, but no one else thought so but me. Funny, that’s how everything seemed to go in my life. Nobody else saw what I did. To me, the grotesque was intriguing. Mystifying. Unique. I loved that she had already ravished herself before the age of twenty-one and had every intention of doing even more amazing damage to herself. She was addicted to her own living demise, viewing the world through scum stained tears, hidden behind lead lined hoods masquerading as eyes. Yeah, sure.
Pretty grim picture huh? Not to get all Marilyn Manson on you or anything, but she was a poignant kinda’ chick, ya know?
There was an instant intensity between us even though we literally met by chance. I was visiting San Francisco after getting out of my fourth re-hab in NYC and was living with a couple of dope fucks on the lower Haight who sold wack mariujana to support their heroin habit. I hated needles but never saw a white line I didn’t want to suck, so suck I did. Frequently. Until I had become just as big a fucked up cheeba whore as they were and they had kicked my ass out of the house because I nodded off during a weed deal and the dude fucked my mans shit up big time so I had to take it on the chinny chin chin. Heh. Yeah, sure.
So I was fucking homeless for the first time in my fuckin’ life. Things had been bad before, but this was taking suck to a new low life level. So like every other down on their luck piece of shit, I wound up at 6th & Mission and as I crossed the street towards the one semi decent lookin’ roach hotel I ran smack into a retarded blossom of a girl, all spindly legs and long black hair with the ends dipped in blueberry syrup dye.
She’s adamant that it’s all my fault and I ain’t buyin’ none of her crap, even though it’s some pretty attractive looking crap. Next thing I know where spinning like tops, right in the middle of the mother fuckin’ street. My cigarette drops outta my mouth but I don’t give a shit and I look up at the sky and smile cause for the first time in ages I’m feelin’ spontaneous. Free. Fuckin’ fabulous and I ain’t even high. But that’s what always happened right before I was about to go on really bad benders. Lost weekend type of ordeals.
We stumble off the street and into a bar that would normally repel even a dedicated alcoholic like myself. She knows everyone and I begin to recognize a story I’ve seen a hundred times before. The former it girl. The one that got the cutest guy. The one who could handle her drugs and kept doing more and more of them. The one who lets it all fall apart in front of everyone and gets dirt thrown all over her pretty face. The one whose parents tell her to go back to her boyfriend, only now he’s living with her younger sister. The one who gets kicked out on the street and calls Wendy’s value meals dinner and sleeps in a closet sized room that rents by the quarter hour.
I was about to have blood on my shirt that day to, only I didn’t know it. Yeah, sure. I knew it. I always did, because trouble was something I courted more than the fiercest lover. The drinks pour down us like rain on a parched desert floor, hungry and desperate for more. We drank until the neon lights looked like the morning sun and we laughed until our bellies hurt so bad we thought for sure we’d puke. Yeah, sure. It was love at first sight and when she mentioned going back to her room and getting high, I was hooked. Line. Fucking sinker.
So back to the blood. Everything was going so nicely. I was loving life and it was loving me right the fuck back. We stumbled past the non-committal stare of the hotels desk clerk on our way up to Dandy’s room and the last thing I remembered before I blacked out (normal for a booze whore like me) was a strange painting on the staircase. Hung a bit ajar and streaked with an avalanche of dust, it was upon closer inspection a near perfect copy of Richard Avedon’s legendary photograph, Dovima & The Elephants. A painting of a photo that literally defined the state of style when it first appeared. I love the way she was standing, so regal, yet so correct, almost dancer like. Girls like that seemed like the perfect fit for me. Yeah, sure.
When I came out of my blackout, I was confronted by the sight of three naked bodies strewn about my own on a bed that normally holds one. I tried as gingerly possible to remove myself from the sexual jungle gym of the previous evenings distractions. No one seemed to notice that I was awake, so it didn’t even dawn upon me until I heard the croak of girlish distress emanating from a dark corner. Was that a love call beckoning me or was I still under the self-delusional grandeur of the previous days mutual soaking up of cheap, bottom shelf vodka?
A mixture of both it would turn out as my booze riddled mind tried to re-scramble the facts into a somewhat function-able re-enactment of my previously blacked out events. No, that was a true living human soul wailing to me from a distance. Suddenly my brain flooded with a million memories stemming from the past twenty-four hours. The endless bottles of Vodka, the sub street quality of the crack we smoked and the heroin we snorted to try and come down from the obviously crystal tainted cocaine that our fucked up selves had decided was important.
Dandy broke my train of thought with her increasingly panic stricken shrieks. It sounded as if she was burning in hell, so I dragged my bone white naked ass up, tip toeing as if on a crazed mushroom trip and trying hard not to dent the pretty flowers. Yeah, sure.
Sitting in the corner “kitchenette” sink, sorta half standing, half sitting actually, was Dandy, a look of sheer delight riddled with insanity spread like margarine across her white bread face. She was wearing my shirt and sure enough, it was caked in blood. Whose, we’ll never know, but that was enough for me. I headed back towards the other room, in search of my pants, or at least someone else’s when I felt something go ka-boing against my head. I spun around to see Dandy, who was hurling plates, forks, Tupperware…whatever the fuck she could get her hands on.
I laughed out loud simply for my own amusement. It certainly wasn’t entertaining Dandy. She was screaming at me now about how I had gotten totally fucked up last night and disappeared on her. When I showed up, the naked crew, still miraculously sleeping through Dandy’s outburst by the way, was with me. Two very cute boys and one short extremely spun out sixteen-year-old girl that had the words FUCK WITH ME & I’LL LIKE IT! written into the expression spread across her severely wide forehead. This girl had one big old fuckin’ head.
Dandy’s yelling again, but I’ve found my pants and a very nice black sweater that I’ll have to thank one of the sleeping brutes for later. Like, never. As I lace up my sneakers I spy a mini pile of semen splattered condoms, some speckled with the shit of a thousand angry fucks laying next to the bed on the floor. The night suddenly spilled back into my memory and the image of me snorting lines of dope off one of the boy’s ass as a very frustrated Dandy looked on. The short, scary girl tried to bring her into the picture, but Dandy was getting final cut. If I wasn’t going to fuck her, then nobody was. Especially this squirrelly lookin’ teenager.
In my drunken and drug fueled enthusiasm I had neglected to give everyone but my happy and horny little hostess a proverbial piece of my well-worn ass. The trio of supposed terror crashed after a few more lines and I proceeded to literally fuck the shit out of not just the two boys, but the girl as well. According to Dandy, that is. But I suspected it might be true. I had been accused of piggish ness before, but frankly, I was more amazed I had actually gotten it up for the chick. The wonders of booze and drugs never cease to amaze and disgust me. I walked toward Dandy and gave her a long, warm, hard hug that seemed to shrink both of us to the size of children eager and giddy with the impending day. Yeah, sure.
I ended up moving in with her that very day and for the next two years lived an existence that to this day I have trouble recalling. At least completely. I remembered the endless drama, the constant need for more drugs and her growing impatience with my faggot ways. She had gotten too ugly to get anybody to fuck her unless they were jacked up and desperate, which meant their dick was good for shit and the only way she was gonna get off was if she found someone that actually liked her. That’s me.
As it became increasingly apparent that things were about to get uncomfortable (Dandy had moved her new boyfriend/pimp/freakazoid into the hotel room and he wasn’t exactly what you would call the friendly type), I packed up my shit and hopped a Greyhound for the East Coast and hopefully a reprieve, even if temporary, from the past twenty-four months of dope deluded satisfaction.
Somehow, Dandy and I had kept in touch over the years and when I finally convinced her to move to NYC, she actually took me up on the offer and proceeded to move into my apartment (which I was sharing with Roger, but remember, that’s another story) for the next five months. That was almost ten years ago. Since then, she had blossomed into a self-imposed role of sex goddess to the East Village minions who worshiped her, although not all for Saintly reasons.
She had an apartment; a typical Manhattan roach pit disguised (badly) as a “functional yet funky studio for modern gals on the go” and even managed to remember to feed the four stray cats she adopted when she first got here “cause they looked depressed” (although they mysteriously disappeared about two years later). The only place Dandy was going to was straight to the bar. Although she “said” she had given up her drug addled ways, she more than made up with her alcohol consumption, which at this point, was legendary amongst even the old timer alco’s who got to the East Village bars exactly when they opened at 8am.
So here I am, sitting in the back of a cab with blood still streaming out of my nose, but I ignore it and get off on the sensation of the warm ooze dragging itself slowly over my skin and seeping into my mouth, mixing with the little saliva that I could actually muster in my increasingly dehydrated and deranged state. I sure wasn’t a pretty sight, but when I stumbled out of the cab in front of Dandy’s apartment building, I caught my reflection in a mirror and somehow convinced myself that I had it all together. Yeah, sure.
I must have blacked out while I was ringing the buzzer, because when I woke up, I found myself shivering my fuckin’ ass off on a jail cell floor with a pool of fresh vomit to my right and an extremely bizarre looking Indian wearing a turban wrapped like a cobra around his head to my right. He was chewing furiously on a pencil that actually looked like it might taste good. Shit, I was hungry. Where the fuck was I and how the hell did I get here? I couldn’t remember a thing except that every part of my body ached and I was also wearing a completely different set of clothes that I had never seen before in my fuckin’ life. Dan-dee, Dandy! Once again, I had fallen into her pot of black tar honey, only this time, I wasn’t even left with a sticky sweet impression.
The turban dude was looking at me all crazy like and I had a feeling it was time to sit up and act as if I was capable of taking notice of my surroundings. Unfortunately, my body didn’t react as fast as my brain and I slipped back on my own puke, which from it’s glistening on the cement sheen appeared to be a daring mixture of dark alcohol and chunks of citrus fruit. Pineapple, perhaps. What the hell had I been up to anyway? Hawaiian Scotch on the rocks? Who knows at this point. All I can think about is my one phone call and who might actually answer it if they knew it was me. Since that was an extremely short list, I decided to scream my bloody ass off for the guard. As usual, my Drano like wail of mis-contempt did the trick. A huge black whale of a man in a constricting uniform soon stood before me.
I tried to look as innocent as possible, even though I had just mistakenly slicked back my hair with some upchuck Hawaiian Scotch and had eyes that were more crossed than a dissed lover. Without even speaking, he unlocked the gate and motioned for me to make my exit. Feeling very Gloria Swanson, I made a Sunset Boulevard type exit, praying that I hadn’t shot somebody and let them drown in a pool (although, it was a fabulous moment in the movie). I was lead down a long hall and let through a series of electronically locked gates until I was standing in a room where my belongings were handed to me and I was told I could go.
Go? Where? I didn’t even know how I had gotten there. I looked into the plastic bag they had handed me and pulled out a thick, silver Rolex watch and a pair of very fierce Gucci sunglasses that were colored the shade of a lime atomic explosion. There was a set of keys and a business card. I held the business card close to my desperately needing glasses eyes and read the name aloud. Bas Samot. 5 Tudor City Place NYC Penthouse. 212-456-9872. Whoever the fuck this dude was, I must have ripped him off or something even weirder, which I really didn’t feel like contemplating so I Etch-a-Sketched my mind to a blank and signed the series of papers suddenly put before me.
I looked quickly at my charge and shook my head in disbelief. Drunken conduct and sleeping in a public space. But where did they find me? I tried to look again but the sheet was ripped from my hands before I could finish. The cop quickly shuffled me out the door and before I knew it found myself scratching my head and desperate for a smoke outside of the Fifth Precinct on Fifth St. in the East Village. Well, at least I was walking distance from Dandy’s pad. Time to get my groove on and just look what happens to be in the inside pocket of my brand new pants? A crisp one hundred dollar bill, which I immediately walked over to the liquor store across the street. I love convenience shopping. Yeah, sure.
New clothes, only partially marred with puke, money in my pocket, a fifth of Sky Vodka in my hand, already splashing against the back of my throat and some seriously trendy sunglasses to wear even though it would soon be night. Only the God’s knew for sure, but I had a feelin’ a sleazy lil’ devil named Dandy had a few ideas as to my newfound enrichment. I turned the corner of 11th St. and 2nd Ave. and walked two blocks down to Ave. A, where I found myself for the second time in twenty-four hours ringing the bitch’s buzzer. Only this time I didn’t black out and I heard the familiar croak of a voice scarred by cigarettes and fruitless semen. It was Dandy.
Her building was one of those typical about to crumble down on all it’s inhabitants affairs and the semi fresh layer of paint already peeling off the hallway walls looked to be the color of picked dandelions that had never seen a vase of water. The color underneath was even more baroquely garden-esque, a pastiche of weed like shades decayed over the years until each layer of paint had faded seamlessly into the other. I climbed the steps until I had reached the fifth floor landing and the entrance to the roof top apartment. The door swung open as I was about to reach for the knob and standing before me was Dandy in all her tainted, radio activated looking post nuclear glory.
She was wearing a long, yellow, ruffled flamenco dress whose polka dots had probably jumped off in fright when she had slipped it on. It was torn at it’s hem and dipped scarily off to one side of her shoulder, exposing a collarbone that was as ragged looking as the dress trying to shield it. Her barefoot toes were like gnarled little worms; each ones head sticking in a different direction and colored an unfashionable shade of bubblegum pink that was chipped to near imperfection. They were studded with cheap, dime-store rhinestones that were dull with dirt and had lost their sparkle along time ago.
Her face looked as if it had been painted into a permanent mask, air brushed like a bad Patrick Nagel painting that had been hanging in the sun for decades and hadn’t seen a dust rag since then. A joint dangled from her lips, although it’s ember had faded and the last remains of a cough drop martini (Kettle One Vodka mixed with a smidge of Jaggermeister and a dash of pancake syrup for good measure) dangled precariously from her long, extension cord like fingers that hadn’t dropped a glass of booze in years. Her hair, dyed tangerine (in good light), was fumbling its way around her face like it had never seen a good brush out.
She smiled broadly at me, not a single trace of irony evident on her face. Dandy knew I would be full of questions and she also knew that I hated to be fucked with, but as she produced another cough drop martini from behind her back, I sucked down the remains of my own bottle, grabbed the glass from her hands and saluted her as sincerely as I could. No use in wasting good hooch and no use in prolonging the inevitable escapade our soon to be drunken shenanigans would find us embroiled in. The martini flowed like a long winding river down my throat, coating my insides with a false protection and an inner hope to escape the hostility that would later accompany it. It always did. Yeah, sure.
The rooftop apartment was hardly what I thought it would be. Not as small as she had said and a lot groovier than Dandy was capable of. It was a single room with a make shift kitchenette in one corner and a closet sized toilet and shower in the other that was partially hidden behind one of those tacky, Japanese looking screens that you bought down on Canal St. before it actually turned into Chinatown. The only two pieces of furniture were a huge, expensive looking and most likely hand carved Mahogany bed that was shaped like a broken heart and randomly covered by a half dozen or so thread bare comforters that would have seemed more at home in some old hippie chicks house.
An antique rocking chair permanently shifted back and forth in the drafty room, secluded in the only other free corner, it’s feet littered with dozens of magazines and puzzle books. Funny, I had never thought of Dandy as an earth mother type, nor a sentimental granny, rockin’ in her retirement chair, but I guess even demented souls like her deserved a break, even if their usual one came from Mickey D’s. Yeah, sure.
It was the day that the whole world went away (thank you Mr. Reznor) and I stopped so time could catch up with me. The room seemed still and Dandy finally opened up her mouth after what seemed an eternity. She said that it was about time I had shown up. She had gotten herself all dolled up, just for me mind you and she wanted to take me out to dinner and then to the Holiday cocktail lounge on Saint Marks for a drink or ten.
I put my hand to her mouth and walked her over to the bed where I sat the two of us down and pointed out my new clothes, the watch and my Gucci goo’s. I pulled the remains of the hundred out of my pockets and the business card as well. I looked her as squarely in the eye as my confused mind could muster and asked her what the fuck had happened to me and who the fuck this Bas Samot dude was?
To which she casually replied, wiping a stain of Jaegger-syrup from the corners of her now upturned and mischievously smiling lips.
“He’s my brother.”
“Your brother? I never knew you had a family and shit. Why’dja keep it such a big secret?”
“Everybody has secrets. Mine happen to be my family.”
“Well are you going to tell me how I ended up looking like a reject from a Details fashion shoot or not?”
“Not. It rhymes with twat, which if I recall, you’re probably still not featuring.”
“Yeah, sure. Let’s not get on that subject again. It’s tired and so am I.”
I got up and walked over to the rocking chair, laughing softly to myself at the absurdity of the situation and it’s strange appeal suddenly taking hold of me. I wanted to know more, but I also wanted to sit down in that goddamn rocking chair and numb my brain out with the roach I had just spied sitting on it’s arm rest. So I did and royally pissed off Dandy in the process. If it hadn’t been for the cell phone ringing on the chair under my just sat ass, things might have gotten ugly. I pulled the phone out and flipped up the receiver.
“Daizy?” It was a man’s voice, but his request had me puzzled. Daizy? Who the fuck was Daizy?
“Who is it…”Dandy asked.
“It’s someone asking for Daizy,” I replied, feeling more and more skeptical the longer I stared into Dandy’s widely expanding eyes.
“Then give me it,” she barked as she grabbed the cell from my hands. “It’s for me.”
“For you?” I asked, rocking forward in the chair and leaping to my feet as Dandy sulked away and mumbled something into her cell. I spun her around and knocked the phone out of her grip. “Who are you?”
“I’m Daizy,” she said, scurrying for the phone on her knees and throwing it down in annoyance when she realized the caller had hung up.
“That was my brother Bas. You’re wearing his clothes. That’s his watch and sunglasses.” She was upset, yet I couldn’t figure out why. Maybe it was because I was just as in the dark as she seemed to be.
“Why am I wearing your brothers clothes and why is he calling you Daizy?”
“Because that’s my real name and after the shit we got into last night, you’re lucky to be wearing clothes at all!”
“What shit are you talking about?”
“Listen,” Dandy or Daizy, or whatever the fuck her name was said as she was started to gather some things into her bag. “I have been on the run from my sick ass brother for almost two weeks now. The only reason I had his clothes was because they got jumbled in with mine last time I was with him.”
“Why are you running away from your brother?” I asked, more curious than I had ever been about anything in my entire life, including whether or not Brittany Spears tits were real or not.
“Because he’s wants to kill me…”
“Kill you? What the fuck for.”
Dandy stopped what she was doing and slowly faced me. She was crying, green emerald streaks of mascara Ozing down her cheeks.
“Because…he’s in love with me.”
“Why is your brother in love with you?”
“Because twenty years ago, I was in love with him…” Dandy started to sob and threw her-self down on the bed. She reached under the pillows and pulled out an orange suede satchel that she stuck deep into her bag. She got up and took my hand, leading us slowly towards the front door and hopefully an answer to this weirdness that had once again invaded our lives. Yeah, sure. This was fucked up and I was not featuring the idea of someone’s mysterious past suddenly catching up with them and dragging me down into the sewer along with it.
We raced down the stairs and hopped into the first cab we could catch, unsure of where we were going, but suddenly happy of our friendship and the false safety we sometimes find in others. Yeah. Fucking sure. This was the beginning of a new adventure and both of us were charged with the excitement of where the next day might take us. We looked behind as a sleek black Lexus pulled up to Dandy’s apartment building and a frustrated man dashed out and burst his way through the front door.
“Driver?” I asked as we turned the corner and narrowly avoided a fate I knew not how horrible might be. “Can you stop at the first liquor store you pass once we’re about one hundred blocks uptown and on the West side from here?”
“No problem,” a black spectacled grandpa in a tartan vest with cherry cheeks and an apple blossom smile replied.
“I know what it feels like when ya need a drink,” he offered.
Dandy and I both looked at each other and laughed.
“Yeah. Sure,” we giggled and then fell back into the seat and got on with the business of the rest of our life, which knowing us, would probably be colorful, fun and profane, glazed like a ham with a succulent nuance for counterfeit astonishment and un-meaningful innuendos spiked with pitiful revenge. We loved ourselves for hating ourselves and everybody else in return and deserved to outlive every bad fortune that was spun our way.