Notebooks —July 2011 to date

The administration of injections was discontinued the day after sentencing. Following incarceration, when I had been stripped and searched and fully processed, I was taken to a windowless cell by a physically primitive guard—a man with eyes set into neanderthalishly convex brow plates, who had explained that my daily regimen of scheduled activities would begin with a morning injection to precede breakfast, as by now the medical consensus was that the dose worked more effectively on an empty stomach. (Something about metabolism of blood lipids or interference with intestinal pH—but I’ve never had much sense of those things.)

The sparsely-arbored flatness of the modern West. Garish maroon cars twenty years too old—their owners just as plausibly methed-out child-fuckers as dotty grandmothers. Everyone here has a kind of rugged beady look to them—skin accordioned into loose, parched folds. The young and the artificially youthful have all gone, leaving a pocketed sprawl of the abandoned elderly. The sky grades from a cloudless cobaltish center to a pollinated haze near the horizon. A plume of brown off to the east implies some unmitigated environmental interference.

In Wyoming I’d stopped at the kind of bar you recognize as such only on foot, the raucous overflow spilling into the night. As I arrived, a toady degenerate was being chased from the premises. He slinked around the corner and disappeared.

The barmaid looked almost stewed by age, her desperation etched in haggard creases along her neck. Her hair was light, apparently dyed. Where could she even procure hair dye in a place this forsaken?

The low cloud cover created new pressure points radiating out from the lower vertebrae and the air around him felt heavier and less purposeful. He had a hard time getting up. His shirt was damp—whether from sweat or condensation he couldn’t tell.

There was a kind of dull ache I couldn’t pinpoint, like a pain in my blood itself. I felt excitable, restless, but mentally paralyzed. It seemed impossible to do anything at all—the energy required was heavy and beyond lifting.

Time had slowed, and I watched the townspeople scuttle around me like beetles. They were almost comically over-animated, yet the atmosphere felt viscous and penetrable only by great effort, as in a dream.

Il m’approchait de l’autre côté de la rue. Il tenait une fleur dans la main et je ne savais pas s’il voulait me la donner ou me la vendre. J’avais l’impression que je devais me sentir menacée mais il en manquait une qualité essentielle. La fleur était soit un bégonia, soit un géranium. Celles-ci étaient les deux seules fleurs que je connaissais.

Lorsqu’il arrivait de près, je voyais qu’il était très sale, ce mec. Pas du genre clochard, plutôt genre socialement paresseux.

The adolescently loose quality of drunkenness. Not quite drunk, but tipsy, when an enlightening kind of effusion… The mix of uninhibited churlishness and a potentiating looseness of the limbs.

The twins sit side by side, not acknowledging one another, clutching at bags identical but for their color. The one in the lap of the copper-haired twin is a bright, vinyl-glossy red, lots of clasps and buckles.

Her twin is angry. They are not speaking. The one with blonde hair looks straight ahead. She is glaring at the tapping of a foot. This man has no rhythm whatsoever.

Their bags are just absolutely hideous.

The twin with the carrot-colored hair has a mole on her right cheek partly obscured by her hair. Sometimes she wonders just when she got it, or what accumulation of unique experiences layered moment by moment on top of one another to create this feature. Was it that weekend at the beach spent with Vlad? Where was Katerne then, why was she not there?

The mole is how her sister instructs strangers to tell them apart. “She’s the one with the mole,” she says. “See, right there, behind her cheek.” Her sister resents her doing this, though it is not a particularly ugly mole.

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