Sunday, September 19, 2010

Road Trip - West Bound

I was recently away for three weeks on a road trip that included a week at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. As part of this trip I did two writing experiments.

On the way out, I took characters invented by my friend Mike Becker named Wanda and Randy and wrote a short story in the form of post cards from Wanda. I copied it on to actual postcards that I mailed to Mike. He was a character in the story, too. You can read "Wanda On The Road" below. It has some sexual content.

I did the second experiment on the drive back. My friend Birkin Diana was at Burning Man with me and he told me he was writing his journal about the experience in the form of haiku as an exercise in being succinct. I decided to barrow this approach and document my return trip in haiku. I'll put these poems up in a week or so.

There will probably be a third installment based on this road trip; my reflections on the Burning Man Festival, but these are still peculating.

Wanda On The Road

Randy Baby, I’m going to send these postcards to Mike. Maybe you’ll never see them. After what they did to your brother maybe nobody we know is safe. I miss you so bad, baby. I guess I got to just keep moving and trust in the lord. I love you with all my heart, Wanda

My Sweet Baby Randy, If these postcards was to fall in the “wrong hands” they’d know where I had been, but they’d never guess where I was going, because I don’t know myself. I don’t know where I’ll wake up tomorrow or if I’ll wake up tomorrow. I just know I won’t be with you. Good night, baby boy. I just got to trust in the lord that someday, someway we will be together again. Love, Wanda

Randy Honey, All my life I been poor as dirt. Now I got more money than I know what to do with. I paid cash for this car. I’m eating $20.00 dinners and staying in $100.00 a night motels. But I don’t have you. It don’t do a bit of good to think about turning back the clock, but I would in a minute. Your one and only, Wanda

Sweet Heart, I thought I saw that fat fuck Butch this morning. I just came out of the motel and was headed for the car and he stepped out of the room next door. Except it wasn’t him, just some fat tourist on vacation with the wife and kids. Still it made me feel like death had a hold of my heart in his icy fist. How is this all going to end? I pray the lord helps us through this. All my love, Wanda

My Dearest Randy, I’m here in this hotel bed all alone. How I wish I could feel the whiskers on your chinny, chin, chin tickling the back of my neck and feel Mr. Pink and Pointy making my earlobe all wet and feel little Randy knocking at my back door. I know I should be glad to be alive, but it ain’t really living without you. Hugs and Kisses, Wanda

Mike, You four eyed pervert, I know you liked that last one. You miss looking down my blouse like you always use to do? That’s alright. I always thought you were pretty cute for a geek. You can look at my titties all you want. Besides you got the advantage of being Randy’s only acquaintance who ain’t a spic drug dealer, ain’t a con, or ain’t beat nobody to death with a baseball bat like that fat fuck Butch did to Randy’s brother, Charlie. Hope you’re safe, Professor. Wanda On The Road

Randy Honey, I think we ought to just give it all back. I know Mr. Ortiz would still want us dead, but it’d have to like make him less motivated. You know what I mean? Mr. Ortiz has got to be eighty if he’s a day. How long can he live? Butch could drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow. I guess I’m just grasping at straws, but that and praying to Jesus is all that gets me through the day. God bless you and keep you safe, Wanda

Dearest Randy, I can’t hardly look at food. I drink coffee all day and have dinner in a restaurant at night that I don’t eat but half of. Don’t worry, honey. My jeans are loose, but I still fill out them “D” cups. Miss you, Wanda

Randy, my sweet baby, You was on my mind so much today, I was driving with just my left hand. You know what you always said, “Two in the pink, one in the stink, and thumbkin working overtime.” And they say using your cell phone is a distraction. Yeah, honey. I’m still your dirty girl. Wish you was here. Wanda

Hey Mike, That last one get you off good? I got to admit I wrote it partly for you. I know you got off on those stories Randy wrote for your class in the joint. They was just his wet dreams and jerk off fantasies from missing me so bad. Even though you got that one published for him, he never wrote another one once he was out. Still, he never forgot what you did for him. He trusted you more than anybody. I’m going to call you up one of these nights when I’m lonely. Wanda

Dear Randy, I had a real bad day today just filled with regret and sorrow about everything that’s gone down. I’m sorry Mr. Ortiz’s grandson got in all that trouble down in Juarez. I’m sorry he picked Charlie to deliver the ransom. I’m sorry the kid was already dead when Charlie got there. I’m sorry Mr. Ortiz told Butch to get the money back and kill Charlie, too. I’m sorry that when Charlie figured out what was gonna happen he ditched the money in your truck. I’m sorry that when Butch was beating him, he gave us up. Most of all, I’m sorry to be apart from you. Wanda

Oh shit, baby. I just figured it out. I’m so dumb. I know why you sent me off on this “one year, all expenses paid vacation.” Why you made all the rules about never spending two nights in the same place, never calling anybody, not even my mama, and never trying to find you. You’re trying to keep that fat fuck Butch away from me. You want him following you and leaving me alone. God bless you, Randy. I love you so much. Wanda

Mike, I’m going to call you in two weeks. Friday, August 28, at 8:00 AM. I promise I’ll use a phone nobody can trace. Be there. Wanda

Randy and Mike, Thank god you’re both alive. I wish I could of talked to you Randy, but Mike gave me your instructions and I’m going to do just what you said. Of the towns you gave me to pick from, I pick the second one. As soon as I set it up, I’ll send you the box number. I’ll stay away from it for a month and then I’ll go back and check it. I won’t call no more. Mike, I wrote down that woman’s name and number. If you say she can help me, I believe you. I miss you both so much. Wanda

Randy and Mike, The box number is 514. Wanda

Dear Randy, I got on the scale in Walgreen’s today. I lost twenty-five pounds. I been buying a bunch of new clothes because my old ones is too big. I like being skinny. I hope you like me this way, too. Love you, Wanda

Randy honey, Ol’ Wanda got her hands on a sweet baby boy hitch hiker and kept him with me for three days. I didn’t card him but he couldn’t have been no more than eighteen. By the time I was done with him he was Wanda certified in the reverse cowboy, the pearl necklace, around the world and the meaning of life. I dropped him off at his front door with a smile on his face and a dick that looked like something you’d buy in a butcher shop. I don’t know what he told his mama. You proud of me baby? Wish you were here, Wanda

Hey Mike, You shocked? Or had you already figured out from his stories that Randy likes to watch me with other guys? I always thought he was going to try to get me and you to put on a show for him, but he never did. I’m about two days drive away from the post office box. Wanda

Randy and Mike, I’m so scared now. I picked up the package. I was real careful. Nobody followed me or nothing, but Randy why did you send me all that money. I must have it all now. I’m driving around with close to a million in the trunk of this car. Mike, why aint you answering your phone? I know I said I wouldn’t call no more, but I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. Please answer your phone. Wanda

Randy and Mike, I can’t do this alone no more. I’m going to see that woman Mike said could help me. I love you, but I don’t think I’ll ever see you again. God bless you, Wanda

Randy and Mike, I’m with “Donna” now. I didn’t write no postcards for a long time, but I got sadder and sadder. It was like admitting I’d never see you again. “Donna” said if it made me feel better go ahead and write them. Don’t think the postmark on this card will tell you where “Donna” lives, because I ain’t nowhere near where this was mailed from. Wanda

Randy honey, Are you out there? Are you alive? Will I ever see you again? Will I ever get to hold you in my arms again? You fill up my heart and dreams and prayers everyday. I sure ain’t forgetting you or getting over you. May God keep you safe wherever you are. Wanda

Randy and Mike, Everything is different now. I ain’t Wanda Sykes no more. I got a new name. My hair is a new color and new style. I got a birth certificate, a social security card, a driver’s license, a high school diploma from a Catholic girls’ high school, and a gun I can carry in my purse all legitimate in my new name. I got another gun can’t be traced to nobody. “Donna” knows how to get all that stuff. I miss you, Wanda

Randy and Mike, I’m on the road again. I was with “Donna” two months, but a week ago she told me it was time to leave. She said somebody is looking for her, asking people about her in Berkley and Madison. Somebody called the people that publishes her poems. She ain’t scared. She’s an expert on disappearing, which she calls “going underground.” She says she’ll “surface” again when the time is right. I got some more news, but I’m saving it till later. Wanda

Randy and Mike, I know you’re probably both dead, but I keep talking to you in my head and keep writing these damn postcards. I ain’t scared no more because I know what I got to do. “Donna” told me how to disappear, but I’m tired of all this shit and I’m going to bring it to and end. I pray for you guys. I hope you’re looking out for me. Wanda

Randy and Mike, It was real easy to kill that fat fuck Butch. He did come looking for “Donna” but of course she was long gone. I followed him back to his motel and pulled into a parking spot right next to him. I gave him a big smile. He came around to my window and I shot him between the eyes. He never recognized me. He died thinking, “Why is this skinny red head with the big tits pointing a gun at me?” I drove away real slow. I don’t know what Mr. Ortiz will do but I think it is over. God Bless you, Wanda

Randy and Mike, I thought that last card postcard was going to be my last but I forgot to tell you my news so this one is the last one. O.K. I’ll just spit it out. I’m going to have a baby! That fucking little hitchhiker knocked me up! Seems like years and years since I been this happy. I know it’ll be a boy and I know I’ll name him Randal Michael. Hey you guys, rest in peace. Wanda

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