September192011

I’m listening to HPR in the kitchen.  This Celestial Life just finished and they’re about to do a three hour Rochefoucauld retrospective.  I blink and the station changes to 105.1, “The Home of Soul”.  It’s Sunday, and Felix Hernandez’ Rhythm Revue is about to begin.  The HPR special will be on again tomorrow as part of their week-long “Maxims and Aphorisms” series, featuring lectures and retrospectives from or about a slew of notable contributors to wisdom literature, including Epictetus and Erasmus of Rotterdam, as well as interviews with Lichtenberg, Goethe, Nietzsche and Franz Kafka.  Thomas Szasz will be debating Montaine, Robert Heinlen is reviewing the works of Oscar Wilde and Blaise Pascal, and Celia Green will read the collected aphorisms of Stainslaw Jerzy Lec.  I have one of the stereos in the east wing set to record the whole thing.  In the meantime I just want to hear Archie Bell & The Drells do ‘Tighten Up’ while I slice leeks and cook bacon.  There is fresh chopped sage in a bowl to my left, and its scent mingles with that of the rendering bacon, fresh vegetables and the faint threads of different bacon from the breeze through the nearest window.  On an adjacent  countertop four heritage pork rib chops are resting in a rub of fleur de sel and minced fresh thyme with a dash of both rosemary and cracked black pepper, awaiting the pan.  I’m moving my knife in precise, measured strokes, my alluring hazel eyes intent and focused.  The trick to the dish, I have learned, is that you have to slice them (that is to say the leeks) so thin as to basically make a slaw.  Any wider and the end result is just plain unappealing, visually, despite its remarkable depth of flavor.   I’m sipping a tumbler of Remy Martin Louis XIII, trying to get it down to a quarter cup, which is what the sauce will require.  I’m halfway drunk, which is nice.  It also explains why I frequently set my knife down to dance around and mimic whatever instrument Archie Bell happens to want tightened up at that particular moment.  (Dancing and cooking, that is what happens in my kitchen.  Yes, sir.)  I’m searing the pork chops and letting that guitar ‘fall in’ when my wife, Rosario Dawson, materializes in a flash of Heavenly luminescence.
“Are you making bacon?” she asks.
“No,” I reply.  ”I already made bacon.  Now I’m browning heritage pork chops in the bacon fat.”
“I thought it was just the breeze at first, but then I heard the sizzly sounds.”
“Sizzly sounds?” I inquire, my eyebrow arched.
“Yes,” she says defiantly.  ”It’s a very technical industry term you’re probably not familiar with.”
“Well, you’re the expert.”
“Indeed.  My depth of experience in the field is unparalleled.  Legendary.  By the way, what are you making?”
“Don’t you know?” I say with mock wonderment.  ”Can’t you use your culinary expertise to guess?  Can’t you decipher the ‘sizzly sounds’ with your industry-trained ear?”
She stares at the pork chops for a moment and says, “Pork chops.”
“HOLY SHIT YOU ARE AMAZING.”
She proffers a small curtsy and rifles in the fridge for a Capri Sun.  The straw goes right into the the small silver hole, that isn’t a hole at all but kind of just a circle which you make a hole when you jam the straw in, but of course it’s only a circle because there’s nothing printed there, a circle made of negative space, which a hole is also made of, only differently, on the first try, and no juice leaks out because Heaven.  She offers it to me, and I gratefully accept.  It’s Red Berry, and I love it.  Another great thing about being in Heaven (aside from like, basically everything) is that a Capri Sun holds an indeterminate amount of juicy goodness and only runs out when you’re finished and want to make the container shrink and warp and make that weird drain-y suction noise, which could be eight ounces or three gallons worth, depending on your mood and whether or not you’re sharing.
“Are you going to tell me what you’re cooking or should I beat it out of you?” Rosario asks in a voice that is like warm honey.  She puts a hand on her hip like she does when she’s impatient about something and her left foot moves in tiny arcs, no more than an inch or two to either side.  She can’t stand waiting for things, and exhibits what my grandfather is fond of calling ‘ants in the pants’ whenever I make her do so.  I think it is both amusing and endearing in equal measure.
“Pork chops with leeks in mustard sauce, little miss tappy-toes.  Grab me the créme fraîche out of the fridge and come give me a hug instead of beating me for further answers, eh?”
She does.  Her right arm slides beneath my left and her left hand slides along my cheek and we kiss for several minutes while the leeks sauté and soften.  I am in love with the smell of her hair and the feel of her nose against my nose, her smile and her sass and her patience with me, short as it is.  She is warm and funny and intelligent.  She is my wife, and I am her husband, and that is A-OK in my book.
“How much of that cognac have you had?” she asks.
“Why?  Do I smell like brandy?”
“No, but you were making that guitar ‘fall in’ pretty hard when I showed up.  You always do air instruments when you’ve been drinking.  It’s cute.”
“Shit,” I say, thinking of her wiggly impatience foot.  ”I didn’t realize I had a tell.”
“Well, you also tend to say things like ‘I’m cruuuuuuunk’ and eat an entire three pound burrito in under five minutes.”
“Shit, you’re right,” I say, because she’s right.
I finish cooking off the chicken stock and whisk in dijon and créme fraîche.  The smell is intoxicating.  Rosario makes a little moany noise and grabs plates and flatware.  An angel appears with steel aged granache and accompanying glasses and we retire to the dining room to tuck into dinner. The pork chops are delicious. Rosario says, “These are delicious,” and I’m all like, “Thank you,” because it’s as polite to properly accept compliments as it is to give them, and she does this other thing that she does quite often while eating which is to pause and kind of swirl her fork in the air when she’s trying to come up with a sentence or interjection, as if she’s stirring words from the ether. She does it with pencils when she’s writing too, though I’ve never seen her just kind of twirl her hand. Apparently in the realm of peccadillos my wife requires an implement for the swirling of thoughts.
“You’re doing that thing,” she says, grinning widely.
“What thing?” I ask, freezing in place.
“When you’re trying to think of a description for something you squint your right eye and hold your fork like a pencil.”
I look to my hand and I am indeed holding my fork like a pencil. I straighten my eyebrows, point my fork to the ceiling and go, “No I don’t.”
“Of course you don’t,” she says, giggling. “Constant poker face. That’s why you’re so great at poker. I can never beat you.”
I think about the last four thousand and twenty five times Rosario Dawson has destroyed me at the poker table and my mouth scrunches up in embarrassment.
“Stop scrunching,” she says as the plates shimmer and become translucent. The table shrinks, and possibly the room, I’m not sure, but either way Rosario and I are moving closer together and there is less and less in between us until the table itself disappears and our knees touch, and then our hands, and then our lips, and I am just kissing my beautiful wife with all her many adorable quirks that I would not trade nor change for anyone else’s, up in Heaven where we live.
Forever and ever and ever, amen.

I’m listening to HPR in the kitchen.  This Celestial Life just finished and they’re about to do a three hour Rochefoucauld retrospective.  I blink and the station changes to 105.1, “The Home of Soul”.  It’s Sunday, and Felix Hernandez’ Rhythm Revue is about to begin.  The HPR special will be on again tomorrow as part of their week-long “Maxims and Aphorisms” series, featuring lectures and retrospectives from or about a slew of notable contributors to wisdom literature, including Epictetus and Erasmus of Rotterdam, as well as interviews with Lichtenberg, Goethe, Nietzsche and Franz Kafka.  Thomas Szasz will be debating Montaine, Robert Heinlen is reviewing the works of Oscar Wilde and Blaise Pascal, and Celia Green will read the collected aphorisms of Stainslaw Jerzy Lec.  I have one of the stereos in the east wing set to record the whole thing.  In the meantime I just want to hear Archie Bell & The Drells do ‘Tighten Up’ while I slice leeks and cook bacon. 
 
There is fresh chopped sage in a bowl to my left, and its scent mingles with that of the rendering bacon, fresh vegetables and the faint threads of different bacon from the breeze through the nearest window.  On an adjacent  countertop four heritage pork rib chops are resting in a rub of fleur de sel and minced fresh thyme with a dash of both rosemary and cracked black pepper, awaiting the pan.  I’m moving my knife in precise, measured strokes, my alluring hazel eyes intent and focused.  The trick to the dish, I have learned, is that you have to slice them (that is to say the leeks) so thin as to basically make a slaw.  Any wider and the end result is just plain unappealing, visually, despite its remarkable depth of flavor.   I’m sipping a tumbler of Remy Martin Louis XIII, trying to get it down to a quarter cup, which is what the sauce will require.  I’m halfway drunk, which is nice.  It also explains why I frequently set my knife down to dance around and mimic whatever instrument Archie Bell happens to want tightened up at that particular moment.  (Dancing and cooking, that is what happens in my kitchen.  Yes, sir.)  I’m searing the pork chops and letting that guitar ‘fall in’ when my wife, Rosario Dawson, materializes in a flash of Heavenly luminescence.

“Are you making bacon?” she asks.

“No,” I reply.  ”I already made bacon.  Now I’m browning heritage pork chops in the bacon fat.”

“I thought it was just the breeze at first, but then I heard the sizzly sounds.”

“Sizzly sounds?” I inquire, my eyebrow arched.

“Yes,” she says defiantly.  ”It’s a very technical industry term you’re probably not familiar with.”

“Well, you’re the expert.”

“Indeed.  My depth of experience in the field is unparalleled.  Legendary.  By the way, what are you making?”

“Don’t you know?” I say with mock wonderment.  ”Can’t you use your culinary expertise to guess?  Can’t you decipher the ‘sizzly sounds’ with your industry-trained ear?”

She stares at the pork chops for a moment and says, “Pork chops.”

“HOLY SHIT YOU ARE AMAZING.”

She proffers a small curtsy and rifles in the fridge for a Capri Sun.  The straw goes right into the the small silver hole, that isn’t a hole at all but kind of just a circle which you make a hole when you jam the straw in, but of course it’s only a circle because there’s nothing printed there, a circle made of negative space, which a hole is also made of, only differently, on the first try, and no juice leaks out because Heaven.  She offers it to me, and I gratefully accept.  It’s Red Berry, and I love it.  Another great thing about being in Heaven (aside from like, basically everything) is that a Capri Sun holds an indeterminate amount of juicy goodness and only runs out when you’re finished and want to make the container shrink and warp and make that weird drain-y suction noise, which could be eight ounces or three gallons worth, depending on your mood and whether or not you’re sharing.

“Are you going to tell me what you’re cooking or should I beat it out of you?” Rosario asks in a voice that is like warm honey.  She puts a hand on her hip like she does when she’s impatient about something and her left foot moves in tiny arcs, no more than an inch or two to either side.  She can’t stand waiting for things, and exhibits what my grandfather is fond of calling ‘ants in the pants’ whenever I make her do so.  I think it is both amusing and endearing in equal measure.

“Pork chops with leeks in mustard sauce, little miss tappy-toes.  Grab me the créme fraîche out of the fridge and come give me a hug instead of beating me for further answers, eh?”

She does.  Her right arm slides beneath my left and her left hand slides along my cheek and we kiss for several minutes while the leeks sauté and soften.  I am in love with the smell of her hair and the feel of her nose against my nose, her smile and her sass and her patience with me, short as it is.  She is warm and funny and intelligent.  She is my wife, and I am her husband, and that is A-OK in my book.

“How much of that cognac have you had?” she asks.

“Why?  Do I smell like brandy?”

“No, but you were making that guitar ‘fall in’ pretty hard when I showed up.  You always do air instruments when you’ve been drinking.  It’s cute.”

“Shit,” I say, thinking of her wiggly impatience foot.  ”I didn’t realize I had a tell.”

“Well, you also tend to say things like ‘I’m cruuuuuuunk’ and eat an entire three pound burrito in under five minutes.”

“Shit, you’re right,” I say, because she’s right.

I finish cooking off the chicken stock and whisk in dijon and créme fraîche.  The smell is intoxicating.  Rosario makes a little moany noise and grabs plates and flatware.  An angel appears with steel aged granache and accompanying glasses and we retire to the dining room to tuck into dinner. The pork chops are delicious. Rosario says, “These are delicious,” and I’m all like, “Thank you,” because it’s as polite to properly accept compliments as it is to give them, and she does this other thing that she does quite often while eating which is to pause and kind of swirl her fork in the air when she’s trying to come up with a sentence or interjection, as if she’s stirring words from the ether. She does it with pencils when she’s writing too, though I’ve never seen her just kind of twirl her hand. Apparently in the realm of peccadillos my wife requires an implement for the swirling of thoughts.

“You’re doing that thing,” she says, grinning widely.

“What thing?” I ask, freezing in place.

“When you’re trying to think of a description for something you squint your right eye and hold your fork like a pencil.”

I look to my hand and I am indeed holding my fork like a pencil. I straighten my eyebrows, point my fork to the ceiling and go, “No I don’t.”

“Of course you don’t,” she says, giggling. “Constant poker face. That’s why you’re so great at poker. I can never beat you.”

I think about the last four thousand and twenty five times Rosario Dawson has destroyed me at the poker table and my mouth scrunches up in embarrassment.

“Stop scrunching,” she says as the plates shimmer and become translucent. The table shrinks, and possibly the room, I’m not sure, but either way Rosario and I are moving closer together and there is less and less in between us until the table itself disappears and our knees touch, and then our hands, and then our lips, and I am just kissing my beautiful wife with all her many adorable quirks that I would not trade nor change for anyone else’s, up in Heaven where we live.

Forever and ever and ever, amen.

June32011
I don’t like the internet.
I’m not good at it.
The reason Rosario Dawson Loves Me is a ‘zine and not a blog has everything to do with my fear that people are rapidly losing their desire to read simply because doing it off a screen is taxing. I will read somewhere in the vicinity of 250 printed pages before I even have to rub my eyes, but put two pages worth of text on a computer screen and I can’t even stay interested for the minute and a half it takes to read them. I cannot read a novel online. I just can’t. A lot of people share this feeling.
Still, we’re living in the afterfuture, so some sort of digital representation of your output is expected. After speaking with one of my literary heroes (via email, how progressive of us), he convinced me to look into e-readers, given that they’re designed to be easy on the eyes and come far closer to replicating the concept of a tangible book than just tossing words up on a website. 
I downloaded the Kindle app for my little iPod Touch and took a look at some books. I did not hate the experience. So after some fierce internal debate and a LOT of formatting, much of which I probably did wrong, all three completed issues of Rosario Dawson Loves Me are available for download right here, for those of you with Kindles or Kindle applications for your Apple devices.
I realize not everyone can just go to Chicago (or Seattle, since that’s where I live now) and buy a physical copy, though I hope that if you do read and enjoy the digital versions you’ll PayPal me some cash for the 8.5x5.5” flyswatter copies because books, even little Kinko’s copied ‘zine-style books, will always be worth your money. 
Plus you can roll these ones up and smack your dog or boyfriend or whoever on the nose with them, which is nice.

I don’t like the internet.

I’m not good at it.

The reason Rosario Dawson Loves Me is a ‘zine and not a blog has everything to do with my fear that people are rapidly losing their desire to read simply because doing it off a screen is taxing. I will read somewhere in the vicinity of 250 printed pages before I even have to rub my eyes, but put two pages worth of text on a computer screen and I can’t even stay interested for the minute and a half it takes to read them. I cannot read a novel online. I just can’t. A lot of people share this feeling.

Still, we’re living in the afterfuture, so some sort of digital representation of your output is expected. After speaking with one of my literary heroes (via email, how progressive of us), he convinced me to look into e-readers, given that they’re designed to be easy on the eyes and come far closer to replicating the concept of a tangible book than just tossing words up on a website. 

I downloaded the Kindle app for my little iPod Touch and took a look at some books. I did not hate the experience. So after some fierce internal debate and a LOT of formatting, much of which I probably did wrong, all three completed issues of Rosario Dawson Loves Me are available for download right here, for those of you with Kindles or Kindle applications for your Apple devices.

I realize not everyone can just go to Chicago (or Seattle, since that’s where I live now) and buy a physical copy, though I hope that if you do read and enjoy the digital versions you’ll PayPal me some cash for the 8.5x5.5” flyswatter copies because books, even little Kinko’s copied ‘zine-style books, will always be worth your money. 

Plus you can roll these ones up and smack your dog or boyfriend or whoever on the nose with them, which is nice.

March132011

Evokin’ Donuts

I’m in the kitchen, listening to the Afghan Whigs’ ‘Brother Woodrow/Closing Prayer’ on repeat, reading a book about spices when Rosario Dawson comes home.  I’m on a particularly riveting chapter about sumac.  Through the nearest window I can see the vineyard and the winding river that Shia LaBeouf is always asking me to go “tubing” down, ever since he bought that floating cooler that holds 72 bottles of beer with a separate compartment for sandwiches.  We have tentative plans to do that on Tuesday but we’re waiting to hear back from Salma Hayek and Zoe Saldana.  I wiggle my fingers at the stereo and through a small ocean of applause Fats Gonder informs the crowd that it’s star time.  Rosario loves James Brown’s Live At The Apollo and I often put it on just before she enters the house because I like watching her eyes light up and there’s the very real possibility she’ll do the mashed potato halfway across the room before kissing me, which is fun to watch.  Today, however, it takes her longer than usual to make her way into the kitchen and she has a somewhat puzzled look of preoccupation on her beautiful face.  She doesn’t seem to notice that ‘Lost Someone’ is beginning and she loves ‘Lost Someone.’

She fixes me with her gaze, skipping the kissing entirely, and inquires, “Honey, what did you do to the living room?”

“Which one?”

“The main living room in the middle of our gigantic mansion that used to be tastefully decorated in varying shades of chocolate and ecru with an eye toward mid-century furniture, in which we regularly entertain a wide array of friends and guests, which now appears to be a fully-staffed Dunkin Donuts as evidenced by this medium coffee I’m holding.”

“Oh yeah. I made it a Dunkin Donuts yesterday.  I forgot to tell you.  America runs on Dunkin Donuts.”

“Justin, this is Heaven.  It is almost the exact opposite of America.  It’s a rampantly socialist utopia where human decency and love are the primary motivating factors in 90% of its inhabitants’ behavior and economic disparity and ignorance don’t exist.”

“Heaven runs on Dunkin Donuts.”

“Heaven does not run on Dunkin Donuts.”

“I run on Dunkin Donuts.”

“Oh my God I’m going to strangle you.”

“YOU CAN’T DO THAT,” God’s voice booms from everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, “IT IS AGAINST THE RULES.”

Rosario addresses the air, “Not you, God.  Justin.  I am going to strangle Justin.”

“OH, OKAY.  HAVE FUN.”

“How is strangling me not against the rules?”

“Fix the living room.”

“But what about the staff?  They’re really good.  The coffee’s always fresh and they make the best Munchkins in West Heaven.  It’s a really popular Dunkin Donuts.  I was thinking about picking up a couple of shifts just to meet people.”

“What do you mean it’s ‘popular’?”

“Oh, you didn’t notice?  Yeah, I guess you can’t see from the driveway but it’s also a drive through.  I made a road through the middle of the house.  Wait.  What are you doing?  Hey, don’t actually choke me.  Agh!  Ghhhk!  Ahck.”

“Shhhh.  It’s better this way.”

February82011

She’s the first thing I think about every day.

Before coffee, or breakfast, before I’ve finished knotting my individual atoms together into a finely sculpted paradigm of physical fitness, I create my eyes and I use them to stare at my wife.

When I see something beautiful, which is quite often because everything in Heaven is pretty beautiful, I want her to see it as well.

When I am confused I ask her opinion, even if she is in no way an expert on the subject, because I respect her intellect and trust her instincts and even if she’s wrong watching the process and hearing her speak is rewarding to me in a way that is difficult to express. I just love hearing her talk, I guess. The timbre of her voice, her words spilling, then halting as if she were tasting or savoring one, then resuming their torrent. She is probing and insightful, but not haughty. She never condescends, and takes no pride in proving others wrong.

When I hear a funny joke, usually from Mike or one of my many friends down in the comedy district, I cannot wait to tell her, knowing that our sense of humor is so aligned there is basically no chance she won’t laugh unless I completely blow the delivery, which doesn’t happen because I have excellent comedic timing.

To me, she is a perfect complement, tender where I am brusque, cajoling where I am too earnest, but similar enough in outlook and desires that we rarely if ever seriously disagree on anything of importance (though of course, like all married couples, we tend to bicker over the most mundane items, specifically curtains and why I am always rearranging the pantry, but even those inane quibbles usually devolve into a series of inside jokes or form the basis for brand new inside jokes, which after a time become a sort of second language, a language born of love and laughter, that to strangers is most likely utterly unamusing but to us is simply another means of consistently expressing the emotion that pervades and bolsters our shared existence, that emotion of course being love, which cannot be faked or forced but must evolve and grow from the tiniest of sparks to some all-consuming blaze before settling comfortably to embers, fed periodically with fresh timber and tickle fights, lazy nights in front of the TV and strategically hidden flowers, and it is wonderful).

We can talk for hours, Rosario Dawson and I, without once running out of steam or sliding into those weighted, awkward silences while someone struggles for a point of interest. She listens with genuine curiosity, and always finds a way to get to the meat of an idea, to make a feast of communication. She does not linger on the periphery, waiting to speak, but rather dives straight in and aims for the heart of a concept or opinion, and revels in an actual understanding or insight gleaned from an ocean of rhetoric. We are both passionate and prone to tangental thinking, but knowing this we have become adept at keeping one another focused, and no matter how emphatically we might rant about a particular subject we remain open to the possibility that there is simply a perspective we haven’t yet considered and we feel no loss of pride when presented with a fresh point of view that may run contrary to our own. We have literally spent entire days, through breakfast, lunch, dinner and sunset, just talking.

She smells like flowers. Did I mention that? Azaleas and peonies and lilacs and earlicheer, sometimes from exotic creams and powders of which all women seem to have a working knowledge, and other times simply because it’s Heaven. Her fingers are long and slender, and I will sometimes watch her stripping the leaves from a length of fresh rosemary, transfixed, until she snaps those fingers under my nose and says, “Close your mouth, retard,” in her honey and bourbon voice, and then I smile and poke her up over her ribs with my own kind of short and stubby little fingers and resume alumetting potatoes or seasoning a particularly large and tender cut of beef in our extremely large and fully stocked kitchen (once I have finished kissing her).

I may never know what it is she sees in me. Plenty of people can cook, and we live in Heaven so anyone who wants to look, body-wise, like Ryan Reynolds circa that horrible Wolverine movie* can do so. We have dissimilar music taste and passions. I do many annoying things like making up songs about what I am doing and singing them**, sometimes to inanimate objects such as a piece of chicken, like “Chicken. You are soooooo healthy. You do nice things foooooooooor my body. I’m gonna put you in my faaaaaaace. Savor all your chicken taaaaaaaste.” etc, and staying up until the sun thing rises watching interactive Rihanna videos and always forgetting where I put my keys so I just turn into a bird or a cloud and fly to work. I’m not as dashingly handsome as some of our friends and acquaintances, nor do I possess an Adrien Brody kind of Euro-appeal. I’m not as quick witted as some of my comedian friends, and it takes me very long time to finish the New York Times Sunday crossword, which is like, the main crossword in Heaven. Still, for some reason there is no one else she would rather lie abed with discussing philosophy or fashion, exotic recipes or another kitchen remodel. She married me, and I am baffled but ecstatic about it.

We hate being apart. There is an almost physical discomfort in her absence, and she has said the same about mine. I cannot or will not make a decision without at least subconsciously wondering if or how it will affect her. She matters more to me than food or shelter or safety, and while I cannot always do or say or accomplish the things that would make her happiest she respects and appreciates my constant attempts. She says I make her feel prettier than she has ever felt, even when she was in Death Proofor on the cover of some glossy Latino magazine. She also has no problem with my rather frequent desire just to stare at her from across the room and say “I love you” a bunch of times, and in fact does the same thing upon occasion.

It’s hard, I have found, to explain these things to others. Some people don’t love like we do. Some people are timid, and see the depths and waves and glowing trench dwellers of affection’s ocean as fearsome and foreign, potentially deadly. When Rosario and I look it is always with wonder and a longing to immerse ourselves, to surrender to the currents and eddies and occasional undertow, to explore what is uncharted, to descend together into whatever might await without fear. Love is impractical, is how we look at it. A sustained fantasy that we share. To apply logic, to pick it apart, would be irreverent and disastrous. Love defies logic. They are forever in opposition, one cold and smooth and unyielding, the other like flames or a swarm of bees, unpredictable and wild and fascinating.

To me there are no other women. They dim in comparison, and she in turn glows brighter with each passing day (not literally, of course, because that would be weird and probably hurt my eyes even though I have a pretty solid collection of classic Ray Bans in my “summer closet”). I still admire beauty, and many of our friends are very attractive, but I would never stray. Like a very complicated tumbler to which my wife is the key, our love seems tailor-made to function only with one another. There are millions of keys, billions. Only hers has the particular combination of peaks and valleys, small ridges and grooves. I couldn’t open my heart to anyone else.

Most of the time it is deadly boring, if anything. A happy marriage lacks the flair and dramatic tension that make so many great tales riveting. Dinner, cuddling, silly jokes and pudding cups. That’s our life. We rarely go out to the discotheques and hash bars, and my favorite memories of Rosario involve things like her continual amusement at mispronounced words and the time we both turned into trees and spent a week on the hilltop just photosynthesizing and rustling our leaves. Not exactly the meat of the Great Celestial Novel, you know?

Still, to me it is wonderful. It’s better than wonderful because we choose to keep it that way, tending the embers of our love, keeping the fantasy alive and enriched. It’s work, sometimes. It takes patience and dedication and small sacrifices, but nothing can compare to seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you, and loving them back, and knowing that each and every moment you share is a gift, or a treasure, or a song.

Kind of like my chicken song, but better.


*which doesn’t exist here, having been replaced with a much more accurate/amazing seven hour film entitled Weapon X, which covered all the necessary bases and eventually featured the actual X-Men, who live somewhere in North Heaven by my good friend Indiana Jones, not a bunch of hack actors.

**which seems like it would get really old really fast if you weren’t me, but instead she’ll kind of snap her fingers and do a little sashay sometimes even summoning a microphone from the ether to do some ’60s girl group backup harmonies, so I guess she likes it.

September152010
Sharp as a couple of tacks.

Sharp as a couple of tacks.

July42010

“Are you hungry?” asked Rosario Dawson.
“Always,” I replied.
“Then why don’t you eat a dick?” she giggled, and danced out of the room.

“Are you hungry?” asked Rosario Dawson.

“Always,” I replied.

“Then why don’t you eat a dick?” she giggled, and danced out of the room.

June172010
In the realm of self-published contemporary alt-lit, my work is literally a step below “Gay Smut”.
MY PRIDE IS LIKE A RIVER, STRONG AND DEEP.

In the realm of self-published contemporary alt-lit, my work is literally a step below “Gay Smut”.

MY PRIDE IS LIKE A RIVER, STRONG AND DEEP.

June152010
Just in case you thought I was Lil’ Wayne and all this stuff comes straight off the dome, allow me to pull back the veil for a moment.  I scribble 80% of it down in a notebook I made myself from spare supplies at my old printing job, and it is an illegible fucking mess filled with sentence fragments and hand drawn pictures of clouds and shit.

Just in case you thought I was Lil’ Wayne and all this stuff comes straight off the dome, allow me to pull back the veil for a moment.  I scribble 80% of it down in a notebook I made myself from spare supplies at my old printing job, and it is an illegible fucking mess filled with sentence fragments and hand drawn pictures of clouds and shit.

1PM
I finally finished that stupid pork chop story.  And by “stupid pork chop story” I mean “brilliant piece of contemporary fiction.”

I finally finished that stupid pork chop story.  And by “stupid pork chop story” I mean “brilliant piece of contemporary fiction.”

June132010
May302010
Working on a little something for October/November.
Quimby’s is fully stocked on numbers one through three.

Love is just a color in your eye.

Working on a little something for October/November.

Quimby’s is fully stocked on numbers one through three.

Love is just a color in your eye.

May222010
“What do you know about glass?” asks Tom Waits.
He’s resting his elbows on one of the kitchen countertops we got from JM Lifestyles Heaven that are made from concrete carefully stained, sanded and embedded with the occasional nail or rivet to give a convincing impression of being reclaimed plank wood but with the benefits of increased durability and ease of cleaning.  He is peering through the window at a small contingent of angels flying in formation somewhere over Jeff Buckley’s property.  Or maybe he’s just staring at the window itself.  I wouldn’t doubt it.
“Nothing, really,” I say, cracking open a bottle of this new Isopure lager that Ryan (Reynolds) turned me on to, which is both 5.2% ABV and delivers 12g of pure, high quality whey protein isolate to my impressive and symmetrical pecs and almost insultingly sculpted delts.  I cock an eyebrow at my wife, Rosario Dawson, who is standing radiant in the light from an adjacent window, idly thumbing an intricately carved ivory brooch she bought at a fine arts fair in the carving district and regarding Tom with a mixture of restrained awe and wary confusion (but also a warm familial amenity) which is the standard response to his presence and she goes, “Um, nothing.  Not a thing, really.”
“Funny thing,” he says, pivoting on his Cuban heel, “About 90% of the glass you’d see back in the uh, the tellurian world, that is to say back on Earth, with the exception of certain fluoride glasses or aluminosilicates for things like fiber optics, are what we call soda-lime glass. You’d add sodium carbonate from soda ash to pure silica to reduce the glass’ melting point but because that also increases water solubility you balance it out with lime and a little dash or two of magnesium and aluminum oxide for durability.  Voila.  Soda-lime glass, right?  That’s the standard formula.  That’s what we’re dealing with almost any time you look in a mirror, glance out a window or construct a terrarium to house your scorpions.”  His voice is hypnotic, moving in fits and starts, comprised of equal parts gravel and molasses.  His hands dart about, tracing certain shapes to help illustrate his words.  “Now, you can do all manner of things to increase quality or help design soda-lime glass for specific purposes,” he continues, dismissing a proffered Isopure lager with a small shake of his head and pulling a flask from his lapel pocket.  “Lead or barium will kick up your refractive index if that’s your thing, so you can get some pretty brilliant, sparkling glass.  Good for art.  Quality mirrors.  Things like that.  Cerium oxide gives your Transitions™ lenses their UV absorbing qualities.  That’s another thing.  It’s very interesting.”
Rosario nods, dumbstruck.  I realize I am doing the same.
“Pane glass is traditionally floated on a molten tin bath.  It eliminates gravity and allows for a uniform surface they can polish or temper accordingly,” he says, pulling from the flask and tapping on the window behind him without looking, then reaching out a fingertip to tap on my lager.  “Bottle glass is blown or pressed.  There’s some annealing, which is to say they remove stress points.  Fun stuff.  Surface treatments, cutting and scaling, sure, but mostly that’s it.  Glass.  Sand to pint glass in a few easy steps.”
“I had no idea,” says Rosario.
“Well, I used to dabble,” says Tom Waits, “No reason you should be intimate with the production process of your windowpane, I suppose.  The thing with glass, though, as with any other amorphous solid, is that the atomic structure lacks any long range translational periodicity, but because of their chemical bonding characteristics glasses do possess a good bit of short-range order in regards to local atomic polyhedra.  So basically, the bonding structure of glasses, although disordered, has the same symmetry signature as a crystal.  So for the longest time the debate between glass being a proper solid and a supercooled liquid, which is slim, since the melt quenching pretty much makes it a vitreous solid and uh, you can see how that’s a fine distinction, has let people argue that it’s only time which prevents us from seeing the motion of glass.  That it flows too slowly for us to observe.  There’s all those claims of cathedral glass being thicker at the bottom and whatnot, but those have been dispelled because it’s shown that the techniques responsible for production made non uniform symmetry, so where you cut it might have been thicker and any installer worth his salt, or silica, heh heh, would put the thickest part earthward for stability.  Now sure, there’s no proper classical equilibrium phase transition to qualify glass as a solid, but its behavior under its transition temperature has always been that of a solid, not a supercooled liquid, you see?”
“Yep!” says Rosario, and I’m all, “Yeah, definitely.”
“But here,” Tom Waits smiles, steepling his fingertips, “Where time is not a factor, could we not then finally observe liquid behavior even from glass whose transitional temperature remains well above room temperature?  I mean, we’ve got eternity, don’t we?”
I finish my lager.  The bottle is still cool against my palm.  
Rosario twines her fingers with my own.  She smells like flowers.  Tom Waits smells vaguely of cinnamon and Aqua Velva.
“Absolutely,” Rosario says with a smile, and Tom grins.  “Can I assume this waiting period does not require us to be idle, though?  Like, we can still go eat?  Because I’m starving.”
“I hear there’s a new Moroccan restaurant down in the dinner district,” he replies, and kind of arches an eyebrow in my direction for approval.
“I love me some couscous,” I say, which is true.
“Perfect,” says Tom Waits, grabbing his coat from the stool, “I’ll drive.”
He pauses at the end of the driveway to touch the gleaming handle of our mailbox.
“What do you know about gold?” he asks.

“What do you know about glass?” asks Tom Waits.

He’s resting his elbows on one of the kitchen countertops we got from JM Lifestyles Heaven that are made from concrete carefully stained, sanded and embedded with the occasional nail or rivet to give a convincing impression of being reclaimed plank wood but with the benefits of increased durability and ease of cleaning.  He is peering through the window at a small contingent of angels flying in formation somewhere over Jeff Buckley’s property.  Or maybe he’s just staring at the window itself.  I wouldn’t doubt it.

“Nothing, really,” I say, cracking open a bottle of this new Isopure lager that Ryan (Reynolds) turned me on to, which is both 5.2% ABV and delivers 12g of pure, high quality whey protein isolate to my impressive and symmetrical pecs and almost insultingly sculpted delts.  I cock an eyebrow at my wife, Rosario Dawson, who is standing radiant in the light from an adjacent window, idly thumbing an intricately carved ivory brooch she bought at a fine arts fair in the carving district and regarding Tom with a mixture of restrained awe and wary confusion (but also a warm familial amenity) which is the standard response to his presence and she goes, “Um, nothing.  Not a thing, really.”

“Funny thing,” he says, pivoting on his Cuban heel, “About 90% of the glass you’d see back in the uh, the tellurian world, that is to say back on Earth, with the exception of certain fluoride glasses or aluminosilicates for things like fiber optics, are what we call soda-lime glass. You’d add sodium carbonate from soda ash to pure silica to reduce the glass’ melting point but because that also increases water solubility you balance it out with lime and a little dash or two of magnesium and aluminum oxide for durability.  Voila.  Soda-lime glass, right?  That’s the standard formula.  That’s what we’re dealing with almost any time you look in a mirror, glance out a window or construct a terrarium to house your scorpions.”  His voice is hypnotic, moving in fits and starts, comprised of equal parts gravel and molasses.  His hands dart about, tracing certain shapes to help illustrate his words.  “Now, you can do all manner of things to increase quality or help design soda-lime glass for specific purposes,” he continues, dismissing a proffered Isopure lager with a small shake of his head and pulling a flask from his lapel pocket.  “Lead or barium will kick up your refractive index if that’s your thing, so you can get some pretty brilliant, sparkling glass.  Good for art.  Quality mirrors.  Things like that.  Cerium oxide gives your Transitions™ lenses their UV absorbing qualities.  That’s another thing.  It’s very interesting.”

Rosario nods, dumbstruck.  I realize I am doing the same.

“Pane glass is traditionally floated on a molten tin bath.  It eliminates gravity and allows for a uniform surface they can polish or temper accordingly,” he says, pulling from the flask and tapping on the window behind him without looking, then reaching out a fingertip to tap on my lager.  “Bottle glass is blown or pressed.  There’s some annealing, which is to say they remove stress points.  Fun stuff.  Surface treatments, cutting and scaling, sure, but mostly that’s it.  Glass.  Sand to pint glass in a few easy steps.”

“I had no idea,” says Rosario.

“Well, I used to dabble,” says Tom Waits, “No reason you should be intimate with the production process of your windowpane, I suppose.  The thing with glass, though, as with any other amorphous solid, is that the atomic structure lacks any long range translational periodicity, but because of their chemical bonding characteristics glasses do possess a good bit of short-range order in regards to local atomic polyhedra.  So basically, the bonding structure of glasses, although disordered, has the same symmetry signature as a crystal.  So for the longest time the debate between glass being a proper solid and a supercooled liquid, which is slim, since the melt quenching pretty much makes it a vitreous solid and uh, you can see how that’s a fine distinction, has let people argue that it’s only time which prevents us from seeing the motion of glass.  That it flows too slowly for us to observe.  There’s all those claims of cathedral glass being thicker at the bottom and whatnot, but those have been dispelled because it’s shown that the techniques responsible for production made non uniform symmetry, so where you cut it might have been thicker and any installer worth his salt, or silica, heh heh, would put the thickest part earthward for stability.  Now sure, there’s no proper classical equilibrium phase transition to qualify glass as a solid, but its behavior under its transition temperature has always been that of a solid, not a supercooled liquid, you see?”

“Yep!” says Rosario, and I’m all, “Yeah, definitely.”

“But here,” Tom Waits smiles, steepling his fingertips, “Where time is not a factor, could we not then finally observe liquid behavior even from glass whose transitional temperature remains well above room temperature?  I mean, we’ve got eternity, don’t we?”

I finish my lager.  The bottle is still cool against my palm.  

Rosario twines her fingers with my own.  She smells like flowers.  Tom Waits smells vaguely of cinnamon and Aqua Velva.

“Absolutely,” Rosario says with a smile, and Tom grins.  “Can I assume this waiting period does not require us to be idle, though?  Like, we can still go eat?  Because I’m starving.”

“I hear there’s a new Moroccan restaurant down in the dinner district,” he replies, and kind of arches an eyebrow in my direction for approval.

“I love me some couscous,” I say, which is true.

“Perfect,” says Tom Waits, grabbing his coat from the stool, “I’ll drive.”

He pauses at the end of the driveway to touch the gleaming handle of our mailbox.

“What do you know about gold?” he asks.

11AM
May202010
Hey.  
Hey, you.
Hey, you, Chicago, guess what?  It is time.  I apologize for the delay.  If you were to go to Quimby’s, located conveniently at 1854 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, any time after 6pm tonight you will find both previous issues of Rosario Dawson Loves Me (or: I want to die right now, please) restocked and on the rack, and also a brand spanking new issue #3, perfect for adding to your already impressive RDLM collection or possibly to use as a table leveler, flyswatter, kindling or as a bookmark in a much larger book.
Versatility is the name of the game, folks.

Hey.  

Hey, you.

Hey, you, Chicago, guess what?  It is time.  I apologize for the delay.  If you were to go to Quimby’s, located conveniently at 1854 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, any time after 6pm tonight you will find both previous issues of Rosario Dawson Loves Me (or: I want to die right now, please) restocked and on the rack, and also a brand spanking new issue #3, perfect for adding to your already impressive RDLM collection or possibly to use as a table leveler, flyswatter, kindling or as a bookmark in a much larger book.

Versatility is the name of the game, folks.

May182010

UPDATE.

All black and white copies of Rosario Dawson Loves Me #3 have been mailed to the appropriate donators, with the exception of those that are also being shipped with color copies because, quite frankly, I haven’t the money to print them.  I get that this weekend, which, coincidentally, is when they will ship out.  That is also when the third issue will hit the stands at Quimby’s, for those of you lucky enough to live here in Chicago, IL and really enjoy vignettes meant as a salve against past heartbreak disguised as posthumous celebrity fan-fiction.

All three of you.

Thanks for your patience and support.  I appreciate it.

Also, you look very pretty today.

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