Monthly Archives: August 2012

Something About Charlie

This is some dumb thing I wrote awhile back that’s a fictional conversation about a true story. To the best of my knowledge, everything in it is exactly how it might have gone. I remember watching the video of it back in high school, trying to insert blurs over the obscene for the school TV station, and really just laughing my ass off thanks to the ridiculousness of it all. Let me set the mood: two guys are sitting in a dingy diner…

“You remember Charlie, right?”

“Charlie? Um… I don’t think so…”

“Really? I swear to god you’ve met him. I used to live with him back in that house on 8th east. He’s the big guy, the actor.”

“Hmm… I’m not sure. What does he look like?”

“He’s big. Like 6’7” or something. He’s a big big too—he would have made a fantastic linebacker. He kind of looks like Brendan Frasier from…um…”

“Encino Man?”

“Totally! Only more Cro-Magnum.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever met him.”

“Weird. Well, either way, he used to work at a zoo, back when we were 16 or 17. I can’t remember exactly what his job was, but whatever it was, he used to have to go into the primate exhibit all the time.”

“Okay.”

“So, there was this one chimp named Chip who had this crazy crush on Charlie, right?”

“Alright.”

“Well every time Chip saw Charlie, he’d stare at him, like Charlie was the most attractive chimpanzee he’d ever seen or something. The monkey would just sit there and stare, slowly swinging his arm back and forth, swinging faster and faster with building intensity. Next thing you know, he’d pop a boner and start masturbating furiously with his foot. He couldn’t help it—the monkey was simply that turned on. He was bizarrely automatic.”

“Seriously?”

“Come on! I couldn’t make this shit up. He couldn’t help it. He’d just start jerking off uncontrollably, shrieking at the top of his lungs, staring intently, deep into Charlie’s eyes.”

“He’d do this every time he saw Charlie?”

“Every fucking time. I’m talking auto-fucking-matic. Seriously, Charlie could get the monkey to masturbate on command. It was like he was a Shamu trainer or something. Charlie would always get him to do it when there were a bunch of kids on fieldtrips in the room. They’d crowd the glass while Charlie stood behind them, staring at Chip, who’d suddenly see Charlie and start whacking off in a fantastic fury. It was classic.”

“No way…”

“No, seriously! He’d stand there on one leg, masturbating like a slobbering mad man with his foot, just totally going for it. Then he’d hit this point where he couldn’t take it anymore. He’d end up throwing himself across the pit and totally nailing the window, hard. Usually he’d end up sliding 25 feet to the ground, but every now and again he’d manage to catch the ledge. When that happened, he’d just hang there, totally erect, licking his lips and staring at Charlie. The kids loved it.”

“I bet. Is he still there?”

“Oh no, Charlie moved to L.A. a long time ago. He’s out there doing his acting thing.”

“No, I mean the chimp.”

“Ooooh, well, funny you should ask. So Chip had to get checked out by a vet, right? And he was in this room with another chimp, Happy. So they’re sitting there getting their shots or whatever when suddenly Happy went berserker. He grabbed the vet’s arms at his elbows and ripped all the flesh off up to his hands. Apparently they call it ‘gettin’ cuffed’ in the industry.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.”

“And that was Happy?”

“Totally ridiculous.”

“Then what happened?”

“Well, while Happy was attacking the vet, Chip just stood there on a table, clapping his hands and screaming. Then a zoo guard stormed into the room and blew both their brains out. That’s the end of the story. It’s sad, cause Chip wasn’t doing anything—he was just excited. I guess they had to kill them both though, just because you can’t be too safe. Zoos are fucked up places.”

“Crazy.”

“I know… Charlie used to tell me about how Happy had been castrated as an infant and didn’t have any balls, and that Chip had giant balls and it made Happy sad. But I don’t know about all that.”

“Hmm…”

“I know, it’s weird… still… I kind of feel bad for him.”

“For getting shot?”

“No, for Charlie… I mean, well, still to this day, I don’t think anyone’s ever loved him as much as that chimp.”

“That sucks…”

The waitress walked back up to the table, just as detached as before.

“Here’s your eggs, hun.”

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On Writer’s Block: I imagine it’s different for everybody, but at the same time it’s something that everybody goes through. Writer’s block is associated with writing, but only a fool would believe that it’s a writing related thing. Writing is an expression—the block of expression is something felt by anybody who explores is capable of exploring expression, and probably something that hits people who refuse to express. Where it comes from, where it goes, nobody really knows. But it exists as we do, and the block itself says much about who we are.

I haven’t written much lately. I can’t talk. Something’s happened.

Cuba was really intense for me, for so many reasons. I put an unimaginable amount of effort into it, starting in January of 2011 when I first had the inspiration to go there. A whole debacle involving visas and restrictions prevented me from going last year, and to be honest, the only reason I moved to New York involved the disappointment of being barred from that country. Oh, and I guess there was that girl I was (and might still be) running from. That’s beside the point. I worked so hard to get there, didn’t give up, wrote a fucking awesome speech, delivered it, killed it, made an international impression, learned a lot, traveled, the whole nine yards. For lack of a better phrase, I pulled it off.

And then I came back numb.

It’s weird, I can’t wrap my head around it, but for some reason I feel like giving up. Something about watching a country try, actually fucking try, and deal with the shit they have to deal with (thanks to countries like my own) made me feel like anything I can do to change the world is pointless, utterly pointless. Perhaps I’m a failure. I’ve always been very existential, and I recognize that you reap what you sow. But what does that mean? Where does the hopelessness stem from?

After the last time I got back from Paris, I passed out in some girl’s bed, woke up, looked at her golden hair sprawled across a pillow, instantly got a Leonard Cohen song stuck in my head and suddenly recognized I was trapped in a Henry Miller novel. When describing my feelings to a friend, they expressed that I was really stuck in a Mike Abu novel. If that’s the case, I’m stuck in a super fucked up book.

Digressions are the sign of writer’s block. There is no structure, no point, just rambling, word after word for no reason. My life has become an endless series of digressions, and it leads me to wonder if I’m broken for good?

Time will tell I guess. Bear with me. I can’t promise to try at this point, but I’ll try to try.