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Difficulties with a Much Younger Girlfriend

by the Gus, December 1995


  had a long and interesting conversation with Michæl Nace down in the kitchen. We discussed the music theory behind the insane music he and his band plays. He spoke of the virtues of atonality and of nonstandard and otherwise odd rhythms. He likes the waltz rhythm, and says his band frequently drops into that when it can think of nothing else to play. He also spoke of one song which is written in 84/84, if you can imagine that. Michæl Nace especially likes jazz, and he says that there are jazz musicians and very good jazz musicians, but no bad jazz musicians since if it is jazz you must be playing pretty damn good to begin with. He said music written in 4/4 on a major scale just annoys him. I praised his music with sincerity and he praised my art, which he'd apparently examined carefully around the house.

Upstairs, a fight had begun to brew between Carl and his girlfriend Melissa. By now they were shouting at each other as the Girls sat around them trying to help them work things out. This was not a scene I chose to enter, and Michæl Nace had the same basic FEELINGs about all this as I did. This FEELING helped extend our conversation into the minutia that people who know each other as poorly as we do rarely step into.

But at one point Melissa came storming into the kitchen and sat amongst us, soon followed by Carl. He asked if we (Nace and myself) wanted to enter into all this. Neither Michæl Nace nor I did, but out of interest I said, "Sure, but I don't know what all of this about." Carl said he felt he'd been "Hustled." I didn't know what he meant, and then he said something about how I ought to know since Melissa liked me. Michæl Nace had a good retort to all of this vitriol that for whatever reason seemed to be extending to me; said Michæl Nace, "We're just the bartender here," implying we could provide theraputic services but would not take sides. When Carl departed, Melissa refused to go with him.

Melissa broke out some of her santa clause, and this was partaken in by her, Sara and myself. Then I did some videotaping. Jennn was on the couch in the dark with Farrell, wishing we'd all get out of the way so some sloppy tongue-involving kisses could go down.

Carl started calling every few minutes, first talking to Melissa, then (after Peggy drove Melissa home) Sara. Carl was fierce by this point and said that we'd better call the cops because he'd be coming out again tonight! He then talked to Jessika for a very long time. This seemed like a job for which Jessika is most suited. She has a soothing sparse conversational style that is ideal for someone who needs to unload vitriolic emotional burden. Nonetheless, this was work in every sense of the word except that Jessika was not being paid. Instead, she'd been abducted and made to serve on the end of a wire. Jessika has a long history of performing such functions; in the past with Johnny Boom Boom Mancini and more recently with Steve Weiner. I kept wanting to rip the phone cord out of the wall. As it turns out, Carl really did think that Melissa had some sort of hormonal attraction for me, and this, perhaps with other jealous FEELINGs concerning other males present, had contributed in some manner to his irrational outrage. I feared that Carl would come out and try to kick my ass...and what for? Did Carl really fear I'd be doing the Uh Huh with a girl known to have once had sex with Bad Cheese?

Then Peggy came back from taking Melissa home. She'd told me to create a bed time story for her, and I had nothing in mind when the time came to finally tell her the story. As I left Sara and Jessika, Jessika mourned the fact that this was the last time she'd be seeing The Gus all evening. And Sara claimed that I was the "Temporary Wonder-Bra"-a reference to other males who "support" Peggy in various scandalous ways. It was a really awkward situation up in Peggy's room. You see, Michæl Nace was lying on a sleeping bag on the floor, so very much wanting to be in bed with Peggy, and I was sitting on Peggy's bed, telling the story. And the whole time Peggy was reaching out to touch me with her hands or else tickling me as "punishments" for preposterous elements in my tale (about a snake who hatches out of an egg, crosses the street, and causes the end of all humanity with a massive car pile-up). I felt really sorry for Michæl Nace that Peggy, knowing how he feels about her but more or less unsure about any romantic designs I might conceivably have, should be so flirting with me in his presence while ignoring him. I returned to Jessika's room for some Grand Air Trine conversations about a few of the things just from this night. I told Jessika a FEELING I'd had that I'd been irritating her all night. She told me she'd sensed this feeling from me, but she never told me if I'd really been irritating her. There were too many things to gossip about and we hadn't digested these things sufficiently in our characteristically sardonic fashion.

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