kitten   November 11, 2005

Everyone has a story, I'm told. Let me whisper in your ear, and tell you mine.

In the darkness of a midnight drive, ask me how I got the scar on my leg and I'll tell you how I spent a week mixing white phosphorus to stand up for something I believed in, and how it went beautifully wrong, how the result was perfect because it was nothing like I expected.

I'll tell you of the time my heart was captured on a riverbank one summer evening, and broken on the same, months later. How I went into reclusion for nearly a year, spending my twenty-first birthday alone in a restaurant crying behind mirrorshades, emerging on the other side with a pocket of catastrophe and a resolve not to let it happen again. If the timing is right I'll tell you how you've broken through those barriers and what it means to me that you took the chance.

They brand people down on Baker Street, human canvasses volunteering to be eternal showcases of the art. I came close, once, but a tickle in the back of my mind told me I'd regret it, and I'll tell you how I fell through thirty feet of industrial webbing to get away. How I give speeches to no one in particular when I'm by myself, letting my idea of other people respond, tell me what they think of my imaginings. How, as a child, my friends and I would draft mighty war plans, executing against the neighbor's children, needing a concrete enemy to lash out against as catharsis for our own misgivings and self-doubt. How I spent a night in jail and got to know the detrius of society firsthand, how I got lost in New Haven with but seven dollars and a cigarette in my pocket, how I cheated my way out of high school and was still graduated, how I wandered directionless for six years jumping from job to job before deciding what to do with myself. How I saw a man gunned down by police on the streets of Saint Louis, and saw that no one cared, or how I was laid up for two weeks in the delirium of feverdream, shivering next to a space heater and under piles of blankets, singing things out of memory.

And when the house lights go down and the music flares up, bass pounding steady rhythm into the floor, I'll tell you how I lose myself in movement, how the lash of a whip brings me out of my headspace, how the softness of your lips sends me somewhere that smells like rain. How many are the ways I've found to lose myself entirely, and how I embrace them all.

Everyone has a story, I'm told, so listen. Listen. Listen to me, and I'll tell you mine.

kitten's injury: the FAQ
kitten   November 10, 2005

Because I'm tired of explaining this, I've created an FAQ to explain why I'm currently wearing a cast and walking about like a poorly designed droid with one arm always crooked.

Q: Well? What happened?
A: I was doing a performance with an offshoot of Lips Down On Dixie, a local theatre troop, called Dixie Flatline and the Panther Moderns, which is dedicated to doing fetish and gothic stage shows for secretroom, among other communities. In our sterling debut on Halloween night, I was playing Dr Victor Frankenstein in an 18-minute modified retelling of the Mary Shelley classic. We had a number of stunts choreographed, including one where the monster created by the good doctor is supposed to pick me up by the neck and hurl me across the stage. Unfortunately this did not go as planned; I was thrown quite awkwardly and landed heavily on my left wrist.

Q: So you broke it.
A: Sure did. This is a displaced and fractured distal radius, though I didn't know it at the time. All I knew was it hurt, and it was bent in a most unappealing fashion.

Q: What about the show?
A: The show must go on. I managed to complete the first act, and while the audience thought the grimace of pain was just good acting, I'm not much of an actor, and it was actually just me, about to collapse from agony. I was going to do Act II as well, thinking I had merely sprained my wrist, but my girlfriend told the director where he could stuff it, and took me to the ER. Therefore, Victor was played in act II by our choreographer, and we didn't bother explaining why Victor was suddenly a large gay black man.

Q: What's the prognosis?
A: The orthopedist attemped to reduce the fracture, which is why I'm in a cast now, but it was too far mangled to set correctly. Surgery will occur on the 18th, where I will have a titanium plate screwed into the bone to hold it in alignment, and there it will stay until I either die, or medical technology produces nanobots that can repair this in a less medieval manner.

Q: So how are you typing this?
A: Slowly, which is how I do most things now -- clocking about 50wpm with marginal use of my left fingers, though I make frequent typos. Showering, getting dressed, cutting my hair, tying my boots, driving, even holding a phone are all things that now require a certain degree of logistical preplanning and ingenuity.

Q: That sucks.
A: It sure does. Thankfully, my friends and family have been most supportive throughout this, helping me do my work, picking up medical bills, and so forth. Special thanks goes out, of course, to Carrie, without whom I don't think I could have dealt at all that night, and who has been nothing but sympathetic and caring these past few weeks.

Q: Want to go rock climbing on Sunday?
A: Oh, screw you.