Going out to dinner with Jackie is like sex with your average Boston Gaysian She never knows what she wants and she's always really afuckenpologetic about it.
"I'm sorry." She says for the dozenth time. "I just don't know...well, you know. I don't know."
"Yea. Yea. Yea." We're in Moogy's, a local stoner deli that I used to hang out at with my roommates before Sora and the Slut Across The Street stuttered everything up. We would sit in the corner booth having Connect Four tournaments while the same dozen or so Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, and Dave Matthews Bands would play on repeat. What would I say Mr. Matthews? I don't know, I can't concentrate until you shut your stupid goose hole!
Tonight, instead of my roommates and neighbors I'm about to play Sorry with Jackie and Jim.
"This ought to be fun." Oh, and Paul. Paul is one of my favorite awkward straight guys (and between poetry and comics, I know more awkward straight guys than there are atoms in your average White Dwarf Star). But he's so quiet, I some times forget he's there.
We decide instead of saying "Sorry" when we we're going to send someone back to the beginning of the game, we're going to say "Jim Silverman", in honor of Jim who can't finish a sentence without apologizing.
"I'm sorry. Do I really apologize all the time?"
"Drink!" Jackie says. In addition to changing the name of Sorry, we've also turned Jim into a drinking game. Anytime he apologizes, we drink. Any time he asks for a favor, we drink. Any time he says "Hear me out on this." we drink. Any time he pauses for more than ten seconds, mid-word, we drink. We do a lot of drinking.
We are here under the guise of hanging out and writing. The truth is I've been a bit withdrawn since the whole Sora thing. And my past being a public blog, I'm pretty sure my friends are spending time with me to keep me from regretfully sleeping with half the population of Boston...again.
"Ok." Jim says. "Hear me out on this." drink "Ok? So... Sorry" drink "Adam. Adam. Are you. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, really. Getting better every time you start talking."
"I'm sorry," drink "what? Oh. Because I know a bunch of gay dudes that would totally let you bone them." He takes a sip of Miller High Life to hide his smirk.
"Jim. I'm fine. Really. Thanks, though. Dick."
"I feel like we haven't gone out together in ages." Jackie says.
"That's because every time we make plans together one of us ends up breaking up. Or getting bones broken. Or killing a kitten."
Jackie's face goes all smeary. "Fair enough."
"So...Adam. I...sorry" drink "I've got to take this." Jim says, putting his phone to his ear and walking outside.
Jackie stands up, sits down in the seat next to me and then punches me while no one is looki...
"Why'd you hit him?" Paul asks.
"Broken bones? Really? Had to go there?" Jackie asks. "Asshole."
"Well, it's true. And you were the only one who went with me to Tuatara's to celebrate Sora's twenty-first birthday, and now we're both single. Every time we get together bad things happen. Now that you live a block away from me, I fear for my life."
"What about Writers' Group nights?" she asks. "Apart from that one time we had to put your kitten to sleep, there hasn't been any drama."
"Are you kidding?" I ask. "The last time you came to Writers' Group, you ended up spending forty-five minutes sitting on a couch next to Deborah crying about your mutual ex-not-quite-boyfriend. It got so estrogenny in the room that Wiz and I started talking about Nascar just to keep our penises from inverting."
"Nascar?" Jim says, sitting in Jackie's former spot.
"Cars." Jackie says. "Driving in circles. It's all a big metaphor for Adam's sex life."
I'd punch her but she's goddamned right, and everybody at the table knows it.
Food comes, and the playlist loops, and we laugh on repeat and say "Jim Silverman" a lot, as we eat our food. And, ultimately, I win both the board game and the drinking game, and Jim, who is the only one of us not drunk, ends up driving us all home, He drops Jackie off on the way. And Paul, right. He also drops off Paul.
"So...Are you sure you're ok?" Jim asks, as we pull up in front of my house.
"Yes. Mr. Skipping CD, I'm sure I'm fine."
"Sorry" dri...right, I'm outside my house without alcohol "I'm just. Hear me out on this. If it were me..." and he, like Jackie, and my roommates, and over-the-phone Celeste, Emily, and even goddamned Ben have their stories about why they hated Sora, and why us breaking up is so friggen great for me and how now blah blah blah.
I won't be lonely over this.
Jim drives off, and I go inside and turn on my computer. Four years ago, when I was desperate to get over Ben, I'd joined an online dating service, and met a really sweet guy who, of course, disappeared into the ether after our third date. Gone so far as to move out of his apartment, stiffing his roommates, and leaving no forwarding address. I'd stayed clear of the site since.
But tonight I don't care about love. it is too early for romance. Too sex o'clock for feelings. I open my profile, update my stats, pictures, and bio, and start cruising around the Boston pages. There are so many pots of brass at the end of The Internet.
I end up mailing four guys, hoping that one of them will e-mail me back soon.
"All of them?" Jackie asks. "You're going to date all four of them?"
"Sure." I say. I have already gone out to dinner with a hot theater twink, and have plans to hang out with an exotic dancer who lives in my neighborhood. There's also a tiny dancer, and a hotel manager.
"All of them?"
"Look." I say. "Between Sora, and Ben, and David, I've spent the last five years pining over exactly the wrong guys. I don't know what I want anymore. So instead of waiting for the same type of guy to drop into my life, I'm going to start sampling a bunch of different guys until I find a new kind of guy. Someone I can be in a healthy, symbiotic relationship with."
"There's a pu pu platter joke in there somewhere."
"Jackie, there's always a pu pu platter joke, if you look hard enough."
"How exactly do you plan on keeping track of who's who? You know you're going to call one of them by the wrong name, right. And I'm not going to be there to wipe their fruity cocktail off your face."
And just like that I get the most wonderful idea.
A group of poets were discussing ways to be on the cutting edge of new fiction, when one of them came up with the idea of rewriting classics word for word, but inserting the word black into them, thus COMPLETELY changing the tone/perspective of the book. His original idea: Do Black Androids Dream of Electric Black Sheep.
So, Jim and I have been spending the evening coming up with other books that would be forever change by the addition of that one word:
Mein Black Kampf
Their Black Eyes Were Watching God
Something Wicked Black This Way Comes
Skinny Black Legs And All
Even Black Cowgirls Get The Blues
Little Black Women
The Black Things The Carried
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Black Galaxy
So Long, And Thanks For All The Black Fish
I Know Why The Black Caged Bird Sings
Heart Of Darkness
The Autobiography of Black Malcolm X
Dreams Of My Black Father
To Kill A Black Mockingbird
A Series Of Unfortunate Black Events
I Did It Black : OJ Confesses
The Jungle Book
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Black Secrets
Harry Potter And The Half Blood Black Prince
Men Are From Mars, Black Women Are From Venus
His Dark Materials
The Illustrated Black Man
The Five Black People You Meet In Heaven
The Black Great Gatsby
The Complete Black Idiot's Guide To Slam Poetry
The Dark Tower
Uncle Tom's Black Cabin
A Black Child's Christmas In Wales
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Black Santa Claus
Come On Black People: On The Path From Victims To Victors
A Black American Werewolf In London
Twelve Angry Black Men
The Black Communist Manifesto
Black On The Road
Lord Of the Black Flies
The Black Cat In The Hat
Choose Your Own Black Adventure
Are You There Black God, It's Me Margaret
Black Like Me
While some of these titles are just amusing, I think some of these books would be very, very interesting. In particular, I'd like to see a scottwoods poem called "Do Black Androids Dream Of Electric Black Sheep?" I mean, I haven't heard a bad Scott Woods poem yet (which doesn't mean they're not out there, just that he, wisely, only shares the good ones more than once), and think he'd come up with something pretty amazing with this title.
edited/added from lj users' comments:
Moby Black Dick
Black Generation X
Hope For The Black Flowers
Lady Chatterley's Black Lover
The Black Bible
The Good Black Earth
A Black People's History Of The United States
Chicago Manual Of Black Style
When one of my ex-roommates was four years old, his parents held a party with all their friends from work. It was an Adult party (not to be confused with an ADULT party), and as such, it was no place for a four year old. And, besides, it was past his bedtime.
Not one to be denied a party, the sage four year old sat down on his bed, and tried to think of a way to go to downstairs and mingle, without being caught, and sent back to bed. He could tie a red blanket around his neck, and wear his Superman pajamas and go downstairs, but Superman was a do-gooder boy scout, who, when asked to go upstairs and go to bed, would be forced to comply. He had once gone downstairs naked, imagining himself invisible, and that had made his parents very cross. What, then? He dug through his closet, and there he found The Answer To His Problems. A Darth Vader mask. Who would dare send Darth Vader off to bed at nine PM? Maybe Emperor Palpatine, but that's about it (these being the days before anyone knew of whiny emo Anakin).
This is how there came to be The Greatest Party Ever, in which a bunch of suited up water cooler types, sat around the couches, and leaned in doorways, listening to a tiny Lord Vader regale them with stories about dinosaurs, and computer games, and other things that strikes Tiny Vader's fancy. Tiny Vader is, at no point, sent upstairs by the little boy's parents, but eventually falls asleep on the chair, and wakes up the next morning clutching the Vader mask like a teddy bear.
This has nothing to do with the story I'm about to tell you, except that when Jim said, "So I've been telling a story about you recently that involves Darth Vader, and I thought you should know." This was the only story I could think of.
"Vader?" I asked him.
"Yea. And, the thing is, I've told a lot of people. And, I figure the story is probably going to get back to you soon. And, so I should probably tell you."
Three sentences in a row that star with And usually spells doom. Particularly when there are three syllables between the a and the n. Doom.
"Remember last week, when I was over your house?" I did. "And, you know how I had you watching videos on Youtube for a while?" I did. "And, remember how I got up and had to go to the bathroom?" Well, this I didn't remember, as I don't make it a habit to record my house guests' potty habits. "Do you know why?" I did not.
"Well, you have all these cool comic book stuf in your house. The trades, the Munnys, and everything. And, so I was looking around, and I saw your Darth Vader action figure." I do not have a Darth Vader action figure. "And, I thought, that looks cool. And so I went to pick it up, and it was not a Darth Vader action figure."
My mind races. What on Earth do I have in my house that looks like, but is not, a Darth Vader action figure?
"It was a dildo." It was not.
"I don't have a dildo in my house. Darth Vader-like, or otherwise."
"You don't? It was by your bed, in one of the cubby holes. And it was covered in...something gross."
Something...? "Oh! It's a bottle of lube."
"What do you mean, ew?"
"I mean, I touched something that you stick in a guy's ass."
What? "No you didn't. You don't stick a bottle of lube in a guy's ass. though, I suppose you could. You flip the top, dispense the lube on your fingers, and then stick your fingers in the guy's ass. The bottle never gets any play."
"Oh. Well, that's not how I've been telling the story."
Which is why, at two in the morning, at IHoP, I tell an assortment of friends, including Ben, that Jim has still not touched anything I've ever inserted into a man's ass, except my hand, which I wave in his face. But I'd washed it plenty of times between those two events.