Toronto’s PRIDE 2017 celebrated diversity and inclusion. Yet some people—even some gay men—still think that’s a shame.
Men, men, men! Not a flicker of humor in a back room full of us! Forever shooting our wads, then rolling away from the damp spot and falling asleep; forever forgetting that ejaculation is for Christmas, but a snuggle is for life.
I’ve come fresh from Pink News online, the British gay rag that’s the equivalent of Canada’s Xtra (but with better fashion and that string of pearls that you didn’t buy at Winners, but inherited from Great-Aunt Prunella) where the headline read—and you may want to sit down for this bit, lest you collapse onto your vitrine filled with Lalique crystal—
Men tell homophobic jokes because of their own fragile masculinity, study finds.
Well, slice me to ribbons under the Queen streetcar! That gem ranks as news right up there with “Sun Rises in East” and “Dog Bites Intruder, Then Pees on Carpet”.
Personally, I’m gobsmacked.
So imagine our surprise when a whole Ford F-150-full of fragile masculine egos came out to defend themselves against the “feminists” who designed and conducted the study.
(Feminist in this context fulfills the same function as Nazi does elsewhere, describing as it does not an actual specimen of the genre but a scarecrow, only dressed up in dungarees and a tool belt instead of black leather and jackboots; and instead of translating as “someone I disapprove of on principle”, it reads, “women I’m extra scared of”.)
Take a gander, or maybe a gender, at this response:
The folks who are most threatened and defensive are the writers and editors at PN who relentlessly push effeminacy and gender deviance whilst denigrating traditional masculinity and manhood. It’s almost as if they know that they are failures as men and want to use sexual orientation as an excuse. But decades of studies have shown that effeminacy manifests only in a minority of gay and bi men. So sexual orientation is no excuse for their personal failure to function as men.
And here’s my response to that :
“Gender deviance”? Holy Krafft-Ebing,
where’s my laudanum? I may have an attack of the vapours!
I did live in Britain for 16 years and I read Pink News all the time. But that was pre-Internet, so perhaps their relentless pushing of effeminacy was less effective; I’m pretty sure I have at least half a testicle lying around somewhere.
A man is a man is a man, to rewrite Gertrude Stein; if you got the right bits and feel comfortable with them, that’s all it takes. If you don’t feel comfortable with them, that’s called “gender dysphoria” according to the bible of psychiatric diagnosis, the DSM-5, and the word dysphoria in the new edition refers to the anxiety caused by SOCIETAL pressures and the prejudice coming from those who do not accept “deviance” – and what an extraordinarily, umm, nostalgic word choice, by the way.
Nostalgic, or bathetic to the point of laughter, conjuring up as it does the kind of sleazy soft porn novels my dad would have read in the ’50s: “They’re wild! They’re dangerous! They’re: DEVIANT DAUGHTERS!”
But back to your ridiculousness: Men learn how to be men; it’s not innate and it’s not written somewhere in a manual. We learn from fathers, mentors, leaders, heroes (and sometimes the wrong heroes: the most superficially impressive instead of the wisest).
The problem is evident: We men more often than not learn from walking, talking, blustering, posturing models of manhood who have mastered nothing but bravado. We think they’re the reference, but in fact they’ve had a few of the most important pages ripped out.
It’s as though we’re seated at a formal dinner and, at a loss, look to the distinguished older guy on our right; then, following his brave example, we mix our petits pois with the mashed potatoes, then shovel them in with the grapefruit spoon.
To call a man a failure because he does not fulfill your checklist of “real manhood” tells us perhaps a bit more than you would have us know. That checklist is nothing other than plain old garden-variety homophobia — dressed up in its “Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells” best, maybe, but homophobia all the same.
Normal is the average of deviance — Rita Mae Brown
In fact, what you have angrily and perversely crossed off your list is exactly what a man needs: everything you label “effeminate”. But a tablespoon, or more, of “effeminacy” does a man good. Women, you might have noticed, have a refining effect on men; or perhaps their presence helps men lower their guard and discover their own sensitivity, intuition, esthetic sense, all those things we’re taught to push aside by other men who are afraid and unsure of themselves.
So, put a little more mascara on, sweetie. Slip into your silk peignoir and take a night off. I hereby relieve you of what must be a thankless, lonely burden: of being the self-appointed arbiter of what’s butch. Us real men will decide that for ourselves.
Real men are works in progress, and we haven’t explored even the first ten percent of what we might become.
HAPPY PRIDE ~
Dedicated to every drag queen in
plexiglass pumps who ever threw shade;
every Quentin Crisp who “didn’t know how to
be any other way”; and
to the little boy who chose the Kewpie Doll
as his prize at the fair—me.
non si ferma mai !!** as we dance the tarantella down Tomato-Sauce Lane into my roach-infested yet homey Toronto kitchen. The occasion: The very first episode of my putative new series! Whatever “putative” means!
how to make sauce from a pan you used several days ago and didn’t wash
the never-before-revealed experts’ secrets for correctly pricking your meat
why you should never grab a metal spoon you’ve left in the sauce for an hour
and so much more!
As a special bonus, you’ll get to roll your eyes as I miss the crucial plating moment and end up with mis-synch’d audio and video tracks.
Not forgetting that I held the fucking camera the wrong way. Nothing says “I want to be a feature film maker but can’t even handle my smartphone” like eight minutes of footage in PORTRAIT MODE!!
Anything to make you feel more competent, baby! Buon appetito!
**Il divertimento non si ferma mai: “The fun never stops”, but translated by Google, so it might very well actually mean “Traffic will be diverted from May 1st”. Ask a native speaker if it means so much to you.
* Malocchio: Old Italian nonna [grandma, but with all the Anglo niceness and sweetness removed and replaced with pure malice and possibly a moustache] dressed head to toe in black, jabbing her fingers at you so that you get the evil eye [mal + occhio]. Your testicles will immediately shrivel up with fear and you will regret every sin you ever committed that an old Italian nonna in black might have not wanted to see, but did.
Soon thereafter you will die under the merciless Sicilian sun beside a withered cypress tree, with crows flying overhead, and the nonna and her old Italian nonna friends (amici) will be wailing with wordless ancient sorrow over your mutilated corpse, even though they are the ones who did the mutilating.
Kind of thing.
Not to be confused with “Pinocchio”, a wooden puppet who comes to life under the bed around three AM and grows a long, phallic nose. So if you don’t die of fright, you might actually have a pretty good time. There is no good time with Malocchio. OK?
Plate: as a verb, to put the food, e.g. squalid sausages or whatever, on an actual plate before sitting at a table to eat, rather than just scooping it up in your hands and eating it like that while hoping that nothing will drip on the sofa, or sometimes not even realizing that a sofa should not have food dripped on it because you’ve been on the street so long. It depends.
Lips and Assholes: The content of cheap sausages; sometimes used erroneously to describe the videographer making and narrating a short movie. [q.v. coming out of the bathhouse all sketchy at 9AM and asking a random stranger on the street, “Does my face smell like ass?”]
you, seem stuck on the extremely random idea that the reason I have no money is that I don’t have a job.
This is the kind of low-life, white trash, neo-liberal cant I’m forced to deal with these days.
The mouth-breathers who spout this kind of nonsense, when not being Heimlich’d after inhaling Cracker-Jack toys or having spittle wiped off their chins by a member of the Victorian Order of Nurses, are so hyper-retarded that, come election time in the fifty-third state, they’ll be holding hands and scampering down the oil-slicked beaches, dodging the spire of the CN Tower, and do-si-do-ing around the tar-dipped walrus carcasses—all the while illuminated by the occasional incendiary pelican or flaming gannet—before barging right into the pale-skinned-and-rich-people-only polling station to register their TrumpVote® for the fifth time.
And there He’ll be, all monkey glands and Teflon sinews, hand on His mechanical Frankenstein heart, facing all the wrong directions and warbling “Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon”, which He has announced via Twitter will be the new ‘Murican national anthem.
And who would notice? Exactly.
Anyway. Being poor is something that just befell me, swooshing down like the petrified trunk of a giant sequoia released from its crane to pound my cranium to blini-like thinness. My poverty is only too obviously the result of a sensitivity to gluten. Or gender dysphoria.
I’d have included PTSD, before all those spots were taken by millennials who’d just discovered the existence of another person.
I haven’t been eating my acai berries all that regularly either, mainly because I have no idea how to pronounce them, which is why I kind of preferred pomegranate week. But really, what could be a more likely culprit than gluten. Whatever gluten is!
Mostly we don’t know, but are ecstatic to have something, anything, around whose doorway we can trail the withered vine of our failings, psychological, physical and even moral. (Whatever moral is!) If we had known about gluten at the dawn of civilization, what feats might we have achieved, what disasters averted!
Imagine: If Genghis Khan and Alexander and General MacArthur and a few of the testier popes, and maybe their wives and kids, or even Charles Manson, could have chilled out, dude, on some kasha, maybe, or hungry-man portions of teff pudding served in elephant-tusk bowls, I sense that history would be different—possibly with a few million more people around, and none of them screaming.
But, alas. From village oven to Wonderbread factory, slathered with yak butter or smeared with Nutella—which, like Heinz Ketchup, has a shelf-life apparently designed to survive interplanetary travel—we’ve stuffed our maws with the staff of life only now to discover, too late, that we’ve been falling, not flying.
And I think what most of us regret, considering all our gluten-dogged efforts have been futile on this Airbus to Doom, is setting our alarm clocks earlier so we could get up and “change the world” or even just “be more productive.” That’s certainly two hours I’ll never get back!
Anyway. So here I am, trapped in this severely gluten-sensitive poverty cycle—and you’re damn right I’m wanting just a wee bit of sympathy—a cycle which gives me WAAAAY too much time to think about if I’m the right gender, though I must admit I do keep asking myself: the right gender for what?
And the bloating! Oi ve voy! My distended belly has to be seen to be believed, unless it’s not actually coeliac disease at all, but phantom pregnancy.
Whoa! Gender dysphoria suddenly at peak levels!
With the “no-job” myth debunked, I find my brain cells pumped and the veins in my temples throbbing fit to bust as I tackle other, more mysterious problems, like: Who are these vaguely familiar people in my house? They keep saying “roomie”, though for a while I thought they were saying “Rooney” and was faint with hope that someone would maybe sing the descant part to “That’s Entertainment!”
On that strictly empirical basis, then: A roomie is the person who barges in, eats all your food and then disappears, leaving you with a pile of dirty dishes, high blood pressure, sand on the bathroom floor, broken glass in the hallway, and an eviction hearing, ’cause they hope you’ll forget about the rent while re-applying your BandAid.
Roomie is qualitatively different from fake-friend, cause a fake-friend slips through the doorway but never barges in, and never leaves; a fake-friend will forget to give you a birthday present and never just “give you the money instead”.
Like a church roof that shines bright copper once its oxidised patina of green is stripped away, I can occasionally break through my thin coating of despair with a gleaming ray of hope. Is amnesia all it takes?
Then I would encourage both of you, roomie and fake-friend, to work yourselves up to forgetting where I live, and after even a single day of blessed silence and solitude, I and the black-suited minions at the Assisted Suicide Council will be happy to send you a medal.
— but, let’s be honest, you’d never read it otherwise.
Would you, my collective Virginia?
There’s nothing worse for an artist stroke writer stroke lazy buttwad than labouring like ten toked-up Tolstoys over something vaguely humorous, in order to distract himself from that Mrs. Danvers voice in his head urging “Jump, little unnamed protagonist, jump! It would be so easy!”, then realizing that his feckless followers will take one look and say,
—or something equally supportive.
What’s wrong with you guys? Am I not paying you enough?
Today started with me posting on Facebook about how I was going to go great guns on my marketing (a.k.a. forcing you to buy stuff from me that you don’t want, I did a course).
But then a page called Weird History caught my infinitely distractible eye, and a post “revealing” that cowboys in the old days of the Wild West used to rely on the culinary, and, ahem, other, favors of their fellow cowdudes when there were no gun-totin’ mamas around to, as it were, cook their breakfast.
Well, run me down with an army tank!
Cue the snarky, unnecessary comments from a couple of str8-tards (“is this trying to prove this is normal, not insane”) and naturally something about “extreme liberals”—because there’s a Venn diagram overlap between the “str8-tard” and the “conserva-tard” wedges, and those slack-jawed Dorito-munchers will cram the Ugly Sisters cookie-foot of their bigotry into any old cowboy boot they can find, glass slipper be damned.
Also spotted in the thread were the usual tired insults aimed at those who apparently qualify for the labels “femo”, “Nazi” (in its str8-tard sense of “someone who I dislike on principle”), “Lesbo” and “Bumfucker”, with “transgenders” thrown in as a free gift, as if to make it absolutely clear that these guys have been clicking the maybe later option on their own firmware updates since around Grade 9.
So there’s an hour gone already as I address each objection point by point with my gobsmacking, conversation-stopping rebuttal. That would have been fine until—
—my computer turns itself off without warning, with a moist, mucus-membrane-y sound halfway between “snicker” and “poot”. Do computers even have mucus?
Reboot. Poot-snicker. Reboot again. Mrs. Danvers. Now the desktop icons are “large” rather than “medium”, they’re on the other screen, including one for a program I don’t recognize, and the desktop background has changed.
WhatEVERRRR! Marketing, marketing!
But first, Gmail! I’m chuffed as all get-out to find I’ve received a response from my City Councillor to an email I sent decrying the high cost of Internet and cell phone service, and under their complimentary close that all but explicitly states, “Thanks for the laugh, go fuck yourself”, is an invitation to check out whether I would need to register as a lobbyist.
Would I like to check this out? I totally think I would!
Now comes a merry ninety minutes as I ponder the minutiae of Toronto’s Lobbying By-law and legal definitions of conflict of interest, real or apparently real, including a wonderfully sleazy tale of the late Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, being wined, dined and tennis-matched by the president of the company that owns their family business.
This was the Mayor, you understand. Marketing, marketing!
But first, flog my shit! Two P.M. by that point. Galloping madly off in all directions, it’s to “letgo” I go to sell my air conditioner to help pay the rent. But every time I complete a description so painstakingly enticing it would have you eating the eco-friendly coolant of my 8,000 BTU portable unit for your tea-time walnut cake—my arthritic old-guy fingers missing only every other letter and frantically jabbing at the wrong spell check suggestions as I type, because some vegan millennial developer has mandated, as a passive-aggressive attack on actual adults, that this all must be done entirely on my phone—the whole description disappears and is rendered as “gray portable air conditioner description suggested by app translation by Google” while I tear out my nose, ear and armpit hair with frustration, until—
—the computer turns itself off without warning. Mrs. Danvers Poot-Snicker. Reboot. But first—! Do I want my hamburger medium or well-done? Is it time to make some mayonnaise from scratch? Oh, yes. Totally.
Which brings me to you, and a gentle nudge with my toe. Pssst. Come to, my little sycophants or I’ll have to nibble on your earlobes. Herewith some insight into the behind-the-scenes mechanism that keeps this blog—afloat? Well. They say that some people always see a life-raft half empty.
Can you believe the amount of validation I need? Seriously. But I can’t find my internal locus of control. Or the remote for the TV.
There are certain conventions
I follow on this site, and I flatter myself that you might like to know about them. Play along—you have no idea how needy I can get.
I’d put you on salary to wake up every morning and click my “Like” buttons if I could afford to.
I use a lot of special characters, especially the “M-dash” (—), curly quotes (“ ”) and my favorite, the right guillemet (») which I use to set off a link, now that it’s no longer those heady “I just coded my first web page by hand in only two and half months and filled it with animated GIFs of PAC-MAN” days, when the geeks waged war on the creatives and mandated that all links for ever and all time would be underlined in bright blue when unvisited, but dime-store-lipstick red when active. So I’m scared you might not notice them.
I also spend a lot of time memorizing the Unicode key combinations for these special characters, which I realize is about as impressive as the check-out millennial at Loblaws knowing the product code for broccoli.
Links to external sites:
All external links open in a new window. Always. So get over your “pop-ups thing”. This is no longer those heady etc. etc. (see “I use a lot of special characters”, above).
I’m not necessarily endorsing the content of any external site. Go there at your own risk. But I usually approve of the content I’ve linked to, because why would I publicize it otherwise? You know something, I just thought of that.
My writing is covered by a Creative Commons “Pass off this work as your own and say goodbye to answering your front door after 5 P.M.” license.
I even took a lot of the photographs, but not all of them. The ones I didn’t take myself I stole from the Internet. Honestly. Do I look like I have access to Melania Trump? I try to keep my weight down, but I’m still too big and unimportant to hide in a fake Egyptian urn and just jump up with a Nikon and a speedlight and snap her before she’s had a chance to Photoshop her face.
If I’ve stolen your image and you’re not suitably grateful for the extra notice it’s getting you, but instead are feeling all resentful and antsy about it, send me an email and I’ll apologize to you and take it down. I really will. But trust me when I tell you that I’ll roll my eyes and sigh when I do it, which anyway you won’t see.
Privacy and use of personal information:
Really? You spend your days off in a negligée doing “exotic dancing” on Chaturbate and you’re worried I might find out your address? Never fear. Bro’s gotta stick together, Yo!
You probably have to give an email address when you comment so I know you’re not a bot. As if I care! Which reminds me, I’m still trying to fool Margaret Atwood into lending me her celebrated remote-signature machine, which I will then use to sign her name to abusive comments about Alice Munro before posting them to the Times Literary Supplement. Let “The Divine Feud, Canadian style” begin!
If you purchase any of my heart-stoppingly beautiful merch, the whole shebang will be handled either by PayPal or Shopify, both of whom use the latest 4K-Ultimocryptothon technology to make sure your pre-paid gift card from Shopper’s Drug Mart is safe.
I never have access at any time to the personal information you provide during the purchase process.
Note to George Clooney: You gave up your right to privacy when you stole my heart, baby—
instructively contrary twenty-four hours and damn it, I mean to share.
I’ve bashed my erstwhile Monday Man-Crush, The-Person-Called-Trudeau (I didn’t mean it, baby, it must have been the string beans, honest!) in broad daylight on The Guardian’s website (on the other hand you never picked up your cell, and you dance like a str8-tard, nyah!); and now, in response to » a deliciously spiteful article on Medium, I’ve stood up for The Great Mannequin, Her Royal Trophy-ness, The Missus Melania—and may every Progressive worthy of the name heave great gobbing globules of spittle on me should I dare show my face in public again.
And how much, I ask myself, do I really care? And do I agree with myself? Politics is so confusing.
down to my toes and up to my increasingly wrinkled brow, see a — critique? Article? such as this one — searching for the right word here. What do they call it when someone is denounced from a pulpit? Anathema.
Anyway, when I see an, err, anathema, I have a strategy. First, I read it through, even though I may have to prop open my eyelids like they do to Malcolm McDowell as the protagonist in “A Clockwork Orange”. I find cocktail toothpicks work well for this.
It’s not that I’m bored. Far from it. In fact, in the case of this particular anathema, from the first sighting of the words “gets what she deserves” I’m filled with revulsion. Now, as a writer and an artist, I know that revulsion is often a good sign, a sign that the work has had a profound effect on me. I mean, I didn’t set out to read anything with the word “Trump” in it expecting a day in the country and a hamper from Holt Renfrew, you hear what I’m saying?
Second, and I know you’re all following along here, I put on my conservatard-proof full-body nuclear jumpsuit, ready for the onslaught of “you liberals” and “nothing better to do” and “nyah nyah you lost we won” off-the-rack progressive-bashing, which involves little imagination but a lot of spraying saliva. Check.
And third, I attempt to fashion a reasoned response, because though I don’t agree with a lot of what you say — and maybe even you don’t agree with a lot of what you say — I am darned determined to back you up as much as I can, as though we were a divorcing couple who hold hands in public but fight at home with the curtains closed.
So honey, now that the curtains are closed — I understand your righteous indignation, and I’m all for it, but let’s talk. Let’s leave “she’s costing the taxpayer money”, because that’s just silly. Anyone in the role of FLOTUS is costing the taxpayer money, vapid or not. And it’s interesting to speculate on the hand-brushing-away thing, but neither you nor I nor anyone has the slightest clue what that is about, not really. You are reading into that gesture a confirmation of a story you have built up about Melania.
Melania Trump made choices that many women might have made had they had the opportunity, and I don’t particularly see anything vile or even surprising about them. She had, as far as I’ve read, a successful career, she married a wealthy man and took every advantage of that—and what would the rest of us do, eat Pot Noodles and shop at the Sally Ann?— and now, (here’s my story) to her astonishment, and possibly horror, she’s married to the President, with every eye upon her. She may be unfit, she may take a deep breath and rise to the occasion. I suspect the latter.
No, let’s be honest, I hope for the latter. I want women to be strong and successful and rise to the occasion; I’m just a sucker for hope, that way.
But in no way, no way, is she responsible for her husband’s performance or his policies. No way is she responsible for his crass behavior or his beliefs, assuming he actually has some. No way does her position as first spouse necessarily mean that she supports him.
What am I saying, ultimately? Resist the urge to blanket condemn anything that Trump touches, including his wife. It’s not a black and white issue, your words, not mine; but your insistence on having Melania play the role of “evil consort” leaves no room for nuance, and nuance, god help us, is what we crave more than ever.
Have some empathy for someone caught up in a role they never anticipated, have some faith. And never, never put your sister down.
But not so far back that you fall out of the chair onto that straggly-looking cyclamen your grandkids brought you six months ago and that you keep “forgetting” to water, and have to lie there helpless on those freezing-cold tiles for eight hours with your day-time-casual hospital gown all hiked up around your waist as you watch the cleaning staff come in, point at you and laugh.
You know, like last time. Just a little bit far back, OK?
Now look into my eyes and hear my voice. Feel the soft—honestly rather pervily-sensual— squish of your filled-to-the-brim adult diaper. Oopsies! Press the big red button to call for help from the nursing station—except they’ve all gone to smoke crack in the utility closet, and you know, can I just say, honestly. This is how socialism always ends up.
Or is it capitalism, I always get them confused.
‘Cause no matter if they’re gussied up like Chairman Mao and eating monkey brains with chopsticks—or stuffed into a three-piece suit from Brooks Brothers and scarfing duck confit at Per Se—
—no matter whether those rulers you never voted for are crushing protesters in Tiananmen Square with army tanks—or driving stretch Hummers through Times Square as they toss Planet Earth out the windows like so much used kleenex—
—It’s thevery same one percent.
The very same one percent with the very same hairy forearms shoved up the servants’ entrances of the very same bent over, wide-opened ninety-nine percent, just exactly the way it’s been since time immemorial—and pardon my cliché, but I haven’t had my coffee yet.
Well, then. Let’s set that aside for the moment and just listen to my voice. OK?
Life is good, here at the Sunset Lodge. Oh yes. You’ve made a lot of friends.
People you only ever read about until now! You’ve met Napoleon, that li’l ol’ freckle-faced rascal! Oh, and Liz Taylor stopped by. Always flogging that cheap cologne! Well, it keeps the flies off, you told her with a saucy wink, then you cackled with laughter!
Dear Liz, absolutely love the child to bits, what a poppet, but she is not known for her self-deprecating sense of humor.
You’ve met Bernie Sanders! Yes siree, our very own trouble-haired Nutty Professor himself, and you’ve stolen his Birkenstocks, because—
Just because. Tee hee.
But though life is generally good, one or two details could use some improvement. Like those hot roast beef sandwiches. Gravy???!!! Seriously??! They call it curry, or dipping sauce, or sports drink, but it’s all the same brown, viscous glop.
You’d ring up The Toronto Star about it, but your arms are still a bit stiff from “exercise time”, and since when does exercise always involve a 200-lb filipina-lesbian nursing assistant and a leather strap?
But hey! Let’s just wrap that up in the Pepto-Bismol-pink cloud of love and send it to live the rest of its natural life with Jesus. Or Mohammed, or whoever. Just fucking try to listen the fuck to my voice or I’ll really give you something to fucking cry about!! OK?!?
Now that you’re in a state of full relaxation, here’s what I want you to do. I want you—or your Power of Attorney, I couldn’t give a fuck which one of you—to open your wallet and take out your credit card. That’s it, hold it lightly between your thumb and index finger. And you know what’s coming next, don’t you?
I want you to BUY MY PRODUCTS.
OH, YES. BUY. MY. PRODUCTS.
And whether you’re chasing some extra sympathy by dribbling saliva down your chin, or just hangin’ with your homies while finger-painting with the yolks of your soft-boiled eggs, these witty, wearable Gandhi T-shirts—in baby-bottom-soft cotton—are designed to look great AND start conversations that don’t begin with,”You naughty boy, look what you’ve done!”, just like it was before you threw in the towel and began faking urinary incontinence! Good times, pops. Good times…
These heart-stoppingly beautiful tees with my original “quotes” and design are totally up-snappable @ $25 CAD. Don’t you think Dad would love one of these <hint hint…> ?
move in your girlfriend
fight with your girlfriend
move in your new girlfriend
have a party
have a rowdy party
have a party that makes the neighbours call the cops
have a party with your new new girlfriend and your old girlfriend
sleep all day and party all night
party all day and sleep all night
party in any way shape or form
have a party anyway cause after all you pay rent
NO you can’t
park your bicycle on your bed
start a stolen-bicycle version of ZIP cars
ride your stolen bicycle naked down the common hallway (my neighbours are sticklers for originality)
have a party with
your old girlfriends their friends
their friends’ friends your two new girlfriends their friends
their friends’ friends PLUS
that really cool guy you met while cutting the U-lock off a bicycle
NO you can’t
make three-month oatmeal-and-cockroach-ragoût in my mother’s Rosenthal fruit bowl
see the sunshine with the curtains closed
be invisible with the curtains open
see reality with your eyes closed
convincingly pretend to listen
NO you can’t use
my computer chair
my computer while kneeling since the chair “broke”
my new computer, acquired since the old one “broke”
my army boots
my pornhub account
my spray cleaner which would make you
break your sacred vows
NO you can’t use
my new phone, acquired since the old one “broke”
my one remaining army boot (the left one, if you’re keeping track)
my crème brûlée torch
(to clean up the caramel latte you didn’t pay for, then
spilled all over the keyboard
of my new computer, acquired since the old one “broke”)
my wifi, since they cut me off for the overage incurred
when you downloaded two hundred movies
using my pornhub account
while kneeling, cause you broke the chair,
in front of my new computer,
acquired since the old one “broke”
Where are my fucking keys??!!
NO you can’t have
a complete pair of socks
two matching gloves
special wire cutters
a screwdriver with all the bits
four pounds of no-name peanut butter
my new scissors
a monkey wrench
my new new scissors, since the old ones “broke”
a taser disguised as pepper spray for grizzly bears
my passport, since gone missing
my password for my Windows account
my passport, since returned to me
by the Queens Park detachment
of the OPP
the rest of my cigarettes
my new password for my new Windows account
my new new new scissors
my credit card which you didn’t realize was pre-paid HA !
Where’s my fucking lighter??!
NO I can’t lend you
any fucking amount of dollars
my new new new new phone
a quarter, a dime, a nickel
or a penny, now deprecated, unless you can find some under the chair cushions
that pair of panties which, trust me, were never mine in the first place
that hoodie discarded by a 10-year-old midget
my Zippo that’s stopped working since I lent it to you
some fuel for the non-working Zippo I lent you
some fuel that no one can find
some weed that you’ll pay back sometime
my ATM card cause there’s
no money left after
all the money
I lent you
Where’s my fucking phone??!
NO I can’t make you
a fake police badge
an improved fake police badge
a twelfth iteration of the
fake police badge with the
font a TINY bit bigger and
more to the left
a battery label for the fake battery to store the weed I lent you
that you’ll pay back sometime
a peanut butter sandwich ’cause you already ate
the four pounds
of no-name peanut butter
any kind of sandwich
until I take
eight hours to make
more bread to replace the two loaves slathered with no-name peanut butter which you ate in
a glass of ice water with fraises-de-bois-congenital-deformity
a glass of ice water that tastes like ice water because
you didn’t refill
the ice cube trays
NO I can’t make you
wash your dishes
change the toilet roll
buy some actual food
excavate your room since simple cleaning will no longer suffice
take out the garbage cause it probably doesn’t appear to you as garbage
NO I can’t make you
move out your new new new new girlfriend, acquired since the old ones “broke”