A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

(((((( I CAN’T BE SURE, BUT I THINK I WROTE THIS THE DAY AFTER NICK AND I SLEPT IN A BOMBED OUT CAR SOMEWHERE IN BROOKLYN. NEITHER OF US HAD ANYWHERE TO GO, AND WE SPENT THE DAY ASKING PEOPLE IF WE COULD USE THEIR PRINTER, HANDING RESUMES TO HARDWARE STORES, DISLOCATING MY SHOULDER PLAYING STREETBALL AGAINST KIDS AND ULTIMATELY DRINKING VODKA WHILE WE TALKED ABOUT HOW FUCKED UP OUR LIVES WERE. I’LL NEVER FORGET HOW EARLIER IN THE DAY NICK THOUGHT IT WOULD BE BETTER TO STASH HIS JACKET UNDER A GARBAGE CAN INSTEAD OF IN A BUSH AS I ADVISED. I’LL NEVER FORGET THE LOOK ON A DIFFERENT HOMELESS GUY’S FACE WHEN DRUNK NICK RANDOMLY WALKED UP TO A BUSH AND MIRACULOUSLY PULLED OUT A JACKET. NONE OF THAT’S IN HERE. I’M NOT EDITING ANY OF THIS OLD WRITING, SO IT IS WHAT IT IS. FUCK EVERYTHING…))))))))))

But don’t just fuck anything. Wear yellow robot rings and go to church. When they ask you if they can say a prayer for you, tell them no. Then watch a motorcycle accident, but one where everybody is okay. Carry baseballs. Kiss girls you don’t care about and don’t call the ones you do. Nap in hammocks and find no home. Be who you thought you were to be and nothing of the above.

Henry Miller stopped editing. I wish he would edit me. What should I keep, Henry Miller, which of these words?

“None of them,” he would reply. “Rip them up and throw your manuscripts into the wind! Leave each sentence cast molded like Pompeii. Cast the city in an iconoclastic flow! Take no prisoners, and be stark raving mad in lunatic jubilation, a professional psychologist turned psycho-killer. Be yourself,” he’d say emphatically, like he knew shit from shit.

The levels of things that have happened and will occur are not for the weak of heart. Nick knows. We are not weak of heart. We are alive, gushing, like Aztecs or maybe Mayans, biting their tongues out of insatiable appetites, never afraid, eating the hearts of our enemies, feeling the twitch of fresh muscle tissue pulsate against our taste buds, clump clump, the hearts of the unforgiven. We feast like pilgrims. We gush like Aztecs.

We die like warriors.

“What is the Klingon word for loneliness?” Nick asks in a fit of madness, laughing hysterically to himself like he alone knows. There is a look in his eye that makes me want to attack him with the closest weapon, possibly this pizza tray, or maybe fists.

“There is none.”

We are alone, and in that we have each other. Nick is worried that there is a Klingon word for loneliness. He says he knows it. “Graaradack.” He’s worried he might be misquoted. I have no such qualms.

We are homeless. We live in New York City and we don’t know why. Nick wants to be here, and I want to know find Henry Miller, dead, somewhere unknown, a question for Wikipedia or someone with an English degree. I said Montreal, but all signs point to New Orleans. Are we French or just stuck in the Bastille? Where is my Robespierre? Off with their heads.

Nick talks to pretty girls, pretty girls that I point out to him. He is a miraculous conversationalist. The words that come out of his mouth blow my mind, they’re that good. He could talk to anyone, just like Mr. Ed. It is his downfall. There’s nothing worse than being charming. It’s nothing but a crutch. It is our downfall.

Worst of all, it’s sometimes effective. The operative sometimes is operative.

Nick has gone to purchase cocaine but I refuse to move. I have nowhere to go, and no reason to leave. Did you know I write pedantic, like a backwards clock that keeps ticking for no reason? My voice is deadpan and my sentiment scorches anyone in contact. My voice is incoherent, but I scream and I scream anyways, like a tree in a forest. I am not afraid, I am petrified.

I plug in my phone but there doesn’t seem to be a reason to do so—nobody is calling me.

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