You could have caught me at the magazine release party, the runway show. Could have found me in the gifting suite, the handicapped stall in the unisex bathroom. I’d have been spinning and my eyes would have been wet like they always were. They had a strange permanence then, glossy retinas, like I was always ready to cry.
I would have been shouting something, drinking what-the-fuck-ever and dancing to gangster rap with those big, red, teary eyes. Downtown demon. City sprite.
I’d tell you that I loved you. That it’s just SOOOOOO HARD to meet people in (insert whichever major city we’d be in at the time) and how it’s just SOOOOOO NICE to meet someone as real as you. Then I’d ask you if you had any blow. You’d say yes because they always did and then I would rob you blind.
"Sorry. I’m a heavy breather, I’ve got a deviated septum. My treat next time!"
That phrase, the whole “next time” bit; It was as elusive as I was. An L.A. ghost, I haunted nightclubs and galleries, dive bars and studios. Light on my feet, always slipping away to elsewhere.
God forbid you ever met me again, God forbid you ever thought I’d return a favor, I would avoid your gaze. If eyes met, I’d suck in my cheeks, wet my teeth with my tongue and introduce myself all over again like we’d never met.
I’d turn my back to you and kiss cheeks with the owner of the studio, the gallery, the bar, the club. I’d close off the embrace with a swift declaration of self-destruction.
"Just hear me out… this is why I absolutely CAN NOT stand (insert any photographer’s name here)." I’d be playing with the seams in my hand-stitched designer tee and jittering. "He tried to assault me when I was fourteen."
Everyone around us would be annoyed, but they would give me full attention. You would too. Like a car accident, it’s hard to look away. A party photographer would interrupt my one-ended conversation with whoever-wasn’t-you and I’d flash him a seductive over-the-shoulder-glance. I’d wink and I’d stick out my tongue.
"Regardless, all that stupid faux-Richard flash and the oral fixation…" Back to reality, I probably would have lit a cigarette by now. "I mean, like, really. It’s been done. D’ya’know’whaddimean?"
You could have caught me any place. Any night of the week. High and getting higher. A walking, scratch that, stumbling time bomb. An in-home terrorist attack on the millennials. An inversive testament to moderation.
I would have bled you dry. I would have eaten you alive. I would have ruined your life and you would have thanked me for it.
You could have seen me anywhere, and I would have fascinated you before I disappointed you.