It Hardly Matters

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Nerve

I've been trying, people! Internet dating. It's, um, interesting. After each hope-crushing encounter at a swanky martini bar or divey pool hall (depending on our online personaes' proclivities, conveniently located under "Interests"), I've tried to take away some kind of lesson, an insight, a tidbit of advice for the male crop. Here they are, one for each first and last date.

1. Sit up straight.
Doing so demonstrates several things, the most important of which is that you do in fact own and use your spine. It's also polite. Talking about Jonathan Franzen to your bald spot as you recline into the seams of a musty couch, feet propped on the arm of an adjacent chair, is inappropriate for a first date. This kind of display makes me want to smack you. No date two.

2. Turn off your laptop.
Don't get me wrong, I love computers. I'm typing on one right now! If you must take your laptop with you on a first date because you're a colossal (but possibly endearing) nerd, keep it in your Manhattan Portage tote and just sit there and wait for your date. Don't worry, it's not cheating if there's no physical contact. And if you continue typing code for 15 minutes after your date has arrived, you won't have to worry about that.

3. Say something.
Looking contemplative when dining alone or riding the subway is a totally acceptable (necessary, even) practice. But thinking really hard for 45 of the 60 minutes of a first date is not going to get you laid, brother.

3. Say something nice.
I don't care that you hate fiction because "ultimately, it's not true." I don't care that you hate San Francisco, where I once lived. In fact, I'm mildly offended by these statements. What's next, do you hate my mom? Not that I'm all puppies and rainbows, but Jesus.

4. Shut up.
Keep in mind that I already know that I like olives and read the New Yorker. Don't recite my profile back to me. It's bad enough that I have a profile, so reminding me of it puts me in a bad mood. Also, lengthy theories about why you support the gentrification of the Lower East Side and stories about your horrible relationships with your ex-girlfriend, your father, your former roommates, your boss, and/or your dog, do not make for light and witty first-date banter.

6. Wear something flattering.
I'm putting on eyeliner and shit. The least you could do is break out your best sneaks and a sweater that doesn't make you look like Grimace.

I keep telling myself that this dating nonsense makes for good material. One can only hope.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Favorite Wiking

B sent this to me today:

And he dared me to post it. Nyah nyah.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Off Stride and Full Moons

I'm out of it. Rabid astrological forces or some angry gods have me between their teeth, and they're shaking. I'm battered and bewildered. I can't make sense of anything. I can't get any work done. I only want to be sleeping or drunk. And I don't know why.

Maybe it was the Halloween that passed by with no demarcation, unusual for me. Maybe it was the flu that chewed me up and spit me out in a wad of Kleenex. Maybe it was the bad $17 udon soup or the nine episodes of Forensic Files I ingested. Maybe it was writing about love.

What I do know is that, by Monday, I have to read 100 poems, by the greatest hitmakers of poetry, starting with Bill Shakespeare and ending with Bill Knott. I'm up to Sylvia, wonderful Sylvia. My thoughts are fragmenting into poetry bits.

Up the untended stairs,
prepared for darkness,
but it's light, and warm
for mid-November.

Through a minefield
of turds and trash,
city birds banshees in the trees,
I limp toward home, nothing but work waiting for me.

Sorry for that; Sylvia I'm not. But when poetry happens, caesuras and enjambment and end-stops demand attention. It's just not up to me.

I wish I were in better form because this, above all, is a commemorative post. A year ago today I typed ithardlymatters and pressed "Publish Post." I've said it before, and I'm saying it now: thank you, Massey, for making me do this. It changed my life.

And another thank you, to everyone, for reading. It means everything.