When Zander and Steve sat down to discuss what this week’s scene notebook should be about, they tossed ideas around for a good two hours.
In the end, Zander turned to Steve. He grabbed Steve by the hand. He looked him in the eye and said, “Steve, I don’t think I can convey in words how little I want to write a viewpoint on anything, so instead, why don’t I just tell a story. A little story about me.” This is his story:
“This one time, I was in Argentina, and I met this girl who was basically into my thang, so we hung out a couple of times, and it became abundantly clear that she was in it for the money. This is ironic of course because I have NO money. But ‘El Dolar’ as they say in Argentina, is ‘todopoderoso’ (which means almighty, and incidentally is also the what they call the summer film event ‘Bruce Almighty’) and so she was dazed by my flash of greenbacks. Turns out, that’s not so cool. This is what ends up happening when an annoying Argentine who gets less and less attractive every time you see her tries to milk you for all you are worth:
“She takes you to ‘the coolest club in Buenos Aires’ and makes you pay for her to get in. You bite the bullet — whatever. Then she decides that you are going to go to another ‘really cool club,’ and you explain to her that you don’t have any money. She doesn’t listen. You get to the other cool club, which basically looks the same as the first cool club: dudes with mullets and girls with — well girls with a penchant for ‘El Dolar.’ She asks you to buy her drinks for the tenth time ( ‘un drrreeenk’ said with that see-I-can-speak-English-take-me-back-to-your-homeland smile that still makes me want to vomit when I think of it.) You tell her that she can get her own drink for the ninth time. She finally figures out that you are royally pissed at her and starts making out with you. You are weak, and don’t object. Then at eight in the morning, you leave the club, and she asks people on the street where the after party is. The word for after party is actually just, ‘el after.’ After party? Who is this girl? To her big surprise, now that the sun has been up for two hours, everyone wants to go to bed, and there’s no after party. But she says that it’s OK, you can just have a two person after party at her apartment. Maybe the night wasn’t so bad after all.
“Oh wait. It was. You get to her apartment, you begin kissing on her bed, but when you touch her knee — that’s right, how risque — she starts screaming, ‘Stop! STOP!’ You pull back. She says in Spanish something like: You can’t do that in Argentina. WHAT? Touch the knee of the most awful human being you have ever met in your life?
“But wait. It gets better. She gets up and decides to cook. You tell her you don’t want to cook. She goes into the kitchen and opens her freezer, from which she extracts a WHOLE CHICKEN. You remember: Borges was from Argentina. You stare at the chicken, and instantly his work loses all originality. Then she starts making soup and asks you if you want some. You tell her no. She makes you soup. You lumber off into the room and curl up on the wood floor, waiting for her to fall asleep or die, so you can leave. The floor is very cold and very hard. You are using your coat as a blanket, which was trampled at the ‘coolest club in Buenos Aires’ because genius girl throws her coats in piles on the floors so she doesn’t have to pay for a coat check. Who are you to go against customs? Never has the smell of a cooking chicken been so traumatizing.
“But I digress. New twist. You happen to be a masochist, and so you decide to see her again. You are both really drunk, and this time, she comes back to your room, because ‘she has work the next day and you live closer.’ You sexile your roommate, then you start making out. But upon touching the other risque part of the female body, the shoulder, she begins to scream ‘STOP. STOP.’ You don’t utter a word. You get out of bed and don’t put your clothes back on because they are STILL ON, and then find a spot in the room next door with your roommate, leaving her to sleep alone on your bed.
“When the sun comes up the next day, you just wait until it is well after the time she is supposed to leave for work. When you return to your room, she is still there. You tell her to get up, and when she doesn’t respond, you smile for a brief moment entertaining the idea that maybe she actually is dead, then go find your roommate to help get her out of bed. When you return to the room yet again, she is sitting on the floor in front of a space heater with the sheets off the bed to reveal a gigantic urine stain. Let me repeat myself. A stain of urine the size of a giant squid is spread across the bed that you sleep in every night. Water, and by water I mean the now-cold piss of the stupid girl sitting in front of you, is dripping through the mattress to the floor, where it is aggregating in a small puddle.
“You wait for her to leave, which takes an excruciating amount of time. You are laying on the twin bed that’s also in the room, head to toe with your roommate. Bitchita is trying to explain that it’s too bad that you will probably never want to see her again, and that maybe you will look back at this and find it funny. You are silent. She won’t shut up. Finally she leaves and you can start your day. There is a lot of cleaning to do. You drag the mattress out into the sidewalk of Buenos Aires and hose it down. People walk by you and laugh when they hear you speaking English. You never wave another dollar at a club for the rest of your life.”
It was quite a story. A story Steve knew had nothing to do with scene. A story he knew that had no precedent for being part of the scene masthead. Yet, he knew deep inside that it was a story that needed to be told.
And it has.
Steve and Zander
P.S. — Zander and Steve wish you the best summer possible.