New Fiction: The Home Decorator’s Dilemma by Nathan Hill
I come to this intersection each day and I ask myself: Am I a PotteryBarnGuy or a CrateAndBarrelGuy? It is no small matter. It is a question that, in hindsight, could explain any number of decisions or events or life. I see that Crate and Barrel is having a sale, so I walk in, then think twice. Is that the message I want to send? What would my mother say, seeing me standing on this street corner announcing Sale! like some cheap beleathered gigolo. What would the PotteryBoys think? There they are now, all sport coats and smart khakis, touching their silky hands to suede pillows, sniffing candles of cranberry and French mocha, running smooth fingertips over the rims of highballs ringingly. How we love them, watching, distant, from our cheap side of this disgusting street.
They are pussies and we could annihilate them. Me and my CrateAndBarrelBoys, with our begrimed hands and Mets caps. We sneer and carry brass knuckles in our back pockets, intimidate passersby for our greedy entertainment, and wear black sunglasses to hide our true feelings. Feelings inadequate and sad—the pathetic, hopeless, unspoken sexuality of men in big groups, in wretched fraternity, an aggregation of impotent macho energy. How we tingle and tire at the thought of it, of being them, of touching them, of seeing just one of their red, skinny pricks. And how we’re ashamed when we imagine it! And we beat the shame away by pummeling them, the potteryboys, limpdicks, crandberrycandlefags.
We fight them to exorcise our feelings. We fight them to give us permission for our feelings—feelings that do not go away, that require vigilance, upkeep, and constant violence. It’s not the act of fighting that we crave, it’s the cycle.
But in the intervals between the battles, I often wish we could join them, combine with them, create a new progeny, a beautiful aggregate Store. It’s my dream, but I don’t tell my comrades, the sex metaphor being too obvious, too close to the surface. I often sit at our warzone intersection and imagine it, the apotheosis of home-decorating perfection:
We would have everything that anybody ever needed. And in this intersection, amid the traffic, would sprout a thick, green, tall, miracle tree. I would plant this tree’s seed. And I would watch it, happy, as it marvelously grew.
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/the-home-decorators-dilemma-nathan-hill/