Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stay Down Here Where You Belong

So, this site's dead. I created a new one here:

Now with mostly new content and more updates!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fall Romance.

She was a virgin. He was a whore. Despite this difference, they were madly in love with each other. They would spend hours with each other on the phone, planning their weekends together. When they would meet up they would hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes, either over a frothy cup at the local coffee shop, or while walking slowly down the smoothed, slicked aisles at the corner book store. After long discussions of philosophy, music, and popular culture, they would stroll through a nearby park, illuminated by the flickering glow of electric lighted lamps and a fat, pregnant moon, and hold each other close, her arms wrapped around his body and draped over with an old beaten-up coat.

Their first kiss happened a few weeks earlier, with no moisture. Their second meeting, and his tongue slid between her lips and melted itself over her's, while her tongue remained stiff and nervous. He pulled away and told her "No, you're doing it wrong. Let me show you," and then taught her how to kiss proper. A couple more meetings and the same thing, but with his hands growing bolder...grazing her neck, then lower, brushing lightly over her breasts. Their last meeting ended up with an uncouth grab, which she shoved away, then allowed minutes later. Now, after all this time, she was ready.

He brought her back to her place and shoved a pile of books and CDs off of her bed, then laid her down. The lights were switched off and he stayed above her, moving his hands all over her body without going under her clothes and dabbing her cheeks, lips, and neck with kisses. He then moved one leg under hers, and used his other to shove her other leg to the side. He was in the position. He then lowered himself and began to rub his covered prick against her covered crotch.

She was startled, but after the initial shock wore off she allowed him to rub against her for twenty minutes. The rubbing was gentle at first, then grew more violent as time went on, until he was slamming his lower body against her's with so much force that her head smacked against the wall. She had had enough and shoved him off.

"What the fuck are you doing?"
"What are you talking about? You know what I'm doing."
"Yeah, I know what you're doing, but do you plan on doing anything else?"
"Yeah, I had planned on continuing until I blew my load. This conversation is killing my boner."
"What about me, you asshole? You think I'm enjoying this?"
"Does it matter?"

She swung her arm and smacked her knuckles against his mouth.

"What was that for?"
"I thought you liked me!"
"I do like you. That's why I'm not taking your virginity tonight."
"I'm not a virgin, you retard."
"Then why the fuck did you tell me you were?"
"I told you that because I didn't want to fuck you on the first few dates!"

He got up, put his jacket on, and walked to the door. "I don't want to see you anymore. Thanks for wasting a month of my life with your bullshit!"
"Likewise, prick. Thanks for a month leading up to the worst dry-hump I've ever experienced."

As he walked to his car he thought, "I am so fucking tired of these bitches and their games."
As she sat in her bed she thought, "I am so fucking tired of guys who don't get it."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New York Snapshots.

Sabrett carts dot the city in a fashion infinitely more irritating than Starbucks. You walk down a block, and you'll see one of these carts with kabobs and big chewy pretzels on display. As soon as you hit another street corner, you'll find another one, selling the same exact shit, with a vender usually sporting a mustache and an annoyed expression. Be forewarned...they jack up the prices the closer you are to the happenin' spots. The same big chewy pretzel that I bought for $1.50 on one side of town came out to $3 near the NBC Studios. Fucking assholes!

This time of year, Coney Island looks fucking AWESOME, and by fucking awesome I mean run down, falling apart, and scary. There are two amusement "parks" along Coney Island, one with the famous Cyclone roller coaster made with wood, and the "Shoot The Freak" game where kids pay money to fire a gun at people running around in "geek" masks, presumably teenagers and presumably earning slightly less than chimney-sweep pay. The beach was pretty, though, and was only disturbing in that I saw a shitload of shattered glass in the sand.

Nathan's World Famous hotdog's live up to the hype, and they probably are the best hotdog's I've ever had. They are crunchy and delicious. White Castle also lives up to the hype, but In & Out is still world's better as far as hamburgers go. Sorry East Coasters!

Speaking of White Castle, don't bother looking for them in a New York phonebook. They're unlisted.

Also, White Castle didn't give me diarrhea, but I did need to shit badly one hour after eating there.

The "Rude New Yorker" is just as real as the "Rude Parisian," meaning not entirely. I encountered only a couple of dickheads in New York, but the vast majority of them were exceedingly polite and helped us find our way on more than one occasion. As we stood like dipshit tourists looking around we had several folks come up and ask us what we were looking for. Even in Harlem, with me wearing a fucking LA cap, we had the stereotypical baggy pants-wearing Puerto Rican help us find a subway station, and was nice until someone in our group fucked it all up by asking where Grant's Tomb was.

I have never in my life seen as many black people as I did in New York, and it gave me jungle fever with the same intensity as folks in the old days got cholera. The only place I know of with sexier black women is Paris.

While in Chinatown I saw a store with a sign that was in Vietnamese. That pissed me off.

I saw the iconic "New York City" shirt that John Lennon wears in that famous picture at a souvenir store. These stores have deals like "Six shirts for $10" and whatnot, and this shirt was basically black text on a plain white shirt. I checked the price on this shirt and it was $20, while more elaborate shirts were much, much cheaper. I gave the shop owner a dirty look and left.

Ellis Island was one of the most beautiful and depressing spots on the trip, and while wandering about I wondered how much bullshit my great grandparents had to go through while having their eyes, income, and intelligence checked.

I hate graffiti with a passion, but New York has the prettiest graffiti I've ever seen. Keep trying, Angelinos.

Not once did I see a single flyer for a club or concert. Also, ads for club nights were nonexistent in The Village Voice and other free weekly newspapers.

Never eat Mexican food in New York. One, it's overpriced; two, it's not very good; and three, there aren't a whole lot of Mexicans in New York. This is according to the Ellis Island race database. I also found out that California has the highest number of Arabs, Armenians, and Kenyans in the whole US. FUCK YEAH!

The second it starts raining vendors pop up out of nowhere with umbrellas. I have to say that I was pretty damn impressed with that.

There is an operating subway where The World Trade Center used to be, and the area around where it used to stand is gated off. There are pictures on display, a timeline, and everything. While I was there I saw plans for the new building that going to be constructed in it's place and it irritated the shit out of me. I don't understand why it's so hard for them to just rebuild the Twin Towers rather than put up some fucking new bullshit. It's not like anyone's going to forget what happened, and honestly, what's the chance that our national security's gonna be so fucked up that someone will slam a couple of planes into it again? Unlike most people, I give the government a little more credit than that.

Walking around Times Square made me realize that we desperately need more gigantic buildings in LA. Those damn earthquakes fuck it up for everyone, though.

There's an "Adopt a Rat" office in Harlem, and when one of our group members said "Adopt a Rat?" out loud a monster-sized rat squeezed it's fat, scrap-filled body out of a gate and visited us, as if the statement were one of intent rather than astonishment.

Jaywalking is a fact of life in New York, and I have never seen so many people walk in front of speeding cars before. I was almost hit three times, and one of the ballsier bitches in our group was constantly in danger of being slammed into, since she had no idea where she was going most of the time and an overwhelming desire to get there quickly.

Cripples have CAR HORNS on their wheelchairs, or at least this one jerk-off did. This may sound like an exaggeration, but I'm telling you the truth here. A fucking man in a wheelchair had a horn which sounded EXACTLY like a car horn and had the same volume, and honked it at my group. With that attitude, I'm glad he can't walk.

Unless you're a student of a New York University, the cocksuckers at the Columbia University library won't even allow you to step inside their library, let alone check out a book. We flashed our Fullerton IDs to no avail. I comforted myself with the lie that they probably have a shitty selection of Joyce books anyway.

Bringing small flags with a sharp spike at the end and lighters to the Empire State Building is OK, but snow globes and mugs purchased at the UN must be checked before entering.

If you are overweight and have a difficult time walking, then don't go to New York. It is NOT fat friendly, and your ass better be ready for some hardcore exercise if you want to avoid getting hit by a car, make it through revolving doors, or survive a single trip on the subway.

Toilets flush clockwise.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Letter to Satan

Dear Satan,

I need some help. I have recently discovered that I am in love with somebody. There are several problems with my situation, problems which you may be the only person with the solution to. First of all, the person who I am in love with...we have never met. In fact, they have never seen me and I have never seen them in person. Second, I am in love with a man. Third, I'm straight. You may have heard of this man...his name is Justin Timberlake. He is an entertainer. I have followed his career for quite some time and have amassed a rather substantial collection of graven images which bear his likeness. When I go to sleep I nuzzle with a pillow which is draped with a large picture of his beautiful face, with his gorgeous eyes and the words "Cry Me a River" written along the bottom. I have even constructed a life-sized Justin for my pleasure and to keep me company when I am lonely. I use fresh slices of chicken fat for the lips, and have dug a hole in the crotch which I fill with bacon, peanut butter, and vegetable oil for when I'm driven to some of my baser urges. This is no easy problem to solve, so I have devised a solution that I think you'll be able to do for me.

I do not want the real Justin...his disappearance would be too obvious. I would instead like you to construct a duplicate. It would work like this: The face needs to be an exact copy. Any deviation from his regular appearance is unacceptable...I am sure you understand this. He needs to have big breasts. I love big breasts...the kind that, when my hands are pressed against them, they start to creep around the edges and push out. He obviously needs to have a vagina. I am a straight man, and I like female genitalia. His ass, however, is desired to stay muscular and manly. I would like him to have no body hair whatsoever. Also, feminine hands and feet are desired, but if this is not possible, I then I will go for a slightly girlish design instead. Finally...even though this is going to be a copy...I want everything that we do to be seen by the real Justin in his dreams. When I'm eating his pussy, I want him to see it. When I'm sliding my prick in-between his big, delicious tits, I want him to see. I want that connection, otherwise there is no point.

I am willing to hand over my soul for this arrangement. I know that cash is of no use to you. Please contact me if we can make a deal. I am sure that if we meet face to face or have a talk over the phone, we can hammer out the specifics. I have a baby.

Love always,

Roland & the Monomyth.

First, an introduction.

Here's a definition from Wikipedia: "The monomyth (often referred to as the Hero's Journey) is the cyclical journey undertaken by the standard mythological hero, as described by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1948) or the journey called Haft-khân (Seven Stages) undertaken by the Persian hero Rustam in the monumental epos Shahnama. The core concept of the monomyth is: "A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men."

I have always been interested in patterns and cycles, which explains my interest in mathematics. In every song I've ever heard I hear a formula, and the same goes for film. There is truly nothing new out there, and everything that is happening or will happen is just a repetition of something that came earlier. While doing research last night I stumbled across the concept of the Monomyth and was fascinated by it. Remembering how this concept was used by James Joyce (probably before this concept even had a name) in "Ulysses" and even "Finnegans Wake," I figured I'd apply the basic formula to my everyday work routine. So here it is...Roland & the Monomyth.

Departure (or Separation)

The Call to Adventure

Seven a.m. and the fucking alarm clock is bleating out it's irritating reminder. One, two, three, the fifth I finally reach the goddamn thing and switch it off. I sit on the edge of the bed, running my hands through my hair. Why the fuck can't I just lay back down? While my bed isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, it's good enough to lay on and get a nice fucking rest when your body's worn out from a long day of nothing happening.

Refusal of the Call

If I called in sick today, it's not like it would even matter. Sure, the morning shift is hectic, but fuck it. I'm not in the mood to deal with the elderly bitching about how I made a mistake checking in an item that they still have sitting in their car. I love the library, but sometimes the people I have to deal with make working there as pleasant as fucking a ziplock baggie full of gravel. I can stay in. It won't hurt anyone.

Supernatural Aid

Fuck, my Visa bill is due in a couple of weeks. I need to get my ass out of bed and into the shower.

The Crossing of the First Threshold

I go into the bathroom and lay my freshly washed wife beater, jeans, and briefs on the hamper, and place a warm towel on top of it. I turn the hot water knob in the shower on first and wait for it to warm up. A nice steam starts rising, so I twist the cold water knob until the heat inside is bearable. Ahhh...this water feels so goddamn good on my skin. I can sit in this warm spot all day. Damn stomach. This always happens. I better get to the toilet before I shit all over the tile. Great, now there's water all over the toilet seat. What is it about a hot shower that always gives me the shits? I don't get it. Now I have to shower in a bathroom full of diarrhea stink. On the bright side I can clean my ass without needing toilet paper. More soap. My hair is nice and soft now. Receding maybe, but soft as a fresh slice of cake. This bores me and I'm clean already, better turn this shit off. Wipe away every drop, starting with my arms. Slip on my briefs, wife beater, finally pants, and I'm ready to brush my teeth. These fillings look ugly...goddamn it! Is that another cavity? I don't even like Brit pop, so this shit's not gonna fly. Ah well. I don't need to shave. The rugged look will do for today.

The Belly of the Whale

I pop open the trunk of my car and get the faceplate for my CD player out. Opening up the door I set my books down on the passenger's seat, usually empty, and put in whatever CD is tickling my fancy at the moment. Some country will do for today. Nice sad much to get me through the ride.


The Road of Trials

What the FUCK is up with all these stupid assholes on the road today? Jesus CHRIST almighty! Dumb shits don't even know how to use a turn signal. It's not flip one fucking lever in one direction. Are these people retarded? YOU CAN'T CROSS HERE, BITCH! THERE'S A CROSSWALK NOT EVEN A BLOCK DOWN!!! Yeah, fuck you too, buddy. Great, I forgot that school's starting. You don't drop your kids off in the middle of the street, dick! Oooh, you're SO cool. Teenagers asserting their "individuality." You're pathetic. I always catch this stupid light. Nobody's here yet...oh wait, I see some cars. My usual spot.

The Meeting with the Goddess

She opens up the door and smiles at me, her sweet chubby face pinched on each side with dimples. "Good morning, Roland" she says, in the sweetest voice I'll hear all morning. After putting my books in my cubbyhole I return to her and ask what I'm to do this morning. She's the one who knows my destiny. Without her guidance, I am lost. She shows me the work schedule and informs me about what I'm to do to get through the morning shift.

Woman as Temptress

I walk to the desk and begin my shift. I take my items off of my record and begin cleaning up the front as much as I can. A coworker comes up to me and tells me what job I should be doing this morning. While this job is more appealing than the other, I let her know that a schedule was already made, and I've been assigned something else. She looks at me, raises an eyebrow, and says, "Oh, OK." Temptation overcome, I resume my scheduled work.

Atonement With the Father

What the fuck am I doing here? When I was growing up I always heard stories about how my dad was constantly working. He'd brag about being fourteen years old and already having a job. Then I'd hear about how he had kids early, a wife, and blah blah blah, all this shit. I want kids, but I'm glad I don't have them now, with my part time job, depression, and debt. Also, I don't think a failed marriage is something to be bragging about, especially since it was to a woman that I don't even know. A woman who, if he would have stayed with her, would have insured that I would never have been born. I understand what he's trying to say, though. I know that there is so much more I could be doing with my life. He means the best for me, and this "bragging" is probably the only way he knows how to pass the morals and ethics he grew up with down to me. He never beat the shit out of me, so that's a plus. I have that advantage over both of my parents, who were both kicked around by theirs when they were kids.


College has been a total fucking waste of my time! As if having a fancy degree is gonna guarantee a good life. I already have an AA...shouldn't that be enough? Sure, it may help with jobs like the one I'm in now, but really, is this what I plan on doing for the remainder of my life? I jumped into the library system because it fit most conveniently with my school schedule. Is this the life I want? There is so much more that I can be doing, and the only problem is that I'm not actively making it happen. This is bullshit!!!

The Ultimate Boon

I'll be OK. I'm working on things now, making them happen in my own way. I have a club, I have friends, I have connections. I just have to bide my time. That's what I've always done, and things have always worked out for me. This will be no different. Oooh, and look...I'm almost off! Just another few minutes. Hope no fucking customer with a stack of forty-nine books comes up a minute before my shift ends. I look at the time on the phone, and see my time for the day is just about up. Five, four, three, two, one...I'm off! See y'all tomorrow!


Refusal of the Return

I grab my stuff and start heading for the door. Hey, my friend came in just now! I'd like to stick around for a bit...wait, no, I better not. If I stay here now, who knows when the hell I'll get out. Plus, I might be asked to change my schedule again. Oh, but they brought food! They lay out various snacks and fruits along the table, all of them looking incredibly delicious. No...I have to leave now. But I'm hungry! I look over once again at the table, and see some of my coworkers start digging their hands into the food, shoving fistfuls of cake down their gullets. I can hear the chewing, and it helps me make my way out the door.

The Magic Flight

I pull out of the driveway and begin my trip home. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Bright sun outside and hardly any traffic. This is new. I see the kids are getting out of their classes. Thank God I won't have to deal with them now! Smooth roads, and the air smells nice, like freshly cut grass.

Rescue From Without

How much change do I have? I should stop and grab a burger, since I didn't eat any breakfast and didn't stick around to eat any of the food that was brought in to work. Let's see...a quarter, some pennies, a couple nickels...FUCK. This pile of change is useless.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold

I pull into my driveway and park in the backyard. After I put the faceplate to my CD player in the trunk I gather the books I checked out and head to the back door. Surprise surprise, the shit's locked. Why do they lock this when they know I always come in through the back? I walk to the front and dodge the chickens and cats along the way. When I reach the front door I twist the knob and feel the nice cool air of my home hit me as I open the door.

Master of Two Worlds

I walk into my bedroom and lay my identification badge on the computer desk. Looking down at it I realize that I am an expert at my job. There are a few areas that I may need some brushing up on, but by and large I know exactly what to do and how to do it. When I work I am a different person than who I am with my friends, but those differences have more to do with my lexicon than anything else. I take the skills I learn from work and apply them to my daily life, and apply skills I take from my daily life to my work. Perfect harmony is achieved.

Freedom to Live

I walk to my computer and feel at ease. I have completed my job for the day. Now I am a step closer to paying off my bills and maintaining my lifestyle. Maybe I'll visit a friend today, or maybe I'll watch a film. Everything is open before me, and it feels magnificent. Today was, indeed, a beautiful Goodpussy day, and it ain't even over yet.

Ushering in Manhood and Catering to The Muse.

It was during my first year in Junior High, or "Middle School" as they started calling it. My teacher was a rotund woman with reddish cheeks and dresses that were borderline muumuu, but she was still amiable. This was near the beginning of my Junior High years, so the hellish aspects didn't start happening just then. Not only was I adjusting to a change in schools, which was pretty big since the last one went on for what seemed like forever, but I was also adjusting to the changes going on with my body. I was not yet flying into my weird, cracked-out Casanova hormone-driven love proclamations, but I knew that something big was going on.

In my last year of Elementary School we were divided up into different classes, one for boys, one for girls, and then shown a Sex Ed video. I learned about things that were going to be happening to me, but I didn't know how they would feel. I was also fully aware of what jerking off was, but at the time I wasn't all that into touching my own member, and further more, I was mostly in love with girls but didn't have the desire to fuck any of them. I talked about fucking, and knew about it, but the urge wasn't there.

That was about to change.

One day in one of my classes I was sitting at a desk that seats four. I was on the right hand side, front desk. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt that didn't match. This was near the end of the day, and I believe we were all working on some kind of project. All of a sudden my right leg started shaking, making weird convulsions up and down. This usually happened, but now I felt something different. My shorts felt funny, and I moved my hand down to "adjust" things. I scratched myself and there was this bizarre sensation that followed. It felt nice, so naturally I did it again. The combination of a bouncing leg, the cool breeze flying up the opening in my shorts, and my finger dragging along the side to relieve an itch triggered something off. I pissed something into my pants, only it wasn't piss. It was a weird, thick blob of something that I knew I learned about, but didn't know what it was at the moment. When it happened I remember my heart dropped, as if the flow of whatever was coming out was dragging my heart along with it, and my eyes slammed shut. I think I may have even gasped.

I sat there in a daze for a few minutes, but was then slapped back into reality when a cute girl who sat next to me asked for my thoughts on what we were working on. When I got home I went to the bathroom and looked in my underpants and saw that indeed something came out, but it wasn't piss. I didn't know what it was I did, but it felt so different, so new, that I tried to replicate it during the following days. I would sit in class and my leg would start bouncing, and my hand would move down. It happened again, but this time took longer. It dawned on me that the way to get this to happen was to shake the living hell out of my prick, so for a while that's exactly what I did.

One of the things that stands out to me about my Junior High years was how shameless I was with the girls I had an interest in. I made it known to everyone how much I liked certain girls, and would embarrass myself a thousand times over with each of them. I had crushes before, but after that incident in class, there was a new kind of urgency about it, I think. I couldn't afford subtlety, not with what was going on down there. Needless to say I remained a virgin for several more years, but my sexual frustration kicked off this weird prolific writing streak that wouldn't let up until a couple years after starting college. I wrote and wrote about love, depression, and all of those end-of-the-world things that teenagers place so much importance on. I didn't write as much before, but after my hormones started acting freakishly, I wasn't able to stop. I had found my muse...and it was in my pants.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Roland's Abridgment of Plato's "Apology."


In the world of Philosophy, few figures are more prominent than Plato. His body of work, the most important of which is obviously "The Republic of Plato," have set the course of philosophical thinking from the moment they were committed to paper. It has been said, in fact, that all philosophical thinking since has been merely answering Plato, either in the affirmative or negative. "Apology" is one of his shorter works, and is easily accessible to those who wish to begin studying the words of this incredible thinker. However, in this time of intellectual poverty, even the shortest of the classics demand abridgment for American audiences. I am nothing more than a student, merely twenty-six years in age, and it takes a great deal of arrogance on my part to suggest that I can condense the mastery of Plato's words into something that can be digested by modern audiences. However, it needs to be done, and no one else is doing it. Therefore, it is with excitement that I present to you, the modern reader, my abridgment of Plato's "Apology."

A Note on the Translation

I have spent countless hours pouring over this work in the original, and trying to transfer the basic components into our language. The point of any translation is to transmit, with as little deviation as possible, the author's intent. Certain sacrifices must be made in an abridgment, however, and with a heavy heart there are beautiful ideas, such as I have rarely if ever seen in modern works, that had to be left out of this edition. They are there, available for those who wish to pursue the work further, as I would like any readers of this text to do, in any decent library and bookstore. What I have done is attempt to use the simplest language possible to convey the meaning of this text, so that any poetry that I have been tempted to include has been taken out. The language, clear, precise, without adornments, is the ultimate endpoint of art, and I do believe that this translation and abridgment would find favor with the poet William Carlos Williams, who's work is equal to this abridgment, if not, as I sincerely believe, even surpassed by it. I hope that the clarity of the language used with leave no misinterpretation possible, and that, upon further readings, the brilliance of this work will pierce into your hearts, as a heavy deluge of small droplets of water will pierce even the toughest edifices.

Roland's Abridgment of Plato's "Apology."
Copyright 2006.


I'm sorry.


I would like to thank the Hacienda/La Puente Unified School District for their fantastic job in educating me, making sure that I had all the leisure in the world to pursue my intellectual endeavors, never once stifling my thirst for knowledge by handing out needless assignments, or homework that was too difficult, or required any length of time to complete. Also, I would like to thank the culture in which I was raised, which constantly questions any kind of intellectual thinking, making it necessary to defend yourself and explain why you bother to read books written by dead white males or anyone else for that matter. I do not think it is for any other reason than that the average person is testing intellectual vigor, and that the majority of my fellow Americans are brilliant beyond words, and that this is a continuous test of durability. In my heart of hearts, I believe that all Americans, from the states lining the oceans to the dry dusty spaces in-between, have snugly next to their Bibles editions of Shakespeare and the works of Plato, much like they did in revolutionary times. We are a culture of secret readers and hidden intellectual ability, and that rugged individualism is what makes this country great. Also, I have mentioned him earlier, but I would like to thank William Carlos Williams, who proves that poetry doesn't need fancy language, a good sense of rhythm, any kind of reference, or any kind of meaning, to be good. His work stands, much like the playful colorings of a toddler, the hypnotic mosaic of bird-droppings underneath lampposts, or the simple scrawls of graffiti which beautifully adorn stop signs and private property, as a testament that art does not have to mean anything at all for people to enjoy it. I applaud his works, and may his message of simplicity echo forever in our art!

About the Author

Roland lives in Los Angeles, California. He has previously been published in The Ocelot (the school newspaper for Orange Grove Jr. High) and Dork Magazine, and received an AA Degree from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. His work has been praised by his Creative Writing professors and by his peers, which include the musician Chonk and the master of collage Sofia. He works as a Library Aide, and is currently working on a modernization of "The Canterbury Tales." Roland's translation and abridgment of Plato's "Apology" is the beginning of a project to bring the Classics of literature to modern readers. His next project in this vein is to translate James Joyce's novel "Finnegans Wake" into English.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Library Love, Part One

I was a page for about two years, and to this day I still have an overwhelming urge to push in chairs, pick up stray books, and shift a disorderly shelf.

One time when I was being driven to work (my car had been out of commission for a few months) these girls in front of the library screamed "HEY CUTIE!" at me. We also got a smart-ass comment in our suggestion box saying "you have some hot guys working for you. They should make a calendar." As Lisa Simpson observed, us library boys are the wildest.

Sex in the stacks? Not quite, but a friend of mine who used to work with me witnessed a lady giving her man a handjob through his shorts while working on the computer. Also, a man was arrested for exposing himself, and was apparently handcuffed while his member was hanging out and getting some air.

Anytime anyone checks out something by James Joyce, I'm compelled to tell them that he's my favorite author. It's not that I'm trying to look smart, it's because I seriously don't know anyone who likes Joyce.

Eventually my coworkers come to me divulging details of their sex lives. I don't know why this is.

When an angry patron demands to have their fines waved for an item that was clearly damaged by them and the supervisor agrees to do it, I'm legitimately offended.An overweight woman of God who comes into one of my libraries once lifted her leg up and dug her fingers into an obscene area to scratch herself while talking to me. She frequently complains about other library patrons having no manners and has delivered written complaints to my boss about it.

Whenever I ask coworkers who their favorite authors are, I am usually met with blank stares and the response "I don't read."

I go to clubs frequently, and have encountered a surprising number of people who work at libraries and are working on Library Science degrees.

I have always wondered if the indignant jerks who complain about their overdue fines also complain with the same vigor at video rental places like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. When my library used to charge $2.00 a day for overdue movies (the good old days) people would constantly bitch that Blockbuster doesn't charge that much. I withheld the temptation to remind them that Blockbuster also doesn't give them movies for free like we do. My thinking is that anything given away for free is taken for granted, and if you dare suggest a penalty for not returning it on time, there'll be hell to pay.

One thing that I've always loathed is when patrons feel the need to say "I pay your salary with my taxes" when there's a problem with their record. As if paying taxes and receiving a public service gives them the right to take books, movies, and CDs for free, return them whenever they please in whatever condition they please, and then complain when they want to check out an item that can't circulate due to damage or hasn't been returned yet because someone's keeping it past their due date.

My favorite response to "You still have a couple of items checked out on your record"? "No, I don't, " followed by a loud fifteen minute argument, a trip to their car, and a quick return of said items without an apology.

I have gained a significant amount of weight due to working at the library, because of the frequent pot lucks (about two a month), a candy jar for the staff, and a constant flow of candies, cookies, and snacks left for the staff in the break room.

The new library that I work at is notable for two things: One, it's the biggest and fanciest library I've ever worked at. Two, it has fewer books than the smallest library I've ever worked at.

One time a woman came in to pay some overdue fines and felt so much guilt about it that she needed to let me know that the reason the books were overdue was because she had a hemorrhoid operation and she swore that she'd never, ever let this happen again. The fine was under a buck.

When I used to shelf read people knew better than to talk to me immediately afterwards, because I would always return looking either pissed off or sad. My friend brought that to my attention and I had no idea that it was so obvious. The reason for this was because I would always be deep in thought while shelf reading, both putting the books in order and thinking about the meaning of life. The best ideas I ever came up with usually resulted from shelf reading and killing the tedium of the task by coming up with various book ideas and philosophies. I hardly ever wrote these down.

I always thought that those famous calls to the library to find out what a song's title was or how the lyrics went to a song were all a bunch of crap until it actually happened on my second day of working at the information desk. The song? "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks. They asked for and got the sheet music from the original, "Le Moribond" by Jacques Brel, because this particular library was known for it's massive collection of sheet music. I have not received a similar call since.

Years ago I read a page of humorous observations about working in a library. I liked it enough that it stuck in my head, but due to my short attention span I only visited the page once. I found out last week that I work with the guy who does it, and he'll probably think I'm ripping him off with this post.

Reflections in a Tobacco-Stained Eye

I've been smoking for years now, and I figured now would be as good a time as any to just type out some reflections on a habit that's been with me since high school.

The first time I had a cigarette was at my friend's urging. Since then he's told me how proud he was that he got me addicted to cigarettes, but I would like to give myself more credit than that. We were at the beach, sitting in his car in the parking lot. The first smoke I ever had was a Marlboro red, and it made me lightheaded. I told him I liked that feeling and he told me it wouldn't always be like that. When he told me this I wondered what the point of smoking was. It wasn't until later that I "got" it.

Because we were underage, my friend and I used to hit up bums to buy us smokes, with the promise that we'd let them bum one (note: I just checked this, and let me assure you...this pun was completely unintentional). When I mentioned this to a coworker recently he called me "horrible" and said he couldn't imagine anyone else doing this. I always figured that this was a commonplace thing, and that most young smokers do this. The little prick probably just wanted to give me a guilt trip for exploiting the homeless.

Even though I'm no longer 15 years old, I still flip over the first cigarette in a new pack and save it for last as my "lucky" smoke. At one point I did two, as my friend suggested that it was "double the luck." After doing that for a year and still being a virgin, I decided that it would be best to go back to one and at least not look like such an ass.

My brand of choice is Gauloises Blondes (Note: as of this writing I have discovered that the last Gauloises factory has shut down. This is indeed a sad day). The story behind this is that, while I was on my Paris trip, I kept bumming Marlboro lights off my roommate, and when we went out for a walk for the very first time I decided to hit up a tabac to buy my own pack of smokes. I wanted French cigarettes, but I didn't know what brands were available. When I reached the counter the man asked me what I wanted, and like a typical dipshit tourist I said "je voudrais..." and just pointed at random at the cigarettes. He didn't know which ones I was talking about and the first one he pulled out was Gauloises Blondes. I said "ouais" and that's been my brand ever since.

I don't do this anymore, but when my friend taught me how to blow smoke rings, this was his advice; "pretend you're sucking a dick and just pop out the smoke." This was an incredibly bizarre way of putting it, coming as it did from the biggest homophobe I knew. Years later another friend, a lady this time, taught me how to French Inhale. This stands as the only time that a smoking demonstration has ever come close to giving me an erection.

Club Par Avion was officially the first place that I became what is known as a "poly user," meaning someone who uses two or more stimulants at the same time. While in the past I would drink and also happen to smoke, it was there that I discovered that smoking greatly enhances your "buzz" when you've been drinking. Ever since I found that out I would down a drink or two and try to get to a smoking area as quickly as possible, to quicken the effects. I always tried to do this early, so that by the time I got back inside I no longer cared about looking like an ass.

I have noticed that while smoking is incredibly frowned upon, most of my friends smoke either regularly or occasionally. Whenever I find out that someone I know smokes, it's always a bit of a surprise to me, because it's not really something you see all that often anymore when walking down the street. It seems to be becoming a "dirty little secret," which is pretty funny considering that smoking is completely legal. It would appear that us cigarette smokers are a dying breed (pun intended this time). Speaking of which...another interesting thing that I've found is that a lot of nonsmokers that I talk to smoke pot, and then spout out this holier-than-thou shit about it. That seems to be pretty common, especially coming from some protest-kids that I know. I guess weed is supposed to be more "natural" and tobacco is some factory-produced capitalist monster hobby. Call it what you like, it doesn't change the fact that it's SMOKE being sucked into your lungs, and I place far more trust in The Man than I do in some twitching sore-ridden druggie handing over a bag of shit from god knows where.

I love California with all my heart, but every year seems like a step closer to a total ban on smoking. There are already commercials that have this message, showing babies and puppies and flowers and bubbles and all that. I defy anyone to tell me that this isn't propaganda, considering that it's ad space on TV being used up not to sell a product, but to deny the sale of one. What also doesn't get talked about is that the tobacco-ban bullshit is an attack on the bottom-middle class and poor, since they are the groups that smoke the most and are hit the hardest by increased taxes. Now people have a perfectly acceptable excuse to sneer at and insult these people without thinking that they're doing anything wrong. Florence King described the U.S. as a country of "friendly misanthropes," meaning that over here, we hate people but need to come up with excuses to justify our hatred, and the excuse of nonsmokers is the myth of "secondhand smoke." This makes every single nonsmoker susceptible to "passive smoke," meaning that once again, people in this country can claim to be a victim of something. Personal responsibility is out of the question, and if any kind of "wound" is inflicted, be it real or imaginary, they can collect. Take for example all the ex-smokers who are now suing the tobacco industry because they were too stupid to read the warning labels. This is why I can no-longer call myself a liberal. Getting older, you see just how quick both sides are to shut down something they don't like, and when I watch political debates or listen to friends talk politics, it becomes strikingly clear that I am not represented by either side, but this is a discussion for another time.

To this day, I have not had the pleasure of an after-sex cigarette. The closest I ever came to it was when I had someone in my room and we were having a ferocious make-out session. When it was over we both sat up in my bed and faced each other, smiling, and I grabbed my pack of cigarettes and we both smoked, the ashtray between us, and occasionally leaning over for a kiss. I don't know what she felt, but to me it was incredibly romantic, and one of the more memorable happenings in my room.

I'm going to end this by saying that I don't know how much longer I'm going to smoke. If I ever decide to quit my reasons are entirely my own, but the thought has crossed my mind. The reason for typing this up was that cigarettes have been with me since puberty and I wanted to write something of an "ode" to them. I have had a lot of good memories with cigarettes involved, so I could never hate them. It would be nice, though, if other people would respect that, even if they don't smoke.


I love chocolate. I don't care if it makes me a bitch, I love it. I can suck on Hershey bars for HOURS and still want more. Shove a funnel in my throat and pour in the fudge, because I want my body to TINGLE. Sometimes after eating a large amount, the back of my eyeballs start to feel like live wires...dancing around and shocking the shit out of my brain. If I were a character in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, I'd be Augustus, because that fat bastard was into EVERYTHING there. They'd know better than to let me into that place. I'd leave marks on everything, chomping and gobbling and devouring every corner of that place, running my tongue along the walls and up and down sweet hard chocolate poles and sucking out the filling. My heart is racing...I need some NOW.

I get midnight cravings, like my old baby-eating bitch of a boss. I'll be lying in bed, my body slicked with sweat, and the only thing on my mind is where the FUCK is my chocolate? I need it so badly...please, I'll do anything you want if I could just get some chocolate...I'll do the dishes, I'll polish the floor with my feet, I'll scrub down the tiles in the shower, just please give me a bar of chocolate. I feel cold, my arms are shaking, my eyes have sandbags under them...Dear God, what have I done to deserve this?

The stores are open, and of course I rush in with my hand eagerly holding several bucks to slap down on the counter. I find everything I need. I always do. I know what I want. I hand over my cash, collect my change, and get the hell out of the store and back onto the streets.

I'm back home. I open the door, close it, lock it, and go to my room. My shaking hands peel apart the delicate wrapper, and I stare at it's long, delicious form. My darling, pretty soon you're going to be in my mouth. I have to admire it for a little while before indulging myself, because it's a gift that God gave the world. A New World delight. I could drink it, of course, and I do, but at times like this, I need a nice, solid piece to enjoy.

My tongue gently laps the tip, and I quiver all over. Oh dear God, YES. This is what I've been craving for only reason for waking up. I enter it slowly into my mouth, my lips dragging across every end. I feel the hard candy move from the tip of my tongue further and further back. At this point, I thank God for not giving me a gag reflex. The deeper I can ram it in, the happier I'll be. I move my mouth back and forth on it, sucking and licking but NEVER biting. I want to savor the taste of it in my mouth. I stop, and let it sit gently on my tongue. I can feel it's delicious juices ooze into my throat, and I swallow every drop. Then I get back to work. My mouth starts hurting, I've been at it so long. I feel like my lips are going to turn purple, yet I continue. I have to keep going. This is the happiest moment of the day, when I hold this sweet candy in my mouth. I feel that the size has gone down. Unfortunately, all my pleasure, all my joy is coming to an end. It gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and then...nothing. All I'm left with are small pieces hiding in my teeth, and a dark streak on my tongue. It's over. All gone.

I lay back, exhausted but with a feeling of absolute bliss. My mouth is stiff and tired, but in another hour, I'll be back at it. I need it in me. I'm always dying for it. I love chocolate.

Slap My Bitch Up

A few years ago I remember a friend of mine who I’ve known for years telling me a little piece of "wisdom" about God. He told me, "You know how if you spell ‘God’ backwards, it’s ‘dog’? Well, there’s a reason for that. If you have a dog, and you take care of it and love it and keep it around you all the time, it’s your best friend. It will always be loyal to you. If you hit it, yell at it, or punish it, it will be hurt, but if you call his name, he’ll come running back to you, happy that you still love him. That’s how it is with God, man."

To me, that little slice of warmth seemed to turn God into a simpering slave, not nearly the vicious, vengeful, murdering demon portrayed in The Old Testament. But as soon as I strained out the last bit of holy poison that my friends had always seemed so eager to drench me in, I started thinking about dogs.

Happy dogs. Good dogs.

Man’s best friend.

Prancing about the house, tongue bobbing left and right. Guilty eyes and a droopy expression when it hears anger in your voice. Completely loveable. I’ve heard people say, "If my wife ever left me, all I’d want to keep would be my son and my dog." The most popular pet. Everyone loves dogs. It’s just expected of you to love dogs. If you’re a decent human being, at least.

What about cats? Cats always get a lot of shit. They’re "annoying." They "smell." They don’t come to you when you call them. They have bad attitudes. They scratch and hiss. They aren’t friendly. They have an arrogance about them. "I hate cats. I’m more of a dog lover."

What's the appeal of dogs, I wonder? I have a few dogs, and I adore them, but I just don’t get how high certain people hold their dogs. The American Dream: A nice home, white picket fences, wife always looking pretty with dinner in one hand and a mop in the other. 2.5 kids. And a dog. It’s nice and sweet and American. Women love dogs, men love dogs. Hell, everyone has to love dogs! Except cats. Some cats love dogs, but most don’t. Dogs will tear the shit out of a cat, and that’s unfortunate, but not a tragedy for many. "Poor kitty. I wish Rex hadn’t done that." So the vast majority of cats hate dogs, which I guess is why a vast majority of people hate cats.

To men, dogs are an ideal. A dog will always be there for you, but doesn’t talk. You can beat this shit out of a dog, but it will never leave you. You can insult a dog all you want, and it will only smile at you and lick your face. A dog does what it’s told when it’s trained properly. The dog is the most submissive creature in the animal kingdom. "Bitch," that oh-so-popular slang term given to someone to degrade them is the name of a female dog. Not just any kind of dog, mind you, a FEMALE dog. "That woman is SUCH a dog. I’d never stick my cock in THAT thing." Both "dog" and "bitch" are used to degrade someone, yet dogs and bitches are the most beloved pets in this country.

You "fix" a dog by chopping away his reproductive organs. How can you fix something that nature had a clear purpose for?

We don’t have our darkie slaves anymore. Goddamn government took that away. Now our women are going out and...and...not following orders. You can’t slap a woman the way you used to, can you? Back in the good old days you could give your loved one two black eyes and a broken rib on your lunch break and still expect a nice hot meal when you came home from work. You just can’t do that anymore.

A cat don’t take shit from NOBODY. Fuck with a cat and you’ll have to unhinge it’s claws from your hand. A cat will fight back. Dogs usually don’t. A cat’s first instinct after birth is to hiss and scratch. A dog’s is to whimper and yelp. A cat will leave and come back when it feels like coming back, with no regard for your calls. Dogs have built-in reflexes to run back to you as soon as you spit out it’s name. Cats have no use for whatever you choose to call them, and only after they finally decide that you’re OK will they come to you when you say that word.

Dogs were raised to be degraded, and once it fights back after being viciously teased, they have to be "put to sleep" or "taken care of." In other words, they’re killed because they had a limit to how far they can be pushed. If a cat scratches you or hisses at you, you just throw it outside, like you never really considered it a pet to begin with. "Well, if a dog bites you once, it’ll bite again and again." Just like if your son, who you’ve spent years beating the shit out of, hit you back, he’ll have the confidence to do it again and again. You’ve lost the power to dominate him. You’ll never have it again. You can’t get rid of your son, though. You’ll have to make some changes about how you treat him, because he won’t just take the hits like he used to. Now he has some dignity. And you’ll be goddamned if you let a no-good mangy dog take that power away from you.

People love their doggies.