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Saturday, January 23, 2010

the A list

Give me a yard of yarn and a diabolo and I’ll amuse myself; I’ll dick around for a while, I’ll even try to catch that spinny sucker behind my back – chuck it up whoop and catch that thing like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Absolutely. And yes, it could be fun, I don’t deny it. Or show up at my house around dinnertime and feed me lamb chops and couscous with some of that fire-hot harisa sauce – same thing – I’ll eat, I’ll relish. No doubt about it. All true, all true, but none of this makes the cut, the diabolo, the couscous, not by a long shot.

At the end of the day – I’ll tell you – all stacked up, it’s people I love! Warm-bodied bipeds with nerves, knots in their stomachs, blushy faces, jittery hands and above all! stuff to say: Lui, my man, what goes in a bouillabaisse? A conversation about clams, for instance. Cleavage, Labas, on older women, what do you think? (Brendan) not my favorite, but beats a diabolo hands down.

In short: long-haired, short haired, male or female, people. It’s with people I live, people I mingle, converse, interact, intercour–

CUT!

(um… I hold a special and particular fondness for females– this is true – and a few even ignite fires in my groin and lower abdomen: redheads, girls from Split and Dubrovnik, classy chicks from Belgrade and so on, but this has been documented and is not the subject of this present exposé)

Where was I? People, yes, but not all people. We have here vast populations and among them, to be sure, there are some monstrosities too: six-hundred-pounders that can barely move (I speak not of the professionals that wrestle Sumo; they are incredibly agile). And there are people who are monstrous in a less visible, but equally disturbing way: some have demonic breath, others sweat like hogs. And there are even those that are monstrous in a way that is practically invisible, that can go undetected for years, but is deadly nevertheless. I speak of men and women who seed your thoughts with nettle and thorn-bush, who plant seedling quips and jibes until your mind is crawling with fucking brush and thorn, and you can’t see jack shit anymore for all the undergrowth, let alone move without scratching yourself bloody –

CUT!

My list… I was going to give you my list. My list of people hand picked out of a population of 6.692 billion and counting (I just checked). Some are alive, some are dead, some I don’t know, but all are class-A, stand-up, league-of-their-own types. Clams, cleavage, stock-chit-chat, anything goes with this band of greats. Here they are, in no special order, my people:


Labas, Bee: Sister. Dome-haired semi-professional bowler. Winner of “Best Sister” and “Best Sister… Ever” National and Hemispheric. Famous words: hit me with that little rake again little brother and you lose your balls.

Benchpress, Brendan: muscle-bound macho-man. Conspiracy theorist and philandering rake (other rake). Famous words: drop the brain Labas; it draws blood from where it is needed most.

Bigman
: Creature of the burrows. Holder-down of the fort and gentleman of the night. Famous words: [none in known language].

Spirelli, Mica: Au-pair extraodinaire. Lithe-limbed princess of Ljubljana. Wearer of fleecy wool and sayer of sweet-somethings. Famous words: hold my hand you baboon.

Gonzaga, Luigi: Predecessor. Barefoot soldier of the spirit. Winner of “Coolest Medieval man-of-faith” and features in “Best Haircuts of the Sixteenth Century”. Famous words: keep your word and the path will clear itself.

Stanic, Drago: Serbian. Numerate gangster. Disembodied spirit. Holder of hotdog stand on galaxy rim. Famous words: Ignore the gun please, just give me the money.

Labas, Lui: Croat. Once-in-a-while nuisance. Land animal and ocean-faring spirit. Professional. Amateur. Admirer and defamer. “Best Brother” Hemispheric bronze medalist. Famous words: I’ll just show up if your turn me away.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

meeting your maker

Sittin’ on my stoop – glass of pretzels – nice easy little day. A Turk or two puffing smoke and a bum on a scooter. Easy going. Ladeeda. Scratchy-scratch. Flick a bugger. Kick up dirt and check a cat make a run for it. All’s well this corner of the universe. All’s well. Dealt a comfy hand today. Yes siree! Comfy little hand. Sit down, have a pretzel…

Thus was my ease on this quiet afternoon… Thus was my ease when the shit came down.

Holy mother of God! Umpire of the infinite! Shit-kicker Galactic! What in Jesus H –

It came down on my skull like a godly jack handle, so hard, so fast I spit pretzels in a cone-shaped spray. My hands seized what they could. My bare feet jostled. My eyes did crazy laps in their sockets.

Fast I scrambled to adjust, but Time – rascally-ticker – pulled a Houdini on my butt and double-quick tied past, present and future in a smartass little knot I could not for the life of me unravel. And thus I stood, Lui Labas, a timeless figurine completely helpless to understand what the fuck just hit me, what needle, what ballpoint pen, what crayon came down from God-knows where to probe me in the skull, here on my own square of ground!

Then – in the flash that followed– Time pressed on. Pretzels dropped like Mikado to the ground. I sprang to my feet, I reached for the doorknob and with my other hand lassoed my scarf around my neck (my faggot-ass scarf, correct, but this is not apropos right this minute), with grace I lassoed that sucker as I spun, pretzels crunching underfoot.

Meanwhile, overhead, the sky crackled like fruit-de-mer on a grill, and on the ground Turks scuttled for shelter. THEN, just before the sky turned black, just before sound vanished fully from my ears, I managed a final leap to safety, into my cube.

As I arced over the threshold – frame by frame –I felt my body’s utter tinyness, utter fragility, as if my limbs could snap like balsa wood and my skull crushed like a tortoise egg.

I landed a finger-snap later, and that’s when I heard something behind me. The sound of feet and the fresh crunch of pretzels.

I was terrified. Utterly terrified. I dared not look. I could not. I stood completely motionless, pillar-of-salt, balsa wood and eggshell...

Lui? HELLOOO. Are you in there? My man! It’s me, it’s Louis. Sorry to barge in like this. I was in the area and I thought –

Jesus Christ LOUIS!! What did I tell you about this! Send me a text for God’s sake! I told you, this biblical shit pisses me off!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

merging, in a fashion

I have a sleeveless sweater (or sweater vest) that I wear most days when the weather is on the fence. I wear it with my fence-corduroys which are corduroy everywhere except the knees and butt where they are worn practically to canvas. For these occasions I have a scarf too that Brendan calls (and I quote) my faggot-ass scarf because it is small and made of cotton… maybe muslin. Regardless, I do not take advice from Bren about clothes. About this I am categorical. Brendan rips the collars off his workout-t-shirts, he wears merino v-necks on bare skin and he pulls his trousers up around his waist like Jean-Claude van Damme. I’ve told him that his crotch bulges and that on most days the lay of his manhood is in the public domain. His response: Yes… and?”

There are all kinds of reasons I don’t take advice from Brendan, but these are primary: ripped collar, v-neck on skin, muscles-from-Brussels. All three are cardinally wrong. If you have any one of these whatever else you do is irrelevant… to wit: Brendan’s belt has two sets of holes and thus two belt “forks” of stainless steel; the wallpaper on Bren’s phone is a picture of Chuck Norris kicking a giant Asian man in the face. You see where I’m going here?

But I digress.

I bring this up because the other day I wandered off into a conversation about the oneness-of-everything, that in fact we are all one, and that one day in the distant future we will all merge into a single consciousness… in a fashion.

I rejected this. I mean, I rejected it as a notion and as a possibility. The notion because it bugged me as a sentient being. The possibility because it will not happen. Why? Because I will fight it to the death, that’s why.

You have to understand that at the end of the day things could stack up terribly wrong. For instance – and this is real possibility – things could go the way of Brendan Benchpress. I cannot speak for you of course, but I will say this: I will not under any circumstance, cosmic or otherwise, wear my pants like Bren – God bless his soul – not here and not yonder in the oneness-of-light. And I encourage you to resist with me or we will all be ridiculous for rest of time.

Now, I mention this because I know how it’ll play out. First they’ll distract you, they’ll say, aaah, look here, a SUPERNOVA, a collapsing STAR – and then bang! they’ll pull a fast one on you. Your shirt will be shorn of its collar and your pecker pressed into a pant-leg, and that will be that. We will be One.

Not on my watch.

On my watch there will be differences and distinctions, there will be sleevless sweaters, sweeties and assholes. And if I merge into this oneness despite myself, if I am coerced or bamboozled, then I will go in kicking and screaming. I will bark across the galaxy into the face of this consciousness, vast and all-encompassing, and I will say to it (and thus to you!):

I am a Croat.
Yes!
But above all
(You listen)
I am Lui Labas,
An inalienable spirit!