The swami said his dance card was filled when I propositioned him at the party. Artists have such interesting friends. Maybe it’s the grit under their fingernails or the turpentine smell on their breath, or maybe, it’s the idea that because they are artists their opinions strike everyone as fresh. The artist was a friend of ours. Between the art talk, the cat food pâté, and the tinkling glasses of bubbly, we hadn’t seen him all night, so we sat on chocolate plush and talked. In another life, the swami said his name had been Frank. When he was Frank, he’d lived a life of barbed wire and hemp knotted tightly where the days were dusty, full of burning sagebrush and lies. I thought that sounded like an interesting life for someone named Frank.

The only Frank I knew up to that point sold stale pretzels at the corner of Sussex and 57th Street. He was an artist too. I might have even had sex with him once. The swami said, “Anything is possible,” even for someone named Frank who may or may not be an artist and sells pretzels for a living. Later, I wondered how one might become a swami. If anything was possible for pretzel Frank, then I, at least, had half a shot. I’d had a lot to drink by then, but the idea still seemed like it had some merit. I asked him how to go about it, and the swami said, “You have to find your own way.” Even when sober, I’m directionally challenged, but how hard could it be?

The next day, I crawled out of bed with a hangover, went to 57th Street, had a pretzel with mustard, and then I fucked Frank

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