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DIARY OF A CALIFORNICATOR XI

"Is it time to Spring clean my soul? Or will I do my annual thing of closing the door without sweeping out the dirt? It's never the right time to clean the place out. But foggy months are gone and the sun bestows me with a light for dredging poison."

by Kimberly Nichols

COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I am breathing underneath Sage, a hybrid dancer in white Tontonian gear, missing nothing but feathers. Her hair smells like strawberry shampoo, her alabaster skirt is taut around strong thighs. I would risk taking her home to mother. I peek beneath her curtain of hair at my lover and he looks like he has lost me.

Every single connection we make reeks with knowledge. I stumble on, oblivious and hungry.

Tonight after work I turn into an experiment. I drive downtown and find a girlie bar that peaks my curiosity lately. I am not about to analyze my sexuality but I am perpetually starving so I attempt to walk into places where I can test the waters of my libido in the realm of apple martinis. The bartender pours me a stiff one with four premature olives, little baby bumpkins struggling within a broth of gin, and I strike up a conversation with a muscle bound beauty who's graying at the temples.

Suddenly my father is there, smoking his cigar, asking about my motivations in life. He tries to wrap his arms around me in a half-hug, half-trap and I twist my silver-heeled feet around the barstool's cold steel bottom. We stumble. I wonder where in the hell they got this magic gin and vow to always drink happily in lesbian dens.

One morning I am watching the water roll slowly from the butt of a terra cotta pot and down my sidewalk towards the burnt up grass in a backyard full of browns and greens and fuschia bougainvillea. It is the only respite from a constant mainframe of thought that I have had all week. And I like it. The realization that if I only slowed down at a more consistent rate to see things evolve, I may appreciate the process more than I do now. Right now I am stuck in a fit of just wanting it all.

R. is getting restless in California so we take a jaunt to Florida where the water is warm. Things are ripe and sweet like rotten oranges. Everything is bigger. People are like glycerin. Sparkling. There is a tenuous energy in the air softened by the constant edge of beach. It's absent of Americana but abundant with testosterone. Hush puppies. Cat fish. Conch. We go to a bar that we find on the Internet and people are getting naked on the dance floor. Everything is blurred.

On a warm sunny evening I drive to LA to attend a tribute to an ailing director. A beautiful drag queen walks by with her bespectacled lover. An actor stands in the corner and squints to see beneath the glare of the camera before him. A woman sits on a cement planter smoking a cigarette while her left hand caresses the wrist of a yellow suited old man. And people talk about moments being an essential part of the living scheme.

Later, a half stroke past midnight I drive through a fast food joint and the tired fry cook comes over to the take out window, bends down and offers me a free burger. Late at night, tired from driving, buzzing on an evening, I say no thanks but try and hold on to the feeling of generosity I suddenly find.

There is nobody better and there is beauty everywhere: the color blue, approaching oceans, curried noodles, Egon Schiele, punk rock bands, sweat-splattered dancing and musky smells.

If I'd just shut up and look.

Instead I fight.

R. asks after dinner, "What is the feminine equivalent to chivalry?"

My friend Brandon suggests "protection and care".

R. shakes his head no and instead says it's "grace".

I question my own grace at times, my perpetual rush, my seemingly sensitivity-less self -- that hot-non-compromising cheek flush.

Is it time to Spring clean my soul? Or will I do my annual thing of closing the door without sweeping out the dirt? It's never the right time to clean the place out. But foggy months are gone and the sun bestows me with a light for dredging poison.

I am breathing underneath Sage, a hybrid dancer in white Tontonian gear, missing nothing but feathers. Her hair smells like strawberry shampoo, her alabaster skirt is taut around strong thighs. I would risk taking her home to mother. I peek beneath her curtain of hair at my lover and he looks like he has lost me.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Nichols is a freelance writer/artist/burgundy spaghetti strapped Raggedy Anne in fishnets, living in the California desert. She attributes lust, hedonism, the electromagnetic field and white light as pure motivation in her drive towards omniscience. When she isn't glued to her computer screen she can be found dancing barefoot at drum circles, skinny dipping in the ocean, scouring the desert for cactus skeletons to pose people upon or gathering a good blistering drunk with fine friends and sangria. Her psychological non-fiction appears frequently in the alternative rag Desert Post Weekly. She has been published in Alternative Arts and Literature, Small Spiral Notebook and Feminista and is currently at work on a collage series called Girls of the hundred Proof Bordello Define Desire. Let her write on your back with thorns, wine or iodine and she'll paste you on a rusty nail in one of her paintings.








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