I fucken love the Stuyvesant Bee. Every time I read it, it’s as if I’m sitting in a therapist’s office, about to make an emotional breakthrough, like I’m finally gonna slough off my sexuality and emerge as a skinless, floating adventure journalist. But then there’s the unmistakable whine of distant Tinnitus and the air gets brighter. The analyst swivels in his/her swivel chair so his/her back is to me, but then I see that in fact his/her back has been “to” me this whole time, and now, having swiveled, I am seeing the analyst’s true “front,” there’s a horrible new face, and his/her chair is actually a part of his/her face, and he/she speaks with a new voice, and the scenery outside the window is moving, and the whole building has begun sliding west like a train. In his/her new voice, the analyst says, “Look, let’s drop the charade, shall we? I’m going to let you know something that until now you didn’t even have the like ontological possibility of understanding. It comes in three parts.
- You’re a dumbass. I know sometimes you think ‘OK, so I can’t do simple arithmetic, and I read hard books “holistically,” which means I skip over huge yawning sections of their arguments, and even though I’ve read the Wikipedia page and the blurbs on the back of From Beirut to Jerusalem a zillion times, I still can’t remember what an Intifada is. I sometimes pronounce it “Infantada”. Get it? “Infant toddler”? “Infant ta-da!”. Not funny. But despite all that, I maintain under an inch of dirty rice and false modesty that I still sort of have what it takes, I’m a competent etc’- But no, you’re not. You’re wrong. You’re bad. You’re the foolishest bucket of the cheapest manteca.
- You don’t know what the word “ontological” means. This is related to No. 1. You also misuse the words phenomenological, metaphyisics, literally, and philosophical every time.
- You have no dignity. No self-control, either. You’re one of the largest children on the books. You deserve nothing so much as a sentient remote-controlled car that, every time you begin to indulge yourself, which is often, gets all juiced and then drives up your leg and all over your genitals, shifting into reverse and then romping back over them, again and again, until you’re excited and in pain and weeping. Then a chairlift swings around and scoops you up and carries you, bruised and mewling, halfway up the mountain, where it chucks you into a snowbank.
The scenery outside the analyst’s office slows and stops. You’re in a different part of the city, near Chinatown, closer to the water. You pay, leave, and find a dim sum counter. After gorging yourself, you find a little grate; rainwater rushes down in filthy rivulets. You cram yourself through, falling into the sewer. Both legs break gruesomely: bones instantly pierce through your flesh like horn-backed exclamation points in a comic book.
Rats bring you snacks. You live down there for another sixty years. You miss the world.