Myriam Gurba, Ms. Gurba, if you’re nasty, is a native Santa Marian. She attended U.C. Berkeley thanks to affirmative action. She is the author of two short story collections, Dahlia Season and Painting Their Portraits in Winter. Dahlia Season won the Edmund White Award, which is given to queer writers for outstanding debut fiction. The book was also shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. Gurba is also the author of two poetry collections, Wish You Were Me and Sweatsuits of the Damned. She has toured North America twice with avant-garde literary and performance troupe Sister Spit. Gurba’s other writing can be found in places such as Entropy.com, TIME.com, and Lesfigues.com. She creates digital and photographic art that has been exhibited at galleries and museums.
Bobby Vinton recorded Blue Velvet.
So did Tony Bennett.
Of course, there’s the Lana Del Rey version, which is spooky.
Rolling Stone Magazine described Blue Velvet as “a doleful prom anthem.”
Please go to the prom with me. I don’t want to go alone.
In high school, I suffered an age inappropriate boyfriend. He’d pick me up from my house and drive me to the two-bedroom house he shared with an alcoholic named Larry. Larry wore a huge moustache, and it often seemed that it was doing all the drinking. Maybe his moustache was the alcoholic. Maybe Larry was just along for the ride.
I was sitting on my boyfriend’s living room sofa, by a potted Ficus I believed was a bachelor. The Ficus stood tall and lanky. Its leaves flirted with everybody. I sipped from a can of Sapporo. My boyfriend popped a tape into his VCR. A movie played as he walked back to the couch.
“What is this?” I asked.
“Wild at Heart,” he answered.
My brain gassed his words: Wild at Fart. I wanted to utter this new title but my boyfriend so frequently told me to act like a girl that I suspected my fart talk would piss him off. He would tell me girls don’t talk about farts. I’d probably have to make it up to him by giving him an HHJ. Half-hearted hand job.
Wild at Heart is a good movie.
It’s not my favorite David Lynch movie, though.
Mulholland Drive is.
Mulholland Drive stars a Mexican woman.
I am partial to any movie that stars a Mexican woman.
Since my age inappropriate boyfriend refused to take me to my prom, I’m taking
(Ours a love I held tightly
Feeling the rapture grow
Like a flame burning brightly
But when she left gone was the glow of…)
Rick James loved her. Have you?
Have you heard that song Pussy Pussy Pussy Marijuana? A little white boy wrote it.
I’m gonna eat that pussy
Lana Del Rey’s video for Summertime Sadness tells the story of a lesbian suicide. The lesbianism portrayed in the video is very jumpy. I am jumpy. A Mexican jumping bean.
I bought my blue velvet prom dress from a vintage clothing store in Santa Barbara. I bought it because I wanted to make the song Blue Velvet about me. Like every teenager, I took narcissism seriously.
Odette was the tallest white girl I knew. I looked up to her. Had to. Her Causian-toned rape van was grumbling in our driveway. My father snapped pictures of me posing stag by our front door, fluffing my hair in our foyer, and then my Mary Janes carried me to the chariot. My bob and I hurdled into its maw. My nostrils inhaled barnyard.
Instead of on upholstery, I arranged my lower half on a bale of hay. Odette’s sister, Elke, belonged to Future Farmer’s of America, and the van’s straw seating fed her sheep, Chop Suey. He was named such for reasons I’d rather not talk about.
A Marlboro clung to Odette’s freckled excuse for a lower lip. Her noodle arms were steering. The Unholyiest Ghost rode in the passenger seat.
I gazed at couples arranged on bales. Even my best friend, an asexual named Penelope, had managed to wrangle a date. He and Penelope shared a bale. Their carnation corsages mirrored one another. So did their vapid expressions.
I epitomized worthlessness, a woman without a man, but at least I was starring in a doleful prom anthem.
To read more of Richard, pre-order it via Birds of Lace’s 2016 Kickstarter campaign.