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Self-Help Yourself

Dear Diary:

7:44 a.m. — My analyst says I should keep a diary so I can get closer to my emotions. What a crock. But I don't want the little jerk telling my employer I'm not cooperating, since I'm already on probation for the unfortunate incident with the microwave. I honestly thought the dog looked cold. Now they think I'm a homicidal maniac. Maybe they're right. I asked my analyst, Herbie Shafer who lives at 305 East 71st, #4F, New York, NY, how I could know for sure. He said, “Good question” then looked at his watch. His corduroy suits are made in Hong Kong by Sam Tailor (he told me as if I cared!). As he opened the door I thought of fabric swatches and cold steel.

7:59 a.m. — Help! I watch at minimum two football games a week, even though I don't really enjoy myself. The action is okay, but afterwards I feel gross. I feel guilty. I feel like a Republican negro trying to catch a cab on Wall Street in the rain. The other analogy I can make, and I've been wracking my brain here, is the feeling of emptiness and nausea one experiences after a humorless rump-rub with a hooker in the backseat of an AMC Pacer idling in an Albertson's parking lot in Rohnert Park. The glare, the asphalt smell, the extra five bucks she demands for the bus ride home plus a quart of Mickey's. It's not how I imagined spending my 30th birthday. But hey, live and learn!

I'm getting smarter everyday. Right now I've resolved to forego problematic pigskin pleasures for the more urbane surroundings of a museum or an antiquarian bookseller. Maybe I can find a dusty corner filled with books I've never heard of, like the love letters Anais Nin wrote to her imaginary lover, Genghis Khan. That would be yummy!

8:13 a.m. — I'm naked as I write this. How do you like that, Herbie? Also, in the previous entry the word “yummy” was used. I apologize. Other words to avoid: toasty, cozy, trust, honor, relationship, therapy, self-esteem, post-modern, bouclé, pantywaist, schlongmeister.

8:19 a.m. — I'm peering through the blinds at the neighbor across the street peering through his blinds back at me. All John Ashcrofts on deck! I grab the flashlight and point its weak incandescence towards the mystery figure, who does likewise with his own electric lantern. What does this mean? Simple. My personality, such as it is, is but a mere reflection of how others see me. Depressing, isn't it? I lock myself in the bathroom but am nervous. It's like at the airport gate when they call your row, and it's your last chance to visit the facilities before take off. To pee or not to pee, that is the question. Or, Go now or forever hold your pees. Which reminds me of this one wedding I went to in the Berkshires that I'd rather forget about. You know how some quacks claim they can un-repress a memory? Well, I'd pay top dollar to repress about three whole years' worth of stuff. People say I should write a book, and I am. I'm writing a book about writing a book, sort of like that Beatles song “Paperback Writer” where they sing “it's based on a novel by a man named Lear.” I know I went to Boonville High and everything, but still, isn't it weird to write a song lyric about writing a novel based on another novel? Those Brits are clever blokes, they are! Have a pint, mate, sniff the Queen's arse, curry for dinner, one lump or two, jolly good, Cotswald dandies in MGs, I know the empire's crumbling so let's invent bogus places called Israel and Pakistan and see how the Yanks like watching things turn to shit on their patrol!

9:07 a.m. — I don't know if I'm writing this for myself, or for the shrink. If it's for me, great, because it's for me. But if it's for someone else, then it's a classic Hollywood sell-out. A story about a kid overcoming a curiously dark skin pigmentation and clubfoot to win the dance contest and the perky blonde in the rubber corset. The usual entertainment biz crap. Speaking of which, Musical Youth never got the credit they deserved for “Pass The Dutchie.” I listened to it three times in a row, followed by a doubleshot of Sinead O'Connor's “Emperor's New Clothes,” which contains this memorable line: “It's been years since you held the baby, while I wrecked the bedroom.” If those aren't words to blitz and tackle by, what are? I wonder what Joe Montana's doing now. I bet something cool.

9:31 a.m. — A friend from Germany called to say that she's aghast at the poor showing by the Democrats. When the Bavarians start to worry about fascism, that's pretty funny. Speaking of Disneyfied jackboots, against my better judgment I watch the NFL pregame shows. There's a lot of tits, ass and jargon about zone defenses, flankers in motion, and slugging people in the mouth. I don't know which is worse, the sight of draft-dodging George W. in a bomber jacket or Terry Bradshaw making a fool out of himself. Can you imagine this guy calling his own plays? What happened to the Terry of “Hooper,” the Burt Reynolds star vehicle wherein the Burtster plays an aging but still studly stuntman? Jan Michael Vincent too!

10:11 a.m. — I was reading the Sunday Times when I dozed off. I mean, why don't they forget all the so-called writing and just have ads? Wait a sec, I get it: it is all advertising! For Israel! War! Wall Street! Kittywear! Gucci boots! Fixer-uppers in the West Village for $1.2 million! Roll me in dough and look for the wet spot!

12:01 p.m. — I felt a cold coming on, so I made myself a NyQuil shooter, which is 1 part prescription cough syrup, 1 part jagermeister, 2 parts vanilla YooHoo. Pour over crushed ice and drink through straw. Seven of those babies and you're lucky to make the first TV timeout. Just as the first murky tentacles of codeine and alcohol tap me on the shoulder the phone rings. It's a recorded message from George Pataki, governor of New York, saying he's declared martial law, that's he's been having gay sex with Liz Dole, and that he's studying ways to annex Philadelphia. I'm dizzy. The last thing I remember is ordering a medium pizza with extra tomato sauce, and the guy on the other end of the line screaming, “I've got caller ID, cocksucker, you're dead!” I heart New York.

9:00 p.m. — When I wake up the entire left side of my face is bobbing in drool. Someone else's as it turns out, but that's rent control for you. The good news is that the 49ers won a defensive struggle against K.C. I think that if we keep going deep, we'll win the Super Bowl, or at least kill thousands of Iraqis. “If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will keep us together.” Saddam, are you listening? A friend at the clinic says that there's this underground video going around D.C. called “Weapons of Ass Destruction.” It's an art film where people with insanely huge buttocks crush insects and snails by sitting on them. Apparently there's a montage scene worthy of Eisenstein — that's no battleship, Sergei, that's a destroyer! One more thing before I go. If you were going to invade a country, wouldn't it behoove you not to tell them your schedule? Now if I were Saddam, and a true homicidal maniac, and these bastard Americans kept threatening me and my 27 look-alike doubles, I might send some special agents over the Canadian and Mexican borders to give us a taste of our own medicine once the F-16s start buzzing Baghdad. Hopefully they'll start by taking over the Walmart computers and screw up inventory control all across the U.S (allah cross? Islam vs. Jesus in a winner-take-all 10-rounder live from the burning Vegas sands?). Can you imagine if, for instance, there's no beef jerky, ice cream or toilet paper available in any of the states that voted for Bush? My advice is to wear a helmet at all times, and with a full cage. This is homecoming, boys. Now let's go knock their dicks in the dirt.

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