PUNK: Lonesome American Memoirs

17. Answered Prayers

It’s two in the morning. I’m alone. I’ve had sex with three different people today. I have sex a lot.

People come to look at me. They take my picture. Sometimes they come back and give me a copy, or they mail one to the record store addressed to “the punk.”

After I shoot you up with speed, you talk for an hour about things from when you were a little kid. You tell me I’m your best friend, but you never come around. Not unless you wanna get high.

A lot of people tell me that they are in love with me. They don’t mean it.

My head is full of hatred, and I can’t make it stop.

I am on my knees in a doorway. I am beside myself with grief. My reflection in the door of the closed record store is strange. I a very thin, and my hair is sticking up, but the brown roots are growing out about an inch now, and it makes me look like I’m bald. I look at my cheeks, red and stinging. My eyes are swollen. I’ve been crying for a long time.

My knuckles are bloody from punching the sidewalk, and now my hands hurt.

When you come to touch me, or spend some time with me, you don’t say anything. Why don’t you say something? Please speak. Just say something, anything. Talk to me. Sing to me. Tell me a story from when you were a little girl. Tell me anything. I want you to.

you want me to fuck you, but you don’t want to kiss me.

You won’t look me in the eyes.

You just want to say you’ve done me.

You want to use me to get it over with so that you can be well rehearsed for your someone who really matters. So that you’ll have some kind of experience. And I don’t matter.

You bring your fat friend and she throws up all over the carpet. She apologizes like a naughty servant from Croatia and tries to wipe it up with her shirt.

You take off all of your clothes huddle with me next to the burner. It’s warm. You are cold. You never speak to me again because of what I didn’t do.

You beg me to make it with both of you.

You undo my pants, and try to give me head. I want you to leave.

You cry all the way to the door. That terrible can’t breathe or talk kind of cry.

I tell you it’s cool.

You don’t believe me.

You stare at me with hate in your eyes, all your friends are behind you. They’re standing there looking at me. You have been talking about me.

“What’s my name?” You ask me defiantly.

Fuck. I don’t know. How should I know? Did you ever tell me your name? Have I even met you before?


You all gasp in horror.

“He doesn’t even know her name can you believe that? What an ass hole”

You hold out the card with twenty questions on it. Everyone laughs and reads them out loud. They mock the questions. ‘Do you ever drink alone?’ It’s a riot. I answer yes to all of them in my mind. I hate you. You bitch. You fat, ugly bitch. No one fucking likes you. God fucking damn it. Why did you read those questions? It’s none of you fucking business. Fuck you. Fuck you! I’m gonna get even with you. Yes. Ok? Fucking yes, yes, yes. Fuck. Leave me alone. Get the the fuck away from me.

“Can you stay here tonight? Please?”

“Let’s keep this a secret. Don’t tell anyone about me.”
“Have you told your friends about me?”

“What’s my name?”

“You don’t even know my name do you? Do you?”

“Please come back.”

“How ’bout you just tell us the fucking truth!


“Fuck you! You don’t understand.”

“You don’t fucking care. No one fucking gives a rat’s ass about me. So why the fuck should I believe you?”

“I’m asking you to make a decision.

The sound of my voice is strange. It sounds like someone else.

The night is warm. No one is out. Joe is making the pizza sauce at Blondies across the street. He’s there every night. He’s usually singing some song. Or he’s whistling. He’s just in there clanking around tonight.

A red car drives by.

I hold my head in my hands and squeeze as hard as I can.

“God. If you exist, and I don’t fucking think you do, Please help me.”

“Please help.”

“Send someone who loves me. Please.”

“Please send someone who loves me for me. Someone who really cares about me.”

I hear footsteps.

“Hey, are you ok?

He is genuinely concerned. He is a rockabilly singer. I know him. It’s JD.


“What are you doing?”

“Sitting here.”

“Wanna get something to eat?”

“I’m cool.”

“Are you sure? You don’t look so good.”

“I’m fine”

“You’re sure?”

“Get the fuck away from me.”

“Ok, see ya.”


Table of contents
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24
Musicology, Errata