Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Fourth Wall

click here for the artistSomebody broke through the fourth wall.

Somebody reached from beyond the ephemera, beyond the electronic realm and into my reality.

Until recently, my interactions with you, my fellow bloggers, readers, have only been through comments, lurking and stalking.

For the most part, you only exist in my head where we are all attending a swinging, virtual cocktail party, discussing the latest must-see, must-do, must-trash. Paris Hilton’s ears must be ringing.

As with any congregation of bloggers, a group of people are discussing the latest meme.

(A meme of course, is a “thought virus,” which I think are popular because they’re mostly egoistic, self-serving, so about me, me, me. I don’t think it would be so popular if it was a "youyou," would it?)

In this virtual cocktail party, you are like the photo in your profile, the one you have chosen that best represents the you-ness of you: the studied casual attire; the brainy, come-hither expression; the diffused lighting; everything that says “slutty intellectual” (or is it “intellectual slut?” I get confused sometimes).

We converse animatedly in our natural stances: my chin casually resting on my fist, face tilted up and right (my best profile) with a small smile; you, looking over your shoulder, gazing slightly to my left, your mouth frozen in mid-laugh. Or, if you are a gay man, you are shirtless, your elbows raised, palms resting at the back of your head, biceps flexed--the classic gay male pose--as if auditioning for a underarm deodorant commercial.

Then, one day, I received a package.

A box from Amazon! It was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting any deliveries, otherwise, I’d have shaved my pubes for the UPS guy.

Later, after I douched, I quickly opened the box.

It was a book, “Dry” by Augusten Burroughs. The book was on my online wishlist. Jimi Sweet, a fellow blogger, looked it up and sent it to me. Jimi’s blog is one I visited for his amazing eye in photography.

I am always curious about other people’s wishlists and I never fail to check it out when I see one posted in a blog. I think a wishlist says a lot about you--your taste in music, books and movies. But I think it mostly says “greedy motherfucker.”

But mine of course, is posted here just so I remember all the stuff that I would like to buy for myself in the future. It most certainly is not meant for people to buy and surprise me on a special occasion like a birthday or Christmas or because it’s Tuesday.

I am not so obvious. If I wanted my friends to buy me stuff, I would do the proper thing, you know, by laying a guilt trip on them.

Things seem a little different now. Maybe it’s because the world is smaller somehow. Before Jimi, you were all ions bouncing around in my LCD screen.

Now, I don’t know what it all means.

But I hope it means y’all are gonna buy me more stuff.

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I've finished “Dry”, that's next.

Monday, February 14, 2005

It Don't Smell Like Roses

I guess I didn’t really know what it’s like to be in a relationship. I thought a relationship meant romance, you know, like scented candles, flower petals in bed, chocolate syrup in your crotch.

If I knew better I’d have set my expectations differently--I wouldn’t have put my boyfriends up on a pedestal. I also wouldn't have used my Ralph Lauren sheets--chocolate stains like a bitch.

I mean, who tells you these things? It’s like a vast conspiracy. Everybody will tell you how wonderful being in a relationship is. C’mon, ask a friend, “How’s things going on with you and so-and-so?” and invariably, the answer will be “Things are going great, could never be better!” This is what they tell you right up to the day before divorce court.

When it comes to their relationships, I think people are compulsive liars. It’s practically an epidemic.

I’m not any different. I find myself telling friends how Brian and I hardly spend any time apart, how we finish each others’ sentences, how we get along sooo well--you know, all the sweet and mushy things that make my single friends puke inside.

You know how when your friends get coupled, you never see them ever again, like they dropped off the face of the earth? I think this is because single people cut their brake lines. I would too, if I had to listen to myself.

I think it is this misconception of the true nature of relationships that doom 51% of them to fail.

It’s probably all those damn fairy tales. They really work a number on you. What Disney didn’t tell you was that Snow White was really just shacking up with seven midgets, who were probably chronic potheads. C’mon, they have names like Sleepy, Happy and Dopey. Snow White probably had a nasty cocaine habit, hence her name.

And our parents, geez. When I was growing up, my own mother, who in full knowledge of my dad’s cheating, never failed to tell me to find a nice girl and get married. She would tell me this as she cleaned and dusted my ceramic doll collection. For the longest time, I thought getting married meant getting a cleaning lady.

So, we spend all our time trying to find the perfect person and so when we find it, we can’t really turn around and say, wow, that wasn’t what I expected.

Yes, for awhile, it was The Dream, the romance. But before you found out yourself, did anybody tell you exactly what Happily Ever After meant? And if somebody did have the balls to tell you, did you believe them?

Let me tell you what comes after Happily Ever After: it’s a ticket to The Jerry Springer Show.

I think maybe, if we were all taught what to expect, then maybe the success rates would be higher.

Look, I’m not knockin’ relationships. It’s great and wonderful and all that la-di-dah. But it’s not a Valentine’s Day card. It don’t smell like roses or honeysuckles or scented candles all the time. More often, it smells like wet socks, morning breath and farts under the blanket.

Once a person really understands what this all means, maybe a relationship has a decent chance to survive.

And maybe that's when you'll be able to appreciate all the smells of a good working relationship--farts under the blanket and all.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Blog Gimmickry

Listen, nobody really reads blogs. It’s just the same old tired popularity contest where the only thing that counts is who you got to link to you and how many. Think of it as spreading herpes, except online.

If you want your blog to be popular and you’re not going to call it something sexy like “Diary of a High School Whore” or “Bound for Muscle” then you’re gonna have to come up with a gimmick, come up with a cool tag line, or some kind of angle.

Heard about the guy who works as a bouncer in a strip club? How about blogging about your sexual exploits while taking a shower? Or maybe something really gimmicky like living in war-torn Iraq?

I wasn’t feeling that creative the day I started this blog, otherwise I might have called it “No Pussy Please”. I already have two cats, thank you.

My only previous experience with bloggery was LiveJournal, but the free account didn’t allow a lot of customization.

Besides, LiveJournal is mostly a cluster-fuck and it’s all about "comment flirtation" with your shirtless or nude avatars. I would have made a nude avatar myself, but I felt that a 1" square photo could never, ever capture the delicate nuances of my asshole--only a 5" x 7" photo will do.

But if you want people to read your blog, then you’re gonna have to blog a LOT. And you can’t just talk about how you had coffee that day and how it was so hot so you scalded your tongue.

No, you’ve got to write about something people can relate to, you know, like shitting in your pants while you were on vacation in Mexico. You gotta give people a reason to tune in to you everyday so they can talk about you in their own blogs.

And if you are willing to talk about deep, conflicted feelings while providing nude photos of yourself, you’re miles ahead of the rest of us.

For some reason, nudity makes conflict seem to have more substance. Nudity adds a touch of gravity to normal day-to-day stuff like reading a book, vacuuming the living room or going to church.

And nothing beats balls, man. Yeah, when all else fails, you should always fall back to scrotum. I mean, maybe I can elicit a giggle from my prose, but that’s nothing compared to the laughter a picture of a pair of wrinkled old testicles can bring. Say it out loud with me: balls. Balls! BALLS! Now, wasn’t that fun?

As you may have noticed, I myself am of the opposite bent. I only post about once, sometimes twice a week. I can't possibly rant about something everyday, there would be no time left to fix my hair, which has got to take priority.

Blogging is natural for me. I’ve always wanted to have a website. I wanted to put up photos of my cats, my latest projects and start a book club. This is because deep down inside, I am mannish, sixty-something retiree with a predeliction to shoulder pads, living with three other roommates in Miami.

I also wanted a revenge webpage where I get to trash my ex-boyfriend. I mean, nothing is more therapeutic than ranting about your ex, except maybe if I put up the naked picture I took of him in the bathtub looking quite shocked. I bought a new hair dryer the next day. It wasn’t a good idea getting it wet.

I think my boyfriend gets irritated sometimes when I am blogging instead of paying attention to him. Ok, maybe more than sometimes. Ok ok ok, he’s looking at me right now with undisguised contempt.

I am not sure why, I can type and jerk him off at the same time. I mean, I do it all the time myself and so far, I haven't heard any complaints. If it's good enough for my goose, then it should be good enough for his gander, right?

I think he would prefer that I was looking at gay teen porn, at least it would only take about 4 minutes a day and a box of tissues.

(Just a few more minutes, ok? I promise, then I'll even throw in a blowjob.)

Ok folks, I guess I have to go now. I have "something" to take care of and if you’re around in the next 3 minutes after I post this, you may be able to catch it on my webcam.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A By-The-Book Affair

I’m not one of those people who can casually pick up a book and leave it anytime, not caring if they’ve finished reading it.

It takes a lot of effort for me to find a book to read: cruising it at the bookstore, eyeing it on the shelf, walking nonchalantly, giving it a small smile as I pass by.

When I finally summon enough courage to approach it, I go tentatively, studying the cover, perusing the blurb, flirting with the first page. Sometimes I can get very daring and read an entire chapter. Scandalous! The clerk eyes me disapprovingly behind the counter.

When the plot clicks, I get this rush, this giddy feeling. I have to rush to pay so I can go home and get into bed with it. I spread its pages apart and dive in. I am enthralled, passionately reading all night.

In the morning I wake up and it is lying tenderly on my chest. Not just one for a nightstand.

When a book is really good, I keep it forever. It occupies a very special space in my bookshelf, in my life.

But once in a while, I get a book that starts out good but starts to turn bad. I have made a bad judge of its cover.

I find it hard to abandon a book. I usually stick with it to the bitter end. I am co-dependent that way: even though I derive no more pleasure with it, I cannot untangle myself. I am bound to it.

I try to negotiate with it. Another few pages I say, maybe it will get better.

But it doesn’t.

I can get really violent. I will slam the book close in disgust, or throw it physically across the room. But in the cold light of the morning, I am ashamed when I see its cover bruised, battered, lying there, forlorn.

A friend may see the book and ask me what happened. An accident, I say, the door...

But even though I carefully consider each book I encounter, most often, I get this feeling, like it wasn't meant to be. You know the kind: you have fun while it lasts but when The End comes, you part ways amicably.

Just another by-the-book affair.

I may bump into it in a resale store, or see it listed on eBay, or maybe hanging on to another reader’s hands.

I try to remember why it didn't work out. But my memory of that particular story arc only comes in bits and pieces. I realize it doesn't matter, I've already turned the page...





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My other ruminations about books:

On The Bus
Used Books
Mint Condition