A Lamprey with a Gavel


I had to turn away from the television during his testimony. I just couldn’t look at his garbage mouth any longer.

I got through hers. I rooted for her because I related to her being terrified, her asking politely for caffeine, and going all nerd under stress. Thank the baby jeebus nothing in her account triggered me too badly. I’ve never encountered physical sexual abuse. I have been “persuaded” into providing unenthusiastic consent on numerous occasions, some much worse than others. Example: here’s a special place in hell for the woman in college who asked “You do like girls, don’t you?” as a negotiating tactic. But nothing physical. I’m lucky. I’m a pretty big guy. As my grandpa would say, “Strong like bull; dumb like ox.” I can look real mean, like I’m about to go berserker, and I have a very low center of gravity.

But the Brett Kavanaughs of my life did physically abuse me. Sometimes it was fists. Once it was milk crate. Or it could be having to run until I felt like my heart would burst. Or it was the constant stress of never knowing where the next attack would come from.

And when the bullies cornered me —and they always eventually did —all I could focus on would be their mouths. I couldn’t look at their eyes because that would only enrage them. I would focus on the mouth because it was always pointed in my direction. And the mouths were always moving. I would fixate on those mouths until my entire field of vision was some twirling psychedelic bully-mouth kaleidoscope. Whatever crap they were spewing pulsated into almost-music. Sometimes it would seem like the bully’s toadies were dancing like go-go toadies to the almost-music of his hate. It’s easier to take the blows if you imagine they’re dancing.

If you turn away from the mouth, you start to react. People don’t like it when you react to bullies. How people react to you reacting is worse than whatever you’re dissociating away from at the present time. So you stare at the mouth.

Sometimes it seems like their teeth have come detached from their jaw and are just swimming around in pink spit.

All bullies have the same mouth. When that much anger, illogic, and saliva get forced thru a small opening, the force of the hate begins to change their faces. The mouths cease being human. They become mere conduits for an ugliness so old, so gross that you’d have to go really far back in time for an analog, to some back channel of the evolutionary tree. Continue reading


Did I ever tell you about that time I got punched in the face at a Lemonheads concert?

Last evening my friend Mo Daviau, Girl Novelist extraordinaire, posted her feelings about a Spotify playlist called “Epic Indie of the ‘90s.” or something like that. Apparently, she hates The Lemonheads. She calls them the “most boring band” of the 90s, which she is free to do. I slammed Neutral Milk Hotel when I shared a post from Clickhole the other week, and we’re still friends. I hope.

Two things immediately sprung into my mind after reading her post:

ONE… Their version of “Mrs. Robinson” is easily in my Top 100 songs of all time. Whenever I get a chance to DJ, I throw it in. It is what one calls a “floorpacker.” Yes, I hang out with people who feel it’s appropriate to dance to The Lemonheads.

TWO… I got punched in the face at a Lemonheads concert back in ‘92. Continue reading

Friday Night with my TV friends

It’s cold. It’s rainy. I have not been invited out into the night. I am alone. It could be 2014.

I settle into a night of Benson, Bosom Buddies, and Dallas. It’s 1981. I will not be watching Falcon Crest because of their refusal to feature actual birds –Lorezo Lamas’ hair doesn’t count no matter how majestic it may be. Also, I find things go easier if I force myself not to look at shirtless guys.

Mr. Lamas as "Lance Cumson"

Mr. Lamas as “Lance Cumson”

Besides, my main job this evening isn’t TV. I need to listen for the sounds of an imminent TPing –mass movement of any kind. This is Muirfield, nothing moves after dusk because there are no streetlights, no sidewalks, and everything is painted brown. I am alone. Mom and Dad are out with other executive couples. The men talk business; the women, my mom’s cancer.

Continue reading