clarice and i were eating samosas in the 4-20 parking lot and listening to signore wizard's weekend disco show on 68.8. i was on speed so i could hear clarice's chewing, it was getting slower so i knew she was about to say something and she did.
"have you ever noticed?"
"everyone who is into racing japanese cars from the 1990's in this city has a name ending in -aud?"
"what do you mean?"
"there's you, claude, jarraud, maude, chaude, ahmaud, roshaud, thibaud, saud, lenaude.."
"you're interested in racing japanese cars from the 1990's and your name ends in -ice."
"i didn't choose to get into this."
someone pulled up next to us. i looked to see who it was, it was ahmaud and his then-partner tracy. we both rolled down the windows cause we wanted to say hi
"hi ahmaud, hello tracy," i said.
"heyyy :)." tracy said. ahmaud said nothing. he looked sad
"what's up man?" i asked ahmaud.
"my fucking italian flag brakelights went out and the company that made them disappeared from ali express. i can't fuckin find them anywhere!" he exclaimed. tracy started rubbing his back. "are you two gonna be here for a while?" he asked.
"yeah, we're listening to signore wizard's disco show and eating samosas." clarice said.
"fuck that's what that music is? everyone's telling me to listen to his show but i never have the radio on lately." ahmaud said.
"it's been tiesto CDs for him non-stop." tracy added, rolling her eyes.
"ever since he died..." ahmaud looked down and shook his head in mini-mourning.
i sucked my teeth and felt the spirit of mourning enter me through my breath. "he was a visionary. i was revisiting In Search Of Sunrise: Los Angeles myself a couple days ago actually."
ahmaud signaled memorial awe. "such an amazing CD."
we paused for a moment of silence.
"we should get some food," tracy reminded him.
ahmaud nodded and him and tracy got out of their car.
"see you all in a little bit."
we watched them enter the 4-20 while a cumbia version of someone great by lcd soundsystem played on the radio. ahmaud's gait seemed off, dazed by the memory of tiesto. i tried to shazam the someone great version but nothing came up. i asked siri to remind me to search for it when i got home.
"don't talk for a little bit, maybe signore wizard will say the name of this edit or whoever made it during a transition," i told clarice.
i thought about the life i enjoy, and how it is so unlike the lives everyone else enjoys. i wondered if the life i enjoy is selfish or unsustainable. i thought about my carbon footprint, my intellectual footprint, the amount of unreciprocated work i ask other people to do for me, and if i would be able to live the life i enjoy forever. if i enjoy my life now, and in this moment want it to be the way that it is forever, what am i doing to ensure that it will be possible? if i love this life and it is unsustainable, shouldn't i work to make it sustainable? if i believe in and love my lifestyle, i want other people to live it too, but if too many people are living it with me it will become impossible at a faster rate. i can enjoy this life while it's still possible, or make what's possible different so i can enjoy it forever.
i gasped. signore wizard transitioned into a weird mutant no-wave cover of another one bites the dust by fred mercury.
"what?" clarice looked at me. i took a second to find the words.
"i sold some grass to this guy named lary hazlewood - i think i told you about him - he's in his 60's or something." i took a sip of my sour cherry SLATT!! energy, made a disgusted face and recovered. "he's been retired, but he used to be a professor at that university of government over by the plaza with all the different kinds of trees and like the weird windowless skyscraper... do you know what i'm talking about?"
clarice nodded. "yeah... i think ezra emhoff was going there when he got busted making xanax with fenty beauty in them. he was going there to get his foreign policy degree, he kept repeating that whenever i saw him at Lighthouse. 'i'm working on my foreign policy degree downtown. i'm working on my foreign policy degree downtown.' it was impossible to do drugs with him."
"well this guy lary hazlewood was tenured and taught all kinds of shit and wrote a book and retired like six years ago. he said he was getting pressured by the school to not criticize the saudi arabian or israeli government and they were monitoring the lecture hall he taught in and his office. when the iran war started they had him teaching less required courses per semester and changed the registration code of his classes about social democracy and left-wing latin american cinema so it would show up last on the list of shit to take. then the only people who joined his shit were DSA nerds or people who didn't give a fuck and were only there cause everything was taken."
i took pause to catch my breath.
"the entire thing turned him off so much he just stopped teaching. he liked fighting the students with parents in the political establishment and shit and like he couldn't do that with all the restrictions the school put on him."
signore wizard transitioned into the dfa remix of orange alert by metro area and played an explosion sound. the volume was lowered a few decibles and signore wizard began to speak:
"this is signore wizard and you're listening to my magic weekend disco show on 68.8 FM, the sound of the city. we're gonna be going on til sssssixx in the morning... and then we'll be handing it off to eddy confetti and the smile crew for the sunday bump-" signore wizard played a sniff sound effect. "-but until then we got about 4 more hours of audio sapphism, homoerotic hymns, monoclinous musicality and freak symphonies for you on this saturday night evening.. technically sunday but we all know sunday doesn't start until we've had our 'coffee'... the one that's only illegal in california if you know what i mean!"
"he's so cool..."
signore wizard continued:
"i'm talking over metro area right now - orange alert ... DFA records remix. before that ... a queen cover i picked up at Legal Records earlier this week by a contemporary new york trio called 'haunting apparition.' i hope none of you plan on sleeping anytime soon - but if you do - say a prayer, slash your hand, sacrifice a bird for james murphy. he's in the hospital right now with some medical problems. may love and good health be sent his way. that's all i need to say for now, back to the music, this is signore wizard on 68.8 FM THE SOUND OF THE CITY"
"i hope james murphy is ok."