Conversations with Guy Debord (2)
I smelled smoke. The ripe odor of Gauloises, a cloud of fish, sweet and sour pigeon feathers ripped from bone.
Roman Polanski and Guy Debord are the only people I know who smoke Gauloises.
"Shimmy," it was Debord's assured voice. "I want to take you snorkeling."
"What about sea urchins, moray eels, riptides, coral reefs, masks, and Caspar Weinberger?"
Debord used a coffee cup as an ashtray.
"The smug acceptance of what exists," he said, "can also merge with purely spectacular rebellion."
A disgraced white milk-bottle cap ring sat on the floor between the dining room table and the edge of the rug. Its way of being is round and vulnerable. I can pounce anytime.
"We can choose an area of rocky outcropping that attracts fish," he said. "It's as comfortable as a warm bath. As effortless as floating."
"Debord, did you know that Cheney submits a contract rider for every hotel suite at which he stays when he surfaces from his spider hole?"
He scratched the tip of his nose. The shadow of his elbow darted across the milk-bottle cap ring then disappeared.
Someone closed a door in the hallway. What if Brian, the downstairs neighbor, is coming to feed me again? Should I hide in the South Forest of the apartment? Under the spare room bed? Behind Guy Debord's large plain shoes?
"I want to go diving with you," he said.
His shoes are black, and even the laces are polished. I sniffed the edge of his right sole. I smelled the damp pavement of 9 Rue Git-le-Coeur, where the Seine bobbles up your nose. I licked my left arm.
I said, "According to Cheney's 'Vice-Presidential Doomsday Requirements,' the temperature of every suite must be 68 degrees and all TVs must be pre-set to Pravda."
"As they will be for everyone in the United States, Shimmy, when voting rights are suspended in 2008. The division of spectacular tasks preserves the entirety of the existing order and especially the dominant pole of its development."
"The Doomsday Suite must be stocked with brewed decaffeinated coffee, four cans of caffeine-free Diet Sprite, an iron maiden, a stout plank and leather restraints for waterboarding, two bottles of sparkling water (Calistoga or Perrier) for Lady Macbeth Cheney, a Skinner Box, extra lamps, and a carafe of piranha."
Debord said, "Dissatisfaction itself becomes a commodity as soon as economic abundance extends to the processing of such raw materials."
"The White House is a primitive horde watching us watch ourselves. It's why Mrs. Alito cries all the time."
"Remember, Shimmy, that the admirable people in whom the system personifies itself are well known for not being what they are. They became great people by stooping below the reality of the smallest individual life, and everyone knows it."