March 31, 2011
It’s better to get a little bit of pleasure than no pleasure at all. And that is why I masturbate.
March 23, 2011
From The Tokyo-Montana Express by Richard Brautigan
…what is missing here is much more important than what follows because what is absent is the ending of a Japanese erotic movie called Castle of the Snow Bride. It was a fantastically sensual film. After watching just a few scenes I had an erection that was like that of a teenage boy. It was hot and unstable, shimmering like heat in the desert.
The actresses in the movie were the ultimate in beauty, grace and pleasure. They were doing things that became gradually more and more complicated and more and more imaginative.
The pressure of my erection had reached the point of almost throwing me backwards, right out of my seat into the lap of the person sitting behind me.
My body was dizzy with sex like a maelstrom in a tropical sea and my mind came and went like the continuous slamming of a hot door.
The movie progressed deeper and deeper into more complicated and phantasmagorical sex, travelling toward the most sensual experience I had ever seen or imagined. It was going to make all my previous sexual experience seem as if I had spent my life working as a bookkeeper for a small brick and mousetrap company in a town so bleak and boring that it didn’t even have a name. The people who lived there had kept putting off naming the town for over a hundred years.
“We’ll have to name this town next year,” was the way they kept handling it and that’s exactly how my sex life would compare to the way the movie was going to end.
There were nine minutes left before the picture ended. I remembered that from the program in the box office window. The movie was going to end at 7:09 and the clock on the theater wall said 7:00. In less than ten minutes my sex life was going to be totally obsolete, a thing of the past.
The female erotic goings on in front of me were now starting to turn the seats in the theater into steam. It was an interesting experience and pleasurable feeling my seat being vaporized by sensuality.
Then something happened that caused me to get up and go out into the lobby. It was an errand of incredible importance. It had to be done. It could not be avoided. There things got kind of complicated because they are not clear.
I may have gotten up to get a drink of cold pop because I thought I had enough time to buy one and get back into the theater before the final sexual scene or it may have been something different that drew me out of the theater.
Perhaps I had to go to the toilet or maybe I had to give somebody a very important letter and we had agreed to meet in the lobby of the theater and I had no idea when the movie started that it was going to reveal the most fantastic sexual scene of all time.
Anyway, I did what I was supposed to do in the lobby, whatever that was, and rushed back into the theater to see the curtain close on the end of the movie that was a long shot of a castle at sunset with crows circling it.
The lights went on for the intermission and the theater was filled with unconscious men. Some of them were lying in the aisles. All the men had expressions of bliss on their faces as if the Angel of Pleasure had touched them while I was doing whatever I was doing.
It was the last showing of the movie that night, but fortunately the film would be shown for one more day. I went home in a state of frustrated hell on earth. The night passed like ice-cold water dripping a drop at a time on a burning erection that lasted all through my sleep, trapping me in a state of considerable pain.
The program said that the firsdt showing of Castle of the Snow Bride was at 12:01 p.m. The morning passed like a monkey trying to dance in a block of ice.
When I went to the theater at a quarter of twelve, it had disappeared. There was no trace of it. In its place was a small park with children playing and old people sitting on benches reading.
I tried to ask people about the theater but nobody spoke English. When I finally found somebody who could speak English, he told me apologetically that he was just a tourist from Osaka, visiting Tokyo for the first time and he knew nothing about the theater, but the park was beautiful. He liked the way it looked because it had so many trees.
Later I met some people who had a good knowledge of Japanese movies. I asked them about Castle of the Snow Bride. They had never heard of it and was I certain that was the right title?
Yes, I was certain. There could only be one Castle of the Snow Bride. They were sorry that they could not help me. So there you have it: Everything is here except that which is missing.
Transcribers note: Thank you Mr. Brautigan.
From Three Word Phrase, a gorgeous gift of a webcomic. Regifted.
July 16, 2010
In ninth grade, while on a 12-hour bus trip to San Antonio for Marching Band Regionals, I wrote the following pornographic story. Having discovered it in my parents’ house last weekend, it seems like a natural follow-up—perhaps the only possible follow-up—to Netherlands. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. Because I still can’t bring myself to read it:
June 11, 2010
The time has come. Four years, five days, and one World Cup ago, my two best friends and I embarked on a month-long, teeth-peelingly paced tour of Europe, a journey that would change my life and fortify our friendship with the copper-tinged armor of eternity. The next four weeks will therefore be dedicated to every anecdote, artifact, and heinous endeavor collected on that excursion overseas, in hope that these things, these important things, remain safely in the preservative guts of the internet.
We start at the beginning.
The three of us are in the Philadelphia airport, having flown in two hours early for a two-hour delay before our nine-hour flight to Dublin. We have a lot of time to kill, and so we dedicate that time to sweet-talking the Gate Attendant into making sure that our seats are together on the plane. For the next three hours the Gate Attendant chatters with the keyboard—taking us off the plane, struggling to get us back on the plane, getting us on the plane but without our bags, losing my reservation entirely, pulling us all off of the plane again—until boarding is about to begin and we’re stuck without seats on this flight. Although the Gate Attendant is getting more and more frustrated, the three of us keep calm—Europe will be there when we get there. With only five minutes left before board time, the Gate Attendant calls us to the front desk. “Listen,” she says, “You guys have been great, and it appears that we have three openings available in First Class. Now, you won’t be sitting together, but I’d like to offer that upgrade to you if you want it.” In a whirlwind of ecstasy, the three of us run to the bathroom to change shirts (button-up only in First Class, we’re told), zip to the Duty Free to buy a pack of fancy cookies for the Gate Attendant, and hop on the plane. Right into International First Class.
I am in the middle two seats of the first row of eighteen oversized reclining chairs, decked out with a personal TV, a cup of warm nuts, and a pair of fresh socks made especially for my first-class footsies. My friends are sitting two rows behind me, their faces neon signs spelling HAPPINESS. I burrow into the blubber of my chair and wait for the engines to scream.
By the time the final passengers are boarding the plane, every seat in First Class is filled except the one immediately next to mine. My heart starts beating. What if I have an entire island of First Class amenities all to myself? No silly small talk! No stranger snoring! Two cups of nuts! The fantasy begins to set seed in my brain, and then she walks in.
The very last person to board is a a woman who looks so much like Mrs. Doubtfire that I quickly check for a bulge just to make sure. There is no bulge. The woman stands in the aisle and let’s her gaze drift from her ticket to her chair and back again, eyes growing wider and wider behind her half-moon spectacles until finally she locks eyes with me and exclaims in an accent thicker than Guinness, “Saints preserve us, I think I won the lotto!” I check again. Definitely no bulge. I mumble an anti-Robin-Williams hex, regardless. One can never be too careful.
The woman takes her seat beside me and quickly introduces herself as Kabir O’Daya, a Dublin native returning from seeing her sister in Philadelphia, a trip that marked her second journey ever across the Atlantic. She tells me that nearly forty years have passed since the last (and only other) time she flew, and so seating and appearances have changed so drastically she didn’t even realize that she had boarded the airplane. I explain to her that while it may look that way, the rest of the airplane is not First Class, and after I describe what First Class meant and how we got there, she locks her thumb around mine in a sort of Celtic handshake and says, “Saints be praised! We did win the lotto!”
O’Daya is about seventy years old with a grandmother’s exoskeleton and a nose like a fig. Her accent is a finely toothed comb run through a crimson beard, and as I pluck the twisted whiskers of her syllables from my in-flight meal I learn that she has lived in the same house her entire life, stuck there once she became responsible for her father and two younger sisters after her mother passed away while O’Daya was only a teenager. She had never been married. She had never had a boyfriend. And she wouldn’t have changed a thing. The dessert menu (did I mention we were in First Class?) is written in both Celtic and English, and so she reads to me in the language of her ancestors, and in exchange I pick out a dessert for us to share. When the chocolate mousse and raspberries arrive (First. Class.), O’Daya elbows me sharply in the side and says in a comically overdone aside, “Would you get a load of this? Do the people in back know they’re spoiling us like this? Saints preserve us!” She tells me that in Ireland our reality would be described by the phrase “You’re in your Granny’s,” an old saying implying that one is in their Granny’s best wishes. “It’s like when you’re a kid at an ice cream shop,” O’Daya combs, “the man might give you one or two scoops extra, just for being in your Granny’s.” In your Granny’s. Two hours in, and the best souvenir of the trip is already mine.
O’Daya and I talk for a bit longer, and then it’s time I get some sleep. “Do you plan on sleeping, Kabir?” I ask her. “Ah, no child, I can’t sleep on these airplanes. But you go right ahead and rest.” And then she adds one of the top four nicest things that has ever been said to me: “Ben, if I ever had a grandson, I hope that he would be like you.” I fall asleep flying.
I wake up five hours later to a plane full of sunshine, windows full of Ireland, and a seventy-year-old Irish woman sawing logs right beside me. O’Daya wakes up shortly after I do, and when I ask her how she slept she scoffs and responds, “Oh, Ben, I didn’t sleep a wink!” I am in love with this woman in the worst possible way. As the plane lands O’Daya asks if I’ve ever had a pint of Guinness, and, being underage in America with a knowledge of alcohol that started and stopped with cheap beer and worse vodka, I tell her no. “Well, we can’t have that, can we?” O’Daya shouts and hands me a twenty. “Sorry, American’s all I’ve got for the time, but you should have no trouble using it. Now, go out and buy you and your pals your first round on Kabir O’Daya!”
I didn’t. Instead I gave that honor to some drunken strangers at a pub crawl, and held onto that bill like an autographed photo of my first love over fifty. Until Amsterdam.
June 1, 2010
Picked up the latest issue of the Sauk County Big Cheese last week and got a face-full of this inky gem, resting quietly on the inside back cover like a peacock covered in tar:
Now, in case you missed it, here. This is everything I love about Wisconsin, on one page of print. And with pictures.