Sunday, May 22, 2011

lost time

"Remember this, Lenny; develop a sense of nostalgia for something, or you'll never figure out what's important."

Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart

Sunday, May 15, 2011

how we read and how we are

"You used to read dictionaries like other people read novels. Each entry is a character, you'd say, that might be encountered under another rubric . . . A dictionary resembles the world more than a novel does, because the world is not a coherent sequence of actions but a constellation of things perceived. It is looked at, unrelated things congregate, and geographic proximity gives them meaning. If events follow one another, they are believed to be a story. But in a dictionary, time doesn't exist: ABC is neither more nor less chronological than BCA."

Suicide, by Eduoard Levé, translated from the French by Jan Steyn, excerpted in Harper's, April 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

stuff and nonsense

If I were in love with Me (and I would, how could I not be?), I would send Me cute funny text messages all the time. I would send Me distracting funny YouTube videos at work that are so short it will only take a minute! I would have really nice flowers delivered to Me, too, but probably only once because I is not rich. Not roses because roses are boring or orchids which are too serious or daisies which are too silly. Maybe wildflowers because that is very romantic or maybe ornamental kale because that is funny! I would pay a lot of attention to Me because Me is so funny and interesting and smart and I would laugh at all of Me’s jokes and I would make jokes and Me would laugh too, ha ha. I and Me would get bored with traditional romance very quickly though of course because we are too interesting and different and strange and Me would suggest we move to Central America and live in the trees and eat bananas like monkeys and I would agree. I would say, "Me and I should fling our poop at people’s heads and shriek loudly" and Me would laugh and laugh in a shrieking monkey voice.

I would not have wasted time asking Me on a date. Well, I imagine that once I had met Me, I would be excited and a little confused (because Me can be confusing!) but because I am persistent I would have started trying to get close to Me, to talk to Me frequently, and to persuade I's friends to say subtle but flattering things about I to Me so that Me would want to talk to I, too. As Me would. I am a catch. So is Me. We will catch each other! This is a new game. I will score 100 points and so will Me and we will both win. Yippee! Me would make eyes at I and I would be so blushing, oh my! Flip flop and hip hop and skip the heart through the jump rope, please. Me would chat up I so coy and sly I would not know which way was up and would say so only to have Me reply, “Don’t be so normative, please.” Oh Me, oh my.

I would call Me regularly and we would talk and pretty soon I would be calling Me everyday or Me would be calling I because hello Me is not passive but one day Me might say “Me am very busy. Me cannot talk to I everyday. Me have to work!” and this is when we would leave to go live with the monkeys. After that we would go live with the fishes in the Caribbean and sometimes we would be fishes and sometimes we would be beautiful mermaids who lived in an underwater sandcastle and we would be so pretty and I would say to all the fishes “Look at Me! Look at Me!” and Me would smile and hold up a mirror to I's face and I and Me would laugh and laugh.

And Me and I are very happy and have lots of sex but no babies because we are the same gender! And this is why sex with the same gender is the safest sex: Babies are very dangerous! But we decide we want to be dangerous, we are wild and wacky, and so we both get artificially inseminated and have two little babies, Myself and Me Too, and we sing songs all day, hooray! We sing in four-part harmony, I, Me, Myself, and Me Too, we are in love and we are so happy we cry and our tears make rainbows in the sky and then we bake cupcakes and don’t even burn them because we are so good at baking cupcakes and we put lots of frosting on top. I would spoil Me rotten, and Myself, and Me Too. All of our teeth would fall out and we could only eat mush but then our friends the oysters would make us new teeth out of pearls and we would blow them bubble kisses and they would wink back so flirty and say, ooh, your pearly whites! And we would take very good care of our new teeth and eat our vegetables and maybe even live above ground again for a while and send Myself and Me Too to preschool where they could learn important things like counting and coloring inside the lines and then when they got home we would tell them they are only allowed to count backwards and to color outside the lines.

I was telling this story and someone said to I, “But wait! But wait! There’s no You.”
And I said, "That’s true."
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