Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
“The fate of the world relies on several things”, I said to the man standing beside my bed this morning. I believe he was my butler giving me the newspaper (ironed with couture irons), but often men who look very much like my butler stand beside my bed in the mornings as well. I don’t know why this is. Something quantum, no doubt. These Other Men who stand beside my bed often look like my butler, even down to the type of bowtie he wears- but once they say “Good Morning, Monsieur Lagerfeld” it’s immediately obvious that they’re not my butler. In some cases they’re the ghosts of Christmas past, future, and so on- the Dickens method of guilt tripping wretched creatures like myself who sold their soul long ago into feeling bad about spraying wine at the choirs who attempt to sing chorals on Christmas eve, and feeling bad about the fact that I sold my soul in the first place. Mr. Dickens was very into this manipulation of heart-strings. It’s just a pity I have no heart either, hm?
Other mornings I’ll find a tax collector beside my bed, a taxman. The old saying about death and taxes rings true- sometimes death visits me too. Of course, I tell death that I died a long time ago, before they used computer systems to track who’d died in the underworld, and I present a lawyer to the tax collector who promptly turns into a pile of dust (like editors are terrifying to books, certain lawyers are terrifying to tax collectors).
Anyway, “The fate of the world relies on several things”, I said. “And what’re they?” said my butler. “Chanel jackets, sunglasses, and mystery” I said.
“Ahh, but you’ve told the Chanel jacket joke before!” my butler said- “I can remember you humanizing the jacket, personifying it, a few months ago in an entry. And you’ve also talked about how they taste delicious, how lovely they are to lick.”
“What on Earth are you talking to about entries?” I said. “This is life we’re talking about. Life is not a series of witty entries. Life is a series of appointments and invitations.”
“Oh- they know what I’m talking about”, he said looking outside, as if talking to an audience. “Can’t you see them? Their eyes glued to their little computer screens reading what’s happening right now. Mon Dieu- some of them look like they need to sleep! Look at the bags under that one! And this one, this one right here- the one who put on makeup just to read us. Yes! I see you!”
“Albert. Dear Albert. There’s nobody there. We’re simply in my bedroom, discussing Important Things in life. Nobody can be reading this, as if we’re characters in a novel or short story or somesuch.”
“Don’t you feel….as if you’re being watched half the time? Or rather, read?” he said.
“Well. Sometimes I feel like things we say are being translated into French, put into a movie and then people- teenage girls with an inclination toward kittens, naked models, and the like- post a screenshot from this theoretical movie with a French subtitle underneath. Probably something faux-deep, you know- “I always knew it would come to this.”, and so on. And when taken out of context said teenage girls feel very intellectual and self satisfied with themselves, and proceed to post ten million pictures of kittens and cupcakes and naked girls, with the occasional Woody Allen quote- I can’t fault that.”
“Tumblr” said my butler.
“Nothing,” he said.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Sometimes Albert, I get the feeling that you know more than you let on.”
“Oh, no, I just take too much LSD in the morning.”
“I can think of worse things to take. You don’t have the hands to smoke cigarettes. Neither do I.”
“My mother did.”
“I think that sentence was for me, actually”, I said to my butler.
“Oh- my apologies. Sometimes I forget these things.”
“My mother did. Mm, that’s better.”
“I think we’ve probably lost the more simple readers.”
“Well, if we had these “readers” that you speak of, I’m sure some would “get it” and others would be shaking their heads and waiting for a ritual joke about fatties or drinking diet Coke or somesuch.”
“Diet Coke’s no laughing matter.”
“You’re quite right.”
“Gosh, look at that one! I can see she’s already posting a quote from us in French on some sort of website.”
“I’ll take your word for it. You know, I often think these teenagers should be doing something with their lives.”
“Like Bud Cort?”
“Yeah. Like Bud Cort. Isn’t he 16 by now?”