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An Irregular Column
for MRR #292
by Mykel Board
"Nothing exists between the penis and mathematics. Nothing at all! It's a vacuum.” --Celine
I feel the soft gluteals rest on my cheeks. My head lifts. My nose presses against the cleft.
“Rim me! Rim me!” comes the voice somewhere above me.
“What do you think I'm doing?” I think, but-- due to other lingual duties-- can't say.
I lick downward. Blinded by the anal flesh, I use my tongue as my only sense organ-- like a snake. I lick forward, following the cleft path to the tight brown sphincter. Here it is.
I press up with my chin, thrusting my tongue as far out of my mouth as I can. Frantically, I pump myself with my free hand. The other hand I use to open the folds to reach deeper into my goal.
Ah, my tongue is an anal dildo. I press onwards, upwards. Suddenly taste mingles with texture.
“Fhus ashel shasts hais haik fhit!” I shout through the flesh.
“What?” comes the voice from above. “I can't hear you... But don't stop! This is great!”
“FHUS ASHEL SHASTS HAIS HAIK FHIT!” I shout. “HAT CHU HEEN EAFIN?”
“I still can't hear you,” comes the voice. I feel a wiggle above me as the sit bones press deeper into my face.
I turn my head, breaking the contact. It's the only way to make myself understood.
“YOUR ASSHOLE TASTES LIKE SHIT!” I yell. “WHAT'VE YOU BEEN EATING?”
SCENE SHIFT: I'm in Australia-- Melbourne... where my last column left off... a little after. I perform at Exile on Smith Street. The bar managed by my host, Rich. I'm a flop.
I read after a PUNKROCK TRIVIA contest hosted by a light-skinned, but Negroid Egyptian punkrocker. A funny guy, with a mile a minute patter. He claims The Bangles were racist.
“If they wrote a song, Walk Like A Negro or Walk Like A Jew, they wouldn't last a minute. But Egyptians are okay targets. Egyptians walk funny, huh?” Funny guy.
He hands out sheets of GUESS THE BAND paper with funny pictures on them. One of them is a nailed-up Christ with an iguana head instead of the usual bearded/crown of thorns image.
“JESUS LIZARD!” I shout.
“Shhh,” he says. “This is a contest.”
I go for a drink.
At the bar, Rich introduces me to a sexy young woman who dresses pure 1950s. I forget her name, but since she reminds me of Betty Paige, I'll call her Betty.
“Mykel,” says Rich, “this is Betty. You met her on Couch Surfing. Remember?”
I don't, but hoping for a little crotch surfing, I lie.
“Sure. How's it going?” I say, grabbing her hand, shaking what feels like a dead iguana.
She pulls her lips back in a smile-by-the-numbers smile, more forced than Chinese labor.
Later, I look for her when I read the dirty parts of my books, but I can't see her. After the reading, a couple people applaud politely. Then the Egyptian returns with more trivia.
I keep drinking. I don't make any money that night, but the beer's free.
Later, back in Rich's apartment: We do what drunk guys do the world over. Discuss the meaning of life.
“There's got to be some underlying principle,” I tell him. “One criterion where you know if something is right or wrong. Good or bad. In physics, scientists look for a unifying theory. The one principle that will put all of Newton, Einstein and George Lucas into a neat little package. Like a math equation.”
“That's science,” says Rich. “Why does life have to be like science? Besides, even if they find the one special principle, it won't change our lives. You know what I mean?”
“A basic principle of right and wrong will change our lives,” I say. “It will make it possible-- and easy-- to judge what to do any time. It will tell us: yeah, this is the right thing. And that isn't.”
“So what's your principle?” he asks.
“I'm not sure,” I say. “I used to think that freedom was the answer. Anything that made you freer was good. Anything that made you less free was bad. But I've changed my mind.”
“Sounds okay to me,” he says. “freedom is a pretty good thing. If something makes you free it's good. If it doesn't, it isn't.”
“I'm not so sure any more,” I say. “Freedom is the ability to do what you want. Conservatives twist the meaning. They spout offal like with freedom comes responsibility or even, like over the entrance to Auschwitz, Work Makes You Free. That's bullshit.”
“If that's bullshit,” he says, “then freedom is just chaos.”
“Bingo!” I say. “Freedom lets you do what you want. When you want. Period. That's it. Working for someone isn't freedom. Jails are not freedom. Drivers' licenses... licenses of any kind... aren't freedom. GG Allin was the freest person I've ever met. Had absolutely no restraints... except the big one. He kicked the bucket at 33.”
“So we should have a world full of GG Allins?” he asks.
“That's the point,” I yell, struggling to my feet, holding the wall for support. “Society couldn't function if there were 7 billion GG Allins. That's why freedom is not the answer. Freedom needs to be blocked, reigned in. For individuals that should be minimal, but it still has to be.”
I gesture with a raised finger, stabbing the space above my head.
“If we live free, we die!” I intone before slumping to the couch.
“The freedom to swing my fist needs to end at the tip of your nose,” he quotes.
“Yep, I say. “The point is that the freedom ends. It has to end. Otherwise we can't survive.”
“If freedom isn't the basis of morality,” says Rich, “what is?”
“That,” I tell him, “is the big question.”
Then I run into the bathroom and throw up in his toilet.
I stay with Rich for the next couple of days. I do a reading at Missing Link Records, a great local records shop.
I'm setting up, checking the microphone, displaying my product, the usual. This guy in his late 20s bursts into the store. His shirt is soaked with sweat as if he's been running. He's a few inches taller than me, and much beefier. In his hand is something yellow.
“Are you Mykel Board?” he asks.
I check to make sure he's not packing heat, then nod.
“Look at this!” He shows me what's in his hand. A 7-inch record, released more than 25 years ago in a limited edition of 1000. The Only Record in The World, my first project for public consumption. Out of print. Unavailable. And here it is in Melbourne fuckin' Australia.
“Where'd you get that?” I say.
He just smiles.
“Could you sign this?” he says. “Autograph it to the only fan in the world.”
Yowsah! That makes my day!
“Did you get that when it came out?” I ask. “You must've been 5 years old.”
“I cannot tell a lie,” he says. “I bought it on eBay.”
BOING!!! An inspiration. Maybe TRUTH-- not freedom-- is the key to morality. Telling lies is bad. Telling the truth is good. Yeah!
I sell a bunch of stuff at (and to) Missing Link. Then I go back to Rich's place. It's fixed up. Boxes of dialysis equipment out of the living room. Underwear off the floor. Dishes washed and put away.
That can mean only one thing: NOOKIE ON THE WAY.
“Look Mykel,” says Rich. “There's this girl that's gonna be in town tonight. I don't know if I'll be lucky or not. You know what I mean? If her life is going well, she stays in town. But if she's having trouble with her boyfriend, she stays with me. Ya know what I mean?”
“Sure,” I tell him, wondering if he cleans his blood with the kidney machine plugged into his belly while this naked girl lies on the bed next to him, giving him a blowjob. Yowsah! I wanna see that movie.
“Anyway,” he continues, “that girl Betty will let you stay with her for a night. I hope you don't mind. You understand.”
“Of course,” I tell him. “Respect the nook. I always do.”
“Thanks,” he says.
Rich tells me a taxi will arrive in ten minutes. The taxi will take me to Betty's place. She'll be waiting. She'll jump in the cab, go off to Rich's bar and pay for the cab ride.
“Should I just go to sleep on the couch?” I ask.
“Make yourself at home,” he says. “Who knows where you'll end up.”
“Okay,” I say.
“Yowsah!” I think.
I check the condoms in my wallet, take a copy of my CD and each of my books and head downstairs. Sure enough, a cab comes in half an hour. That's 10 minutes Australia time.
I arrive at Betty's address. No Betty. She's supposed to grab the cab and head off to the bar. She's supposed to pay the driver. No she.
I pay the driver and ring the doorbell. Then again.
In awhile I hear footsteps. Here's Betty. Looking hotter than I remember. I smile at her and shake my shoulders in the most masculinely sensual way I know how.
“I gotta run,” she says. “I moved a mattress into the back room where you're gonna sleep. It should be peaceful in there. Here's a key. I hope I can find a taxi. They're tough to get this time of night.”
And she's off.
I've got nothing to do for the rest of the night. I walk around. Before long, I wander into a bar a block down from Betty's empty apartment. I order a Melbourne beer and sit listening to a conversation at the bar.
A woman about my age is talking with the bartender. Tall, blonde, with cheeks and tits just starting to lose the battle with gravity. She's saying what a tough day she's had. One of her clients insulted an aborigine.
“It was awful,” she says. “He asked if it was true that aborigines have larger genitalia. Right in the middle of the meeting he asks this?”
“What was the answer?” I break in. “Sorry. My name's Mykel.”
“I'm Marilyn,” she says, “and that's not funny. The poor guy has ass-burger syndrome.”
“Ass-burger?” I say. “Are you serious? Ass-burger? I had an ass-burger in New York. Just before I left for Australia. I almost threw up.”
“Not Ass-burger, Mykel,” she says. “Asperger. A-s-p-e-r-g-e-r. It's this kind of mental disease. One of the conditions is that people with Asperger's Syndrome always tell the truth. They can't read body language or empathize with other people's feelings. They just say what they think.”
“Sounds punkrock,” I tell her.
“Not quite,” she continues. “People with Asperger's Syndrome always correct others. If they see an error, they just say, YOU'RE WRONG! It doesn't matter if it's Dad, the teacher or the boss. It doesn't matter where or what the circumstances are.”
“It IS punkrock,” I say.
“No Mykel,” she says. “It's autism. Everything is literal. The truth isn't tempered by reality. The classic example is
a girl with Asperger's who answers the telephone. Someone asks her, 'Is your father there?' Although her father is in the house, he's not in the room with her. The girl looks around. Then she simply says 'no' and hangs up. The person on the other end has to call back and explain that he wants her to find her father and get him to pick up the telephone.”
“So the truth is a disease?” I ask.
“It can be,” says Marilyn. “For Asperger's people it's a disability they have to overcome.”
Uh oh, TRUTH is not the answer either. It can even be a disease. Truth sometimes hurts people. You're ugly. Your band sucks. You're not getting laid tonight. And now I learn that chronic truth-telling is a syndrome!
There's got to be something that is the basis of morality. Something that decides good and evil.
Now, back in New York, writing this column, I consider LIFE. Can we say that something that preserves life is good and something that destroys life is bad? Maybe, if we don't want to fall into the vegan trap, we can say human life. Pollution, work, murder are bad. Doctoring, UNICEFing, protecting others is good. How 'bout that as a guiding principle?
I've written before about my pal Karen Spaink. She's a Dutch goddess who has muscular dystrophy (or is it cerebral palsy-- I get 'em confused... maybe it's multiple sclerosis. That's what Wikipedia says.) She's been instrumental in getting the Dutch government to change its policy on assisted suicide.
“When I can't help pissing in my pants, why should I hang around?” she asks. “Suicide is DIY: nobody else can do it for you, nobody else can decide for you.”
With more smarts than my cheeks after an S&M session, Karen explains that if you believe a mother should have the freedom to abort, then you need to believe that people should have the freedom to commit suicide. It's the same right to control your own body.
Having already decided that freedom is not the most important life principle, the freedom argument doesn't wash. But my experience seeing drooling, partially conscious people... seeing people in constant pain... hearing my friends agonize over parents begging for their own death... convinces me that there are worse things than death. Karen is right. We should be able to choose our death. Not have life thrust upon us. LIFE is not the underlying criterion. It must be something else.
Before I went to Australia, I joined this great internet site called couchsurfers. I “met” Betty that way. CS is a crew of folks who hate hotels, and travel to meet people, not see buildings. I used it when I first went to Australia. I stayed with a woman who just loved entertaining internationals. There was a guy there from some island I never heard of... and a young couple from France. I met a whole lot of amazing people.
Living on Bleecker Street in New York, I get a ton of requests to stay on my couch. Once they see my set up, they often suddenly have other accommodations. Still, I host at least one surfer a month. I like talking to people from other countries. Going out for drinks with 'em. Finding out how they think.
Staying with me now is Nadav. He's from Tel Aviv. Interesting guy, he just got his MD. Most people who travel tour museums. This guy tours hospitals. L.A., Boston, now New York. He hangs out in hospitals, takes part time work, wants to check things out.
I figure we'll hit The Peculier tonight. I'll show him how New Yorkers satisfy their malten needs. I'll buy him a He'brew Beer. Nothing like a new drinking partner-- except a new nookie partner. He's not my type for that.
It's the last days of Nadav's trip. He's got a couple suitcases bigger than my kitchen. Dumping them on the couch he's going to sleep in (so I think at the time), he tells me there's a Couch-surfer picnic in Riverside Park. The local hosts and their surfers are going to meet.
His couch surfer contact is, Indira, an attractive Indian girl (turban, not feather) who is spending her last days in New York. I go with him to the picnic where he meets her for the first time. They embrace like old friends. Then, she shakes my hand like I'm a used car salesman.
The picnic is a mix of people. Mostly younger than me, with a healthy dose of hippy and new age. One guy has painted his fingernails green. Everyone except me has taken off their shoes... or sandals. I join the barefoot crew on the picnic blanket, keeping my army boots off the edge, on the grass.
“And how did you find out about couch surfing?” asks a blond woman my age. She was probably pretty once. So was I. Now she's ... er... filled out. Her triceps wiggle in the heavy breeze.
“I travel a lot,” I tell her. “I found CS when I was looking for places to stay in Australia. I was promoting my books there.”
“That's nice,” she says, turning her attention to a teenage girl, also a bit chubby, running toward our group.
“That's Melissa, my daughter,” says the woman. “She's fifteen.”
I reach for the girl's hand and shake it.
“Hi,” I say, “my name's Mykel. What are you doing after the picnic?”
The girl smiles, revealing a mouthful of bright metal braces. I didn't think they made those anymore.
Mom doesn't smile. Instead, using her chin as a pointer, she motions to daughter.
“Over there,” she says, “Jack Condrescu, that nice man from Romania. Why don't you go over there and say hello to him?”
Meanwhile, Nadav is in deep conversation with Indira. I see her rest her hand on his naked forearm. It stays there as the afternoon ages into evening.
When dusk wipes its black hand across the sky I can feel the picnic draw to an end. I'm not enjoying the company so much. Besides, I want to take Nadav out for a couple thick brown ones.
“Nadav,” I say. “I'm leaving.”
I expect him to join me.
“I'll meet you back at your apartment,” he tells me. “I want to stay just a bit longer.”
“Sure,” I tell him. “It's your last few days in America.”
I head home and wait for him. First, I do some stupid waiting things: wash the dishes, empty the mousetraps. No Nadav. Then, I have nothing more to do but watch a horrible dubbed version of NINJA AVENGER that I picked up for a dollar. I look at the clock when it's over. 11PM. No Nadav.
I'm pissed. I had the evening planned for him, and here I am stuck waiting. He's using me like a free hotel. I'm nothing but a bed to the guy. He's probably off screwing that Indian girl, rather than drinking a beer with me. Which is more important?
Okay, Nadav. You're getting laid. I guess I'd do the same. Can't really blame you.
Then it hits me. The moment. The apple on Newton's head. Archimedes' legs floating in the bathtub. Ron Jeremy's lips touching his own cock. The EUREKA point. Life's one guiding principle. Nadav, Betty, Rich. The foundation under it all. The basis of good and evil... right and wrong. It's not “maximum freedom” or “tell the truth” or “reverence for human life.” It's RESPECT THE NOOK! That's it. If you do that, everything that follows will be moral.
-->Protection racket dept: The government of the Chinese province of Zhejiang has instituted a fine for hotels and bars that do not provide condoms to their clients. The law says (in Chinese of course)
"Condoms or condom vending machines must be placed in hotels, bars and designated public places or the managers will be fined." I'm waiting for the law that says the hotels and bars must provide people to use the condoms with. Then, I'll plan my trip to Shanghai.
-->They asked for it! Look how they were dressed! dept: Gay.com reports that cops in Dublin Ireland have arrested 14 people in three months. The sting? Dress up like butch homos and hang out in the park. Unlike American cops who dress the same, the Irish cops are not trying to entice homos and then arrest them. They're trying to entice HOMO BASHERS and arrest them.
You can sympathize, but entrapment is entrapment. Let's see if American homos suddenly switch sides on the issue. They used to be against it.
-->Further on the homo front dept: I didn't expect it would be Melbourne... I didn't think they could get up the energy. But Sign of Peel Hotel, in that city is the country's first pub to ban heterosexuals.
On May 28, 2007, The Victorian state court ruled that the Peel Hotel could ban patrons based on their sexual orientation.
The pub's management said the move would stop groups of heterosexual men and women abusing gay people. Civil liberties groups have supported the decision.
Civil liberties indeed!
-->Don't inhale that Helium dept: I heard that helium.com wanted writers to upload provocative articles. They then pay the authors based on how many people read the material. Fair enough. I'll try a column. That should be provocative, right?
Not so fast, buster. I get an email from the helium honchos asking me to revise my writing.
The reason: Helium™ maintains a very high standard for appropriate language and content, which is consistent with our User Agreement. Children as young as 13 can join the site and participate fully. Your article may contain a single offensive word. Or, you may have used obviously offensive or adult language, promoted hate speech, or advised readers to engage in destructive or illegal behaviors. Please consider revising this by removing the offensive content, and resubmitting to our knowledge treasury.
I have to write for a 13 year old?? Jeezus fucking Christ! If 13 year olds want to read me, GREAT. But I am NOT going to change my language because a kid might stumble upon it.
I wrote back to them: NO! I HATE CENSORSHIP. I expected your website to be a place of free discussion. I can abide by editorial decisions about length or structure, but not about censorship in the name of "protecting 13 year olds." A single offensive word? Free speech is all about the right to be offensive.
Then I quit the site.
Do me a couple favors. First, go to Helium and tell 'em you read about the censorship of my column and you object to it. Next, go to gather.com read my column there, and start a discussion. I won't get paid, but at least the folks at gather can see what helium is missing.
-->I love drug companies dept: Animal rights people protest drug testing on animals. They believe it's too cruel. Drugs should be tested on people, they say. Huh?
Still, every oyster has its pearl and this gem comes from an Animal Rights website. They talk about a drug called Celexa. The side effects include diarrhea, insomnia, and problems with sexual arousal. But what's it for? CSD... compulsive shopping disorder. Yowsah!
-->This Appeared on Yahoo dept: A privacy watchdog group, Privacy International, reports that GOOGLE has the worst privacy policies of all the major websites.
P.I. assigned Google its lowest possible grade. The category is for companies with "comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy."
None of the 22 other surveyed companies — a group that included Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL — sunk to that level.
Privacy International slammed Google's ability to match data gathered by its search engine with information from other services such as e-mail, instant messaging and maps.
Seven of the internet companies and websites included in the report received the second lowest grade of "substantial and comprehensive privacy threats." This group included: Time Warner's AOL, Apple Inc., Facebook.com, Hi5.com, Reunion.com, Microsoft's Windows Live Space and Yahoo.
-->Steal first, drink later dept: Associated Press reports that a woman in Wasilla Alaska called police to report a stolen handgun, clothing, food and alcohol. The police found the suspect, wearing the woman's sweatshirt. Where? In the woman's garage, in a neighbor's car. The guy was sleeping and cops say that when they tried to wake him up, he was "unresponsive."