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One of my lovers

Thursday 1/4/24

I'll tell you what I do: Sometimes I just laugh when I read things back because they're so good. Happened this morning with the first couple pages of "Finder of Views."

It's so good that what can you do but laugh?

When I got to the Revels the other day, the transept was packed with people milling about. It's a large space, as you know if you've ever been in there. I ended up damn near walking into this middle area where a woman--maybe twenty-three, twenty-four--was talking to a group of people her age. She was attractive, or would have been, but she looked high, and sort of drippy, or like she was about to be high, but drippy all the same. Somnolent. Green hair. Drippy in general, drippy with attitude, just such a liberal-y vapid, pretentious college student or grad student.

And as I got there, she was introducing the person with her by saying--I'm not making this up--"This is Sloan, one of my lovers."

I'm thinking, "Oh, fucking Christ."

I can nearly guarantee you that this person works at a literary journal and/or calls themselves a writer. This is typically the kind of person who gets to decide if I'm going in or not, and how do you think that's going to work out? It was like she was dead. There was no life in her, no emotion. Doing things just because. More of a fake, bullshit attitude than a human being. She seemed so medicated even in that moment. Then all of these other people, who were similar, all go, "Greetings, Sloan," and "Welcome, Sloan," like this was the most normal thing for her to say, and then for them to say, nothing to see here, because, of course, it's what they're used to.

Sloan was a guy, by the way. I'm sure he was down to earth and really upset about Hamas, the kind of guy you could both watch a game with and discuss some Stravinsky. I'm kidding, of course. He was a fucking douchebag. Had his hair plastered to his scalp and parted in the middle so that it looked like he had some kind of crystalline ass crack atop his head. If the woman had added, "Sloan is a birther of short-shorts," it would have made perfect sense to me.

I thought, "My Revels experience is not off to the best start, I'll get a pacifying hot chocolate," because they had a table where they sold bottled water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Toblerone chocolate, beer (quality beer--Harpoon and Samuel Adams), and hot dogs. This last item seemed like an eccentric choice, but okay.

I order the hot chocolate, and get handed a cup of hot water. The guy points to another table and says, "There are packets over there." Ah. You tricked me. Caveat emptor. I didn't think that's what was happening. I have those packets, sir. They are not close to being worth three dollars a pop.

I go off, get a packet, tear off the top, dump it in the hot water, head up to my seat, because the show was starting in five minutes, where the elderly woman who was, as it turns out, an ultra-vigilante usher, not only bars my way, but rebukes me like I went mad somewhere between the transept and the mezzanine if I thought I could take my hot chocolate into the performance.

There was no way I'm not drinking this, so I stood there and tried to get it down in short order. This thing was fire. So then I burnt my tongue--which only got back to normal yesterday--and almost made myself throw up. But drink it all I did.

"This is Sloan, one of my lovers."

Oh, for fuck's sake.

I have a confession to make. Yesterday, a kid dusted me in the Monument. It was a trouncing. I was in there first when the door opened at one. I hustled through the passageway that was erected during the refurbishing of the pyramid at the tip, then through the museum at the base, and ran the first 100 stairs.

Didn't matter. I had heard this kid--who was perhaps twelve--ask a ranger what the record was for fastest time to the top, and the ranger said three minutes. I've done five circuits in less than twenty-nine minutes, but I'm still working back up. Anyway, as easy as you please, like he was flying, this kid catches me, blows past me, while announcing what stair he's on to his family members--with his brother leading them--further back.

And you know what? They were all fast. Even the ones who had some extra weight. It was like the whole family had respiratory prowess. I have some work to do. The kid was great. But still, I shouldn't be getting passed, let alone obliterated. He barely seemed to touch the stairs. It was impressive. I only did three circuits yesterday. Started coughing. Came back and did a scurvy in reverse.


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