Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tapped laboriously into my iPhone

Profanity represents our inner voice. It's as crucial a part of our language as all the flowery adjectives Shakespeare made up. Fuck, shit, cunt; these are power words, as forceful and vivid as a blow to the head.

Much as I loathe him in general I prefer the President Bush that calls a reporter an asshole; this honest vulgarity is more genuine than his sad attempt at eloquence.

Much as I remember her lofty descriptions of French cooking, I like the Julia Child who says some cooking beans are "hot as a stiff cock," because it implies that in her zest for life she saw a few.

Much as it shocked me and all the other apathetic students I like the teacher who urges her students to do things that "fucking matter," because it means she felt strongly enough to say it!

Somebody once told me that if you can't go without swearing it means you're incapable of expressing yourself any other way. I call bullshit--of course I can express myself in another way. But if I am close enough to you to swear openly and often, that makes you more than an audience for eloquence. It makes you a Goddamn equal. Bush told his colleague the reporter was an "asshole" because he trusted him; Julia said "cock" to her beloved husband; the professor roared "fuck" to make her students KNOW!

Profanity is ugly. Profanity is beautiful. Profanity is god-damned, mother-fucking power.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gazing out at the tapestry of light down below, the Hancock Building's 95th-floor window pressed cold upon my forehead, I notice three things:

1) The white lights flanking parallel streets create a sort of titanic runway, leading to the edge of town, speckled with SUVs that, at this height, are fuel-inefficient ants.

2) The nature of the lighting in this extravagantly expensive bar makes a ghostly image above the real city, phantom lights trying in vain to be half as spectacular as our city's addiction to electricity.

3) My fifteen-dollar cocktail is empty and some of it is on my tuxedo.

Oh, how I love Chicago.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"Tell me," I wheeze, cinching my cummerbund shut, as she squirms her way lithe and uncomfortable into something slinky across from me: "why do women make us wear tuxedos?"

She considers, straps limp off her shoulders. "Revenge."

"Revenge?" I repeat, hunting for my tie. She presses herself to my side, dangles it away from my face.

"For corsets."


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mel does not go on many dates

“I have never understood,” he said, every word punctuated by a gesture with his fork, “why romance novels always have adultery.”

Mel peered at him over the rim of her wineglass. “Huh?”

“It’s like a fucking requirement. If you want a romantic story, there has to be an unsatisfying relationship which is—“ and here he swept his arms out dramatically. “—rent asunder by the awesome power of true love and great sex.”

Mel watched the fork. A tiny granule of veal, shaken free by the endless jerks and weaves, dropped interminably towards the tablecloth.

“Why is that?” He asked, the fork’s prongs jabbing the air in front of her.


“You’re a writer, right?”

“Well, I, uh, try—“ she started.

“So why is that? I mean, hasn’t anyone heard of convention? What’s wrong with normalcy?”

“It’s boring,” she said, eyes on her wine.

“Boring.” He repeated. “How d’you mean?”

“We-ell…housewives read romance novels. Lonely girls read them. People who are—who think they are way too…normal read them. So, they want something unconventional. Convention is boring.”

“I like it,” he replied. The fork had not moved.

“And you’re boring,” she mumbled—to her horror—loudly enough to be heard.

The silence was agonizing. Mel watched the fork, misshapen and yellowed through the wine, slowly lower to the tabletop. She downed the rest of her glass in one gulp.

She tried an apologetic smile, but it probably wasn’t very sincere.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Only Nana could get away with saying it

Practically buried in fur, crowned with white hair, and as airily as a debutante: "We're going to go down and hobknob."

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Happier Mel

"How can you find such beauty in mediocrity?"

She looked at the folds of his jacket crumbled behind his head, every fold a crevice in which Lint Monsters lurked; she glanced to the dreary gray sky and remembered the complicated change from vapor to liquid to snow; she felt the contrast of cold breeze on one hand and the heat of her Starbuck's cup in the other.

Sunbeams, somewhat dingy from the clouds, gleamed off the rim of his glasses in a little explosion of light.

"How can you not?" She replied.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Honestly when will she run out of money

She sits wreathed in smoke, her own personal fog machine, like some depressing variation on Caroll's Caterpillar. To inhale beside her is to breathe menthol and tar; to listen to hear voice is to hear cancer having a party.

She's been sitting--no, hunching--there so Goddamn long I wonder if she's got a catheter hidden somewhere under her dress. If you can call it a dress; it seems too shabby for that, as old and fake and gaudy as the fading hotels at the extreme ends of the Strip. Her face is a mass of unpleasantness and lines (frown-lines, never smile-lines). She busts, she scowls; she hits a natural blackjack, she scowls; she loses her entire stack, she pulls out another bill and scowls.

All around me, The Stratosphere radiates joy, happy place vibes, the dingdingding! of slot machine victory.

This blackjack table is the Truth of Vegas: old. Ugly. Cold.

I back away, hearing cheers from the craps table.

I think I prefer the Dream to the Reality.