SAMUEL H. LUNT
I am positive that a train is leaving Grand Central right now with a courageous woman that I once fell in love with. I have a sense for these things. She is giving her ticket to the conductor and soon she will be in Pleasantville or Mamaroneck and I will never see her again. But these things happen every day. We cannot dwell on the past.
And so I look in this other girls eyes, on the pleather sofa in the apartment her parents bought her, and I am absolutely certain I can make her believe I am in love with her. She is not particularly ambitious, and doesnt ask me many questions, and we spend much of our time together doing laundry and watching television. Her fingers click on the remote and I lick her earlobe while I think about what this means.
It means that I never will have to earn enough money for my own apartment. I can move my things into her apartment and will no longer have to pay rent. It also means that I will always be able to have sex. And it means I can write the great American novel at last.
The only problem is that she has a dog and I hate dogs. I believe she only keeps it because of the way it playfully wags its tongue in her private parts while she is half asleep in the morning. She has had the dog since she was a teenager, and it has always done that. The dog is her best friend.
My best friend is my bicycle. It is red, and I have had it longer that this girl has had her dog. I ride it everywhere. I have told the girl that I will give up my bicycle if she will give up the dog, but its no deal and were at an impasse. I dont know what I will do. These kinds of major life decisions are maddening and make me want to jump in front of that train. The one that is just pulling out of Grand Central, headed to points North.
Im not a morbid person, though. Dont get me wrong. And its not that I think this girl is just as good as any other whose parents have an apartment that I can move into. Its that I am a great writer and I am obligated to share my talent with the world. Could you imagine what it would be like if Magellan hadnt been able to express his pioneering spirit? Or if Moses was prevented from parting the sea? Or if Eve hadnt eaten that apple? Its like that.
I feel stifled, and I feel sorrow for a world that would be deprived of my gifts. This is why I am pretending to be in love with a girl with a dog and an apartment.
If I were to leave this place right now and run to Grand Central, just barely making it in time, before the train left, and if I were to scour the train for the other girl, chances are nothing would come of it. Id be deftly rebuffed and would spend the whole trip crying my little eyes out. And when I got off in Albany, at the end of the line, I would be no better off than I was before. But I would have to get a job and I would have to find an apartment and someone else to have sex with me. And then Id never have time to write. Plus, Id be in fucking Albany without my bicycle.
And the world would be without my gifts.
So I will make the sacrifice. I will remove my Banana Republic boxer shorts and ask her to put the dog in the other room because I have something very important to tell her.
"I love you, Drosphilia, and I always will," I say, feeling the blind force of my convictions.
"I know, Samuel, " she says, taking an ice chip from her glass of Diet Coke and playfully dropping it into my pubic hair.
"So I want to move in to your apartment and write an important book," I say, and she nods, as though she knew all along.
Later that night, we eat kimchee and chocolates and watch Law and Order, and I try to think of a good opening paragraph for my book. I am certain that this is the best decision I have ever made.
SAMUEL LUNT is living off of a meager trust fund as he tries to "find himself" in a converted factory in East Williamsburg. He is originally from Reno, Nevada, and has survived being shot with a revolver in the ribs.