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The (Lost) Lisa Diaries

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“Are you Lisa Carver?” asked the policeman at my door, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. He was young and probably Italian and was leaning against my porch post so that his hips and legs were at least six inches in front of his shoulders and head.
     “Why, what has she done?” I joked. I had that new, ultra-scientific double barrier protection roll-on antiperspirant/deodorant, so my underarms remained fresh and dry while the rest of me grew clammy.
     “My friends and I just wanted to see what she looks like,” he said, gesturing to the cop car from which three other officers waved. “Are you her?”
     I stood there with lizard face, which apparently he took as assent.
     “We read your column on Nerve — The Lisa Diaries. We’re fans.”
     I felt awash in relief. So I hadn’t committed a murder in my sleep — something I’ve always feared is bound to happen sooner or later. I tried to remember what the last week’s diary entry was: Oh yeah, taking my husband to the prostitute. Oh my God, wait — prostitution is illegal! I’d incriminated myself and Dave and the entire establishment at The Swedish Massage in Maine! If I say I made it all up, would the policeman believe me?
     As if he could read my mind, he said, “We don’t want to bust you on anything. We’re just regular people. We wanted to see what you look like, is all.”

     If you want to see what I, and other various characters who appeared in the pages of The Lisa Diaries, look like, please come to one of my “readings” in Boston or New York, June 20 through June 23, to celebrate the release of The Lisa Diaries in book form (on Black Books). Although no actual reading will be going on, heh heh. Just singing and dancing and, uh, acting. Fake beards will be distributed to all who need them. Details follow at the end of this excerpt. Or you can email me at lisaccarver@earthlink.net for info (or to mail-order a book). — Lisa Carver; New Hampshire, June 2003

New York!
16 February 1998

For the depressed or the just plain mean, I have two words: paraffin wax. That’s where ladies with big hair stick your extremities in bubbling wax and then put mitts on your plastic hands and feet and caress them, gazing deeply into your eyes. Then they peel it all off, leaving you fifteen years old and sleek from the wrists and ankles down. For the five-hour drive from New Hampshire to New York, I kept looking at my hands on the steering wheel and wanting to lick them. Just as I made that turn on the highway lining the river — the one where you suddenly see Manhattan, the sun went down so the light got sucked out of the sky and was concentrated in a glow that seemed to rise up from the buildings. And at that very moment, Billy Idol (who had been singing “Hot in the City” on the radio) cried out: “NEW YORK!”


Lisa & Kate, 1998

     Then I got lost, then I figured out where I was, then I got lost again, then I gave up and parked in a six-dollar-an-hour lot and took a cab to Squeezebox, where I was to meet Kate. There, everyone looked like Billy Idol, except they had black hair and some of them were women. Girls were dancing on the bar in bras and black leather panties. That comic artist from Florida was there — Mike Diana — totally naked for no good reason. Boys with bangs in their eyes stuck their tongues down other boys’ throats, and on-screen flashed a slide show of Katrina del Mar’s photos — Lower East Side ladies with hard bodies in soft light. Then I saw Kate! She was moving through the crowd carrying on conversations with everyone to her right and left and holding her drink above her head. There’s always a light coming out of her. She’s like a light bulb swathed in angora. You could hear her barking laugh above all the other noise and it felt like getting into a warm bath. I sidled up to her all proud. “Kate,” I murmured. “Baber!” she yelled, and put her arms around me. She gave me her drink (which I finished off in one swig) and led me around the room, pointing out her selection of boys for me. For the last six months, I’d been in a self-imposed celibacy. I had some vague notion that, since sex was such a huge part of my life, surely taking it away would make me find new and creative outlets. I’d probably grow deeper. Instead, my soul shriveled.

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I was snapping at store clerks and my hair got all split-ended. Kate decided she couldn’t let me go on hurting myself and others, and so her Valentine’s Day present to me was to line up a smorgasbord of learned and considerate boys and men in various states of disrobe for me to choose from. I knew right away which one I wanted. He was around twenty-seven, dark hair with yellow wings coming out of the sides, skinny, not a lot of clothes on. Currently, he was on stage, slowly fingering a guitar while his band mates did everything fast. I found out later that I was the seventh girl he’d slept with that month, and it was only the 14th! Kate introduced us when he got off stage — his name is Dick Rocket — and we started making out immediately, right there. Back at his place, we climbed up into his bunk bed, and dawn came in through the window, a third member of our party.
    That guy did like a paraffin wax job on my entire body. He has a tongue piercing, a huge Thing and rough ways. And sweet ways. He has every way! He called me baby, sweetheart, darling, Wonder Woman. Kate told me later that he did mean everything he said, that he’s quiet and doesn’t compliment easily.
    We showered and had coffee and watched his movie — a fake heavy metal documentary. It was great, but I hadn’t slept for about thirty-six hours, and I knew if I stayed I’d just have sex with him again and not sleep at all, so I went to Kate’s, where we watched Grease and ate take-out Thai food with friends. I fell asleep halfway through the very loud movie, with the six friends joking and laughing through my dreams.

Getting the Chosen Ones to Choose Me
10 March 1998

I’m back in New York. Kate, Queen Itchie and I took a cab up to West 131st St (Harlem) to meet Adam — someone with a Cabbala-based rock outfit whom I read about in a magazine. Adam told me that at this party people would be “be-ing.” We climbed a long, narrow staircase, the three of us trailing feathers, falling-off rhinestones, and loud voices, only to be greeted at the top by total silence. About 22 22-year-olds, some with partial facial hair, stared at our arrival and didn’t get up and didn’t offer us anything. I didn’t know you had to be rude to “be!” Finally Adam arrived, looking middle-class, shortish, warmly dressed. The lower classes never wear enough clothes, as our idea of sex appeal doesn’t get much beyond actual flesh sticking out, and our idea of looking good is looking sexual. I took Adam’s hand and pulled him into an even more upstairs room, where I’d heard there was a piano, to play him a “beautiful sonata.” He was reluctant. I was clomping, excited, loud. I banged on the keys. Itchie said (within Adam’s hearing), “She just wants to impress her new Jew friends.”

He’d wait for me to come back from my other date, then give me orgasms for an hour. Now that’s a gentleman.

    It’s true — I have been chasing the Jews. Not very successfully. I decided on Judaism during my six months of emptiness, as it’s the religion that has the most room for questions, and after I complete my conversion, I want to have a Jewish household. I think the reason my scheme to marry into the race is not going so well is that all the Jews I pick have mothers — one of whom actually wrested the phone out of my potential husband’s hands while he and I were trying to converse about the difference between the words “academics” and “academe.” Another of my fiancés is in L.A. Apparently he is fat and spits when he talks — that’s what I heard (I’ve never met him). He also whips girls. I didn’t hear that through the grapevine, but from his own mouth (over a phone line). “I like to whip girls.” Makes a body feel like a coke bottle on an assembly line that Laverne and Shirley put caps on all day. He wears black and is not practicing, which pretty much defeats the purpose of establishing a Jewish household. But that whipping thing . . .
    Despite their other differences, all the Jews I’ve chased speak dead languages, and they all talk about time and space. The Jews: eternal strangers, forever aware of slavery and sadness. I wish they’d make an exodus out of L.A., Butte, and Connecticut and migrate to me. Aw, I shouldn’t tease racially. I hope they don’t get all up in arms. C’mere, Jew, it’s your WASP calling you.

The Bach of Sex
11 March 1998

After the dreadful be-in, I went to Dick Rocket’s house. We pretty much said nothing. I felt shy. Then he said, “Do you want to hang out?” I did. So we took off our clothes and got in that beautiful bed. Well, I guess it’s not actually a beautiful bed, but for me it’s a flying ship of pleasure. Oh, Diary. Oh, God. The man is a genius. He’s the Bach of sex, the Edison. That guy should not have to work — the government should just give him a grant, like they give any great


Drunk as three skunks: Jenny Mae, Kate, Lisa, May 1998

artist or scientist, to have sex with people. I mean it. You know how most people have like nine techniques each for cunnilingus, fingering and fucking, and the really good ones have 19? Well, he has about ninety-eight! He doesn’t have to be always doing new stuff — I would be totally satisfied if he just did the old stuff to me again and again for the rest of my life. But there is new stuff. Female ejaculation is not a myth! I thought I was peeing. I said, “Stop, stop!” He was using the “c’mere” finger inside me. He said, “No, it’s okay.” I didn’t believe him, so he did it to me again. I said, “Is this normal? Do other women do it?” He said some can. He watched a video on it! He is very dedicated. Then he took the condom out. We hadn’t even gotten to coitus yet. I laid back and sighed. I was so happy. Every millimeter of my body was happy, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be allowed more happiness. I guess he thought I was sighing with irritation at how long it goes with him, because he said, “If you want to go to sleep now, I don’t mind. I’m good just like this.” All he’d done all night was wait for me to come back from my other date and then give me orgasms for an hour, and that was a good night for him! Now that’s a gentleman. Kate insists we are in love, though neither of us believes her. I want to do all these things before I turn thirty: be in a real orgy; have full lesbian love; sleep with three different guys on the same night (not together — so that makes it different than an orgy). I still want to be married and have a baby, but my six months of abstaining turned me into a maniac. I want to see Adam again, too. He’s so jittery, pent-up — completely bent out of shape. I just know I could smooth out his life. He needs some fi-i-ine luvin’. It’s not fair that all the fine luvers are luvin’ each other. It ought to be spread around.

        

  

©2003 Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.

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Button-down
1 April 1998

Another night with Dick, then crawling to Kate’s at dawn to snort a line and laugh about Klaus Kinski for an hour straight till we saw a rainbow come down from the sky and touch its foot just to the left of our window (which made us cry). Then I was off again, to an uncomfortable breakfast with Adam. Was that a date?! We talked about things like rent control. I kind of like being uncomfortable myself, but he looked irritated. Was I the only one on the date? Did no one tell him? Did he just happen to drive down from

I want four other boyfriends too. I mean, I don’t know who yet, but I just want five.

Connecticut to New York just when I drove down from New Hampshire and we got hungry near the same diner at the same time? He did pay, which I felt bad about because he’s poor, but even the simple process of putting eleven dollars on the table was nerve-wracking. I can’t take it anymore. If he doesn’t shape up, I’m leaving him. He looked awful cute in his button-down and chinos though, and I love how even though he’s only twenty years old he says “Indeed” all the time. On second thought, I wouldn’t say he seems irritated with me so much as he is mean/eager/rude/sweet. I shock him. He couldn’t write for Screw because his girlfriend said she’d break up with him if he did, and I’ve been in Screw five times. Our mutual friend Amy called and asked him about me while recording it, and played the tape for me. He said I was “weird but fine.” I had her replay it ten times. He’s probably not even likeable, actually, but I want him anyway. I want four other boyfriends too. I mean, I don’t know who yet, but I just want five. I wrote a song about him:

    I love your middle-class ways
    Connecticut boy, you’re A-OK.
    Your button-down shirt is probably ironed,
    And in your wool sweater you’re warm as a lion.
    I bet in ’86 you wore a beret.
    There’s one way to convince me that you’re not gay.
    Your girlfriend said she’d break up with you if you wrote for Screw.
    Do you even have any idea what I could do?
    I want to bite you, feel the texture of your skin—
    Are you done yet or do I need to put you back in?

    I mean put him back in the oven of life, not in me. His sexuality, along with his entire psyche, strikes me as a delicate thing that I fear crushing to death. It’s oddly (very oddly) exciting.

Bathroom of Love
15 April 1998

“Kate– I’m unneccesarioly drunk. I’m a basthroom of love. Qi QWi Qil will say more tomorrow. Love yt9 youl. ALl I dAn xN XN can say is I was locked out of my house and I breo breok broke in with my foot — kivcked in the t door. You can imaginge my sex life. Love youu! See yuou so soon. –Lisa”

We made a movie at his request, where he’s the baby and I’m the mommy who goes away for two days and he makes a poopy mess in the apartment.

    That’s the email I found in my “sent” box this morning. As best as I can remember, this is how I met Jerry Wick: We were backstage at a club in Boston. He didn’t know I was a journalist there on assignment; he thought I was a Nashville Pussy groupie, and he got really angry — he thought I was going to get used. He said I was too innocent to be here. We were fighting about it — we didn’t know each other’s names or occupations but we were very heated in our argument — and I was complaining because all the beers in the refrigerator were imports and I only like cheap ones. So he smashed his expensive bottle against the wall and it was like he’d laid down his coat over a puddle for me and I said, “That’s it, you’re coming with me.” And I fucked him in the girls’ room. I remember yelling from my stall: “Hey, anyone out there got a condom?” And all the girls applying lipstick tittered, but a little square plastic package did come flying over the stall door.

Stinky Hero
28 April 1998



“Ah no, I don’t care the life, me:” Jean-Louis, April 1998

Jean Louis, my forty-four-year-old estranged husband, was here. We made a movie at his request, where he’s the baby and I’m the mommy who goes away for two days and he makes a poopy mess in the apartment. Having grown up under the muscular thumbs of an army sergeant and a church lady, Jean Louis has issues with authority. I don’t mind acting out his disgusting issues with him, as he’s always been happy to act out my disgusting issues with me. I contemplated sleeping with him — I like him very much, but he smells. He wasn’t even here for twenty-four hours and he got me in one of those fights where you’re both yelling so hard that neither can hear the other, but you’re so furious you can’t stop at all. I guess I used to think that was passionate or something.
    I stopped the argument this time because it was time to leave for synagogue. I didn’t want to go because I felt so foul, but I went and oh my, it was so nice. All these people were there for good reasons. I can’t think of anyplace else like that. The rabbi was talking about getting rid of the hoary coating of your heart, and leaving yourself unprotected. He made me feel brave and scared at the same time.

I stuck a dollar bill so far down a plump girl’s panties I wonder if she ever got it out.

    I am of the school that truth emerges through conflict (truth being whatever’s left standing when the dust clears), so peacefulness has always seemed pretty unimportant to me, if not downright embarrassing. But when I look at Jean Louis now, I see at last why it’s necessary. Jean Louis has no peace, none at all — his existence is horrible. He doesn’t want it — the quiet would make him so nervous he’d have to kill someone. He left for France suddenly this morning. He said he felt like he was going too crazy, he was too ashamed of how he was acting. He still wants to tour, but I won’t work with someone who won’t even try to control their shit. I mean, I understand he can’t help that he has certain tendencies. I know he’s paranoid and nervous and destructive. I was willing to put up with it as long as he didn’t totally fuck up the big picture — i.e., our tour. I suggested he take a run around the neighborhood instead of leaving, or that he cook a meal (I cooked every friggin’ meal), and he said, “Ah yes, but I don’t care that, me. I don’t care the life.” As he got on the bus to the airport, he said, “I’m making the worst move of my life.” That’s what he said years ago when we broke up our marriage, too. Jean Louis loves to make the worst move of his life. It suits his romantic idea of himself as the lonely hero, fucking himself up at every turn. I really do care about him, and I’m sad.

Up A Bewigged Gentleman’s Dress
1 May 1998

It was a gay, gay weekend at Coney Island High. I licked the crotch of a man in a white wig and a dress on stage, sexually harassed a boy until he almost cried and his lezzie friend told me, “No means no!” Hopey, an unoutraged lesbian, stuck her tongue down my throat for my first lesbian kiss (I’d always gone for straight girls before). I stuck a dollar bill so far down a plump girl’s panties I wonder if she ever got it out. Meanwhile, somebody was breaking into my car up the street; they took my radio and my mail. Dick Rocket was d.j.ing, so he witnessed all my shenanigans. It’s so funny how people always end up putting just as many problems into non-relationships as they do into relationships. I mean, surely he’s still doing stuff with other people; probably he didn’t care at all, but now I’m wondering if he did, and that’s what I mean about problems — worrying, not being natural.
     Well, I’m just not a private person — not about privates, anyway. Reading, I think, is private, and should be done at home, while kissing is better the more eyes and lips there are. If I kiss lots of different people who have nothing in common in rapid succession, it’s almost like I’m letting them make out with each other. I like to mix and match. Like I brought my conservative vice-president of the shoe company uncle over to the house of a twenty-five-year-old woman walking around in bra and panties talking about her third husband, who is in jail. My uncle talked about her for months after. I love that last night I had my head up a bewigged gentleman’s dress at the same exact time some thief in the night had his hands on my radio: I feel a part of some great transaction.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E
17 May 1998

Jean Louis called. He’s being sued by the French government — they say his CDs incite violence, and he wants a divorce. He’s afraid they might attach my earnings if I’m still his wife. I didn’t need a videophone to know exactly how he looked: tight as a walnut, concentrating, irritated. Everything changes, but Jean Louis hasn’t changed a hair in ten years.
     We married when I was newly nineteen; he was thirty-four. I wore my work apron — we did it between shifts at Kelly & Cohen’s Diner. Because Jean Louis could barely speak English, he kept saying, “What? What you say me?” — which made the lady justice of the peace very angry, and I was laughing so hard I thought I’d fall right over. In his nervousness, his fingers swelled and the ring didn’t fit. “Putain de merde, this . . . this American thing!” he yelled, flinging it to the floor. We’d known each other fourteen days.

He was as limp as a dishrag — I licked it once just to be sure. I was happy, though. He tried. I don’t demand an erection; I just say give it a try.

    We moved to Paris, where I knew no one and people made fun of me for my choppy French. My husband the composer liked to be left alone. Up and down he’d go over the keys, up and down, and I’d stay locked in my room, writing, with the (expressionistic, and really quite great) paintings of his last woman stacked up against the walls. At nightfall, Jean Louis said he was Big Gorilla, making up our bed (a mattress and a ratty old blanket). He had a lot of comedy routines and an explosive temper. He was very fierce — in the good way and in the bad. He was my hero.
     I loved being married so much I stayed that way even after he moved to a hut in South America 3,000 miles away, and I back to America. There was only one phone, a twenty-mile hike from Jean Louis’ hut, but he called from it every few months. He sent me the newspaper clippings of the time he accidentally burnt down a small rain forest. (There was no garbage pick-up in his village. So you burned your garbage, and I guess Jean Louis did that a little too wildly, just like he did everything else.) I kept him informed about my cats and career and romances and my son’s birth and my mother’s death, and I still felt married, as if my daily life was the dream and this piece of paper we’d signed all those years ago was the real thing. Now he wants me to go to court and let them rip it all up.

Licking Gums
25 May 1998

I was supposed to be interviewing this wild southerner Jenny Mae in New York for my magazine, but I just made out with her and got in a fistfight defending her honor instead. Well, it wasn’t exactly a fight — I told this bearded man to high-five Jenny Mae, and he refused, which I found to be insulting to my guest, so I punched him in the nose twice and we all got thrown out by the bouncers. It turns out that Jenny Mae is best friends with Jerry Wick, can you believe it?! They both live


Lisa & Jenny Mae, May 1998

in Columbus, Ohio. Jenny Mae told me there’s this expression in Columbus: “getting Wick’d.” That means someone is very rude to you. Jenny Mae said guys are always beating Jerry up and no girl will sleep with him, because all he does is talk about the Hindenburg exploding or Fidel Castro to girls and then tell them they’re stupid for not knowing anything, until they cry. She also told me about the time she saw Jerry with his violin in hand (seriously), crying, as he was being kicked out of yet another house. I could feel myself falling in love.
     I finally made out with Adam, at Squeezebox. Dick Rocket’s cutie-pie roommate Sean leaned over into my ear and said, “Lisa, you slut!” I said, “Sean, I love you too!” and I was kissing him while my pelvis was still attached to Adam’s. Sean was surprised! Adam said, “Doesn’t it bother you that he called you a slut?” I said, “I am a slut! Not only that, but you’ve been licking cocaine off my gums for the last 15 minutes, Adam.” Adam had never done cocaine, and was very disturbed. When he started kissing me again, I said, “Can you taste it?” That got him upset all over again. He was really annoying me, so I got off his lap and wandered away and found a nice young surfer type named Yoshi, and I molested him. He was saying (very good-naturedly): “This is really fun, but I’m gay. I’m not feeling anything. I think you’re nice — you’re funny, you’re beautiful, but I’m gay. You’re like an animal to me.” Back at Kate’s house, the explanation for my behavior towards Yoshi came over the radio: “I guess it’s just the woman in you that brings out the man in me . . . ” I think it was Foreigner. Foreigner always tell it like it is. He was as limp as a dishrag — I licked it once just to be sure. I was happy, though. He tried. I don’t demand an erection; I just say give it a try. I didn’t want him to go to his grave without ever having tasted the softer side. I feel that we all have our special mission in life. Mine is: Anyone who has never kissed a girl — male, female, young, old — I gotta help them. All debaucherous night, my impending divorce nagged at me. I’d be stroking somebody else’s flesh and suddenly have a vision of Jean Louis bursting in the court doors at the last minute, saying, “Stop the proceedings!” and I’d get back together with this emotionally deranged man I’ve seen only once in the last six years.

  

        

  

©2003 Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.

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(That Guy Is) Sick
26 May 1998

Adam thinks he’s in love with me now. He threw up, that’s how he figured it out. He said he acted “weird” at first because he was thinking, She’s probably so used to people kissing her ass, I’m not going to give her the satisfaction. I said, “Well, you were so busy trying to give the impression that you weren’t impressed with me that you ended up giving me the impression you weren’t impressed with me! Why shouldn’t you be impressed? I was impressed with you, I told you so. I like attention as much as anyone, and you withheld for months.”
    And now it’s too late — I’m stalking a new weirdo. Jerry Wick. I have fantasies all day long, where he starts trying to tell somebody something and I say, “Shut up, Jerry,” and then we get in a fight and I kick him in the shin and then we have sex. You know, one of my finer qualities is that no woman has to worry about me stealing her boyfriend, because if anyone did have a boyfriend obnoxious enough for me to like, she’d be glad to get rid of him. Here’s my song about Jerry:

    Jerry Wick, Jerry Wick
    The people say he’s a prick.
    “He’s a prick, that Jerry Wick!
    The things he does — that guy is sick.”
    I love you, Jerry Wick—
    Bring your ear here for a lick.
    Jerry Wick, you are a prick.
    You make my heart go tick tick tick.

The Poltergeist Hump Dance
1 June 1998

Everybody in Columbus, it seemed, came out for Jenny Mae’s party: ex cons; a drug dealer clutching a medical bag and yelling at everyone to shut up; big-bottomed white girls who no one knew, saying, “Honey, go get me some more Wine Coolers”; Tom from the Cheeter Slicks; a couple cops who came to investigate the disturbance and decided to stay. I told Bela, who runs Anyway Records, that his shirt was “a fancy man’s shirt” and he ripped it clean off his body! It cost $60! The pretty house, filled with Jenny Mae’s paintings that have about a thousand colors each, was getting banged and dented. All these people were trying to get away from other people who wouldn’t let go.

Jerry was moving into me and then he stopped, saying he needs sex to be mystical. Copulation, Jerry says, is for animals. I figured that was the cocaine talking.

Jenny Mae demonstrated “the poltergeist hump dance” and then she attacked her boss — a short, skinny, gay Haitian — with her boobies, then she lay on the floor and said to her big black Lab: “Chicken, kill Mommy — rip open her jugular. If you love Mommy, kill me right now.” It sounds sad when I write it, but it felt crazy unbounded happy at the time, like diving off a terribly high cliff or tree limb into a lake, and in a way you hate it, but it’s not like anything else — it’s more. The patio has just about every kind of plant I’ve ever seen in my life. Jenny Mae was telling me about getting beaten as a kid and how to make plants not die as we sipped our King of Beers.
    Someone told me Jerry was here. I stayed on the patio, he stayed wherever he was, for at least an hour. Jenny Mae reported that Jerry was “spruced up. It looks like he even took a shower.” At last a group of people brought me in and another group brought Jerry down from the upstairs and sat us on the couch side by side, not looking at each other and not saying anything. I couldn’t remember what he looked like. He laughed at something someone said and I snuck a peek; I saw that his teeth point in about ten different directions. He’s handsome but bruised-looking, and electric. I said to someone else that I was hungry, and Jerry jumped up. “I’ll make you my famous omelet!” he cried. “Jerry hasn’t cooked in four years,” Jenny Mae said. He rummaged in her refrigerator and there was nothing but wine, so he drank a bottle and got near my hand as if he would pick it up in his (but he didn’t) and said, “Let’s go to the store.”


Lisa & Jerry in a bar in Columbus at noon, July 1998

    In the parking lot outside Jenny Mae’s, people were doing cocaine. Jerry bought us a couple lines. It went up my nose and down my throat, where it turned into lavender liquid, and suddenly I could feel every individual piece of gravel under my feet. Jerry and I wandered through alleys under dark, heavy trees, saying everything. We love Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Thomas Wolfe (the old one, not Tom). We know the same lines by heart. I told him why he behaves as he does, he told me I’m not as perceptive as I think I am. The store was closing (it was 3 a.m.), but Jerry put his palms on the glass door and showed his erratic teeth in a big grin and the man let us in. We bought eggs, cheese, milk, and one rotten tomato (“They’re tastier that way.”). We noticed that a lot more things were broken when we returned to the party. Two hours it took Jerry to make the perfect omelet, and he hadn’t taken but one bite and Jenny Mae grabbed his plate out of his hands and threw it across the room. Then her husband threw a glass and we all ran out in the alley and smashed plates till 6 a.m., which I guess is the Columbus bedtime.
     We had Jenny Mae’s and her husband’s “marriage bed.” Jerry was moving into me and then he stopped, saying he needs sex to be mystical. Copulation, Jerry says, is for animals. I figured that was the cocaine talking, but then he said he is 31 years old and has had sex only ten times in his life, with seven different girls. That averages to 1.4 times per girl, which is exactly what we’ve managed thus far. As it turns out, Jerry was an altar boy till he was 18 and might need some extra-special treatment. I’m going to take care of him like the beaten Jenny Mae takes care of her difficult, hummingbird-attracting, hanging fuchsia.

Accidents and Messes
10 June 1998

Violet, my cat, was hit by a car (which then streaked off), her pelvis broken in three places. So I bought her a new pelvis, even though the operation cost $1,500 — the last of my inheritance from my mother. People thought it odd that I just didn’t put her to sleep and keep the money. But this is her home — if your life isn’t worth $1,500 in your own home, then what kind of a world is this? And now, confined to a box for two weeks, getting pills shoved down her throat three times a day, Violet is still purring. She’s alive. When I think of all the career opportunities I’ve missed due to taking care of cats and kids, all the strangers not explored, all the thoughts not completed . . . everything interrupted, sometimes I get frustrated. But when you see what all these accidents and messes are: so much life around you, life being had, not just gotten through, well, death is no longer so fearful a thing. Because you know all is right just the way it is — broken and half-repaired like that, and you know you’re doing right.

I stuck my tongue in and it tasted like it looked. No wonder the men were happy just to go down on her.

    That’s my day. In the night, Jerry (whose psychic pelvis is broken in at least three places) makes my phone ring, and his sweet, crackly voice breaks my dream like a thumb poking through very old, worn fabric. I try to remember what I wanted to tell him. He makes some comparison between the Bible and Soap Opera Digest. He says nobility is lost today. He has the gall to claim he is the last noble man! I’m a sucker for gall. As I am for crooked teeth. He says he changed his mind about slowness. Now what was it he said originally on the subject? Neither of us remembers. Our story goes in and out like the tide. My night self’s a five-slat fence fragment, easing out of the sand and floating on top of the water till it reaches the horizon. I go to sleep not like I’m losing awareness, but like I’m traveling to this sea that’s always there. And every time I’m here again, over and over and over again, the stars come out like they never didn’t shine for me to navigate by. Me the floating, broken fence glowing white in the sparkling, flowing night.

Bruised Fruit
28 June 1998

Back in Columbus, chasing Jerry from softball game to the corner store to the record store where he works. He has a master’s degree and his band is on Warner Brothers, but still he likes being behind the counter at that one store, twisting on that stool with the rusted metal base and the cracked plastic top, making it squeak; he likes to sass the customers, rest inside crossed forearms on the counter. Smoke. Rest. If Jerry were a woman, he’d be the kind whose children get taken away, but they still love her, dream of her. He’s like a forest or Mayan ruins or Los Angeles — something that goes on and on without me. He doesn’t notice me. I find myself punching him, tickling him, hogging the sidewalk in a desperate attempt to get him to brush against me — stuff twelve-year-olds do to the opposite sex. I feel goofy and desperate and totally turned on. With other boyfriends, we’d take little bites out of our sex life all day long, and its promise never could fully gestate. We never left it alone long enough to. With Jerry, if the sun is shining, his hands are somewhere other than on my body, and the promise of sex does ripen; it ripens till it’s so bruised and soft and sugary it might burst open on its own. At night, I follow him from bar to bar while he laughs and leans across the table to smack someone other than me and plays video crack and occasionally soliloquies but mostly says nothing — just puts that tense longing into every regular old loser activity he does, making it look like the most crazy, wonderful thing anyone ever did, and then the longing is in me. Finally, around three, we end up back at his one-room pad, where he explains that he wants to fly a plane or some other desperate revelation (funny I can never remember his actual words); somehow that’s an excuse for not having sex with me.

“No woman has ever made me come,” I told her, hoping she’d take it as a challenge.

    “You don’t know how to go slow!” he told me on the last hour of my last night there, my very last chance to be penetrated. Indeed I don’t. Jerry squeezed our eight bruised (from softball) arms and legs into a straight line. He wouldn’t let me get out of missionary. I couldn’t use a change of position or tempo to change the mood or sensations; I was stuck dealing with the mood that was there. I had to focus. I’ve done everything, but I never did nothing. It was hard. He made me look at him. When I came, I cried.

The Dakota-Proxy
8 July 1998

Jerry broke up with me, so I drove to New York. I met up with Kate and Mistress Dakota at Coney Island High. I first saw Dakota while visiting Kate in the dungeon she works at. She looks like Cindy Crawford except she’s prettier than Cindy Crawford. “Dakota never comes out,” Kate said.
    “I came tonight because I heard you’d be here,” Dakota said, looking at me, and everyone else said stuff, but I couldn’t hear anything — everyone’s voice but Dakota’s was like crinkling papers inside my skull. Then I realized they were talking about oral sex. “I never do a thing for men,” Dakota was saying. “They satisfy me and then I do nothing back. I tell them I don’t have to — I’m too beautiful.” If someone thought that, I’d find it despicable. But to say it, proclaim it . . . that made it ballsy and funny. Her arrogance made her even more glamorous. “After I’m satisfied, I tell them: ‘Clean the apartment. And then pay the rent.’ I don’t lift a finger.” I vowed then that Dakota was going to lift a finger tonight. On me! And when it was her turn for my finger, I’d leave. Just because no one ever does that to her. “Can I buy you a drink?” I said.
    “I don’t drink,” she said.
    So I got her a Coca Cola, and a Jack and Coke for myself. Then I got another, because I was scared.
    “No woman has ever made me come,” I told her, hoping she’d take it as a challenge. A guy at our table made a strange noise and started tapping. “Maybe once one did — I wasn’t sure. No woman has ever made me come where I was sure she made me come.”
    “Well let’s go,” Dakota said, and we went to the bathroom. I closed the door behind us and leaned on it, but still I was half-a-foot taller than her. I took off my heels. “You don’t want to be in stocking feet on this floor,” she warned. “I don’t care about that,” I said, and put my hand on top of her head and pushed her down. Her breasts are fake — double D’s — and I felt them up as she rolled down my skirt and stockings and underwear. They were very firm and big.
    Then she was on her knees, and her face was between my legs, and she was licking and fingering me at the same time. She fingered with one hand, and with the other, she squeezed my ass, pulling my hips into her face. I had one hand tight on the doorknob and the other on her head. She came up for air and looked at me with her chin all wet, and I said, “You are so beautiful.” I bet people don’t tell her that much, because she is so beautiful they must figure she hears it all the time and they want to show they’re different by not telling her. Anyway, she was beautiful. Especially with her face wet and at thigh-level, tilted up. She went back to it, but I was so drunk it was hard to feel anything. “Harder,” I kept saying, and she’d do it harder and then I’d tell her to do it even harder, until she was practically beating me with her fingers and her mouth and her palm. And then I came. I was sure I came this time. When it was over, I realized people were pounding on the bathroom door, yelling about pee. Dakota was looking like a pet waiting to be petted. I remembered my diabolical plan, but in my plan I hadn’t counted on how benevolent I feel post-orgasm. “C’mere,” I said, placing her in my spot against the door. I tugged her pants down to her knees. She didn’t have any underwear on, and was waxed completely bald! Oh, it was too fine! I felt ashamed that I’d only trimmed and baby-powdered. I licked up the whole surface of it and couldn’t feel even the idea of stubble. I stuck my tongue in and it tasted like it looked. No wonder the men were happy just to go down on her.

9 July

Later that night, Jerry’s van pulled up in front of the club. His band played, and then he and I went to a hotel room paid for by a Swedish magazine (I’m in New York to interview Jon Spencer). Jerry was reluctant as usual to have sex with me. “I fooled around with two women a few hours ago,” I confessed. (The second time, this South American lady literally flew across the table at me after Dakota and I finally emerged from the bathroom. She was swearing and wrestling me, forcing her tongue into my mouth and squeezing my boobs. I think maybe she had a crush on Dakota and knew that was impossible, so my body served as a sort of Dakota-proxy.)

Our bathroom behavior got everyone banned from the bar for life.

    “I wait for you all the time,” I told him, “and then you don’t even want me. I got tired of waiting.”
     “You knew I’d be here in an hour, but you went to the bathroom with her?” he said.
     “The last hour is especially painful,” I explained.
     “Are you going to let yourself be controlled by beauty?” said Jerry, and he put his cigarette out on the hotel wall and then he did it to me in every position all across the single, sagging bed and the ripped-rug floor and after that he broke up with me again. Then we went to Odessa’s and had the best breakfast I’ve ever had: A huge plate of food, a fruit cup, delicious coffee, water and a Screwdriver. Plus the waiter flirts with you and your dining companion till you both have balloons for heads — all for only six dollars! Jerry and I separated: I to do my interview and he to reassemble his scattered band. We met back at Holiday, a basement bar. Kate, Bambi, and Jerry’s band mate Falcon were already there.
    “Hey, Lisa,” Jerry said to me, “how come I want to know everything Kate is saying?” And then he swept me up in a waltz even though there wasn’t even music — just a football game on the TV. He asked me more about Kate. All he does is slip away from me — more when he’s in my arms than any other time. But slipping is what the guy does. When Jerry and I were in the bathroom, Falcon kept knocking on the bathroom door. I was calling him names and stuff, telling him to go away in a saucy manner. Jerry said, “You’re in love with Falcon!” He sounded surprised. I said, “Only as much as you are with Kate.” He didn’t stop what he was doing to my body for even a second. He wouldn’t let me turn the light off. In fact I think how much he’s in love with Kate and I with Falcon is not at all — though they’re fine and desirable people. Jerry’s in love with me, and I with him, like headlights skim a child’s bedroom walls and ceiling at night — all at an angle and unreal.

10 July

Our bathroom behavior got everyone banned from Holiday for life — including Kate and Bambi, and it was one of their favorite hangouts. We stumbled outside and Jerry must’ve snuck down a side street when no one was looking — suddenly he just wasn’t there. The rest of our party adjourned to an outdoor café. I choked on a vitamin pill and it flew out of my mouth and Falcon swooped down on it like his namesake and popped the thing in his own mouth, saliva coating and all. It was shocking and super-sexy. (Unhygienic action is a big part of passion — you can tell the married couples from the just-mets because the just-mets still think spit is something desirable and transcendent.)
     “Where were you?” I asked Jerry two hours later when he decided to show up.
     “I went to go get saved.”
     “By whom? Did you get your palm read?”
     “I went to get peace of mind.”
     “Is this your way of saying you went to buy cigarettes?”
     “Nope.”
     “What did you do?”
     “Um, I talked to people I didn’t know. It was nice. People I know, I can’t get as much out of. I was starting to feel like an envelope with you. Like someone was sealing and delivering me. And, um, I wanted to stop the licker. I wanted to break the seal. I can’t talk like this anymore.”
     Jerry accused me of licking him shut! When here I am trying to do nothing but keep open every door in the whole world.  

  

        

Excerpted from The Lisa Diaries (Black Books). A few advance reviews:

“Be an armchair voyeur in the house of the sex fiends! Go on a wild ride exploring intimacy and excess with Lisa Carver, one of America’s most introspective ultravixens.”
— Carol Queen, author

“She’s like David Sedaris but a dirty girl. She’s my hero.”
— Jill Soloway, writer/producer, Six Feet Under

“I went on tour with her band Suckdog in September 1998, during which everyone but Lisa had to make at least one trip to the emergency room. A week after the tour was over, Ohio and I were sick in bed, Coz was somewhere in West Virginia in a broken-down van, and when I called Lisa she wasn’t sick or tired at all — she’d just flown back from L.A., where she’d spoken at some conference and kissed an international businessman.”
— Dame Darcy, drawer/actor/doll-maker/author

You can order The Lisa Diaries (with a special free gift*) at www.blackbooks.com/catalog. (Just mention Nerve.com when you order.) You can also order directly from Lisa Carver — send $19 to PO Box 474, Dover NH 03821. The Lisa Diaries is also available, sans free gift, from Amazon.com here. Otherwise, check with your local bookstore; they may have to special-order it. If so, they can get it at (800) 818-8823, or by fax at (415) 431-0172. Direct phone and fax orders from readers and distributors are accepted as well.

* – Two printers refused to print a nude photo of Lisa and her ex-husband in The Lisa Diaries, claiming it was “obscene.” However, Black Books and Lisa are happy to offer the missing photo to all customers from Nerve!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

©2003 Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.