Tonight is the second to last class of Fiction I at UCLA. I have enjoyed the class immensely and have had fun with the weekly excercises and the final draft short story I turned in last week.
Many of my other stories/writing I have posted here, but I have not with the short story for this class. There are several reasons: length (the story is 5,000 words), protecting the innocent (there are a few real people in the story, I have their permission to use them, but I don’t want to abuse that trust), and I might want to try and submit it to a magazine and *if* it is accepted I don’t know if putting it up on one’s blog counts as previously published. If you would like to read it, email me and I may email you the word doc.
Tonight’s Strangeness/Humor homework assignment was to write a “How to…” in the manner of Lorrie Moore’s story, “How to Become a Writer.” Here is my attempt:
How to be Celibate in the era of killer STDs (all due respects to Lorrie Moore)
First, remind yourself of your senile grandmothers advice that she doled out two months before she died, Keep your pants zipped up and your legs crossed! Continue to remind yourself of this even when the best kisser you have met in years is trying to unzip your jeans. Ignore all voices, in your head and otherwise, that tell you that keeping your pants zipped up is boring and lonely. Remind yourself that being lonely is better than Interferon treatments or a baby, and less expensive. Tell yourself that the money you save can buy more jeans with stronger zippers.
Try to join the Locknecks. If they accept you, even though you live in Los Angeles and not San Francisco, use the regulation lock and chain on your zipper, not around your neck. If the Locknecks reject you as crazy, form the Lockpants with your celibate friends in Los Angeles. Buy everyone bondage pants, locks, and make it the new punk rock fad. Form the Lockpants Bowling Team.
At DIY Bowling, tell the fabulous cute punk boy you meet that you are not getting shitty drunk and no matter how much pleading, will not be going back to your room with him. You tell him to do some pleading, as your ego needs it. You suggest that he leer at your chest a bit, as your ego needs that, too.
Do not listen when your friends regale you with tales of their sexual conquests. Do listen when they gossip about how so and so got herpes from thus and such. Do listen when they tell you that so and so got Hep C from kissing some skanky girl after a show. Re-remind yourself that kissing skanky boys is bad. Do not let yourself get paranoid after the Hep C conversation when you remember that Lars Fredericksen spat on your open mouth when you were in the photo pit at the Rancid show. Remind yourself that you wiped your mouth quickly and spat out all of your salvia for the next hour until you could find a stiff, antiseptic drink.
Do not listen to your girl friends when they tell you about how that new guy is hot and really good in bed. Do not listen to your girl friends when they talk of his ability with a harmonica. Do listen to your other friend who tells you how that hot guy in question trades off girls with his cousin and friends. Do not listen to hot guy when he propositions you with the third funniest pick up line of your life. Laugh, smile nicely, demure.
Do listen to your successful celibate friends advice, When horny, rub one out and take a cold shower.
Read all the articles you can find on AIDS, Hep C, herpes, antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, and condoms that break or dont protect. Remind yourself that you believe in life-long love, not free love. Remind yourself that back in the days of non-celibacy you didnt have a boyfriend anymore than you have one today, just more yeast infections. Remind yourself that you are monogamous and waiting for the semi-right guy.
Tell yourself that your non-celibate friends dont have boyfriends either, just lots of fuck buddies. Tell yourself that your non-celibate friends have more trips to the OB-GYN than you do. Remind yourself how much you hate cold, metal speculums.
Have crushes on really unavailable men. Men so inappropriate, that even when you are drunk and someone slips a rufie into your beer that you keep your pants on and your legs crossed. Have mad, unrequited crushes on rock stars, bar owners, mohawk boys, tattoo artists, or 39 year old terribly shy male virgins that you meet at your mothers church.
Smile, be friendly, and flirt with semi-appropriate men. Wail to friends about the lack of interesting, creative, articulate, thirty-something, single men. Try to network. Ask friends to ask their friends if they know of anyone they can set you up with. Do not ask your mother.