Archive: September 2003

(15 entries)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Suddenly, I Write My Novel

Chapter 1
My Head Emerges from a Tiny Hole • I Meet My Parents • Wetting One’s Self •
How the Rent Is Paid • The Mysterious Disappearance of Mother •
Beaten Up by Keith, a Bully • Unlike You, I Am Unloved •
A Singular Experience on the Elevated • I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent •
Third Period Gym is Awful

Chapter 2
The Essay Contest • I Meet Sheila • I Grow Up Fast •
Witnessing My First Faked Orgasm • At the Diner with the Gang •
Sheila Is a No-Good Trollop • Dad Not at Usual Bar, Goes Missing •
My New Home • The Shearer Boys Will Pay in the End •
After-School Games • I Find a Car • A Trip to the City

Chapter 3
Back Alleys Are a World unto Themselves • The Discovery of ‘Crack’ Cocaine •
Marta Shows the Way • What’s One Businessman Less? •
‘Hitting’ the ‘Rock’ • Marta Seduces Me in a New and Memorable Way •
The Paying of Marta of Forty Dollars • My Corner by the Boxes •
Those Cops Had It Coming • A Rape Interrupted by Visitors

Chapter 4
I Am Not Innocent, But I Tell Everyone I Am • Prison Lacks in Women, and
I Am Mistaken for One • It Is Challenging to Obtain Crack in Prison •
The Sharpening of the Comb • Twelve Days in the Hole • Prison Food Is Worse
Than You Think • Reunion with My Father • Big Jimmy Expires from Comb Stabbing •
I Am Probably Gay • Most of My Father’s Last Words • I Am Alone in the World

Chapter 5
Good Behavior • My New Suit and Someone Else’s Shoes •
A Curious Bus Ride to Texarkana • Reverend Frank’s Proposal •
I Become a Spokesman • My Tour of High School Auditoriums • An After-Dinner Speech •
Lubbock Cheerleaders Are the Finest in the World • I Walk toward San Diego •
Cactus Frenzy • If I Didn’t Take It, Someone Else Would •
On the Docks • Down and Out • I Am Rescued

Chapter 6
My Campaign for the Senate • I Am Right on All the Issues, in Contrast
to My Opponents • Minor Peccadillos • I Miss the First Debate •
Trivial Indiscretions • The Support of Unexpected Allies •
No One Told Me About the Second Debate • I Will Not Run on My Record •
I Am Not the People’s Choice

Chapter 7
Ketel One in Motel Six • Breakfast Buffets Are Too Much Food •
I Lose Sight of My Goals • The Biggest Truck Stop in the West •
I Kill a Visitor • I Meet a Waitress • Love is Still Possible in My
Hardened Heart • Oh, Her Lies, Lies, Lies • I Head North •
They Can’t Pin This One on Me • Another Fuck-Up

Chapter 8
Why I Am Not a Fugitive from a Chain Gang • The Sleeping in Diverse Ditches •
Do Not Call Me That • The Swedish Campers • I Must Make
Substantive Life Changes, and the District Attorney Agrees •
My Arrival in Cuba • Everyone Is Skinny Here • A Favor in Error •
Extradition to Sweden • I Need to Pee, But the Fat Guy on the Aisle Is Asleep •
Customs Doesn’t Suspect a Thing • An Afternoon Swim

Chapter 9
I Am Thoughtful • Exile in Siberia • I Eat Part of Something •
Inexplicable Reunion with Sheila • Apparently I Have a Son • Dreams of a
Better Future for My Boy • Siberia Has Not Changed Sheila from a No-Good Trollop •
A Vision • I Walk Toward the Sun • I Feel Depressed

Chapter 10
Conclusion • Naming Names and Pointing Fingers •
Denial of All Responsibility • Your Pity Required

by Jack, 5:52 AM | Link | Comments (1) | More from Foundational Issues

Why We Fight

My friends, this is my blog. I resisted for as long as I could. The fact is, I have too much to say and am getting old. I don’t want to repeat the stories to everyone, nor do I want to repeat the wrong one too many times to the wrong people, especially the lady it’s about.

I am an aging club kid caught in a quarter-life crisis. I am a photographer by “day” (mostly afternoon) and a pleasure-seeker (in the worst possible sense of the word, but not necessarily the most salacious) by “night” (mostly after midnight but before dawn).

Your presence at this blog/f�te of the damned is appreciated.

by Jack, 2:17 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Foundational Issues

Friday, September 19, 2003

Song and dance man

If you’re in a bar, you’re going to hear “Wild Horses” on the jukebox about a hundred times an hour. Last night a drunk gentleman came in during one of the renditions of this anthem, and began singing along. However, he changed all the lyrics to “I love Jack Daniel’s,” which seemed to suit him better. He ordered some Jack Daniel’s and fell over.

by Jack, 9:21 AM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Drinking

I'm at the bar. In itself, normal.

The drinking has already started. I like to let things settle down before I show up. I don’t do the “after work” pass, I do “after midnight.” It’s a self-selected crowd: I don’t like to think of them as, necessarily, “the unemployed,” or “alcoholics,” or try to explain how they are able to stay out so late. I just admire their sense of purpose. I wish I knew what I wanted out of life half as much as the girl drinking whiskey while her boyfriend enjoys a glass of red wine. What a beautiful alternate cliché that would be.

For a week night at my local dive, it’s crowded. There’s one seat open in the place, and I take it. I notice vexedly that it’s next to the most beautiful woman ever given life. Frankly, I’m not in the mood. But I definitely need a seat.

So I chat with the bartender, I chat with the regulars nearby. I steal a few glances at the M.B.W.E.G.L., who has her face turned away from me. All I see is ridiculously luxurious but seemingly real hair surrounding ridiculous but real knockers. She’s also surrounded by admirers, guys who seem to be lined up to take a crack at her. There are three simultaneous “Let me buy you a beer, honey” beers growing warm in front of her. She is under siege. I hate this bullshit. Admittedly, she rather stands out in the gloom, but so does the Budweiser sign. You can’t take it personal.

Of course, she suddenly turns to me with a sodden smile. Her face shocks me with its classic lines. I try a classic line of my own: “Cheers,” I say, relying on the essential fraternity of drunk people. She says, “Cheers.” We clink. A murmur goes through the crowd. I’m at it again. It’s awful, but it’s worth it.

by Jack, 1:11 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Drinking & Women

Saturday, September 20, 2003


This series of short essays and impressions, this “blog” if you will, will have three main categories of focus. Mr. Johnny Cash’s recent three-disc compilation had one disc each assigned to the important universal themes “Love,” “God,” and “Murder.” In this way, we will cover three main topics: “Drinking,” “Women,” and “Drinking & Women” (my favorite).

Besides the obvious intersection of the first two categories in the third, there is some overlap here. When one drinks, one considers and reconsiders the world. It is an entrée into sociological musings. When one reflects on women, one may end up in much the same place.

However, where sociological musings do not involve drinking or women exclusively, I will group them under “The Damned Human Race.”

Finally, any essential historical or metatextual concerns are “Foundational Issues.”

I hope you are now equipped to relax and enjoy Trouble Sells.

by Jack, 2:16 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Foundational Issues

Attack of the 5-Foot Woman

When I first met Adrienne, who had been talked up to me by Our Supposed Mutual Friend, I was relieved to know that such a sexy name was being used by an actual sexy girl, rather than an impostor.

I was in a strange mood that night. To her discredit, A. accepted this. I was in one of my “belligerently friendly” phases, where I’d seek people out, smile, and insult them. She gave it back, up until she pulled me aside and told me to shut the fuck up. I kissed her, and I liked that even better. I felt so much calmer.

She said, “If I’d have known you’d be nicer to me, I’d have kissed you at the beginning of the evening.” This is good advice for all of you out there, in case you see me angling in for more trouble.

I hope she’s all right, out there.

by Jack, 8:37 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Women

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Nothing left to lose

Every so often, I head to Japan for work, much like the white people in the new Sofia Coppola movie Lost in Translation. (In fact, I’m leaving for two weeks there on Friday, will you miss me?) But when I saw that movie in a special pre-release screening for sycophants, I felt personally embarrassed. I wanted to turn to everyone in the theater and say, “Movies aren’t always this bad. Please do not stop seeing them forever.”

When I read about this upcoming work in Film Comment, I was inspired by the casting and the premise. I was a little nervous, because I felt that Coppola’s previous movie, the one about the dead girls, was empty of anything except a #21 orange filter and people staring at each other. Good news: she’s ditched the orange filter in this one, but she’s also managed to run into the ground Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and the nation of Japan.

Mr. Murray, our poet laureate of sadness, and Ms. Johansson, the angsty It girl-to-be, sit around staring at each other sadly and Gen X-ish, respectively. There isn’t much dialogue, which is okay, because what there is is pretty facile. If you saw Rushmore, you’ll recognize the performance Mr. Murray is trying to give, but not the one he does, as he phones it in. Ms. Johansson, who made more sense to me as a fucked-up teenager in Ghost World than she does as a languorous sexpot (she kept reminding me of Ludivine Sagnier without the nudity) nonetheless seems right for the idea of this part. There just isn’t much part there beyond the thumbnail sketch.

There is, however, a certain amount of xenophobia. Sure, Japan is weird, but everyone in this movie is either a grinning corporate drone or a dyed-blonde metrosexual wannabe. Everyone except the white people, of course, who thankfully find each other. In a bar in the wee hours, of course. That’s the only part I could relate to.

But the reason I mention this here is because of the larger issues. Have we gotten to the point where people sitting around sadly in silence is considered profound? I recognize the importance of silence in conveying complex emotions, but I think it’s more of a crutch here (“imagine that they are interesting”) than a statement. Sort of like when Antonio Banderas appeared as an Italian filmmaker on Broadway. I asked a friend, “Is he going to pretend to have an Italian accent?” She replied, “No, I think we have to pretend.”

Ambiguity is not necessarily profundity. In that way, it’s profoundly clear that this movie sucks.

by Jack, 4:50 PM | Link | Comments (1) | More from The Damned Human Race

Don't feed the amazing-looking receptionist

There was a package at the front desk for my assistant; it was a lightbox for her office. She asks, “Is it cookies?” I’m reminded that she keeps asking me why I don’t bring in cookies for the studio, which is a non sequitur no matter what we’re discussing. So when I go out for lunch, I tell the receptionist, who is unfortunately an amazing-looking woman that my partner hired, “I’m getting cookies. What kind?”

Except before I ask what kind, she has barked out, with wide eyes, “Chocolate chip!” So I bring back all-natural chocolate chip cookies. I come in with a bag. The receptionist starts following me around. I go to the kitchen and put them on a plate. My assistant has shown up as well. They look at the cookies on the plate, and eat a couple. The cookies are decided to be good. They leave. I get on the intercom and announce cookies in the kitchen, a joke since we are the only ones there, but the receptionist returns for more cookies about ten seconds later.

I go to my office and watch her go back and forth to the cookies for a while. Hours later my partner returns, complaining that the cookies were all eaten while he was out, and that there is now only a plate of crumbs. I blame the receptionist. Later she and I are working at getting a portfolio together; I ask, “Did you eat more than your share of cookies?”

She protests, we go into the kitchen, look at the pile of crumbs. I pick up the plate to show her. She picks out a remaining chocolate chip. She takes the plate. I resume telling her about the portfolio. She lifts up the plate and shoves her mouth around it, tilting her head back, letting crumbs spill down her throat and on her face and shirt. I laugh nervously. I ask her about the portfolio. She says, “I dunno,” and repeats the previous action with wide feral eyes, looking like she is going to take a bite out of the plate. She makes no move to wipe her face or shirt. She doesn’t quite let go of the plate, either.

by Jack, 9:25 PM | Link | Comments (1) | More from Women

Monday, September 22, 2003

The enemy you know

As I hope to establish over the course of this project, I like drunk women. I do not like them in the way that frat persons like them, with some hope that they will become unconscious. Frankly, unconsciousness bores me. If I wanted to hang out with beings that lacked sentience, I would get a cat. No, I like them because, somewhere in my childhood of reading a lot of Tennessee Williams and watching Days of Wine and Roses over and over, I got the idea that alcoholism, like TB, is romantic.

Obviously, I’m not the only American to think so, but I am the best American writer to think so (cf. O’Neill). (Just as obviously, Christopher Hitchens beats me on the international scale of drunkenness and writing. But I am willing to meet him at 3am at any New York bar of our mutual choosing and really write some snarky obituaries for celebrities.)

So when I say “drunk women,” you are to think “Dorothy Parker,” not “the girl in my psych class I totally wanted to bang but she was with that asshole Mike.” When I say “drunk women,” you are to think “women who are so secure in their own charm and intelligence that they can afford to be stumbling into things and smacking people.” Also, they are depressed, like me. Do we have an understanding?

Naturally, such sophisticated souses are hard to find these days, unless you hang out in the Hamptons with people in tennis sweaters. Since I’ve only been invited to the Hamptons in that polite way (“You definitely need to come out this summer.” “All right, when?” “You definitely need to come out this summer.”) I have to stick to the barflies at my local. Admittedly, they don’t know the Cheevers, but the effect is much the same. They are sly, smirky, secretive, supple, and very, very incapable of operating machinery.

In particular, at The Bar there are many regulars, all of whom get drunk a lot. They are all middle-aged men, or younger men working hard at catching up. Often these men will have alcoholic girlfriends join them. However, there is one woman among the regulars, who I consider the best-looking woman ever to systematically go out drinking by herself to the point of collapse. Her name is Teresa. This is her story.

Not that I know her story. These kinds of relationships don’t much allow for that. The last time I saw her, in place of “Hello,” she said, “You should buy me a drink, ‘cause then maybe I’ll talk to you,” and then wandered off. This adds to the mystery. The mystery being, “What is going on in that head?”

The pattern seems to be that she arrives, loudly complaining that she can’t stay, wearing some outfit that, while not overtly sexy, nonetheless involved careful planning. She orders up whiskey and is hit on by strangers ceaselessly. She plays maudlin songs on the jukebox and smokes Euro cigs on the stoop to the acclaim of passersby. She shoots pool while her depth perception holds out, and then zigzags off down the street, always unaccompanied. The total running time is, let us say, four to six hours. So I’ve heard. I don’t know what, if anything, she does the rest of the time. This is enough.

Once when I said hello to her, she replied, “Are you talking to me because I’m the only girl here?” Sort of. But not exactly. “I’m talking to you because you’re interesting to me,” was my lame reply. Even more horribly, she melted instantly. With my heavy-handed sensitive approach, I hit her where it counted. I felt guilty but pressed on. “How’s the pool game?”

“It sucks. I keep scratching,” Teresa said. “Do you want to play with me next game? No one wants to play.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t play pool.”

“You want to buy me a drink?” These are the two useful categories she has for men in the middle of the night, pool players and suckers. Since I don’t play pool, I bought her a drink. She leveled her gaze at me over the ice in her Jameson’s, with real gratitude. We toasted. We drank. Without putting her glass down, she reached back to take out her hairclip.

“Hey, look, don’t let your hair down, it’s too much,” I said. She smirked. She shook out her hair, she pulled off her glasses. She stared at me, lips parted, through her hair and began posing artificially. Maybe she knows I’m a photographer.

“That’s really lovely,” I told her. “You’re really something. Look, I’m setting up some group photo shoots, do you want to be in them?”

But she didn’t reply, or listen, she just kept flipping her hair around, giving me complex facial expressions, and running her hands over herself.

Again, we can only wonder, “What is going on?” It’s for this that we must love the Other.

by Jack, 2:27 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Drinking & Women | More from Teresa

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Light, sweet, crude

Every two years or so I run into Kerry. She’s someone I hardly know — and have for years. We met in high school, if you can believe it. Neither of us paid much attention. We met again during college. We went on a date that made us both miserable. Every few years we go on another date that’s worse than the last one. Here’s update 2003.

She’s a commodities analyst. I don’t know anything about that, but fortunately, there are anecdotes about anything.

“I’m waiting for the train in Poughkeepsie and I’m reading a financial weekly. I’m on the bench reading and a woman comes up with her suitcase and says, excuse me, do you have the time? I tell her the time and she says thank you — very sincere actually. A while later she excuses herself again, asks me do I know if the train is on time? I say as far as I know it is. She’s very grateful again.

“I’m reading more, and finally she says, have I read the commodities column yet? I thought that was strange, since I hadn’t read it yet, but of course that’s my business, and there are lots of columns in the paper, so why did she pick that one? Most people read it for stock and bond reports, and she picks my specialty. I ask her, what commodity do you follow? She says she doesn’t follow any, but she follows her sister, who is the columnist. And then the train comes and she gets on. I look at the speckle portrait of the commodities reporter, and it looks just like her.”

I’m sitting there thinking it’s good to hear about something I wouldn’t hear about any other way. Kerry was a commodities analyst last time I talked to her — which was, you know, approximately 742 days ago, if you get my meaning. She was one of the few people I knew who worked in the financial district. When I reached her, she seemed surprised I’d called. Not necessarily because we hadn’t spoken in a while, not necessarily because she was fine. Just like, “Why are you calling me?” Tragedy doesn’t bring everyone together.

I’m not sure exactly why Kerry and I keep our cycle of awful nights out going. I find her very attractive. I think she just finds me different from the guys she likes, and that’s refreshing. Historically, people didn’t know why I wasted time on her. I tried telling my friend Meg about it.

I said something like, “She’s got a stare that knocks you back. Her irises are crowding out her sclerae, and she just grins and stares. She looks like such a mammal, with her brown eyes and hair; her small, light frame; and her pointy sensitive nose. And her breasts, yes, disproportionate, full and stretched across a narrow rib cage. The whole effect, eyes pouncing, breasts pushing — she’s moving forward, she’s very forward-oriented. It makes you just want to leeeeaan into her.”

“What you’re saying,” Meg tried to interpret, “is that she’s got big brown eyes and big tits?”

Damn, it sounded better my way.

Anyway, the date: the smart money is, as usual, on separate cabs. But Kerry reminds me I’m lucky to be there at all, considering the last time. (No comment.) Now she’s saying, and not about me, “I don’t want to have a big wedding ceremony. I’m not interested in anything offensive. I just want a big rock.”

Me: “Excuse me, a what?”

“I think about forty-five thousand dollars would be nice. I want something to go with this watch I bought myself last Christmas, did you see it?”

I haven’t quite recovered. “Forty-five thousand dollars for a ring?”

“All right, fifteen.” Is she negotiating?

“Listen, I know you’re running in the big money circles, but unless you marry your boss, I don’t think many people our age are going to have that kind of money for that kind of purchase. Wouldn’t you rather, you know, live for a year on the money?”

“I know we’re not rich enough yet. I’m not expecting to get married yet. I’m waiting until we’re older and rich enough.”

“Well, maybe I could manage fifteen.” I take it all so personally.

“I don’t mean you,” she says, then bites her lip. “Look, if we’re not already married by forty-five, then we can get married.”


“All right, thirty-five.”

Well, I picked up the check and put her in a cab. I have no idea what any of this is about.

“Do you plan to see her again?” Meg asked me.

“I don’t know. I mean, I’d like to. She’s pretty busy, and I’m going to be away for a while…these things slip away. You know my usual style. Play it so cool they forget who you are.”

Meg isn’t letting it go. “Are you trying to date this girl?”

“I only saw her once in the last two years, you know.”

“But you’ll see her a second time, and a third time, and then a fourth time…that’s how these things happen.”

“Well, I like her, you know. I admit it.”

“Listen, Jack, she sounds like a dipshit.”

Damn it, why is Meg my friend?

by Jack, 7:14 PM | Link | Comments (1) | More from Kerry | More from Women

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

You'll find it in Balzac

Question: does the modern approach to homosexuality derive from Rex Harrison’s performance in My Fair Lady? Further question: does the trope of “take off your glasses and let your hair down and you’re pretty” spring from Marian the Librarian in The Music Man? Very possibly. I’ve always been a believer in living by the classics. Well, I’ve told you about my recent run-in with Teresa, noted barfly and pretty girl with bun and glasses, but, dear diary, it gets worse.

I show up at The Bar especially late and there she is, pool cue in one hand, whiskey in the other. She’s a neighborhood girl, parents are Puerto Rican but she speaks fluently in both their language and mine, no wrong accent either way. Thin, with a big head, like on TV. Like Shirley Jones in dark curls, her mouth hangs a little bit open all the time. I sit down. She’s telling her story, to no one in particular: “Oh, I can’t go back to my apartment tonight. They’re painting it. I have to sleep in my car.”

I get my beer, I toast everybody. Teresa’s going on: “Oh, I have to sleep in my car tonight, isn’t that terrible?” She isn’t speaking to anyone, she’s orating. So this goes on for a while. Some of us are ignoring her, some of us are hitting on her. One drunk guy approaches, says he’s going home, and she can come. She smiles, but she isn’t leaving yet. He goes.

Finally I make my move. “Teresa, this is ridiculous. You shouldn’t have to sleep in your car.” I dangle my keys in front of her. “Go ahead, sleep in my car.”

Ha ha ha. The fellas laugh. Teresa glares but sits down next to me. “That wasn’t nice,” she says. I know the drill: I buy her a Jameson’s. She’s happy. Hey, if she’s happy, I’m happy. Sort of. I don’t really know her, but there’s something about her I like. I worry that it’s just that she’s a kooky drunk, but maybe that’s enough.

So time flies, I chat with the bartender, I chat with the fellas, I chat occasionally with the girl, and I hear again about the painting and the awaiting car. I’m not sure what I think about it. If it’s the truth, or a weird game for attention, or a weird way of suggesting her availability. But questions like those are what make people interesting. So at the end of the night I say, “Teresa, let me walk you to your car. I’ve been hearing about this car. I want to see this car you’re going to sleep in.”

She appraises me and says, “You can walk me to my car. But that’s it. Got it?”

“Sure, sure, I’ll walk you to the car but that’s it. I won’t walk you to anything else.”

So we set out for the fabled car. It’s not close. She drags me a ways uptown. Hey, it’s hard to get a good parking space. But it’s also hard for two drunks to walk at five in the morning. We hold hands briefly, then don’t for the rest of the way. But — we get to her car. A station wagon, no less!

“Wow,” I say. “You do have a car!”

“What’d you think, asshole?” She unlocks it and yanks open the front door. Then she giggles, closes it, and yanks open the back door. She gets in the back seat, shuts the door, and sits primly. “Thank you for a wonderful evening,” she deadpans.

I open the door, get in the back seat next to her. “This is a pretty nice setup,” I tell her, feeling the upholstery. “If I had a car like this, I’d get rid of the apartment.”

“Shut up,” she whines, “Don’t make fun of me.”

“I wouldn’t make fun of you,” I say, and I kiss her. I don’t know why. We hardly touch. After a moment, I pull her closer to me, but that seems to remind her that we’re kissing and she pulls away. I’m going to tell this very precisely so I can try to remember how it happened.

“Hey, I said there wouldn’t be any of that.” She glares at me again, behind those glasses.

“I’m sorry,” I tell her, and I touch her face. She slowly moves closer to me, resting against my chest. I explore her hair for a moment. Then I lean down and kiss her forehead, and her cheek, and I push her back a bit and kiss her orator’s mouth. I’ve somehow got her in a real Rossano Brazzi hold. But being more me than him, I fumble around to get my hand up her blouse. That starts her squirming away again.

“C’mon, stop it!” She sits up. “Can’t you behave?”

“I’m sorry,” I say again. “It’s just that this is a little unexpected, and unexpected is a little exciting.”

She stares at me for a few moments. I smile. She isn’t smiling. She inches over to me again. She leans in to kiss me, but this time she holds me back to the seat. She cocks her head and studies my face. “Not a word,” she says, and I feel and hear a zip. Teresa puts her head in my lap and her mouth to work and it makes me shudder. I’m not sure what I had in mind when we tripped out into the street, but my impression is that this is more than success. I watch her in her slow and steady execution as the sun begins to just as slowly rise. She doesn’t look at me and hardly makes a sound. I don’t hear or see anything. I’m focused on the feeling she’s creating, but even that is starting to fade, or getting lost behind something. I know that everything that’s happened was, sure, my doing, but I’ve felt like an observer the whole time. Especially now. I’m watching her, but I feel far away. Not just from the booze. From far away I realize that this whole thing is pretty awful. It turns out that no matter how much the concept appeals, I don’t want a blow job in the back seat of a car after all.

This surprises Teresa even more than me. “What’s wrong?” Teresa mutters because I can’t stay hard. “Look,” I say, “uh — thank you. But let’s stop.” Then she looks up at me. Again, not really any expression. I put my dick back in my pants. I take her in my arms. Then we fall asleep together in her car.

by Jack, 11:59 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Drinking & Women | More from Teresa

Thursday, September 25, 2003


I’ll be out of town for a couple weeks. No idea if I will update or not. Amuse yourselves by imagining what I’m up to.

by Jack, 11:41 AM | Link | Comments (3) | More from Foundational Issues

Saturday, September 27, 2003


Since I need to leave for the airport around rush hour, the best way is through the city streets the whole way, rather than any highway.

It becomes a fitting and sentimental tour of the city I love, through weird remote neighborhoods I don’t know as well as weird remote neighborhoods I do. Libraries, bodegas, and plenty of semi-detached homes with aluminum siding in creative patterns, including one block with what seems to be a full catalog. As I am driven through the variety of worlds within New York, I feel like my namesake president, Mr. Kennedy, on his final train ride in a casket.

And then I’m at his airport: Kennedy Airport, Terminal One. Air France, Japan Air Lines, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Korean Air. But somehow all the announcements are from Alitalia. The Italians are the ones in all the trouble. “Passeggero Roberto Benigni, ripeto, Signor Benigni…una bella finestra….”

by Jack, 10:08 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from The Damned Human Race

Monday, September 29, 2003

Musical pioneer

When I’m in my apartment, I listen to a lot of recorded music. I also try to hear live music as much as I can, but too many of the things I like are made only by dead people. Keep that in mind if I ever praise your work.

When I travel, I don’t bring bulky recordings with me, but music is still important, so I find I do a lot more singing in my head. In fact, let’s face it, I often do it out loud. Then I think about my world travels as constituting a kind of “first.” Are these songs first “heard” because of me, if only by rocks and trees?

Memphis Slim in Trondheim? Laura Nyro at Machu Picchu? John Prine in Shinjuku? Jesse Fuller in the backwoods of western New York? Or, better, Dylan’s “Changing of the Guards” in good old Budapest?

I was there.

by Jack, 10:15 AM | Link | Comments (1) | More from The Damned Human Race

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Tip for the ladies

I was talking to my Auntie Mame recently. She has some advice which I report here verbatim. It is entitled, “How to tell if your man is a gay.”

Mame: “You are going down on him while wearing a fetching hat. He says, ‘I rather like your hat.’”

by Jack, 5:23 PM | Link | Comments (0) | More from Women

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