NOTE: This is the text of my monologue from the most recent episode of Heyoka Pod, “Redman Trip Creek.”
George Carlin once said that he never talked about politics because the only reason America had selfish, ignorant leaders was due to Americans themselves being selfish and ignorant. For that same reason, I don’t complain about art. The reason modern art is bad is because modern artists, musicians, and writers are self-obsessed, gormless twits. As Carlin put it, this is the best we can do, folks.
There’s one girl my mind inevitably wanders to when I think about the emptiness of modern artists. She was an aspiring writer who glommed onto me like a remora, hoping to absorb my talent and success through osmosis. Her Black No. 1 hair dye and the Hot Topic wardrobe her mom paid for perfectly matched the pitch-black mole just off the coast of her lips. She had one of those weird asexual names like Madison, Aidan, or Bailey, the kind where you can’t tell whether you’re dealing with a boy or a girl.
I first met her when she slid into my DMs, telling me she wanted to interview me for her college paper. She had a tattoo on her bicep, proudly flaunting it on Twitter with the hashtag “#NeverGettingMarried.” She always got mad because I could never remember whether it was a dragon or a unicorn, because my eyes always wandered to that mole. Her tattoo was just a black outline because she couldn’t afford to get it filled in. I asked her why she didn’t just wait until she’d saved up the money to get the whole thing, and she replied, “But I really wanted this tattoo!” Or more accurately, one-eighth of that tattoo.
One day, she sent me a link to her Tumblr blog, asking me what I thought of her posts. They were all about her favorite subject: herself. Her blog was nothing but navel-gazing on how badly she wanted to be a writer and how nervous she was about graduating college, even though the most adventurous thing she’d ever done was bus tables at a Waffle House. This was my reply: “Stop talking about yourself. You’re a 24-year old from Indiana. You’re not that interesting.”
She told me to go fuck myself. I didn’t speak to her for two months.
She messaged me asking how I’d been, and I told her that things had gone south between me and another female writer, who she’d been intensely jealous of after I told her to read that writer’s novel. Sensing her chance to become the millennial Amber O’Neil, she came to visit me in Chicago for a weekend.
I ended up suppressing the memory of that weekend out of pure rage, like a porn star blacking out her childhood visits with Uncle Bad Touch. But three things about her visit always bubble up out of the cauldron of my mind.
The first happened the morning after she arrived. She made bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast in an attempt to impress me. She then promptly ruined it by pouring the bacon grease down the kitchen sink. I had to use two bottles of Drano to unclog the drain.
The second was when she confessed to me that she had been engaged to a guy the previous year, before meeting me. I asked her why she broke off the engagement. She said that she had felt guilted into it by her Christian parents and that she wanted to “see the world” and “follow her dreams.” I responded by ordering two more IPAs from the bar.
The third was when I told her to get on all fours because I was sick of having to stare at her mole. After assuming the position for two seconds, she suddenly turned around and smacked me in the face, screaming, “Don’t look at my asshole!” I contemplated kicking her out, but stopped after realizing that a pretty white girl wandering around that part of Chicago at night would probably end up in several different trash bags in a dumpster.
I took her to the Greyhound station the next morning. When I got home, I blocked her on my phone and social media accounts.
A few months ago, Instagram recommended I follow her. She’s married now, and pregnant. Her husband is some older guy who looks like he has money. She’s not using the Black No. 1 anymore, none of her recent selfies show the tattoo on her bicep, and there’s no mention of her writing career.
And that’s why I don’t complain about modern art, folks.