Confession: Untitledby Rachel Levitsky
NEIGHBOR is a long page
about the neighbor.
Why it’s called confession
Or if it is actually my neighbor.
Or what I am.
I have ideas.
I’ve been writing it for a year. The last six months is completely in my head,
where there are many levels. The problem I face is whether or not the levels are connected or whether they are levels at all. A level would connote a piece in a unified structure. A unity of disconnected parts housed. By what. The state or me.
Or if I am the state.
I am a collection of desire
And so there is a neighbor
And then there is my neighbor
In the book called, "Is My Neighbor" I am the object of relationship I’m in but to which I have distance. Distance between walls or levels.
Distance is Domain. I share it.
I share it with the I of I that I am aware of. When I confess, I make this distance. I almost wrote detachment but it is not detachment, that would have been a typo. Detachment is the thing I create when I am not aware of the I I’m aware of.
Detachment is the thing I create when I love.
Love is a more complicated thing when I am speaking of my neighbor. My neighbor is crazy, though very committed to the logic of life, and currently of being a good mother. Why do I say then, she is crazy. Crazy generally being the name we give those refusing this logic.
Love is a complicated thing when I am speaking of my neighbor. Who knows I’ve rejected him on numerous occasions, to whom I’ve been lately inexplicably nice.
But I love my neighbor. I am sure of it.
I love the closeness mediated//distance/we
I wrote distance not detachment.
We never attach/to begin with.
Already I am telling you about the neighbor. Today he asked me where I was going and had a sly look in his eye as if to say, which naughtiness are you tonight.
Before I get distracted, I am easily distracted, I will try to speak of this project because there is a need at the moment to write more directly to the political context:
I am in the United States, which calls itself America. United Statesians are known as Americans, and Canadians Canadians, Mexicans Mexicans.
I must write directly on this page/ I want to say speak but I am writing/
as a United Statesian. Because/I/as a writer/it’s more appealing
to treat myself/as an object (than as a subject)
for I as a subject/the project/would be
a memoir, or a book of reflections and
those are dull!
I’ve decided to use my obsession with my neighbor as the context for a discussion of the state, but I confess/this isn’t the only thing I want.
Yes, I fuck my neighbor/e.g.
each other/not face/to face/between the walls)
When she comes into my apartment and steals from me/I report her to the police.
Neither the police nor I care much if we catch/neither the police nor I want her to go to jail.
What we care about/what we don’t know.
What we don’t know/what we build between us.
In fact he talks very loudly late into the night. On the phone. When he is not snoring.
There is a public crises. The war on the others from the planes from our store. The neighbor, maybe she would want to care but here is her baby. She sees only it. Who has made her. My miracle she says, I sing for him. He is
my only song.
That’s something. I am the activist who calls to the neighbor hey my window’s broken could you lower your voice. But would not try to interrupt his snoring. That is the job of his lover, who is on the other side of the phone.
Can they help it the people in that country we are bombing. Can we help it the people in this one that bombs.
Someone says a general strike now there is a good idea.
Would the singing mother join that strike. Bombed babies are far away and maybe they could help it. Would she strike her baby. In the night does the cat behave like a dog.
Something tells me I’ve been up for hours.
This bottle collector is fastidious with the black plastic bags strewn widely upon the sidewalk.
The bellowing has stopped. Has she gone away. Has he stopped drinking. Did he get a job. Is it boy is it girl. Is it in the country that bombs or the one who is bombed. Or the other one.
When he knocks on the door he is not very natural. His father would not do it like this.
They miss me, they were talking about me.
I don’t mean to say it makes me real.
I miss my nasty neighbor.
He was quiet so I slept well after being tired. I mean to say that I didn’t do many drugs.
Therefore this morning I would like a glass of wine, but I defer, to the job. I have a job which also enrages him. My dress, the pretension. He knows it, he hears me, considers me the loud one.
So does she. Who looks behind her to see who has heard me. Say what I said to her, because there was pussy or cock, in the story, yes, the one about the girl who wears competent cock.
Or was it my other conversation.
Today the neighbor has forgotten my name.
While we were we fucking.
I think we were.
He called me something.
Sweetie. No, teacher.
Make up your mind.
And then snored some more. I couldn’t bear it I cried out the window… Please!
On the roof, he resents me too, when I am on the roof. Still we introduce.
We are both smelling the fumes and we are both a little unnerved.
I wanted to hug him I mean that I did.
That gives me a funny feeling still to this day.
From me he only wants money. A law suit. Because my fence fell on his head.
But then I confess it was together we cried/some queasy nationality.
Him being my neighbor puts me in a position of superiority.
Him being my neighbor puts him in a position of superiority.
Is that just my complex
or just complex.
The screaming below. The screaming household is always below and always. Shrieks of pleasure. I scare them when I go there. But they come back for more.
I’m concerned. I don’t think the kids will remember their day in the country.
RACHEL LEVITSKY’s most recent book is The Story of My Accident is Ours. She is also the author of Neighbor and Under the Sun. She lives in Brooklyn, NY where she teaches at Pratt Institute and organizes with the Belladonna* Collaborative.