Cormac McCarthy Attempts To Write A Seinfeld Scene
Kramer staggered erect through the entrance and the man inside looked at him once or twice in familiar acknowledgment before returning to his pen and sheaf of papers, a cynical goblin emerged out of some alien trance of alchemist figures or comedic lines.
Hell-ooooo, Kramer said.
Seinfeld studied him.
Hell-ooooo, he said. A voice that went from room to room and back again.
A fearsomely bald squatter bespectacled and grinning from a blue upholstered sofa that had seen better days observed with something like amusement the avian newcomer, a gigantic egret no less a child of this city than the ragpicker begging for change, the bodega immigrant selling his wares. Hell-ooooo, Costanza said. His nosed twitched and he corrected his spectacles.
Kramer was looking at him crazily. He made his way in past Seinfeld and his jesternotes to the eastern facing window. Outside curried clumps of refuse set in motion by slow moving street sweepers and an ashen breeze. A family of trashpickers were packing flat cartons into a derelict shopping cart, the children scurrying among the rancid cans like rats and as graylooking. None spoke. A buzzing at the door.
Yeah, said Seinfeld.
It’s Elaine, the intercom spoke. An electric cackle from some distant bizarre land.
C’mon up, said Seinfeld.
Kramer had turned on an old radio and a tinny music emoted from its ancient speakerbox and he went to the couch next to Costanza and hooted at the tv, two raucous gibbons who knew of only one god. A stale brick tenement on West 72nd Street on Sunday afternoon, New York, New York. In the year nineteen ninety-six. Seinfeld with his notes at his table, the smell of his clothes priestlike, dry flesh within.
When Elaine entered in black and white business suit reminiscent of a Hasid she addressed the unlikely congregation with hellos and they responded each in his own turn, pious stares never wavering from their worship.
What do ye got playin, said Elaine.
Seinfeld looked at the woman and returned to his chickenscratch.
Said what do ye got playin, said Elaine. Reckon I’ll change it if it don’t bother nobody.
You go ahead, Seinfeld said.
After she had adjusted the dials on the radio and found a tune to her liking she began to jig like some insane enigma sent from hell to do Beelzebub’s bidding, a satanic minion eyerolling and jerking like his seed might erupt from her loins directly.
Hellfire, said Seinfeld. Call the exorcist she got demons need exorcising.
From behind someone came in. At first glance a spitting image of Costanza. A wild doppleganger come from Long Island or across the Hudson to relay some message through his semblance to the man.
Hello Newman, Seinfeld said.
Hello Jerry, Newman said. He was clutching a peach. He bit into its soft flesh and made loud smacking sounds as he masticated, the sunkissed fruits liquid flowing freely noticed by all but the man chewing.
They in Kramer, said Newman.
Shit, said Kramer.
Waited all year for this, said Newman. Mackinaws make ye tastebuds come alive.
Giddyup, said Kramer.
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Will it feel the same when you tell me you love me over the phone? Will the peacefulness of those words still floor me from thousands of miles away?
I was conflicted. It felt like one eye was trying to look away while the other soaked it up. I felt the heat rise in my face. This was wrong. But it didn’t feel wrong.
Any nervous flyer knows the progression of descending panic: bile, sweaty palms, social awkwardness and self-induced sedation.
I know how it feels when the weight of darkness crashes down onto your chest in the middle of the night, and how you wish things would stop spinning because the axis seems tilted now. I know, love, I know.