by Lisa Inserra
inspired by Mieke Valk’s demo-lesson
and with special thanks to The Goat Rodeo Allstars
It was a Saturday night party of twenty-somethings in the 5th floor walk-up of Joe’s midtown Manhattan apartment.
She rang the bell.
Joe excused himself from the guests and cracked open the door.
A hot sliver of odors crawled up her nose: cheap perfume, expensive perfume, baked brie, cockroach dirt, century-old plumping pipes, room deodorizer.
Joe kissed her on the cheek “Come in! Lemme see, who do you know here?”
He twisted his body around to take measure of the social domains that carved up his living room. Medical over here, Wall Street over there, actors on the balcony, uncategorized on the sofa.
He’d spilled beer on her. “Where’s the bathroom?” she asked.
His reply came in a loud, bouncy gesture, “Oh! Down the hall over there”.
Her stomach felt like it was closing in on itself and she walked toward the kitchen instead. She’d been drinking gin lately. Quick pour and down the hatch. Another. And another.
Soon she was floating through the rooms of Joe’s apartment, hardly noticing the dots and dashes of conversation that drifted by, and the nauseating smell of aging crudite dip that encased them.
I forgot to say, this was back in the days of vinyl records and speakers the size of a mature human.
Untainted were the sacred sonic waves that met her as she approached a six foot speaker, stag, in the corner of the room. She walked up to greet it, tall and dark and alone, just like her. Its faceless pulsing shook her free from the inside out, up to down and east to west. Soon the party goers were forced as if centrifugally to the perimeters of the room. She’d spun up her own domain with walls so high and a moat so wide that none dared to enter.
I would say it was like this for quite some time, until the forces drained out from her fingertips.
Then, standing alone in the center of this place, inviolate, with a panopticon of eyes surrounding her, she took her insides out, leaving the room.