I’m watching this girl from the opposite side of the bar as she leans over the counter when the bartenders are all looking away, and scoops herself some ice for her drink even though the nightclub is sort of exclusive and definitely not cheap, and she’d probably get all the ice she wanted for free, and with a smile. There’s this song playing real loud even though I’m not really paying attention to the lyrics, and therefore I can’t really make up my mind whether Paris is burning or dreaming, or both, and there would be some irony in it tonight, see, at least if I cared enough to notice it myself.

But I don’t, not really, because I’m still looking at the girl and she’s wearing a low-cut black dress that leaves most of her back exposed, and when she turns away from the bar and returns to the dance floor, you can see this huge streamlined tattoo with the silhouette or a rising sun spanning her shoulder blades all the way down to the small of her back, half-hidden by her hair—She then fades away into the crowd and I’m drawn back to the glass in my hand, half-pretending the champagne hasn’t started tasting a little too sour.
It’s past four a.m. now, I think—but I’m still not sufficiently buzzed so as to think of going home.

Day breaks later on and we’re sitting on stools having cheese and ham on bread at this greasy little joint underneath the offices of some big metropolitan newspaper downtown, just a few blocks from the club. There are newspaper clippings in frames over the tiled walls. I’m looking at them but my mind’s blank so I don’t really make out a word they’re saying.

Someone offers me gum as we hop a taxi but I say No, thanks, I just want to go home and take a leak and a shower. Somewhere, I’m quite sure, Paris must be either dreaming or burning, but that conclusion would sort of depend on your frame of reference, not mine.


(This one’s for Clay) – ‘10

It’s near 10pm on a dry night that’s unusually warm for this time of the year. It’s the very last warm day before the cold and rain return for good, and I’ve just finished stretching against a tree after jogging for six or seven miles at the park.

I take off my t-shirt and lie down with my back to a concrete bench by the shore of the lake: From this spot, the lights from the skyline uptown where the large thronging avenues meet with investment banks and movie theaters reflect against the moving lake surface and eerily tilt sideways, to and fro, like searing white-hot dancers just an inch short of touching one another and interspaced between the golden glare of the sodium vapor lamps along the trees.

When I open my eyes facing the sky above there’s a yellow star perpendicular to my body: The arms of Scorpius stretch outwards from the yellow heart that is Antares as if trying to encompass the infinite.
By this time, the jogging crowd has already thinned out and the park is almost completely empty. It feels like I’m standing alone on Mars. It feels like some damn Ray Bradbury tale.

My panting subsides and the sweat eventually cools off before disappearing altogether: I wish life would go on forever like this, like tonight.

I think of going for available girls on the phone book in my mobile, and I’m somehow relieved once I find out there are no longer any available girls left to call anymore.

The Messenger window flashes onscreen and it’s ____, just arrived in Prague for the week. When I ask him how he likes it so far, he tells me the girls there don’t seem to wear bras at all, and that he doesn’t understand a word they’re saying. I look at the blinking window for a full minute without thinking of anything.

“I suppose…,” I type back, a little confused and unsure if I’m able to spot the Czech Republic on a blank world map anyhow.

I look up living people on Wikipedia but can’t find my name included in the list.
It makes me think for a moment but then I’m distracted by something else entirely, maybe porn that’s just finished downloading, and I never give that a second thought.

Much later that same night, I’m leaning against the sink in the bathroom at home with no clothes on. I’m watching my reflection on the mirror as if making copious studies of all these wrinkles that have started to appear on my face as of late: I force a smile and the skin on the outer corners of my eyes folds and a crow’s foot or two stands out as if prepped to take flight.
I start to sigh but end up shrugging.

I rummage through the medicine cabinet among the condoms and the lubricant and the peppermint throat tablets to find the Lorazepam I’m not supposed to have, and wash one down with a sip of the Stolichnaya I’m expected to, even though my alarm clock is set for 5:30 in the morning.

I go for a long hot shower as I wait for my mind to melt away, and when the windowpane starts to fog I run my fingers over the glass and draw the word DYSTOPIA in large, irregular block letters as if actually expecting it to convey some unspoken meaning or intention, but that train of thought reaches nowhere, gets derailed, drowns in chemistry, fogs away.


Evenings in Academia (Either way, it only happens after the dessert and the espresso)

It’s Saturday night and in a surprising break with not-so-recent tradition I get back to my place before eleven p.m. and absolutely sober.
We were all just out for pizza. It was supposed to be the International Pizza Day or something just as dumb, or at least that’s what I was told afterwards: Not that pizza’s ever stopped us cold in our tracks before but to tell you the truth we were still utterly trashed from the previous night, which properly started with the Veuve Clicquot and spiraled downwards through the wee hours in this cool martini bar which we’ve become quite partial to lately, that serves the overpriced trendy drinks with cucumber, wasabi and the works.

The best part of living out weekends like a veritable vampire in wintertime is, I’ve just decided, the bits in which I get handled by the doorman post office parcels on Saturdays nights: Boxes written in Chinese mean I’ve gone trigger happy on eBay once again with the ridiculously-underpriced, six-dollar, shipping-included comic book action figures straight from Taiwan or wherever, whereas boxes hailing from Germany more often than not denote Amazon.

Tonight’s postmarking reads in German and was more anxiously expected than a newlyweds’ first born: Oh, here’s the usual bundle of comics of course but this time added with Bret Easton Ellis’ brand-new novel, Imperial Bedrooms. Which is the sequel to Less Than Zero, published some twenty years back. Which is my favorite book, and that’s mostly because it’s short and terse and mostly void as far a general meaning is concerned, and especially that all the characters are amoral, which sort of exempts me as a reader from that rather annoying process which is identifying with a fictional character: I can barely relate to real people these days, for chrissakes.

Thus ye mighty book-writer, this I beseech of thee: Don’t make me fall for Tiny Tim or Superman—and thankfully enough, Bret Easton Ellis never does.

True story: I once held my ground on a literary argument for like a full hour against this guy with a Doctorate degree on nineteenth century literature in Portuguese. It happened last November at this deli in New York just before the Springsteen concert though I can’t for the life of me recall either how it started or how it ended, but I thought it was pretty cool because I’m such a space cadet most of the time and the guy was so like quoting from critics and academic theses and stuff, whereas all I could think of was an inch beyond Wikipedia or the Discovery Channel, really.

Which sorts of validates the popularity of Adam Sandler movies, I suppose, even though that has nothing to do with anything in here.

Okay, honest to god now, call your perfect evening:

Mine is, and I so apologize for the unavoidable cliché here, having dinner with you at a nice trendy French restaurant. I’m having either the duck or the rabbit but more probably the duck and I have no idea what you’re having because as time goes by you become more and more a fictional character in a memoir even though you still send me the stray e-mail or two every year. We’re drinking cava in lieu of the champagne but don’t ask me why because that point’s sort of moot: End of the day, anything but orange soda, really. And we’re discussing books. Or, at least you are discussing books and I’m just—again—holding the fort on little more than a wing and a prayer and going back to why I’ve read The Great Gatsby for like five times because I so wanted to like it but it just never connects, never clicks, doesn’t do anything to me and let’s be very, very frank: Anyone with half an education would still maintain the author’s own private life is usually so much more interesting anyhow.

Oh, and we'd order two bottles of the cava, by the way. Just to mention. You know, the burden of great conversation: You’re such this brainy girl and never drops the ball and stuff. Me, I'd be struggling to keep up with you while trying not to mispronounce the names of the dishes on the Menu.

Evening ends with—after dinner we—Oh come on. We either have really kinky sex until sunrise before passing out drunk, or a Guardian of the Universe comes to Earth and deputizes me a Green Lantern to battle Major Disaster or Dr. Polaris, or pick a super-villain, whatever really.

Either way, it only happens after the dessert and the espresso.


Go forth, Amazo, and destroy Isabella Swan!

If I ever actually lived in the make-believe world of comic books and such, first thing I'd ever do would be to steal the inert carcass of Amazo the Amazing Android from the Justice League of America trophy Room there back in Rhode Island, and have it re-wired so as to go forth and destroy that girl Bella from those annoying teenage vampire movies of late.

Now don't get me wrong: This isn't my delving deep into chick-flicks by any chance.
It's just that:

a) That girl Bella looks like this really crazy girl I used to go out with a few years back, who would talk to her cat and I suspect ended up breaking up with me because that cat must have told her so, and I have no idea why but I still think of her + like her quite a lot-- so whenever those goddamn Twilight traillers pop up, I sort of think of her, smitten as a pussycat;

b)...and sort of root for the werewolves to slash her throat or something, but that's mostly because not only she dumped me years ago, but she also stood me up on a date we would've had last New Year's Eve when we briefly flirted with a revival of sorts (which speaks volumes of my total lack of brains giving in to my heart);

c)...And that goddamn trailler has since become more ubiquitous than Robert Downey Jr...

d)What can I do: I'll live through the end of my days having a thing or three for crazy girls with big brown eyes and I had this picture of her holding a Green Lantern action figure and smiling and she looked so damn cute, which always made me think of...


Wait. Heck. Jesus. This is still a post about bad vampire movies, right...?
Oh god, this post's been officially hijacked. I'm a total loser. If only I had this killer android with the powers and abilities of the Justice League to do me justice...

Go forth, Amazo, and destroy Isabella Swan!