Takeaway! Daisy Anne Gree
We round off our week of retrospective giveaways with four of the best from Daisy Anne Gree. From now, most of our new material will be available as a pdf as soon as it’s posted. Just click the links for the download, and take a stroll through Fifteen Minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fifteen Minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge
The Dictators are playing on Potrero Hill.
It’s hot. I go and stand out back.
The only other person out back is a tall young guy.
Heavily tattooed and scarred and he’s smoking a cigar.
What’s your favorite number? he asks me.
He holds up his middle finger.
There’s a seven tattooed on it.
He drives a cab.
He’s well read.
I guess he had a lot of time to read in jail.
Armed robbery, he says.
I don’t say anything, just stare at the business card he presses in my hand.
That’s my beeper number, he says, you know, if you ever need a cab. Just put in the number seven. I’ll know it’s you.
Back in North Beach. 2:30 am, I’m at the bar in my pyjamas and a big sweatshirt that says Brooklyn on it that I stole from that one band’s dressing room. The bar is closed and we are locked in, drinking until dawn, except that I’m drinking coffee. I smoke super slim 120 cigarettes and don’t realize that they make me look like an asshole. I don’t talk to anyone. The woman sitting next to me sleeps gently with her head on the bar, hand still clutched around a glass of Green Chartreuse. I close my eyes. Everyone is on coke and green chartreuse. They sniff and talk:
Sometimes, when you’re out at sea for a long time, and you don’t see anybody or anything, strange things happen. Like, there’s a man who stands at the edge of my boat, looking at the horizon at night. He usually comes after I’ve been sailing for a while. I call him Captain Kirk. You want more coffee?
There’s a sniper on the roof in Chinatown.
There’s a sniper on the roof in Chinatown!
I’m NOT drunk. Seriously.
Are you gonna stand there like a fucking idiot, or are you gonna play some goddamn dice?
I am psychic, you know. I can see your aura.
Whose bright idea WAS this?
I hate having to say goodbye every fucking time I leave somewhere. Why can’t I just fucking leave?
I was born a neurotic Jew.
But you’re not actually Jewish.
That’s just not the point.
That ticket I got today is more than my fucking god-damned rent.
Does my hair look O.K.?
He threw the gun up on the roof.
I don’t fucking know. Maybe he didn’t know what else to do with it.
Greenwich Avenue and I sit on the floor in my room. At night I listen to talk radio shows where people call in to talk about anal sex. I like talk radio because it makes me forget that I am sitting around in a room with posters and pictures and newspaper cuttings and books and over-turned orange-crates as furniture and no bed. But right now I’m listening to Weezer. The first album, the blue one. It’s been playing for a while. Every time it stops, I lean forward and press play again. Afternoon sun plays havoc with tired eyes.
Columbus Avenue. I sit on one side of the bar and Tim stands on the other side. He gives me free coffee and free food and we just stare at each other. We do this every day and I don’t even know how it began. We’ve never said more than two words at a time to each other, but now he looks at me and says,
I loved the sunflower you gave me.
I’m going to plant it in my backyard. They grow real tall.
It’s fake, I say after a while.
It’s fake. The sunflower. It’s made of plastic. There’s an off/on switch on the bottom and when you turn it on it sings You Are My Sunshine and dances a bit.
So you can’t plant it.
In your backyard…my voice trails off. We go back to staring at each other silently.
You didn’t notice the off/on switch? I can’t help saying it. Now we both know he is stupid. My face doesn’t move an inch. Tomorrow we will act like it didn’t happen so that I can have free coffee and food and somewhere to sit where I feel safe and he can have someone sitting there opposite him that doesn’t say anything and looks OK because all the other customers are pricks and he’s sensitive to it.
Green Street. I buy cigarettes at the Korean place. I go to the other bar that I rarely ever go to. I’m still in my pyjamas. The dust motes hang in the air, almost motionless. Almost. A man sits down next to me. I don’t look at his face. I see his hands. The number seven on the middle finger. I push the bowl of pretzels toward him. I say,
Have a pretzel. Do they have pretzels in jail?
Greenwich Avenue. I sit on the floor in my room with posters and pictures and newspaper cuttings and books and over-turned orange-crates as furniture and no bed. I take my asthma inhaler and smoke my asshole super slim 120 cigarettes. When the record stops, I lean forward and press play. After midnight I switch to talk radio.
All I’m saying is that I got my fist so far up his ass that I was massaging his heart, it says to me.