Sunday morning cartoons on the TV beer cans in the baby’s crib the smell of her all over the apartment I woke up sprawled on the carpet the back of my neck wet by my own vomit a sour mixture of bile, beer, and pepperoni pizza. I lay still for a couple of seconds watching the cast of horrible cartoon characters dance and bounce around the screen to odd ball music and overplayed sound effects. I wished I could go back to the day when the newest toy you owned was more important than your penis size or your bank account, but weren’t they all the same really? The amount of toys you had, and the ads on TV, just taught you how to want, to get, to be rewarded like a pet seal at the zoo. Be good and do what you’re told and you’ll get a reward at Christmas or your birthday, and then when you get out in life you find out there aren’t any fucking rewards for anything and often you work your ass off and do what you think is right and it doesn’t matter because one morning you wake up behind a mountain of bills and your caught and then you know you’ll never make the trip to Prague you always wanted to make and the next thing you know its a girl and there’s more bills and this is America and you’re supposed to be happy and work your fucking ass off until the day you crawl underground and for what?
My number one problem was always the “for what” because I kept asking the question and could never get an answer, and because I could never get an answer she and I were never happy, or I was never happy if you asked her, and one day she picked up the child at the sitters and kept on going. Now when I look back on it I can see it coming from along way off. I use to get off work at night and stay in bed all day just getting up long enough to shit and have something to eat. She and I stopped talking, I was never out of bed, and she found others to talk to one of them being another man. I never went for another woman, not because I was so moral and upright, but because I never was out of bed or off work long enough to find one.
When she left me I went crazy, like a pilot who tries to crash a plane because deep down inside he wants to be a mass murder, and I drank and went to bars looking for white trash woman to get drunk with and bring home to fuck. One was a 350 pound blonde elephant who lived in a trailer twenty miles outside of town. We had to fuck on the floor because her bed wouldn’t hold both of us. The next morning I went home and cried asking God why I wasn’t like everyone else and why my life was so fucked up I was reduced to fucking his most gross creations knowing my hand would have been just as good. The next woman I went out with was younger than I was, not bad looking, and dumped me after the first couple of dates claiming I was a junky and a looser. All I had done was show up at her door drunk with a tattoo of a naked woman on my arm breasts and cunt hair right out in full view. On the way home I laughed so hard a cop pulled me over fro drunk driving and I spent the night in jail. What was so funny? I figured I can always loose a woman, and had, but the ink would be there the day the worms collected the last debt on my body.
The next love of my sick life was a woman named Bobby, who like myself, had a weakness for anything having to do with communism and Cuba. We use to lie next to each other and listen to the English broadcasts of Radio Habana Cuba. It was a kick to be fucking away while the announcer was reading a condemnation of the U.S. blockade against this tiny island the static and crackle from the radio cutting in and out of our sexual escapades. The affair ended when she called me up one afternoon to tell me she was running away with an auto worker from Pontiac, Michigan because I was to bourgeoisie for her and this man was the real essence of Marx and the working class. But I was the working class too! I protested. No one worked harder and got less than I did. She wouldn’t hear of it and told it was for the best and I get over her sooner than this neo-liberal government would lift the blockade.
I lay around the apartment for days after she left me looking at pictures of Fidel Castro and listening to Radio Habana Cuba, but somehow it wasn’t the same. The only thing I could hear was El Jefe’s voice and the only thing I could see was my former companera’s breasts in my face both rolling around my head at the same time. Now there’s nothing worse than being broke and dumped by two women it makes you want to ask what is it about every guy you see one the street that they have it better than you? Why them and not you? Why are they going home every night getting fucked and waited on and catered too and you go home, if you go out at all, to nothing.
Days of immobilization shades pulled down no clean clothes papers and dirty dishes everywhere even when I got high I’d have these visions of the people next door calling the health department to turn my ass in for luring half the city’s cockroach population in the building. I finally got motivated, to go to work, stop calling in sick, and get up and clear out the trash “The EX” started with the telephone torture trying to drive me out of my skull.
-Hi it’s me. What are you doing?
-What do you mean what am I doing?
-What are you doing?
-I’m trying to lead my life is what I’m doing.
-Do you miss me?
-Come on, do you miss me?
I hung up the phone and staggered back against the food encrusted stove. What kind of game was she playing here? Do you miss me? Thoughts of her laying naked on the bed some muscle bound gym type running his tongue up her back flashed through my head. I opened the ice box and grabbed a beer. It was going to be another sour night under the stucco stars. I could see the black cloud of depression mixed with the electricity of anger moving over my mental horizon the only thing to do was take cover in a hail of cheap beer and green pot.
When the storm cleared it was ten in the morning and I had missed another day’s work. There was no use me coming in they would just fire me; and why not? Didn’t I deserve it in these days of high productivity and low wages. How had it all become this way? Why was nothing what it was supposed to be? You got married and. . .There I went with why again! There were no answers, I shouted at the top of my lungs. No answers at all. I sat down my blood pounding in my head my emotional thermostat on just under boil. There was nothing to do but act like the rest of the goofs out of work and watch ads on TV for careers in motorcycle mechanics or court reporting. I hit the remote control and the box jumped from channel to channel. I let it sit on the Spanish station for a while. At least there I could make up the dialogue as I went along and I did. Then I spotted the President on the screen. He was in the middle of some kind of press conference. I jacked the volume up trying to hear what he was saying over the din of traffic and honking horns outside. He as lecturing about working hard and playing by the rules shopping the same old shit: work hard and you too can get a slice of the American pie. Bullshit! I had worked hard and hadn’t gotten shit. Without thinking I picked up a beer bottle and sidearmed it towards the screen. It hit with a bang and gas seeped out of the wounded tube. Now I had no TV. Fine. I got up and in fit of anger kicked the set over backwards. Then I spun around and started pulling all the fucking drapes off the windows and smashing the dishes from my wedding day. Next all the pictures came off the wall and the glass crunching beneath my feet felt good. Then I went to the kitchen got a butcher knife and slashed the couch and living room chair. To finish off my fit of madness I piled up a stack of old newspapers and magazines in the middle of the living room floor. Gathering up and few clothes and my tattered copy of Conducting Bodies I struck a match and lit the pile watching the flames climb and dance their away along the apartment floorboard. On my down to the street, I pulled the fire alarm and never looked back.
I had been standing near the on ramp to US. 101 trying to catch a ride for an hour. At last a car pulled to a halt on the shoulder. I ran to meet it my pack banging against my back. I opened the door and jumped in. The driver was my ex-wife! I yanked open the door rolled out onto the crab grass and began to cry and pound the ground. I just couldn’t win. I just couldn’t win.