Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Friday, March 17

You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)

After last night’s overindulgence with Birmingham, the plan tonight with Chicago is low key: pizza and sharing a pitcher of Peroni.

When I drive to Chicago’s house, his roommate’s sitting on the front porch. I turn off the ignition and the sound of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, which was playing loudly, abruptly stops. As I get out of the car, his roommate says, ‘Are you sure you’re gay?’

‘Look who’s talking,’ I say, walking past him, ‘patchouli boy.’

‘I don’t wear patchouli,’ he objects.

‘You listen to reggae, close enough,’ I say.

I knock on the screen door, call out Chicago’s name, and walk into the house.

‘Hey, boy,’ he says, coming out from the kitchen with two beers in his hand. ‘Want one?’

I take the beer and kiss his cheek.

He shows me around the house. I politely ignore the bong next to his reggae couch. And then the unexpected: when I see his bookshelves I have two virgin experiences.

The first virgin experience is finding a doppelganger of my own library. He has the requisite Hurston, Hemmingway and Marquez, but also Gaitskill, The Safety of Objects, & Winterson. Of course he has that early 1960’s New Directions edition of Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind, but a copy of Tyrannus Nix? sits next to it. He’s got a nice size dictionary and bible with a sizable grouping of Camus, Orwell, Gertrude Stein, C.S. Lewis and WCW. He doesn’t have any cyberpunk or Jim Thompson, but he’s got at least eleven cool ass titles that I’d been meaning to read for fifteen years.

The second virgin experience followed from the first: I became aroused looking over someone’s bookshelf—I mean really aroused. To distract him while I readjust my jeans, I ask if he has any Patchen.

He’s leaning with his hand outstretched against the wall and looking down for the book, looking relaxed and intelligent. I lean into him and kiss the side of his neck, right where the sternocleidomastoid muscle bisects the unshaven scruff from the smoothness of the rest of his neck.

Constantly risking absurdity, indeed.


Blogger the other sarah writes:

Excellent use of "doppelganger".

Intelligence is sexy, isn't it?


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

Mixing Ferlinghetti's poetry and prose can be dangerous. Be cautious of this man.


Blogger dan writes:

Please don't ever look at my bookshelf. Unless Judy Blume, Carl Sagan, and Rick Moody give you a boner, too.

My friend B has begun referring to a certain patchouli-wearing individual as "Patches" because the scent is so identifiably nauseating.


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