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xmag.com : November 2001 : The Gospel According to Viva Las Vegas

The Gospel according to Viva Las Vegas - "the laziest gal downtown"


This year for Thanksgiving you get irony with all the trimmings. Irony's not dead. It's just darker and more trenchant than it was. Have a bite of this column I wrote back on September 10th for Exotic--the eve of destruction. Didn't send it the next day, because, well, you all know what happened then. If you're bored in the dressing room, try out some Mad-Libs on this prose: every place where the word "Love" occurs below, substitute fate/death/religious fanaticism/war/anthrax/the World Trade Center. Or just the word pizza. So here it is, before life as we know it changed for NewYorkers and everyone.


It's in the air. It's everywhere. It's the hottest thing on the streets this season. And it stinks to high heaven. It's love! New York City is a town where everyone is obsessed with/searching for/talking about LOVE. NYC loves love more than any place on Earth. But how can love be born in this city of the half-second attention span? Where everyone is impatiently jetting off here, there and too busy to really smell flowers or pheromones? When love happens here
it must be sudden and mortal, like a car wreck. People chase love. They are chasing their tails!

NYC love = office love; need an apartment love; need-a-roommate love; need-a-job love; need-some-money love; dog run love; need-to-have-kids-NOW love; love-your-latest love. But mostly it's talking-about-love. It's literally all anyone ever talks about: the Wall Streeters buttoned up in their olde bars, the little gangs of black kids on the streets, the queers in the bistros, the trash-talking babes on the trains, the old folks on park benches, the moguls in their limos, screenwriters, celebrities, doormen, the wicked and the wise, even the hipster nation talks about love constantly in whatever academic way is permissible to talk about this issue. And folks fall in love at the drop of a hat. If it smells good, looks good or sounds good, go for it! Everyone's clocks are tickin' and it's a mad race to the finish: 1.5 kids + 1 dog in a New Jersey 3 bdrm.

Now, should I join the runners or run the fuck away? What does the radio say? Love is the Drug. Love is Strange. Love Hurts. Love is All You Need.
Love Can Make You Happy. Love Will Break Your Heart. Luckily the seen-it-all cab drivers are more than willing to offer their worldly wisdom on matters of the heart.

The Pakistani at 3:00 AM notices me glowing incandescently but cautions
me with the words of the immortal Britney Spears, who says NO! to sex before marriage. And can I imagine how difficult that must be when your boyfriend is Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync?

The Indian cabbie the next night says, full of insinuation, "You know what they say in my country­ you have to rub gold to see if it's real!" Yeah, yeah,
rub it. And go tell that to the Pakistani. No wonder you folks don't get along.
He also keeps saying, "It takes two hands to clap! It takes two hands to clap!" Uh-huh.

The Greek at 5:00 AM­clearly psychotic and driving like an Afri-cabbie­
recommends race-mixing. "Nothing is more beautiful!" he exclaims, showing me photos of his Filipino wife and lovely twenty-something daughters, leaving only the good Lord's hands on the wheel to steer us back to Brooklyn.

I get home to my 2x4 room and mull it over on my single mattress on the floor. When I tell folks about it the morning after, no one can believe that a
cabbie got chatty with me, much less offered advice on love. Obviously, I look like I need it. But I'm learnin', even if it is the hard way, and who knows? Maybe someday I'll find myself driving a cab, offering unsolicited advice to tired little girls at four in the morning. And it'll be the J. Geils Band for me, man. "I've had the blues, the reds and the pinks...all I can say is...LOVE STINKS."






More Viva!









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