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You Make It Hard To Concentrate

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Photo by Oleg Oprisco. Click the photo for his photostream.

Photo by Oleg Oprisco. Click the photo for his photostream.

“I hope you liked the flowers.”

“Easy, I’ll lift. Okay.”

“I was afraid you’d think them trite or worse. I didn’t dare buy one of those

syrupy-sweet cards. I mean, sure Valentine’s Day, red roses. It’s retro, I know.”

“Take them off completely. Good. First, move around a bit.”

“You know I accept the equality of men and women’s sexual needs. You’ve

taught me that the ideas of marriage, family, prostitution and heterosexuality all exist to

perpetuate the sex-role system. And I’ve accepted that sexual intercourse is focused

mainly on male erotic pleasure. When men dominate women it’s for ego satisfaction, and

we should chide the women who believe the submissive role is natural when it’s really a

type of cowardice. I’m all for the self-actualization of women economic justice, and I

understand that objectifying the female body is sexist. I’d never read Camille Paglia.”

”Slide the pillow under. Like that.”

“Wasn’t I delighted when you went after that Cro-Magnon numbskull in a white

Stetson who called you ‘little lady?’ Shit, you erupted over him like a steam geyser, and

he withered in his clothes like you’d shrunk his head.”

“A little higher.”

”Henry was right then. He said the flowers would be a sign of affection, and my

being thoughtful. Henry may look like a wizened gnome, but he knows all kinds of shit.

For example, Chaucer invented the tradition of Valentine’s Day in the fourteenth-century.

Christ, the Old English is a disaster to pronounce. ‘This was on Seynt Valentynes day,

whan every foul cometh ther to chese his mate.’ Chaucer must have sounded like he had

marbles in his mouth.”


“Fuck, no way you can read Chaucer’s fast. There’s a gloss every three words.”

“Yes, yes.”

“Henry told me Hamlet took Ophelia’s virginity on Valentine’s Day.”

“Oh God.”

“Hamlet must have been a disaster in bed. I mean Ophelia drowned herself


“Don’t stop.”

“Henry knows John Donne. ‘The husband’s cock is out and soon is straight. This

day might inflame thyself old Valentine.’ Gives new meaning to the idea that the English

are stiff.”


“Anyway, the roses were a success?”


“That’s a relief.”

“Lovely, darling.”

“Great. My turn. Put on some red lipstick. It’s Valentine’s Day.”