Posts tagged ‘Friends’

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

I was attempting to work on the manuscript for Men Behaving Badly when Edgar showed up unannounced (as per usual). I never minded his spontaneous visits, and I didn’t realize—until it was too late—how much I looked forward to them. He plopped down in his usual spot on the futon.

“You know, Edgar, I misunderstood the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“Have you been reading Stieg Larsson lately?”

“I don’t just get these ideas from literature and film. Give me some credit, man!”

“I always do.”

“You’re right. But, yeah, I just figured out what it meant right before you came over.”

“What did you think it meant?”

“I used to think it meant that it’s best to avenge a wrong as ruthlessly and with as cold a heart as possible.” I paused pregnantly.

“But I just realized the coldness relates to the passage of time.”

“I think you’re right on both counts, actually.” Edgar nodded pensively. “Of course, if you want to get revenge through the justice system, coldness isn’t so desirable what with statutes of limitation and all.”

“Fuck statutes! What these guys have in store is extra-legal (but neither illegal nor violent…we have too much to lose, and we’re more creative than that). Their lives will transform overnight without the slightest notice. Just like mine did. But, unlike me, they will have no recourse.”

“Sounds delicious.” Edgar’s pupils dilated with interest. “It’s been over 10 years. When can we get started?”

“We already have.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’m sure it has something to do with sending Tex that letter reminding him he’d have to pass the Moral Character Evaluation to become an attorney.”

“Nope. That was just our public duty and has nothing to do with revenge. That’s why we sent it as soon as we discovered his plan to follow his father’s footsteps at Harvard Law School. Not part of the revenge. No need to serve cold. Hey, wanna drink?” I gestured toward the kitchen.

“Sure, thanks.” Edgar popped the cork off my half-full bottle of pinot noir. “So, what’s next with respect to revenge?”

“There’re some clean glasses in the sink.”

“Coolness.” Edgar split the remainder of the bottle between the two of us. “I’m all ears.”

“How far can you run without stopping? How much can you bench press, squat, or the equivalent?”

“I thought you just said this wouldn’t involve violence or criminality?”

“Oh, it won’t. We just need to be and look like we’re in tip-top shape. We just need to signal that we’re as formidable physically as we are intellectually and psychologically.”

“In that case, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I’m game. Tell me more.” He raised his glass and smiled with boundless intrigue.

 

 

January 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Double Back Flip on Crappy Diving Board with Torn Meniscus

“Me doing a double back flip with a torn [meniscus] on a crappy diving board at Turner Falls in Oklahoma.”

-Alex Davis, July 28, 2008

June 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

Light and Truth: Exhibit A

May 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Under Pressure: The UCI Law School Musical”

NARRATOR:  Law school, even “the ideal law school for the 21st century,” has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, particularly as finals approach (which basically applies to every day (except maybe during orientation). Although I made a lot of lifelong friends and opened many doors, law school became quite a struggle, especially during the final semester. The most common problematic themes I witnessed during my three-year stint were entitlement, lack of self-reflection, hidden insecurities, “Mean Girl” behavior, and . . . oh yes . . . greed.

♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    

BRAD:  Thank you so much for meeting with me, Ricky. I really appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule.

RICKY:  No problem! Actually, things are super chill this year, what with my federal clerkship and firm job taken care of. I don’t even bother to go to any of my classes. What are they gonna do . . . not let me graduate and help boost this school’s graduation rate and reputation?

BRAD:  That’s exactly why I think you’re the guy to talk to. I mean, some of the 3Ls have positions with A-/B+ firms. But Remington, Orr, Young, Gibson, Boyd, Irving & Vance is an A+ firm.

RICKY:  Well, you’re right about that. Quite frankly, I didn’t come to law school to work 80 plus hours a week for an A- or—God forbid—B+ firm. Besides, the A+ firms have the deepest pockets. [winks]

[dollar signs flash in BRAD’s eyes]

April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

I was so busy—and so  distracted—I almost didn’t find time to read Google’s newest updates to its privacy policy. The changes would be enacted on March 15, and the symbolism was not lost on me. With less than an hour before the consummate adjustment, a friend dropped off a hard copy of the policy updates. She had altered the text so that a video camera couldn’t easily pick it up.

The apprehension festered in the pit of my stomach. I read down the page to the important part:

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes.

A rigid lump welled up in the back of my throat. The broad scope of the language made me dizzy. I scanned the rest of the document. The policy was concise, so I quickly memorized it. Of course, I could have summed it all up in one sentence. But let’s not go there yet.

As I drove toward The Dalles, the following language kept playing in the back of my mind:

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

“Edgar, I want you to be perfectly honest with me—do I emasculate the men I go out with?” I sat next to him on his sofa. I had just returned from another abortive attempt at dating.

“Not on purpose.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Wait, let me explain. To the extent that your actions or personality/aura make men feel intimidated or even emasculated, it’s not your fault. And I’m not saying they’re justified in feeling this way or responding problematically, I just think it’s something out of your control.”

“So . . . you’re saying I do emasculate them. This is all really ironic.”

“How so?”

They feel emasculated, subordinated by me. And yet it’s out of my control.”

“Look, it just means you’re gonna have to have high standards. As you should. Here’s the thing: you are more woman than they will ever have and more man than they will ever be.”

I took a moment to process what Edgar, my seemingly gay best friend, had just said. “You’re totally right. Did you come up with that?”

“No, but I wish I had.”

“Well, it’s absolutely the kind of thing you would come up with. You’re the best! I love you so much, man!” I pulled his face toward mine and kissed him passionately on the cheek without thinking about how that might make him feel.

February 9, 2012 at 4:29 am 1 comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Professor Heart Attack (not to be confused with Professor Heartache) used to always tell me that the future—and the now (then)—was all about information sharing and social networks. He had a bit of an obsession with Mark Zuckerberg (and, incidentally, with me). He used to tell me things like, “If I were Mark’s father, I’d tell him to marry you.”

It just so happened that I was a freshman at Princeton when Mark Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. (No, I don’t know him personally. I know a handful of people who went to Exeter with him, but whatever. It doesn’t matter.) When I joined Facebook my sophomore (or was it junior?) year in college, back when it was called “The Facebook,” I had no idea what a key role it would play in my undoing.

I used to resent that Professor Heart Attack, more than 30 years my senior and (last time I heard) without a cell phone or personal email account, was so ahead of my time. He was seemingly compassionate, extremely intelligent, not at all attractive, cosmopolitan, wealthy, and—it turns out—deeply insecure and duplicitous. It seemed cruelly ironic that he—of all people—appeared to escape the disaster when most of us had our worlds ripped out from under us.

Of course, he hadn’t anticipated the ultimate irony. Neither had I.

October 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm 6 comments

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

Edgar and I were talking in front of my bathroom mirror as I put on makeup to go out in. I was in the middle of telling him about all the problematic men I had dealt with over the last few months. Dating had become so tiresome.

I just wanted to dance the night away without thinking about hooking up or playing games or trying so damn hard. We were going to meet a few friends from college at a gay club a few blocks from my apartment. It had practically become a monthly tradition at that point. This was before I knew Edgar was straight and, incidentally, madly in love with me.

“What about that guy who was inexperienced but good in bed?”

“He turned out to be an uptight pothead if you can believe that.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever met one of those. I’ll take your word for it. What about that guy who was pretty stable and treated you with respect and always paid when you went out?”

“He’s still in love with his ex. I refuse to play second fiddle to anyone. Hell, if I’m gonna be with someone, there better not be any other fiddle he’s listening to! I know it’s one of those ‘it’s not me, it’s him’ sort of situations, but it still sucks and I can’t not take it personally.”

“I hear ya. What about . . . I think his name is Paul? What’s the problem with him?”

“Paul.” I couldn’t keep from smiling a little at the sound of his name. “Well . . . nothing.”

“Then what’s the deal?”

“He’s honest with himself. And he’s honest with me. He’s not at a point in his life where he can completely give me what I need.”

“He can’t? Or he won’t?”

“Does it matter?  He doesn’t.” And, with that, I broke into song: All my hangups are gone / How I wish you felt the same.

“I love it when you sing Prince or The Artist or a symbol or whatever his name is these days. Are you ready yet? You look great.”

I put my arm around his shoulder and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Let’s go, baby!”

September 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

PG-Rated Homoerotica

Stay tuned for “PG-13 Homoerotica.”

Boys just want to have fun!! In one of many great scenes from The Rules of Attraction, Paul (Ian Somerhalder) and Dick (Russell Sams) enjoy a little friskiness on a hotel bed before heading down to dinner with their pill-popping moms. George Michael provides the soundtrack. Enjoy!

July 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm 3 comments

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

I was performing what I liked to call “accident reconstruction.” “Can you believe he said that?! I haven’t been this offended in…”

“It’s so immature and inconsiderate, but I hate to say it’s not surprising.” Gina Q. put her arm around my shoulder as we sat on her bed (the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in to date). “Wasn’t there a similar episode a few months ago? And by similar, I mean similar in level of offensiveness—not with respect to the underlying details or the offender.”

“Yeah. Pretty much. Same old fucking song even if the lyrics and performer change. But I’m just so damn sick and so damn tired of the games and the gaffes and the lies and the bullshit! And don’t tell me it’s a life experience and that everything is a lesson and all that The Secret stuff. It doesn’t make be feel better.”

The tears came with almost no warning. I rocked back and forth in Gina’s arms and sobbed like I did when I was 7 and the babysitter’s son beat me up in his tree fort. It had been months since I had cried that completely and unabashedly. I needed to do it. It felt cathartic. (And I even felt a little thinner to boot!)

The emotional force evaporated as quickly as it had emerged. My body and body language reflected this, and Gina noticed. She waited until the last thread of tension faded from me before saying anything. “Well…if nothing else, it sure does make for a good story! Change names and immaterial details, and people would wanna read that, especially the way I’d imagine you’d write about it and just about anything else that inspires you. Hold on a sec…I want us to talk about this more, but let me get you something to drink first.” Gina skipped over to her kitchen to get a locally brewed beer for her and a Diet Pepsi (“not because you should be on a diet or anything like that, but because it’s your favorite so I try to keep some for you,” she’d always say) for me.

I felt like I had vertigo or whiplash or something. Having traveled  the spectrum of emotions over the course of the night, I felt intoxicated, dizzy, disheveled, hot (bothered?). A serene, empowered smile overtook my puffy face as I realized Gina quite possibly had said the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me. And many really nice things had been said to me before.

In that moment I felt that—notwithstanding the bullshit and pain and suffering and frustration and unfairness of it all—most of the time life (stranger than fiction, isn’t it?) was usually mostly all good.

June 7, 2011 at 1:29 am 2 comments

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