Paragraphs for Grownups
by Mark Aster

More Mark Aster
The Journal of Desire
Jane's Guide

Friday, June 29, 2001






"You came back again."

"Uh, yeah."


"I thought maybe..."

"There wasn't anybody here anymore?"

"It felt sort of empty."

"That I might have run off?"

"Well, yeah."

"Now why would I do that?"

"I'm glad."

"Read this."

Thursday, June 28, 2001
Anybody home?



"Hello? Anybody here?"


"Paradise -- Paradise Streetcar?"



Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Are you?

"Are you trembling?"

"I --"


"Oh. My --"

"Are you?"


Monday, June 25, 2001
Read this


"You came back!"

"Is that okay?"

"Read this."


'Don't believe anything this woman says
She finds herself
Wanting the smell of that chemistry
Wanting to tremble
But she won't tell you.'


"You're frowning."

"I'm thinking."

Friday, June 22, 2001

"I think you should go now."

"But? I --. I shouldn't have kissed you?"


"I'm sorry."

"It's just that you should go now."



"Can I --"


"Can I come back, sometime?"

"I --"


"I hope you do."

Thursday, June 21, 2001
Besa me mucho




"Now that..."


"That was unfair advantage of the fact we both have lips."

"But maybe...?"

"Oh, be quiet and kiss me again."

Monday, June 18, 2001
Hold still

"So you really like them?"

"I really do. You're an artist."

"Hold still."

"Hold -- ?"

"Just for a sec -- Mmmm..."

"My God."

"It just looked so lickable."

"You took unfair advantage of me standing here with no shirt."

"Just so lickable."

"Hold still!"

Friday, June 15, 2001
Dangerous ground

"Come through here."

"You sure it's safe?"

"Hasn't fallen down yet."


"Right under -- uh -- here."





"You draw all these?"

"Paint. Not draw."

"C'mon, you drew them with paint. They're wonderful!"


"God, yes! This one is... What's that in her head?"

"A little scene. What she's thinking?"

"Is that really what she's thinking about?"

"You can never tell."

Wednesday, June 13, 2001
You know, the guy

"Your shirt."

"My shirt?"

"It's perfect. Take it off and drape it over the balcony up there."

"Take it off?"

"And drape it over the balcony up there."


"It's art. Come on!"

"Mm, okay."

"Just sort of toss it..."


"Try -- yeah, that's perfect."


"It's art."

"I see what you mean."

"It's funny."

"My shirt?"

"No, not your shirt, you standing around with no shirt in Paradise Streetcar. Like David Duchovny in 'Streetcar Named Desire.'"

"David Duchovny?"

"You know! And he yells 'Stell-aa!!!!!'"

"I don't think David Duchovny --"

"Duchovny, Steve McQueen, you know: the guy!"

"You are a very odd young person."

"Watch it, grampa."

Tuesday, June 12, 2001








Monday, June 11, 2001
one, a million

"So why'd you come back?"

"Maybe I like it here."


"It's --"

"Dirty, dangerous..."

"Chaotic, yeah. Creative. Unique."

"There's a million falling down buildings in this city."

"Only one Paradise Streetcar."



"You're sort of a nice guy, mister."

Friday, June 8, 2001

"So what'd you think of Richard?"

"He seemed, hmmm --"

"Scruffy and unwashed and mumbling, and probably some kind of lunatic?"

"Your words."

"He's also the best saxophone player for miles."


"And we've never fucked."

"I didn't ask."

"The chemistry isn't there. I mean, I really like him and all. But no chemistry."


"Chemistry's important."

"But a hell of a sax player."



"So why'd you come back, anyway?"

Thursday, June 7, 2001

"Hi! Ohh..."

"You came back! This is Richard."

"Uh, hi Richard."

"Richard this is... heh. This is some guy that followed me home once."


"He's wondering if we've been fucking."


"Tell me you weren't wondering if we've been fucking."

"Well, no, in fact I wasn't, not right that second."


"Pleased to meet you, anyway."

"Sure thing."

Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Read This

"So, what do you, you know, do here?"


"I mean, it's sort of..."

"A mess? A ruin? A slum?"

"No, I just -- I mean where do you spend your time? In all this?"

"You don't know me that well yet."


"Here, read this."

"You wrote it?"

"Just read it."


'This corner of my mind / is all that shows / but in the dark there are things / that would blind you.'


"That's it."

"That's it?"

Monday, June 4, 2001
Paradise Streetcar

"This is really where you live?"

"Guess so."

"What -- what is it?"

"Paradise Streetcar."


"Paradise Streetcar."

"What's that?"

"Old sign out front. You can see it, sunny days."

"Where do you sleep?"

Friday, June 1, 2001
The blush of youth

"And that was all?"

"Just about all."

"Why were you there?"


"In jail. That time. You know."

"Underage drinking."

"Uh! How, umm..."

"How what?"

"How old..."

"I was fifteen."

"Um, and how long..."

"How long?"

"You know, ago..."

"You asking how old I am?"


"Forget it."

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