Pleasure & Pain
Featuring stories by Drew Pisarra, Nathan Goodroe, Lee Upton, and Christopher Green; performed by actors Max Woertendyke, Heather Lee Rogers, Annabel Capper, and Matt Alford. Hosted by Andrew Lloyd-Jones with Miriam Alexander-Kumaradoss at KGB Bar on 1st August 2018.
For the record, I’d dated a guy with a harelip before. Well, I’d slept with him. Or her. A drag artiste. So I was no stranger to hare lips. Kissing one was certainly different but not unpleasant. Akin to a pierced lip. Or maybe a heavily waxed mustache. Unusual more than uncomfortable. The only reason I never saw that particular cabaret sensation again was because he snored. No. That’s not true. She grated her teeth. Their teeth? Have you ever heard that noise? Well, it’s awful. Anyhoo, I said yes. To Kyle. The blind date my friend Jeffrey fixed me up with. So when he rang me up and asked what do you want to do for our date, I suggested a Golden Gloves boxing match. I’d seen one advertised on a flyer taped to a telephone pole. He was surprised but game.
At least none that I could remember. Which is unfortunate given that the day is supposed to be about transformation, profound change. And for a long time that’s all I told myself I wanted. It was always out there, but elusive: the profound change. Even when my life had been going reasonably well—enough money for groceries and rent, a few friends, I wanted change. Profound change.
If pressed to name the most astonishing of all my various deeds, I would not, in fact, cite the prototyping of the chamber. That’s not to say that I’m not proud of it; technically speaking it is the crowning achievement of my career, of very nearly anyone’s career. But if I’ve learned one thing from the relentless march of scientific progress, it’s that impossibility is a mirage, dissipating as we crest each new and more magnificent dune. To reach in and pull from the realm of the abstract has such a long line of precedent as to be rendered nearly banal—connect some circuits, convert some energy, wear goggles. You can change reality as we know it with what you learned in college and a little bit of luck.