A royal personage was making a tour through his provinces and noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to his own exalted person. He beckoned to him and asked: ‘Was your mother at one time in service in the Palace?’ ‘No, your Highness,’ was the reply, ‘but my father was.’The original ancient Roman Yo Mama joke. Mary Beard, quoting Freud quoting Macrobius’s Saturnalia. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/jul/17/isnt-it-funny (via wordskillz)
The world is quiet. It’s just a power outage. I open the window. It cracks as the sealed paint breaks. Outside, cars are honking and something dramatic is happening. I light a cigarette and my cat appears. He’s in love with tobacco. He slices through the trail of smoke, unaware of the drama outside. We both are. It occurs to me that I could walk and find out what’s going on and smoke at the same time. I can see people on the street, their faces stricken.
The cat jumps into the window and makes a loaf of himself. His tail flips in agitation. He knows as much as I do. We’re sealed in here together. It’s dark and I flick my lighter and smell the released fluid. Headlights crawl across the ceiling as a car passes. I should make something of myself, go out into the street and figure out what’s going on. I could light a candle or turn on my battery powered lamp, but I just sit. The cat rises, his eyes better than mine in the dark. I look at his feline pupils and they are wide open. The honking has stopped and is replaced with a murmur. There are screams and in the distance a siren revs up and down. Distant flashes silently illuminate the room and the cat flinches. More people are in the street, some of them yelling what must be useful information to the others. I have an urge to do the dishes, but I realize in the dark I would only know they are clean by feel. There’s something attractive about the idea of running the tips of my fingers over the smooth soapy surface. I could even clean them once and return in the morning to finish the job. Wheels screech and a car zooms past with another flash. There are distressed yells and the definite noise of metallic impact down the street somewhere. The cat’s ears flutter and he bunches up into a tighter loaf. I stood when I thought of the dishes and walked to the middle of the room, so I’m far away from the window and can’t see the street. I also can’t return to the window. There isn’t any clarity in that inability. I feel that I could just walk to the cat and the window and look down the street to the corner, from where the sounds are now emanating.
It occurs to me that my cat is seeing more than I am. I want him to talk to me. The only way I’ll be able to understand the events transpiring is through him. Similar to the way he crawls on my back and kneads my muscles, his paws not quite strong enough to push out the tense knots buried there but he communicates to me. I’m staring at him and he’s frozen. We both are.
There is a vague sense of movement in the street. In an attempt to reach out and understand where the only other being I am in touch with - the one curled against my side in the morning when tension and damage have destroyed my ability to turn the lock in the front door and enter the street - is and whether we have both moved off into our own worlds. I walk to the window and pick him up. I lift his large warm body onto my shoulder, where many times before he has clung in pleasure. We will walk away from this window together. Turn our backs on the world and create a unit of two, furry and warm with claws and fingers and conversations in a mixture of meows and movement. That’s when I feel him fail and he falls and my hand catches his claw and many types of pain and ignorance make themselves present. He quivers and twitches and I lay him down and wonder abstractly if I can heal him. If the unit is gone. Pathetic attempts at revival give way to an acceptance that I am alone. Blood runs down my hand. His belly lies impassive and soft. A bright flash again fills the room. I took three steps before he died. As the light grows brighter I imagine that the morning has come. Brighter, and I realize that what the light is moving into is beyond day. Another moment and as I am consumed by light and fire I think about those three steps and how I could have left him in that window and how if I never chose to dream of connection we would still be here. There is no chance to think beyond that.
'Bombing for peace'http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/11/07/obama-bombs-yemen-hours-after-winning-reelection/ (via wordskillz)
I emerged from 31st onto bright streets, lit up like day and suddenly I felt the danger of a world where the scale is not evenly balanced. I’d been wandering around in the dark. A set of rules based on mutual destruction and a sense of chivalry that seem misplaced and that will disappear given time, governed all passersby. And they were few. There were no gathered throngs. Though I was told on previous evenings the situation hadn’t been filled with so much solitude. It felt like a world of loneliness. Lights that had previously lit up signs advertising random crap, silenced, and in that there is a certain freedom. In the tall buildings swathed in darkness, freedom. The brotherhood of those who’d venture into the dark because of the sense of adventure, freedom. We can’t spend too much time glaring at each other in this familial world. Nothing can describe the sensation of a world out of context. Even the most astute, literate, and fascinating explanation would come flat. To look at buildings that have never stood dark for more than a few hours or at most a day and to be able to tell that it will continue to sit dark. It is a back lot. Artifice crumbles in the face of experience, yet it thrives in the dark.
I yelled at Hunter S. Thompson. Something about his book, the one that I am reading. And then I used the restroom and there was a bloody zebra in there and I told that bloody zebra to bite me, because zebras are mean and they bite and kick and they don’t take prisoners. So she “bit” me and I scoffed at her and she took me seriously and she bit me hard the second time and I caught my breath as it released from my chest and it came out in a whooshing sssshhhhhttt and suddenly she, the zebra, was ashamed and all the air left the room and we needed to each escape that vacuum. So I entered the stall and she disappeared.
Outside of that microcosm, in between the bathroom and the rest of the bar, I discovered that Hunter was her boyfriend and the shame meant something to me, suddenly. My neck still throbbed with the bite she’d taken. She was indeed a zebra. He was not Hunter, as he was simply mimicking Hunter. It is doubtful that anyone challenged him to be a drunk, drugged-up degenerate to live up to the stupid hat and awkward shorts he had donned.
Later, I received the love confessions of Lady Gaga and Powdered Toast Man, as they reported to me that they loved people they were not with and displayed to me that they were seeking secondary situations that didn’t include the ones they ultimately loved. Halloween. We are all in masks.
On the subway platform, some young woman in green with a laurel on her head talked about how I was interesting because I was not dressed in some outfit for Halloween. Masks. Pretentious reports. I also have a nose. Goodnight world. Time to pet the cat and sleep. Soundly.
His hands slip under her coat. As his leg moves between hers she feints her knee against his. It doesn’t slow him down. His hands move with the vigor and direction of single focus. It’s raining in the street. Gray sheets cover them from the road, a veil of consequence. He is thin, but enough to hide her in the passage off of Karl-Marx-Strasse. His forefingers come under her breasts and he smiles and glances behind, just to be certain. She loves the indiscretion as much as she fears what comes next, because she won’t marry him unless she has to and she doesn’t want to have to, right now. She finds his furtive looks amusing and piteous. His back is protecting them from the street and her leg keeps moving to stop the end she desires. His hands cup her breasts and Allah, it’s now unclear. They move up and his tongue flickers over his bottom lip. He presses his brow against the material covering her forehead, pushing it back so that his skull can rest against hers.
Even with the wind blowing autumn leaves down the street, at speed, their heads create enough heat to sweat against each other. Their collective warmth makes cold October with its golden to red exchange seem like the flickering of a campfire there in that cobblestone passage, before the heavy wooden doors, as the sun goes down.
What follows is a story that was written as a spontaneous project between myself and Scholastyka, a young beautiful blond Polish mathematician who sat down next to me and decided that it was within her ability to just take my notebook and begin writing in it at random. She was completely correct in her assumption and as we traded turns at writing the following story emerged. I hope to meet her again someday and write another story, the outcome of which will be as unpredictable as the outcome of this:
He walked through the streets and suddenly the world stopped. It hit a warp, bump, the color plaid, a sky unrecognized, the new, a force of speed. Something smacked him in the middle of his heart. A fish! A giant tuna! The eye is stuck in his teeth. Suddenly, the blond teenagers standing in front of him took off their shirts. He might be arrested. What a pity. Her first thought was… oh my god! He is so handsome and interesting that I just want to kiss him. Unfortunately, the police arrived. Fortunately, they arrested everyone and threw them into one big cell. The boy had heroin in his pocket, so they took it. The world changed, the police were Golems and the bars were made of taffy. The cell became a cube. The floor started to move and the devil appeared and said, “Now I will change your world.”
“Let’s start everything.” So they started to create a new world without money, banks, and capitalism. The devil laughed, “Stupid fools.” “I own them now. Decadence was a placebo!”
But the blond teenager was an optimist. She said, “This is the best moment to fall in love” To feel like the queen of her own life. Her shirt was in her hand. Her breasts were bare. She was the queen. The wind was cold, her arms crossed over her heart. “It is the best night to become crazy, to forget about everything.”
She turned to the guys and said, “Come on! Let’s do something different. Let’s swim in a river of lava.”
But the boy said, “I have a better idea. Let’s go by spaceship to Venus.”
And then gravitation stopped. They started to fly. They saw the world from space. The girl said, “Till that night we were so stupid. Now I see and understand everything.”
So this is the end. If you want more you’ll have to imagine it in your mind.
Who doesn’t want to make their dime on the global phenomenon that is Gangnam style? A highly catapulted neighborhood in South Korea, by the siege-master known as Psy, who makes a little coin on each play. They ease the consequence of risk by buying in as he Opas everywhere and twirls his hands on an American marketing blitz. World, welcome to South Korean satire courtesy of a playboy delinquent who dresses like a zooted bellhop and shows Ellen the intricacies of his horsey dance. There could be better ways to hold your hands together and bounce, but not with such young skin or pudgy gleaming forearms. Boys, you like what you see, girls, your heart hammers with the bass. Pluto is not a planet and neither can you understand the importance of specialty coffee and screaming at an ass.
Provide me money. Ten seconds of airtime for a national audience. I’ve done my part, where’s my check? Mr. Psy, your suit is looking stained. My dreams include you now, somewhere am I in yours? This is not reciprocal. How can this relationship last? If you become ubiquitous then the world can only do to reject you completely, eventually, when they are no longer hungry. The flavor would be tempered by profit-sharing because then I could afford a style of my own. Only by sharing can you rescue me Mr. Psy and I along with the world that reels under your booming rope-a-dope. Collectively, we wonder about the credit situation and why some of us are paying to maintain the Gangnam style of others.