Three years ago a coyote named Hal was found living in Central Park. Chaotic hilarity ensued. It wasn’t so much the fact Hal was a Marlon Brando-esque baby-eating wolf-dog, but his sun-drenched apartment was only $5,500 per month, which was way under market value for something with park views. Consequently the NYPD shot Hal with tranquilizer, and he died days later during complications with his rehabilitation process. Today marks the three-year anniversary of his death. Having just moved to New York City, it got me thinking: aren’t we all, deep down, just like that wily ol’ Hal? Haven’t all New Yorkers come from somewhere greener and less crazy in search of the deep-fried American dream? And doesn’t that dream continually elude us, with all the predictability of Wily Coyote and his Holy Grail: the Roadrunner? But as I pondered the true significance of the bushy tail between these hind legs of mine, I realized that actually, my journey was far more akin to the tale in the social realist docudrama, Coyote Ugly. While this film was tarred and feathered by Cahiers du Cinéma for it’s didactic exploration of third wave feminism’s metaphysical afterbirth, it nonetheless struck a chord with me for several reasons. 1. Upon arrival at JFK airport, a Customs official ripped the sleeves, then the bottom half of my t-shirt clean off, instructed I sexy-dance on the desk in front of him, before changing my name and occupation on my visa to Nancy and ‘Naughty Nurse’ respectively. 2. I can’t, as pointed out by LeeAnn Rimes, fight the moonlight. I have intimidated, bullied and made the moonlight feel socially awkward, but we have never fought. 3. I have also died during complications in a routine rehabilitation process. If you think it’s hard getting a decent soy latte downtown, you’ve never been to purgatory.
Ps. My chimpanzee Rex just pointed out LeeAnn’s ‘moonlight’ is actually a metaphor for ‘creamy sperm cocktails’, so feel free to disregard point 2.
Love is a many splendored thing and it also gives you an excellent use for the two flesh poles that protrude from the east and west of one’s clavicles [nerdlingers like to call these arms]. When dosed up to the visual-holes on serotonin, these meaty verticals no longer simply give sleeves a perfect function; they can be neatly put around someone who makes you giddy. Trust me, the sensation is incredible. In love, all body parts find a sudden and wonderful new use, mostly to do with decreasing the amount of space between you and your sweetheart or simply to thrill your beloved’s eyes with their newfound perfection – so smooth, so soft; my god, you’re like a work of art. But Coyote Girl has seething seas of freakshow fish between her and her Love, and now, her arms are empty, useless, devoid of meaning. As I bid a sleepy Stilnox nighty-night to the city skyline yesterday, I became aware of the carcrash crush of limbs in front of my chest. One skin needle was hooked around the other chicken limb, which was shooting out under my chin in the manner of Mexican fireworks. Fingers were splayed or balled into sticky fists, wrists at right angles to produce shadow puppets for an audience of none. The overall effect part less gently girly, more What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Sans lover to hold, I needed to find a new use for these arms. And fast.
I had coffee with up the clever Fox who lives up the street. “Ah, Coyote, those arms are nothing but dollar bills furled into flesh!” he grinned, yellow tips of his teeth catching the dawn light. “Let me lop your arms and I will make you rich!”
I waved down the Albatross who circled overhead, “Your arms are unfinished,” sniffed the Albatross, picking out insects from the corner of his shining beak. “Come with me and we can turn them into wings!”
I bought some fine chocolate to the Peacock in the zoo. “Oh Coyote,” sighed the fair Peacock. “Why worry so much for use? Let them be just be beautiful and we can dance till the moon has waned.”
None of this seemed to resonate – my usually helpful animal compadres were getting me nowhere.
Finally my friend the Mouse hopped onto my knee. “What’s the haps, CG? Why the long face?”
I relayed my tale to the twitching tail. Mouse smiled, warm wet jet-black eyes wide with wisdom.
“You were right all along, Coyote Girl,” said the little Mouse. “Arms only exist to hold onto Love. But never fear, you’ll have Love again one day.”
“How do you know that?” I asked sadly. “That’s impossible to say with any certainty.”
“True,” nodded the Mouse. “But at least now you know what to do with them if you’re lucky enough to have Love tapping on your door. And that is a blessing of its own.”
# 3 We Have All Been Robbed.
Dude: Hey, what time is it?
Dude: Time, what time is it?
Me: Oh, um, let me see…
Dude: Hey, gimme your wallet.
Me: [blank stare]
Dude: Your wallet.
Me: Are you…
Dude: Don’t go anywhere!
Me: Okay. Hey, don’t… Are you serious?
Dude: What’s in the bag.
Me: Oh c’mon, I’m broke, seriously.
Dude: Shut the fuck up! What’s in that case there?
Me: My camera.
Dude: Yeah good, gimme that. Oh, what is this, an Olympus?
Dude: What the fuck? Aw man, a fucking Olympus.
Me: It’s a really shitty camera.
Dude: That’s a piece of shit camera.
Me: Yeah, there’s something weird with the flash.
Dude: It has too much flash.
Me: Yeah I know! And it gets the colors all… it just takes really terrible pictures.
Dude: You should try a Canon, that’s a sweet-ass camera. Me: I had a Canon! A Canon IXUS 8!
Dude: Now that is a real nice camera.
Me: But it got… stolen.
Dude: Ha! Yeah well that dude knew what he was doing! Ha ha ha!
Me: But um… well actually I have travel insurance now so… So, you know… Hey, where are you going?
Dude: Fuck off.
Me: I thought you wanted the camera.
Dude: I don’t want your shitty Olympus piece of shit.
Me: Well, I don’t want it
Dude: Too fucking bad.
Me: C’mon, I have travel insurance. Dude: Nah man, forget it.