We reject and desire labels all the same. Placing them on ourselves like a Name Tag to the universe, Hello I’m___. But if someone else comes at us with a label, well damn them for trying to stick something on our backs with out us knowing. Labels are most used in the work force, when trying to determine what our career is. It’s a very nice social safety net if you have a good label. I’ve been dealing with, am I trying to be a “blogger” or a “writer”. Now a few existential crises later, I have committed and come to the fact, I am a writer.
I either carry paper or a moleskin notebook with me everywhere I go. I’m not as much a people watcher, as I am an observer. I observe everything, like a mental photographer. But my pictures extend past the visual; into scents, textures, sounds, anything that inspire a story in my mind.
One day as I was driving home I saw a mattress propped up on the side of tree outside of an apartment building… this is the vignette which came from it.
We came across this queen mattress, abandoned in the back alley of a converted industrial building that was now overpriced art studios. Smelling of piss, body odor, and stale sex; we devised a plan to sanitize and get it back to the manor. We’d been sleeping on a pile of donated blankets and worn in sleeping bags, using tacky winter coats as cushioning from the hard wood floor.
There’s a kid we knew, about 16, who’d be our taxi for a case of beer and a few joints. Calling him up, about an hour later, we’d secured our new bed to the roof of his 94 Honda Civic. Most likely a hand-me-down car from an older brother; I always wondered if his upper middle class parents would ever cut him off.
We pulled up to our place and dragged it to the yard, the dead grass causing me to sneeze and legs to itch. We stopped by the 99 cent store to pick up 5 gallons of bleach. Pouring the solution onto the dingy satin, the silk flower pattern began to fade.
It took a whole day in the sun to dry. We smoked cigarettes and talked of the state of our world, various characters joining us periodically to stare at the drying queen.
The fumes burned my lungs as I held it close, hands cracked after dragging it up the stairs into our room, throwing our previous bedding on top. On humid days, our room transforms into a YMCA pool locker room.