……excerpted from “People with Instructions,” published here, last July.
Why Love is like Swiss Cheese
I like to think of relationships in terms of food. I find it helps explain things. I need labels and instructions, something, anything to tell me what the hell humans are for.
I know what vitamins are for. Vitamin D bumps up your immune system Vitamin B helps your nervous system. Oxytocin makes you feel good and protects your heart. Greens help your bowels. Fish keep your brain from congealing; peppers, garlic and ginger keep candida from setting up a fascist government in your intestines; green tea…I don’t know green tea is for because I hate it. But everyone and their dog is drinking it so I assume it is for something other than following the lemming in front of you in order to be neighborly.
Information like that about people would be helpful. Perhaps we could start with some basic operating instructions posted on people’s foreheads.
Bobby: do not leave in car unsupervised or leave out in the sun. Warms your heart, but don’t ask him to be responsible for anything.
Isabelle: whatever you do, don’t look her in the eye.
Jess: sexual object: use liberally.
Frank: do not ingest
Wendy: under no circumstances add water.
Some foods have medicinal value. Perhaps people do too if they are used wisely under the supervision of a professional, or at least with over-the-counter indications:
Zachary: for best results only use after boiling
Maria: Good for allergies. Salt to taste. Discontinue use if social phobia develops.
Some human interactions will definitely need a doctor’s prescription.
Take two people in the morning and don’t take anymore before 8pm.
Some people should never be taken without a prescription.
Peter: user may experience drowsiness when operating
Renata: DO NOT TAKE WITH MILK
Lorrielle: Best taken with other people.
Julieta: immediate multiple orgasms: don’t take while performing brain surgery or driving
Sven: under no circumstances drink Sven alone
I think it would be handy if people came with easy-to-read nutrition labels and information on what would happen if ingested.
Tara: Pretty much like drinking 3 Red Bulls.
Jack: Very much what would happen if you ate a whole bag of Lay’s Potato chips in one sitting, once or twice a week.
Gwendolyn: Like salad without the dressing.
Yuri: a bag of green M and M’s.
Cheri: Only use with alcohol or tranquilizers.
Garth: similar effect to eating bacon, eggs and steak four times a week for twenty years.
Joey: one word: Jello.
Saskia: a cage-free, antibiotic-free, Republican-free meal, perfectly sautéed in butter, ocean-going, tilapia, with fresh organic seasonal garden vegetables, and organic brown rice with fresh side salad, raised in PDX. (Portland Oregon for those of you not from there).
Leigh: so gay s/he’s like eating food that has not been fertilized by the opposite sex; only food produced by budding or parthenogenesis.
My perfect match: she tastes like cappuccino, chocolate, and fine red wine, my favorite sourdough bread from San Francisco and cheese!
Thanks to all this information I can now describe why love is like being hungry for your favorite kind of cheese.
I’m surrounded by cheeses, all kinds of cheese. I’m in a veritable smorgasbord of cheese; Gouda, brie, cheddar, goat, goat brie, pepper jack, Hammermill, oh no wait that’s copy paper…but it should be a cheese. It sounds like a cheese. Anyway, I’m fucking surrounded by all the cheese in the universe and of course I’m wearing blinders, and all I can see is that little cube of inexpensive Swiss that I got at some drunken party somewhere, and that’s what I want and that’s what I had, and no matter what, all I still want is that little square of cheese with the holes in it. Out of all possible cheeses in this megalopolis of dairy products, I just want that one, just that one small piece of cheese, no other will do, not another size, flavor, color taste—I want the piece of cheese that only says things I don’t want to hear and, did I mention this detail?, that this one piece of little off-yellow Swiss is so important to me, that if I could just have it nothing else would ever matter again. I would not want anything else, ever because I’d achieved this bit of cheese and I could just die, a happy woman sitting in a mousetrap.
Such is love.
Darling, you are my Swiss.
By the way, my indications read:
Debbie: use with caution.
Debbie: use with caution. (If you read further, my pamphlet says: no known side effects.. Research pending.)