Friday, May 22, 2009

Mazel Tov Class of 2009!!!

May 22nd, 2009

Dear Mr Lee,

Congratulations! Our committee has reviewed your nomination packet which was from a record-breaking pool of 3,000 applicants this year. You and 63 other New York City residents are now official New York City Townies. In a few weeks you will receive your official joint-certificate of certification from the Pedantic Urban Kracken Educators and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

We ask that you submit some additional supporting materials. Please provide in writing a proposal for a disquisition on your life in relation to a quintessential New York band. Popular and successful past subjects have included the New York Dolls, Suzanne Vega, and A.R.E. Weapons. The full disquisition should be ready in time for our June 1st swearing-in at Mars Bar hosted by Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, open Molotov cocktail bar from 2-11 PM.

This year we are requesting that applicants refrain from proposals about Lou Reed, as their final presentations have often exhausted the length of the open bar (here's looking at you Lou, you sober fuck, "Berlin" really?). Please also submit most recent bloodwork from a licensed physician, acclaimed acupuncturist, or spirit healer prior to initiation if you wish to be considered for our fledgling HIV/Rotgut/HerpesIV/Measles/Mumps/MMR experimental vaccine program. Space is limited because of budget constraints this year in this economy, and we have been asked to remind you that although this vaccine does not prevent unwanted pregnancy it may prevent all future pregnancies.

Remember that you will only be a certified NYC Townie after the swearing-in ceremony at Mars Bar (ponchos will not be provided, please bring your own). We ask that you refrain from standing on the street calling people yuppie scum, guiding tourists to "good" drug spots, haunting dark corners of dive bars until last call, or sleeping with lost yokels until after June 1st. You will also be sent a membership card that will entitle you to a 10% discount at participating methadone clinics, the GMHC David Geffen Center, Planned Parenthoods, Colt 45 stockists, and select marijuana delivery services. In addition to the discount program, the card entitles you to a $5 rebate check towards the purchase of Famous Amos cookies, Shasta cola, and Newports brought to A.A. meetings or venereal wart treatments.

Again, we would like to welcome you to the venerable society of New York City Townies. See you in June!

Laurie Andersen and Leo Fitzpatrick,
welcoming committee co-chairs
P.U.K.E. and D.C.A

y ...October 1998?

Dear D.C.A. and P.U.K.E.,

CC: Whitney Biennial Nominating Committee,
MacArthur Genius Foundation,
Guinness Book of World Records.

Re: David Byrne, Avenue A, et moi: my life this week in talking heads

City of Dreams.
-"Sugar on my tongue. Stay up late"
-"Heaven. Once in a lifetime!"
(sax and violins)
-"Road to nowhere."
-I wish you wouldn't say that. 'Girlfriend' is better.
warning sign?
'Love' for sale? no compassion.
-Memories can't wait.
(burning down the house)
-Love, building on fire! Psycho Killer! I Want to Live!!! Take me to the river! Swamp!
cross-eyed and painless. (nothing) but flowers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

((First page of the short story I want to write about a crazy apocalyptic phenomenon in Queens.))

It was a big black balloon. Well not exactly a balloon--but it was sort of--if you had a certain sense of humor. Well, it was there. No one agrees on how exactly it got there. We all knew that it was, even if some refused it a name beyond "it." If they knew exactly how it had started, it might have been different. It might have been solvable.
On certain details we can agree. On a Monday night we woke up when we heard a sound on our roof. It wasn't loud. It was unexpected/unprecedented/un.... The squeak of a balloon dog being forced against its will into a crown. The sound of latex surface coming to terms with itself when forced suddenly against something not itself. A boy stirred awake with longings for his just-lost virginity.
Only it wasn't night. We went upstairs armed with bats. We knew it was not the robber we'd find there. But this is what we knew to do when we suspected an intrusion. We checked all over, tiptoeing around the attic like we were the ones breaking in. Not reassured that all was clear until we turned our respective last corners, the footprint of our houses seemed immeasurable in that last footstep. When we entered our basements to see if maybe it was something internal? Something within that we had overlooked earlier? We stopped and took notice. The familiar creaking of floorboards had a dull flatness. In fact it was so quiet we could hardly hear ourselves. It was only when we checked the time--8:08--that we knew something was wrong. It was supposed to be a sunny June morning.
Was it the landfill next to the town that local enviro-nuts always lobbied to shut down? Was it the tire factory in the next town over? Was it the act of a vengeful god? If so what was the crime we had committed?
That it was punishment was certain. We knew it was punishment for something because there was no reprieve. We had all heard that the worst part of being imprisoned in the Third World was never knowing your crime. We now knew it ourselves, but we were Americans. And we lived in Queens.