Texas cockroaches are not like your wussie little Ohio cockroaches. Texas cockroaches are big. As an added bonus, the suckers fly.

I have a terror of cockroaches larger than 1/2 inch in length, to the extent I have a hard time getting close enough to kill them. I have nightmares about them crawling in my ears. I cannot watch the "They're Creeping Up On You" segment of Creepshow. I can't watch any of Joe's Apartment.

The only time a platonic roommate has ever seen me naked was when I found one in my towel after a shower. I came streaking out of there screaming "THERE'S A ROACH IN THE BATHROOM THE SIZE OF A GOAT!!! Oh, kill it kill it kill it, pleeeeeeaassee kill it!"

Laughing, she killed it and flushed it.

But that roach never touched me.

So you can imagine my reaction when a 2-inch-long roach decided that my face (well, my glasses) would be a lovely place to land this evening.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

After taking a shower and washing my hair and spraying my glasses down with alcohol, I feel somewhat better. I am still royally creeped out, though, and really have to talk to my dad about getting an exterminator for this place. He's something of an environmentalist and hates spreading poison in the world, so he eschews Roundup for pulling weeds and just tries to keep the place clean so the roaches won't want to come around. This is Texas, so you get bugs of all kinds due to the warm weather. And I totally agree with his environmental concerns ... to a point.

Ew.

It is my father's birthday today. I could talk for hours about how cool he is and how much I love him, but it's easier to state that, when I was 13 or 14, he handed me two Leonard Cohen CDs (The Best of Leonard Cohen and The Future, i think) and told me I was old enough to listen to them. They surprised me, shocked me, and disturbed me. They also thrilled me, chilled me, and fullfilled me. The discovery of Cohen lead inevitably to Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits (Dad loves Dylan and Waits, and likes the Cave i've played for him that sounds like Cohen), and my life was never the same. Sometimes we'll have theological debates that boil down to "Dylan is God" (me) and "No, Cohen is God" (him).
He wanted to be an actor, and studied for years with people like Stella Adler. He traveled all around the world, picking up knowledge and having adventures to which he only teasingly alludes. After decades in America (including living with Mom in Greenwich Villiage for several years, living on coffee and coolness), he packed us up to Australia and ended most of my depression.

He claims never to have done drugs, yet tells me to read his yellowed Herman Hesse and Carlos Castenada.

He liked Massive Attack before I did and pretends to get mad when I get drunk, come home stoned, or stay up until 4am writing. He's mad enough to make me think twice about doing it again, so I stay mostly responsible-- but he trusts me enough not to disapprove horribly. When i risked work and sleep to write a play to be performed later, i had an argument with him. The facts of his life let me know that there's no way he's seriously hold it against me, and he didn't.

He manages resturants, and does quite well at them.

I'm worried about placing so much information on the Internet, but the chances of him running into an old friend from this are rather high.

I lost the felt fedora he gave me a long time ago; he has encouraged me in the purchase of new ones. I lost the book of Leonard Cohen poetry he gave me; I lent it to a girl and she never gave it back. I think she'd approve. He told me to go see David Bowie; I did.

I judge people too much on coolness and not enough on character. Dad takes care of his family. He's a good man, an honest man, and a proud man. The fact that his taste in music and movies is as important to me as his character may be something he regards as a failure. To his credit, I do not steal nor lie. I give money to the homeless, and I try to be a good person.

I don't know how old Dad is, but I love him all the same.

We had spent hours on the phone in preparation from the choice of underwear, choosing what wear and to the hairstyle, building the anticipation. As I applied my make up you told me in great sensuous detail what you would do if you could be there with me. Creating an image and feeling so strong that I thought you were there. I left full of anticipation and need, safe in the knowledge that you also felt the same and you wished me well on my hunt.

As I walked out the door I could feel your hands upon my body and your voice running down my spine like a piece of cotton velvet, even though you are half a world away.

I arrived at the club, it was full of dark clothed bodies, smoke and pulsing music. The bar beckoned and I slid among the gorgeous bodies judging and evaluating as I went. I purchased a drink, the hunt began.

Weaving amongst the crowd I encountered friends who knew I was out hunting, they offered advice, gossip and pure speculation on the various quarries that caught my eye. The hunting was good, young men in PVC trousers, voluptuous women in corsets, high goth men in frock coats and frothy shirts, punks with high hair and studded jackets and dour women in trailing lace gowns. I sit and admire the seething throng as I slowly sip my drink, watching for something that reminds me of the velvet edged voice that drips with desire.

I met a previous conquest his demeanour cocky and sure, his whole fa├žade oozing raw sexuality and blinding self-confidence, a perfect mix. He appeared once, just to tease and flirt, I gave him the satisfaction of being enamored with his disguise and I trailed my finger tips across his jaw. He purred like tiger and proceeded to kiss me, a kiss that I imagine could be yours. Soft and sensual sending sensations down my spine, making those around us feel uncomfortable of the raw sexuality that rolls off us, my body tightening with memory and in anticipation for the rest of my night. The kiss causes my mind to leap forward to the airport in a couple of months time, I smile a secret smile and leave to find a fresh quarry.

He sat opposite me, head to foot in black leather, not very tall, mildly handsome but that was not what drew me to him. His eyes, hazel and clear, the thoughtfulness and serenity twinkling in their depths once again placed you at the forefront of my mind. His kiss did not hold me like the other conquest, it was the eyes, I feel as if I am building you from pieces that I collect out of my hunt. As I flirt and tease my handsome quarry I make certain that he understands that this encounter will be only a night, passionate and unlikely to be revisited.

I lay curled in a stranger's arms, his scent new and exciting, the warmth of another body comforting. As I drift towards sleep sated and wistful I think of that voice that feels like cotton velvet running down my spine. A smile curls my lips as the stranger's body becomes yours in my dreams and I loose myself to your kiss and drown in your eyes, satisfied.

I'm sitting in a bookstore just killing time and this girl sits down on the couch opposite me. College girl, asian, vaguely cute in the way that girls with killer personalities always seem to be. I watch her read for a minute, Great National Parks of the U.S. Her shirt advertises a campsite in San Antonio. She leaves, comes back. Yellowstone, and a coffee. French vanilla, I'd like to think, though really I have no idea. She has a boyfriend. He sits beside her, flipping through a "Muscle" magazine. A macho-type guy. He is nothing, I ignore him.

She's gone again. I would get up, see what flavor of coffee she's drinking, but muscle boy's still there, and still looking about twice my size (I'm more of an "Astounding/Analog" guy, myself). I wonder how he treats her; he's so ...tough, and she seems so soft and fragile.

They speak japanese, or maybe korean, I can't tell. It sounds pretty, that's all I know. His voice is soft, belying the incredibly huge muscles on his arms (I'm getting to be seriously scared of this dude). He must love her; they're planning a vacation. They argue. He loses. Graciously. I re-think myself; I will like him.

I cannot look at them anymore; I'm afraid they might notice, and I don't want them to hate me. They seem so nice, so calm, so happy. They laugh together, share a private joke. So intimate, when no-one around can even understand your language. He catches my eye, we share a moment. Oddly, there is no tension, just respect and a touch of wariness. Does he know me?

In this moment, I would give so much for a glimpse of his mind. Can he know what I'm thinking?

I think I love you; stay together forever.

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