Here’s a little narrative. Politically relevant. Politically incorrect.
I came too naked. Smelled like a brewery. At the computer two women wiggled into their clothes, and one called the other mom.
“Oh, God,” I said, and staggered into the bathroom. The unshaved face, the pillow-spiked hair, stared back at me in the mirror. “You’re a sick bastard,” I muttered.
“Hey, sweetie!” the young lady shouted.
But nothing doing. I closed and locked the door.
“What the hell’s he up to?” the mother asked.
“Maybe he’s shy,” the young lady said.
“Fuck him!” shouted the mother. “Let’s get outta here!”
I heard the door slam and came out. On my computer there was a hotshot new blog — Becker-Posner. I read the essay on preventive war, some kind of cost-benefit analysis.
“Bullshit,” I said.
I sifted my drunken brain and shouted its contents: “Yeah, I’ve been to war! 1969! My ass in the grass with a “16,” no TP and absolutely NO GODDAM WEED! I don’t need anybody telling me what it was all about! I knew, we all knew, less than a month off the fucking boat! And it takes THEM two decades to admit to AMERICA that THEY failed to understand the nature of the conflict!”
By this time people down the hall were shouting back at me. Mostly profanity. I bellowed at the top of my lungs like a just-castrated bull: “FAILED TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT!”
It roared out the open window into the street. Some young kid on a bike looked up. I leaned over the windowsill and shouted: “Never let’em getcha, little buddy!” He gave me the finger and pedalled away.
My head kept nodding, understanding his rebellion. Finally I turned back to the blog and read the comments under the essay. You know, by all the geeks and brainiacs who had nothing better to do.
I learned there was a storm brewing about one of these guys, Becker or Posner. How he couldn’t write for shit. You know, lots of run-on sentences, a whole lot of passive voice. I recalled Ghandi. How he said he wasn’t passive about anything, even though people branded him a pacifist. So I threw open the door and sailed my rage down the hall: “WRITING SHOULDN’T BE PASSIVE EITHER, GODDAMIT!”
I sifted my brain again. The parts that weren’t flooded by Southern Comfort, Corona Beer and some Italian shit I’ll never pronounce. There was something there, something deep in my gray matter. It had to do with poetry and profanity. Two things I know a lot about. “Focus, focus,” I muttered. Then it came floating to the surface out of that dark frightening abyss.
IT was HENRY MILLER. One of my icons. This NEAR-GOD of my generation. I hit the comment button on Becker-Posner and began to type.
Slowly, methodically, AND WITH GREAT LOVE, I sifted through the golden words of Advice to a Young Writer. I applied my shakey fingers to the great task: write …. delete …. write some more …. delete some more …. work the words …. work’em …. work’em.
When finally done there were three passages left. What I considered the meat of Miller: If you can’t make words fuck, don’t masturbate them! When you speak of Cunt put hair on it! Try to forget everything you learned in college.
I stood there. A big grin. The words loomed majestic like a Lincoln Continental. Then I hit the submit button and off I flew into history. The first drunken poet on the Becker-Posner Blog.
I walked to the corner. Me, my bathrobe, the still-spiked hair. Standing in line, I waited for a latte.
“Any of you read Becker-Posner lately?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said from across the room. “Some asshole with balls left a comment quoting Miller.”
She was seated at a laptop. Lots of long red hair and attitude. All the things I liked.
“That asshole’s me,” I said. “I’ve got standards.”
I told her my trade name. How I write for a living and a reason to live.
“I’ve read you,” she said. “Rebellion, profanity, lots of insanity. Stuff a bitch like me can relate to.”
She got up. All legs. “You locked into that Latte? I make a better cup of coffee at your place.”
She grabbed my arm and steered us toward the door.
“I just hope you’re single,” I said. “And no mother issues.”
She grinned. “I just soaked my ex for a million-five.”
“Oooh,” I said. “You keep getting better and better.”