Thursday, May 31, 2018

Do Women Dream of Electric Sheep?

I'm a person incapable of doing anything in moderation. I can't drink in moderation, smoke in moderation, do drugs in moderation, have sex in moderation, use social media in moderation, consume politics in moderation. This all-or-nothing tendency has led me to live more or less the life of a monk in recent years, abstaining from intoxicants and experimenting with NoFap and other life improvement measures popular with young men alienated by the excesses of modernity. NoFap is the most difficult of all of these things--I lasted seven days at most, ha ha--but the world did seem extremely vivid and benevolent during that time and Blade Runner 2049, with its serpentine AI females and lonely male protagonist, resonated deeply with me when I saw it.
Abstaining from social media poses a particular problem because I, being thirty years old, am of the first generation that relied on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter for a social life. My partner is thirty-nine, finds social media silly, finds it easy to refrain from posting anything and use it as a newsfeed. On the contrary, I greatly enjoy participating in social media and am an entertaining content provider. Because of my right-wing politics and how these color my total outlook, this means that my being on social media is detrimental to my social life, career, and reputation, not to mention the deleterious effect of social media dopamine addiction on users of any political persuasion. For me, the reactionary slant is what makes my observations worthwhile. Nine out of ten readers disagree and would like me to produce campy gay stuff with no detectable political slant. This, to me, is pointless. I also am not keen on the idea of surrendering to total anonymity in order to preserve a social life not worth preserving, as most young men who are not leftists do. I feel there is a certain dignity in attaching my web presence to my real identity, even though I know this is unwise. What do I do, then? Remain a hermit and don't put any work out there?
I've been off social media totally for the better part of two years because of the emotional turmoil it causes and the way it destroys my friendships. Mind you, nothing I post is personal or targeted at particular people I know. The fact that I post it is enough. They may post a continuous stream of hostile generalizations about men, lower-class white people, and "punching Nazis," just as mainstream media encourages them to do. Fine. I still love them! When you are not a leftist, you learn to love people despite disagreeing with their politics. The current brand of leftist simply cannot tolerate the presence of a dissenting viewpoint in their social circle.
In this, as in most other areas of my present life, women are the chief opposition. I have always liked and been close to and understood women. I followed the conventional homosexual trajectory of ensconcing myself in a cocoon of women and femininity in early life and sought the friendship and approval of men in adulthood. In the last ten years, sadly, I have lost my ability to trust most women. Those magical friendships you thought would be eternal evaporate after the girls get married or a new social cause is deployed by the media. One after another, virtually all of the women in my life have renounced me for publicly criticizing liberalism The sad fact is that there do not remain any women outside of my family with whom I can be completely honest. I can't say anything I find actually funny because they'll turn on a dime. Decade-long friendships matter less to them than ensuring that their social circles are in lockstep support of the Democrat party. There is an outstanding female tendency to discipline, shame, and enforce conformity, to treat the world like an unruly kindergarten class. Our culture is oversaturated with pervasive themes of alleged misogyny. It is time for the inverse to be discussed.
The point of this is not to get pity. It's to point out something truly sinister taking place in our society. As a Christian, I believe that things happen for reasons you may not immediately understand. In my case, it took the total eradication of my social life to get me off the poison of social media. Except you're never actually off. A year goes by without it and the second you get back on it's as though you never left. I'm the problem, you say. I was playing with fire by publicly voicing opinions I knew to be out of step with mainstream leftist orthodoxy. That's a shameful line of thinking. One day I will find the right audience, and it will all click into place.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Female Complaints

The other day, I sprayed on a bunch of Rumba (Lapidus) before going to a screening of Imitation of Life. It was the final screening of a five-film Douglas Sirk series, all of which I'd attended. Because of the Alamo Drafthouse's assigned seating system, you often end up sitting awkwardly close to people in otherwise wide open theaters. Even though I typically go to the Drafthouse two or three times a week, I do not enjoy the assigned seating aspect. I am a person who likes to wear lots of fragrance and sit far, far away from others.
As soon as I sat down, the faceless, featureless woman next to me, who had long ratty Crystal Gayle hair and Teva sandals, began heaving and coughing in a demonstrative, fake manner. Uh oh, I thought. Usually people are far too frightened and confused by me to approach me about anything, but older women are often quite confident about harassing and scolding total strangers. It's also literally always women who complain about fragrance. Ugly and/or liberal women. Women who hate the idea of anyone else, female or otherwise, projecting glamour and confidence and not playing by the rules. Men may dislike it in theory but they don't reprimand total strangers about it, unless they're just complete faggot SJW beta males.
 "Excuse me... are you wearing... cologne?"
She said it like I was jerking off in front of her. 
"Uh, yeah. I'd be happy to move down a few seats."
"You should tone it down! I never wear anything to a theater!" she said with the moral authority that only awful women, or awful men who pretend to be women, are able to conjure. 
I smiled weakly. I may be brash in my writing but I'm actually a very polite person that hates confrontation and wants to be liked. 
"I'm sorry. I always wear perfume."
I said "perfume" because my use of that word instead of "cologne" would confuse her and make her feel guilt for harassing a faggot or possible tranny. Oh,  please don't hurt little old me, a bullied faggot, wearing his ladies' perfume! It worked. Her face softened up and she said, "That's okay," and smiled.
All during the movie I thought of the clever things I could've said to her, the points I could've made. The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is the worst-smelling movie theater I've ever been to. It smells like dumpster celery and obese, unhealthy nerd BO. To get to it you have to walk down Sixth Street over the bodies of numerous aggressive, reeking homeless people high on K2. It was in this scent milieu that this woman decided perfume was the only objectionable element. You also know that this white bitch wouldn't have dared comment on the fragrance of a black woman or a Muslim. Policing fragrance is something done exclusively by white people, to white people. 
It's about control. It's not about allergies. It's about Stalinist, leftist, bureaucratic control, enforced by people who know nothing about art or their own senses. Yes, I wear perfume to provoke, in a period of time where strong fragrance makes one seem bizarre and possibly unhinged. I enjoy transmitting the message that something in the air is wrong, improper for our time period. People I like accept it as one of my eccentricities. I long ago came to terms with the fact that I'm fine alienating people with my perfume, and that I will never quit wearing it for a job or romantic prospect.
The other day they hired a new girl at work. I was tasked with training her. The topic of fragrance came up with a customer and it became apparent to the new girl that I knew more than was normal about it.
"Wow, how do you know all that?" she asked.
"I just really like perfume."
"Oh, really. I'm actually allergic."
I offered no response. I didn't even bother pretending not to hear her. I made it clear that I had heard and was purposely not responding. I don't live in that world. I do not follow the rules of post-1980s PC leftist HR department fragrance decorum. If you don't wear fragrance to work, it means you never wear fragrance. You spend your entire life at work. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Le Labo Santal 33

Le Labo Santal 33 is the Giorgio Beverly Hills of the 2010s in terms of its faceless ubiquity, exorbitant price, and California snob gaucherie, except that Giorgio Beverly Hills is actually good. Santal 33 is present in toiletry form in all the trendy boutique hotels. It is a staple of the millionaire fauxhemian celebrity class who masquerade as countercultural 1960s vagabonds. There are style pieces in the New York Times about it. Hipsters will claim that they wore it before everyone else did as though this gives them some kind of street cred. People who wear it will say that they didn't care for perfume or cologne before their senses were awakened by Santal 33, and they will coo over it like it is the first non-calone non-fruity-floral they have ever smelled,  which it probably is. 
In terms of its actual smell, it is a synthetic Xeroxed sandalwood-fig idea. The original Marc Jacobs for men smells similar, and is stronger, and cheaper. There's nothing really wrong with Santal 33, and it's positive that average Americans, the type that normally have a puritanical class-based fear of fragrance, get excited about a smell and feel emboldened enough to wear it in 2017. Why, though, does it have to be this one? Every time I hear someone express excitement about Santal 33 I want to take them on a personal tour of perfume history and show them all the weird, bold masterpieces that people used to wear and which used to be commonplace until the 1990s.
Santal 33's immense popularity can be traced to its au courant absence of gender and sex appeal, in a decade defined by identity politics gone mad and the proliferation of deceitful pseudo-religious gender theory. It doesn't seem intended for men or women, but for genderless pastel-haired consumers with customizable Mr. Potato Head body modifications, vaguely Bohemian self-images, and $300 to burn. Its smoky-woodsy theme appeals to hipster women who think of themselves as above wearing anything overtly girly, yet it does not have any kind of conventionally masculine hairy-chest fougere signifiers that will give Tumblr Millennials unpleasant reminders of grandfathers or patriarchy. It is ideal for male feminist industry bots attending SXSW conferences on "diversity in tech." 

Monday, February 20, 2017

I'm With Milo, or, The Left is Garbage

The Left's medieval witch hunt tactic of willfully misinterpreting the words of their ideological opponents and crafting patently false viral news hit pieces to take thought criminals out has reached new levels of heinousness. "Grab them by the pussy" was one--everyone, but everyone, knew what he meant there, and libtards just repeated that he was "confessing to rape" in the hope of making it stick. Now they've attempted to ruin Milo Yiannopoulos by attaching the word "pedophile" to him in headlines based on deceptively edited video from years ago, where he says absolutely nothing shocking, surprising, or untrue.
Meanwhile, New York liberals that feature similar content in their books are showered with awards. I don't see Samuel Delany losing book deals. I don't see Dennis Cooper and Allen Ginsberg being removed from the gay canon.
Nope, this was an Alinskyite garbage hit job, and I just want to speak out on it. He's being destroyed in the same way Oscar Wilde was a century ago, and the reptilian cabal of social media magnates is silently retooling Facebook, Twitter et al. to ensure that it is literally impossible to express a thought that is in disagreement with Democrat Party orthodoxy and have it seen by anyone. This blog is my only channel of communication with the outside world, and it will probably be deleted too.
I'll reiterate: the Left is a dumpster of flaming garbage and I will do everything in my power to fight its creeping Body Snatchers horror. We're living in the final chapters of Jean Raspail's Camp of the Saints. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Highland Mall

On Christmas of 2009, my parents surprised me with the news that they'd rented a midcentury dream house in the Austin neighborhood of Crestview. I was twenty-three, still lived with them, and was about to transfer from Austin Community College to Texas State University to complete my long-in-the-making English degree. I worked part-time at Freebirds, a hippie-themed burrito restaurant in north Austin. We lived in a mobile home out in the country in Granger, a forty-five-minute drive from my ACC classes and job. At the time I had no problem with my long commutes, and would listen to Fleetwood Mac CDs start to finish while smoking Winston Light 100s. 
I was planning on moving to Austin proper with a friend in the coming year so I'd be closer to Texas State. My parents said they were renting the house in Crestview in order for my dad to be closer to his work, but the truth is that they were doing it for me. They wanted me to have a cool place to live so that I'd be able to finish school without worrying about rent. It should be said that I love my parents more than I love anyone on earth, I am the youngest child, and they have always spoiled me rotten. I didn't realize until I'd moved out on my own and they'd moved back to Granger that those years at the Crestview house, 2010 through 2013 plus one year they lived there without me, were the best years of my life. They were also the years where my perfume hobby was at its most decadent and excessive, so my memories are woven through the dozens and dozens of gorgeous scents I bought and wore during that time.
Highland Mall was the first indoor mall in Austin and at the time we moved to Crestview it was on its last legs as an active shopping center.  It became notorious for the crime and violence that took place during the Texas Relays and white people always avoided going there and talked about it in ominous tones. It had one remaining anchor store, a Macy's, but most of its open retail space was occupied by ghetto fashion stores, Army recruitment offices, and that jewel of the ghost mall, the discount perfume store run by Middle Easterners or Eastern Europeans and filled to bursting with dusty bottles of rare and exciting perfumes. There were three, maybe four of these stores, all with regal names--Perfume King, Perfume Palace--and they were my lifeblood. These were the first places I actually saw bottles of the legendary perfumes I read about in Luca Turin's book. Here, off the top of my head, are just some of the things I bought at these stores during those years: 

-Montana Parfum de Peau
-Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant
-Balenciaga Rumba
-Vivienne Westwood Boudoir
-YSL Rive Gauche
-Balenciaga Pour Homme
-Ungaro III
-Cacharel Noa
-Cacharel Eden
-Cacharel Loulou
-Caron Yatagan
-Paco Rabanne Calandre
-Paco Rabanne Metal
-YSL Kouros
-YSL Rive Gauche
-YSL Paris
-YSL Opium

In addition to housing the bus stop where my mom dropped me off to catch the commuter bus to school every morning, Highland was a thirty-minute walk from my house and I'd go there more or less every day and buy something new, always without having smelled it. I was rarely, if ever, disappointed with the little bottles that contained distant eras and exotic locales. That's what perfume became for me after I got into it--little vessels to past time periods and distant locations I couldn't possibly ever visit. Like Serge Lutens is always trying to recreate his absent mother through his perfumes, I am always trying to recreate through scent specific places and sensations I have sketchy but intense memories of as a child. Women were these Amazons with shoulder pads and warrior makeup and narcotic, overwhelming perfumes, and everywhere smelled of cigarettes. That is the smell I want; that is the place I want to be. 
When I opened my first blue box of Montana and could smell its dank, urinous patchouli wafting through the cardboard, I was transported to Highland Mall twenty years prior. I could be the woman who wore that, who picked up that helix bottle at the mall, who smoked carelessly, who got a perm at Visible Changes. It wouldn't be "weird" to wear this either. Everyone else wore similar things. 
Over the years I gave away or sold many of those bottles. I was concerned with not looking like a hoarder and tried to emulate my friend Monica, who was constantly getting rid of things she'd purchased and making her spaces look austere and immaculate. As I near thirty, I realize that I am a person who needs to own libraries of things. I'm a Cancer, which explains both the obsessive nostalgia and the filling of my house with emotionally significant objects. 
These days I find myself buying up pretty much everything I had during that time, and the memories are so vivid--seemingly inconsequential moments that I shouldn't remember but do, like my dad, who rarely said anything about my scents, driving me to Office Max while I was drenched in Rumba, and him remarking on how good it smelled. Me wearing too much Lolita Lempicka as I grilled meat in a hot food trailer during the summer and swearing it off forever (I love it now and bought a new bottle). Me wafting Eden while fucking some stranger in Midtown Spa and promptly throwing the bottle in the trash in revulsion. Me leaving my Poison-redolent pea coat at a Craigslist hookup's meth den and working up the courage to go back and get it--yes, these were the Craigslist dark ages right before gay hookup apps made Internet sex into a virtual candy shop. It's strange to think that it's late enough in the decade that "early 2010s Austin" is now a specific time period of the city completely different from what it is now. Everything that was still old and interesting when I lived there is either gone  forever or, worse, exists in skeleton form as a new-and-improved expensive hipster version of itself, as happened to LaLa's Little Nugget and Poodle Dog Lounge. Midtown Spa is gone. Chain Drive is gone. Bout Time is gone. The Crestview Minimax is gone. You wouldn't believe if you went to Burnet Road now, just a few years later, that I found a full 60s bottle of Schiaparelli Shocking at the Austin Antique Mall and wore the shit out of it. 
I have a beautiful memory of walking through Highland Mall the last Christmas it still had an anchor store with my mom, dad, and sister, stopping to smell all of the old Estee Lauder masterpieces, and coming home with a bottle of Kenzo Jungle from one of the discounters. The education that mall gave me in its dying years will stick with me my whole life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fiction: "Eden"

Eden was launched by the design house of Cacharel in 1994.  Its release was accompanied by a lavish party in an airport hangar in France in which nude teenage models were hired to be part of the scenery on a fake tropic island.  The scent itself is a sweet green concoction, beginning as a canned fruit salad and evolving into a pungent, decadent patchouli musk.  Throughout the scent’s progression it becomes ever stronger, almost suffocating, creating a humid, sweaty greenhouse atmosphere around the wearer.  It lasts on skin interminably.
Driving home Jon remembers it’s there right nearby, right down the street.  Emboldened by liquor and a recent viewing of a documentary on pre-AIDS urban gay hedonism he says to himself Why Not.  He performs a quick U-turn fifty feet from his house and heads toward Lennox Avenue.  It’s somewhere on Lennox Avenue but he can’t remember if it’s close to the highway or on the opposite end.  After some confusion he spots it, a three-story brown box with only an underlit sign a foot high reading 4608 to identify it.  There are two small parking lots on either side of it and the entrance faces away from the street.  He fails to notice that there are only four or five cars parked outside.
Stumbling and smiling to himself and clutching his wallet to make sure it’s there, he walks up the zig-zagging wooden handicap ramp to the double door.  A cacophony of bathroom and pool smells-- chlorine, industrial-strength air fresheners, shit, sweat, and ammoniac urine- blows onto his face from an air-conditioning vent.  He is in a small, white, linoleum-floored room with a desk and glass partition on one side and a locked door on the other.  He approaches the partition.
Hello how’re you doing tonight?
Fine.  How can I help you?
Oh, I’d like to get in.  I don’t exactly know what to do.
OK, you’ll need a valid ID.  There’s the list of admission prices.  It depends on what you want.
The haggard boy behind the partition points to a ballpark-style menu of options with varying prices.  Jon spots one that says STUDENT: $10.
He hands over the money and his ID and the boy files them away in a box.  He is given a towel and a key through a hole in the partition and the double doors are unlocked with a loud beep.  Inside the smell is stronger and the room vibrates from pulsating, far-off Hi-NRG disco that is coming from the floors above and below.   The bruise of fluorescent light near the entrance fades into a watery red-black after several yards.  He sees an assortment of unoccupied exercise machines in one corner, a square section of lockers nearby, and a glass-walled room with a large television casting a sleazy blue glow on some empty couches.  There is a stairwell from which the red light emanates.  There isn’t a human in sight except for the boy behind the counter.  The room has the abandoned feel of a department store after closing. 
After finding the locker that matches the number on his key--it is on the very bottom row, so he has to crouch on the floor to access it--he undresses totally, laughing out loud at the absurdity of the situation, telling himself he’s doing it for anthropological purposes like an undercover journalist, not just because he wants to fuck the first warm male body he sees.  He wads up his shirt and shorts and stuffs them into the locker, retaining only his cigarettes and lighter.  The towel is not quite large enough to stay around his waist so he has to hold it up with one hand.
A short pig-like man in a tank top carrying a stack of towels abruptly passes by.  He is fully clothed so he must work here.
Hey, um, can you help me out?
So what do you do here? Jon laughs.
What do you mean?  The pig makes his impatience known.  The pool’s out there, there are private rooms upstairs and down below.  I don’t know what else you need to know.  He waddles off with a sigh and enters the area behind the desk. 
Up, up the stairs to the second floor.  The disco gets louder, the stairs thump harder.  Cigarettes, lighter, and key in one hand, towel clutched to his waist in the other, it is not easy walking up two flights.  At the top all is totally red and before him are a serious of numbered rooms stretching thirty feet to the left and right.  The walls stop a yard short of the ceiling.  He turns left and walks to the end and around the corner.  More rooms, more numbers, more flimsy thin walls. He takes the first left down another cramped hallway and then right.  After this he doesn’t think about which way he is turning.  He is savoring the surreal atmosphere and the feeling of endlessness about the place.  Cartoonish female voices, sped-up to an ominous distortion and bolstered with pounding, shattering bass and icy electronics, act as an advertisement for the drugs he wishes he had.  His mouth is parched and his throat keeps sticking to itself, causing him to gag.  Occasionally he will pass small fluorescent-lit corners like condensed doctor’s office waiting rooms with two chairs and a small table on which sits a bowl of condoms.  It might just be one corner that he passes multiple times, he can’t tell.  He looks up at the end of this particularly dark stretch of doors and sees blue light leaking from one that is slightly ajar.  Padding toward it he sees a small television, a bald man, and a pair of legs.  Some tinny pre-recorded moaning registers under the disco.  Frightened, he heads back in the direction of the stairwell.
He is in a large Jacuzzi with another pig-like man.  This one has an upturned nose and wide, flaring nostrils.  He looks like the other one in a previous evolutionary state.  His chest and shoulders have recently been shaved and poking out of the skin are thick black bristles. 
So where’re you from?  Jon tries to sound casual and seductive and makes an effort not to slur.  He is aware of his erection underneath the bubbling water.   He gets his cigarette wet and the lit half breaks off and falls in.
I’m from out of town.
Have you ever been to a place like this?
No.  I’m from out of town.
The pig is not interested and exits the Jacuzzi with a splash.  He retrieves his towel and disappears inside.
On a couch in the TV room sits a bearded man in a towel.  His body is taut and wiry.  His feet are resting on the coffee table, next to a stack of magazines.  He is staring intently at the news program on the television, black blocky closed captioning running underneath the female reporter. 
Can you believe they’re doing that?  The whole system is so backwards.  America is fucked. 
The man is the first person in the bathhouse that speaks without being spoken to.  Jon finds him instantly attractive and moves from his isolated chair to the couch.  He props his feet next to the man’s, on top of the magazines.
Oh I know.
Any idiot knows that doing that will just increase the deficit.  Any idiot knows that.  Me, I’d just let it run its course.  I’d just let it run its course and then we’d be back on our feet. It’ll heal itself.  As it is the system just fucks over the people like me, the people like you and me.  Well I don’t know anything about you but it certainly fucks me over.  Twenty-five years I’ve been dealing with this, no, more like thirty years-- I forget how old I am.  They keep interfering and the deficit’s just gonna get bigger, and you’re gonna be paying for it.  I’ll be dead but you’ll be paying for it.
Oh I know.  Jon slides his foot up the man’s firm leg and pokes at the hot, tightly closed thighs.  This requires some awkward positioning on the couch.  The man continues talking, seemingly unaware.  Jon doesn’t hear a word he says but attempts to pry open the hot thighs with his big toe.  Eventually they give and he brushes against something hairy and gelatinous.  The man scoots down further away to the opposite end of the couch and continues his speech.
Down the stairwell to the bottom floor.  It looks like the second floor but the walls are splattered with day-glo paint.  The rooms on this floor are arranged in a square around a large open space in which hang various chains and stirrups and harnesses.  All are unoccupied.  Surveying the scene, Jon notices an open door across the way.  Not cracked accidentally, totally open.  As he approaches it, his testicles shrink up close to his body.  He sees a prone, naked figure lying face-down on a cot.  On the small table next to the cot are a pair of glasses, a box of tissues, and a wallet.  There is a towel crumpled on the floor.
Hi, he tries, tentative now.
Hey handsome.
The figure doesn’t turn over.
How’s it goin?
Fine, fine.
After a pause Jon says, I want to fuck you.
Surprised that it was that easy, he crouches onto the bed and gets astride the man and turns him over gently.  The man has a full head of black hair and looks to be of Latino descent.  Jon cannot easily ascertain his age.  In the darkness he can see a pair of hollow black eyes and a thin-lipped wet mouth, slightly ajar.  Jon presses his weight on top of the man and inhales his scent.  Around the neck is a powdery, faded barbershop odor that reminds him of his father.  His head travels to the armpits and he presses his nose in the damp, straight hair, savoring the stale cumin ripeness.  At the navel he inserts a stiffened tongue and licks a trail down to a nest of wiry fur.  He presses his nose under the man’s limp penis but does not place it in his mouth.  The scent of the man’s genitals mirrors the armpit but is amplified, enhanced.    
I won’t do it without a condom.
Well then go get one, the man says, annoyed.
Jon hurries out of the room to one of the condensed corner doctor’s office waiting rooms and scoops a couple of condoms out of the bowl.  He is still fully erect.
Back in the room he kneels at the end of the bed and spreads the man’s legs.  He opens the condom wrapper with trembling hands and extracts the greasy object inside.  The harsh, medicinal smell of latex bursts into the air.  Examining the condom, he momentarily doubts that he’s putting it on the right way.  He slides it over his penis and presses it to the base.  The man hands him a greasy bottle of lubricant, which makes a loud ketchup fart when he squeezes it.  Jon coats his penis and squeezes a stream down the man’s furry crevice.  The legs are lifted over his shoulders and he presses on the sphincter.  It gives with surprising ease, and he is inside.  The man releases a high, child-like moan and a sharp, musty odor fills the space.
No, noo, noo no.  Yes.  Noo, no-oh, no-oh, nooo, aw yeah, noooo.
What’s that you’re wearing?  You smell great.  Jon is sitting at the foot of the bed.  The familiar guilt that floods his head at the precise moment he orgasms is making him feel clammy and nauseous.  His mouth is drier than ever, and he wants a tall glass of ice water and another cigarette and the safety of his own bed.
Old Spice.  With an insinuating tone, the man asks, And what’s that you’re wearing?
This?  Oh, it’s called Eden.  Cacharel.  I just got it the other day.
A pause.
Well, uh, thanks for a good time.  Jon mechanically kisses the man’s cheek.
The next day he throws the nearly-full bottle of Eden in the trash can.

-November 2011