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Saturday, May 31, 2008

provoke and pursue

Balkan people are expert at getting involved, getting in the middle of things, things that don’t concern them, shit-storms and squabbles alike. We’ve done it for centuries. We invented the world-class scrape. It should be in my blood, but these days – fuck-a-duck – I’ve been languishing, spectating and generally feeling sorry for myself. First Anna, always at arm’s length, then in Rome Francesca’s cold shoulder, and now Brendan and his friggin’ fraulein. I’ve been playing all these in the back of my brain like little youtubes. It’s pathetic. But there’s only so much of this shit I can take lying down. The worst thing that can happen to you is nothing. This is a fact. Get slapped, kicked, scratched, jilted anything and you’re ahead, you’re in business. Nothing is worse than nothing. So I tell you, get your foot in the door, stand your ground, piss on it if stays shut. For the past week I’ve been hitting all fronts, like a swivel gun, all sides take a hit. I call it provoke and pursue. Ask me the time and I’ll tell you my life story, step on my toe and I’ll get in your face. I’m Balkan again, I’m everywhere and constantly changing, I’m kaleidoscopic. Branson - pdf-man - wanted his reports bound and ready by two – bang!– No can do, sir. So he says (goatee agape) excuse me? And I say, I’m going to the turkish bath (you have to come up with that shit on the spot, though, there’s no time to think.) He says, Ben je helemaal gek geworden! So things escalate, so what! you roll with it, and you stick to the plan, you drop everything and you go to the sauna. Because it’s monday and mixed-gender there’s just you and a Jewess named Goni, plump, Sephardic, bejewelled, and as you throw eucalyptus water on the coals, she says, my, my, you’re a skinny young man, you must eat more – swivel and strike– skinny? maybe, but multilingual and able-bodied. And you wink at her. You wink so she can see you right through the steam in the turkish bath. That’s how you do it, kaleidoscopic, always adapting. And the next day you don’t wait, you call Goni first thing. You say, Shalom, and she says, hi there, and you say, ok, Goni, let’s go eat!