Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Jim, my roommate Byrne, and several other people in the poetry community seem to have the mistaken impression that I hate all Gay People. "And I don't mean you're self-loathing. It's just other Gay People you hate. I mean, if I were to make a pie chart of The Gay Community where the red part was people you hated, and the black part was people you liked, it'd look like a watermelon."
"To be fair," I replied, "the chart would look exactly the same were you to divvy up the straight people I did and didn't like."
But it's Pride Week, and most of the people annoying me are Gay. Here's the thing, I don't like PDA, even when it's hot gay guys groping each other and doing the type of kiss that surrenders to Germans. I don't like the huge rainbows, the Madonna karaoke or the horrible fashion shows with clothes designed by people who should never be given scissors within a hundred yards of curtains or bathmats. When I was invited me to read for Coming Out Day, rather than Pride, at a local spoken word venue, I knew the organizer understood me.
Ryan and I had a couple of hilarious conversations about how we hated melodramatic gay people. Which made his choice to kill himself rather than come out to his parents all the funnier. Ok, I didn't find it funny at the time, but it makes me giggle now. Ben and I used to riff on hating stereotypical Gays, too. And that was funny because Ben is as stereotypically Gay as you can get without bursting into Flamer (note, I am not calling him a Flamer...he's just sort of sparky). But it was Sora that I really bonded with on the loving homosexual men, and disliking Gays.
And while I may joke about not liking Gays because of their fashion sense, their musical taste, their propensity for PDAs, their coifs, their deliberately screechy octavoices, or their gonorrhea; the truth is none of them seem to know how to kiss properly.
Trey kisses like a damp sponge being pressed against your lips and slightly squeezed into your mouth. I met him, as I'm sure you're shocked to know, over The Internet. And his kissing was the only thing I could fault him on, but I haven't called him back.
Breezy uses his tongue like a woodpecker searching for ants at the back of my throat. I wouldn't have called him back either, but the thing is, he has this great apartment. I mean, the apartment itself is average. Not furnished very well, devoid of any art, but it's on the water, meaning bay breeze, which, given the current heatwave, is good enough reason for me to continue seeing him.
"So you're dating a guy for his apartment." Asterisk said. "I've done worse. I've dated people because I've liked their dog."
And while I've never dated someone for their dog (and I do love dogs), I did threaten to break up with someone when their ex-roommate got custody of their awesome cat.
But it's not just the apartment. Despite his being the sort of Gay you can see from space even when your eyes are closed and you're facing in the opposite direction, staring into the sun, he looks really good naked, and since he has no roommates, we spend a lot of time naked in various rooms. But we're not dating. I know we're not dating because both of us had sex a few hours before we met up (with other people, natch), and then a few hours after we parted ways.
Clem was the guy a few hours earlier, and he received kisses exactly the way a closet case kisses back when they're about to freak out. Our sex didn't really last long. We'd been trying to meet for months. And by we, I mean he. I gave up on him after the first night of his utter wishy-washiness. He wanted to meet. He wanted to bottom. He had the night off, but, horrors, what if someone saw me go into his house and knew I was A Homosexual? What would the neighbors say? (I surmise they'd say "Yawn. He could do better.") Three months and eleven potential meet-ups later, he sent me his address, and I hopped on a bus that connected with another bus, and yet another bus that dropped me off in his neighborhood. We made very small talk before we went into his bedroom, where he closed his shades, turned off all the lights, and took off his clothes. When I tell you he had the tiniest penis I've ever seen, I'm not trying to insult him. As much as I can appreciate a good looking penis, it's not the part of the body I'm most looking for. His ass was assdequate. But barely had he slid his skivvies around his ankles, when he started stuttering. He had one hand on my cock, and said "Your c-c-cock is so big. I can not b-b-bottom for you." Which is flattering, but not at all true. Not even remotely true. So I started putting my clothes back on. "I can jerk you..."
"No." "You can't." "You've got a car, right?" In the movie version of my life, I'm smoking a cigarette. Perhaps two cigarettes.
"Yes. I have car." Apparently, my cock was also so big he forgot how to use articles in his sentences.
"You're giving me a ride home then."
And he did, without question. And as soon as he dropped me off at the house, I e-mailed Breezy, and he took care of my Indigo Testicles. And I took care of his. And he took care of mine. And I took care of...you get the idea.
When it was finally well past time for sleep, Breezy plopped down beside me on his bed, and grabbed my arms around him. Which is fine. I can be rather cuddly when the mood strikes, much to the chagrin of Sora, and the amusement of Zach. The latter referring to me as a Reverse Teddy Bear. "A big furry thing that never lets go." Breezy was the first guy I've ever thought of as aggressively huggable. Every time I was certain he was asleep, and I tried to move to a more comfortable position, he would wait for me to adjust, and then commandeer both my arms, roll his neck under my chin, and slide his butt up against my cock, which is a pretty surefire way to get me to not move too much for a while.
"Where are you going?" He asked when it was time for me to head home, shower, and consider going to work.
"Not yet you're not." And he was correct. Three times.
When I got the e-mail from Diego, telling me he would die without a sperm transfusion, I wondered if meeting him was a bit over the top. True, I hadn't been laid since Wednesday afternoon, but it was only Friday afternoon, and I had a show to go to Friday night. But he was insistent that he come over. he was insistent about everything. Kissing too desperate. Mashing of mouths, yanking of head. It was like kissing a fish that kept flopping around to different sides of your face. "Am I too rough?" He asked.
"No." You just suck at this.
"I am ready to be-" don't say it, don't say it, don't say it "taken by you, Big Boy."
Sora developed a sense of dirty talk sometime after the first year or so of our on/off/on/off/off/off/on/whatever dating cycle. I think this goes back to a conversation we had where I mentioned liking when a guy was vocal in bed. But what I meant was guttural, or pleasured, not loquacious and porn talky. But Sora gets away with it because I like him & he has a sexy voice. Diego...Diego doesn't fall into either category.
It's not just the bad kissing, the bad porn talk, or the everything else. Diego proved something I suspected, but didn't know for sure. I'm not into black dudes. It's not a racist thing. I cold surely fall in love with someone black, and I can damn sure realize when someone black is hot, but I'm just not into them, precisely the same way I'm not into women. They can get me hard, they can get me interested, but they can't make me come. Diego tried and tried and tried and tried, until Byrne knocked on my door to let me know it was time to go to the show. I don't think he heard what we were doing (and if he's read this far, I'm sure he now regrets it). "What do we do?" Diego asked. "You have not--"
"We've got to go." I said. "Sorry, I didn't realize this would take so" epically "long."
"I will call you later." He, I hope, lied.
"You are such a whore. Again." Dmitri said, when I relayed the stories to him. "Who killed himself this time?"
"Ouch. No one. I mean, I'm sure someone, but nobody I know. It's just..." Oh shit.
Trey kisses sponge, Breezy woodpecker, Diego cinder block, Clem like a terrified mannequin. Diego is too needy armed, Trey too non-existent. Diego too existent. Clem not enough anything. These ass shaped men trying to fit themselves in my heart slot. And, in theory, the piece should fit. Not perfectly, or even well. But they should drop into the too big space for them, and slide around like the last pretzel in a kiddie pool sized bowl. Everything about Breezy is nearly acceptable except that he isn't Sora.
The best thing about having your perfect boyfriend commit suicide a month into your relationship is that you realize pretty quickly that there's no way you can improve upon your relationship or bring things back to the way they were. He's never going to be nearly as responsive, even if you dig him up and put a tape recorder in his chest. He's never going to kiss back, or silently judge you for your horrible necrophilia jokes. Ok, he will always silently judge you for your necrophilia jokes, because silent judgment is one of the few things corpses are good at. But, I digress.
Sora is, thank everything, in no way shape or form dead. Nor is he, nor has he ever been perfect, as my friends frequently remind me. But he kisses properly, which is sometimes enough. And we've become accustomed to our cycle of whatever it is we do or don't. And Zach was right about me. I'm just this big, furry thing that never lets go.
If Clint Eastwood movies have taught me anything it's that power corrupts. Say you own property. Say you own a lot of property that you, maybe don't like to to do anything with. You're too important to fix your tenants' appliances, or return their calls. Shit, you own property damnit. Thirtysomething buildings worth.
When a tenant calls to let you know that a city worker has, in the course of repairing the road out front, accidentally severed the power cable to your building, you don't have to answer the phone. You own property. But when the tenants give your phone number to the cops and the electric company, well, you figure you'd best get there before they get one of their fancy tools to break into the basement on their own. And aren't you a great person for finally doing your job?
Now, you've always known your tenants have no power. When the winter was its coldest, and a fuse blew in the basement, and the tenants called because they had no heat, and no electricity on one half of the apartment, you sit back in your nice, heated, house with your trophy cunt, and drink, and bask in the knowledge that you own property. Oh, sure, you could hire someone to manage your properties for you, and they could solve your tenants' problems, but, the thing is, you're a lying shitbag, so you have problems trusting other people because you assume that they, too, are lying shitbags. So you wait three days until it's convenient for you to drop by and flip the breaker in the basement that you refuse to give the tenants keys to. What are they going to do? Complain? You own property.
But now the city is calling you, and the electric company, and there are police involved, and not because of your tenants but because the city made a mistake, and they are trying their damndest to fix it. So you show up in a reasonable amount of time, and you chitchat and exchange pleasantries with the working class people and your tenants. You are a little impatient because your trophycunt is in the car, and she's angry because the little people and the law are intruding on her baby eating time, or whatever it is she does when she molts her trophy skin and lets her true demon form out. You don't have time to remember everything your trophycunt does, you're too busy owning property.
But the city and the electric company are taking too long, and you're too important to stick around. And when a tenant offers to lock up the basement as soon as you leave, you decide that isn't good enough, so you lock up the basement and leave.
Here's the problem: in an effort to be kind to the tenants, the city placed a generator next to the building to supply them with electricity, and the city doesn't want to lose the generator, so they've parked people next to it to make sure the generator isn't stolen, vandalized, or whatever it is people to do with massive generators. The generator is turned on around three pm, and will be kept on until the power can be connected. And, hey, at eight o'clock, they city and the electric company are ready to turn on the power, cut the generator, and go about their merry way. But you're so busy owning property and being important that you don't feel it necessary to let them into the basement. So the generator, the city employees, and the electricians sit on the street collecting overtime.
How bad would your luck have to be for the deputy mayor to show up on his motorcycle at 1AM and start asking why the project that should have been finished at 8pm is still going on? Pretty bad?
What if he's there and discovers that the neighbors, not your tenants, but the neighbors have been complaining about the noise?
What if he's there and discovers your illegal advertising for one of your many side businesses posted on the front of your non-commercial, residential building?
What if he's so pissed that you've refused the city and the electric company entrance, that he decides that first thing in the morning all of your important property is going to be inspected by the city, the fire, and the water departments?
Is karma that much of a cunt?
Oh, yes. Oh, yes it is.
Tomorrow morning, you'll realize that you have to reimburse the city for the overtime the city employees worked. And you'll be fined for refusing entrance. And the inspectors will probably hear a lot of complaints from the tenants about you not ever fixing anything, or returning phone calls. You know, those things that property owners are supposed to do.
In short, you will have a miserable fucken day. And I will be laughing very very hard.
I think no one has called me out for the way I've been overusing cunt lately, because they understand why it's such a foul word for me. I give it the same vitriol that lesbians give ballsack, and bisexuals use dignity. Just one of those things that has no use in our daily lives. I mean, I haven't seen a cunt up close (not counting my landlady) in a number of years now. And while that number isn't nearly as large as I would like, it is greater than two, which is a start.
I try and only use the word in the company of people who will understand me, or on The Internet, which is just a bastion of tolerance.
I understand why some people don't like it. I don't like when people use the word retard as an insult when they mean stupid. I don't mind if they use retarded to describe someone who is slow moving due to a weight dragging behind them, or someone who will be late for work because construction retarded their progress, but stupid people are just stupid. And cunts are cunts.
This week I am calling her a cunt because she called me while I was in the pharmacy across the street. She had blocked her number, and had I not been expecting a call from someone whose number I didn't know, I wouldn't have answered the phone at all. But I did.
"Safey, this is Cunt. Do you know what the date is today?"
"Excuse me?" To be fair, I probably sounded a bit rude, but I know a lot of Cunts, and I was not expecting any of them to use me as a phone-activated calendar.
"Do. You. Know. What. Date it is?"
"The...tenth, I think. Which Cunt is this?"
"Safey, if it's the tenth, why don't I have your check?"
"I put a check in the box on the first." Late the night of the first, but they never check it until the second or third, anyway.
"We don't have it."
And, here, perhaps, I should have been diplomatic, and said I'd look into it. But, here's the deal: for the last four months, she has told me that she hasn't received my check. And each of these prior months, it's turned out to be another of the roommates' checks that she hasn't received. She has been wrong four consecutive times. In fact, the only time I have ever been late with a check was the first month when I had my mother send a check to her. Unfortunately, Cunt isn't Cunt's real name. It's an alias. She probably pissed off the wrong sort of people before she married into money, and she has therefore changed her first and last names. I don't mean she changed her last name to her husband's, I mean she changed it to the name of the fancy car she hopes to one day own and use to run over small children and poor, elderly people. So, since her fake name isn't on the mailbox, the check was returned to my mother. Eventually. First, the tenants upstairs held onto it for a while. At any rate, rather than taking the diplomatic route, I said "Are you sure it's my check this time? You keep telling me you haven't received my check, and it ends up either 1.) your husband has it, or 2.) you have mine, and are missing another roommate's."
"You should know whether or not you wrote me a check." She said, which I did know, and which I hadn't given any impression of not knowing.
"I DID write you a check, and left it in the box. Are you sure you didn't lose it again?" A couple of months ago she'd lost two of my roommates' checks (they were in the same envelope), causing mass chaos when she told the two roommates whose checks she'd already cashed (mine, included) that she didn't have our money.
At this point, I was nearly back at the house. Hoping that she and her husband would be in the driveway, so I could talk to them face to face. They were not.
"Hold on." She said. "I'm not dealing with this retard." I thought she had put the phone down after the hold on and was addressing someone in whatever circle of hell she was currently being flogged in. I was wrong.
"Hi. This is Cunt's Husband." Cunt's husband said.
She had called me a retard. While I was within earshot. Deliberately while I was in earshot. And now she was going to try and Good Cop me with her doormat husband?
"Look." I said. And before I could really vent my anger, he interrupted.
"I'm going to check and see which check we're missing when we get home, but I think it's yours."
"Well...I'll go check, myself. Either way, I'm going to write you a new check. If you find the old one, cash them both, and I won't write you a check for July, because I'm tired of your lousy bookkeeping."
"I'm sorry." He said. It's a phrase I imagine he mutters in his sleep. Especially when Cunt saws off and re-attaches his head with her teeth. "You should check with your roommates, and see if one of them hasn't paid us yet. I know we're missing one check, and I think it's yours."
I entered the house, where Byrne was sitting on the couch. My bad mood was very apparent. "One of my roommates is home, the others should be back in a couple of hours, I'll check, and call you back."
And I hung up the phone.
According to my electronic bank records, it was my check that hadn't been cashed. So I called back Cunt's phone. She answered. "Give me your husband." I said.
She handed the phone to him. "Hello?"
"Yea, I checked my bank statement. You haven't cashed my check. But I definitely put it in the box on the first, before one of my other roommates, whose check you've already cashed."
"Could you write another one and leave it in the box? The one out front."
And here, I refrained from saying, Oh, you mean the one I've been using every month since last October?
"Yea, I called the place the other day." FULL OF SHIT! FULL OF SHIT! "And they finally got the part in. I don't know how long before we get it." Probably the day we move out. "I'm thinking of calling the Better Business Bureau."
"Me, too." I said. "It's been five months. Also, I don't appreciate being called a retard by your wife."
"Yea, okay. So, the money will be in the box tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow night, probably. Or Thursday. I've got a busy week." It was the first of two days off for me.
"Ok. Well, thanks."
And, as I hung up the phone, I said "What a cunt." Hoping he hadn't hung up yet, or, better yet, had handed the phone back to his wife.
See, when I'm calling someone a cunt, I'm using it as an insult the way a chipmunk might use the name teeth when he's annoyed by an obnoxious beaver. Sure, a lot of people have teeth, but beavers are just so...teethy about their teeth ownership. And this is what my cunt landlady is like, picking up the phone with her gigantic vagina, and using it to queef the word retard at anyone who doesn't bow in awe at her enormous, enormous cunt. Instead, opting for "Sure. And while I have you on the phone, when are you going to fix our washing machine. It's June." Our washing machine having been broken since February.
Cher is one of the luckiest unlucky women in the world. When she and her husband drifted apart like wood on opposite sides of a hurricane, she worried that she'd be the first person in her family to be divorced. It became inevitable, so she began searching for a lawyer, and the proper documentation. She needed her marriage license. Only, as it turns out, the man who presided over the ceremony, never filed it. So she couldn't divorce her husband because, legally, she was never married to him.
Cher also happens to be fluent in Sexy, though she is not, by nature, a sexy person. And she has it on good authority from several gynecologists that she has one of the tightest pussies on the planet.
For this reason, I'd have been a fool to not go to Cher's going away party.
I am no fool.
I was given a ride from Worcester, where I was doing poetry, to Slummerville, town I live in as well as party location, by Arnie. And, while I generally have a "don't hang out with men over thirty who have nicknames that end in -y or -ie", Arnie is an exception.
I had neglected to get a gift for Cher's going away party, which is a gift in itself, as the whole point of her party was to get rid of shit, not accumulate more. But Arnie had this six pack of IBC Cream Soda he wanted to get rid of, so I was given the task of dispersing it.
A nice (read: boring) person might have found the designated drivers, and passed them out accordingly. I am not a nice person. The thing about IBC Cream soda is that it's contained in bottles that look suspiciously like beer bottles. So, if a drunk person, were, to say, rummage through a beer cooler, he might find the bottle, and begin drinking it, mistaking it for alcohol. It's not an evil prank, and not even very funny, but I decided to do it.
An hour later, I'm sitting in a room with Asterisk, Cher, Elinor, and many many other poetry people, as well as complete strangers. There is a band. And by "a band", I don't mean a bunch of people with, per se, instruments. I mean: two acoustic guitarists, and three hot guys banging loudly on tables, the floor, and anything they can hit against something. The music starts off sort of Nirvana-y (ok, very Nirvany-y, in fact, four Nirvana songs in a row), and then starts to skew weird. The Venga Bus song, Prince's "Little Red Corvette", Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy With It", and C&C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now", which Arnie knows all the words to, in the proper order.
During the last song, one of the drummers begins doing this insane solo, banging on the table, and a stack of large tupperware bins. Cher's dog goes nuts at this point, barking and whining, and Asterisk (who is drunker than usual, which is a neat trick), tries to shush the dog by yelling at it.
"Right!' Yells Elinor, "Because it's the dog that's behaving inappropriately."
And we all laugh. And Asterisk takes a swig of his freshly opened, oh god, Cream Soda.
Now, I've known Asterisk for about eight years now. During this time, I have never at any point seen him sober. Ever. As in, not once. In fact, I've never seen him drink anything but PBR or Miller High Life. I've certainly never seen him drink
"What the FUCK is this???"
Arnie's jaw drops. No one else in the room is aware of what is happening. Stunned silence.
"Cream soda." I say.
"Heteronormative, teeny-bopper bullshit!" Asterisk shouts, and begins gagging. He runs into the kitchen, tossing the cream soda in the trash, runs his tongue beneath a faucet, shouting obscenities.
Arnie points out, "Asterisk doesn't like Cream Soda." to the astonished onlookers.
Heteronormative, teeny-bopper bullshit. Heteronormative. Teeny bopper. Bullshit.
I'm not sure what it is about you straight people with your damned cream soda, but I am tired of being oppressed by it. And you kids these days with your iPods, your Pokemon sheets, and your Cream Soda. In my day, it was 8-tracks and Moxie, and that's the way it always should be. GET OFF MY LAWN!!! Cream fucken soda. It's just faux-Rootbeer, and we all know it, so cut the bullshit, and fess up, you heteronormative teeny-boppers!
The PBR cleansed not only the taste of the offensive beverage away, but also the memory of Asterisk's outlandish statement, until we, his evil friends, started dropping said phrase casually into conversation, like roofies in a bottle of Jones Soda.
"I hate you motherfuckers." Asterisk says, whenever the phrase's origin is revealed to another outside person. "Promise me this will stay just a small thing, and you won't go, like, spreading it all over The Internet or something."
I promise, Asterisk.