Mass fire of the mind today. Looking for the prize that does not exist today. Get a coffee in the morning for the train. Maybe that will help. No, didn’t help. Make another pot of coffee at work, the coffee you got in Germany, maybe that will aid in finding the prize. No. Go to the bodega for half and half with a five dollar bill from your boss. Maybe the half and half will make the coffee taste better and then maybe your neurotic head will be better. No. Drink another cup. Wear a weird hat to make people laugh. No, still not enough. Check your email for the prize. Nothing there but your horoscope about positive thinking and a facebook request from a guy you barely know. Talk to your boss, maybe she has the prize. But no, she just micro-manages you for forty-five minutes then goes home. She is also looking for the prize. Go grab the cigarettes and CD from Anna. Your best friend. She is looking for the prize too. You help each other find the prize. The placeholder prize this Sunday morning is the CD, rolling papers and tobacco. Roll a terribly loose cigarette of four dollar Captain Black tobacco. Maybe if you go outside and get some air while you smoke, you’ll get the prize. Didn’t work. The cigarette tastes like shit so now you want an apple. Go get the yellow apple to get the taste of an ashtray out of your mouth. What will it take to teach you that substances have never helped you find the prize?
Read the surveys you had strangers fill out last night. Maybe between the lines is the prize. Maybe the answer you are constantly looking for is in the answers of the survey. Small talk with Danny for a moment, maybe he will give you the prize. But no, he is depressed and looking for the prize. He tells you he went home and ate sushi alone last night. He tells you to listen to the song “Seattle,” by Jeffrey Lewis. You go do it, ravenous for the prize. It’s a good song. A temporary prize. Quick, quick—look up the lyrics, maybe the real prize is in the words! The words hit home. But it is not the prize. Move cities, move to Seattle to find the prize. Maybe eat a piece of chocolate. No, that will just make you feel guilty. Masturbate on the back floor carpet. Instead of yelling "Lucas!" like you always do, you find you are yelling, “Harder!" to make yourself cum.
Make life harder to find the prize. The closest thing to the prize lately is sex. The phone rings. It’s your boss; she says she has a funny story to tell you. Great, great, maybe it will be the prize. No. It’s funny but it’s not the prize. Last week you tried to find the prize by going to stranger’s apartments on Craigslist. They didn’t have the prize; they were just sad potheads, lonely bachelors with grotesque bath tubs. They are looking for their own prize on Craigslist. And you are lucky because you actually have what they are looking for. And you’re kind of an asshole because you’re kind of mocking them with your curiosity and surveys. A mother with her two blond children, her son and her daughter walk by. Her children are her prize. It shows on her face. Three wealthy girls enter the store. I envy them, not for their wealth, but because they think the prize is a new Miu Miu purse or a diamond ring. Their prize is security and tangible items. Maybe you’ll sell something to these girls—you’ll give them their prize by telling them how gorgeous they look in the necklace they try on. And that will help your boss get her prize because she is money hungry. But no, they say they’ll think about it. No prizes for anyone. And you want to throw all the jewelry into the street—you want to give it away because it doesn’t MEAN anything. You want to scream to these girls, the way he screamed on your voicemail, “You’re looking for the prize that doesn’t EXIST!!!”
You figure you should do some cleaning now, because you’ve been having a pity party all morning. So you grab the vacuum and blast the music; you’re listening to Sufjan Stevens radio on Pandora.com, and then a song called “Postcards from Italy,” by Beirut starts playing and you fucking lose it, you lose your breath. Your brother loves this song so much. And then you think about how you much you love him and how you are moving even further away and he will always be going to bed when you are waking up. And you look across the street and become short of breath when you see your best friend waving and you wonder how you will leave her. You watch her throw a handful of almonds at Danny, and you know she only did it to make you laugh. You start hyperventilating; you’re over tired because you never sleep in your own bed because you are scared of yourself. You are scared because you have found people that know that prizes don’t exist; people that know that the prize is eating bagels and slices of tomato with their girlfriend on Sundays. The prize is a ticket for drinking on the street in Brooklyn while wearing a headdress. The prize is the glimpse of the orange mud truck in the morning. The prize is spring in New York. The prize is listening to a Discman while fucking. The prize is fucking someone who doesn’t think that’s odd and puts one of the headphones in his ear and buys you batteries to keep the discman going. And here comes the parade of tears, because you don’t know how you’re going to leave. And your throat gets tight and sore like your pussy, because he fucked you so hard. You can’t calm down from these thoughts so you go across the street and your best friend tells you to open your mouth and she pours homeopathic “Rescue Remedy” down your throat until the thoughts stop choking you. So for today, that is the prize.
Exene masturbates in airports standing up against the tiled walls. She is proud this week because she feels like she is maturing.