Coverage of me and other train wrecks: my mama, subway nut jobs, sex and the environment.


Outdoor Spray

I just learned last night that mama has a special area near the tool shed, by some mango trees where she goes pee pee if she's farming the passion fruit vines. Rather than walk the 5 minutes it takes to get to the house, she lets loose on the topsoil, the way god intended. Nothing compares to the swealing delight with which she shared this information. She claims the spot is hidden enough that none of her neighbors can see her. I applaud her outdoor wee wee. I mean, guys piss all over the place, women should too. Mark your territories, ladies!



I like the smell of homeless people on the train. Rey will wretch when he reads this. Most of you will, I'm sure. It's not erotic to me, but it's fascinating and nostalgic. It reminds me of horses and goats, of their dung, of the way the dung smells after it rains and the sun comes back out and warms the dung heaps and spreads the oily smell through the air and mixes it with sweat and orange blossoms and brine from the sea. The smells I grew up with as a boy in South Florida.

I know it's not what one expects to smell on a train packed with people all of whom have a place to be but it's the only smell that reminds me of nature. We decompose, rot, pulsate, we attract flies, we're beasts, we're mounds of sod, we're burning leaves we're dying starfish. And we're full of shit. At least I am.

The smell of a dirty body is what life and death smell like when they smash together. It's maybe the scent of the big bang--the universe exploded into being like an overripe cheese that could no longer contain its own gas, which seeded the universe with mold spores and yeast.

To me, the way some homeless people smell is natural, abundant, fertile, vibrant, and so much better than sniffing Armani's latest bottled spritz or a deluge of Donna Karen's sprayable toxicity.


My Wife, Róisín Murphy

If I couldn't listen to my wife sing, I'd be halfway between the 16th floor and a Times Square sidewalk. Fastlad said it best: "She sings with soul." The first two songs/vids, If We're In Love and Sow Into You, are from her debut solo album, Ruby Blue. But she also sings/sang with Moloko and is probably best known for the song Sing It Back. Oh, and Róisín was born in Dublin. Okay. Love her.

Oh, and that emerald dress she's wearing in the desert, I gave it to her on our 10th anniversary. Picked it out myself:

Even with roach legs coming out of her back she captures my heart:

And here she dancing for me on our first date:


More Lamb

Here's another song I love from Lamb called B-Line. It's like miss piggy did a booty bump of meth and got plastic surgery so she could look like Sophia Loren's alien momma. Watch:

Train Tunes

On the iTunes that Rey got me for xmas I've been listening to stuff. Here's some of the stuff. It's Lamb's Gorecki from the self-titled debut album, Lamb. I used to really dig them and haven't heard their stuff in a while. This song is so hopeful. It's my favorite from this album.

The hot guy in the video has got to go, though. Yeah, I've got mixed feelings about him. So what.

Anyway, here it is, push the button on her nose:



That pack of scoundrels
tumbling through the gate
as the Order of the State.

--Stanley Kunitz, from THE TESTING-TREE (1971)


The Slayer on Love

In the last episode of season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy and Dawn fight a bunch of zombies in a pit under the cemetery. When it's all over, Buffy realizes her little sister Dawn has fought well and is growing up. She realizes:

"I don't want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you. And there's so many things I wanna show you."

Now that's amor.


The Neurotic Tendency: Part Two

Because I trusted no one more than her, because I loved no one more than her, my universe was tiny. Even dad wasn't allowed inside without special permission, burocratic paperwork of sorts, and mama's mindful eye making sure he was having the kind of relationship with me that bore her rigid stamp of approval.

Outside my little bubble was fear. Mama pointed out all the traps of life, all the obstacles, the pain. Warnings of how others would betray me how life would be if I trusted the wrong kind of person. Admonishments about sharing feelings with so-called friends--"Never let anyone know how you truly feel...except me. You tell me EVERYTHING." She made sure that anytime I had a decision to make, that I'd imagine all the possible negative outcomes. So that if I wanted to go out to someone's birthday party she'd explain:

Careful they don't put something in your food.
Don't eat any of the desert unless you serve it yourself.
Don't talk to anyone about your family.
If a man touches you, hit him.
If someone hits you, call the police.
Make sure the owner of the house is watching you in case something happens.
Put on your seatbelt on the way there and back or you'll get hit by a car and die.
Have lots of fun.

That's the stinger--have fun in the pit of despair. The impossible dream.

At 18 I left Miami for New York City. I left the bubble, I thought. But of course, after all those years inside it, my senses were dulled. The outside seemed like a loveless, hateful world. It's tough to enjoy life if it seems like every day is a struggle against the evil forces that are out to get you.

About to turn 31, I look at the future and see...hardship, struggle, unhappiness. all the same demons. The overwhelming sense of impending doom. The fear that I--little insignificant Alex--am no match for life. I know it can't be true, that if I just adjust my glasses I might see how the darks mingle with lights. But the fluttering of wings I hear when I imagine tomorrow--is it a flock of angels? Or a plague of wasps?

The Neurotic Tendency: Part One

Friends and therapists always twitch and later gasp when I tell them about growing up with mama. Mama loved me lots, she sure did. she used to tell me so often.

"I'm the only person who really loves you, Alex. No one will ever love you as much as I do. You can't trust anyone the way you can trust me. You can trust me with anything. I'll always be there for you." It was a great comfort as a kid to think, wow, here's this person who will do anything for me, who will give her life for me and who absolutely adores me. but that's the skew isn't it? It wasn't love, it was a system of control meant to thwart my attempts to have a life outside of her.

I was six when Mama and my dad's mom had a falling out. Mama had me spy on grandma and report to her. Mama was convinced grandma hated her and was turning my father against her. Finally, she accused grandma to her face and grandma disappeared. I never saw her again. Dad never took me to see her, either, so as to avoid a big bang with Mama.

I was 14 when Mama had a screaming match with my cousin, Marqui. He was like a brother to me, he knew me since I was born and taught me to spell and write. I learned English thanks to him. He lived next door until I was 5 and I'd wait for him to get home from work with my alphabet books in hand. At 14 it was done. Over. Mama wouldn't apologize and she never wanted to see him again.

Always if I managed to make a friend, Mama would point out the friend wasn't as wholesome as I'd thought. That I was completely being fooled by my so-called friend. That my friend was in fact an enemy, a devil, a good-for-nothing. So I'd lose all my friends, too.

Time and time again the floor disappeared from under me as a kid and I'd fall...but always I landed snug in mama's arms. A wrapping, comfortor blankie of warm and happiness, nothing like it, worries away, joy. Surrounded.

Then I came out, and she rejected me. She fought me. I fell again into nothing. I feel like I'm still falling alone.


The underground hallway at the Jackson Heights stop was rather empty for a Saturday morning, but it WAS early. Rey and I were headed over to Target for toilet paper, toothpaste, and kitty litter (which we never did buy, poor puss puss).

On our way to the staircase leading towards the train platform this woman makes a b-line right towards us, grinning from ear to ear waving a flyer in front of her. "Thank you! Thank you!," she beamed, and I picked up my pace. it was scary for a second. I definitely had one of those "oh my god we're gonna get stabbed," reactions but then I realized this woman was so tiny and frail that even I could take her down if need be. My chest puffed with confidence.

"Thank you, thank you! Jesus loves you!" She rejoiced. I tried not to laugh when I responded "you're welcome, you're welcome, okay!" and I darted down the stairs to the train.

As we descended, Rey dryly noted, "at least Jesus still loves you even if you didn't take a flyer."