Yesterday was my 8th wedding anniversary and we went out to a wonderful dinner where I snacked on chicharonnes, spicy garlic barbecue shrimp, braised beef ribs in a mushroom barley risotto, bourbon cocktails, hoppy ales, and homemade blueberry ice cream covered in white chocolate chips.
Today, right now, my 80 year old dad is unconscious but recovering from successful open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and perform a bypass, and I snacked on pancakes, peanut butter crackers, fudge, an entire one pound bag of carrots, chocolate sprinkles eaten out of my palm like a fucking animal, blistery microwaved veggie hot dogs dipped in ketchup, and straight chocolate syrup (just a little sip, really).
The point: I would pay good money for a recut Game of Thrones where I could choose the character that I wanted to follow – and that’s it – that’s the only scenes I’d see. I doubt this would be viable without first seeing the show proper, but I think it’d be a great way to explore a specific character.
When Cliff Burton wore that Misfits shirt—Zig Zags. When the Emergency Broadcast System interrupts that John Carpenter movie—Zig Zags. When a soggy pile of Thrasher mags and Jack Kirby comics spill out of a dumpster behind the Sunday School—Zig Zags. When the Ramones were scared of the basement and the Angry Samoans couldn’t find the right side of their mind—Zig Zags. When a kid breaks his elbow copying a WWF heel’s piledriver and starts laughing instead of crying—Zig Zags. And when the electricity goes off forever and torchlight reflects off chrome—Zig Zags.
But to put that another way, the ground was so solidly packed with the interlocked skeletons of 17th-century victims of the Great Plague that the Tube’s 19th-century excavation teams couldn’t even hack their way through them all. The Tube thus had to swerve to the side along a subterranean detour in order to avoid this huge congested knot of skulls, ribs, legs, and arms tangled in the soil—an artificial geology made of people, caught in the throat of greater London.
London’s Tube thus sits atop, cuts around, and tunnels through a citywide charnel ground of corpses, its very routes and station locations haunted by this earlier presence in the ground below.
If anyone ever asks I’m gonna tell em that thirty eight is riding your bike out to the brewpub after the kids go down and returning at midnight and eating handfuls of Kix while you think about how much better the world would be with D. Boon still in it.
I recently finished re-reading Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye and just like every time I finish re-reading Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, I am filled with an electricity that I can’t put into words. I fucking love this book.
Love is tricky business. Take, for instance, this idea of the soul mate. Love, the kind of true love that people mean when they talk about soul mates, can be thought of, as I’m sure others have put it, as a kind of chemical reaction, a bond between two different elements catalyzed by time and place. A carbon atom and an oxygen atom come together through a triple covalent bond, forming carbon monoxide… which then, uh, suffucates everyone.
Or maybe it’s more like welding two materials together. After the light and the heat of first attraction, you get this bond, this joint, and everything in people’s lives before that moment is part of it and everything that happens from that moment onward tests it. Sometimes that bond is free from impurities and sometimes it isn’t, and surely maintaining that bond is key to everylasting joy, but you never know.
Sometimes a butterfly flaps its wings in Omaha and two people get a divorce in Kyoto. So it goes.
There are so many moving parts. It’s a dynamic system, this bullshit called life. People change, they grow, they move on.The universe doesn’t give a flying fuck. For this thing called true love to last forever between two soul mates requires a vast amount of luck. And by God, I hope I’ve personally got it.
(Luck, another bullshit concept we can’t manage to live without.)
But my point has nothing to do with people, really. My point, if I ever fucking get to it, is that when I read a book like this, and there are really in my estimation so few books like this, so few perfect books, it gets me thinking about true love and soul mates and just how lucky I am to have found a book that gives me this much joy. People change over time, but books don’t. People are affected by history, books much less so. You fall in love with a book, and forever it might just last.
So unlike the true love of two comets in perfect gravitational balance, both spinning and corkscrewing through the heavens in some sort of impossible double helix, hoping they burn out in the atmosphere before one spins off into the cosmos, you’ve got the true love of a planet and a moon, and the moon can just sort of orbit around that planet until the end of time.
This embarrassing stretch of metaphors — armchair chemistry, welding, butterflies, astronomy — speaks both to how difficult it can be to express abstract ideas, as well as to the fact that I’m apparently active in a college sophomore fiction workshop that is presently vomiting all over each other in response to my purple prose.
Anyway, what I’m saying is it’s a pretty good book and you should consider reading it.
I kept hearing this word used in Roderick on the Line, but I was unsure of the meaning and if it was a real word. I mean, they throw it around constantly, and god knows my dad and I use made-up words for fun. Nope, it’s a real word. [cue “The More You Know” theme music]
A few years ago I emailed Merlin about being part of a promotion for kinkengineering, because I became friends with Matt there through podcasts. He responded in encouragement that I’d “get more bone than a pit bull in an abattoir.”