My pleasure used to be making sense. Finding patterns in the chaos. To do this, I'd go "meta." Pull myself up and above the thing I was looking at. Turn life into a play, or a play into a play-within-a-play. I got pretty good at it, too. It's why I got to write books.

It was touring for these books that I first discovered sex. I mean, sure, I'd "done it" before, but it always seemed like it was at her expense. Or, at best, a favor that didn't harm her too much. (Pathetic, I know, but it's how I felt.) Having sex on the road with women who came to my readings, though seemingly enviable, only exacerbated the whole thing. I was the writer -- they didn't want me, they just wanted the guy who wrote that book.

But then, and pretty recently, I met a woman I wanted so badly that I didn't have time or energy to "meta" and figure out the exchange rate on love. I just wanted her and, without a game plan or a resume in hand, used my body to do what only my words had done before...And that's when it hit me. All the Shakespeare sonnets, all the Georgia O'Keeffe paintings, all the Sinatra songs, all the Indian tapestries, and even Rikki Lake. Where had I been? Out there being meta, I guess.

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.

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