Kayden Kross Blog
Act 1: The Intelligentsia
I've been reading (not that I ever stopped, but the problem
has progressed to the advanced stages. As in, doctors have given me 6 months to
live. As in, intervention is in order, and rehab. As in--get a life).
I once met a man who irritated me to a point that I almost
couldn't contain myself. He was one of the intelligentsia. Just ask him. He was
one of those tortured people who over-thought and overanalyzed and made it true
that ignorance is, in fact, bliss. He loved being a tortured person. He ate
caviar and pronounced the 'h' in who, with a British accent, in spite of his
being born and bred in the midfuckingwest. Just like Stewie Griffin. I speak of
him as if he's dead to me. He is. And by dead to me I mean I deleted him from
I have a point though. I'm not on a tangent. My point is
that he read too, in a get-a-life kind of way. We talked books, as all people
who need lives in one particular way will do. Given time I can list hundreds of
titles that I've sped through. Book slut. I have my standards, but I pass
through them like a stoner through cheetos.
So my book conversation with the intelligentsia began like
Him: "I'll read for hours each day if I'm not working"
Me: "No shit? Me too"
Him: "Yes I really like to savor them." (He may have flicked
dryly at his lips with his tongue in an attempt at bridging the gap between
literature and sexuality here... I wouldn't put it past him)
Me: "I can't put them down. I'll finish the whole thing in
one sitting if no one interrupts." (This was pre-twitter of course)
Him: "Oh my lord (in horror at my indiscretion). I'll do 5
pages at a time"
Me: "like, between breaks for coffee?"
Him: "no. I'll read 5 pages in 3 hours. No breaks"
Me: "... oh...?" (I felt it rude to ask questions after that)
Act 2: 3 Books in 3 Days, and back again
The thing about Bucharest is it's a really beautiful city.
The Paris of the Eastern Block someone said... the Orange County of Communism. I
don't know what the fuck that is supposed to mean. The stray dogs and orphans
begging on the streets are clean and well fed if that makes any difference. I
was asked if it feels very Communist. I responded that it feels Communist in
the sense that it doesn't feel Capitalist, as if Communism were somehow the
ordinary state of things and Capitalism were some type of inflammation. Maybe
I'm not wrong. But then again the Pizza Hut chain here said on the corner of
its prime real estate that it was the nicest restaurant in town. I guess they
don't have laws against fluffing here either.
Bucharest is a really beautiful city and I'm stuck here
staring at it through the windows and the heat wave. I don't hate it, but my
days are spent reading. I read at the cafes, at the hookah bars, in the hotel
lobby... and for hours on end on set between my two-word lines. It's like an
exercise routine and I've finally pushed past my plateau. It dawned on me,
slowly at first, when I finished "Stories in the Worst Way" by Gary Lutz, then
set it down and picked up "The Dying Animal" by Philip Roth, and the next day
set it down for "Black Spring" by Henry Miller. Then I finally looked up, and
there were no more books. So I picked up "Stories in the Worst Way", by Gary
Lutz. Then "The Dying Animal". Then "Stories in the Worst Way" a third time.
Then "Black Spring." It dawned on me that the pompous ass actually had
something to say.
If you've ever read, and reread, and reread again the very
same paragraph, its like art, and if its well done, it will be hard to look
away from (and if its poorly done it makes you want to throw up in your mouth a
little). I started feeling horrible. I thought of all of my favorite authors,
the ones I feel I would friend on Facebook if they would have me. The Margaret
Atwoods and William Faulkners and Toni Morrisons and Barry Hannahs of the
world. The Bukowskis. I could do better with them. I should be savoring them
like the pompous ass who was cold-heartedly deleted from my phone (I never
looked back). Sharon Olds wrote a poem entitled "Sex Without Love". I had to do
a paper on it for a creative writing class. I got the same thing out of it
after reading it 47 times, dissecting it syllable by syllable. It's like that
elusive runners high, only it exists and it's not painful to reach.
Act 3: here's why
-Gary Lutz (this is the story in its entirety)
"I've had things in my eye, sometimes too many at once.
was during a standstill in some otherwise eventful unemployment on both sides.
My wife was asking for permission. She was sleeveless. The car was already in
me have at least a look at him,' is all I said.
was waiting in a booth at a coffee shop. My wife slid in beside him. I don't
ordinarily drink coffee, but he ordered it for all three of us. I was going to
count the number of sips I took.
isn't my day,' he said. He told us what had happened on his way over--near
misses, thumbnail bios of the principal, etc.
sat in the misorderly, picayune midst of my wife.
let him butter me up. I tapped my foot on his. Just a tap.
Because I know myself from somewhere,
been within an inch of my life.
are no big doings in my life that I know of."
-Henry Miller (p. 26)
dreamers dream from the neck up, their bodies securely strapped to the electric
chair. To imagine a new world is to live it daily, each thought, each glance,
each step, each gesture killing and recreating, death always a step in advance.
To spit on the past is not enough. To proclaim the future is not enough. One
must act as if the pst were dead and the future unrealizeable. One must act as
if the next step were the last, which it is. Each step forward is the last, and
with it the world dies, one's self included. We are here of the earth never to
end, the past never ceasing, the future never beginning, the present never
ending. The never-never world which we hold in our hands and see and yet is not
ourselves. We are that which is never concluded, never shaped to be recognized,
all there is and yet not the whole, the parts so much greater than the whole
that only god the mathematician can figure it out."
The Dying Animal
-Philip Roth (p. 27)
we went to bed. It happened fast, less because of my intoxication than because
of her lack of complexity. Or call it clarity. Call it newly minted maturity,
though maturity.,I would say, of a simple kind: she was in communion with that
body in the very way she wished to be in communion with art. She undressed, and
not only was her blouse silk but her underwear was made of silk. She had nearly
pornographic underwear. A surprise. You know she has chosen this to please. You
know she has chosen this with a man's eye in mind, even if the man would never
see it. You know that you have no idea what she is, how clever she is or how
stupid she is, how shallow she is or how deep she is, how wily, how wise, even
how wicked. With a self-contained woman of such sexual power, you have no idea
and you never will. The tangle that is her character is obscured by her beauty.
Nonetheless, I was gently moved seeing that underwear. I was moved by seeing
that body. 'Look at you,' I said."
I'm going to sign off here. The girls in the lobby think I'm
a crack-head because it's 5am (but 7pm in LA!). I apologize for the length of
this one, but anything broken into 3 acts is bound to take some attention. To
make you feel better, I posted a picture of my asshole.