REPORT A PROBLEM
"are you wearing women's underpants?"
"I can see your thong straps"
"care to let me in on why?"
"to prove my manhood."
"my girlfriend, she said I wasn't man enough to wear her panties for one day. I had to show how manly I truly am."
"feminization to prove machismo?"
"it's complicated, for sure."
"what does she have to do? to prove she's … whatever."
"not shave her moustache for a month."
"not quite a fair trade."
"you're wearing ladies knickers and have to be seen with a mustachioed woman. it's kind of gay."
jonnie got drums for Christmas one year. he got them for himself. he accumulated gift certificates from various retail outlets. when they used to give change for the face denomination less the total purchase. he bought the cheapest items in each store. a blank tape. an whiffle ball. a pack of football cards. at the end of the spree, he had $85.67. he went to a pawn shop. they were selling the crappiest drum set in creation. the skins were worn. the paint was chipped, powder-blue and dull. the drums for him. he never played a beat in his life.
the only problem: he only had $85.67 and was without another $100 in gift certificates. the drums cost $190. dave was with him. so was I. dave was with us. dave graduated from high school earlier that year. august to be exact. though, technically, when one doesn't bother to pay summer school's tuition they tend not confer diplomas. he had working construction and carried around fives and tens wrapped in a hundred dollar bill. being the day after Christmas, dave peeled the hundred of his billfold. "merry Christmas," he said with a smile. he then knicked a $150 distortion pedal.
I put my pit bull in the trash and never looked back. I leave lids of peanut butter jars which I've just dipped my dirty fingers in. I walk away from secrets. I don't have match. I live with inhibitions about were I'll spend my past. underwear is fantastic as long as you don't have to take in at the waist. the trip is half the battle. knowledge ain't so fun. I'd chase after your affections but I don't really like to run. I once saw a pigeon that only had one leg. he hopped funny, but he could fly.
a guide to artistic immortality. write a book. some real cool books. the kind the village voice raves about. make sure you're not with a major publisher. a cool publisher. mcsweeney's cool. write about life in your twenties with no money. broke people that age will read the book. they'll get it. people a little older with some money will too. they'll pretend to get it. a handful of older folks with heaps of money will read it. they won't get it all, but think about what it must be to get it. you have a name. stage one complete.
write another book. the kind the village voice says they like but they think you're suffering a bit of sophmore slump and trying too hard not to do what you did the last time and that's what they liked in the first place and that's what missing this time around but you know if you did pretty much the same thing they would call you a one trick pony … this time, go with a cool publisher for the hardback, but harper collins for the paperback. this way, the bigger checks ease the sting of tepid reviews. now, phase three.
write a few more. make sure one's great. make those bastards at voice say they always knew you were an original even though they called your fourth book trite existential nonsense and number three blah. then write something really good. speak to a generation, cultural class, subset thereof, etc. one so good people will think those who haven't read it suckers. sell the movie rights, but write the screenplay and be a producer. make sure it's terrible. jerry bruckheimer terrible. something ebert & roper would call an excessive flight of fancy that betrays the source material's fun, honesty and accessibility.
it's essential people you think are stupid think it's smart and funny; more than people who you respect think it's heavy-handed and predictable. these people must start to question why they ever liked the book in the first place. I'm thinking Nicolas cage stars in this piece of shit. release a special edition movie edition, with cage's face on the cover. those you hate may read it, but most of the don't read anyway. those who do read may question why they liked the movie, if they're capable of such thoughts. now that the damage is done, disappear, salinger style.
okay, maybe not salinger. you like the city and you can still be anonymous there. plus you love the coffee at the place up the street. as far as you know, they don't deliver. you could make some at home, but you don't own a coffee-maker. you could buy one, you're rich you know, but you know you. you'd just fuck it up. the coffee wouldn't be the same and you'd be miserable. so you'll have to go outside. unless the coffee-maker comes with the pale, brunette barista with "hope" tattooed on her right wrist and "less" on her left.
I have a friend who's friends with someone who works at the coffee shop I frequent. Apparently, I'm a "customer." One of the oft talked about. I even have a nickname, as most customer's do. I really don't see why. My habits at the shop are pretty straightforward. Large coffee, two dollars down on the counter, keep the change, milk to the brim, out the door. The extent of conversation is thank you and have a nice day. Never hit on the girls. Never try talk "guy" to the dudes. Can't see why. Maybe it's because I have one eye.
Open Letter of Contrition to Pants: Last month, I wrote you with a tone of mixed desperation and disgust. I blamed you for the breakdown in our relationship, i.e. no longer looking good together. For this I am sorry. I acted like a child and placed blame where it didn't belong. I hope that you will forgive me and recognize that I am hanging blame squarely where it belongs. It was shoes' fault. Mores specifically those herman munster joints that I've been wearing for the last five years. I could only wear loose legged pants, banning chinos from my wardrobe.
then there was amy. but before I get into her, let me tell you something about me. I'm not good at approaching women. I can talk to my female friends and friends of friends all night long, but if I know don't her, I won't hear her voice. it doesn't matter if she's the most beautiful woman on the planet. if she's an unknown, I'm a deaf-mute. now, amy. when I was twenty, I lived in London for a semester. it was October and I wasn't having luck hooking up. a more accurate way of saying that would be zero.
I almost fooled around with my roommate christa. I didn't feel like going out with the large contingent that usually went to some club or another. as soon as I said that, christa parroted the setiment. I knew with just me, her, a fridge stocked with booze, her low tolerance and my tendency to fuck a mattress when tipsy something could've happen. but nothing did. that was the night I discovered, despite her large breast and short cut-off sweat shorts, I was repulsed by christa. she was pretty, sort of. come to think of it, she looked like a chipmunk.
but not an ugly chipmunk. no her looks weren't what killed ant sort of fucking that might have taken place. see, I hadn't really spent any time with her up until this point. in the course of that evening's conversation, I got to know her. and I realized she was kinda, sorts, well just plain corny. I'm as horny as most men, but not as desperate. if I find someone corny, I really don't want to have sex with them. corniness is std. don't believe me? ever fucked someone corny? your friends tease you about them? I thought as much.
when I came the corny conclusion, I realized she was drunk. so was I. that when she came over to me. actually, slinked over to me. she sat on my lap and continued talking. I don't remember what she was saying. probably something corny. she picked up a pillow and asked me to "play with" her. I want you to know at that point I had a boner. but I would not follow through. you can't wash off corny. and she kept it up. "play with me," she said as she hit me lightly with the pillow. I sat there
shaking my head. I tried to cover up my boner with a beer bottle. I was smoking, I think. in most recollections, I'm smoking. I blew smoke out the side of my mouth and shook my head. "I'm tired." I could feel her pubic bone grinding on my right thigh. I felt my teeth glench but my face didn't betrray me. damn I must've looked cool. here I was turning down sex from a begging girl on my lap while smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. she went to after she realized nothing would happen. I played with myself.
okay, I know. I must be gay, right? well, let me tell you more. while we talked and before "play with me," her sister called. christa asked to talk to her four-year-old niece. she started talking toddler to the kid. "how's my little snicker doodle" this and "you're such a little booger head" that. what she referred to my penis as her tasty snicker doodle? I go limp just with that thought. before that, I might have. but her stupid talk made me think harder about other shit that I had observed about her, when I didn't really know her.
first she was stupid. not like she couldn't read, but she didn't know how to navigate a subway turnstile. she wore pink. I hate pink. pink only looks good on women when it's contrast; pink underneath black, pink on blank, pink cotton panties on creamy pink skin … bluish green eyes peaking through strands of hair that shade is only natural in the land of loreal, bright red puckered lips … anyway, she wore pink with powder blue, pink with khaki's, pink with white fucking jeans. you get the picture. buffy and hildy type couture. pink is so fucking stupid.
as I was thinking of her preppy attire, I thought she may have dark side. then I remembered we talked about partners and wild shit we may have done. she dated her 47 year old lit professor sophomore year and the wildest thing they ever did was have sex on a floor while his wife was at a conference in boston. who wants to fuck a cliché? though I wasn't mean, no one likes rejection. I could hear her grit her teeth every time I asked a question like "are we out of dish soap?" or "what's your fucking problem?"
for the next six weeks, though I tried, I couldn't get any play. at the bars, nothing. at the cafes, nothing. at the brothel, a hand job. the bitch cursed me. I didn't want her stuff so I wasn't allowed any other. but like I said, I wasn't that great at getting it in the first place. Halloween rolled around and my sex life was scary. a group of the guys in the program were invited to a party thrown by some girls we knew from florida state. despite it being the rare a occasion where a party thrown by
girls wasn't mostly dudes, I only knew three of them, so I talked to them most of the night. I wasn't much fun, so I sat on the couch and talked to my friend chris, a greek guy with a snaggle tooth. he was the most attractive person who listen to me at the time. he was kinda corny and not having fun either. he suggested hitting a strip club. "these girls are bitches," he said, licking his tooth. I was inclined to agree, when a felt a wisp of hair on my arm and heard a feminine voice ask
"what's your name?" it was Halloween party, so most of the girls were slutted up. not this one. she was wearing horned-rimmed glasses. her hair was up in rather ratty pigtails. she wore blocky black school marm shoes. her pleated skirt was plaid and almost hung near her ankles. she was fucking nerd and she was fucking lovely. she was the only girl not showing an inch of skin, save for her forearms. I was impressed that she passed up the opportunity to look like a prostitute and get away with it. she said she didn't get to dress up
like a geek to often either. I admired her originality and was curious how her body looked underneath the frump she called a costume. I could make a tall, slender figure with sloping shoulders and breast that hung atop her ribs. she smoked cigarettes and held them like a 40's movies star. I asked her why she came to me. she noticed me talking to hostess asked who I was. all she did was find out my name and how the hostess knew me before coming over. she said I was one of the most beautiful men she had seen.
I found out why when she told me she was from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. amish country. she wasn't one of them, but there ain't much of nothing in south central Pennsylvania. at least we from the same state. she seemed fascinated that I hailed from Philadelphia. not so much that, but that I had been born and raised in the city proper. she had met tons of people from the surrounding suburbs and south jersey, but never a city kid. I was one of those people her father told not look in the eye when they had the misfortune of coming
to Philadelphia. for the first time in my life, I was from the wrong side of the tracks to someone. we talked about home and she desired a hoagie. I knew of a subway in soho, so I suggested we take a walk. it was the closest we could've gotten to the real thing in the entire united kingdom and I figured we could talk. she was great. funny, smart, a little on the conservative side but in a way that fascinated me. we got sandwiches, walked around soho and talked til three in the morning. she had an early
class the next day and ended the night with a kiss on the cheek. nice. I'd fuck it up somehow. I didn't get her number, but I figured I'd run into her or lauren, the hostess, in the next few days. and I did, the following Saturday. I had a really bad hangover from the night before. I didn't shower when I got up at 6 pm and my butt itched. I tagged along with some people who wanted to watched performance artists pretend to be statues. my butt still itched. it was a cold November night and I could
smell my smelliness, so it was either go home, shower and come back out in the cold or just the first part. on my way back, I stopped by the building we had classes in to check my email. as I left, my smell was making me sick. I gagged as I left and ran right into amy. she was coming in from the gym and said she was embarrassed that I had to run into her smelly and sweaty. she said she didn't realize how bad she stunk. I'm glad she didn't notice her sweat didn't really smell like
stale jack daniels. we lied about saying we thought we'd never see each other again. at least I did. I wouldn't allow it. she asked if wanted to watch willy wonka with her. I said yes, though we didn't exactly watch it. we didn't make out, but rather talked until three am. she told me lauren was getting a group of people to go out during the week. she asked if I wanted to go. I agreed and this time, got her number. I didn't need to use because she called me a few days later. she told me to
meet her and the group outside of her building. when I got there, the large group was lauren and her. apparently everyone who was supposed to go out had class or the flu or never really existed. she apologized that she couldn't join us as well but said for us to have a good time. I really didn't need to be suckered into a first date, but it's not like I was mad. we had a few drink at a pub. she sneezed at one point in the conversation. not usually a big deal, but I saw a booger string
come out of her nose. she was embarrassed, but I really didn't care. her sneeze was sexy. her boogers didn't exactly turn me on, but didn't repulse me either. I got the traditional good night kiss when I walked her to her door. she was embarrassed to kiss when people were walking by. we started seeing each other after that night. we went on day trips, out to dinners and for drinks. one night, after leaving one place to meet with some other people, she pulled me into an alley and passionately started kissing me. I heard a few people
walk by as she licked my face. not so embarrassed anymore. I prayed that she would undo my pants right there in that alley. she didn't, but the way she grabbed my crotch told me she would have if it wasn't so cold. she wanted me and I wanted her. there was two ways this could go, based on all my priors. this is part of the relationship where I gotta fuck or I'm gone. if we had sex with no problems, I would continue to see her. but if something weird happened that impeded sex, see you later .
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