Thursday, August 21, 2008

An expired ID, questions of identity somehow posed by this

The bus ride took an incredibly long time on the way there, the driver probably an actually licensed driver, non-Asian, and not the speed-fed, speed-loving Asian drivers that normally helm the wheel of the Chinatown buses, careening down the left lane the entire way, passing everything by in a whir, this driver instead taking his sweet time, riding in the right lane, driving through the city of Philadelphia, and then taking a long break at a rest stop in Maryland for some reason. It allowed me to make a very large chunk in the Saul Bellow book that I am reading, reading until the sunlight became too dim as we approached DC, until I became utterly consumed in the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen over a city. The haze and clouds made the entire sky fiery orange, seemingly the last day on Earth, apocalypse soon to descend - so incredibly cinematic, and I took it in like the movie scene I imagined it to be, thinking of how beautiful it was.

I got to DC and had to hop in a cab and head straight to this dude's house, the driver, a Southern black man, for some reason playing conservative talk radio, incredible innuendos being said about Barak Obama that I really felt like I was going to lose my mind, that he loved Muslim countries, that he hated the US, that he wanted everyone to speak Spanish, that he had a brother living in a hut somewhere in Africa. It was all too incredible, riding through DC, one of the weirdest cities in so many ways, listening to this rubbish.

The guy gave me a beer when I got there, we made some chit chat, then headed to his bedroom. There I gave him a massage and then smothered him with my feet, his request, and he derived so much pleasure from it. This, I got. We talked more afterwards and then I left, walked down to Dupont Circle, had a burger at Five Guys, and tried to go to JR's, the gay bar Diego told me I should visit while there. I walked over to the bar and was turned away at the door, my ID expired, and I was pretty shocked that he wouldn't accept it, it never posing any problems for me in New York. I had about an hour until my bus left and just wanted a drink before getting back on it, the last bus of the night, the 11:45. I went back to Chinatown, most bars closed in that part of town, except for the Red Roof Inn's hotel bar. I ordered a drink there, but again was not served it when she looked at my ID, clearly me, clearly showing my birth date, because it was expired. Exasperated and desiring a drink even more now, I found a Chinese restaurant still open, ordered a beer. I sat there, the place empty, and watched the women's beach volleyball finals with the waiter, US versus China. He was really into the game, really excited whenever China did well, and really upset when the US won the first set. I was on his side and he knew it, and what the watching of sports can do to its viewers, how it can bind them in some shared hope is really quite fascinating. I really liked the setting I ended up in, probably much more than JR's and certainly way more than the Red Roof Inn's hotel bar. I left before the end of the match, a bus to catch back to New York to get to, got on the bus, and rode back to New York, a different driver this time, a speed demon, and the ride back only took three and a half hours, compared to the more than five it took to get down to DC.

After a subway ride back to my neighborhood, bleary eyed and ready for bed, I was walking home. At an intersection, a stopped car, middle-aged white dude behind the wheel. He was saying something to me, making motions with his hands. I thought he was going to ask for directions. I asked him to repeat himself. Then I heard and understood the hand motions. "Do you want a blowjob?" The hand motions were of dick sucking. No, I said, laughing - 4:30 in the morning and some dad from the suburbs in his Prius or something cruising for sex in my rough neighborhood. I came home and fell right into sleep.

I didn't get too much of it, waking up early this morning to see another person, to help enact another fetish, this man wanting to get pissed on. I read more Saul Bellow on the way to his sleazy midtown motel, read Bellow on the way back home, the dead writer talking about what it takes to be a poet in this country and in this age, how difficult it is, talked about Whitman's call for poems of death, how this country needs a great death poem.

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