Not in the mail

“You know that ten dollars you gave me back, with the weed?,” I said to Kallie this morning. “That should be enough to pay our expenses at the Sincere Cafe.”

Then I had to explain what the Sincere Cafe is, because it’s not exactly famous — just another Chinese restaurant in a city with hundreds, although in my opinion it’s the best.

Of course, I lifted my line from Casablanca. Anything clever I ever say is lifted from somewhere, but it worked and that’s all that matters. Kallie and I are on for dinner at the Sincere, sometime next week.

♦ ♦ ♦

Naked Killer at the Roxie was a disappointment. Billed as Hong Kong’s satirical answer to Basic Instinct, it’s supposed to be an action-packed kung-fu comedy slash erotic thriller, but, meh. It’s about a group of women who kill men who deserve to die, and I’d like to make a few nominations but not be one, please. It sounds like something along the lines of Ms 45, but this ain't that.

The action sequences are confusingly choreographed and oddly edited, the ‘erotic’ scenes are mostly heavy petting, and the only comedy I could find came via the most mistranslated subtitling I’ve ever seen — several times, it was obvious from the visuals that the subtitled text on-screen was the opposite of what the actors were saying.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now I’m home at the hotel, opening some mail, but not getting the letter I want. It’s not why I started this zine, but a few strangers have written and said nice things to me. Not a lot of people say nice things to me, so that makes my day, every time it happens.

Every time it happens, though, the person who’s read my zine and written a nice letter signs it Frank, or Paul, or Mike. Why can't I get a nice letter from someone named Betty or Sue or even Betty Sue? That letter hasn’t come yet, so I’ve allowed myself some fantasy leeway and written myself that letter …

I really enjoyed your zine. Your snide attitude and rude sense of humor appeal to me, and we have much the same anti-social habits. I even like your taste in old movies. I live here in San Francisco, so yesterday I tried the Sincere Cafe on your recommendation, and loved the place.

If you haven’t given up on the human race and the female gender just yet, maybe we could get together some time? I am a woman but no lady, single, cynical, sarcastic, stubborn, and some say psychotic but I’m not like Margaret and I’d never hit anyone. I am not a beauty queen, rarely wear makeup, and don’t shave my legs, pits, or mustache. I am a feminist and I know karate, and if you touch me against my will I will doublekick you in the balls.

If you’d like to meet, here’s my phone number. Call almost any evening after work. If I’m not there, leave a number and I’ll call you back, and who knows? Maybe I’m the love of your life.

Yeah, that’s the letter I’d like to find in the mailbag. It’s a daydream, but any woman reading this is sincerely invited to make it reality.

Sure, I weigh 300+ pounds and habitually pick my nose and my breath could drop a bum across the street, but I’m also a sensitive guy who reads books and cries at the movies. No long walks on the beach, but in a relationship, I don’t hit, cheat, or borrow money.

Don’t be shy, ladies, and don’t be picky — I’m certainly not. You can be my age, or twice my age, or half my age. You can be my color, or any color, or plaid. I’d prefer a movie nut or a misanthrope or both, but it’s not required.

All I ask is all I offer: A brain, a soul, some opinions, and a willingness to tolerate a few strange habits in an interesting person.

From Pathetic Life #5
Wednesday, October 26, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


Pathetic Life 

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  1. > A brain, a soul, some opinions, and a willingness to tolerate a few strange habits in an interesting person.

    Not a woman sorry, but I'd settle for that, yes.

  2. You're still looking for the letter today, aren't you. Aren't we all.

    1. The letter I wanted? It came. Led me to a long and happy marriage.

      Another one's not coming, but if it did it would probably be an email.


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