Todd's About Carlos

Suddenly, Carlos laughs. He reveals himself, briefly, in his abrupt cry, which issues from the bones and skin which confine him. 

2. WHERE TO FIND THE IMAGES. As you emerge from the subway you may not notice electric-wire-tubes, fluorescent tubes, trains which are flying tubes, clusters of pipes which are tubes (you fear) full of shit gargling above, with seams that drip grey-brown puddles into tracks which disappear into bigger tubes. You are preoccupied with a boy (really a man) who you hope to speak to (with desire) as he disappears through the hole leading to the street. He looks a lot like this painted boy on the wall (but he isn’t), without a tube through his skull. 

3. WHERE TO FIND CARLOS. He is hidden behind a glass of dark liquor which he holds before his lips and nose. He covets the potion in handsome, but not quite earthly hands. Only when he decides to glance at the bits of his face which reflect in the mirrored columns and panels that trim the room – a kind of gaudy accompaniment to the sounds of salsa, merengue, and the vision of beheaded chickens (which beckon in the window) – does he lower his drink. 

4. WHAT TO LOOK FOR. You won’t find putrid flavored tropical fruits; lacy curtains stained from sunshine; thick hands tugging on denim crotches; tinny thumpings whining from cars. But you would when you stopped looking in the station to go outside. 

5. ME, ME, ME. While you look, you can talk about narcissism, meaninglessness, representation, archaism, ephemerality, alterity, naiveté, emptiness, but I certainly don’t encourage such indulgences (and you can talk about that, too). 

6. WHAT WILL VANISH. The obvious. Children who scratch things on his images, sometimes because he lets them. Apparitions. Vanity messages written in condensed vapors on cold windows.  

-Todd Palmer