the wrong tape
i got a scented candle.
now my office smells like a quiet suburban street.
when i was about 10 years old my mother rented a porn video for me and my friend. im not sure how i convinced her to do it, but it seemed reasonable at the time. back then my friend and i would spend a lot of time in downtown san francisco. the streets were our playground. we would spend our days scouring the gutters for treasure, sneaking into porn shops for a peek, hanging on the corners and in alleys, watching the drug dealers deal and the drug addicts fiend. she worked at a homeless shelter back then, and sometimes i would run into her co-workers while finding trouble in the streets. i think one of them told her that they'd saw us lurking around seedy areas, sneaking into the adult shops, and she'd decided that was too dangerous. So instead of scolding me and telling me not to hang around with perverts, she rented us a porno and told us to watch it in the safety of our home. i dont know if that was the best idea, but thats how it went down in those days.
she came home with it in a brown paper bag and tossed it on the couch in front of us, then went into the kitchen and chain smoked cigarettes. we anxiously put it in the vcr and sat on the floor, eyes wide, staring at the television, hoping for some sort of magic. what we saw was decidedly not magical. not in the least.
it opened with a man laying on a bed, completely naked. there wasnt any sound, just the hiss of silence, and the film was grainy and dark. the production value was definitely lacking. but my friend and i watched intently, almost shivering in our own undeveloped hormones. where are the girls at? i want to see some tits. i want to hear some moans. what is it that grown ups do? i want to share in the excitement.
but it was just the guy, laying there. i think he was reading a magazine or something. we fast forwarded it a bit. lets get to the action! when i hit play the image roared out. we couldnt believe what we were seeing. the same guy was on the screen, and he was still alone, but he was FUCKING A TOMATO. we both doubled over in confusion. what the huh? then we decide to fast forward more (at a very young age i knew that sex with vegetables wasnt my kink) and when i press play: there, looking out at me, is a hairy mans ass, butt cheeks spread wide open, while another man is diving in for some prime anus rimming.
we pressed stop and sat there in a horrible silence. i was stunned. i could hardly believe it. my mother had rented me gay porno.
when brought to her attention she laughed and apologized. she checked the video and realized that instead of getting The Devil in Miss Jones, she had gotten The Devil and Mr. Jones. later on i grew suspicious that maybe she was testing us, seeing how we would respond. but she swore it was a mistake and actually ended up bringing home a straight porno a few nights later. whatever that porno was i forget. it hardly made as lasting an impression as the tomato fucking one.
we went to the yankee game yesterday. we got there at the top of the 3rd inning. all the homeruns balls were in the hands of the fans by then. only thing left was a few errors and some pop flyouts. yankees won. yankees won.
we went to a bar across the street from the stadium and had a few shots and a couple beers. the bartenders there dropped my jaw. they were gorgeous in all the right ways. i think i fell in love once, though it could have been all the alcohol.