Friday, March 26, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 10.1 (C.S. Giscombe)

Prairie Style
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Giscombe, C.S.
Prairie Style

Galley copy sent by publisher.

The Lou Reed Saga, Part 2

After Lou's stinging rejection of D's overture of friendship, an obsession begins to fester. D begins acting strangely. He stops wearing clothes around the apartment, which he shares with his brother, P, a close friend of mine, for whom D is mainly a surrogate to me. I often visit P at the apartment. For months, D walks around naked, taunting us with his nakedness. While he listens to something one of us has to say, he grabs his penis, shakes it, or slaps it lazily against his thigh, watching our eyes to see if we look. This behavior continues, we hear, in his acting class, where he starts taking off his pants in the middle of scenes, saying he feels the need to breathe.

Anywhere, at anytime, he might pause, hold his hand up like a traffic cop in someone's face and shout, PLEASE!

I leave for Ecuador in 1994 and D comes to visit me there. He brings a video cassette he's made of friends bearing greetings from the States. It opens with a shot of D standing on a sidewalk in Manhattan, standing in sunglasses in a classic Lou Reed album cover kind of hipster pose, head slightly cocked toward the sky, head turned slightly away from the camera. The camera person, his wife, can be heard saying, "Hey, isn't that Lou Reed? Lou? Is that you? Lou Reed"

D slowly turns his head toward the camera as it approaches. At first, he says nothing, then up comes the hand.


End of shot.

I get a letter from D's brother. He's putting his clothes on again. Everyone is relieved. He tells me that three days earlier D was walking down Avenue A when who should pass him on the street but Lou Reed. D stops, turns and shouts, "Hey, Lou!" Lou Reed stops, turns, makes eye contact. D holds up his middle finger. Lou turns and hurries away. D seems satisfied.

Years later, D starts taking Kung Fu classes in So Ho. Different people come to the class each week, but there is a core of students who seem to be very serious about it, among whom D counts himself as well as a middle aged man who often occupies the spot next to him on the floor. He is short, in his fifties, dark hair, keeps to himself. D respects him because he takes things seriously. He shows up each week, follows his routine to the letter, gets dressed and goes home. One day he says hello to the man. The man smiles and returns the hello. As soon as he speaks, D recognizes the voice. It's Lou Reed.

End of story.

from Prairie Style


To me, the image is any value in the exchange. Pleasure's accidental. In any event, it's hard to measure and harder still to memorize, pleasure. Image stands in. To me voice, is that which get stuck in the head, effected voice, or inbetween the teeth, the hiss of love. Songs, eating. Whatever love says it's no image, no consequence. This far inland, the erotic's only obvious from a distance. This far inland you need something more sexual than dichotomy.

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