Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big Honor, Big Merit, Big Can, Big Sur...Narragansett

I am currently reading Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, which I realize might be slightly cliché but I am a big fan of some of his books, not necessarily the obvious ones but maybe, and I have always wanted to read this one and just never got around to it.  So I am finally getting around to it and in honor of my experience with the book I am writing this post in the style of the Big Sur/Kerouac (specifically, that is very long sentences with lots of commas and dashes, few periods, and some parenthesis and mumbo jumbo every once and awhile).

The alley wind is against me, dark and downhill, whistling memories, and I smirk and squint me way to Steve’s house to meet up with Henry the Third, who is actually only a second!, for some dice games, beers, and dark one-liners that manage only to brighten the soul - “Nice shirt, Paul Bunyan” - and the ladies are asking “what’s everyone laughing at” - Another roll of the dice and Henry continues to lose, but only at dice, because as his turn ends and Steve’s turn begins  -- and turns are taking turns in every small college town during the off season (which is the season when the streets get calm and lamps get brighter and sidewalks seem a little wider - for the old heads, anyway - so Henry takes a little longer running to his car) -- he is like Father Christmas with a holiday five pack of some beer that moves around in tall cans with words like honor and merit being projected from the cans and the table we are sitting at, rolling dice, drinking beers, and “so what is new in New England” -  “Narragansett” the ironic beer of choice for hipsters and those aspiring to be, like Pabst but regional and not as tasty - “but it’s good, like a cheaper version of Yeungling Lager” - and Steve may have spit a little at that line, “People with beards or moustaches (and sometimes both) drink this all time in Amherst” - A can gets cracked and it tastes like sparkling factory water after the Bell’s Amber I had started the night with (which was no Asian princess, or anything memorable for that matter, the Amber, not the night), I look again at the can and pronounce like I am reading from stone tablets “Made on Honor, Sold on Merit, LAGER” and realize that this can has a look, a look that makes me want to put my scarf back on, a look that makes my hand look like Pacino’s in that movie where his dad is fat and dies and he gets real powerful, a look that I will remember when I am moaning into my pillow begging pregnant Wife to get me some Advil, a look that while I may curse the pain I will still think “well, that’s a good looking can” - And a good looking can it was, tall with slogans, like a picture of a Russian soldier next to a war poster circa 1945.

The cans looked so good I was saving them for New Years because half the point of drinking Narragansett is that somebody sees you drinking Narragansett, this is not sit at home and sip beer unless you are snapping pictures with your phone of your hand holding a Narragansett can with your other hand and then uploading for all your friends to see - Regardless! - Henry would be gone by then so bringing in the new year with beer from Henry was as close to bringing in the new year with Henry as I was going to get - So Wife and I walk to a party thrown by some of the local misfits, keeping up the proud tradition, and things start off slow - there were orange suede shoes, tin foil shirts (actually, only one), and at one point a pair of Asian girls giggling in the corner - the lighting, not the Asians, made it feel like this party should have had some karaoke, but it didn’t which made me realize this party was the exact negative of the party scenes from Lost In Translation, which would explain the absence of Bill Murray - who I love - and Scarlett Johansson - who I believe, yes!, I love more than Bill Murray - but the margin is slimmer than even I may assume - either way, the ball has dropped and Wife kissed and the can is in hand and my hat and scarf are on because the theme of the party is Euro-Trash and the house itself is rather cold, although not as cold as my first sip - no, it was a ggguullppp - of beer for the new year -- a pale yellow universe with spheres of clear crisp worlds that house more pale yellow universe filled with smaller spheres of clear and as the night, and the can, moves on and down those round worlds of yellow clear get smaller and smaller, one inside the other until on one of those spheres is a house with a party and a chair and a man sitting there so small sipping even smaller yellow universes (un-inverses) with even smaller clearer spheres to the point that on the last sphere exists the last house with the last party and chair and that last man is so small that life and space and time are created new with every blink - because that is how small his eyes are - explosions of new everything, not just new year, to fill the nothing that wasn’t there for the millions of years it took for tiny eyelids to crash together.

It’s getting late and I’m talking to a rockstar about the secret art space and asking if an old friend had a good time last time he was there - I was told he did - and I was paid some nice compliments to start the new year and was asked about what I was drinking and I showed and told them “It’s New Years - does it matter if it’s good?”


  1. You crazy, zen/buhdist maniac, keep shining in the newyear of jangled hipster misfits, and dancing through your golden orbs. . .

  2. Brilliant. For your next beer adventure, might I suggest Ernest Hemingway (They sat at the bar and ordered a beer. He sipped the beer. It was a good beer.)

  3. Thanks. Hemingway would be good - "For Whom the Beer Tolls" or "Old Man and the Beer." And then maybe Joyce, first Portrait of an Artist-esque Joyce and then Finnegan's Wake-esque Joyce. What a hoot that would be for everyone.

    Now who is this anonymous? If given three guesses...maybe four...

  4. David Foster Wallace might be fun. Obsessively grammatically correct and with plenty of footnotes.

    "Infinite Pabst," perhaps.