a novel

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

April 2000

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 5 April 2000
Subject: The Mount of Sodom

An American professor of Iranian origin who's too cheap to pay $280 to register his wife for the accompanying persons (or person's, or persons', there's some controversy about this at work. My argument trumps all: "No one will understand what the fucking apostophe means anyway, so who cares if it might have some esoteric grammatical justification, which is not very strong anyway, since the plural of 'person' is 'people'.") program asked me to find a two-day tour for her. It's useless anyway, which is what I explained to him, since the Dead Sea is two hours drive from Jerusalem, where such a tour would depart from each morning. So I tried to sell him the accomanying persons program. I looked in the brochure, one day Judean Desert, one day Massada, then I find this breathless description of a tour to the Mount of Sodom. "Daniel, what can I call the tour to the Mount of Sodom?" "What do you mean? Call it the Mount of Sodom." No one laughed, and none of the girls said: "Oh, Gabriel," so I knew I'd have to be a little more explicit. To a German, a Hamburger is a person or thing from Hamburg, and a Frankfurter is a person or thing from Frankfurt. To a Frenchman, Cognac and Champagne are places before being beverages. So to an Israeli, Sodom is a place, not an act. "Daniel, it means something else in English. If I tell this guy that his wife will have a thrilling and unforgettable experience on the Mount of Sodom, there's going to be trouble." I logged in more than eighty hours of OT last month. I earned a decent wage even by American standards, though not for that kind of schedule. I am in fact one of Ortra's best-paid employees, since I am the only one who gets paid OT. I have no idea why this is. It was written into my letter of employment, which is basically a contract. I didn't ask for it, though I would never have worked unpaid OT. Perhaps they knew that an American would simply never put up with that shit, or maybe they just didn't think I'd put in so many hours, or stick with the job. In fact I've grown with it. I've learned an awful lot about 'puters, and am now basically a competent travel agent, though I don't know about flight bookings yet. We really do that through our outgoing travel department, which is a pain in the ass since the cunts never read or answer their fucking e-mail, and they're located on the ground floor while we, who actually make money, live in the Penthouse. The main thing is, find a travel agent you can trust and do what he says because he's not only trying to make a little money and spare himself a little work. When he tells you, "I would recommend changing your flight reservations and taking our Pre-Tour to Jordan," it's also because this is not Belgium, and this is not Canada. Some people may walk on water in Israel, everyone may float in the Dead Sea, but you still can't rent a car here and go there, and they don't issue visas at every crossing point. The chief invited speaker wrote to me: "This means I can't go to Jordan. Thank you very much indeed." I showed the message to my boss, saying: "This motherfucker is going to be trouble." "He can kiss my ass. You offered him three possibilities. Let him swim to Jordan."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 April 2000
Subject: Speaking in Tongues

"Ani rotse ciboulette," I pointed to the chives. "Be eze safa ciboulette?" "Tsorfatit," I answered meaning, "In French." Everyone loves me at the Tikva (Hope) casbah. I point to what I want and pay what they want. It's a comfortable arrangement for me, and they don't have to haggle about argurot, which are Israeli cents and have a negative worth in dollars. At the supermarket some old lady was babbling at me: "Ani lo mevin ivrit," I said, meaning that I don't understand Hebrew. So she began babbling at me in Russian: "Ani lo mevin russit," I said, meaning, well you should know what that means by now, if you've been paying attention. "Eze safa ata mevin?" and you should know what that means, if I tell you that "ata" means "you (m.)". She was getting flustered. "Ani mevin anglit ve tsorfatit." No translation necessary. So she babbled at me in English. This is a multilingual land, a polyglot place. It keeps things interesting. I can understand almost everything that I want to understand at work. I don't want to understand too much. This way I seldom have to answer the phone, and everyone who calls me is immediately put at an extreme disadvantage. I let them talk for about five minutes, then I say: "Ani mitstayer, aval ani lo mevin ivrit," mitstayer meaning "sorry". There is no copula in the present tense in Hebrew. You can guess what "aval" means. (Hint: it's a coordinating conjunction.) It's shameful that I can't speak Hebrew, but I really have no need of it. At work we speak English and French. Most of the swearing goes on in English and French, even if the people are talking Hebrew. Only Daniel, my boss and nemesis, swears a lot in Arabic. (There isn't much swearing in the Hebrew language.) His favorite expressions are: "Cus em mec," meaning "Your mother's cunt," and "Go suck off a Chinese camel," which I can't remember and don't quite understand. Are there camels in China?

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 April 2000
Subject: Les Structures elementaires de la parente

Todd, your readers might be interested in reading Claude Levi-Strauss, the founder of structuralism before he answered his calling and moved to San Francisco to take acid and sew blue jeans. He, of course, had read Freud and Saussure, so he understood these things. You can recommend such books as Les Structures elementaires de la parente and L'Anthropologie structurale.

Your naive friend at the Washington Post writes:

"Both partners sharing sex and money seems such a better arrangement than exchanging the two - and all the games that go with that exchange."

Could someone please explain to me how "both partners sharing sex and money" is different from "exchanging the two"? The former is simply one way of doing the latter. This exact kind of confusion is beautifully shown in the article in salon whose link follows. (OK, so today's my stupid links day.) The problem in the article is how Alan Greenspan misunderstands property because he mistakes it for a natural or "inalienable" right, as does the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

The idea of collective ownership of the means of production is only slightly less absurd than the idea of collective ownership of the means of reproduction. Both of these problems were pretty much solved in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by bearded, cigar-smoking men from German-speaking central Europe. Of course your readers don't bother reading Marx and Freud, let alone Saussure and Levi-Strauss, so how could they know? I'll give you the made-for-TV version, so you can save yourself the trouble of doing any real work. Human society is based on the exchange of signs, women, and goods and services. This is true of all human societies, not just those whose rules we like or don't like. Men can only control the means of reproduction by violence, guile, flattery, bribery etc. This is a biological fact, at least until someone figures out how to change biology in a pretty fundamental way, if you'll excuse the pun. The key to incest prohibitions, which are also universal and extremely complex even in "savage" societies, as my friend Claude delicately puts it, is that they have absolutely no relation to a Darwinian interest in not procreating inbreds. Rather they are a way of regulating the white slavery trade and traffic, if you will allow me to use that lovely expression to refer to both whores and sluts of all colors. Zero is a number, and free is a price.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 April 2000
Subject: Long Drunken Log I

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
@w in #72239
Player Conn Idle G Pop Location M Age *
------------------------- ---- ---- - --- ------------------------ ----- -
Tesla (#100767) 14m 3m f 4 Sensual Respites 4y p
Fawn_Guest (#92111) 28m 14s m 4 Sensual Respites Guest
Purple_Guest (#5790) 52m 3m m 4 Sensual Respites Guest
Loki (#106854) 6m 6s w 4 Sensual Respites 4y p
4 connected players displayed.
@go #72239
Sensual Respites
Atmosphere of a campus coffee shop, air saturated with too many exotic scents.
Everything is looking a bit more worn, more tired than last time you were here. Everyone's wondering, 'When will this old place finally close? Ho can she be making any money?'
Type '@help here' for instructions on how to use the Play Stage and Mezzanine, and on how to @bounce. If you abuse the @bounce feature, you will be permanently banned from the room.
Exits lead northeast to Members Only, down to Dungeon, west to Sensual Studio, southeast to Sensual Retreat, enter to Sensual Hot Tub, northwest to The Den Of Love, north to The Sex Room, up to Mezzanine, south to Sensual Scrabble, and int to Interior.
Mezzanine (open) is here. Play Stage (open) is here. Gallery bench is invitingly empty. Sofa is invitingly empty.
Female: Tesla. Male: Fawn_Guest, Purple_Guest, and SAGReiss. Other: Loki (woofiegnome).
Loki . o O ( irritatate? )
SAGReiss [to Tesla]: What's up, sis?
Tesla idly idles in idleland.
Purple_Guest has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to cart Purple_Guest off to bed.
SAGReiss . o O ( The only bitch in here and she's sleeping. )
Dominick teleports in.
Dominick waves.
Dominick curls up on the sofa.
Loki licks Dominick.
Loki says to you, "You may well qualify."
Loki quickly steps aside as Dominick tries to poke him, and then proceeds to poke Dominick back! How do ya like that?!
Dominick . o O ( hmph )
Loki says to Dominick, "Hehe."
Dominick licks Loki.
Dominick asks, "What's going on, kids?"
@w tesla
Player Conn Idle G Pop Location M Age *
------------------------- ---- ---- - --- ------------------------ ----- -
Tesla (#100767) 18m 24s f 5 Sensual Respites 4y p
1 connected player and 0 disconnected players displayed.
Loki says, "Nothing much."
Loki says, "Cleaning out my inbox right now."
Dominick says, "I can see that now. Quiet."
SAGReiss [to Tesla]: I see. You are not idle. If you wish to speak with me, please page me.
@go home
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
Tesla pages, "Hey dork. I have my computer set to do something every ten minutes so I don't time out."
page tesla It takes you that long to get off?
Your message has been recorded. SAGReiss will get back to you.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Tesla will be back later.
@w tesla
Player Disconn Last G Location M Age *
------------------------- -------- ---- - ------------------------ ----- -
Tesla (#100767) 45s ago 20m f Sensual Respites 4y p
0 connected players and 1 disconnected player displayed.
Yodelee pages, "Howdy."
page yodelee What's up, sis? I was just thinking about ceramics.
page yodelee I'm getting frustrated. I think you should tell me your URL and take off all of your clothes in front of the camera.
Yodelee pages, "What happened to your grand plans for office romance?"
page yodelee I'm working on it. I can't think of a good pick-up line. Any suggestions?
Yodelee pages, "Pick-up lines? Me?"
Yodelee pages, "I went to Vegas over the weekend. With coworkers."
page yodelee And why not? My thoughts run along the lines of: "Would you please be so kind as to fuck me?" I don't think that's a good idea,
especially not with my latest flame, an Arab girl who might be all of twenty years old.
Yodelee pages, "You lech."
page yodelee What do I want with used sheets?
Yodelee pages, "Do you leer at her during working hours, or is she unaware of your interest?"
Yodelee pages, "Used sheets? I missed something."
page yodelee I leer at her as much and as discreetly as possible, so I think she knows of my interest.
page yodelee "Used sheets" is male slang for divorced women.
Yodelee pages, "Sounds to me like something you made up."
page yodelee I'm afraid not. I wish I had.
Yodelee pages, "You're saying that every available woman over twenty is divorced? Dang, that's convenient."
page yodelee No, I'm just not interested in women over twenty-five or let's say thirty. I'm only thirty-six.
Yodelee pages, "I wonder why that is (not why you're thirty-six, you old fart, but why you're not interested in women your own age)."
page yodelee Because they aren't hot babes. They're, as you say, old farts, or, as I say, used sheets.
Yodelee pages, "What a ridiculous conversation this is becoming."
Yodelee pages, "Sounds like you got your idea of hot babes from Playboy."
page yodelee Do you think I should go out with ugly women?
Yodelee pages, "I wonder how satisfying it is to go out with people who are sixteen years younger than you."
Yodelee pages, "'Go out' meaning either sex or intimate company."
page yodelee Why wouldn't sex with a twenty-year-old girl be satisfying. Maybe she could teach an old goat some new tricks.
Yodelee pages, "How much experience can she have?"
page yodelee I hope she has none. That way we can both learn everything from the beginning.
Yodelee pages, "Oh, I see, you want to brand the poor girl's mind."
page yodelee Well, maybe she can brand my mind. I wasn't planning on raping her.
Yodelee pages, "That's not what I meant."
page yodelee I see nothing wrong with my getting a twenty-year-old piece of ass. Maybe she likes older men.
Yodelee pages, "It's just that the twenty-year-olds I know are very unfinished. Are you trying to make an impact or is it just easier for you?"
page yodelee I'm unfinished too. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Besides, a hot, young bod trumps all other considerations.
Yodelee pages, "You are so weird."
page yodelee What's weird? I want a spicy young companion for sexual encounters and other pleasurable experiences. Is that odd?
Yodelee pages, "Your choice of language, maybe."
page yodelee Come on. This is the 'net. What difference does it make if I call it love or slobbering cunt juice?
Yodelee pages, "Do you really go through your entire day thinking, 'spicy young companion...hot bod...'"
Yodelee pages, "Nevermind. I'm sure you do."
Yodelee pages, "I guess most people do, in one way or another."
page yodelee Um, no. It's more: "Bring that slobbering cunt juice over here, sweetheart."
Yodelee pages, "The endearments really distract from the underlying crudity."
page yodelee Well, I suppose I could think: "Bend over and spread 'em, bitch."
Yodelee pages, "There ya go."
page yodelee I have never managed to figure out how women think about these things. Women are liars. They never tell the truth. You can read a million books where men openly admit to thinking: "Bend over and spread 'em, bitch."
But for all of feminism, you'll never see a woman write a book about what she thinks.
Yodelee pages, "What about /Fear of Flying/?"
page yodelee I vaguely recall having held that book in my hands, but I really can't remember anything about it.
Yodelee pages, "I suppose it's occurred to you that at some point twenty-year-olds are going to start to find you rather wrinkly."
page yodelee There's not much I can do about that, is there?
Yodelee pages, "The protagonist talks about her desire for the perfect zipless fuck, all the men she's been with, etc."
page yodelee Perhaps I should reread it. I distrust all porn written by women, since I assume that either it's not written by a woman or else it's not porn. Anais Nin is such shit.
Yodelee pages, "Everyone thinks that."
Yodelee pages, "She got paid a dollar a page, supposedly."
Yodelee pages, "It's not really porn, it's one of those 'women really do think about sex' books from the 70s. You know, ambitious for its time and place but not all that shocking or innovative now."
Yodelee pages, "Are you following the various threads of the conversation, since I seem to be replying at random?"
page yodelee It wasn't worth it. I recall one time in the Living Room with negatron. Someone mentioned her name as a great fem auteur, so I said: "I've read better porn on the walls of men's rooms," and neg said: "For the same reasons that sagreiss said."
Yodelee pages, "Anais Nin was a big liar."
page yodelee I'm not just a sex symbol. I can also think.
Yodelee pages, "I read one of her novels and it happened that I was also reading a volume of her journals...she had lifted the novel almost verbatim from journal entries. Then there's all the stuff she just left out of the diaries, her two marriages, etc."
Yodelee pages, "You can think about sex, anyway. Dunno if that counts as thinking or as time wasted."
page yodelee That's absurd. She was writing. Writing always means making things up. There is no such thing as telling the truth. Language represents, but does not describe, reality.
Yodelee pages, "Well, yes, it's clear that the diary was her great fictional work."
page yodelee Let's not be unfair. You think her friend and mine, Henry Miller, wasn't making shit up?
Yodelee pages, "Sprawling self-important mess that it is."
Yodelee pages, "I think she overestimated herself as an artist."
page yodelee The distinction between fiction and non-fiction is dumb. I've got a 7.5 MB file of e-mail. I can send it to you, if you like. Is it true? It's true that we wrote that shit.
Yodelee pages, "What I'm specifically thinking about is the way that she published the diaries as if they were true...dammit, I don't have the book I want to refer to with me. Maybe I'm wrong. It's been a while since I've thought about it."
Yodelee pages, "You're right, talking about 'true' is stupid."
page yodelee What difference does it make, except to nerds and college professors? She wrote it. That's her right. Delta of Venus, or Venus of Delta, or whatever it's called is just so much shit. I don't care if it's true or not.
Yodelee pages, "I apologize."
page yodelee No need. It's not your fault that women can't write porn.
Yodelee pages, "I believe that devorah on this MOO writes it, but I haven't checked out her webpages."
Yodelee pages, "It's possible that more women would look at porn if it didn't tend to be oriented to male fantasies. Remember what I told you about so-called romances."
page yodelee I believe AI have talked to devorah. As I recall it was rather pleasant, but I can't answer for her porn, as I haven't had the pleasure of reading it. I'll check it out. I'll send her MOOmail. I'm open to new ideas. I just read analytically, if you can excuse the pun.
Yodelee pages, "That wasn't a pun, it was a hernia."
page yodelee I am ashamed that I do not remember what you told me about so-called romances. Please be so kind as to repeat it for me.
Yodelee pages, "Emotional pornography."
page yodelee OK, so I've got a bad sense of humor. You should read Jacques Lacan. He was the worst punster who ever lived, and I thought well enough of him to put him in our web site bibliography.
page yodelee Oh, fuck that. I don't want to read other people's love letters. I want to know who puts what in whom and how.
Yodelee pages, "The books are usually pretty explicit about it now."
Yodelee pages, "Oral sex, erections, thrusting, you got it."
page yodelee It's a lot harder to write porn than one might think. Look at the great middle part of Capricorn. Miller never loses track of his prick or his ten-year-old mind or his metaphysical thoughts about sex. It is an amazing piece of work.
Yodelee pages, "I'd have to go unearth it."
page yodelee I don't mean now. I just mean that when Old Hank said that Capricorn was a watermark, he was not bragging. It's true. But even lesser authors has struck the truth, Buk, for example.
page yodelee But I have never seen a woman do it. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places, but I've looked a lot and found nothing. Even on the web, it's all shit.
Yodelee pages, "I'm not really qualified to discuss it."
Yodelee pages, "You could try Fear of Flying, but it wusses out a bit in places. And I haven't finished it yet. All that sex is exhausting."
Yodelee pages, "I would guess, totally at random, that it may be difficult for women to write about sex because the experience is so very different for them from what it is for men."
page yodelee Well, you've read what you've found, and I've read what I've found. The beauty of the web is that everyone can publish, except me, of course, because I don't know how to do it. But I've looked at a lot of porn sites "4 girlz" and found that they inevitably weren't porn sites at all. I don't give a fuck about bouquets of roses.
page yodelee So why can't they write about what they experience?
Yodelee pages, "I didn't know they existed."
Yodelee pages, "I dunno about you, but reading about pain and how he went too fast and didn't reciprocate and the rest of it isn't all that interesting to me."
page yodelee Well, that would be interesting to me. Besides, you're hinting at a very broad and incriminating statement about women and sex.
Yodelee pages, "Incriminating?"
page yodelee I knew that wasn't the right word. You are right to correct me. I couldn't think of something better, perhaps "damning".
Yodelee pages, "Who's damned?"
page yodelee I've had a lot to drink. What I mean is that you are making a sweeping statement about the sexual dissatisfaction of women, which might inhibit their ability to write porn.
Yodelee pages, "I mean a general inability to write the kind of porn that would appeal to you. I think."
Yodelee pages, "I'm only speculating, anyway."
page yodelee I thought you said that "reading about pain and how he went too fast and didn't reciprocate and the rest of it isn't all that interesting to me." I said I did find that interesting.
Yodelee pages, "Sorry, I lost track."
Yodelee pages, "But let's say that sex for women is often not the, um, transcendent experience it might be for men."
page yodelee Any kind of porn appeals to me, except the Anais Nin kind and the bouquet of roses kind. I want to know who puts what in whom. I also want to know if it feels good or hurts, but I don't care which.
page yodelee I don't really know. It's not something that's easy to verify.
Yodelee pages, "I'm also thinking that it's only recently that women in western society have really had the option to detach sex from other issues. You're Aphra Behn, you're a woman making a writing by your pen, and you get almost totally forgotten until the "
Yodelee pages, "Until the feminists unearth you. Why? Is it because you were frankly sexually active? Maybe."
page yodelee I have no idea what you are talking about. Aphra Behn? Is that an author? I can't understand what you are saying. You have basically said, though I won't hold you to it under MOOing circumstances, that sex isn't really enjoyable for women, so how can they write porn.

*** Redirecting old connection to this port ***
You have new mail (1 message). Type 'help mail' for info on reading it.
Message 112:
Date: Fri Apr 7 13:55:56 2000 PDT
From: Yodelee
To: SAGReiss
Boswell, on the other hand, gets to run around sampling diseases. No one suggests that Life of Johnson is unsuitable. These are illogical arguments, of course, but I'm putting them out for you to think about. When will you be back?
page yodelee Sorry, I got dissed.
Yodelee pages, "How much did you miss?"
page yodelee I got your MOOmail, and the last bit of chat was something about Aphra Ben, of whom I've never heard.
Yodelee pages, "Okay. I also threw out a reference to Mary Wollstonecraft."
page yodelee The mother or the daughter? Frankenstein is a beautiful book. I haven't wasted much time on The Rights of Woman.
Yodelee pages, "Mother. Daughter is generally referred to as Mary Shelley."
You have new mail (113) from Yodelee.
Type `help mail' for info on reading it.
Yodelee pages, "Did that go through?"
page yodelee As I said, I don't know much about the mother's work. Yes.
Message 113:
Date: Fri Apr 7 14:07:58 2000 PDT
From: Yodelee
To: SAGReiss
"All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds. It is she--shady and amorous as she was--who makes it not quite fantastic for me to say to you tonight: Earn five hundred a year by your wits."
-- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
You have new mail (114) from Yodelee.
Type `help mail' for info on reading it.
Message 114:
Date: Fri Apr 7 14:08:43 2000 PDT
From: Yodelee
To: SAGReiss
Also this:
Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in English, lived from 1640 to 1689. After John Dryden, she was the most prolific dramatist of the Restoration, but it is for her pioneering work in prose narrative that she achieved her place in literary history.
Yodelee pages, "Rights of Woman was well received, but then Wollstonecraft died and Godwin (I think) published a biography. Her reputation was ruined and the work got buried for, oh, a century."
page yodelee Is the shit any good? I mean is it worth my trouble seeking it out on the web?
Yodelee pages, "Beats me. I'm sending you one more thing."
You have new mail (115) from Yodelee.
Type `help mail' for info on reading it.
page yodelee So who gives a fuck about being lost for a century? John D. was lost for three centuries.
Message 115:
Date: Fri Apr 7 14:11:04 2000 PDT
From: Yodelee
To: SAGReiss
Aphra Behn (33k JPG image), alleged by Vita Sackville-West to be the first women in England to earn a living as a writer, is a bit of a mystery. Little is known about her background--who her parents were and where she was born--but the details of her life that are known paint the portrait of an intriguing woman.
Aphra lived for a time in Surinam, an experienced that inspired her first novel, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave (1688). She was married for a short time and widowed at age 25. She secured employment as a spy for King Charles II and was sent to Belgium in this capacity. The King refused to pay her return trip, however, and after borrowing the funds to return, she was thrown into debtor's prison.
After leaving prison, Aphra worked hard to make sure she was always capable of supporting herself. She became a successful London playwright and then a novelist. She wrote poetry, feeling that this form allowed her to express her "masculine" side.
Aphra's opinions were unconventional, and because she openly expressed her viewpoints in her lifestyle and through her writing, she was seen as scandalous. Her poetry remarks on romantic relationships with both men and women, discusses rape and impotence, puts forth a woman's right to sexual pleasure, and includes scenes of eroticism between men.
As scandalous as her reputation was to some, her work was well-admired by others and she earned the nickname "The Incomparable Astrea" (referring to her spy codename of Astrea) from these admirers.
(from a sleeping place) Yodelee shrugs.
Yodelee pages, "The thing I hate about online conversations is that one must keep on explaining even after one's mind is ready to move along."
page yodelee I don't know, Goldie or Shayda, I think pretty quick, even when I'm drunk.
page yodelee The delay was because I was checking the spelling of your name against your e-mail.
Yodelee pages, "Studs always reek."
Yodelee pages, "Call me Tizzy. Easiest."
You suddenly notice that Yodelee is here...or was she always?
Yodelee says, "I got sick of not being able to see what I said."
page yodelee I don't think I'm much of a stud. I think that studs, and men who have luck with women, are mostly men who are not primarily interested in sex. I don't like to dance, I don't like sightseeing, I don't like picnicks. I like to eat cunt and fuck.
Yodelee says, "Those sound like 'friends' to me, not lovers."
Yodelee says, "You know, the kind of guy who complains that all the women he likes think of him as a brotherly sort."
"I don't really know. Men are brutally honest about some aspects of sex, but they might tend to exagerate others.
You say, "I don't really know. Men are brutally honest about some aspects of sex, but they might tend to exagerate others."
Yodelee says, "I don't know what women want from men. I only know what I want."
You ask, "Which is?"
Yodelee says, "Okay, so I don't even know what I want."
Yodelee says, "I know which men I've been attracted to. That's not the same."
Yodelee says, "Matt."
Yodelee says, "All he does is accuse me of having a crush on one of my best friends, but since the friend doesn't write to me and is in New York State, it doesn't come up much anymore."
Yodelee says, "I meant in the past, anyway."
Yodelee says, "I wish I'd had the opportunity to have some normal, time-limited relationships in college."
You say, "I think you perhaps had the opportunity. You just didn't exploit it. I just want a nice-looking young woman to spread her legs. I think I can take care of the rest."
Yodelee says, "I don't think anyone touched me the whole four years."
You say, "Well, maybe you didn't encourage them enough."
Yodelee says, "I dunno how one is supposed to encourage people."
Yodelee says, "Friendwise or sexwise."
Yodelee says, "Course, people tended to be chummy at Bard if they weren't members of the S/MAces."
page yodelee I am having this very problem with this Arab bitch at work. I want her. I don't want to create a problem and get fired. How do I know that she might be interested in an old goat such as myself? I sense a sexual tension between us, but I don't know if it's real or only in my imagination. What should I do? I try to get near her physically to see if she reacts, but that's not easy.
Yodelee says, "I don't know what else you can do, short of asking her out to lunch."
Yodelee says, "If you touch her and she shudders and rushed off to whisper to her friends, that's not good."
Yodelee says, "RusheS."
You say, "That is an option. I have thought about it. It's not that easy. I am extremely busy at work, and she answers the telephone, so I don't even know if she is allowed to go out to lunch. I will try, to make you happy. If I fuck her, I'll send you a BCC of the e-mail. Well, maaybe, you don't seem to think it would be a good idea for me to store my files on your 'puter."
Yodelee asks, "When did I say that?"
Yodelee asks, "Although I'm starting to feel like a character out of Dangerous Liasions. Can you do the whole Valmont thing?"
Yodelee says, "More likely she's going to make you date her and I'll get to snicker over your frustration."
You say, "I asked you if you could store a 7.5 MB file of e-mail. You didn't answer."
You say, "Fuck that. She spreads her legs the first time we go out or she can forget it. I don't give second chances."
Yodelee says, "I simply have no idea how to react to that statement."
Yodelee says, "I could store your file, I suppose. At home, not here."
Yodelee says, "I have a lot of files on my old laptop that may not be accesible because of the year change. I didn't even think about transferring them until it was too late."
Yodelee asks, "Can I ask you something that may be a stupid question?"
You say, "It's quite simple, bend over and spread 'em. What do you think I'm interested in? I want her ass."
Yodelee says, "Nevermind, I've reconsidered."
You say, "Of course."
You say, "Please, go ahead. I am learning from this conversation."
Yodelee asks, "I have a 5 MB e-mail quota. You can't e-mail your file to me unless I clear out my folders and you break your file up into smaller files. Is there any way for you to put your file on an FTP server I could log into?"
Yodelee asks, "Learning what, pray?"
You say, "I have broken it up, because Nichelle's server wouldn't let me e-mail it to her. I have to check the files to see how big they are now. I am learning things about how you think, which is vaguely interesting to me, even if you're half lying."
You say, "I don't know how to do ftp."
Yodelee asks, "Didn't we already decide that 'truth' has no value?"
Yodelee says, "Anyway."
Yodelee says, "Okay, we'll do the e-mail thing."
Yodelee says, "Later."
Yodelee says, "What am I lying about? I'm like to know."
Yodelee asks, "I'd. Geez. Which one of us is drunk?"
You say, "Well, yes and no. Truth has no literary value, but it still doesn't excuse lying in most cases. I'm not thinking about my e-mail or Anais Nin's diaries. I sometimes lie in my e-mail. but I often say that I'm lying."
Yodelee asks, "Don't you think that self-presentation is a fiction?"
Yodelee says, ""
You say, "I don't know if you're lying. Maybe you don't find sex enjoyable. Well, I think you probably do, at least in as much as it pleases the other guy."
Yodelee asks, "/Other/ guy?"
Yodelee says, "I think I'm insulted."
You say, "Whatever his name is."
Yodelee says, "I didn't say I didn't enjoy sex, anyway, I just said I hadn't had much experience of it, and that it's not as simple for women as it is for men.\"
Yodelee [to SAGReiss]: 'Other' guy implies that I am also a guy.
You say, "Representation is always different from reality."
Yodelee says, "Your self-presentation seems to involve waving a metaphorical penis around."
SAGReiss waves his metaphorical penis
Yodelee snickers.
You say, "From your description sex didn't sound like a very happy experience."
Yodelee says, "I was describing certain elements that some women experience. I didn't mean for you to arrive at that sum."
Yodelee says, "Although I feel sorry for the twenty-year-old if she does end up going to bed with you. Nothing you've said leads me to expect you'll be tender with her."
Yodelee says, "On the other hand, if she goes to bed with you, she probably knows what she's in for."
You say, "I would have to be a lot more familiar with your cam URL to know. I have no reason to believe that women don't enjoy sex. The women I've lived with have all seemed to like it, but I can''t know for sure. I still claim that I haven't seen any decent porn writen by women. Excuse my typing, I am now officialy drunk."
Yodelee asks, "Have you been drinking this whole time?"
Yodelee says, "You must have consumed a bottle of whiskey by now."
You say, "I will be very tender with her. I will cater to all her needs."
Yodelee snickers.
You say, "I am serious."
Yodelee says, "Maybe if her needs include using and being used, sure."
Yodelee says, "That's just the Puritan's outlook, however. Ignore it if you like, for she knows nothing of which she speaks, fer sure."
You say, "I will cater to all her needs if she wants to have sex. If she doesn't want to have sex, then I don't care."
Yodelee says, "it's interesting to me that you can pursue writing about sex so zealously and yet in your life wish to divide sex from every other thing."
Yodelee says, "From your description, you prefer your writing-about-sex to be a little broader in scope."
You say, "Sex is different from every other thing. It's better."
Yodelee says, "How many of your former lovers are you still friendly with? If you don't consider my question to be prying."
You say, "Sex and writing about sex are not the same."
Yodelee says, "Well, duh."
Yodelee says, "If they were I think people would stop finding partners and start buying pens and paper."
Yodelee says, "And at the bottom, an inkblot."
You say, "Only Nichelle. Nichelle understands everything."
Yodelee asks, "The coffee is making me think I'm witty. What does the whiskey say?"
You say, "I'm having trouble typing."
Yodelee says, "'Everything' is a less descriptive word than I like."
Yodelee asks, "If you pass out and choke to death on your vomit, will I see 'SAGReiss says, "L:KGHH 908908980" '?"
Yodelee says, "I wish I'd logged this conversation. It will probably be the only coherent one I get out of you this year."
You say, "That's why I'm trying to dump this 7.5 MB file on your sorry virgin ass. You can also read it. Just tell me where the fuck to send it. I need to know that there are many copies made."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 April 2000
Subject: Long Drunken Log II

Yodelee says, "Ow. That hurt."
Yodelee says, "I suppose you're passing through the 'belligerent' phase of drunkeness now."
Yodelee asks, "Do you think I'm laughing at you or something?"
Yodelee sighs loudly.
Yodelee says, "I have a secondary e-mail address. Let me check the space and tell you how much you can send there."
You say, "Not at all, I'm just typing more slowly. I'm not very interested in my fuck-ups. I try to avoid spelling mistakes. Tell me about your cunt. That's what interesting."
Yodelee asks, "Back to that, are we?"
Yodelee asks, "Okay. How big are your files?"
You ask, "Is that not interesting to you?"
Yodelee asks, "Did you notice that you get cranky and obscene whenever I make any reference to your alcohol consumption?"
You say, "I said, I think the biggest one is 7.5 MB."
Yodelee says, "I have one account where you can store up to 4 MB of stuff, but each incoming e-mail has to be under 2 MB. What a bitch. If you can handle that, you can probably fit the rest onto my main e-mail account."
Yodelee says, "Okay, that's not going to work. Bleh."
You say, "It has nothing to do with alcohol. I'm interested in what you have to say about sex. It's just late at night here in Tel Aviv."
Yodelee says, "I've thought of something, but it may be too much effort for you."
Yodelee says, "That sounds like a song. 'Late at night...in Tel
Yodelee says, "If you go to Tripod and get your own account, they'll give you 11 MB of storage space. After I download the files from there, you can cancel the account if you want. The only thing is that you'll have to download an FTP program and learn to use it. "
Yodelee asks, "Too much effort for you?"
You say, "I can't deal with that kind of shit. Right now we've got the files on Nichelle's 'puter and on mine. I can cajole negatron into storing them. I just thought you might like to have them."
Yodelee says, "I do, but I don't have the capacity."
Yodelee says, "For the transfer. I do have the storage capacity."
You say, "So get the fucking capacity. You can write your masters thesis on my weirdly orgasmized brain."
Yodelee says, "Gabe wants to be a daddy. He keeps spawning."
Yodelee says, "Go ahead and e-mail your hellish little masterwork to my work address. I dunno how much capacity I've got, but it's worth a try. I can break it down myself to get it home."
You say, "If I werren't so tired I'd tell you to strip right away and show me your naked parts on the webcam. I can't even fuckingtype naymore."
Yodelee says, "The webcam is at home."
You ask, "You get paid for talking to me aaabout porn?"
Yodelee asks, "Are you going to e-mail it to me or not? After all that whining?"
Yodelee says, "You're talking about porn. I'm offering thoughtful conjecture on a variety of subjects."
You say, "You don't understand. It takes time. One file is on its way. I hope you don't get in trouble at work."
Yodelee says, "My lover is the system administrator. I don't get in trouble for much."
Yodelee says, "I suppose that there's an offchance it will bounce and send error messages that will mysteriously get sent to my boss, but in that case I could always blame you."
Yodelee says, "We have an employee here who is always sending All Firm messages that no one wants. I can say you're like that."
You say, "I don't really care. You told me to send them."
Yodelee says, "I'm explaining to you that I'm not going to get into trouble."
Yodelee says, "Got one."
Yodelee asks, "Is this a text file?"
"I don't know. It's an MBX file. I'm too drunk. I'll send the rest tomorrw.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 April 2000
Subject: That Wasn't a Bad Log

But I'm hungover.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 April 2000
Subject: Goldie

That is one beautiful log. I don't care if none of you assholes likes it. I've reread it three times, and it stands up even to my thoroughly analytical reading. I can't believe how lucid I sound, and how well I type, when I am so irresponsibly drunk. I only started fucking up on the keyboard towards the end, but I was wasted from start to finish. That was after a long, hard day of non-stop drinking, beer and anisette and wine and whisky. There are some days when I have to admit that I'm good. Anyway Goldie has long wanted to be added to this list. Most of you know her anyway. Shayda, negatron will explain the initiation process to you. John, make sure you remember to ask her blood type, in case something goes wrong.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 April 2000
Subject: This is my lucky week-end

*** Redirecting old connection to this port ***
> scaredycat waves.
page scaredycat Did you get my e-mail?
scaredycat pages, "email? no, i didnt read mail for 24 hours. i'm getting it now :)"
scaredycat pages, "why did you send any pictures?"
page scaredycat Pictures of what?
scaredycat pages, "nude pictures!"
page scaredycat I haven't got a camera. Besides, I haven't seen many pics of your hairy ass.
scaredycat pages, "ha."
page scaredycat It's true. You talk a lot about sex, but I haven't seen much action.
scaredycat pages, "brb phone."
scaredycat pages, "eh, my little friend is across the ocean. no wonder there is no action."
page scaredycat But you never give me the real goods. If I ever get laid again, I'll tell the whole world the gory details.
scaredycat pages, "okay.okay. when i get off the phone."
page scaredycat So hang up the phone.
scaredycat pages, "what gory details do you want? i'm not good at describing things. if i were to write porn stories they would probably look more like documentation."
page scaredycat Write it in whatever form you're comfortable with.
scaredycat pages, "okay, off the phone (but he's going to call back soon anyway)."
page scaredycat So take some time and write me the sex e-mail. You know I'd do it for you.
scaredycat pages, "eh, email is worse."
page scaredycat OK, so write it now on the MOO. I'm doing a survey for a scientific study. I need to know how you have sex with your friend.
scaredycat pages, "okay okay. but it's been already more then two weeks that i've been away from NY, i already forgot what we did."
page scaredycat Don't give me that shit. You haven't forgotten.
scaredycat pages, "okay. i lied. but in any rate, i told you all the intresting things, i think."
page scaredycat You told me that you wanted him to tie you up, but he didn't do it right. But you haven't told me anything about his cock or your cunt, or what you like and don't like, or what exactly it was that hurt you.
scaredycat pages, "alright. as opposed to josep, that was extreamly proud that his cock is nice and straight (it was pretty funny, he would always say "yesh li zubi nechmad veyashar", i have a nice and straight cock. nevermind), his is tilted to the left. and i think it's too long. my stomach hurts when he fucks me too much."
page scaredycat Now we're getting somewhere. There's a very funny story Freud tells about a woman dreaming of a tilted hat and then asking the great doctor if all men had one ball lower than the other.
scaredycat pages, "about my cunt. i dunno. he claims it's very tight. (which may be due to the fact he hangs out with sluts, or i just didnt get around much) but he doesn't complain about it, i think he's actually happy."
scaredycat pages, "i keep having a dream about my teeth falling out. what's annoying is that he complements me too much. so it's hard to tell when he speaks the truth. like many americans i suppose."
page scaredycat So his cock is long and bumps up against your uterus? Can you get it in your mouth? What are we talking here, 20 cm?
page scaredycat I've never told a woman much about her cunt, except what it smells like, which is very hard to say. It's hard to find the right image. Tightness has more to do with muscle control than having been well-reamed, so far as I understand.
scaredycat pages, "i dont know, it's hard for me to judge length. all i know is that it hurts more then anyone before. maybe i'll measure it. i dont think i can get it all in my mouth. i read this thing about "deep throat sucking" or something like that where in order not to gag, you just try to "swollow" it. i think i will try that."
scaredycat pages, "he claims mine smells sweet. i suppose it does, but i have nothing to compare it with."
page scaredycat That sounds like a good idea. I think he will appreciate the effort, if I may be so bold as to speak for him. Pardon the expression, but do you spit or swallow?
scaredycat pages, "unfortunatly, he never came in my mouth. so the question is not valid."
page scaredycat That's actually a big controversy in sex. Some women won't suck a cock that's recently been in their cunt or ass. Also some men won't eat a cunt they have recently come in. I think this is wrong.
> scaredycat bought natasha some banana flavored condoms (and some japanese food) as a present from new york.
page scaredycat But I can interepret the adverb "unfortunately" as suggesting that you would be inclined to swallow. Men like that a lot, for their own perverse reasons.
scaredycat pages, "i read someplace that there is no danger in sucking a cock that has recently been in your own ass, because the toxics have been through your bbody already. this is not true if it's been in someone else's ass. but i dont think i would try it."
scaredycat pages, "i just never tried. i am worried i would chock. but i feel i have to try it."
page scaredycat That's all nonsense. Children and dogs eat shit. There's no danger. I've eaten quite a few assholes in my life, and it hasn't done me any harm. On the contrary. I think it has substantially improved my moral fiber.
scaredycat pages, "children and dogs get sick and die."
page scaredycat Everyone gets sick and dies. Better to have eaten an asshole or two before one dies, as Shakespeare wrote.
scaredycat pages, "i suppose. i dont think i would enjoy it, i would be too busy thinking about the smell or how i might get sick and die. i'm very ungenerous."
page scaredycat So do you still push his head away before you come when he is eating you?
scaredycat pages, "yeah."
page scaredycat So you don't come at all?

*** Redirecting old connection to this port ***
page scaredycat Sorry, I got dissed. I was asking if you never came?
scaredycat pages, "i'll resend: yeah, i do. sometimes. i'm worried i am getting old. i used to do it more often and with no effort. even when i masturbate it can take more then 20 minutes, which is rediculus - sometimes i just give up in the middle. maybe it doesnt have anything to do with age, and i'm just fucked up or something."
page scaredycat I still masturbate as I did when I was a lad of twelve. Even if I'm getting laid on a regular basis, I still like to jerk off from time to time.
scaredycat pages, "so perhaps something is wrong."
page scaredycat Well, I don't know that I'd go that far. What, if anything, makes you come during sex with another person? (Did you resend something?)
scaredycat pages, "well, finally, for the first time ever, i came from regular old sex. which was nice. i felt as if i accomplished something. (well it wasn't entirely "regular", (according to natasha) not the missionary position, since i was riding him from above.)"
page scaredycat Fuck natasha. What does she know? She looks very unkempt on her web site. Perhaps I'm prejudiced because I spent so much time in France, where women actually care about their appearance, but I hate a woman who looks messy.
scaredycat pages, "also, he really likes oral sex, and that usually does the trick. even though he does it way too vigorously - in my oppionion."
page scaredycat Meaning he eats you roo vigorously?
scaredycat pages, "neah, she's not messy at all. (i used to be messy, but i changed. (josep educated me...))"
scaredycat pages, "yes."
> scaredycat wasnt really messy, but i would dress sloppy. used to wear t-shirts and jeans all the time, and basically look like a boy).
page scaredycat Anyway, natasha knows nothing about sex.
scaredycat pages, "brb phone."
page scaredycat It's good for a woman to dress nicely. It's good for a man too, but not so important. I'm ashamed of the way I dress, but I still look clean and decent and usually wear a white dress shirt. I have no fashion sense. It's a problem.
scaredycat pages, "you just have to look at other people."
page scaredycat I guess so. Perhaps the problem for me is more that I hate shopping. I liked it when I used to wear a tuxedo every day.
scaredycat pages, "my friend again. on the phone."
page scaredycat For Christ's sake, hasn't he got anything better to do? Tell him to find a new gf wherever he is.
scaredycat pages, "he has one, sort of."
page scaredycat Maybe the three of you should get together and have a menage-a-trois so you could tell me the sordid tale.
scaredycat pages, "ick. have you ever done that?"
page scaredycat I have done that a few times. It's pretty good, a little complicated from the orgasmizational standpoint, but still...
page scaredycat A man who has never had his cock in one woman's mouth and another woman's tongue up his asshole has lived in vain.
scaredycat pages, "i think i would be too jelous if there were another woman around. unless it was some woman i fancied. but those are scarce."
page scaredycat Well, it might be natasha, for example, or it might be that you had one cock in your cunt and another in your ass, and maybe even a third in your mouth.
scaredycat pages, "first i dont think natasha would agree (and i wasnt talking about her), if it were multiple men that i dont think i would mind (actually it could be good, becuase i have a tendency to fall sleep last, and i always exhaust my partners, which is a shame :-/ at least for me.)"
page scaredycat Well, it is kind of a fact of nature that a woman can keep doing it even after a man gets tired out.
scaredycat pages, "well, it's unfair and annoying."
page scaredycat I should think that your young studs could keep up with you. I can come three or four times a day, though not six as I could when I was younger. If I pounded your cunt through three (of my) orgasms, I should think you would have had enough.
scaredycat pages, "also, i think i am worse then most women. at least josep said that he always managed to get his partner tired at some point, except for me. (and he never complemented me for nothing, like diego does. if that is a complement at all.)"
page scaredycat If you're fucking for two or three hours, it's no wonder that you're taking a beating and your cunt hurts.
scaredycat pages, "but just because you hurt doesnt mean your tired."
page scaredycat Well, OK. I've sometimes fucked so much that I had open sores on my cock.

*** Redirecting old connection to this port ***
page scaredycat Sorry, I keep getting dissed. Fucking aquanet...
scaredycat pages, "i'll resend: but just because you hurt doesnt mean your tired. bah. all this talking. i still have to wait 2 weeks to get back."
page scaredycat You mean to get on your back?
scaredycat pages, "to get back to ny (and on my back)."
page scaredycat So where are you now?
scaredycat pages, "i'm at home. (why did you ask how my trip was??)"
page scaredycat I had no idea you were in Israel. I was just kidding when I said that. Why don't you come to Tel Aviv and have wild sex with me?
scaredycat pages, "hopfully, when i get back, diego wont find anyone else."
scaredycat pages, "because you said you were ugly, and i only like good looking guys."
page scaredycat You have seen my picture. You can decide for yourself.
scaredycat pages, "no, i mean really good looking. it's a shame, becuase it really narrows down the market, and statistically there is less of a chance of finding someone that is good looking AND a smart, good person."
page scaredycat Well, I guess I'm out of luck then. I don't think I qualify as "really good looking".
scaredycat pages, "but i'll come fix your computer if you want. i'm not sure how well i will do. like most cleaning ladies i dont do windows."
page scaredycat I would be delighted to invite you here. I would have done so sooner, but I really didn't know you were at home. Please come next Friday after noon or Shabat, whenever you like.
scaredycat pages, "i invited a friend over for the weekend, also, i must use public transportation, cause my parents wont let me drive thier car (i haven't driven in 8 months, since the accedent), but i can come sometime during the week."
page scaredycat Whenever you like is fine with me. I work until five. After that I can tell them to get lost. I can pick you up at the Tachana Mercazit, if you like. We can ride the #16 bus back to my place.
scaredycat pages, "alright. i have lots of stuff to do this week, so i dont really know what day i can come yet. should i email you when i know? or phone?"
page scaredycat I don't like the phone much. Please send me e-mail.
scaredycat pages, "hotmail or aquanet?"
page scaredycat Aquanet. I tend to forget to check my hotmail account. If you use e-mail, I need to know twenty-four hours in advance. If you have to make last-minute changes, you can call me at work at 03-638-4459 or at home at 03-... I'm sorry, I don't know my phone number and I can't find it on my phone bill.
scaredycat pages, "heh."
scaredycat pages, "and you are known as scott at work?"
page scaredycat That's my direct line, which I never give to anyone. The operator line is 03-638-4444, and I'm known as Gabriel to everyone except my family. (I can probably find out my number at home. I'll e-mail it to you. I'm not even sure the damned thing works. They've just printed up a company list of phone numbers. I offered to have my private e-mail listed, but refused to give them num telephone number.)
scaredycat pages, "should i bring windows and word CDs? to reinstall? or just clean up stuff and not reinstall. (actually diego is the right person for this job, he knoews windows)."
scaredycat pages, "what an honor. the direct line."
page scaredycat I have the windows CD. Please bring Word, in case we need to reinstall it. I've actually solved my biggest problem by hiring a new archivist, but maybe I am "really good looking" and we can watch porn online and fuck.
scaredycat pages, "i dont think so. but at least your computer might be a bit faster (i cannot guarantee)."
scaredycat pages, "in any rate, this is going to be highly embaressing for me."
page scaredycat I would be very happy if my 'puter were a bit faster. The truth is that I'm going to buy a new one soon. I can get an HP through work. But I like you, Batsheva. I'd like to meet you irl. We can have dinner together and, you know, talk, hang out. We can pretend that we're friends. We've known one another for a long time.
scaredycat pages, "also, just because i like really good looking guys does not imply anything at all about me, so i wouldn'y commit if i were you."
page scaredycat I know what you look like. I've seen your picture. I think you smile too much.
scaredycat pages, "yeah, but fixing one's computer is a good excuse. i smile alot more then most israelies, and alot less then most americans."
> scaredycat notes that one is supposed to smile in pictures.
page scaredycat I tend to snarl and leer and snicker and frown and grin. So come fix my 'puter, anytime day or night. Just write me e-mail or call me at work. (I'll see if I can find my home number.)
scaredycat pages, "okay. i should go eat supper now."
scaredycat pages, "bye."
page scaredycat Bete Avon.
Page recorded.
You call and call, to no avail.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 9 April 2000
Subject: Morning Brooding

It's five o'clock in the morning. I stayed up late drinking and talking to scaredycat and I woke up after only three or four hours sleep. I'm nervous and don't eat enough. I am taking my job far too seriously. Why should I give a fuck about these dumb-stupid conferences? I am a wage slave. They pay me thirty sheqels an hour. And almost all of the hassels are fucking cheap assholes arguing about money, big amounts or small, it doesn't seem to matter to them. Today is going to be an ugly day. There's two hundred and fifty whining doctors arriving in Jerusalem for a pediatrics congress. It has been a complete disaster from start to finish. We cancelled one hundred and fifty rooms at the Crowne Plaza a week before the conference. The scientific committee swindled free rooms out of someone, so they didn't book them through us. The only thing any of these people understands is money. We never write that something is good, except as an afterthought. We write that it's cheap. I am so ashamed when I am told to ask someone for a good price. What's your fucking problem, can't you pay? Most of the time I just forget to write that. When I'm paying I don't ask for a good price. Either I can afford something or I can't. Liars and thieves, that's what I deal with all day. My boss will be at the conference most of the week, so things will be quiet and fun at the office. He walks out the door and thirty people relax. You can feel the stress leave the room. Everyone hates the man. Is it worth the money? I don't think so. He is insane with greed. He'll be calling me every spare minute on one of the twenty or so phones that will be at his disposal at the hotel: "Comment ca va, Gabriel?" I'm feeling fucking fine with you out of my face, asshole. Me and his wife are the only people who understand that one has to treat him like shit to earn his respect. Everyone else cowers in front of him. I do what the fuck I want. He didn't even say anything to me when I made a big fuck-up last week. In February I sent an invoice for US$63,800 (or something like that) to the wrong fucking fax number. In March, three weeks after the bill was due, I sent a reminder, using "save as" so the fucking thing went to the wrong number again. Last week he told me to write them a nasty letter. Fortunately I wasn't too mean: "I am a little concerned about this group..." I wrote using his name. At the last minute I had a though. "Tu sais, Daniel, maybe I should also send a copy by e-mail. It's really odd that they haven't answered." The next day he showed me a fax we got from the idiot whose wrong number I had been using: "Please stop sending me your stupid bills. I don't know who Helen Capeland is." He said: "You should have heard her on the phone. I thought she was going to cry." I can't believe none of you bastards has written after I sent those two gorgeous logs. Goldie is going to think you're all a bunch of mutant geeks who can't find the shift key. No, Goldie, this isn't my diary. It's, um, interactive. One of these days they'll wake up and say: "Welcome, Shayda. Nice to see you here."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Murder
Date: 9 April 2000
Subject: Orals

Let me be the second one to welcome Shayda to the list. I skimmed the logs rather quickly, because reading them felt like eavesdropping on a conversation in a coffee shop, which for some reason makes me uncomfortable. It's not that I am uninterested in the details of sex. My most recent sexual experience involved a twenty-year-old girl named Rachel that was and still is a virgin. Rachel and I have been friends for two years. When Erin and I broke up last August, I could tell she was interested in "dating" me, whatever that means nowadays. One night in October she came over to my apartment, and after some light conversation she followed me into the bedroom where we began kissing. Clothes soon flew, and I was fondling and sucking on her breasts. As a flutist, I am highly orally fixated. We ended up dry humping with just my boxers and her g-string to separate our juices. On successive nights, she became more comfortable with me, and we progressed to oral sex. I love giving a woman oral, for the sheer pleasure of hearing her moan and feeling the muscles of her legs and cunt tighten and relax. When she came, she wanted me to lighten the pressure and flick her clit with the tip of my tongue. I have only had oral sex from three women, and Rachel was the most inexperienced. But a blow job is like pizza: when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good. She would suck me until I was totally hard but not ready to come. Then I would mount her and she would place my cock against her clitoris, humping until we came. She never allowed me inside. Her cunt is too tight, so she has a fear of penetration. Eventually, she annoyed me so much when we spent time together during the day that I became totally turned off by her sexually. We "broke up" in early January, and she began dating my best friend Cy (whom Nichelle knows). Cy cheated on her and fucked with her head (he never got sex from her either). He said it serves her right for not putting out. Rachel and I are still friends, but I hope to gradually phase out our friendship when I move to Manhattan over the summer. I will attend Juilliard in the fall on a full tuition remission, as a student of Jeanne Flaxtresser, former principal flutist of the NY Philharmonic. Juilliard was the only school to offer me money; I was accepted into the programs at Manhattan School and Peabody Conservatory, but they didn't offer me a dime. My account at eden will expire soon, so I'll have to switch to a hotmail account or something similar.


From: Columbine
Date: 9 April 2000
Subject: Re: Morning Brooding

At 6:37 AM -0400 4/9/00, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>No, Goldie, this isn't my diary. It's, um, interactive.

Both of these sentences are, in my opinion, lies.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 9 April 2000
Subject: Jeanne Flaxtresser

You can sure pick 'em, Murder. The squalid tales of dry humping, the floutist with a name that would suit one of the narratrices in the 120 Days of Sodom. "I'm not built right. I'm too small." That line was already old when Henry Miller told it in Capricorn, and I've heard it myself, from a Frenchwoman I lived with on and off for three years, who used that excuse to avoid first blowjobs then sodomy, to both of which she quickly succombed and was quite adequately built for. I highly approve of your reasoning, John: "How do I get rid of this hysterical bitch who won't give it up? I know, I'll sell her to Cy. He's such a scumbag, he'll either rape her or make her wish he had." I'm in a very powerful moral position, for once in my professional life, if that's what one wants to call it. The Managing Director called me into his office to offer me a raise and said: "You came here eight months ago as a secretary. Now, you don't depend on the system, the system depends on you." Most of that was just dumb luck. As the only secretary in the secretary pool, I had access to all of the information, so I knew what was wrong with our methods in all of our departments and compartments, and was smart enough to think of solutions. As each crisis struck, I learned how to do what the person who was fucking up was supposed to be doing and improved on her orgasmization. So now I'm really the only one who knows how things work. It can only get better, because they have had trouble hiring new wenches, so the notice of the two girls who are leaving is going to expire without anyone having been adequately trained. So I can train them. They will have to use my twisted methods. Their documents with have "display all nonprinting characters", and I won't have to raise from the dead any more foolish columns of English data written into Hebrew tables. Do people really expect Word to be able to work right to left and left to right at the same time without crashing every three seconds? The Assistant Managing Director tried to placate me by opening an English Word document, but then he moved the DOS database through a right to left Excel: "Fuck. Do your own God-damned mail merge, Yaron." Now I've got them by the balls. They have offered to make me a "coordinator". I think I should probably change my Lambda character to The_Coordinator. Then it gets complicated. I earn NIS5,000 a month, plus 250 (net) for bus fare which they have to give me by law (but which the boss tried to pass off as a "bonus" since I walk to work). But I get OT, and I guess those ninety hours must have raised some eyebrows at the Gelfand family picnic this week-end. So they've offered me NIS6,500 plus the 250 "bonus", but no OT. And they want to pay for me to take Hebrew lessons, for which I quite simply have no time and not much inclination. I said I needed to think it over and look at the numbers. You have to understand that I can't even read my pay slip and am in an ambiguous tax situation as a "new immigrant". I have averaged about 25 hours of OT per month, but if my responsibilities increase, as they already have, I'll be under more pressure to stay late. Also my boss only begins to wake up at six o'clock in the afternoon when he gets off the phone, and he wants the shit done today, even though it's been sitting on his desk unanswered for two weeks. And his third daughter, born on 31 December 1999 will grow up, and he'll get sick of his second raging, psychotic wife, and he'll go back to the days of staying till midnight every night. And he'll expect me to stay with him. He likes my company. But I think I have a choice. When I said I had to think about it, the Managing Director said that I was entitled to a raise, about ten percent. He said that I could stay on an hourly basis, which I understand as meaning that I'd get NIS5,500 plus my "bonus" plus OT, which is far better as far as I'm concerned, except for holiday pay, vacation, sick leave and a couple of other benefits that I don't care about. To be fair, I think I have to say I prefer to keep getting hourly wages. They won't like it, but so what? They can offer me NIS7,000 if they wish. After all, I am henceforth officially webmaster, desk-top publisher, tour operator, conference coordinator, secretary and borderline sexual harrasser of young Arab receptionists. The slimey Frenchman who is Director of Incoming said to me: "Tu fais pas aussi le menage la nuit?" "Non, je voulais, mais ils ont dit que j'etais pas qualifie. Je parle pas le russe."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 9 April 2000
Subject: The Sexpert Speaks

I have many happy memories of Gaby. None of them are from the bedroom. He led me to believe that this was because I was too fat to fuck.

I don't understand why a man with so much creativity in so many areas in his life (the keyboard, the kitchen) would have so *little* creativity in the bedrom. For a man with mature tastes, he has a very adolescent view of sexuality.

I'm not talking about boquets of roses. That's not sex, unless maybe you drag the petals and thorns across your lover's body. I'm not talking about "costumes and cheap theatrics" which are fun, but really just icing on the cake (which is also fun). I'm talking about something a little more substantial than a quick, guilty fuck in the missionary position.
I started having the most wonderful sex of my life as soon as I left Gabriel and rejected his perception of me and realized that there are many (wo)men who find me to be a wonderful partner. He can keep his playboy masturbation fantasy... When people know what turns them on, when they can communicate that, when they are responsive and enthusiastic lovers, when they actually give a fuck about their partner's experience of sex, then they're on the road to a good sex life.
I'm sorry, Gabriel. I don't think I've written you a mean letter since I left you, but you were lousy in bed. You blamed that on my fat ass and thighs and belly, but I still have those, and I shake the walls and wake the fucking neighbors when I cum.
A man who uses more spice in the kitchen than in the bedroom shouldn't wonder why he is far more successful there.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 April 2000
Subject: The Best of the West

I love you, Nichelle, and am happy that you are florishing sexually. I only wish you would more often share the experience with us. I was indeed lousy in bed with you. Sexual esthetics and my perception of your body image no doubt played a role in that failure, as may have a million other hidden factors. I am perfectly willing to bear the brunt of that failure. I think you unkindly generalize from your experiences with me, but I understand that you have no compelling reason not to do so. I will not bicker about this. On the contrary, I am always pleased when this space becomes more open to wider interventions, even if it does so at my expense, which it often seems to do. I've decided not to give an answer at work today. I'll tell them I need to think about it some more, and write them e-mail tonight or tomorrow. (I'll copy it for your benefit of course.) Let's make the bastards play on my turf.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 April 2000
Subject: RE: That Wasn't a Bad Log

Were you able to do anything with those MBX files?

From: Goldie
Date: 10 April 2000
Subject: RE: That Wasn't a Bad Log

Poor baby.

From: Goldie
Date: 10 April 2000
Subject: RE: That Wasn't a Bad Log

Yup. They're plain text.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 11 April 2000
Subject: Kiss my ass, Motherfuckers

>From: SAGReiss
>Date: 11 Apr 2000
>Subject: Job & Compensation
>Thank you for your thoughtful comments Sunday about my job performance and
>the direction my career at Ortra is taking.
>I would indeed like to continue working on planning and proposals,
>coordination, the internet, publications and operations. I am learning a lot
>at Ortra and enjoy contributing to the many different aspects of what we do.
>I am pleased and grateful to accept a raise of ten percent. I agree that it
>is justified by the additional responsibilities I've had to assume in a very
>short time.
>Due to the pressure that I am often under from the different departments
>with which I work, and the priorities and urgencies of each of those
>departments, I do not think it would be in my best interest to be
>compensated on a monthly basis. I understood that I had the choice to remain
>on an hourly basis, and that is my choice.
>I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Zvi, Yaron, Daniel and
>Albert for the confidence you have shown in me and especially for the help
>that you have given me as I have taken on new tasks.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 11 April 2000
Subject: Not Good-Looking Enough

My friend, I guess that's what I should call her, whom I've known for almost as long as I've been online, five and a half years, has just left, an hour after she arrived. She said she had to go to the movies. I guess that must be some kind of geek joke. She did neither what she had proposed, to fix my 'puter, nor what I had proposed, to eat dinner and hang out and pretend to be friends. I offered her a plate of antipasti, green and black olives, pickles, pickled hot peppers, anchovies and parmesan cheese, which she refused, saying that she didn't like olives and had already eaten (humus), which I thought was a little odd, since she was going to someone's home who had offered her dinner. I hadn't made any great preparations, but I was planning on cooking something or taking her out. She couldn't re-install Windows properly because I don't have some floppy disk, which I must have lost in a drunken brawl while crossing the street between Lou's Place and Cosmopolitan's, the after-hours club also owned by Louis Morgan. I can't remember if I ever took Nichelle to Cosmo's. She liked Lou's, and they liked her at Lou's. When a white guy goes to the ghetto to get drunk with the bro's, they probably figure, he can't get along with his own people, the mean son of a bitch, so let's kill him if he starts any trouble. But at Lou's they understood me. I was never robbed walking out of that place absurdly drunk with a hundred dollars in tips in my pocket at two in the morning. Everyone loves Nichelle. And the bro's especially appreciate a white man who will bring his white gf into their ghetto turf and party and play darts with the brothers and sisters. This is basically unheard of. And I'm sure Mister Betsy, the day bartender, took care of her, served her a drink, and wished her a good day when he saw her taking the bus to school, when I was at work. Anyway to get back to my friend, I have no idea why she came to visit. She obviously wanted nothing to do with me, which is fine, and nothing to do with my dumb-stupid Windows 'puter, which is also fine, but why waste your time? I still had things to do when I left work, so that I could greet her properly. Well, I guess it doesn't matter. I am inclined to buy a new HP 'puter through work with an ISDN modem or whatever else they're offering. I would prefer some cable action because then I could get rid of my phone, or perhaps DSL, which my friend mentioned, and which permits one to be always online, which is the only civilized way to live. The Managing Director drove me to Jerusalem to see the debacle at the Pediatrics Congress at the ICC, so he answered my e-mail, saying that they would adjust my wages accordingly as of... and then the phone rang. These people have two phones in their cars, one attached to the dashboard and another with a speaker inserted in their ear and a microphone attached to their shirt. Anyway I don't think he was too upset. He knows that he was trying to screw me, and that I didn't go for it. Let the bosses fight amongst themselves for my time. I have to fight to go home even when I'm getting OT. John (negatron) please think of me a little and set yourself up to receive my 8MB or more of data. I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing that you had the archives too. I trust Nichelle because I love her. I trust Goldie because she might really want to write her thesis on our letters. I trust you even more because I know that you don't give a fuck one way or another.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Logging

Last night was interesting on the MOO, but I didn't log it. I'm not sure why. I feel a little cheap when I send logs. It seems to me as if I were avoiding the terrible pain of sitting down in front of a white page (well, screen) and thinking: "I have to write at least five hundred words of good, if not great, prose or else the bastards will think I've shot my bolt," as one American author was once quoted as very unkindly saying about another. Funny that I can't recall who said it about whom. I'm thinking one of them must be someone like Sherwood Anderson and the other Thomas Wolfe, but I really can't remember. I hate it when I can't remember something. Maybe Goldie knows. Anyway I was talking with Goldie, trying to explain how I write and how I think about writing (I recall giving as examples that I regretted, in the letter entitled: "The Best of the West", that I had used an ugly expression: "bear the brunt of that failure", when normally one bears the brunt of a burden, and also that I wrote: "which it often seems to do," when I should have written: "as it often seems to do".), when Nichelle logged on from work. I assume she was at work, given the Pacific time. I guess she has joined the ranks of the MOOers on Company Time geeks. I could do this too, but it would just rattle my already tense brain. Nichelle and I talked about our little fight, and I quoted her some text that I had decided not to send. I was pulling my punches and playing a complicated game interweaving the non-answer to Nichelle's attack with my decision (cf. "The Best of the West") not to answer my bosses that day, and then entitling my next letter: "Kiss my ass, Motherfuckers", leading you, if you do not use a preview pane with your e-mail software, to believe that I was about to launch a fifteen-hundred word misogynistic tirade, when all I did was quote the quiet but devastating letter I wrote the following morning to my bosses. Anyway, then scaredycat logged on demanding an explanation of the letter entitled: "Not Good-Looking Enough", of which I had sent her a BCC out of courtesy. She explained to me that she had abruptly left in part because she was scared of me, scared, she clarified, that I might rape her. Now I have been accused of many evil sins over the years, always wrongly and unfairly as you know, but I have never been accused of being physically menacing, or if I have I can't remember it. Her fear, she said, was based on that notorious episode of sexual harassment, when even the Nazi-feminist lesbians of the MOO have told me that the Rainier Club would have been laughed out of court for claiming that private e-mail on private 'puters, which is immediately stopped on request, constitutes sexual harassment. I think I'm beginning to have some luck with Odelia. Don't fucking laugh at me, you swine, there is nothing weird-odd about a thrity-six-year-old degenerate trying to make small talk with a twenty-year old Arab girl whose face makes me shiver, whose body makes me shake, and whose voice makes me quiver with delight. She called me and said: "Gabriel, it's Odelia. I need your help." I threw my keyboard out the window and rushed to the scene of the crime. "Daniel is in the marsan [cellar]. How do you say 'marsan'?" she asked the Assistant Managing Director. "I understand 'marsan'. Is he tied up?" She laughed. The Assistant Managing Director said: "You can tie him up and leave him down there." She pointed to a shopping cart and said: "He needs you to help him bring stuff up. You can take that. How do you say it?" "It's called theft, a stolen shopping cart, to be more precise." She laughed again. And you cunts think I have no charm.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Re: Logging

For the record, I'm not working yet, so I'm online on my own time. I've never MOOed from work- I think it's a bad policy.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Afterlogging

It was wrong of me to mention that I had quoted to Nichelle some text, and then not to give it to you, but I didn't have it. I had thrown it out. Guilt overcame my my unwillingness to sift through the kitchen trash to find the ash- and food-stained handwritten notes. As I said, I didn't keep a log. So here's what I wrote:

"Issues of esthetics and perception of body image are far from trivial. I do not think that their importance to me reflects childishness on my part. Sometimes Esse IS percipe. Your sexuality, Nichelle, was and is a thing of beauty, but it is a thing of beauty that, for various reasons, I could not enjoy up close. Some pleasures are better savored from afar."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Re: Afterlogging

Cop out.

This is not a list post, obviously.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Re: Afterlogging

That is fucking ridiculous, Goldie. I love Nichelle. There was no misunderstanding between me and her. She was indulging a little apres-divorce bitterness, which was well deserved after three long, hard years with me. I liked her letter entitled: "The Sexpert Speaks". I liked everything about it. Did you think I was fucking joking when I said that Nichelle is a great writer? Look at some of her more experimental messages, the Matilda letters, the great Utopia fake log, which opened up for us a whole new sub-genre, not to mention the seminal (Even I feel bad about that pun.) texts with which she introduced herself to me and to the list. Nichelle does not need the benefit of my benevolent supervision to understand what I was doing in the "The Best of the West" and "Kiss my ass, Motherfuckers" e-mail messages. She is as merciless and analytical a reader of e-mail as I am. We ruthlessly pick apart one another's messages and everyone else's. This is not some kind of a game we are playing, or if it is we are playing for keeps. Read 'em and weep, sister: "I'm sorry, Gabriel. I don't think I've written you a mean letter since I left you, but you were lousy in bed. You blamed that on my fat ass and thighs and belly, but I still have those, and I shake the walls and wake the fucking neighbors when I cum." Listen to the rhythm of those phrases. It begins very pedestrian. Then it begins to lilt with the long independent and subordinate clauses, then the coordinating conjunction and the short, cutting jab. Then the brutal blow of honest self-reflection, the coordinating conjunction and short pause, and finally the thrilling, soaring conclusion (what Conrad called the peroration of Kurtz's Exterminate-all-of-the-brutes text.) with the rhyme in -ake and the alliteration in w- and the great pun that creates ambiguity about who exactly is fucking, she or the neighbors. Notice too how I picked up her "shake" and off-rhymed it with the anaphoric "makes", while substituting a feminine rhyme in -iver an alliteration in sh- three days later when I wrote: "whose face makes me shiver, whose body makes me shake, and whose [contralto] voice makes me quiver with delight." I don't need to ask Nichelle if she was doing that "intentionally". (We have had a few arguments on this list about "author's intent".) I know she was. Do you think that because we are not getting paid that we don't know what the fuck we're doing? We are pros, sweetheart. Get used to it.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: Re: Afterlogging

I am amused and delighted that you were able to read so much into my two-word, off-the-cuff comment. As the line goes, you have a dizzening intellect.

I do sometimes wonder if it really matters what I say or if the mere existence of the words is enough of a catalyst for you.

Let's test it. What do you think of when I say the word, "projection"?

--La Rubia

From: Hillary
Date: 12 April 2000
Subject: sex and loathing

Here, a thrilling coincidence: La Rubia and I have the same alma mater (though for me it's not yet an alma mater because I graduate in May; she left last year). SAGR, you knew this but never mentioned it? Somehow on this tiny campus, amidst a scant 1000 students, we managed to miss each other for the three-year overlap and run into each other via a common online acquaintace who has fled to Israel because he likes to use the word 'cunt.' Considering that the population of LambdaMOO is nearly five times as large (4945) as the population on campus, it's almost staggering. Almost staggering because I skitter off to NYC every weekend so don't participate in the majority of college social functions, and I invest a lot of time in prowling around online. I suspect those two factors level the odds somewhat. Anyway, I like her because she fields SAGR's furious intellectualizing and vulgarizing with a lot of grace, and she writes well. I'm not sure we have anything real to talk about but so far the chatter has been nice.

All of the sex and loathing lately has made me want to post some of my own dregs. I wrote a long and laughable chronicle that made heavy use of fuck and love, chickened out for fear of sounding adolescent, but have revived some scraps because I'm feeling adolescent and I don't care.

I cleaned out all the old bank receipts and outdated telephone numbers from my wallet and ran across a list I made last spring.


Bring: Do:
Batman: eat. write letters.
The American Scholar: 12:15 bus-->train
Journal: 4:00 meet M, 338 E. 22nd
Clothes: 7:00 meet T, 6th & Spring
O+: Saturday--
9:30 train
10:30 Annamarie
3:00 train
4:45 Julie

[O+ is shorthand for tampons; apparently I had or was expecting my period on this particular Thursday.]

I sat on M's couch brushing my hair and putting on crimson lipstick (dabdabdab in a compact mirror) while he watched and said something like "You look really great" I guess in an attempt to be friendly rather than boyfriendly even though I found out later that he'd written in his journal that he wanted to fuck me and that I'd gained weight, the latter of which was not true. So I left him pretending nonchalance but believing I loved him to meet a person with whom I pretended nonchalance but wanted to fuck and didn't, at least not for a week. Then I proceeded to fuck over the person I had fucked; three weeks later I ended up taking back the one I thought I loved, but somehow I ended up loving the one I fucked, so much so that now, over a year later, I can't imagine why or how I ever loved or fucked before meeting the man I met while wearing the lipstick. It's led me to wonder whether loving and fucking are inextricable or if they're mutually exclusive. This sounds convoluted or ridiculous, but really it's easy.

Pay attention to the lipstick. I bought it when I broke up with M, or when he cheated on me and things just ended. I also cut and dyed my hair to match the lipstick. When M wanted to be friends I was sick about it, but made a point to see other people, to let him know I was "happy" and "sexy" and "over it". I never wore lipstick when we were together, and I stopped wearing it when I moved in with him later than spring, even though we almost never kissed because he smoked two packs a day and was self-conscious about his breath. I'm getting ahead of myself. The red lipstick, although a real and admittedly vapid subject, should be given great significance. M gave it significance, which is why he said what he said while he watched me put it on.

So I met T that night and when I met him he was smoking which should have set off alarms, except that he smoked Camels instead of Marlboros, which somehow was different. When we got to the restaurant it was full of mirrors and I used my napkin to take of my lipstick because it was new and made me self-conscious.

I slept in his bed and he slept on the floor. I invited him into bed but either he didn't hear me or didn't want to; now he claims I never did, but I'm sure I offered. The next morning we watched some French film with English subtitles and he had his hand on my leg for most of the movie which could have been accidental and told me I smelled good though I could only have smelled of his soap. I thought he didn't want me.

The next weekend we fucked without thinking; it was what we were supposed to do or what was in our natures to do. He had been with maybe 60 women then over the course of his life, and if you count the people I fucked for money I probably matched him, and so it was reasonable that we would fuck each other. It was interesting and hot and strangely violent; we argued over who would go down on whom and foreplay consisted of pushing each other around and trying to sort it out. Apparently he couldn't handle blowjobs because some chick had sliced him up with her teeth once upon a time, badly enough that he had to have stitches, and I couldn't handle cunnilingus because of an early violent experience, but both of us were morbidly fascinated with performing oral sex, and I mean that quite literally in the sense that our egos were tied up in the PRODUCTION of someone else's pleasure, if theatrical tonguing is possible. So we both enjoyed ourselves and in the morning he said something like "I wonder if married people are this happy" which I found really disturbing.

For a couple of weeks things were great and then M invited me for lunch and I was on that couch again, in the lipstick again and he said "If we don't leave now I might rape you" and for some un-fucking-known reason I smiled and said "You wouldn't" because I wanted him to, because I was twenty and stuck somewhere between being valedictorian of my high school class and being a part-time whore. So I stopped wearing lipstick again. M also liked me to have my hair in two pig tails, to call him Daddy in bed (which, incidentally, the latest issue of Glamour Magazine specifically advises against), and to hold his dick while peed. No joke. I think Nichelle's Gabe-bashing prompted me to do some internal ex-bashing myself. I'm thoroughly disgusted with this person for whom I did so many degrading things, and for whom I gave up things I really wanted, namely lipstick and T. Maybe I dwell on the disgusting things about him, like the time he shat in his pants after we ate bad Vietnamese food and he couldn't make the six blocks home.

Fastforward through unbearable cohabitation, succint breakup, radio silence. T and I find each other again. The sex isn't as hot, but it's deeper and loving. He reads me bedtime stories in his native language. He flies 3000 miles for the weekend just to meet my parents. He's everything, and yet there's some little fucking seed of hatred left for M, which means he's still there in my system in some form. I'd give just about anything to exorcise him completely.

He pops up a week or two ago to tell me that he met Monica Lewinsky and had coffee with her. Took her lipsticked cup home with him.




From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 April 2000
Subject: Time to go to bed

Very good, Shayda. You've passed your initiation test. The first lesson is: don't take too much shit from the man who thinks he's the boss. Second lesson: "the mere existence of the words is enough of a catalyst for you." I couldn't have said it any better myself. It is precisely the existence of words, rather than any silly bullshit about their meaning, that matters. negatron will take your blood sample tomorrow. I have to get to bed.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 April 2000
Subject: FW: Robber's knowledge

>To: The World
>From: Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss <sagreiss@dreamscape.com>
>Subject: Robber's knowledge
> "'L'ascendant, nous dit-il, qu'a pris le ministre, dependrait de la
connaissance qu'a le ravisseur de la connaissance qu'a la victime de son
ravisseur', textuellement: the robber's knowledge of the loser's knowledge
of the robber."

The above text was quoted by me in 1996 or 1997 (according to the sender's address) but the letter was never finished. I remembered it this morning when I woke up at four. It is quoted from Jacques Lacan's "Seminaire sur 'La Lettre volee'" which is anachronologically placed at the beginning of the Ecrits. If you remember Poe's tale, almost nothing is said about the letter. We know that it was sent to the Queen. We don't know by whom. We don't know what it says, but we know that it's contents are supposed to be compromizing, so we may assume (though we can't be sure) that it's a letter from her lover explicit enough to be incriminating. What Poe didn't tell us is none of our concern, as it was none of his. What's important is what he does tell us. It is the "mere existence" of the letter that will make heads roll, first because of "the robber's knowledge of the loser's knowledge of the robber" and later, when Dupin finds the letter, which is hidden from the Queen's secret police where they would never think to look, on top of a stack of letters, because of the robber's knowledge of the loser's ignorance of the theft, when Dupin replaces the letter with an identical piece of paper on which he has written: "Un destin si funeste..." Notice that Poe doesn't tell us what the letter says, but he tells us what kind of paper it's written on. To give you another example, here is Roland Barthes on Phedre: "C'est ici l'etre meme de la parole qui est porte sur le theatre: la plus profonde des tragedies raciniennes est aussi la plus formelle; car l'enjeu tragique est ici beaucoup moins le sens de la parole que son apparition, beaucoup moins l'amour de Phedre que son aveu. Ou plus exactement encore: la nomination du Mal l'epuise tout entier, le Mal est une tautologie, Phedre est une tragedie nominaliste." And again: "La ruse d'Oenone consiste precisement, non pas a reprendre l'aveu de Phedre, a l'annuler, ce qui est impossible, mais a le retourner: le mot restera intact, simplement transfere d'un personnage a l'autre." And finally: "La divinite cachee de Phedre n'est pas Venus, ni le Soleil, c'est ce 'dieu formidable aux parjures' dont le temple se dresse aux portes de Trezene."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 April 2000
Subject: Odelia

I know what you are thinking, negatron: "you are a sick fuck. you woke up at 4 in the morning thinking about a fragment of e-mail you wrote 3 or 4 years ago?" What can I say? My first thought of the day was: "Now I can finally use that text I began so long ago, to illustrate Goldie's observation about words serving no purpose except to bear more words." I walked over to the 'puter and put Eudora in search and destroy mode, but I thought the message was called "The Purloined Letter" after the tale. I had to try again to find "robber". Anyway the old man's wife, who runs accounting, asked for my help: "I want to send Olivia to the bank with a lot of money. Can you go with her?" My heart stopped: "You mean Odelia?" "Olivia, Odelia, beseder." Odelia said to me: "Are you my bodyguard?" "I'm holding the money, so I think you must be my bodyguard." In the elevator I asked her some stupid question, to which she replied, to my astonishment: "I just came back from LA." What? My Oriental princess spent a year in Los Angeles? If there are no more virgins in Strasbourg, as the old Alsatian folk song has it, then there must be no virgin assholes in Los Angeles, including men, women and dogs of both sexes. But she is truly beautiful. I could barely breath, let alone speak, let alone think, the whole time. She has a deep voice which attacks the many gutteral phonemes of Hebrew with gusto. You see, my friends, there is justice in this hellhole. I can't say that I've won yet, but at least I'm going to be allowed to play the game. She's not dumb, and no woman could be so dumb as not to know that I was chatting her up. She didn't call security. In fact, I was security. We had to wait half an hour at the bank, and I was relishing every minute. I told her about my criminal internet addiction and asked her to teach me Hebrew. She told me how to say: hair, eyes, nose ("af"), and mouth ("pe", which I like because it means "fart" in French, though I thought it prudent not to mention this fact). I'm glad we're starting with the body parts. Now I have to ask scaredycat to tell me again, so I can learn the words this week-end, because there's a test on Sunday, that is if scaredycat is still talking to her putative rapist. Let me try to recreate her in my mind. She has long, black frizzy hair, with a couple of insanely white ones mixed in. She plucks her eyebrows in the middle where they meet, and has charming peach fuzz sideburns. She said that Hebrew was her "mother tongue", so she may be more assimilated than I thought. Her English is not bad, but not so good as I would have expected from someone who had spent a year in the States. I guess Spanish is the official language of Southern California anyway. I should have asked her if she had served in the army, so that I could be absolutely sure that she's an Arab, though there's little doubt in my mind. (Arabs don't have to serve in the army.) Her eyes seem slightly crossed, but they are dark and bright and piercing and laughing when she laughs, which she does easily. Her teeth are a little third-world. She wears a fair amount of jewelry and loud lipstick and has a funny way of sticking out her surprizingly pale, pink tongue, perhaps to wet her lips, though I'd be happy to take care of that for her. She is small, barely five feet tall, though she has nice curves. It's hard to tell, for she dresses modestly, wearing long-sleeve shirts and undershirts with sleeves, so I don't really know her taste in brassieres. I haven't seen her in a skirt or dress yet. I'm trying to remember what we said, but I fear it was all gibberish.

Rien donc ne peut sauver la position de la police, et l'on n'y changerait rien a ameliorer "sa culture". Scripta manent, c'est en vain qu'elle apprendrait d'un humanisme d'edition de luxe la lecon proverbiale que verba volant termine. Plut au ciel que les ecrits restassent, comme c'est plutot le cas des paroles: car de celles-ci la dette ineffacable du moins feconde nos actes par ses transferts.
Les ecrits emportent au vent les traites en blanc d'une cavalerie folle. Et, s'ils n'etaient feuilles volantes, il n'y aurait pas de lettres volees.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 April 2000
Subject: La Reine de Saba

I know what you bastards are thinking: "You say she's truly beautiful, but you don't make her sound that way, and you forgot her nose, which is on the vocabulary list." What were you expecting, assholes, Petrarch's description of Laure de Sade? She's a woman, not a porcelaine doll. Women may have zits and bad teeth and sometimes even hair on their ass. Grow up. And I didn't forget her af. It's just very hard to describe. The tip is long and fine, but the bridge is a little wide and peaked. I haven't carefully examined her nostrils yet. We were standing in a bank, not lying on my bed.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 14 April 2000
Subject: Re: La Reine de Saba

You can just read me like a book, Gaby... That *is* what I was thinking.

>I know what you bastards are thinking: "You say she's truly beautiful, but
>you don't make her sound that way, and you forgot her nose, which is on the
>vocabulary list."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 April 2000
Subject: Am I weird?

>Date: Fri, 14 April 2000 19:53:53 -0400
>To: "EDSL Information" <info@edsl.com>
>From: SAGReiss
>Subject: RE: DSL for End-User
>Why are you wasting your time and mine? Obviously I got your address off of
>the URL:
>(If you write it that way, there's a good chance I can simply click on the link.)
>Can you, or can you not, give me information either in your e-mail or a
>link to the specific web site, that is, for example:
>Is this question too hard for you? If so, please refer me to someone who
>might be able to answer my question.
>At 12:27 13.04.00 -0400, you wrote:
>>Dear Scott
>>Sorry if you got offended, However there is a lot of info on the WEB when
>>you search for DSL.
>>In our web site (www.edsl.com) you will find under the technology page you
>>will find: white papers, related unbiased articles and also links to dsl
>>sites like the xdsl, VDSL , ADSL
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss [mailto:sagreiss@aquanet.co.il]
>>Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 6:24 PM
>>To: EDSL Information
>>Subject: RE: DSL for End-User
>>If I wrote to you regarding information on DSL for the customer, it's
>>because I am a potential client. I was thinking you might maybe take the
>>time to give me some of that "tons" of information, rather than just send me
>>back to your web site (without even a specific URL). If this is the way you
>>treat potential clients, I think I might find better service elsewhere.
>>No thanks.
>>At 12:09 13.04.00 -0400, you wrote:
>>>Dear Scott
>>>There is "tons" on information regarding xDSL technology on the internet.
>>>In the EDSL website you can find under technology information regarding in
>>>buildings DSL
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss [mailto:sagreiss@aquanet.co.il]
>>>Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 6:01 AM
>>>To: info@edsl.com
>>>Subject: DSL for End-User
>>>Sir or Madam,
>>>I live in Tel Aviv. I am interested in DSL technology. I was wondering if
>>>you had any information pertaining to the individual consumer.
>>>Thank you for your cooperation.
>>>Best Regards.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 April 2000
Subject: vr
Attached: vr.doc

Compliments of Nichelle and Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 April 2000
Subject: Nichelle, the Sun-Goddess

I don't know if you are being ironical here, but I think I can read even more than that: "'Women may have zits and bad teeth and sometimes hair on their ass,' and sometimes they have a fat ass and thighs and belly, so what's the big deal?" I can't really answer that question. Something in my psychological make-up must be wrong. Desire is a weird thing. Why did young Dr. Sigmund choose Frauelein Martha Bernays rather than Frauelein Pina Pfeifmacher? I'm sure that even the great doctor wouldn't claim to know. I hope you will always be my friend, though, because I was re-reading some of the old e-mail yesterday and I may have read two thousand books, but only you can write the e-mail that shakes my soul. This list is the only good thing I've ever done in my life, and you made it happen. If I could invent the perfect writer, to expand on J.D. Salinger's metaphor, you are exactly the person I would invent.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 15 April 2000
Subject: Re: Nichelle, the Sun-Goddess

I have to ask: why the Sun-Goddess?

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 April 2000
Subject: Re: Nichelle, the Sun-Goddess

Don't you remember? I'm quoting from memory: "Nichelle is the sun in our universe. And I am the force of gravity. My name is f=ma." I've been brooding about Odelia. If she spent a year in Los Angeles, she isn't as pure and innocent, and quite likely not as young as I thought. But how can I ever explain this list to her, the horrible things I've written about her, which I'm too honest to forget to show her. My only advantage is that she's not American, so she won't go crazy over my use of the word "cunt". She hears the Man say: "Cus em mec," every day. Can you imagine what would happen in the States if a boss said: "You fucking bitch, I'll kill you," to an employee? I don't know why I worry. For all I know she might be getting her ass pounded by some circumcized dog as we speak. I haven't even asked her out to lunch yet. Goldie said I sounded like a high school geek trying to line up a date for the prom. I was thinking this morning about a sixty-five-year-old lady at work called Rosy. She was born in Egypt, lived in Belgium and the Congo. She can be a pain in the ass, and is full of dumb-stupid cliches, but sometimes she speaks with the wisdom of the ages: "Le mariage est une lotterie." What magnanimous resignation. The boss was screaming at the travel department about this rich-ass doctor from Texas who was an invited speaker at the Pediatrics conference. I told him to shut up so as not to scare the new girls. It's a sordid tale. We (from the congress budget) provided the prick with free flight tickets. (You remember what I said about free being a price? I write free shit into budgets every day.) So he wanted to change his departure date, but we could only wait list him, so the asshole went out and bought a two-thousand-dollar non-refundable ticket. The next day we got him a seat, so now he was trying to get us to get El-Al to refund his non-refundable ticket. "Daniel, who cares about this jerk? Qu'il aille se faire foutre." "I'm trying to help him. His father is dying." "He isn't crying about his father. He's crying about his two thousand bucks."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 April 2000
Subject: 13 Bottles of beer

"Quit your lamentations, bitch. You wrote more e-mail in Syracuse." Nichelle was chiding me because I said I've felt for the past week as if the World were a second full-time job. She told me to stop jerking off so much and write some e-mail about Israel: "You know, local color, camel rides, belly dancers, opium dens." I said I'd give it a try, but we're still waiting for her amazon.cum letter and what about all the wonderful sex she's been having? I thought you liked to share. Here, for the record, is that text from 23 March 1996 which I quoted. I can't forget what I read and write. I remember everything. Sometimes I even scare myself. I'll make an exception and copy and paste the text, which I never do. (You'll notice that I misquoted "La Reine de Saba" in "Nichelle, the Sun-Goddess".) I give myself every opportunity to make a telling mistake. I use spell-checks and copy and paste at work. This is my home. I can do what the fuck I want:

Once again impressed by your letter, Annie Divine, I propose the following gentleman's bet, as you are obviously a woman of calibre. I'm very sceptical about Nichelle's friends as they are all "brilliant" in her words and I know they can't all be so. If I win our little joust over time and music, you'll let me make you a member of our World. If you win, I'll let you become a member. Nichelle will tell you this is eminently right and fair, and she will be judge, jury and executioner of our contest. She (and this may surprise you) and not I is the sun of our World. I am gravity and my name is f=ma. While my mass won't impress an FWB like yourself, my acceleration is enough to sober up Albert Einstein after a long night sniffing ether in his lab at Princeton. I have spent many an evening hitting the bottle with Atomic Al and we are both the better man for it. As for John Boy Keats (He was listed in the NCAAs at five foot, still a record, but was closer to four-eleven.) he has no problem with me. We met in his house in Rome, where he died after writing those heart-breaking letters back to Merry Old England. Among his last words were the bit about negative capability, "When I die I shall be among the English poets," and the final, endless "I hate to say good-bye".

As I was typing that this morning, I hesitated between "sun in our universe" and "sun of our universe". I prefer the latter, as I wrote it originally, for the homonymic pun. After Nichelle logged off I laid down to rest to no avail. My mind was imagining scenari starring Odelia and SAGReiss. We are sitting on the terrasse at work and I am feeding her slices of avocado from my gamelle, which is what we call the plastic bowl I bring my lunch in. It usually means "dog dish". She opens her mouth and I bring my fork to her lips. I can see her tongue. I am imagining that I am a slice of avocado... We are lying on my bed after our first fuck. I wasn't too lousy in bed. "Odelia, there's something I have to tell you. You know what I said about the internet? Well, we have a little writing club..." I don't know. We are dealing with people who are so internet unsophisticated. I got a call a while ago from the unbelievably beautiful girl in the travel department: "Gabriel, I need your help. My sister sent me something in e-mail. Can you please delete it? I don't want them to see it." "I think it's too late, Nirit." Daniel was standing next to me laughing and waving the picture of this naked woman with monster tits. I think I might be able to get away with what I'll call the Goldie principle. That's right, I'll just say that my way of representing myself to the world (and the World) involves waving a metaphorical penis at everyone I meet. I'll say: "Petrarch knew that Mrs. de Sade sucked cock and took it up the ass. Her husband was the ancestor of the Marquis. You know that Hugues was into some weird shit. But Petrarch represented her in a certain way, which he derived from the Provencal troubadour tradition to create the genre of courtly love. He said her breath smells sweet. This is no more true than when I say your pussy smells sweet. We are trying to represent non-linguistic phenomena in words. There is no easy or intuitive way to do this. It's a lot of work. I know what love is. I have just created my own, admittedly crude, way of expressing it." Do you think this will work? I've been letting the seams show in my e-mail recently because it's sometimes frustrating feeling, rightly or wrongly, that only Nichelle and I understand what we are up to. I saw your snide little remark, Todd. I felt it was beneath me to answer. Anyone who hasn't figured out the "shake(s)" pun yet should stop reading this letter and turn on the TV. OK, Mr. Antichrist, shut the fuck up and give us the promised local color. The Tikva (Hope) casbah is a sprawling, dirty, overcrowded, beautiful market, where mostly food is sold, though I'm sure one can buy camels, women, opium and anything else, legal or otherwise. It's what the Farmer's Market in Seattle would be if Americans weren't such cunts. In the States it would be shut down in a minute and everyone would be taken to jail. The merchants are all thieves, but they are petty thieves, and they feel bad about it. They rob me, and then say: "I'll give you an extra tomato," since I'm paying twice the price because I don't argue. I go to this liquor shop near the market where this old guy called Moshe takes care of me. Yesterday I brought thirteen empty beer bottles to return. He was sitting down smoking and relaxing in front of the shop. He shouted at one of his hangers-on to take my plastic shopping bag and put the empties in the cellar. He asked me if I wanted anything else. I said, I think, tomorrow, which was wrong because tomorrow, today, is Saturday and everything's closed. I was trying to say: "Later," because I had forgotten to get money from the cash machine. I pointed to my watch. He understood. He asked me if I wanted the money now, or he could deduct it from my bill. I said: "Beseder." He didn't want me to spend the thirteen sheqels in somebody else's shop. Like I said, they are petty thieves. When I returned, he asked me how many bottles I had given him. I said, truthfully, that I didn't know. (I've been insisting on the number thirteen precisely because of the later confusion and because it's my user number at work, cf. "The curse of user 13".) I have no idea how many bottles I gave him, and I don't really care.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 16 April 2000
Subject: The Men's Room

Xao is a MOO for bitter OZ renegades and serial sexual harassers, the kind of people who get dressed up on Saturday night, planning to go out, get drunk and start a brawl at the local pub. I've never seen a woman there, but maybe feisty logs on on occasion. I fit right in. I got on yesterday for the first time in a year. Some guy I don't know waved: "Where the fuck is Colin, and how come I don't have a character here?" The guy shrugged. A few minutes later Colin logged on. He said I could get a character by just typing @request from the log-in screen: "But I know you will take such pleasure in making one for me." He made me a character, but misspelled my name. We got that sorted out, then I complained that since Colin now knew my password, he would probably be logging on as me and harassing all the babes, not that there are any to begin with. Then the other guy asked Colin what my password was, and pretended that Colin had given it to him: "Don't tell him. I can see he's a degenerate." We were all laughing, joking, easily having a good time: "He'll not only harass the babes, he'll expect you to bring them." Actually Colin got off a very good line: "Money is degenerate information, as heat is degenerate energy."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 16 April 2000
Subject: HND'S

FEET'S.....capot raglaim

I failed my first test miserably. I was nervous, couldn't find a moment to approach her in peace. She works the fucking phones. There is no peace. She was wearing a bright blue shirt, kind of frilly undershirt, and black pants so tight that Mick Jagger would have hesitated to put them on for fear of stopping the blood circulation. Her body is truly beautiful. After lunch I was hanging around the reception area trying to look like I had something to do there, and I blurted out: "I was thinking of you this week-end. She'ar, enayim, af, po, two wrong out of four, not quite what is expected of a man of calibre. She laughed and corrected me. It's easy to laugh when you look that good, and when you're making a thirty-six-year-old man act like child and make an utter fool of himself in his place of work, where he is a respected businessman, or whatever it is that I'm supposed to be. Late in the afternoon, when I was done with my work and bored, I decided to give it another chance. Fuck Goldie trying to cast the hex on me. You should all be wishing me luck for your own selfish reasons, so you can read the terrible e-mail that will necessarily follow any change for the better in my sex life. So I walked over to where she was now sitting in accounting. I bent over her and asked: "Can you give me some more words?" Our mouths were about twelve inches apart, which is about twelve inches too close for an American, maybe six inches too close for an Oriental. I gave her my pen and squatted down letting her tower over me and looking up into her face. She began writing the above text, except that she printed the Hebrew, which I've transliterated. The Assistant Managing Director yelled from his office next door: "You are shameless. You should be arrested." "Yaron, if you're bored, why don't you make some phone calls?" "No one wants to talk to me." "So call Tieder [my boss]. No one wants to talk to him either." I had worn blue jeans on purpose. But when I stood back up, I think she may have noticed something. Oh, well, with those pants she was wearing I could have counted the hairs on her ass, if I had had the time and the proper concentration. The day had begun badly. My boss called a meeting at ten o'clock and specifically invited me, which is contrary to tradition. (Another one of the job benefits I get from not speaking Hebrew is being excused from meetings.) He held this one in English. He was so angry he wasn't even screaming. Pediatrics had gone even worse than the nightmare everyone was prepared for. I thought he was pretty reasonable, for a man who is criminally insane. He didn't name names, though everyone pretty much knew his responsibility, except Stephanie who was most guilty and who wrongly insists it was not her fault. Aya had called in sick again, so she didn't have to hear it. He simply listed the myriad catastrophes that had struck, almost all of which were eminently preventable. And he said calmly that this would never happen again.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 17 April 2000
Subject: All you need to know

Anyone who has carefully read my e-mail of the past four days should know what I took to work in my pocket today, or at least be able to guess. Let's look at the text. On 13 April I wrote: "[and I'm going to copy and paste here because this is textual criticism, so I need the exact text] But she is truly beautiful." That was the gun placed on the mantle in chapter thirteen of the great Russian novel. On 14 April I wrote: "I know what you bastards are thinking: 'You say she's truly beautiful, but you don't make her sound that way, and you forgot her nose, which is on the vocabulary list.'" On 15 April I wrote: "Don't you remember? I'm quoting from memory: 'Nichelle is the sun in our universe. And I am the force of gravity. My name is f=ma.'" Later that day I quoted a letter of 23 March 1996:

Once again impressed by your letter, Annie Divine, I propose the following gentleman's bet, as you are obviously a woman of calibre. I'm very sceptical about Nichelle's friends as they are all "brilliant" in her words and I know they can't all be so. If I win our little joust over time and music, you'll let me make you a member of our World. If you win, I'll let you become a member. Nichelle will tell you this is eminently right and fair, and she will be judge, jury and executioner of our contest. She (and this may surprise you) and not I is the sun of our World. I am gravity and my name is f=ma. While my mass won't impress an FWB like yourself, my acceleration is enough to sober up Albert Einstein after a long night sniffing ether in his lab at Princeton. I have spent many an evening hitting the bottle with Atomic Al and we are both the better man for it. As for John Boy Keats (He was listed in the NCAAs at five foot, still a record, but was closer to four-eleven.) he has no problem with me. We met in his house in Rome, where he died after writing those heart-breaking letters back to Merry Old England. Among his last words were the bit about negative capability, "When I die I shall be among the English poets," and the final, endless "I hate to say good-bye".

On 16 March I wrote: "Her body is truly beautiful." By now you should know what I had in my pocket when I walked to work this morning. But since you don't, I am going to show you how this works. Words are self-referential. They have no meaning, but they do have consequences. They meet in my brain, rattle around, and produce new words, and these words in turn have consequences, and these consequences may spill over into the world of things. There is nothing special or interesting about the expression: "truly beautiful". It is not original or arresting. When I repeated it, you had no reason to notice. I was simply referring back to the previous day's e-mail, or so it seemed. But when I quoted that long paragraph above, it might have told you something: "Why is he doing that? What is he getting at?" To be honest, I didn't know myself, yet, which is one reason why you can throw out any illusions you may harbor about author's intent. The author can't tell you about the text. Only the text can tell you about itself. I didn't realize what I had done until I was walking to work this morning, analyzing the last e-mail and composing the next in my head. Last night I didn't know why I was repeating exactly the same mundane expression: "truly beautiful". This morning I understood. What does the expression "truly beautiful" mean? I don't mean: "What does it mean to you?". I couldn't care less. I mean: "What does it mean in the context (with the other texts) in which it has been placed?" And suddenly everything became clear. The words "truly beautiful," the reference to Keats, we know what this means: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." So what did I have in my pocket when I left for work this morning? A copy of the ode "To Autumn" which I had downloaded last night in order to offer it to Odelia because she had asked me to teach her some new words in English, as she was teaching me new words in Hebrew. I didn't give it to her because somehow it didn't work out. I will probably never fuck Odelia. Do you want to know something? I would rather write truly beautiful e-mail about Odelia than fuck her.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 17 April 2000
Subject: Re: All you need to know

I wasn't sure if you had poetry in your pocket or not, because while it seems entirely like you, it also seems entirely like you to have taken a rubber in your pocket and laughed at those of us naive enough to assume that this flibbertygibbet deserves poetry just because she taught you how to say 'nose.'

from "What Nina Answered", but in English so the reasonable among us may understand.

He: Just the two of us together,
Okay? We could go
Through the fresh and pleasant weather
In the cool glow

Of the blue morning, washed in
The wine [Ed. note: or whiskey] of day...
When all the love-struck forest
Quivers, bleeds

From each branch; clear drops tremble,
Bright buds blow,
Everything opens and vibrates;
All things grow.
I love you! Come! Come for
A beautiful walk!
You will come, won't you? What's more...

She: And be late for work?


"I cannot seriously suppose that I am at this moment dreaming. Someone, who, dreaming, says "I am dreaming", even if he speaks audibly in doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream "it is raining", while it was in fact raining. Even if his dream were actually connected with the noise of the rain." [Ludwig Wittgenstein]

From: Hillary
Date: 17 April 2000
Subject: source

That was Rimbaud
which I omitted


From: Nichelle
Date: 17 April 2000
Subject: Afternoon Out

I was reluctant to send this when I first wrote it, just after coming back from lunch in Seattle with a good friend:

I'm a little in awe of Anne- her intelligence, beauty, insight, her unabashed, uninhibited sexuality. In awe, but not intimidated. She is open and down-to-earth. She draws me in. She *welcomes* me in.

The Hurricane is a dump- sleazy, greasy, hardly the place for two people to connect in such a lovely way. I like watching her with her meal. She shakes the ketchup bottle as she looks across the table at me, smiling just a touch as she slaps the bottle hard, slaps it again, harder. Again. "Harder?" She grins at me. I blush. She smacks it again and again, and I shift a little uncomfortably in my seat as she looks at me over the rims of her glasses, cigarette hanging casually from her mouth, and I can't help thinking that her mother must have been a librarian and her father was James Dean.

She is stimulating and intoxicating. I lean across the table as I listen to her talk. I light her cigarettes and listen to her voice and as I watch her face, her pale skin and her chestnut-colored hair, I think that I had never really lusted after a woman until I met Anne.

I was reluctant to get back on the bus, the stop only a block away from my old apartment. I felt, today, like I had never left. Once the bus reached the freeway I put on my headphones, muffling some of the roar of the freeway with the sweet, sultry voice of Ella Fitzgerald, thinking about how elegant Anne's hand looked as she wrapped it around the warm coffee cup. I listened to the saxophone playing in the background and thought... if music could fuck... I'd let that saxophone fuck me with its sweet, languid churning as the road took me slowly home.

From: Hillary
Date: 17 April 2000
Subject: Ode-ear

J. Keats
Ode to Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

Obviously SAGR wants to load and bless Odelia with some "fruit" around her "thatch-eaves."

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

See? Ripe, plump, sweet kernel? Budding?

And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Alternatively, who hath not seen thy buttocks about the office?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twind flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

French french french french french french french french.
See? The oozings all make sense now.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, --
While barr'd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

I'm sure the goal was much more admirable, to teach dear Odelia words like "stubble-plains" and "wailful."

Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

In seriousness, it's a beautiful thing. This ode is about familiarity in part, which I think is interesting in the context of Odelia, since you don't know her well. Perhaps you have observed her extensively. Perhaps her mannerisms are as inscrutable as Autumn's careless sprawl of grain. Perhaps you fancy yourself Autumn asking for and then realizing the needlessness of Spring songs. Perhaps you thought if you threw some poetry at her she'd go weak-kneed and awful. Perhaps you wanted her to think of patience, potentiality, and crescendo. Perhaps you wanted her to notice the hyphens, those improbably conjunctions, and somehow apply that to human relationships. Maybe it was a test to see if she's worthwhile. I'd like to talk more about this poem, but I'm late for dinner.


i mean


From: SAGReiss
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: No log

"Merav? [Obviously I was hoping that Odelia would answer so that I could talk to her when I was naked.] I got drunk and stupid last night and I overslept. I'll be in in an hour." I can't seem to find a log. Perhaps this is a good thing. The memories comes back to me like waves. I am cajoling Goldie, propositioning Miel, and flattering Nichelle, who wrote a shitty e-mail and who knows better. (Re-reading I can still see the shine of her genius: the ketchup bottle, and this line: "her mother must have been a librarian and her father was James Dean." Notice how she hesitates at first, then gathers assurance and omits the modal verb.). I love you girls. If you were my daughters, I would say that Nichelle is the best writer, Joy is the funniest, Lauren is the most lesbian-stripper, Hillary is the prettiest, and Shayda is the tallest.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: Re: No log

I'm so damn glad to be the tallest.

From: Nichelle
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: Re: No log

What was shitty about it? I rather liked it.


From: Nichelle
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: Bad writing

I can remember the instant I made the decision to be with Gabriel, rather than with a guy named David in Chicago. (I had already purchased a plane ticket to Chicago to meet David when I stepped on the plane to move to Syracuse.) It was when I sent a letter to the World, something about music and my inner soul. David told me it was wonderful and Gaby said it sucked. That was when I made up my mind.

During the time I lived with Gabriel I learned to write more and more like him. It is actually a little painful for me to read some of my older letters because they are so bitter and resentful. I have changed a lot since then.

There were some good things about living with Gaby: his humor, recording daily life in e-mail, his intelligence, his routines and organization. He was good in the kitchen, good at the keyboard, fun to go out with, as seldom as we went out. He could handle my honesty. I liked having the Sunday New York Times lying around the house, the Joy Of Cooking on the kitchen counter, and the stack of dictionaries on the floor next to his desk. Most often, the dishes were done, the sheets were clean, and we lived together as roommates pretty well. Looking back, I think we could have been much happier not trying to be lovers.

The bad parts: recording daily life in e-mail, his intelligence, his drinking, our incompatibility sexually. I spent a lot of time looking at the back of his head, feeling lonely and isolated. The ringer on the phone was turned off, my friends didn't visit, he hated almost everyone we knew. Some men read the newspaper at the table rather than talking with their girlfriends. I think it was telling that he always read it in bed.

I am just now understanding the impact of our relationship on who I am. When I met Gaby, I wanted that disapproval. I wanted to be criticized because it would help me grow and force me to be honest with myself, and because I believed some of the shit he told me. I came to him wounded and lost and victimized. I left him strong and aware and confident. He was a great catalyst in my life. He was not always good *to* me, but he was good *for* me. And, I don't want to forget the ways in which he truly *was* good to me.

When I finished that e-mail about my lunch with Anne, I knew that I had written something good. The difference between 1996 and 2000 is that I make that judgment for myself now, regardless of the approval or disapproval of others.

From: Hillary
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: Re: No log

He's obviously never seen me.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: The Competition

My pocket is now empty. First, I had said to Odelia: "I've brought you a present." She didn't seem interested. I didn't give it to her. Later I went out for a smoke and she was fussing with the Passover food on the terrasse table: "Are you cooking?" Then I gave her the poem, which is very beautiful though I have no idea what, if anything, it means. I told her that the words were very difficult, which they will be for her. I don't think there are many poppies in Los Angeles, unless you count the smack. She seemed quite pleased, and so was I. Later still, when she asked me to move a huge container of water for our delicious instant cappuccino machine, she asked me what it was called: "It's, um, a thing." "There must be a name for it." "Your name sounds like Ophelia. Hamlet said: 'There are more things in Heaven and on Earth than have a name.'" I'm sure I'm misquoting badly. At the Passover party I watched her talking to what is rather biblically called a messenger, an errand boy. He is tall and dark and handsome. He's also her age. What a wanker. She can't possibly go for a punk like that, not when a man of calibre is giving her poetry and (mis)quoting Shakespeare. Work has been slightly funny of late. The bastard who is in charge of making my life miserable about the Solids Conference wrote: "From previous experience with the exhibition department, I suggest you check again. They probably received the payment two months ago and don't know about it." I showed it to Edi. I explained the problem in French, so that fewer people would understand if they overheard. The old Bulgarian said, in plain English and loud enough for everyone to hear: "Kiss my ass." I wrote to the guest asking about the payment. He clarified and, indeed, we had received payment in February. A professor wrote me asking if he could share a suite with two of his students on the same day that the students asked for a double room: "Daniel, qu'est-ce que je dois lui repondre?" "Tell him you're sorry, but they've booked a double room, so he can have a single or he can sleep in Ra'anana with me." The thought of someone sleeping with him lowered my body temperature by four degrees centigrade. Regarding Nichelle's e-mail, "Afternoon Out" is not a great effort. Paragraph one seems to suggest as much, but perhaps I am reading into it something that is not there. She may mean that she knows I will think it's bad, not that she knows it's bad. Paragraph two is bad. The first sentence, with its long apposition, tells us nothing about Anne. The second sentence is embarassing. The third sentence is a cliche. I kind of like the last two sentences. The third paragraph sparkles in places, as I noted on second reading. I don't much like the description of the Hurricane. It exactly parallels the description of Anne in the second paragraph, and shares the same weaknesses. Perhaps you could have introduced a pun on Hurricane Agnes. From the second sentence the whole paragraph comes alive. The narrator welcomes the reader in: "Come, watch with me." The fourth paragraph isn't bad. I like: "I light her cigarettes," but: "I listen to her voice," is too vague. The last line ("I think...") is good. The last paragraph is garbage: "if music could fuck... I'd let that saxophone fuck me with its sweet, languid churning as the road took me slowly home." The saxophone pun cannot redeem those horrible adjectives and adverbs, and the rhythm of the last phrase sounds like it was written by Henry Mancini. But now we come to Nichelle's greatness: "Bad writing". Actually, what I love most about Nichelle's writing is that she can write so well in so many different styles. Her palette is so broad. Any e-mail that begins with the words: "I can remember," will instantly win my approval. Nothing is so exciting as to watch someone reach back in time. Why do you think Proust wasted his life writing A la Recherche du temps perdu? That whole first paragraph is amazing. All of the details seem so necessary. I also like the lists of good things and bad things, but I'm perhaps overly fond of lists in general. I don't much care for the psychobabble at the end. I'm getting tired. Mr. Antichrist needs to eat and sleep.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 18 April 2000
Subject: Re: The Competition

>Regarding Nichelle's e-mail,
>"Afternoon Out" is not a great effort.

It is actually a very good effort, whether you happen to think so or not.

>Paragraph one seems to suggest as
>much, but perhaps I am reading into it something that is not there. She may
>mean that she knows I will think it's bad, not that she knows it's bad.

Actually, I meant that I wasn't sure if you were worthy of reading it.

>Perhaps you could
>have introduced a pun on Hurricane Agnes.

Hurricane Agnes is a pun on the Hurricane.

>But now we come to Nichelle's greatness: "Bad writing".


From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: (Mis)Quoting

When I wrote that I was badly misquoting, I didn't mention whom. It's an interesting question. While I was writing I deliberately added the preposition "on", which I had not said, because I liked the rhythm better and it seemed more precise. When I was re-reading my letter after sending, I checked Shakes. Since I know none of you did, here is what I found: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Actually I had orally quoted the first phrase exactly, dropped the apostrophe, and adapted the last phrase to fit my needs. What is odd is that when I corrected my oral version in writing, what I was really doing is fixing the pentameter, adapting the iambs to fit modern pronunciation, since Shakes read a synaresis for "heaven" but we read a diaresis for "Heaven". Please be reassured, Goldie. I would never subject something you wrote to the withering gaze I turn on Nichelle's and my letters. It is not in my interest to do so. I don't want to make people gun-shy. Nichelle is a tough bitch. She can take it. I love it when you write, loved Miel's "ode-ear" pun and her "to do" list with its editor's note. Anyone who can make tab work in e-mail deserves respect. (I hate the bureaucratic prose that has been creeping into my language of late. Please kill me if I ever write: "Please advise," or "Please revert urgently.") My boss was in fine form yesterday. He lied to me: "I told Lior that it was a waste of time and money, but he wants you to write personalized letters to the hosted buyers who will be visiting us at EIBTM in Geneva." How dumb do you think I am, motherfucker? Do you think I don't know how to check if you are telling the truth? I just asked Lior to proof-read it. He likes to do that anyway. It makes him feel like the Managing Director to make some insignificant cosmetic changes and make me re-do letters. Of course he knew nothing about my boss's foolish schemes. Anyway, my boss felt bad about making me do another mindless mail-merge, but I was so hungover that I didn't want to do any real work, so I was happy to do it. He asked me to sign them, but didn't push his luck: "Tell Odile to fax them for you." Of course I was overjoyed to ask Odelia to do anything: "Would you like to have fun?" "Fun?" "You don't think faxing is fun?" "No." "I don't either. I hate the fax. I love e-mail. I write e-mail to Judith from home." Judith is the crazy Iraqi receptionist sitting next to her, but notice how the evil mind of the old goat works: what I was trying to insinuate into her little head was that I could write e-mail from home, not to fucking Judith, get it?

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: RE: (Mis)Quoting

Careful about fucking Judith. Remember what happened to Holofernes.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: Monde Magique

"I regret to inform you that you will have to suffer my absence next week." The son of a bitch is going to Italy. What a nice Passover gift. The hundred-virgin gift certificate doesn't do much for me. I don't shop, except for liquor, and I don't think it's good at Moshe's shop. "Gabriel, please do your utmost to take care of the girls and help them. Don't do it for me. Do it for them. I know if it's for me you do the contrary." "I will do my utmost." I like the new girls, especially the one who sits right across from me. She hates paper and hates typing. Every time I have to explain to her some incredibly mindless fuck-up, such as our not being able to e-mail people the text from our brochures, her eyes bug out, and she looks at me as if I were some kind of crazed sex criminal. I couldn't agree with her more. Well, let me rephrase that... The whole company is going electronic. I'm allowed to write budgets in Excel, though the idiot redoes the whole ten- or fifteen-page mess on his calculator because he doesn't trust the 'puter. The funny thing is that he trusts me, but not Excel. The new girls don't know shit about 'puters, less than I do, which is like being smaller than a negative number, but they do know that we're not supposed to be retyping everything seventeen times because our databases can't communicate. And I've made sure to tell them that if they tell a wired guest that he has to download Acrobat to read our PDF files, he's not going to be polite when he answers. I can just imagine what Goldie must be thinking about now: "I've been living in the wrong world for twenty-five years. Why didn't someone at Bard tell me that one can do such things with words?" I guess it's because they don't know. I've been keeping it a secret, though I'm sure that word will eventually get out. Or perhaps she's just thinking: "What a megalomaniac pig." Anyway Odelia was very happy with her gift. She smiled at me and told me she had begun working on it. She called it "homework". I was deeply grateful for her kind words and laughing eyes.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: What I overlooked
Attached: autumn anal.doc;

For some crazy, bizarre reason, I never printed and thus never read Hillary's beautiful "Ode-ear". It was just one of those horrible fuck-ups that happen when one works ten hours, writes fifteen-hundred words and gets drunk every day. I'm sorry. What a lovely letter. If I were Hillary, I'd be pissed. I forget to eat and masturbate, and don't get enough sleep, so please don't begrudge me too much. The interlinear comments are all brilliant, especially the first one, which is an inspiration. When you get serious towards the end, I'm not sure I follow you. I love the signature too. How could I, a man of calibre, have missed such a letter? Anyway, I work a little more slowly than Hillary. I've only just begun to map out the poem. I wasn't planning on sending the enclosed Word attachment until Saturday, by which time I should have understood everything. But under the circumstances, I feel it behooves me to offer some kind of gift to Hillary, as a token of my apologies. So far I have been very tentative in my markings. I have only underlined what I was absolutely sure is meaningful. I have only dealt with phonetics. I have resisted the urge to underline alliteration, because I haven't figured everything out yet, and I don't want to make a mistake. I think I've been fairly conservative with the metrical markings. I feel pretty strongly that the three stanzas are orgasmized along the lines of "fruitfulness/ripeness", "careless", "wailful", but I'm not sure what conclusion to draw yet. Please forgive me, Hillary.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: Re: (no subject)

Please send me e-mail. I can't get on Lambda.

>Date: Wed, 19 April 2000 19:09:01 -0400
>To: support@aquanet.co.il
>From: SAGReiss
>Subject: Re:
>Cc: sales@aquanet.co.il, billing@aquanet.co.il, info@aquanet.co.il
>Dear friends,
>I hope you are having a nice Passover. Mine has been horrible so far
>because I cannot get a decent connection to the internet. Netscape 4.7 is as
>slow as snail mail, and the telnet program I use, MushClient, which has
>never failed me, doesn't work at all. The download time makes the connection
>time out. I am not able to communicate with my family and friends because of
>your service. I am feeling very frustrated. Please answer this e-mail, as
>you have not answered the previous ones, if only to say: "Fuck you, you have
>paid for three months. No refunds. You can move to netvision if you want."
>Thank you for your understanding.
>Happy Holidays.
>>Date: Mon, 17 April 2000 22:16:24 -0400
>>To: support@aquanet.co.il
>>From: SAGReiss
>>Subject: Re:
>>Cc: sales@aquanet.co.il, billing@aquanet.co.il, info@aquanet.co.il
>>I like aquanet. But I am having a lot of trouble with your service. Yaniv
was very helpful, but my connection is still bad. Please help me. If you
can't, I'm sure netvision can.
>>>Date: Mon, 17 April 2000 21:31:54 -0400
>>>To: support@aquanet.co.il
>>>From: SAGReiss
>>>Subject: Re:
>>>Cc: sales@aquanet.co.il, info@aquanet.co.il
>>>I have been getting a really bad connection for the past week. I have
>>> called Aquanet and complained.
>>>Please take care of this for me. I don't want to bother Liat every time.
>>>At 03:16 PM 22/03/00 +0200, you wrote:
>>>>i get your check today
>>>>i will send you invoice/receipt today
>>>>efrat - aquanet

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 19 April 2000
Subject: Re: What I overlooked

I don't care whether you read my e-mail or not, SAGR, and I thought your apology was really overbearing. Patronizing, almost: "The interlinear comments are all brilliant, especially the first one." I'm not sure if this joke is at my expense or yours. Ode-ear was completely flippant and smarmy. "I work a little more slowly than Hillary," and "I feel it behooves me to offer some kind of gift to Hillary": also flippant and smarmy. What do you want? More letters, most likely. I guess it worked, considering this one.

I didn't read the attachment because I didn't feel like downloading and converting it, a moderate pain in the ass because I still use Pine for e-mail. I don't like too many pictures near my words, which is ironic considering the overabundance of Hillary faces on my web page. Thankfully it isn't illegal to be narcissistic. I tend to look in the mirror a lot, too, which is pretty reprehensible, or at least I think it's reprehensible when other people do it.

I tried to update my web page today; it's been nearly a year since I moved to freespeech.org, and I haven't managed to get anything of substance up. Unfortunately I had to pee while I was editing graphics, so they all turned out rather shoddily and I was loathe to put up the end result. Besides, the background was a sort of pinkish lavender, which seems too girly for my usual tastes. I'm so tired of androgynous colors. Androgyny in general I find boring. Pants, for example, might be the most boring clothing item in existence, particularly when they're made of sensible fabric (i.e. denim, indigo-colored devil's work, created especially for working).

I finished a full-length draft of my thesis this afternoon. Don't ask me what it's about. I thumb-tacked it to my advisor's door and I hope it disappears. I never want to think about _____________ again. This is a sign I'm not cut out for scientific research, pure or applied.

This e-mail brought to you by the letter I.


From: Hillary
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: What I looked over

I'll skip the usual disclaimers about how fat I look in these and how small my breasts are.

Whoops. Consider me disclaimed.
And disrobed.

I hope I don't regret this

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Fw: What I looked over

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
page miel Finally a decent connection.
page nichelle Finally a decent connection.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Hm, and here I am writing whiny email."
page miel Please don't let me disturb you. I'll try to read it this time. I really am sorry about that.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Shh."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "E-mail skittering your way."
page miel I like e-mail.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Only a couple of packets, should be there in minimal amount of time."
page miel Fucking shit is slow. I need to invent a new internet that will be big and fast and mean, like me.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Funny, that's not how I think of you."
page miel Oh no? How do you think of me?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I think of you more as a difficult connection and a lot of spam."
{from there be dragons} Miel smiles sweetly.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That's probably a compliment."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Radio silence?"
page miel No fucking pitctures on the text. Only accent marks and underline.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "By pictures near text I was referring to graphic e-mail interfaces."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Not your attachment."
page miel I never send attachments. I can't very well help it if I'm commenting a text. I have to use some tools, such as accent marks and underline. It's not my fucking fault if this shit is badly designed. I can't invent a new internet. I can only imagine one.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Attachments are perfectly reasonable, but unfortunately I can't use Fetch unless I have Open Transport. I can't use Open Transport unless I reinstall OS 8. I can't reinstall OS 8 because I lost the CD-ROM. Hence no downloading attachments at home for me."
page miel Don't give me this technical backtalk.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'd have to walk to campus to do it. As I spent all day in the campus computer lab writing my goddamn thesis, I'd rather not go back. Maybe I'll download your attachment tomorrow."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I tried to use small words."
page miel That sounds more reasonable to me.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "So. About the adolescent chronicle I wrote earlier this week. I was trying to do something. It's not a very good piece of writing, but I think it's almost successful. Maybe not noticeable enough. I didn't want to be gimmicky."
page miel I think I have to buy a new 'puter. Actually I hope I have to buy two new 'puters, one circumcized, one not.
page miel Like I said, I don't usually comment on other people's work. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Even Nichelle, who is big and fast and mean like myself, was a little hurt this time.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I was trying to establish an unreliable narrator, one who used runon sentences with indeterminate clauses, who would contradict herself within the same sentence, who would spout philosophical questions that were rhetorical and she had obviously no interest in answering."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I like sentences such as "I watched him occasionally or always.""
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Also symbols for symbols' sake"
page miel She will be burried with me, among the English poets.
{from there be dragons} Miel laughs!
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Something I'm working on, anyway. Maybe I should work with a different storyline."
page miel Nobody fucking gives a shit about storyline.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Yes, but it'd be easier for me to write about something that wasn't personal in this case. Establishing my own unreliability is a tricky and potentially unpleasant thing."
page miel You should read Tristram Shandy more often.
page miel Nichelle hated that book.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Actually, I'm reading Gunter Grass right now; his narrators are very suspect."
page miel Too much sound and fury. Of course, one might accuse me of the same weakness.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I wouldn't."
page miel I've only read The Tin Drum. It's good, but a little too much. It's all Frank Kafka's fault. Ever since he wrote The Metamorphosis, everyone thinks he can do whatever he wants. No one remembers how spare, how restrained Frank was.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "_Cat & Mouse_ and _Dog Years_ are more sophisticated than The Tin Drum. It was his first novel, after all."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "But how can you write about the Nazi occupation of Danzig except outrageously?"
page miel Then I wouldn't want to read it. I don't read anymore anyway. I think when I am fifty I will re-read three books: the Essais of Montaigne, the Memoires of Saint Simon, and A la Recherche du temps perdu.
page miel So he should have written about trying to get laid in Danzig.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That's what a good deal of his novels are about."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "They aren't about war, they're just set during a war."
page miel He's an ugly motherfucker too.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I like his books. I have no idea what he looks like. I don't know what you look like either. It's all for the best."
page miel Bullshit. I would send you a photo, except that with your stupid hook-up you'll tell me you can't download it.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't like looking at pictures of people I know online. I find that it taints honest relations."
page miel If you can understand the beauty of a sentence such as: "I watched him occasionally or always," then how could you not want to know what she was looking at?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "In this case what I imagine you look like is much more important than what you really look like."
page miel It doesn't seem that way from my point of view.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Why? You could send me a picture of someone else, anyway."
Yodelee pages, "Your connection is working again, I see."
page miel Of course. I could send you a picture of negatron wacking off. Nichelle made that one. Just because we live in a world of words doesn't mean the other world isn't important to us.
page yodelee Yes, but my ISP seems to have made an anti-Antichrist mail filter.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Obviously, as I've met my last three serious boyfriends here."
{from there be dragons} Miel shudders.
Yodelee pages, "Your mail's not getting through?"
page miel I probably don't know how to send pics anyway.
page yodelee They just don't answer.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm going through a phase where I'm trying to separate my online and offline lives. Probably due to impending graduation. The real world = real life blah blah blah."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "It's just another attachment. You certainly know how to send attachments. Don't bother, though, because I won't look or I won't tell you that I look."
Yodelee pages, "Like most customer service people, they probably just don't care. They'd pay close enough attention if you owed 'em money."
page miel Fuck that. I know what you look like. In fact, I think I know what everyone on the list looks like except Lauren.
The keepers of wisdom testify a heap of ashes means whatever was there went out burning. Miel seems to be singing, though.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Funny, she's the only one that I HAVE seen."
page miel So where are her pics?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't remember. It was a long time ago, before I decided that she's a pathological liar."
page yodelee Fuck them. I'm going to buy a new 'puter with some kind of badass modem.
You suddenly notice that Yodelee is here...or was she always?
Yodelee says, "All that overtime money."
page miel Most people don't know how to tell the truth.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I only saw one. It looked like a yearbook photo. I think she was seventeen."
You say, "I can't stand this thing anymore."
Yodelee says, "I apologize for not posting anything to the list yet. I'm shy, hard as it may be to believe."
Yodelee says, "I was going through some of your e-mail files. There are lines missing, but I haven't compared all the duplicates yet."
page miel It isn't very important. I just don't think it's not at all important. Why do you think I called her the "most lesbian-stripper"? I didn't know what else to say.
Yodelee asks, "Can I go ahead and delete the forwarded ASCII spam thing?"
You ask, "What do you mean "lines missing"?"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I think everyone was offended by that litany, except maybe Nichelle, but you'd already offended her."
Yodelee says, "Some of the e-mails cut out abruptly at the end or in the middle. In the latter case, the message usually picks up again, but there are clearly lines missing."
You say, "No. Just make sure we've got the real text somewhere."
page miel That's because you are women, all hung up about your appearance. Why is it any less of an achievement for you to be pretty, or Goldie to be tall, than for Nichelle to be a great writer?
Yodelee says, "I must have gone through 250 pages at work today. I'm really taking this slacking thing to new heights."
You say, "Fuck work. This is serious business. (Don't worry about not writing. No one writes at the beginning. In fact, some of the bastards never write at all. I should toad the motherfuckers.)"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Because you used a superlative, which excludes. Also because Goldie and I were recognized for things we have no control over."
page miel So you think that Nichelle has some control over being a great writer? You are too optimistic.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "She at least has the ability to withold her text."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't think anyone is born a great writer."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Talk to me in forty years when Goldie is stooped and I have a double chin. Nichelle will be writing and joy will be laughing still. Who knows if Lauren will still be a lesbian, but I doubt she'll be stripping."
page miel There are many forms of determinism to choose from, Jansenism, Darwinism, Marxism, Freudism (?)
page miel A beautiful woman never gets old: "So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,/So long lives this and this gives life to thee."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "It pissed me off to be called the prettiest. It pissed me off because I'm a fairly average-looking flat-chested mousy-haired college girl who really wants to be more than how she looks. If my -est is my appearance...well, I don't know what to do with myself. I think the only reason you said that I was the prettiest and Goldie was the tallest is because you don't know us well enough to think of anything else."
Yodelee has disconnected.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That quote refers to a piece of pottery, not a woman. A relief on an urn. A stone woman."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "oh, damn, wrong poem, sorry"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I thought you were misquoting something else."
page miel At least you look good when you make a mistake :)
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Your quote refers to a poem, not a woman."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Fuck being immortalized in someone else's poetry; I want to be immortalized in by my own poems!"
page miel I'm not sure I can tell the difference between women and poetry anymore.
page miel So work hard and write them.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I am. I try."
{from there be dragons} Miel shrugs.
page miel It's not easy. My friend John worked very hard and didn't get laid very often.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm not planning on being consumptive."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm not even planning on being a poet."
page miel I wasn't planning on being alone and an alcoholic. It just kind of worked out that way. I would rather write and get laid. I think that may be asking too much.
The housekeeper arrives to cart Yodelee off to bed.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Women seem to be attracted to the dysfunctional type."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "The mothering instinct or some garbage."
page miel Only when they are taller than I.
{from there be dragons} Miel shrugs.
page miel Like I said, there are many kinds of determinism to choose from. There is no God, but biology, economy and psychology are forces so strong that even I fight them in vain.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I've unfortunately transferred a lot of the feelings I have toward my ex-boyfriend to you."
page miel Shit, he got the pussy and I just get grief.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Occasionally I hate you. I apologize. Sometimes you deserve it, but other times I'm too sensitive."
page miel I'm a big boy. I can take it.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "He was your age, slightly patronizing, extremely dysfunctional. I don't know if you're anything like him, but I relate too well to the things Nichelle says. He says "YOU were the one with the low self-image when we were together." He says "I ALWAYS appreciated you." Interesting, then, that I felt ugly and unappreciated when I was with him, and downright beautiful now that I'm not. There must be a correlation here."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Apologies for tense change; can't always see what I'm typing."
page miel And you blamed me for calling you the prettiest?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "No. I just wanted to be something more interesting than pretty. Just because I feel good about how I look now doesn't mean that I'm more than average-looking."
page miel OK. Next time I'll call you the most average-looking.
{from there be dragons} Miel grins.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Next time exclude me from the list."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, ""If you were my daughters...""
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That was so pejorative all-around."
page miel If you were my daughters, I would be an incestuous old goat.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "If you were our father, I'd call you Daddy Lot."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I prefer to think of you as Milton. We'll read you your e-mail in your old age."
page miel You always used to call me "daddy-o". That's probably why I have these severe psychological problems. It's all your fault.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Right."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That must have been before I found out what a lech you are."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Did I show you my nude photos?"
page miel I assume you are making some dirty little joke about John's and my sexual habits and blindness?
page miel No, but please do.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "something like that."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Oh, good. I couldn't remember and was beginning to think that I had no shame."
page miel This is really unfair. You have to give me the URL now.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "No. Undoubtedly you're logging this conversation."
page miel I haven't decided about that yet. Besides, I can edit a log. I can do whatever the fuck I want.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Is that so?"
page miel Not really, but we let me cherish these little illusions of mine.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
page miel So what's the URL? I promise I will take great pleasure in editing the log and replacing the URL with the words: "Eat shit and die, negatron."
{from there be dragons} Miel laughs!
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm not sure I really want you looking."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Though I had convinced myself that I'd already shown you, so go figure."
page miel You must have posted them for a reason.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Narcissism."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "They're actually in two places; one is a photography site."
page miel I like professional work.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "They're artsy."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Or that's their excuse, anyway."
page miel That's OK. I'll just pretend I like that kind of thing.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Sorry, no lip gloss or cum shots."
page miel Who said I like lip gloss?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "lip gloss as metonymy for professional porn"
page miel I wish I knew what metonymy means. I've only thought about it for about fifteen years.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "using small part to represent a whole. "the sword of France" to represent military blah blah blah."
{from there be dragons} Miel yawns.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Check your email?"
page miel There is an amazing footnote in the French edition of Jakobson's "Problems" where Jakobson quotes Freud and the editor notes that Lacan got it exactly backwards.
page miel That's synecdoche, sister.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "erm, i think i've got it right. i'm going to look it up."
SAGReiss . o O ( SAGReiss is always right. )
page miel Metonymy (and metaphore) are very complicated problems. Jakobson and Freud and Lacan were very smart men.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Merriam-Webster says metonymy = "a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (as "crown" in "lands belonging to the crown").""
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm so sick of hearing about Lacan."
page miel Whom do you want to believe, Merriam-Webster or me?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I believe that the definition I gave is for synecdoche. I don't think it's an entirely incorrect definition of metonymy, however."
page miel Metonymy is a much broader concept than synecdoche, much harder to define and much more important. Lacan was a very clever punk with a bad sense of humor.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Have I mentioned that I'm really exhausted?"
page miel The pics are beautiful. I wish I could see your face, though. What's the other URL?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "For my web page or for the photography site?"
page miel You said there were two sites. I only got one in your e-mail.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Two sites, same pictures. There are more, but I don't know if he has more of them up."
page miel I like number 1 best because I get the best view of your cunt. I don't understand symbolism.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "they're photographs about form, not character, hence face isn't included. also so they wouldn't necessarily be associated with the pictures that did show my face."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I figured you'd like that one best."
page miel I like you better with long hair. I think I recall that your hair was shorter on your web site.
You suddenly notice that Yodelee is here...or was she always?
Yodelee says, "I got kicked off. You jinxed me."
You say, "Sorry about that. It's a bad habit I have."
Yodelee says, "I didn't hear a thing you might have said or not said."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "The pictures on my web site were taken at the same time as the nudes, unless you haven't looked at my web site for years."
You say, "Just nod and assume it was brilliant."
Yodelee nods solemnly.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Men always like long hair better."
Yodelee says, "Yes, Mr. Reiss."
page miel I haven't looked at your web site in a year.
You say, "You're learning so fast."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "www.freespeech.org/hillary/"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "there's nothing on it really, except pictures"
{from there be dragons} Miel sighs at herself.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "trying to remedy that"
Yodelee says, "And all the meaty stuff cut out. How nice."
page miel Do I have to edit that out of the log?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "No, my current url is accessible by anyone on Lambda."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't hide anything except my ass."
page miel You shouldn't hide your assets.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't count my ass among them."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Or not anymore."
page miel Don't sell yourself short.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I was born short."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I had to sell myself any way I came."
Yodelee asks, "Hmm. Was there anything left, or did you go over everything?"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "God, the puns never stop."
Nichelle pages, "I'd like it if you could resend the files to me..."
page miel Everyone was born short. Some of us just had trouble growing tall.
page nichelle I will do so this week-end. No problem.
Nichelle pages, "Thanks."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Count me among 'us'."
page miel A pun is just a way to say two things at once. It is a beautiful kind of economy of words.
Nichelle pages, "I'm sorry if I've been saying hurtful things to you."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "It's cheap, though. There are better ways."
page miel Which is why I think it's quite an achievement for Goldie to have grown so well.
page nichelle You are beautiful, and I love you. No harm done.
Nichelle pages, "I'm not even sure I want to be on the list anymore"
page nichelle That would make me very sad, but of course it's up to you.
Yodelee asks, "How long till you go to work?"
Nichelle pages, "I know it would. I don't know.. your letters upset me now."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm not impressed by height."
page miel I don't see why it's cheap. Of course my sense of humor is not much better than Lacan's. That's why we're such good friends.
You say, "It's Passover. I'm not working."
page nichelle I'm sorry.
Nichelle pages, "Nothing to be sorry about."
page nichelle I am sorry if I have upset you.
Nichelle pages, "I just get the impression that the literary references, the French text, the criticism and analysis... is only because you know how and the others don't."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Stop saying the L word."
Yodelee says, "I forgot."
page miel I try to limit the French. You notice that I translate most of the dialogue with my boss, which is mostly in French. I just leave some in for local color.
Yodelee says, "This is what happens when you stop going to church."
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Translations are appreciated."
page miel On the other hand, I don't think it's asking too much that college students might sometimes go to the library and look up Roland Barthes. (I don't think it's easily available on the web, certainly not in English.)
page nichelle Oops, mispage. page miel I try to limit the French. You notice that I translate most of the dialogue with my boss, which is mostly in French. I just leave some in for local color.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Perhaps not, although this particular college student is busy looking up things for herself and doesn't have a lot of extra time to look up references given to her by a fugitive from the united states justice system."
page nichelle page miel On the other hand, I don't think it's asking too much that college students might sometimes go to the library and look up Roland Barthes. (I don't think it's easily available on the web, certainly not in English.)
Nichelle pages, "ok..."
{from there be dragons} Miel smirks.
Nichelle pages, "I'm not saying that literary references are useless. But... maybe you should charge tuition."
page miel I know you're busy. I also have to work to pay my rent. Miel pages: "Shut the fuck up, Mr. Antichrist."
page nichelle I will, if you leave the list. It will no longer be a labor of love.
Nichelle pages, "I don't know... I truly think you were wrong about my letter. It was very good."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "You were snide first."
page nichelle I have been wrong before.
page miel But I don't look as good as you do when I'm snide.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I wouldn't know."
page miel Serves you right for fucking these little boys.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "To whom are you referring?"
page miel The rest of the world in general.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I thought I just finished telling you that my ex-boyfriend is an old man."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Fucking you instead would be prohibitively expensive."
page miel Bullshit. I'm a travel agent. I can arrange these things.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I mean that it would cost more than money."
Yodelee says, "I admit that at this time of day I am not flowing over with interesting topics for discussion."
You say, "I'm sorry, but I'm very busy. You can read the log in a few minutes."
page miel That might be true.
Yodelee says, "Good. I was afraid you were being bored by my silence."
You say, "Not at all. Sometimes it's hard to think of things to say."
page miel Why are the pics on your page all red?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "which, the self-portraits?"
Yodelee asks, "My cat is rushing around like a maniac. Do you miss Matilda?"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "the self-portraits are scanner art; they're supposed to be red and yellow. the 'about' page is the only place with normal photographs."
page miel I guess so. I hate cyberporn. I just want to see normal pictures of normal people with faces and asses and come all over themselves.
You say, "I do miss Matilda. I hope that she and Nichelle are having lots of fun."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm going to bed. Actually I'm going to talk on the telephone, but have a good night or day or whatever you're having."
Yodelee says, "Ah. I see. She is trying to kill an ink cartridge."
Yodelee says, "Unfortunately she just lost it under the bookcase."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: The Last Supper

You say, "There are some days when I don't think I deserve so much luck."
Yodelee asks, "Luck?"
You say, "Look at your mail."
Yodelee says, "It didn't update automatically. I wonder why."
You say, "So you can still see what I said earlier."
Yodelee says, "You and Miel need to learn about quickpage. I wonder if you have to add an FO to get it."
You say, "Who gives a fuck about stupid 'puter tricks? I haven't even read the log yet (because my printer is such a piece of shit) but I know that is a great one."
Yodelee asks, "Do you detect a sort of Bardiness about me and Hillary?"
Yodelee [to SAGReiss]: Quickpage cuts out all the page echo lines.
You say, "I'm really too excited to think right now."
Yodelee says, "Better to be excited that to be stuck in a tangle of thoughts. If you're excited you can spit it all out and sort it out later."
You say, "I can't even sit down. I'm typing standing up. I feel like my whole life will be downhill from here on."
Yodelee says, "Actually, I kinda liked the daughters thing. All of a piece with your usual patronizing."
Yodelee says, "Oh, /that/ kind of excited."
Yodelee asks, "How drunk are you usually when you sit down to write?"
You say, "E-mail is a special kind of literature. No one will write an ode "To Autumn" online."
You say, "I can write drunk, sober and in between."
Yodelee says, "God, no."
You ask, "You're getting to the good parts?"
Yodelee says, "The first time I got drunk I kept trying to recite Ode to a Nightengale. Didn't get very far."
Yodelee says, "Let's say I'm having a good chuckle."
You ask, "Read the fucking log. Who gives a shit about the Ode to a Nightengale?"
Yodelee says, "I am reading the log."
Yodelee says, "I'm almost through."
Yodelee says, "The crazy edge of self-caricature."
Yodelee says, "Done."
Yodelee says, "Funny how it takes two hours to say and a few minutes to read."
Yodelee says, "I would hate for Nichelle to stop posting."
Yodelee says, "It would make the list unbalanced."
You say, "I can't even read it. I'm still too giddy. That log is going to cost me about seven million brain cells."
You say, "I think I would kill myself if Nichelle leaves the list."
Yodelee says, "I've never had your and Jeni's fondness for logs."
Yodelee says, "Probably because when I look back without the glaze of temper I see that I was behaving idiotically."
You say, "As I said, no one will ever write an ode "To Autumn" online, and no one cares about the "Ode to a Nightengale"."
Yodelee asks, "No one? At all?"
You say, "I just mean that it's been done. We can learn from it, but there's no sense in trying to do it again. The age of paper is over. Next year really will be the beginning of the third millennium."
Yodelee says, "I hate to admit that you may be right."
You ask, "Why would I want to do what John can do better?"
Yodelee says, "I've certainly never gotten much out of my pen-and-paper correspondents. Although that is probably my fault."
Yodelee says, "I mean about paper."
Yodelee says, "I don't see any need to out-Keats Keats."
You say, "It's hard enough for me to out-Gabriel Gabriel."
You say, "I need to calm down. I hope I have a beer left."
Yodelee says, "Damn, time passes quickly on the MOO."
You say, "Especially when you're at work."
Yodelee says, "MOO makes me unproductive."
Yodelee says, "No, that's the only time it doesn't pass quickly."
You say, "I feed off the MOO. It moves me."
Yodelee says, "Yet you log off to write."
You say, "Because I can't concentrate enough with people jabbering at me."
Yodelee says, "I come online and when I look up the whole evening's gone."
Yodelee says, "Much like reading."
You say, "I could have gotten married when I was 26, a beautiful French woman, smart, a great writer. We fucked three times a day for three years. Then I got drunk one night and told her I didn't want to marry her. I will always regret that decision. And I will always be glad I made it. If I hadn't, I would never have discovered the 'net, and never have met Nichelle."
You say, "What is this shit about lines missing? We need all the text, even the ASCII gibberish."
Yodelee says, "What I told you. There are obviously lines missing from some of the messages. Places where a sentence stops mid-word and sometimes starts up again at some later point."
You say, "Un jour je tuerai tout le monde et m'en irai."
FWB I was on with not
on't know your number. Shit, I don't even know your last name...
Yodelee says, "For example."
You say, "I kind of like that."
Yodelee says, "Gives it that hallowed feeling, doesn't it."
My own worldly possessions are scatered to the four winds, at my moth
't go first. Someone just send in the text and we can begin.
Yodelee says, "Another example."
You say, "So long as we've got most of it. Even Shakes had to deal with stupid printers."
Yodelee says, "My guess is that the file got corrupted at some point."
You say, "I see you are taking your job seriously and I thank you."
Yodelee says, "Someday I'll break into copyediting. Then I'll really be useful."
Yodelee says, "And you really want me to leave the ASCII chain letter in. For completeness."
You say, "You are the woman I was waiting for. If I didn't put you on the list, it was because I wasn't ready to part with it yet. Now we are all ready. Nichelle wants to leave. It's time to publish."
Yodelee says, "Don't go putting too much faith in me. I flake out when people expect things of me. I assume it's some bizarre self-defense mechanism, but it's not good for getting things done."
You say, "I can wait."
Yodelee says, "I expect many interesting revelations as I go on."
You say, "I don't think I've ever said anything bad about you. I don't think anything bad about you. Besides, there's no sense in trashing other people, unless it's really funny."
Yodelee says, "I didn't mean about me. I meant about you folks and about literature."
You say, "We have nothing to be ashamed of. Even when we fight we crack jokes."
Yodelee says, "Obviously you have a racier definition of interesting."
You ask, "What do you mean by that?"
Yodelee says, "I'm not looking for juicy details."
You ask, "What are you looking for?"
Yodelee says, "I like to read about what people think and do when they can be bothered to write about it."
Yodelee says, "Most people can't be bothered."
You say, "I have just finished reading that log. It is an e-masterpiece."
Yodelee says, "I've had pen pals since I was a teenager. The letters did not tend to be very complex."
Yodelee says, "Drop the e. It's pretentious and silly."
You say, "There's a French expression, "Why do things simply if you can make them complicated?" There is much wisdom in that saying. It's very hard to write simply. That's why the first paragraph of "Bad writing" is so beautiful. Think of the description of Pip's sister's death in Great Expectorations."
Yodelee says, "I should probably blame myself for not writing such interesting letters that I got good ones in return."
Yodelee asks, "I am on the schoolbus. I have a math test today. Did you see X movie?"
You say, "Nonsense. As I said in that log. it takes people a little while to feel comfortable in our World. Some people are just readers."
You say, "Don't write shit like that, or I will have to trash you."
Yodelee says, "I didn't mean /I/ wrote that."
You say, "If you're on a schoolbus, fine, but describe the fucking schoolbus."
Yodelee says, "I'm describing some of the letters I've gotten."
You say, "Not from me."
Yodelee says, "No."
You say, "You'll never find anything like that in our mail. Not all of it is good, but none of it is that bad."
Yodelee says, "I know."
Yodelee says, "I was offering an example for contrast."
You say, "It's hard for me to gauge our achievement. (It's hard for me to spell "gauge".) I really don't know how good it is."
Yodelee says, "You spelled it correctly."
You say, "It was luck."
Yodelee says, "Your work has its flaws, but they aren't of that sort."
You ask, "What kind of flaws has it got?"
Yodelee says, "I'm not always sure when you're misspelling something because you've forgotten the English or because you want to."
You say, "That is precisely the point. You should read Tlooth and The Sinking
 of the Odradek Stadium."
Yodelee says, "I am not lucid enough for this conversation. At the moment, I would say that on your part they include the tendency to flat out ignore the contributions of others if they aren't in line with your own thoughts...which is fine, I suppose, in the context "
Yodelee says, "The context of a single work."
Yodelee says, "I have a limit on line length."
You say, "Why does it matter if I ignore other people's work? So long as I include it, welcome it, provoke it. I also have to be careful. Not everyone can handle the kind of criticism I might offer. I don't want to do anything to discourage people from writing. I know I sometimes do so inadvertently."
You say, "Nichelle is pissed at me about "Afternoon Out". I should have kept my fucking mouth shut."
Yodelee says, "The phrase is 'murder your darlings.' I forget who said it. Some writer."
Yodelee says, "Maybe not kept your mouth shut entirely, but not pressed it so hard."
Yodelee says, "Silence can be a form of criticism."
Yodelee says, "Of course, here I was working on an e-mail about writers secretly loving critics because they actually read and comment on the stuff."
Yodelee says, "If no one responds, the writer thinks, geez, it wasn't even interesting enough to be bad or wrong."
Nichelle pages, "boo."
You say, "I feel really bad about this. I made one little remark. She asked me why I thought it was bad. I told her. She complained. I didn't answer. I dropped it as soon as I realized that I had fucked up. I'm sorry."
page nichelle What's up, sis?
Nichelle pages, "I'm scopin' the MOO for some red-hot cyber lovin'"
page nichelle I am always available for you.
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "R U M or F?"
page nichelle Which would you prefer?
Nichelle pages, "I'm not picky."
page nichelle OK. I'll stay m. I'm not sure how to change my gender anyway.
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "@gender f"
@gender f
Gender set to female.
Your pronouns: she,her,her,hers,herself,She,Her,Her,Hers,Herself
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "In case you get the urge."
page nichelle Anything to make you happy.
Nichelle pages, "Wow. That could be very involved."
page nichelle I mean it.
Yodelee asks, "Did you tell her you feel bad?"
Yodelee asks, "Or did you do the 'whatever' thing?"
Nichelle pages, "You go, girl."
You say, "I think so. I said: "I have been wrong before." That was five minutes after I had meaninglessly typed to myself: "SAGReiss is always right." Read the log."
page nichelle I will always be your little girl.
Nichelle pages, "And I will always be your Daddy."
page nichelle And let's not forget Matilda.
Nichelle pages, "She's hunting right now."
Yodelee says, "That's not the same as saying you're sorry and you feel bad at all."
Yodelee says, "You did do the 'whatever' thing. Matt does that."
page nichelle I hope she finds what she's looking for.
Nichelle pages, "It's on the ceiling at the moment, so I sort of doubt it. She's hunting bugs."
You say, "OK. I will apologize again."
page nichelle There are no bugs, except for me.
Yodelee says, "When you say 'I have been wrong before,' without modification, without any tone to it, the implication is that you are also saying, '...but not often' or 'probably not this time.'"
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
"Bullshit. Don't you realize what it means for a man of calibre to admit he has ever been wrong?

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: The World

Goldie, Nichelle and I are having a lot of trouble connecting, obviously. I keep trying to e-mail her the files, but her ISP keeps rejecting me. Can you please send them to her? You know a lot more about this shit than I do.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Re: The World

Spare me the "you know a lot more" stuff, Gabe. That makes me responsible if something gets screwed up in transit, and I'm not ready to be responsible.

Nichelle, I assume you want them sent to your usual address and not somewhere else?

<she of the wandering mind>

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Wallpaper

The beer and wine and Beethoven didn't work, so I took a walk. I was
bouncing off the walls. Moshe sold me a carton of cigarettes, which I had
forgotten to buy for the holidays. I stocked up on bread and booze. Now I'm
trying whisky and Charles Ives. Nichelle once joked to me: "Soothe
yourself," which is what the doctors had told me when they sent me home in a
taxi in a suicidal state. I don't know how much stress I can bear.
Bucephalus has a new face. I was afraid that Hillary would have second
thoughts and take her pics down, so I decided to save number 1. I didn't
know how to do that, but I followed a hunch and right clicked. I saw
something about wallpaper. I thought: "This is too good to be true. Could
that possibly mean I can put her on my screen?" I remember that Bucephalus
once before had wallpaper. I woke up for work at four in the morning, turned
on the 'puter and started screaming: "What the fuck is that shit? Take it
off." Nichelle woke up: "Now? OK." I was not good to her. She is kind to say
that sometimes I was. I am very sorry about this whole mess. I don't think
we're fighting about a letter, though anyone who has read "The Purloined
Letter" knows that it is possible to do so. Nichelle, how can I tell you
that I love you, that you are beautiful, that I remember your smile and how
you used to say: "You want to see my boobies?" and pull up your shirt? I've
just thrown up. I was staring at a cigarette butt in the shit-stained
toilet, watching the bile and blood and phlegm (no food) trickle out of my
mouth and wondering what medieval category this put me in and how I could
incorporate that into this e-mail. No problem. I just brushed my teeth, lit
another cigarette, and sipped some more whisky. I am a professional. In fact
I feel much better. I think I got that out of my system. Now if only I could
go to sleep.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Re: Fw: What I looked over

I assume SAGR is so fond of the log either because he said something he feels is profound, or because he managed to wrangle nude photographs out of a Real Life Girl which might be the most cliched exchange on LambdaMOO apart from the 'R U M or F?' question. You wouldn't have to worry about me taking down the pictures, unless you felt the need to distribute the url among the general populus.

The log makes me uncomfortable. Actually, not just the log involving me, but all of them. It's like using a tape-recorder on telephone conversations and playing them back for your friends so they can marvel at your witticisms. It puts the conversant in a tricky spot. We know you're logging. "Anything you say can and will be held against you blah blah blah." Not that anything but my attention has ever been arrested. I take that back; my growth was arrested, as I am not the tallest.

'yodelee I do use quickpage. My page_origin message shows up anyway.

I'd be upset if Nichelle left the list or stopped reading/posting. If SAGR is the umbrella over us all, you are what keeps him from obscuring our view entirely. I'll miss you if you go, but I hope you don't. I like how you say the things you say.


From: Columbine
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Words and Flowers

I am attempting to order flowers on the web. My sister had some sort of nasty medical procedure for endometriosis this week. Apparently they could make it go away completely if she didn't mind losing a few reproductive parts - unfortunately she is twenty-eight and was only married in October and would sort of like to have a baby. So they have temporarily induced menopause for three months, which should apparently put the endometriosis in remission for a while, long enough to try frantically to conceive for a year or so. This is not what most people mean when they talk about a biological clock. Every single pre-packaged bouquet I can find on the web strikes me as hideously tacky, but it may be necessary to order one of the tacky ones so that I don't actually have to speak to a human florist. Florists (along with hair stylists and a few other professions) intimidate me completely because I don't know how to ask for what I want in their language. I'm told that some people have that problem with hackers, which of course I think is completely ridiculous, since I DO speak that language and have since I was very small. It's all a matter of perspective.

Gabriel, people are having difficulty dealing with you because you are an asshole. However, I'd like to mitigate that: You are a fascinating asshole. As a reviewer once said of Luc Bresson's films, "I know he's lost his marbles, but at least they rattle around in interesting ways." The problem is, you are exactly in the range of personality where you're interesting to hear/read, but you leave the reader/hearer very little to say in response. You crave dialogue, but a conversation with you tends to turn into a monologue. I'm rather fond of monologues myself, which is why I keep an online journal where I can dump them at no harm to anyone else or the environment. I don't expect you to read that; I'm surprised you can and do still keep up with mouth organ from time to time. I wouldn't try to conduct a conversation or even a mailing list the way I conduct my journal. Not when there are ostensibly other humans involved.

I haven't been on a MU* for about two years now. Once in a while I go in to keep some characters alive - literally sign on and sign off again. I don't know why I keep them alive. Self-deception perhaps. On Lambda I didn't even bother that much. There are no decent conversations online. A while ago I lamented this fact on mouth organ and got some interesting theories on why. This week I wrote about a book whose thesis is that for women to succeed in the workplace, they have to act like men, because men wrote all the rules for that arena. I rejected that viciously - I said that if you play by their rules at all, you are conceding the game, and the goal should be to throw out the rules and write new rules. Five people so far have told me that this is simply. not. realistic. It's interesting that I can be so vehement about not accepting the status quo in the workplace - rage, rage, et cetera - but I gave up on the MU*s without even trying to work for a new and better paradigm. Maybe that's my idea of a hopeless cause.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: If I were you

Thanks, Todd, for that letter. I really liked the bit about the flowers. I would still be a faithful reader of mouthorgan, if you hadn't changed the format. Now it seems like there's no beginning and no end. I never feel as if I'd accomplished something by reading it. Since I'm now a woman on Lambda, here's the litany of men: If you were my sons, you'd be sorry, and I'd beat your mother. Gabriel is the best writer, John is the best geek, Laurent is the best Frenchman, John is the best musician, and Todd is the tallest.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Joy

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
page joy What's up, sis?
UnStAbLe pages, "not much. i actually read some email. E liked a line about someone not being able to tell the truth to Jihad interrogators (sp?)"
page joy You are about five years behind. We've been fighting terribly. The list may be destroyed.
UnStAbLe pages, "? do tell"
UnStAbLe pages, "i'm always at least 5 years behind"
page joy RTFM.
UnStAbLe pages, "it breaks my brain to have to wade through the chaff and utter shit."
page joy Gee, thanks for the compliment. I don't know. Nichelle and I have been bickering. She says she may want to leave.
UnStAbLe pages, "not necessarily your writings, mind you"
page joy Whatever. I'm sure a lot of my stuff is shit.
UnStAbLe pages, "i don't get most literature references, b/c i'm ignorant as hell."
UnStAbLe pages, "i hate grammar b/c i'm too stupid to understand it"
page joy But I still said you were the funniest babe on the list.
UnStAbLe pages, "i wish i was great at languages. hebrew would be useful"
UnStAbLe pages, "even though i never say anything?"
UnStAbLe pages, "i'm a plant"
page joy I don't want to know Hebrew. It will make my life miserable. I just want this Arab babe at work called Odelia to be able to translate for me from time to time.
page joy I don't care if you are a plant. I think I'm a woman right now.
UnStAbLe pages, "the text seems to say so"
page joy That's because of this fighting with Nichelle. I can't seem to make her understand that I love her.
UnStAbLe pages, "hmm."
page joy You should really read the last two weeks' e-mail. There's some beautiful shit. We've added Goldie to the list.
UnStAbLe pages, "i'll get to it when i can. sometimes i'm not the uh decision argfuckkill my knees ick"
UnStAbLe pages, "sorry i've been up all night so i'm less 'with it' than usual"
page joy I was so disgusted earlier I threw up a load of bile and blood and phlegm. I took a nap. Now I feel better. I'm drinking anisette. The others should be waking up soon. I would appreciate it if you could say something to Nichelle. She really likes you.
UnStAbLe pages, "i should say... something about jihad interrogators to her? spit it out for me, i'm DUMB here."
page joy Sure, say something about Jihad interrogators. She'll understand. She's a quick study.
UnStAbLe pages, "oh okay"
page joy I'm not even sure what the fight is about.
UnStAbLe pages, "isn't there some stereotypical remark i'm supposed to say now about how most people don't know what they're fighting about or something?"page joy I thought you were the funniest babe on the list. You should saysomething wittier than that.
UnStAbLe pages, "how dare you put me on a throne that i can never defend."
page joy Don't make me start apologizing again. I've been doing that for days.
UnStAbLe pages, "i can't make you do anything nor do i want apologies."
UnStAbLe pages, "i just don't want to have to defend myself. i've started to be more hostile maybe, some of it's the therapy"
UnStAbLe pages, "i've been up for 7 hrs so the sleep dep is already kicking in, my apologies"
UnStAbLe pages, "i'll go read the list some more"
page joy Now you're apologizing. Please just MOOmail or page or write to the list or fucking snail mail Nichelle something, anything.
page miel Good morning, my love.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Hello, little girl."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Does the little girl have a hangover?"
page miel Not at all. I'm a big little girl.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Do alcoholics get hangovers?"
page miel We get used to it. There are days when it hurts.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
page miel You have made my life infinitely more difficult because now I have to keep minimizing everything all the time so that I can look at your thatch-eves.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Don't get fruit on your monitor."
page miel Surprisingly I haven't masturbated since I saw your pics. I respect art.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "So you were too drunk, eh?"
page miel Yeah, I'll jerk off tomorrow.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Right."
page miel What is that supposed to mean?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "It means I don't really want to talk about your masturbatory habits right now."
page miel And why would I not want to do so?
page miel Oops, sorry.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
page miel So let's talk about your masturbatory habbits, if you like.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I've had enough discussion of my thatch-eaves for one 24 hour period, thanks."
page miel I can't quite understand that, but I'll take your word for it.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Idling for a few minutes; shower is free."
page miel Thank you for that letter. I was hoping to make you worried by adding FW: to your brilliant title. For some strange reason Eudora doesn't automatically put FW: before a forwarded message. I would never share your URL with anyone. I am a base, drunk swine, but I am an honest swine.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I think if I was worried that you'd do something like that I wouldn't have given you the url to begin with."
page miel That was an awfully quick shower. No time to clean the thatch-eves.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Wrong; I even shaved my legs."
page miel You are ruthlessly efficient.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Public showers aren't exactly a place to linger."
page miel So college students can't masturbate in the shower? How do they get educated?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Perhaps you shouldn't put off jerking off until tomorrow, as it seems to be consuming you today."
page miel I'm not in the mood. I've had a rough day.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
page miel I'm a pretty good masturbater (-or?) usually, but I've been under a lot of stress.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm sorry to hear your routine has been disrupted."
page miel My routine will be disrupted when Odelia brings her thatch-eves over here and looks at yours.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "pervert."
page miel Oh, you thought I was a sensitive New Age wanker.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Never."
page miel You said: "That was before I knew you were a lech." I doubt I hid it from you.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I think you were in an edifying mood when I met you, not a lecherous one."
page miel I must have been drunk.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Likely"
page miel And I probably forgot the lechery.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't even remember meeting you, actually."
page miel We could go back and check the e-mail. I must have said something.
UnStAbLe pages, "i kind of like the logs. i think it's sort of neat."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "It doesn't matter now."
page joy I would really appreciate it if you could say something to Nichelle, a private e-mail, whatever you feel comfortable with. I think she will listen to you.
page miel My fan club likes the logs. Who are you to judge?
UnStAbLe pages, "she doesn't seem to be on right now. i will when/if i get the opportunity"
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "No one."
page joy So e-mail her. Her address is nichelle@psni.com
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "But who are you to disapprove of me expressing my opinion?"
page miel I disapprove of all opinions.
UnStAbLe pages, "shiiiit you know i don't do that email thing. maybe i'll moomail her"
page joy Please do.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That's just yours."
page miel I think we can discuss this reasonably. For example, if you moved your thatch-eves to the 'puter lab and downloaded my attachment.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I will after lunch. Right now I'm more concerned with getting dressed."
UnStAbLe pages, "if i knew how to log i would send logs of my moo experiences"
UnStAbLe pages, "there's no point in me just re(mis)quoting myself"
page joy I don't know how to log either. I just copy and paste to Word.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "What's so important about your dissection of Ode to Autumn?"
page miel What's important to you? What's important to Odelia? What's important to me is understanding "To Autumn", understanding you, and understanding Odelia.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I've read Ode to Autumn in several contexts and seen it dissected. I generally find other people's dissections to be unuseful."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I mean other people's dissections of poetry, not To Autumn in particular."
page miel Am I supposed to be "other people"?
The keepers of wisdom testify a heap of ashes means whatever was there went out burning.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Well, I'd never call you myself so you must be."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Meant to be read both ways."
The sickness of angels is nothing new.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Lunchtime."
page miel I am the man. I have already figured out the poem. I wrote it in the body of my e-mail. No need to read the attachment. I just have to wrok out the details this week-end.
Miel is always always dreaming.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Chicken heart

I had to put something in my stomach, but I hadn't the courage to cook, so I went out to get something to go. It was after sundown, so there were a few places open. The calendar here counts days from sunset to sunset, as well as being lunar. I asked for something hot to eat. I'm not picky, as Nichelle says. The guy said "Chicken and fries and salad?" and I said fine. What I got when I opened the box at home was chicken hearts and fries and salad. I ate some of the salad, a few of the fries and a couple of the chicken hearts. Next time I will say: "Je voudrais quelque chose qui se degueule bien."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: The Best I ever had

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
page miel What's up, sis? It's four o'clock in the morning, and my back is killing me.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Maybe you should go to bed, then."
page miel I've just woken up.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Go back to sleep."
page miel I can't. I've just drunk a cup of coffee. I won't be able to sleep until I get drunk again.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Ah."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I just woke up, too."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I couldn't deal with the world this afternoon and went to sleep instead."
page miel I love the way a woman looks when she wakes up.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "You must be charmed by your reflection, thn."
page miel Very funny. Please keep in mind that my image is reflected in your thatch-eves.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I have to go now, but undoubtedly I'll be back."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "See, I told you."
page miel What did you tell me?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "That I'd be back."
page miel That's probably because you're surfing for new cyberlovers.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Quite the opposite."
page miel Trying to avoid the rl lovers, then.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Wrong again."
page miel Obviously I can't guess, so tell me.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I'm trying to numb my brain and I don't have a television."
page miel I've got a television, but it isn't plugged in.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Not much use then, is it?"
page miel The flat was furnished.
{from there be dragons} Miel yawns.
page miel You do that so charmingly.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "You need a tuneup on your flirtation device."
page miel Is that an offer?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Or maybe you need to de-vice your flirtation."
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Have I mentioned to you that I'm in love with a really amazing person?"
page miel Funny, there's a French expression "malvicee" badly screwed.
page miel You must have forgotten.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Ah, funny, I thought maybe you were just being blatantly inconsiderate of the fact that I'm in a relationship."
page miel I used to say to lady customers: "Why do you bring your husband here? When I take a woman out, I never bring her husband."
{from there be dragons} Miel chuckles.
page miel Of course that was not in America. I am not in America, so silly questions of conjugal fidelity don't apply.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "Well, I didn't say I was married."
page miel So what are you complaining about?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't know exactly, but I'm fairly positive I wouldn't say comparable things to you if you were in a relationship."
page miel The truth is that I do look at your little post-adolescent bod and wonder, that I do love the way a woman looks when she wakes up, that I do find your yawning charming.
page miel If Odelia were here, I wouldn't be talking to you, or else I would be typing very badly.
{from there be dragons} Miel I don't doubt it. If I was getting some I wouldn't be here either, hence my distinct absence on weekends.
page miel And I see nothing wrong with a little adultery on occasion.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I do."
page miel Well, you probably grew up somewhere in Oregon.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "While I'm not exactly the poster girl for moral rectitude, I've been on both sides of a cheating situation. It's really awful to cheat on someone you love if you've agreed to be monogamous."
page miel And it's really impossible to agree otherwise.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I've had open relationships. There wasn't resentment, but there wasn't a lot of emotional intimacy either."
page miel I'm not a New Age wanker. I'm old-fashioned. I like love and adultery.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I never got over it when Michael cheated on me. I don't think I'll be participating in any adulterous relationships in the near future. I think it's bastardly. And dastardly. etc."
page miel Fortunately I am not personally responsible for that mistake.
{from there be dragons} Miel nods.
page miel Everyone wants some on the side.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I don't."
page miel Not now.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "In my opinion, there's nothing better than what I've got."
{from there be dragons} Miel shrugs.
page miel There's always something better, if only in your imagination.
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I've been with a lot of people. I feel like I've exhausted the possibilities for the male gender. He's by far the best I've ever had."
page miel So why did you ditch him the last time?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "I was in love with someone else."
page miel Am I supposed to understand this?
(from there be dragons) Miel pages, "There wasn't anything wrong with him. We weren't in a monogamous relationship. There was an understanding that it was just a fling."
page miel I think your love life is too complicated for my brain.
The sickness of angels is nothing new.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: Second Best

If you think you're sick of those fucking logs, think how I must feel. I only print them because I'm so fucking paranoid. I can't even read the pages because I forgot to buy a new printer cartridge. My whole left side is paralysed by some kind of horrible back stress. Through that whole dialogue I kept wandering back to my couch, trying to get some rest, nestling into my comforter, and then the fucking ding would go off: "Why is she so beautiful and why do I love her so much?" I would drag my sorry ass back to the 'puter and try to think of an intelligent answer. I was relieved when I got dissed, as I was yesterday too. I should stay off the MOO. E-mail is a safer place for me. That way these gorgeous borderline prostitutes won't send me naked pictures of themselves and drive me crazy for about a hundred years.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 20 April 2000
Subject: XXXV

XXXV, by Mark Strand

The sickness of angels is nothing new.
I have seen them crawling like bees,
Flightless, chewing their tongues, not singing,

Down by the bus terminal, hanging out,
Showing their legs, hiding their wings,
Carrying on for their brief turn on earth,

No longer smiling; asleep in the shade of each other
They drift into the arms of strangers who step
Into their light, which is the mascara of Eden,

Offering more than invisible love,
Intangible comforts, offering the taste,
The pure erotic glory of death without echoes,

The feel of kisses blown out of heaven,
Melting the moment they land.


Alone and Not Alone by Carl Sandburg

There must be a place
a room and a sanctuary
set apart for silence
for shadows and roses
holding aware in walls
the sea and its secrets
gong clamor gone still
in a long deep sea-wash
aware always of gongs
vanishing before shadows
of roses repeating themes
of ferns standing still
till wind blows over them:
great hunger may bring these
into one little room
set apart for silence.

There must be substance here
related to old communions of
hungering men and women--
brass is a lean hard metal
gold is the most ductile metal--
they speak to each other not often
they melt and fuse
only in the crucible of this communion
only in the dangers of high moments--
they moan as mist before wind.

The shuttlings of dawn color go soft
weaving out of the night of black ice
with crimson ramblers
up the latticed ladders of daytime arriving.
The riders of the sea the long white horses
they send their plungers obedient to the moon
in a dedicated path of foam and rainbos
The praise of any slow red moonrise should be slow.
There are storm winds who bow down to nothing.
They go on relentless under command and release
sent out to do their hammering whirls of storm.
There are sunset flames inviting prayer and sharing.
There are time pieces having silence between chimes.
Children of the wind keep their childish ways.
The wisps of blue in a smoke wreath are mortal.
The keepers of wisdom testify a heap of ashes
means whatever was there went out burning.


The Dover Bitch (after "The Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold) by Anthony Hecht

So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, "Try to be true to me,
And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
all over, etc., etc."
Well now, I knew this girl. It's true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
The notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck. She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.
And then she got really angry. To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As a sort of mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
And finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.
But you mustn't judge her by that. What I mean to say is,
She's really all right. I still see her once in a while
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it's a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come.
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of _Nuit d'Amour_.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Dover Bitch

"Gabriel, how do you spell 'bitch'?" I thought he was mispronouncing "beach", so I said: "B-I-T-C-H". He didn't say anything, so after a minute I got worried. I thought he might actually send an e-mail in which he wrote "bitch" for "beach". "Daniel, tu veux dire: 'saloppe'?" "Oui, oui." I have no idea what your e-mail means, Miel. I liked the first poem, except for the last three stanzas. I didn't read the second poem because I can't read the pages coming out of my printer, which is shooting blanks. Besides, I don't like poetry, especially when it might be written by Carl Sandburg. I almost didn't read the third poem, which would have been a shame because I like it very much, though I can't even guess who it might be written by. I like the signature. I like your name. I like you.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Re: Dover Bitch

I'm tired of seeing my page_origin and page_echo messages in your logs. The first poem contains my page_origin, the second poem my page_origin, and the third poem was there because I thought you'd like it. That's all. Working on longer e-mail which will be forthcoming shortly.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Fw: Re: Dover Bitch

Notice that she writes: "page_origin" for "page_echo" the second time. Please read carefully.

>Date: 21 April 2000
>From: Hillary
>Subject: Re: Dover Bitch
>I'm tired of seeing my page_origin and page_echo messages in your logs.
>The first poem contains my page_origin, the second poem my page_origin,
>and the third poem was there because I thought you'd like it.
>That's all. Working on longer e-mail which will be forthcoming shortly.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Dover Bitch

On Fri, 21 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:

> Notice that she writes: "page_origin" for "page_echo" the second time.
> Please read carefully.

I'm tired and you're an asshole. I choose not to mitigate that with "fascinating." I've had a horrible day and I don't exactly need you to point out typos I made in private e-mail to everyone on the list. Thankyouverymuch.


From: Nichelle
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Dover Bitch

I have always said that writing to Gaby was like sending a love note to your English teacher, only to get it back corrected with red pen. Don't take it personally. I used to come home to find my grocery lists analyzed from six linguistic perspectives.


From: Hillary
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Oh positively

I tried to give blood today. I hate giving blood. I almost always faint afterward, or get pale and sweaty and nauseated. It takes a great deal of effort to avoid crying. I don't mind the actual donation; the feeling of the bloodwarm tubing across my wrist is actually a pleasant one. I don't mind needles or medical personnel. The resulting nausea is the only deterrant. I filled out the form and lied. No, I have not had sex with someone who has sniffed cocaine in the last twelve months. No, I have never accepted money or drugs for sex. I got my finger poked and temperature taken. I hate giving blood. I give blood because it's something good people do, like recycling bottles and not stealing things from the store. More people should give blood, more people should recycle, and more people should not take things that don't belong to them. I am a contributing member of society, so I give blood even though I hate it and it makes me feel sick. It was my turn. I sat on the lounge chair while she put stickers on the quadruplicate copies of my fibs. I sat on the lounge chair while she unwrapped tubing and stuck tape on my hand. I sat on the lounge chair while she unwrapped three other people's tubings and stuck tape on their hands. She put a tourniquet on my arm and prodded to find a blood vessel. She left to attend to someone else. My arm began to throb. "Excuse me," I said. "I think my arm is going to fall off." "It would take longer than that for your arm to fall off," she said. She took the tourniquet off my arm. I sat in the lounge chair. Twenty minutes had passed. She put the blood pressure cuff on my arm and pumped it full of air. She prodded my arm to find a blood vessel. She left. My arm began to throb. "Excuse me," I said. I let the air out myself. Another woman came over. The first woman took a cigarette break. The new hematologist had a large open wound behind her ear. She fiddled with my tubes and stuck more tape on my hand. She pumped up the blood pressure cuff and prodded for a vein. She left. I let the air out myself. She pumped up the cuff. "Do you usually make it in the time allotted?" she asked me. "Your veins are small." "What's the time allotted?" "It used to be fifteen, but now twenty minutes." "Well, yes, and I definitely would have made it in forty minutes, which is how long I've been sitting in this chair." I was really irritated. I hate giving blood. She looked surprised. She picked up the needle. The man next to me fell off his lounge chair and convulsed on the floor. "UM," I said. "Oh!" and she went to pick him up. They made him breathe into a paper bag and took the needle out of his arm too quickly; blood sprayed on his shirt. I let the air out of the blood pressure cuff myself. Nobody noticed when I left the lounge chair. I sat at the juice and cookie table and got a sticker that said "Be nice to me! I gave blood today!". My next donation date is June 15. I went home and fell asleep.

I woke up and logged on. I can't even talk to SAGR anymore. The only reason he's so persistant is because he knows I'll be disapproving. It's the old makeout struggle we all played as early adolescents, when we knew we should say no, and the boys knew we would say no, so they had license to ask as many times as they dared. I've thought about being excused from the list countless times in the last two days. Of course, I've posted countless times in the last two days, too.

Right now I'm really tired of my life.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Dover Bitch

Let me rephrase that: Please read Tlooth and The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium to see just how seriously I take typos.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Harry Mathews
Attached: J’suisPasPlusConQu’unAutre.doc, Tlooth.doc, Odradek.doc

Further to your e-mail, and for those of you who can't make it to the library, please find enclosed as Word attachments the texts I was referring to. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions. Thank you for your cooperation. Best Regards. Gabriel.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Columbine
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Re: FW: Re: Dover Bitch

At 7:42 AM -0400 4/21/00, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>Let me rephrase that: Please read Tlooth and The Sinking of the Odradek
>Stadium to see just how seriously I take typos.

I've read Tlooth. I liked it. I wouldn't ask you about "liking" or "disliking" books, but I sense approval from you. Certainly you would not go to the effort of creating and filling my mailbox with Word attachments otherwise.

Of course, I like Tlooth because I think of it as one long pun on wheels, the kind of extended joke that used to be called a "shaggy-dog story." Is it literature? What the hell's literature? I will never dance that particular gavotte with you again.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Was Will das Weib?

Todd, I didn't type it. Nichelle did. I do that shit at work. At home I'm the Electronic Man. OK, girls. I'll try to be nice. I loved your "Oh positively" letter, Hillary. I think it is great literature, even if I don't think I know what that means. Tell a woman that she's beautiful, and she asks: "I'm dumb?" Tell her she's smart, and she asks: "I'm ugly?" For some reason we are all struggling today. I'm just trying to keep body and soul in the same place. I'm not doing very well. I am fucking sick of Handl's Hallelujah chorus, which plays every time I get new mail. I have so far resisted the urge to write to myself: "Please take me off this list."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: droolipo

I'm in the midst of not only Queneau, but also Queval, Perec, and Bens. Mathews is on my list, but further down. I'm moderately obsessed with the Oulipo crowd at the moment, but I'm trying to read them in the order they became part of the group. Mathews is somewhere near Calvino, although I admit I've already read Invisible Cities and If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, so I haven't been religious about keeping to the list. Mathews wrote Tlooth before he joined the Oulipo and Odradek Stadium afterward, so I'm interested in both. I haven't read any of his fiction, although I've read some of his algorithms for finding "otherness" hidden in language. One essay begins, "From the reader's point of view, the existence in literature of potentiality in its Oulipian sense has the charm of introducing duplicity into all written texts."

I have to say, though, SAGR, I'm not sure that e-mail is interesting enough to be considered experimental. Perhaps it's a variation on the epistolary form, but variations on and parodies of the epistolary form have been being written since the 17th century. I'm not convinced of e-mail's groundbreakingness, although there certainly is duplicity introduced into MOO logs, particularly when they are edited. Ahem.

This letter is dull.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Hag Sameach

I am writing this offline, in Word. I don't even want to see that ugly fucking Eudora interface. I don't know how much more of this I can handle. (Even when he's physically ill from fighting with his womenfolk, the old fuck can still make bad puns.) I almost puked again while carrying ten kilos of laundry to the cleaner's. The only thing that held me back was shame, even though in the Orient people are a little less uptight about public displays of bodily functions. A man can piss in the street here. I don't think women are forbidden from doing so, but I guess it's a little more complicated: "Excuse me. Could I please borrow your handkerchief?" I decided I couldn't deal with the Tikva (Hope) casbah today, so I stopped in Moshe's shop. I put a bottle of water, a can of tomatoes and a jar of marinated mushrooms on the counter. I was looking for spaghetti. There was this wrapping paper shit all over the shelves. I lifted up a corner of it. Then a horrible thought occurred to me: "Could this have something to do with Passover?" I looked around to see if anyone had noticed. I do not want to go to jail today. I don't want to puke in somebody else's toilet. I asked Moshe for some spaghetti. He looked around. There was an old lady with her hair covered. He grimaced at me. This is a country of hustlers. Everyone's selling something, except for the bureaucrats who are too busy ignoring the guests and taking bribes. I waited. The old lady decided to pick up every item in the shop and ask how much it cost. Moshe was losing patience. Finally she bought a box of matzoth, and spent twenty minutes counting and recounting her change. The lady left. I smiled. It always feels good to break the law. Moshe peered out the window. He quickly walked over to one of the covered shelves, took a bag of spaghetti and immediately slipped it in an opaque plastic bag. I paid and said: "Toda. Hag sameach."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Goldie
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Is it new?

Hillary wrote: "I have to say, though, SAGR, I'm not sure that e-mail is interesting enough to be considered experimental."

And Gabe wrote: "Writing in real time is totally different from writing as Laclos did."

You're both right. The epistolary form is ancient, both as a means of communication and as a narrative technique. Never before, however, had we had this bizarre combination of delay & instantaneous gratification. The old use of letters was to serve as means of communication (and documentation) for people who were separated by distance and, because of that physical distance, by time. Although novel writers have been adept at finding excuses for characters who were within shouting distance of each other to write to each other-I'm thinking of Richardson here-real people have been less likely to continue letter-writing once the obstacle of distance has been removed. Study published correspondence and you will notice that people generally do not write to each other when they are staying in the same house-unless perhaps they share their journals with each other.

But what do we have with the Internet? The distance remains but the time delay is totally obliterated. People who can speak to each other in real-time on the MOO choose instead to fire up an e-mail client and write an epistle. The epistle is sent, it is read, it is quickly digested and thrown back. The leisurely perusal of a letter and writing of a response-and the forms-get thrown out the window or else trampled (in Gabe's case, with a fine disdain). Correspondence begins to resemble a game of ping-pong. Some balls fly off the table. Others get thrown around forever. Some get served and some get whacked.

Observe also that sometimes this new communication is preferred over conversation, previously the highest of the arts. My lover comes home, but I do not run to greet him; I am digesting e-mail, attempting a response, because I know that if I wait my turn the game will move along and I will have lost my turn.

This list has proven that a phenomenal number of letters and documented dialogue may be generated this way. We are, or at least we have the potential to be, more prolific than even the most fantastically prolific letter-writers.

Hillary says, but what's fantastically new about this? I argue that the effect of the mass of writers on the individual writer is far greater than it could ever be before. This is a high-volume list. Instead of a single letter striking the writer's attention, and then another, a mass comes together. When I consider Hillary's letter I am simultaneously considering Gabe's letter. I may also be considering Nichelle's letter of a few days back, since I never got around to writing the response I wanted. All of your letters work in the back of my mind when I come to write a response, even though I may consider the response to be directed towards a single letter only.

Humbly & hastily submitted,


From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Mars & Venus

I finally understood what pissed Miel off, well one of the things, aside from my unseemly leering at her on the MOO, which I'll try to do something about. It took me a little while. I am at a slight disadvantage because most, if not all, of you are better on-screen readers than I, and I can't print for the moment. Actually I've been mindlessly printing all of my e-mail even though I can't read it, but I'm also running out of paper. Things were moving very fast this morning. When I wrote: "Notice that she writes: "page_origin" for "page_echo" the second time. Please read carefully," it would never have occurred to me that this could be interpreted as opprobrium. What I meant was that there was a nice parallel between that text and this: "I thought he might actually send an e-mail in which he wrote 'bitch' for 'beach'." I thought I had underlined the correlation by using the exact same construction. That is all I meant. If I thought there was something bad or wrong about typos and other kinds of unconventional spelling and writing, I would use a spell check and copy and paste, and I certainly wouldn't have typed the whole thirty pages of Henry Miller's J'suis pas plus con qu'un autre, which was extremely hard to do precisely because it is written in non-standard, non-native-speaker French, or bad French, if you prefer prescriptive grammar. I'm surprised that no one mentioned that I fucked up the order of John (Murder) and Laurent. The lists were written according to union rules, on a strict seniority basis. I have spent far too much time living in polyglot environments not to love weird language of every kind. The funniest letter I've written at work began: "Mr. Tieder is out of the office," and ended: "Best Regards. Daniel Tieder, Manager, Incentives & Conventions." The old man happened to see that one and screamed at me: "Do you want people to think we're stupid?" I was trying hard not to laugh. Miel's web site says she has Raymond Queneau on her book shelf. He and Harry Mathews were both members of OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Literature Potentielle). E-mail and MOO logs are experimental fiction. Sometimes I call it disposable literature. Is it literature in the Gutenberg-era sense of the word? Probably not. But neither were Wild Bill Shakespeare's plays. The seventeenth century is the beginning of the text fetish. You'll notice that Shakes did publish a careful edition of the Sonnets. He sat astride two ages, as do we. We have seen the death of the book. I'm trying to look ahead to what's next. I hope you will all search with me.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: The Henry James Syndrome

I corresponded briefly with Harry Mathews ten years ago. His answer to all of my questions was the same: "I really can't remember why I wrote that." So much for author's intent. I found his compuserve address on alt.x and sent him the short vr file, but he has never answered. E-mail qualifies as "groundbreaking". Never have so many people created such a wealth of text. As far as our experiments are concerned, I think the Henry James syndrome is a valid achievement: "Why would these fairly smart people waste so much time writing so much in such detail?" Polyphony is a worthy goal, though Todd is certainly right that the World has been a more monolingual (in every sense of the word) place than I would have liked. The voice of SAGReiss which runs through the two thousand or so pages of the unedited text, the principal narrator if you will, is an artistic creation of merit. Finally, many of the letters are very beautiful. They may not consitute masterpieces of the epistolary genre, as do those of Les Liaisons dangeureuses, but they are a different genre. Technology doesn't make things better. It is neither cause nor effect of man's getting smarter. There's no such thing as progress. It does, however, change the way we think and talk and act. (I was not nervous and impatient before I got online. I already had most of my other charming weaknesses, though.) Writing in real time is totally different from writing as Laclos did. And again, arguments about fact or fiction are irrelevent. OK, Moshe's shop is closed at nine in the morning, so I bought my spaghetti in another place. I had already introduced and established Moshe as a character. How many Tel Aviv grocers do you really need to know? As for the Potential Ones, I liked Zazy dans le metro, which is pretty conventional, and the 11,000,000 Sonnets, in which a few dozen sonnets with the same rhymes are cut on the pages between each line, so you can kind of copy and paste them any way you want. Perec wrote a few good books, the best of which being La Vie mode d'emploi, which is again fairly conventional. I don't like any of Mathews' other books, either conventional or unconventional, but Tlooth and The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium are among the most beautiful books I've ever read. Last, I never edit logs or even manipulate my e-mail very much. I write fast and hit "send". I'm trying to avoid precisely that kind of duplicity.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 April 2000
Subject: Noise

This was s'posed to be a quiet flat, but there's a rooster straight out of "Cock-a-doodle-doo", a dog straight out of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and a bunch of singing Jews straight out of The Family Moskat living within earshot. Israel is not a quiet land. Everyone honks his horn all the time and everyone has a cell phone. I hope Odelia hasn't. I'll have to tell her: "Park your phone at the door, sweetheart. If you need protection, bring a gun." Everyone has one of those, too, but I don't care 'cause they don't go off as often as the phones. One day I was wasting time near the reception desk, staying close to Odelia, when she told me someone was on the phone for me. Some dumb-ass secretary from Italy who doesn't read her e-mail was whining that she'd never received a confirmation for her boss's participation in the Solids Conference. I told her to check her e-mail from three weeks before. Then I told Odelia: "You know, I've got an ear infection. I'm not supposed to talk on the phone. If anyone calls for me, please tell them to send e-mail. Have you noticed that my home number is not on the company phone list?" She said that she had, and I suddenly regretted that it wasn't. I went out for a smoke. When I came back I was worried she might actually have believed me. People don't always understand my sense of humor. "I don't want to get you in trouble, Odelia. I was just joking." She smiled inscrutably. I understand that if I want to have collaborators, I have to take their feelings into account. I know that I have not always done this satisfactorily. (If that's a word, it shouldn't be.) We are all human beings. Plenty of allowences are made at work for what we'll kindly call my excentricities. I know that you are not being small. However sometimes I feel besieged. If I write in French, I'm a pedant. If I don't, I lack local color. If I comment on your work, I'm an asshole. If I don't, I'm ignoring your contributions. If I lust after you, I'm a pervert. If I don't, I'm lousy in bed. What do I have to do to win, or at least to draw?

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: La Modification

Italo Calvino can kiss my ass. Michel Butor had already written a second-person novel in the late fifties or early sixties.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Columbine
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Ideas are cheap

I believe it was you, Gabriel, to whom I said that La vie mode d'emploi was possibly the most interesting plotless book I have ever read. Never mind the semantics of "plotless." I read it in translation, of course. My French is excellent when it comes to cooking and barely serviceable for asking tourist questions (where is the train station, where is the bathroom). If I ever travel to France I will be bringing Debby with me. She speaks it fairly fluently, having been immersed in it as a small child. It had an unexpected side effect - she forgot all her Hebrew. But then, she herself claims to be a bad Jew. Right now she is going through what she refers to as the yearly starch deprivation. We didn't have a seder this year. Too busy. Debby insisted on reading Life: An Owner's Manual in French. She stopped after a very short time. Apparently it is very difficult French. I own the English version but I can't get her to tackle it.

Debby can read books which contain a higher degree of randomness than I can. She can devour Thomas Pynchon, whom I find impenetrable. She actually likes Mark Leyner, who is a bit like Pynchon crossed with comedian Steven Wright. I have read one Leyner piece which makes me laugh out loud each time I reread it. I can't handle anything else of his I've tried. I couldn't even get through poor Henry Fielding. I suppose it could be my short attention span - guilty as charged, officer - but I think it's closer to the truth to say that I just don't want to work that hard to glean ideas. Ideas are cheap; it's a buyer's market. They should leap out and find me.

From: Columbine
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Second Person and the Death of Books

This is not the first place I have recently confronted the idea that the paper book as we know it may be on its way to extinction. It's not even the second. The second was on mouth organ, in a discussion of electronic media which actually grew out of a discussion of censorship and intellectual property rights. I made a meager $500 from selling fiction last year, so obviously my literary income is not a major boon to my pocketbook; nonetheless, I favor extremely strong copyright. Don't mess with my income stream, faint though it may be. The discussion evolved the way it did because one of the primary problems with electronic books is the difficulty of getting people to pay for what they read. I personally think, as a writer who is interested in the cash as well as the ideas, I'm screwed either way. Either people read it online, in which case good luck making money because there are no locks on the doors, or you're limited to print - and the print markets are dying, dying, dying. The ones which remain alive are chronically, pardon the pun, overbooked. It is considerably easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for a first-time novelist to get a book contract. The short story market is down to about two magazines per niche and small presses are going bankrupt right and left.

But I digress.

The first time this idea of The Death Of Books came up recently was when I was writing some notes for a class on electronic media and fiction. Long story. I'm not associated with the class, I'm just giving help to the teacher every now and then. The Death of Books is apparently a hot topic among the students. My main contribution was a little tract on "user-directed narratives," (<http://www.inu.org/on_udn.htm> - but don't bother unless you're really bored) which means stories where the reader picks the way they want the story to proceed. Second person is the norm in that format - I suppose the idea is that it doesn't distance the reader from the story as much. I don't know. To me it's MORE distancing. I'm writing one of these - not for the first time - and I wrestle with this problem every time I try to make one of these beasts. I don't want to keep saying to the reader: "You do this. Okay, now you do this. Okay, now you can do this or this." But there are also problems with giving the reader a surrogate: "I did this"? Or "I do this?" I hate being in perpetual present tense. It sounds wrong to me.

On the other hand, the advantage of having an "I" character who is not the reader is that sometimes you want to make the character take a wrong turn deliberately. If the reader is "you" then they say, "Hey, wait a minute, I wouldn't have done something that stupid!" If it's someone else, it's more acceptable. I need every trick I can get. What I didn't tell the students is that user-directed narrative is a big fat lie - it provides the reader with the illusion that they're driving, when in reality the author is in the back seat steering them gently toward one of a number of foregone conclusions.

From: Columbine
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Re: Is it new?

At 10:35 PM -0400 4/21/00, Shayda Hoover wrote:
>[R]eal people have been less likely to
>continue letter-writing once the obstacle of distance has been removed. Study
>published correspondence and you will notice that people generally do not
>write to each other when they are staying in the same house-unless perhaps
>they share their journals with each other.
>But what do we have with the Internet? The distance remains but the time
>delay is totally obliterated.

Which is why I used to write about three hundred pages of correspondence a year but have not sent an actual paper letter to anyone since 1994. It's a little sad. My mother was the last to go - she hates email, associates it with her job and bad news, but we correspond occasionally that way. Primarily, I imagine, because I can't abide talking on the telephone - her preferred medium. I hate the sound of my own voice.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Fw: him too

>From: Laurent
>Subject: him too
>Date: 21 April 2000
>Surprisingly enough, it seems Francois Nourissier has several pages of
>porn in his last novel..
>about that, being interviewed
>B. Pivot: Pourquoi dites vous que vous etiez un mauvais coup?
>F. Nourissier: Parce que c'etait vrai.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Local Colors

Stupid Hebrew words I know:

Cus em mec: "Your mother's cunt", or "Motherfucker"
Belagan: We translate that as "Bordel", meaning "Brothel" or "Mess".
Beseder: "OK" It can mean almost anything.
Shalom: "Peace", or "Hello", or "Good-bye", or "Get the fuck out of my face."
Be vakasha: almost "Wenn's belebt," or "Por favor"

As we're writing about the death of the book, I write every day about the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and I keep printing out what are by now nearly white pages and filing them in my chronological World folder. (I was thinking about Odelia this morning when I masturbated and the words came to me: "Le cul le plus noir, l'ame la plus blanche.") When I sent the letter entitled "William Shakespeare & Me" I had a fantasy about sending you a letter with no text and a blank Word document enclosed as an attachment. Sam "Bam" Beckett would understand that urge, but he has left me too. The paper book will or will not die out. I couldn't care less, including about Todd's publishing income, or mine. I'm not worried about copyright. No one can steal my words. A purloined letter (The L. Man was punning on the common etymological origin of the French words for "steal" and "fly".) is, in the words of Barthes, not cancelled, but left intact and transfered from a female to a male character, or in the words of Poe physically folded backwards (The word I would use in French is "retournee".) and the sender's gender is changed in the same way that mine has been on the MOO. I don't need to remind you about Bartleby and the dead letter office. What I meant is that the book has died as a creative force, as a dynamic medium. I use a fax machine every day, to my unrelenting shame, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a dead technology. I loved everything about laurent's letter. In fact, I like everything about Laurent, including that he is the best Frenchman and therefore thought nothing amiss about hitting on Nichelle openly when we were still living together. I can just imagine the drunken, old dishevelled writer slouching in his chair, looking at the dandy Bernard Pivot, thinking: "You dumb motherfucker," and saying, with a simple dignity that I'm sure all of you will admire: "Because it was true."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: Fw: Plus Loin

I forgot to say that what I did with laurent's letter was to purloin it, to further or forward it. Todd wrote two follow-ups, so I don't think this is unsportsmanlike conduct in me. I'll shut up now.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 April 2000
Subject: 99 Messages on the wall

There are 99 messages in the folder I've made containing everything since 8 April 2000. The best one is "Bad writing". I've been crying as I re-read it. It is so simple, so human, so true. I can not find miel's quotation: "I watched him occasionally or always," but if it's a misquote, it's exactly something Nichelle might have written. How can I explain the beauty of such a phrase? I've searched the web looking for close readings of Autumn because I can't seem to do anything with it myself. I just see the beauty of the words, the phonemes, the alliterations and the internal rhymes and homophony. I can paraphrase the three stanzas thus: "Autumn and the sun conspire to create fruitfulness and ripeness, and to fool the bees." "Autumn idles carelessly," which sounds like a MOO log. "Animals sing Autumn's wailful hymn." I found something about the duality of nature and death, so who gives a fuck? He says something about "mists" and "mellow", "load" and "bless", "swell" and "plump", and Keats' maturity of thought. My feeling is that this is just a pure linguistic exercise. John was just seeing how many beautiful words he could string together at once without saying anything of importance. I never should have given Odelia this poem. I should have given her "Howl".

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Laurent
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Pynchon/Perec

I believe there is something in your parallel between Pynchon and Perec. I can not read Pynchon in english. I keep trying but I fail. I on the other hand read La Vie Mode d'Emploi in a few days.

On the other side it is hilarious to compare the mysterious, quasi-punk pynchon with Perec, who is every oulipoist's favorite virtual uncle.

From: Laurent
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Re: Fw: Plus Loin

well..I just hit reply instead of Group Reply..i actually meant to send it to the world

> I forgot to say that what I did with laurent's letter was to purloin it, to
> further or forward it. Todd wrote two follow-ups, so I don't think this is
> unsportsmanlike conduct in me. I'll shut up now.

From: Laurent
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Re: Ideas are cheap

>My French is excellent when it comes to
> cooking and barely serviceable for asking tourist questions (where is
> the train station, where is the bathroom). If I ever travel to France
> I will be bringing Debby with me. She speaks it fairly fluently,

You are missing something. There is something exhilarating about getting lost in a city whose language you do not speak. Specially in Paris, which is more like a huge shared apartment than like a city. You do not need to know how to ask for the toilets. When the waiters will see you stand up looking embarassed they will point the direction with their finger.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: vr
Attached: vr2.doc

I'm sending you the long version. (Well it's shorter than the whole two-thousand-page mess.) It gets boring in a psych ward. This way you can print it and read it at your leisure.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Womanhood becomes SAGReiss

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
@w in living
Player Conn Idle G Pop Location M Age *
------------------------- ---- ---- - --- ------------------------ ----- -
Imaginary-hhsb (#112478) 17h 7h m 16 The Living Room 33m p
Bear(tm) (#88110) 3h 43m m 16 The Living Room 5y p
Pax (#89455) 111m 58s m 16 The Living Room 5y p
hhsb (#115393) 2h 20s f 16 The Living Room 21m p
Abraxas (#42395) 25m 8m m 16 The Living Room OTD p
irn (#113235) 35m 27s m 16 The Living Room 31m p
Nim (#88417) 12m 9m m 16 The Living Room 5y p
Goat (#101782) 25m 0s m 16 The Living Room 4y p
Hammer (#111658) 53m 7s m 16 The Living Room 3y p
montecristo (#116907) 25m 2s m 16 The Living Room 12m p
CrashLander (#84381) 82m 59s n 16 The Living Room 5y p
sarahrah (#118560) 16m 2m n 16 The Living Room 26d
oedipus (#116991) 16m 1s m 16 The Living Room 12m p
DragonBoi (#105326) 15m 9s n 16 The Living Room 4y p
fifel (#79261) 52m 8m b 16 The Living Room 6y p
Jeanette (#107487) 3m 0s f 16 The Living Room 4y p
16 connected players displayed.
@go living
The Living Room
It is very bright, open, and airy here, with large plate-glass windows looking southward over the pool to the gardens beyond. On the north wall, there is a rough stonework fireplace. The east and west walls are almost completely covered with large, well-stocked bookcases. An exit in the northwest corner leads to the kitchen and, in a more northerly direction, to the entrance hall. The door into the coat closet is at the north end of the east wall, and at the south end is a sliding glass door leading out onto a wooden deck.
There are two sets of couches, one clustered around the fireplace and one with a view out the windows.
You see Welcome Poster, a fireplace, Cockatoo, the living room couch, The Birthday Machine, lag meter, Helpful Person Finder, Angus, and Church of cobot here.
Imaginary Friend (out on his feet), Bear(tm) (dozing), Pax (distracted), hhsb, Abraxas (daydreaming), irn, Nim (dozing), Goat, Hammer, montecristo, CrashLander, sarahrah, oedipus (sitting in the LR, watching everything you say and do), DragonBoi, fifel (daydreaming), Jeanette (chain-smoking), and Ilids are here.
Green_Bird teleports in, waggling wings.
CrashLander says, "They've reintroduced the electro therapy for clinical depression."
Jeanette licks irn.
Ilids pokes at montecristo.
Jeanette nods to CrashLander.
fifel bounces up and down!
irn hugs Jeanette warmly.
DragonBoi cuddles sweetly with Ilids.
CrashLander's friend IRL had to get that because SSRI's gave her a bad reaction.
Jeanette licks Green_Bird.
fifel hugs Jeanette.
DragonBoi purrs at Ilids.
Jeanette nods to CrashLander.
Green_Bird eyes Jeanette warily.
Ilids gives DragonBoi a lilac-mauve Michaelmas daisey with yellow at the center.
montecristo says, "I could use a little electro shock myself except that most of my depression is situational/hormonal"
Jeanette [to Green_Bird]: it's me, Bronte!
DragonBoi [to Jeanette]: hummm, that sucks... and not in a good way.
Green_Bird blinks at Jeanette.
Jeanette nods to DragonBoi.
Ilids says, "Wooo hh, electro shock...mmm"
Green_Bird [to Jeanette]: oh! hey!
Green_Bird pokepokes at Jeanette.
Nim [to Ilids]: Assume the position, screw kitten, and service my ACHING POLE!
Jeanette grins at Green_Bird.
Ilids starts to poke Nim but changes her mind and decides to swab Nim's anus with Vick's Vap-O-Rub instead.
montecristo slaps Nim across the cheek.
Ilids [to Nim]: Ew
deLaMer just yowled at Ilids from a distance.
Ilids nuzzles Nim's neck affectionately.
Pax . o O ( electro shock. yow. )
Montecristo raises an eyebrow at Ilids.
Ilids [to montecristo]: HEY! Nimmy's *MY* bitch
Green_Bird [to Jeanette]: been good?
Jeanette says, "it's supposed to be very effective."
CrashLander [to Jeanette]: So are you going to do the ECT on an outpatient basis?
Jeanette [to Green_Bird]: mm.
Iwakura_Lain hugs montecristo very tightly..... montecristo is really loved!
SAGReiss [to CrashLander]: Is the discussion always this fucking dumb?
Ilids says, "Shock me one more time, doc!"
Ilids . o O ( bzzt! )
Nim [to Ilids]: http://www.peselectro.com
DragonBoi snuggles cozily with Ilids.
Jeanette [to CrashLander]: not at first. i'm an inpatient at the moment, but if they decide to give it to me on a continuous basis, then i'll go in about once a month as an outpatietn.
montecristo [to Ilids]: sorry I saw the way you were being spoken to and it offended me.
Hammer says to you, "Only when we know you're going to show up."
CrashLander [to SAGReiss]: I don't think so. I'm feeling pretty flat tonight and I know I'm not the only one.
Green_Bird [to Jeanette]: that doesnt sound good...
Ilids [to montecristo]: Tht's just a verb he usus on me.
Iwakura Lain smooches montecristo.
Ilids says, "I cen spel."
Jeanette [to Green_Bird]: well i'm just hoping it works.
Ilids smooches DragonBoi.
Iwakura_Lain [to montecristo]: no work tonight?
Green_Bird tries to comfort Jeanette.
montecristo [to Iwakura_Lain]: off until monday
DragonBoi [to Nim]: not worth what they charge.
Jeanette [to fifel]: i bought a best of carpenters CD today. it's really good.
Iwakura Lain licks montecristo.
SAGReiss [to Jeanette]: Is this in a psych ward?
fifel stares off into the middle distance.
Jeanette nods to you.
montecristo nibbles Iwakura Lain's ear.
CrashLander smiles at Jeanette.
Jeanette licks CrashLander.
Ilids throws back her head and howls! Aroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
fifel meep
Iwakura Lain curls up in montecristo's lap.
CrashLander [to Jeanette]: oh sure, that's all you need, "Rainy Days and Mondays"
irn seems to be howling at Ilids in a rather obvious manner. Sheesh!
Green_Bird . o O ( ah ha! listening to the carpenters? no wonder you need
 electroshock... )
montecristo snuggles cozily with Iwakura Lain.
Jeanette giggles at CrashLander.
SAGReiss [to Jeanette]: In the US? I had wildly different experiences in psych wards in the US and France.
Ilids says, "Ahem, scuze."
Green_Bird grins.
Jeanette sings, "every sha lal la la, every whoooooooa."
montecristo feels like he could use a psych ward.
fifel bounces into Ilids! It smiles to itself.
DragonBoi [to Ilids]: what?
Jeanette [to SAGReiss]: i'm in australia.
Ilids [to irn]: Pardon my behavior just now.
Ilids presses her lips to irn's lips in a warm and passionate kiss...
irn says, "I'm going to go and pick at my food in front of the TV"
CrashLander sings, o/~ Just like before.. it's yesterday once more.. o/~
CrashLander hugs montecristo warmly.
Iwakura_Lain pastes a gold star on irn's forehead.
Irn goes home.
Ilids [to DragonBoi]: Eh?
@go home
Jeanette [to CrashLander]: that's my favourite song. and also this masquerade.
montecristo hugs CrashLander warmly.
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
page jeanette Why are you in a psych ward?
Jeanette pages, "at the moment because of depression."
page jeanette And you can MOO? I think I might like being in a French psych ward, if I could MOO.
Jeanette pages, "no, i'm on accompanied day leave at home."
page jeanette You should talk to me very often. In fact, you should write me e-mail.
Jeanette pages, "why should i?"
page jeanette Because I would like it.
Jeanette pages, "ok =)"
Jeanette pages, "how old are you?"
page jeanette So how is it in an OZ psych ward? In the French psych ward we could smoke during the day, and the food was good.
page jeanette I am thirty-six years old.
Jeanette pages, "we can smoke as much as we want, but the food is revolting. i always get my parents to bring me in food."
page jeanette I don't think there is any food in OZ, except for beer.
Jeanette pages, "where do you live?"
page jeanette I live in Tel Aviv.
Jeanette pages, "is that where you were born?"
page jeanette No, I was born in the US.
Jeanette pages, "why did you move to Israel?"
page jeanette Because I got into a lot of trouble in the US.
Jeanette pages, "what kind of trouble?"
page jeanette It's a long story. I think it all began with my special style of e-mail.
Jeanette pages, "what's so special about it?"
page jeanette Can you read a Word attachment? (I would explain in person, but I have to go to work soon.)
Jeanette pages, "yeah. you want to email it to me?"
page jeanette I shall, if you like.
Jeanette pages, "my address is eat@shit.die, negatron"
page jeanette Incoming.
Jeanette pages, "i'll read it later, i gotta go. Nice meeting you, keep in touch!"
page crash Do you know Jeanette? Is she OK?
CrashLander pages, "I only know her a little from MOO. She says that she's in hospital, so hopefully that means she isn't about to slit her wrists."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Alina
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Re: vr

Well I opened the file you sent but it was so bloody long I couldn't be bothered reading it. May be you can tell me the short version, or not if you don't want to.
Why is your gender at lambda female since you are obviously male (or so your name would suggest)?
Talk to you later,
a.k.a. Bronte, Jeanette etc.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Gender
Attached: Vr.doc

I did not mean to deceive you about my gender. You notice that I even use my real name on the MOO. I was also very forthcoming about my age and place of residence and birth. My gender was always male until this week-end, when I changed it basically as a joke. I had forgotten about it. I apologize for any confusion. Please find enclosed the short version of vr. I hope you enjoy it.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Nuts

"Do you want one?" Hebrew is not a very polite language, and the Israelis are not a polite people, which are two ways of saying the same thing. They think that Americans aren't loud and rude. This is a good thing. I almost fit in in an office where everyone is badly dressed, and everyone screams and swears. There might be a way to say: "would you like" in Hebrew, but no one says it. Shiiit, the Israelis in my family laugh when they hear me say: "I beg your pardon." In Hebrew everyone says: "Ma?" ("What?") except for the old Romanian who says: "Be vakasha?" I was walking past the reception desk, which I do as often as physically possible, and Odelia was holding out two walnuts. My mind was reeling: "Walnuts, hazel shells, nuts... Can this possibly be happening?" I didn't want a walnut, but whatever she's selling, I'm buying: "Please." She grasped the two walnuts in her small, brown hands and proceeded to try to crack them open. I was fighting delerium: "She is breaking two walnuts in her HND's right in front of me." She broke them. I stifled the urge to open my mouth. Instead I held out my hands. She put one of the broken walnuts in my hand. I said: "Thank you." I put a bit of walnut meat on my tongue. I didn't get a lot of work done today. I have a good feeling about this, even though I know you are all rooting for me to fail because you like to see me beaten and shamed, or because you think you have some idea of what might be in store for Odelia, if we hook up, as Goldie puts it. I was desperate all afternoon to ask her about "Autumn", but I had this huge proposal to type and couldn't find an opportunity. At wits' end I walked by the reception desk and asked: "Did you work this week-end?" "You mean your poem? No. Maybe I'll do it tonight, maybe." I went to lunch with Rosy and Stephanie, as I usually do. We went to a different restaurant than usual. This one had an English menu offering such delicacies as "chicken leaver" and "sheaf's salad". I love menus like that. There is nothing amusing or memorable about a menu proposing "chicken liver" and "chef's salad". I am very fond of every kind of linguistic anomaly. At lunch the girls asked me how my week-end was. I said: "Mouvemente." I told them that a girl had sent me pornographic pictures of herself, and that for some reason a huge fight broke out. Stephanie acted like her usual dumb self: "Quel scandale." Rosy laughed and told us a story: "I grew up in a very prim and proper family. Then I got married. My husband was very prim and proper. One day a girlfriend asked me if I had ever seen a pornographic film. I didn't know what the word meant. She said she'd show me. So we sat down on the couch and watched. I had never seen anything like it before. I laughed and laughed."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: The Raping

Welcome to the Xao Space.

If you don't seem to be connected, try 'connect username password' (substituting in your username and password, of course), or 'connect guest' if you just want to take a peek. Enjoy your stay!

All music lovers of good cheer are welcome here. :)
*** Connected ***
Music Centrale
You find yourself in a small cobblestone square, surrounded by numerous
buildings of wildly varying architectural styles.
To the east, a two-story red brick building sports a slightly battered wooden sign reading: "The Bronze Peacock". The sign hangs off a small balcony on the second floor.
You see MOO Serialization Utilities, MOO Object Deserializer, MOO Object Serializer, #313 - PlatyClass with answering machine, Bert the Boojum, Resume Box, log, Real Shaolin, Puff's Notebook, copper plate, a note about room dispatchers in the conatus core, Skeptic, Cobot Wizard, a chair, liquorlink, coldnotes, and miro.reply here.
rmt, puf, player, and Colin are here.
You hear a fanfare!
Colin says, "Hey Saggy."
You say, "What's up, bro?"
You say, "I have one stupid MOO question, and one MOO history question. How can I check someone else's gag list? Do you recall any weird hassle involving Bronte?"
Colin says, "You should be able to just look at their gaglist property."
You say, "What would I have to type to do so? (Remember that I'm cybernetically handicapped.)"
Colin says, "Now ... Bronte. Hmmm. Li2's the one to ask about Bronte, I think."
Colin says, "Hmmm. @show objectnumber.gaglist"
Colin says, "where objectnumber is the person's object number, found by @who usually."
You say, "It says: "I see no "objectnumber.gaglist" here.""
Colin says, "Read my second sentence."
Colin says, "phrase."
Colin says, "`@who Fucknuckle' gives you an objectnumber for the person."
Colin says, "You can type @show #blahblah.gaglist"
You say, "I did. I used the same convention as you did. I replaced the number by "objectnumber"."
Colin says, "Ok, try typing just this, then: ;#objectnumber.gaglist"
Colin assumes you have the progbit.
You say, "Of course I haven't got a progbit. Do I need to type what looks like a semi-colon before the pound sign?"
Colin says, "Without a progbit it may be harder."
You say, "So it seems. Oh well. It's not very important."
You say, "So what's up with you?"
Colin was just putting the rhetorical boot into Bb to Yib. That was fun.
You say, "You are obsessed, my friend."
Colin says, "And, I've got a contract for a couple of months, which's good."
Colin says, "Sure, but you say `obsessed' like it's a bad thing to be."
You say, "I thought you worked for a university, or whatever."
Colin says, "If I can do Bb some little damage en passant, some small harm with minimal effort, I think of it as a public service."
Colin says, "That's not a fulltime job."
SAGReiss [to Colin]: You sound like Iago.
Colin blows his nose in a handkerchief.
Colin says, "Your simile is good, except that it implies Bb is Othello."
Colin says, "He ain't."
Colin says, "If I could cause Bb as much trouble as Iago caused Othello, I'd be fairly pleased."
You say, "He's neither a nigger nor a poet nor a soldier, so far as I know. And I bet he can't get a piece of ass like Desdemona."
Colin says, "Hey, actually, Bb did write that snuff story about strangling a blonde, though."
Colin says, "Wow. Quite a connection."
You say, "The parallel is striking. I think you should move to Cyprus."
Colin says, "Iago. I'll think on't."
Colin says, "I'd rather be MacBeth."
You say, "I'd rather be Ubu Roi."
Colin says, "Can I walk your lobster?"
You say, "Lobster?"
Colin says, "Alfred Jarre used to have a pet lobster he'd walk on a leash."
You say, "He was a sick fuck and a mean drunk, which is why we get along just fine. I didn't know about the lobster, though. It was probably a langouste. There aren't really any lobsters in France."
Colin says, "It must have lost something in translation. Some kind of crustacean."
Colin says, "I've never read any Alfred Jarre."
Colin says, "Nor any Celine."
You say, "You would love Celine."
Colin says, "I wonder if there's much around en anglaise."
You say, ""Death on the Installment Plan" and "Journey to the End of the Night" are both translated."
Colin will start his xmas list now.
You say, "But that might involve dealing with amazon, which is an ugly thought that I'm sure you abhor."
Colin says, "I'm sure we've got local bookstores to get such things in."
Colin says, "It must be interesting to understand several languages."
Colin says, "Not a skill I have."
You say, "I don't know how things work in OZ. I think of you as crazy people who get all dressed up on Saturday nights to get drunk in the local pub and start a brawl."
Colin says, "Nietzsche said polyglots love their own language too little."
Colin says, "I've seldom started a brawl."
You say, "Nietzsche knew Greek and Latin and French."
You say, "Don't make me laugh."
Colin says, "he was a philologist, yeah."
Colin says, "and he also said what I attributed to him."
Colin says, "You're not talking to Tesla now, mate."
You say, "I haven't in a while, but I did page her recently, as a matter of fact. She answered, but then I think she got dissed."
Colin says, "I've a friend who told me how he picked up Italian. Has a knack for it. Also plays jazz."
You say, "The best way to learn a language is on your back."
Colin meant, the fact that Nietzsche was a polyglot in no way contradicts his having said what I attributed to him.
You say, "Did I imply that I saw such a contradiction?"
Colin says, "He may have thought that he loved German too little. God knows he was pretty dismissive of philology."
Colin says, "Well, that's what I took `don't make me laugh' to mean, yeah."
You say, ""Don't make me laugh" refers to your assertion: "I've seldom started a brawl.""
Colin says, "If anything, his being a polyglot would make his criticism more, not less, valid. He knew what it was to be one."
Colin AHHHZ, I misunderstood.
Colin says, "I've only started one or two, and they weren't really my fault."
Colin says, "And I only get involved in the ones I can win."
You say, "Right. You aren't talking to Tesla either, mate."
Colin says, "My guitar teacher played in a band which toured rough clubs in the outer west of Sydney."
Colin says, "One time, some deadbeat sat at our table, and we had a slight altercation in the following form, `Mate [he said], I could eat you for breakfast.', `Perhaps [I replied], but you'd be having your stomach pumped by midmorning.' Subsequently, some harsher words were spoken offering a fight. Some short time after that, there was an all-in brawl."
You say, "You are the most vindictive and belligerent person I have ever met, with the possible exception of myself."
Colin managed to keep out of that one, and the cops were called.
Colin says, "I feel I had some part in starting it, though."
Colin says, "Then there was the time I had a punchup in a pub, and threw a guy against the wall."
Colin nods, I am that.
You say, "That's pretty lightweight. I don't think I'll be going to any pubs with you, though. It's hard enough for me to talk my way out of my own brawls."
Colin says, "I've only had punches thrown at me on about four occasions."
Colin says, "In my adulthood."
Colin says, "Lost one, won three."
You say, "If lithium says that Bronte was not involved in any fights "as far as I know", should I take that to mean that she probably hasn't?"
Colin says, "I think Li2 would have pretty comprehensive knowledge of her, yes."
You say, "I have always been able to talk my way out of my messes, except once, when I got my face rearranged and a girl got raped."
Colin says, "Ouch, you were trying to defend her?"
You say, "It's not much good to try to talk reason to four teenage niggers intent on molesting a white woman. I was trying, in my own stupid way, to defend her."
Colin says, "Well, you acted nobly at least."
Colin says, "And no, reason's not likely to help in that, I guess."
Colin says, "Nor's violence, more's the pity."
You say, "I don't think I've got much to be ashamed of, in that case. A little though. I had just finished fucking her when they attacked us."
Colin says, "Not your fault they decided that meant open-slather."
Colin says, "Perhaps in hindsight you could have chosen the venue more carefully, though."
Colin says, "Some recklessness is unavoidable."
You say, "No, but I still felt bad about it. She didn't want to go back to her place because her bf was there. My place was far away. It was a poor decision to fuck under the moon."
Colin once fucked a woman in a bandstand in an inner-city park. Luckily though the only interruption was a pair of fags with the same idea in mind. She cleared 'em off.
Colin says, "Did they catch the perps?"
SAGReiss . o O ( This booth is taken. Please move along. )
Colin says, "Actually, she was really like a tiger. Was cool to see."
Colin picked her up at a dance party. Those were the days.
You say, "Yes, and no. When the cop left me at his desk to look over mug shots while he went for coffee, I rifled through his drawers and found their confessions and rap sheets. Nothing ever came of it, though, if I may use such a crude term."
Colin says, "They confessed?"
Colin says, "They didn't prosecute? Stinks. Witness, confessions, open and shut case."
You say, "The plural was a mistake. One of them confessed and ratted on the others, saying that he was just the look-out and didn't take part."
Colin says, "You could ID them?"
Colin says, "Gah. Look at the time. It's late, I sleep."
Colin hugs you warmly.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Re: 99 Messages on the wall

On Sat, 22 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
> April 2000. The best one is "Bad writing". I've been crying as I re-read it.
> It is so simple, so human, so true. I can not find miel's quotation: "I
> watched him occasionally or always," but if it's a misquote, it's exactly
> something Nichelle might have written. How can I explain the beauty of such
> a phrase?

I wasn't quoting anyone. It's exactly something I might have written.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 April 2000
Subject: Listicide

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
page laurent J'ai compris ce que tu avais fait. J'ai juste voulu souligner l'etymologie de "purloined" pour les anglophones. C'est pas evident pour eux.
(from The Glass Sunroom.) le_marquis comprend
page mrq Merci pour le e-mail, au fait.
page nichelle "Nuts" is pretty good, don't you think? I especially like that I misspelled "HND'S". How can one misspell a word that is already misspelled? I hope I haven't offended you with the logs. The one from this morning is shit. I don't know why I sent it. The only good bits are the title and the e-mail address.
Nichelle pages, "Good morning."
page nichelle What's up, sis?
Nichelle pages, "I'm taking my vitamins."
page nichelle Please share with Matilda.
Nichelle pages, "She's sitting right here. She says hello."
page nichelle Tell her that I love both of you.
Nichelle pages, "I'll tell her."
page nichelle Is she getting old? Or is she still playful?
Nichelle pages, "She is still hunting mosquitos."
page nichelle So she is still big and fast and mean, like us, except that I understand that you have become less mean since we parted ways.
Nichelle pages, "Yes, less mean and less big."
page nichelle I am still mean. I sometimes try to be nice. I don't want to deal with another great emigration. When I wrote that I was trying not to send myself a letter of resignation, it was true. I was also trying to hand a gun to anyone who might want to listicide and say: "Go ahead, make my day." I figured that this might calm people down a little. I don't want anyone to leave. I am very happy with the list as it is now constituted. I am amazed that laurent has been contributing. I am glad that Todd is back. The World seems even more important to me, now that I know it's slipping out of my HND'S.
Nichelle pages, "I don't understand this thing about HND'S."
page nichelle It's what Odelia wrote on her vocabulary list. I think she meant: "hands".
Nichelle pages, "Oh."
page nichelle OK, so perhaps no one finds that as funny as I do.
Nichelle pages, "I wasn't going to be the one to say it."
page nichelle Some people don't think Tristram Shandy is funny.
Nichelle pages, "It's not."
page nichelle But in Tristram Shandy Uncle Tobias refuses to kill a fly, saying: "The world is big enough for the two of us."
Nichelle pages, "Oh, I'm sorry. That is funny."
page nichelle It is deeply moving, but I sense that you are in a mood neither for humor nor for emotion.
Nichelle pages, "I was being honest. It really is funny."
page nichelle I would never accuse you of being dishonest. Uncle Tobias is very funny. He had his nuts shot off in Flanders. He is obsessed by war. Yet he lets that fly out of the window.
Nichelle pages, "Hilarious."
page nichelle I might accuse you of using verbal irony.
Nichelle pages, "I told Thomas about Uncle Tobias getting his nuts shot off. He says, "That's not too God-damned funny. Ow.""
Nichelle pages, "Didn't Uncle Tobias get his nuts shot off with a cannon ball?"
page nichelle I am under no obligations of any kind to Thomas. In fact, I don't even believe he exists. He is just a creation of your artistic mind. I can't remember how Uncle Tobias got his nuts shot off. I'm not even sure his name is Uncle Tobias.
Nichelle pages, "What do you mean obligations? I don't understand. Why don't you believe he exists?"
page nichelle I mean that I am not obliged to take what he says seriously. I don't especially care if he exists.
Nichelle pages, "He thinks you're a fuckwad."
page nichelle He's not alone.
Nichelle pages, "Yes, he's right in there with all of the other people who don't exist."
Nichelle pages, "If it's any consolation, I don't think you're a fuckwad."
page nichelle There's an old Jesuit Latin joke about existence, which I remember in it's German translation, but I doubt you're interested. I'm glad you don't think I'm a fuckwad.
Nichelle pages, "It's very strange to see you as a female character"
page nichelle No one has screamed at me about it in the Living Room. Of course, they're busy screaming about me for other things.
(from Casino Cathedral) Dean_Martyr glots your poly
Nichelle pages, "Chances are good that they did not notice it. Are you just going to leave it that way?"
page nichelle I should change it back. I didn't even remember about it until I was searching for a title for that log this morning. Suddenly I realized: "She must think you're a woman." She wrote me back about it. I cleared it up and apologized for the confusion. Still, the title is great, though I didn't much care for "Mourning becomes Electra".
Nichelle pages, "Do you know how to change it back? @gender m"
@gender m
Gender set to male.
Your pronouns: he,him,his,his,himself,He,Him,His,His,Himself
page nichelle The purloined letter is returned to sender.
Nichelle pages, "That rhymes."
page nichelle Indeed.
Your message has been sent to Nichelle. Nichelle seems to be distracted, though.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 April 2000
Subject: Listless

Not being able to print, or rather absurdly printing nearly blank pages, has pushed me along the road away from the paper chase. Unless one of you tells me that I should, I will not go back to printing the World and every other document of interest I find online. When Nichelle met me I was printing literally everything, on watermarked stationary no less. One of the reasons that my voices in e-mail, on the MOO and irl sound so similar is that I came to the internet from a different background than geeks. Geeks were all Dungeons and Dragons players, except for negatron, perhaps, because I don't think les jeux de societe are quite his style. So it was natural for them to see the MOO as an RPG. They were transfering their rl to vr. I was a man of letters, so it was natural for me to see the MOO as a polyphonic text-based world. My very first instinct was to log and print, from the brawls which began the first time I logged on to DU to the cybersex I had on the French MOO. The advantage for me of the similarity of my voices is that I can seamlessly weave together into a text events from rl, memories of books, MOO dialogues and e-mail, as in "Dover Bitch" or "Local Colors". Anyone who knows me online would probably recognize me in a pub. I believe that the internet is re-casting our mind, bridging the gap that T.S. Eliot called the "dissociation of sensibility". A rose, or more tellingly a walnut, enters my brain through my nervous system and is immediately turned into words and spat out as new words. I masturbate, think of fucking Odelia, and think of writing e-mail about fucking Odelia, and this is one act to me, not three. How can I ever hope to explain this to her?

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 24 April 2000
Subject: Re: Listless

On Mon, 24 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
> How can I ever hope to explain this to her?

I don't understand this. Why do you need to explain this to her? Why do you need to tell her that you write e-mail about her? Why is this list relevent to her life? I realise that you think your entire life is literature. A friend of mine, the friend from whom I hear too much about Lacan, writes letters to his girlfriend. She lets me read them because I'm her best friend. I think he writes them because he knows she saves everything, and he wants a "Collected Letters of Josh Miller" to be published someday. Everything he writes is infused with the philosophy of someone else, many someones compounded and distilled. The romantic relationship will end upon graduation and he will reinvest libidinal interest because he is going to France and will have other things to think about. No time for mourning, Sigmund. When I say to him that if there were words to describe the nuance of a broccoli plant, for example, which exists as only broccoli can exist and nothing else, there would be no need to associate it with the shape of a tree, he tells me that I'm wasting my time thinking, that I should read Lacan because he has already thought about this. For me, it's exciting to think about how to escape metaphor in a phonetic language, when even the smallest word-parts introduce and convey old meanings. I don't always care if someone has had the thought before. Sometimes I would like to hear a great mind's opinion. Sometimes it's more exciting to discover something internal. Maybe he only thinks when he reads. Maybe he feels that he is on a course to greatness, and anything he says conveying intellectual weakness will be scrutinized by centuries. He assumes I read his letters. When they are written, they are public. I do read his letters, so maybe he's right.

Maybe I shouldn't be here. Part of the reason I don't like logs is that they hold me accountable for conversation. I'm similarly uncomfortable with the idea of my e-mail being saved, let alone printed. I'd never send SAGR hard copies of my photographs. It would be exaggerating to say that I sent him the pictures at all. I gave him directions, but they exist in a public place. It would be exaggerating to say that the pictures are pornographic. If that is how they exist in his MS, then so be it. The Odelia represented by the text is certainly not the real Odelia, and the relationship between SAGR and Odelia is only a potential relationship, one of which she is unaware. I think expecting the sexual Odelia and the textual Odelia to conflate upon introduction is naive; more likely both will evaporate.

I've been wrong before.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 April 2000
Subject: Sheaf's Salad

I thought I was being generous to offer you three beautiful potential titles yesterday: "Chicken Leavers", "Sheaf's Salad", and possibly the foulest expression I have ever had the pleasure to hear: "Open-slather". I've now used one of them. I wanted to use a captivating title such as "The Raping" to encourage you to read yet another log. I don't blame you if you don't read them, or if perhaps more sensibly you do as Murder and skim them, though I would probably take them apart character by character, if I were you: "And if I were Patrocles, I would surrender." Logs make for polyphony and they tend to produce what the French call l'effet du reel. Hillary makes a few good points. I hope I can get away with tightening up a few of her definitions. I don't think that using technical vocabulary carefully is pedantry. It's nice to know what one is talking about. I'm not sure that I would go so far as to think that my whole life is literature. Words are certainly a big part of my life, as they are of yours, and everyone else's. I tend to write them down. I would be willing to conceed that there is something maniacal in my obsession with recording everything for posterity, the Henry James syndrome. Lacan was a punk, as I've said before. I only like him for his horrible puns. Freud will be remembered forever as the topologist of the unconscious mind. Lacan will be remembered, if at all, for making a small contribution to the understanding of the relationship of Freud to his mutually unknown contemporary Saussure. Both Jakobson and Levi-Strauss were bigger men than Lacan. The use of the term "phonetics" confuses people, though I admit that I do it myself because Americans simply don't understand the words "phoneme" and "phonology". Phonetics is the study of the actual sounds of language, usually dialects, accents, individual pronunciation etc. Phonology is the study of phonemes, the minimal, discrete, non-meaningful unit of speech. If what you're thinking of is "Jabberwocky", it's a study in morphology, of morphemes, the minimal, discrete, grammatical (i.e. meaningful) unit of speech. I do not think that this distinction is trivial. "Jabberwocky" has been translated into many languages. I have read it in French and German. Henry Miller mentions its translation into Hebrew in J'suis pas plus con qu'un autre. It is certainly true that Odelia is unaware of the World, though I have made every effort to show her that I live online and that I write a lot of e-mail. She might not be so dumb as to think she didn't occupy a place of honor in my letters. It is equally true that we are unaware of what she might think or say or even write about me. The Frenchwoman with whom I lived with for three years wrote a hundred or so pages of unsent letters to/about me on my IBM typewriter which she never showed me until it was too late. That I subsequently lost all of our correspondence, including the two hundred or so pages of letters that I wrote to her from the looney bin, is cause for my endless shame and disgrace. She had saved everything, notes that I had written on cocktail napkins, train tickets, everything. It is wrong to think that we can somehow escape from what we have read by simply drinking enough beer. I don't drink beer, except to sober up, but nothing could make me forget that the parenthetical phrase: "if at all" above is a quotation from "The Hollow Men". I mentioned Eliot this morning. He was in my brain. I will not apologize for being an allusive writer. It is insane to pretend that I could honestly conceal from Odelia the texts that I've written about her.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 25 April 2000
Subject: Colorless Green Broccoli

Someone (At this point I can't remember if it was Bertrand Russel or Noam Chomsky, but it had to be an Anglo.) gave: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," as an example of perfectly grammatical nonsense. Jakobson, who was definitely not an Anglo, said: "Bullshit," and explained how that sentence was in fact perfectly meaningful, quite clear and rather poetic. What I was trying unsuscessfully to say last night is that meaning can only begin with grammar (morphosyntax for those of you wearing bifocals). As grammar begins to break up, as it occasionally does in Lear and Othello, people begin to lose their minds. Husserl gave as an example of nonsense an ungrammatical string of words that I can't even remember because they were simply meaningless. No one ever mentioned it again. I understand Hillary's problem with metaphore. Why the fuck should I have to bother with this shit? Why can't we just have enough words? This is a good reason why I should fuck Odelia and learn Hebrew. It would give me some new toys to play with. Make your friend a plate of broccoli sauteed in garlic, basil and olive oil with a tomato or two thrown in, served on a bed of blackmarket spaghetti, and slathered in Parmesan cheese, and tell him that the Rapport de Rome is just an elaborate joke, a huge pun on Eliot's poems, which run through the text unidentified.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Murder
Date: 25 April 2000
Subject: Chomsky

Gabe, I am unable to figure out how you know that I skim the logs when you post them. You're absolutely right. I have been following the goings-on of this list with great interest the last couple weeks. Some of the e-mail was beautiful, even heart-wrenching. Nichelle's near-listicide shocked me to the core. If I could write nearly as well as she, I would contribute more to this list. I don't mind criticism of my writing; my flute-playing is analyzed, criticized, and reorgasmisized nearly every week. The difference is that I can sense what is good and bad in music, but cannot always do so in literature. So I learn a lot from this list, even if I do skim the logs and don't understand more than a few words of French. I was included in Gabe's World for a reason, though I have a hard time remembering what that is. Maybe I have logged too many hours in a practice room the last seven years, to the detriment of my general education. Lately I have had little time to read. RL has forcibly distracted me from all such pursuits. So I feel as though I have nothing to say as a writer. Gabe, I don't understand the goal of your interactions with Odelia, if there is one. Do you want to get her into bed? Make her understand the World? Make her into a kind of substitute for Nichelle? Maybe I haven't been reading carefully enough. Maybe someday I'll write carefully enough. Right now I just need to sleep furiously.


From: Hillary
Date: 25 April 2000
Subject: Madmen: The Poet is Asylum for Alphabets

J Queval: Are we in favor of literary madmen?

F. Le Lionnais: We are not against them, but the literary vocation interests us above all else.

R. Queneau: The only literature is voluntary literature.

[Minutes of the 13 February 1961 meeting of the Oulipo]

Queneau proposed to elaborate "a whole arsenal in which the poet may pick and choose, whenever he wishes to escape from that which is called inspiration." (Entretiens)

[Ellipses mine.]

What is the Oulipo not?
(1) It is not a movement or a literary school. We place ourselves beyond aesthetic value, which does not mean that we despise it.
(2) Nor is it a scientific seminar ...
Finally, (3) we are not concerned with experimental or aleatory literature...
I will now say what the Oulipo is--or rather what it believes itself to be. Our research is:
(1) Naive: I use the word "Naive" in its perimathematical sense, as one speaks of the naive theory of sets. We forge ahead without undue refinement. We try to prove motion by walking.
(2) Craftsmanlike--but this is not essential...
(3) Amusing: at least for us. Certain people find our work "sordidly boring," which ought not to frighten you, because you are not here to amuse yourselves.

[Raymond Queneau, Potential Literature]

And lastly I hand to you with more explanation a definition of Oulipians that might apply to LambdaMooers and/or members of this list as well:

Oulipians: rats who must build the labyrinth from which they propose to escape.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 25 April 2000
Subject: The Real Ode(a)lia

>From: Murder
>Date: 9 April 2000
>Subject: Orals
>Let me be the second one to welcome Shayda to the list. I skimmed the
>logs rather quickly, because reading them felt like eavesdropping on a
>conversation in a coffee shop, which for some reason makes me

Please let me assure you, Murder, that anyone who didn't know why you are on this list knows now. You know, and Nichelle knows, that the arts are viciously competitive worlds where the harshest self-criticism is ingrained, and criticism of others is seldom tender or "constructive". Most people don't know this. Some people on this list might not know it. Most people think that you look in your heart, or in your shorts, and somehow it tells you how to play the flute, but of course it doesn't work that way. Inspiration doesn't mean shit, or at least it only means something after about twenty years of mind-wracking work. It might look easy to write e-mail as I do, but I began this journey at the age of fifteen. Doing anything well is not easy. I knew that you skimmed the logs because you told me. I don't skim anything. I read very carefully and remember everything. That is how I can write a sentence like this. It didn't take me an hour. The whole letter probably took me half that time. But look how many threads of conversation I pick up, reorgasmize and spread on the table:

Make your friend a plate of broccoli (1) sauteed in garlic, basil and olive oil with a tomato or two thrown in, served on a bed of blackmarket spaghetti (2), and slathered (3) in Parmesan cheese, and tell him that the Rapport de Rome (4) is just an elaborate joke, a huge pun on Eliot's (5) poems, which run through the text unidentified (6).

1. Hillary's "Re: Listless", 24/04
2. SAGReiss' "Hag Sameach", 21/04
3. SAGReiss' "The Raping", 23/ 04
4. Vide Lacan, passim
5. Vide Eliot, passim
6. SAGReiss' "The Raping", 23/ 04

Yet the casual reader will just see an elegantly written sentence in answer to a letter of the previous day, mildly amusing, culinarily enticing, nutritionally sound. If I had to, I could back up the argument about "Fonction et champ de la parole et du langage en psychanalyse" (1953), though I certainly want nothing to do with Mr. Josh Miller, unless he e-mails me porno pics of his gf. (Hillary, I used the word "porn" to avoid stupid arguments about "erotic" and perhaps to shock the girls. There was nevertheless a stupid argument about "erotic" with Stephanie saying: "In erotique they don't show the man's sexe." I said: "Tout le monde appelle "erotique" ce qu'il aime et "pornographique" ce qu'il n'aime pas." Rosy just laughed.) So let's get back to what we're really interested in, what Henry James calls "The Real Thing". What am I doing, or trying to do, with Odelia? I'm trying to fuck her, obviously. Do I think it will happen? Probably not, though stranger things have happened. When I wrote the word "pretend" I was mistakenly using a Gallicism. I meant "contend". No harm intended, and I hope no offense taken. I could not forget to tell Odelia about what I've written, not so much because it was written or because it might be important to her, but because it's important to me. How could I hide from her one of the most meaningful aspects of my life? My life may not be literature, but the written record of a life certainly is. I would certainly learn Hebrew from Odelia. She might very well just think: "Who cares about his hobby-horses? That's just what he does when he's had too much to drink or when he wakes up too early in the morning."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 25 April 2000
Subject: near-listicide

>waiting for either the ding or Haendl's
>Messiah to go off. (You see, I just corrected my earlier misspelling of

One misspelling is as good as another from my perspective. I only wish you had left the expression "man of calibre" forgotten for a little while longer- I never cared for it.

As for the mystery of Odelia (after Murder's speculations)- she's his fuel, something to write about. One can only write for so long about whiskey and cigarettes and starvation and rage. Gabriel did that already in Babel. He needs some sort of context for his literary allusions, illusions, and delusions.

I decided not to commit listicide mostly because I was surprised that everyone wanted me to stay. Since its more active days, I have viewed the list as sort of a masturbatory playground for Gaby, and not so much as a collaborative effort. I'm curious to see where it goes. I'm amazed that it has lasted this long.

Goldie, look into your shorts and write. Don't be intimidated by Gabriel. Sure, he'll probably criticize you, and your voice may be lost sometimes, but.. as much as he would like to convince you that "SAGReiss is always right," he is not. He is not a perfect writer. I have always thought that there is something anticlimactic about the way he ends his e-mail.

From: Murder
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Society for Chromatic Art

This rutgersfuckingpine account is really starting to wear thin. I have to fight the undergraduate scum for a connexion, since we all share dialup numbers. It may even be time for a shitty hotmail account. Tonight's performance went rather well. On the third page of George Perle's Monody I for solo flute, I played a truly inspired high E. But it wouldn't have meant shit if I had played it out-of-tune, with the wrong attack, or at the wrong dynamic. That's why I practice. No one in the audience, including my teacher, would know the difference between my rendition of an "inspired" high E and an uninspired one. The listeners can only factually comment on the intonation, attack, and dynamic. We all know inspiration exists. But what good is it if the technical foundation does not? Nichelle has been an excellent writer for as long as I have known her. As far as I know, she has always been a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Some of the letters she wrote me in high school still make me weep when I read them. She may have looked into her heart (or shorts) when she wrote them, but they would not have been as effective if she had not been tossing words around long before that. I like the Babbitt/Bobbit pun, especially because I am going to meet with the man himself in Princeton next week to discuss None But the Lonely Flute. I don't remember what I say from one day to the next, much less week-to-week. If that's not anticlimactic, I don't know what is.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Chicken Leaver

I wrote on a cocktail napkin: "Lior, I think Dan did a very thorough job, but I'd like someone to check the costing. Thanks. Gabriel." I stapled it to Dan's painstakingly accurate price breakdown. It's important to keep a written record with these bastards. One never knows when someone will turn around and say: "I don't remember that." Dan is the old Romanian. I know you were thinking I had written "Romanian" for "Bulgarian", but I don't make mistakes like that, or not very often, and if I do I usually tell you beforehand: "Look, I'm about to do something stupid. Watch me fall." Lior added two dollars to the already outrageous rate of US$144 per person for a half-day Jeep tour, not including lunch. He is a greedy pig. It's a good thing I did check the shit with him because five seconds after I sent the e-mail the second-in-command cunt called me from three desks away: "Why is it 146 dollars? I thought we agreed on 165." "Dan redid the costing." I guess I forgot to mention that I had run it by Lior. Kiss my ass, bitch. Grace Cassis (I would marry her only because of her name.) wrote me back from Jordan a beautifully misspelled letter crying about the "outragious" expense. I went straight back to Lior: "I told you she wasn't going to be happy." Lior said: "What's her number?" As if I know anyone's fucking phone number. He got the number from the sleazy Frenchman and called: "Grace, dear." He laughed as he hung up the phone: "She tried. Give her an itemized billing." I went back to Dan, whose real name is Lawrence, but he entered Palestine clandestinely. He is mincingly polite. He insists on speaking to everyone in his (the other's) mother tongue, Hebrew, French or English, which he speaks about equally well, perhaps French most idiomatically because of its proximity to Romanian. Dan refused outright to do the job: "Daniel wouldn't like it." "Daniel isn't here." We fought about it. At last I said: "Dan, I'm not asking you to do it. I'm just asking for your help." It took me about an hour. I went back to Lior. He redid it in five minutes between ten phone calls. I hate these men, but I respect them. He's only two years older than I am, but he knows a lot more. I put these elaborate lies into a Word table and sent it back to Grace. She wrote me right back: "Gabriel, thanks for the itemized billing, but that wasn't what I wanted..." I went back to Lior. He was sitting in the old man's (his old man's) office: "I feel like telling her that it's the Chinese New Year, so I can't give her an answer until Thursday." It was one o'clock on a half-day holiday: "You have to send her something." "I'll send her an invitation to our Chinese New Year's party."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Re: Chicken Leaver

I @fbied myself to check the time. It took me forty minutes and fifty-two seconds to write that last letter.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Joy
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: so i don't read my mail for a fewdays..

as usual i have read (skimmed?) everything in a big chunk so it's all swimming in my head and i only have the questionably random bits and pieces here:

there was some talk about letters. writing letters. where you go to your mailbox and see the envelope and grab it type letters. the letters that make your heart (pound? race? what's a good nonoverly used word here?) ... and your nerves... maybe i should give a little background..

i would say that this death of letters is nonsense, but i don't actually write them anymore. i did write them. (i'm moving towards confession here). the mailorder diaries, as i sometimes referred to them.. it was the only escape, the only freedom at the time (i can feel part of my brain censoring me even now, before i have really gotten anywhere) although i had no rights, no freedoms, other people read the letters without my permission.

(i'm sorry The Censor has clamped down again there is very little left of what i had to say)


i'm probably too demoralized to write much more, apparently my inner demons are having a resurgence. a renaissance. and i sit here and try not to look at the screen b/c i know that if i had written this on an actual piece of paper i would have torn it to shreds by now.

i thought the HNDS thing was some sort of Hebrew-ic joke, since i have heard from unreliable sources that there are no nouns in Hebrew.

so i've read Dover Beach and some Kafka and some Freud, i haven't heard of most of the others

fuck my mind just went blank

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Open-slather

I know what you're thinking: "How can I write when he will burry me under a mountain of words?" I take your point, but no one writes when I don't, so what choice have I got? I take what I can get. The World is not always so wordy, Goldie. There are long periods of bordom and apathy. Several events, vr and rl, have conspired to make me catch fire recently: your apparition, what I take to be Odelia's flirting, Hillary's pics, my boss's vacation and the Passover holidays. I can write all day today because I don't have to work. I take naps in between letters. You think this doesn't take a lot out of me? The mental stress is unbearable. (By the way, I should have called the last letter: "00:40:52". Forty minutes is about average for an average five-hundred-word, 4k letter.) The puns never stop. Look at Murder's letter. It is bursting with puns and allusions: "core", "analyzed", "reorgasmized", "logged", "reading carefully", "sleep furiously", and I may have overlooked a few because I'm still a slower typist and worse screen reader than most of you. It makes no fucking difference at all whether he was consciously thinking about "Autumn" when he wrote "core". I was when I wrote "conspired", but I've had a lot more practice. Words echo in our brain, whether we know it or not. That is why Freud was the Man, and why his work should always be associated with Saussure's. I appreciate Hillary's OuLiPost. I especially like it when "Sun" Ray Queneau says, quoting Willie Mays who was alliteratively quoting Milton Bobbit: "Fuck the fans." I also like it when he dismisses craftsmanship. And of course we all remember Edgar Varese: "I make my fucking experiments before I make the music." This is where I part ways with my little friends. I write in real time, though perhaps I should qualify that in two ways. (1) I can always go back and correct the last letter in the next. (2) I composed some of this letter in my head while resting on the couch waiting for either the ding or Haendl's Messiah to go off. (You see, I just corrected my earlier misspelling of "Handl" and I won't bother to point out to you the pun on "handkerchief" and "HND'S".) (It has taken me about five minutes to check the spelling of the fucker's name on britannica.com and I still don't know how to spell it. I think there's an umlaut on the -a- and no -e- before the -l, but I'm not sure. Who cares? There's no umlaut in e-mail.) I have already chosen the title of the letter I will write if I ever fuck Odelia, but I can't tell you. It's a secret. Shiiit (and I thank you, Joy, for giving me back that expression, which I had forgotten, just as I had forgotten the expression "man of calibre" until I quoted the Sun-Goddess letter) I've already written the thing in my head a few times. You'll know I just got laid when you read: "The Feast from the East". Oops.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Anticlimate

There is nothing I could say in praise of Nichelle's letter that would not somehow lessen it, so I'll leave it at that, except for one thing that I simply cannot ignore. It is fascinating to me that you don't like my endings. (Sorry about that pun.) They are exactly the way I want them. I try to leave in medias res, preferably with a line of dialogue, though this is not always possible. It leaves the reader still hungry. It prepares both him and me for the next letter.

*** Connected ***
Apartment 7
one-bedroom flat
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "Yo."
page nichelle What's up, sis?
Nichelle pages, "writing some mail to the lsit"
page nichelle That makes me very happy.
Nichelle pages, "I know, that's why I do it."
page nichelle That's very kind of you.
Nichelle pages, "I'm always kind."
page nichelle I need to learn more about that.
Nichelle pages, "about being kind?"
page nichelle Yes.
Nichelle pages, "You were kind to me in many ways."
page nichelle I wish I had been more so. I will try to be very kind to Odelia, if I get the chance.
page nichelle I will do my utmost.
Nichelle pages, "Don't regret anything. It was a wild ride, and it was well worth the price of admission."
page nichelle I've been meaning to ask about that. The asshole in Chicago didn't even have to pay for your ticket?
Nichelle pages, "Well, you know he *did* give me a little more than 6 hours to make my decision."
page nichelle OK, I guess it's fair then. I just stole the money anyway. Besides, one doesn't count in love.
Nichelle pages, "Good, we're all agreed then."
page nichelle I always agree with you.
Nichelle pages, "Good, that's just how I like it."
page nichelle Have you begun work yet?
Nichelle pages, "No, I'm still looking. I'm waiting to hear back about a few things."
page nichelle I'm confused. Things didn't work out at freeinet?
Nichelle pages, "No, at least not yet. They contracted out for some of their customer support, so there is a hiring freeze now."
page nichelle I'm sure something will turn up. I am finally understanding that if one wastes all of one's time fucking with 'puters, it's not impossible to learn a few tricks.
Nichelle pages, "I'm glad you're getting geekier."
page nichelle I can actually help the girls. I helped Sagid make this beautiful English-Hebrew certificate or award or something yesterday morning. I formatted everything for her, downloaded and inserted the graphics. She wrote the Hebrew and added some colors. I was very happy, until fucking Grace wrote to me.
Nichelle pages, "I was listening to some tapes of freei.net customer support. One of the callers said his nephew told him his computer problems had to do with his ports. "I don't know anything about ports- I've lived here all my life.""
You say, "We were both standing at the very-ducking-slow color printer eagerly anticipating our baby, when Lior walked up and said: "It doesn't go any faster if you look at it.""
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "Incoming."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: very-ducking-slow lsit

I wept with joy reading your letter, Murder. Well, I don't know if Joy was weeping with me. I couldn't finish it. I kept having to begin again because I was so afraid of overlooking something. I'm not even sure I understand the Babbitt/Bobbit pun, but I like it anyway. I think it's in one of The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium's two epigraphs where Harry Mathews quotes Frank Kafka: "It is a mistake to think that one disease is better than another, for all is human, all divine." I will never again use the dreaded expression that I won't mention, but I will tell you where I learned it. There's a bar in Brookline (Boston) called Fathers Fore or something like that, or there was in 1984 when I hung out there. One of the hard-core was a medical technician at a local hospital. He was also a drunk and a heroin addict. He taught me that expression. I can see that I'm conflating the two epigraphs. One is from Kafka, who says: "It is a mistake." The other is from Hippocrates or someone who says the bit about divine diseases. "Oh, Bartleby! Oh, humanity!"

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: No More Nouns

Joy seemed surprised that I remembered the word "dnatsunder" which she used to use before the Great Emigration of September 1996, back in the days when we had our own MOO and a few people actually congregated there. Paradoxically I could only participate in spirit and through logs because everyone logged on long after I had to go to sleep in order to wake up at four to go to work. How could I ever forget? What is the point of being alive if one cannot remember? Will John forget his high E, or his ex-future gf's five-spurt blowjobs? The slimey Frenchman asked me when my boss was coming back: "J'sais pas." "Don't you work with him?" "When he's here." I am very absent-minded about everything that isn't important to me. This is one of the things that infuriates women about me. They can babble at me for an hour, and then I'll say: "I beg your pardon. What did you say?" There most certainly are nouns in Hebrew. Those sources are extremely unreliable. What slightly less unreliable sources might say is that there are no (written) vowels. This is also gibberish. Without vowels there would be only click languages and sign languages. Otherwise one needs vocal cords to speak, or else one of those devices that people use who've had a tracheotomy. Most of the vowels are only written in religious texts. Still, there are some letters in the aleph-beth that are clearly vowels, aleph (usually a or e), he (ha or he), vav (o or u or v), yud (i or y or j), ayin (which is thought of as a vowel and transcribed as an apostrophe, but is really a glottal stop [consonant], and scaredycat tells me that only Iraqis and Yemenites know how to pronounce it). What Tim the ex-drunk chef of the Park Plaza told me about food holds true for language: "Everyone's an expert. If some asshole's mom put peppers in meatloaf, then meatloaf is supposed to have peppers." People have strong feelings about "their" language, and consequently say the dumbest possible things about it. As for me, I'm now a neo-drunk, with Joy's approval. She suggested I do something to manifest the change: "I guess I could change brands to celebrate my new status."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Fw: Obtain Admiration From All!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gerald
Date: 26 April 2000
Subject: Obtain Admiration From All!!


Obtain a prosperous future, money earning power, and the admiration of all.

Diplomas from prestigious non-accredited universities based on your present knowledge and life experience.

No required tests, classes, books, or interviews.

Bachelors, masters, MBA, and doctorate (PhD) diplomas available in the field of your choice.

No one is turned down.

Confidentiality assured.

CALL NOW to receive your diploma within days!!!


Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including Sundays and holidays.
---------- Forwarded message ends here ----------

How I wish I had concocted that e-mail for your amusement. Timed a little too perfectly.

Today was asked, "When will you be done?"
And realised that it will never be done; the time will run out and I'll
stop writing. I hate feeling apologetic. Don't really want to claim
responsibility for this thing I'm creating.

Spent five hours today rearranging my web page rather than writing. Not sure I want to claim responsibility for that, either. It's pink. And that's not a butterfly, that's my thesis.

My first real boyfriend's name was Scott, too. His parents named him Adrian when he was born, but he was teased a lot as a child, so legally changed his name to Scott when he was 14. I think I would have picked something more interesting. And really, how many negative slurs are there for the name Adrian? Well, he was fat, too. He changed his name and lost weight at the same time, so maybe losing two syllables of name was unduly symbolic. Of course people teased him when he was thin and named Scott. The eternally persecuted. Even my mother said he was pathetic and had no sense of humour. We both had braces. It was a fiercely adolescent relationship.

The boyfriend before Scott was named Doug. I only kissed him once; it was dry and shaky. He waited with me for the bus even though his house was only a block from the school. Then right before I got on--and after that I stopped speaking to him. We had just been voted prince and princess of the Snow Ball, so we were obligated to remain a couple for the month of December even though we weren't talking. The night after he kissed me I had a dream about my friend Amy. She had pale skin and deep dimples. In the dream I was a boy; pressed her against the wall and kissed her. In another dream the same night Amy and I were rolled up together in a sleeping bag. My princess dress was blue velvet. The sleeves were so tight that I couldn't raise my arms to slow dance. Doug had a dimple in his chin that wasn't really a dimple; it was a scar where a tooth had gone through his lip. That had been my first kiss by the bus stop. His shirt was silk and matched my dress; you could see the stains under his arms. Everyone was there. We held hands. Amy and Meagan were best friends. After he dated Kristen the Lesbian Basketball Star, Doug dated Meagan. Now they're married and have a baby, although wedding and conception did not necessarily occur in that order.

Last night my mother was catching me up on the various births and marriages infecting my home town.

The time allotted for this letter has run out, so it is finished.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: The Pros

Please notice how the professionals talk:

The difference is that I can sense what is good and bad in music, but cannot always do so in literature.

He is not making some kind of specious moral distinction. This is how he earns his living. It's not a hobby-horse. This is what pays the rent. I can't remember if Murder ever logged on to RLMOO, but if he had, he would instantly have understood the words: "This is not a toy. This is not a game." Please indulge me another quotation from my favorite person:

As for the mystery of Odelia (after Murder's speculations)- she's his fuel, something to write about. One can only write for so long about whiskey and cigarettes and starvation and rage. Gabriel did that already in Babel. He needs some sort of context for his literary allusions, illusions, and delusions.

She forgets to say: "IMHO". There is no reason to be 'umble, and this is not an opinion. For some of us, Nichelle, Murder, Joy, I would even include negatron, even though he hasn't written since 1997, when he met us and wrote: "sagreiss is a very ugly man," esthetics are not a luxury. We don't know how to do anything else. Hillary has just written a very beautiful letter. Please read it carefully.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Fighting on the job

I got burried at work today. When 20 people come to my desk because they don't know how to write a three-line title page, send an attachment or reply to the original sender of a forwarded message, I don't get anything done. (Consequence is that I have to go in tomorrow morning so you won't have the pleasure of reading four messages that I wrote before noon.) And the phone was ringing, assholes calling me when they could have written e-mail, or even to ask me the same question that they had just e-mailed and that I hadn't had time to read. One bastard called from Germany crying about money and asking questions that I simply didn't know the answer to. I was thinking: "If you are crying about money and want a swift answer, then why are you wasting your money and my time?" I was rude. I said: "Sir, I'm not going to be able to answer your questions on the phone. I don't know the answers. I'll send you e-mail later today." Even then the bastard wasn't happy: "What time?" The day began well, or kind of. The slimey Frenchman sat down with me on the terrasse, where we could smoke, and went over the whole dossier from Wednesday, explaining all the mistakes that had been made. I didn't even turn on my 'puter until ten. There was pissed-off e-mail from Grace demanding answers and from Lior asking what the fuck was going on with this belegan? I forwarded Grace's letter to Dan and the slimey Frenchman, writing at the top: "What should I tell her? Should I wait or bluff a price? Please help me." The slimey Frenchman called a conseil de guerre. It was exciting. We were fighting about money and these people take money very seriously. I take fighting very seriously. Anger was breaking out in French, in English and in Hebrew. Mistakes had been made, but we were working on fixing them. I wasted the whole morning on it, but I think we solved the problem. Then Sagit dumped this disaster of a Perach Conference brochure on me. Everything is wrong about it, the dates, what is included in the packages, important stuff, if one thinks that money is important. The formatting is a disaster, Hebrew document, English text. I am managing to convince Sagit and Nurit that if you work dumb, your 'puter will be your enemy, but if you work smart, your 'puter will be your friend. Don't use the tool bar buttons, use the shortcuts or the menus and make your own choices. Don't type underline, use the tab leader. Work in inches, that's how Word works. Above all prefer to view the fucking non-printing characters. I have proven another of my great theories. The girls were asking me about English punctuation: "I don't know enough Hebrew to say, but I think that Hebrew doesn't have much punctuation because when Hebrew speakers write English or French they put as add as much punctuation as they possibly can. I cut about half of the punctuation out of Zvi and Daniel's letters. I leave some to make them happy. Don't use brackets, single or double quotation marks, dashes or upper case letters, except for names. Err on the side of restaint." "Were you ever an English teacher?"

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Can I send this tomorrow?

From: SAGReiss
Subject: Stress


I got burried yesterday.

I worked all day on other people's projects, two big ones and many small ones. Twenty things that take five minutes take up a lot of time.

I did nothing about the twenty Solids and Rose files I needed to do. I have to come in tomorrow because, if I don't, there will be forty Solids and Rose files on Sunday. I worked too hard to get caught up. I don't want to fall behind again. It needs to be taken care of every day. No one will do it for me, and I alone will be held responsible if there is a problem.

I understand that Sagit and Nurit need a lot of help. I am very happy to help them, especially because they seem to understand that a computer is your friend only if you work with it, not against it. Maryanne and Yael did not always seem to understand that, though I remember their good qualities, dedication, organization etc., and I don't want to badmouth them in their absence.

I also understand that Zvi and Edi and Chasia don't know how to use a computer, and probably won't learn soon.

I do think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word documents for people who do know how to use a computer.

I understand that there is a problem with my overtime. I like working on a conference or two. I like working on incentives. I like working on publishing. But something has to give. I am feeling a little stress.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best Regards.


From: Hillary
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Re: Can I send this tomorrow?

On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>I got burried yesterday.


>I worked all day on other people's projects, two big ones and many small
>ones. Twenty things that take five minutes take up a lot of time.

To be exactly, they take up 100 minutes. One hour and 40 minutes.

>I understand that Sagit and Nurit need a lot of help. I am very happy to
>help them, especially because they seem to understand that a computer is
>your friend only if you work with it, not against it. Maryanne and Yael did
>not always seem to understand that, though I remember their good qualities,
>dedication, organization etc., and I don't want to badmouth them in their

If you don't want to badmouth them, why did you mention them?

>I do think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word
> documents for people who do know how to use a computer.

Passive voice.

>I understand that there is a problem with my overtime. I like working on a
>conference or two. I like working on incentives. I like working on
>publishing. But something has to give. I am feeling a little stress.

A lot of stress, a little stressed.

Blah blah. Don't forward this to the list. It's not a letter.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Thanks

I had already decided not to send it when I sent it to the list. I'm not purloining your letter. I'm sending mine to the list. Hope you dnatsunder.

>From: Hillary
>Date: 27 April 2000
>Subject: Re: Can I send this tomorrow?
>On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>>I got burried yesterday.
>Buried. [Point taken]
>>I worked all day on other people's projects, two big ones and many small
>>ones. Twenty things that take five minutes take up a lot of time.
>To be exactly, they take up 100 minutes. One hour and 40 minutes. [True, but unnecessary, and ungrammatical]
>>I understand that Sagit and Nurit need a lot of help. I am very happy to
>>help them, especially because they seem to understand that a computer is
>>your friend only if you work with it, not against it. Maryanne and Yael did
>>not always seem to understand that, though I remember their good qualities,
>>dedication, organization etc., and I don't want to badmouth them in their
>If you don't want to badmouth them, why did you mention them? [Point taken]
>>I do think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word
>>documents for people who do know how to use a computer.
>Passive voice. [There is no passive voice here.]
>>I understand that there is a problem with my overtime. I like working on a
>>conference or two. I like working on incentives. I like working on
>>publishing. But something has to give. I am feeling a little stress.
>A lot of stress, a little stressed. [Simple partitive. Nothing wrong here.]
>Blah blah. Don't forward this to the list. It's not a letter.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Re: Thanks

On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>I had already decided not to send it when I sent it to the list. I'm not
>purloining your letter. I'm sending mine to the list. Hope you dnatsunder.


>>To be exactly, they take up 100 minutes. One hour and 40 minutes. [True,
> but unnecessary, and ungrammatical]

One hour and 40 minutes is not a lot of time.

>>>I do think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word
>>> documents for people who do know how to use a computer.
>>Passive voice. [There is no passive voice here.]

"I think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word documents for people who know how to use a computer."

>>>I understand that there is a problem with my overtime. I like working on a
>>>conference or two. I like working on incentives. I like working on
>>>publishing. But something has to give. I am feeling a little stress.
>>A lot of stress, a little stressed. [Simple partitive. Nothing wrong here.]

It just seemed like you were feeling more than a little stress.

>>Blah blah. Don't forward this to the list. It's not a letter.

[Point not taken.]


From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Thanks Again

At 16:20 27.04.00 -0400, you wrote:
>On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>>I had already decided not to send it when I sent it to the list. I'm not
>>purloining your letter. I'm sending mine to the list. Hope you dnatsunder.
>No. [I have kept your URL private because I promised you I would. Otherwise I assume I can do as I like with what people send me.]
>>To be exactly, they take up 100 minutes. One hour and 40 minutes. [True,
>> but unnecessary, and ungrammatical]
>One hour and 40 minutes is not a lot of time. [On a good day I can write fifteen hundred words in that time without breaking a sweat. It is a lot of time.]
>>>>I do think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word
>>>>documents for people who do know how to use a computer.
>>>Passive voice. [There is no passive voice here.]
>"I think that I shouldn't have to write e-mail and very simple Word
>documents for people who know how to use a computer."
[I regret. This is not the passive voice. The auxiliary verb "do" in my sentence is emphatic. It means here that the speaker is gainsaying an implied argument, also called "prosopopeia". An example of the passive voice is: "Mistakes were made."]

>>>>I understand that there is a problem with my overtime. I like working
>>>>on aconference or two. I like working on incentives. I like working on
>>>>publishing. But something has to give. I am feeling a little stress.
>>>A lot of stress, a little stressed. [Simple partitive. Nothing wrong here.]
>It just seemed like you were feeling more than a little stress. [That is what's called "verbal irony" or more precisely "litote".]
>> >Blah blah. Don't forward this to the list. It's not a letter.
>[Point not taken.] [Touche]

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: No thanks

On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss wrote:
>>It just seemed like you were feeling more than a little stress. [That is
>what's called "verbal irony" or more precisely "litote".]

I'm not sure irony is appreciated in the workplace.

Silly me, assuming that you wouldn't share my writing with other people simply because I asked you not to!


From: Nichelle
Date: 27 April 2000
Subject: Re: No thanks

>Silly me, assuming that you wouldn't share my writing with other people
>simply because I asked you not to!

Gaby has never understood that it is polite to *ask* before forwarding logs or personal e-mail to others. Since he has told me he is interested in learning to be nicer, this might be a good place to start. I seriously doubt it will happen, though, because of the possibility that someone will say no when he asks.

I have learned to treat everything I say or send to him as something that may be sent to the list, just as when we lived together I knew that everything from our fights to our meals to our sex lives would be posted to the World.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: Pussyfight

negatron taught me an important lesson: "the spivak gender is very useful. it tells you who to ignore." I feel the same way about "Mothers who Think," which is what we call an oxymoron. It's just a clever way the editors of salon have of telling me which articles not to read. I made an exception this morning, two exceptions, if you're counting. I have never played a video or computer game. I haven't got time for games. I've heard of Quake because Todd mentioned it once on mouthorgan. And I won't mimic that dumb bitch and say: "I don't play video games, but this one is really good." They are all shit. I should know, having never seen one. I have played pinball, which is relic so ancient that some of you probably only recognize the word because of the Who. I did enjoy the articles though, so much mindless gibberish about "grrlpower" and "self-esteem". Shut the fuck up and do your job. These professor types must laugh all the way to the bank, while I have to go to work soon on my day off, the only day I have time to go to the market. (It's closed on Saturday.) I have to go in at eight because at ten the old man will be in because I refused to send the Perach text unless someone checked it. If I can go in on Friday, he can too. I do not want Sagit, not to mention me, to get raped by the conference orgasmizer because of a mistake of mine and a lack of oversight: "You take the money, motherfucker, you can take the responsibility." I need at least two hours to catch up on my work before I begin to do hers. The woman at work who refuses to type a three-line cover page gave me a paper Time magazine. She surfs the web all day at work, yet has no idea that one can read Time online. I told her about Project Gutenberg. She said it must be a pay site. All these people think about is money. Anyway there are two fairly thoughtful articles at the end about saving the environment. When I read shit like that I always think: "This is just wretched mankind trying to save its collective ass." And don't give me this shit about saving animals. Once one recognzes that there is no particular reason for saving mankind, one has to admit that there is no particular reason for saving other species.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: paperthin

Origami is a good reason to save mankind.


From: Murder
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: Sick

On the train home from Princeton last night I started to feel like shit. This body hasn't hosted a flu virus this fierce since 1996. I walked in the door to my apartment, collapsed on the couch, and burried myself in blankets. Everything smells and tastes the color of sick. The most I could do today was read a couple Shakes sonnets and most of the e-mail from the early days of the World. I took immense joy in reading the beautiful letters written before I was included in this list, including  Nichelle's reasons for leaving school to join Gabe in Syracuse. Anyone can get a degree, just call our hotline. I don't dnatsunder why this is surprising, since "earning" a degree merely requires a lot of hoop-jumping. I am preparing for three more years of exactly that. Earning a doctorate from Juilliard will be no more or less difficult than from other schools; the difficult part is getting in. Once you're in, they kiss your ass. Tomorrow I have a rehearsal with the Long Island Opera at 1:30 on 81st and Riverside Drive. I have no idea why the Long Island Opera rehearses in Manhattan. If I hadn't gone to Princeton yesterday, I wouldn't have had to worry about any high E's I might have to play tomorrow. Some critics of Babbitt's music have implied that Babbitt cut off the metaphorical penis of the conservative "concertgoing elite" by writing dense and complex scores merely to expose the ignorance and impotence of the general audience. That may be a bit of a stretch, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read "Milton Bobbit".


From: Murder
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: Re: sick

I realized in my feverish haste that I should have titled that last letter "Divine Diseases". Don't know how that escaped my attention.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: Mercury & Venus

Mercury: "I send everything to the list. You've been here a year. You know that. How many "asides" have I forwarded in recent days? We discussed it specifically in the case of laurent's letter. Besides, how can you expect to tell me what I can and can't do with a text you've given me? No one is master of the text. It was a funny little sparring match between a tired man trying to loosen up after a hard eleven-hour day at work and a young lady trying to shake the moral authority of a father figure."

Venus: "I asked you not to send it."

Prosopopeia: straw men indeed.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 28 April 2000
Subject: Reader Participation

It took me a while, even after John's explanation. I had searched John Updike on the web, trying to find out who Bobbit is and how his name dropped out of my unconscious and into Murder's consience. I thought it might be a narrator I might have seen a reference to recently on Salon. I never made the connection (Funny, Murder spelled that the British way, with an -x-.) to the Hellfire from Venezuela. The funny thing is that I remember quite clearly reading the newspaper with Andre at lunch one afternoon and sharing a laugh over that one. I also remember making a reference to the story, but I can't remember the text very clearly and couldn't find it searching Eudora. It may have been in Babel, of which I've only got a paper copy in the States, if it hasn't been lost. I did however find this:

The Classic Middle Name: Conan Wyne Hale, 20, a triple-homicide suspect who allegedly confessed to a priest in Portland, Org, has been fighting for 3 months now to have the confession ruled inadmissible in court on freedom of religion grounds. And escaped murderer Michael Wayne Thompson was recaptured in July near Farmersburg, Ind. And a few days later, Danny Wayne Owens, 38, was arrested in Birmingham Alab, for allegedly murdering a neighbor. (Among other prominent middle-name Waynes: serial killers John Wayne Gacy of Ill. and Elmer Wayne Henley of Tx; recently executed Ariz. murderer Jimmy Wayne Jeffers; sadistic LA murderer Robert Wayne Sawyer; the Ohio Aryan Nations member caught last year with freeze-dried bubonic plague bacteria, Larry Wayne Harris; the Oklahoma rapist recently sentenced to 21,000 yrs in prison, Allan Wayne McLaurin; and of course Joh Wayne Bobbitt.)

That is from one of Joy's "News of the Weird" letters. Anyway that is proof enough that at least once that name appeared on this list, went into my brain, slept, met up with Milt three and a half years later, and popped back out. I was explaining to Sagit about proof during this day's horrible waste of time. She had thrown out a few pieces of damaging evidence that I had to retrieve from her trash. "Please don't ever throw anything out. Those pages are proof that the conference ogranizer is an asshole, and the fax I sent is proof that I told Zvi we couldn't send that text. We would have been fucked if we had sent it. But Lior might turn around and scream: 'Why wasn't the text sent? I promised him.' This way we can just say: 'Talk to Zvi.' When I said to Zvi that I was worried about Solids getting backed up, and he answered that I shouldn't worry because it's a month away, it isn't in writing, but you heard it. You are my star witness. Protect your ass." She's getting used to my foul language and evil ways. I've even got her 'puter set to inches and 8x11.5 paper, though we use A4. This way the tabs and margins all line up, so she can set the tabs to 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 of 6". It's not my fault if bgates thinks that localizing means converting intelligent inch measurements into dumb centimeter ones. I guess it would have cost too much money to actually rewrite the defaults. Speaking of weird math problems, Mrs. Moshe asked me how much my cigarettes cost per pack. I said "Sheysh". She took out a calculator to figure out the cost of a carton. She couldn't get the calculator to work properly. She hit + instead of x and got 16. I didn't know how to say 60, so I took the calculator from her hands and typed: "6x10="

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Murder
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Faulty Parts

"There sure are a lot of problems with these parts." So said Herr Direktor (the one and the same) to the composer sitting across the pit. No shit. The score and parts were chock-full of mistakes, tiny enough to be huge. If the composer, a W.A. Young, had taken his score as seriously as Gabe, Nichelle, and Hillary take their letters, we might have finished on time. Shiiit, on this list every little typo is analyzed, scrutinized, and whatever else one wants to call it. But the main difference is that, as invididuals, the members of this list take a moment, or two, or ten, to mentally reorgasmize the content. In a musical rehearsal, one accidental mistake, one misplaced dot can waste the collective's two minutes. We don't give a fuck about unburrying some latent, Freudian meaning in the (mis)print. We just want everything to line-up-so-Herr-Direktor-will- quit-yelling-and-we-can-collect-our-pay-checks-and-go-home. This account has a primitive 'talk' feature which functions as a kind of chatroom for eden users. Actually, I don't think more than two people can 'talk' at once. My RL friend James (Jake, whatever) paged me, and we discussed his next compositional project, which involves "going beyond the New Complexity movement, as pioneered by Ferneyhough." Jake's idea is to set Rene Char's "Quatre Fascinantes" for string quartet, assigning a different rhythmic motif to each letter of the alphabet. Each letter is nested inside another rhythm that denotes word length. The rest of the explanation was lost on me, but he did include some websites, apparently containing statistics on how many of each letter are contained in various works of English (not French, but he's looking for those sites) literature. I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, because this fucking 381 laptop is slow as Molasses. Gabe, I just got your letter. I find that jerking off when I really have to pee is downright painful, and the discomfort lasts for hours afterward. But for some reason, intercourse with a woman in the morning before I hit the john doesn't seem to create the same problem. That last sentence reminds me of something a  bureaucratic Dr. Ruth might spout, or spurt.


From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: virtualgirlz

I was joking with Goldie last night about how tired I was and how I was going to be lousy in bed. She asked with whom. I said: "You mean aside from myself?" We talked a little more, then I said: "I'm going to go to bed and tell myself: 'Not tonight, I have a headache.'" After writing "Bad Microsoft" I had to piss, so I decided to watch a porno film on the above site. (I shudder at the bureaucratic English.) I like to masterbate when I have to piss. It increases the tension in the whole genital region. The urethra, or whatever it's called, gets confused about what it's supposed to be doing. It was an interesting film. The man was wearing a condom, which they seldom do in porn. I was wondering: "How are they going to orgasmize the moneyshot, if they don't just skip it?" which they also seldom do in porn. I wanted to watch the end, but I was about to come, so I stopped jerking off. Sometimes I can do this at just the right moment so that my prostate and urethra contract, but the sperm doesn't shoot. That's like a free orgasm because I stay hard, wait thirty seconds or a minute, and can continue. This was one of those lucky days. Anyway, when the download was past 90% I thought: "There's no way they'll have a moneyshot. There's no time for him to get that thing off and shoot." But at 93%, in one deft move, he pulled out, slipped the condom off and came on her tits while I came in a handkechief.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Murder
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Re: virtualgirlz

> But at 93%, in one deft move,
> he pulled out, slipped the condom off and came on her tits while I came in a
> handkechief.

You mean a "HNDke(r)chief"?


From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Al Boco del lovo

When I went in yesterday the slimey Frenchman asked: "Are you working on the Groupo Bracco?" "Angela?" "She's not happy. Look at this fax." He shows me this thing in broken English. "Dan's making jokes now?" "I didn't understand that." "It means 'dans la gueule du loup'." It seems there was a little fifteen-thousand-dollar mistake in her invoice, which she didn't notice, and so she overpaid: "No problem, I'll write her e-mail saying that we'll credit it to her next group." Albert laughed. There was a copy of the invoice attached. It said: "Issued by Daniel Tieder," and was signed by him. I mean his real signature. "It's not my document. It must be Dan's. Daniel signed it." "So Daniel wrote it." "Not necessarily. I'm not sure how they work. I sometimes write invoices, sign them for him and send them. But I don't think Dan would do that. Daniel must have at least checked it." Angela was pissed, something about an immediate refund "if you ever want to see me in Israel". Albert, whose real name is Abner, said: "For fifteen thousand dollars, I can live with not seeing her in Israel." I talked with Hillary a little last night on the MOO. I am no longer sexually harassing her, though I think I'm allowed some idle flirtation from time to time. I do not automatically lose all of my rights just because I'm a dead white male. I disappointed her by having read Wittgenstein and by mentioning a textual problem in the sentence: "What can not be said clearly must be silenced," which appears in the introduction and is repeated slightly altered in the body of the text. I can't help it if I remember all the shit I read fifteen years ago. I don't read anymore. Quote shit that was written in the 1990s and I'll think you're referring to TV.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Bad Microsoft

"Gabriel, can you help me?" For a plain-looking girl, Sagit has a lot of confidence in her feminine charms. I rose and walked to her desk. "How do I get rid of the what do you call them?" "Single quotation marks or inverted commas. It's a stupid Microsoft trick." She was trying to send BCC bulk mail, and for some reason it bounced. I approve. The other bitches would have asked me to send personalized letters saying exactly the same thing to a hundred Dr. Jekylls and Prof. Hydes. "Hit Ctrl-A and Ctrl-X, then create an English Word document. Now hit Ctrl-V and Ctrl-S. OK, now hit Ctrl-H and replace the apostrophe, that thing, with nothing. Now do it again and replace the @ with itself. This tells us that there are forty-six @s. Now go to tools and run a word count. Forty-five, so either there is an address with two @s or there is no space between two addresses. Let's find the mistake. OK, now hit Ctrl-H again and replace the semi-colon, that thing, with itself. Forty-five, which is good because you didn't put one at the end. Now hit Ctrl-S and Ctrl-A and Ctrl-C. Open the e-mail, go to BCC and hit Ctrl-V. Now hit Ctrl-Enter to send."

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Kicking Ass

page nichelle Murder is kicking ass.
Your message has been sent to Nichelle. Nichelle seems to be daydreaming,  though.
You sense that Nichelle is looking for you in basement room .
She pages, "I know."

John, tell your friend to stop looking. There are no such sites in French. Trust me, I know these things. You can, however, tell him that you invented a way for him to do it himself. Look in "Bad Microsoft". Replacing a letter by itself will give you a letter count. That's how I discovered the beauty of Ctrl-H. I counted the usage of eleven letters (the nine accented vowels, c cedille, and three cases in which e was used where an accent is prescribed) a collective 4,555 times in J'suis pas plus con qu'un autre. In doing so, and in looking at a number of other factors, both textual and metatextual, I proved that Miller wrote it on an QWERTY, and not on an AZERTY, typer. That must be really fascinating to you. Two minutes of a hundred people's time is three and a third hours. I could write three thousand words in that much time. This letter is brought to you by the number three. I've been writing 3k letters today.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: Hillary
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: huevos y sesos

I love cooking, but it must stir something primeval in me, because when I cook I become fiercely territorial. I have tried collaborative cooking with the people I love, but it never goes smoothly. You may grate the cheese--over THERE. You may mince the garlic. But don't touch the fucking pan. Do not administer the olive oil. And do not stand in front of the sink. When I cook, it's my space. Stay out or I'll bite you.

Sodomy chicken sounds straight out of Betty Crocker. You know Betty has a recipe for eggs and brains? Scrambled, the way I like 'em. Actually I'm a vegetarian, so I'm not very good at cooking meat. My parents are vegetarian, too, more strict than I am because occasionally I crumble and eat chicken or pate. I'm a very naughty vegetarian. When I was twenty, I ate a filet mignon. It was good, but I don't care whether or not I ever have another one. Seafood, though, I couldn't do without. A couple of weeks ago I made stuffed tomatoes with rice, onions, clams, artichoke hearts, goat cheese, etc. They disintegrated into slime in the oven. I was pre-menstrual and heartbroken, cried for two hours when Tal couldn't finish even one. I'm much more sensitive to criticism of food I make than criticism of other personal creations.

Once, when I was living with Michael, he asked me to make tuna noodle casserole from his sister's recipe. So I did. It called for cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, but I guess I was feeling inventive, because I mixed half the cheese into the casser "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" "Um, putting cheese in the casserole." "That's not part of the recipe!" "It'll taste the same." "It's not the recipe; I wanted it from the recipe." He was going to throw it away. Food makes people insane. Scrambles their brains, I guess. That was when I realised that I could never be Michael's life-partner. I'm not good at sticking to recipes, especially recipes I can improve upon.

Patterns, either. When I sew, I inevitably compromise. The dress doesn't look so good inside-out, but when I'm wearing it, nobody knows that I used (ahem) hot glue to hem it because I was too lazy to hand stitch it properly. Same with my now finished [?] thesis. Perhaps slapdash construction, perhaps corner-cutting. Looks presentable from the outside. The conclusion is only a little scrambled. Don't complain or I'll bite you.


From: Nichelle
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Re: huevos y sesos

At 02:26 PM 4/29/00 -0400, hillary wrote:
>Sodomy chicken sounds straight out of Betty Crocker.

Oh, yeah. Straight out of the Betty Crocker "Hot Gay Teen Porno Casserole" Cookbook.

Sodomy Chicken
Sperm and Eggs (Ask Gaby for the recipe.)
Tasty Tuna Cunnilingus Pie
Buttfuck Biscuit Bake

Yup. Just like Betty used to make.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 April 2000
Subject: Sodomy Chicken

We always joked that it was the sodomy chicken that got Nichelle pregnant, since that was the first meal she threw up. Since I don't think anyone on the list can cook, here is the recipe (For the stuffing dice bread or cook rice and add some combination of onions, celery, mushrooms, walnuts, sage, bay leaves or other herbs and spices. Serve the grilled liver on toast as an appetizer. Boil the naughty bits, neck, gizzard, heart, with the dead carcass to make a stock, which can be used to make soup, risotto or polenta.):

Nichelle pages, "You awake?"
page nichelle I'm always awake when you call.
Nichelle pages, "Can you tell me how you do the whole chicken? I want to make one but I never do it right."
page nichelle Wash it, taking out the naughty bits if there are any. Put it in a roasting pan. Slather it in olive oil. Sprinkle on pepper and paprika. Stuff it up the butt with whatever you like.
Nichelle pages, "Like my green dildo?"
page nichelle I'm not sure that green would be exactly right esthetically.
Nichelle pages, "what about cooking temperature?"
Nichelle pages, "and cooking time? I recall that the juices bubble in some important way."
page nichelle Pre-heat to 450. Put the beast in the oven and reduce to 350. Cook for about twenty minutes per pound.
Nichelle pages, "Cool. I'm cooking again, now that I have a kitchen I can fuck with."
page nichelle Oh, yes. The bubbling juices. It's done when the juices bubble up inside the skin of the legs.
Nichelle pages, "I was thinking maybe beets with it, with sage stuffing, celery, onion, maybe some roasted potatoes"
page nichelle Sounds good, except that, as you know, I frown upon serving stuffing and potatoes. Do what you think is best.
Nichelle pages, "I know. I mentioned the potatoes to get a rise out of you."
page nichelle You always get a rise out of me.
Nichelle pages, "But I'm fond of carrots and beets together... they look nice."
page nichelle I was going to suggest carrots, always good with chicken and celery.
Nichelle pages, "Thanks."

You may have noticed that my logs of late always seem to begin with a page to me. I haven't been paging the girls. I've taken a little too much shit on the list of late, and I think: "I'm mail-bombing these people every day. They may have had enough of my words." I'm not avoiding you. Please feel free to page.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: 30 April 2000
Subject: Green Eggs & Spam

I have never used bcrocker much. I use Rombauer and epicurious. The cooking procedure for the sodomy chicken is straight out of her. The olive oil is from Andre. We used to cook two cornish hens (poussins) for ourselves in the pizza oven at midnight, if it was slow. In an oven that hot, it took about a quarter of an hour. The stuffing is traditional. Romabauer is more adventuresome about stuffing, suggesting such ideas as chestnuts, sausage and oysters. Oysters are meant to be eaten raw, or lightly cooked because Nichelle would never eat them raw. What they would look like after two hours up a chicken's butt in an oven, well probably something like your clams. They loved us at the Match near the Farfalla. One day Andre asked the fischmeisterin for a kilo of mussels not too fresh. I once asked to buy three of her stupid little paper hats. She actually called a manager and got a price. Nichelle is extremely picky about texture. Certain textures, eggplant comes to mind, revolt her. It's best not to have pre-menstral stress or low self-esteem if one cooks for Nichelle. Only a very patient masterchef could understand how she likes eggs. She once ran to the bathroom and puked just looking at the sunnyside-up eggs I had made for myself. I always had to make two different kinds of eggs, unless we had an omlette. That was the only thing ovular I could cook to her liking, a paperthin yellow sphere, garnished with mushrooms or broccoli, folded carefully in half and cut in quarters. You'll have to ask Nichelle's mother how to make fried eggs for her. I never learned. Something about the yoke can't be touching the white, which has always seemed to me contrary to the very nature of an egg. I don't think I ever made sperm 'n' eggs for her, but it's eggs and sorrel baked in cream. I don't think your huevos y sesos would go over well. I am not a big meat eater (or cooker) either, though I have eaten calf's brains and thyroid gland (sweetbreads) and bull's balls, well I guess maybe he was an ox after that.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

From: SAGReiss
Date: (This message has not been sent.)
Subject: vr

I can remember the instant I made the decision to give away the World. I was walking to work at seven o’clock on the morning of Easter Sunday, 23 April 2000, four years, two months and one day after I had written: “Welcome to the World According to Gabe...” I was thinking about one of the previous day’s e-mail messages, in which I referred to a web site where I had seen the following phrase: “the social and cultural climate into which Eliot flung ‘The Wasteland’ in 1922.” Suddenly my mind emptied, I shuddered, and I understood what I must do. Three days later I wrote to a polyglot web host. She answered: “Ok si je comrpend bien ce sont des textes dit plutot chauds , quel est l'objectif de votre site” I wrote back: “Ce sont, effectivement, des textes un peu chauds, d'ou ma question et les precautions oratoires. Le but du site est simple: faire lire ces textes.” Two days after that I began this letter in Word. No one, with the possible exception of Nichelle, could ever have guessed that I would do something so murderous and suicidal, so selfless and misanthropic, as to take freedom of speech to its ruthlessly efficient, remorselessly logical end. She alone among you has witnessed irl the burning wrath that threatens to consume me like Medea’s robe. I have dropped a lot of hints. I have left behind a lot of clues. I have also bit my tongue and my fingertips. I have lied to my friends, though I loathe lying to a stranger, or even to an enemy. Some of you may admire the bold hand in which I hold a dagger to slash my wrists and your throat. Some of you may hate me forever and never forgive me. If I have shamed and betrayed you, if I have led you off the white cliffs of Dover, please remember that I jumped first. It’s a case of the blind leading the deaf, Gloucester meets Beethoven. Sometimes a man has to say: “Di,” which means “Enough,” in Hebrew. Today I am Samson agonistes, eyeless in Gaza, tearing the walls of the Philistine Temple of Dagon down on our heads. Move out the way, motherfuckers. Shalom.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

March 2000

vr: 2000

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