Twitter would be so much quicker, but this has to stay private. I’m neurotic. Nate found me, and I think everything’s going to be ok. I need to find Eve. She’s here.
Twitter would be so much quicker, but this has to stay private. I’m neurotic. Nate found me, and I think everything’s going to be ok. I need to find Eve. She’s here.
We went to the liquor shop and he parked the car to get that box of wine. I was a good 10 minutes away from Jack and Lillian’s (his older sister) apartment. It was going to be like old times, blasting the air conditioning with the fans to beat the heat that never seemed to ever completely leave their place unless it was pouring rain in the middle of Winter. Good conversation with the television playing in the background to aid whenever we ran out of subjects to talk about.
But when the wind pulled into the car when Jack opened the door it felt strange. I looked around me and saw nothing but the usual. At first I thought it was me adjusting to the area again, or perhaps that feeling that every girl gets in a car alone when entering a less that great area. I just couldn’t put my finger on it; it was are rare sort of strange.
“What is it?” When Jack returned, he was shaking his head throwing the boxed wine in the back.
“This crazy guy just kept starring at me with two gallons of milk, one in each hand. He must of had some crazy munchies; he had the biggest circles under his eyes and he was dragging his feet like some B movie zombie. Late night raver I’m guessing, crazy streaked bleached hair wearing all black with a trench coat in this weather. Even had a Paul Frank bag.”
“You… saw… him?” Was I hearing right? Other than the zombie-ques appeal I only knew one other person that might fit that description. Tears, started to fall without me noticing.
“Yeah, in the liquor store behind me when I was paying. Crazy stuff right?” He started the car and pulled out. I gave him no reply, I felt like I was in two worlds at the same time.
Out the window was Art. I saw him. And I wasn’t the only one that did. Art was real.
“Stop the car.” I pleaded to Jack.
“You alright Bright Eyes?” Jack called me that again. Seems like my signal’s of friendship were not clear. This was wrong, completely wrong.
“Stop the car PLEASE!” I was panting, trying to get the thick belt buckles loose on the old car. Jack finally pulled over and I quickly got out. If he hadn’t stopped I would’ve jumped into traffic.
“What are you doing!?” He was thrown off by my erratic behavior.
“I found something!” I started sprinting through the neighborhoods before I could even hear what he was saying. The traffic kept Jack from turning around and soon enough I was far into the night. He was real, somewhere in that night was Art and I couldn’t let him go.
At first I ran back to the liquor shop and asked the cashier if he knew where he went from the description. Unfortunately he spoke in an accent that was too thick for me, but he did point in a direction. I ran for what felt a good half hour without direction. I had no idea what to look for but what the Cashier had given me. I was doing so well until I felt the cement meet my shoulder: I tripped!
The cement had been lifted by a tree route in the narrow side walk. I felt the hot unnatural earth scrape my shoulder down to my wrist. When I got up I felt the sharp throbbing on my knee. The pain was so strong that I could barely walk, I had to sit in for a minute. I tried calling the mysterious 818 number again, it was the only hope I had left. It had to be Art, it just had to be!
“Yello.” A voice connected from the end of the phone. It wasn’t him.
“Hi, I got a call from this number a few days ago. I didn’t recognize it.” I tried with all my might to hide my despair; it resulted in sniffles.
“Eve, is that you?” The voice was hesitant.
I started bawling at the sound of my name. I was loud and lights in the apartment complex in front of me flickered on. I couldn’t help it, I felt like I went completely mad. The person on the other line hung up and I just got worse. I got up and tried to walk off the pain, no luck whatsoever. I was doomed, I thought.
I heard my name again. It was getting closer. I almost fell a second time when I heard the rusty apartment gate open next to me opened. A short broad fellow approached me, he was the one calling my name, a friendly face. Had I found my Virgil in this Inferno?
“Why are you in front of my apartment? Never fancied you as a stalker.” I took his hand and he helped me up. I winced as he accidentally touched my new sticky wounds. I stopped crying, but really didn’t know how to give him a good explanation.
We entered his apartment which was lined with neat beer bottles across the walls and patio furniture in replacement of real ones. It was a strange new world for me. I couldn’t help but ask.
“How do you know me, and have my number?” There was a silence as he paced through the kitchen putting away canned tuna and a new case of even more beer.
“Writing, we were in a writing group together at some time.” He said it in a shady tone. I was hesitant at first until I realized that a stranger couldn’t simply tell I was a writer just from looking at me.
“In college?” My memory needed jogging.
“Yeah! Creative writing. Great class.” I perked up at his response, I really liked that class…
“So why call after a couple years?” I asked him, it was all too curious…
“You really don’t remember me do you?” He came in on the defensive side.
“Sorry…” I felt like a total failure at this point. “Is there any way you can give me a ride home?”
“Sorry I use the bus, I was on the last route…” The room felt like it was slowly sinking, I didn’t realize I went silent… “You better clean those wounds, bathrooms the door on the right. You can crash in here for the night, I’ll ask a friend of mine to take you home in the morning.”
“Thank you…” I lingered.
“Nate.” He finished, and went to his room. Funny, I really don’t know a Nate one bit. I’ll ask Jack sometime… well…
No use worrying about it. I just wanted to write all this out as I’m finding it so hard to sleep. Talk about a horrible day, can’t believe I still have to go with Cleston to the Film Festival tomorrow evening. What a insane day…
At least Art is real. He’s out there somewhere, that made up for this whole fiasco.
3am already, going to try to sleep one last time…
These past few days have been quite the turn of events. So much that this past week has simply been a whirlwind and I can only now write about it !
The phone calls got more frequent, Jack was leaving voice mails, and they were not just the “Hi it’s me” kind. No they would go on with his stuttering (Jack always stutters when he gets nervous) about reuniting for a good cause and get cut off before I could quite understand what the fuss was about. Well, after a week of the banter I went to the mobile store and had his number blocked. I even celebrated and got myself a new book at Vroman’s on the way back.
My plan was simple, I wanted to curl up to a good book and my current tea fling (Jasmine w/Rose Mmmm) and finally fall asleep in sheer lazy bliss. You’d think that this would happen as there was a blocked number and I’m become quite the isolated character, but just as my eyes got heavy THE PHONE RANG ONLY ONCE! It wasn’t a number that I recognized, but it was from the same 818 area code as Jack’s. I was fumed, had he finally sink so low?
Overwhelmed with frustration I did what I thought I would never do again, I unblocked Jack from my Facebook and messaged him to stop harassing me for the sake of decency. He instantly replied. My heart stung seeing his face pop up with his icon. I felt a bit of guilt. I was a few days off before a year and six months since the break-up, talking to him almost felt like I was cheating on my decency. In the conversation he had one bit of leverage, Henrietta. Long story short, I agreed to meet him on our old campus in agreement that he would stop harassing me after I helped him figure this out.
I didn’t sleep the whole night, I didn’t even read my book. I felt terrible, weak, and a little excited all the same time. All of my self doubts and slightest second thoughts were going to be indulged in a couple of hours. In a couple of hours I was going to see all my hard work of staying strong crumble. I didn’t even bother getting ready, I slipped into my hoodie and flip flops, and didn’t bother to change out of my pajamas.
Walking on campus again felt like I was going backwards. It was early enough in the morning where the sun was just about to peak through the marine layer, and the sound of sprinklers and lawn blowers encased me from the urban sounds of the bus and traffic of cars. There he stood at the administration steps in his distressed jean jacket, gorgeous as he always was, like some hunk out of an 80s movie. He was obsessed with the 80s all the way to it’s fashion. It suited him well, as all I cared for was being swept away by the free spirited reject that he was.
…I forgot how good he looked in a tight clean t-shirt… freak.
…he even brought my Bavarian cream doughnuts from the shop near his house…
… the Styrofoam cup of Moroccan Mint tea had the words ‘I’M SORRY‘…
“Hey Bright Eyes.” He sighed, trying to keep from smiling. How dare he use my old pet name! It was almost instant that I remembered why I could never fully love him, his over confidence. At first I thought of it as a Marc Darcy and Elizabeth situation, but it never seemed to really fade. It wasn’t that he was never good to me, but sometimes when we kissed I felt like he was kissing himself, EW!
“Lets get this over with.” I told him.
I didn’t eat the doughnut, I tried to resist drinking the tea (but you know me and tea) which ended up to be me sipping it from time to time. He explained everything, desperate in his own way. There were times when he was running short of words and trust me, Jack’s a lyricist, there was definitely something wrong. He recently spoke to Henrietta, the girl that played matchmaker with us. Seems like she’s getting married! I had known Henrietta for less than Jack had, but were very close until she went to study abroad in England for a semester. That’s where she fell in love and has been in an online relationship with a guy for almost 3 years.
She invited us to the wedding. Yes US, the us that needs to die in soon-to-be a year and a half. Seems like the guy she fell in love with was the teacher. Its how she pulled the strings to stay in England and complete her major there even though her grades were sinking. Just as I was appalled with the thought of how many sluts I actually knew. I realized why Jack made such the effort to see me.
Henrietta swore that she believed in love again because of us and would kill herself if we ever broke up.
What else do you expect from an Emo/Goth Theatre major? The cutting was a nightmare, I won’t even get into her eating disorders. But Jack and I noticed something in the early stages of us getting together: she started to cut less and less and actually moved on. It was one of the reasons we were together for so long, I mean us as an item was actually a good thing. Jack lied to her that we were still together for this very reason.
Call it redemption for actually giving into my guilty pleasure, but I agreed that I would play along only if I was able to tell her after the wedding. Since he had no choice, he agreed. The ceremony is in late August at The Brewery where her parents live. I’m sure it will be nothing less of Henrietta, artsy and all.
Here’s the strange part: As we were about to leave, I told him I would agree to unblock his number if he promised to stop calling me on strange hours and different numbers.
“What are you talking about?” He looked puzzled. I knew he wasn’t acting, he was horrible at lying. His reaction frightened me.
“This” I showed him the number on the phone log. I felt my heart stop. Who else would have called me? It couldn’t be… could it?
Taking the phone from me, he put it of speaker and dialed the number. I couldn’t seem to fight him, I was dying to know who it was as well… The phone rang until it hit the voice mail; strange enough it was a song, recorded from something else.
“Who does that anymore? That was an early decade thing, haven’t heard of that since high school.” Jack laughed at first, but he started to hum the song. I knew what he was doing, memorizing the lyrics.
We Googled some of the lyrics on his phone, it was Bjork’s I Miss You (Remix) from her Telegram album. None of knew anyone that listened to Bjork, let alone extensively to buy this remake album. I begged him not to call it again.
“Seems you have bigger problems than Henrietta, a stalker. Can’t say I’m not jealous.” He taunted, I was too shocked he easily took me in for a hug.
As he disappeared I realized I was eating the doughnut, stress eating. No wonder he was making fun of me. Still, I couldn’t deny the truth. I was losing my control, and a fragment of my reality was unraveling before my eyes…
I had to see a friendly face. Nate’s always been there for me, when I needed a good boost. He lives only by the next city, and his apartment looks exactly like mine, but with his stuff…and lots of alcohol. I’m not a drinker, never was – WAS, until I met Nate. He’d always pass me these mixes he learned back at New York, and he’d make them hard. My whiskey was always neat, Vodka had to be pure, and Beer had to at least be Amber. He never held back.
Today, I expected to get drunk. This was Nate – a good friend, and a good Bartender. I told him my story, Miss 626, and the poem… The whole thing was a long howl for me. Edgar Allan Poe would have raised from the dead just to laugh at my misery, I swear. I murmured, grumbled, mumbled, fumbled, and cried on his table. I asked questions: rhetorical questions, obvious questions, tangible, intangible, hypothetical, and theoretical conundrums. I could have gone on, talking like some bad American Jane Eyre movie remake, but Nate had to refill my cup for the fourth time. The effects were amazing, I was swirling between each blink, my vision blurred and circulated like a kaleidoscope, strumming my voice like an old cord — sending my confession without a conscience. I had to ask what was in it.
“Water”, he said.
What-the-fudge??? I couldn’t believe it. The rule of thumb when coming to his place is you always leave Irish. Today was not one of those days. I felt ashamed at the tolerance level I had for this faucet water he served. The liquid had a nasty taste to it. But just like that, I knocked out.
Four hours later, he explained that I was dehydrated, and suffered from insomnia. I would have argued, but he reminded me that I’ve been staying up for three days already, preparing for that Grant, obsessively. He knew my situation better than anyone, and because of it, he had no patience for my whining. He told me frequently that I was always demanding for attention, as an Artist. He says that I needed an outlet beyond my Artwork. We’d go for drinks, but I think that’s when I started the habit of returning this his place every week. The alcohol put me to sleep easily. And it’s been three days since, and I’m still sober.
Nate only had one clock in his apartment, and that was my cell phone. He usually relied on his gut to tell him everything, and for some weird phenomenon, his gut was always right. This time, it told him he was late, and according to my phone, it was right. With a cracked iPhone, and a dead computer, he was removed from society…since last Tuesday. I was his only friend…outside of Facebook.
He was almost out the door, when I awoke, running late to work, and demanding that I try the new Duchess De Bourgogne lying on his counter. He’d offer a Jameson, but he says I needed to eat before I try anything hard again. To eat, really? As if Beer can feed a starving heart. I took a swig of that bottle, and for once I actually got to enjoy something different. Is this what wine tastes like? I thought to myself.
The door closed behind Nate about ten minutes before I took my sip, but he returned to conclude my visit early. He wanted to say a few words before he took the bus to work, and realized that staying over his place would compromise his new collection of Beer, thanks to my new ailing self. He didn’t trust me.
We didn’t really say much waiting at the bus stop, but right when the 90 arrived and opened it’s sliding door, he threw my Duchess in the trash, slapped my cheek, and told me “Call her already.”
He handed me my phone back (ironic that I didn’t even notice he had it at all), and left me alone, next to a dirty old bum, wearing the same gray shirt as me. He said his name was Arthur, and he had been waiting for the bus for six years. He started laughing, crying, and fell asleep, exactly where he was – snoring life away. Poor Arthur… I looked at his shirt, found the same logo on mine, and prayed he wasn’t some future-me, sent by Doc Brown. A Flux Capacitor couldn’t be far behind, right?
I checked my fingers, and her number was gone – ALL GONE! It had to be Nate. It had to. My tempered flared, and I was almost ready to slap him back for screwing with my digits. Call her back? With what number, Fathead!? I looked at future-me, and calmed myself down. I thought about walking back home, and not wait for the bus; but right when I turned away the snoring homeless guy, my pocket vibrated. I checked my phone, and I noticed I had one missed call. It was Eve.
My name is Art, and this is my first log. I’ve never really wrote anything outside of college. I feel like my cherry’s popped, a second virginity to something I thought I knew. It’s different when it’s not for a grade. Different, like that girl I met yesterday. The reason why I’m writing…
Before this, I was recording at the Huntington Library, where they have gardens from all around the world…or at least gardens that mimic what’s around the world. It was nice seeing the view. I saw Asian and European gardens, the ducks were interesting to shoot, and the Chinese garden was enough to keep me staring for days. I roamed the fields, crossed each bridge, and passed under every tree in the entire property. I had everything to start my own documentary, if I wanted to. Everything but the Shakespeare garden.
It takes me a while to digest everything in, being a visual person, learning had always been difficult blind-folded. Some would consider it A-D-D, others think it’s a stubborn trait of mine. Personally, I think that if there were no pictures, then it never happened. Books are another topic though. But among everything yesterday, I have to admit I wasn’t so much as intrigued by anything until I reached the Shakespeare garden. Not because it was small, or lacked a garden past its moat, but because I found her.
You remember that feeling you got when Romeo first set eyes on Juliet, how being in love was so mystifying that you couldn’t wait to be there someday? It was like that, except I was a Deer staring at headlights, looking for an excuse to just sit next to her. It’s no poetry, but Portho’s sounded just as good. She smelled nice too, a familiar scent from this occult shop in Magnolia Blvd, down at Burbank.
We might be meeting soon. We will be meeting soon. In fact, we’re hanging out. it’s a date.
I have her number…and I forgot to write her name down.