The September Project

Thursday, September 30, 2004

9.2.04--2:28 a.m.
(really 9.1.04)

first day at work since republican national convention
walked up 8th avenue
and was stopped at 30th street
and told to head up to 9th avenue
took 9th avenue to 35th street
and was told to go back to 34th street to head east.
once there the sailing was fine.
later on i went out to grab lunch
and it seemed like one of those august days
where a chunk of the office has gone on vacation,
only the chunk was almost all of the office.
tomorrow i'm taking a side exit of my building,
heading toward 9th avenue before they tell me to.

9.3.04--3:06 a.m.
(really 9.2.04)

my roommate Tom called.
he didn't have work tonight.
was i going to watch bush's convention speech on tv tonight,
could he watch with me.
i told him sure
and 90 minutes before the speech he's back in the apartment.
80 minutes later, bush about to go on,
Tom goes out onto the terrace,
hears the protesters in the middle of the three blocks separating
the apartment from madison square garden,
and says he's got to go, he'll be back in a bit,
grabs his reporters pad, and leaves.
i flip to watch bush's speech,
and 40 minutes later Tom gets back halfway through it,
as we open the terrace's sliding door,
helicopters and protestors joining the president.

9.4.04--1:51 a.m.
(really 9.3.03)

they've reopened 8th avenue
the Republicans gone to all points
there's still one police officer in front of an empty tent at 34th street
near concrete barricades ready to be forklifted away.
and the just ended four-day long convention
and Labor Day on Monday
has kept the neighborhood quiet this Friday.
Hopefully this weekend my complex's grounds crew
will remove the neon orange plastic netting that surrounds all of our grass,
the no trespassing signs,

9.5.04--2:35 a.m.
(really 9.4.04)

asleep last night at 3
awake this morning at 8
all day i need a nap.
figuring on taking one in the early afternoon,
but then i see that FX is showing a Beverly Hills 90210 marathon
including the Kelly Taylor gets raped and kills her rapist story arc
and the two-hour series finale.
so i lay on my bed and watch
until 6 o'clock when the 90210 marathon is over,
watch the end of the Rutgers-Michigan State college football game,
and set the alarm for 8:24 p.m.
before night time.

9.5.04--11:59 p.m.

i left the apartment today.
nathaniel came over
gave me pictures he had taken at my recent events
showed me others from his poets for peace reading
he mentioned dinner and a movie
and i checked the apartment radius
the two theaters on 23rd being as far as i'll go,
and it was garden state or brown bunny
and brown bunny it was
as the blow job film wins every time.
and dinner was out
as it was 630 and the movie was at 720
so i grabbed a two-liter bottle of diet sunkist,
threw it in my knapsack,
and we walked to cvs,
where he bought a coke and some milk duds,
and a huge bag of m&m's for me,
before we grabbed slices
at what used to be a regular pizza place
but has been chelsea'd up to be a brick oven pizzeria.
and then brown bunny.
i've only walked out of a movie once,
Top Secret starring Val Kilmer,
and if I didn't know that the end of the movie included a lengthy Chloe Sevigny on Vincent Gallo blowjob
I might've been tempted to now.
instead i sat through a movie that may have included 100 spoken words, if that,
and lengthy shots of Gallo's character driving his motorcycle cross-country.
Nathaniel and me crack wise to each other throughout the picture,
so do the couple in front of us,
the guy saying to his girl
"Vincent Gallo is so important."
And finally,
after he ends up in L.A.,
him and Chloe's character meet up in a hotel,
and she services him,
porn style,
topless, deep throat, veiny cock, and all.
I kept thinking while getting hard
I wonder what other academy award nominees for best supporting actress have given head for real in a movie,
i mean, other than meryl streep.
and then the film was over,
and we went to pee,
and i wiped a little precum off before i let loose.

9.6.04--11:34 p.m.

i called ray's pizza for dinner at 10 p.m.,
eggplant parmigiana with ziti and garlic bread,
and then resumed cleaning up the august project in quark,
and im'ing erica,
when i realized i changed my therapy appointment
from today, labor day,
to some time this week.
so i went to my nightstand
and grabbed my memo pad
and saw written down
Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.
and let out an ugh,
and a dinner's coming
and i'm eating two hours later
now that i'm going to bed two hours earlier,
hopefully, ugh.

9.8.04--12:17 a.m.
(really 9.7.04)

up as late as i can be in the morning, 815,
to still make 9 o'clock therapy appointment
no shower, again,
for ninth day in a row
so i put the clean black jeans back
and get the dirty blue ones
figuring no reason to put dirty body in clean jeans,
figuring i'll call the laundry later to wash these jeans and rest of my dirty clothes.
but at night i'm too tired to call the laundry,
after a labor day saturday into sunday spent watching all sorts of tv,
climaxed by a chips rerun until 530 in the morning,
and i realize that it's ok not to call the laundry
that the holiday weekend
and my exiting my home only once during it
has saved me two days worth of clothes,
two days later to call the laundry
(really three, as the outfit i wore to the movies on sunday with nathaniel
i wore again to work on tuesday,
excluding the boxers and socks).

9.9.04--1:50 a.m.
(really 9.8.04)

i took a nap after work
snooze alarmed for 40 minutes
and then woke to boog
working on newspaper while tv jazz or sitcoms played in back
grabbing some nonfat, plain yogurt,
throwing in some grape nuts and raisins for dinner
then printing out proof pages
cranking the tv jazz louder
and going to kitchen to mark them up
drinking caffeine free diet pepsi, a lime squeezed in,
eating the rest of the bag of grapes,
before readying for bed
to snooze longtime in morning
and then make changes electronically
and send to printer,
another issue done.

9.9.04--11:35 p.m.

for sander

they made me take a cubicle at work today.
i called my printer six times today
(i never call my printer six times).
i bought chips and pretzels and sour cream for dip,
and pepperidge farm chocolate chunk cookies.
erica kept showing me pictures of her with all the frogs in the office,
and stopped answering work questions that related to the recently quit rachel
as rachel will be in tomorrow,
and then erica won't be anymore.
andy roddick just got upset in the quarters at the u.s. open,
at 14, if that was mcenroe, i would've died
worn my black and blue nike tennis outfit to school the next day in memoriam.
i answered old emails tonight that i hadn't dealt with in a while,
searching my inbox for emails i'd preserved as unread
(though that's a bald-faced lie, a bald-faced lie).
after all the printer calls
who knows when boog city is to be ready,
though not to be distributed to my event tomorrow evening regardless.
and it's not the rabbits that fail me
or the beatles lyrics in the margins.
the milk tasted nice tonight
after having had four cookies dunked in it,
the milk tasted nice.

9.11.04--1:47 a.m.
(really 9.10.04)

time to sleep,
or get into bed anyway,
and channel surf for sports shows, ’70s reruns, and lifetime movies.
it's funny how when there's so much on your mind
you can't write about any of it in detail
the gloss:
may throw roommate out because he doesn't pay the rent so well
might've been rejected by a friend and found out on her blog
was supposed to read tomorrow, but never was told
my printer told my distributor i hadn't paid for the issue, although i had,
so she paid, too
the band for tonight's event didn't have their shit together, so no music.
it's time to sleep,
or get into bed anyway,
and channel surf for sports shows, ’70s reruns, and lifetime movies.

9.12.04--2:18 a.m.
(really 9.11.04)

if you play elliott smith's "needle in the hay" on permanent repeat
does that mean you want to kill yourself?

the royal tenenbaums was the last movie that i paid to see twice in the theater,
the first time in long island with my parents.
they got the headphones so they could hear it better,
but they were itching my mom's ears
so she handed them to me to hold.
when i heard "needle in the hay" come on,
during the scene in which richie tenenbaum attempts suicide,
i put the headphones on,
cranking elliott even louder into my ears,
it was one of my favorite movie experiences ever.
and then i saw it around the corner from my old apartment with risa,
and not since.
it's one of those movies i've refused to rent because i want to own it.
the only premium channel i get is sundance
and it hasn't screened there.
and last sunday it was on basic cable for the first time, fx,
but i didn't watch because there are some films you don't want to see edited.
and tonight again on fx
and i flip to it occasionally,
looking for the "needle in the hay" scene,
judging when it's going to take place by the hair on richie's head and face,
watching the film Pop Rocks on the abc family channel,
about a dad who was in a hair metal band in the early ’80s
but has never told his family
and now, 20 years later, he needs the dollars a reunion would bring
and is still trying to keep his secret.
and i wound up missing the elliott scene,
which is okay because i want to see it in the unedited, uncommercial interruptioned movie.
and i go to to look up something about Pop Rocks
and at the bottom of the page it says
if you like this title, we also recommend
The Royal Tenenbaums.

9.13.04--10:10 a.m.
(really 9.12.04)

mets game with Jean-Paul,
who i discovered friday night now lives in my city.
so nice to have poets who like sports, and who i like, in my city,
so nice.

9.14.04--12:30 a.m.
(really 9.13.04)

there's always that moment when you know it's time to look for a new job.
today, with the co-worker who answered the phone the most now gone,
i've been answering the phone more.
one bosses' wife called,
and the intercom didn't go through since he was on another line,
so i walked to his office to tell him.
and he thought for a minute,
and then he said to me,
"ask her if the call is important,
or if i can just call her back."
i'm not sure if it was when being told this information by this boss
or when relaying it to this bosses' wife
that i realized it was time to move on,
but i know i did
realize it.

9.15.04--1:33 a.m.
(really 9.14.04)

rent is due at my co-op by the 10th of each month,
carrying charges they call them, actually,
and then you get a small late charge after that.
my roommate has paid consistently late,
and i have sent those late charges his way.
and now i have a court date because of his lateness,
so my plan was to tell him yesterday that we needed to meet today,
me trying to figure out how to ease him out,
to exchange someone i know and like
for someone i don't who pays the rent.
and that evening an email from him,
saying he got the job at the new haven advocate
and will be moving to connecticut,
telling me he'll be staying until the end of the year,
so i'll get three months notice
and have ample time to find a new roomie.
today on the phone i tell him he can move as soon as i find someone,
no need to stay for three months,
me trying to get a steady payer in right away.
no, that's ok, he says,
he doesn't want to leave at all,
and don't worry,
he starts at the advocate in two weeks,
and the pay will be steady.

9.16.04--3:35 p.m.
(really 9.15.04)

how to write last night?
jazz in the background doesn't seem like it will match the violence
but i'm at my folks' house
and the only music of mine on this iMac
is Elvis Costello and the Attractions' This Year's Model,
which is getting me there.

any time there is a reason to visit my sister's family
we always worry
not because of her or my niece michelle
but because of their husband and father.

it's been this battle for years,
this wonderment as to why my sister,
this strong, intelligent woman
remains with this abusive man.
i've never witnessed the physical violence toward my sister
though she has told me it has happened,
but i have been attacked by him as he held a cleaver.

but the verbal abuse toward anyone in his path has been relentless.
last night starts with him drinking wine at the festive meal,
wait, i forgot to mention last night was erev Rosh Hashannah,
the night leading into the Jewish New Year.
so he's getting lit a bit
and then talk turns to my niece's Bat Mitzvah,
and how now you need to book the hall two years in advance.
So he starts talking about everything he wants to have at the Bat Mitzvah
--steaks, champagne and caviar, ice sculptures, a band--
and then my niece says she wants it to be a dairy affair,
catered by her favorite local appetizing store, Bagel Boss,
and with a d.j.

Now my sister was telling my niece that her ideas sound great,
whether she was ultimately going to finesse her in a different direction or not,
but her husband just started arguing with his 11-year-old daughter,
vociferously and non-stop,
it was like i was watching one of the many lifetime movie's i've seen,
only i've seen this one on permanent repeat for nearly 15 years.

My niece got all worked up,
crying and hyperventilating,
until my sister finally calmed her down.

A little while later,
my sister's husband went upstairs to bed,
leaving her to clean up after the meal for six she had cooked and served.

A little while after that he began yelling downstairs
"I don't want those motherfuckers staying here.
They better get the fuck out of here
or I'm going to slit their throats while they sleep."
It's hard to resist kicking the shit out of someone,
especially when you know they need a beating,
"He's pretty brave from upstairs," my dad told me.
I just realized that the only fights i've had since i was 15 were with her husband,
and how the last fight i had as a kid, at 15,
was because one of my classmates had called my sister fat,
and so, well, i kicked the shit out of him.

But see, here's the thing,
every punch in her husband's face
may translate to two at my sister,
where the bruises aren't visible,
once we leave,
so my father and i resist.

Then my sister asks us to stop talking,
for fear that her husband will hear something,
make it into something bigger,
and this will all escalate.

So her and her daughter instead tiptoe about,
gathering their things to fill overnight bags
so they can stay at our folks' house.

My sister's outfit slightly changed,
standing in the front doorway,
she yells up to her husband,
"We're leaving."
"Your leaving with them?"
"No, I meant they're leaving.
We're just gonna take a little ride around the block."
"If you side with them, if you leave with them,
you're never coming back into this house."

At this their daughter freaks out,
starts crying more,
has to be convinced that they have to leave,
and they do.

We meet in a local shopping center's parking lot,
her minivan pulling up next to my folks' Jeep,
where there's not much light,
and my folks convince my sister and her daughter that this is the best thing for them to do,
my niece michelle freaking out about maybe moving out of her town,
of losing all her friends,
my father whispering to me,
"They won't have any friends if they're dead."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

9.16.04--10:49 p.m.

last night i gave my sis and her daughter the room i normally stay in,
and slept in the den on the couch,
grabbing three awful hours,
if that.
an then everybody up early
to drive to my sister's synagogue for rosh hashannah.
and between the little sleep
and the prospect of dealing with her abusive husband,
i stayed in,
watching tv,
eating english muffins with cream cheese,
drinking store brand crystal light,
and taking a long afternoon nap
to try to gain back last night's hours that i never can.
my parents have lunch in my sister's backyard
so they can steer clear of her husband,
but he was inside so that didn't work,
like when he sprayed water into the bathroom,
and onto my mother,
from the backyard hose.
my folks came home
and over dinner they told me my sister was contacting a lawyer next week,
and is going to be staying in her house,
with her husband,
with the hope of getting him out of the house
and receiving support payments.
i told them i dont believe it.
it's the weird thing of wanting to be supportive of people,
how they ask you to be there,
and you are,
and then they say, my bad, everything's cool.
after awhile they become the boy, or girl, who cried wolf,
and you don't know what to do the next time they ask for help
only that you want to help them.
i made a pact with myself
to never be in a room with her husband again
and it's one i'll keep
regardless of what family functions i'll miss.
it's a little gift to myself,
and the only one in this that i have only control over.

9.18.04-3:30 a.m.
(really 9.17.04)

it was a lazy day for the kirschenbaum family today.
we didn't eat anything until noon,
and then, as it edged into my mother's soap operas,
days of our lives beginning at 1 o'clock,
i asked them if they were going to come downstairs,
meaning to the den,
to watch,
because when i'm home i like to spend the time with my folks,
even if it means soap operas as the white noise.
no, i think we're going to lay down for a while,
my mom said,
so i decided that that sounded like a good idea,
checked my email,
put the computer to sleep,
and turned the radio timer on for 45 minutes,
and listened to mike and the maddog talking about the ryder cup,
falling asleep before they discussed the yankee-red sox series starting tonight.

9.19.04--2:53 a.m.
(really 9.18.04)

saw bend it like beckham tonight
on one of the many hbo's my folks cable has.
first time since i saw it in the theater.
it's one of the few movies i've wanted to own,
but since i have only seen it the once
wondered if it was as good as i remembered
of if i was remembering it better than it was.
and then,
after okay american splendor,
i turn to bend it like beckham,
and it is as good
and it is better.
sports and romance and family,
and i am more in love with Parminder Nagra than ever before,
i know this much is true,
i do.

9.20.04--12:18 a.m.
(really 9.19.04)

my folks have been urging me,
for years,
to go to a meeting of the H.E.S.A.,
the Harry E. Slonaker Association,
this group of people who grew up on the Lower East Side,
and their children and their children.
It's partially like some club,
some way to see the people from the old neighborhood on a regular basis.
But it's the other part that's why my folks urge me to go to the meetings.
See, you join the society you get a cemetery plot,
it's how all these groups work,
taking care of their own so that when the time comes
they're tooken care of.
And though I went to a meeting years ago
I've never joined
and always find a reason to opt out of going.
Today it was good enough to say I'm not up to it,
a pain free escape if ever I had one.
I'm gonna join soon enough,
if only to calm my folks,
who worry about who will provide the net once they're gone.

9.21.04--1:19 a.m.
(really 9.20.04)

my therapist tells me that there are five topics you're supposed to discuss each session--
past, present, dreams, our relationship, and sex.
so i spent the majority of the beginning of the session detailing the present--
my sister's dilemma with her husband.
then at one of the pauses when i look out the pre-war window
onto the courtyard, the back-facing building's ivy, the person in the window who always seems to be staring at me,
i started to run through the five things in my head,
figuring out which ones i still needed to cover.
i had dealt with the past--
the boxes of mine my parents have removed from the attic as they get a new roof put in,
and which they want me to take to my apartment or discard.
i hadn't written down my dream from the other night at my folks,
still a bit thrown from the sister scene.
i went to our relationship.
not a lot to talk about there i said,
though you are talking a bit more than usual.
Is that okay, she asked?
Yeah, it's great, I wish you'd talk more,
otherwise I think you're doing the jumble back there.
That left sex.
The first comment is always that I haven't gotten any.
From there we slide into phone sex and cyber sex, and, today's topic, roleplaying.
I was in the 40s love room,
even though i'm 37,
because the 30s room is filled with bots run amuck.
And someone saying they were a 13 f looking for an older male messaged the room.
I im'd them,
unsure of their age or gender, not caring,
and they wanted to father-daughter punishment roleplay,
but not sexually.
Depending on my mood i'd go elsewhere,
but it was early and i thought i could sway her.
And little by little i did,
having the punishment be a spanking,
progressing to a different scene where i catch her and a boy in the house,
her bra on the floor,
to a third scene,
with her and a boy again,
but this time her panties joining the bra on the floor.
She plays this scene out a bit,
then decides to end it.
My therapist interjects.
Isn't it awkward,
I mean, how do you …
i either type lefty or alternate between typing and pleasuring, i say.
but i have a headset for my phone.
Ah yes, she says. Handsfree.

9.22.04--1:58 a.m.
(really 9.21.04)

i'm trying to date when i showered last.
i went out to long island last wednesday for rosh hashannah unshowered,
before that a mets game on sunday
and a boog event on friday.
i know i showered for one of them,
most likely the boog event,
because why bathe for jean-paul and the mets.
so that places last shower at friday morning september 10,
meaning when i wake in six or so hours it will be 12 days since last shower.

i can't remember when in my semi-functioning life i've gone so long.
i mean, when shutting it down during months long depressions
i'd go a month, easy, without changing my clothes,
no less showering.
even in my semi-functioning states i make sure to shower weekly,
but here five days pre-holiday,
then no going to synagogue because of sister's abusive husband,
and now back in my apartment for two days.

my scalp is feeling particularly crunchy,
me picking the same flakes in the morning and the evening.
little white- and blackheads are cropping up all over my body,
which, well, i quite enjoy while popping and watching them ooze.

it's also that my shower head is kinda broken
and i've been lazy to call my building's maintenance department.
turn the shower head too far in a direction
and it pops off into yr hand,
and one giant stream of water pounds you in the middle of yr chest.

i think i also may be getting a smelly ass.
and that's when you've gone too far with the not showering.

so, although there are no plans for tomorrow,
i'm planning to shower.
i just bought a new corn starch powder, too.

9.23.04--2:26 a.m.
(really 9.22.04)

left the church early tonight,
the event not quite over.
i'm not a fan of artists exceeding their grasp.
like jordan playing baseball,
it just doesn't work.

so, i left the church early tonight
and turning down 11th street,
on the far side of the street,
saw a young woman panhandling.
this is one of two streets by the church
where i've paid for sex,
going back to new year's marathon in 1993.
(there's always that fear that someone from a poproj reading will see me pick up a girl
but it hasn't happened yet.)

But the panhandling woman seemed like she would be into a date
and she was.
and we walked back to the church to get her girlfriend
who was sitting at the edge of the lawn,
walked to an atm on third ave,
set a price of $60 for half and half,
and against my better judgment gave $40 to the girlfriend,
who then split to feed their cat.

and me and chery headed back to my apartment,
grabbing a heineken 40 and a pack of camels for her
two-liter bottles of diet sunkist and caffeine free diet pepsi for me.

and she headed out to the terrace for a smoke and drink,
while i sat on the bed and relaxed.

online yesterday,
a woman asked me when the last time i had sex was,
and i had to think,
and finally realized it was during a threeway in march 2002,
discounting paying for it.
and i guess part of this was answering that,
part of it.

and then we took our clothes off,
the first time i'd seen a naked woman since the threeway girl a little over a year ago.
"have you ever been out on yr terrace naked?" she asked
no, i told her.
"well, let's do it."
and she grabbed her smokes
and we small talked out there for awhile about nothing i remember.

and then we came in,
flipped through the cable music choice channels,
and when she heard "music man" by heart
we stopped on the classic rock channel,
and then had a little fun,
her not rushing it,
which is always nice.

and then i did what my brother taught me,
but i didn't have to pee,
so i washed it off.

then paid her the difference from what her gf took,
and told her how to leave the building.

it felt ok afterwards,
which sometimes it doesn't.
except that i can't really afford $60, well, $70 with a tip,
when i'm working the low-hourly wage job, still.
but other than that, was swell.

9.24.04--1:27 a.m.
(really 9.23.04)

tomorrow night is Kol Nidre,
the holiest night in the Jewish religion,
the beginning of the highest of the high holidays, Yom Kippur,
and i'll be spending it alone.
my folks and i have tickets to my sister's synagogue,
but after the abuse everyone at my sister's home received from her husband last week as Rosh Hashannah began
we won't be going there.
i mean, my mom said we could go there,
but i just don't feel right going there.
and my folks didn't pay their synagogue dues,
meaning no tickets to there for the high holidays.
and for 10 days my mother has said she was going to call the rabbi there,
see if we could just buy tix and not a membership,
considering the situation,
but, as always, she slacked.
and so this evening a call comes my way,
and i tell my mother i'm not coming to their house tomorrow,
that i can sit in my apartment alone and fast,
why travel to long island if we're not even going to schul.
and my voice was heightened,
the tension and anger at last week present,
and my resolution that this is what i was planning on doing not wanting to be upset.
but i still have the feeling that i'll wake up in the morning,
pack an overnight bag,
and go,
because that's what they raised me to do.

9.25.04--5:16 a.m.
(really 9.24.04)

i thought about going to my folks for yom kippur
decided not to go when i left for work
and then thought throughout the day
about going to my folks for yom kippur
about going in just the clothes i had on,
and thought that i'd have to wear the same clothes for two days,
and i didn't feel like coming home saturday night,
but the met game was on sunday
and the tickets were in my apartment,
and i had laundry to do,
and we weren't going to schul anyway
because we had tickets to my sister and her abusive husband's synagogue
and we didn't want to go there
and mom hadn't called their local schul to see if we could get tickets
and so it was basically sit in my folks' house and fast
or sit in my house and fast
and, really, i just didn't feel like going,
felt like being with just me this weekend.
so i called my folks a few minutes before the fast was to begin
and we wished each other easy ones and said our goodbyes.

9.26.04--1:45 a.m.
(really 9.25.04)

my fast didn't last long this yom kippur
the little sleep of the past week
the headaches and head-nod minute naps
all added up to me falling asleep shortly after the fast began at 6:31 p.m.
waking up 9ish
watching tv, surfing the net, and doing boog event and pub planning,
all the while my forehead pulsating,
me quickly generating more spit in my mouth to drink,
until 12:30 a.m. when i said
fuck it, i'm kosher, G-d won't be mad,
and if he is, fuck it,
and i poured 20 ounces of diet sunkist
into my plastic Mets tumbler
and had a drink,
which felt better then any drink i've ever had,
excluding the water from my grey, red, cream, and blue wool covered canteen during boyhood hikes at Camp Wabenaki.
and so i decided to make it a liquid fast,
and i stayed up until six a.m.,
finished that two-liter bottle of diet sunkist,
and another of caffeine free diet pepsi,
slept ’til 11 and poured some more diet sunkist,
my head still not great,
until at 4:30 p.m.,
three hours before the fast should have ended,
i ate the greek salad i ordered last night but didn't touch,
the cucumbers softened to where they now bent,
the tomatoes were still crisp.

9.27.04--10:28 a.m.
(really 9.26.04)

do not drink a 64 ounce container of grapefruit juice in one sitting,
even if that sitting is a three-hour long met game,
because then you will have the runs for the rest of the night.
let's go mets.

9.28.04--12:09 a.m.
(really 9.27.04)

the bathroom is looking grungy,
us not calling the cleaning lady for months.
every so often we do a slight clean of the toilet or the sink,
which doesn't really drain anymore,
it a race to wash your hands
before the dirty water in the basin reaches your now clean hands.
and when you rotate the shower head too far in either direction it flies off,
and you're hit with a concentrated burst of water.
and the toilet seat has a crack through the right side,
so occasionally your right cheek gets caught in the crack,
and as you move you feel a painful pinch.
so this morning,
readying for work,
i sit down on the toilet,
go to wipe myself
and feel something sliding beneath me,
and half-stand up to notice the crack is now matched on the left side,
the toilet seat is now two half-toilet seats.
so i finish wiping,
race to clean my hands before the basin water dirties them again,
and call the building's maintenance department.
and now the toilet seat shines that bathroom white bright,
and there are no more races in the basin
(which a part of me misses already),
and my massaging shower hose awaits me.

9.29.04--12:50 a.m.
(really 9.28.04)

leaving for work at 10 o'clock,
later than i'd hoped this morning,
i open the door,
garbage and keys in my right hand,
the left one pulling the door in,
and i see three sets of papers taped to my door,
pull them off,
lock my door,
and go sit on my bed.

i've been served by my building for back rent,
which i'd been expecting,
i just wasn't expecting the server not to ring my bell,
and instead tape it to my door,
so anyone on my floor could see what i owe, what i pay in rent.

i called my best friend ian, who'se also my lawyer,
and he said nicely, "like i told you before,
i can't help you with new york city real estate law,"
and he suggested i call legal aid.
so i left for work,
since i'm an hourly wage worker,
and called legal aid from there,
was reassured that this was only procedural,
that i had five days to go to court and get a court date,
at which time the building, the court, and i would work out a settlement.

but it's getting tougher not to resent my roommate,
who i've known for years,
because if he had paid his rent on time this summer
none of this would've happened,
no court dates and legal aid,
no judges and lawyers, and their fees.
my roommate still owes me half of september's rent,
and october is 47 hours away.
it's gotten to where i'm looking at him reading the sunday times and thinking,
"motherfucker, that's my four dollars you're reading.
Go to the library for now on and give me the money."
or how he's cooked only a handful of meals since moving in,
and bought alcohol and pot,
all with, well, my money.
i've enjoyed the late night conversation about politics, the mets, and albany,
but i'm reminiscing upon my last roommate,
who for most of his time in my place we just made small talk,
and the rent was paid on-time or early each month.

9.30.04--6:09 p.m.
(really 9.29.04)

had the talk with my roommate,
explained to him,
that i have to go to court because he didn't pay his rent on-time.

i still have faith in people,
even when they fuck me over,
so i haven't mentioned to him that maybe he should move out,
in hopes that he'll finally catch up on the back rent now that he just started a full-time job at a decent wage.

i'm trying not to be the guy who turns my apartment door's second lock,
the one he doesn't have the key for,
and holds his possessions hostage
for the back rent,

10.01.04--1:45 a.m.
(really 9.30.04)

first debate tonight
and i check in every so often
happy i have digital cable
so the alternatives are multiplied
eventually settling on a diagnossis murder rerun
where four female cops are killing bad guys,
then affixing donor stickers on the bad guys' driver's licenses
so their organs will be harvested,
and help people who they cops have determined have blood matches live.
there wasn't much of dick van dyke in the episode,
making me think they might've been planning two spin-off the two female cops who caught the four bad female cops,
but i don't remember this ever happening.
my dad called to see if i noticed how bush really looks like alfred e. neuman,
asking how can anyone vote for him.
i'm not watching i said,
flipping to it every so often,
i already know i'm voting green,
nothing bush or kerry say is going to sway me anyhow.
i was just remembering that whenever i see dick van dyke i think of the fire safety campaign from when i was a boy,
him dropping to the ground and demonstrating "stop, drop, and roll,"
that's all.