December 13, 2007
Kim Kardashian keeps wanting you to take your shirt off in public. What is the deal. It’s like a constant thing with her. Granted after two people have been dating for some time, a person is granted certain liberties within the parameters of the relationship. The person gets a drawer at your condo, you get bedsheets so infused with her scent that you never want to wash them again, not ever. The person reserves the right to call you after midnight and demand that you come over immediately with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food because she is depressed about something the bloggers were saying about her that day, you get to, whatever, feel useful. There’s give and take. The point is why does she want you to take your shirt off in public.
Like the other day, she wanted one of those coffee drinks with the complicated names and all the caveats. You can never remember it exactly, which you worry annoys her, but you’re trying. It’s like a triple non-fat something with a shot of something and two something somethings and no something? So you both walk down to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in your neighborhood and she orders her coffee (which looks a lot like just an actual coffee) and you sit outside and people watch and chat and drink your coffees and GOD YOU JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH. Every second with her is AMAZING. She is easily the best girlfriend you’ve ever had and did you seriously catch yourself daydreaming the other day about what the perfect way to propose to her would be? You can’t…who is this person in the mirror? Who is this person so helplessly in love, so wholly fulfilled in a relationship? You. It’s you. It’s you.
So you finish your coffees and start heading home. She wraps her arm around yours. It’ll be a leisurely stroll: you’ll take the long way. When you get home, who knows? Perhaps if the mood is right—
Then she turns to you: “Hey, take your shirt off!”
You give her a look. Oh, you.
She says: “It’s such a nice day! Take your shirt off!”
You are wearing only a t-shirt on top, so taking it off will leave you with basically nothing. Are you a person who can just walk around in public with no shirt on?
Last week, same thing. You were taking— God, it was just the most romantic walk on the beach. Like in a movie. And suddenly she was giving you those eyes and asking you to take your shirt off. And yes, you were at the beach, people do take their shirts off the beach, but you weren’t going swimming. Plus it was overcast. What’s that about?
I mean you’re not fat. God no! Seriously, you’re not. But you’re not Mister Tight Abs either. You know this. It’s fine. You’re average. You get by. But you’re not worth parading around or anything. You had this verified by multiple disinterested third parties after the beach incident. (Your sister and her husband and their son Arlo, who is 8.) You wish you had some other friends you could talk with about this, but your male friends have all fallen by the wayside since you started dating Kim. It wasn’t one of those things where you finally have a girlfriend so you start blowing off everyone to be with her. Not at all. They just started being weird about you dating her, and you couldn’t figure out what the deal was. Like making strange comments about parts of her body. And one of them asked if she let you hit it from the back, and it just…the idea that you would ever hit her is so beyond out of the question. How could someone even ask something like that. How could you hit her? You love her.
You love her and she wants you to take off your shirt in public. So fine. You take your shirt off and she wraps her arm tightly around yours again and her hand is in your hand. You walk and the afternoon unfurls around you.
And maybe this is what love is: the sensation of the sun traveling all that distance to gently warm your bare skin, but also the looks from people on the street who think (suddenly) that your nipples are maybe a bit too sticky-outie.
November 29, 2007
Josh came over the other day to help you move some sheetrock. You’re redoing part of the basement, and it’s turned out to be a much bigger job than you were expecting. You probably should have just paid someone to do it, but whatever, it’s do-able, just kind of a pain. Josh is good like that, willing to help out. He’s done this stuff before and it didn’t take the promise of very much beer to get him to come over and—
“Hey what the hell is this?”
Josh is holding a picture frame he picked up off the mantel. It’s a picture of you with an attractive woman, your arms wrapped around each other.
“Is…what’s going on in this picture?” he says.
You take the picture from him and do that thing where you hold it down and look at it with your head tilted up. You’ve been wondering lately if you need bifocals or something. It’s kind of hard to focus on things in certain lights.
“This was from last summer, I guess?” you say. “There was a concert at the beach or something.”
You hold the picture out to him. He just stares at you, doesn’t move to take it.
“So anyways, yeah.” The plan was just to have Josh help you move the sheetrock, but now that he’s here, maybe you can get him to just help you put it up. Two people could probably bang through the job by lunch.
“That’s Eva Mendes,” Josh says.
You give him a look and then look at the picture again.
“You know her?” you say.
He’s still just staring at you. “Everyone knows her. She’s famous. She’s been in a ton of movies.”
“Yeah? Cool. So I was thinking that we just bring all the sheetrock down, then you can maybe help me figure out what other stuff I need to do next.” Right? Kept him talking about the project, and then he’ll just be involved and pitching in without even realizing it.
Now Josh is looking around at the other pictures on the wall. “Wait. These are all of you and Eva Mendes. You’re dating Eva Mendes. You’re dating Eva Mendes? The actress?”
Wow, Josh really seems to want to talk about this. She could definitely be an actress, that sounds vaguely familiar. You remember meeting her at a movie premiere? Maybe? Or a party at some director’s house? Something?
“Yeah we’ve been together for a while.”
“For how long?”
“I don’t know, just a little while. Since New Year’s.”
“That’s almost a year.”
Whatever! God. “So you’ve seen all her movies?” you say.
“Yes! Well, yeah, I think so. I don’t know. Maybe. I think.”
Silence. Josh doesn’t seem to be able to remember whether or not he’s actually seen any of this person’s movies.
“She’s been in a lot of magazines, too,” he says, finally.
“Oh,” you say. There is really so much work to do, even after you get the sheetrock up. You have to put something else up over it before you start painting, right? Josh would probably know. He’s still staring off into the middle distance, lost in thought. “So…you read a lot of magazines?”
“How can you be dating Eva Mendes? Why didn’t you tell me about this? This is huge. Eva Mendes?”
Fuck, fine. Better just go along with this and get through the conversation, or else you’ll be here talking about it all day, and not putting up the sheetrock.
“I just don’t like to make a big deal out of it. I don’t want people to treat me differently just because I’m dating Eva fucking Menendez, you know?”
He’s still staring at you. The sheet rock is still lying there, and it’s just this big weight, crushing your chest and making it hard to breathe. The basement will never ever get finished. The morning is like half over.
October 25, 2007
Criss Angel is going to mindfreak you tonight. He promised. Maybe “mindfreak” isn’t the technical term. Buttfreak? Mouthfreak? WHO KNOWS! The night is young and a lot could happen. Here’s what his email said:
>get ready. CrIsS AnGeL >>**˜ψ¥=§+°-mInDfReAk-°+§=¥ψ˜**<< will perform his gratest trick for you in your bed. be
> ready. be naked and ready and >all set to go. you will be lying in bed alone, not sure what
>is going on, and then SuDdeNlY i (CrIsS AnGel will be there, having sex with you!!!!
>not saying how/what position. not saying what part of your body i’ll be doing it with. thats part of the
>ps. please have your front of your body facing NoRtH .’.;♣.’.;.’
You read this today at work, in your cubicle. Where, can you just say, Samantha was being a complete pain in the ass all day and apparently no one in marketing knows the first thing about PowerPoint. But anyways, pretty exciting. What’s the deal though, he didn’t say what time this was all going down. Were you supposed to run home and get ready right away? Like right then? Or was it safe to assume this would happen during normal being-in-bed hours. You had plans to go clubbing with Heather and them. Cancel that? Probably? So OK, finish work, leave at around usual time after boss leaves, go to grocery store as planned, make dinner, catch up on livejournal/myspace, watch the show with the doctors or the show with the police officers, whichever one is tonight. Then go to bed, like at a normal-ish time. Slightly early. That should be fine.
Ugh you are so bad at telling which way north is though. OK the street goes east-west, right? So you go up your stairs and you’re facing south, so then if you were in bed lying on your back you’d be…what. Facing up. God damn it. Maybe the creepy military guy in shipping has a compass. Shit, OK. The hallway is perpendicular to the street. Is that the right word? Not going the same way? So if you’re turned EAST when you go into the bedroom, then if you lie in bed facing the closet, that’s north? Is that north? What happens if you get this wrong. Dear God please don’t let Criss Angel accidentally fuck you in the ear tonight, Amen.
October 18, 2007
More and more it seems like the internet is getting closer to being the way I always wanted it to be. These are all things I wish I had written:
- A Filmgoer’s Guide to Bad Sex With Christian Bale– If they don’t turn this into a series, I will.
- “Assignments” by Joanna Novak – The best writing about The Olsen Twins you’ll read all year. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll read quite a lot.
October 11, 2007
No was willing to have sex with Perez Hilton. I’m talking about no one. And I know what you’re thinking: “What about the homeless?” But no—apparently even they knew who he was and would have none of it, not even for a pile of money. So this was going to be a problem.
After the MSM withered away to nothing, internet advertising became the primary source of revenue for most corporations. But due to the fact that celebrity gossip was the only reason anyone used the internet anymore, the most popular celebrity gossip bloggers had become de facto oligarchs. As old and withered and horrifying as he may have been, Perez Hilton met no resistance when he made outrageous demands, threatening to stem the flow of celebrity gossip and send corporate profits into a tailspin if his needs weren’t met.
And now Perez Hilton wanted to have sex with someone, anyone, and no one was willing to volunteer. No man nor woman nor tween.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the government quickly mobilized the Senate Sub-Committee For Getting Someone To Have Sex With Perez Hilton. The main senator stood up in front of everyone else and began his speech: “Someone needs to have sex with Perez Hilton. I don’t care who, but someone has to do it. This has gone on long enough. The corporate branch of government is threatening to pull funding on the legislative, so I want ideas, and I want them now.”
“How about inmates?” one senator said. “Round up some prison inmates and just force them to have sex with Perez. Pitch it as a work-release program. Shave time off their sentences depending on how well things go?”
Most of the senators nodded in agreement with this plan.
“Jesus, am I the only one who remembers Gawkergate?” someone said. “Honestly.”
“My esteemed colleague is correct,” another said. “Forcing inmates to have sex with bloggers is now expressly forbidden, thank you President Kottke.”
“Come on people, ideas,” said the main senator.
“Fine,” someone said. “Regular inmates are out, but what about terrorists?”
“I like where this is going,” said the main senator. “Continue.”
“Well we have so many, and the latest reports from the penal cities are all ‘I CAN HAS OVRCROWDING???'”
“Works for me, let’s–”
“–Whoa now,” someone said. “Don’t the terrorists want to have sex with our celebrity gossip bloggers? Wouldn’t we be giving them exactly what they want?”
The senators debated this at great length and eventually came to the realization that they weren’t 100% sure where the terrorists stood on the having-sex-with-Perez-Hilton issue. But since no rational people wanted to, it seemed safe to assume that that would be exactly the kind of thing the terrorists would be all for. And we shouldn’t give in to their demands. Even if it would totally help us out.
“Fuck. So that’s terrorists out, asdfksd;jfdsa.”
And so despite weeks of debate and pinkie-sworn promises of quinti-partisanship, the Senate was unable to come up with a workable solution for getting someone to have sex with Perez Hilton. That was when the corporations began rioting, and soon afterwards Chancellor Calacanis was forced to announce the Sex Draft.
October 4, 2007
You were staring at all that remained of Steven Tyler: some bones and skin and feathered hair, held together by a complex arrangement of silk scarves. He was lying in bed waiting for you, his heart monitor bleating softly in the background beneath the first single off the new Aerosmith album. Some release party. Why did your friend have to enter you in this contest? Why did you have to win?
Everyone had known Steven wasn’t going to be able to wheel himself around stage one more time, so instead of a tour, the record company had put together this contest to coincide with the release of their 25th album. “A Night Of Fucknication With Steven Tyler.” That was the name of the album, A Night Of Fucknication. Was that supposed to be a play on “fornication?” Honestly, whatever had happened to creativity. When you found out you’d won, you’d said “Well at least it’s not A Night of Fucknication with Aerosmith!” Bad joke; the other members had been dead for years. Steven was the only one still breathing (more to do with contractual obligation than personal volition), and everyone knew the album was just a bunch of old samples and outtakes from previous records, chopped and scratched, rehashed. There was even a crossover song with the second Britneybot.
You undressed down to your underwear (which felt naked enough), and slid into the bed. Steven moved slightly, sensing your presence. Oh, the skin on his face. Years of rubbery over-emotiveness, all that screaming and scatting and playfully saucy mugging, had rendered it slaggy and lifeless. You put your hands on his face and pushed his skin around until his lips were over where they were supposed to be. You leaned in to kiss him, but hesitated.
GOING DOWN HA HA HA his electronic voice prosthesis croaked.
Oh god. How were you going to get through this. Having sex with Steven Tyler wasn’t really the prize; clearly it wasn’t any prize, just a useful marketing hook. You would also get credits and medicine that you desperately needed, but not until the act was finished, not until the press got their complete account of the event.
You got to lose to know how to win, he had said, a lifetime ago.
Behind you, someone in the press box cleared his throat.
You took a deep breath and threw the sheets back.