Friday, December 14, 2012

Forgetting to Forget


My employer boasts there ain’t a soul alive who can remember the details of one of her parties. She promises a 4-day hangover minimum, guaranteed!

You see, Adri’s parties are by invitation only, and the invitations will read, “No cars. No cameras. No phones.”

To get in, you will have to sign a gag order and a waiver of liability beforehand, and the waiver is three fingers thick and requires that you be represented by counsel at the time of signing. It includes a provision in which you state you will not hold Adri personally liable should you be arrested for treason as a result of the event. You must attest to your food allergies under oath and promise that any severed limbs automatically become property of Adri’s law firm.

The mandatory pre-party physical is surprisingly thorough.

And you don’t know when the party is going to happen, exactly – you’re just given a range of possible dates – so when they come for you in the dead of night in a limousine or a taxi or in an unmarked van, it’s a bit of a surprise. And the men in the black shades and long trench coats, well, they will pull a sack over your head before you get into the vehicle, and they will play low tones of white noise to you with the bass turned way up so you cannot recreate the path you’re taking later on.

They will carve strange and archaic symbols on your body before the party begins. “For your own protection,” they will say.

The party is at a bar that Adri has rented out for the occasion, and it looks sort of  like a bar you have been in before, but not exactly like a bar you have been in before, so you really will know where the hell you are. And either she’s paid off the local authorities to look the other way or else there are no local authorities because maybe you’re in an international zone and that van ride turned into a plane trip somewhere along the way.

You are almost sure you felt some turbulence!

And I work for Adri now, so I get yanked off to this year’s party the other night, but the thing is that I am not exactly a party person. I am sitting alone, at a table in a dark corner of the bar, drinking a glass of water and writing this blog post longhand when the strippers arrive. The strippers come in four flavors: Female, male, gender-fucked, and pint-sized. There is also an animal of some kind involved, but I am unable to make out the details.

An old man who looks like Elvis taps me on the shoulder, asks me where they’re storing the defibrillators this year but I do not know, and I tell him this.

It is at about this time that Adri spots me in the corner, and she makes a beeline straight for me. She is all long red hair and tall black heels and ever-present skinny cigar, but she, too, is stone cold sober tonight because she is a recovering addict of… everything.

“You look like a gal who could use a drink and a stripper!” she says as she slides into a chair beside me. Then she whistles loudly, waving over a dark-nippled dancer to our table.

“No! No, I’m good, really,” I insist, but by then the stripper has entered our general vicinity and it is too late. A loud clanging and a braying erupt from a large cage somewhere across the room. I can just make out a pair of pants, several arms, and a wing inside.

Peering around the stripper in front of me, I say, “What kind of animal is in that cage with those people?”  but the stripper does not know and Adri’s guess is “a gryphon.”

Near the bar, a group of people are playing hangman with an actual gallows pole and noose. I can tell from over here that the word in question is “Burroughsian,”  but none of the players are anywhere close to guessing right.

Adri watches me watching the stripper. “With this party, I always kind of aim for a cross between a Hieronymus Bosch painting and the bar scene from the original ‘Star Wars’,”  she says.

Mission accomplished.

Some time goes by. The stripper is losing interest in me losing interest in her.

“So how about a drink, Katy?”  Adri offers again, more emphatically this time.

“I’m not really a social drinker,”  I say.

Adri pulls out a bag of pills. “How about a drug? Anything at all!”  she says.

“I am not really a social drugger,”  I say.

“How about a different stripper?”  she says, sending the one with the dark nipples away at last. “Want to go crazy and try a male dwarf?”

“I am not really a social experimenter,”  I say.

And then Adri, she throws up her well-manicured hands. She starts to sweat and look around nervously. She is done for: I am going to ruin her perfect party record!

“Katy, are you alright?”  she asks, and I almost believe her concern. “Are things getting better at home?”

At home? The words rattle around my brain a few moments. I cannot make hide nor hair of them.

At home?

Then, as the trapdoor drops out of the gallows scaffolding and the caged trio starts to moan and Elvis gets his heart shocked back to life, the room takes to spinning and it is only then that I remember. I remember that I have been forgetting to forget Dana. All evening. I have not been trying not to think about her or sort of forgetting her but with a cloud constantly present at the back of my mind.

I have really and actually and honestly forgotten about her… and for several hours, to boot.

This is momentous. I have forgotten to forget!

But the thing is, by this point, I am going into shock, and as I descend into darkness it bothers me a little to know that Adri has won again. I will wake up tomorrow, back in my own bed and with no memory of tonight, and I know I should be grateful to Adri for her amnesia-inducing party, but why couldn’t I beat her just this once?

Unless, of course, Adri’s goons fail to find the paper with this hand-written blog post I have tucked away in my pocket. And if that happens, well… If that happens, then everybody wins. 


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**All illustrations by Alfred Kubin

57 comments:

  1. Damn! Sounds like a great party. Although at my age, I'm not at all sure I would have survived it -- even with a defibrillator.

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    1. Never been a big fan of parties. I tend to sit in the corner, trying to figure out how long I need to stay. And heaven forbid someone start to dance or (horrors!) shriek. (Why do people shriek at parties when they are drunk? Why?)

      I don't get it. But I think I'm in a minority in my position. I'm the abnormal one.

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  2. Sorry this is off subject Katy but i wanted to know your opinion. Two mass shootings in North America in the last five months, do you think its a precursor to whats going to happen next Friday ! ?.

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    1. I don't think anything is going to happen next Friday.

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  3. Shon, Shon, Shon, "A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE" (1970).

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  4. Replies
    1. Well then, what I said to Ted.

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    2. I don't know whether to take that as an insult or a compliment!

      Me? Normal?

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    3. Take it as a complement. You may not be as bent as you think yourself. I'll try not to mention any of your kindnesses though so I don't ruin your reputation. ;)

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    4. It's two days before Christmas, so you definitely can't mention anything kind about me. Even the toughest folks somehow think they are justified in getting all soft around Christmas.

      It's no excuse.

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  5. I didn't know they were spiking the water in Guantanamo Bay with LSD these days.

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    1. That is not such a far-fetched idea. I mean, it would be no weirder than what the FBI did domestically during the Vietnam era...

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    2. Yeah, like spraying LSD on San Francisco to test it as a mind control drug... or was that the CIA? My mind is a little fuzzy tonight.

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    3. I think that was "Batman Begins."

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  6. Katy, i dont think you`re in a minority at all, i hate parties as well, they are so noisy, embarrassing, idiotic, absurd, and unbearable. Its all those silly bastards guzzling down vast amounts of that demon alcohol (arguably THE most loathsome and horrifying wolf-in-sheeps-clothing within our society) and, as you said, shrieking their heads off completely unneccessarily who are the abnormal ones, believe me.

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    1. I sort of agree! People have different ways of filling that hole in themselves, I guess. That way just never worked for me. I'm not that lonely.

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  7. "Defibrillator" ! ! !, doesn`t that word equate wholly and exclusively with just one thing, John Carpenters "THE THING" (1982).

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    1. I saw that movie for the first time just a few months ago.

      I am starting to like those early 80s sci-fi films. There is something about sci-fi in the pre-CGI era that is more immediate and way more frightening.

      I hate CGI.

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  8. I can’t remember a preplan party that was a blast.

    Spur-of-the-moment parties are the best

    As I get older, I seem to drink to remember… one of the best spontaneous parties involved a dead chicken, some rope and my alcoholic grandmother

    OK, let me explain. Back when things were innocent or hidden in the closet my assign task was to take care of my fun loving grandmother, Nina. For different reasons we were banished to the outback of the Texas coast. One fine afternoon Nina declared that it would be fun to have a crab boil on the levy and enter a big crap in the Dow Chemical Company fishing festival.

    Next thing you know we are “relaxing” and telling funny stories on the levy watching the world go by. A wood duck coped a squat on the still waters that did not contain a single crab. All of the sudden a huge alligator gar emerged from the depths and ate the wood duck! This piss off Nina and she wanted to kill that alligator gar.

    We then proceeded to rig up for gar fishing using the chicken bait and a rope tie to the trailer hitch of my old station wagon. After a bit more “relaxing” and story telling the dead floating chicken was being murder yet again by a huge alligator gar. Nina was no longer “relaxing” and storytelling became chaotic chaos! You see, an alligator gar is a dinosaur type fish with a head full of alligator teeth and a body like a prehistoric predator.

    Ok, at this point, Nina is has gone crazy and incites that we enter this huge alligator gar in the Dow Chemical Company fishing festival. As we arrive everyone is gawking. It’s not every day that you see a huge alligator gar tie stem to stern on an old beat up station wagon. When we entered the alligator gar there was a big crowd. I can still picture it… Nina standing next to her big hanging catch, a drink in one hand and a hand line in the other hand. We are talking “bell of the ball” stuff, and she is just glowing.

    After receiving her hundred dollar prize money; she asked me to fetch her some more booze. When I returned Nina was sitting in the center of the old folks table “relaxing” and telling funny stories to her new found friends. I did not want to infringe on her special day so I sat on the side lines. I can’t remember when I laugh so much listening to the old folks telling their stories.

    This is no shit… after a good while Sheriff Bob decide that it was time to break up the party. He was concern that we were a little bit “relaxed” and I shouldn't drive. Therefore, the volunteer fire department gave us a ride home in the fire truck. How cool is that?

    BTW – Mom and Dad never learned that we were bad children… Just made the story even better.

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    1. I've lived in the city too long. I read that story and think of how much better my writing could be if it could involve alligator gar once in a while!

      You should have given your grandmother a wooden leg. That would have made it perfect.

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    2. This is so old,bad and corny... had to post this for all grandmothers

      Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
      http://youtu.be/VVchyRcF9Gw

      bet you saw this coming

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    3. Did the police ever look into that hit and run? Someone ought to go to jail for that tragedy...

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    4. Has the Dude lost it? Do we need to lock Granny in the closet? Inquiring minds want to know! -- It's that twisted Christmas season
      http://goodstuffsworld.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-sexy-season-with-grandma.html

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    5. the after math of your party? The Best Letter From A Neighbor To The Drunk Man In A Shirt-Cape Who Peed On Their Couch -- http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/the-best-letter-from-a-neighbor-to-the-drunk-man-i

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  9. I am with you. If I cannot hang out in the kitchen, I find a quiet corner, the people watching is much better if the subjects aren't aware they are being watched. You know Adri has her ways. Resistance is futile. Sneaking a blog out, genius.

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    1. You have to watch that sort of behavior, though, or else you start to be considered "the creepy one."

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    2. The key to not being the creepy old guy is not staring at any one subject, especially if they are wearing tight shirts. It is easier to accomplish at someplace like a strip club. The subject matter, lighting and stage orientation makes it difficult to be noticed.

      When Adri finds you smuggled out a blog, she might implement cavity searches for next year's party. Of course she may have them now and you just don't remember.

      I keep dancing around the seasonally decorated elephant, how are you holding up?

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    3. I have no family at all and few friends. Can't get anything one this time of year. So I have basically set up camp and decided I am going to read a couple thick novels.

      I'd tell you which ones, except I'm sure that the styles will seep into my next few blogs and I don't want to give it away.

      With these temps, it's easy to pretend it's not Christmas anyway...

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  10. Interesting sentiment, all it takes you to forget to forget (isn't that a song? If not, get to writing!) is a full on carnival of debauchery. I think that would make me forget my own name. I don't begrudge strippers their craft, but a lap dance is just uncomfortable for all involved. It's understandable if it's actually foreplay, but simulated foreplay in front of friends I can't wrap my head around.
    And I'm pretty sure "pint-sized" is considered a slur, they prefer "fun sized!"

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    1. I don't know whether it is a song or not.

      There's a line in a Tom Waits song that goes "I will always remember to forget about you." I've had that stuck in my head for the past 24 hours.

      Anyway, it's starting to happen here and there. Life goes on...

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  11. I agree Katy, CGI is garbage, another cult-classic from the late 80`s that you might like is "THE HIDDEN" (1987) its freely available on Youtube and i`ve always regarded it as a minor classic of the sci-fi/horror genre.

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    1. I had never seen David Cronenberg's "The Fly" (the one with Jeff Goldblum) until a few months ago, either. It's just amazing how much creepier real effects are, even if they're not top rate.

      It's like the old movies that Ray Harryhausen did the monsters for. Fantastic stuff and so much better than CGI

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  12. Sounds like my kind of party, well, without the drugs of course, but social drinker when it comes to a good red wine and the pleasures of a female stripper just for me, I could handle that!

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    1. Hi. Viktoria! I don't partake in much of anything these days, but I guess so long as I can sit in the back and observe, I'm good.

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  13. Katy. Please invite me to the next unscheduled shindig. Sounds like my sort of party. Here's to memory lapses!

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    1. You can go in my place! I'd rather sit around reading a book and listening to music at my own house. But I keep hearing that isolation is bad and such, so I try to come through with my social obligations...

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  14. Brandon loves strip clubs. Me, not so much. I guess I'm just not a fan of fake plastic women with porno-grade acting skills that smell like they took a bath in dollar store perfume.

    Last time we went, a female friend gave me $10 in ones and said "go nuts!"

    I did. I saved the $10 and I bought a new CD the next day. The gift of music far exceeds the gift of syphilis.

    Though, in retrospect, if I could have gotten a lap dance from a gryphon, that $10 might have been spent differently...

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    1. Haha... Yeah, it's not that I am against depravity. It's just that I'm bored with its usual forms.

      if someone could find something novel for me to do in order to rot my soul, I'd be perfectly willing to do it. Sex, drugs, and pillaging, though? Yawn...

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  15. Katy, you know all those little pictures of this sites followers in that section called "People Who Stop By Here", dont you think there should be a little picture of a hamster there as well along with all the others ! ?, after all he has served this site quite magnificently over the last couple of years, perhaps its time you gave that rodent a little bit of recognition ! ! !. By the way Katy, Ray Harryhausen is God ! ! !.

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    1. Those are people who have Blogger IDs and are subscribed to the site. I don't control whose picture appears. In light of the fact that all of your personas comment anonymously, you would have to take the step towards having your pic appear.

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  16. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Merry Christmas Katy, have a great time little darlin`, from your ever-lovin` rodent admirer.

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  17. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 17, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    By the way Katy, theres something i`ve been wondering about for a couple of years now, what exactly does Dana think of me ?.

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    1. I don't talk to Dana anymore, so I don't know.

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  18. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    What exactly is "a lap dance from a gryphon" ! ?.

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    1. Exactly what it sounds like. What part are you not understanding?

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  19. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 18, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    What i dont understand is how a gryphon could ever possibly represent or constitute a masturbation aid ! ! !.

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  20. I'm kind of crappy at witty comments, so I'm going to just do something crazy and be sincere instead. This post is amazing. I was hanging off every word. You have such a strong voice as a writer...i would read an entire novel of this. Captivating.

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    1. Welcome, Stephanie, and thank you!

      I have been having an unusually hard time writing these past few weeks, and it's good to hear a neutral observer say that it's still working.

      The next one will be different, if nothing else...

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  21. Katy, 42 years ago today El Topo premiered at the Elgin Theatre in New York and became the first midnite movie.

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  22. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 19, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    Katy, whats the one thing that Christmas wouldn`t be the same without ?, for me it has to be pickled onions.

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  23. Well, now I could have sworn I crafted a comment in response this post. I remember at least having one in mind after reading it, and typing something. But then, there was a bit of wine that night (really, that can be said of most nights.) Anyway, it was a good comment and I just want to make sure I get some credit for the idea of it anyway. And I liked this post; that's also an important statement to make.

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    1. There is a parallel universe in which I reached enlightenment after reading the comment to this post, which you posted there after not having drank quite as much wine that night.

      And I thank you for that in every Universe. Even ones like this where I remain ignorant as a rock.

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  24. Hmmm...that plants the germ of an idea in my head. Perhaps my memory is that of myself in that parallel universe, successfully leaving the comment? I'm thinking that phenomenon would be called a ghost memory. And I'm thinking I could turn this into a short story, provided I could a) begin it, b) continue it and c) finish it. You would be in the acknowledgments of course.

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    1. ...or you could be remembering a story you wrote about writing a comment.

      And thank you for the acknowledgement!

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