Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are You a Man?

I was sitting on the steps of a church the other day.

A mother was standing on the sidewalk below, watching her young daughter, a girl of no more than four years old, running up and down the same concrete steps, about twenty feet from where I was sitting, enjoying my 3:30pm cigarette.

After awhile, the young girl walked over to me slowly. In a cloyingly loud and sing-songy voice, she asked me:

"Are you a ma-an?"

I flicked my cigarette onto the sidewalk, a few feet from where the silent mother stood, and sighed heavily, "I don't know, little girl. Is that your father?"

I got up and left the steps. When I hit the sidewalk, I winked at the mother.

She scowled.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Was This Girl A Hooker? Let Me Know! Your Opinion Matters!

Saturday night, I was idly walking along 14th Street, killing time before catching the train back to Queens Somewhere between 6th and 7th Avenues, I noticed an especially cute brunette chick crossing 14th at a diagonal angle. She was of medium height (medium for a woman, that is. If she had been a man, she would have been as short as a medium-sized woman).

She had medium-length straight black hair pushed back from her forehead with a black headband; she wore a knee-length sleeveless black dress with black leggings and black shoes--(flats, not those hideous gladiator sandals!) And she was white.

Though she was entirely dressed in black, she wasn’t goth. . .or emo. . .or whatever the fuck the word is nowadays. She was just a girl who was dressed entirely in black.

Baby's in black, and I'm feeling blue. . .

As she crossed over to the north side of 14th Street, I glanced in her direction briefly.

As I did, she smiled at me. That felt nice, so I smiled back. Her smile widened as we passed by each other--I, heading east towards the L train and she, heading west towards 7th Avenue.

It had been such a nice and warm smile, I wondered if I might have met her before or, better yet, if she had seen one of my shows. I turned around, walking a few paces to see her looking back at me as well.

“How have you been?” I asked, assuming that I was supposed to know who she was.

“How have I been?” she echoed, still smiling.

I wasn’t sure what to say, “Do I know you?”

“I’m not sure,” she said, walking towards me. We began to small talk. After a few sentences, it became apparent that we didn’t know each other. But she was friendly and engaging and quite pretty and, since I didn’t have any place important to be on this mild Saturday night, I decided to allow myself the pleasure of her company.

Still not sure what to say in this strange and unexpected situation, I asked her, “So what are you up to tonight?”

“Oh, I just got into the city a few minutes ago and I’m just walking around, kind of bored.”

“Really?” I asked, lighting up a cigarette, even though I had just finished one a few seconds before running into her, “Where you coming from?”

“I live out in Rockaway.”

Rockaway. That was interesting. She lived farther out in Queens than I did. It was a longer subway ride into the city for her than it was for me, coming in from Woodhaven. I suddenly felt very comfortable in her presence, knowing that she was no stranger to long subway rides into Manhattan and living in isolated and depressing neighborhoods in Queens. “What’s your name?” I asked her.

“Bridget,” she said. Or she may have said “Brigitte”. I forget how she pronounced it. That might make a difference in determining whether or not this girl was a hooker. If a girl doesn’t have a French accent, “Brigitte” can sound a little overly-exotic.

At any rate, I told her my name and that I also was wandering the city, killing time before heading back to Woodhaven. (Again, knowing that she lived in Rockaway made me a lot less self-conscious about admitting that I lived in Woodhaven.) She asked what I did for a living and I told her that I was a comedian. She asked if I enjoyed it and I told her I wasn’t sure anymore but thought that I did and if I didn’t, I definitely should.

I brushed my hair from my face, “So what brings you to the city?”

“I don’t know. I just got bored out in Rockaway. I thought about seeing some friends later on.”

I noticed she had a bit of an accent, but not much. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but after hearing her speak for a little bit, I began to think it might be third or fourth generation Spanish; which, again, isn’t really much of an accent at all--just a hint of ethnicity, barely perceptible to the untrained ear. We chatted for a few more seconds and then I proposed that her and I get a cup of coffee.

“Yeah,” she agreed, “that sounds good.”

“Cool,” I said as we began walking towards 7th Avenue.

“Do you mind if I stop at this Duane Reade really quickly, though? I have to get these socks.”


She continued, pointing at the Duane Reade drugstore on the corner of 7th Avenue, “I bought these socks at this Duane Reade here and then I took them on the subway and then I lost the socks on the subway. Can you believe that?”

“Wow,” I said, feigning interest, “you lost the socks, huh? So you’re coming into the city to get the socks?”

“I don’t know,” she said wistfully. At this point, I noticed I was getting an erection. Strange women all alone who have nothing to do on a Saturday night in Manhattan other than buy socks can do that to me, “I just lost the socks. And I had just bought them, too.”

“Wow,” I said again.

Then she started to tell me some yarn about how she had recently been a victim of identity theft and I started to get bored. After the feeling of boredom passed, I began to grow a little cautious. Some hookers, or even some non-professional girls looking to turn a trick for some quick cash, almost always have a hard-luck story of some sort. Despite these feelings of boredom and cautiousness, however, my erection continued unabated.

I waited outside of the Duane Reade, finishing my cigarette and covertly adjusting my penis, as she went inside to buy her socks. After a few minutes, she was back outside.

“So did you get your socks?”

“No, they didn’t have the ones I wanted,” she said. “Maybe I didn’t get them at Duane Reade.” We stood for a brief moment in what I felt was an uncomfortable silence. Just as I was noticing a Rite Aid drugstore across the street, she said, as if on cue: “Maybe I got them at Rite Aid. You want to go over to Rite Aid?”

“Sure,” I said, flicking my cigarette into the street.

We crossed 7th Avenue and then crossed 14th Street to the south in the direction of the Rite Aid. As we did, she asked me, “So do you know how identity theft works? How they do it? How they steal your identity?”

“No, not really,” I sighed.

“They follow you. They walk right next to you and imitate everything you do. And they imitate you so well that they become you. And then nobody knows who the real you is anymore.”

I began to wonder if she was a schizophrenic. And with that, my erection reached its full potential. After all, I just might be able to get lucky with a schizophrenic. I’ll let her ramble on about the zombie people all night if she doesn’t mind my hands all over her tits. “That’s how they do it, huh?”

“Yeah, they get to know you so well. How you talk and act and everything!”

We came to the Rite Aid. This time, I went in with her. We walked over to the aisle where they kept the socks and underwear. She stared at the merchandise for a few seconds without picking anything up.

“Hmm. I don’t think they have them here either.”

“What kind of socks were they?” I asked.

“They were nice. They were thin. Really thin socks.” She sighed, “Oh well. . .”

As we left the Rite Aid, I started to wonder where this wild goose chase for thin drugstore socks was going to lead me. Was I going to get any sex out of this? How much money would I have to spend? Was she expecting me to buy her socks? Bust most importantly, was she just looking to turn a trick?

Hookers never announce that they’re hookers. They just smile at you and ask you how you’re doing. So I began to wonder if I was being “hooked". And with that, my erection began to recede.

If she was a hooker, she was in for a disappointing surprise. I’m a frugal individual and I don’t spend money unless I absolutely have to. She may be another person, a sexy person in fact, even schizophrenic--but I have the internet and a hand at my disposal. The most I was willing to kick in was the price of a cheap cup of coffee, preferably in a “to go” cup, so I wouldn’t have to tip.

But it was still too early to tell. “Let’s walk east,” I suggested, figuring I could dump her by the time we got near the L train station at Union Square--if it turned out she was, in fact, a hooker. As we walked, I sought out more information, “So where do you work in Rockaway?”

“I work in a bar.”

“You like it?”

“I don’t know. I’m thinking about getting out of that business.”

Suddenly, I realized that the girl wasn’t carrying any sort of purse or bag. This entire time, she had been holding a piece of folded 8 X 10 paper. Growing ever more curious, I asked her about it.

She unfolded the paper. It was a flier for an organic restaurant in the West Village. “This looked like a neat place to eat. I’ve just been kind of holding on to it. I thought about heading over there later. I’m not sure.”

Well, I thought, if she thinks she’s getting a meal out of me--especially an organic one--she’s got another thing coming. We walked in silence for a few seconds.

Reaching the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue, again as if on cue, she asked me, “You want to get something to eat?”

“I don’t have a lot money,” I shot back defensively.

She looked stricken. “That’s okay.”

“So what’s the name of the bar you work at?”

“I don’t know. I’m just thinking of getting out of that whole business.”

“That’s not what I asked. What’s the name of the bar you work at?”

“I don’t know,” she said, “it’s just one of those Rockaway bars on the beach. They’re all the same. I haven’t been working there long.”

“Yeah,” I said, reaching in my jeans pockets for my pack of cigarettes and noticing as I did that my erection hadn’t entirely gone away, “Why don’t we get a cup of coffee and take it over to Union Square Park?”

“Sure,” she said.

I was flirting with the idea of springing for a cup of coffee, getting her on a park bench and sneaking a cheap feel. That’d tide me over until I got back to Woodhaven. The jury was still out on whether or not she was a hooker, but I was gaining certainty by the minute.

“This city sure has changed a lot,” she said, attempting to break the obvious tension that was now creeping over us.

“It’s globalization,” I returned tersely.

“Like on the subway out here,” she said, “I saw all these white girls with these black guys and they were making out and everything and you remember how the black people used to always talk about ‘keeping it real’? I mean, what’s that all about? How is that keeping it real? And then there was this Spanish guy and he was with this Chinese girl and it’s like nothing is the same anymore.”

So now I wasn’t sure if she was a schizophrenic, a hooker, or a racist. Or all three. A schizophrenic hooker racist! At that point, I really had no qualms about getting her into the park and sticking my hand up her dress--even if I risked getting slapped. "I'm kind of cynical and guarded myself," I said out of nowhere, hinting that I might be getting wise to her game.


"I'm cynical. . .and guarded," I said, this time with a slight curl of the lips.

When we were halfway between 5th Avenue and University Place, she suddenly stopped in front of a pastry place next to a Wendy’s. In the window, there were all sorts of expensive fruity confections on display, sprinkled with powder and adorned with kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and shaved chocolate.

“Ooh, can we go here?” she asked.

“Look,” I said, “I can get you a cup of coffee.”

“Okay,” she pouted.

“We’ll go to a bodega, get a cup of coffee, and take it over to the park.”

She was struggling to contain a look of disappointment. Then, pointing at the largest of the powdered confections--one with an unbelievable $7.50 price tag--she asked, “Well, can I have one of these instead of coffee?”

That sealed the deal. Now I knew. She had provided me with my answer in that one simple request. There was the sugar. And I was the sugar daddy. She was a hooker, all right. “Fuck this,” I said, abandoning her outside the pastry shop.

Later, I called my friend Jonah to tell him what had happened.

After relating to Jonah all that I have related to you, I asked, “So what do you think? I was being played by a hooker, right?”

“Man,” said Jonah, “You are so self-defeating when it comes to women.”

That’s what Jonah thinks. I think he’s wrong. What do you think? She was a hooker, right?

Or was she just schizophrenic?



Let me know. Your opinion matters.

All votes will be tallied and posted by next Tuesday, August 5th!

E-mail all votes to winstonchurchill.will@gmail.com

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prince Street Sunshine

The young man walked into the coffee shop and took a seat across the table from the old man.

"I'm glad I made it down here," said the young man.

The old man took a thoughtful breath and smiled with closed lips. "I'm glad you came too, kid," he then said with his signature nod of sincerity--the kind of sincerity that can only come from wisdom, and the kind of wisdom that can only come from traversing life's many peaks and valleys just long enough to fully appreciate the horizontal simplicity of a golden plain; a geographical phenomenon the young man had often derided as boring, stagnating, and utter anathema--even though he himself had never experienced the serene simplicity of a golden plain until now, when his valleys had become rife with despair and his peaks had looked out only upon vast, uncultivated stretches of doom!

The old man knew well this terrain. Which is why he had smiled with such sincerity and wisdom.

Upon that smile that emerged from sincerity, and upon that sincerity that emerged from wisdom, both men chuckled softly and briefly for no apparent reason other than that the young man--shaken and unshaven--and the old man--stout of heart, yet frail in frame--felt at once the sun shine brightly that Friday night on Prince Street.

At that mystical moment, when night briefly became day, the young man had no cares of the Soho chicks beyond the Plexiglas window, with the hems of their summer dresses terminating precariously mere millimeters below their pubic hairs. Nor did he begrudge them and their gelled and gilded male companions the high-rise apartments and readily-available funds that, seconds prior, had made their youthful living seem so carefree and enviable.

Because those who have never enjoyed sunshine, as well as those who have never excelled at being sons, know how rare and precious it is when two distant generations can collude to produce human-generated sunshine amidst the transient material opulence of a Friday night on Prince Street.

Thus illuminated, the old man and the young man identified one with the other--the young man, with the old man's past; and the old man, with the young man's present.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yet One More Reason I Deplore Pacifism

I've just finished reading William Manchester's Death of a President, which chronicles, in a little over 600 pages, the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Friday, November 22nd, 1963 up to and including the state funeral that was held on the following Monday.

One passage in particular struck me. Of the state funeral, Manchester remarks on the predominant role the military played throughout the proceedings. The italics are mine.

"It was ironic that John Kennedy, whom the world knew as a man of peace, and whose proudest achievements had been the Test Ban Treaty and the successful conclusion of the Cuban confrontation without bloodshed, should be buried as a warrior, but there really was no other way; if he must go in glory, and clearly he must, the troops were indispensable. There were no splendid traditions, no magnificent farewells, for a hero of peace." (p. 594)

Manchester would have been among the first to admit that Kennedy would not have shied away from bloodshed if it had been absolutely necessary. The myth that Kennedy was a unilateral and unwavering pacifist is just that: a myth.

Fortunately, the Cold War remained cold. At the end of the day, the communists wanted to avoid an all-out nuclear confrontation just as much as the Americans did. Can the same be said, I wonder, for Islamist governments who sanction suicide bombings as "martyrdoms"? I think not. John Kennedy, and perhaps his brother Robert, (assassinated almost five years later by an enraged Muslim who was mad at--what else?--the state of Israel), would probably have agreed.

My personal belief regarding the assassination of JFK is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. All data points toward Oswald being an absolute loser at everything--even in his failed attempts at defecting to communist Russia. The conspiracies which emerged and took hold in the public consciousness following the assassination were simply the result of two disparate, but intertwining, strands of partisan thought:

1) Because the assassination took place in Texas, the Left blamed the Right.


2) Because the assassin was a self-proclaimed Marxist, the Right blamed the Left.

Both lines of thought, unlike Oswald's bullet, miss the mark entirely. Oswald was an isolated loser who sought a perverse greatness by violently forcing himself out of obscurity and into the national spotlight. Politics couldn't have been further from his mind when he squeezed the trigger.

Either way, whether coming from the Left or from the Right (though predominately from the Left) the mythology of a purely pacifistic Kennedy, though understandably sating in our current time of looming bloodshed, must be revealed for the falsity it is. This is nothing but impractical presidential folklore. Since JFK's name is so often evoked in this current presidential campaign, it is imperative to put history into context and separate the idealized myth from the pragmatic leader.

Just as Ronald Reagan was the last true conservative, John F. Kennedy was the last true liberal.

Since then, and especially now, everything surrounding the office of the presidency has devolved into a meaningless donkey and elephant show.

Very soon, if the hour has not already passed, Americans will have to make a clear choice between globalization and nationalism.

The tenets of pacifism only apply to one.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The 1st Annual Erasmus Awareness Week Special Appendix Blog Entry

Well, it's 11:59 pm, July 14th, 2008, which means it's officially the end of the 1st Annual Erasmus Awareness Week, celebrating the life and work (with a particular focus on the Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style) of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. And boy, what a crazy 1st Annual Erasmus Awareness Week it's been! (Kelly took photos! Brice is going to post them next week! Hayley was soooo drunk!)

In honor of the ornamental language Erasmus so diligently tried to propagate, readers were asked to submit their rewording of the seemingly arbitrary statement: "More than any other director, Bergman demanded the best from his actors."

The responses may be light, but remember that this is the first Erasmus Awareness Week and as the works of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam continue to grow in popularity (particularly among the youth of today), we can only assume that interest in next year's Annual Erasmus Awareness Week will grow exponentially over the coming months.

So mark your calendars for July 7th, 2009-July 14th, 2009. Until that time, please enjoy these contributions which together make up the 1st Annual Erasmus Awareness Week Special Appendix Blog Entry.

(NOTE: If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, please refer to the blog entry entitled De Utraque Verborum ac Rerum Copia of 7/7/08)

And now--drumroll--THE ENTRIES!

Of actors, other directors wanted less. Bergman wanted the most. --
Lev; San Francisco, CA

To a degree beyond that of his peers, Director Ingmar Bergman placed the highest expectations on the performances given by the players acting in his films. --Steve; Atlantic City, NJ

1) Bergman, demanding the best from his actors, did so more than any other director; 2) From his actors, Bergman demanded the best, more than was demanded by any other director; 3) Other directors demanded less from their actors than Bergman, who demanded the best; 4) Actors had the best demanded from them by Bergman, more than other directors; 5) Actors, the best from whom was demanded, had been more by Bergman than other directors; 6) Bergman more demanded the best of his actors than other directors; 7) Bergman demanded more than other directors the best of his actors; 8) The demands for actors' best were greater from Bergman than any other director. --Lenny; New York City, NY

Bergman, more than any other director, demanded the best from his actors. --a spazz miz of hotterspam; or Heather; Washington, DC

1) The best was demanded by Bergman from his actors, even more so than other directors; 2)"The Best": this is what was demanded by Bergman from his actors, more so than any of his professional contemporaries.--James; Napa, CA

More Bergman than director, any demanded the best Bergman from his other actors.--Steven; Washington, DC

If we're talking about Heaven and Hell: More than any other preacher, Joseph Combs demanded the Beast from his daughter.--Blaine; Tukwila, WA

Well, that's it. Hope you all had a good 1st Annual Erasmus Awareness Week! (Brie took photos! Chance is going to post them next week! Lacey was sooooo drunk!)

But remember, let's make this Annual Erasmus Awareness Week a safe one. Leave the drinking and driving at home. And please, if you're going to succeed in life, don't forget to clean out on your way up.


William Franken of Woodhaven,
Chairperson, Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam Awareness Society

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Do Not Approve of this Current Trend in Female Summer Footwear

Behold the Dolce Vita "Daisy-11" sandal from Piperlime (image pilfered from shoeblog.com)

I was heartened to note that the anonymous author of the "gladiator sandal" entry at Shoeblog.com expressed the same aesthetic displeasure I have felt towards this unsavory morsel of summer footwear--even if, by the close of her posting, she does admit to eventually surrendering to the current whim. (or not-so-current. According to her, they've been popular for a few seasons now. Perhaps I have been in a blackout these last few summers)

Any savvy young woman can tell you that the right summer footwear is more important than red blood cells. But the wrong summer footwear is akin to the HIV virus. In my opinion, gladiator sandals are discolored lesions on the cheeks of the female foot. Though the Shoeblog.com author does not go as viciously far as I do, her initial assessment of the style is nevertheless apt. As she poignantly observes:

"I stayed away from gladiators because they tend to 'cut' the foot from your leg, often with bulky plates and multiple ankle straps, and disrupt the natural lines and the illusion of 'elongated' that I so direly need to create."

I could not agree more. Those of us who consider ourselves "leg men" desperately require elongation for our fantasies and implicitly demand that attractive young women consistently and effectively provide us with this illusion. The last thing we need on a visual level are two, three, (or sometimes four!) ankle straps to demarcate between the foot and the leg. If I wanted to masturbate to an amputee, I'd prowl the infirmaries.

But this is nothing compared to the damage wrought by the "bulky plates". The most problematic of these being the one at the heel. Has there ever been anything less feminine in the whole of fashion history, excepting the asexual "Peppermint Patty" Birkenstock? If the gladiator's ankle straps represent a disruption of continuity, the unsightly heel plate represents a complete disregard for the male libido; or perhaps an utter self-loathing among women for the innate power of the well-shaped female leg.

Recently I have wondered--after a frustrating commute on the subway or a flaccid perambulation around the East Village--if the diabolical minds responsible for the Burning Man Arts Festival were not also behind the reintroduction of the gladiator sandal for the modern female. Dissatisfied with the sacrilege to the sanctity of smooth, silky calves brought about by weeks of not shaving, perhaps those most contemptuous of good taste would go one step further in presenting grotesque stumps to an expectant viewing public! Such an abhorrence any cultured society cannot stand for long.

If the need to sever foot from leg is so great, why go for a sandal at all? Why not opt for a less ambiguous Ked, Converse, or (if punk be your spirit) Dr. Martin? Moreover, to greater exemplify femininity, why not indulge in the pastoral lyricism of a ballet flat or the tried-and-true Mary Jane? Any of these options would be a thousand times more preferable to the strange nether-region between sandal and low-top boot evoked by these new gladiators.

This unintentional masculinity is only exacerbated by switching the color. Consider this selection from MIA's Rome series in which "basic black" goes beyond mere wardrobe staple into downright morbid:

Some feminists might argue that it is not necessarily the sole responsibility of female footwear to contribute to the sexual excitement of males. Yet even as a symbol of empowerment, the gladiator sandal fails miserably. Were this not the case, then how is it that the Shoeblog.com author, who initially admits to an uneasy apprehension with the gladiators that at times seems to border on outright disgust, could pathetically write near the close of her entry:

"I think I’ve reached the critical point in time when I’ve got to get into a pair of gladiator sandals, or my life won’t be complete."

Such an easy, unquestioning surrender is unbecoming not only for an empowered female, but a gladiator as well.

As we find ourselves in the dog days of summer, with temperatures skyrocketing faster than gasoline prices, the need to balance comfort and beauty in our nation has never been more profound. In most parts of the country, at this time of the year, sandals are the only logical choice. But the gladiator only half-delivers on the comfort/beauty ratio. Comfortable though many females may find them, beauty is still left wanting. To strike the perfect balance, consider the understated elegance of Lily Pulitzer's Romancing The Stone sandal.

A bit pricier than the gladiators, but is $228 really that expensive when it comes to the preservation of leg and foot continuity?

Monday, July 07, 2008

De Utraque Verborum ac Rerum Copia

Last night, I was visited at my bedside by a fairy.

"What do you want of me, fairy?" I asked.

"I am not a fairy!" he exclaimed, "I am 16th-century Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam!"

"But you look like a fairy."

He smiled. "It may seem flamboyant to your postmodern eyes, but this is how humanists dressed in mainstream Holland back in 1512."

"Well," I said, reaching for my cigarettes on the nightstand, "at least it's better than yellow stars."

"That is true," said Erasmus, "You've heard of the yellow stars. I take it you are Jewish?"

"Not really," I said, striking a match, "but I'm a friend of the Jews." I motioned to a chair at the foot of the bed, "Have a seat, Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam."

"Please," he smiled, "Erasmus is fine."

"Erasmus, you say?" I exhaled thoughtfully, "You know, I've actually read some of your stuff."

"Oh, really?" he clapped his hands excitedly, "Which? Tell! Tell!"

"In Praise of Folly."

What did you think?"

I poured some warm Arizona strawberry/kiwi juice from a can into a pair of glass tumblers and handed him the less dirty of the two, "I liked it. Although I'm a much bigger fan of Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style."

He sighed, "De Utraque Verborum ac Rerum Copia."

I smiled at his Dutch-accented Latin, "You probably get that all the time."

He took a drink, "Copia was my big hit. The 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' of Renaissance-era rhetoric."

"And well-deserving of its status, if I might add." Then I paused, suddenly confused. Erasmus looked discontent. He wasn't at all like his painting. Out of place--even by normal time-travel standards. I tried to crack his troubled exterior. "Say, Erasmus, what brings you to modern-day Queens?"

He stood up and shuffled to the window, peering out into the pre-dawn blackness. "I'm bored."

"You? Bored? With all your words, all your rhetorical skills?" I was astonished. How could the inventor of the 'abundant style' be bored? Was this the same man who had said in 1512:

"If in these circumstances we find ourselves destitute of verbal riches and hesitate, or keep singing out the same old phrase like a cuckoo, and are unable to clothe our thought in other colors or other forms, we shall look ridiculous when we show ourselves to be so tongue-tied, and we shall also bore our wretched audience to death."?

Just then, I thought of Chapter 33 of the Copia in which Erasmus offered the reader 195 different ways to say "Your letter pleased me greatly."

An idea occured to me, "Can't you entertain yourself by inventing manifold ways to say the same thing, just as you advised your readers to do in the Copia?"
I suggested.

"I could if I still lived here on earth," he said, setting his tumbler down on the windowsill, "but in Heaven, we don't really say anything, so there's nothing to restate in different ways. Not only is there no variation in speech, but there's no
need for variation in speech. That's how God likes it. He runs a tight ship."

"Well, that's something exciting. You got to go to Heaven at least."

"Unfortunately," he sighed. In the silvery moonlight, I noticed a tear streaking his left cheek.

"Jesus, Erasmus. You sound disillusioned. I thought Heaven was a
good thing."

"I thought it would be, too. That's why I became a theologian and a Christian humanist." He motioned for a cigarette from my pack and I handed him one along with the book of matches. He continued, "But they don't say
anything up there! It's all 'Praise Him!' or 'Glory Be!' or"Look, here comes God!'"

"Oh, I'm sure you could find a way to augment those trite sayings and share your gift of the abundant style with the denizens of Heaven."

"Don't you fucking get it?" he shouted, punching his fist against the wall, "God
hates linguistic ornamentation! He thinks excessive wording obfuscates His praise!"

I didn't know what to say. I had never been to Heaven before. Both the Old Testament and Nietzche had claimed that God was vindictive and narcissistic, but I hadn't known His attitude towards ornamentation of speech until now. "Wow. I didn't think He'd be
that demanding."

"'Praise Him'! That's all He wants to hear, all fucking day! Nothing but those three things: 'Praise Him!', 'Glory Be!', and 'Look, here comes God!'" With shaking hands, Erasmus finally lit his cigarette, "And God forbid if you should offer any sort of eloquent rewording like 'To Him direct your praise!' or 'Let a state of glory exist among us' or 'I spy Deity coming this way!'" He steadied himself, took a deep breath and walked over to the bookshelf, pulling out my dog-eared copy of
The Complete Works of William Blake. "You like Blake?" he asked.

Fuck yeah," I said, "You can borrow that if you want."

Blake hates it up there, too." said Erasmus. "God's pissed at him for redefining Christ as the human imagination and the Devil as earthly limitations."

"Wow, Erasmus. You make Heaven sound like Hell."

"It is! That's exactly what it is! I mean, what the fuck was the point of writing the goddamned
Copia in the first place? I only wrote that fucking thing to praise Him! To thank Him for the fucking gift of language! Well, I say, fuck Him!"

A flash of early morning lightning filled the room followed by a crack of thunder that filled my ears. "You shouldn't say things like that, Erasmus."

"Why the fuck not?"

Suddenly, a banging was heard underneath the floorboards. The muslim landlady's muffled voice came through, "What is please there doing in late night with loud!!!"

"I'm talking to Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam!!!!" I shouted back.

"Infidel!" she screamed.

"Heathen!" I screamed back--effectively silencing her in the process. I looked up at Erasmus, "Hey man, you ever run into John Milton up there?"

"Oh, he didn't make it."

"Really? What about
Paradise Lost?"

Erasmus laughed and exhaled gray smoke through his nose, "Yeah, he's in Hell, all right. God was pissed at all that embellishment of Satan's character. He thought John gave short shrift to Christ."

"Jesus," I sighed.

"Yeah, that's the one.
Jesus Christ."

"So Erasmus," I said, "when do you have to get back?"

Erasmus put Blake carefully back into its slot on the shelf, "I should try to make it back by sunrise. God's coming home tomorrow afternoon from a campaign stop in Montana. I have to be there bright and early to say 'Praise Him!', 'Glory Be!' or 'Look, here comes God!'"

"Well, if you're looking to kill time, I'd be up for a little linguistic ornamentation."

He smiled, "You
really like ornamentation?"

"Fuck yeah," I said, "that's what Joyce was all about.
And Monty Python."

"The 'Dead Parrot'," he agreed, chuckling softly, "Yeah, I've often wondered where they got the idea for all that thesaurus humour."

"Look in the mirror," I smiled, "It's you, my friend." I leaped out of bed excitedly, "So what do you think? Let's come up with a bunch of different ways to say the same thing!"

"Shouldn't you try to get some sleep?"

"I'm fine. I just need to be at St. Vincent's hospital by noon so I can see my shrink."

"All right," said Erasmus, "what sentence should we ornament?"

"Well I was watching
Scenes From a Marriage earlier."

"The Bergman film?"

"Yeah. And every time I see a Bergman film, with those really tight close-ups and profile shots, I always think the same thing:
More than any other director, Bergman demanded the best from his actors."

"Okay!" said Erasmus, clapping his hands together again, "Let's get to it. You go first."

1. More than any other director, Bergman demanded the best from his actors.
2. Of all the directors who have ever directed, Bergman demanded the best from his actors.
3. Actors in Bergman's films, more so than in the films of other directors, had the best demanded of them.
4. Bergman, more than any other director, demanded from his actors the best.
5. Ingmar Bergman, the director, demanded from his actors the best, as opposed to other directors.
6. The best was demanded from Ingmar Bergman's actors, more than actors working with other directors.
7. The opposite of the worst was demanded from Ingmar Bergman's actors, unlike the actors in films directed by other directors.
8. Ingmar Bergman insisted on the best from his actors more than any other director.
9. Bergman, Ingmar: Director who insisted on the best from his actors more than any other director.
10. Demands of bestness were placed upon actors by Bergman, the director who differed from other directors in this regard.

If you'd like to join Erasmus and Will, send your own rewording of the statement "More than any other director, Bergman demanded the best from his actors" to winstonchurchill.will@gmail.com

One week from today, on July 14th, all suggestions, no matter how nutty, will be posted on this blog with credit going to each individual author. This is all part of Erasmus Awareness Week. Take part in this historic event.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why Alcohol?

Why Alcohol?

Oblivion, mostly. Uncertainty about the future, or lack thereof.

Isn't that nihilism? And isn't that hypocrisy on your part, seeing as how you often decry nihilism?

You've got me there. But alcohol makes me oblivious to my nihilism as well as to my own hypocrisy about my nihilism.

So you use oblivion as a form of sophistry to justify your own hypocrisy?

What's the matter with that? Is that against the law or sumthin? (hiccup)

What advice would you have for the children?

Well, from the tone of your question, it sounds like you want me to say something like "stay away from alcohol, kiddies." But I'm not going to indulge you there. Although I am a moralist, I'm definitely not a puritan. That being said, I've also never agreed with Dr. Spock and the concept of permissive parenting. Or Alistair Crowley when he said in Diary of a Drug Fiend, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." I believe in setting boundaries, I'm just not the one to set them.

Would you ever buy alcohol for a minor?

I did a few months ago. These teenagers outside a liquor store in Queens asked me if I would get them a bottle of Hennessy. When I came out and handed them the bottle, I understood, for the first time in my life, the significance of the phrase "giving back to the community."

In other words, they were grateful?

Exceedingly grateful. In fact, they gave me a dollar for my efforts.

Speaking of children and future generations, you've often expressed skepticism about global warming. Why do you refuse to believe in global warming?

I saw a movie a few years ago called An Inconvenient Truth.

Do you think alcohol will help you in your interactions with the opposite sex?

Yes. Inasmuch as I believe that over time I will become less frustrated and more apathetic.

What do you think has been the reason for your frustration with women?

I used to think it was because I was ugly. And to some degree, I still do. That's because I tend to view male/female interactions very superficially. If one goes through a prolonged sexual drought, it's very hard not to imagine ugliness being a factor.

So do you consider yourself ugly?

Like I say, I don't really know for sure. I don't think anybody really knows whether they're ugly or not independent of how they're received by the people they're sexually attracted to--except, perhaps, people with the Elephant Man disease, whatever that's called.

Von Recklinghausen's disease? Er, no, I'm sorry--Proteus syndrome?

Something like that. Anyway, ugliness is just the default self-image I now have as a result of my sexual isolation. Although I've lately flirted with the idea of psychological characteristics playing a role in the drought as well.

Such as?

I think I might be scary to some people. For example, a few weeks ago a woman told me that she would never sleep with me because I was too "intense."

What did she mean by that?

I don't have any idea really. The only thing I could deduce from her statement was that intensity, however she was defining it, was not a good thing. Therefore, I have undertaken steps to decrease my intensity and increase my apathy. Hence, the alcohol. As well as any other depressants or sedatives I might be able to lay my hands on.

So apathy and/or oblivion can be social panaceas?

I think so. I'm no licensed social worker, but I think that caring about something is the leading cause of depression.

What else, besides the company of females, do you hope to obtain by not caring anymore?

It is my hope that apathy will finally lead to some high-paying work in the entertainment industry. I've always been at a disadvantage in my dealings with television people because I've subconsciously radiated a great deal of interest in my own abilities and have continually expressed concern for artistic standards. I am anxious to see how much better I will be received when word hits the streets that I no longer give a shit.

Is there anything you would like to say to the fans before we stop recording?

I love them dearly and I always will. They are the closest thing I have ever had to a family. I wish I could take them all out to a Cracker Barrel in Kentucky or Nebraska or someplace where cigarettes are still $3 a pack.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Riddle From Chris Patterson


I met this guy earlier in the evening by the name of Chris Patterson. He told me this really cool riddle. I asked him if it was his and he said that his grandfather had once told it to him. So I asked if I could borrow it for some type of written piece. He gave me permission, provided I gave him credit for the riddle. That's why I mention that this guy's name was Chris Patterson.


Chris and I were walking near the Hudson River along the West Side Highway a little bit before the sun went down this evening, grabbing a few tokes from his wooden one-hitter along the way.

At one point, Chris asked of me: "All right, you walk into a room and a guy is dead, hanging from the ceiling by a rope. Underneath him, there's nothing but a large puddle of water. How did the guy kill himself?"

"He climbed up on a chair, put the rope around his neck and then kicked the chair away as hard as he could," I responded.

"No," Chris said, "There's no furniture in the whole fuckin' room. It's just him dead. Hanging from the ceiling by a rope. And then it's just a fuckin' puddle of water underneath him."

I tried to conjure up a clearer picture of the grim scenario. A barren room. A corpse hanging from a rope attached to the ceiling. A puddle of water underneath the corpse. No chairs--in fact, no furniture at all. I furrowed my brow, "He didn't kill himself. Someone else put the rope around his neck and kicked a chair out from under him; and then they took the chair out of the room with them when they left--"

"Oh, no," laughed Chris, "This guy killed himself, all right. Come on, now. Think about the puddle of water."

I thought about the puddle of water, but it only confused me more. Though I'm always impressed by clever riddles, I rarely guess the correct answer. Maybe that's why I'm so impressed by them.

Chris finally relented, "An ice cube. He stood up on a big ice cube, put the rope around his neck and stood there and waited for it to melt."

"Holy shit!" I gasped, "That's fucking amazing! Is that your riddle?"

"No," Chris smiled, "my grandfather told me that one."

"Do you mind if I use that for something? I'm a writer."

"As long as you give me credit," he said, tapping out ashes from the one-hitter.

"Of course," I said. "What's your name?"

"Chris Patterson."

"Like Paterson in New Jersey?"

"No. Two T's."

"Oh, Patterson."

"Yeah, that's right."

"You know what I like about that riddle?" I asked him.

"What's that?" he asked me.

"I like how suicidal that is. I mean, that's really suicidal. In a normal suicide, you just want to get up there, put the rope around your neck, kick over the chair and be done with it before you have a chance to change your mind. But that ice cube thing--that's what you call real suicide. That's when you're so suicidal you're willing to take your time and let nature run its course. You're so convinced you want to die you know that nothing could happen in the next hour or two hours or however long it might take for that big ice cube to melt that's gonna change your mind about dying. Can you imagine, standing on that ice cube with that rope around your neck, with all that free time to think and reflect, and still nothing--nothing would allow you to see that life is worth living? That's real suicide. Slow, purposeful, well-thought-out suicide. A suicide that's almost preordained. I mean, who can argue with a mind that convinced? Seriously, can you imagine being that fucking miserable?"

"Fuck no," he grimaced.

"I can," I smiled.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Where Has She Been My Whole Life?

Today I was going to write a blog entry commemorating the 232nd anniversary of The Declaration of Independence, putting forth the argument that the American Revolution may have been the only revolution in world history to have arguably succeeded. But then something else happened that quickly diverted my thoughts from liberty to romance!

Quite by accident, I found my dream girl today--on television of all places! As I've mentioned before, the only time I watch television is either when I'm in a hotel or house-sitting for friends. When I find myself in either of these situations, I generally keep the set turned on with the volume muted while I write, periodically turning up the volume should something pique my interest--like Turner Classic Movies' late-night airing last night of the 1975 Warren Beatty classic, Shampoo.

Anyway, this afternoon I had been watching an old episode of "Jeopardy" on the Game Show Network. During the commercial breaks, I compiled notes from the original Declaration into a Word document in order to set forth my thesis of a "providential" revolution in America--that is, the idea that the American Revolution succeeded because it was the will of God; or, in Jeffersonian terminology, the Creator.

Ironically, "Jeopardy" concluded with a final question about which state--one that would later be divided into three states--was the largest at the time of the Revolution. Virginia, of course, was the correct answer.

However, by this point, I was no longer certain that I wanted to continue with my original idea for a 4th of July blog entry. Mostly because I wasn't sure about the original hypothesis. All historical evidence indicates that the communist revolution failed miserably. But can we say the same for the French Revolution? True, it was a very bloody affair, but didn't it likewise succeed in eliminating the power of the monarchy over its subjects--even if that power was merely transferred to a vindictive bureaucracy?

Not only that, as I stared dejectedly at the computer-animated car advertisements and heard all the obligatory deadpan voiceovers speaking in droll tones about "interest rates" and "APR financing" that followed Alex Trebek's final wave to the studio audience, I couldn't help but wonder--maybe the American Revolution didn't succeed after all.

Or perhaps America is due for another revolution. Perhaps some violent thrust is needed to topple the archaic triumvirate of big business, the media, and the two-party political system that truly governs the sedentary American minds of today. A revolution not of the left, not of the right, but of the common man haplessly stuck in the middle; those whom the original crafters of the Declaration had in mind when they wrote:

". . .all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed."

I decided at this point that time spent outside was what I needed to clear my psyche and organize my cluttered thoughts. So I muted the sound on the television and left for McDonald's.

When I returned an hour later, I found that my three double-cheeseburger repast had done little to alleviate my hesitancy in moving forward with my project, for my thoughts were now sharply divided between a love for an America that once was and an utter contempt for an America that now exists.

So I sat down at my absent host's upright Kawai piano and pecked out some blues riffs, periodically glancing at the muted television still tuned to the Game Show Network.

A game show called "Friend or Foe" was in its final ten minutes. With the sound turned down, the objective of the game remained a mystery to me. That didn't concern me, however. I wasn't interested in the rules of play. What primarily interested me was the hostess standing behind the podium:

Who is she?
I couldn't take my eyes off of her. With my fingers treading lightly on the high notes of the Kawai, I stared, mesmerized by this unnamed beauty. I wish I could post a video here to show her in action. The way she flipped her hair teasingly when turning to face each contestant; or how she would dip her head and stare above those sexy frames as she anticipated each correct or incorrect answer. Had I not been so transfixed, I perhaps might have been able to rush to the television and turn up the sound to hear her accompanying voice--which, I have no doubt, must have been as angelic as her precious face. But I was frozen; my only physical movements were the depressing of the Kawai's ivory keys into isolated minor chords. Who is she? I thought, over and over again, in those final ten minutes.

As the credits rolled for "Friend or Foe", I found the answer to my question. At the bottom of the screen, I read:

Hosted by: Kennedy

I arose from the piano and sat down at the coffee table with my iBook. I thought for a second about the most efficacious terms to use in a Google search. It didn't take long. I decided that "Friend or Foe" followed by "Kennedy" wasn't sufficient enough to filter out the potential numerous history websites centered around the presidency of JFK, so I opted for "Friend or Foe" followed by "Kennedy" followed by the word "Game".

Under Google Images, I found such photos as the one above as well as these priceless beauties:

It turns out she used to be a veejay for MTV back in the 1990s. Normally, that would repulse me, but I doubt even the most iconoclastic heterosexual man would be repulsed by this modern-day Venus. Here's an earlier one of her from the MTV days--notice the really sexy horn-rims and curly hair:


She's my physical type down to a T! Quite possibly the sexiest woman who's ever been on television! Where has she been all these years? Why haven't I watched more television? God, I've wasted so much of my life with reading and writing!

Before long, I found I wasn't thinking of the American Revolution anymore. I was thinking only of Kennedy.

Kennedy, Kennedy, sweet, sweet Kennedy! I was determined to find out all I could about her. But first, I needed more pictures. After ascertaining her first name was Lisa, I dug up the following:

And here's a real stunner:

And to those who don't understand my fetish for brunettes in glasses, feast your eyes on this:

Yum! Slurp! Lick! Yum!

Having put the Declaration of Independence far from my mind (like most Americans) I realized the time had now come to move away from physical concerns and find out what I could about Ms. Kennedy's personal history; her likes and dislikes; her personality; where she came from; what she was doing now.

Since she had been a veejay for MTV, I didn't expect to find much that I would like. I hold MTV responsible not only for the ruination of popular music, but also the snuffing out of a flickering hope for a youth subculture guided by intellect and reason instead of shallowness, greed, and predictable leftist politics. Once I could confirm this via her Wikipedia entry, or so I thought, I could then proceed to masturbate to her pictures, divesting myself of her mental image upon orgasm in order to get back to work--which is how all MTV sluts should be treated by any rational libido, regardless of sexy horn-rimmed frames and luscious lips.

But, boy, was I in for a shock!

Here are some things I discovered about Ms. Kennedy.

She's one year older than me. Born in '72. A Nixon baby, just like me. We should have at least a few things in common.

She's an Eastern Orthodox Christian. One of the most cerebral of all the denominations--very sexy!

Her political beliefs are primarily Republican, although she considers herself a "philosophical libertarian" and supports such issues as same-sex marriages. Oh my fucking God! Stop teasing me! I'M a philosophical libertarian with primarily Republican beliefs that supports such issues as same-sex marriages also!

She has taken much criticism from liberals in Hollywood for her political beliefs. Oh, fuck yeah! Hollywood doesn't like her! Mmmm! Yum! Kennedy! Kennedy! Kennedy! Slurp! Drip!

She was voted "Most Hated MTV VJ" in a 1990s Rolling Stone readers poll. Oh, Christ! I think I'm gonna cum! She's hated THAT much by the MTV generation? Yes! Yes!!! Yes!!!!!!


Wait a second. What's this?

She's married to former professional snowboarder Dave Lee and has a daughter named Pele???

You right-wing neocon soccer mom! I hope you get assassinated by the corporate military death machine! Your days are numbered, Zionist pig! Just like BushHitler!

The revolution will not be televised.

Oh, well. I suppose she couldn't wait for me forever. But a snowboarder? What was she thinking? What about the revolution, Kennedy? What about the American Revolution?

The Revolution that will fight against those who have "erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance"?

The Revolution against postmodern bureaucracy, the insipid Nanny State, regulations and more regulations, big government, big taxes, lowered educational standards, and crippling restrictions on the basic freedoms of speech, choice, and thought?

The Revolution that won't be televised on MTV or uploaded in ten-minute chunks on Youtube? The Revolution that will be live?

Oh, Kennedy, though I can't be with you physically, I am with you politically.

Happy Independence Day from the Libertarian Party, honey.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

He Chopped Up the Body

He chopped up the body.

First, he sawed the head from the remainder of the body. Then, in the following sequence, he sawed off the right arm, the right leg, the left leg, and then the left arm, moving cautiously with his bonesaw in a counterclockwise direction until all the limbs had been removed from the torso and carefully laid out in a chain-link circle of toes touching fingers--with the head intersecting the circle in the middle of its diameter.

It was a hypnotic, meditative scene of mortality. Made more so since the body parts, save the torso, were arranged on a quilt featuring a bright fuchsia swastika pattern that he had commissioned from a blind and crippled Estonian merchant of made-to-order bedding. The very man whose limbs, torso, and head these had once been.

He wasn't sure what he was going to do with this project. At this point, it was a rough sketch. He would have been the first to acknowledge that he was still in the experimental stage, moving slowly, but surely; ever confident of his abilities as an artist.

Sometimes, however, artistic inspiration requires a little force, a jarring loose of inhibitions and a freeing of the subconscious. This is what he had hoped to achieve when he first began chopping up the body nearly an hour ago. The overall theme would come to him, he was sure of it, if only he could only stop obsessing about the particulars and serve his artistic muse--whom he called "Nancy".

"What are it all about, Nancy?" he asked the heavens, "Are I creatin' real art or are I just fingerpainting?"

As he surveyed his handiwork, he felt that the composition needed fine tuning. Switching from his bonesaw to his jacknife (which his grandmother had won for him at the county fair twenty-five years ago by sleeping with one of the judges), he set about removing all ten fingers from both hands.

Then, he used the ten crimson-stained digits to create a series of five "V's", or peace signs, with the tips of each pair of fingers spreading outwards and connecting at their bases. After this, he arranged the five "V's" in a line of descending sizes, from larger to smaller, left to right.

First came the traditional peace sign pairing of the index and middle fingers. Following these two pairs, came the single pair of thumbs. Next to the thumbs were the two pairs of ring and pinky fingers. He set the line of "V's" in a horizontal line, spacing them out widely from one end of the circle to the other, with the two thumbs (the only single pair of digits) resting conspicuously underneath the decapitated head where only an hour earlier a neck had once been.

He stood back and, with his own thumb, squinted his left eye and surveyed his canvas.

"Are see what it are!" he exclaimed, "Nancy, are you see it from heaven? It's are about Abu-Ghraib! Are about unjustices! Nancy, are you hear me? Are you see, Nancy? See how I crate art fer ya, Nancy?"

Nancy did not respond. After all, Nancy was not in the heavens. Nancy was in his mind. For an artist, it is often easier to speak to the heavens than to hear one's own mind. Had he bothered taking the time to listen to his head, he might have heard Nancy say the following:

"But what are you going to do with the torso? And what about the genitals? And I like what you did with the fingers, but aren't you going to do anything with the toes?"

He was not thinking about the toes. Or the genitals. Or even the torso. First, he didn't want to cut off the toes, as he had done earlier with the fingers, because feet have always creeped him out--that's why these feet still had their shoes and socks on. As far as genitals were concerned, he didn't know what genitals were--having been raised in a 300 square foot Old Testament in Oklahoma City, Georgia.

And he hadn't even given a thought to the torso from whence the limbs and head had come. To demonstrate this, in his absent-mindedness, he propped the torso up vertically, thinking it a flesh-colored and flesh-textured log-stool. He sat down on what used to be a pair of shoulders capable of authentic human shrugging and lit a Pall Mall. "What are I forgettin' here?" He took a deep and thoughtful drag, "Nancy, ya done abandoned me!"

Suddenly, he heard a twig snap. His heart skipped a beat and he held his breath. Then, he remembered that there were no twigs in this part of the hospital. He relaxed for a bit, until he remembered that he was not in a hospital.

He was in a forest.

"Who goes thar?" he asked.

"Are you chopping up a body?" came a reedy, Irish-accented voice from behind the yoocaliptis trees.

"No," he said, "I's smokin' a cigarette."

"New York State Law says you can't smoke a cigarette where there's youckalyptys trees," returned the voice.

"I'll put it out," he said, using his bonesaw--which doubled as a sound-effect machine that specialized in sound effects of cigarettes being put out--to imitate the sound-effect of a cigarette being put out.

The Irish voice, undaunted, continued, "It still smells like smoke over there."

"That's just innards. Innards always smell like smoke. Them and brains. I ought ta one time write up myself a list of all the times I thought my house was on fire and it were just innards and brains." He gave a fake laugh, hoping what he had just said had sounded natural.

The voice wasn't buying it, though. "I'm coming through the trees now."

"No, daren't do that! It aren't good for it! Im's the innards that are smelling that way!"

The Irish voice came through the trees, but no body came with it--for the Irish voice turned out to be just that: a voice without a body. But it came through the trees anyway, crunching leaves with its word-boots.

Before the nouns and verbs and adjectives and adverbs could reach him, however, he put out his cigarette in the now-unused belly button between his legs and ran off pell-mell in a wild search for Nancy The Muse.

"Nancy! Nancy! Are ya seeing, are ya hearing! That voice are's a-gonna conciskate my art!"

Stay tuned for Part 9.17: GOING THE DISTANCE