About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It's odd how your value system slowly changes as you grow older. Time spent with family became something to look forward to and feel grateful for, as opposed to years ago when it felt like an irritating obligation. Is it because the older I get the more human my parents become? When their hair began turning gray, did I suddenly value their company more because I finally and tangibly understood that they're growing older and are someday going to die? Or maybe I just relate to them a bit more on an eye-to-eye level now that I'm older. And things that used to mean so much have kind of lost their value a bit. Watching sports is still enjoyable but the importance of my team winning and the agony of them losing have both softened into feelings almost indistinguishable from each other. It's a saddening realization that this softening is only a pit stop on the road to indifference. It's amazing that it took until this day, in my thirty-seventh year (God, that sounds so old) to have what I will consider from here on to be the greatest moment in my life. I've never tried to choose "the best moment," although I've had my share of amazing ones: meeting Richard Pryor; talking with Sam Kinison (and getting him to autograph a napkin, which I still have); performing at Madison Square Garden and for that fifteen minutes standing alone on the same stage where Sabbath, Kiss, and Zeppelin performed. There have been some incredible moments in my life, but after today they will fast become secondary memories.
The day started out rather uneventfully; I woke up around 4:00 p.m. and popped in my contact lenses. I didn't realize that one of them was torn, so for an hour or so it felt like I had a kidney stone in my eye. I wound up sleeping so late because I didn't get to bed until around seven in the morning. After my midnight set at the Cellar last night, I stopped over at Bob Kelly's to play some cards. Bob lives on the fifth floor of my building, so it was a convenient place to socialize. Keith Robinson was there, as was Colin, Dane Cook, Bob, Matt Frost, and a comic from LA named Jay Davis. I shoveled chips and cheese and crackers and nuts into my fat face almost nonstop for three hours and in the end wound up winning a whopping sum of sixty-seven dollars. I came home and had one of my favorite working girls stop by for some late-night oral treats. She gave me head for about fifteen minutes until I shot Similac all over myself. It was an emotionally healthy ending to the day: gamble while compulsively eating shitty snack food, then pay another human being to hold my cock in her mouth like a pan flute. After she left and I had wiped the little fellers off my belly and deposited them into the toilet, I decided there was nothing else I could do to emotionally escape, so bed was probably the best option.
Bob called this afternoon, after I had woken up, and we met at Starbucks. We each had the usual: a medium iced latte with soymilk. While we were sitting outside I had the itch to gamble a bit more. Bob is also a self-hating, compulsive idiot so he of course had the itch as well. We moseyed on up to his place to play a little one-on-one Texas Hold 'Em. While Bob was converting the cash into chips I was sitting there casually picking my belly button and sniffing it. I hadn't showered yet so it was nice and ripe, just the way I like it. I always try to get people to sniff my belly button but there are very rarely any takers. Vos has a similar and equally revolting odor emanating from behind his ear. If he scrapes back there he gets an oily substance on his finger that is actually visible if he rubs it on a table. We always tell people it smells like grape jelly and then try to guilt them into smelling it by telling them that everyone else has. The disgusted faces of all of the takers send us into gales of laughter.
So anyway, today I was aimlessly digging and sniffing and I casually asked dumb Bob if he'd like a whiff. He says, "No way am I smelling that," and I figured that was the end of it. By now we'd started our poker playing. I kind of half kidding asked if he'd do it for a couple of one-dollar chips. That compulsive, greedy motherfucker said, "Two bucks? Okay." I couldn't believe my good fortune! As I said, I hadn't showered and that combined with the fact that I dumped a load into it last night/this morning really had it in tiptop, rancid form.
I took my left pointer finger (always the dipping finger of choice for some reason), and swiped it into my belly button nice and deep. I made sure I swirled it around the sides real good, leaving none of the odoriferous residue behind. This moron is sitting there with his eyes closed like he's about to do a wine tasting. I hold my finger straight and sure under his nose and watch as the look of "this is going to be slightly icky" turned into absolute revulsion. He retches a bit in the seat then gets up and bolts to the bathroom. Then the greatest moment of my life occurred: He opened the toilet lid and threw up. Oh, sweet Jesus in Heaven, thank you! I couldn't have been more satisfied if Pam Anderson's twat materialized out of thin air and fell onto my face. He kept mumbling, "Oh my God, dude," and retching and puking into the bowl. He even grabbed a bottle of Listerine because he said the smell had somehow gotten into his taste buds. I cannot express the joy of seeing this bald idiot on his hands and knees in front of the shitter losing his medium iced latte with soymilk. For those of you who are parents, take your melodramatic proclamations of the joys of childbirth and shove them up your ass. I experienced bliss in the purest sense of the word. Harmony isn't found in God or love or helping others; it's found watching an obnoxious asshole who looks like Dr. Evil vomit because the putrescent scent of your belly button has offended his system to the point of thinking it's been poisoned and needs to cleanse itself.
I was fucking howling while he had his gluttonous face buried in the bowl. I had my camera and snapped a picture of him. It was better than heroin. In this one moment of clarity, of purity, my whole outlook on life changed. Fuck my parents and their gray hair, fuck Richard Pryor, and fuck Madison Square Garden; someone can fill it with Doberman pinscher shit for all I care. The real meaning of life, what I've been striving for, has been hiding in my belly button all along.
Text copyright © 2007 by Jim Norton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.