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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Peggy Noonan and Orgasms

Peggy Noonan has a post today about how politicians from both sides are full of themselves. Click here to read it. It reminded me of a soul orgasm from my second novel, CLOWN.

Wait a second... if you haven't read CLOWN you don't know what I mean by "soul orgasm." Here's a soul orgasm, as explained by Clown, main character and narrator of CLOWN:

In a way I always thought John Donne was an idiot for asking God to crush him so that he would turn to God to ease his suffering. But I also dig what he was saying.

Even the fact that he wrote that poem took a lot of nerve. He was a believer, so part of him knew that poem was a prayer, so when he wrote and published it he must have known that it might be answered. He reached the point in his life where he was tired of waiting for the tests so he asked for them. But he did it in a sideways manner, and I don’t think you can give him a lot of credit for it.

I never went into the Seattle Art Museum. You go into museums so you can have moments where you’re more alive, more conscious of what it means to be alive and capable of thought and feeling. Moments like the one the monument gave me. I call them soul orgasms because, like regular orgasms, you can’t have one right after another, you need some recovery time.

Unless you’re a woman. But even women can’t have multiple soul orgasms. At least I don’t think they can. Regardless, there was no point in going into the museum because I’d just had a soul orgasm and I wouldn’t be able to have another one regardless of what I saw in there.

I rarely have soul orgasms from paintings or sculptures anyway. Usually it has to be poetry. When I say poetry I mean music, too. Music is a form of poetry. Lyrical poetry. If you love music you love poetry, in case you didn’t know.

Okay, so that's what Clown calls a soul orgasm. So when I wrote CLOWN I tried to have soul orgasms and then express them. When I did so I called that section of writing a soul orgasm. Long story still long, I had a soul orgasm regarding long talkers that Noonan's piece made me recall, and here it is:

I walked over to the Pike’s Place Market to watch the fish-throwers. They’re generally pretty cool to watch. But they were standing around bored so I walked over to the booths where they sell crafts and stuff. But the vendors all want you to buy something and if you don’t they take it personally because they make a lot of it themselves. So I felt uncomfortable so I went to this place called The Excuse Room.

The Excuse Room is a club/restaurant/bar decorated like an old-fashioned steak house. What makes it cool is they always play base-heavy techno. Plus they have a bunch of movie manuscripts in a shelf by the door and you can just grab one and read it while you drink your coffee or eat.

What sucks about it is that during the day there are a lot of loud talkers there. Loud talkers annoy me. You know they’re talking louder than necessary so you’ll overhear them and be impressed because they know who-the-hell or did whatever-who-cares, and some of the stuff they talk about is impressive. But who cares what they did if the person who did it is a loud talker?

That’s one of the things I learned when I was a little kid. I was in 3rd grade and I had a loose tooth. The cool thing when I was in 3rd grade was to pretend that losing a tooth was no big deal. Back in 2nd grade it was cool to loose a tooth. But by the time you got to 3rd grade it was cool to not care that you lost a tooth.

So I’m sitting there, waggling my tooth back and forth, and I feel that queer little snap you get when the last of the roots break and your tooth is sort of sitting in place there for no particular reason. And then it just falls onto my tongue and I taste that gum-blood that doesn’t taste like blood when it comes from anywhere else on your body. And I’m thinking:

“You lost a tooth. Now don’t be cool, be SUPER cool. Don’t even TELL anybody.”

So I didn’t. Nobody ever knew. I never even told my mother after school and she didn’t notice either. But right after I picked my tooth off my tongue and set it on the cold metal of my desk’s under shelf, (we didn’t get those stupid no-shelf desks until middle school) I got this big empty feeling and had to take deep breaths so that I wouldn’t cry. I’d just figured out that nobody would notice I lost it. There would be no mini celebration and no attention.

If you’re cool nobody knows it.

I mean a few people you are really tight with do because they KNOW you. But no way can any stranger tell you’re cool because you have to TELL them you’re cool and cool people don’t do that. It sucks but that’s how it is. That’s reality. I knew that in 3rd grade but the loud-talkers in the Excuse Room still don’t. So I left.

I'm not exactly surprised that the politicians in Noonan's piece don't know it. But, then again, what's a politician to do? Being a politician is like having to constantly talk women into giving you their phone numbers. You have to brag but not seem to be a brag- you have to make yourself be liked without seeming to try to be liked- you have to disguise your desperation with a veneer of apathy- tough biz.


  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger V said…

    Interesting that I read this now. I am a recovering loud talker (24 hours composed and silent). I heard a guy in a bar quack-quacking through my set about the three years he was in China, the time he spent in South America, and the psyches of Europeans.

    I'm a singer, so I come by my loud voice naturally. It's tended to be anti-Bush ranting, so at least it has some redeeming value. I feel like some people need to overhear it. I wouldn't rant through another musician's set, either.

    Unless they really stunk and were wearing a mullet and flowing sleeves and playing Don Henley on an Alvarez 12-string.

    You are completely right about keeping your cool under cover. So I can't tell you how totally cool I am when I'm not being loud.

  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…

    lol! (I actually lol'ed 3 times reading that comment)
    thanks for the comment, V.

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