January 21, 2001
We wanted to separate and then we wanted to be together. Because Dave likes to stay, he gave me a new wedding ring (this one with five diamonds!). And because I’m weird and I like to be with him through strangers, I gave him a plane ticket to L.A. and secretly arranged for a limo with a stripper in the back to take him to a bar full of persons I consort with when on that coast, whom Dave had never met.
“Did you hire that stripper?” Dave demanded over the bar noise he was on someone’s cell phone.
“No, she did it for love,” I yelled back. “Of course I hired her! What did she look like?”
“Sexy, but she looked . . . surgically altered. I thought she might be a man.”
“You always think that!”
“Well, I was scared, I didn’t know what was going on. I stayed on my side of the limo and didn’t touch her or talk to her there were disco lights flashing, and music and then she said, ‘What’s that in your lap?’ I said, ‘It’s a shirt a present for my friend Fitts.’ She said, ‘Give it to me,’ so I did, and she took it and jumped out of the limo! Then your friends poured out of the bar and dragged me from the limo they were all screaming ‘It’s him!’ and pointing.”
“Let me talk to one of them,” I said.
It was Trixie. “Dave won’t put his stuff down,” she reported. “He’s been hugging his suitcase for dear life all night.”
Then I heard a thud and I heard Dave say, “I don’t know how to shut this thing off.” Someone else said, “Well it’s not my phone,” and then: “It’s not mine either!” Then I think it was Nico said, “I tell you what’s going to happen, David: I’m going to go to the bar and get a drink, and when I come back I’m going to jump you,” and then there was a click.
The phone rang again. It was the limo company, to inform me that Veronica had refused to get out at LAX like she was supposed to and hold the sign with Dave’s name on it, so the driver had to do it, adding $50 to my credit card charge. But I was satisfied with my scheme’s unfolding: a sullen thief with unclear gender who leads him to a bar full of maenads is pretty close to Dave’s ideal date.
The next time the phone rang, it was news that Jerry Wick (“Lyle” in my diary), singer/guitarist for Gaunt, was dead. He was riding his bike home from work and a car hit him.
I didn’t know where to put my body or my thoughts. I decided to go buy a six-pack of Jerry’s beer, but I couldn’t remember which one it was. There were some brands he thought hateful, and some that were in his mind honorable by unclear yet passionate reasoning. I tried to keep up with his
drinking, when we were together, because I wanted to be where he was, but I’d pass out instead.
Jerry couldn’t have sex, or barely could probably because his mother used to do things like beat him in the face with a crucifix and knock him all over the house when she heard he’d kissed a girl. He desperately sought non-body connections. His thoughts pointed in as many directions at once (about ten) as his teeth did. A constellation of cigarette butts and cans and records and books always surrounded him he used those things like I use sex, like I use strangers: as his interpreter. He’d play one phrase over and over and over, till it rose and bobbed on an ocean of whatever that special beer was and became something else. He was trying to give me maps to understand things he never said and didn’t even know himself, like the ones I give to Dave, where he’s to find me in the arms of strange women and strange weather.
Jerry was an exuberant softball player. I remember our legs under the covers when I’d visit him in Ohio all four of them scraped and bruised (I, too, was an exuberant player), naked only for the thirty seconds it took him to get his pants off and pajamas on. Those were some of the best thirty seconds of my life.
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.