A Moment of Zen: Me, A Beer, and the Quietly Buzzing Bee
The bee is quietly buzzing around Cara; it’s not very much of a buzzing bee, just more of an annoying silent, small bug. I want to kill it, but no one else notices its buzzing. We’re in a large circle, smoking in front of Jill’s apartment.
Eventually the bee makes his way onto the ground, and now everybody notices him. He’s not flying. He’s dilly-dallying on his tiny string legs, without any wing flapping, just walking, as if he wasn’t being completely towered over by six or seven giant humanoids. Somebody finally says something about the bee, and I step on him.
He’s crushed instantly underneath the sole of my shoe. His stiff corpse is flat on the concrete now. We start pouring beer on him, and for a second, I feel sad for this lifeless little thing. I feel bad for him because I’ve had beer poured on me, too.
One of the earliest memories I have of meeting Kelly was at a friend’s Halloween birthday party. She and her friends had dressed as the main characters from “The Royal Tenenbaums.” Kelly dressed as Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, naturally. I dressed as Santa Claus, a last minute outfit I’d put together with varying materials from Michael’s—a large Santa hat, a red scarf and an oversized gift sack with the image of Santa Claus’s face embroidered onto it. It was the perfect outfit. I’d brought a beer in my bag for the birthday girl, and when Kelly asked me what Santa had brought for her, I looked in the sack to find something. I then pulled my hand out and gave her my middle finger. She poured her beer on my head.
It wasn’t quite a shower, and it wasn’t quite being umbrella-less in the rain. It was someone purposefully tipping their plastic cup, trite and angry. It was me unprepared and looking down on the ground to grab a cigarette and then having my hair get drunk. It was cold. How ungrateful this little girl was to good ol’ Santa Claus.
I let a little bit of spit drip from my mouth. I try to clasp my lips tight so as to make my drippage precise and laser-like. I miss the bee multiple times, but that’s fine. Again, I feel bad for the bee. It’s demeaning really, being spit on. I’ve been spit on too. His name was Jon. A jolly, oversized sociopath; he was a victim of bad parenting and a lack of any sort of discipline and an overabundance of money. It happened over a game of basketball. I can’t quite remember why but he did it, and I simply walked away. That piece of shit.
There are dark, decorative rocks in various areas in front of Jill’s apartment, where we’re drinking. The rocks prove to be useful. We throw rocks on the bee.
After smothering the bee with rocks, the beer that we poured on it begins to move and settle and shape itself, dancing with gravity and sluttishly laying itself all over the ground. The area where the bee’s dead body is has become a big oval-shaped stain on the ground. Near the center, toward me, a beer tributary begins to form from one side of the oval puddle. It’s less wide than the oval, and gets longer, nearly reaching my feet. This beer is beginning to look very phallic. It looks like a penis—a penis that’s erecting.
Our circle begins to narrate the growing beer penis’s story. “Oh yeah, I’m getting hard.” “Oh that’s good.” My friends think that the beer dick likes me. This makes sense because it’s growing in my direction, and not in the direction of anybody else. Gravity has proven to be a sexual construct. I feel kind of proud.
Our focus shifted completely to the odd-shaped puddle. As the shaft begins to reach its maximum length our narration becomes raunchier and I think about what kind of story this penis would have. What would the person with this beer penis be doing right now? What is making him so aroused?
Maybe it’s his first time. Maybe, actually, it’s not his first time and this is the billionth time and he’s waiting to leave from whoever’s random house he wakes up in so as not to make the situation awkward in the morning. He just really wants a cup of coffee, a cigarette and some fresh air. Maybe he’s thinking about staying and actually having a conversation in the morning, maybe making breakfast, or calling her back a few days later. Or maybe he’s a good guy and he didn’t fool around at all. He probably just fell asleep and this is the natural early morning biological effect of a good night’s sleep.
The erection finally stops and I say, as if I were the beer, “Yeah, I gotta go. I have some stuff to do in the morning.” Everybody in the circle laughs, and suddenly, I see myself in both the beer and the bee.
This is Mark’s last column. If you’d like to read more stories, and unedited versions of the stories from this column, visit www.markmikin.com