Wednesday, April 30, 2014


hello, my name is Lesli Cougar and i'm a coffeeholic. not a black-coffeeholic or a black coffeeholic. i don't drink black coffee straight because i am not a man. i'm not a man because i'm straight. i am, i am, too easy.

the airport is late in the day, the sun is out too long in the afternoons, sapping the heat from itself. one day our sun will explode and turn into a dwarf. the dwarf aliens will come and wonder what when on here, but they'll see a fellow dwarf and know it's all going to be alright.

my hand is tired from opening and closing my laptop screen to make connections. all day i waste myself on this screen, for both work and play. if i'm not catching a criminal or profiling one, i'm making the billionth profile for the latest website so i can be involved with more virtual people. what am i scared of? i have a billion followers and a billion followers have me, but really i'm only interested in just one. i remember now, i remember what i'm scared of. no, not death...and not life, either. being ordinary, being the same, being just like everyone else, having the same problems everyone else does, the same shitty past, the same conditions stemming from childhood, being so bright-line human.

last can't stay, you can't stay don't have to leave..........don't check out.........

i don't want to have the same tendencies and psychological issues as everyone else, i don't want to be a statistic, good or bad statistic. i want to break the mold. i want to make the mold. i want to be the mold. i want to break myself. in nothing there is something. in nothing there is a starting over, a do-over, a fresh beginning, the after after an end. this is why i wear my hair blonde and spiky. i don't want to be like that crazy diet lady on tv who did it first, who wore it first, but i am. i can't help when i was born. i can maybe help where i was born, but not when. i came before and after certain icons. Marilyn Monroe came before me. i can never be Marilyn Monroe, only post-Marilyn Monroe. that makes me want to give up.

Lesli pulls her hoodie over her head in protest. she wants absolute quiet. she's off the clock but on her period, the period where she needs no periods because it's all one long neverending stream of consciousness and sentences with no period, no end. something to divert the diversions and kill time before the airplane delay and after the early taxi. there is black all around here save for a small circle where she peers out into the bustling nondescript airport, nondescript because she is forcing it to be, her line of vision is obscured to where she can only see the hand in front of her, her hand pushing this space and that space on her screen to activate this and that. 

that i why i wear tuxes. Ellen wears tuxes. she did it first. i do because i want to be identified with Ellen, my own person but within the subcategory of Ellen. i want to be her. no, that can't be right, i want to be me. actually, i just love tuxes, i love dressing up formally, i rarely get a chance to do it, except for all the times i wore flowing yellow dresses in my undercover work. that was when my job demanded that i fantasize about being a Disney princess. i am a woman, a hot sexy woman who likes it hard and rough like Mommy did with Daddy. i am a man who spills virility with every drop of coffee and seed, i blow my load into my lover's waiting mouth and begging tongue. I'm Every Woman. I'm an Everyman. i was the Space Baby at the end of 2001. no, really, when i watched that scene, i was witnessing my very birth. that's a special treat, not many people are able to witness their own birth on the spot like that, except everyone with cell phones.


Lesli: come again?

man: i wish i could, but i can't. ever again. that is why i ponder. stirrers, red-and-white stirrers for your coffee. have you ever pondered them?

Lesli: it all goes back to coffee.

man: i mean, the stirrer is the most useless yet fascinating thing in the world. its sole purpose for existence is to stir the three damn ingredients together: the cream, the sugar, and the black coffee. that's it, that's all it does, all it will ever do. i mean, humans decided, i guess for health reasons, that it wasn't prudent for humans to simply use their finger to stir the ingredients in their cup. the finger works just as well, but we're too fancy for that. we must not touch the coffee as we stir it. so stirrers were born.

the man looks like a young Duvid from the chapter last week. 

no, i know who he looks like: Ilirn, my old boyfriend. the love of my life. ex-boyfriend. ex-love. the ordinary, the same story as everyone else. Mommy never liked it rough in fact, but Daddy did. soon Daddy didn't live with us anymore. does this sound familiar to you? that's because it is, it's the same cycle of abuse which has infected humans since they swam in oceans. i'm no different. i try to put on a new show, but it's the same lighting and costumes and floorboards from the '80s. my sanctuary, my escape, was Ilirn. i know, i know. we were rebellious, we thought we knew everything, because we did. we were gonna be different, we were gonna be the generation who breaks through, who makes a name for itself, who ends all the -isms and creates nirvana with the help of Nirvana. everyone thinks that, every generation. this time it's gonna be different. this time, this age, this internet age, we have the fastest wifi, we have the quickest business livewires of anyone, Comcast Business Class just $39.99 plus tax. the internet gives a voice to those who were for decades anonymous and silenced. it also creates Anonymous and lets the cyberbullies come out to play...


three empty bottles click and clang by her seat.

Ilirn was an artist of course, and i learned from him. I learned from Ilirn. imagine that. imagine this, he'd say, imagine something different, we were always in ruts, so we'd close our eyes, push our frowns together and struggle until we thought happy thoughts again, thought of something that wasn't this place, this circumstance: a beach, a whirlpool, the ocean waves. that's where i got the close-my-eyes thing from, it was the ultimate escape, i could imagine i wasn't me, i could be anyone, literally anyone, in anytime, anyplace, anyspace, myspace, any time-space.

there is a red 1 in the corner of her screen.

after, we stayed in touch through instagram. instagram is such an amazing thing at the moment. it's so fast, so convenient, so readily-accessible, you just keep posting those pics and you can answer people's comments at the bottom of the pic nice and easy. people on instagram are friendlier than those on twitter. it's a grind to answer back on twitter, it's a pleasure to comment back on instagram. for two years Ilirn was my only follow on instagram, and me his. people thought we were weird for that. good. then, Ilirn started getting more follows. who were these other women? i mean, other people? it was just us two, always us two. Ilirn said it was spam follows. i checked, and he was right. but why would anyone spam Ilirn's account? soon, the pictures he would post were fuzzier than before, not as clear. it's not lost on me that around this time, i started to become fuzzier, not as clear. the pictures soon weren't anything depicting what Ilirn was involved in. instead of a clear picture of Ilirn at his underground communist camp, it was a stock picture of Ilirn's face with fucking fuzzy-as-fuck eyes and mouth, his handsomeness was blurred. that's exactly what they were: stock photos that anyone could look up and get their grubby hands on. i did an experiment because i am clever. i googled Ilirn and got two stock photos of his face all nice and blurry. yep, the same pics being posted on his instagram, the same two pics slightly altered here and there with colors, shades, and filters to make them seem different. who was really manning the controls over at Ilirn's insta? before i got mad, i got satisfied. i was proud of myself for solving the mystery. the anger dissipated long ago. it was fire-red at the initial breakup, but it had long since disappeared with my fuzziness. that was good. it's not good to hold in anger for long stretches. anger saps your body of its cells. anger's not profitable, unless you go by Trent Reznor. what is left is a novelty, a moment in time where i go "huh". huh.

beside the red 1, you can see the first lines and first corner of the message: this is the real Ilirn, it's me, i was hacked...or perhaps it's: i'm a hack...

before, i got so excited whenever i saw a red 1 or more on the top right corner of my screen. it means that someone is thinking about me, someone on the internet has responded to something i said or did on the internet. i have an online other person reacting to my typed thoughts, another same different human on this planet responding to my difference. whenever that happened, i would wait before pushing the button to respond, i just wanted to look at that beautiful red some more. it's a work of red art, the way there's the red there and the white number 1 in the middle. it's a sign of life, of activity, somebody has done something, someone not me. sometimes the number flashes if it's urgent. OMG that sends me into swooning orgasm.

the screen is losing power. there are many multi-colored lines on the screen. a lot of glare. oh, it's the glare of closing the laptop door, the glare of the death sun bouncing its death rays off the screen window before it closes, reflecting itself into reflecting Lesli.

now, i don't see the red number. it's not that i don't care, it's that i don't care. i pull my hoodie right up against my eyes and lips, there is no window now, no window screen, just the cloth of my hoodie hiding every part of my face, my head, me. i see only black now. don't worry, this isn't the end, it's the beginning of the end. the total darkness helps me concentrate, focus. i have closed my eyes for so long now, at least an hour during this whole chapter. i keep my eyes closed. as long as they are closed, i can be anyone, anything. if i keep them closed, i am connected to other worlds, other lives. this only works if i keep them closed. if i think hard enough, can i turn into someone else? what will happen when i open my eyes again after so long? will i still be Lesli? what will be on my screen? what have i missed?




Jules said...

......breathe. Close eyes. I feel mixed up, sad, scared, I feel violated by Lesli. I'm pulling the hood of my hoodie tight. Pulling the strings tighter so there's no space except a small hole to draw breath. Icy cold breath is how it feels or is it just that I'm more sensitive right now? I'm hiding inside with Lesli. But Lesli is also another I recognise, she's an intertwined coupling.....

Going to stir my coffee now with a trippy red and white stirrer.

AtiyaLuv said...

I also use stirrers when nervous...I like to bite into it, they are no that useless.

I love how Juliettes' comment goes with the story somehow :)
that is simply haute!

the late phoenix said...

juli: it's scary, but everyone must perform a self-check at least once in their lives...

atiya: one also has the option of leaving the three ingredients unstirred together and not burning one's finger. i'm sure it tastes different unstirred ;)

Unknown said...

Comparison is the thief of joy said one wise man. It's a sin and it's completely one I am guilty of too. The need to stand out to, be unique and not so mundane consumes those of us who recognise the error and boredom of the conventional life. Though you got me thinking about my appearance which nothing more than blend in with everyone else. Same long, brunette hair with a fancy wave or two. Same make up products obsessed over with those Instagram famous kids who spam your feed with their collections. Even wearing the same clothing as everyone else. Granted I like to say my take is edgier yet it all comes from the same place, the same brand as other followers. Maybe this is something I need to look into since I strive to lead the life of my dreams, taking silly risks all in the sake of pursuing some wild ambition. To be different, you know?

Dancing in Black

the late phoenix said...

blake maria: yes, i feel ya. true originality turns a soul gold. the internet seemed like a good idea at the time...

thank you so much for your visit and your inspired comment. you created a red 1 at the top corner of my screen which made me excited and connected again.

Cheeky Minx said...

We're all Every Woman, Everyman. And we're not. The beauty and (horror) is we're all our own unique little cocktail of sameness: more of this, less of that. Culture, politics, the want and need and the sun and the air I'm breathing right at this very minute thick with the scent of autumn and tea and Issey Miyake.

I adore this piece and the way Lesli is now under my skin - and Juliette's gorgeous comment. Maybe the two of you should write together.

Sorry for being so wretchedly late, phoenix... :*

the late phoenix said...

cheeky: i want Miyake to design my wedding! :*