You have to give the man credit. He’d performed for two straight hours – just him, a guitar, a piano, and his wits – but then he stood on the tip of the stage and lightly but methodically pounded the wood of his guitar with an open palm. The sound reverberated around the circumference of the theatre mimicking a heartbeat, my heartbeat.
He’s endlessly interesting and wears only boxer briefs – navy, grey, and black. There’s not even one lone pair of faded red ones crammed way in the back of the drawer, the kind that may as well be labeled Male Period Undies. At the end of the day, his socks never smell like that one guy’s did.
The first time he went up my shirt I was sprawled across a pool table. It was very late – so late it was almost early – and even the crickets were asleep as I arched my back and wondered exactly what it was that I was feeling. I knew two things with absolute certainty as he pressed his mouth on mine, again and again:
1. His teeth tasted like cranberries, his tongue like vodka.
2. I was always so shitty at remaining in the moment.
Since this is our last recap and I’m feeling sort of wistful, let’s hold hands so I can drag you towards a collection of very stable geniuses who are attempting to beat the shit out of one another in a house they don’t pay to live in because they all forgot the “Use your words!” lesson they were taught back when they were cranky toddlers. And when the emphasis on language goes missing and is replaced by vast quantities of cheap draft beer, the result is that MTV is gifted with a slew of people willing to brawl over just about nothing on camera and we are left with questions about what will eventually happen to them since it’s not like they can all become President.
When last we met, Aimee had just figured out the correct fork to use to eat her entrée on Aimee Appreciation Day, Nilsa learned her barrel-chested-freedom-fighter-with-the-worst-style-in-this-or-any-alternate-hemisphere would like to sleep with her again, Jeremiah and Gus ascertained how messy it could be competing for a woman’s affections when there’s a fifth of alcohol shooting through her bloodstream and a camera aimed at her face, and I had just excavated my latent – but still quite vivid – nightmares starring the poo-guzzling creature from Human Centipede. But then Christmas came, and God bless our temporary President, because apparently we have all finally been given permission again to say those two special words after some Democrat (whose name undoubtedly rhymes with “Shmillary Flinton”) officially prohibited such a thing and then forgot to tell the rest of us. Allow me to offer my perspective on this matter. I am Jewish. I live in New York where there are more Jewish people than in a lot of other places. And once the clock strikes December, the only thing I’ve heard for my entire life are the words “Merry Christmas,” so I’m thinking that if that’s all I ever hear, the people who live in states where there are, say, fewer temples probably have not been screaming into their pillows in frustration because of some imaginary moratorium on the expression “Merry Christmas.” But now that a thrice-married orange man has pretended to find religion because it’s convenient, please allow me to say that I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I hope our Floribama friends had a glorious holiday and received all sorts of goodies from Mr. Claus and that the bounty he delivered unto them included several pairs of shorts for Nilsa that can perhaps cover both her thigh tattoo and her labia. I realize I’m asking a lot, but we can just pretend it’s a Christmas miracle.
Sometimes I look back at the days in my life before I knew what a mermaid-goddess-princess was and I realize it was a much simpler time. It’s sort of like how I felt right after I made the moronic choice – dear fucking God, it was a choice – to sit through Human Centipede and then, for almost a year, I would hear the words “Feeeeeeeeeeed meeeeeeeeeee” every single time I closed my eyes to go to sleep. It was rough. I began to pray that a shiny Delorean (or really any vehicle with a Flux Capacitor) would appear as if from a dream so I could run towards it, hop inside, go lurching back in time, and reclaim whatever innocence I’d had before my mind was corrupted forever by a “filmmaker” whose idea of art was connecting three people from ass to mouth. Not for one second am I suggesting that Floribama Shore’s Aimee is in any way similar to a creature that relies on the fuel created by someone else’s colon to survive, but the girl does talk about shitting pretty frequently. She doesn’t gross me out, though. Sure, the shavings that came off the bottoms of her feet during her very first pedicure gave any hunk of parmesan a real run for its money and okay, her proclivity to beat up strangers without any internal debate about the merits of such behavior aren’t exactly positive things, but there’s a genuine sweetness to Aimee that I really root for. Unfortunately, that sweetness – which you just know smells like Anna Nicole Smith body wash – can’t completely mask the scent of sadness that also permeates off her. Maybe that’s the connection I see between Aimee and Human Centipede: maybe it’s that watching Aimee stumble through her life causes me feel emotions I don’t actually want to feel. Maybe the years of my life when I didn’t know so many Aimees existed were easier years because I never had to acknowledge that some people are dealt hands in life that are hard to win with and things sometimes get way worse before they start getting better.
I know it seems like I started and ended my last recap talking about a blowout fight at a bar that went down after an allegedly human specimen took one heavy-lidded look at a camera crew and decided to snag seven bile-inducing seconds of infamy by tangling with a Floribama Shore cast member – and that’s because I did start and end my last recap that way. Unfortunately, I must start my current recap in exactly the same manner because it turns out there are limited options for what can happen on a series in which rather naïve twenty-somethings navigate a world populated only by drinking establishments and stores that sell really tiny shorts. Though there will undoubtedly be evenings when someone feels up a witch or a house meal collectively ravages colons in a clenching sort of bonding experience, for the most part this is a show where people go out and get provoked and lose their shit entirely until just about everyone in the vicinity swings a fist, shrieks some less poetic version of “Let’s go, bitch!” and tussles to earn respect in an environment that fosters just about none at all.
The family that brawls together stays together. Yes, I’m quite certain I heard a holy man whisper those words once. (Full disclosure: it’s a definite possibility I hallucinated that it was a holy man speaking when actually it was a Real Housewife from New Jersey.) But whoever it was who uttered that plastic philosophy, one thing I know is it’s now fully applicable to the world of our Floribama Shore friends who have bonded like Super Glue after collectively throwing punches outside a bar to protect whatever is left of Nilsa’s honor. Kortni and Aimee swung their fists. Gus tried to block even more violence from going down. Kirk, Codi, and Candace barged right into the thick of it. Jeremiah watched the proceedings from a safe distance so he wouldn’t harm his dabbing arm. And Nilsa? She was stunned that strangers got in her face for seemingly no reason whatsoever. But what nobody here is saying is there is a reason random people approached and then provoked her. The girl is SURROUNDED BY A CAMERA CREW and a vast – and very sad – majority of our society is drawn to whatever instant and forever gratification a camera can offer and if that means throwing down on a weekday night during the height of summer, so fucking be it.
The news that broke this week was staggering. And no, I’m not talking about how we learned Matt Lauer’s desk at NBC was outfitted with a nifty little locking device so just a mere flick of his wrist was all that was needed to keep young women from fleeing out the door and away from what should have been a safe work environment. I’m also not talking about how the President tweeted some hideously racist videos that earned him the immediate praise of David Duke. All of that was surprising – well, sort of – but the really stunning news came from MTV when they revealed the original stars of Jersey Shore would soon be crawling back to our airwaves in a brand new series wherein they’ll once again reside inside of a house together…only this time, THEY ARE BRINGING THEIR CHILDREN.
If some small (and definitely misguided) part of you believed Kortni couldn’t possibly come off any worse than she appeared in the premiere episode of MTV Floribama Shore when she pissed all over her roommate’s bed: wait. She begins episode two by crawling out of Jeremiah’s room dressed in a giraffe onesie, her hair in a rumpled ball on top of her still spinning head. She sort of looks like something a hungover giraffe recently coughed up – and if you think I’m being rude by saying such a thing, you should know Gus greets her by announcing, “You look like shit.” It’s okay, though. Kortni doesn’t remember getting into Jeremiah’s bed in the first place, so chances are she won’t recall this kitchen insult either. And there’s probably an excellent chance she won’t remember most of what transpires this entire season, but at least there will be a ton of footage to eventually provide her with both receipts and lifelong regrets.