Pulitzer Prize winning Motherfucker Junot Diaz (oh don’t worry, he’d approve, he’d encourage, he’d be proud) just won another big enchilada! - a MacArthur. The GENIUS award. That’s 500,000 dineros spread over five years to further contemplate the Dominican Republic’s triumphs and travails, blow it on llello, spend hours pondering the universality of the human condition or pad a stash of mujeres in style.
Something strange is going on inside me. Something unseemly, delicious, vulgar. An ecstatic delirium of politically incorrect swagger. It’s just plain wrong. Oh god! please don’t let it end.
I’ve just finished Diaz’ new collection of short stories This is How You Lose Her and his literary juice is pulsing through my veins like blood during the stiffest erection.
"Plenty of people talk about of having a flow, but that night I really heard one, something that was unbroken, that fought itself and worked together all at once."
I might be the whitest cocksucker north of the equator but reading this book has darkened my skin, given me at least the illusion of stepping in rhythm, and I’m using Spanish in all kinds of dumbass ways (I called a Latina friend a “puta” thinking it meant something fly but the only thing that flew was her shoe as she pointedly informed me it meant “whore.” You ever been hit in the head with high heels? That shit hurts.)
In context, outta context, I can’t stop riffin’ like the little white boy who wants be the big black rapper. Diaz has made me envious of the main protagonist, Yunior - and you ain’t seen tragic till you’ve met this redeemable perdedor. It’s irony in overdrive.
"Man, he muttered, she’s so fine I’d lick her asshole and tell you niggers about it."
Diaz’ has got me gleefully flippin’ the bird to his more serious subtexts. (No, read the goddamn book and enumerate em’ yourself, I’m not riskin’ my dick going limp just yet.) The layers of meaning are thick, the soil rich. And though I can sense the erosion underneath my feet and know the reality of the too-true-to-life struggles of the immigrant experience will start to sink in, his stories are so slathered in wicked humor it’ll be weeks before I discover I’ve committed mortal sins in a whole buncha diasporas.
"Instead of lowering your head and copping to it like a man, you pick up the journal as one might hold a baby’s beshatted diaper, as one might pinch a recently benutted condom. You glance at the offending passages. Then you look at her and smile a smile your dissembling face will remember until the day you die. Baby you say, baby, this is part of my novel.
This is how you lose her."