Tonight, Dear Readers ...It's Going To Be All About Not Being All About Me
- by Mark Allen

    You know, lover, according to my web statistics... hits to my website have been climbing steadily since January.
    Just now, I was going to write all about me, again. I was going to tell you some things about myself, I was going to not tell you some things about myself... but then... I looked out my window and saw a pigeon lovingly commingling with a rat in a sort of inter-species dance of forbidden love, and I said to myself; "I love my readers" We BELONG together! I LOVE you. Each and every one of you. So tonight dear readers... let's put everything aside. I want to know and thank and caress and LOVE each and every one of you. I don't want any precious microsecond wasted on ME. I want to know all about YOU as I sit here and type on this HTML page that doesn't allow you to communicate in any way, shape or form with me. That's right. Tonight, dear readers...  it's going to be all about not being all about me.
    I love you. Each and every one of you who are reading this right now. Do you know what it is to be loved? Do you? Have you ever felt the warm glowing touch of someone whom you admire nonjudgementally braising the back of your neck with their breath as you sit in front of a computer screen? Have you ever felt the toxic warmth of a CPR dummy's plastic lips that have been manually warmed in microwave to simulate body-warmth realism? Have you ever felt the loving vibes of fingertips that have traced down your boyfriend-who-lives-upstate's phone number and that continually call him and hang up? I have... and it feels wonderful. And now it's time to give back. You're the only person in the world who really understands me. That's right, YOU. YOU who are reading this right now. Whatever your name is... I'm sure you have a million individual names. A million different faces. A multiple amount of personalities.
    Pull up a pillow. Shhhhhh... hush hush hush. Don't worry. Now fluff up that pillow. Go ahead... punch it. HARDER! Now... isn't that better? Let's just sit here in front of the fire on this snowy night and I'll tell you all about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke. Oh but wait... no... that's right, I want to hear from YOU. It will show how much I LOVE each and every one of you. My READERS. My LOVERS. Boy... if Jim ever got jealous about me writing about other guys (and girls)... well he's gonna go ballistic tonight. But hush... hush, hush, hush.... put his gorgeous face and body, winning personality, superior intellect, Hollywood smile and big punching-your-face fists OUT OF YOUR MIND. Because this is all about you...
    I just don't know where to start. I want to listen to everything. I want to hear all about you... everything.
    You know, in Martin Scorsese's excellent film "The King of Comedy" ...the Robert Deniro character of Rupert Pupkin (who wants desperately to appear on 'The Jerry Langford Show' as a stand-up comedian) has a giant black and white blow-up photograph of the Jerry Langford in-studio audience on the wall of his Brooklyn basement apartment. He stands in front of it... his imaginary friends... fans... and rehearses his act. Sometimes I picture this same exact scenario when I am sitting in front of my computer and writing on my website. A sea of looking faces, little personality-less dots growing daily by the web statistics meter. Me talking to them all as a whole.
    In "The King of Comedy", the photo mural on Pupkin's wall has peculiar characteristics according to how close you are standing to it. Seen from afar... his fans as a mass audience seem like a friendly, loving bunch, swooning admirer's filled with LOVE. But... when Scorsese's camera pulls in close up on an individual in the crowd photo... their grainy, caught-in-mid-guffaw, photographed face looks kind of... distorted, twisted, monsterous... frightening even. From a distance the crowd fills Pupkin with pride... but up close... on the one-on-one basis, as if he were to meet each one on a personal basis, the fan looks terrifying and scary.
    As a group, you look great... up close you look crazy. Isn't love crazy?
    I love you.
    Context is NOT meaning and meaning is NOT context! No! No! Stop saying that!!! Oh you can be so cruel... but sometimes you hurt the one you love. But enough with the analogies and sweet sentiments. I don't want some kind of fantasy relationship with you, something based on a movie. I want a REAL relationship with you.
    I want my image of you to be big enough to where if I look at your individual head, I can see your expression clearly. I like looking at your face frozen in mid-laughter, seizure or orgasm. People look funny that way. It makes them look silly and I end up feeling superior... which is how I think you should feel about an audience of people that are paying undivided attention to you; that they rely on you for their happiness and you are their superior.
    So come on... let me get my video camera out in our imaginary room here in front of a fire on a snowy night. Let me back up a bit and look through the camera's viewfinder at you. Ohhhhh... you look great. Let me capture your face unawares, in mid-stride... when you think I'm not looking. Oh that's good... make a face like you just stepped on a tack. BRILLIANT! You look hideous... I feel great. Oh you really DID step on a tack? Oh I must have accidentally placed those there on purpose two minutes ago and forgotten about it. I'm sorry. How could I do that to one of my readers? My fans? Tonight... my LOVER? Just put it out of your hilarious little head. Go ahead and make another face... no a more embarrassing one. That's right... that puddle by the potted plant in the corner is electrified. I'm sorry I must have lied when I told you it wasn't. Oh that's a great face. Now twitch. You look great on camera and I feel fabulous. Entertain me...
    I don't mean to torture you into entertaining me. Come here. Let me turn off the camera... let's sit in front of the fire again... in embrace. Let me rub Neosporin on your burns. I NEED you tonight READERS. I LOVE you! Each and every one of you! Not just the whole... but the grainy, twisted and distorted photograph of the individual. You look so good in close-up. Closer... closer... crawling... closer... ever closer...
    Don't let my love for you cast me into a maelstrom of ambivalence that ultimately thrusts me into a black hole of irrelevance. And in turn, don't let your love for me cast you into a black hole of irrelevance that ultimately thrusts you into a maelstrom of ambivalence. Tonight... let's reverse the roles...
    I don't want to spend another night in my apartment, in the dark because I'm too poor to afford blinds and too proud to put up a sheet or tin foil over the windows... fumbling around the room, my headphones on, listening to old Carpenters tapes, gulping down French Pastis 51 (minus the recommended 5 to 1 water alcohol ratio)... crying tears of rage as I crash my outstretch arms through my computer screen to try and embrace you. So now that you're really here let me caress your wounds with my bandaged hands.... shhhhh.... shhhhh...
    You don't think this is funny? C'mon... laugh at what I write! God knows I laugh when I read what you write! Oh... oh I'm sorry... that just slipped out. Put it out of your mind. Just knock it right out of your skull.
    I knew you and me would end up in front of the fire like this together... alone... eventually. It was destiny. Like the way you subconsciously plan a big dump for later as you are sitting down to a huge meal. I knew it would come to this.
    I feel like getting to know you right here and now is like... like... like a, oh... I don't know. Like a cornucopia full of the fresh fruit of newness and experience! I feel like the unseen little cranberry all the way at the back of that giant cornucopia... the one way, way, way at the back... smashed up inside that pointy little inside way at the rear, while all the big, picturesque fruit that is YOU gets to sprawl out the front... all seen and beautiful. By the time they see me, I'll be a little maroon raisin... but it's not about me. It's about YOU! You BANANA! You MELON!!!
    I get so tense when I think about not being with you. I start to think I'm going CRAZY! Why if the knots in my back got any knottier I could make macramé outta them. Why I could even make a little hanging plant thing outta them and hang a little fern plant inside it's bloody, sinewy, knotted craftiness... just hanging next to my desk right here as I type... dripping blood onto the keyboard. You mace me... opps, I mean make me so happy.
    I was thinking of changing the title of my website from to "My American Cousin"... but, I don't want to make you wait in the hallway right outside my balcony seats all night... I want you front and center... under the spotlight. Right here in front of me. IN LOVE and TOGETHER ...ONE-ON-ONE.
    I just can't put into words how I feel about you. Yes YOU. YOU the person reading this right now! My feelings are ineffable! You've caused me to have contralateral neglect of my own heart, and that's okay. My anosagnosia of my own heart has caused constructional apraxia of an adequate ego loop in my quest to deduce a healthy life plan... which now suffers from crippling acalculia. The way you gaze into my eyes is giving me optic ataxia!
    I think getting to know you will stop me from looking over my shoulder and having to go to that court building downtown to get so many restraining orders. The judge tells me that if I show up one more time to get a fake restraining order against a stalker who doesn't really exist he's gonna get a restraining order against me! But what does he know. He's not YOU. Please don't restrain yourself from me as I hold you in front of the fireplace and listen to you talk about you... everything must be in order. Me giving and YOU taking. That's it.
    Sometimes I tell that angry judge downtown that maybe I'll start walking around Manhattan wearing a motorcycle helmet. Just in case someone wants to bash me over the head somewhere on the streets of Manhattan. You know in the early 90's there was some woman who lived around St. Mark's Place who always walked around outside with a white motorcycle helmet with a black opaque face guard over her head. She was quite the talk of the town, yet in turn she never talked to anyone (how could one hear her?). No one could figure out who she was or why she wore that helmet 24/7 outside. Maybe, just maybe... she was me in the future... coming back through time to give me glimpses of my own tomorrow as I walk around the city protecting myself from the waves of love I know you all have for me.
    Maybe I'll compliment my survival/helmet look with an aluminum baseball bat. I'm sure one of the Latin kids in my neighborhood will loan me one of theirs. That way I can walk around New York feeling really confident. Last year I walked all over New York in my Ultimate Disguise and no one was the wiser! No one dared approach me! Maybe I'll gussy-up my helmet and baseball bat look with a Vampire cape and fake handlebar mustache. I'll put the mustache on the outside of the face guard. Wouldn't that be cute? Maybe you can wear one too. Imagine the two of us... sitting in front of the fire... both wearing our motorcycle helmets, bopping each other gently on the heads with our baseball bats. The video camera rolling, the electrified puddle of water in the corner, tacks on the floor. They say true love comes from things you aren't expecting. Like a black bat flying around in the sunny daytime...  or a levitating taco. It's unexpected!
    I like the motorcycle helmet idea here in front of the fire. Lautréamont  says "Wolves and lambs look not on one another with bedroom eyes" and tonight it couldn't be truer. Let's keep the helmets on.
    I feel so impulsive right now. I feel like anything can happen. Now that it's just you and me in front of the fire. I just want to take all my clothes off and dance around the room in my helmet... swinging my baseball bat at you like a pinata... trying to burst open your sweet candy insides. I really just want to let go with you. I want to have FUN. I want to LOSE CONTROL. I want the impossible to occur. I want to be BLACK.
    My doctor says "No Mark you can't have fun! You need to be in control!" but you know what I LIKE being in control! Tonight I want to be out of control! Wouldn't you just love to see me outta my head!? I know I'd love to see me OUTTA MY HEAD!!! WOULDN'T THAT BE GREAT!!!!?!?!?!? WOULDN'T THAT BE FABULOUS!?!???!?!?!?
    I'm really having fun here tonight with you. Fun is my middle name.
    Boy I really worked up a sweat dancing around the room nude in my motorcycle helmet and swatting the bat all around myself in jittery terror over you. But you have that effect on me... dead... oops, dear reader. Lover. Let me sit down in front of the hot fire and cool myself off. A blanket? For me? From you? Why thanks! And rope too? Why thank you. A blindfold and mouth gag and Diet Coke with rohypnol ? Oh stop!
    You know... we may sit here all night in front of the fire and play little games and you may tie me up knock me unconscious and transport me to a shallow grave somewhere buried alive three feet under the ground with a tiny straw sticking out of the ground that I can breath through while you are watching me miles away from a live video feed... but let's face the facts. Can two people EVER TRULY get to know each other? To you...  I'm but a tiny little white dot floating off in the distance of cyberspace. I'm a minuscule man desperately treading water on the surface of a vast, vast ocean. An immeasurably gargantuan ocean so many miles wide it STILL cannot come close to representing that gap that keeps me so far from you and you so far from me... yet, draws us closer, closer with every passing second. I'm just treading water here in the most remote area of the Atlantic ocean. I'm a microscopic blip undulating on a piece of driftwood being gently rocked by the sea's shapeless surface... for beneath me lies a dark and mysterious sea... so many miles deep and wide and black and bottomless... I am a mere dust speck on it's grand, dark, galactic universe. Who knows what icy peril and nefarious creatures await beneath my freezing feet as I cling to my driftwood... every moment that I fight to survive, saying to myself  "just a few more seconds... just a few more strokes of my aching and frozen hands and feet to keep me above the surface... just one minute more of life..." Every moment that I repeat that to myself, who knows what slithering, black-eyed creature awaits beneath the surface to pluck my feet off at whim. My feet are so numb in this frozen ocean... perhaps it has already happened and I just don't feel it. Is the malicious creature... it's hideous mouth with it's frieghtening, shredding teeth several hundred miles beneath my dangling feet? Or a few inches? Do I have seconds? Minutes? Hours? A lifetime?  I put on a chattering grimace and pray to God that everything will be okay. They say that bearing a hopeful disposition in a land that has you whipped is a sign that you are praying to the gods in your own head... the last refuge of a scoundrel. The logistical dimensions and dark vortices of such a lightness and oxygen-less abyss like the one below my feet are a mystery to me. The monsters that could possibly do me terrifying peril, on a mere whim, are navigating within a cognitive reality that is known instinctively to them only. They hold all power, as all information is at their disposal. I do not know... I'm like a desperate beggar with a smile on my face... hoping, despite all evidence to the contrary, that everything will be okay. YOU are the one in control. What I don't know about you leaves me making unwise or desperate decisions.
    If you were to draw a picture of how I see it all, it would look something like this. Of course... from your perspective... it looks like this.

Copyright 2004 Mark Allen

go to back to