100% Fiction

The brain can’t have sex — you have to use a different organ. Take it from me: I’m a PhD in biology! But listen. “I’m done.” I know it isn’t Internet Season. The snow in California is qualitatively different — which is to say, “different” –than East Coast or even Mid-Western snow that sticks to your glasses and ignites a spark in the jug of coffee you’re hauling around in your gut. (Within a sweater, inside your jacket; college times.) But it’s never going to be Internet Season if I keep waiting for it.

There’s nothing cooler than being a security guard at the Whitney. Dream job, right? But maybe at a certain point it’s time to move on. The Rauchenbergs will only keep writhing in Psylocibic ecstacy for a decade or so before they finally flatten and hang dead, right? Of course there have been new acquisitions. The Neo Rauches look so fresh their reds seem painted in blood. And as a security guard I have unusual freedoms: I can tape postcards to the mirrors in the bathrooms. I’m allowed to edit the artworks’ wall text. I can design my own uniform. I’m more like a “security guard in residence.” But the thought recurs, with newly alarming frequency: Cheese wedges on a platter in the drowning ship’s cafeteria?

But it’s all cheese-colored parachutes, my friend, and they don’t stop moving. I know this. There’s no reason why teaching InDesign shortcuts to at-risk Shar Peis or pouring soy-milk foam into at-risk triple macchiatos is going to be better than being a security guard at the Whitney. Money is money, and so is time. But what about… I’m not sure what the intervening factor would be. Probably ego. Mine has more than a few Velcro pockets brimmin w/ the old, weird trinkets (: marijuana from 1995, a tiny perfect wooden sphere, the artist Tom Friedman‘s Hammacher-Schlemmer Best Nose-Hair Trimmer, an unread copy of John Fante’s Ask the Dust...)

I might try to rejigger my role within the museum — I could relinquish my guarding duties and just work on the wall-text and bathroom postcards full-time. But but but but. That’s more than likely the answer. The challenges would be recharged and I’d have time, probably, to really make that wall-text sing. But today it’s a lot more fun to imagine laying my billy-club and taser and oversized plastic cool-guy glasses on the Membership desk with firm, respectful authority, and stride stridently into the Upper East Side of my life, totally fearless and nude, zero prospects, zero confidence, the air between the buildings filled with absolute columns of pure windchimes. Right???

And then immediately regret it for the rest of my life. I’d return to the museum a month later and the security guards are all cool and new. They’re smoking some sort of health-food opiate that increases abdominal toning and sexual stamina. I stand there for ten minutes, watching them copulate hotly inside of a new Tim Hawkinson body-machine. I’m holding my supplies for the day in a plastic bag: greasy old New Yorker, mealy apple,  first-generation iPhone I bought off a cyber-hobo outside the subway. I am doomed.

Lemme know your thoughts when you have a sec.

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6 thoughts on “100% Fiction

  1. quilty Post author

    What do you want us to say? What would you have us say? “I’m a novelist, I have five daughters, it’s great, I recommend it”? “Don’t do it, the Second Great Depression is coming and you don’t have the intellectual firepower you’ll need to write the kind of hard-hitting sociological fiction that can actually feed your five daughters?” “I am starting a traveling repertory theater with the founding members of Paper Rad, the producers of You Can’t Do That on Television, and Gordon Lish, and we’d love for you to join us to play the role of ‘Mournful Jewish John Leguizamo Narrator #2; you will receive a $20,000 stipend for every tour you participate in”? I don’t know.

    Reply
  2. quilty Post author

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    Reply
  3. Nat

    Quilty, agreeeeeeeeed. (Move on over here, we’ll start a Neil & Chelsea B&B.) Neil, AGREED. Chelsea, agreed&agreed. This one is longer, while still maintaining the asp principle:

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: POEM REDACTED BY REQUEST OF NAT]

    Reply

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