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Day: December 9, 2009

28 – Absolutely Not



“No.  I said, ‘No,’ how many times to you?  Do you not understand?  Melissa Robbins absolutely cannot show her work here ever again,” Yu Lee yelled into the hands-free attachment to his iPhone as he stomped around the half-painted gallery.  “Do you remember what happened last time?  ….no, I don’t care if she’s the hottest tentacle dildo installation artist of the fucking decade.  She’s a nightmare, Billy!  She.  Is.  A.  Nightmare.  Do you remember what happened last time?”  

He flicked his cigarette ash and pushed his David Lynch hair back into place.  

“You don’t remember?  Whatever.  You’re so stupid.  You have to remember.  Really?  You don’t.  You mean you don’t remember her opening her show here, getting all trashed like some dirty gutter skank, and insulting all my clients, Billy?  Our clients?  She is a fucking nightmare!  I can’t have that….”

His phone beeped.  He had another call.

“Oh my god.  That’s her.  I’m going to take this.  Stay.  On.  The.  Line.”

He switched the calls.

“Oh my god, Melissa, so good to talk to you.  Yeah.  No.  I know.  It’s been so long.  Yeah, I did.  I loved it.  Oh my god, I know.  It was so great.  Look, Mel?  I’m on the phone with Billy right now, can we call you back later?  Ok, yeah, great.”

He switched back.

“Billy, you have to save me from her.  I cannot handle her drama.  No.  You need to untell her that she can show her work here.  I don’t know!  Tell her something!  This is your fault!  No!  No!!  Don’t you start crying on me.  You need to grab those disgusting, gigantic balls of yours and tell her that she can’t show here.”

His cigarette went out.

“Fuck.  Billy.  My cigarette is out.  I can’t handle this, Billy.  I need you to take care of this for me.  No, she can’t come!  We have important artists showing here this time, Billy.  People who are making real art, not weird like caves of fucking dildos and shit.  I mean, you’ve seen them, right?  I’m a freaky bitch—you know this—and even I think they’re fucking weird.  Dildo caves, Billy.”

He lit another cigarette.

“I don’t care…. What?  Who?  Really?  Wow.  That does change things.  Brad Pitt, huh?  God, I love him.  She’s really seeing him?  What about Angelina?  No!  You bitch!  Oh my god!  I can’t believe you said that!  Nasty!  Ok ok ok.  Put her on the guest list plus one.  But, Billy…  Billy, are you listening to me now?  Billy.  You are responsible for her.  If she ruins even one sale, I am never going to talk to you again.  You remember that.  This is your problem now, Billy.”

He took a deep drag.

“No, I’m not mad at you.  How could I be mad at you?  No, I’m just stressed, you know, it’s so crazy right now.  That’s all.  No.  No.  Yeah.  No, don’t worry.  Yeah?  Ok, that sounds good.  Sure, yeah, ok.  I’ll meet you there at 9:30?  Ok.  Kisses.  Bye.”

Thoughts on the Hunter alumni reading last night

Last night, Juli and I attended the Hunter Alumni reading night at the KGB Bar in the East Village after enjoying a meal of lentil soup and potato pancakes at B&H Dairy on 2nd Avenue. I have one word to describe the event—Wow. Now, that sounds fucking cheesy as shit, and it is, but let me explain.

But first, here’s the brief.

Please join us for the Fall 2009 reading featuring, Vanessa Manko (Fiction, 2008), Maya Funaro (Poetry, 2008) and Jason Porter (Fiction, 2008).

Vanessa Manko earned her MFA in Fiction from Hunter College (2008). After training in ballet at the North Carolina School of the Arts and dancing professionally with the Charleston Ballet Theater, Vanessa returned to school to earn a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut. She went on to receive her M.A. in dance studies and cultural history from NYU’s Gallatin School. In addition to writing fiction, Vanessa writes about dance. She is the former Dance Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, and has written articles and reviews for Dance Magazine, NYFA’s Current, Dance Teacher, and Dance Research Journal. Vanessa is currently completing her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn Heights.

Maya Funaro’s chapbook Setting in Motion was released in 2009 by Fox Point Press. She completed her MFA in poetry at Hunter College in May of 2008. Her poetry has appeared in Ekleksographia, and Ology, the Graduate English journal of Hunter College. She holds a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University and has studied printmaking, bookbinding and letterpress printing in Providence, Bologna and New York. Born and raised in South Jersey, she currently makes her home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

After a brief career as an online news editor and a less brief non-career as a rock musician, Jason Porter completed an MFA in Fiction at Hunter College in 2008. He has since written a short novel titled Why Are You So Sad? and is hard at work on a new novel about a fallen celebrity boxer. Despite a perfectly happy childhood in southeastern Michigan, he is even happier to now call Brooklyn his home, where he is gradually aging along with his girlfriend and their two nearly perfect terrier mutts.

The KGB Bar, as awesome and Communisty and red as it is, is a tiny little upstairs affair you’d never know was there save for the sign on the street. The windows are curtained and you have to walk into what was clearly once a tenement building that has been converted into a bar/theatre/performance space. The KGB Bar occupies the second floor with the other things on other floors. Tidy! When we got there at about 7:40 for an 8 o’clock start time, only a couple of tables were filled. Mind you that there are probably only 8 tables in the whole place. Nevertheless, it was still relatively empty. By the time the first reader went on, it was packed. Passage to the bathroom was impossible.

The turn out was incredible. I recognized a number of current and former Hunter MFA students from the two open houses I’ve attended. It’s demonstrative of the strength of their community that they could fill this place up on a cold Tuesday night. It is certainly a good sign to me that Hunter is the right place for me. A program that inspires that sort of loyalty is attractive. I would like to be part of it. Now, I just have to convince them that I am right for them.

27 – Not Fair At All

He is smarter than I am.  He is smarter, taller (slightly), more handsome, funnier, faster, stronger, and does way better with the ladies than I do.  I bet he fucks way better than me too.  I bet he’s able to do all sorts of crazy sexual shit that I’ve never even thought of before, stuff that would blow my fucking mind.  And I bet he’s so good at it that he makes chicks explode.  Literally explode from having sex with him.  But, I bet it doesn’t phase him at all.  He just makes chicks explode by banging them and then some other chicks just line right up to get freaky with him with the full knowledge that allowing him to dip his wick into their most wonderful and mysterious piles of wax might make them explode.  They’re down.  He’s just that great.  I’ve never gotten close enough to check, but I bet he even smells good, like some fancy English cologne or cookies or some crazy thing that makes women go totally nuts for his junk.

Every day after football practice he comes into my deli and orders the same thing: turkey with provolone and pickles on a dutch crunch roll.  Then he buys a single bag of chips and a Gatorade and leaves.  Turkey and provolone?  Seriously?  He even orders sandwiches better than I do.  I usually just go with ham and american cheese on white bread.  Why don’t I think to order turkey and provolone?  I even work in a fucking deli!  I make his god damned, perfect turkey and provolone and pickles on dutch crunch every day, and I still lack the imagination, the foresight, to order something so utterly perfect.  It haunts my dreams.  In all honesty, I will go to my grave never having ordered a sandwich quite as perfect as that.  It’s disgusting.

But no, the worst part about all this?  He’s nice.  I know, right?  He’s fucking nice.  All of this perfection—the turkey and provolone, the athleticism, the blowing chicks up with his dick—would be tolerable if he were a total, raging dick bag.  But guess what?  He’s fucking decent, man.  No no no.  Not just decent, he’s practically a fucking saint.  I mean, he walks around and birds land on his shoulders and chipmunks run up to him like Saint Francis.  Everyone in our town stops him and says hello in the street, how are you doing, I’m fine, thank you.  And how could you not?  He freaking radiates good will.  

Do you even know what that feels like?  To be shown up by someone who is totally perfect in every single way?  To want to be liked, to be popular, to finally make it with some girl in your high school class—she doesn’t need to be perfect, just not fat or ugly, I’m not that picky—and have every effort trampled unwittingly by some golden locked Adonis who can save the world with his smile?  Do you comprehend the frustration that brings?  Can you smell my seething rage at this horrid state of injustice?  It’s not fair, man.  It’s just not fair.