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                Cold People, Cold Hands - Feb 09

I stop at a liquor store to buy tequila so the roommates and I can make margaritas.  My stomach is cramping, and as I’m ringing out I decide to buy a small flask of brandy to help settle it.  I ask the clerk what he likes.  He points out one called Presidente.
“Presidente?  That sounds like a tequila.  Is it any good?”
“It’s not Bush.”
“Haha, it’s Obama,” I say.

To write songs the lead singer of the Pixies used to stare in the mirror for hours.  I try and stare in the mirror for inspiration to finish a book, but my eyes are puffy and I keep focusing on how red my face looks after a night of drinking.

I’m moving out of my single apartment in Naperville to a double in DeKalb.  I can’t take the suburbs anymore, the traffic wears you down.  I’m still living alone, the other room is for an office, and the rent is several hundred a month cheaper.  My mother comes from Minnesota to help.  She enjoys these types of things, and I have a little anxiety because I know it will be a Baton Death March until the job is done.  I spend the morning, before she comes from the hotel, packing the cigarettes, condoms, and forgotten women’s jewellery.

Her place is a mess, but she prepared me for that.  It’s a garden apartment, and most of the blinds are missing, and she has set up newspaper over the empty windows.  It’s cold and I can feel the floor below the carpet and my socks. 
“I would turn on the heat, but it will be roasting in here.”
The living room has an Indian theme, elephants, candles, wicker chairs, and scattered Buddhas.  I’m surprised, it doesn’t seem very African American, but then again she grew up in Ann Arbour.
She tells me I have to stay in the living room while she cleans her bedroom.  I stand up and pretend to walk to the bedroom.
“Wait no, don’t go in there!”
I wave my arms in front of the open door, and make a “woo” noise.  I kiss her, and turn to the bathroom.  After I piss and wash my mouth out with Listerine, I move through the kitchen.  There is a box of Frosted Wheats on top of her fridge, and left-over carry out in Styrofoam and Chinese boxes in her fridge.  She was right, there’s no booze.
She calls me in when she’s finished and the closet light is on, pressure is being put on the door from behind, but the floor is clean, and there is a bright silver sheet on the bed.  I lay down on the bed and she puts on a robe and takes off her jeans.  She comes over to me and I reach my hand up her robe, feeling for the little piece of fabric, but there isn’t any.
“You weren’t wearing any underwear,” I say.
She laughs, and bounces to the other side of the room.  She asks if I want anything to eat.  I tell her ‘no thanks,’ and we talk while she moves from the bedroom to the bathroom.  She asks again if I want anything to eat.
“No, but I have the feeling you do.”
“I think I’m going to have a Lean Pocket.”
She brings the wrapped package from the kitchen into the bedroom, and I realize that her microwave is on the other side of the bedroom.  I laugh, and she tells me she shouldn’t eat it, and then recounts everything she has eaten that day.  I keep trying to call her over to me while the cheese-filled pastry cooks in the microwave.  When it’s done she jumps into bed with it, and I start to kiss her.  I’m not excessively sensitive but the smell of it makes my stomach turn, and I move away from her and to the other side of the bed as she eats it.  After she’s done she asks me if I’m tired, and if I can sleep.
“Yeah I’m tired, I could sleep, but I thought first...”
I kiss her neck, and try to roll on top of her, but it’s six in the morning and she wants to go to bed.
When I wake up I’m sweating.  The room is sauna and I can smell the two of us in bed.  I lay in bed trying to resist the urge to move my arm.  The walls are paper thin, and I can hear masculine sex noises, and then male voices, and then a fight between a guy and a girl coming from the apartment above us.  I try to wake her up.  She mumbles a few words, and goes back to snoring lightly.
In the bathroom, heat is radiating through the floor around the toilet so intensely that I can’t keep my feet in place while I piss.  I wash my mouth out with Listerine, and stand beside the bed.
“Lay down with me for another twenty minutes,” she says.
I crawl in to spoon next to her and fall back asleep.
When I wake it’s one, and she’s also waking up.  She cuddles in close to me, and I kiss her.
“I bet I look like a hot-tranny mess,” she says, putting her hand up to her weave.
“Yeah, but that’s ok.”
She laughs and scoots away, but I keep kissing her, and I put a little of my tongue in her mouth, and then move down her stomach.  We spend the next hour in bed and are loud enough for the neighbours to hear everything.  Later I take her to her grandma’s where she cleans up, and I drive her to work.

My window looks out on a small Tudor style estate.  The house is red and white and immaculately kept.  The large lawn is surrounded by trees but it sits in the middle of the city.  The base of the carriage house is stone; the large irregularly shaped yellow ones that were used in the old buildings of Northern Illinois.  The carriage house is beautiful, it reminds me of Europe, and it would be a nice place to live.

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