Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I love you, he said. But, I love you.
That makes sense, she said. Yes, that makes sense.
Not to me, he said. No, not to me.
Everything you love I hate, she said. Yes, everything you love I hate.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
My friend says you were Tony Danza on Who’s the Boss but I say no way. Who’s right? Please settle our bet; my autographed James Van Der Beek riding chaps are on the line! I can’t quit those chaps. I hang them from my ceiling fan every night and gaze at the dancing pant shadows as I drift off to sleep. Sometimes I pretend I’m Paula Abdul.
Anyway tell my friend what a dirty sanchez he is (he’s fat). There’s no way you could have been Tony Danza in Who’s the Boss because you’re a Canadian. Yuck!
Do you think Kirk Cameron ever mined Tracey’s Gold?
Hopefully Not Chapless in Boise
Who invented your jacket? That bit at the top is the best jacket top I have ever seen (it's great).
I want that jacket.
Dear Alan, It's official! I got confirmation from the court today; my name is now legally Rick Thicke. I'm not actually related to you but for the last few months I've been telling people that I am your son. It gets me into clubs and helps with the ladies (oh boy!). It's really making my life awesome (actually really awesome) so I figured why not go ahead and make it all legal.
My old name was Harold Barnsworth and let me tell you that wasn't working out at all. I was 28 before I even kissed a girl (does kissing the hair on the back of a girl's head on the train count?)!
Anyway, I'm writing to ask a favor. Can you send me an autographed picture of your giant face that says "To my son, Rick Thicke. You are awesome, just like me! Love, Alan Thicke (your real dad)!"I'm going to hang it on my bedroom wall and carry a copy in my jeans pocket for emergencies.
Rick Thicke (Yes!) son of Alan
Friday, May 12, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
master plan. Live with my mom but I swear I'm a man. (Still
got a few fans in Japan.) Check out my hair and my hi-fi
shoes. Bet against me and I bet you'll lose. Two birds in the
bush and one in the hand. I'll quit my job and take a stand.
Make a movie more awesome than. Anything inside of a garbage
He hated that car. "It's a piece of junk," he would rant. "I
treat her nice as pussy, change her oil, flush her. What more
does she want. Junk. I'm getting rid of her."
But he never did. He drove that piece of junk to work every
day. And back home again. Home to a doting wife and a little
boy who would open a cold one and set it out on the TV table
5 minutes ahead of time.
"Hi honey, how was your day," she would ask, secretly trying
to guess what it would be this time. The muffler she thought.
I bet it's the muffler again.
"God damn rearview mirror fell off."
"Oh, honey, that's terrible. Here, sit down. Watch some TV.
It's those funny men you like."
"What's for dinner?"
"Grabby nook. It's almost ready."
"Piece of junk." The man would mutter.
The little boy, hiding behind the couch, knew the routine. He
liked it. His pop would hold the cold one up against his
face, sigh, and then take a swig.
They were the same the little boy thought. The old man and
the bottle of beer. Cold on the inside, yet sweat beaded down
their necks. He wanted to touch them but he didn't dare.
After dinner the man would knock a few more back in front of
the TV. The little boy would move closer. Close enough to
whiff the familiar stench of his old man's dogs.
"Are the dogs barking pop?" he would ask.
"Quiet kid. My show is on."
This was the little boy's show. It was a perpetual re-run but
he loved it all the same.
Then one night the little boy snuck out of bed to see what
the old man was up to. He imagined his mom and pop cutting a
rug to old scratchy records when he was asleep.
He hid behind the couch and begged Loopy the dog to keep
"What do you want from me," the little boy heard his pop say.
"I want you to talk to him. Throw a baseball out in the yard,
or help him do his sums. Something. Anything."
"Jesus Christ. You know how hard I work," the kid's old man
groaned, "I don't have time to mess around with some kid."
"Some kid?" the boy's mother shouted. "Some kid? He's your
kid. He's our kid. He loves you."
The little boy understood. They were talking about him.
"That kid's a piece of junk and you know it. He can't catch a
football, he's dumb as a crowbar, and he's a god-damn fairy."
The little boy's mother slapped the man sitting in the couch.
And then returned to the kitchen. She liked the kitchen.
"Pop, are you going to get rid of me?" The little boy asked
from behind the couch.
"Go to bed son."
"Do you want another cold one?"
"Go to bed or I will get rid of you."
The next day, there was no cold one waiting for the man on
the TV table.
But he never did get rid of that little boy.
deformed it seeped down the side of his broken face.
Instinctively his tongue snaked into action. Chutney, he
thought. He'd tasted chutney before. With her. But Tony
didn't want to know what his brains tasted like. And he
didn't want to think about her. He was supposed to be numb.
Had he done it right? He tried to recall the Mosquito Man's
The Mosquito Man was the local authority on pain. Broken
hearts more than cracked bones but he'd seen his fair share
of decapitations and whatnot in the streets of Bosnia. Or
Afghanistan or wherever the fuck it was.
"What you need is the Number," the Mosquito Man said to Tony.
He pronounced it like "nummer."
Tony was exhausted and he had no clue what was being said.
Why was "Freeze Frame" on the radio? He was in the army
surplus store where he liked to buy his slaps. That's what he
called those camouflage pants that army guys wear. He
pictured some war hero eating a bullet. Maybe the soldier had
tumbled down the side of a mountain-under a hailstorm of
enemy fire-in one final act of self-sacrifice that would free
up another pair of battle-tested slaps for the boys back
The slaps were neatly folded in a cubicle shelf. Deep down
Tony understood that they were newly manufactured-probably by
some 13-year-old Malaysian girl. Close enough, he thought.
"She left me," Tony said as he dropped his pants to the
floor, readying himself for the slaps.
"Of course she did," the Mosquito Man replied. "She was
20,000 leagues out of your sea."
It was true. Not that there was anything wrong with Tony. He
was a copyright lawyer for a multinational media conglomerate
and his penis was reasonably sized. But she was spectacular.
Six feet tall and a genius with numbers. She was sweet and
diabolical in just the right measure. And her vagina was
"I don't even know why I'm here," Tony said, now parading
around the store in his underpants. "I can't get her out of
"That's why you need the Number," insisted the Mosquito Man
from behind the counter. "It will take the pain away."
Tony was intrigued. "It's not possible. Is it?"
"It is if you do it right."
"That could be a problem," replied Tony. "I don't have much
propensity for doing things right."
The Mosquito Man plonked an old-fashioned half-rifle onto the
countertop. The deep clanking sound excited Tony and he
contemplated dropping to the ground.
"Try it," taunted the Mosquito Man. "it's a single shot,
bolt-action parlor pistol."
Tony fingered the solid shaft but didn't pick it up. The word
"Number" was engraved on the walnut frame. It looked as if a
serial number had originally followed, but it was right where
the shooter's middle finger rested-and it had been rubbed
"This is it?" asked Tony. "You want me to blow my brains out
with a sawed-off musket?"
"It's a little more complicated than that." The Mosquito Man
chuckled. "It'll take some guts. But I guarantee you won't be
pining around after that stuck up cunt anymore."
And then the Mosquito Man explained what Tony had to do. "Go
home," he said. "Take the 'Number' with you and lay it on
your pillow. Treat it nice. Like a lady."
Tony picked up the "Number" and softly caressed the finger
hook that curved neatly underneath the trigger.
The Mosquito Man continued. "Then go into your old lady's
drawers and pick out an outfit. Grab one that really makes
your balls tingle."
"Outfit?" Tony didn't like how this was developing.
"Yes. The whole nine yards. Shoes, stockings, panties, skirt,
blouse, scarf, hat. A complete ensemble."
"She took her panties," Tony replied.
"Of course she did. But they always leave some dirties in the
"So then what?" Tony was intrigued now. And a little hard.
"Put them on," said the Mosquito Man seriously.
"On. Take off your clothes and put on hers. Everything. And
then grab the photograph of her that's sitting on your
bedside table. You haven't smashed it yet have you?"
"No," said Tony. "Not yet."
"Good. Take it out of the frame and hold it in your left
hand. Then, with your right, pick up the 'Number' from the
bed. Feel the grain of the wood against your palm."
"Should I be writing this down?" asked Tony, now completely
"No. Where does she get dressed in the morning?"
"In the parlor."
"Good. There's a full-length mirror in the parlor isn't
there?" asked the Mosquito Man. "Never mind, of course there
is. Saunter over to the mirror. Hold the picture…"
"Yes, saunter. Just like your old lady would. It's important.
Now, stick the photograph into the seam at the top of the
"Should I be wearing makeup?" asked Tony.
"No. Back away from the mirror at a very slight angle. About
ten feet. Stand just so-this is important-just so the
photograph covers the reflection of your face. Draw the
'Number' up and aim it right between the eyes of your baby
girl. Hold it with both hands."
"So I'm going to shoot the mirror?" Tony was perplexed.
"No," said the Mosquito Man. "You're going to shoot your
girl. The mind is a clever, clever organism that knows how to
be daft when it needs to be. Trust me. When you look at that
mirror, you'll see her. Now count it down. Ten to one. Let
the hatred stew. Let the love build. Let them mix and boil
and overflow. When you hit one, squeeze the trigger."
"And that's it?" asked Tony. "Then I'll be free?"
"Free," said the Mosquito Man. "Free."
But he wasn't free. Something had gone terribly wrong. Here
he was, in his own parlor, blood and brains dripping onto his
exposed lace bra; stockings torn and his too-tight skirt
twisted uncomfortably around his hips. He was losing
consciousness. He looked up to the mirror to check his hair.
He hated it when his bangs flopped forward.
His gaze fixed on a shard of displaced mirror. What he saw
made his brain pulsate heavily two times. And then he was
The Mosquito Man chuckled. He inhaled the drifting smoke that
wafted from his own single shot, bolt-action parlor pistol.
She stood at his side, smiling.
diving board at the public swimming pool when I felt a warm
patch in my bathers. There was a boy behind me, waiting. I
didn't want to dive. Have you ever been up there? It's really
The boy accused my bottom. "Your ass is bleeding," he
cackled. But it wasn't my bottom. It was my vagina. I think
he knew, but he probably didn't have the courage to shout out
the word "vagina" in front of his friends.
I didn't mind. The blood oozed onto my thigh. Is it blood? My
sister calls it vagina sludge. That's a good name I suppose.
It was like that time I lopped off my wart. Except that was
on my elbow. And the wart grew back. But somehow it seemed
the same. The blood/sludge felt like a tiny motorbike
spinning its wheels down my leg. Hot rubber. I imagined a
tiny James Dean speeding away from his parents. His mom and
pop lived in my vagina and he wanted out. Too many rules I
And then I dived. Head first. Just like in the Olympics. I'd
never done that before.
was funny and lovely and more than that. It was beautiful.
The rhythm. The words. Images that could change the world. Or
my view of the world at least.
"So? What do you think?" She was nervous. It was her first
I thought it was genius. Like that six-year-old on TV who
solved complex calculus equations. Except here the numbers
and symbols were emotions and feelings. And she was solving
for more than X.
My stomach churned and I had to sit down. Right there on the
kitchen floor. It was about me. But a me that I didn't know
and my brain was gasping for air and my ears were filled with
"I feel sorry for the fish."
"What fish? There aren't any fish." Her voice was different.
Not trembling but not deep and solid. She slid down the wall
and sat next to me. She was warm.
"Well, if the lake is glass..."
"It's a metaphor," she said. Straight. Like I might not know
what a metaphor is.
"Oh," I said.
"Forget it," she said, squashing my head up against the wall
as she returned to her feet. "I know it's shit."
"No, it's not shit. It's pretty good."
"Just for the record, you're the fucking lake," she yelled as
she pounded her way down the hall.
I guess that makes her the fish.
-- imagining that her breasts were interconnected in a
totally hot and secret way. A maze of freckles. Unseen and
serene. No doubt leading -- inevitably -- to the Queen of all
tit-spots, the nipple.
I prayed to Jesus that those freaky freckles existed. That my
tongue would one day navigate her swollen maze.
I ignored my mates and their futile attempts to burst my
"Bazza went one hand under," they claimed. "He would have
felt the bumps."
I knew that wasn't true. In my mind her freckles were flat
and smooth. Soft.
But Jesus Christ that was at least six months of my life. You
know what I could have done with that time? I could have been
hatching secret plans. Or I could have met a girl and fallen
She had freckles on her back; that was confirmed multiple
times at the public swimming pool. And again on that day. Oh
god. That day. It was awful. I knew she was going to be
there. I'd overheard her talking about it with her friends.
Giggling and teasing each other about this boy or that boy.
I spread my towel on the grass and waited for her to take the
plunge. I had a plan. I'd swim innocently in the next lane
over and drift closer and closer. I'd bump into her mid
stroke and suddenly her top would loosen and maybe even fall
down completely. Then I would know.
Usually when I think about that day I imagine her doing the
breaststroke. To lighten the memory a tad. But she wasn't. It
was freestyle. And she was strong and fast. I swam closer,
angling in from the side, executing my brilliant plan. Jesus
Christ what was I thinking?
I crashed into her middle. Pretty hard. But she just kept on
going. Stroke. Stroke. Leaving me in her wake. Oh god. I was
a strong swimmer but I was nervous. In the moment you know.
And then it was all a whirly blur. I couldn't breathe because
the air was now a flurry of water. Can you smell anything
when you're submerged and drowning? Seems like I could. There
was an overwhelming stench of chlorine.
The next thing I knew I was laid out on the side of the pool.
Surrounded by a pack of giggling teenagers, my skin scorching
from the sun-warmed pavement. And they were pointing and
laughing. Laughing and pointing.
Jesus Christ, I was betrayed by my Speedos.
And she was there. Guffawing with the rest of them.
"He's got a stiffy," she chanted. "He's got a stiffy."
And at that point I was free. Six months of wasted daydreams.
loves and first god damned near everything else. But nobody
ever talks about their first handjob. I don't mean wanking of
course, I'm talking about the first time a girl reaches into
your jeans and strokes your bizz until you jizz. Am I right?
I could care less about that other junk. I mean, my first
kiss was from some cunt bitch who died in a car crash two
weeks later. It's god damned depressing. I don't even
remember her real name. We called her Bee Hive or Honey Pot
or Bee Sting or some ridiculous bee related thing.
And my first love, Miranda, gave me VD. How's that for
romantic? I knew she had it too. We'd talked about it
beforehand and I told her that I didn't care. I didn't. In my
mind we were going to be the Bonnie and Clyde of sexually
transmitted diseases. Pubic outlaws bound by love.
I'm not even going to tell you about my first date. It was at
the Pizza Hut, that's all you need to know.
But my first handjob, that really meant something. It was
sweet and naughty. Intimate and raw. A tender moment that
I've never come close to recapturing. And I try all the time,
trust me. When I'm with my wife I close my eyes and it almost
works. I'm back at the soapbox derby. Rebecca's dark hair is
swirling in the wind and her fingers, oh my god, but then
it's just me with my eyes closed trying to re-live something
that was too real and too nice to ever come back. And I never
say something is nice. But that was fucking nice. I've
accepted that it's gone. But I still try to remember it
exactly. It's stupid. Like when you try and explain to your
buddies how completely hilarious something was that you saw
on TV and they understand but they don't get it and there's
no way they ever will unless they see it for themselves.
The soapbox derby was at Knobby hill that year because they
were doing construction over at the Pike. I was 16, but still
into kid stuff like racing and fighting and lighting fires.
Rebecca was 17 and she looked just like Audrey Hepburn except
she was wearing cutoff jeans and a Billabong t-shirt. She
came down to the derby to watch her little brother race.
Tommy and I had spent six months building the ultimate
go-kart. The Tin Alligator. It was ferocious. It was really
just four sheets of tin nailed to some wooden wheel tracks
but we painted the hugest alligator teeth on the front.
We lost. Just like every other year. But this time we got
some serious respect for having the sickest looking machine.
And I got more than that. After the race, I was sitting in
the kart soaking up the sun and squishing bandit ants as they
wandered over the ripples in the tin. And then Rebecca was
kneeling down in the grass, next to me. She touched my face
and smiled. Her dark hair swirled in the wind and her
fingers, oh my god. My first handjob.
wound up as partners. My buddies and I played almost every
day after school. On the grass behind the lunch shed. We were
probably too old for it at the time but it's a really good
game. I'd play right now if I could.
"Do you know the rules?" I asked.
"Sure. Don't get whacked."
She was right. That was pretty much the only rule. If you got
whacked your partner had to commit suicide. Not real suicide.
He had to strip down to his undies, rub butter all over his
belly and legs, and then roll around in the dirt.
Back then there was nothing worse.
"Right," I said. "Don't get whacked."
The beauty of the game was that you had to have your
partner's back. If you get whacked, he's the one who has to
Usually I would partner up with Moon Dog. He knew when to go
"Go left. Go left," I shouted at Aquarius. She was
"Duck! Duck!" she yelled back.
And then, whack! Right in the back of the neck. I fell to the
"I'm hit!" I cried. "I'm down."
Aquarius stopped dead. "What?"
She had the look. I never saw a suicider who didn't get that
The other guys were laughing. Teasing. "Butter up bitch."
I expected her to run. Guys had tried that before. But she
unbuttoned her shirt right where she stood. No hesitating. No
Gas Can grabbed a tub of butter from his backpack. His real
name was Gary but there were five Garys in our class.
Aquarius threw her shirt to the ground. She looked dead at
me. Blank. Not angry but disappointed. I've let her down a
few times since then. But it's never hurt like that. I
Her skirt fell down to her ankles. I'm sure the guys were all
heckling but in my head it was silent like midnight at the
And then, as Aquarius smeared butter on her bare belly, I
started to cry.
She rolled around in the dirt patch just like we'd all done a
hundred times. Then it was over. As she stood up I reeled
backwards. Suddenly she was beautiful. Grass and sand and
candy wrappers stuck to her panties and legs and stomach. But
somehow her bra had survived the dirt-roll. It was pitch
white and I could see her dark nipples through the cotton.
She looked up at me through her dirty bangs.
"Thanks," she said with a wry chuckle. "Can you grab my
I bought a dress today. A black one. It's tight, which of
course means that I won't be wearing any panties underneath.
Not that it matters to you. I've met somebody else. Well,
maybe "met" is the wrong word. But I've had a chance
encounter with a man and now things have changed. I'm sorry,
but that's just how it is.
After school Ashley and I ducked into Nordies to see if we
could find a dress for Saturday night. I was looking for
something special. For you. I was ready Bobby. I told my
parents that I was staying at Ashley's and I got paid
yesterday and I booked a room at the Hyatt on Fullerton and I
stopped by CVS and I was going to drink a few wine coolers so
that I wouldn't back out. I might have grabbed your cock on
the dance floor and begged you to fuck my brains out or maybe
I'd have slipped a key into your shirt pocket, whispered
"room five ninety six," and sauntered away just like Audrey
Hepburn with no fucking panties underneath.
But at Nordies Ashley pointed out this guy. She thought it
was funny. Some creepy dude holding a purse and leaning up
against a rack of giant old lady underpants and bras. He was
perving at my thong and my belly button and he was wearing a
vest and he would glance away casually whenever I looked over
at him. And guess what. I fucking liked it. Because this guy,
some random turd with a wife and a belt that matched his
shoes, this guy who probably has a daughter at Jefferson,
this middle-aged asshole who has never seen me before in his
life, this semi-disgusting guy with a god-damn moustache,
this guy was actually appreciating me. I could tell. He
enjoyed the way my pants hugged my giraffe legs. And he
noticed how the knot holding my shirt up was one simple tug
away from disintegration. I bet he could even tell that my
Nine Wests were hand-crafted in Italy or Rome or wherever
just by the way they transformed my hideously oversized
hooves into pretty lickable feet.
I know, you don't give a fuck about some creep who's probably
at home right now masturbating to distorted fragments of a me
that could never be his.
But he did what you never do. What you probably never will
do. I mean, do you even remember what I was wearing the night
we met? I know, I know, you liked the way my breast brushed
up against your arm. But did you happen to notice the
cashmere sweater that clung to those breasts? I didn't think
At Nordies, I found the ultimate classy-slut-dress, pulled it
from the rack, pressed it firmly against my body, and turned
to Ashley for confirmation. I asked the same question that I
"Do you think Bobby will like me in this?"
Do you know what she said?
"I'm sure he would like you better out of it."
How fucking true.
Good bye Bobby.
Balancing the milk in the spoon and concealing the slurp. I
should have just had toast.
"Oh, thank god, you're alive." It was Renee. "It says here in
"I know," I interrupted. "Ron Jenkins died on Saturday."
"Ron Jenkins. From Lansing," continued Renee.
"It's a different Ron Jenkins," I assured her. "I've had
three calls about it already."
"Thank god," she gasped. "I thought you were dead."
"Nope, it wasn't me," I explained. "I died a long time ago."
underpants I wore.
"Extra large," I typed. "Is that good?"
"Depends," she said. "It could mean that you're fat. Or that
you have a nicely sized package."
"I'm fat," I admitted.
"That's okay," she said. "I've had one of my breasts
game on the double-sided tabletop Pac-man machine. She had
long straight hair, parted down the center and old-school
braces on her teeth. The perfect girl. Even her blue jeans
had that white stitching that I liked.
I came that day to skate, but Pac-man was my domain. I had
the high score, and third, fourth and fifth. My initials,
R.B.J., were etched into roller rink folklore. But she had
the number two spot -- N.V.K. -- and it really burned me up.
"That number two was a fluke," I said, only half joking.
"Not a fluke," she said, exhaling smoke across the screen. "A
Hardly a miracle I thought. Miracles are for lepers and blind
people, not some girl going for a high score at the roller
rink. "How do you figure?"
She laughed, and a piece of gum tumbled out of her mouth.
That was sexy to me back then, a girl who could chew and
smoke at the same time.
"Everything's Jesus," she said. "Think about it."
I thought about it. "Pac-man isn't Jesus. It's Pac-man."
"No, when I play I'm not just a random dot-chomper. I'm a
Christian missionary and the maze is some distant foreign
land loaded with uncivilized natives. Each dot is a soul and
I have to save them all before the devil gets me."
"What about the giant dots?"
"Those are prayers," she replied. "See, I just prayed on a
big dot and now Jesus has given me the power to expel the
She believed it; I could see it in her eyes.
We moved on from Pac-man, roller-skating, and innocent
teenage flirting. School, work, life. Love, marriage, kids.
Fights, infidelity, divorce. Hatred, violence, death.
If everything is Jesus, why do I still have the high score?
Be a good boy she said, I trust you. I nicked a Mars bar and
told the shopkeeper to fuck off. She was embarrassed.
She was my teacher.
Write a poem she instructed, about love. My poem rhymed and I
cut the paper into the shape of a heart. She gave me an F.
She was my girlfriend.
Dress up, she pleaded, tonight is important. I wore my good
jeans and a crocodile shirt. She cried and made me sleep on
She was my wife.
It's our anniversary, she reminded me. We should celebrate. I
rented a rom-com and ordered Chinese. She filed for divorce.
I never did learn.
"I'm making French toast, do you want a piece?" He knew how
much she adored French toast.
"It's on, hurry up." She sat cross-legged in the comfy chair
with a blanket covering her bony knees.
He was still in the kitchen, folding her piece of French
toast around a row of chocolate.
"Oh, shit!" She screamed and threw the remote control at the
He came running. "What's wrong?"
"It's a fucking re-run."
trip. Full-on hiking and whatnot. We cooked sausages on the
fire and bathed in the stream. Somehow the girls ended up in
our tent one night, chattering and flirting. It was chilly
and I secretly wanted to snuggle up to Veronica. We used to
sit side by side in social studies and she always laughed at
my jokes and let me see her grades when we got our tests
back. She liked me. But in the tent my confidence was low.
Miles was there and he was telling stories about his big
brother's drunken uni adventures. Then he made his move. And
Veronica went for it.
A few months later we were all kicking back at Rachel's
party. Veronica commented on my fuck the system t-shirt. She
had the same one except hers had sleeves. "I like sleeves," I
said. She smiled and then slipped away before I could
recover. I melted into the couch and watched the party
evolve. When the beer was gone I wandered outside to look at
the stars. Veronica was on the front lawn, kissing my next
door neighbor Johnny. I went back inside and watched TV.
Gray pants, red sweater? Black pants, gray sweater? Sneakers?
It was time to go and my favorite shirt was out of
commission-all wrinkled and stinky like my bed-ridden
grandma. In panic mode I raided my sister's room. The
checkered shirt looked good but I'd have to keep the label
concealed. Sweater on, collar up, tail out. Let's go.
I wanted to see Anna. That's why I was going. To see her. At
night. And to maybe dance with her and whisper in her ear and
kiss her on the face. Or the lips. I don't know, a romantic
kiss. I sat out the first few songs, a little subconscious
about the shirt. They could tell. They couldn't tell. Anyway
it was nice just to watch her from across the room. She kept
touching her friend on the arm and laughing and she was
drinking a coke. The disco ball sprinkled her hair with
fragments of light. Like snowflakes on a princess. Then Tony
punched me in the arm. I guess he knew what I was thinking.
Or maybe I even said it out loud.
I ate chips, I drank fanta, I invited Anna to dance with me.
She smiled and she was beautiful and her dress was blue and
she said something and I laughed. It was a slow dance and my
hand rested on her back. On the skin. She had a groove down
the center of her back. It was a groove, that's the only way
I can describe it. My hand melted and she was warm and I was
in love. It was a crush, it was a crush. But it was more than
And then it was over and she smiled and she twirled and
laughed and I wiped the sweat off my hands and said something
about her hair and she said she liked my shirt.
everyone talks. Fuck the fancy restaurants and having to
walk. Fuck the hustlers and fuck the cabs. Fuck the subway
and the girls with crabs. Fuck the Hamptons and fuck the
bars. Fuck the cops and the firefighters too. Fuck the empire
state and the Brooklyn zoo. Fuck Broadway and all the wannabe
stars. Fuck the Knicks and fuck the Yanks. Fuck all the
weasels who work in investment banks. Fuck the mayor and fuck
Times Square. Fuck all the faggots with gel in their hair.
Fuck working overtime so I can afford to park. Fuck the
little dogs and fuck central park. Fuck the tunnels and fuck
the bridges. Fuck the kitchens that don't fit fridges. I'm
some girl because she didn't project her voice. "You're
boring," he said, pointing his shit-stinking finger right in
her face. "I've forgotten you already." How could he forget
her for a single moment. Take a look at her face you dirty
prick. Take one fucking look. I don't remember her face
exactly but I know it was stunning. Two more people. Then it
would be my turn. That one kid and that other girl. Then me.
Don't be boring. Shit. Just that one girl. Then me. I should
stand up on my desk. And holler my name as loud as I can.
Hah! No. I'll do it. I will. Fuck. Now I'm nervous. It's just
a fucking introduction and I'm all worked up. I feel like a
trembling, ghost-faced asthmatic junky and oh shit here I go.
Up on the desk. "RICHARD FUCKING WILLIAMS!" I shouted.
Remember that asshole. The whole class fell silent. And even
that pompous git-faced shitbox was taken aback. He leaned
back and touched his lips with his stink finger. More
silence. "I wanted you to remember me," I said. "Right, I get
it," he said quietly. "What was your name again?"
Where are they going? I wish I was going. I want to be on
that plane. Foreign lands and yummy food and girls who speak
in tongues. Crazy times and things to buy. Strange terrain.
An empty sky. Buses and taxis and mountains and beaches.
Shatter my life in a million pieces. I want to be on that
Solar eclipse and lightning bolts, something strange is about
to happen. I'm starting to choke on pop rocks and coke, my
dreams are coming true. I hope. Colors and tunnels and stars
and stuff and suddenly I'm on the plane. It's really happened
and here I am. Soaring through the sky. A girl in the aisle,
and she's pretty and Russian. She taps me on the shoulder.
Seat back forward please, I think she said, the plane is
about to land. Down we go and here I am, my adventure shall
The window is there and I catch a glimpse. But I've seen this
all before. It's the same old town I've lived in since the
day that I was born.