Seventh-Story Glory Hole
Walking through the Castro, I looked up at an attractive seven-story building. Someone had cut a three-inch circle out of their street-facing window. They’d lined the circle with soft black foam. The window was painted black, or maybe dark blue. I saw a long, flaccid penis hanging out of the hole. An impossibly high glory hole! The cock swayed gently in the tall breeze. I considered climbing an adjacent tree, or scaling the building itself. I would surely have perished had I made the attempt.
Drink This Now
She thought about piercing my throat with her razor. I’d die, but it’d also mean I’d finally stop talking. Then it dawned on her: I still hadn’t had my morning coffee. All my focus had been on preparing the eggs and onions. No wonder I’m babbling like an idiot. My coffee stood cooling by the stove while I sputtered and bloviated, rubbing my thumb against the plate to retrieve the last bits of onion. A well-rendered female character in a fictional short story, she dashed into the kitchen and returned with the mug. “Drink this,” she said, and pressed the warm cup into my hands. I swallowed it quickly like medicine.
Crabby chic. I’m bored by my style. I got it from you. If you’re British, does that mean your brown hat’s British? Running out the door this morning I grabbed something to read. The Fall 2010 number of thee Threepenny Review was at the top of the pile. It’s wrong for the bus: if you’re reading fiction, it should be bound in a book; if you’re going to read a magazine, it should have at least some politics or pop in it. Each item eventually repelled me—the scholarly ‘mystery’ felt contrived and overdramatized; a poem that maybe wanted to failed to make me consider seriously my own mortality. Then I got to Richard Locke’s review of Lydia Davis’s Collected Stories, which I enjoyed until I arrived at my stop.
Locke quotes Davis’s wonderful three-sentence story “A Different Man” in its entirety. I am a solipsist and a megalomaniac, though I use those terms interchangeably and probably don’t know what they mean. Reading the story there, I worried that my girlfriend might someday write a similar story about me, portraying me as a character who “kept his distance from her, who took offense, who was not reasonable.” With even more damning observations sprinkled in.