Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker


Weekday virgins decked like whores, harlots, trollops, tarts, working girls. Fag-less men in boobless gowns, chicken to wear the bra, the panties, shave the muttons, the goat, the Wayne Newton. Boots on, clowns in paint, laughing, not committed. This is the time for the secret wish. If not here, then where? Two days to justify the payout for rainbow bobs, stringy blondes, the Tina Turner, the Don King, the Mohawk the job won’t allow. Two nights, beers, drinks, internal bombing. Three parties in the East Village, wooden floors black, slimy. Every ass touching other asses, fronts to backs, back to fronts, every combination. Fifteen people in line for the john, seventeen, twenty-three, three come out, eyes shiny, three kinds of reinforcement from tubes, an optimistic outlook on life. Nobody knows, honey. Your show of flushing wastes water, just go. Cabbies, source of all wisdom, filters for truth, yardsticks, mirrors. “Damn. Look at her. No panties. Turn around honey, turn around. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Damn. Why I gotta be workin night. Damn. Aww.” Four thousand women dressed as fairies and bunnies and things with mother of pearl wings and haloes, sparkly polish. Who believes in fairies? Only rats and squirrels in the park. Fairies leave half sandwiches, spill rice and beans in foam containers, leave carcasses. The kids out early. Paper, crap plastic masks. Mothers, fathers, older brothers marching short ones around by the shoulders. Kids from the neighborhood, too old, swipes of paint on faces, way too old, going around with plastic bags to stores. “Trick or treat!” Merchants give, knowing the old ones will come back next week, maybe get loud, stand out front. Maybe not. They worry. Coke is out. On a CD cover. Pot, weed. The talk turns to sex clubs in Paris, for a second. Only one expert here. Two strangers in the bedroom, sleeping. Where would they have stayed if not for the accidental meeting? Do they do this in Los Angeles? Two on the couch on ecstasy, too quiet, they leave, they say, to walk around. Maybe sex. Probably. That’s the drug’s power. Touch, caress, spoon, sex. Contact is bliss. Maybe a haircut is still better with it. Your scalp warm, probed, massaged. Each reads randomly from a book. Party game, funless, we find patterns where no patterns exist. House party. Asian kid in underwear, slamming against the wall. He is a superhero. His powers are strongest when he is alone. A crazy man can dance with firm asses, and grab them, and bump fronts to double-time bass. He gets away with it. Three people buying bagels at three in the morning, hopeful looks fastened to last until morning.

author avatar
Grant Barrett