(This one´s for Clay)

I sort of lose track of time on Monday evening after working out, doing one those things no one´s supposed to do yet we do it anyway— I´m wasting my time browsing for p*rn then I meet this girl I used to go out with a couple of years ago, online on MSN and it kind of goes downhill from that point once it boils down to, in layman´s terms, her seeing someone these days and my browsing for internet p*rn.

Much later, in bed, I can´t seem to be able to get her out of my head, the way she moaned and held tight to the bedspread as I would move her hair aside to kiss the back of her neck with the tip of my tongue, and then I start thinking, for apparently no specific or good reason, of Gold Kryptonite of all things. I start thinking of how f*cking scary Gold-K should be to Superman because it sort of, like, strips his powers away permanently and if I were Superman I would pretty much never leave places like the Fortress of Solitude at the Arctic or that Justice League cave in Rhode Island.

My sleepless vision of an agoraphobic Superman starts freaking me out more than it should to the point it´s I think four a.m. and I haven´t slept yet even though I know I have to be at the office by seven for my Spanish lessons.

The alarm clock goes off at 5:20. It reads, Apurate, hombre even though I´m not really into Spanish but the company´s really paying for it, so no real choice there.
“Buenos días, Conde Drácula,” I greet myself on the bathroom mirror once I get a glimpse of how deep the dark circles beneath my eyes are.

Then I remember vampires aren´t really supposed to appear on mirrors and the joke´s shot.

On Tuesday evening I get off the bus as it leaves the tunnel that runs beneath this museum that´s near my place but I´m kind of late for classes as usual.
This cute blonde stops me as I´m about to cross the avenue and makes me miss the green light. She apologized then asks the way to this Shopping Mall. I tell her it´s too close for taxi and I´m going in that direction myself, so she pretty much tags along.

She tells me she´s late for her classes herself, and when I ask what kind of classes one takes at the mall, she tells me she´s been taking acting lessons there because she wants to be an actress. I tell her I´m sorry and ask her if I´m supposed to know her from TV or something.
“I wish,” she says a little forlornly but not entirely.

We continue with the small talk and once I realize I´ve totally zoned out of the conversation she asks whether I´m even listening to her. “Something about, like, auditions, right?” I ask her but then it´s too late because whatever narrow window of getting her phone number I ever had, I must have overshot it by a mile.
She thanks me for the “ride”, enters the mall by this lateral entrance and leaves me staring at her ass half-aroused but half-dead inside as well.

Shortly before lunchtime on Wednesday my boss passes by my desk and finds me sitting on my chair, hunching over this girl who´s lying on the ground, with back to the carpet. She´s as white as a ghost, breathing somewhat heavily, and holding hands with me: “Is everything okay in here?,” he asks me.
Since the ambulance... was taking... too long...,” says the girl, who´s trying to catch her breath at the same time, “He started... telling me... George Clooney has... a pet pig... I´m feeling... better now...”
My boss looks at her, puzzled as hell, then back at me. “And I´ll just assume you have this situation under control?”
“I think... George Clooney... is GAY!,” she says a little too loud then squeezes my hand tighter for support. I gesture my boss off, yes of course I have it under control for chrissakes, then the paramedics arrive. I see her into the ambulance then go to lunch by myself.

Later that night, close to midnight, and I´m on a parking lot walking in the opposite direction from the rest of the crowd, everyone just out of this A-Ha concert and I´m thinking god, are they all retards or something, because it´s so much easier to get a taxi on the expressway by the river than on the gridlocked backstreets to where they´re all going.
But anyway: There´s something just undeniably cool about life itself once it´s come down to having watched the live performances of two James Bond theme songs in the last couple of months—this one being The Living Daylights, and the other being Duran Duran´s A View to a Kill a few months back.

“Are you even listening to us?,” ask these two girls at the front seat as the car speeds up past a yellow traffic light. It´s Thursday there around eleven p.m. and I´m all too interested on my bleeding fingernail and how the pain just throbs and pulsates red as I squeeze it between my thumb and forefinger to actually hear what they were saying. “You know, this restaurant´s pretty good,” I tell them, changing the subject completely even though I have no idea of what they were talking about in the first place.
“Hey I´ve been there once,” says this cute, dumb brunette holding her cigarette out the rolled-down window. “It´s so packed with H-O-M-O-S...”
“No, hey, knock it off,” I reply. “They server this really amazing drink with vodka and strawberries and stuff there...”
“I´m gonna drink my ass off tonight,” says the other girl, the one driving the car. “I´m going to this party as soon as I drop you guys.”
“Whose party?,” I ask.
“Aww a friend´s. This girl I know.”
She says the friend´s name and the brunette, upon dragging from her cigarette, thinks a little hard and finally blurts out: “Hey I know her. Total hardbody.”
“So would you make out with her?,” I ask, my attention finally away from my finger.
“Ewww no,” she says. “I like boys!”
“Actually I think the two of you just like, park the car and make out now,” I say.
“Ewww no, I told you I like boys!,” says the dumb brunette.
“Don´t look at me, I´m married,” says the other one, who´s a lot cuter.

It´s the tail-end of a particularly-hectic Friday afternoon at the office and all I can think of is fixing myself a clean, cool date for the weekend.
I go for a cup of coffee at the small kitchen by the air-conditioner ducts then slip on my earphones to listen to a song or time permitting, two. Something tells me synchronicity should kick in any second now and I would fall halfway through the Cure´s Friday I´m in Love. Oddly enough, it almost actually happens and as turn on the radio, the Clash are singing Police on my Back: “I been running Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday, What have I done?”
I take it as a good omen for the weekend and head back for my desk.

Later that evening, before jogging and before working out, I meet a few friends for a drink at the mall by the train station: Someone´s telling me it´s someone else´s birthday but I only have eyes to this cute waitress in a ponytail serving the table next to ours.
I get a little obnoxious then spill what´s left of my bottled water over J.´s drink, whatever it is, on purpose, saying Happy Birthday you idiot.

I have blisters the size of Australia on the soles on my feet. It´s Saturday afternoon and I´ve just returned from the park, where I was jogging barefoot on hot asphalt for no good reason.
It sort of kills the entire weekend then and there because I´m actually unable to set foot on the ground because the carpet on the floor of the living room feels like a thousand needles on the reddened flesh where the blisters used to be once I clipped them off with a nail clipper.

It´s one of those sad weekends, however, because I ´don´t get to all anyone, and no one calls me either.


Cue in your favorite teen-love leitmotif, buddy!

So this girl calls me up, it´s Wednesday close to 11pm and she´s just gotten into town and wonders if I´m up for something. “Up for anything,” I tell her but politely keeping the handcuffs and duct tape bits to myself.

We go to that same place I meet the guys every other Sunday evening, it´s open till one and the food´s certified safe. We eat and she talks her ass off while I sit in quiet zen-like contemplation at the other side of the table, naturally having her mentally undressed but this time each piece of clothing takes a couple of centuries to dissipate. I take my time.

Dinner ends and what do you know, no sex ensues, not even one single, simple kiss and it sort of bums me out. I´m already kind of pissed that she´s chosen some hotel room or wherever instead of staying at my place but this is only the second time we´ve even seen each other, the first one all by ourselves. She´s taking some classes the next morning and has gotta wake up early see, she tells me.

We´re human not mayflies and life doesn´t necessarily happen in one hour, I´m telling myself—almost convinced but you know the alternative: Would really rather have my head sliding into her perspiring thighs, but apparently that´s just me tonight.

It wasn´t even a date, for chrissakes: Going out for dinner with a girl and talk.

Will these twenty-first century wonders never, ever cease?, I think to myself as I realize this just feels like two of the oldest buddies in the world having a catch-up talk over pasta but somehow it´s not even close to enough. Frustration piles up as witty remark upon witty remark bounce off her armor and regardless of all my ego and self-confidence I can´t for the life of me spot any modicum of interest from her part. Romantically, I mean. What do you know.

She drops me by my place afterwards, then head straight for her hotel: I stay put in the middle of the darkened empty avenue watching her red lights disappear in the distance uphill. I´m flash-frozen, mouth agape, arms akimbo, utterly reactionless.
Then I sigh under a half-smile, kick a pebble or two, walk up the short stairway into the building with barely zero effort as if carried over by invisible hands.

--Now what the hell´s just happened?!

I get to go over to my parents´ the next weekend: I´m sitting on my bedroom in quiet introspection, leafing over some old The Flash comic books from before I was even born, looking for the Green Lantern backup tales in which mad scientist Dr. Jason Woodrue, the old Atom arch-foe from back in the sixties, turns himself into this plantman hybrid and becomes the Floronic Man.
I´m quite sure it happened in 1976 because I remember this panel from a totally-unrelated Alan Moore Swamp Thing story in which Superman is checking the Justice League files on the Floronic Man, and it says, “Re-creates himself chemically, 1976”. Or something like that.

So I start at 1973 and go up I think until the 1977 or 1978 issues, up until I´m pretty sure there are no more GL tales anymore in the back of those Flash comics. I don´t get to find the damn Floronic Man stories, somehow, even though I´m pretty sure I´ve read them a thousand times over.

I stand up, go for Wikipedia on my father´s notebook for some reference and start typing F-L-O-R-O... but then let go altogether as if with bigger issues in my mind:

I stay put in the middle of an ocean of comic books scattered at my feet, watching a blur of covers of a man in red tights running straight into peril but my eyes veer off elsewhere. I´m flash-frozen (no pun intended), mouth agape, arms akimbo, utterly reactionless.
Then I sigh under a half-smile, move over a comic book or two with my foot and walk the short corridor into the living room with barely zero effort as if carried over by invisible hands--

And in rummaging my pockets for my cell phone, I wonder if she´s text-messaged me already...

Cue in your favorite teen-love leitmotif, buddy...


Just before the war with the... Danes?!

“Don´t look now but the GDP from Denmark´s just walked in and they´re looking at you as if you were a dead cat”.

I look over my shoulder and there´s like four, five people sitting at the table next to ours, all tall, all blonde, with girls you only get to see with Internet p*rn, their watches alone probably being worth more than my apartment—and me, I´m the guy in a bloodstained t-shirt and dirty bermuda shorts, come to haunt wherever fancy restaurants the Danes dine in.

But it´s not my fault, not really: ****´d actually found me wandering the streets that Saturday evening and told me he was gonna meet the guys at this fancy Portuguese restaurant and since when I told him all I had in my pockets were two hundred bucks he said it´d do because they´d be refraining from the champagne that night anyway, I never really paid attention to my clothes and pretty much followed him into the taxicab.

When I asked if I wouldn´t be too underdressed for the occasion, he said, “I just hope to hell those are not actual bloodstains on your t-shirt...” but I lied anyhow and told him no, those were chocolate stains.
“As if you really cared,” he added.

It got me thinking of this girl. I have not idea why it got me thinking of her but— Ginnie Mannox— she´s a fictional girl, this character from this J.D. Salinger short tale I read once. That Ginne, what a gal: That whole thing about the taxi fare after playing tennis, then meeting her friend´s brother and...

But you wouldn´t know, would you? I mean, regardless of your being like a thousand times more well-read than me I can´t really see you with a, say, The Catcher in the Rye in your hands. Salinger´s always felt like a strictly-masculine author to me.
But I digress.

I don´t know.
I´m just a sucker for open endings like that: Whatever happened to Ginnie Mannox anyhow? — Sometimes I lie in bed late at night and ask myself those things: Whatever happens to guys like Holden Caulfield after the story ends?

Having refrained from the champagne and therefore actually arriving home clear-headed later that Saturday night, I sat on the couch and turned on the TV: Jackass 2 was on and I watched for a few minutes: Johnny Knoxville kills me every time, I´m not kidding: There was this bit in which he and some friends took some rubber ball-bearings from an anti-personnel mine on their stomachs... I just killed me: That´s gotta be like, the best job in the world, being paid to get hurt some and bleed just a little...

But I got sort of bored after the part with the leeches and turned off the TV: I took the chair to the bedroom and climbed over it so as to reach the upper part of the wardrobe, where I keep my books: I eventually found my copy of Salinger´s Nine Stories , its pages starting to go yellow, and noted the damndest thing:

There was a little note inside see, it was one of those little pieces of paper from this maritime shipping company I used to work in: It bore the company´s old logo before they traded up, it was part of their stationery circa ´01.
The note said, in my own handwriting, even though I have no idea why, “He´s probably the last guy on Earth to have his own spaceship”.

Now how about that for an open ending...


The "Name that Paul Simon tune" post

One thing I find pretty cool:
When you go to the restroom at say, the cinema or a restaurant and they´ve got the urinol all filled with ice cubes. That´s pretty cool, no pun intended.

One thing that kind of freaks me out:
When a former girlfriend to whom I hadn´t talked in maybe 5 years calls me up and says she´s been telling her shrink she sometimes wakes up in the morning wishing her husband were dead so she could come to the big city and live with me.