About the Author
Maxine Lopez-Keough is a cheap date and aspiring deep sea welder. Her work has has appeared in the Best of the Net Anthology, Juked, MonkeyBicycle, Dogzplot, The Sarah Lawrence Review, the Boston Playwriting Festival, and on bathroom walls the world over.
Excerpts From Maxine’s Blog
Okay, so, I am going to tell this story because— even though I am a bourgie hoodrat and I pretend that the only things that matter to me are rovers and white girls who land basketball players— sometimes in life something happens that is so totally wonderful, it transcends everything and sort of hovers above the stratosphere like a crazy beautiful event-comet. And in the midst of oil spills and Tipper & Gore splitting, we need this. We NEED this.
When I was 16 I went to study abroad in Santander, which is like the Boca Raton of Spain. Nothing happens there, ever, except sometimes people eat baby eels and teenagers just found out about Nirvana like last week, and the beaches are pretty okay. I went to study there because my great aunt, Coca, lives there, and my whole Cuban-side of the family was like, SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD FOR NOT SPEAKING OUR LANGUAGE, YOU MONGREL, GET YOUR ASS TO SPAIN AND GET YOUR LEARN ON. Anyway, Coca is 90+, almost completely blind, and usually in a wheelchair, and kind of crazy. She took me around with a bunch of her nun friends in a tiny smart car to all these Catholic monuments, where lepers lined up with me to get our respective souls cleansed. I learned like 3 words of Spanish and read the Magic Johnson biography like 17 times because it was the only English book I had with me, and I was generally miserable but wicked tan. (Re: beaches.)
ANYWAY. When Coca was young she was a total babe stunner in Cuba. Like, a true-tropical pre-J.Lo swoon-worthy fox of 18 years old. Some boy in Havana fell in love with her from afar. He could never date her ‘cause she had all these other boyfriends, and then she got married, but he was totally smitten. SEVENTY-TWO YEARS LATER he tracks her down, calls her up (she’s like almost deaf) and is like, I’mma come and see you girl, I have loved you all my life. He FLIES TO SANTANDER SPAIN, and is like, Yup! Still Love ya! You’re still a fox. Your husband is dead now, let’s do this thing.
Dude is some millionaire in Miami with a bunch of houses. He’s like, It’s you, it’s only ever been you, forever, my whole life. HE ASKS HER TO MARRY HIM. SHE SAYS YES. THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED THIS SUMMER AND TAKING A CRUISE TO RUSSIA. Then they’re going to split their time between Spain & Miami, because even at 90 years old Lopez women are heartbreakers who can land themselves world-traveling millionaire husbands.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING HERE? People can LOVE YOU FROM AFAR FOR 8 DECADES AND PUT A RING ON IT, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE BOTH ABOUT TO DIE. THAT IS SOME EPIC LOVE ELIZABETH TAYLOR SHIT.
I am going to buy the biggest hat in the fucking world and go to the wedding and swan around and be like, sometimes life is fucking beautiful and when it is, damn. Get love, chase your girl, lock it up if it takes you almost a century. The end.
One well-rehearsed band in need of a hair-whipping, bass-worshipping, harmony-murdering Karen-O-meets-Ke$ha-with-a-splash-of-Bjork lead singer. Leather pants optional. You should be polished and on the brink of success. I will speak for us in interviews and promise to never date any of you, will inevitably date one of you, and when we break up you’ll most likely be kicked out of the group. Must be comfortable with partial nudity, my obsession with Nicki Minaj, my overprotective boyfriend, cultural-appropriated usage of face paint, pandering to both the gay and hipster communities, and ridiculous fur hats. Kindly present with fully-written songs that are neither twee nor derivative of any band other than ZZ Top. Must enjoy drum circles, overt use of hand-claps, children’s choirs, synth-pop, tambourines, Max Bemis (the crazy years), guest-verses by rappers I am in love with, swampy beats, the entirety of Justin Timberlake’s solo career, coyote skulls, Indian food, Beyonce and jingle bells. Please come prepared to rehearse with sour patch kids, a brief personal statement explaining your affinity for vests, an addiction you’ll beat and recover from publicly, your instrument, frye boots, a short essay addressing why Tegan is superior to Sara, a pen and ink drawing of a Clydesdale, your resume and a list of things you’ve done to prepare for the apocalypse. No vegans.
For a really long time whenever someone was like “FUCK THE INTERNET IT’S A FACELESS VOID OF NARCISSISTIC SOLIPSISM FATED TO DAMN MANKIND TO AN ETERNITY OF LOLCATS” I just let them vent. I think it’s important to get that shit out or else it burns a hole in you, and I mean— sometimes things online are awful, and when I was 14 I had a MySpace so I’m not running off to find a step-ladder up to my high horse, you know? But from now on, whenever anyone bitches about how nobody goes outside anymore to milk cows, and how the web is defecating all over good society and our brains are turning into weird html static, I am pointing to this and I am saying: Fuck outside, everything I need to prove we are a society that is blazing forward in a fiery racecar called Progress is in this clip. Take your farm, take your fucking fresh air, and walk away because it’s over, go home, goodbye, rah ah ah-ah.
Together We Can
At my job I sit within eyesight of our lobby, which means I get to watch all the interview subjects arrive and wait to be greeted. Every now and then a girl comes in who is dressed so inappropriately that I literally stop whatever I am doing and stare at her and imagine the life that has lead her here, to our fancy office, where she is sitting in a belt masquerading as a skirt and a button down shirt undone to mid-breast and high heels designed to hurt and confound and a necklace that spells out Tasty. I stare at these girls, and instead of feeling superior and well-accessorized, I can’t help but picture a life in which they grew up without a mother, developed way too early, dated a series of regrettable men, left home at 16, never looked back at their abusive stepfather, turned to stripping to pay the bills and put themselves through night school. And how this morning, getting ready in the run-down two-bedroom they share with Crystal, their closest girlfriend from The Viper Pit, they looked inside their wardrobe and frowned, struggling to pick out their most Businessy outfit. How pausing in front of the mirror, they adjusted the strap on their Lucite stiletto and asked Crystal what she thought. “You look great, ” Crystal said, “Serious, but also like, young? Like, really professional but still cute.” And they believed her, and they arrived here with skin the color of antique leather, white eyeshadow staring out at the world, acrylic nails clenched tight around their fake Fendi purse and a lone bic pen.
They all look so transparently hopeful, every single one of them—so much more so than the BU girls who roll in post-graduation in a suit their mother helped pick out, serious shoes, serious hairstyles, serious jewelry, serious internships on the resume. Girls who studied ambiguously corporate things like Marketing or Communications, and who probably played a sport completely unrelated to dipping it low or ass-clapping. And I know that it’s ridiculous for me to assume that every girl in a Bebe miniskirt is looking to upgrade her life from CucumberMelon Bodysplash to one of endless, endless paperwork, that my thinking so is probably MORE judgmental than if I was just staring out at them thinking Girl Your Skirt Is Such A Tragedy, and yet I cannot help my Lifetime self. Maybe these chicks all belong to a subculture of BU girls who simply like dressing as though they get paid in hundreds, and their tans are from Spring Break in Cabo, and they all played tennis and dated boys named Hunter in college, I’m sorry, I can’t fucking help it: In my mind, these girls are strippers, they dated Bucks and Dwanes, they tried meth more than once and they will never get hired. They don’t stand a chance. They will be interviewed dutifully and then laughed about for days behind their backs; in weeks to come, I’ll hear the end of some pithy insult, something about giving head to get ahead, a chorus of laughter, back to work.
And all I want to do is walk out into the hall, pull them into the elevator, down into the mall, into Banana Republic and say to each one of them: Here, this is called Single-Breasted and it has nothing to do with boobs, and these are Pants, and let me help you. You don’t have to give up who you are, you don’t have to sacrifice hotness for the job, there are ways. There are blazers that are cut in at the waist, and have you heard of darts? And there are skirts that hit at the knee, and good leather boots, and a world of wrap dresses. There are ways. I can see your vagina, put it away. Put your thighs away, put the upper quadrant of your breasts away, you don’t need them. You will command both male and female attention in a smart and manipulative way that will lead people to promote you because they feel you are worth taking a risk on, not to see if you’ll go down on someone in the freight elevator. Let me help you. Take my hand, let’s do this thing. No, put down the camisole, that is not a shirt, put it down—yes, okay, now take my hand. Let’s go.
I finally nailed down my plans for the apocalypse
and let me tell you I am so relieved. It’s like, Free Time: Hello Again! Flitting through mad daisy fields, calling all my grandparents, baking crazy pies for people, so much free time! Don’t know what to do with it.
More ramblings on Maxine’s tumblr.