"Turn Me On"
Text for performance by Josh Koenig
Originally staged 10/21/02 at Axiom (produced by The Axiom Creative Collective) at The SOHO Think Tank. With Josh Koenig as "Pomo Drunk".
ON STAGE: A slightly discheveled postmodern drunk, knit cap and a flask of some liquor. He is depressed and slightly surly. Vocal approxomation of Tom Waits circa Nighthawks at the Diner. He sips liquor throughout.
I'm two fisting it here, gotta keep up the regimen of sedation, dumb down that angry brain. Huhhuhhuh, yeah, I don't get along with that many people. Find 'em Irritating. Boring. Insipid. Mean. I find other people like me and I hate 'em. Guess that's pretty common these days though -- self loathing. Says something about our times, doncha think?
This story happened to a friend of mine. Huhuhuh... ok, it's me. I had a broad ask me once, "whaddya think would happen if you stopped drinking so much?"
"Well," I said, "I'd probably start doin' a whole lot more thinking, and don't neither of us right here want me doin' that. I'm in hiding, ok? And until I'm ready to come out, don't wanna be bothered. And I'm sick of pickin' up after everybody else's mess, so I'm sticking strictly to my own shit; you know, take care of number one, like the bible sez. Let alla you take care of you, and I mind my business."
Yeah, she quit callin' me.
Do you find self-destruction romantic, baby? You wanna come slum around with me in my palace of broken dreams? Huhhuhuh, I didn't think so. Don't look too pretty up close, do it? Yeah, I wasn't really gonna let you in. I wasn't really gonna let you in here. Just wanted to slide up real close and feel good for a while. Yeah. We can still do that later if you feel like it.
Don't get me wrong. That don't mean I don't wish you would turn me on, baby. I mean turn me on, like all the way, boom, shine the light in there because you know it may not thake a lot to get me in the sack, but it takes something to make me wanna stick around and talk the morning after. And you wouldn't believe how bad I wish that something would hurry itself up and come along.
But I ain't about to love anyone until I figure out how to love me first. But then how am I gonna love me when ain't nobody really care about my shit, whateva whateva, so that's what you call a catch 22.
You hear the part right there where I asked you to to save me baby? That turn you on? Yeah, that one's worked before. It only really happens for me though if I get to get you back, like salvation for salvation.
That's some high stakes poker. Back when your inexperienced, when everything is fresh and new and just out of the factory you can hit that shit right off the bat, but these days... shit. You gotta bluff your way into that round. Huhhuhhuh, "you wanna maybe... just hang out sometime? I don't know if you're interested, I don't know if you're interested in me..." Yeah, salvation. Some heavy shit.
But that's how I live. I'll be honest, I'm all epic on the inside. Sure I like hot cocoa and warm feet and all that cuddly stuff, but when it comes down to it, I'm really in it for the world-domination, for the speed and the desperate circumstances. The poetry of motion turns me on, all the way baby, and I want to be a part of progress, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I mean, are we talking about exploring the motherfucking universe here or staying home, getting fat and lazy and fighting over the last slice of turkey? I don't wanna be didactic here, but We gotta move! And I wanna have a traveling companion.
But my chivalry is seriously out of practice, I have to admit. Not many of my friends remember when I was a good guy. They try to keep me away from girls they know. It's funny, you know. And I wish it were different. I wanna meet a girl and I wanna tell them, like, "come on, man. I'm innocent on this one. I just wanna go to a musiem." They'd laugh, or at least smirk. But I deserve that.
It's been downhill in that way for a long time. For me it's been downhill for a long time. I'm not playing for sympathy, just trying to tell the truth. I've got a lot of sensual pagan love in me and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not entirely comfortable with it. It gets me into trouble and I start sobotaging my self. Like, "don't fall in love with me. I'm fickle. Love me. Leave me. I want you. I don't know what I want. I don't know who I am." I'm confused.
And living in this world isn't helping me out a lot. Hence the regimen. It's just like I told that girl. I'm in hibernation. One of these days I'll wake up. When I'm ready, one of these days. Yeah, I'll wake up.