Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I went to see Lost in Translation at Cinema Village with a girl named Karen. Karen had inhumanly large, slightly distended, milky-blue eyes. Afterward, we walked to Union Square, and then to the Cedar Tavern on University Place. We agreed that the movie had been useless and that it fell into the second category of things that should be abhorred: there were things that deserved to be hated, and then there were the things so hateful that you had to hate anyone who liked them. I explained to her that the only way I could experience love for one thing was by hating other things, that the people I loved reminded me to hate others: they were a reminder of the way things could be, but weren't. I told her that all of the things that were really meant to happen between people had a way of happening, and by this I specified a special category of things that one could not do otherwise. I still believed in this category of thing, though I had not myself experienced it. The insinuation, and also the thought, was that this might be one of those things. She had caramel colored hair that always looked a bit fried, and was wearing a high-necked sweater. She was small and lemur-like, all eyes and hands, and had grown up in a farm in South Dakota. I told her that the Masters and Johnson survey had found that as many as 40 percent of all rural males had had sexual contact with an animal. I told her that I had a habit of losing my erection whenever a woman was on the verge of climax. I told her that I defied all of the stereotypes that were imposed on Asian males. I was not studious, for instance, and I could hold my liquor. There was only one way that I resembled other Asian men, and that was, of course, that I had a very small penis.

We had met in an apartment in what we were still then calling East Williamsburg, by the Morgan stop, and a a 5 am, we had danced to a Smiths LP. Later she would tell me that I had seemed at once bored and expectant. At that at hour, in our condition, it had seemed like, together, we had become the still point of the turning world. The sun was setting and it was early fall, and now the magic was gone. Later, she would tell me that I had seemed on that occasion, both bored and expectant, which seemed to me an unfair, and an unperceptive, account of my mood. Three months later, she was engaged to be married. The Cedar Tavern, established 1866, and once host to generations of total fakers who banded together and inscribed their names, simply by default, into the annals of our cultural history, is now a seven story luxury condominium.

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