Thursday, January 29, 2015


Series Three: 

Americans Are The Very Most Important People in the World

 America!  I am putting my queer shoulder to the wheel! -- Allen Ginsberg

Can a muffin truly be AMAZING?  Even if it is made with cream cheese.  Like, does it talk?  Does it reproduce through mitosis?  Can it infallibly predict the future?  Does it cure baldness?  Can it restore the permafrost?  Whatever happened to words like tasty and delicious?  Why is it necessary to say of a muffin, that it is totally worth it, even though you may burn in hell forever, just for sniffing it?  Is it that we have grown so insatiable, so ravenous, that we struggle to imagine what ever might possibly satisfy us?  So that we think -- hey, how about a phenomenally awesome muffin?

This.  Please excuse this note out of the blue.  I absolutely loved ( meeting / seeing ) you a few weeks ago.  Thank you so much.  Did my heart a world of good!  I understand, too, that you are overwhelmingly busy now.  The work you are doing is so important -- certainly it’s no surprise that you are rising in the ranks!  Listen, I understand that you are phenomenally busy but, if you ever have time to get together again, I would feel be delighted.  I hope you are happy and well.  Thanks again.

Not This.  I feel a little pathetic for writing again, since you didn’t answer my last email, but you are so lovely and I really did enjoy having ( lunch / sex / drinks / drugs / conversation ) with you.  It’s probably unlikely, but I sure would feel lucky if you wanted to see me again.  I hope you are happy, creative and flourishing.  It isn’t actually that easy to make friends in this city, is it?  No pressure.

Not This, Either.  Sorry, you didn’t answer my last email, but I’m trying one more time.  Please don’t feel the least bit guilty!  To tell the truth, at least a dozen other people had the same response.  In fact it’s unanimous.  I am a person worth seeing precisely once.  If that.  I’ve always had a low opinion of my personality and level of charm.  Not low enough, it turns out.  I admit that, no matter how much I think about it, I honestly can’t figure out exactly what is so wrong with me.  I mean, I know lots of whiny, angry, unpleasant people who have TONS of friends.  (OK, most of them have money.  Not all.)  I know there are plenty of things wrong with me, but I can’t figure out what’s SO wrong.  You probably don’t want to see me again but, if you did ever think of a use for me, I would be happy.  Because you seemed really wonderful.  Not just because I am lonely and semi-desperate.  Alternately, you could help me understand what is so wrong with me.  Because I admit I don’t get it.  Is it my ( looks / breath / speech patterns / odd tics / self-absorption / self-dramatization / increasingly evident desperation ) ?  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this overly long message.  I hope you are serene amid your expanding role at work and your ever-increasing level of importance.  Blessings.

Definitely Not This.  I loved spending time with you.  Stupidly I thought I’d get another chance.  Presumably you just couldn’t think of any way that I could benefit you or augment your ( resume / importance / self-esteem / physique ).  I understand that I am an underwhelming sort of person.  On the other hand, ( attention / a listening ear / a blowjob / six and a half inches ) isn’t nothing!  Please remember that I am here for you at any time.  Remember, too, that lots of people have somewhat pathetic friends just so they can feel better about themselves.  Why shouldn’t you?  Nowadays everyone shops online.  They shop only all the time.  I even feel like people are shopping while they sit across from me at the table. As I speak, I believe that in their minds they are going click, click, click and are wondering why I am still there.  Just me, without any stupendous parts or attachments, without money or credentials, without any obvious benefit or use.  That said, it’s not true that I am good for nothing at all.  I am able to do first-rate copy-editing, basic gift-wrapping, food prep, heavy lifting, errand running.  I can fuck or get fucked.  If you put your mind to it I’m sure you could think of way you could use me for your own pleasure, importance or convenience.  Then I could see you again.  I recognize that you are almost certainly too busy and important to respond.  God bless!

This old guy here, white hair sticking out the edges of his red baseball cap, heavy glasses, reading off a device, drinking out of his blue to-go mug.  When he sat down he was talking to no one in particular about LOSERS and MORONS.  His ear buds are in, big duffle bag on the floor, a briefcase on the chair across from him and, on the table in front of him, standing on its end, is THE HOLY BIBLE, black, embossed in gold, with his business card propped against the lower corner, as though he sees himself as the very front desk of Truth with a capital-T.  He takes a sip from his blue mug now and calls out to the world.  “It’s true!  Adam and Eve are my relatives.  Yours, too!  Adam and Eve are my great great great great great great great great great great great. . .  (This is where he gets stuck.)

Instead of sending notes, it may be better if I just leave the country.  Certainly it’s less humiliating.  I look forward to feeling lonely in a place where I don’t feel defective as well.  The really weird thing is that for years I thought the reason to return to America would be to have relationships.  You know, to be with people.  I thought that would be really fabulous and deeply meaningful and would totally make up for, you know, the food and the health-care system and everyone talking about how great they are all the time.  But this has turned out to be superstition.

To continue, please swipe your credit card.  Paypal is also accepted.  As are offers of food or refuge.  Sexual favors and/or access.  Original works of art.  Opiates, benzos, anything that cures the Clap.  Free rides.  Gift certificates.  Liquor, especially whiskey.  Please no white wine.  It is accurate to say that sexual favors are highly encouraged.  As is driving over with cash.  Assistance in publication.  Snacks, especially savory ones.  It’s totally enough if you just hang around naked.  You could at least say something encouraging.

American public toilets are designed to prevent acts of promiscuity and perversity.  The odd result of this is that it’s impossible, almost anywhere in America, to take a dump without someone being able to watch you.  There’s always a crack between the walls of the stall, as well as a huge gap between the stall and the floor.  Evidently Americans believe that, if it was actually possible to take a crap in actual privacy, people would just go berserk.  I wonder what Americans think when they go to countries where it is possible to shit in a public toilet without anyone being able to watch.  Lots of countries have toilets like that.  I’ve had sex in many of them.  Of course this behavior is not sanctioned.  However, in other countries, it seems tacitly recognized that, like pissing, shitting and vomiting, sex is one of the emergencies to which the human body is prone.  Public conveniences are built for private urgencies; sex is one of them.  Seriously, people: if the act can be completed in less than ten minutes with a minimum of side effects -- what’s the harm?  Sincerely yours, yr local predatory homosexual.

It seems to me that the number of Americans talking out loud to themselves is now at unprecedented levels.  The use of devices camouflages this somewhat.  This lady here is one of my favorites, quite elegant in her long white coat and tall hair.  She looks like she went on a spree at an upscale department store, then spent the next 36 hours riding roller coasters.  Somewhere she found a white cassette tape and now, whenever she feels a tirade coming on, she talks urgently into it, all while holding it like a harmonica.  She’s acting almost like everyone else really, just two tiny degrees to the left.

Nothing makes me despair as surely as the declarative American voice.  The we’re-doing-business-here voice.  The terrible drone of this is what we can expect and these are my credentials and this is the five year plan.  Other people do not find this excruciating.  They find it respectable.  This slash and burn approach to time.  For a long time I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.  When I arrived at the coffeeshop I was just an adorable misfit poet in search of a muffin and free refills.  Four coffees and overheard conversation later, I am willing to set myself on fire if I can smoke these bastards out.  Where oh where is the 800 number by which we may sign up to be nefarious?  Anything but this bullying importance, this toxic progress.  Excuse me, gentlemen.  Sorry to interrupt.  There is going to be a 20 minute delay in the destruction of the world.  (I just pissed in your gas tank.)

Americans, it goes without saying, wish to be important and successful.  This is what one is supposed to want, automatically, like world peace and healthy full-to-term pregnancies.  Just the same, if I agree to skip success and importance, aren’t I helping everyone out?  The millions seeking to be number one have one person less with whom to contend.  In this, the no-time in which we have left, would it really be so offensive if I paid no attention to winning, if I just paid careful attention and filled in where necessary?  Couldn’t one less number one be a small breath of relief, like a very minor breeze in a hot room?

It’s true there are highlights.  Such as that moment when an American, about to go down on you, turns around his baseball cap.

Tantra is for beginners.  The advanced spiritual practices are as follows.  If he never sends me a message, I’m good with that.  If they disapprove, it’s all right.  If she never responds, it isn’t a problem.  If I am not asked to join, that’s all good.  If he says bad things about me, I don’t mind at all.  If I’m never recognized, no bother.  If they never praise me, that’s cool.  If I am never asked in, I’m good with that.  If he doesn’t want me, it’s fine.  If they want to blame me, they have my permission.  If she never writes me a letter, that’s OK!  It’s not a problem if they never include me.  If he doesn’t love me, I’m fine.


Metta said...

Given the choice between having the most incredibly hot body and the best creative writing skills, the writer gets laid more often because smartphone hookup apps are all about writing skills.

Metta said...

"It seems to me that the number of Americans talking out loud to themselves is now at unprecedented levels"

Why is it so difficult for people to connect two simple dots? The US had a nuclear bomb and tetraethyl lead fest spreading neurotoxic waste at unprecedented levels peaking in the early 1970s. Now a whole generation of horribly poisoned people is walking around insane while the crooked, murdering bastards protect their liability.