4B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, March 9, 2000
by Seva Gunitskiy
The Michigan ODty - Weekend, etc. Magazi
Sarah gets more experimental, but love doesn 't ge
I have to admit, Jacky was a hideous
little child. Much later, after her long
lashes and radiant carelessness had
become firmly entrenched in my heart,
we flipped through her old family
albums and laughed at the crocodile
smiles of Jacky aged four, five, seven
and so on, her frizzy hair and gray-
framed glasses in middle school, her ill-
fitting clothes and undeveloped figure.
But somewhere in these quasi-heirlooms
a profound transformation had occurred,
painstakingly documented by her par-
ents, which made me feel wonderful and
stupid in the best way possible.
A few days ago, I was looking at
Jacky's body on the floor, embracing the
linoleum so graciously, like it was a
long-lost childhood blanket. Later I was
dancing with the teacups, yes sir. Real
nice and slow. We were sipping tea in the
kitchen, 'cause Jacky made some of
those delicious herbal concoctions we all
loved - by herbal I don't mean flowers,
if you catch my drift. We had some pills
for dinner and chased them down with
Smirnoff. My tongue was swollen and
the teacups were dancing on the table, so
I joined them. It was metaphysical and
stuporific and other things I can't recall.
Her boyfriend Otto was there too that
night, and I didn't like him from the start.
He is a beautiful man but when we met
his handshake was limp and moist and I
thought he was sickly, but he was just
heavily medicated. Otto attached himself
to Jacky, and to her lovely kitchen chairs,
and her half-blind cat who hisses at
everyone else. She is very vivacious in
certain intimate matters and likes to rub
up against people in clubs, so I took a
liking to her sure thing until he got in the
Like I said, I didn't like him from the
start. He's a new bohemian, not old-fash-
ioned or squalor-loving, but well-dressed
and intense. He's got to be positively
modern, so modern, in fact, that he's
already post-modern and I'm still figur-
ing out how to use the washing machine.
Anyway, I'm sitting there, and I feel a
brew forming in the pit of my stomach.
Everything is fusing together and com-
ing into focus, and the cups take a break
from dancing - I must be having an
insight, I think to myself.
Then Otto pipes up. "Hey, Jacky," he
says, only it came out heejeekee because
he's having his own insight of sorts.
Jacky says "What?" and lies down on
He stares at her real deep in a funny
way and says "What is your favorite
I almost lose my inner brew. He must
be trying to be profound and explain
how much he cares for her even though
existence is meaningless.
Jacky doesn't answer. She's passed out
on the floor.
We both sit. We are bonded to the
kitchen chairs, and we are suddenly both
lizards. We have always been lizards.
Finally Otto gets up and checks her
"She's okay, he says. "Still beating."
He's human again.
And silence, a lovely pause while I
enjoy his pontifications being cut short.
"So," he says. "What is your favorite
I almost lose it then. I never like to get
angry, but this was close. I close my eyes
and see a fireball hurtling toward Earth.
Everyone is running down the streets
and having sex because there is nothing
Continued from Page 3B
front of you. You feel like you're
back in seventh grade again, all shy
and hesitant. At least now you don't
"Sure I'll go, so I'll see you
there." He smiles at you, and your
stomach trembles.When you leave
the coffee shop, go home and spend
the rest of the afternoon trying on
all of your clothing, throwing long-
sleeved shirts and jeans about your
room, until you find the perfect,
most flattering, casual outfit to
After the party, when you're both
pretty drunk, put your plan into
action. He asks you if you'd like to
come home with him, and you
smile excitedly, knowing you might
definitely have sex tonight.
He lives in a single room at a
nearby dorm, which is good, but he
has a loft, which is bad. You chant
in your head to be elegant and
graceful as you climb up to the
mattress, but no such luck, since
you are drunk. You kick over his
desk lamp with your left heel.
During the night, almost fall off
the bed twice, and after it's over,
and you're in a tremendous amount
of pain, desperately wish you were
in -your own bed with your fluffy
down comforter and roomy mat-
tress, instead of lying next to some
short, nearsighted guy who's steal-
ing all the blankets.
At seven, secretly slip out of bed,
put on your clothes, and get ready
to walk home. Just before you
leave, he asks you to set the alarm
for ten, and then falls back asleep.
Wonder if sex will always be like
You don't talk to him for a few
days, and in class, you both avoid
each other's eyes. Next week you
hear, from someone else in the
class, that he's dating some girl
who lives down the hall from him.
Whatever you do, don't cry. At
least not until you get home.
A few days later, wonder if
you're a lesbian. You can't figure
out why you act so immature and
self-conscious around guys, espe-
cially when you can form such
close friendships with women.
Blame your parents for not giving
you brothers, and start examining
the women in your hall as possible
Tell Leah how you feel. She
thinks it's worth a try, especially
since you always seem so down.
She says she'll scope out the hall,
and see if there's anyone available.
A week later, you find a daisy
taped to your door with a little note
attached that says, "Sarah is
Beautiful." There's a heart around
the message, and a small rainbow
in the corner of the paper.
Run to Leah's room.
She'll tell you it's from Aubrey,
some girl who lives on the adjacent
hallway. She's seen you in the bath-
room a few times, brushing your
teeth and washing your face, and
she thought you were pretty cute.
You get all nervous, because you
have no idea if this is what you
want, and also you aren't really
sure who Aubrey is. Ask Leah what
you should do. She'll tell you to go
for it. "Hey, it's worth a shot. And if
nothing else, maybe she'll intro-
duce you to someone you are inter-
ested in." Figure Leah's advice
sounds pretty logical. Walk over to
Aubrey's hall and locate her door,
thanks to the R.A. who decorated
all the doors with cut out names
made from yellow and orange
Aubrey answers your knock, and
you introduce yourself and thank
her for the flower. She's shorter
than you and really smiley, and you
figure she's pretty cute. She's got
straight blonde hair that swooshes
down her back, and her pale skin
looks so soft that you want to reach
out and stroke her cheek.
Clasp your hands behind your
You both attempt to make small
talk, asking about classes and pos-
sible majors, and "where are you
from" type things. She'll invite you
to a party on Friday night, and you
agree to go.
You don't spend as much time
getting ready and picking out your
clothes, because this time, you are
the one being pursued. You figure
you've already done something
right, so you're feeling pretty good.
When you go to her room that
night, she offers you some wine
from a box.
Drink it quickly, because it gives
you something to do, besides look-
ing awkward. After an hour or so,
you two walk over to the party with
linked arms, partly for balance,
partly for intimacy. The party is at a
fraternity house, which you find
highly ironic, considering you're
on a date with a girl.
Wonder if you two will get beat
Once inside, you drop each
other's arms and head for the bar,
nodding and smiling at familiar
faces. A sweaty, pretty boy thrusts
red plastic cups of warm beer into
your hands within seconds because
you are girls, and the pimply fresh-
man boys sneer at you enviously.
Move to a corner of the dance
floor and sip the cheap beer, nod-
ding your head to the blasting ren-
dition of "Brown Eyed Girl." You
feel both alienated and thankful for
the loud music that prevents you
from talking with Aubrey. You start
making eye contact with frat boys,
smiling behind the rim of your cup.
When you and Aubrey finish
your beers, she takes you over to a
corner on the sticky dance floor
and starts kissing you. Her lips are
so delicate and she smells really
nice, and you are already so drunk
at this point, that everything seems
You leave a few minutes later and
go back to her room, because her
roommates are still out partying.
She switches on white Christmas
lights that make the dark room
glow. Putting a Tori Amos CD into
the stereo, she turns the volume
down low and invites you onto her
After a while, when she falls
asleep, nestling her head on your
chest, think about your own bed,
and how you wish you were in it.
You remember that you had the
same thought the last time you
slept over in someone's room, and
you begin to wonder if you are just
too frigid for this kind of thing. You
hate how your arm falls asleep
when you lie on your side close to
the person, and you find it so frus-
trating that these people only sleep
with one pillow, not two like you
do. And why do they always
scrunch up so close next to you,
when there's a whole mattress to
Think about how glorious it
would be to stretch your entire
body out on the bed, so that your
limbs could rest freely wherever
they fell. After half an hour of this
inner dialogue, creep out of bed
and walk to your room around the
Unfortunately, you accidentally
leave your pink underwear on her
Soon, your night together
becomes the subject of heated gos-
sip on the dorm floor.
You avoid your hall's bathroom
for the next few days, desperately
hoping you don't run into Aubrey.
After a few close encounters, she'll
corner you in the cafeteria, while
you're standing in line at the hot-
food counter. She asks you what's
up, why you've been avoiding her.
You've been rehearsing this speech,
both in your head and out loud to
Leah, but, of course, it's much
harder when the person for whom
it's intended is actually listening.
Especially when you have an audi-
ence of hungry and impatient stu-
Guide her to the soft drink
machines, while you press your
they can do. The scientists and the astro-
nauts are looting and fornicating, and no
one is watching the observatories or try-
ing to save the infants. The infants are
pissed, so they start looting homes and
yelling loudly. It's a real mess.
And Otto is standing in the middle of
a field. He's alone and angry, yelling at
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the fireball to go away even while every-
one else knows it won't. The fireball
crashes through the atmosphere, and it
glows like a devil. It falls to the surface,
hits Otto in the head, and smashes into a
million pieces. Everyone stops the loot-
ing and the fornicating, looks at Otto's
cracked skull and laughs. ven the
In the dark, I suddenly realize the
radio in the next room is playing at full
volume, jazzy and lusty, heavy notes of
some obscure black genius dripping
from the speakers. I make an adroit inci-
sion into my eyelids with two index fin-
gers, and unhinge them open slowly.
When I opened my eyes again, Otto
was still sitting there, grinning like an
idiot. I told him my favorite emotion is
He twitches his eyebrow deftly,
because he knows it looks sweet and
"Happiness is boring," I explain. "If
happiness lasts for more than a minute, it
loses its charm. And sadness neverrdid
anything for anybody. Jealousy never
fails you, it creeps up and stabs you in a
different spot every time."
At this point I exemplified the stab-
bing metaphor by waving a butter knife
in front of his face, foregoing the inter-
personal safety cushion necessary for
mental states such as this.
"Jealousy shakes you up and throws
you down and suddenly you have a mis-
sion in life," I say to him. Suddenly, it
makes very little difference, so I careful-
ly place the knife into a nearby
Tupperware container. Otto hums and
mutters. I attempt-to mutter, but it is
incomprehensible. We are both very far
"What about love?" he says.
"I don't believe in love,"I say. "It's an
illusion. Like, for example, when I got
mad at my computer and threw my key-
board against the wall. The key-
See BASTARD, Page 7B
SONNET FOR A COTTO
Couples held hands like elephants clasp
each other's trunks, that silent promised guard.
Joined hands made her feel alone and she grasped
her own knuckles until' David Todd arched
his eyebrow and asked her home after school.
Ellipses in math class became his face
and she danced through lunch in purple moonboots.
Hooking her pinky, fastening her faith,
he showed her a window that overlooked
the garden. A rabbit sniffed coral bells
and David snatched a gun. He unhooked
the safety and fired; the rabbit fell.
He hiccuped loud like the pop of his gun.
For you, he said, I would shoot down the sun.
ana: .vnn s olo a co .
Thursday, March 16 7:30 pm
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