The October Project

for Sean Cole

Friday, September 03, 2004

10.2.03 5:20 am
(really 10.1.03)

Dear Sean,
I need a girl, girl, girl, girl
Everyone else has a girl, girl, girl,
So I’m alone after two others making out while I barstool sat and didn’t stew,
ice-water drinking afore going,
Hmm, time to go, and I do,
but my motor all revved up
I walk 11th and 12th streets,
between 2nd & 3rd avenues,
looking for a prostitute,
but it’s 4 in the morning and no one’s out,
so I buy chips & dip and sour cream to fill it up,
but I haven’t mixed the dip yet.
Everyone has a girl, girl, girl.
I need a girl, girl, girl.

Love,
David

10.2.03 11:03 pm

Dear Sean,
It’s hard to breathe in the kitchen,
but I’m just sitting ’round here trying to write this note,
I needed some reaction tonight
at/after Owl Press reading I hosted at Aca Galleries.
A room/dinner table full of people whose words & art I’ve published
and Aaron’s the only one I wanted to talk to/wanted to talk to me.
Their messages keep getting’ clearer I guess,
“You’re not our friend,
we respect what you do, be satisfied with that.”
And I’m still sitting ’round here trying to write this note.
Love,
David

10.4.03 2:11 am
(really 10.3.03)

Dear Sean,
Spent night with friend who has separated from their lover but isn’t telling anyone yet.
Here’s more love,
dead.
It always amazes me how
if we’re lucky
we’ll have one relationship that won’t end badly,
one that endures.
“Their love endures,” people would say
as the camera pulled back,
“Their love endures.”
Love,
David

10.5.03 12:27 am
(really 10.4.03)

Dear Sean,
It’s Saturday night and I’m home.
Aaron came over today to talk about selling ads for Boog City—
his enthusiasm seems like it will happen,
the selling, not the enthusiasm.
And he wanted me to go with him tonight to party Matvei’s press is hosting at this very moment.
I went to one of these parties a few months back,
live music, dj, dancing, drinking,
a bit loud & wild for my tastes, always.
And then there’s that whole seeing others dancing with their lovers
while I’m dancing with Aaron,
who I love, but not that way—dude, that’s gay.
Love,
David

10.5.03-11:51 pm

Dear Sean,
My mother wants to brush her teeth tonight,
but I tell her she can't because it's Yom Kippur and she has to fast,
so no brushing and eating toothpaste and drinking water.
But then, I normally don't write on Yom Kippur
or watch television
or use the computer,
and here I am,
doing all of them.
My mother and father watch television during the high holidays
and yet my mom's not happy as I
sit next to her and watch Jennifer Garner in another tanktop on Alias.
I tell mom that I've never judged her for watching all these years—
and I don't think I have.
I tell her that I've always viewed religious observance as fluid.
I don't tell her that the only reason I'm going to synagogue in the morning is
because my dad is 73
and who knows how many of these we'll have left.

Love,
David

10.7.03 1:50 am
(really 10.6.03)

Dear Sean,
I stopped eating @ 6pm Sunday night,
watched TV,
and went to bed around 1 am.
Awoke @ 8:30 and went to synagogue with my dad & his friend Larry.
My mom & her friend Bernice (Larry's wife) arrived at about 11 am,
in time for Yizkor,
the memorial service that's the big deal on Yom Kippur.
I split along with the younger people whose parents are still alive.
My dad wanted me to stay,
to say Yizkor for my grandparents
and I said you guys have that covered,
knowing one day I will cover that,
say mourning prayers for grandfathers I never met,
say mourning prayers for grandmothers who died within same month
when I was six and three-quarters,
say mourning prayers for my parents, still here,
for now.

Love,
David

10.8.03 3:50 am
(really 10.7.03)

Dear Sean,
Tonight cyber sex with a teenage boy
Sometimes, when the urge is there to cum,
you need to pretend you're a girl
and find one of the many teenage boys online looking for a young girl.
Tonight I was 14 yr old Jane.
Then I pretended I was his cousin Krista and he was raping me.
I kept masturbating for an hour
while cybering & watching Sundance Channel,
finally cumming to moving image of beautiful woman's back
in Kaaterskill Falls.

Love,
David

10.9.03 1:58 am
(really 10.8.03)

Dear Sean,
Shhh.
Don't tell any New Yorkers
but I'm rooting for the Red Sox to beat the Yankees in the playoffs.
It's been long enough,
time for BoSox or Cubs to end their decades of losing.
As an 11-year-old
my sister bought me a Boston Sucks t-shirt
before we watched Yanks defeat Sox from our bleacher seats.
Next day, mom made me return it.

Love,
David

10.10.03 12:47 am
(really 10.9.03)

Dear Sean,
I might go to Weight Watchers in the morning.
Their program's worked for me in the past,
me losing as much as 90 pounds in one year, 1994.
Maybe me 1st time on meds and in therapy can lose AND keep off.
If not
surgery my sis had is an option I may have to explore.

Love,
David

10.11.03 2:19 am
(really 10.10.03)

Dear Sean,
I haven't cooked a meal in probably 16 months.
I'll toast the occasional bagel or mix dip,
but that's the extent of it.
Instead I've been eating my free meals at the Yale Club,
showing up before my shift for free lunch
and then free dinner later
and then I still order something or eat junkfood
when I return home at 9:30 each night.

Love,
David

10.12.03 1:24 p.m.
(really 10.11.03)

Dear Sean,
My psychopharmacologist wanted $150 for a 10-minute appt.—
or he wouldn't renew my lithium prescription—
so I bagged on him
and a friend wrote me a scrip for 30 days worth
as a one-time stopgap.
Now I only have 3 more days worth
& have to find a medicaid doc who'll be free
& renew my balance.

Love,
David

10.13.03 1:32 a.m.
(really 10.12.03)

Dear Sean,
Dinner tonight was junk food,
some pringles, kosher gummy bears, hershey chocolate nuggets w/almonds,
and caffeine free diet pepsi
(the son of a sodaman, I like soda,
I'd just rather spend my calories elsewhere).
I also have not been shaving around my van dyke
and am thinking about letting it grow in.
I had lunch with my friend Rachel and her four-month-old Jamie
and outside the diner after we'd finished
I mentioned my beard plans
and she asked me if I was depressed
and I said, "No, just lazy."
And that's true,
and so is how much warmer I'll feel with a full beard come winter.
But there's also the distance that a full beard and belly bring
from others, from lovers,
the pull back before you're pulled back from.

Love,
David

10.14.03 3:40 a.m.
(really 10.13.03)

Dear Sean,
Last call,
I'm sick of it all.
Sunday
a reading at a series
whose curator doesn't give me the time of day
so I watch football and baseball instead.
I've got enough friends,
don't need anymore
or to pretend others are.
Not enough time for those games.
I'm so sick of it all,
I'm so sick of it, sick of it, sick of it,
sick of it all.

Love,
David

10.15.03 2:23 a.m.
(really 10.14.03)

Dear Sean,
If Uma and Ethan can't last
who can?
She just told Howard Stern
that she has no plans to date
anytime soon.
He tells her the reason she smokes
is because she isn't happy.
"I'll make you happy," he says.

Love,
David

10.16.03 1:22 a.m.
(really 10.15.03)

Dear Sean,
Today was the greatest
day of my life,
well, see,
that's the problem,
it wasn't.
It was just another day where nothing thrilled me,
just another day when I wore my gray slacks again
because they're the only pair of pants that fit me well,
just another day when autumn took my breath away
and I grabbed my inhalers.

Love,
David

10.17.03 3:57 a.m.
(really 10.16.03)

Dear Sean,
My shift at work now ends at 11 p.m.,
so I've brought a clock/radio in
to listen to the baseball playoffs.
At 11 tonight
Red Sox up 5-3,
and I head up to employee cafeteria to watch final outs,
and then Grady fails Pedro,
and Boone hits homer
and Sox out again
as people outside Grand Central Station chant
"Lets Go Yankees."

Love,
David

10.18.03 6:10 a.m.
(really 10.17.03)

Dear Sean,
When the three-way girl calls you go.
So at work,
tired from Yankee game late nite
to overtired sleep late
the three-way girl calls me to hang out
and I know I should make tonight an early night,
get home,
order some baked ziti and garlic bread—
light on the butter and garlic—
but I also know that the last three times I've
hung out with the three-way girl
she lived up to her name twice,
so I go out to the margarita bar
and order some homemade macaroni & cheese
w/sweet potato fries
and a club soda lime no ice
while I wait for her.

Love,
David

10.19.03 1:35 a.m.
(really 10.18.03)

Dear Sean,
I got out of the house today,
a non-work day,
even though I've been
wanting to stay in more on non-work days.
Woke up at 1:20 p.m. after sleep @6 a.m.,
and five minutes later my roommate says,
"I'm going to see Lost in Translation at 2:10.
Think you can motivate yourself to go?"
And it being free
with his Directors Guild of America card
I motivated myself,
and stayed out
and went to a reading
and then after-reading bread breaking,
before turning in
to buy junk food with food stamps
and watch World Series.

Love,
David

10.20.03 2:08 a.m.
(really 10.19.03)

Dear Sean,
Got up at 8:30 a.m. on this Sunday morning
to be at the small press fair
in time to be set up by 11 a.m. start,
an hour not visited by small press editors, 8:30,
but so it is,
me and the elderly
out in the Chelsea cold.
Met Aaron Tieger who was cool.
(I was gonna say who was sweet,
but it sounded gay,
even though sweet is more what he was.)
And said hello to Maura Tierney,
who is on ER,
and was at the small press fair
dutifully visiting each table,
viewing all wares.

Love,
David

10.21.03 4:58 a.m.
(really 10.20.03)

Dear Sean,
If this is life,
let me know.
I can't think straight,
dozens of subjects colliding,
none seem appealing.
There's the friend
who doesn't want me being sexual toward her
though she has been to me since we've known each other.
Or how I'm still awake
because I was laying out the new issue of the newspaper,
amazed at how many different Brendas we've covered.
Maybe it's just there isn't one in me tonight
and so that is the one in me tonight.
I'm so tired,
I'm so very tired.

Love,
David

10.22.03 2:16 a.m.
(really 10.21.03)

Dear Sean,
The meds seem to be working,
flattening the manic-depression into some sorta balance.
Aaron mentioned in an email the other day how I seem great
and not as high as normal.
I'm going to the psych clinic at Beth Israel in the morning
so I can get a new psychopharmacologist,
one who takes Medicaid,
so I can save some money.
I've always hated the follow-up visits with the psychopharmacologists.
They make you see them every three months
or they cut off yr dope,
but you both know you need dope to stave off the illness,
so you'll have to suck it up
and spend $150 for a 10-minute session.
No thanks doc.

Love,
David

10.23.03 3:45 a.m.
(really 10.22.03)

Dear Sean,

"I'm not trying to document my suicide
You won't live long,
but you may write the perfect song,
Please excuse those who choose to not play along."
—Sam Coomes, "Poisoned Well"

I wanted to treat the faux-millennial new year's eve
the same as I did all days,
if there was something I wanted to do
I'd go out and do it,
otherwise I'd stay home.
I saw the Voice listing
for Elliott Smith at the Knitting Factory for that night
bought two tix and went w/my friend Neal.
At two minutes to midnight Elliott said,
"I need a two-minute song."
I yelled out, "'Say Yes,'"
and he played my favorite song,
before bringing his girl up on stage
counting down
& popping, and then swigging from, a bottle of champagne
before passing it to the crowd so we could swig too.

Love,
David

10.24.03 3:18 a.m.
(really 10.23.03)

Dear Sean,

You don't try to commit suicide,
you either fail to commit suicide
or you commit suicide.
My sister-in-law used a bottle of xanax
and a bottle of vodka
and lived.
Elliott Smith used a knife to the chest
and didn't.

Love,
David

10.25.03 3:49 a.m.
(really 10.24.03)

Dear Sean,

I'm going to see Mary Lou Lord play later today.
I heard she used to go out with Kurt Cobain,
that's what brought me to see her
in July of 1996 at the Westbeth Theater w/Ian.
She had two opening acts
Danielle Howle and Elliott Smith.
It was the first time I'd ever heard of him
and in my head I've always thanked her
for turning me on to him.
And I've been reading the main Elliott message board,
commiserating in others' comments,
but I need to see Mary Lou cover Elliott like she often does,
I need to hear his music live,
one more time.

Love,
David

10.26.03 2:04 a.m.
(really 10.25.03)

Dear Sean,

I became a baseball fan 30 years ago,
watching my brother and sister root for the Mets
as they staged a late-season comeback to make the playoffs.
I was six and Rusty Staub was my favorite ball player
because he had red hair like me
and was a good hitter, too.
The Mets beat the Reds in the playoffs,
my brother and sister jumping on the field,
carrying a chunk of grass from Shea Stadium
that we watered dutifully each day.

Love,
David

10.26.03 11:59 p.m.

Dear Sean,

I'm exercising minimal control upon my life.
Laundry hasn't been done in three weeks.
I rewear socks,
flip my boxers,
and then flip them again,
wear the one pair of pants that fits me comfortably
for two work weeks straight.
Today the laundromat picked up my clothes,
their deliveryman's schedule finally matching mine.
I gathered the socks, boxers, t-shirts, and polo shirts from the floor,
and removed the comforter I've been using as a sheet
so I wouldn't have to make my bed
and the guest comforter I've been sleeping under.
Tomorrow I may put it all away.

Love,
David

10.28.03 3:20 a.m.
(really 10.27.03)

Dear Sean,

Phone call at the Yale Club today.
"Hello. It's Professor Brinkley.
May I speak w/Senator Kerry."
"Doug Brinkley?"
"Yes."
"Doug Brinkley, it's David Kirschenbaum."
And with that one of my mentors discovered
I was using my Master's in American history
to answer phone calls at a private club,
while he's calling on a presidential candidate
for a blurb on his new Vietnam book.

Love,
David

10.29.03 3:10 a.m.
(really 10.28.03)

Dear Sean,

organize a search party,
please.
benevolent malevolence.
HELP!
tell me when you find me.
"The best is yet to come, the best is yet to come."
The Lemonheads covered Linda Ronstadt's Different Drum
and
New Kids on the Block's Step by Step
on the same EP,
it is, perhaps, the best EP ever.

Love,
David

10.30.03 3:22 a.m.
(really 10.29.03)

Dear Sean,

I was a big Spike Lee fan when I was younger.
Initially he was going to call "Do the Right Thing" "A Love Supreme,"
after the Coltrane album of the same name.
So in December of 1990,
when I was a trade journalist,
I went to a Bose press conference,
announcing their newest tiny speakers--
a set of which I would win that day in a businesscard raffle.
They gave all the journalists a coupon for two free CDs,
which you had to pick while you were there.
I chose "A Love Supreme"
and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' "Indestructible"
(though that CD does, on occasion, skip).



My phone rang twice tonight after 1:30 in the morning.
I'm not quite sure how people were raised.
I get home from work 11:30ish each weekday night,
so come 1:30 I am eating, watching tv, surfing the net, and generally relaxing.
The last thing I want is deep conversation
or arguments,
or both,
and yet that's what I got tonight from two different women.
The first I simply told her what I normally do at that hour,
said I had to go
and did.
The second I tried to be silent,
then humored her with arguing,
then it finally petered out
so I could continue with sports and newspapers.

Love,
David

P.S. Remind me to stop listening to,
and reading about,
Elliott Smith
right before bedtime.
Thanks.

10.31.03 2:26 a.m.
(really 10.30.03)

Dear Sean,

Found a picture of Tom Devaney and me tonight
and I couldn't believe how much thinner I was just
three years ago.
It's not like looking at the thin picture of me
my parents keep on the front hallway mirror,
the one from when I was 16.
You don't weigh what you did at 16 when you're 36.
But you shouldn't weigh a gymnast more than you did
three years earlier.

Love,
David

11.1.03 3:06 a.m.
(really 10.31.03)
Dear Sean,
I always buy candy I like on Halloween,
so when there are leftovers I smile.
I put up the orange photocopied Jack O'Lantern
my building distributes at 10 a.m.
to let kids know "get candy here."
But no tiny ones by time I left for work @2:30 p.m.
Now, it's peanut chew time.
Love,
David

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