Army of Fun


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Saturday, February 08, 2003

I finally got "Jill" out of my apartment a couple of days ago. She'd been there since early last Sunday morning and she was beginning to smell. Don't get me wrong it's not like I killed her or anything or that she was at all dead in a literal way. But let me start at the beginning.

'Twas, in the Victorian sense of the word, last Saturday night and I had agreed to meet some friends of mine at an appointed place at an appointed time. Naturally, I was little late so, in order to catch up with the others, I had no recourse but to indulge myself in alcohol quite rapidly so as to, as the Yiddish would say, "get my schwerve on". As it happened this also helped orient me to the hipster crowd and decor, so different from the homey comfort I find during my frequent trips to my beloved local Appleby's, which filled me with social anxiety. In no time at all I was filled with the juniper berry milk of human kindness and easily slurred my way through a heated discussion of electro-clash and would have dazzled Derrida himself with my insightful deconstruction of Big Trouble In Little China, the finest motion picture ever made. But the night was not free of mishap, as is often the case when alcohol flows freely down the gullet, and mishap takes many forms from being chased by an irate homeowner after a delirious, delightful roll through his dafodils to rib bruising tumbles down an unfortunately placed stairway. In this instance it was a simple case of miscommunication and an ill-timed cigarette break that led to my friends and I becoming seperated.

Abandoned, I did the only thing I could do. I headed to a dim corner of the bar and ordered another drink. Shortly, I found myself, surprisingly, in a full-fledged conversation a girl.

But surely Mr. Fyrste you say, it couldn't be that surprising for a man as obviously witty and clever and thus attractive as yourself to be engaged in conversation with a woman or, in fact, any number of women. And I tell you friends that this was once true. At one time I was a chick magnet. And, I suppose that in many ways I still am, but things have never been the same since the Incident. The Incident was a turning point. The Incident was unfortunate. The Incident changed everything.

The incident occurred thusly.

She said I was creepy. The term "stalker" may have been carelessly bandied about. That said, all I was trying to do was snap a picture of her and from a respectable distance at that. She objected. She warned me not to do it. I naturally assumed she was just flirting, and called back that this is a free country. She bent down and picked up a fist-sized rock. How wonderful, I thought, I'll get a funny shot of her playfully, girlishly tossing a stone in my direction. I brought my camera, one of those slim, rectangular plastic numbers that slip conveniently into almost any pocket, to the ready. How was I to know that in her senior year of high-school she had been the starting pitcher for her team in the state-wide fast-pitch softball championship game?

Though she later claimed she had no intent to hit me, she threw that rock with remarkable accuracy and force. It crashed directly into the camera, knocking me unconscious while simultaneously launching shards of the shattered camera through my upper eyelids to lodge in my frontal lobes. Two weeks later, when I could understand human speech again, the doctors explained to me that I had suffered the equivalent of a partial lobotomy. The effect of which would be diminished and/or inappropriate emotional effect. The girl in question visited me in the hospital to apologize and explain, as I previously mentioned, that she hadn't intended to hit me, so would I please not press charges. Perhaps as a result of my injury I believed her and did not have charges levied against her. Still, the infatuation was off. The infliction of brain damage is a deal-breaker.

Since then I have had great difficulty meeting women. Sure, they are still drawn to my rakish good looks, but I suffer from an almost insurmountable charm deficit that fails to endear. How could it not when they come out with a clever bon mot and I respond in a robotic monotone easily taken for sarcasm that they are as witty as they are beautiful. Explaining my situation does no good as both brain damage and stalker-like behavior are widely regarded as red-lights.

Nonetheless, there I was somehow holding my own in conversation. Her name was "Jill". She was there with another girl. Because I am an American and therefore look at the world through the filters and structures of pop culture I decided that Jill was meant to be the "snarky best friend," ostensibly less attractive than her taller more carefully put together appearance-wise companion, but still cute and with a wicked sense of humor.

Jill it turned out is a graduate student studying the social construction of female body in light of changing modes of intellectual production during France's Second Republic. She also told me she had not watched television in nearly two years. Perhaps all this explains why she found me entertaining despite my inability to be amusing in a conventional sense.

At some point, her friend excused herself and left. Jill and I stayed on swilling down liquor and chatting away. Come closing time I invited her back to my place for another drink and she acceded. We stumbled back to my apartment. I splashed some gin into a couple of tumblers and we tumbled onto the couch, Jill practically in my lap. She wondered if I had any pot. Yes, yes I do, I said. Can we smoke it, she asked. Yes, yes we can, I said. So smoke up we did, and then she excused herself to go off to the bathroom with a brushing kiss upon my lips.

After about twenty minutes I realized she hadn't yet returned. I found her on the toilet pantsed and asleep. As gently as possible and with an eye toward wedgie avoidance, I dressed her and put her to bed. Then I fell asleep myself.

I remember stirring briefly around eight am or so feeling something was amiss. I was alone and I didn't remember leaving the television on. But the previous evening had left me so discombobulated that I couldn't be bothered to think about it. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I finally got up for real I had the unpleasant realization that I was missing one curly haired brunette. It was hard to imagine that she had left since she'd been even more fucked up than I, but perhaps waking up in a stranger's bed had driven her to distraction and flight. Coming out of the bedroom I discovered that no such thing had occured.

There she was sitting on the livingroom floor, transfixed by the television. I don't remember what she was watching. Some old sitcom maybe. She barely took notice of me. Just enough of a turn of her goggle-eyed head to whisper with awe, you have cable. And then she turned her stare back to the screen. And there she sat for the next five days--without sleep as far as I could tell, eating only when I brought her food--but for very occassional trips to the bathroom. I didn't mind at first. It was nice to have a girl around the place even if she just lumpishly sat there watching the television. She didn't care what she watched. She didn't complain when I clicked over to my favorite programs whether it interrupted something she'd been watching or not. She didn't say much. Every once in a while she'd say, wow, this is great. I didn't know if she were talking about a particular show or just television in general. I'd seen this reaction to breaking a television fast before. I'd even experienced myself. The irresistability of its flickering glory. The hypnotic joy of mass entertainment.

Eventually, I got sick of it. She wouldn't let me turn off the set nor would she leave. In short, she was cramping what little style I have. It didn't help that I'm a sucker for television myself. If it's on I'll watch it, and so quickly all my other obligations and plans went out the window. Plus, like I said way back at the beginning of this she was stating to smell bad.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If she wouldn't leave then TV would have to. I went outside and cut off the cable. When I came back in she was banging on the television demanding it to further entertain her. I told her to settle down. The cable must have gone out, I said. I'm afraid they'll have to send someone out. It might, I said, take awhile. But I want TV now, she whinged. I told her not to worry. That it would come back and when it did so could she. Besides, I added, she should go home. I'm sure she had things to go and plus, I said, she was starting to smell really badly. That seemed to do the trick and she came back to her senses and decided to go home.

Oh, what joy I felt when I finally had my place back to myself. Still, she's a nice girl and we've decided to go out next weekend. The paranoid part of me thinks that she just wants to pump me for info about Angel's convoluted backstory, but this could be the start of a beautiful relationship. And believe me, if things go well we're going back to her place.
Fyrste, 5:47 PM

Friday, February 07, 2003

Yes! I have recieved hate mail which is my raison d'etre for maintaining this site. To wit:

From: "Joseph Brundige"
Subject: f off
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 22:54:58 -0500

I'm tired and I can't get into it too much, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you are an arrogant prick. I don't know what blogs are, nor do I remember how I found your page, but you and your friends are stuck up pseudo intellectuals
[sic] who are totally useless to everyone but yourselves. I fucking love australians. They may be intolerant at times, but they are in general 100 times more genuine then your smarmy ass. And I don't think its really fair to judge that beautiful nation from the perspective of the gay porn industry, to criticize it for its lack of an ozone layer, or to leave the country on the basis of an American owned beer commercial.

thanks, good night.

That last sentence is so hysterical it makes me think that it's a joke. I sincerely hope not because it's funnier if it isn't. And though Mr. Brundige claims that he does not remember how he arrived at Army of Fun, I'm pretty sure that a web-search featuring the terms gay+porn+Australia+gangbang was involved. Not that there's anything wrong with gay porn.

As to all those pseudo-intellectuals out there who may actually enjoy reading stuff here, let me apologize for my recent absence. It's been quite a week. I'll fill you in on all the details shortly, and then get back to the regular irregular updating.
Fyrste, 11:39 PM