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Dan danced with his wife Sylvia at the wedding, regarding the floral arrangements with satisfaction. He was content for several moments as he took in the pastel regularity of the event: the muted colors of the Hyatt ballroom; the easy, relaxed mediocrity of Cleveland, Ohio, where the family of the bride lived; and the guests at the wedding – a waltzing procession of ghosts, chattering away with the happy assurance of their own irrelevance. He nuzzled up to Sylvia, completely aware of the unoriginality of his gesture, and smelled the artificial sweetness of her deodorant. He inhaled deeply and remembered the first time he smelled it on her at Bally’s Gym, mixed with her sweat. Dan had the urge to bite down hard on Sylvia’s shoulder – not to give her pain, but just to feel the idiot pressure of his teeth digging into her pasty, freckled skin.
Later, Dan laughed bitterly by the open bar at no one or nothing in particular and took a pull off his Dewar’s and soda. He was drunk, and reveled in the pathetic yen of his own destiny before him: On the wooden floor in the middle of the room, Sylvia and Dan’s brother, Doug, dirty-danced to Kenny Loggins. Doug would fuck Sylvia tonight, and Dan would sit in the hotel room alone as he had sat other nights. He could envision himself already: a spectral, stately presence padding on the floor in the slippers Sylvia had bought for him last Christmas. She would come back much later and clean out Doug’s wasted seed from her sex, climb into bed with him, and once again he would smell her deodorant and sweat, along with the faint, acrid smell of Doug – a smell of wood chips, vinegar and diesel fuel.
The guests at the wedding took in the event, smiling with sad normality and, tragically, without discernable disapproval, as their collective visage rotated back and forth between the grotesque, groping shape on the dance floor and the watery figure at the bar, hobbling to and fro, mumbling to himself, “Now I gotta cut looze, footlooze, kick off de Zunday shoozzz…”
Date Written: February 11, 2005Comments:
Author: Phony Millions
Average Vote: 4.2667
02/21/2005 Will Disney: Happy President's Day, everyone! I'm working! Are you?
02/21/2005 Ewan Snow (4): Disney, that's hardly "on topic". This short has some nice moments, but doesn't quite get the (funny) prosaic sadness of some of the author's other efforts. I think maybe it's because the hotel wedding scene is maybe too obvious a subject for satire, and this comes off more as satire than oddball introspection/emotional examination. It ends better than it begins, though, and the brother fucking/footloose stuff was kumquat. ~3.5
02/21/2005 qualcomm (4): i don't know, everyone's self-aware satisfaction with mediocrity made me laugh out loud... "completely aware of the unoriginality of his gesture"... "the easy, relaxed mediocrity of Cleveland"..."the happy assurance of their own irrelevance". i'm'a give this a 4.49, which is much more than the 3.5 you gave.
02/21/2005 Will Disney (4):
02/21/2005 Ewan Snow: ok.
02/21/2005 The Rid (4): Unrefreshingly refreshing.
02/21/2005 John Slocum: a smell of wood chips, vinegar and diesel fuel - an old rheinhessen that's been open too long or where the cork dried out allowing oxygen in through the slow seepage? Or maybe an old white bordeaux, chateau laville-haut brion from the 70's maybe, same cork problem?
02/21/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum (4):
02/21/2005 Litcube (5): I *REALLY* like how this was written. There are few shorts that, when I'm halfway through reading, I wouldn't mind if it continued to 500 words. For me, this is one. While some of this was funny, I didn't laugh at any of it, yet still thoroughly enjoyed the consistent tone, quirky insight to the main character’s personality, and “shoozz”.
02/21/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4):
02/21/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I like "the idiot pressure."
02/21/2005 Jon Matza: So why don't you marry it?
02/21/2005 Your Father: There is nothing like dancing at a wedding with your brother's wife! HA! I don't know about that sexual intercourse afterwards there, that cheating business is just plain inconsiderate - the open bar is a great idea, boy I love an open bar!
02/21/2005 TheBuyer (5):
02/21/2005 Dylan Danko (5): Not funny but who cares. Enjoy it a lot.
02/21/2005 Dylan Danko: Still do.
02/21/2005 Jawbreaker (4): Enjoyed the read.
02/21/2005 Jon Matza (4): Dan=Shane Mahoney?
02/21/2005 John Slocum (4):
02/21/2005 Mr. Pony (4): I like some things that people already mentioned.
02/21/2005 John Slocum: I like the words, many well-used words here. Particularly liked watery, acrid and padding. Also great word pairs and triples. Fantastic sentence structure and phrasing. All around excellent, rich read. Agree with Snow-dawg's hotel wedding scene assessment but would place it around 4.1983.
02/21/2005 qualcomm: yeah watery was delightful. i feel i may owe author a star.
02/21/2005 anonymous: Love Slocum's wine analogies below with the body odor of Doug in this short! I'd give myself a 4 here. At least it was short - relatively speaking, that is, for my offerings. Just saw 'Sideways' yesterday - Slocum must love that film!
02/21/2005 scoop (5): Five stars for the short, one star for that bullshit "Sideways" movie. I think this is a lot better than a lot of your other post-modern crap with a similar tone. The invocation of a bittersweet tone for people you have contempt for is funnier than the serious self-aware fetishization of nostalgia schtick. In contrast to that afternoon stinker, here is another cliched situation, but treated interestingly enough to save it from itself. The use of language, descriptions and tone are dynamic and origial as opposed to all jejunish.
02/21/2005 Klause Muppet (4):
02/21/2005 anonymous: Amen Scoop - Me is aiming to transcend cliched post-modern ennui.
02/21/2005 John Slocum: Scoop doesn't like "Sideways"?
02/22/2005 Litcube: Nicely done, Mr. Evans.
02/22/2005 John Slocum: how is it this thing has an avg. rating of 4?