About the Author
TweetHeart - A Twitter Novel By Douglas Sovern
CHAPTER SIX: June
I heard voices upstairs at like 1 in the morning so I went 2 check em out. I know what you’re thinking but no these people were really there.
When I got to the living room I saw Dante’s shoes & some chick’s red come fuck me pumps & two empty wine glasses.
It was really late.
They must’ve been here a while, drinking, laughing, talking but I was so out of it I didn’t even hear.
I lost it.
I went storming up the stairs & in2 his room.
OK so maybe not the smoothest move but I was pissed like fuck.
Couldn’t stop myself.
Have u got some fucking bitch in there w/you? I see your red whore shoes you cunt get out my fucking house.
Who knows what I was screaming…
Dante pops out, all naked, his hands up, yelling right back at me, none of my business, it’s his house, he’s got a right blah blah blah.
This poor little girl, cowering in the bed, eyes wide, COMPLETELY freaked out, who the hell is this hella crazy drunk wasted lady coming after her?
Gotta give it 2 Dante, he gave me as good as he was getting. I threw some furniture, he smashed a lamp, we both screamed bloody murder.
Meanwhile Milo barking his head off not sure who to be mad at & this girl shaking & terrified & frantically looking 4 her panties.
I finally took Milo & got the hell out of there.
Left the house 2 Dante & that skinny little bitch. They can have it. Went off in the woods.
OK so me & Dante are not together right now, and he’s a free agent & such but come on u gotta rub that shit in my face?
Dude that is not right. That is just way too cold. If he wants love doesn’t he know it’s waiting 4 him right downstairs?
I’ve been stalling all day, staying away from Dante’s, just me & Milo & the wild rabbits in the woods.
I know I should go back & apologize but I haven’t had the balls 2 do it yet.
Why do I always screw everything up???
I really just flew off the handle.
I know he goes out with different women but seeing it like that was just too much 2 take.
I’m sure Dante is hella mad.
Another potential relationship nipped in the bud by the crazy bitch in the basement.
I really don’t want him 2 throw me out.
I have no other place 2 go & I don’t want 2 be back on the street right now.
Slept last night in the good old car.
Been like a month since we did that.
Milo curled right up in his old spot, like it was yesterday.
He’s got muscle memory of his back seat bed.
Or scent memory anyway.
That’s a memory I’d just as soon let fade away.
OK - deep breath – gonna go back & eat some crow & say I’m sorry & beg Dante 2 let me come back.
Strung out, wrung out, hung out to dry – don’t know whether 2 laugh or cry.
Last night it was all tears, big deep wet tears & heaving sobs.
Came home 2 tell Dante I was sorry & he beat me 2 the punch – only not 2 apologize but 2 say he just can’t do this anymore.
He said I had to go & if I wouldn’t, then he would – he’d just up & leave – split – off like a dirty shirt – fuck knows where.
I begged him please, no, u can’t make me go & you can’t leave, give me one more chance, I beg you, please please please!
He said he just couldn’t take it, this was the last straw.
He took my shattered face in his hands and we both just cried & cried.
I was mumbling no no, I can’t go can’t go, and he was saying over & over I’m sorry, I’m sorry, u gotta go, u gotta.
He's wiping the tears off my cheeks, careful w/my broken jaw & then suddenly he starts kissing me, can’t stop himself, kissing me, over & over.
And then I’m kissing him & we’re both crying but I’m also laughing & he’s saying I don’t know why, I don’t know why.
And next thing I know we are pulling off our clothes & I’m pulling him on top of me & we are making love, like it used 2 be so long ago.
But so different too.
Like going home – and finding out some1 else lives there now.
Strange & alien & comfy & familiar – all at the same time.
It didn’t last long.
He cut it short.
After, I lay there crying softly, only this time not tears of rapture & transcendence like it used 2 be.
He got up & left this morning w/o a word, Milo asleep on the foot of the bed.
I don’t know whether I should be here when he gets back.
The storm has passed, at least 4 now. Dante didn’t come home at all Friday night & I feared the worst. I was all in a ball, hugging the puppy, weeping.
Tears of deep sorrow 4 all the things I realize now I have lost, all the things I have torn apart that can never be put back together again.
But the next morning, I’m lying in his bed, listening 2 to the wake-up birds twittering, wondering why they’re always so goddamn cheerful.
And here comes Dante, home at last. I was like an eggshell person, not sure what 2 say or do or whether he’d be so pissed 2 see me still there.
He just came in, rubbed Milo’s ears, looked at me and said, You don’t have to go Zoe.
If you need to stay, you can.
He said he doesn’t want me back on the street.
I think he’s afraid of what will happen if he pushes me away too hard.
So am I.
It almost feels like that other night last week never even happened.
Like it was all some weird bad dream.
It did until this morning anyway, when Dante came down to my bed in the basement, looking all serious, which is hard 4 him.
Zo, he says, what we did, the other night – that was a mistake.
That shouldn’t have happened.
I’m sorry but I don’t want 2 lead you on.
I don’t want 2 give u false hope, he tells me.
False fucking hope!
He doesn’t want me 2 think something might happen that just isn’t going 2.
But it could, right? I ask him.
If I get my shit together?
He finally gives in & says well maybe, I suppose, in a certain scenario.
I know, I’m pathetic.
A girl’s gotta have something 2 cling 2.
A reason 2 fight back.
Please don’t begrudge me my scenario.
I hate the smell of hospitals.
All antiseptic & synthetic & mechanical.
Is there anything here made out of fucking natural materials?
Nurse keeps trying 2 calm me down, telling me 2 relax.
She says they’re gonna give me something soon cuz I’m so freaked out.
I really don’t want 2 be here.
My jaw hurts so much tho & the doctor pressured me 2 get this surgery & move forward.
So here I am, a bug trapped inside their hermetically sealed glassine environment.
If some1 shows up w/a magnifying glass I’m outta here.
OK they are making me put away my phone & shit.
So long tweeple.
I will tweet after so u know I made it.
If u don’t hear from me…
Soo woozy but I thinkit ok now seem to be here. Very sore cant reallt type now later on
Alive! Hell yeah.
Face sore. Throat scratchy.
All bandaged up.
Made it tho. Awake enuf now 2 tweet anyway.
I am a voiceless Buddha.
Mine is a vow of post-op exhaustion and numbness.
They’ve wired me shut, rendered me mute.
Does your face hurt? Cuz it’s killing me!
Ha! Old joke I told too many times as a kid, now so so painfully true for me.
I seem 2 have survived OK, worst fears not realized.
Can’t tell yet how much surgery actually helped.
They gave me pain pills which I will pop like Tic-Tacs.
They don’t know who they were dealing with.
Weird that I really can’t talk.
Jaw has 2 stay wired in place.
I can mumble, like a cotton-stuffed Marlon Brando gritting his teeth.
Don’t know how long this voiceless state will last.
Good thing Milo & I communicate w/o words. The rest of u? Thank God 4 Twitter!
Old Joni was right: u don’t know what u got till it’s gone.
Funny, I didn’t really care about talking 2 any1 b4 but now that I can’t, I do.
It’s really lonely inside my face.
Grunts & mumbles & dribbles & pangs of pain, that’s about all I got.
Milo keeps cocking his head & looking at me funny, making his Scooby face, one little ear flopping over.
The hardest part of this whole trip may be eating.
Or not eating, to be more precise.
I’ll be sucking my meals down 4 a while.
Lucky that Dante still has my old juicer – the Champion, the snout-nosed, carrot-pulverizing aardvark machine.
From my veggie days.
That may be how I make my meals 4 a while. Liquid shit sucked thru a straw.
Damn I’m gonna waste away & I don’t have that many lbs 2 lose.
When mom was dying she lived on little cans of Ensure 2 keep her weight up. Wonder what’d happen if I moseyed over 2 Dad’s 2 see if any left
Ok Joni sing it 2 me again: paved paradise, put up a parking lot. I've always loved the sound of that triangle, so sweet & pure & easy.
The way the mist & the fog pours over the hills & rolls up thru the trees is so magical. It hangs in the air like smoke over a battlefield.
When it clears there is nothing but beauty, sun-dappled valleys, birds drying themselves in the warmth & light.
The only broken body revealed by the rising gray is mine.
Maybe the only broken spirit too.
I do cherish these quiet hours in the woods.
Only a few miles from the fear & chaos of my street life & yet such a hella different world.
I can almost forget the pain in my body, the bone-grinding soreness in my mouth, the dull constant ache in my teeth.
Until the click of my jaw drowns out the cry of the hawks & the creaking of the eucalyptus in the wind.
It’s still there.
The puppy is snuffling around, nose stuck in some bramble, digging for Lord knows what.
Doesn’t take much 2 make him happy.
Me, it’s a lifelong fight, and I haven’t gotten there yet.
Don’t know that I ever will.
You know, all these x-rays can’t be good for my brain.
These doctors are all irradiating me I know they are.
I have a follow-up today with the surgeon.
I don’t think he knows what he’s doing.
It didn’t work at all.
How clever of him 2 wire my face shut so I can’t even tell him to go fuck himself.
I need 2 ask him about doing it again or something.
Nothing feels any better, or different even.
It hurts just as much as before.
The clickety clack of my jaw bone when it goes up and down gets louder every day, and I can barely even move it right now.
This was their plan wasn’t it.
Chase me off a wall, break my face, subject me to endless pain & useless surgery.
What if they implanted something in there while I was under?
I was out like a light who knows what really went on.
rayRay always says he doesn’t trust doctors at all.
Makes it even more impressive that he tried 2 come 2 the hospital 2 see me.
I think I need 2 go find rayRay & see what he thinks of this whole situation.
I hope he can make out my mumbles
He tried 2 put on a brave face but I could see the truth in those hollow eyes.
rayRay smiled & said, u look great! but it was a lie.
I grunted thanks and tried 2 talk but gave up. Used my phone instead, wrote him messages & showed them 2 him.
No judgment from him, just compassion. Unlike Dante who’s always kind of condescending & makes me feel like an incompetent child.
You’re staying with him aren’t you, rayRay asked me.
You need love Zoe, not money. I need a warm safe bed, I wrote on my phone.
Maybe we could get a place, he said, I’ve been painting a lot since the rain stopped & I’ve got a little bit of cash.
I need 2 be somewhere where no1 can find me 4 a while, where they can’t come after me & finish the job, I tapped out.
Who? He wants 2 know.
I don’t know who – whoever it is that’s out 2 get me.
The police, the govt, I don’t know who they are.
I hung out 4 a while but my face was hurting & I needed 2 get home, u know?
Being down on Telegraph gives me a headache these days.
I’m in a weird way these days, even 4 me.
Aimless, drifting, lost.
I put off getting my surgery & now it seems 2 have been a #fail anyway.
I thought my place was on the street with my friends but now even that feels alien to me.
I know I can’t stay at Dante’s 4ever tho.
He’s made clear he doesn’t really want me there, he’s just tolerating me.
Where is my place in this world? Do I even have one?
Does every1 necessarily have one?
Some people just don’t fit.
I’m not even a square peg in a round hole.
I wish life were that easy! More like a trapezoid trying to fit into a triangle.
Maybe I missed my chance.
I need a hard reboot.
Why oh why don’t we come with a reset button?
Money money money it’s all about money isn’t it? Money makes the world go around, as the old song goes in Cabaret.
Society makes me sick.
People grub 4 money & fame & ego & greed.
More 4 me & less 4 u and fuck-all 4 every1 else.
Every1 is a self-promoter.
What exactly r some of these people famous 4? Paris Hilton & all those random Kardashians. Who ARE these people?
U want reality, America?
Come & get it. Follow me around 4 a couple days & see just how real it can be.
U won’t be able to handle it.
People magazine in the doctor’s office, waiting 4 him to check me out again.
Who are Jenna & Ken & Ben & Calista & Jesse & God knows who?
People don’t want reality.
They want a make-believe, airbrushed Hollywood fantasy of what they think reality is.
They want to c celebrities in trouble – hey, they’re even more fucked up than u & me! See, good thing that’s not us be thankful 4 what u got.
But deep down they fantasize about being famous themselves, which is why they like to see real people get a Cinderella shot at stardom.
Wow, it could happen to me!
If only I could sing.
Or be outrageous on an island/the Jersey shore/the fucking moon.
Real life ain’t pretty folks that’s why we watch the movies.
Real life is dull & tough & mind-numbing, the dreary pain of day-to-day.
At least mine is, anyway.
The doctor will see me now.
I had a dream that I ran into my younger self at the beach.
I was trying 2 find a dry bit of sand but the waves kept crashing over me.
I kept having 2 move my blanket farther & farther from the sea but the ocean kept following me, leaving me tangled in seaweed & kelp.
Finally found a spot in the dunes & driftwood & there was a girl, maybe 13, all pert & pretty, working on her tan - & I realized it was me!
I didn’t look quite right, I never wore my hair like that, but there was no mistaking my own face and body.
U know how dreams are
– everything was slightly off but there was no doubt in my mind – either I went 2 the past or she’d come 2 the future.
I wanted 2 warn her about the future but I wasn’t sure what 2 say.
She seemed so young & innocent – why shatter her illusions?
Then I saw myself in a pool of briny water – my hair a mess, my mouth all crooked, my teeth fucked by all that meth, my eyes shot with red.
So I went up 2 her & smiled.
She shielded her eyes from the sun, with a quizzical look.
Be careful, I said.
Don’t mess up that beautiful body.
I was trying 2 think what 2 say next but she stopped me, holding out her hand.
You’re still young, she said.
Remember where you live.
You’re still a really good swimmer, she said.
You just need to learn how to breathe.
Then a huge wave crashed over us.
And she was gone.
Damn it’s hella hot.
Summertime is here at last!
The living is sticky & the cotton is high.
Of course Milo blames me for the heat.
This is 1 of those times when he lays as low on the ground as he can, panting & looking at me like, mama why u make it so hot 2day?
I am taking my younger self’s advice literally 4 now & going 2 the pool.
I tried the Y but they don’t let in dogs.
So I snuck in2 this big fancy club in the hills.
I’ve done this b4 – u’d think they’d know this knotty-headed girl & her pit bull don’t belong, but if u act like u do they’re just not sure.
I write down a generic name at the front desk & no one challenges me. They assume I’m a member.
No1 could be that ballsy right?
Plus after a couple times I look familiar. They probably think I’m the wayward daughter of some high falutin’ family.
Really dude, I’m hella low falutin’.
My falutin’ couldn’t get no lower!
About as low as Milo’s belly on the hot steamy pavement.
Remember where you live.
What does that mean exactly? Don’t stray too far from home? Too late for that.
Was she talking about Dante?
Because I live with him right now.
Or did she mean I should go see my dad?
I have been obsessing over that dream, reliving it, walking around in a semi-waking state trying to conjure up my subconscious.
Learn how 2 breathe.
Yeah, that’s always a problem 4 me, filling my core with air and having some lightness of being.
I am always 2 heavy.
The pressure & the weight of this world can be so great.
That’s why I always need 2 escape.
But she’s right, I’m always relaxed in the pool.
I swear I found a little bit of algae in 1 of my dreads this morning.
Maybe it wasn’t a dream at all…
I’m losing so much weight on this liquid diet. Life comes 2 me thru a straw.
Smoothies, juice, soymilk, pulverized everything.
The doctor said it’s normal, don’t worry, you’ll be fine but he pooh-poohs everything I say so fuck him.
My mouth still hurts my teeth still hurts my jaw still clicks I am wired shut I cannot speak I cannot eat all I can do is tweet!!!
Good thing I have Milo so at least we go out 4 long walks in the woods every day so I’m staying somewhat fit. That, and now the swimmings.
I’m getting kinda lonely tho. Hey tweeps whatcha up 2? Anyone want 2 meet up & hang?
I can’t give u much conversation but I can sorta smile.
Whoa my life could be so much worse.
As rough as I have it, this morning I am counting my blessings.
Spent the night out on the Track, as we call it – East 14th Street, or International Blvd 4 u newbies, in East Oaktown.
Layla tweeted me back, said she missed me – remember Layla?
My angel warrior at the women’s center.
SO long no see.
Anyway she went out 2 do some outreach with the young girls who stroll the track & asked me 2 come along, so Milo & I went.
Damn that shit is hella cold out there – at least I never sold myself 4 $ & I’m so lucky to be blessed that I don’t have to.
These girls are so young, in their little bright orange hot pants, working corners, having sex with these dirty men.
They scatter like cockroaches when Layla & I come, mainly cuz their pimps start shouting at em from across the way:
“She ain’t making u no money, keep walking bitch!”
They know if they talk 2 us more than a few seconds, the pimp will whup em later.
Layla slipped some her card, her number, some condoms.
She is so strong, so present, so sure of her soul.
How do I get like that?
Three days now hanging out w/Layla.
I love her, she’s my new best friend. I don’t know why I forgot how amazing she is!
Thank u Twitter for reconnecting me w/her. Funny that I can’t talk right now but this phone in my hand is still my lifeline 2 the world.
I spose in the old days I would have a chalkboard round my neck like Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the Fall.
Now I tweet/text/tap instead.
Layla is showing me that I do have strength, I do have power, it’s inside me & I can use it 2 help the world, not just myself.
She says I AM good, there is good within me & I just need 2 let it out.
She wants me 2 help her with this outreach program 4 these girls.
On the stroll, as they call it, it’s so rough – their pimps are such assholes. They live in constant fear.
It’s like they’re brainwashed.
The thing is, Dante always says I have 2 love myself b4 I can love any1 else, or at least LIKE myself sheesh, & he is right about that.
But maybe I will learn 2 love myself by seeing that I can help other people who are in even more trouble than me.
Damn I thought I was the queen of low self-esteem. Now I know I’m a rank commoner. I’m Lady Self Confidence compared 2 some of these girls.
I have spent 2 much time with 2 many men who are sleazy balls of manipulative shit, guys like Temple, & they are amateurs next 2 these pimps.
This 1 girl Tatiana tells me her pimp became her boyfriend when she was 13. That was 3 years ago.
He sweet-talked her into whoring 4 him.
If you really loved me baby, u would do this 4 me, doncha wanna help me out, give me something back, c’mon, be my sweet baby girl.
That’s what he told her. These girls fall 4 the shit these guys talk & feel like it’s their motherfucking OBLIGATION to go on the stroll.
Course 3 years on he’s got a new girlfriend & now Tat’s just 1 of his bitches in the stable, but she’s so hella twisted up she can’t walk away.
This pimp Rodney’s gonna get a piece of my mind before I’m done out here.
So far Layla’s made me keep my distance, but dude look out.
Out on the track again, brought Tatiana some food & water, tried 2 talk 2 her, as best I can talk right now.
The pimp Rodney had enuf.
Saw me & Layla & just about threw a rod: Yo bitches, I told u get the fuck off my sidewalk & leave my bitch alone!
Then he goes off calling Layla a lesbian & saying Tat’ll go down on her too if she wants, 50 bucks, equal rights, she just has 2 pay.
That set me off – I got up in his face, who u calling a dyke u sorryass motherfucka – except it came out more like athmussafok cuz of my jaw.
He’s just laughing at me, telling me to wipe off the spit & the drool, can’t stop himself laughing at the lesbian and the face cripple.
Little does he know Layla is ex-Army & could lay him flat with about 1 punch if she wants.
But she doesn’t want.
She’s as cool as they come, disciplined, strong. Stays calm, doesn’t flinch, just says, no thanks I get all the pussy I need w/o paying for it.
That stops him cold.
I bet u do, he says, looking her up & down, I bet u do! Damn.
I could use some1 like u, u know that?
Without even a smile or a hesitation, Layla says, You couldn’t afford me – turns & walks back to the car, where Milo is waiting.
I’m telling ya I am in awe of this woman.
Out on the track on my own, no Layla, just Milo & me.
Dante’s starting 2 worry about me staying out here all night.
It’s kinda intense u know?
Shots fired on a regular basis.
Much grittier, tougher than my Telegraph haunt. Hella multi culti.
Lotsa Cambodian girls, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican black white u name it, man they out here selling their booties 2 save their asses.
The trick is not 2 sell your soul too. Some have got that down but 2 many don’t.
This girl Tat – kinda taking her under my wing.
Course under my wing maybe not the smartest place 2 be. Ha! Kinda like a little fuzzy chick learning from a pigeon that flies in2 windows.
Her dad’s black & mom’s Asian. She’s Blasian! 3 years on the street has worn off her shine, put a dull flat finish on her really pretty face.
It’s like she’s gone from glossy to matte. Wipe away the tacky makeup & get her off the track & u can see she’s really stunning.