It's supposed to reach 180 degrees here today, okay 105, and this is hot, very very hot, even for Washington. We went out to smoke a cigarette a couple of minutes ago and it lit itself. What with the humidity it's supposed to feel like 120 degrees, so only a fool would wander outdoors. Ourselves, we would only venture outdside for one reason: one, a reunion of the Doobie Brothers. We're talking the Doobies of "What a Fool Believes," the Michael McDonald Doobies. For them we would enter the firestorm of Dresden that passes for an atmosphere here. And just so we could shout, "Get rid of Michael McDonald! We want the real Doobies! The "China Grove" Doobies!" We would probably die from heat stroke, but it would be worth it. And the irony is we don't really much like the original Doobie Brothers either, and if they showed up we'd probably shout, "We want Michael McDonald! We want the real Doobies! The "Takin' It to the Streets" Doobies!" Because the fact is we're irrationally obsessed with the Doobie Brothers, probably as a result of the heat, which is responsible for this post, which says nothing and goes nowhere, and is by far the best post we've ever written about the Doobie Brothers, who have a book written about them which we own. It sucks. Seriously. There's nothing more loathsome than a hagiography of the odious.
The pool boy found an artificial leg at the bottom of the swimming pool. None of the guests came forward to claim it. It was a bona fide mystery. He collected it, put it in the caretaker's cabana, and thought no more about it until the next morning, when he found an artificial arm at the bottom of the pool. Once again, no one came forward to claim it. Nor he did see any armless, legless guests around the pool.
The pool boy, a born reader of mystery novels, attempted to puzzle out these strange developments. He talked to the concierge, asked him whether any of the hotel's guests were suddenly missing limbs, and received an answer in the negative. So he went back to skimming leaves only to discover, the next morning, a toupee floating on the pool's surface. At first he thought it was a dead animal, but no, it was a hairpiece.
He naturally began to assume that somebody was fucking with him, and it made him mad. He went back to the concierge to ask if there were any suddenly bald guests wandering around. No, said the concierge, the haired were still haired, the legged were still legged, and the armed were still armed.
The next morning he discovered a naked blond floating face down on the surface of the swimming pool. The police were summoned, the body was removed, and the pool boy wondered whether he should explain to the police his previous days' discoveries, or whether they would tell him there was no connection and to get lost. He finally decided to keep the fact of the leg, arm and toupee to himself, and went back to his job.
The next morning he discovered the body of the armless, legless, bald man in the swimming pool, and once again the police were called. This time he produced his previous discoveries, and the police berated him for not having turned them over the previous day.
The police discovered no connection between the blond and the legless, armless, bald man. But the pool boy thought the two cases were related, he was certain of it, and when he found an artificial foot at the bottom of the pool the next morning he knew that the deaths would continue, and that sooner or later he would get to the bottom of it.
Somebody talk us out of it, quick. Our reasons, we admit, are impure. Our friend David lives above a yoga place and everytime we pass by it on our way up the steps this beautiful girl who works there gives us what we call a "significant smile," by which we mean it seems personally (rather than inpersonally) directed at us and hints at an attraction that is more than that of stranger toward stranger. True, it could be a mere yoga lure smile, intended to sucker us into paying good money to assume the downward dog position. But the smile (her smile) seems to lack the mercenary aspect, so if it is a lure it's one of the best we've ever seen. Anyway, we're tempted to join just to talk to her, rather than to limber up or liberate our chakras or improve our posture or whatever it is yoga is supposed to do. Maybe next week we'll stop by and talk to her about beginner's classes, and attempt to gauge her interest in us personally. Which would probably be a mistake, because she has red hair and is probably crazy. Just like us, for considering taking yoga classes to begin with.
Not writing isn't easy. We don't know how anybody does--er, doesn't--do it. Most people never write anything, and we can't tell you how jealous that makes us. Especially since we've been denied the simple pleasures that make most people happy. Take riding a bike. We can do it, within reason, but we can't do it with frills. Like last night we decided to look cool by smoking and riding our bike at the same time and the next thing we knew we were lying in some bushes, abraded at various points of our body. We have never been able to do two things at once, and there are plenty of things we can hardly do by their lonesome. We used to know a guy who smoked and masturbated at the same time. We'd never be able to pull (pun not intended) that one off.
The minute our tooth pain ceased another tooth started to ache, so we're back where we started. It never ends. You hit our age, and the pharmacy becomes your best friend. We practically live in the place, looking at painkillers and filling prescriptions, which at last count we have eight.
One complaint we want to register with the world is against Motrin 800s, which you need a prescription to buy and which are supposed to work for 8 hours or so but only work for 3. We'd be better off taking 10 Advil, which is what we were doing before the failed Motrins came into our life.
Next week we're headed for Nags Head, North Carolina with Mrs. UF and a couple of friends, and hopefully the sun, fun, foam and freedom will liberate us from the miasma of dour agitation that has been following us around for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to blog from down there, because we hear it rains a lot and we're likely to find ourselves with time on our hands. One thing we hope to do: swim and smoke at the same time!
For somebody who used to pour hot wax down his pants on stage, we're a real pain wimp. Where other people demand aspirin, we demand morphine. Some pain, of course, is extended over days; other kinds of pain are over in an instant. Just now we scorched our thumb trying to light a cigarette. The thumb is fine now, but when we were barbecuing it, it hurt like hell. The most exquisite instant of pain we ever experienced was when we were in the hospital after our automobile accident with Bill Harrison. They'd inserted a nasogastric tube, and we were too fucked up to think about how they got them back out. We found out. The doctor approached us, said, "Let me look at that tube for a moment," and gave a great yank. About three feet of tube came sailing up our insides and out of our nose. Good thing we were on high amounts of demerol at the time. We were so stunned it took us a good minute to say, "Ouch, that hurt." The doctor smiled and held the tube in front of us. "And that's that," he said.
It's been days since we've written! Bloody days! And we're going crazy! Most of it we blame on a tooth we had extracted, which was followed by a painful case of dry socket, so that all we've been able to think about is taking the pain medication as prescribed rather than as we'd prefer, which is the whole bottle at once.
Because pain medication is there to be abused, that's why the doctors give it to you to abuse it, to take six every two hours when you're supposed to take one every four hours. And we have to go to the dentist every day practically for them to lay some medicated gauze in the socket where our tooth used to be, and it burns, it burns!
We think we're beginning to hallucinate from taking our pain medication as prescribed. This morning we heard a woman ask the woman working at a hot dog stand for "two raw half smokes," which half smokes are like hot dogs only bigger and spicier. Could she really have wanted them raw? Who knows? There are strange people in this world, very strange people. We should have waited for the woman who wanted the raw half smokes to leave and then asked the woman at the hot dog stand if that was indeed what she'd ordered. But we're not thinking straight. We're wandering around like a lonely cloud that can't think straight. And we're taking six advil at a time, six, or was it seven, all we know is we gobbled down a handful of advil this morning and they only helped for about two hours, so much for over the counter pain relievers.
And at 2:00 we have to go back yet again to the dentist for some medicated gauze, and we're good and sick of it. They're good and sick of us too, we can tell. "Oh, it's you again" they say when we walk through the office door.
Anyway we're forcing ourselves to write this just to be writing something, anything. We live to write and write to live, and this silence is driving us mad.
I can't remember the last time I went to the dry cleaners. I let my shirts clean themselves. They'll do it, with the proper encouragement. I see people going in and out of dry cleaners and I think "You've got to talk to your shirts, not put them in the hands of rank strangers." I don't want people I don't know handling my things. This is why I don't go to prostitutes. Have I mentioned that I am extremely ugly? I have a nose that makes Pete Townsend's nose look like a button nose, I have male pattern baldness that I attempt to disquise with an inept combover, and my eyes are too widely set on my face. I see somebody else with dry cleaning walk by. What a racket! I should open a dry cleaners, only I'm not Korean. The Koreans get all the breaks in this town, you'd better believe it. If you're not Korean, you're nobody. I hate it when I finish a cigarette. It's hard to say goodbye to such a small pleasure that didn't satisfy. It's a hard thing to admit but I don't have the intelligence to properly prosper, hence mediocrity is my lot in life. People say that TV has changed, that it's for smart people now. How I miss it.
I am an ugly man. By which I mean I have an ugly spirit. I have prejudices. Two men walk by, one of them pushing a baby carriage. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is they're both wearing fedoras. Don't they realize it's a one fedora per couple world? I follow their passage with sheer disgust. They look like fools. And I have zero tolerance for fools. "One fedora per couple!" I cry, too late. They don't even turn around. Some people are victims of stark insensibility. Why do pigeons have red feet? Whose idea was that? They drive me nuts, those red feet. Yoga: What a disgrace. Women who wear flowers in their hair are generally hiding a great secret. Falling in love is the best way to discover that you're a fickle person, that your heart is a duplicitous instrument. Bicyclists who ride around in full Tour de France regalia should be lynched.
We basically curse God, rend our garments, and find a dung heap to sit on and brood. We're convinced we'll never write again, and with much gnashing of teeth we try to think of how we'll spend the rest of our life. Nothing comes to mind. Because for us it's writing or nothing. We cannot not write, so when we find ourselves temporarily stymied it's as if the world has come to an end. Arthur Rimbaud solved the problem by moving to Abyssinia and becoming a gun runner, and possibly even a slaver. He lived in an extinct volcano and suffered horribly in the heat. This is not for us. We are not cut out for extinct volcano living, and the idea of running guns sounds dangerous. So we have to wait it out, which there are few things we're worse at than waiting. Yesterday we had a tooth extracted, and the wait (it must have been a half hour) in the little room they sat us in was almost unbearable. All kinds of thoughts came to our mind. We looked around for a tank of nitrous oxide, thinking that would help us pass the time. And it would have. But there was no nitrous available, and nothing to look at but the diplomas of the doctor on the walls. He sure had a lot of diplomas. We're pretty sure they were all bogus. Because when this guy appeared with his pair of pliers in his hairy hand he was like "Novacaine! Novacaine is for pussies. Let's do this the old fashioned way!" Okay, so that never happened. Actually he was quite good. He had that tooth out of our mouth in about 30 seconds. Needless to say, we couldn't write for the rest of the day, so jittery were we from the whole hellish experience. And last night we woke up in intense pain and had trouble falling back asleep, so today looks like a washout too. But you never know. Rimbaud recommended that a poet undergo a derangement of all the senses, and while a slight case of fatigue probably wasn't what he was talking about, it's the best we can do.