What if jazz was squirrel slang for something terrible, like anal intercourse? “Oh, I like it too,” she’d said—and so eagerly! Then again, it could just be mildly terrible, something along the lines of Communism or fortune-telling, subjects that were talked about but hardly ever practiced.
I explained that to you last week, when we discussed your father’s infidelity. Remember we talked about Daddy’s cheating? I told you that there were good lovers and bad ones and that your father is pathologically in-attentive to the needs of his partners. I said that you were not conceived of mutual orgasm and that it probably affected your ability to empathize, remember?”
When asked why she’d chosen to become a journalist, the parrot was known to cock her head a half inch to the right and pause for a moment before repeating the question. “Why did I choose to become a journalist? Well, the easy answer is fairly obvious. Perfect recall is something I was born with, but I guess what really drives me is the money. That, and the free booze.” It killed her to follow this with “I was just joking about the money.”
I never liked the world I saw during the day. Then I started hating the one I saw at night and wondered, What’s left? What changed things, albeit slowly, was learning. It’s like there’s a hole where my life used to be, and I’m filling it with information—about potatoes. About hot water heaters. Anything will do. These leeches, though. For the first time in memory, I was unable to sleep not because I was anxious but because I was excited. To live in a damp crowded asshole and sing—if these guys don’t know the secret to living, I don’t know who does.