Nick Gazin missed his comics column last week because he was at Art Basel. Not apologizing, just bragging.
Jawbreaker’s Major-Label Album - A story by Tao Lin
Ryan looked through glass at tomato sauce on spaghetti on a plate with three to five chicken wings or legs that seemed to be barbecued also on it and thought, “What is that?” and “Ryan thought, ‘What is that?’ while looking at spaghetti and chicken wings.” He walked to the end of the block, turned around, passed an extremely tall Asian man, entered an Old Navy, walked aimlessly toward the back of the store. An employee seemed to be running toward Ryan, who slowed a little, then turned so that he was moving in the same direction as the employee, who maneuvered past Ryan, who sat on a bench next to an elderly Hispanic woman. Ryan looked at his email on his iPhone. Cassie, his girlfriend, had emailed the story he wanted to reread. Cassie’s romantic interest in the story was named Bryant, the same name Ryan used for the character of himself in his recent, autobiographical fiction. Ryan remembered a few nights ago when Cassie asked why he used the name Bryant in his stories. He had felt a little confused why she asked that. He sometimes looked at what time it was while reading her story. He sensed the story was ending soon, then remembered that there were entirely different parts—that it spanned a much longer time than he’d been sensing—and felt pleasure from anticipating reading the later parts.
Ryan exited Old Navy at 1:33 PM and walked toward Sbarro and stood on the sidewalk with his back against a wall and continued reading Cassie’s story. An energetic-seeming woman with white hair asked him something, and he said, “Yes, Baltimore.” He went into Sbarro and stared at a woman wearing sunglasses who was standing by a door outside a bathroom. Ryan averted his sight, went to the utensils, picked up a fork, held it, walked toward the exit. He imagined walking extremely forcefully into the glass. He opened the door and stood on the sidewalk and stared at an attractive, Mediterranean-seeming woman asking him what bus he was waiting for and, as he began to answer, the woman with white hair said, “He’s for Baltimore.” Ryan heard a BoltBus employee say things like “1:30” and “Standby only” while leading people across the street. People began saying things about how the street was blocked and that all the buses were on a different street.
Ryan crossed the street and said, “Is this for 1:45 to Baltimore?” to the back of a woman’s head, and a different woman said, “Apparently this line is for more than one time” and something about “1:15” and three more sentences, each containing the word “apparently.” Ryan sat on the sidewalk, the last person in line, and finished reading Cassie’s story. He thought about how in the story Cassie seemed to maintain interest in Bryant long after Bryant lost interest, or mostly lost interest, in her and about how it ended with a description of her sitting in a car after a final-seeming encounter with Bryant, imagining the car as a living thing and its noises as an expression—toward her, in her view—of anger or frustration. Ryan thought about how in one part of the story Cassie had woken to Bryant “tracing” her hipbones. He walked to a different line and asked a young man wearing large sunglasses if the line was for the 1:45 PM bus to Baltimore and the person said he didn’t know and began talking about other things, and Ryan grinned nervously and looked down at his iPhone’s screen, then back at the young man, who was talking about how he “practically sprinted like 30 or more blocks here.” Ryan walked away with a feeling of having disappointed the young man in their social interaction. Ryan thought he would livetweet the BoltBus delay. He asked a woman his age if she knew anything about where the 1:45 PM bus to Baltimore was, and she said, “No.” Ryan tweeted that he asked a person a question and the person said, “No.”
Thomas Kinkade, “the painter of light,” died. He was an interesting character despite his appreciation by the blandest people on Earth. He drank a lot and he claimed in court that God was his art agent. He was only 54 and it’s currently being reported that he died of natural causes. I don’t know how the fuck that is possible. My guess is that when you die of natural causes at 54 it’s because you are doing just not enough drugs to avoid ODing.