I punish myself with my dreams, this is what happens when I’m sad.
It’s always been this way but I didn’t used to know what to do with the insomnia. I still don’t know because I’d rather be sleeping but staring at the ceiling in the darkness is like forcing someone to dance with you who doesn’t want to dance and what kind of a person doesn’t want to dance? I’ll tell you what kind of a person doesn’t want to dance…
So now I write. I put on a pot of coffee and write. I used to think looking for meaning in the sadness would help with the sadness; I used to think I could write my way out of the problem; I used to think those things. I don’t think those things anymore but writing at 3AM is the next best thing to dreaming.
It begs the question: if someone shits on your shoe and then offers you a job as their shoeshine boy, are they an entrepreneur?
I wrote a story about Mitch McConnell but I didn’t publish the story because the story had a gun. I hate guns. I’d rather bedazzle my underpants with bullets than point a gun at someone else and pull the trigger, unless it’s a Nerf Gun and the Nerf Gun is pointed at my fanny while I taunt the shooter with my fanny and the shooter is a 7 year old boy who I love more than anyone I have ever known and between shooting each other in the fanny, we’re taking dance breaks.
There should be mandatory dance breaks in war.
Cha. Cha. Cha.
Where do you take joy? I think it’s an important question to ask yourself. Where do you take joy? In the work, in the music, in the attempt, in the camaraderie of peers? Or do you take joy in the demise of someone else, in the win, in pulling someone else apart for sport. There are so many reasons Mitch McConnell has become a fictional character, he’s not real, I don’t know him, not really, and yet he’s so in my face, so constantly on the wrong side of goodness. He’d argue against chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies. He’s the guy you drag onto the dance floor who doesn’t really want to dance with you but does it anyway, thinking he’s being a good sport, all the while telegraphing on his face just how miserable he is in the moment.
Is there anything worse than a moment stealer?
If you can’t take a moment to find joy in dancing then of course you’re going to punish the world. So here’s the story. I’ll share with you my story about Fictional Mitch McConnell and meet you on the other side to talk about a few things.
Here we go…
“Stimulus: A Work Of Fiction” by Greg Morelli
His father named him Egregious. His mother called him Gregor. But it was his brother who called him Nigger, a fortuitous nickname that would follow him through childhood. His brother would deny it in adulthood. You could say the only thing a bigot hates more than black people is being called a racist. But his brother wasn’t unique. He lived in a time of racist insanity, in a country built on a lie attached to skin pigmentation, in a world on the precipice of a pandemic.
But nobody knew. How could they have known?
Momentum has a funny way of twisting the truth into a convenient sculpture of metal commissioned to be bent like integrity under the watchful eye of a benevolent benefactor. Is there a bigger myth? You think money equals taste but the only thing money equals is the need for more money. It’s not a need, it’s a desire. But you can’t tell that to someone hooked on momentum.
His father named him Egregious. His mother called him Gregor. But in the digital signature of his credit card he found a name for himself: G$.
His friends called him Gee Money. His funny friends called him Gee Dollar Sign. He was white, so he had no business doing this. He wasn’t a rapper. He couldn’t lay claim to street cred – he didn’t even know what street cred was – he wanted some, but he didn’t know why.
G$ took the gun out of The Intruder’s hand. It was easy. G$ offered to grill salmon for The Intruder while he rummaged through the house looking for valuables. The Intruder took a gold Rolex watch left to G$ by his Asshole Grandfather. G$ never wore it. He never much cared for it. He showed The Intruder how to change the time and set the date. This was the unfortunate moment when The Intruder turned over the gun, so he could fiddle with the gold Rolex watch. The Intruder was caught off guard when he realized G$ had the gun and was pointing it at him.
“Are you going to kill me?” The Intruder asked.
“No,” said G$. “But I think it’s time for you to leave.”
“Can I stick around for the salmon? It smells good.”
“You can take it to go. I don’t find you particularly interesting.”
“That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. But I’ve let enough people in my life hold me hostage and I really don’t think I owe you anything besides a napkin.”
“Can I have my gun back?”
“I don’t want to kill you. That’s a lie! I do want to kill you. But I don’t want to live with myself after I kill you. I don’t want to think that much about you. So take your fish and your napkin and get the fuck out. Or I’ll kill you. Oh, and feel free to write about this on Yelp.”
The Intruder left. From time to time, G$ would stop to think about him. But it was only just to laugh. He used the gun as a vase.
Mitch McConnell was in the news again. He loved being in the news. It turned him on, unlike women. Mitch McConnell had been swapping out the milk cartons in the senate cafeteria. He’d been rubbing off the dates and then writing in a new date way beyond the expiration date. None of the senators knew why they were getting sick. He’d been sitting in The Oval Office for 23 minutes, listening to President Trump pat himself on the back. He was thinking about grits and how some people put cheese in their grits but the only thing necessary was a single thinly sliced square of sweet butter. President Trump was looking at Mitch McConnell, who blinked with the sudden recognition the pause was meant for him to fill.
“Yes,” he said. “That’s right, Mr. President.”
Sweet butter, he thought to himself. Sweet butter with two pan-fried eggs over easy and a biscuit to dunk in the grits as the yellow from the broken yolk overtook everything in its path.
Rand Paul was on the floor of the senate. His cock was hard. Nothing got him off like talking shit about people he didn’t know. “If you’re an immigrant, you’re not a person. We don’t want you. We don’t need you. We won’t care for you if you’re sick. We won’t care for you if you’re poor. This is not the land of the free-for-all and the home of the entitlement program. Your children are not our children. If you’re undocumented then you’re unwanted.” He really liked the last line – the way the un played-off the other un – it was written by a Think Tank. It polled high in the focus groups. The analytics it pulled in retweets were astronomical. Rand Paul knew when he said what he said that the news would switch from Mitch McConnell in the Oval Office to him on the floor of the senate. The cameras followed the money and the money played to the eyes and the guy who had the most eyes held the ace up his sleeve. “If you’re undocumented then you’re unwanted,” he repeated. Just then Rand Paul sharted. He hadn’t been feeling good since breakfast, his stomach was a mess.
G$ looked at his vase. The flower was wilting. He turned on the news. There was $2 Trillion in stimulus passed at 1AM on the floor of the senate. All the screaming and yelling about socialism and yet here it was pretending to be a stimulus package. He took the flower out of the vase and once again the vase became what it was designed to be, what it was meant to be, a gun.
Rand Paul went back to his senate office to retrieve the secret stash of baby wipes he kept in the bottom drawer beneath the autographed picture of Elvis. “From one hound dog to another,” it said. He went to the handicapped stall so he could take off his underpants. He tossed them in the toilet and proceeded to wipe the shit seepage out of the tender pink center of his fragile eggshell asshole. The baby wipes were cool and wet. He pulled up his pants and flushed the toilet. He knew the toilet would overflow but he also knew it would be taken care of by someone named Jose. “If you’re undocumented then you’re unwanted, except for this particular job,” he thought to himself. Rand Paul paused to sniff his fingers before making his way to the gym.
G$ passed Rand Paul who was trying to communicate in broken spanish with a guy pushing a mop and a bucket. “Malo!” Rand Paul yelled at the guy. “El baño is moo-wee moo-wee malo.”
G$ pushed aside the intern, pushed open the door and pointed his gun at Mitch McConnell who was jerking off to a pre-recorded clip of himself on C-SPAN. As his eyes rolled back in his head, Mitch McConnell blew hot grits into a wet nap. Then he plucked Merrick Garland’s gavel out of his asshole and threw it at G$. The gavel lodged itself in the barrel of the gun causing it to misfire in the opposite direction.
Mitch McConnell zipped himself up and got back to work, pausing for a moment to marvel at how the blood overtook everything in its path.
I wrote that story 14 days ago. Every single day of the 14 days felt like a new world with a new set of rules and a new understanding of reality to be processed and dealt with before it was fully understood. This week people are starting to wear masks like it’s normal.
It is normal but it takes a minute for the processing of normal to shape the space between what your eye sees and what your brain is willing to accept without screaming for a preconceived reality you left behind in a dream.
The only gun I’m capable of pointing at anyone else is a Nerf Gun. This is half true. I think the thing that causes people to hoard toilet paper and run to the gun store ahead of a pandemic is the recognition that people like me are reasonable until we’re done waiting around for the bigots to get a fucking grip. Then we’ll list our grievances against the king, putting quill to parchment, and take the subway line marked Revolution all the way to the end of the line.
And we always win.
The moral arc is long but it bends toward justice and even if you break the moral arc guys like me will just take the broken pieces of the moral arc and reshape the future. I love the work. I love the attempt. The music is divine. And even in a war, even in a global pandemic, there’s always time for a dance break.
I’ll see you on the dance floor. I’ll be the guy dancing with your corpse.
Cha. Cha. Cha.