Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Love Now

She went to the window

And her perimenopause turned on the air conditioner

“Not tonight. It hurts and I don’t want to be touched.”

It’s OK. A young lover lies on you; an old lover lies with you.

She lay with calm nose breaths

While he came up with some new jokes

The one last night really killed.

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How To Make Love To a Computer

A postmodern short story, or a series of discordant ramblings on love in the modern age, as spoken in a stochastic way to a machine.

By Eric R. Rasmussen


“My father’s not at home.”

“I had a nice time tonight, April.”

“I wish I knew all your big words.”

“It was nothing.”

“You kiss nice.”

“Should we go upstairs?”

“Red is really your color.”

“I’m five shades of red for you, handsome.”

“Want to watch a movie?”

“What do you want, Mary? Do you want me to lasso the moon?”

“It’s egg-shaped.”

“No, that hurts a little.”

“It’s okay, I can see myself home.”


My wife thinks the best thing about me is my chin. But I think the best thing about me is my jokes.

“I’m going to tell you a joke,” I said.

“No. Please don’t.”

We went to a therapist. He asked me to recall a nice story about my wife. I remembered being on the beach during the summer and how nice and sunny it was. We wore baggy shorts and ate clam chowder, and somebody was blowing huge bubbles with a giant ring. Then he asked my wife to tell the same story, and she said she didn’t like being at the beach at all. Too sandy.

“But I was happy,” I said.

“There are no happy experiences,” she said. “Only happy memories.”

I thought about this for a long time and finally said:

“You stole that line from somebody.”


CHERYL36DD: You sound like a snarky boy.

9INMales: Oh, you wouldn’t know half of how snarky I am.

CHERLY36DD: I could teach you a few things about snark.

9INCHMales: Is your profile as kickin’ as your name?

CHERYL36DD: You like my double DD’s?

9INCHMales: Oh boy, oh boy. Sheeeeeeoooodeodeodo!!


“I love you, David.”

“I can offer you digital business solutions.”

“I think about you so much that I get wet when we talk on the phone.”

“My innovative and outside-the-box problem-solving will help you move the needle on your business.”

“That night we spent together might not have meant anything to you, but it meant a whole lot to me.”

“When it comes to adding value to your business, I offer more than blue sky scenarios. I also help you quantify your risk with meaningful downside beta.”

“I want to have a baby. Your baby.”

“I will help you expand global market share, enhance return on capital, and help you realize synergies by working to help you integrate acquired business lines.”

“When you yelled at me in the restaurant … it hurt. But it felt like a kiss.”

“Clarity, cohesion, efficiency, and transparency–these are increasing necessities in a time of regulatory and market contingency.”

“When you sleep, I watch you. That’s when I love you the most.”

“At the end of the day, I build upon the momentum to help you leverage your capabilities and plumb your alpha.”

“When I wake up in the morning, the pain is the only way I know for sure that I’m alive.”

“And you will wake up to a better, brighter, more productive growth environment.”


“Are you happy?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why don’t you know?”

“I just don’t.”

“Well, when will you know?”

“I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I am.”

“Well, okay. But I’ve already been waiting a long time.”

“A person can’t be happy all the time. He couldn’t take it. Sometimes you’ve got to just sit there and not be happy.”

“How can a person not want to be happy all the time?”

“There’s happy time, ya know. And then there’s maintenance time. Like digestion.”

“How about right now?”


“Well, I think you should be happy now.”


“Because you just came in my mouth, that’s why.”

“How about I buy you a dress?”

“Not good enough. Tell me you’re happy, goddamnit.”

“I can’t say it! I can’t, all right? It’ll be weird now. It won’t withstand a categorical examination. I might become unhappy just thinking about it.”

“I knew it.”

“Knew what?”

“You’re Kurt Godel.”

“So what if I am?”


Joey: Why don’t you talk to us some, CHERYL?

DaveP: Yeah, what up?

9INCHMales: Don’t listen to them. I love you.

CHERYL36DD: Silly boys. Showing your horns.

9INCHMales: SPROING!!!!!!!

CHERYL36DD: Well, you’re all burned! Because I’m going to tell MY BOYFRIEND.

Joey: Huh?

9INCHMales: Huh?

DaveP: Hey CHERYL, I don’t care ‘bout no boyfriend. I love you so much I’d cross five miles of barbed wire to hear you fart over a field phone.

Joey: Well, I’d wash my hair with your spit.

9INCHMales: Well, I’d get a gonorrhea test with a large metal stent.

CHERYL36DD: I think I like you too much.

Joey: Who?

DaveP: Yeah, who? Which one of us?

9INCHMales: Who, Cheryl? Who who who?


“Dan, I think I’m going to leave you.”

“I am an ancient reluctant conscript.”

“We’re always talking, and yet we never say anything.”

“April is the cruelest month.”

“A person can’t be a lover and a friend. A husband has to be my counterpart. My soul mate. My other.”

“The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

“It’s like we’re speaking different languages.”

“I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.”

“That is not what I mean.”

“That is not what I meant at all.”


Jens16: Wot up, cuz. Luvs y’alls. I totally ❤ you. So guess you knows now the Jennines is pregs. LOL! So I’m 16 yo, so what. If ya thinks I’m stupid, FU! Cause I’m keepin’ it, and I’m gonna love my baby and it’s going to be the dopest baby around. Aiiight? Aiight! And my bf is black, too, so FU again, cuz. LOL. And the moms is gonna help out and the dads too, and if you don’t like it, then take it up with the welfare depts., aiiight!


Sometimes I love my daughter so much it hurts. You try to give children everything you didn’t have. You try to make sacrifices for them. That’s why I became a parent. To get over my selfishness. Because how long can a person go on morbidly attending to herself? Listening to her own problems, talking about esoteric subjects like bad corporate management or union problems or compliance. One forgets that she is not alone, that her quotidian problems are not the real stuff of life—only the pain we inflict on each other is. The way we push up against each other and find each other’s weak spots and find the hurt, or else try to inspire something greater than any mere one of us has on her own. I wanted it to be less about me. I didn’t want to think about makeup. Or how I looked. I didn’t want to care if I lost a pound or two or gained a pound. I didn’t want to bitch about my commute, or scream at the woman at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or care who was looking at me in a store and wondering if there was something on my face. When you have a child, all that goes away. You can get child snot in your hair or baby shit on your face or scuzz on your shirt and it doesn’t matter. Because you’re free from caring. Free from the prison that is one’s own brain. It’s all about the baby. For as long as you can keep it. The baby. Don’t leave me, my beautiful baby.


Jens16: Well if Dodo17 wantz to call me a stupid slut, then he can kiss my ass. LOL. Cause my baby’s gonna be the cutest goddamn baby ever, and I don’t have to work. I can get help from the church or from my mutha or from the gummint if I want, and if you all don’t like it (LOL) you can kiss my ass and if you don’t like that I keep smokin’ cigs you can kiss my ass too or if I keeps drinkin or chillin’ wit some 420. You can all jusss kiss my ass. Cause I ❤ this baby, aiiiight? And can I get an aiiiight? Aiiiiight?


“What’s that in your eye?”

“I’m not a big fan of theater.”

“You’ve got to admit Bush is an idiot.”

“It’s a flaw.”

“Something black.”

“In a field of blue.”

“And you’ve got to admit the world’s a violent place.”

“There is no time.”

“Do you think you’re the kind of guy who wants kids?”

“There is no time.”

“I always thought of living in Paris.”

“There is no time.”


“But what are you going to do when you’re independent and you’ve got to rise up and make your own way in the world and ride the corporate ladder? And then they say we’ve got to have a baby by 35, as if that were possible, otherwise we’ll be childless and bitter. It’s different for a woman and you can’t stop everything on a dime.”

“There is no time.”


Joey: Why don’t you talk to us some, CHERYL?

CHERYL36DD: I think I’m getting hot.

9INCHMales: Yyyyyyyyeshhhh!

CHERYL36DD: I think I’m going to touch myself *down there.*

Joey: Are you talking to me?

DaveP: Or me?

9INCHMales: Definitely talking to me.

CHERYL36DD: And I’m touching my coochie real slow like. It’s so warm.

Joey: Are you sure you’re a woman?

CHERYL36DD: I’m alone tonight and crave it so bad. Can’t even say when my man is getting’ home. My mind’s on fire and I just gotta squirt.

DaveP: Yo diggity Cheryl, you’s one crazy beaaatch!

CHERYL36DD: And all you all’s gonna respect me, right? And kiss my feet and tend to my needs. And touch me slow and treat me fine? I want it so bad.

Joey: I’ll rip your clothes off where you stand, girl!

9INCHMales: You ain’t never rode a cock like mine.

Joey: Who are you, Cheryl?

DaveP: Yeah, who?

9INCHMales: Who, Cheryl? Who are you?


“We’re all following our own scripts. And they bring us together and sometimes we follow them away from each other.”

“Sometimes I get paranoid that my wife is going to leave me … and that my child will follow her right out the door. And then what will happen to me?”

“We all don masks. We all play our parts. And then the masks have to come down and when we reveal who we really are …

“…can we say then that we should be married? How can two people ever stay married when they don’t ever really know what they mean to each other? Maybe I’m only paranoid because it’s really me … in my heart, I’m the one leaving her and I know it.


“Life is only to don masks, my love To hide our true selves. That’s what it’s come to, my love. That we have to be open to be honest to each other and we might not like what we see. It is time to part, my love. For our own souls, my love.”

“What is that, your third martini?”


“Different scripts. And we are all just on a sad stage playing our parts. Glad to be of use … perhaps a little obtuse.

“I had an abortion.”

“If you want me to, Mary, I’ll lasso the moon.”

“It was my choice.”

“I’m sure did what was best for you.”

“Are you sure it’ll be safe?”

“I don’t regret anything.”

“Why don’t you kiss the girl?”

“I could just take you in my arms right now.”

“I’ve got something to tell you.”


“I want you to forgive me, but why should I want you to forgive me?”

“I see you’re upset about something.”

“And you can swallow it up, and the moonlight will shoot out your eyeballs and your fingertips.”


He was an artist. But that’s not how we communicated. He made these great tableaus. These large gestural strokes. But that’s not how we communicated. He made these chiaroscuro plays with light that won him the admiration of everybody in New York. But that’s not how we communicated. He was in Art Forum. But I had nothing to do with that. He was interviewed by Life magazine. But that was irrelevant to the things we said and did together. He’s going to be considered one of the giants of his age. But that has nothing to do with me.

“Honey, can you get me a glass of water?”

“Honey, I’d kill for you.”

That’s how we communicated.


“Pay attention.”

“That’s how we communicated.”

“I love you Cheryl33DD.”

“And if you don’t likes it LOL …”

“There is no time.”

“I can’t just turn my whole life around for a baby.”

“After you have a baby, it’s all about the baby.”

“And fuck my mutha and my fatha and fuck the baby daddy too if you don’t like it, LOL.”

“If you want me to Mary …”

“There is no time.”

“How can you not say you’re happy?”

“There is no time.”

“I’ll lasso the moon.”

“And a woman can’t just stop everything on a dime.”

“And the moonlight will shoot out your fingertips.”

“And there is no time.”

“What did you say?”

“There is no time.”

“There is no time.”

“There is no ….”

“Sheeiiiiiiiit………Cheryl, I knew you wasn’t a woman.”

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I was working one afternoon in a coffee shop on the Upper East Side writing, when I found myself in a familiar Manhattan situation: I was forced to listen to an intimate conversation between the women next to me and learn things about them I shouldn’t know. It seems one of them was having trouble dating. Finding the right guy was hard for her, and yet she defined love not in expansive terms but overwhelmingly in the restrictive terms of things she did not want. She didn’t like momma’s boys, for one thing. The latest deal breaker was that a guy she was seeing had used the word “sketchy.”

Really? Is “sketchy” a dealbreaker? If you aren’t familiar with it, the word is in what we in Oklahoma call the goddamn dictionary and is defined as “iffy” or “questionable,” as in a questionable person. It’s first known use, according to Webster’s, was 1805.

I took umbrage, maybe because it’s a word I like. Its slang variants have given us fun phrases like, “He’s a bit of a sketch,” which are useful to me as a writer. But then I started to wonder (as he started to sound like Sarah Jessica Parker) have we become too judgmental? Then I realized (continuing to sound like Sarah Jessica Parker) people make quick and poor judgments because they want to judge first. For he who does it first, does it best, parrying all attacks and rejection. Yet as well all know, that’s mainly the obsession of people who have all their lives been judged. So I took another look at this woman, her crossed arms. Her mostly camouflaging outfit, her stern face and realized (this blog is turning into “Sex and the City” and lacks only the puns) oh, my God, this woman has been rejected more than a subprime home buyer. No, scratch that. In America even subprime homebuyers get homes. This woman must have been sub-sub-prime. Her FICO score could have been 376. Who else would reject a guy for using a harmless word like “sketchy”?

I, too, was rejected a bit in my youth, and wondered if I judge people, too.

The words of my friend Carol rang in my ears, “Eric, you’re too judgmental.”

She’s right! The other woman in the conversation had been sitting by herself a few moments before. She was a lot more cheerful than her friend, much perkier. And she was very excited to hear “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi come. She started shaking her head to the music at the table and having herself a time, and I remember very clearly what I said to myself in my head: “I reject you.”

All of us cover up vulnerability in different ways. Some people are lucky enough not to have emotional vulnerability, and they go on to head up companies like Halliburton and Bank of America and Goldman Sachs and largely avoid jail time. But the rest of us create armor for our lack of confidence. We tell jokes. We hide behind a guitar. We only leave the house on days when the perspiration isn’t so bad. We create huge altars to the Virgin Mary or to Cure founder Robert Smith. We construct public personae that are increasingly elaborate and perhaps even estranged from who we are inside.

I once read a description of introverts and extroverts I quite liked. This was the way I’ll interpret it: An extrovert will get into a car engine and just start playing around to see what’s wrong with it. An introvert must make a map of the engine in his head before he touches anything. The extrovert will fumble around and might lummox up everything–but if not, he might get it done a lot more quickly. The introvert, meanwhile, might needs to constantly make notes and reassess the situation, and figure out what might be wrong in the extrovert’s thinking. That slows things down quite a bit. And it means making judgments. Sometimes these kinds of judgments can make you come off like a real asshole. But sometimes it can make you cautious enough to say, I need more information before I make a decision about a complicated matter.

I don’t know whether to put this woman in the cautious category or the asshole category. It could be that she doesn’t know who she is, and trying on boyfriends and discarding them is a way of getting to know herself. Is is possible to judge people and accept them at the same time? Can I accept the parts of Noam Chomsky’s political outlook I like and then vehemently judge the rest? Do I have to reject the philosophy of Ayn Rand or can we just be friends? Maybe the ultimate goal isn’t to be judgmental but simply selective. That way we can grow without becoming ingrown. Accept other people’s rejection of us as an opportunity to grow up. Maybe the sketch is us.

How’s that for a pun, Sarah Jessica Parker? I reject you.

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–*We’re not celebrating it. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses and every day is Valentine’s Day to us.

–*We’re purchasing on an extra sexy nightie, and to make it more naughty, leaving the tag on so we can return it all soiled to Victoria’s Secret tomorrow.

–*We’re putting on our favorite sensual music. “Master of Puppets” by Metallica usually puts her in the mood.

–*We’re eating food with aphrodisiac qualities like oysters, chocolate, asparagus, honey, basil and Gas-X.

–*We’re watching Julie & Julia again and rewinding over and over the scene where Julia Child says she likes a hot cock.

–*Romantic love is a narcissistic bourgeois concept. I am much happier in the jungles of Peru with my bloodthirsty communist group The Shining Path and plan to celebrate my 30th year here by eating banana leaves and wiping my ass with tree bark.

–*I’m wining and dining the woman of my dreams at a romantic dinner, telling her how much she has meant to me and telling her how she and I are going to begin a great adventure in marriage together after I leave my third wife and sundry children.

–*I’m spending money on food, wine and Valentine’s Day chocolate, because if I don’t, the terrorists win.

–*I’m making promises I can’t keep about giving my lover all the things she wants, starting with universal health care.

–*Love is mainly an illusion. Tonight I’m indulging that illusion with Henry.

–*Tonight I’ll be laughing at all the people in relationships who are wasting all their god damned money on an expensive dinner.

–*My wife and I are therapists and tonight we’ll be engaging in projection, transference, parataxic distortion, denial and all the other things that make love great.

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