is it true?

What?

the thing about saltpeter…

hell I don’t know that might just be a military myth a legend but from what I can remember I didn’t have much time to play with it except maybe in the head sittin’ on the shitter after lights out but that was close to the end when I was used to it and things loosen up a little bit after the first week or so you’re given a little bit more leeway

his girlfriend isn’t with him she’ll see him off later right now it’s just the family they were planning a bonfire and his friends were bringing the alcohol his flight didn’t leave until tomorrow afternoon and since they were alone for a minute sitting out on the back deck the man who was about to turn forty thought he’d give some advice to the man just turned eighteen besides he figured someone should tell him if he hadn’t already figured it out for himself and some things you say because well as far as you know nobody else has said it and you’d like for it to be said you’d even like to find it in a book somewhere so when you’re searching when you seeking for that answer and it’s one of those things you don’t want anybody to know you’re looking for the answer you can find it and go Oh… and maybe even fool your friends into thinking you know what you’re talking about even though you haven’t experienced it yourself and you probably can fool them or at least surrender your reality to them in lies with a whole bunch of complications that aren’t necessary if you know how to use the right nuances and really nobody cares anyway it’s like going to the zoo and staring at the animals in the cage that’s how we look at other people and their problems their hang-ups the things that make them happy we always look at them like we’re looking from the outside of the cage and they think they’re looking in on us and really it’s all kind of funny how we empathize and sympathize how we try to be easy on the man that’s down and share in another’s joy but we really don’t know we can only imagine ourselves in that position and it helps if we’ve been through it ourselves but we’re always bound to surprise ourselves and be surprised by others and if you think everything’s dull and predictable it’s really because you’re probably too chickenshit to try anything new or really get to know yourself so the man about to turn forty the uncle says:

don’t believe what you see on TV the movies or whatever comes out of a woman’s mouth you’ll know if she came or not because unless she pissed on you (which is common after pregnancy) you feel her pussy gush when she comes (it helps to look in her eyes) and it gets good and sloppy after that so don’t believe that men don’t like to cuddle after either because otherwise it just feels dirty you wipe off and pull up your pants and I’ll tell ya at my age it feels about the same as jerking off if that’s all it is it ain’t like when you’re thirteen wondering about performance looking at all the pretty girls you pass in the school hallway and you just want to get down on your knees and beg them to Just Touch It and sure jerking off might be a form of self-love but what isn’t at my age it’s just another bodily function like taking a shit and after you’ve felt that pussy gush after you’ve seen that look in a woman’s eye (and heard her complain how you made her legs so sore she can’t walk right after) you ain’t too concerned about performance anymore and if it’s just gonna be a wipe yourself off and pull up your pants (maybe because the kids only give you a few minutes to yourselves) sometimes I’d rather just jerk off a man likes to cuddle too

and there’s that zen saying about how I carried water and chopped wood and then I was enlightened and I carried water and chopped wood and the uncle could see in his nephew’s eyes that perhaps this conversation was probably best in the play around of his peers better his buddies tell him but then if you don’t know what to ask how are you to arrive at the answer and he thought of his own youth his time in New Orleans and he wanted to break it down statistically because he had excelled in math during his school years and he thought: Well, just take a look at that most of my buddies at Tulane knew their IQ they told me in passing those nuances we talked about I myself tested in the 130s 140s I think as a kid at least that’s what my sister told me and that’s amazing because I was so damn shy I’m sure I said I don’t know even if I did know the answer just like my youngest daughter does now in kindergarten and I was in all the gifted classes and when I took those IQ tests they have online later as an adult I maxed out at 150 because that was as high the test would go and I took calculus in high school and scored a 34 on my ACT (36 is a perfect score and I remember I had a bad head cold the day I took it blowing my nose during the timed test but I didn’t retake it) so if you look at it statistics-wise I’m in the 99th percentile (at least according to the peer evaluations they send with the results of the test) and if you do the simple math of that one out every hundred people I meet is in the same bracket of course I guess it depends on where you are like at Tulane we were sort of congregated into the honors dorm that’s where I met my friends in college and if you go on with the statistics from there I majored in physics and mathematical economics not a big pool of people with those majors but still not unique and then I went on to write several novels and though a lot of people can say they’ve written a book not many can say they’ve written several books especially by the age of 39 so then you begin to wonder how unique are you are you really that special but of course for a man about to turn forty things don’t bother you as much anymore they don’t matter and whatever unique bracket you happen to find yourself in most things are about common situations with common people dealing with it with common sense and as Twain and Bukowski and I’m sure many others have said it’s usually the loudest and most confident that might be failing in intelligence and stupidity always brings you down to its level because you can’t expect people to understand something they can’t understand so they’re going to understand it in their terms and that’s where it always gets messy and I remember Ben my old roommate from college telling me we would have a limited peer group and that’s one of things I’m proud of now—how I kept myself pure though drunk most of the time for four years in New Orleans… of course it was pride that was the problem in the first place

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