Ari seems to be getting comfortable in his role as couch surfer on my blog. Since I am not writing much these days, it is a pleasure to post his flash memory pieces. Here are his tow latest works:
Two weeks ago, apropos nothing, I made up my mind to head over to my
local independent bookstore on Sunset Blvd., and pay $27 for the
recently released Slash autobiography. I am almost 100 pages in. The
book has also sent me revisiting the Guns N' Roses canon, and I
(somewhat begrudgingly) must admit that their sound holds up
This afternoon I was the reading Slash, and the song "November Rain"
came on from the special mix tape I've made especially for just this
activity. If what I am doing needs a name, let's call it "method
reading." But more to the point, I was so immersed in the book and
pathos of the song that I literally felt teleported back to a memory
half a lifetime ago, yet a memory that feels more real and raw than
the computer keys that are clicking underneath my fingers this very
I am 17 and in a car and I am alone and I am feeling sorry for myself
because when your 17, nothing, not one motherfucking thing feels
better than blasting your favorite song, the saddest song imaginable
(but also the baddest and most fuck you anthem ever recorded) while
you shudder against the ache that thrashes at your insides as the car
rushes forward, the chrome fender screaming through the night, the
world black and endless beyond the wraparound window, a panorama of
You take the turns too fast and the song seems the only thing keeping
the car from being yanked off the road, seems the only thing visceral
enough to make a difference anymore. Your foot stomps on the gas and
you hold it down, daring yourself to keep it there, a boy trembling
with his hand fixed in the flame, and yet you dig the pedal even
deeper—and though it's completely pinned to floorboard, you push
harder until you swear you can feel the faintest outcrop of the engine
making itself felt against your foot.
You are a boy and you are alone and you are shouting yourself deaf,
fighting to be heard above the din, above the roar of the radio and
the wind whipping against glass and steel. And though you don't know
it, you are shouting to be heard above the sound of your own voice.
"I dance, I champagne"
New Year's Eve in Berkeley. I am 14 at the oldest. A giant college
party on a sloped street just before the hills.
I remember dancing with a girl in a silver shirt who felt like a woman
twice my age. The whole scene exotic, forbidden in some unnamable way.
It neared midnight. Everyone was passing around Dixie cups of
champagne, small white shapes fanning out among the grabby hands. I
caught one. Furtively. As if on a lark.
The music was louder now, covering all conversation, but we traded
words effortlessly, our voice enchanted and urgent and crystalline.
And then a wild chant spilled over the house, a giant incantation
announcing that one year had come to a close and another was just let
loose. We marked the moment by swallowing our drinks, first tipping
our paper cups to each other in mock formality. Blonde bubbles sprayed
out like tiny firecrackers in open sky.
The night was over an hour later or maybe five minutes. Or, perhaps,
it never ended—remains unfurling still. I am unable to say. All I
remember is moving down side streets choked with cars and bodies and
an immensity that crackled in everything I saw.
I kept waiting for the rains to come. The news had promised a wet New
Year's. I stared above the trees, watching swollen clouds sail into
each other, patches of pillows against a black dome. They had said it
was going to rain, was going to last days, perhaps into the weekend.
But nothing. I reached the end of the block and kept moving, tracking.
A volt of electricity in search of its storm.