nervous assface

brandon scott gorrell

Lydia Davis is at work, sitting alone in the conference room, waiting for Ernest Hemingway, Frederick Barthelme, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Fifteen minutes pass and they never come. Lydia Davis waits fifteen minutes again and they never come. Lydia Davis is thinking "SHITHEAD." She bites her hand. Lydia Davis leaves the conference room.

Lydia Davis walks to Ernest Hemingway's office. Ernest Hemingway is eating a banana and focusing hard on a paper. Lydia Davis tries to make her facial expression neutral. Lydia Davis decides to walk into the wall behind Ernest Hemingway's desk. "Just for fun," she thinks. Lydia Davis stops walking. Lydia Davis tries to make her face appear lighthearted, amiable, and stoic while mentally projecting herself putting Ernest Hemingway in a powerful headlock and punching his face repeatedly. She imagines Ernest Hemingway's face turned blush red, doing a silent, gaping scream of severe discomfort. "Do you want to have our meeting," Lydia Davis says. Ernest Hemingway looks up from the paper. "Where are the others," he says, his mouth full of banana. "They never showed up," Lydia Davis says. Suddenly Jean-Paul Sartre is running toward Ernest Hemingway's office. Jean-Paul Sartre looks afraid and reminds Lydia Davis of a large brown bear, doing long, floating back flips through outer space. Lydia Davis wishes she could teleport to outer space. Or she wants to teleport to Tokyo or Rwanda. "Someone teleport me to the Third World," she thinks. Jean-Paul Sartre looks at Lydia Davis and says, "Can I see you in the other room for a minute?"

Lydia Davis goes into the other room with Jean-Paul Sartre. "I’m leaving," Jean-Paul Sartre says. Lydia Davis looks at him. "I’m leaving in fifteen minutes," Jean-Paul Sartre says, "and working from home." "Okay," Lydia Davis says. "I’m going to leave at five exactly," Jean-Paul Sartre says. "I’m leaving at four fifty eight," Lydia Davis says, "tentatively." "Ping me later," Jean-Paul Sartre says, "I’m packing up." He leaves the room and walks briskly toward the elevator lobby. "What does that mean," Lydia Davis calls out. "I don’t know what 'ping me later' means.'" "I want bananas," Ernest Hemingway yells, from his office, "with little chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream." "Have a good night," Lydia Davis yells to Jean-Paul Sartre. "Have a good night," Ernest Hemingway yells, "dream of stuff." "Have nightmares," Lydia Davis yells. "I had a sex dream the other night," Jean-Paul Sartre yells from the elevator lobby, "but I didn’t feel anything. I just saw my penis with her vagina. . . There was no sensation!" Ernest Hemingway runs out of his office. "I once had a dream that my penis was detached and inside a baguette," he yells. "I didn’t want the penis baguette to become stale or go bad, so I put it in a portable cooler. I was walking around and I got lost, and really hungry, so I had to eat it!" The elevator dings and Jean-Paul Sartre does an army salute thing as the elevator door closes in front of him.

Lydia Davis goes back into Ernest Hemingway's office and sits down in front of his desk and nods her head continuously and writes things on a piece of paper and says "Yeah," "Yes," "Oh totally," "Right," "Yeah, I think I see what you're saying," "Oh okay," "Definitely," and a number of other thematically similar affirmations.