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DIARY OF A CALIFORNICATOR V

"I can imagine the sweetness of awaking every day in a world of my own with nothing but words to shape, mold and manipulate. Where everything would be guaranteed by the fact that this world's main occupant was also its primary author, director and actor. Nice capsule of life, neat and contained. It would keep me from spinning out of control."

by Kimberly Nichols

COPYRIGHT © 2001, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


The most beautiful things happen at midnight. Nick Drake serenades lovers inflated on wine finally rolling into bed half in and out of boxer shorts and mesh pantyhose. Anger dances with forgiveness. Pain seeks solace in joy. Lust and love co-mingle, hold hands and fuck till dawn. Apparitions form within dust motes. The subconscious takes off his clothes. Souls pass from here to there. And the true nature of things sits sulking in corners only glimpsed by isolated visitors in those hours pre-dawn.

October starts with the movie Mulholland Drive. David Lynch screwing with my head again. Turning me on and disgusting me simultanesouly. Sending me into tailspins on nights when I am already bleeding and drinking way too much Merlot. I consider the juxtaposition of the red romantic, which gives me the extreme desire to run away to Kansas. Gorgeous and neurotic lesbians, a sell-out director with black spiky hair and an albino moral compass in a cowboy hat and I am left arguing at one in the morning with my lover over an hour and a half of film with no probable conclusions. He calls me na´ve and I call him a pretentious fool. I want to kiss him, make him bleed, throw him in the garbage and adore him forever. I am sure he feels the same.

And so my Fall begins.

Gimlet-eyed.

Despite my fears, I get on an airplane and fly to the Midwest. I sit for an entire day in a room with my dying father. We don't speak but our energies integrate. I feel five years old again. I do nothing for hours as he sleeps. I do nothing but sit in silence. When I leave his eyes tell me goodbye and I know I will never see him again. A phone call at midnight a week later tells me he is gone. I see him in my dreams for days after that. I find myself on a variety of roller coasters with him in my mind and every time I say good bye I watch him sink away into the brightest of white lights.

I wake up all month at midnight and become familiar with my soul. I become intolerant of bullshit. The leaves fall off the desert trees in bits of brittle brown. I begin to notice pieces of startling beauty in a fucked up world.

My lover and I drive into LA to catch an architecture exhibit. After an hour spent playing with Rem Koolhaas' manufactured Swiss cheese building materials, we wander through the rest of the MOCA. Nothing astounds me until I wander into a stark white room and see a piece titled How Dickinson Stayed Home by an artist named Roni Horn.

On the floor of this naked space are scattered fifteen or so blocks. The blocks are like the alphabet cubes of every toddler's youth save for the fact that the lettering is electric blue on white aluminum and it bleeds in trails around the full dimensions of the cubes. The blocks sit dispersed and alone, waiting for a pair of hands, an eager mind, a breath of life.

Suddenly the idea of perpetual solitude is appealing to me. I find it easy to understand how one could hole up in a room with a slim view of sky, grass, maybe a sliver of lake in the foreground. I can imagine the sweetness of awaking every day in a world of my own with nothing but words to shape, mold and manipulate. Where everything would be guaranteed by the fact that this world's main occupant was also its primary author, director and actor. Nice capsule of life, neat and contained.

It would keep me from spinning out of control.

A couple weeks ago I sat downtown on the steps of my favorite water fountain. Big red and blue tubes seesawed with water and sent rivers of wetness down beneath my feet into a labyrinth of rocks, stone and concrete. I sat at this fountain and watched the children play, ignorant of self-consciousness, blind to other people's opinions and free.

My window is cracked just enough so that I smell fish as if the geography has shrunk. As if I may step out my front door and be five feet from the Pacific Ocean. I could jump in the sea and be cleansed of this sordid place, this backward glance.

It's midnight once again and I sit here alone with my soul.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Nichols is a freelance writer splitting residence between the southern California Desert where the air is clear and the mountains are magical and Boston for her much needed fix of urbanity. She is a featured freelancer for the local alternative weekly, The Desert Post Weekly. She is also a society columnist for The Desert Sun newspaper. Her non-fiction specialties are women's issues, psychology, philosophy, sex, and art, book, culture and music reviews. Her fiction and poetry has appeared in Feminista, Alternative Arts and Literature and 3am Magazine. She also works as a publicist for various bands and artists. In her spare time, Kimberly can be found in the yoga studio, on the dance floor, at the beach or in Greek and Indian restaurants. She is currently at work on a book of poetry and a series of fine art collage entitled Girls of the Hundred Proof Bordello Define Desire.






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