We throatily sing in Bulgarian and Vietnamese to the old French tune of Frere Jacques as a group of people walk by our bench in the pitch-black darkness. One of the group approaches and gives us a free joint of tobacco and weed. She feels sorry that we have chosen to drink anise alcohol with sparkling water. She can smell how bitter it tastes from a mile away and she feels sorry that our souls are going to die from it. It's good that we strolled the Berlin cemetery the prior night, because now we know our future housing situation. But you finished it, my friend, the whole bottle minus my tiny contribution; props to you. Your determination to not waste food or drink is admirable; it tests the limits of human willpower.
Okay, I drink three sips of the stuff before the fire burns through my stomach and kills me. We float back in time to the cemetery where we discussed family while meandering along dark paths under darker trees. Grass grows over tombstones; angels fly back and forth. Jesus has somehow teleported to a different region of the cemetery. From beyond our shadowed forest glows a red and white cinema sign, bordered by a rectangle of golden lights. It is the only reminder I can see of the outside world. Will we ever drift back to the Heart of Gold hostel? Will I ever leave this cracked old Hollywood memory behind?
I walk with you and feel peaceful. American cemeteries are not as forested, lush, and secluded as this. Here I can incorporate Bulgarian inefficiency, talking about anything and everything until the sun rises, walking a block in the wrong direction before turning around. This being inefficient is horrible for the deadlines and timed appointments of the living, but perfect for the wandering ways of the dead. Hey, maybe this way I will stumble upon sticky Turkish ice cream again. I wander deep into my thoughts.
Some time later, I glance upon my surroundings again. Well, my friend, it seems that in wandering, I have ended up somewhere far away. This new place is tropical and humid, filled with the dust of motorbikes and hot, panting chickens sleeping in the shade of flat, green-leaved trees. I feel sad when I think of the uncertainty that I will ever see you again. But lucky for me, Royal Chef and Advisor of European Affairs, you still like to shit on my favorite things and debunk feminist atrocities through the digital world, and I'm sure you have even more to say about my writing, so it's not possible to get too sappy. It's what I want, even though it makes me fluff up in indignation sometimes, because then I can improve upon my craft. But thanks for the occasional compliment. I have a fragile egg-o. Bokkok! Ahem. A hen.
Thanks for cooking moussaka and tarator for this stray cat of a human being. Right now, I'm sad for no reason so I'm rewatching "Girl, Interrupted", which is a movie about a girl in a mental hospital. I've forgotten the plot. One year ago I was in a mental hospital too. My mind keeps rewinding to that moment. Every time I have fun with a new human being, I feel a little bit of fear. People tell me it won't happen anymore, that I'm different now. But even though that Me died, I still feel haunted by my past. Maybe it's like being a former prisoner. Sometimes you think back to how it felt to be behind bars, not knowing when you'll be released. But I think the dominant feeling I have is one of hope, actually.
Will I ever be happy? I don't want to be happy all the time anyway. I wonder why I keep asking myself that. Maybe it's a socially-trained question. Remember when we were drinking "scalding" turmeric tea and you told me I was normal? The guy nurse at the hospital said I looked normal too. I felt you were concerned and trying to reassure me. Yes, you're right, I am normal in the ways I have developed in reaction to my environment. It's just that I have a tendency to be sad sometimes that brings me to the brink of danger. Melancholy. I don't mind, because emotion fuels writing. The psychiatrist at St. Helena said I was normal. He said I was just off the path of following my self's dreams. And since I hadn't actually tried to kill myself, he let me leave after only two nights there. I'll try my best to take care of myself, and live long and happy. Maybe I can be like a mix of the Dalai Lama and Edgar Allan Poe.
Like my previous post, this post is long and meandering. Looks like I've incorporated Bulgarian inefficiency into my writing as well. I had fun all seven nights in Berlin of having you bash on my favorite books and movies. I already liked the taste of blood, so thanks for turning me into a full-fledged vampire chicken who sleeps at 7 AM when the sun has come out and people are beginning to go to work. The girl in "Girl, Interrupted" is saying she wants to write, and has just been diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). That's what they diagnosed me with too, but I think it's a gift to be able to adapt my personality to different situations. I'm an actress, and the world is my stage. I'm glad I didn't take drugs for my depression even though it was hard. I knew unhappiness was telling me to change my life. If I had taken drugs and become functional through them, I think I would have forgotten my pain. Then I don't think I would have changed the root cause of my unhappiness, which was that I wasn't writing. I wasn't loving myself, traveling, feeling the exhilarating freedom of writing. Did I say writing?
Where does the future lead? I don't know, but I wasn't lying to you when I said I love myself. I have loved myself for over a year now. It feels pretty strange. Thanks for calling me pretty.
Vampire Princess Chicken the First who is also a Stray Cat
P.S. The woman below is not me but I like her, so here she stays.
Let me tell you about the time I became a national fugitive running away from the IRS for tax evasion. It started when I met a fellow skater Aliana in Amsterdam at the Marnixstraat skate bowl near Centraal train station. We chilled that day and she invited me to skate the next day with her friend.
The next day I rented a bike. Amsterdam is crazy about its bikes. The way there are bike lanes set up, and the way people ring their bells when biking past each other, it feels like I'm in a chill version of Vietnam's motorbike culture.
I met up with Aliana's other friend Marc around noon and together with Aliana we biked to Veldje 14 skatepark, about 25 minutes by bike south of Centraal. Marc talks about a variety of subjects that day, including a part about trouble paying taxes back in England. The day was blue and clear and warm save for a few clouds. There had been the forecast of a thunderstorm but that turned out to be a joke worth a few drops of rain that vanished in a minute. Besides the larger number of bikes and tall blond people, I could have sworn that I was back in California for a bit.
We skated and ate some Dorito ranch chips that instead of being labeled "Ranch" were labeled "Cool American Flavor". I got a kick out of that. We Americans are so cool in Europe (and Asia). The Cool Kidz. So we ate those, skated, and a Dutch dude came by who was clearly on something. He missed every trick he tried and would go around smashing the fences and gates until the wires gave way and hung loose. At one point he pulled a steel rail into the middle of the park and proceeded to then ignore it for the next ten minutes. it was like watching an avant-garde modern art film. As night fell I played pretend-DJ by connecting my phone music to a fancy amplifier at the park that looked like a DJ station. I played the "Flying Microtonal Banana" album by King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard, and later Marc and I talked about going to check out the Red Light District and the Blue Light "chicks with dicks".
As night fell Aliana went home; Marc and I biked to his place and chilled to some music, then he pulled out LSD and some "weird rocks" some stranger had randomly given to him. We decided against the rocks and took the LSD before biking over to the Red Light. I walked around for a bit before realizing that it was a very stupid idea for anyone, especially me, to have to pay for sex (50 euros for 15 minutes) when I could just get it for free. We went back to his place and watched Pokemon. Pokemon on LSD, though, is lit. The neon graphics, the music, the deep moments, everything. I fall asleep eventually and wake up when the sky is a pale blue, around 6 AM. Kaleidoscopic lights are still stretching across my visual field, and when I look in the mirror, the lines of my eyes grow like vines across my face. But overall my thought process seems clear and calm, at least to me.
One of Marc's many sentences from the past 24 hours roots itself in my psyche -- the sentence about "paying taxes back in England". My stomach drops. Did I pay my taxes back in the US? Is filing taxes a thing? I pull up the IRS website on his laptop and come to this understanding -- filing taxes is a necessity, and not doing it can lead to bank accounts being frozen, even jail time. I don't even remember how I came to the conclusion that I hadn't filed taxes anymore. It's been a few weeks since then. But I spent the next twenty-four hours deciding that I had unwillingly become a national criminal, and was going to have to be on the run across countries like James Bond. I sent money to different people in case my bank accounts were going to be frozen so I could have them send money to me while I was abroad, and called the IRS and set up an online account and sent myself snail mail so that I could get a verification code...
About a month after this I signed in to IRS online and held my breath to see that my poor, student-debt ridden self owed a balance of 0.00. What? 0.00 for years 2014, 2015, 2017. Wait. My mind settled on the term "tax return". If by now, Reader, you are already shaking your head, you may know unlike I did that filing a tax return form is the same as "filing taxes". I had done this all previous years that I worked since graduating college. And so a month of paranoia came to an end. Yes, yes, keep shaking your head in shame. I still do. It is interesting, though, that even though my mental capacities returned to normal about one day after taking LSD, a paranoiac thought that took root during the LSD experience itself remained in my mind for a month afterward. I just assumed during the entire month afterward that I had not indeed, filed taxes, even after the effects of LSD died down.
Trolled by acid,