O.K. (An Excerpt)
Victor “KOOL A.D.” Vazquez has written a novel. The novel’s title is “O.K.” and it is more than that. O.K. is funny, smart, sexy, and surreal. It reads like a lucid dream diary, like a couch-stoned conversation with your raddest friend, like Vazquez’s Twitter feed (@veeveeveeveevee). It is a Great American Novel. Its “I” shifts as a true Self does, from LL Cool J to Andy Garcia to Steve Buscemi and back and more. I really love this book. In anticipation of the book’s release (forthcoming from Spencer Madsen’s excellent small press Sorry House), Sex presents an excerpt. Here are chapters three, four, and five (of one hundred) of O.K.
I flew to Oakland, California on some business. I got into town, rented a red Ford Focus, dropped my bags off at the Flamingo Motel in Berkeley, ate some psilocybin mushrooms I bought from a half white half Vietnamese Berkeley High School kid in the Taco Bell parking lot down the street and spent a few hours driving around listening to KMEL until I found myself at the McDonald’s at South Shore Mall in South Oakland, also knownas “Dirty ‘Meda.”
I ordered two cheeseburgers and waited. They had a TV on.
It was America’s Saddest Girl.
As I had predicted earlier, Michelle had been kicked off.
I closed my eyes and remembered a tender moment with Mercedes. I considered calling her and thought better of it.
I looked at my watch (Rolex). I had ordered the cheeseburgers two hours ago.
I went up to the cashier.
“I don’t typically do this but, do you know who I am?”
“LL Cool J”
“Exactly, my burgers are two hours late.”
“So sorry Mr. Cool J, we’ll have your burgers ready in twominutes. Enjoy them on the house. I’m a big fan of your music.”
“Thank you. And don’t let it happen again.”
Now that’s how you get things done.
My cheeseburgers came immediately.
I ate one and wrapped one up for later.
I got back into my Ford Focus and realized I had left my sec- ond cheeseburger in the McDonald’s. Thought to myself, “Fuck it.” and scraped off.
In a few hours I was driving somewhere up north on High- way 1 carved into the cliff walls on the edge of California over- looking the Pacific Ocean.
I was hitting corners at 100mph so it was inevitable, I skidded and flew off the highway straight into the Pacific Ocean.
I sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in my Ford Focus.
My Ford Focus landed softly on a bed of seaweed and I got out of the Focus.
Mermaids, squid, octopi, striped sea bass, shrimp and electric eels swam around me. I swam around looking at the kelp forests and orcas and other various flora and fauna the sea had to offer. I considered buying a condo down here but then figured it would be lonely.
I swam to Hawaii and borrowed some money from an old friend.
I bet on some horses and made enough to stay in a decent hotel room.
In this hotel room I did 500 pushups and 1000 sit-ups. I went to the beach and laid down and stared at the sun.
I heard there are some yogis that learned how to get all of the nutrients their body needed to survive by absorbing the sun’s light into their eyeballs. They don’t eat or really do anything at all they just stare at the sun. I believe it. The human mind is a powerful thing.
The sun set and I stayed where I was, lying on the beach staring up at the sky. There were only 10 stars in the sky so I decided to name them:
2. LL Cool J
I was pleased. I had made some real progress today.
So apparently, Walmart is the largest employer in America. About 1.3 million people work there last time I checked on the internet, probably even more now. Also Walmart pays many of their employees so little that they qualify for Government aid, meaning Walmart is kind of like a government subsidized company, like a Soviet tractor factory or like, say, the Royal African Company (or, as it was originally known, the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa). These are all interesting facts that I Googled while drinking mimosas in the Air France first class lounge at JFK airport awaiting a flight to Mexico City.
Bill Nye the Science Guy was being interviewed on the news explaining something about asteroids. Apparently 500 people were injured in an asteroid shower in Russia. Bill Nye was vibing like the old acid journeyman he was, getting very mystical, when the tight-lipped anchor woman cut him off.
I’ve dabbled in drugs, sex, yoga, tantric sex, yoga on drugs, tantric sex on drugs, pornography collecting, tarot, astrology, palmistry, handwriting analysis, paleolinguistics, Buddhism, spinning classes, pottery, pottery on drugs, spinning classes on drugs, card tricks, card tricks on drugs, having sex while doing card tricks, sexy pottery, really whatever I could do to get to “the sweet spot” as I like to call it. I’d recommend any of them.
I give talks at schools sometimes, middle schools, high schools, colleges. Words of inspiration. Don’t do drugs, stay in school, stay healthy, hang in there, you are the rose that grew from the concrete, etc. And the kids always seem so happy after.
I talk even if they don’t believe/know/care what I’m saying. I don’t even know if I believe/know/care what I’m saying but I tend to feel happy after saying it too. I think we’re all just happy that my inspirational talk is over. So I guess what I mean to say is, it’s best to maintain a positive mental attitude.
These are the 8 thoughts I thought before I fell asleep on the airplane from NYC to D.F.:
1. The other day, I bit into a plum and it didn’t taste like anything.
2. There is a particular sadness to lemon cake.
3. One time at Starbucks I bought some “Madeleine” style cookies and dipped them in some tea and ate them and so many memories from my childhood rushed into my head.
4. Vladimir Putin hired Boyz II Men to fly out to Rus- sia and encourage Russians to procreate more. I have often wondered why he didn’t hire me, LL Cool J.
5. I met Chinua Achebe once at a charity event, he is a very stylish man, quiet but commands a room. Rest in Peace to the God.
6. I tried out the Church of Scientology one time. Not my thing. No disrespect, but very gay vibes. I’m no homophobe I just did not feel comfortable amongst the Scientologists.
7. I’ve made a lot of enemies in my life. I don’t know why. But then again, I do know why. I don’t ever feel the need to hold back. Some people love me for that and some people hate me for that but at the end of the day, we’re all people, you know what I mean?
8. We are all programmed to receive. The Eagles said that. Phenomenal group. Beautiful voices. The harmonies,very good, very interesting. They sold so many records, I got to hand it to them.
I landed in Mexico City at3pm. Walked right past baggage claim, I never check any luggage. I have no patience and I hate waiting.
I walked outside and whistled for a cab and when it came near, the license plate said “FRESH” and there was dice in the mirror. If anything, you could say that this cab was #rare. I jumped in the cab and “Welcome to Miami (Bienvenidos a Miami)” was playing on the radio. Will Smith. A contemporary. A stand up guy. I loved the film Six Degrees of Separation. Chaos, control, it had everything.
I told the driver to take me to take me to Teotihuacan. He obliged.
Halfway to Teotihuacan I realized I wasn’t in a cab I was riding on a crocodile. Or maybe an alligator. I was too embarrassed to ask which one.
We rolled up to Teotihuacan. Beautiful place. Great spot to go think.
I walked to the top of the Pyramid of the Moon, closed my eyes and ascended to the moon.
The moon was boring. I mean the moon was O.K., it was just kind of boring.
I stood on the moon for a while with my eyes closed breathing deeply in and out for a few minutes but that got boring so then I tried to open my eyes as wide as possible and hold my breath for as long as possible. It was one minute and twenty-three seconds, I counted.
I looked into the sun. What a crazy/beautiful little star.
The sun and the moon are both big beautiful globes, if at times a little boring.
I walked around. It was O.K.
I came across a giant crater. This sucker was huge. Like, fuck the Grand Canyon, the G.C. was a tea-cup compared to this bad boy, that’s how I felt about the matter.
I looked into the big beautiful crater and contemplated. I wondered about life and whether or whether not it would take me under.