Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

let me entertain you

Today, you can go out (or, via the magic of the internet, stay in) and buy a copy of Sybil's Garage, and so possess a tiny piece of my imagination. Let me tell you a story. It begins like this:

"On the day that Martin's leg turned to glass, they took out another seat from the theater."

Check out the table of contents here. My story is called "The Telescope," and there are many other tantalizing titles that I can't wait to sample for myself. You can acquire your very own copy (either paper or electronic) at the link above, or through Amazon. You can even ask your favorite bookstore to order you a copy by giving them this ISBN: 978-0-9796246-1-2 and telling them that it's available from Ingram (trust me, these are magical and soothing words to any bookstore employee).

This is my first story out in the wild world, guys! I am so happy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

observations from the dance floor

So, last week I went dancing with some magnificent friends at this funny place that might be the illegitimate offspring of a rec center for retired hunters and a dive bar (skee ball, pool, taxidermy... loads and loads of taxidermy, arcade games, beer... loads and loads of beer, and a little kitchen making Southern food). The DJ was rubbish, but the dancing was a glory. I don't go dancing very often, but when I do, I mean it. One hundred percent, balls-to-the-walls, let's be ridiculous, three hours (but, oh my god, didn't that feel like 30 minutes?), sweat and jump and kick and shake, mean it. It's just so much fun. I feel like a kid running around outside and hollering just for the hell of it. Maybe I'm an airplane, maybe I'm a monster, but who cares?

And then I see people who are trying to be cool, or trying to be sexy, or sort of dancing, but not really, just kind of swaying so that they can still go hah, well aren't I silly? and I want to beg them to throw their dignity on the floor and just get on with it. Have some fun, it's good for you. Be silly, look me in the eye, don't worry about making a good impression, just move and listen and don't think.

Tuesday was the brilliant Chris's birthday, so I went along to birthday drinks. There was another birthday gathering there, a bunch of young people at the table next to ours. There was also this man, dancing. I don't know his name, but he comes into the bookstore sometimes and he has a disability. He is very large and middle-aged, but he acts like a child. He's gleeful, he stands too close, and he can talk for ages without filtering out repetitions or inappropriate things. He is deprived of the charm of a child though because of his size and his clumsiness and his obvious age.

He was dancing and singing and the people at the table next to ours were laughing and urging him on. They were videoing him on their phones and he kept saying, oh, you like my dancing, I'm so glad, and they kept saying nasty things to each other and then turning to him and saying, of course we like your dancing. Keep going. Ha ha ha! Look at him go, isn't that funny, isn't that the silliest piece of shit you've ever seen?

It broke my heart.

How are you supposed to feel in this situation? He's happy. They're amused. Neither party would appreciate my pity or anger. Why does it matter that they're laughing about different things? It's not like mean-spirited humor doesn't tickle me. I snark incessantly. This video puts me in stitches:

And still... It really upset me. Here was this guy dancing, going all out, saying here I am and this is me, and they were ridiculing him, yes, but that happens all the time... The thing is, they were pretending not to, so there he goes pinning more of his heart to his sleeve, and they just think it's the funniest thing, the stupidest thing, the most hilarious thing they've ever seen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

june reading

(shall we be brief?)

Juliet, Naked

by: Nick Hornby

Fine and funny and sad. Absurd and hopeless, as life is, and ridiculous with desire. Portrait of inertia. Of age. Oh my god, here comes a sappy ending, but wait, no, I think we've glanced off of it now and it seems to be there, just to the right of us, in the distance.

Doing It
by: Melvin Burgess

Sex. Messy, awkward, imaginary, gorgeous, fantasized, humiliating, wonderful. Is that really what teenage boys think about? Disarmingly brilliant novel. Should be on some high school reading lists, or, at least, required reading for teachers. Brutally humane.

American Gods
by: Neil Gaiman

Road trip fantasia, plus an intermission in terrifying Midwestern winter. Gods everywhere. My favorites: Egyptian deities dressed up as undertakers. Coin tricks. Cons. That discomfiting feeling you get when you start out tasting something strange, and then you forget what's strange about it half-way through and all the important bits somehow turn out to be true.

The Billionaire's Curse

by: Richard Newsome

Indiana Jones meets classic English story about children with oddly absent parents and an excess of adventure. Slightly blocky characters. Bloodthirsty. A policeman shot in the bum with darts tipped with sleeping potion on one end, flowers on the other.