McBickle Eyes the Transom
Telling Stories Anyone Wants to Hear
Friday, March 18, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
This is AMERICA.
Mza: How was your Valentine’s Day?
McBickle: Cuckoo and great. We went to Koreatown. It was wild. Then we tried to see a peep show. Then we wandered through the weird gross Hotel Pennsylvania. Then we went to a 3-D IMAX movie about CAVES.
Mza: Weirdest V day ever.
Mza: Great! You were unsuccessful in seeing peep show?
Mza: Why? This is AMERICA.
McBickle: Well, there were very sketchy men lingering and everything seemed covered in semen, so we perused the massive dildos and left.
Mza: Yeah, isn't there a peep show for women? Guess not.
McBickle: Not in the 32nd st grossness we wandered into.
Mza: Yeah, yeccchh.
McBickle: Yup. There were like dollar booths and there were videos, not live nude girls. So I was disappointed anyway.
Mza: Yeah, stoops.
McBickle: This convo is worth blogging.
Mza: Where'd you go in Koreatown? I never know where to go in Koreatown.
McBickle: I dunno what it was called.
Mza: Was it Valentines-y?
McBickle: Yes! And scary! That movie was terrifying!
Mza: And you had to cling to each other out of fear, etc...
McBickle: YES. No joke. Like, fucking frightening.
Mza: How many people went to see movie about caves on V day?
McBickle: Us and some very nerdy teens.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
“Space, baby, space,” I said as I leaned into her silken arms. The moon hung brownish red and blurred in my poor prescription glasses but I knew what it was all the same—this was the eclipsed moon that begins the cycle under which we will marry. It’s not astrology I believe in, it is the act of peering into the night sky, of dreaming of stars and the texture of the space between them. It’s what we both did as children and did again together last night. In this act forevermore, we will find our minds reaching toward the dark in concert, holding hands, winding through the byways of time.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This Is Now
My grandmother is dying. She is on a morphine drip and has been “taken off things.” She goes and I have not seen her in years. Many years. For reasons that I know she does not understand and now never will but never would anyway. I do not know her—what her interior consists of, what she thinks of the world or what her life has been like. She doesn’t know me, but loved me in her way and I loved her back in the way that we love our flesh and blood when it is only flesh, only blood. That and the memories of a kind soft-skinned woman in my very young years before it all went wrong and I lost a sense of where the adults were who could hear a child speak.
And I am getting married. This weekend I am supposed to go with my future wife to Massachusetts to find a place for our wedding and now I feel a split cleaving myself between New York and New England, my past and my future, my suffering and my happiness. This is a life I am living, and these are choices I will make and there is no going back, ever. I see that now.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Ladyfriend: I'm trying to figure out how to serve an attorney who's dead.
McBickle: Hahaha sorry.
Ladyfriend: Hahaha yea.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Meditations on the Dumbest Terrorist Ever
Former Fake Boyfriend: Incredible.
McBickle: How the hell did they find that?
FFB: He has a lot of stuff on social networks.
McBickle: Oh weird. He's the dumbest terrorist ever.
FFB: Thankfully, yes.
McBickle: this is the most compelling thing about the car bomber: “He said he spoke Urdu, English and Pashto and liked to work on computers, play sports and ‘talk to people from different backgrounds.’” The last part—right? Like, WTF. You like talking to people of different backgrounds? You DO?
FFB: Hahahahahahah. I know. Being in foreclosure to me is fascinating.
McBickle: GF and I were discussing, like, is it an opposite? A lie? Wait, why?
FFB: To me.
McBickle: Why? Curious.
FFB: Makes him like so many other people. I think terrorism and an inflated housing market are the two biggest stories of our lives. So this has both…and you wonder how people become radicalized.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
From "Medicina Rossa + Sequenza Blu/Verde"
(From this series by Alberto Seveso.)
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Sparkle: I'm going to Puerto Vallarta in two weeks.
McBickle: Ooh I've been there—gorgeous.
Who you going with?
Sparkle: Was supposed to be my big brother's wedding
but he postponed it.
Sparkle: Not sure.
McBickle: Seems inconvenient.
She's a whore.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Silence Made Visible
"It was late at night, long past midnight. The silence appeared so rich as to have a visual quality, a sparkle or hard gloss, and a thickness too, like fresh paint. This synethesia must have been due to my disorientation, for this was so familiar, lying here in the green field of her stare, feeling her smooth thin arms."
—Ian McEwan, Enduring Love
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy New Year From My Totem
I saw this huge bird outside my kitchen window this morning. I immediately thought, "Falcon," but maybe it was a red-tailed hawk?
I took the first photo with its back to me then on my second shot the stupid flash went off and it flew away.
Here's the meaning if it's a falcon (according to whatever Internet loon):
"At its core, the Falcon represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship. This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads you to your life purpose. The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change – perhaps in your vocation, work, career, etc. The fact that this Peregrine chose to show itself to you is a powerful message in itself. This is a call for you to pay attention to the your performance, your function, your actions."
And if a red-tailed hawk:
"To accept this Totem, is to be knighted as a Guardian and Protector of the Earth Mother and all her Children, to possess an astute awareness of the interconnectedness of all things, and an inner reverence for all life. These are the souls that are involved in making the world a better place. They will be protectors of the Earth, encouraging and educating Others to do the same. Does the Red Tail appear and Shadow you from day to day? If so, What message did it reveal?"
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
A Nude Maori Pygmy
McBickle: I dreamed last night I was dating and dumped by that girl from Twilight.
GF: Hehe. Ew.
McBickle: She was pretty in the dream.
GF: I dreamt that [ex-girlfriend] was dating a pygmy, a nude Maori pygmy.
GF: And you and I were hanging with them and were all like, "Umm yeah, he's...cool." And she was like, "It’s so cute, he trembles when he's excited... and the sex is...gooood." And you and I were like, "We should go."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The air is spitty and my love is unhappy at home under a fuchsia quilt and my throat is pulsing with the beginnings of a flu but I am able to concentrate and make essays about Africa cohere today when I am not writing this, which, really, is better than not being able to like I was unable to yesterday, isn’t it now.
Here’s a doglikedog I saw in the post office on Saturday while I was picking up a 1,045 page book by Thomas Pynchon that I may read at some unknown future point as well as a novel by Laurie Moore. The post office has a miserable little lobby that radioactivates small, four-legged animals, maybe.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
I Just Awoke From This Dream
We were picked up for not having passports in Iran. We were held with fear, not beatings—just deprivation of reassurance and threat that we were in trouble far greater than we knew. We were afraid. At one point, a group of raucous dark-haired Argentineans was held in the next room and I succinctly said to them, “Tell the embassy: We are American journalists.” I felt quite proud I had mouthed the correct words in my narrow window of communication. It was then a fellow prisoner told me that they, these Argentineans, too, would remain in this jail, and why would I think they could help us? I realized she was right and felt impotent again.
The woman jailer came to us and said we would be moved to a place far worse than this. That if we think we’d had it bad, we had no idea what was coming. She looked like a masculine gym teacher I had as a young teenager—hair in a mat of heavy curls cut close to her head. We would be making crowns of thorns, like Jesus wore, not to wear, but for others. And if we think it would not destroy our hands with each prick and cut, we would soon see what a torture this construction would become, that each thorn would tear at our hands’ meat and slice like razors across our fingers and palms. I become more afraid, but resolve I can do it.
We are sent to a road to wait for a bus to move us, only when two large dirty-white cars arrive, our fellow Iranian tells us these are Special Security vans, meant for our subtle, they-will-look-the-other-way escape across the border. We pile in and drive fast. Only the scenery becomes rocky and forested, and we realize we are still being held, only now in a wilderness in which we would die of thirst and hunger if we could not find our way. Green spreads far and thin but holds chunky gray-white rocks in ragged groupings. The close-cut grass is a yellow-blue coat across the earth that lulls me.
But I would soon lose my socks and shoes and shed my jacket without remembering how. I would chill upward from my toes. I would regret that my camera remains at my apartment with all the photos I have taken on this trip before now.
We come across a huge pool in the woods in which a movie is being filmed. I see John Lithgow and realize he is the person to tell we need help. We wade uncomfortably, watched by the crew, the actors, the grips and lighting guys, through the chlorinated water and I whisper as we pass John, “We are Americans. We are journalists. Tell them.” He seems startled but maybe understands.
I see my black dog drinking heavily from the pool, and fear his poisoning, but know his thirst. I realize then the heaviness our families will feel must be beginning as they finally know we are stuck without charge in Iran, possibly tortured. I worry we have been released too soon, that we will be ridiculed for scaring them, that my detention will not matter enough among the dozens of journalists held for prolonged periods in this country. I realize then that as long as we have made it out, it does not. We go onward, to Iraq.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Commands in Hand
I have been told I must spend this $10 bill on a cab to dinner. It was nestled in an empty cigarette carton, the first pack of cigarettes I’d bought in months. I bought them on a night of a fight—smoked one. The following night, last night, they sat on my couch, hiding under a few envelopes of solicitous junk mail, and one catalogue. This morning, I chucked them into my bag along with matches I’d gotten free at a deli in
“Did you smoke another cigarette?” Girl asks me.
“No,” I say.
“Look in the box then,” she says.
I do. I find the bill and no cigarettes.
“Read the note,” she says.
I do. She loves me.
Now I am supposed to spend the ten in a cab to go on a date to celebrate an anniversary: “It is all part of an elaborate plan,” she says. “You have to put it back out in the world.”
I argue, assuming this will be a hard bit of paper to part with. But I believe in her, and I will do it.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Or a Puppet
Mza: WTF. That's an emoticon not an animal.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The sun goes down earlier now. This was taken at just before 8 p.m. as I walked home the other night. There are men working within that scaffolding. With those startling lights, I felt like I’d come upon an Italian carnevale, something like San Genarro. I stood too far into the street with cars approaching to show you this.
The carapace held these hammering men so neatly. It was like a mini-house turned inside-out.
Gaddafi interpreter 'collapsed during UN speech'
From the U.K.'s Times:
A Libyan interpreter brought over by Muammar Gaddafi to translate his speech at the United Nations General Assembly collapsed 75 minutes into the rambling diatribe, it has emerged.
Visiting dignitaries usually rely on the UN's highly professional team of interpreters but the Libyan leader brought his own expert linguists to translate his speech into English and French, saying that the UN's Arabic language interpreters would not be able to understand his Libyan dialect.
In the event, according to the New York Post, Colonel Gaddafi spoke in standard Arabic - but still got lost in translation. An hour and a quarter into the speech his interpreter shouted into the live microphone in Arabic: "I just can't take it any more."
At that point, the UN's Arabic section chief, Rasha Ajalyaqeen, took over and translated the final 20 minutes of the speech.
"His interpreter just collapsed – this is the first time I have seen this in 25 years," another UN Arabic interpreter said.
Ms Ajalyaqeen was given the next day off.
"Ten minutes with Gaddafi earns you a lot of annual leave," one of her colleagues said.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Subject Message: 'WTF?'
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
'One of Us Is the Monkey.'
Friday, September 11, 2009
I Am Trying to Get a Package. Kafka Has Rerouted It.
Please, read from the bottom up.
NEW YORK, NY, US 09/10/2009 11:03 P.M. EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS' CONTROL / DELIVERY RESCHEDULED [Lady on the phone wonders if there are bad weather conditions or something else happening in New York, 'cause, like, she's not in New York. No, I tell her, no, there are not. It's rainy this morning though, thanks for asking.]
09/10/2009 10:07 P.M. DESTINATION SCAN
09/10/2009 8:00 P.M. EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS' CONTROL
NEW YORK, NY, US 09/09/2009 11:55 P.M. EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS' CONTROL / DELIVERY RESCHEDULED
09/09/2009 10:00 P.M. DESTINATION SCAN [I run into the UPS guy in the elevator. He ponders said "emergency." He thinks it has something to do with our freight elevator being broken. The package I am awaiting, it is small.]
09/09/2009 8:12 P.M. EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS' CONTROL
09/09/2009 7:31 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
09/09/2009 5:40 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
MASPETH, NY, US 09/09/2009 5:11 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
09/09/2009 12:24 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
BROOKLYN, NY, US 09/08/2009 11:40 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
09/08/2009 1:00 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
09/08/2009 1:00 A.M. THE DELIVERY INTERCEPT REQUEST FOR THIS PACKAGE WAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED / THE ADDRESS HAS BEEN CORRECTED. THE DELIVERY HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED [You know, send it to my office.]
09/08/2009 12:59 A.M. THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION. / THE EXCEPTION WAS OVERRIDDEN AND A NEW EXCEPTION WAS CREATED.
09/04/2009 10:17 A.M. THE SHIPPER HAS REQUESTED A DELIVERY INTERCEPT FOR THIS PACKAGE / DELIVERY TO AN ALTERNATE ADDRESS WAS REQUESTED
BROOKLYN, NY, US 09/03/2009 11:43 P.M. THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION. / A POSTCARD HAS BEEN SENT TO THE RECIPIENT REQUESTING THAT THEY CONTACT UPS.
09/03/2009 5:10 P.M. THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION. [I do not have an apartment number, just FYI.]
09/03/2009 7:04 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
09/03/2009 6:27 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
09/03/2009 6:09 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
PHILADELPHIA, PA, US 09/03/2009 3:05 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
PHILADELPHIA, PA, US 09/02/2009 10:24 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
LAWNSIDE, NJ, US 09/02/2009 9:31 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
09/02/2009 7:24 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN
US 09/02/2009 8:22 P.M. BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED
Tracking results provided by UPS: 09/11/2009 10:52 A.M. ET
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Everything Forms Inside If You Let It
I lay on the ultrasound table waiting for the technician, staring across the room at these:
They are babies in utero. In 3D. I’d never seen that. I’d also never seen any of the endometrium on my uterus--it looked like a teardroppy lump on the gyrating gray of the scan--or the flow of blood in my own ovaries, which was technicolored in red and blue pulsating blobs, swirling like fairies doing mischief in my reproductive system. Now I have.