Clay

Apr. 22nd, 2014 08:18 pm
[personal profile] planet_x_one
"You ever see a dog go around pissing on things? Well, that's the deal with social media." Clayton was laying on my sofa, talking and staring up at the ceiling. "Jesus, look at tweeting. We're just leaving our scent, sending out messages and markers, putting our nose in other people's asses to see what they're about. So what if the information is language? It's not like a dog isn't getting a complex series of messages. They're just spelled-out olfactorily instead of textual. The human brain is adapting to technology faster than evolution can provide, so these adaptations are basically social. That's why every time you log into Facebook you see the same picture of someone's cat." He stopped for a while and took a long drag on a Pall Mall. I didn't know they still made Pall Malls. I didn't know anyone else that even smoked anymore.

I first met Clay when he moved to New York in '94. Those first few years were lean and he couldn't kick the only thing he brought from home: a dope habit as big as the Illinois corn farm where he grew up. He spent a lot of nights sleeping on the floor of my apartment back then, when I lived on East Broadway, coming up with schemes to make money and plans to get clean. He was your basic junky so nothing ever panned out, but he managed to quit H after he got busted copping in Bed-Stuy. He spent three months down at Rikers. After that, he got straight, started calling himself a writer and got a job at The Strand. He never wrote very much, but he was good-looking, tall and knew how to play the part. He always had one syrupy line or another memorized, from Rumi, Neruda or Khalil Gibran. Not that long after it seemed like he was sleeping with half the female grad students at NYU.

He finally settled down with a girlfriend and they moved in together. She was a professor of German literature at City College. I met her once at a dinner party and she was right out of a Third Reich eugenics program. She towered over me by a good half-foot, had a pour of lush blonde hair and the only breasts I've seen that could be described as threatening. Clay told me she'd fuck him wearing riding boots, beating his ass with a riding crop and shouting curses in German. After, she'd make him read Goethe out loud until she fell asleep, and she snored like a lumberjack.
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