Lox Strength

September 29, 2012

Nothing wrong with enjoying a lox-and-bagel-chip plate and a glass of house red at the Drink while making up stories about people.

No one in the dark bar can see you pick bits of bagel chip from your teeth and then place the bits back into your mouth to be eaten again, except maybe the blonde at the table to my left who resembles what’s her face from Kentucky who drank five screwdrivers and vomited on her parents’ rug and whose father called what’s his face, who had driven her home, and tore him a new one even though it was his daughter’s fault for being such a teenager.

One man and six women are at the table, and I’ve established that the blonde is the birthday girl and the man is her gay, a puppy lapping orange wine, a chubby hugbot whom I could take, no problem.

After I leave him bloody in a ball on the floor the blonde will ask me how I became so strong and I will light a cigarette and say, “It’s all the lox. I have lox strength, Sally,” and she will fall into my arms and present to me her wine-flushed neck which I will kiss thoroughly before moving to her chest, and so much wetness will coat her legs and pool on the floorboards that it will not go unnoticed by her friends.

They will be so taken by how diligently I am taking their friend that their wetnesses will gush forth and the six streams will flow with the tilt of the floor, gathering loose hairs and bagel-chip crumbs, converging and splitting around knots in the floorboards, damming up at the gay’s split lips.

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Brooksmen

September 21, 2012

Remember in Forrest Gump when Forrest is talking to that nurse who doesn’t want to talk to him and he says, “Mama always said there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes”? Mama Gump was right. That’s why I only wear Brooks. A man who wears Brooks is telling the world that he runs fast and doesn’t care if his shoes look dumb.

For the last year I’ve been rocking Glycerin 9’s. Oh the stories I could tell about my Glycerin 9’s. No less than three times I’ve been at one of North Brooklyn’s runner bars wearing my Glycerin 9’s and this has happened to me:

Lady runner: “Are those Glycerin 8’s?”

Me: “No. They’re Glycerin 9’s.”

Lady Runner: Come with me.

[She takes my hand and leads me into the women’s bathroom and we do weird stuff to each other. We do the weird stuff real fast, because wearing Brooks makes you do stuff fast.]

Unfortunately my Glycerin 9’s are beat to shit and I’m in the market for a new pair of Brooks. But I can’t just pick a random pair. I have to consider what I’m saying with my Brooks. I’ve narrowed it down to a few options.

The Ghost 4
Here’s a Brooks you can set your watch to. A Ghost 4 man sticks to routine: Every morning he goes outside, gets the paper, and brings it back to his gorgeous, independently wealthy wife who’s still in bed. “Here’s the paper, honey,” he says as he pulls his pants down over his Ghost 4’s and mounts her from behind. “You can do whatever you want to me,” she says, “as long as you’re wearing your Ghost 4’s.” Of course he’s still wearing them. Ghost 4 men only take off their Ghost 4’s for foot surgery.

If he doesn’t run marathons for a living, the Ghost 4 man talks all day. He’s a motivational speaker, life coach, or disc jockey. The Ghost 4 man knows that only assholes have to write emails at work. If he needs to email someone, he’ll start yelling and one of his many underlings will jump at the chance to transcribe it.

Ghost 4 men shit a lot. You know, all that running.

The PureFlow
You know how when you see a guy reading Men’s Journal you immediately write him off as a prick even though there’s a chance he’s actually a decent guy who loves to read and perhaps the only reading material he could get his hands on that morning was a Men’s Journal? The same can be said of the PureFlow man.

The PureFlow is the most common Brooks shoe. If a shoe store sells only one Brooks, they sell the PureFlow. Go to middle America, where Midwestern Brooksmen don’t have all the options coastal Brooksmen do, and you’ll meet plenty PureFlow men. They’re good people. Most of them. At least they’re not wearing disgusting Sauconys.

The PureFlow is the ham-and-cheese omelet of the Brooks line. Kids order ham-and-cheese omelets because it’s all they know, it’s comfortable to them. They haven’t been exposed to Gruyere or spinach or truffle oil, just like the provincial PureFlow man hasn’t been exposed to the Ghost 4 or the…

The Pure Cadence
Sticking with the food analogy, the Pure Cadence is the bird’s nest soup of the Brooks line: It’s expensive, most people haven’t heard of it, and you can only buy it at weird places. The Pure Cadence man will go to great lengths and spend a lot of money to get what he wants. In high school, while his friends were sweating which plain Jane, all-American girl to ask to Homecoming, the Pure Cadence man was making arrangements with his Colombian pen pal who, on dance night, almost wasn’t allowed in the gym because the chaperones were sure she was a prostitute.

If I were more cultivated, I would try to become a Pure Cadence man, but I couldn’t pull it off. Legitimate Pure Cadence men would sniff me out as a fraud and mock me on their listserv.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls when choosing a Brooks.

The Glycerin 10
Here’s the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to. The Glycerin 10 is more or less identical to my old standby, the Glycerin 9. A Glycerin 10 man isn’t trying to say much other than, “Hey friend, let’s go running in the park sometime.”

When Scott Rudin produces a re-make of To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch will wear Glycerin 10’s. At one point in the film Scout will ask him why he wears those particular shoes and Atticus will say something like, “Some men in this world have a lot to prove, Scout. They need people to know that they’re better than other folks. Those men run around town in Pure Cadences or Ghost 4’s, and they run real fast. Other men don’t give a hoot about all that stuff. These are PureFlow men. They take whatever comes their way, and that’s fine, too. That’s their way. As for me, I wear Glycerin 10’s. It’s a quiet, honorable shoe for men who strive to be quiet and honorable man. When you grow up, you can be whatever type of Brooks lady you want to be. But I’m a Glycerin 10 man. It’s the only way I know how to be.”

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Plant Food

September 17, 2012

While you blowdry your hair for hours in the bathroom I lie in bed checking email with specks of roast lamb from last night lodged deep in my throat.

I hack three times and cough a garlicky speck into my hand.

I consider flicking it behind the bed post or towards the bookcase over there where no one goes, but what about the sick plants on the windowsill behind the bed?

I reach back and flick it into the pot housing the droopy one that needs food the most.

I can feel more lamb specks with every gulp, and as long as you’re in there doing God knows I’ll be here feeding the plants.

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Three Complaints

June 11, 2012

The Bodega Employee Is a Grump
There’s a fancy bodega near my apartment that sells mangoes for three dollars and cans of boutique lobster chowder for nine dollars. The guy who usually works the register is such a grump. The other day I’m biking back home from day-drinking and want to buy some snacks, so I lock up my bike outside the fancy bodega, walk in, and pick out a mango and a package of lox. As I’m paying for them the grump says, “Do you need a bag?” Ordinarily, I wouldn’t need one, it’s only two items. But I was on my bike, and you can’t ride a bike and hold a mango and some lox at the same time. At least I can’t. “Yes,” I said. “I’d like a bag,” and I even pointed outside and said “I have my bike” to clarify why I needed a bag for only two items. The grump shook out a bag and put my snacks in there. As he handed me the bag, he mumbled, “Bring your own bag next time.”

Bring my own bag next time? OK, grump, the next time I leave my apartment at 3 PM to go drinking I’ll just bring a bag with me to the bar in the off chance I might want to buy snacks five hours later.

I should add that a few days later I saw the grump asleep on the L train with a copy of East of Eden on his lap and he looked like an adorable sack of potatoes.

Sex Partner Did Not Get My ‘Girls’ Reference
I was at a girl’s house watching the show Girls. She’d seen the first three episodes (that’s important to know for later) and we were watching episodes four and five. They weren’t bad.

Later on, we’re having some sex. After that business, I say something like, “So, how are you doing? All good?” or whatever one says, doesn’t matter, and she says, “That was a little scary.”

Now, back to Girls: Remember in the third episode when Jorma from SNL is talking to Brian Williams’ daughter on the roof of the art party? They’re getting flirty, and he says, “I want you to know, the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things.” Then she goes to the bathroom and masturbates. It’s the best line in the show so far and you’d think that anyone who had seen the episode would remember the line.

Back to real life: She says, “That was a little scary.” And then this just comes out of my mouth: “That’s because I’m a man and I know how to do things,” thinking she’d definitely get the reference because she’d seen the episode and it’s a very memorable line. But, no. Instead, she makes a baby-ate-a-lemon face and says, “What?” I’m like, “You know, from Girls, when the guy from SNL says, ‘The first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things,’ and then she masturbates in the bathroom.”

She doesn’t say anything and gets dressed. I can’t believe she didn’t get the reference.

Lingering Knee Injury
About a month ago I was drunkenly taking off my pants late at night and tripped and fell against a large mirror in my room and my knee landed on a screw that’s screwed into the floor to hold the mirror in the place. The head of the screw went up into my knee, just below my kneecap, and for a few days I could barely bend my leg. I went the hospital and the nurse gave me a tetanus shot and a cane and told me not to drink so much.

I can bend my leg fine now, but every once and a while I feel a dull pain. Like if I’m in car for more than 30 minutes and when I get out of bed some mornings there’s a lingering numbness. I’m starting to think the screw may have given me a bum knee for life. Well, not an actual bum knee, but a low-lying bumness that will never go away.

And there’s this other problem: Now I have this cane taking up space in my closet. I don’t want to throw it away; it’s a perfectly good cane. But I’m not going to use it. My knee’s not bum enough.

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My PZ Problem

December 1, 2011

There’s a serious problem in this city, and it’s not those secret-shopper-money-gram schemes that get me every time. And it’s not the HVAC guy whose shoddy workmanship froze my puggle to near death. Those are problems but not as serious as this problem. The serious problem is the prices of Naked juices. Specifically Naked Protein Zones. Those are the Nakeds with the protein sprinkled in. I drink a PZ everyday. The PZs at the bodega by the subway cost $3.50. As do non-PZ Nakeds. That’s a good price for a Naked. But some mornings I don’t buy my PZ at the bodega near the subway. Some mornings I’m on the go, I’m out and about running my errands or exercising, and I’ll buy my PZ elsewhere, like the Khim’s on Graham. The PZs there cost $4.50. That is not a good price for a PZ, and what’s baffling about the Naked prices there is that non-PZ Nakeds retail for $3.50. Why are they charging more for PZs?

I used to buy my PZs at the Duane Read on Eighth Ave. in the city, where they go for $3.69. As do all other Nakeds. I’m fine with that price. It’s higher than the bodega near the subway, but that’s the city, after all. Some mornings I buy my PZ at the Khim’s on Driggs. Now, I want you to guess how much those PZs go for. It’s not $3.50, and it’s not $4.50. They charge $4.99 for a PZ. Five bucks basically, because you and I both know you’re not walking out with that penny. And yet the other Khim’s, the one on Graham, sells PZs for $4.50. If you’re curious, the non-PZ Nakeds at the Khim’s on Driggs go for $3.99, I think. You’d think a company would charge the same for a product across the board, at all locations. But, like life, PZ prices in New York are unpredictable and trying to wrap your head around it will only leave you asking big, unanswerable questions so you might as well drink your PZ and stop thinking so much.

One morning I was at the Khim’s on Graham and I confronted the girl at the counter about her PZ prizes. “Why do you charge more for PZs?” She said it’s because they have to pay the wholesaler more for PZs than non-PZ Nakeds. And I said, “Everywhere else but Khim’s sells PZs for the same price as non-PZ Nakeds. I don’t think the wholesaler s charging you more. And if they are, they should stop. And maybe you’re unaware, but the Khim’s on Driggs is selling PZs for $4.99. You sell them for $4.50.” “Huh,” she said. “Well, it costs $4.50.” The next day I was at the bodega near the subway (which, as you’ll recall, sells all Nakeds for $3.50, a good price, a price I would pay everyday if it weren’t for my errands) and I asked the guy if he has to pay the wholesaler more for PZs than for non-PZ Nakeds. He said no. “All Naked juices cost the same.” As they should! “Some places,” I said, “are charging more for PZs than they are for non-PZ Nakeds. They say the wholesaler charges them more.” He said, “We pay the wholesaler the same for all Naked juices. Why would they charge more? There’s not much of a difference. It just has the protein in there.” I said, “Well, some places in the city are charging more for PZs and they blame the wholesaler. It’s a problem. And two different Khim’s are charging different prices for PZs.” “Khims,” he scoffed. “Well, we charge $3.50.” I said, “That’s a good price for a PZ.” I gave him the $3.50, left the bodega and quickly drank the PZ. The protein surged through me and soon I was ready to run my errands.

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A Real Sicko

September 29, 2011

Two towns make me sick: Las Vegas and Milan, Italy. Las Vegas makes me sick for all the usual reasons; Milan makes me sick for highly unusual reasons. People in Milan don’t have anything to do but walk around and look at each other’s clothes and then go home and blog about the clothes and then email the blogs to each other. They’ll keep emailing blogs all day and all night until one of the people whose clothes were photographed for a blog receives the blog post in their email and says, I’m on the internet, tres chic. It makes me sick. I’ve never been on the internet, and I’m always walking around my town running errands and visiting family. I live in Tuscon, in Arizona, but don’t think I’m the kind of girl who loves cactuses or the hot heat, ’cause I’m not, and I’m not the kind of girl who goes on and on about how Arizona weather is good for your constitution and sinuses. Because honest to God, I don’t think it is. I think it’s a scam. Doctors here want sick people to move here because when sick people move somewhere, guess who profits. The doctors. I want to puke up my guts when I hear someone talk about how much they love the Arizona weather, or how they painted cactuses on a platter in a free art class provided by the city council. Cactuses are cool-looking and I am glad they are in my backyard and heck, free art classes? Sign me up for every single one. I’ll paint tiny dots on my new Keds; that’ll kill a Sunday. But why do people here have to talk about the cactuses as much as they do? They’re plants, they don’t talk, they don’t move, you can’t make love to them, at least not the usual way. So why talk about them so much? It’s like I’m living in Milan, but instead of clothes and blogs it’s cactuses. Milan men didn’t flirt with me when I was there three years ago which was disappointing because Dina from work said Italian men are dogs. She said they’ll follow you up a tree even after you say, Leave me alone, you dog. And you if you wink at them, it’s all over: give them an inch and Italian men will be cooking you dinner and gnawing on your feet and calling you a chow bello. My former best friend and current boss Ada was hit on every night we were in Milan. Ada has a good bod. She’s a smart girl with good hair, and she knew how to drive Italian men wild with a wink and a lip-lick. Chuck: short Italian man, poor and uneducated, bad bod, but he was romantic. When he first saw Ada he approached her and said, Your legs! Are they real? They can’t be. Ada said, Yes, these are my real legs. Chuck said, I don’t believe you, they must be the work of a plastic surgeon, they are perfect. No, Ada said, they are real legs. Chuck said that he must have them. I must chop them off and sell them to the Museum of Perfect Things! Ada said she would not like that, but she gave him the phone number of the hotel we were at and later that night Chuck showed up in an ironed blazer with roses and a bottle of expensive Italian wine, and off they went a-walking around town, pointing at beautiful things they saw in the street like flower pedals and a deflated balloon, and then they walked along that famous river and back to Chuck’s apartment where they got all eepa, eepa, oopa oopa in bed and on the couch and all over the kitchen floor too. They went at each other as ferociously as two things on earth can go at each other. One good bod and one bad bod, entangled in every possible way. I know all this because I followed them on their date and sat outside Chuck’s bedroom and watched them go at each other for hours, and when they were done, while Chuck wiped his mess off of Ada’s neck with a hanky, I knocked on the window to get their attention. Naked Ada said, What are you doing here? I opened the window and crawled in all graceful. I just wanted to say that she’s a liar. Don’t believe her lies. Chuck said, Please go away! Her legs, I said, they are fakes. Chuck looked at Ada; Ada looked at me; I looked at Chuck and then Ada. Check them, check them, I said, run hot water over them. They’ll turn black because of the chemicals in the fake skin. It’s a chemical reaction. Chuck turned to Ada. Is this true? he said. Of course not, Ada said. My legs are real. Chuck said he wanted to believe her but he didn’t because trust hadn’t been built between them yet. He ran into the kitchen and quickly returned carrying a mug with steam rising from it. He said, I’m sorry, but I must know. Then he splashed hot water on her legs. Ada screamed and began to cry. The water must have been very hot. Her knees turned bright pink. She ran into the bathroom to wash them with cool water, and from the bathroom she screamed, These are real legs, you sick fuck! Chuck turned to me and said, You said they would turn black. You said they were fake. What is with you? Why would lie about that? I loved her, but I blew it. What were you thinking? Is it because men didn’t hit on you at the cafe? That’s it, isn’t it? You want to know why? It’s because you’re a dog. Your face is like woof woof and your bod is saying, I apologize for being so gross but please hop on me anyway. Ada has a good bod. She’s smart and her hair is nice. That’s why men hit on her. Men don’t like to go on dates with dogs unless they are loons. Go hang around the looney bin and find yourself a sicko. A real sicko, that’s what you need.

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Can I Call You Sarah?

August 18, 2011

From: Tanya Carpenter
Date: Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 2:33 PM
Subject: Hi! I’am Tatiana / oh88we

Hi! How are you?

My name is Tatiana.
I’m 20.
I’m from Russia, Moscow.
It’s hard to me to write this … ummm I badly like you<3, because you look cool.
Me look over your picture in another’s account.  Amazing, isn’t it?

I’m lonely, because recently my boyfriend cheated on me.
It was very painful. So now I want to find a boyfriend who’ll be really love me. I’ll be happy to have boyfriend from other country.
So if you interested in me write me, please.

On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM, Ryan Grim wrote:

Hi Sarah,

Can I call you Sarah? My cousin’s name was Sarah and even though she has passed on to heaven (or hell or the in-between) I will always love her dearly, and not in the normal way a normal man loves his cousin, but rather in the way a man should not love his cousin. I’m talking about carnal love here, Sarah. (See, Sarah, I’m already calling you Sarah without even realizing it. Ha.) So, Sarah, what do you think about Uncle Craig’s new haircut? I know, right? What is he going for? It’s like, Woah Uncle Craig, is that haircut part of a Halloween costume? Who are you supposed to be, a young Andre Agassi after he walked through a car wash? For real, though, don’t tell Uncle Craig I said that. If he found out I was making fun of his haircut he’d murder me for sure, just like he murdered you, my only love. Oh Sarah, light of my life, fire of my loins. My muse, my sun, my moon — come back to me. Oh my dead Sarah, you beautiful mess of bug food buried deep in my garden, I beg you: let my tomato plant’s roots suck up whatever nutrients remain in your rotting body so I may one day pluck a tomato that grew ripe off your essence and vicariously sink my teeth into you yet again.

-Lars

From: Tanya Carpenter
Subject: Re: Hi! I’am Tatiana / oh88we
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 23:04:36

Hey honey!
I will go to your city in a couple of weeks…!!

I don’t check my MailBox often, at last I have waited your answer to email…

but I constantly On line on site http://dateritn.ru , my nickname is ‘Nevesta’ find me on this project.

You can look there my photos at my profile, … after u Sign UP..

Please, write me where you live exactly and something more about yourself in personal message and add ur picsOn

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM, Ryan Grim wrote:

You’ll be back in Sandusky in a couple of weeks? As a ghost?! What joyous news. Until you return I will refrain from engaging in my morning self-abuse sessions as to preserve enough ejaculate to thoroughly douse your face. I pray that dying hasn’t diminished your love of being doused with ejaculate. Does ejaculate go right through ghost face? It likely does. We will put down that old fuck tarp just in case.

Oh, Sarah, you playful slut, you wily little girl. You know where I live. I’m still in the cottage we shared, and I haven’t changed a thing. Your linens are still hanging on the line in the garden; your dirty dishes are still in the sink. The morning Uncle Craig stabbed you, you promised me you’d take in the linens and wash the dishes and I’m going to hold you to that promise, you dead little slut. Ghosts can do chores, can’t they? Ghosts can get on top and do fun stuff in bed, can’t they? When you come back, don’t give me that “I’m a ghost now so I can’t get on top and do fun stuff in bed” routine. I don’t want it to feel like I’m fucking a pile of leaves. I want it to feel like I’m fucking my ghostcousin.

Each morning when I make my tea I stare at the dishes and think, Nothing else in the cottage reminds me of you like these dishes. Your little paws were all over the dishes shortly before Uncle Craig took that letter opener to your throat. Each morning I scrape a bit of food off a plate – was it hummus you were eating? and peanut butter? – and place it under my tongue, and if I’m in the mood I’ll sit on the floor and rub my belly like you used to, and I’ll do other unsavory things to this body, this body you said you wanted to be buried next to. And believe me, I am still game for being buried in the garden with you. On cold nights, when the girl from the community college whose warmth I pay for can’t join me for dinner, I think of sniffing ricin and leaving a note with detailed instructions for my burial for whomever finds me. Now, in which position shall we eternally rest? 69? Or maybe my favorite: 68. That means you do me and I owe you one, in case you forgot. I must owe you a hundred by now! Good thing eternity is a long time!

To hell with what Uncle Craig will say about my burial plans. We never cared much about others’ opinions. We were (are?) rogue lovers. Like that time we went to the fish fry in Chillicothe. You were the drunkest slut in that rectory. You were kissing any boy who asked you, What up, girl? Father Tom pulled me aside and said, “Please tell your girlfriend to stop kissing my alter boys. They are getting riled up.” And I said, “She’s not my girlfriend, man. She’s my cousin. Whom I fuck.” Those fish fries were bullshit anyway. Ten bucks for some bullshit tilapia and ONE warm Stroh’s? Who cares that we’re blackballed?

Wait. You’re online dating now?

-Lars

From: Tanya Carpenter
Subject: Re: Hi! I’am Tatiana / oh88we
Date:  Fri, 19 Aug 2011 23:46:49 +0400

Hey honey!
I will go to your city in a couple of weeks…!!

I don’t check my MailBox often, at last I have waited your answer to email…

but I constantly On line on site http://dateritn.ru , my nickname is ‘Nevesta’ find me on this project.

You can look there my photos at my profile, … after u Sign UP..

Please, write me where you live exactly and something more about yourself in personal message and add ur picsOn

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Published Work

Page 1: The Fox in the Garage

How I Started a Family

Do We Need Cynar?

Gary 1 and Gary 2

I Work at a Fashionable Hotel Called the Hudson

C.O.D.Y. the Robot Who Hangs Out

Ann and Her Birdhouses

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The Fox in the Garage in 3-D

105 Stories About Ohio

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