Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stuff White People Like: Nick Flynn Reading at BookCourt

Most of my literary crushes are posthumous, sadly. This reveals two tragic flaws in my character that should be obvious at this point . Firstly, that I self- sabotage and secondly that I'm pretentious in that special way where you're totally sincere about trivial, fundamentally inconsequential endeavors, like reciting all the vice- presidents from memory. I mean, once you turn, like, 23 you realize that Jack Kerouac wasn't all that great a writer outside of his cultural relevancy, but he is still so sexy that who the hell cares? Oh yeah, and he was basically a homo. Refer to tragic flaw #1.

But when it comes to living, breathing literary crushes Nick Flynn wins this highly coveted prize of Zenaida Baby Daddy Numero Uno. The prize is autographing a restraining order against yours truly, followed by identifying me out of a lineup, which is easy because of my unusual body shape.

Flynn looks like he crawled out of a forest, he is primordially handsome. His cheekbones are up to his eye balls! These pictures do not do justice, because I know you're judging me all like, "That guys looks like he should be strumming an acoustic guitar in a subway station begging for pocket change! Why don't you finally remove your head from the depths of your rectum and get some taste?" Whatever!

Friday night I found myself adrift in a sea of earnest bespectabled, behoodied and bebackpacked caucasians (fuck I hate Brooklyn) to feast my eyes on Flynn and feel his gravely voice resound through my cells (I wasn't kidding about the restraining order). Prior to his reading, a three- piece group performed a few songs in some Cyrillic language, which were actually covers of "one of the most important singers of the Soviet punk movement." I couldn't make this shit up. After this awkward slog through musical stylings in a language that should never really be spoken let alone sung, Flynn shared a few delights from his new book the Ticking is the Bomb. Flynn has a special forte for naming books, and I'm wicked pissed at him for stealing the title of MY memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
So other than working it as a full- time hotmaster, Flynn is a pretty good writer too. His latest genre- bending journalistic memoir-y thing the Ticking is the Bomb looks at the use of torture in the Iraq war and Flynn's childhood, which I love because I can make ANYTHING all about me too, like I am now in this post. Appreciating Flynn's biography makes the link between Abu Ghraib and growing up on the North Shore of Massachusetts a bit more believable, what with his single mom who ultimately commits suicide and a con- man deadbeat alcoholic jail bird father, Jonathan Flynn, who I'm not sure is supposed to be funny but I found pretty hilarious at times in Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Not the homeless parts, of course, but his original nicknames for friends, like "Eno the Beano," and his flawless check forging scams. Robert De Niro will portray Jonathan Flynn in the film adaptation, so I foresee De Niro doing funny- sad just right, Travis Bickle- ing all over Boston.

Did you know that Nick Flynn is married to Lilli Taylor? I hope she's not as much of a domestic ball buster as she was to Nate on Six Feet Under. If she is, pretty Nick, you know where to find me: outside digging through your garbage.

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