About the Author
TweetHeart - A Twitter Novel By Douglas Sovern
CHAPTER THREE: March
People out here sure have interesting family stories. Every1 has a tragedy or some shit. Mom a junkie, dad dead. Dad a junkie, Mom a ho. Dad took off, Mom doesn’t give a shit.
Some are just on hard times, on their own. The economy, u know? There’s different subcultures tho. My friends tend to b the younger, more fucked-up ones!
People in their 30s, 40s, 50s, who are clean & sober & not so crazy & just down on their luck – we don’t hang w/them much. I think they r scared of us!
We just look scary, really we ain’t so bad! Kinda like Milo – he may look ruff but damn he’s so sweet. Don’t let our bark fool ya. It’s self-protection, like a spiny animal.
If I ever do go back 2 school I want to help all these people. My only friends. Someone has to! The govt doesn’t give a rat’s ass anymore.
We are the dregs of society. The mothafuckin huddled masses. These are your children, America!
Uncle Sam’s a deadbeat dad & Lady Liberty’s a goddam crack ho.
rayRay and I are working on our cardboard signs this morning.
It’s a real art, you know?
A place 4 me 2 use my drawing talent.
Mine says “Feed Me, Feed My Dog. Hungry & Homeless, Please Help.”
With a nice drawing of Milo.
rayRay’s says “Who Am I Kidding, I’ve Run Out of Beer.”
Which is the damn truth!
We will see whether honest humor trumps aww-cutesiness & who gets more $.
Sure there are a lot of vets out here but take it from me, the only army most guys w/“Homeless Vet” on their sign have ever seen is the Salvation Army.
The “hungry” part is bullshit 2.
We ain’t hungry.
We eat 3, 4 square a day, easy, at the soup kitchen, the church, Peoples Park, u name it.
No shortage of free food out here.
No excuse 4 hunger.
Now we get sick of the same food all the time sure, but we’ll never starve.
Besides, leftovers everywhere.
People throw so much shit out. No1 goes hungry for lack of $.
Every1 feeding us.
Guy down the block’s sign says “Need $ For a Room – Please I Am Cold.”
Now that shit is real.
Good cheap beds are scarce.
All that spare change can add up to a room 4 the night, if that’s what u want, & if u can’t hang w/the shelter life.
But mostly, 4 most folks, the money pays for drugs & alcohol.
Cuz no 1 giving us that for free! Sorry folks that’s just how it is!
Got a couple replies from people upset cuz I tweeted that their spare change pays for my drugs & booze.
U don’t want me to lie, do u?
We r all different out here.
What’s true for me isn’t true for everybody.
There are honest, sane ppl out here w/o substance abuse issues.
There just aren’t very many of them!
Like I said before, we are mostly misfits out here.
Some of us choose to be homeless.
Many ppl are forced out here by economic circumstances.
But in my circle, what those don’t-look-u-in-eye people don’t know: most of the $ they give us goes right in our arms, our noses, our mouths.
The sob stories, the cardboard signs? Hungry, homeless, veteran, disabled, help, feed me, please.
99 cents on the dollar: crack, crank, smack, weed, booze.
Not in any particular order.
So it was raining, not the best day in the world – rayRay’s sign got him $78. My Milo sign got us 87! I’ve done better.
But I still win!
How could I let this happen.
It isn’t my fault – that’s what I have to keep telling myself. It isn’t my fault.
It isn’t my fault.
There was a big protest at Cal tonight.
Kids up on top of Wheeler, protesting budget cuts.
Lots of action.
I try to stay away from the cops but it was exciting and I wanted to show support.
One of those kids on the ledge was my friend.
There was a guy there.
I’ve met him before.
Every1 calls him Fresh but I know his real name is Rory.
We were hanging, getting high.
I don’t even remember what happened.
One moment we were sharing a bottle.
Next I know…Milo is gone.
We’re in my truck.
The back of the truck.
Rory is pinning me down.
Ripping off my pants.
No! No! He won’t stop.
I can’t stop him.
So heavy on me.
He is hurting me.
He grabs at my neck.
Omigod he is strangling me.
Snarling. Spitting. His eyes r terrifying.
He has no soul.
I have no air.
He is going 2 kill me.
I am going 2 die.
I could kill you right now bitch - he spits out the words.
I cannot keep him out of me.
He is inside me and this is how I am going to die.
I still don’t know why he let go.
His entire body let go.
I lay there gasping.
He went thru my bag, took all my money, my dope. Left me there.
It isn’t my fault.
It isn’t my fault. It isn’t my fault.
I have to go find my dog.
Thank GOD I found Milo!
He was running loose in Peoples Park.
He had gone there 2 see his friends, other dogs.
I walked around for hours.
He looked really worried in his face.
He was mad at me but also so happy 2 see me.
I smothered him, buried my face in his fur & loved him up.
He can tell something’s wrong.
I lay down on the grass & spooned him, just hanging on 4 dear life, shaking. He knew. He knows. Such a great dog.
And thank you great people.
I feel you in my heart.
You people who have tweeted me back – worried, shocked, helpful – I love u all.
OK I take back some of what I’ve said about the world.
People aren’t all bad.
They ain’t all great either though are they Rory?
And no I am not going to the cops.
I’m just not, so you can stop telling me to.
I am going to check out that women’s center though, thank you to the tweeting angel for the tip!
I need to sell this truck. I can’t even go in the back anymore, and a lot of times that’s my bedroom.
NO way I can sleep back there now.
Still pretty freaked out by what happened last wk.
Met an amazing woman at the women’s center – Layla.
OMG she is so cool.
She was in the army, she’s tough as nails but what a sweet warm soul.
Just some1 for me 2 pour my heart out 2. I cried & cried & she just really heard me in a way no1 has 4 so long.
She’s been there, you know?
I told her the whole story – my mom dying, my fucked-up father, Temple vs rayRay, Rory raping me – everything pretty much.
She pushed me to go to the cops but backed off pretty quick when I said no.
She gets it.
She gets ME.
Plus Milo seems to like her!
She wants me 2 go 2 an AA meeting.
I’m thinking about it.
So any1 out there in Twitterland wanna buy a used Toyota Highlander?
Oh man why is the world against me?
People think I’m paranoid but I wouldn’t be if shit didn’t keep happening to me.
This guy Loose said he had a friend who would buy my truck.
I talked to him on the phone, he said he had cash.
I went to meet him.
I was telling him that I’d had a bad scare recently, showed him the marks on my neck.
Next thing I know he grabs my bag, starts going thru it!
Says he heard I had cash and weed and maybe more, wants to know where it is?
Milo went apeshit, barking, snarling, hella mad at him.
He fucking kicked Milo.
This asshole kicked my dog! I went off on him, screaming bloody murder: ‘Don’t u fucking kick my dog u mothafucker!’
And I can scream LOUD.
Between me & Milo we freaked him out pretty good I think.
He was surprised by our mutual ferocity. We make a good team.
He ran off but he did take my bag.
Now I am in line at DMV, getting a new license.
What a fucking drag.
Gotta cancel credit cards, call Wells Fargo, etc.
Hey out there - people really need to stop ripping off my shit, you feel me?
Another long talk with Layla has helped me come 2 a conclusion: rayRay really loves me.
She told me to focus on what’s positive in my life & try 2 nurture those things, rather than worry so much about the negative shit.
I have so much anxiety & fear, it’s true.
I just don’t want 2 go 2 jail.
I don’t want 2 lose my dog. I don’t want any1 2 sue me or anything!
I don’t want my dad to know the details of my life.
Layla says I have 2 much “don’t”
and not enough “do” in my life. So – rayRay DO love me.
how I feel about him - I mean I like him so much – but am I in love w/him? I’m not sure my feelings are deep enough.
I’m not swept away.
But he’s been so tender since this shit with Rory.
He offered to beat him up 4 me but no1 can even find him.
Dude has taken off somewhere.
rayRay isn’t even trying to fuck me or anything right now. It’s just all respect & support, pure love.
From his heart.
He’s pretty special.
Damn this DMV photo on my new license really sucks.
My hair is going in like eight directions.
Is that really me?
Layla is hella awesome.
She’s just a counselor at the women’s center but man I have paid good $ for shrinks who don’t even come close.
She doesn’t seem to mind me coming around every day.
We just hang out & chat.
Milo gets kinda bored but just lays down & takes a nap.
She’s sort of a militant lesbian pro-choice warrior. She’s rapidly becoming my guru girl, my zen master, my Dalai Mama!
I can’t even believe the shit she does 4 women.
Her whole focus is helping girls in trouble.
I feel so selfish compared 2 her.
Right now I guess I’m her pet project: Get Zoe Out of Her Deep Shit Funk.
But it’s a very deep well I’ve fallen in2.
Gonna take an awfully big bucket, & a whole lotta rope.
My teeth hurt.
Been up all night…long bad night.
Where did the hours go?
Not too many birds singing this morning in the rain.
Was hangin with rayRay.
Tried to get kinda cozy out of the rain.
Didn’t want to be in my truck, you know?
We went to a friend’s.
He was just holding me but I was getting turned on.
I thought maybe I was ready to have sex again, but oh what a mistake.
I let him try but dude I am NOT ready for that.
I pushed him off me & started to cry.
He was cool at first but then he got mad.
It was your idea, he said, I thought you were horny!
I am, I said, but it’s just too soon.
This shit has fucked me up more than I thought.
I told rayRay I needed 2b alone w/Milo & he was not happy w/me.
Me & the puppy took off. I stayed up all night tweakin.’
All tweakend long baby.
the world has a twinkly glow when u don’t ever sleep.
little sparkles in the air. milo and I are gorillas in the mist
he does kinda look like a silverback, all brindly & shit.
we have our own language.
we can talk with our eyes
drove up in2 the hills just 2 get away.
long night in truck but no sleep.
sitting on most beautiful bench in the world…
…staring at mt diablo, in & out of the clouds, sometimes sharp against the sky sometimes not even there at all…
…how can that be? something so big & powerful can just disappear. just like me – here and then gone.
now u see me, now u don’t.
I have the power to become invisible. no one ever seems to see me even when I’m there
Mmmm, nothing heals like a big bowl of miso.
Pure delicious medicine.
The tofu, the wakame – I feel it cleanse my bones & my soul.
Yes I am capable of medicating with things that are actually good for me!
Every now and again.
I just scrolled back & read some of those tweets.
1st time I’ve done that.
Probably shouldn’t! Tweaker tweets, what can I say?
That was some crazy two-day rager bender binge crazyass shit!! Or was it 3 days? Wow where the fuck was I anyway?
All I know is, my teeth hurt hella bad.
& I’m really hungry.
Hence the miso.
It was time 4 a real meal, none of this feed-the-homeless shit.
Milo was looking especially mournful this morn.
He knows when his mama’s hurting.
I got him a bento box doggie bag – beef & egg.
Miso can save your soul.
Soba – not so much.
I’m pretty sure I finally got some sleep last night.
But after this soup – a long long nap.
Man I just heard about this tsunami nuclear meltdown in Japan. Guess I’m a little behind.
I never know what’s going on outside my bubble.
Bone was telling me about it.
He’s wearing a mask now & popping iodide pills. Says we’re all gonna get nuked.
Just what I need!
Good thing I’ve had miso 3 times in 24 hours – the seaweed guards against radiation, u know.
Really it’s true!!
I really really really don’t want to get cancer.
Please lord if u exist – would that really be fair to do 2 me?
After what my mom went thru?
It was so hard to watch my mother die. So hard I couldn’t hang around to watch it.
Still paying the price for that.
I cannot go thru that bunch of hell.
I will NOT go thru that bunch of hell! If it comes to that…
I always took such great care of myself so I wouldn’t get cancer.
I guess lately…maybe not so much.
What are we doing to our planet???
Maybe I will try to find a mask for Milo.
I am trying really hard 2 stay positive, like Layla told me 2.
So hard to do out here.
The streets ain’t easy! Cold hard rain for hours now.
People have a lot of anger.
There’s a guy, don’t even know his name, he just walks up & down in the middle of the street screaming at people.
He rants & raves & people look away, shake their head – another crazy loser. Can’t be helped, don’t make eye contact, hurry past!
If they listened, they would hear him say: What would YOU do if u lost everything, every1 important to u? What would happen to u?
He’s mad at the world & not afraid 2 say so.
Thing is, when any1 looks him in the eye, asks if he’s ok, he becomes incredibly sweet & tender.
Can u help, he will ask u, in an almost childlike voice.
Can u help me today?
And if they give him some $, sometimes he will even start 2 cry.
But if they say no, I just want to make sure u don’t get hit by that truck – the rage switches right back on, & he’s all spitfire & fury.
The world done him wrong.
He is beyond forgiveness.
I’m not – yet – at least not today.
It’s a fine line & I’m trying not to cross it.
At least all this rain should help dissipate the radiation.
That’s what Bone heard on his radio anyway.
If my Mom were alive & on Twitter, I know what she would say: Dear, I don’t like all the swearing.
Must you curse so much?
Ha! I love that I can.
Sometimes there really are no other words, you know what I’m sayin?
Of course she would also not like me living on the street, being cold, getting fucked (sorry mom), shooting up, smoking crack…yeah she’d have some issues!!
Unlike my dad who doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass.
OK the anger’s creeping back in, gotta work on that.
I don’t know why people pick on rats, they’re actually quite cute!
There we go, that’s better.
I have made a big decision: I’m going 2 go 2 an AA meeting 2nite.
Layla says there’s 1 at this church on Cedar, so I’m going 2 check it out.
Never been to one, don’t really know if it’s for me, but what the hell.
I still don’t think I have a serious problem.
It’s really just recreational self-medicating.
Most of the time anyway…
rayRay has mixed feelings. He says ‘that shit don’t work!’ He’s tried it. Also says there’s some Christian aspect to it.
Can’t hang w/that.
I hope I don’t have 2 get up & talk.
Tweeting’s actually made me feel better about expressing myself, but out loud is another story.
They always say picture the people naked if u have to talk in public.
Maybe I’ll just show up naked! Ha!
Will they let me bring Milo in, you think?
Outside All Souls church. These people feel like aliens 2 me.
Sure are a lot of old folks. 1 guy looks just like dad.
I don’t know bout this.
Creepy man just smiled at me.
Gave him a nervous Hi back.
I feel like I want a cigarette.
Maybe I’ll just have a smoke first.
I feel like Milo when he gets near water: scared nervous weirded-out. He NEVER goes in.
Only dog I know who hates the beach.
OK Zoe this is it.
Open the door.
One step forward.
In the back.
Milo can lie on the floor.
Lady just bugged me, asked ‘are you joining us this evening?’ Who are these people? I’m going to bare my soul to them??
Im outta here.
All Souls? Not mine.
They always told me I was pretty.
It was always about appearance.
What about my brain?
I think I have a beautiful brain.
A smart one.
A good one.
A cute one, even.
Most of the time, it works the way it’s sposed 2.
I was raised that the way I looked was what was most important about me. If I had been hideous, where would that have left me?
Maybe I would’ve been better off – they would’ve had no choice but 2 see my other qualities. Like my cute little grey brain.
Men are blinded by big tits & a pretty face.
News flash guys: my brain cells were developing even faster than my breasts.
U just didn’t notice.
Look at me now: all scruffed up & I’m definitely killing brain cells.
What will I lose first – my looks or my mind?
Finally getting rid of that damn jinxed truck. Back at Downtown Toyota.
These people really think I’m crazy, I am so sure.
BUT I am singlehandedly keeping them in business so they can kiss my tweaker ass!
They’re taking the old one on trade but the guy is kinda stunned by what a mess it is.
Not to mention the bashed-in fender.
Yeah I kinda drove over a small cliff and hit a tree.
What can I say? It was no biggie. Was trying to park on a hill…
Very wet & muddy, my foot slipped…Bang!
Freaked out for a few minutes but in the end I just had to laugh.
Took it as a sign that the damn Highlander finally had to go. I’m getting me a nice new, or gently used anyway, RAV4.
I think it’ll b big enough 2 sleep in. It’s sort of dark gray but of course they call it something stupid: pyrite mica, whatever the fuck that is!
Milo is anxious about his new bedroom. Sniffing around the back of the truck a lot! Don’t worry puppy this 1 has better juju.
Driving around just loving my new car! Tweeting with one hand probably not good keep your eye on the road Zoe
Ya – pulled over now. Don’t want to bash up another truck so soon.
Or whatever this is.
Love when Milo sticks his head out & sucks in the world whooshing by!
He’s just giddy it’s not raining for once. What a miserable March.
Rocking to Arcade Fire.
Makes me think of Talking Heads meets Violent Femmes meets Abba.
Or something like that!
“When I’m by myself I can be myself & my life is coming but I don’t know when.” Blows me away when a song is so right it feels like I wrote it myself.
“I feel like a record skipping.” I was born after CDs were.
No vinyl in my DNA. I know what a record skip means but I’ve never seen it happen.
Been avoiding Layla cuz I feel bad about blowing off AA.
She called me twice wanting to know how it went. Can’t SHE just be my shrink?
Lying back, wiping some tears off my cheek.
You know what that means.
Yes, just made love with rayRay, first time since the Rory Incident.
Fuck that – let’s call it what it was – since the r-a-p-e.
I say made love this time becuz it was truly beautiful.
Took me to some other place.
Wasn’t sure if I’d ever get there again but was so nice.
I think rayRay’s just happy we finally did it. I don’t think he strayed while waiting for me but u never know around here.
There’s a girl named Misty he always flirts with but pretty sure that’s all it is.
I’m hardly pure & innocent so can’t really complain!
Milo so cute – all curled up in front seat with paws over his eyes.
He knows when mommy’s doing her thing – I think he gets embarrassed.
I’m feeling so anxious today.
Can’t catch my breath.
Pressure in my chest.
Like the whole world is pressing down.
Waiting to see Layla at the women’s center.
She’s really busy today.
Lots of girls/women here who need help.
Just about every1 I know on the street has had an abortion. Or 2. Don’t know what I would do in that situation! Tough call.
I do want to be a mother some day.
I know that much.
Learned very well from my mom how NOT to do it.
But don’t think I’m quite ready at 25 to be in charge of another life.
Milo is about all I can handle & I even lose him from time 2 time!
But I’ll drive off that bridge when I come to it. Someday.
Right now I am just trying 2 steer my soul wherever it’s meant to go.
I really need 2 talk 2 Layla.
The girl here says relax, chill, few more minutes.
Did she even tell her I’m here like I asked?
Hi there little bird!
Pudgy little bird just landed right next to me, hopped up on my bench! Click-clack of its little claws.
Such beautiful eyes. Beady and black.
Staring right at me. Doesn’t seem to see me though?
Cock of the head.
My new little friend!
How about some wheat bread? Organic 9-grain of course.
Do u like millet little guy?
Milo fast asleep at my feet. Shhh, don’t wake him or he will bark bark bark at this little guy!
Flew away anyway.
I thought he sensed my soul – that I was his friend.
We have scared all the animals so much they assume we all mean them harm.
Just been lying here in the park for hours now, spacing out.
Never got to see Layla yesterday.
Couldn’t wait so long. 2 freaked out.
Split that scene & ran into Temple instead.
Hadn’t seen him for days.
Hung out all night partying, got kinda fucked up. Long story…
Yo Zoe, been too long, hey Milo, hi boy, wanna hang?
Yeah Temple’s always been a smooth one.
Hard to resist really.
Even w/o his Jesus locks.
Tho they’re growing back.
He just has eyes that make u melt inside.
Doesn’t seem like a pod person anymore somehow.
It was probably a mistake but we chilled.
Got hella high.
Milo seemed uneasy the whole time.
I really should honor his intuition.
Deep down I know Temple doesn’t really care about me.
He likes his drugs & he likes his pussy & now I swear he’s a narc.
Didn’t even notice it till I woke up but HE didn’t get so fucked up. He just kept passing me the pipe, firing up the ice.
Oh man I really gotta make sure rayRay doesn’t find out about this. Good good thing that Milo can’t talk! He’d never rat on his mommy of course.
But those mournful brown eyes of his can say so much…& rayRay’s intuitive enough to read them.