Memoirs of an awakening: is it real or is it Memorex?

Lisa Kirk

Remember me, the chick with the hat, horns, feathers and all? Rhinestoned dollar bill signs float through my memory; a sea of surrealistic beats drone through a shit-kickers fantasy. She is desperate She misses it. I was going to go back to Cali, but impossible, too much work to finish.

Dear pathetic guy,

Remember me, the desperate woman? I met you at chance in Vegas the night before the Tyson fight. It was at the entrails bar over by the slots later that evening I wrapped you up in feathers. Remember me? This is my attempt to stalk you secretly on a public fax. Recently, it was brought to my attention that I can obtain surveillance photos from Russia for twenty bucks. Also some of your friends are in on this as they are inspiring me to correspond with you. Have you ever been stalked via modern technology? Do you have email? I am including a photo clue of my desperation - an awkward saucy one from when I was caught in between Lost Angeles and Lost Vegas … again.

It was mid March when I left for Los Angeles to take care of the apartment that I had been keeping. My mother’s operation was finally scheduled for the first of April. My first stop was Las Vegas to meet up with a good friend that I had met when I first became a stripper at Flash Dancers. John's a computer geek who set me up with a website. I had just finished shooting my movie, "Space Booty", and it was time for me to put some new web pages in. So I went to dance, make some cash and geek out. He started to tell me about his friend Mark, and how he thought that we would probably hate each other. When I got to the computer lab where Mark and John's brother were working, I thought that Mark looked like the singer from Radiohead.

I get down on my knees to look at Mark from below, I don't know why. Later that night Mark, John and I go out drinking on Cleopatra's Barge at Caesar's Palace and I kiss Mark on the mouth. Three days later I quit being a stripper, because even though I have to wear make-up on my tattoos at work, and always have, it seems that it refuses to cover my Hope tattoo, and everyone is asking me who Hope is. After explaining that it's a tattoo that I had gotten for my mother ten years ago, more times than I'd like to in one night, I take it as a sign, and quit dancing for good. All the banter was making me sick and depressed. Mark and I knew each other for thirteen days before we tied our Las Vegas knot. I think that we realized that we had fallen in love on XTC. It was the night of the Tyson fight and the whole city was packed and pissed off. I said in the middle of squirting our guns at the shooting-range at The Howard Johnson Hotel and Casino...

ME: You’re fifteen and I'm a thousand - you need me.

MARK: I know

And then with the water gun, I shot the redneck girl character down and as it flips over on to its back with its legs spread wide open, it pisses on me. The recorded laughter bellowed from the shooting-range’s bowels...

When I married him the tip-off that I was entering some kind of hell was his feet. Mark and I were at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas standing outside in the blazing sun, barefoot on Astroturf. I noticed his feet, which were totally troll-like. Or is that leprechaun-like? (I couldn't tell.) I just kept thinking that I couldn't believe that I was marrying a guy with feet like that. When we entered the chapel just before saying our vows...

PASTOR: Where are you from?

ME: New York.

PASTOR: Oh, the little apple.

ME: No, the big apple.

PASTOR: No. The little apple.

And after, when we were driving off into the sunset in our white stretch limo, with burgundy interior, to the Luxor Hotel, a giant pyramid in the horizon of Las Vegas, all I could say to myself was that if we were to stay married I would probably wind up a widow. You see, I knew that this romance wasn't completely sure it was about fate. The widow suspicion I would assume probably comes from the fact that a few days before we had met, Mark had handled his first gun at a shooting-range and then that very evening at work, a gun-wielding maniac came into his office to steal computers, and he got shot in the back. The craziest part was that the hospital in Las Vegas decided to leave the bullet in his spine.

MARK: They said it would pass out of my body

ME: What, out of your ass?

Our wedding night was spent at the bar in the Luxor, talking to a prostitute, she was completely comfortable with us talking to her, asking questions, and told us fantastic stories.... She walks into the hotel room and there is a man completely nude but bound and gagged in black glitter electrical tape. He is on the floor beside the bed in a foetal position, next to his body is a huge pair of scissors, a black garbage bag, ten thousand in hundred dollar bills, and a note, that goes something like...

"Please cut my balls off and put me in the bag, I want to die, take the money, it's all I have, I don't deserve to live."

I wound up getting so drunk that night that I don't remember getting back to our room. When we woke up in the morning both Mark and I were still in our wedding clothes. We got dressed and went for a ride on the Luxor's simulated Nile River ride then got into our rented car to drive back to LA where my friends had planned a wedding party. Unfortunately, once we got on the road, we realized that we would be late, so we stopped to get gas, and at the station Mark went to get us food and I went to call my friends and let them know that we were running behind schedule. Well, because of the traffic and our peculiar detours, compliments of the gas station attendant, we completely missed our party and the gas station guy stole my favorite original leopard-print Stetson hat. I got married and lost my hat in Las Vegas. I knew something was up at this point, but even still, I was married now and there wasn't much turning back left to do.

Excerpted from Memoirs of an Awakening: Is it Real or Is it Memorex?
Lisa Kirk, 1997-2005.