I'm sitting in a hotel restaurant in Studio City. I flew down this evening to go to a lecture by esteemed artist manager Ken Kragen. The lecture is being put on by the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals, a group whose name is really way too long. Try saying it out loud. It's really long, seriously. It's agonizing.
I flew down on short notice, because—based on what he's accomplished in his life—I think that what Ken Kragen has to say is applicable to the careers of the artists I manage as well as to my own career as an artist.
But, I'm not feeling so excited about it all right now. I spent a great deal of last night in horrible pain. It felt like some alien from a Geiger painting was trying to get out of me through my stomach. Luckily, it came out through my mouth instead, in the form of vomit. Lots and lots of it.
As I knelt in front of the toilet, crying, sweating, and looking down at what my body rejected, I noticed something strange. There were these two pieces of ex–food that looked like a mud–colored Vienna sausage. Each one was about the length and thickness of my pinkie and very smooth. They were greyish red, sort of the color of Chinese red bean puddings—with a twinge of purple.
What the hell were they? I sat and took inventory of the things I'd eaten recently. Let's see, cookies, chicken soup, a burrito, some salad, a piece of salmon, a few bites of mango. That was it for the 48 hours leading up to the vomit fiesta. So, what the hell were these things?
So, of course, I reached into the toilet and grabbed one. It was slippery, all lubed up with vomit and my tears that had fallen into the toilet soup. Its surface was slick like a smooth but firm custard. I pinched it in the middle and wiggled it like a hot dog, a miniature vomit covered hot dog. Was this what I spent so many years in college for? There I was, on my hands and knees, tears soaking my cheeks, sweat dripping from my brow and down my back, fiddling with little vomit hot dog things I found in the toilet?
The real issue was that I still had no idea what it was, even after the wiggling. So, I pinched it, hoping that I would smash it between my fingers. Maybe I would reveal some secret hiding inside. But, the inside was just more of the outside. It was uniform all the way through: pasty and slightly gooey and remarkable unlike anything I can remember ever eating.
But, enough of that. I dropped them and refocused. I had more vomiting to do!
Which I did. A lot.
I lay in bed sweating for most of the night. Then there was waking up, which was hard. My body ached and I was in a terrible rush.
I hurried to the office to get some work done before I had to fly to Southern California for this lecture thing. I felt a little better, but still nowhere near good. I was dizzy and nauseated and my internal thermostat swung back and forth between chills and burning. It was sort of like if the flu married a hangover, and then they had a child together. Then, that child had sex in an alley with food poisoning. Then they had a child. And then, that child climbed into my stomach and proceeded to hold kickboxing seminars for retarded giants. That's how I feel.
The flight was a short hour. I rented a car and drove about 90 seconds to my hotel and checked in. It was perhaps the most unremarkable hotel ever, save for its amazing proximity to the airport.
And now here I am. And, my food has been delivered, so I'm going to do my best to eat it and actually make it stay in my stomach. Hopefully the retarded giants won't kick–box it much. One thing is for sure, though. I'm going to take a good hard look at it before I eat it. If I barf, I want to look into that toilet and recognize everything in there. I don't need any more interesting things luring me to reach into vomit and play with it any more this week!
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