Note: Lyrics by Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed used without permission.
"The maestro says it’s Mozart
But it sounds like bubble gum
When you’re waiting
For the miracle to come..."
(Leonard Cohen - "Waiting for the Miracle")
This is NOT.
This isn't breathing, touching. The food you shove down your throat every day has no taste. You may not sense that, you may not wanna realize it, but - deep down - you know it.
The cries and growls and whispers you hear come out of nowhere and end into nothing. Faces and voices - body parts parting and colliding like tidal waves - they all amount to nothing.
The man snoring above you is not yours, the man lying inside you is not his. Nobody's anyone's. And everything's nothingness.
The man sighing below you is not yours. That man is not you. Still - like everything and everybody else in here - he is a part of you. And, like it or not, at the end of the day he becomes you.
Like everything else in here.
Chris Keller doesn't want to get out of Oz. He never wanted to.
Some people die before their time; some people die even before being born. Mistakes God makes, mistakes God refuses to take responsibility for. Mistakes he doesn't even care about.
Mistakes and miracles...who can tell the difference?
Probably God. But God doesn't give a shit.
He hears Murphy shouting outside the pod a couple of seconds after the neon lights flash and flow down over Em City drowning the whole goddamn place in a sea of unremarkable whiteness.
O'Reily's already dressed, throwing him his white T-shirt and walking out the door without a word.
He waits a couple of moments more in his bunk burying his face in the pillow. Just one more minute.
One more minute.
Then everything falls back into ordinary.
Tobias Beecher's clock buzzes three times and then some chick's voice on the radio squeals something about the weather.
"Rise and shine, friends! It's a beauuutiful day!"
Yeah, yeah, rise and shine, rise and fucking shine...
He buries his face in the pillow for a minute cursing the bitch and her unhealthy temper. Cursing the stench of cigarette buds left on the ashtray near his bed.
He smoked before meeting Gen, he smoked while they were married, even if she hated it; he smoked in Oz. Why stop now?
"I'm not your *friend*, you fucking cunt," Beecher whispers on his way to the bathroom.
He needs to piss badly.
"Anyone who's ever had a heart
Wouldn't turn around and break it
And anyone who's ever played a part
Wouldn't turn around and hate it..."
The singer's soothing voice leaks out of the radio, over the cigarette buds, over his unmade bed. Fills the whole room, floats around like the wings of a dove, barely noticeable.
"Velvet Underground cover," Toby mumbles staring at his dick, giggling at his own musical knowledge. "Up your Ante!"
Chris Keller stands outside his pod half-asleep. He senses O'Reily's bouncing body right next to him ready to explode like firecrackers.
"Where do you get all that energy, man? It's fucking exhausting."
"Genetic. Irish brand," O'Reily answers slyly, grinning like a cartoon character.
Keller barely manages a beaten down twist off the corner of his mouth.
Some people - most people - weren't born dead. And some people never wanted to die, or never to be born. Ryan O'Reily's one of those lucky bastards.
That doesn't mean God doesn't forget about them too.
Or that he gives a shit.
The phone rings once. Rings twice. Rings three, four, five times. For a moment Beecher thinks that whoever was at the other end of the line has given up. Then it rings again.
Later that day, Tobias Beecher arrives at his parents' house carrying a bunch of boxes and a big bouquet of roses. His nose itches and his hands are shaking; he silently curses himself, he curses the cab driver.
He's still cursing the saleswoman who looked at him funny when picking the presents for his kids. Or at least he *thinks* she looked at him funny.
"Are the flowers for someone special?"
"Yeah, my mother."
(--'Man, are you EVER gonna grow up?!'--)
"Hey, K-Boy. Weren't you supposed to be meeting one of those ex-wives of yours right about now?"
O'Reily's tone of voice says nothing. He's not mocking him, he's not being sympathetic either. Just a question like any other.
"Yeah, Kitty." He doesn't look up. "She got married."
"Ouch," Ryan smiles like a true connoisseur. Even if he...isn't.
"Quickflash marriage."-- Keller smiles too, looking at the other man: "Kitty-style."
"What about the fat one?"
"Married. Pregnant," Keller mutters, moving a piece on the chessboard.
She's so beautiful, Toby thinks the moment he sees her.
The thought trails through his mind the whole evening like a snake groping through darkness, touching every corner of his mind, leaving burn marks and scars hungry for more. His skin itches, his voice is hoarse. He keeps licking his dry lips and worries about having a boner right there, in his parents living room.
He didn't feel this way with Catherine.
He felt it...(--with Gen.)
A long fucking time ago.
"Your mom has told me you go to AA meetings," she says between small sips of cherry soda.
Why the fuck did she have to say THAT to her?!
"It's okay,"-- one warm hand placed over his, shock waves ripping through his body: "My brother also goes to AA meetings. He's been sober for 4 years now."
Jesus, it feels so nice, it feels so nice...
Where has she been all this time? Where the hell has he?!...
"My parents and I sometimes feel like we're ALL going to AA," she whispers, smiling.
She's beautiful. She's sweet. She's warm.
A red sunbeam crosses over her tender shoulders, and Toby can't help but stare at the vein popping at the crook of her neck.
She asks him about what he enjoys doing.
He says he doesn't get out much.
She smiles again and says something about taking long walks and watching the sunset.
"You want to?" she asks, already up on her feet, one hand stretched in front of him.
"Sure," he replies, and his fingers slowly intertwine with hers. She's got Gen's confidence, her child-like happiness.
Toby feels like being 16 again, seeing off the corner of his eye his mother's figure near the doorway. He hears Holly's laughter, and leans down to tie his son's shoes.
Then all four of them go outside for a walk.
Chris Keller leans his head on the table, growling softly.
"Fuck, O'Reily, how do you do it? You always win."
"Yeah," Ryan says as a matter of fact. "You should've paid more attention to Beecher, you could've learned something."
He knows he shouldn't have said it. And Ryan does feel for a small second a tinge of...something for the other man. Just a second.
Then his instincts kick in almost instantaneously - watching, waiting. Calculating.
And yeah, there it is. Soft, almost imperceptible.
Keller buries his face into his outstretched arm on the table for a couple of seconds. And when he finally lifts his head, he avoids looking at the other man. If only for a moment.
Five long hours of staring at the ceiling, staring *outside* the walls, staring *inside* the walls...
Staring at yourself.
He's looking up at the night's blue, clear sky. Staring at the stars. He's done this the first night after getting out of Oz, peering through his parents' window, standing in his old room.
He used to do it when he was a kid, he did it with Gen all the way in Paris, on their honeymoon. He even tried doing it in Oz.
Do stars look different in different places?
Do stars look different for different people?
Her breath blows constantly near his freshly shaved jaw. In and out, in and out...
Something in that small noise she does when leaning a bit closer, something in her wet, hot breath drowning into his like dark smoke...a barely perceptible familiar taste on the tip of his tongue...
(--'Don't do this, don't...'--)
He knows it, he senses it.
He even tries to rationalize it, as his hands slide over her neck, under her blouse, touching the small bones in her shoulders and playing a little with the straps of her bra.
He's not just kissing, he's not just touching Julia Meyers here...he's touching and kissing and holding everybody else in between. Gen. What's left of himself. Chris. Chained together through invisible shreds of feelings, memories, questions. Desire.
They're inside him.
And this girl, this girl right here, smelling like roses and sunsets and long walks, holding him and kissing him back, moaning in his mouth - this girl doesn't have a FUCKING CLUE of what she's getting herself into. What she's getting Toby into.
Or maybe she knows better than Toby, Chris and Gen all combined into the same ugly creature still waking Beecher up in the middle of the night, when nobody's watching.
Another sleepless night, same mindnumbing hours spent looking at the mattress above him.
He can't help himself.
"Hey, what the fuck you're doing?"
Keller smiles in darkness, kicking again the mattress above him with his foot.
O'Reily tussles for a second in his bunk and finally leans down over the edge of the bed, looking at Keller through half-lid eyes.
"What do you want?"
Keller looks like a big, *very* bored cat - if Ryan's ever seen one on two legs.
"Can't sleep," Chris says, stretching his arms above his head. He swiftly moves his right arm towards O'Reily's face, caressing his jaw for a brief second before the other man backs away, as if licked by fire.
"Fucking nutbag," Ryan mumbles in his pillow, turning on his side. "Go to fucking sleep, Keller."
Minutes pass before Keller loudly turns his back at what little light creeps through the pod's door from the control center, sighing.
"Do you think you'll ever get out of here?"
The bunk above him is silent, but Keller senses the strain in the other man's neck and shoulders.
"O'Reily, I know you're not asleep."
"I'm not planning on dying tomorrow, if that's what you're asking."-- a beat: "Shut up and go to sleep."
Keller smiles again, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand.
"You're no fun, you know that?"
Ryan sits up in his bunk, hesitates a second, then jumps down.
"What, you want me to hold you and sing a fucking lullaby? Get over it, Keller. Just fucking get over it already."
He sees the other man rolling on the bed and meets his dark blue gaze glowing in the night, seizing him up for a brief moment. Cataloguing. Searching.
Playing *Ryan's* game, but for obvious different reasons. And making him pretty damn uncomfortable.
"Don't you ever miss it?" Chris asks quietly, too quietly, staring into O'Reily's squinting eyes.
"Miss what?" Ryan replies, even though he smells it, whatever it is that Keller's after.
"The heat."-- Chris looks down, away from O'Reily's figure for a moment, then lets his gaze linger over the other man: "The need for someone else's body...lying next to you. Not fucking, just being near you."
"Fuck you," O'Reily throws through clenched teeth, climbing back into his bunk. "I ain't getting anywhere near your *heat*," he adds, pulling the blanket over his head.
"Yeah, but you're not getting anywhere near anyone else's either. Not now, not ever."
One sleepless hour after another, one dreamless night after another. Empty dreams and empty nightmares, and even more empty wholesome days stacking up like useless junk.
Ain't life a certainty?
---end of part 2---
Also, apparently, I seem the only person on this planet - apart from Bible thumping shitheads - who did not love Brokeback Mountain. Just yesterday, my friend Vali saw it and went all "WOW, I love this movie!", joining the *Love Brokeback to death!* chorus along with some of other guys I know who saw it. And all I keep wondering is whether people like my friend would've still loved Brokeback if the actors had been not so young and so damn attractive...
Now, I know that I'm a prissy pissy bitch who likes to say "left" when everybody says "right", but this is ridiculous. Just two days ago someone called me a "homophobe" and "foolish" for not sticking to the "masterpiece/I love it/Heath and Jake are hot-sexy" slogan.
Bottom line: whoever doesn't praise this movie is a loser homophobe who doesn't know shit about the hardships gays and lesbians went through in USA.
More of this shitty attitude and I'll fuckin' start subscribing to all that, just for the fuck of it.
I guess it's just the enormous buzz around it. It pretty much ruined it for me. Guess that's why I like small movies and shows most people don't watch. I'm just not a hype girl. The cool thing is that I'm slowly starting to develop a strange interest in Bela Lugosi and all those stupid black/white horror movies of the past.
I'm telling you, if my life were a movie, it would be black and white. Which is fine by me.