Friday, February 21, 2003

Sunday, February 16, 2003

by Jessica Delfino

I went to the Anti-War Demonstration today. It was very intense. There were about (I’m guessing) 3 or 5 million people there. I felt almost guilty, because I just went to watch, and brought no hand made “Bush Shit” signs or self-written protest chants. I wouldn’t say I am in favor of Bush starting war with Iraq, but I am not exactly opposed to taking Saddam out of power. So, If you’re wondering, I guess my official standpoint on war with Iraq is either undecided or not sure.
The protest was neat, because they set the rally up a lot like a Grateful Dead show, so I felt quite at home, except for the time there were a few hundred people pushing me into a few hundred other people, and I couldn’t breathe and started ‘freaking out’. In keeping in theme with the whole Grateful Dead analogy, that part was what I’d like to refer to as the ‘bad trip’ of the incident. I did see Jerry Springer in the crowd, however, and I also heard that Harry Belafonte spoke at the podium. At this juncture, I would like to describe to you, the reader, how I, the writer, found the protest to strongly resemble a Grateful Dead show.


-You knew which way to go ‘to the show’ because there were hundreds of freaky looking people and college kids to follow.
-Everyone was carrying signs that could have been either vaguely understood or easily misinterpreted.
-There were a lot of socialists and communists selling pamphlets, books and chocolate marijuana brownies.
-Much like at a Grateful Dead show, there were way too many children there with their parents and I was confused by that.
-Everyone was dressed up as trustafarians, hippies, and/or pilgrims. Also, a few people were wearing costumes that sort of scared me, specifically a “(M)an”gel of Death and Lady Liberty but with the face of a scary monster.
-Everyone who’d been stupid enough to try to drive through that mess was stopped in the middle of the street locked inside their cars, looking scared as peaceful protesters danced on the hoods of their cars.
-Some guy was trying to sell mushrooms, who knows if they were ‘real’ or not? There was a crappy drum circle band being led by a white girl with dreads.
-When I told people I was going to the protest, the looks they gave me strongly resembled the look my dad had given me when I told him I was off to see a Dead Show which was blindingly similar to the look he gave me when I told him instead of going to Yale, I’d be going to Art School.
-A lot of old people were present, vocally reminiscing the war protests of old and their disappointment that the war protest of ’03 wasn’t as ‘hip’ as the one of ‘63.
-Lots of fat lesbians were screaming incoherently, and it made me glad that I am not gay.
-The cops weren’t really fucking with anyone unless “provoked”.
-A few people had pitched tents.
-Every so often, you’d see a juggler.
-Random scaliwags were on the prowl, trying to pick up some rich, white, lady ass.
-I thought I was going to die on two or three separate occasions when the crowd became very dense and I couldn’t escape the city-block sized mosh pit.
-Only the bravest store owners left their doors open for business, selling their wares and snacks at inflated prices.
-No one was crowd surfing, but EVERYONE was dancing.
-In-state plates? Not a one.
-I was on acid, and I saw god, again. It’s getting boring how many times I’ve seen god. If I see god one more time…

Well, I hope you liked my comparison of the Anti-War Demonstration to a Grateful Dead show. Tune in next time when I will compare the impending chemical attack to a road trip I took in ’96 to see the Vermont Reggae Festival.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

by Jessica Delfino

Valentine’s Day blows. It’s just another day for you to wake up late, worry about terror, wonder how you’re going to pay rent, spend the day sulking in your underwear and a cute tee shirt, eat a goober grape sandwich, half-assedly clean your apartment, and then go do a shitty open mic spot. Did I say you? Sorry, I meant me.

Even if you are lucky enough (lucky enough, who am I, Donna Reed?) to have a boyfriend, you still have to choose a route – you can go the ‘high road, one that involves annoying primping and a bout of high maintenance, or one that involves unprovoked fighting and raunchy make-up sex. I keep saying ‘you’ like any of this is your doing or fault. It’s not you, I swear, it’s me.

The best Valentine’s Day I ever had is a tie between two times with two different boyfriends. One was the time my boyfriend and I bought a half-pound of marijuana to smoke while we split a book of acid and a six pack. Now THAT’S how Valentine’s Day is done.

The other best Valentine’s Day I ever had went a little something like this. My friend called me up early and said a friend of his who was a card dealer in Atlantic City had been given the responsibility of finding one of the hotel guests a few good prostitutes. His friend had called him, and he had called… The friend told my friend he’d pay him $400 if he could put it together and drive them to AC by 5 pm. He said he’d give my boyfriend and I $100 each if we’d help him out.

We were living in South Jersey at the time, and so we picked up a copy of the Philly Weekly and pored over the classified whore ads in the back. This was my favorite conversation with my favorite whore.

LADY: (Sorry, I meant to type…..)
WHORE: Hello?
ME: Uh, hi. Um, me and my boyf., uh….I am, was just wondering – how much do you charge?
WHORE: It depends on what you want.
ME: How much would it cost to get you to drive with me and some friends to Atlantic City?
WHORE: What?
ME: Well, we need a few prostitutes to come with us to Atlantic City.
WHORE: I don’t think I’d be interested in going to Atlantic City.
ME: Aw, come on. It’ll be fun. It’d be me, my boyfriend…..
WHORE: Yeah, I don’t really do that. (click)

So I had my boyfriend call her back.

WHORE: Hello?
MY BF: Hi. Um, I was wondering, how much would it cost for you to go on a short road trip with me and some friends?
WHORE: I’m not going anywhere with you and your freaky girlfriend. Fuck off!

We did, however, find two ‘ladies’ who were happy to take the trip with us and asked us to please pick them up in Camden, NJ, where they lived. One was actually a quite attractive petite little Puerto Rican girl with the mouth of a trucker who had us drive her over to her brothers so she could feed his pit bulls before we left. The other was a 6’5” “wo”man with her make up tattooed on and her face unexplainably dented in several places. My friend found one girl himself - she was the girlfriend of a friend of his who had talked her into going so they could split the money. The six of us - my friend, my boyfriend, the two Camden chics, the one girlfriend and myself squeezed into a little Saturn and took the hour and fifteen minute ride to Atlantic City.

When we got there, his friend met us. He said I would lead the ladies up and be the negotiator. The four of us went in and the man, who was a Japanese CEO came out and looked the three girls over. He dismissed the two Camden chics immediately, and
led the third into his room by her tiny little waist. The three of us walked out and went to meet our friends downstairs, leaving the fourth girl in there to have god knows what done to her.

Ten minutes later, she came down. We were of course, dying to know what had happened in there? She told us he had lifted her shirt, kissed her belly button, handed her $1000 and sent her on her way.

I theorize that she blew him and I stand by that theory to this day, but I guess anything is possible in Atlantic City. Isn’t that what the city’s motto is?

It’s true, too. Once I went to the boardwalk with my guitar and played a bunch of corny cover songs including “Down By The Boardwalk” for about three hours and left with $150 in dollars, coins and weird tokens.

So the moral of the story is, Valentine’s Day is like anal sex. It’s sort of fun if you do it right, otherwise, it’s just a huge waste of time and you end up feeling embarrassed.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Sweet Dreams of Suicide
by Jessica Delfino

So….I’m 26 and I have done a lot of things. I’ve been to Florida, I’ve taken a shower with a woman, and I’m a woman too, I’ve even learned how to cook chicken liver pate, the correct way.

Still, I haven’t committed suicide yet. I thought it’d be so easy to do. I’ve been thinking about it for years. There are so many new ways to do it, thanks to modern medicine and improvements in technology, there are new buildings to leap off of, new poisonous juices to drink, crazy weapons with which to self-inflict death, weird vapors to smell and bad foods to ingest. Me not being able to kill myself is just one more reason for me to talk shit about myself and conquer that I am, in fact, the laziest person in the world.

Did you know that if you combine simple cleaning agents bleach and ammonia, you can create a severely deadly gas that if breathed will deliver death onto you in a quick and delicious manner, as if you are being covered with a down and lead filled blanket?

I should have done it by now. My days are a combo plate of self-pity and television. Most times, I don’t know whether to wash the dishes or cry. I am cooking a bagel in my gas oven right now. I eat bagels for breakfast, brunch and dinner. It’s all I can afford. I don’t even have butter. I am just going to eat it with a sample size of this new mayonnaise-salsa hybrid sauce that Kraft sent me in the mail. Sometimes I go to light the oven and I catch myself wishing out loud that the whole building would explode. Other times, I hope out loud that the pilot light will go out and I will choke on sweet, sweet cooking gas and flutter peacefully off into oblivion.

When I think about all the things I have to be happy about, very little comes to mind, but there are some things.

Bag clips. I have a collection of over 30 of them. I use them to clip back the curtains, clip back my hair from my eyes as I stare crying into the mirror, I use them to clip my nose so I won’t have to smell any offensive odors that either have wafted uninvited into my apartment or have been created by me, I use them to keep papers together, I use them to remind me that life is worth living, if even only in small spurts.

I own a pair of $1700 shoes. I won them in a contest that was being advertised in one of those loathsome women’s magazines. Win Claire’s shoes! The magazine told me, and showed Claire Danes modeling a dress too daring and sexy for me to ever wear, not even in my fantasies, and the shoes of note. I wrote my name on a postcard, though I never, ever win anything, and sent it in. Imagine my surprise when I got the phone call, asking me to come in and pick up the shoes at the office. They handed them to me in a box and I took the hot pink and green striped shoes home. They are quite exquisite. I can’t ever wear them out, but I can put them on while I’m lying in my bed and hold them up high overhead and pretend I’m walking on air. They will probably never feel the cool cementy sidewalk under their heels, I’ll probably just leave them to my sister upon my death, but for the time being, they are keeping me alive.

I can’t do anything right. If I ever tried to inhale a suicidal amount of piano cleaner or paint thinner, I’d probably be one of the ones who not only doesn’t die, but gets a better personality and a new attitude on life.

As I write this, I look upon my belongings. They stare back upon me with no love, with no pity, with no advice or answers. I imagine my suicide in black and white, then again in color. I think about my family coming to my house and going through all my worldly possessions. My suicide note will read, please! Do not fight over my belongings! Share them, divide them evenly, take what you like and sell the rest, or give it to charity.

I imagine my sisters fighting anyway, over my pink and green shoes or photos of us together as children. I can see my mother rifling through my closet, holding up a shimmery shirt in one hand and a black dress in the other, thinking, “Jessica would have wanted me to have these.”

I can see my little apartment, packed up and emptied by the people my family hired on Craig’s List to do the job for just a few dollars an hour over minimum wage.

I can see the tattoo of my name, glistening on my boyfriend’s back as he fucks his new girlfriend.

Then, I close my eyes, and I see nothing but space, and time, and where is god? Is he even there?