Its four forty in the morning on December 21st 2012 and I cant sleep.
Not because it’s the predicted end of the world by the Mayan calendar, but because I have this line of music stuck in my head.
 

Let me tell you something about a livin’ in in in America… pretty good year.

 

There’s a quiet wind outside like it should be snowy and that would be why the sound is so muffled. A borrowed dog is curled up asleep on my bed. It’s an indescribable feeling, why an animal deriving comfort from your presence is so good. I am not the kind of person who, like a boring dad, has to worry if I’ve told all the people I love that I love them – I have.
 

Pretty good year.

 

The woman I am sleeping with, not today, but in some abstracted currently, has the most incredible speaking voice. I was missing her, she is with an ex lover in a small European country I would have trouble pointing to on a map and I am not jealous (anymore.) Well I was missing her when I remembered that I had some takes of her saying a text I wrote for the film I’m working on. I was trying to sleep but remembering this, I reached for the little recording device that was on top of the stack of library books by the foot of my bed, I am a graduate student.
I listened to all of it, probably eight or nine takes in all.
My favorite parts were when I could hear her say things that weren’t scripted, mostly just asking for instructions, when to start, how fast to say it. Her nervousness was more apparent in the playback and I was surprised at my meanness or just insensitive quick answers, it was her last day here. Anyway it was turning me on, the sound of her voice.
 

Pretty good year.

 

Occasionally, I used to jack off on a live webcam site. There was something about the acquisition of a large number of watchers in the midst of all that predictable bad porn that felt like a little victory. There’d be the recorded women with shaved pussys, spread eagle. Or giant tits or shirtless dudes with their dicks out or a camera just trained on balls under a table or the handful of dyed hair teenage girls and middle aged women with their faces in the frame, actually chatting with people. I usually got in and out pretty fast. I wasn’t interested in looking at any of this, just drawing numbers.
It works like this, you turn your camera on and people have to leave what they are watching to see you. Give me a frame, a light source and a body, mine in this case, which happens to be a hairy thing with small tits, and I can make something pretty to look at. Like early cinema striptease, I didn’t really show much, but my minimal artfulness always drew the numbers from the other rooms. I’d watch my pseudonym crawl to the top of the list and take off an item of clothes for each increase by ten or twenty, Triple digits, I'd say to myself, and I'm done tonight.
 

Well let me tell you something about a livin’ in in in America…

 

So tonight I turned it on again. I had to put on a bra to have something to take off. I watched the numbers climb a bit, but shut it down early. I wanted to think about my girl. I laid down, imagining my hand was hers and I came immediately, a little.
 

Pretty good year.


The thing about the calendar ending is that it makes sense. I can relate. My new close friend and I were talking two days ago about how we each thought we would die young and had always planned accordingly. I couldn’t imagine myself beyond twenty three she said so I just figured that that would be it. For me it was twenty seven. The thing is, I told her, the person I was from birth to twenty seven did end that year. That’s why I constantly feel so new now. Yeah, she knows, her mom ended up dying when she was twenty three and she became an orphan then. If the Mayans couldn’t imagine themselves beyond two thousand twelve, they were probably right.


The thing about that line in the Tori Amos song is that you are never ready for it. It pushes you harshly off your footing yet is somehow also an accumulation. An overflow of all the rest of the song stacked high and toppling over into the quiet refrain.