It is the end of the year, and this is a blog after all, so here is every book I read this year:
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick Up Artists by Neil Strauss
There Is No Year by Blake Butler
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner
Vox by Nicholson Baker
The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade
Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
Cows by Matthew Stokoe
Ulysses by James Joyce
0.174 The Complete Numbers Cycle by Gordon Massman
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danieleweski
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
High Life by Matthew Stokoe
Story of O by Pauline Reage
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
A/X vol.1 by Various Artists
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen
Herzog by Saul Bellow
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Said he liked the sound of my last name. Asked its etymology. Thought it would look good on a t-shirt.
Working on a personal brand, but wouldn’t divulge its name. His only hint was the name William.
Claimed that if he became a billionaire he still wouldn’t spend money on Prada, Gucci, Louie Vuitton, preferring a unique style over expensive labels.
Nearly puked when I asked him if he thought Fendi made fur coats.
I said I’d buy one if it was covered in red paint. He said I had a hipster style.
Doesn’t get drunk on liquor anymore.
Thought I was being sarcastic when I said Hennessy was too expensive for me.
Dug myself into a deeper hole when I said I only drink Patron when its offered.
He laughed and said he liked meeting people with wacky personalities.
Once our conversation turned personal we were inexplicably surrounded by new, unwelcome faces ready to eavesdrop.
We decided to hold off until Monday.
As I fumbled to put my headset on Aurora introduced herself by passing the moist towelettes and motioning for me to wipe my keyboard. I learned her name when I overheard it included in the greeting: “Hi, this is Aurora, how can I assist you?”
We chatted until the calls from Hurricane Sandy victims interrupted our conversation. Sometimes our callers were heartbroken homeowners, taking off from work to wait in the cold besides their decimated households, only to be stood up by a city hired contractor. I slumped in my chair and passively took their vocal lashings. But Aurora was assertive, professionally apologizing for their inconvenience and offering to reschedule their appointment; not wasting a moment of her time and always able to pick conversation up right where we left off—her son was as white as me.
In between taking calls she spoke of her son’s upcoming Cars themed birthday party, lamenting (with a smile) his perpetual viewing of the film. She considered hosting it at the Chuck E. Cheese’s in Atlantic Terminal, but reconsidered because there was no ball pit. “How can you have a party with no ball pit?”
Her ironic name, two inch plugs, jolly belly and healthy glow should have been indicative to a fetishist of her new pregnancy, which she gladly disclosed.
When Aurora noticed I finished my coffee (caffeine is bad for the baby because its a diuretic and increases heart rate) she offered me a peppermint globe. As I sucked the candy she blew the whistle on the dangerous amounts of mercury in tuna. She refused to sip alcohol to taste, and volunteered answers to questions I hadn’t the chance to ask yet. Native Floridan. Dominican heritage. “I’m not yet twenty.”
She was working twelve hour days in a call center and putting the money towards her son’s second birthday party.
I was working nine hour days so I could afford weekends of LSD and vodka.