[C-STORIES] Part 1: Ignacio Screaming in Traffic (ft. Young the Giant, IYES, Purity Ring, BLCK-WHT, MC-1995)
SPECIAL NOTE: C-Stories aka Cancer-Stories is a short run, multi-part series about the intimacy, the power, the sexuality, all the feelings of being a cancer patient. All the things people ignore when they see you only in the sick role. These are vignettes, snapshots of a total picture. Each part will explore a different angle. Each part will include one song from 2011 (the last time C-Stories were a part of writer Kavi’s life) and a few new to all tracks. Music here is used to take the song to new places. The songs aren’t reactionary. The hope is to swirl the writing and the tracks into a transcendent place. It’s meant to be intense. It’s meant to be human.
‘It’s just a little blood. Who the fuck cares. Life’s too short to even care at all’. You said it, and I laughed. You’re not trying to be gallant, but that’s a tabby house cat spilling out your arm. Seriously, Professor Meowington’s PhD lost consciousness ages ago, never to spin records more expertly than his ‘master’, Deadmau5, again. The nurse missed. That vein, oh, she sliced that motherfucker. You came in for an infusion and it’s an explosion of little red blood cell army men traipsing up and down your arm hair. We’re the Red Army. There’s a billion of us. Try to stop us, asshole.
And the thing is, you can’t. You’re a haemophiliac. You’re a cancer patient. And nothing is as simple as ABCD. Your life–and mine–is all about the ABVD. Adriamycin. Bleomycin. Vinblastine. Dacarbazine. Blast. Heh. I think it’s fucking hilarious to sit back here in these makeshift recliners replete with grandma from Flushing, Queens plastic covering every centimeter, and imagine this chemo as a thousand little bombs in my bloodstream. It travels around, and like some backdoor action with a lover finds its way in the hole of a cell. Blast. Blast. Blast. Boom.
YOUNG THE GIANT// COUGH SYRUP (RA RA RIOT REMIX)
We’re radioactive, you and I. All these little nuclear blasts say so. Little Hiroshimas are working their way down your forearm. Noxious Nagasakis are taking tango lessons on my aorta. It’s hellacious heat, this supposed way to blast your way to freedom. Seriously, sometimes these hot flashes make lifting one lung after the other an epic journey. And it’s just so ironic. You can’t stop bleeding, you’ve burst all over the room. We’re watching each other be leveled by modern science. We’re catching each other’s eye and seeing all this dismantling.outpour.a veritable dynamite factory to the soul; and it means nothing.
Fortresses, you and I. They can inject you with Factor VIII to clot you up, but the factors that lead to your heart shutting down are beyond those lab coats. A Filipino prison might do an acrobatic version of ‘Thriller’ on my aorta, but nothing is thrilling this heart trapped so far in it’s own jail. We’re just dark hearts searching for a splash of sunlight. Dreaming of a fortune we should have fucking found by now.
But life’s too short to even care at all.
Ignacio from Rio De Jainero. How the fuck did you get here? How many rivers did you cross to be standing in a river of cars in Bangkok? The cabbie, goddamn him. Goddamn Thai cab drivers, always kicking you out early, denying themselves fares, you a fair shake. 17 cabs said no. Outside the hospital. They think we’re epidemic carriers, casualties of the Drug War. We showed them your port, the built in dam in your vein to control the flood of blood whenever access to your heart’s spit and a chemo knockout to the jaw were necessary. I advocated for it, I looked askew at a male nurse’s ass to make it happen. Now I have to sweet talk a cab into thinking we’re not drug addicts.
Sawadee krab. No Heroin! No Heroin!
[point desperately at Ignacio’s veins]
Ah, ok. Good. Where you go?
Sathorn Soi Neung. Kob kun krab.
They’re an epidemic on this city. Judgmental fucks. We’re going to the queer ghetto to ride out the rush of pharmaceutical madness that is taking a playbook out of The Shining, scaring the shit out of us as it creeps down the halls of our arteries; and they think you got a hit mixed up in some syringe and are going to fall out crossing Sukumvhit. They think your spirit shot up ebola, that they know you. Weak, you and I.
The area’s rife with cheap rooms. We ain’t got much money. We save it in case anything goes almost fatal. Hourly Rents. Doubt most of the tenants have their face breathing in those cum stained pillowcases half the night. We go here because no one cares if death makes us disappear.
I look at you across the cab, your head buried so hard against the glass I think bursting through it would be relief. The hairs on your beard begin to tremble. I can’t tell if it’s the shakes; or your jaw is clenching the hands of an emotion that’s trying to cut its way out your cheek.
Give me the 411 on you, holmes.
I just want to feel.
Yeah, just feel.
And the cabbie kicked us out. Half a kilometre away. I protest; but I get that toothy gash I’ve learned here in the Land of Smiles means Eat Shit, Farang. I throw some baht on the ground but you’ve already wandered out into rush hour Sathorn traffic. No crosswalk to guide your way. You’re Ignacio from fucking Rio De Jainero and I don’t know how you got here, standing in a river of cars screaming.
I hold you and say,
Throw your toys at me.
Until you feel much better, now.
We were grabbing separate rooms. I can’t let you be alone tonight. You won’t survive it.
PURITY RING// PUSH PULL (ELIAS ABID REMIX)
Room 506. I rest my head against the bathroom door. It’s warm, warped by the hour long shower, the feelings you emanate. And I press my cheek so hard against it that it feels like relief, like humanity. All that feeling on the other side of this door. I know it’s you sobbing. You can try to mask it with the shower, but tears trample on the tile at a different speed than the stream of water from the showerhead. Their rhythms don’t match. You want the rhythm of your body to jive.to stream.to fistpunchtheair. with others; but trauma smacked you in the fucking face on the dancefloor. And now you’re holding yourself solo in the crowd as everyone else screams ‘Fuck yeah, DJ’ while dastardly EDM beats crescendo around you. All your heartbeats, all your mouth says these days emphasizes the weak rhythms in you. And you stood in that stream of traffic and tried to fuck it all, to remember some goddamn power. I understand you. Syncopated, you and I.
And I’m not enjoying hearing you cry. I just don’t remember what it’s like. Fucked up, just me. I shut down, the last time these C-Stories tattooed themselves on my tongue—made me take them into every conversation, to tell what made me. The world pulled me in every direction, it took limbs off shoulder girdles. Threw them into lakes, way the fuck out there. Swim, asshole. And I dead man floated my way out to them, but even then I didn’t notice anyone pushing those limbs back in for me.
Fall From Such Great Heights
Onto Your Own Arm
You’re The Fucking Lego Man.
They said sorry. They still say sorry. 3 years on. I forgive. I.just.don’t.know.what.to.say. Getting to it, I swear. I became mum, uncharacteristic. I became the person that reads a torrent of FB messages cutting my cuticles with kindness and am too afraid to type a response lest my fingers bleed with.fuck.emotion. I’m the kind of the person that rolls off the bed, towards the bathroom door. This has to be easier. I became the person who sits outside doors, because in the cab you said you wanted to feel. These days I speak in metaphors, not details. I feel was stabbed out of my lexicon. Even though the most beautiful apology I’ve gotten was one long stream of ‘I feels’, a litany of sins that had pulled them away from me.
You can’t be me. You’ve got to learn to push.pull.push.pull.fucking.push with others. If I open this door, don’t make me learn how to feel
You vomited on yourself. All over your FIFA silkscreen. I find you curledintoaball.fullyclothed.waterpouring. I pull you off the floor. Get your head above water. I pull you to the shower wall. See straight. I pull off your t-shirt over arms that gave up the fight. I pull your shorts off legs that stopped running towards survival. I pull laundry detergent out my backpack. Not my first time at this rodeo And I push your clothes in the sink until I’ve handwashed away that which you see as shame.
I get in the shower. I hold you. Feel your head rest on my chest like a sinkhole. I say,
Gravitate to me.
Rest your little bones against me.
MC-1995// SANS 1995