On the sidewalk in front of the Eugene Lang College at the New School I found a piece of torn-in-half notebook paper that read as follows:
STORIES I’M PLAYING WITH:
LIKE A CORKSCREW TO MY HEART
(about the night Dad walked in on Mom having sex with our next door neighbor, the divorce, the move from Portland to St. Louis, my lame ass step mom, my dog’s untimely death, BMX accident, the sorrows of working at Plaza Frontenac, Rebecca’s going away party, etc.)
YOUR ASS, MY DESSERT
(about a hand that reached around, made a subtle adjustment, and changed this 24-year-old boy’s life)
THE 572 WAYS WE NEVER MADE LOVE
(about an unrequited crush during my junior year in high school)
MEMORIES THAT SMELL LIKE GRANDMA’S SEVEN LAYER CHOCOLATE CAKE, WASHED DOWN WITH DR. PEPPER
(a chronicle of firsts: first home run, first make out session, first camping trip with Uncle Frank, first cigarette in the alley behind Taco Bell, first break-in, first ass kicking, first 30-days at Central Michigan Correctional Fa—
“Plastic wrap,” said Dr. Finkel, a bearded man in his early forties. “I’d suggest using it for not only cunnilingus, but even just your standard tongue kiss.”
Josh bit down on the tiny canker sore on the tip of his tongue. He felt a tangy pain from the one on his lower gum. He’d suffered cruel outbreaks since as long as he could remember. Chocolate, salsa, lack of sleep, too many cigarettes, and stress were major culprits, as was new love, which generally included all the above.
“What am I supposed to, like, carry a box of Saran Wrap in my pocket? ‘Hang on baby, let me just rip off a piece…’”
“That or you tear it off beforehand, and keep it in your wallet, or next to your bed.”
“Sounds like a real libido killer.”
“No, the libido killer would be to not use anything and transmit aphthous stomatitis to your partner, which, trust me, gets a hell of a lot more messy.”
May 30, 2011
Keeping things simple.
I work at home, and if I wanted to, I could have a computer right by my bed, and I’d never have to leave it. But I use a typewriter, and afterwards I mark up the pages with a pencil. Then I call up this woman named Carol out in Woodstock and say, “Are you still doing typing?” Sure she is, and her husband is trying to track bluebirds out there and not having much luck, and so we chitchat back and forth, and I say, “OK, I’ll send you the pages.” Then I’m going down the steps, and my wife calls up, “Where are you going?” I say, “Well, I’m going to go buy an envelope.” And she says, “You’re not a poor man. Why don’t you buy a thousand envelopes? They’ll deliver them, and you can put them in a closet.” And I say, “Hush.” So I go down the steps here, and I go out to this newsstand across the street where they sell magazines and lottery tickets and stationery. I have to get in line because there are people buying candy and all that sort of thing, and I talk to them. The woman behind the counter has a jewel between her eyes, and when it’s my turn, I ask her if there have been any big winners lately. I get my envelope and seal it up and go to the postal convenience center down the block at the corner of 47th Street and 2nd Avenue, where I’m secretly in love with the woman behind the counter. I keep absolutely pokerfaced; I never let her know how I feel about her. One time I had my pocket picked in there and got to meet a cop and tell him about it. Anyway, I address the envelope to Carol in Woodstock. I stamp the envelope and mail it in a mailbox in front of the post office, and I go home. And I’ve had a hell of a good time. And I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.
Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We’re dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go do something.