Tuesday, January 31, 2006


for L. McE


You are dressed as a Wolf-man to disguise your various crimes. On the way to that terrible place you encounter a little girl. “Awww” she says, “Lookkit the little Dog-boy.” You are not a Dog-boy you explain, but a Wolf-Man. Suddenly, the little girl looks severe and quite serious and asks: “What’s the difference? Is there a necessary and sufficient criteria to discriminate between the two? Is it a descriptive or substantive difference? A functional difference? What would count in either case?” You are perplexed. There seems to be nothing you can point to that shows the difference. You sweat beneath your mask. You feel the urge to defecate. Yet you also feel strangely sexual.


You go to a magic store. You tell the strange man at the counter: “I want a fake moustache.” At once, his strange theatrically waxed moustache flies off, from its perch above his lips and lands on yours. Though it is waxed and looks well groomed, it is his natural grown facial hair: it even smells a little of soup. “Hey,” you object “I wanted a fake moustache! This one is real!” “It is real for me,” replies the shopkeep “but fake for you.” “But this is yours!” you reply “I want my own!” “You want a fake,” he replies “how can something fake be your own?”


Things have gone badly so you are at the library looking for a copy of How to File Your Own Bankruptcy. This embarrasses you, so you check out several other books to conceal your shame. They are: Overcoming Impotence, Beat the GED, Peverted Underage Sex Tourism for Dummies, Did Six Million Really Die?, The Ann Coulter Reader and Atlas Shrugged. You are still self-conscious when you check-out so you say to the librarian at the desk: “Holy Shit! I’m fat and illiterate, too!”


You are writing a letter. In your letter you wish to communicate a terrible desire that must not be named. So you fill our letter out with a number of examples, and distribute your idea among them. In this way, it is hoped your desire will come out. You know that somewhere, in another city you lived in long ago, a woman is wearing your face. You will send her money. More than that, you will send her your clothes and books and music. You will give her your stains and describe to her all your experiences, your dreams. You will send her the foods you eat, the pillow you sleep on. In this way, you hope, an intolerable burden might be shared, even lifted. Someone else might continue the terrible charade, leaving you free and naked, at last able to concern yourself what you truly want, now that there is no longer a question of disguise. Then, you could truly begin to live.