The Lake (5)

May 11, 2020


My Michelle

It was as if the two of you were co-starring in a divinely written play, a pairing far removed from the inglorious hook ups taking place in the muscle cars behind you. You didn’t know if you were being watched and to your delight you didn’t care. Rex and his ilk did not matter. Michelle would remain your fantastic secret for as long as possible, that day anyway.

You walked with Michelle, holding hands, which for once did not feel strange, and arrived at an empty apartment she said belonged to her mother. Inside it was cool and dark. She left the shades down and led you into her bedroom.

To recite what transpired there would require a poet’s gift, lest it sound obscene. The two of you swallowed each other whole. Satiated, her head resting on your chest, you both drifted into a deep sleep. You didn’t know it then but this would be the only time you would ever fall asleep in a woman’s embrace.

Like a pristine bubble dangling precariously from a child’s wand, it would not last. The nirvana of that afternoon did not follow either of you into the relationship. Michelle revealed herself to be insecure and vain. All too aware of her exceptional physique and its effect on men, she vacillated between flaunting herself and retreating into a pouty shell. She liked dancing and disco music and the culture surrounding it: the clothes, nightclubs, older men, black men – all of which made you uncomfortable.

To be continued…

Nothing wrong with doping if you create art…

Lance Armstrong was just stripped of his seven Tour De France titles for allegedly juicing. Prior to this news, Vanity Fair Editor Greydon Carter opened his ‘Letter to the Reader’ with an interesting perspective on society’s relentless persecution of professional athletes for using performance-enhancing drugs. Among other things, he wonders why we obsess over athletes taking drugs to get better results and not the myriad writers, musicians, painters, etc. who have done (and still do) the same thing.

Intriguing argument.

We loved Bob Marley for smoking weed. We dug the Beatle’s Magical Mystery Tour. We can’t imagine Pink Floyd without LSD. So many great pop song from the sixties and seventies were inspired, performed and written under the influence of mind-expanding drugs. Performance was undeniably enhanced. Lest anyone think this was but a “phase” listen to the songs your kids listen to next time you drive them to soccer practice. Today’s artists love doping and singing about it just as much as yesterday’s. What was Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night but an ode to an extended blackout?

Trying to connect the dots
Don’t know what to tell my boss
Think the city towed my car
Chandelier is on the floor
With my favorite party dress
Warrants out for my arrest
Think I need a ginger ale
That was such an epic fail
Yeah, I think we broke the law.

Yet, we damn Roger Clemens for taking Steroids. He was the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. Now he’s a bum. All because he (likely) took something to rejuvenate his dying arm. Like lance Armstrong, we want to strip him of his many records. Okay. Then why not strip the Beatles of their many records? Or Vincent van Gough? Or Allen Ginsberg? Or Jim Morrison?

Dirty Cheater

Rock God

I’m not condoning the use of dangerous drugs in either situation but I do think the behavior is opposite sides of the same coin. One effects the body. The other the head. The argument that steroids can cause irreparable damage down the road is no different than what is said to junkies and drunks. The end is potentially a wrecked person.

Back in the day, I used drugs and alcohol to enhance my creativity. And for a long time it worked. I won a Gold Lion at Cannes for a commercial I wrote drunk and high. Matter of fact, I was sitting on a bar stool at Max Tavern in Chicago when I wrote it. No one is stripping me of that award. Granted, no one gives a shit. But still…

Millions of men use Cialis and Viagra to enhance sexual performance. Just as many women enhance their looks with Botox and Silicon. Let’s not get into the myriad supplements all of take to feel younger and sharper. “Let’s face it,” Greydon asks, “Who among us wouldn’t take a pill or potion that would make us better?”

We already do.