December 24th, 2003


All Woman

As a brief forward, I was recently contacted by a member of the band I'm in concerning an email they'd received enquiring whether I was the same person with an unnatural fixation on Thomas Pynchon they'd known from years back. I was. So I'm glad the stalking opportunities afforded by Tim Berners-Lee have lead to this fortunate reunion. Mr Handy, as I shall call him here, was first met in the darkest of the Thatcher years when he was studying here in London. Mr Handy is now in NYC and I've been very happy to reestablish contact, because he seems to have lost none of the wit and insight that made him a good friend all those years back. It's a Christmas story to warm your heart.

Mr Handy's first message was entitled "While I Still Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan", but recently he changed the subject line to "Elizabeth Taylor". This prompted me into making my feelings towards Miss Taylor entirely transparent (or quite possibly opaque). I offer them on this page in a seasonal moment of goodcheer before I brace the crowds on the high street for last minute gifts:

Your repeatedly stated desire to fuck Ronald Reagan means that I have to lay my own cards on the table concerning Miss Taylor. It could be the saturation broadcasting of National Velvet in my formative years and my then appearance in a school production of the Mikado when I was made to wear the headmaster’s daughter’s gymkhana outfit as one of the three little maids from school. If you want evidence of the promotion of sexual dysphoria in traditional English private education, this is pretty much casebook stuff and the backbone of our great nation.

I date Liz Taylor from this point in my life and locate her within the burgeoning sexual nexus contained within our respectively restrictive jodhpurs. By the time of Giant and Butterfield 8, by the time I saw them, it was clear to me that she was without equal. By the time of Virginia Woolf and the Richard Burton sagas, Liz only gained in potent allure with her diet of prescription pills and hard liquor. She was lush, lush, lush. It’s dawn and you’ve cascaded out of the house and spun out onto a wet summer lawn. Liz is standing beside you in the half-light, pressing something into your hand, it could be a mint julep, perhaps an Old Fashioned. You try to speak but the words come out in a pitiful sludge, the script lays soaking in broken glass and wine, what is it you should say? Say nothing as she draws you to her and there in the tears and the gnashing of teeth, amidst the surrender and recriminations, you glimpse into the eternity not born of cliché and the singular burning eye of the angels that will drive you from her arms and back towards a most generously stocked cocktail cabinet and years of awful, swallowing nothing. You've only yourself to blame.

Reality gets its greasy fingers even in these most sacrosanct of imaginings. Passing over the actual physical mechanics of making love to Elizabeth Taylor of this uncertain age, the thing that wrecks it every time is a mid-coitus phone call from Michael Jackson. You can hear his pipsqueak bat voice leaking out the receiver and returning him valuable information about the positioning of physical objects. Sorry, says Liz, where were we? Fuck, fuck, fuck, you think. If it wasn’t for that needy freak spoiling the moment.

So if the cards aren’t already placed fully on the table, I still want to fuck Elizabeth Taylor, I can’t say there’s many others I do. Perhaps they don’t make them like that anymore although I suspect it’s quite often equal parts corsetry and Technicolor. Anyway, where was I?

And so to the shops, might try and get a Liz DVD while I'm out there to watch this evening as a Christmas treat.
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