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Twenty-Eighth Sitting

Coffee was a constant theme: Her nectar, Her source. The greatest service I could imaginably perform was to wake up a few minutes before Her and turn the machine on. Coffee set the frames around which all Her activity began and ceased. Coffee, not love, was Her drug of choice. Coffee was the river upon which we had our first planned meeting...

Before the obvious flashback: something simply must be done about these mucky, sappy, inept, and amateurish images. Coffee ain't no river; gravity cannot pull together bodies of such slight and equal mass; contra really means "opposite," as in "partners dancing opposite one another." Stop it stop it stop it, you Writer Man. The book speaks to You and objects to your silly sentimentality, your bad lyricism, and your general lack of coolness. You have wussed out; you started as a clever little bastard, insightful, and maybe wise in some accidental way. Now, look! Crud reigns; you've spelled its name in airplane-food across many many pages. Being conscious that you have done this only makes it worse. There is no excuse, no literary device you can pretend to be using, no way to reconcile this stuff with the beginning as being one book. I, Your Book, am a mess, a split-personality disorder, a big heap of SLEEP, complete with dream imagery, wish fulfillment, anxiety, and random effluvia. I hope You're happy, Writer-Man... Visitor... DOG. Now proceed...

***

I had gone for coffee several times that summer already with several different people. It was social, non-committal, and a good time-killer. This time was very enjoyable but pretty unremarkable. The chemistry was obvious: we talked well, she (she was not capitalized at this point) made me smile, but the live-in boyfriend thing spelled No Go... another nice thing that could happen but won't, like fifty million others. We drank our coffee. She expressed pleasant surprise that I had called her after only just meeting her when we both performed at a local acoustic music club. I explained that I really had only intended to get her address for my band's mailing list, but seeing how she lived so near-by, and her number was right there in the student directory, it seemed worth pursuing. She talked about her boyfriend. I made cynical comments about relationships in general. She expressed her lack of enthusiasm. We made friends.

Love leaves a film on people. I know people who were engaged or otherwise seriously involved with people out of state or country -- or dead. In their rooms, their faces, their lives, you could see their significant others, smell the territory marked. I never got felt those traces upon Her; the impression that She was "taken" never set in, even when He was there. Of course They were connected, of course there was and is so much history, but to me it felt like ties with Her family, of ties with the past, not with a living, breathing Man who still held the reigns to her heart, the keys to her body, and the voice-activated remote-control satellite connection codes to her mind, you dig? Not enough urine sprayed around maybe. Bah! I'm still a damn home-wrecker, or at least a home-wrecker wanna-be.

Time out for morality check. I've said a lot on the subject already, mostly about how useless it is, when we have concrete considerations that means so much to us. I wrote a thesis on the matter only slightly shorter than this book, so I know what I'm talking about, or at least am ignorant in great detail. A moral judgment, says I, is a judgment of what sort of creature the person in question is (or all people, if we're talking general moral rules), and so what is appropriate for he/she/it to do. If I am trying to be a janitor, then I should clean stuff and get paid for it. If I am, in essence, a janitor, then it is my moral duty to clean stuff and get paid for it. Since people, as I said, are essentially purposeless, i.e. have no essence, or at least find it very difficult to conceive having one, then moral absolutism is hooey. But all you have to do to get me to follow some rule of behavior is to show that I really do in fact, no matter what I might normally think, consider myself to be the kind of thing for which such a rule is appropriate. So if I'm acting like a DOG or a junior high school gym class member, then just point to one of my many sentiments against these types, to some practice of mine (like believing in Tripe as the primal force for good) that conflicts with this behavior, and I will try to set things right, or feel guilty. Then point to my negative comments on the practice of guilt and I will switch instead to self-loathing. Point to the corresponding comments and I will first explode, then try to go to sleep for a long time, and finally take three or four months to get my shit together and stop being Damaged. Ho ha. Now we're rolling.

If you want some details or clarifications concerning the preceding argument, Read the Book; I'll send you a copy if you want one. I will warn you that it is very painful to read, and was much more painful to write, and it only contains four (i.e. 4) Butt (i.e. Danny Partridge) jokes in the whole thing. Ah, some fun never gets old.

So do I think I'm slime for trying to take another guy's honey? Sometimes. But I don't understand my process in thinking that, because I don't know what I really am or even really think myself to be. I know that I care for Her, so I care about Her concerns, but if She really, underlyingly or explicitly, wants/needs/loves me, then it is my responsibility to kick the Damaged where She cannot. Him I sympathize with, but know from being in his position that if She's not happy, He's going to be messed up eventually, moreso than He is, and will eventually recover. I don't mind being the instrument that merely speeds up the process. So you see, honey child, that this moralizing schmoralizing that you may exert upon me will do naught but bring lengthy boring intellectual digressions, so bite it and enjoy a cool made-up scene at which I was not even present, at least not since eighth grade, 10:35am-11:15am Monday-Friday at Northbrook Junior High School...

***

"Ear! Ear! Ear!" The yips were short and sharp, like the DOG which emitted them, whose name was Louie, despite his being female. He looked like a bat who should be chewing a cigar, but would be more aptly termed the morning songbird, as he/she/it would yap the same rhythmic, incessant, annoying yap every morning much too early when Zelma put her/it/him out.

"Lookit the Bonger! Lookit the Bonger!" Brandy would reply. She was one of the feistier females in the pen, looking vaguely like a smallish wolf with black splotches. She had large ears, I guess, or at least Louie thought she did. Frankly Louie's ears are much larger and more heinous-looking than any of the other dogs, but this did not stop her taunting yap. The meaning of Brandy's utterance escapes me entirely, being DOG-speak.

If she wasn't my friend I'd beat the crap out of her," said Bear of Brandy to Lucy Lou, a shining black hyperactive and loud comrade. The two of them began to howl together the Be-yO, Be-yO part of The Police's 1983 hit "Every little thing she does is magic" to demonstrate their coolness. Buster the useless dog tried to join in, but the others mocked him: "You don't even know what it means... Body Odor! Body Odor!" they shouted, thus giving away what they took their chant to mean and spoiling their exclusivity...

Buster, being your standard loser turd, turned his aggression onto Queen, an all-black dog with long, luxurious fur and very sad eyes. She was very meek and mellow, and so a good target for abuse. "You suck," said Buster.

"So you've said," = Queen's comeback.

"Yeah, but you suck."

"I know."

"You totally suck!"

"I will keep that in mind."

"And... you suck." Satisfied that he had made his point, Buster retired to a dog house at the rear of the pen to avoid being eaten by Bear, who had resumed running around harassing anything that moved."

"Hey Buffy! I'm gonna fart. You like to smell farts, don't you? Come here and smell my butt!" This was Bear's come-on line.

"FffUGYOU!" howled Buffy, the last DOG to be introduced here. Buffy was a very pretty dog, tan with white paws, fluffy and smooth with a lassie-like grandeur, but she was totally psycho. Scared of everything, She had turned being sheepish into an art form. To every stimulus -- DOG, human, or otherwise -- came the same irritated "FffUGYOU!" bark, making Her, next to Bear, the loudest of the pen-ridden bunch. She demonstrated this again as Bear chased her around.

"You suck," Buster informed her.

Throughout this banter, Brandy was still attempting (via a high-pitched whine) to jump over the fence to get to Louie whom she could easily eat. Louie wasn't in the pen because he/she/it was too degenerate to handle being off leash even inside. Louie's function was to keep Zelma worried by periodically escaping and standing in the middle of the nearby highway. One of the dogs had been once hit by a car, the as-yet-not-introduced Sugar Dee (who is okay now), but unfortunately, it was not Louie. "Ear! Ear!" she/he/it taunted. By now Lucy Lou and Bear were also trying to jump the fence, Buffy had lapsed into constant repetition of her obscenity, and Buster had taken to barking at all of them just out of spite. Queen fell asleep. I and She, not forty feet away in Her room on that 5:00am morning, did not.

***

No! I will not drag out such a scene featuring only actual true-life quotes from the degenerate acquaintances of my past! I must move focus into that room with Us in it and change the time to the moment I am writing (evening). She sits next to me on the floor now... now disappears from the room for some moments. These things bring the situation too close to reflect on, block out all thinking. Now here witness the exposure of Tripester to world. This moment, these emotions, call for action, not reflection. The Book says "Drop me! Kiss da girl!" but I know that would not be wise, would alienate and violate Her trust, so I must at least warn Her... I will say "The Book says I should drop it and try to kiss you. What should I tell it?" I let her read these words from the page just written. She says: "Tell it... she hesitated, and she hesitated... and... and tell it that would be entirely inappropriate... unfortunately."

...Unfortunately, my heart is beating so quick I can taste it, and my handwriting is getting too messy to read, so I must stop and climb deep into my sleeping bag, despite the fact that She's sitting on it.

1/2 hr. later or so... and now the pain in my chest comes as the heart grows weak from attempts to sleep when not tired. I breathe overly-deep for a minute or so and search with slow and forced pen for some way to sublimate. The air is very cold on the back of my neck, as She has opened Her window to the Alaskan night. I have been somehow bumped up to Her bed (for the moment), with She still sitting on my couch-cushioned one set up on the floor. She hangs Our not-altogether-dry laundry around the room. I attempt to help, but, unwilling to move from my resting place, merely throw stuff around unhelpfully. I want desperately not to waste these precious days.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]