Home | Archive | Itineraries | Events | FAQ | Columns/Links
Advertise | Newsletter | About/Subscribe | Submissions | Art Walk | Books | THE2NDHAND Writers Fund

**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

Columbia College Fiction Writing Department

Back to Archive Index

Glenn Lester

Glenn Lester's got work forthcoming in Catch pdf zine and at ThievesJargon.com. This is excerpted from a larger piece, as yet untitled, as yet unfinished.

All I need is to be famous like you, Ryan Seacrest. You with sculpted hair and a P.A. clinging to a clipboard and probably she keeps sunglasses for you in case the sun comes out. I know these things. I have meditated on you. You are not gay but sometimes you act like it. That's a famous person's prerogative and with your help it can be mine too. Ryan Seacrest, you are not like Simon or Randy or that alcoholic Paula because you are no critic. They disparage the contenders but when they are harsh you do not acquiesce. For you are an Idol unto yourself, Ryan Seacrest. You are the Baal of the Old Testament plus a bottle of hairspray on the dressing room shelf. You aid those who come to execute their desires. You fulfill. My meditations have led me to visions: you stand in the green room, Ryan Seacrest, shaking hands and leaning into embraces while careful not to muss the hair which is an architecture unto itself and you touch the cheeks of the Idol hopefuls who tear up and your face falls, too, Ryan Seacrest, because you are famous and have overwhelming compassion even for those whose dreams are crushed, and thus you manufacture a true tear against the made-up cheek of a failed contender while your P.A. balances sunglasses and hairspray on her clipboard, flipping open her cell phone to call the producer of E!'s Live From The Red Carpet, telling him with a graceful, awed voice: "Ryan will be late. He is empathizing with the cast of American Idol." Disrupt the schedule for me, too, Ryan.

And see that's the difference between me and you. Unlike you babe I don't need a puppy to survive. I got my mind to keep my company. With me that's all you need is a good strong mind. And I got it. You got that damn dog sweets. It's cute and all but it requires upkeep. Tenderness and that shit. My mind provides its own upkeep. All you got to do is think with it. Maybe give it a little something to drink to free it. I mean try giving that cute old puppy a drink and see how it behaves. It'll fall asleep. Feed it booze more than a few times and it'll get grizzled and all drooly and shit. With a good strong mind like the one I got to keep me company that won't never happen. See you leave me alone and the mind will start churning out this stuff. Keep me entertained. You got so much work honey with that damn dog which I know you say is the point. Balancing work and play and shit. See my mind does more than just entertaining. It edifies. It is like its own university. I practically got a PhD from all my goddamn thinking. Fuck me sweets if you think all it does the damn day is get foggy on the park bench. Only reason for booze is setting my mind free. And then I'll in turn be free because my mind's got freedom. That dog'll fucking chain you to the earth and I mean literally. See that? Literally because girl you got to chain a puppy to the fence so it don't run away and if you got a fence you need a house cause who ever heard of a fence without a house then you need some income and people occupying the house so pretty soon you are the opposite of free. You are fucked. I survive by my mind only. I put together that little analogy with you getting fucked and the dog and the fence with only my mind. That's the power of having a good strong mind which if you don't got which you don't you got to get rid of that dog and fucking get one.