Squint for a second at the front of that menu and see if you can make out the lusty, high-heeled logo for the restaurant. Run your eyes across her stirring cleavage and raise an appreciative eyebrow at her long bare legs. Her black hair is billowing and enormous and untamed — untamable! Her eyes shining green, skin airbrushed, frilly apron tied on as an afterthought, a plate held aloft carrying an unrealistically high stack of glistening flapjacks. This is an artist’s rendition of Cha-Cha, a woman Paulo professes to have loved back in Chile, a woman who “sneaked into [his] heart like a ninja and burgled [his] heart and manhood,” and even though she participated in the lotería del amor along with the other women of her village (an annual event where they break into the local penitentiary and let a randomly selected convict impregnate them, then sneak out without the warden ever knowing a thing!), and even though her only source of income was from volunteering for the local unlicensed surgeon (hence the experimental vagina biomecánica), and even though she was of the wrong faith, Paulo was smitten and stayed smitten long after he was forced to flee the country for “political reasonings,” her lush curves and carefree laugh forever seared into his mind. And every morning when he unlocks the door and enters the darkened sanctum of the restaurant which bears her name, it is like “returning to the icy embrace of her stainless steel coño.”
May Petroski at the starboard plank, stretching hamstrings, smoking. She has to do a few things before a dive. The smoking’s one—right before she goes in she takes a big drag and holds it for the entire time she’s underwater. Something to do with keeping her lungs distracted. It’s seen as an affectation by her colleagues. Then there’s the thing where she finds a person nearby to hate—not difficult today, seeing as she’s surrounded by Spire* clientele—in order to disconnect herself emotionally from the Surface and think of her time Underwater as a return home. That little trick alone adds two minutes to her diving time, easy. Then she strips down to nothing, and the clientele admires the tattoo along the small of her back that says 37° 24.3’ N 124° 8.7’ W, which is where she hopes to have her ashes scattered. Last thing is she hums a little song, some kind of Bedouin ditty that the pearl divers sing during al-ghaws al-kabîr. It’s not very pretty, and is usually mistaken as hyperventilation by onlookers, but it occupies her mind and blots out the panic, and she keeps humming it long after she’s plunged into the depths.
*The Spire of Ice, a whaling ship turned pleasure barge.
What begins as a joke with some unsavory character at The Embers* turns into a three-year contract at White Clinic** which leads to one bad night with an ambassador from Jordan and a frenzied attack with a hotel ballpoint pen and a cleanup job that turns out to be way more complicated than anyone predicted. And of course Feddema Global, cleanup expert and important business associate of the Clinic, is called in to handle the disposal and the press releases and the loose ends. And as part of the arrangement Maggie enters into their Enforced Loyalty program and is assigned to Sal’s Fish House*** where she must provide services for visiting dignitaries, all of whom have elaborate and non-standard requests. And so maybe she’d like a little moment to herself, OK, while she’s sitting here flushing disinfectant through her privates, just five minutes where she can cry quietly without, you know, without some new pervert sticking his head through a hole in the floor and looking at her in her one solitary moment of vulnerability? I mean is that too much to ask?****
*A pirate tavern.
**A corporate brothel.
***A front for illegal activities but also a legitimate purveyor of excellent seafood.
****I’m doing a sort of Sub-Zero “spine rip” fatality on my novel. I think the end result will be much more flexible, due to its lack of spine.
bcompton: he follows our tumblrs, erica, we should say something redrabbit: Yeah? redrabbit: how do you want to do that?
bcompton: just post our conversation
bcompton: the one we just had
bcompton: unfortunately our conversation about it wasn’t very funny
bcompton: maybe we should try again redrabbit: okay
bcompton: nevermind, this is awkward
OK, cut the conversation. You like me, I like you. Let’s take this thing to the next level: Have me as a guest on your awesome podcast.
Or wait! Better yet, have me on as the guest host when Ben goes on one of his benders. Like when Moltz sat in for Erica?
Yeah, I think it’d be better if Ben was out of the picture completely. Just me and Erica shooting the breeze on Skype — or you know what? Let’s just forget the whole podcast thing. I think we should be able to speak freely, without fear of judgment or shame. Just … exploring the feelings. Seeing where the night takes us. Maybe acting out our favorite scenes from Marx Brothers movies or practicing square dancing moves or … I dunno, whatever feels right.
About ten years ago, my friend Bob and I made this no-budget movie called Brainbox (here’s the trailer) and the exciting climax was going to be this epic chase and/or shootout, accompanied by this song. That never happened (although the three-way sex scene with lady nudity did happen, high five), but surely there’s some movie out there that needs a crazy-intense song for some crazy-intense scene? Maybe a little something called this?
My brother is putting together a campaign to make an amendment to the Colorado constitution. The amendment would change the legal definition of marriage in this state from “a union of one man and one woman” to “a union between any two consenting adults.”
He’s just getting started, never done anything like this before, but he’s learning all the hoops you have to jump through and then jumping through them. He’s wearing a tie and going to meetings in government buildings, the works.
Above is a link to a fairly rudimentary site I built for the campaign. I don’t think many of you are in Colorado so it’s kind of moot, but if you know anyone in the area who might be interested in this whole deal, maybe you could forward it on to them. Thanks!
The wife’s having a baby in maybe like half an hour. In my pocket is a Post-It listing all the people I should call. Mom, work, etc. Also in my pocket is an Excedrin PM and a gas station receipt. On the back of the receipt is the number of a girl I was very extremely in love with for most of high school and part of college. She liked the same albums I did.
I’m killing time in the waiting room and decide to give her a call. FYI we haven’t spoken since Bill Clinton was president and anything seemed possible. She answers and I’m all: Hey there do you still like The Wedding Present? And she instantly knows who it is and as usual says the perfect thing: Oh hi are you still an only child?
I ask her what I should name a kid if I was hypothetically having a kid right now, and she says: Jesus Christ I’m hanging up right now because I still have some self-respect. And I say OK whatever you say and now it’s seven years later and my son comes home from school all crying, saying the kids make fun of his name, and I’m like: Suck it up, junior, nobody ever said this life’d work out the way you thought.
Idling at the Shell station out where the factories smell like mothballs and Wonder Bread. Radio’s playing something by Loverboy and truth be told I’m never hundred percent sure which Loverboy song is which (and P.S. I come from a town where a man’d get stabbed with whatever’s handy if he admitted that).
According to the instructions on this yellow Wendy’s napkin, a handsome lady’s supposed to come out of the gas station bathroom at around 11:30 PM and accidentally drop a crumpled up piece of paper and I’m assuming there’s rabbit fingers around accidentally.
Sure enough here she is, the paper and the whole nine. Then she hustles onto a waiting Greyhound that says Albuquerque or Tucson or wherever it is she thinks is going to be better than here. I go pick up the paper and inside is an engagement ring and a phone number.
I amble into the mini-mart and buy a Sunkist and the biggest bag of Fritos there is.
At the payphone outside I dial the number and say She’s gone and she took your daughter and that’s that. The guy on the other end says Call me back in like half an hour when I’m done banging this Asian chick which is just about the most awesome thing I ever heard anybody say.
But whatever, mission accomplished. I hang up and get back in the Corolla and it turns out it’s a rock block. I think: Damn right I’m working for the weekend.