Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Background Sorrow

The benefit of loving in vain is that in the end it makes you tough and dangerous and also sexy. And this is an awesome thing to be. Anyone who claims they wouldn't like to be thought of as tough and dangerous and also sexy, is a filthy liar.

But the downside is that until then, you tend to show up in the backgrounds of photos, making sad, frowny faces into glasses of booze and swiping at persistent tears with the butt of a revolver.

Midwestern families gather 'round hand-hewn dining room tables to peruse vacation pictures and end up laughing at you all night long from a thousand miles away. And that's just bad for your Chi, is what that is.

Latigo Flint finds himself pinned beneath the crushing torment of an epic sorrow trifecta: Three useless loves for one useless man. The first is for a long-departed way of life--that era of squinty-eyed gunslingers in the American Old West for which Latigo Flint is so perfectly suited but can never live. The second useless love is for the cute Starbucks barista--a wretched, captivating little harlot with mean eyes and blond highlights that refuses to smile no matter how wry and charming Latigo Flint is that day.

And finely, Latigo Flint is in love with those rolling ladders that elderly librarians use to reach the highest level of a fifty-foot bookshelf. And maybe also in love with the elderly librarians, especially if they smoke a pipe. But Latigo Flint has crossed Los Angeles a thousand times and not a trace of rolling book ladders hooked to fifty-foot shelves, ridden by elderly, pipe-smoking librarians can he find.

Paralyzing are these useless loves; no question. They wreck and ruin is what they do; incessant.

(But damn if being wrecked by things doesn't tend to make you tough and dangerous and also sexy.)


At 1:19 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I've loved in vain on several occasions. It involved a co-ed dorm, a telescope and a free hand.

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Amandarama said...

The tall, rolling library ladders don't return my phone calls either.

At 3:04 AM, Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

these are three excellent loves.

it would be nice to be a gun slinger and ravage a young Starbucks barista on the librarian ladder.

that would be hot.

but I'd settle for ravaging the ladder by itself. and maybe using a mock western style water gun for lube.

At 5:24 AM, Blogger Peter said...

They beat the hell out of my three loves Latigo, Whiskey, Beer & Wine, mind you it's possible to get pretty squinty eyed if you spend a bit of time with my loves!!

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

Families on vacation have ruined a lot more than just your chi, my friend.

And I think perhaps it's time you stopped with all the fussin' about and bed that barista and add another notch on your pistol-handle.

Tell her how you feel, man! And if she turns you down and crushes your heart...well that just makes you sexier, doesn't it?

At 7:02 AM, Blogger slarrow said...

Beware the rolling ladders, Latigo. Of necessity, being with one means your back is to the room, and gunslingers know better than to ever have their back to the room.

Pesky LeHue, the librarian gunslinger of Topeka, Kansas, whose squint was due to his extreme nearsightedness (and thus was not dead sexy), found that out to his dismay when one day he was lovingly filing books on his fifty-foot rolling ladder when the elderly ex-librarian he replaced (who was also his jilted ex-lover) walked in with a buffalo gun. Not only was there a dead gunslinger, but the Pesky mess absolutely ruined a second edition Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Tragic.

Beware rolling library ladders, my friend. Beware.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

This dang ole' internet posted my comment three times. It's a nice comment, to be sure, but not worthy of a thrice-post.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger darthmoridin said...

You could love self loathing. This is LA, there are plenty of clinics for that.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

i don't want to be seen as dangerous . . . and i'm not a filthy liar. but i have seen a rolling ladder riding, pipe smoking librarian . . . only it was a man.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

and i did the math--if you don't work on the weekends, it turns out to be 2272.7272 words a day for the month of november for your novel to be written by the deadline . . . i still think you could do it.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Westacular said...

Monkeypotpie has a point -- when it comes to pining for a woman, there is a certain amount of time after which continued pining will detriment your perceived toughness, dangerousness, and sexiness.

The way I see it -- if you pine for too short a time, you are fickle. You will have learned nothing from your useless love.

If it extends to long, however, you grow pathetic. Pathetic for not acknowledging the truth, pathetic for not having risked it all in one desperate last gamble for happiness and the fulfillment of your love. (Stabbing one's foot is close, but without a confession of your feeling it does not count.) Much of the sought-after toughness, dangerousness and sexiness is gained through the despair that follows a failure in this gamble.

So! The task is find that peak moment -- when the potential gains to t,d,s are at their peak -- and at that precise point confess your useless loves to the barista and try to sweep her off her feet, without regard for the things the police officers and the judge will say to you about it afterwards.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Blog ho said...

there are no books in LA. I've been there.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

One day, when the Space Program has achieved its monopolistic goals, there will be a Starbucks in your town where the rules are slightly different. Baristas, you'll find, will be paid based on the level of love-life satisfaction of squinty-eyed gunslinger patrons. Consider it an advance on your reward for saving me from international terrorists and kidnappers, which is sure to more than enough times.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

The last of those rolling ladders I saw was not in a library, but in a book store. Since there was no need to be quiet, it was powered by airplane motor/propellor. They could go from All's Quiet on the Western Front to Zorro is 3.2 seconds.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger greta said...

I'm sure that if the femme who froths your frap read your lovely words here on this interweb thingy, she would surely fall into your arms and snog you senseless.
Ever thought of carving the URL into your forehead with a penknife before you next order your grande skinny latte?

At 2:03 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Well sure LBB, but really in that case, who hasn't?

It's enough to make a gunslinger weep, ain't it just Amandarama?

Good god T.A.N., I never thought to combine them--that would be truly magnificent. I twitch always now and shall have to add a forth useless desire; it being the simultaneous combination of my three previous useless loves. I have you to blame.

Those appear in my catalogue under "Needs", rather than "Loves" Peter. But the result is always the same.

This is probably good advice Monkeypotpie... for other people. Latigo Flint's situation is gloriously, heartbreakingly different; in all the worst, most epic ways.

I weep now Slarrow, I weep for Pesky LeHue, the librarian gunslinger of Topeka, Kansas. Thanks a lot. And a second edition Clemens was ruined to boot?! Agony, pure and vicious the strain.

I'm fond of it DMor, to be sure. I'm not going as far as to say I love it.

Yeah Tabitha Jane... well your eyes tell a different story, so what do you think about that?!!!

(And Tabitha Jane, it's not going to happen. Does Latigo Flint really seem like the sort who would ever participate in NaNoWriMo?)

Thank you very much Westacular, but I fail to see how anything could ever detriment the tough, dangerous sexiness that is Latigo Flint. (Except perhaps for photos of my stuffed animal collection.) The Starbucks barista is a different sort of girl, I am a different sort of boy. Conventional advice simply does not apply. (You remember I savaged my feet, I like that.)

We're so above that tired old tree-pulp media out here in LA, Ho.

I have read the manifesto for your Space Program Trevor Record and I trembled, I literally trembled in rapture. (And lechers also... wasn't I going to save you and your fellow wunderkind from the lechers that would surely come?)

That last is easily the finest sentence ever Old Hoss.

I have thought of doing many things Greta. Many, many things.

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Not only gunslingers, Latty. Not only gunslingers.


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