I have looked at your blog and if I did not know you I would describe your digital persona IRL as looking like:
1. a small wet piece of paper stuck to the sidewalk, with frozen loogie on top.
2. a frog covered in spaghetti
3. a bird that opens like a book when it flaps but its organs look like mushrooms
4. a lemon-soaked velvet painting rendered by an essentially violent child.
The hall was a long linoleum one; empty for all 800 feet. Stepping off the classroom carpet onto the tappable floor and the stripped bulletin board, the far wall at left pulled people out like fishing line, so she sprinted.
Out in the yard was only a tree and Stuart. He was wearing leather shoes that looked like wearing packing crates and she wondered whether he kissed like a dog, or like a snake or like a goat.
Stuart felt the lacing sensation along the south continent of his pectorals. He was usually more on the flaccid side of tender, but this was a hard combination. Approaching her: slugs of saliva on his tongue, vague retinal itching, a couple hairs along the underjaw becoming the little green worms that appear in hot weather; his hands felt too big.
“Hey.” He touched where her elbow ended. She started to swing and her bag passed in front of her, kneading the flab on his belly.
I sort of always thought that somewhere along the line I would understand a thing or two about the motivations of bugs.
I see now that the likelihood of this being the case is slim.
We live underneath the oppressive misconception that everyone wants to be good. I would argue, rather, that everyone wants to appear to be good. Charlie Falkins was a prime example.
Naturally I have better things to do than talk about other people, but I’ve reached a point where my memory banks seem to be clogging, and so I’m practicing a sort of narrational draino. I’m tired of thinking about Charlie instead of remembering to buy toilet paper. So here’s the true story of this little toot in tootality.
Sometimes people have a middle name in quotations marks, which we’re meant to understand as being a pet name given them by criminal brothers or doting aunts. Charlie’s quotation mark middle name was Civil, which being of opaque origins was nonetheless true. I emphasize the capital C, whose shape his body tracked in all the zeniths of his speeches: first high up, then pressed against the table to swing back through his vowels; swooping forward just above his paper, like a kingfisher, to deliver the last, nailing word. This word generally had a moral bowel that was fairly heavily constipated. This was not something he knew how to cure, and that made him seem earnest, and good, if a bit outdated. He smiled with genuine leather crows nests. He tipped waiters generously, and only pointed at birds or vistas. When directing at a person, he would make a gentle, walnut-shaped fist, and let his thumb protrude in their direction. He had a crisp memory from childhood of a gruff man touching his ear and saying “cute kid” to his mother. She opened a vaseline smile and said paternally, “yes, he’ll be a lovely goat.”
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.
She came in and sighed like a public bus. She wasn’t going to the party because “no one fun was going to be there” Stacy was going to the party and wondered if this was a direct or an indirect insult. She then wished that she was the kind of person for whom others would going to a party because “Stacy will be there”.
"But I’ll be there!" Stacy said. The girl replied, "yeahh." And Stacy decided that she didn’t like herself enough to go out anymore. She called her mother and told her about a new blouse that in fact she hadn’t bought because she had to pay for the medication to cure the clap. Her mother was excited to see it when Stacy came home. On the kitchen line, her Dad picked up. "Bring us back some sausages" he said. Did that secretly mean that they were ashamed she did not have a boyfriend? Stacy assumed this was the sausage case.
"I used to have a roommate named Stacy" said the boyfriend of the girl who did not like parties where no one was fun. "She was asian though."
Stacy was not asian, she was just a kind of middling white with hair that she said was blonde even though it was the colour of old dishwater and she didn’t even highlight it this season. Stacy said, “that’s cool.” Which everyone knew it overarchingly was not. Everyone in the house but she smoked. She thought it smelled like rotten logs on fire but never complained upfront. It seemed unfair that she had the worst dental health in the building - she was so careful about it.
Emily had owed her a manicure for eight months, and in that period of time her nails had only briefly looked better that battered caterpillars. If she looked at the word caterpillar the image was of a pillar of cats using all their legs in unison against a skyline. They went to a place on Bloor street the looked like a waiting room for a doctor whose specialty was neon diseases. Emily had met her boyfriend Martin on a tour guided youth-only Eurotrip -a kind of social lubricant driven Catherine wheel of historic landmarks designed for the enthusiastic establishment of geographically inconvient romances.
It is an unfortunate truth that strangers are not, in fact, guaranteed to be friends you’ve never met, sandwiches or no. That reality chains us to facts two and three: there is no free lunch, and there is no blue 2013 Mitzubishi sedan in a hidden parking lot.
I went into Mutual Street Deli around 3pm on a Monday afternoon having walked there for no particular reason but a hangover and a vague notion that it was ‘the right diner’. There was an old eastern European couple cooking and serving, and they reminded me of “generic charming old guy with bad job” and “Candace Bergman in an unfortunate circumstance” respectively, so it seemed promising. The lights were dim and the apolstery was like one of Kramer’s shirts around season 1 or 2, not yet washed. Tuna salad was on the menu but they were out of tuna. “Yes”, I thought, “Correct.” A man called me over to sit with him and two younger guys, he said he’d pay for my food. I thought, “no” which was also what I said. I added that I was sick. He yelled, “we want your sick!” And I turned away. The young ones explained the merits of leaving me alone over twenty minutes. The caller argued about the rudeness of my rejection. They debated whether or not I looked like his relative. He ordered three more shots of rye until they left him.
I am not a person who gets out of booths easily. In this case I had slouched into a half-crawl, window-gazing position with my forehead parallel to the counter. I saw his big grey sweatpants under the table.
"Can I sit down? I’m. Exhausted."
"I been walkin around lookin for this car I gave it to my wife last year but she, I mean I loved her but you know I loved this other woman too and my wife’d had a boyfriend for years anyway so me and this woman were engaged she was driving this car to the trailer from town and to the penitentary I was innocent though right? They’re all embarrassed about it now they don’t even want me, I shouldn’t even exist for them! Right? So me and this lady were engaged but I just wanna get married but I need a house and this car. I need you, if you know any real estate agents?"
"I don’t know I mean there’s the people on the signs on lawns you can call"
"I need a good one though. Cuz I’ve got some money and I want a condo. You gotta have a house, you gotta have a car. I need a view right? I’m not gonna just sit in some box without a view you know I’m a real guy. And I just want a wife. I’d like you to be my wife we can talk about that but this car it’s a 2013 blue Mitsubishi and I left it in one of these parking lots I been walking around looking for it all day. Please can I sit down please I’m exhausted."
"I have to go soon, but okay."
"Tell me a code name because I don’t - I don’t even know your name but I knew you were gonna be able to help me like I knew you were the right person I don’t wanna ruin this, what we have, with your name so just tell me a code name."
"JEEZ that is sexy. Man you’re…you’re amazing. Because you didn’t just come over. You waited for me to come to you. That shows: love, that shows patience, that shows you’re caring."
"I really have to tell you I just wanted to eat a sandwich and I was indifferent."
"No no. Back when I was young you know I used to pretend that you know because we’ve been hurt we do that. You’ve been hurt a lot in your life. Maybe not like, like I have this face right now because I got punched and we’ve been hurt in different ways but you’ve been hurt more than me I can see that."
"My life’s been pretty relaxed honestly."
"My business partner he showed me about the way hurt people are? They act different because we’re like animals. Back in like ‘82 you know - he’s a crackhead now - but back in ‘82 this guy was just the man. He was heavy. He just came in, this was in New York this wasn’t here."
"Do you know The Artist Formerly Known as Prince? We used to hang out with him and at that time Prince was stripping to get his career off the ground. I try to get in touch with him he’s just - he’s just rude I dunno why. But Prince really respected this guy. I’m not trying to brag right I just mean I’m not talking for no reason here."
Like most women, I enter all diners expecting a man to pay for my chicken salad sandwich along with the shot of rye he ordered me, but I was starting to think that this was more than I was used to volleying with. Where was the out? This man was so wide and I was so distracted by his fat lip and rosacia I kept forgetting to make an exit. Schizophrenia at its most rampant is a kind of beautiful performance of paranoia prophecy and fantasy and I liked this man for calling himself Billy B and having a civil suit of $1 Billion that he filed 20 years ago for the wrongful imprisonment he’d bought his fiance he was cheating on his wife with a now misplaced 2013 mitzubishi to visit him for.
"I’d really like to have a friendship with you. I think we could really have a great friendship because we’ve been through the same stuff, and I mean I don’t wanna talk about that. I don’t wanna talk about that shit I just want you to call me up and say “where are ya?” An’ I say “I’m just in Barrie” and you say “I wanna go buy a bush today come pick me up!” You know and I just drive in and we just hang out like that you know just do whatever. I’m not tryin to get you to marry me cuz I’m old and I’m fat now look at me. Right? Those guys over there were into you but I said “leave her alone” you know “she wants to be alone” I just knew we were gonna be friends.”
"Sure. I’ve got to meet that professor though so I’m gonna go."
"Ok yeah listen I’m sorry you know for just chattin your ear off here. But I know stuff people would be interested in, right? I gotta tell stuff people shoudl know. So I’m here, you have my number. Just tell six friends about me."
The train came in and everybody asked they said
"it’s just the smell of leaves burning on the tracks"
'and the only beautiful thing in the 10 foot basement with bad flouresense and broken water fountains and me in the bathroom pouring whiskey into a bottle while my purse breaks and a short man in a grey suit is holding a white cylinder that he can't put down because it would look like he was suckling it'
And then moving - a corn field with a little party of geese and suddenly someone’s home
24 legged power poles
that light where the sun gilds out and the clouds are suit coloured and further
north there’s some town shooting out like freckles or something and
when you pass the electricity for a second there’s just two, so thick
I’m sure there is a recipe for rashing love on everyone that isn’t whiskey and a train entering night but so far this one comes out the crispiest
And seriously I love you a lot like more than eating french fries in a canoe or when the river is 17 degrees okay maybe not both combined but imagine if you and I were in a canoe eating french fries and the river was 17 degrees
I would be so happy I wouldn’t complain about anything for so long I wouldn’t even think about how long it had been.