I never did well in a crowd. But I tried to stand there in a half circle with the boys watching the girls in their miniskirts in some friend’s party. I was particularly drawn on how detailed they were with their descriptions of a woman’s anatomy, about their psychology, on the time they spent to study that universe. I was so intrigued, it was like a complex algebra problem to me. I could never get it even if I tried harder.
I could very well be mistaken as a wallpaper. I was awkward and mean and dull. I guess looking back we all were at some point but I never got past that. I lacked personality and patience for any human interaction. I was a cockroach that everyone despised.
Luckily Bianca was fool-proof.
Bianca lit up when I showed her the book. It was another eight-hundred peso purchase on my second Bukowski that month but it was never a question to spend on well-written treasures she said. I wasn’t interested in his books about poetry, but I find his short stories particularly moving.
It was a long summer. But we got through it just fine even though the heat of the sun was of no help when you’re trying to put things together.
You use the material that you have, Didion said.
So I put my dark glasses on, drink coke straight from the one-liter bottle while placing the words on the electronic paper.
Font 11, Calibri (Body).
The phone rang.
B: “How was the writing?”
D: “What was that?”
B: “I miss hearing your voice, how was the writing?”
D: “I’m sorry the reception is terrible, it’s quite slow, but I got past the hard part
— first two paragraphs — I think I’m making progress.”
B: “That’s good to hear!”
D: “How’s Kafka?”
B: “He misses his Dad”
D: “Tell him I’ll be home soon enough”
B: “I can’t hear you, can you move to a better spot?”
D: “Tell that to the president.”
B: “Let’s talk later, maybe the service will be better then.”
B: “See you soon, I love you.”
A few days ago I saw the president on TV.
I also saw a cockroach that landed on his shoulder and squirmed a little in my seat.
I also laughed a little, cried a little, but paying close attention I realized that the cockroach was me.
It was a long time ago, but it was still me.
I guess I am what you call a celebrity.