Monday, November 29, 2010

Am Sick.

So I’m sick.

But not just in the prurient way that you’re thinking right now.

I mean that I’m actually and physically ill. This is no small thing for me to admit. Seldom do I give up a fight that easily. And let me tell you, I fought this one pretty hard. I have felt this phlegmy specter lurking for a while now, yet I refused to concede!

Today however, I just deteriorated into a sick, sneez-y, coughing failure.

So I have given up. I have gotten some meds and had some soup and I see some tea in the near future.

The only reason that any of this is even remotely blog worthy is because I just realized that this is the first time I have been super bad awful sick since I have been single. And let me tell you, it is positively shocking to me that I don’t have anyone who I can force to pretend to care about how awful I feel right now.

I know that sounds all whiney and everything, but please believe that that isn’t the point of this. I’m just thinking out loud right now and I’m realizing that I don’t know if I have ever actually been single and sick all at the same time.

This totally blows!

How the hell do all you people go through life like this? It’s miserable.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

*** Breaking Roommate News ***

My roommate Fancy Star Fairy (still test driving blog names for her) has started doing a mocking impression of me that basically involves a deep voice that sounds nothing like me.

Also, she made a big deal about how Mark Walberg totally gets it on with Amy Adams in some new movie and she watched the trailer 14 times because she knows that:

1) I adore Amy Adams, and

2) I detest Mark Walberg

Also, she just put my glass of wine on the top of a bookshelf that I am barely tall enough to get it down from.

I’m not complaining or anything, I guess.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Postsecret., still the very best place on the whole internets.


Some 100% True-ish Facts.

All of these things are either 100% true, or less than 100% true.

1. When Sputnik was launched in 1957 it contained a single vial of Joseph Stalin’s semen. It is still circling the Earth, Sputnik and the semen.

2. While filming the film “Accepted”, Justin Long and Blake Lively had a tryst that is the basis for the screenplay “Gossip Boy” currently being shopped by Jonah Hill.

3. General Douglas MacArthur practiced yoga.

4. The modern necktie derives from neckerchiefs worn by Croatian mercenaries.

5. Robert F. Kennedy spoke German very, very poorly. His German friends made fun of him behind his back, and then felt bad about it later.

6. The baseball card of Moe Berg is displayed at the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia because in addition to being a major league shortstop in the 1930s, he also spoke ten languages and spied for the OSS.

7. Fans and advocates of the textile pattern Hounds Tooth generally and vehemently deny that it is derived from Glen Urquhart plaid.

8. I once accidently bumped elbows with Amanda Bynes at the Arclight in Hollywood.

9. Until the age of 14 author Sir Terry Pratchett was raised as a girl.

10. There has never actually been 400,000 of anything. There has been more and there has been less, but there has never been exactly 400,000 of anything (I learned this at the secret bi-monthly meeting of bad-ass accountants, a members only club).

11. At the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, racist epithets are shouted at you (via recording) as you walk through the entryway. This is actually a prank and not officially part of the museum experience.

12. Standard Memory Foam absorbs particles of your dreams.

13. 40% of the porn viewed online every day is accessed by women.

14. Steve Jobs once met Osama bin Laden in Dubai.

15. Conan O’Brien was once stalked by a priest from the Archdiocese of Boston.

16. American author and Pulitzer Prize winner Don DeLillo occasionally writes commercials for Chivas 18. He refuses to be credited for this.

17. Director Steven Soderbergh is a practicing Episcopalian.

18. SCUBA is an acronym that stands for Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array.

19. As a teenager, Harrison Ford dated his best friend’s sister.

20. Three different men have been married to Whoopi Goldberg.

21. William Shakespeare invented the word ‘submerge’.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Oddly Enough: Even Odder Than Normal.

One of my favorite places to troll of the Internet is the Oddly Enough section of Reuters. Normally I post links to a couple of stories, but today the good folks over at Reuters have totally outdone themselves! I have never seen a collection of stories this awesome and random. SO here is the link to the whole page.

Headlines include:

Vending machine recommends drinks to buyers

Exorcists wanted: apply to Catholic Church

Amazon pulls book on pedophilia after complaints

So fetch.

NaNoWriMo: Notes.

So I have been doing this NaNoWriMo thing (the goal of which is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month). I am failing at it pretty miserably because I just haven’t been able to write every single day, but I keep plugging away at it.

Below is a snippet that I wrote the other day. One of the characters is a bit self-destructive, but he has rationalized it into a philosophy rather than dealing with it. He is a fun character to write and so sometimes he gets to speak in first person.


NaNoWriMo: A Brief Excerpt.

8. Inherent
The thing that you gotta know is that I don’t go looking for trouble.
Although, that’s not true. I totally go looking for it. This nose has been broken more than once. I don’t particularly like the violence-y parts of trouble, but they seem to come with the territory. I feel about them the way that Lewis and Clark must have felt about trees.

It just seems to me that life doesn’t quite sizzle right unless something is a little bit off.

You need to remember that everything that makes the world go is inherently dangerous. Cooking – with its heat and knives and meat – is always an inherently violent act. The electricity that powers your coffee pot is also some of the most dangerous rage that the entire universe has to offer. Given the chance, your cats will eat you when you die.

The world we live in and the lives we lead exist on the very fringe of chaos all the time. We do everything that we possibly can do to conceal and control it, we invents gods and religions and rules and laws and street signs. We require you to wear your seatbelt, and while that may save you from the giant, crunching, glass-spattering, calamitous chaos when it comes; it doesn’t stop the chaos from coming. So I just make due without the seatbelt.


Loneliness, and Other SAT Questions.

I have felt like crap lately. I have been hovering near the edge of sick for over a week, but I never quite seem to get there, plus I have not been living very healthy (or healthily) lately, plus I felt really and truly lonely the other day for the first time in a really long time. Like massively and tragically ALONE, like in a write-a-poem-about-it-and-then-stick-your-head-in-the-oven kind of way.

Now that’s hyperbole, of course, but … holy shit! Loneliness totally blows.

Now I have some great friends and a super awesome roommate and there are people in my life whom I adore, so I’m not trying to botch and whine about how awful things are. I am just taking a little stock of things. And so I am saying: I felt really lonely the other day.

And if you’re familiar with this sort of thing, then you probably know what I felt. For those of you who aren’t, we will restate it like an old school SAT (because nothing is more fun than the SATs!):

If boredom is being cold, then loneliness if hypothermia.

Or, maybe, that doesn’t really work.

How about:

Disneyland is to happiness as the dark side of the moon is to loneliness.

Does that one even make sense?

How about:

Writing blog posts about loneliness is to blog readership as ants are to a picnic.

Yeah, that one kinda works.

I got so bored and lonely I was reading old emails from my Ex (from the happier times, obviously) but that lead inexorably to the more recent and unpleasant emails and so I just went on this weird bender of reliving a whole lot of emotions I could have done without in the first place.

BTW, NEVER READ OLD EMAILS. Ever. It is worse than going through old pictures.

Anywhoo, I know that my life is not all that bad. In fact, it isn’t bad at all. Sure, I don’t have enough money and I don’t have any of the professional success I had hoped to have by this point in my life, but I do have good days. In fact, sometimes I have really good days. Recently I spent hours and hours talking to a charming and delightful friend of mine and we just talked, about all kinds of things. And if you know me at all (or have learned a little about me by reading this blog) you know that I LOVE TALKING and I am interested in everything. So sometimes just getting to cut out all of the background chatter of the world and just talk is quite nice.

Also, I have been and done all sorts of awesomeness lately. I went to an art show/bar/folk band concert and I got to look like a dirty hipster. If you ever have the chance, check out
The Airliner in Lincoln Heights.

I also went to one of the coolest/weirdest events of my life recently: a big LA thrift store opens up their warehouse once a month and for a $10 cover, there’s an open bar and bands and you get to rummage through bins of clothes and then buy them BY THE POUND! Yes, buy clothes by the pound. (That was at a place called The Boogie Den. I would give you the link, but their site always crashes my computer.) I am now the owner of a strange red leather jacket that is so cool I’m a little afraid of it.

I finally went to this thing called First Friday that they do down in Abbot Kinney in Venice. On the first Friday of the month the street are lines with some of LA’s finest gourmet food truck and you get to spend hours and hours wandering from one to the other and eating. I had some cheeseburger sushi, among other delicacies.

The point of this post – in so far as these things ever really have a point – is just to step back and take a look at life and size it up and down and make it clear to myself that I should stop complaining so much, which I now realize, I should.

Now I just feel sort of silly about having written this whole thing.

Well, whatever, it is really hard to generate content!


Only Betty White Can Stop Forest Fires.

So you’re cool and hip and with it, so you probably already know about this, but apparently Betty White is now a park ranger?

Is there anyone who doesn't just love her?

Read all about it: Betty White Honorary Forest Ranger.

P.S. I stop reading the news for like two days and everything awesome happens!


The Botany of Desire.

If you like having your socks blown off by unadulterated fascination, then have I got a movie for you!

The Botany of Desire.

It is probably the most interesting documentary I have seen in ages. Basically it explores the relationship between plants and animals by concentrating on the various ways that people and plants have influenced one another throughout history.

It concentrates specifically on potatoes, tulips, marijuana and apples.

I know that you’re thinking, “Um, Jamie, why do you want me to watch a movie about plants?”

I get it, but just watch the first ten minutes; if you can turn it off after that I will personally mail you a potato.


Most Boring and Sorry.

Wow! It has been almost a week since I posted anything.

I’m sorry dear blog.

I have been a little out of sorts lately. Plus I have bee doing a lot of NaNoWriMo writing, so that pulls me away from you.

You know, one time my friend The Director and I were trying to come up with funny things to say about the hypothetical Most Boring Man Alive and one of the things we came up with was: he has a blog, with three posts on it. And two of them are aplologies for not posting more.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whole New Kinds of Bad Poetry!

So I got tired of haikus today and tried my hand at writing some limericks. I couldn’t exactly remember what a limerick is, but I have two of them memorized, so I typed them out and discovered it is just an A-A-B-B-A rhyme scheme. And I was all like, “That’s not hard at all!”

So below are my first three attempts ever at the writing of limericks.



Limericks 1,2 and 3!

I met a guy who was no fun.
He was mugging me with a gun.
He said he’d fill me up with lead,
so much so that I would simply be dead.
I gave him my cash and off he went in a run.

Billy went to New York,
hoping to hit it big as a finance dork,
but along came The Recession
and down went his profession,
so now he can’t even find work.

If California had legalized Weed
our lives would have all changed speed.
Because a man who is high relaxes
and the State would’ve made bank on the taxes,
but the voters decided that’s not what we need.


Monday, November 8, 2010

New Haiku.

That secret feeling
that prevents you from crying.
That is happiness.

It is quite sad that
your happiness is only
the lack of sadness.

However, that can
be altered, fixed, corrected
one day at a time.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo, Days 2 & 3: 4,469 Words.

3. Kinetic

These are things about Theroux that are true.

His girlfriend did leave him.
His cat did die. More on those things later.
He once had a beard in college, until he discovered that college girls don’t actually like that sort of thing.
He used to love taking apart telephones, not to better understand how they worked, but just because he liked doing it.
These are words and phrases that people have used to describe him: kinetic, frantic, tilt-a-whirl, annoying, asshole, selfish, brilliant, wonderful, muppet-like, ergotic, awful, fearsome, lame, dynamic. Odd.
Even when his life was on the rails they used to say that he was strange. This is an actual conversation about him that took place once:
PERSON 1: Have you met that Theroux guy?
PERSON 2: Throw? What?
PERSON 1: Theroux.PERSON 2: I don’t know what you’re saying right now.
PERSON 1: Thuuuur – oh.
PERSON2: Oh that guy. He’s fucking weird.
There are a few people who know him well and they say to each other – when the subject comes up – that it is not so much that he suffered some sort of nervous breakdown when Olivia – that was her name – left, but rather that he was finally given the perfect excuse to have a nervous breakdown. It was as if he had always been waiting for the perfect convergence of events that would allow him to shake off life and embrace some sort of chaos. “He’s a pistol,” his mother used to say to people.
This is something about him that is true. He is, in fact, a pistol.

4. Preamble
The 1,784 words that preceded this sentence were entirely preamble.

The story is about to begin.

It is kinda of love story (because every story really is). It is kinda the story about the assassination of a president. It is also kinda a dirty, sweaty story about sex and the things that people really want.

This is how it will probably end:

Theroux clutched his hands against the hole in his chest, looking down to see that the blood – his blood – was forcing its way out between his fingers, that it was coating his hands, that it was flowing down the once-white tuxedo shirt, that it was covering his pants as he slumped against the hard concrete of the wall. He looked around him and saw that the blood – his blood – was forming a red puddle on the floor and that he was exactly at the center of it. He watched the blood – his blood – as it spread with the mindless insistence of a rising tide across the floor.

Somewhere, it seemed distantly, he heard footsteps nearing him, and then he saw – he couldn’t raise his head up – he saw just her shoes. Black, sexy, sharp-heeled, she always had the best shoes. He saw just her shoes.

She didn’t say anything to him.

Next, he only heard the first half of the gunshot.

But it might also end like this:

He leaned in close to Olivia’s perfectly shaped ear. He was behind her and his skin remembered hers and a wickly perfect sort of recognition occurred between their bodies. Flesh drawn to flesh by some physical memory of past fucks. The curves and edges of their bodies fitted into on another while his arms wrapped around her and his fingers slipped ghostly and barely touching, down the whole length of her, parting her. Touching her just there.

And he leaned in close to her perfectly shaped ear and he whispered to her, into her, just barely letting the words leave his mouth, barely allowing them to ripple in the air, he whispered to her, “This is where I belong” and it was true.

But it is impossible to know right now how it will end. Everything – right now - is possibility and there is nothing which isn’t.
There will, however, most certainly be an assassinated president and something kinda like a love story.

Here is how those things start.

5. Resolute
A copy of the President’s dreams hit the internet and went viral in less than ten minutes. At first, no one knew if they were legit, but everyone wanted them to be.

The images were cloudy, like watching television through the rain. That was to be expected - the tech-dorks of the internet said on their forums - because whoever did it was sourcing them out of the air. If the dreams had been recorded by a deck hooked up to a direct tap pressed against the President’s head, the resolution and general quality would have been much high.

No, the tech dorks said, someone did this from a distance, with a tap that was professionally calibrated to the level of sub-atomic particles. Probably - they said - it was fitted with an IR laser and it picked up the fizz of the President’s dreams as vibrations against a window. They said that who ever did it would have had to spend weeks editing down through all the ambient clutter - people hundreds of yards away breathing, a bug fidgeting, carpet fibers expanding and contracting with temperature variations - in order to isolate the particles of free energy that leaked out of the President’s brain. They said that it was a project of startling ambition and stellar execution. They were correct about that. They were not correct about anything else.

But no one knew who had done it.

The FBI went looking though. The Department of Homeland Security threw a quiet, shadowy net over the whole dream tapping industry. People got questioned at night. Websites got shut down, server banks got raided, but even the bulk and power of the government of the United States of America was unable to stop the viral outbreak of dreams along the digital synapses of the internet. So the President’s dreams were out there, in the world, for everyone to see, view, and comment on. Whole strange wikis were dedicated to analyzing them, scores of thesis would be dedicated to the unfolding cultural episode; to its meaning. Discussions permeated the very fabric of American life. Every friend and coworker and acquaintance had a theory about the images, the point of hacking dreams, the political motivation behind it. Hundreds of parodies and recreations were uploaded to Youtube, Youporn, Funnyordie.

The President said little publicly about it.

At first his Press Secretary, Elliot Pail Bayles, denied that the dreams were real. An adversarial press pool reporter from the Boston Herald lured him into a lengthy discussion or whether or not dreams are real at all, or can be. It ramped up into a semantic debate on the meaning of the word ‘dream’. The discussion ranged from the metaphor of dreams to the metaphor of the word ‘dream’ and what it this Presidental dream stealing might mean about the relationships that Americans have to their ‘dreams’. Bayles a former communications and media professor at the University of Chicago and then Pepperdine – waxed poetic and almost convulsively heartfelt for fifteen minutes about the role of dreams in American life and how foundational they have always been to fundamental American identity.

When he was done, there was an eerie quite in the White House Press Room. A strange and almost embarrassed sense of quiet was heavy in the room. Bayles seemed to return to earth and he cleared his throat self-consciously. The press pool reporters – being journalists – were not inclided to believe in anything, least of all things that other people believed in. They looked at him. A few sighed and clicked their pens.

Bayles smoothed his tie down, adjusted his rimless eye glasses. He smoothed down his tie again. “Yes, well. The point is that what is circulating on the internet is not real.”

Later that very same day, Bayles was called into the Oval Office. Other members of the senior staff her present, including Kefauver the White House Chief of Staff. Kefauver was forty-one, but had always looked forty-one, so in a way he was in the prime of his life. His widow’s peaks were high, his hair shaved down ultra-short. It was said that he had the sexiest of any White House Chief of staff in all of American history. Secretly, he always knew that this was true. He was respected and liked by many. Respected and hated by some. Women wanted him, men wanted to be him, that sort of thing, which was impressive because he was less than six feet tall and had looked forty-one his entire life.

He was sitting on the front corner of the President’s desk. The President was sitting behind the desk. The others were arrayed around the room. Kefauver was drinking bourbon on the rocks. An extra one was sitting on the President’s desk. Kefauver picked it up and held it out to Bayles, who took it and nodded solemnly.

Kefauver said, “Today, that was the strangest fucking press conference that I have ever seen in my life. And I have had a very interesting life.”

“I let it get away from me,” Bayles said.

“I think that you got away from it, but that’s not the problem. In fact, it might even be the opposite of a problem . . . “

“A good thing? Bayles asked.

“Yes,” Kefauver said, “that would, in fact, be the opposite of a problem.”


Kefauver took a big pull off his glass and stood up so that he could pace. He paced a lot. He was very active when he thought. “I have been talking to the President,” he was addressing the entire collected senior staff in the room now, “and he feels that we should take ownership of this. The smokescreen of denial is eventually going to dissipate and they will be able to see a lie for a lie and call it a lie, or we just own up to it, Yes that is a copy of one of the President’s dream. No, we don’t know who stole it and we don’t know why. And yes, we are actively treating it as an issue of national security. The President wants us to be clear and concise from now on . . . want you to pay special attention to that one word Professor Bayles. Concise. I want nothing but artful concision to come out of your mouth from now on. Is that understood?”


Kefauver looked to the President, who just nodded.

Bayles took a delicate sip of his bourbon.

Kefauver looked over his assembled staff the way that a shepherd surveys his flock, with tenderness and concern, but also with the knowledge that they are his work. “Anything else?”

Bayles smoothed down his tie, “Sir,” he said toward the President, “what would you like me to say when I am asked about the . . . nature of the dream?”

Kefauver didn’t look at the President, not directly, and neither did anyone else. Just Bayles.

The President inhaled through his nose, more than a little tired. He leaned back in his chair, away from the desk, which was made from timbers recovered from the sunken HMS Resolute and given to the White House as a gift by Queen Elizabeth II. Many Presidents had used that desk. Many Presidents had leaned back away from it in exactly this way.

“Hmmmm,” the President said.

6. Confabulation

The President was an unlikely in many ways.

He spoke well but seldom.

He voice was low, almost on the decibel of a whisper, but he never whispered.

During the campaign, he was often called ‘joyless’.

That is not precisely true.

But it is true enough.

He is not a man given to joy. He is not a man who gives himself over to joy.

He is not a man who gives himself over to much of anything.

However, he is not without feeling. He is not without emotion or empathy. He is just not a man who expresses these things often.

Historians were saying on the very night of the election that he would never have gotten close to the White House had not been for a perfect storm of random and unlikely events.

Though, in truth, the events were not the least bit random or unlikely.

He was a thin, narrow, wire figure of a man, but did not ever seem that way to the people who had been in his presence. Strangely - when polled - American men consistently estimated his weight to be 15 to 20 pounds more than it actually was. His face was thin to the point of being gaunt. Days after his election, the Iranian state-run newspaper The Kayhan Daily ran a caricature of him as a Holocaust survivor, in striped outfit, standing near barbed wire. The point of the cartoon was only to poke fun at his weight. It literally did not even imply that he was a Zionist provocateur. Incidentally, it still stands as the only time that any Iranian state-run newspaper has ever been allowed to even tacitly acknowledge that the Holocaust may have actually occurred.

This is not unusual for him.

In some preternatural way he consistently conflates ideology by forcing it
to bend its orbit around him.

Additionally, he had never wanted to be President any more than any other American does. All Americans want to be president a little bit. His degree from Brown was in Political Science, but as a young man he had worked as a music industry A & R man. In four years, the bands he scouted collected 28 Grammys. At the formerly small and formerly unknown Confabulation Records, they took to adoringly calling him The Mint, because of all the money he made them.

He found and rep-ed the new vanguard of bands. Bands like Sonic Death Monkey, Hypothetical Apostrophe, Kathleen Turner Overdrive, The Invisible Band and The Gutters.

These were to become seminal bands.

These were to become legends.

A writer for Rolling Stone once said of him, ‘… he is an unlikely, but none the less, mad phonic prophet. A man who has nearly singlehandedly altered the course of twenty-first century music without ever playing an instrument or writing a single lyric.’

Always a subtle man, he didn’t spend his money on much of anything - except for the simple, slim, understated three-piece black suits that would later become his public signature – so he began donating it. To this cause, to that one; whales, gays, illegals, justice, fairness. In this way he was still fulfilling the ideological proclivities that had pushed him toward political science in the first place.

As time went on, his donations became more and more specific, until finally he was giving directly to individual candidates and his money bought him serious face time with them, and though he did not say much, what he did say often proved valuable. And so those very same candidates tended to accept him as a confidant. And soon he was a political consiliere on both coasts and numerous places in between.

Those who knew or noticed things slowly became aware of the gravity of his presence, and it was always there: a Congressional race in Idaho, a governor’s race in Pennsylvania, a school board election in New Hampshire, a mayor’s race in Fresno. Not yet a kingmaker, but a puppet master of some kind.

In an editorial for NEWSWEEK magazine, Fareed Zakaria – widely accepted as one of the smartest Americans ever to have lived – compared his quiet and ghostly influence to that of the infamous but phantasmal arms dealer Viktor Bout, “Both wield a sort of nebulous power and authority over the events of their particular spheres. There was a time when no government on the entire continent of Africa existed outside of Bout’s violent orbit. And there is a time – it is now – when there’s no political moment or movement which is not somehow actively absorbed in, or at least passively and cautiously aware of, him.”

In his autobiography, five star general and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Thomas Carlyle wrote of him, “Not being particularly political – as I had spent most of my life on a boat of one size or another - I had never heard of the man until I was told one day that I had an appointment with him, on a Tuesday no less. I remember that I called an old friend at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to ask who the hell this guy was. My friend told me - and I will never forget this – my friend told me, ‘He’s a civilian operator. He is known for getting exactly what he wants by saying exactly nothing. He waits for you to talk until you agree with him. He’s frightening, but you won’t realize it at the time.’

Carlyle went on to write, “When I met him he was wearing one of those black suits, with a white shirt and a black tie. The kind of thing that he always wears, but I didn’t know that then. We shook hands and he was very polite. He thanked me for taking the meeting. I asked him how he got onto my schedule and I don’t think that he ever actually answered that question, but about ninety minutes later I left that meeting with the germ of an idea and that idea would later grow into our revamped defense policy toward East Asia.”

( . . . more tomorrow . . .)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day One.

So we will begin this month with a small bit of failure. I started my NaNoWriMo novel today. The goal is 50,000 words in a month and that breaks down to 1,667 a day. Well, I am 151 words short, but I need desperately to go to sleep. So please enjoy my first 1,516 words. And please remember that the purpose of this month-long exercise is not quality, but only quantity.

Please enjoy making fun of this undiluted, raw bit of writing.


NaNoWriMo: 1,516 words.

It is the word that hits his cell.

He gets a new word everyday. Pops up on his email and the cell titters off a pleasant, ping ping.

Some days it’s like the words are psychic. Other times they are smirkingly gloating, as if to say, look what we got you into.

Today, right now, this morning, the word is just descriptive.

He’s in bed.

A bed.
It isn’t his bed, but it is luxurious and he is luxuriating in it.

Egyptian cotton sheets with a threat count higher than he can count and that feeling of everything right now if just fine and dandy and don’t you dare think about getting up coming up from every little bit of his body.

His body, under the sheets, is thin, naked and purged of all intensity.

He is still on his back, holding the cell over him and looking at the word:

intr.v. lux•u•ri•at•ed, lux•u•ri•at•ing, lux•u•ri•ates
1. To take luxurious pleasure; indulge oneself.
2. To proliferate.
3. To grow profusely; thrive.

He grins a little, with just the corners of his mouth.

Then there is a knock at the door. Sudden, hard, demanding, accusatory.

He’s up, out of bed, naked, leaping off the bed – startled – through the air just a little, landing near his pants, which he is one leg into by the time the second shuttering of knocking comes. It is only knock-knock-knock but sounds like THUNDER!-BOOM!-TERROR!

This is not his room. Not technically. Technically it belongs to the guy whose credit card’s magnetic strip slipped gracefully and inoffensively through the card reader at the front desk the night before. That guy’s name is Connor Bright and his credit score is impeccable, better than an anal retentive’s bathroom. Cleaner than the cafeteria at the CDC.

The guy sticking his other leg into his black slacks right and shoving his boxers in his pocket, this is not Connor Bright. This is Theroux.

More knocking, sounds like CLANG-SHATTER-DEATH.

“Just a MINUTE!” He hollers back, his voice an octave too high.

Theroux is usually much cooler than this.

He looks straight down at the coffee table and the gun setting on it. Cool, deliberate plastic and porcelain. Squareish and always a bit too reserved. He sighs and picks it up with his hand; his fingers always feel like they’re trespassing, like it’s the skin of a sleeping woman who doesn’t like him.

Steps to the hotel phone on the nightstand. He carefully unclips the cord from the backside of it. Sets the phone on the bed. Tucks the pistol into his pocket.

More knocking, angry now FIRE! BRIMSTONE! DAMNATION!

Theroux grabs the desk chair. It is made of something like wood. He picks it up by the back, steps back and then charges forward with a wide swing at the window. The square legs collide with the glass and there’s a shattering and a crack. The legs splinter and explode and a wide spider web of broken blooms out across the thick glass.

He drops the shattered chair and looks at the only-partially-shattered window.

“Well fuck me,” he says.

There is no knocking on the door anymore, because the security suits have given up and plugged a master key card into the slot. The door bangs open against the wishbone-shaped bar lock

“Security . . !” One of them bellows and you can tell that he always wanted to be a SWAT cop and bellow SWAT! into the air just before battering ramming a door to splinters.

Theroux grabs the unhooked phone and hops up on the bed. He clutches the phone to his chest. “You’ll never take me alive!” he shouts for fun. He levels the gun at the window, thumbs the safety and pulls the trigger, three times BLAST! BLAST! BLAST!
The window glass blows outward, a million tiny shards of shimmering sharp danger flittering out and then down.

The security suits get to do what they have always wanted to do, and burst through the door, ripping the lock off of the frame. The three suits barrel into the room in one solid mass, their tazers and telescoping truncheons at the ready. They charge first at the window to peer out, and only then do they turn to see him on the bed above them, gun staring them down like an angry Old Testament god.

“Gentleman,” Theroux says, “I will simply and plainly murder each of you. So right now toss your weapons and walkies and cell phones out the window. Right now please.”

They are big and begrudging but not bulletproof.

Theroux knods toward the window and they huff and puff but step toward it.

“Yes yes, right out the window.”

Out go the truncheons and tazers and radios and earpieces and cell phones.

Theroux is pleased with how well this is going. “Now your pants please. All of you. Followed by your jackets and then everything else that you’re wearing.”

The security suits look at each other.

“Yes yes,” Theroux says, “now now.”

The three of them simply do not want to, so Theroux tilts the gun down and fires one into the coffee table, which cracks and shakes.

Belt buckles are quickly undone. Out the window go jackets, pants, shoes, shirts, socks, regrettable underwear, until there are three totally nude men in Connor Bright’s hotel room.

“Good work!” Theroux yells. He hops down off the bed, still holding the phone to his body and holding the gun level at them and holding his elbow against his chest like a noir gangster. “Now if you try to follow me I will blast you, you hear?”

Part of his brain is telling him that he isn’t supposed to enjoy this quite so much. He calls that part of his brain Winston. Winston is all, what the fuck are you doing? Winston is his internal guardian angel, Winston gets like that a lot.

Theroux takes a moment to survey the scene:

- 3 naked, hairy, embarrassed men covering their junk with their hands
- A bullet blown-out window
- A cracked and aching coffee table
- A delicious bed that he will never sleep in again

And then Theroux is gone. Pivoting. Through the broken door. Into the hall. Down the hallway. Yanking the fire alarm as he tears by. The siren starts to wail all shrill and the elevators start returning to the lobby automatically. He hits the stairwell, running and skipping.

My name is Theroux and we are meeting during a very strange time in my life. You should know that. I want to be honest about it upfront. Winston thinks I’m on a self-destructive bender. I really don’t have any idea. Or plan.

My cat died, my girlfriend left me, the collections agents are blowing up my phone. I’m running low on everything that a person can have: nickels, dimes, dollars, quarters, hope. I have literally and simply run out of the desire to live any of the lives that are available to me, preprogrammed, planned, comfortable, anticipated, fulfilling or otherwise. So let’s find a new one, a new life, a new option, a new way. Let’s burn a new path. Let’s clear-cut a vast and bleak and smoky horizon across this florid jungle of bullshit. And yes, ‘florid’ is a word that was emailed to me and no, I’m not entirely sure what exactly it means, but I like the way it sounds.

I am angry. And I am tired of being self-hating and self-deferring and selfless. I’m tired of being good. I’m tired of being decent. I want to be a disease. I wanta be a tragedy. I am white phosphorus on skin. I am gangrene in the heart. I am Agent Orange. I am motherfucking Shiva wearing a black hole. I am making bad decisions – and I know it - but I am making them on my own and for myself and with virtually no respect for consequences. So this should be fun. Or at the very least, interesting.


Logic is Good For You.

This point was just made to me:

A vodka/orange juice has Vitamin C in it.

And Vitamin C is good for you.

Ergo, a vodka/orange juice is good for you.

Long live (accommodating) logic!