HOKEY POCUS: I go to Charley Malarkey’s tonight, the shitty/good fusion franchise. To eat dinner, and have some drinks to bring me down from a formidable caffeine high of earlier this day.
So, I take the last open seat at the bar, and this fuck is sitting to my right, in a billowy white dress shirt, talking to this cute black-haired girl.
I, on the other hand, have my notebook, and am reading Paul Verlaine in French.
YURI NULL: you are already in a movie.
HOKEY POCUS: So, this guy is getting drunk, and it becomes clear she’s not his girlfriend, nor his ‘date’, just a girl he ‘met’. And they’re eating, having drinks. And he’s getting drunk on — what? — on multiple Miller Lites. She’s drinking wine. He has a platinum/silver wedding band, and begins talking about his children. Let me also say that this guy was a ‘businessman,’ about our age — as it turns out, 33 — in town from Charleston for his company.
YURI NULL: i dislike him already.
HOKEY POCUS: She = 29. In town from the city. And apparently having to hear about how well this dude’s daughter can count, and how her favorite word is “the.” This is how he’s attempting to woo this woman, who, by the way, despite being a young professional, is clearly all about indie-rock. But, bafflingly still, she’s humoring him, maybe because, “Hey, it’s an evening.” So he continues, going on and on about how his daughter, who’s barely even a toddler, plays fashion-police vs. dad’s more billowy choices. “Look at me, look at my style,” he says. “It’s nothing. Nothing.” But the glimmer of a strategy reveals itself when he suddenly juxtaposes the “effectively over’ness” of his own life with the life of the dinner-companion: “Oh, but look at you — you’re a beautiful girl, whose whole future lies ahead of you…”
The bartender shows up. Jerk says: “I’d like another light beer — and another wine for the lady.” Throughout the evening, going forward, every time he orders drinks, he makes it a point to request “a wine, for the lady.” That said, he’s starting to feel loose, three light beers in, and they’re laughing about this or that and Jerk says, apropos of some multiple-partner-simul-sex topic they were on, how much he would LOVE to get in a foursome with her and her friends. She reminds him he’s married with children and he’s like, “Yeah, you’re right, I should feel lucky with what I have.”
Now, at one point, as I’m continuing to take notes about his line of bullshit, and build a word-portrait from jealous rage, Jerk turns to me and says, “You’re not drawing pictures of me there, are you?”
YURI NULL: no way.
HOKEY POCUS: Thus, the open sesame.
I say, I might as well be.
He says, Draw a portrait of me.
I say, All right, but you’re not going to be happy.
YURI NULL: you should have drawn one like the portrait you did of me. my balls and dong were somehow squeezed between my legs on the backside. it was amazing. i wish you still had it.
HOKEY POCUS: He begins to go off about how big his nose is. But of course it’s a normal nose, and he’s a handsome guy — albeit beginning to bald at the satellite-dish. So at this point, she says, “Oh, I love those notebooks. I have hundreds of them.”
And right as I’m about to reveal the secret compartment in the inside back cover, she’s already raving about the feature. I display it like it’s magic, like I’m Moleskine the Magnificent.
Our quasi-handsome married doof, meanwhile, realizes he’s now in danger of losing the game. So he says, “Draw my portrait — but bear in mind I have such a big nose — and if I like the picture, I’ll buy you a wine. If I don’t — ” “If you don’t?” “I’ll punch you in the face.” “If you punch me in the face, I don’t care, because I hate my life. But I’ll punch you back.” “Fair enough.”
So I draw his portrait. And make no mistake, it’s an accurate rendering. He loves it. And, drunk (on light beers), begins to show it to everyone at the bar, who couldn’t give a FUCK.
And then this guy just goes back to babbling about how great his kids are, and other banalities even more banal than the “understandable-magic” of having children. Then there’s a bit more chit-chat, and at this point, he clearly just wants to take her back to the Hyatt and bang.
YURI NULL: except he ends up weeping over his portrait. which he loves and hates, at the same time.
HOKEY POCUS: So, then, they leave, “Nice to meet you (okay let’s get out of here before he steals you from me)…” And as they’re walking out — she walking behind him — she eyes the book of Verlaine and enigmatically goes:
So I say to myself, All right — this game is on, and Jerk’s not going to beat me at it.
YURI NULL: i’m pissed that he leaves with her. they came together or what? you said they “met” but what really happened?
HOKEY POCUS: They met, that was the truth. And then they left together — Jerk kept buying her wines, while he drank light-beer-pints — and then ushered her out, like “they were now together, having met there and hit it off.”
So, what do I do.
YURI NULL: you take a cab to the hyatt?
HOKEY POCUS: Jerk’s last words before leaving: “Let’s go somewhere else and get a drink.”
I sign off my check.
Jerk, an out-of-towner, doesn’t know the area, yet wants to get a drink? That means they have only one other option, in the vicinity of Charley Malarkey’s — and that option is the bar at Ruby Tuesday’s.
So you know, I think I’m in the mood for a nightcap, and I’ll mosey on over there.
YURI NULL: dude, you could be a professional sleith —
HOKEY POCUS: Dude, I’m ready to ruin Jerk’s night. Without regret.
YURI NULL: “hi, i’m keith the sleith.”
HOKEY POCUS: He’s married, and is using anecdotes about his two children to try to lay an indie-rock girl from Greenpoint or wherever? Fuck him.
He doesn’t deserve it.
I’m going to destroy his night.
So. I go in, walk up to the left of Jerk in Ruby Tuesday’s, and say, “What’s up, dick?”
He’s nonplussed. She’s heartened.
He says to her:
“Just when I think I landed you —–”
I say: “Dude — you have a wedding band, and can’t stop talking about your kids. Wake up.” He says, “Yeah, yeah.” I say: “In fact, I can tell that if you talk about your kids for 20 seconds more, you’re gonna start to tear up.” — I was trying to make him cry with just the power of suggestion.
YURI NULL: holy shit.
HOKEY POCUS: He admits this is true, and how he can start to cry just thinking of them, and says that every morning is “like Christmas morning” when he gets them out of bed.
YURI NULL: you’re kidding!
HOKEY POCUS: I’m not kidding. Whereas for them, waking up every morning to that brute must be like waking up to a nightmare. Anyway, this prick wanted to play hardball, I’ll throw the hardball back in his face. Because I have nothing to lose, whereas he has the wife and kids in Charleston.
Helen — as is the girl’s name — can’t get enough of this. She knows who the victor is.
YURI NULL: this is cinematic.
“my name is hokey, but you, jerk, can call me victor.”
HOKEY POCUS: Cut to one hour of me hitting it off with Helen, and we’re getting on famously and talking about things that Jerk can’t comprehend.
YURI NULL: dude, is he pissed? what is his situation? he’s not irate?
HOKEY POCUS: Jerk says: “I was so close — ” right in front of her. I say: “Deal with it.” And I keep bringing up his wife and kids.
Jerk = handsome, but banal.
YURI NULL: so how does it end?
HOKEY POCUS: So here’s how it ends.
She and I are talking, he wants to go. He says: “Come on, come on.”
YURI NULL: does he go to reach for her hand and you slap it?
HOKEY POCUS: I say, “Look, you can go back with him, and do whatever you want to do, but I’m getting your information, and we’re meeting up again soon.”
There we are, standing there, holding hands. She gives me her info, I give her mine. It’s all very romantic.
And then she says the following:
“Well, he’s kind of a dork — but for tonight… well, I don’t know… he kind of reminds me of Lawrence Ferlinghetti…”
YURI NULL: i took a shit today that made me almost emit a whelp. it was like my anal hymen had been ripped to shreds.
HOKEY POCUS: Those are the craziest. Like Ram-Man is coming out. I’ve had some shits, where I seriously thought my pelvic bones were going to crack.
YURI NULL: that is fucking hilarious. they should have shit-stress balls in the bathroom so you don’t rip your clothes to shreds in the midst of a ram-man-style excretion. like those bits you can chomp on while having a limb removed.
HOKEY POCUS: Dude, always, I ALWAYS think about how if we lived only ten, twelve decades prior, we’d be getting infected, and having to get limbs removed and bite on sticks. Do you know how lucky we are that we’re existing at this point in the course of human evolution — we could have been (and maybe were) born 3000 years ago, 15,000 years ago, maybe 520,000 years ago. But, well, here we are, right now.
YURI NULL: imagine that shit, bro. we are such sissies in this life. imagine before modern-day internationalism and international courts. imagine the tortures that existed for men in the 1300s were they to be caught, in persia, having anal sex with a man, or some caliph’s wife. it’s conceivable that there were men who suffered amazing tortures for a span of years. like, with 12 pound weights dangling from their scrotums. yeeeears.
if i were to re-define my college major… say i went to reed college or some ultra-liberal college… i’d request that i could be a medieval tortures major.
HOKEY POCUS: 12 pound weights, for 12 years.
YURI NULL: “nooooo, please, i beg you… please… i swear… i fucking swear… please… noooooooo…. pleeeeeease…. not the 12 by 12!!!!…”
HOKEY POCUS: This girl’s up my alley.
YURI NULL: who the hell is that sweet lass?
HOKEY POCUS: One of that blonde girl’s friends. She seems like a bit of a dolt, but I’m going to write to her and tell her she’s beautiful, because she is.
YURI NULL: she likes terrible music.
HOKEY POCUS: subject: hi
You’re incredibly beautiful.
YURI NULL: yeah, is that how it happened?
HOKEY POCUS: I don’t think she’ll have a thing to say about that, probably.
YURI NULL: actually, the simpler and more inane you keep it, the more likely a response will be forthcoming.
HOKEY POCUS: Well, I told her she’s beautiful, so maybe she’ll pee herself like a dog. Just as a reflex for whenever her ego is stroked.
YURI NULL: that’s probable.
what do you think about moll boylan? too plain?
HOKEY POCUS: If you like her, who cares. She’s not my type, physiognomically.
YURI NULL: i hear you. she reminds me of my old best friend’s older sister, whose ways i always secretly wanted to know.
HOKEY POCUS: I could do Italy. Go stay at that place in Florence that Mr. Pittsburgh’s aunt owns.
YURI NULL: get the fuck out.
HOKEY POCUS: Apparently she has a place there that is open to visitation at any point.
YURI NULL: that would be awesome.
HOKEY POCUS: I just learned of it a few weeks ago.
YURI NULL: what!? what the fucking flying motherfuck.
HOKEY POCUS: He was so matter-of-fact about it, like, “Oh, YOU KNEW THAT.”
YURI NULL: we should land one big one. and spend four months there. and crank out, in that time, enough intellectual produce to subsist on for eons.
HOKEY POCUS: I asked why the fuck we weren’t going there NOW, and he was like, “Listen, it’s the same shit with you always, you never want to spend money to go anywhere.” I told him it’s different when it’s ‘free’ (sans airfare).
YURI NULL: fuck!!!!
HOKEY POCUS: I know.
YURI NULL: i want to go.
HOKEY POCUS: We should all go.
YURI NULL: i’m not hesitating at all.
HOKEY POCUS: We bring our computers, boom.
YURI NULL: if he said, february’s the month, then that’d be the end of it. i’d just go. whether the business was up and running, thriving or what. i gotta get a scotch.
HOKEY POCUS: Yeah, all you need is to bring your computer.
YURI NULL: for spending money… all we’d have to do is set-up some kind of “writer’s workshop.” or english conversation workshop. and that’s it. just meet italian girls, and make a paltry sum to afford booze and whatever. and work on the other stuff.
HOKEY POCUS: Exactly. Just set up shop at the cafés, work from there, do some hustling.
YURI NULL: the italian hustle.
HOKEY POCUS: Probably get our computers stolen by thieves.
YURI NULL: we’d be the italians stallion, rapscallion and scallion.
HOKEY POCUS: Fabbro and Favreau.
“You girls like apples?”
YURI NULL: “and i ask this question in direct allusion to the question your forebearer eve posed our male grandsire epochs ago.”
HOKEY POCUS: “Gianni — translate that last bit.”
We’ll meet girls with names like Gelsomina, and Sandra.
YURI NULL: and vittoria.
HOKEY POCUS: And Monica — “the tongue taking three steps — the first one, lumpy, the second lightly limber, the third, kind of caterwauley — to arrive… right… about… here. Whassamattawitchoo.”
YURI NULL: i’ve been listening to a lot of david bowie recently.
HOKEY POCUS: I was listening to ‘Diamond Dogs’ some of late. I really only like “Rebel Rebel” and the last two songs on it. Oh, and there’s a demo of “Candidate” tacked on as a bonus track which is amazing, better than the finished version, as I recall…
YURI NULL: i was listening more to the guitar. and diamond dogs has an awesome solo. but it’s not out front. it’s in the back wing.
there is one part on hunky dory that is ridiculously gay: “love frees the mind and makes you freeeeeeeeeee.”
HOKEY POCUS: Which one is that on? “Fill Your Heart”?
YURI NULL: yes.
HOKEY POCUS: I figured a song with that title would be the one that contained it. Can’t remember it off hand.
YURI NULL: i like part of it. but then it gets to that part. it’s all frolicky and jumpy, and then that line. i never could tell if it was in jest —
— or a complete error.
YURI NULL: i did NOT know the difference between serif and sans serif. i didn’t know what it meant.
HOKEY POCUS: You do now, though.
YURI NULL: hell yeah.
HOKEY POCUS: “Fuckin’ learned THAT one the hard way…”
YURI NULL: there’s no success like failure.
HOKEY POCUS: Funny you mention that. Because when you said that that new girl was an artist, it struck me to ask you if she has everything she needs, and if she ever looks back. And then I got sidetracked.
YURI NULL: well, her caption is “whatever gets you through the night.” and she wrote me a question, and i said “it’s alright, it’s alright…” we actually get along pretty fucking well…like, i enjoy talking to her and she’s funny.
and i called her chiaroscuro, right off the bat, because her name was “sunrayshadow”.
HOKEY POCUS: Check out this opening triple-gambit from itsjustcoffee member “SQ3R” —
I Am Here For: Marriage.
Last Great Book I Read: “the silmarillion J.R.R. Tolkien”
Quote: “always gaze fiefdom forward.”
YURI NULL: now, what you can do, is edit a pre-fab email in photoshop and change it so it looks like matt’s font. and have it, say, as an ice-breaker.
HOKEY POCUS: This girl is probably being ironic. She’s too pretty to be serious about marriage and Tolkien.
YURI NULL: show me the goods.
HOKEY POCUS: The profile is totally ironic.
She just got written to. One more failure for the old record books.
YURI NULL: if your tit could stretch 3000 miles, i’d suck on it tonight!
oh, you just sent me a picture of mira mage and zilch ukulele and some dude…
holy shit… that face! let me tell you about that man’s mien on the right.
i walked into the bathroom at some bar… we all went to the high times bar. and i walk in, and there’s no fucking stall-door. and zilch ukulele’s slob boyfriend is sitting there taking a shit, that’s what it was, it all came running back to me when i saw his face in that pic.
HOKEY POCUS: You could practically smell the memory.
YURI NULL: it was making squishy noises. who the fuck takes shits like that at a bar?
HOKEY POCUS: Zilch Ukulele’s boyfriend, and G. G. Allin.
YURI NULL: and then he came out and we saw each other and it was very awkward. hangdog and busted.
HOKEY POCUS: “Any seahorses come out?” People like that can shit anywhere. They think every toilet is a unicorn. No matter how shit-smeared, they approach it like an elegant saddle.
YURI NULL: ahhhhhh, there’s the john! at last, my good friend!
HOKEY POCUS: “Who said chivalry was dead?”
YURI NULL: “hey, guys… watch this wouldjya!”
man, his face sure did trigger that memory.
i don’t think i’d thought of him since the day i met him about three and a half years ago. to be known in somebody’s mind as the guy with his pants around his ankles in the crusty bar bathroom. i once took a shit in some girl’s house at some party in high school because i was fucked up and i HAD to… so i guess i can relate. but it was in her house. but that shit stunk bad. then they called me shitty for about a month.
HOKEY POCUS: Her father probably referred to you as “the stuntman.” “Where’d that stuntman go?”
Evel Knievel’s death might have triggered your image in her pop’s mind’s eye.
“Honey… do you remember that one stunt, back in ’95?” “Whereabouts?” “In our bathroom.” “Oh — that stuntman who was here.” “I believe his name was Yuri Null.”
YURI NULL: where in the hell did you find these stuntman friends, rachael?…
HOKEY POCUS: “Awwww dad.”
YURI NULL: i wish to god i was a stuntman. i’d pull stunts out of my ass every hour.
HOKEY POCUS: Dude, you could be a stuntman.
YURI NULL: i know. career-change at age 30, stuntman legend heard the calling.
HOKEY POCUS: You’d be a good stuntman, too. A fearless devil. “I got no FEAR, I tell ya!” “Yeah, but the question, son, is: Do you got TALENT?” “I got TALENT! AND I got SKILL! SKILL too — and plenny OF it!!!”
YURI NULL: some stooge from itsjustcoffee.com, i called her at her request today. leave a message. she texts me back thirty minutes after the call:
“mexican at 8:30?”
i wrote out a text response, right… but it was too long… and if it goes over the limit, mine doesn’t send two, it sends a blank… so i halt it… in the interim, as i’m writing and halting… she writes back “woops! that wasn’t for you, that was for my friend.”
is this ridiculous?
so i write back “ha!”
then she writes, “but if you want to get together tomorrow night…”
i write: “awwwww-kward.”
HOKEY POCUS: This girl texted me once saying, “Oh, we should totally get together soon.” — I was like, “Okay, right on.” She responded: “Oh, sorry, that was for someone else with your same first name. But we’ll have to hang out at some point.”
YURI NULL: sloppy fucks.
HOKEY POCUS: I’m like a tattered sack of catnip.
YURI NULL: howso?
HOKEY POCUS: Well you know how it goes. You get pawed around, pawed around by their jawing-on — the cliché is “men saying the wrong things at the wrong time,” but I’ll tell you what, those moments come as cloudbursts, get announced as Sturm und Drang after the fact. It’s really the other way around — the steady stream of women saying the wrong things, at-the-all-the-time. At least that’s the cumulative effect.
YURI NULL: they NEVER say the thing a man wants to hear. in fact, i don’t even know what that thing would be, because i’ve never heard it! so how the fuck would i know.
HOKEY POCUS: Yeah, some of us have fragile egos. But that’s because they’ve been smoothed down from the jaw-pawing. I imagine I’d like to hear, once: “I’m going to leave the brute with the money behind — for you.” That’d come across like the sweet croon of Nat King Cole, if you ask me.
YURI NULL: hokey, that would be an excellent scene in a movie. so this guy asks his girl.. just one time.. i’d like to hear you say what i want to hear… and she rips into this velveteen song: “i’m gonna leave the brute with the money…” and for once, at last, the guy is basically enthralled as if on heroin, sinking into a plush sofa. alleviated of woe.
HOKEY POCUS: That would be a happy ending I could sink my teeth into. “I’m gonna write a letter to those producers — they really hit the mainline on this one!”
YURI NULL: “well hot-fucking dawg!”
HOKEY POCUS: If I was a little bit more arrogant, and pretended I had a father who sold art, maybe I’d get somewhere. At least picking up some Tuesday slag at The Room.
I heard a Room opened up out in LA — is that the truth?
YURI NULL: i never heard of it. where is it?
HOKEY POCUS: In NYC, there’s The Room, Another Room, and The Otheroom. I was sitting at one of ’em one night about 3:30 in the morning bludgeoning my sorrows, failed to make an impression on some girl again a couple hours prior, when the bartender started jawing on about how the LA wing just opened the night before, and Woody Harrelson started a fight over a broken glass or something, with the bouncer.
YURI NULL: and what happened? did woody win?
HOKEY POCUS: I don’t remember. It was just a lot of conversational flash.
YURI NULL: i started looking at him differently when i found out his father was a hired assassin.
HOKEY POCUS: What is it with these itsjustcoffee girls all writing, in their little blurb space on the front of their profiles, “Witty Remark” or “insert something witty here.” It’s like, No, you insert it. As it stands, nothing is more offputting than off-the-bat irony. Which is ironic, because it’s showcasing witlessness.
YURI NULL: i know. who did that?
HOKEY POCUS: MyFakeNameIsDjali, and this other girl named Goozamer.
YURI NULL: so wry. i expunged a coffee gal from my myspace friends two days ago. flaire. she was kind of cute, too.
HOKEY POCUS: How’d she bring on the banishment?
YURI NULL: but again, SHE wrote to ME. and then her successive missives became slighter and slighter, until she waited three days, and i said fuck this. plus, i found a girl i kind of get along with. she’s an artist, and an art teacher at a high school, half filipina. i almost went down to santa lisa with her today to go to see that artist friend of hers, but bailed.
but then she wrote something about getting debauched tonight. and i said: “uh oh. wear a condom.” then she wrote “what! inappropriate… although” and i wrote “although…” and she wrote “if you deliver..”
HOKEY POCUS: I think I’m going to change my “interests” on itsjustcoffee to “flying saucers” exclusively.
YURI NULL: flying saucers and sedentary lifestyles
HOKEY POCUS: “Smoking: Yes, but only orally.”
I should set up a profile called “FakeOscarWilde” with that line.
YURI NULL: interests: trojans, lifestyles, french ticklers, handcuffs, lubes, gadgets. occupation: “sex-gadgeteer.”
HOKEY POCUS: That’ll be for “FakeLarryFromThreesCompany.”
HOCUS POKEY: I’m at the coffee shop by my apartment right now, and because I have headphones in, I can’t tell whether or not my laughing at “You know how Robbie Knievel is taking this news. Face down in a gutter.” made me fart out loud. And I laughed out loud again (and, again, can’t tell if I farted during it) thinking about how the giddy teen girls who just ran inside of the establishment to hug their friend-employees might actually not be laughing and acting out of giddy exhibitionist camaraderie, — might, in fact, be crying, and embracing out of mourning for Evel Knievel.
YURI NULL: the farting… that usually happens to me on the elliptical at the gym… see physical exertion often causes gaseous exertion, and i always listen to headphones… i know for damn sure that i once let one rip about two weeks ago when this mildly attractive indian-black girl was exercising next to me… and it smelled terrible… but she was checking me out long and hard yesterday and i thought… that ain’t the look of somebody who was repulsed by somebody farting… i attributed her ability to forgive and forget about flatulence to the more accepting nature of indian fart culture.