Wednesday, February 24, 2010


nigel reads a lot about girls his age. they don't wear bras. they are promiscuous and lascivious and they engage in sexual activity with men in the backs of vans or in the woods or in basements with rock and roll music blaring out of giant speakers. they have big hairy bushes and long straight hair and they wear miniskirts and knee high socks. nigel thinks about these girls and he imagines himself sitting with them on a couch and talking to them. in his mind he puts his hand on their legs and then he touches their vaginas and kisses them.   

but in reality none of it is possible. nigel is in borstal training with 74 other boys. bigger boys who bugger him in the showers, beat him while he sleeps, and urinate on his face and in his trunk.

nigel is dead in the day and in the night; only alive in the pages of his favourite magazine. 1969. the girls and the politics and the music. 19 years old and 19 months to go.

but today there is a new boy settling in to the bunk above his. his name is otto and he talks about his kit, which is his clothes. and his hair. he tells stories about scooters and protests and making love to german and french girls and girls who are from liverpool. he has smuggled in a syringe and he fills it with a drug called methylamphetamine. he injects it into his veins and he puts his arms up behind his head and he says "everything is okay."

nigel does not know what it is like to think that "everything is okay." so in the middle of the night he rummages through otto's bag and pilfers the contraband drugs and their associated paraphernalia. he hides under his blankets and tries to remember how otto did it. he makes mistakes and spills the methylamphetamine. he pokes himself with the needle and he bleeds. he cries. loud sobs and other boys come and they laugh at him and tell him to be quiet. nigel screams obscenities at the boys and he tries to bite a hole in his own wrist. he wants it to be over but he cannot break the skin.

in the following days nigel's relationship with otto flourishes. they are friends now. otto tells him that his uncle is a teacher at the borstal and explains that he can get a steady supply of methylamphetamine. he shows nigel how to do it properly.

nigel likes the way the methylamphetamine makes him feel. he is strong and "everything is okay." he uses it everyday and he writes letters to his parents and to people in the government and to his favourite magazine. 1969. he tells people that there is an answer. he wants people to know that there is an answer.

nigel loses weight and he cannot sleep at night. he does not think about girls his age anymore. he thinks about methylamphetamine. he wants more. he asks otto if he can have more. otto tells nigel to relax. he tells nigel that he is giving up the methylamphetamine. he tells nigel that the drug is ruining his brain.

nigel then has what some may describe as a psychotic episode. he strangles otto until otto is dead. he kicks otto's head and face. the other boys circle around. some of them laugh. nigel does not understand. soon he is transferred to the men's prison where he suffers alone for 19 more years.

it is now 1988 and nigel waits for a bus. the bus takes him to liverpool where he gets a job in a donut van. he rents a room in a house. the room is advertised as a converted garage but actually it is just a regular garage without a car in it. he finds an old stack of magazines and one of them is his old favourite. 1969. he opens it to the letters page and sees the one that he wrote all those years ago. methylamphetamine is the answer, his old self declares. he crosses the words out with a red pen and over the top he writes:

"methylamphetamine is not the answer"

and then

"the answer = promiscuous and lascivious girls with big hairy bushes"

the next day while working in the donut van nigel meets a girl. she is a scouser with long straight hair. she is wearing a miniskirt and knee high boots. "everything is okay," says nigel to the girl.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


former chicago bulls all-star scottie pippen has a big nose and an elongated head. basketball fans and casual observers have long attributed these awkward looks to genetics or to random weird lookingness. however, most scientists, and especially any chemist worth his or her damn, know/s there is more to it than that. they can tell, simply by the shape of his face and head, that scottie pippen is one of the rarest human beings alive; he is a natural producer of lanthanum. it gestates in his blood. it is absorbed by his bones. it infiltrates every cell in his body. it causes minor mutations and slightly above normal physical abilities. but more importantly, the lanthanum that grows inside of scottie pippen is harvestable.

recognizing this fact, and wanting to capitalize on it, over a dozen american, european, and asian nations court scottie pippen. they want to draw his blood. cut his hair. scrape his skin. collect his stool. and bottle his semen. they want to use the lanthanum that flows within scottie pippen to manufacture hybrid car batteries and other green technologies. they want to pay scottie pippen a lot of money in exchange for his biological gift.

but scottie pippen does not need the money and he does not want to be viewed as a freak. his image is important to him. even though he is a bit ugly in the face people tend to like scottie pippen. he is a nice person. he has done things in basketball and in life that very few others have even dreamed about. he does not want to ruin that legacy.

but scottie pippen gets migraines. his bones ache. sometimes he feels depressed. doctors believe the elevated levels of lanthanum are responsible for these neurological, physical, and emotional complications. scottie pippen thinks maybe some of these government scientists could help him control the lanthanum and its detrimental health effects. he agrees to meet with drs. pölönen of finland and magnusson of sweden. from his basketball days he learned the critical art of negotiation. negotiating with two external parties is ideal. more and things get confusing. one and you lose the upperhand.

so it is 2008 and scottie pippen travels to finland and then on to sweden. he still doesn't want the general public to know about his condition, or to be aware of any deals that may or may not be made in the coming weeks. so scottie pippen concocts a cover story. he will come out of retirement to play a few basketball games for topo in the finnish league and one for sundsvall, a swedish team. the scandinavian fans go crazy for scottie pippen. espn magazine writes a story about the comeback and how scottie pippen is really doing it for the kids. and nobody suspects a thing.

the meetings go well. the scientists and the government officials are excited. they offer scottie pippen long term deals with excellent remuneration packages. the doctors draw diagrams of the human body on a white board. they tell scottie pippen that his health will improve.

after the meetings scottie pippen sits with a woman in the hotel bar. she is from hamburg. that's funny to him because he is from hamburg too, but he is from hamburg arkansas, not hamburg germany. they talk about it and other things and it comes out that they also share the exact same birthday. he is attracted to her even though she has a big nose and an elongated head. she does not know about his basketball past. she likes him. they spend the night talking and kissing and he touches her boobs a little bit but they don't want to rush things. he feels good. he feels really good. his migraines are gone. his bones have stopped aching. he does not want to crawl under the covers and die.

scottie pippen calls the swedes and he calls the finns and he tells them that the deal is off. they decline the invitation to scottie pippen's wedding and they reopen discussions with china.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

car and a hose

alcohol methadone, knocked on the door but nobody's home. high on the streets now not on life. it's cold. used to be somebody telling people things but he never owned a car. something about cars in his head well he found his father and little brother dead in the back of one when he was a kid. that's probably it but aside from that he was okay. went to work every day in a suit, he had a girlfriend. she was cute and they lived together in an apartment. it was small and there were mice in the walls but they were happy and they cooked sometimes dinner or breakfast and they rented videos from the shop downstairs. then she was gone and instead of a beer in front of the tv he had two, he had three. kept missing the train and the rent was too much on his own and he didn't like to iron his clothes. what happened after that? nobody knows but now he's here and he's getting off the junk but it's hard, it's hard. he's weak in the body and he doesn't have any shoes and he wants to see a movie and sleep with a girl in a bed. he wants a friend who's not schizophrenic or otherwise fucked in the head. he wants new clothes and a job and a wife and a kid but he knows that waiting for him at the end of the road inside of a garage there will be a car and a hose.

Friday, February 12, 2010

easter hat parade

on the morning of my father's funeral there was an easter hat parade at my school. not my scene but the neighbour girl made a hat for me and my mum said i should go. go to the parade then come home. plenty of time before we headed out to the graveyard. it would be good for me and the girl would be disappointed if i did not wear her hat in the parade.

it wasn't a good hat. it looked like shaved pubic hair glued to a piece of cardboard with "ben's ester hat" scrawled across the front in crayon. i was embarrassed and i didn't want to wear it and when i got to school i guess the teacher had told all the kids about my dad because my friends were acting all weird and mrs stackfield hugged me and she cried. i put my headphones on.

when my dad came back from france he brought me a sony walkman. he always brought us presents when he came home from his trips. i only had one tape and it was unknown pleasures by joy division. actually it was my brother's tape but i stole it from him and i liked it so he said i could keep it.

then when that guy from joy division killed himself i hid in the garage and i yelled at my mum and i yelled at my dad and i yelled at my brother and i told them that i was going to hang myself because why did he kill himself. then my brother came in and he told me to stop fucking around because mum was upset and i told him that i was upset and then he said dad is dying.

i told him to cram it because i thought it was a trick because why would my dad die. he had a job and he was our dad and he brought us presents all the time because he liked to think about us and one time i heard my mum telling her friends that my dad was a genius. everybody liked my dad because he was funny like the time my friend chad from america said he didn't know his phone number and my dad said why don't you call your mum and ask and chad was mormon and dad told me all about how mormon kids are just like other kids except they believe in i forget what it is they believe in.

then my dad got sick and he really was dying because his eyes got messed up and he could see double and he couldn't kick the football with me any more. then he kept vomiting every morning and it didn't sound good because you could hear him in there retching all the time. he got skinny and the doctors said it was a brain tumour and then he died.

after that i listened to my joy division tape nonstop because it reminded me of him and also because it was still my only tape and also because i didn't want to talk to anyone. then after the hug mrs. stackfield told me to take my headphones off and she asked me about my hat. i told her jesus christ, no i did not make it and she said it was cute and not to say jesus christ and i said since my dad just died could i listen to my sony walkman and she said no and i figured that was about right because there aren't really any benefits to your dad dying as far as i can tell.

i thought i might toss the hat in the rubbish bin but then i saw the neighbour girl and she had a hat almost the same except hers said "lucy's easter hat" and that made me kind of mad even though she was a little girl because why could she spell easter right on her hat but on my hat she messed it up. she smiled at me and asked me if i liked my hat and i said it was cute and i told her i was going to wear it.

during the easter hat parade my hat was the worst one as predicted. everybody looked at me and i guess they were thinking about how terrible my hat was and that i must not have been able to make a nice hat because my dad died.

then i went home and we rode to the graveyard in a black car behind the hearse and it had leather seats. i looked out the back and there were a bunch of cars following us. they all had their lights on and we drove really slow. then at the funeral i couldn't believe how many people were there. i kept thinking wow this is a good turnout and i didn't cry. i felt kind of bad because you're supposed to cry at a funeral and i looked up at mum and she was crying and then the priest told her to pick up some sand and sprinkle it onto the coffin. she didn't sprinkle it though, she picked up the sand and chucked it really hard like she was mad at dad for dying which i guess she probably was. i wasn't mad at him. i thought about going back to the car to get my sony walkman but i decided i better not.

after the funeral we went back home because i guess we didn't have a wake or anything and there was a giant easter basket sitting on our doorstep. those big chocolate bunnies that i like and it was a really sunny day.

on thursdays i feed the ducks

he comes into her life, and into her vagina, on a thursday. he is at the lake with a boy and they are laughing because their remote control boat has somehow capsized. just out of reach so the man rolls up his pants and wades into the murky water.

"careful," she yells. "the bottom is slippery."

the man pretends to fall and he laughs and he is okay. he grabs the boat and returns it to the boy. the boy shakes the water loose and tests the engine. another voyage is begun.

"hi," says the man and she chats with him and the young boy follows the boat around to the other side of the lake.

"on thursdays i feed the ducks," she says and he smiles and then another woman is there. the woman is pretty/ugly, short skirt and a tattoo that runs lengthways up her calf. "books are gay" it proclaims in a cursive font. the woman says something to the man and the man points to the boy and says "he's got some spanish left."

the woman rolls her eyes and heads off towards the boy.

"ex-wife," the man explains.

then something strange. the sky and grass and the wind and darkness and light and sandwiches and music and trousers. it is a spaceship and it doesn't land it just floats there and then they are inside and the aliens are people and they are all burt reynolds and sally field. sally field approaches, gently takes her hand, and escorts her into a room with walls of light. burt reynolds takes him to another room, also with walls of light.

"what's happening?" she asks.

"what's going on?" he asks.

"we won't hurt you," says sally field.

"it's okay," says burt reynolds.

then sally field and burt reynolds talk to their prisoners. separately, in their separate rooms.

"we are freshmen in college," they say. "and we are conducting an experiment for our psychology class."

"okay," she says

"college?" he asks.

"we have an offer for you. an opportunity. we are presenting this offer to each of you separately. you must answer our questions on your own. you must not consult with your friend."  

"what's going on?" she asks. 

"what's happening?" he asks.

"we are giving you a choice," says sally field. says burt reynolds. "choice one. we will give you each ten million dollars and we will set you free. you will never hear from us again."

"okay," she says.

"sounds good," he says.

"choice two. we will kill your friend. then we will set you free and you will never hear from us again."

"the first one," she says.

"number one," he says.

"but there are rules," says burt reynolds. says sally field. "you must answer on your own. if you both choose option one, then that's good. you will both get the ten million. we will spare both of your lives. if only one of you chooses option one, we will kill only that person. the other will get to go down the bouncy slide and walk out of here. without any money, of course."

"that doesn't sound good," she says.

"seems a bit harsh," he says.

"if you both choose option two, then we won't kill anybody. you will both live. we will set you free."

"seems confusing," she says.

"i don't get it," he says.

"it's simple," says sally field. says burt reynolds. 

"no, i don't get it," she says.

"it seems confusing," he says. "option two. it's hard to follow."

sally field says "hold on." she leaves the room.

burt reynolds says "wait a minute." he joins sally field outside the rooms with walls of light.

"i told you," says burt reynolds.

"bullshit," says sally field. all you said was that you wanted an anal probe option in there instead of the killing.

"stupid humans," says burt reynolds. "what are we going to do?"

"fuck," says sally field. "i need an 80 on this assignment or i'm going to fail and i'm not going back to summer school again."

"what about the ducks?" says burt reynolds. "they'll get it."

"yeah, okay," says sally field. "fuck it." she points to a video screen that shows two ducks bobbing around in the lake. "grab those two."

now she's back on the ground, standing next to the lake again. he is next to her.

"that was weird," she says.

"totally," he says.

they talk about other things and they go back to her house and make love in her bed. 

it's ten years later now and they are drunk on champagne. they talk about the day they met. "i would have chosen option one," he says. "what would you have done?"

"there weren't any ducks," she says. "you chose option two."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

stay free taylor swift

taylor swift is a STAR. a street transvestite action revolutionary who sluts her cock out for money. she saves up enough cash to rent a house on the lower east side of new york and she invites dozens of other queens to live in the house. she is their mother and she buys them food and clothes and she tells them they do not need to prostitute their bodies to survive because she will do it for them. she continues to slang her wang to protect her children and she is a pioneer and a leader and an activist and things are changing for the better.

now it is June 28, 1969, still night time but morning, and there are riots at the stonewall inn in greenwich village. taylor swift is there and she is confronted by the police and she sings:

"Because these things will change
Can you feel it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
This revolution, the time will come
For us to finally win
And we’ll sing hallelujah, well sing hallelujah

Tonight we stand, get off our knees
Fight for what we’ve worked for all these years
And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives

But we’ll stand up champions tonight"

upon hearing her inspirational words and commanding voice the village residents immediately organize into activist groups. their goal is to establish places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested. taylor swift fights hard, even within these organizations themselves, for the inclusion of transvestite and drag queen agendas. gay rights organizations soon spring up across the country and around the world. all thanks to taylor swift.

now it is 1992 and people who are walking see a body floating in the hudson river. they point and they yell and they call the police. a passerby recognizes the body. it is taylor swift. she is dead and the police, they say it is a suicide. jumped from the west village piers.

the queens and the gays and her family do not believe it was a suicide. they honor taylor swift by carrying on her legacy and each year on the anniversary of her death they throw flowers and feathers into the river and they look to the sky and they say "stay free, taylor swift. stay free."

and the sky looks back down upon taylor swift's family, and it sings in a familiar voice:

Monday, February 01, 2010

Grand Requiem for Praying Equally for All to Untie the Knots of Unjust Suffering

she lives in a room in a house with nothing; with nobody. terribly alone and she eats cereal three times a day and apples. she reads a lot with her face very close to the page. her glasses are cracked and her life is broken but she is okay because she has thích nhất hạnh. thích nhất hạnh is a buddhist monk and he is an author. she reads the things that thích nhất hạnh has written. she believes in them and she thinks about them and some of his books are in vietnamese. she lines the books up against the wall and she squats in the corner and meditates. she clears her mind of the bad things; she tunes out the sounds of the buses that keep her awake at night. she tells herself that her mind is the window in her room. it cannot close. she lets the birds fly in.

the next day she gets up off her mattress with a purpose. she will start her own school of youth for social services right here in her neighbourhood. she drinks some water.

she will talk to people and get them involved. together they will rebuild things. they will setup schools. they will build hospitals. they will find beds and tables and refrigerators for homeless people. they will rally against violence and war.

she doesn't have any apples. the milk is spoiled. she will have to talk to people tomorrow. today she will go to the library and ask if the new mindfulness bell is in. it probably isn't in yet. she will stay inside today. she's hungry and so she will read.

there is a biography of thích nhất hạnh. he is the dharmacharya now. he lives in the plum village monastery in the dordogne region in the south of france. he travels and he prays and he meditates and he is happy. he hosts retreats for famous actors and people who are not famous. she squats again in her corner and she chants. she prays for the wellbeing of the famous actors and the people who are not famous. she knows that everybody is connected; their happiness is important to her.
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