when she was bad

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quote of the day:

Creatures of appetite — for sex, money, excitement, life — bad girls serve their hunger first, and last. They are terrible and they are enviable, because they won’t settle for less than everything they want. Because, in the end, they accept not only their essential nature, but also the consequences of their choice to fulfill rather than deny it.

–Kathryn Harrison

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Sometimes our neighborhood, and the people in it, can attract unwanted attention, which I find a lot less interesting than the experience of having — or being near people who have — security itself. Nice guys. Big guys. Very professional, know how to put you at ease, very quick to do so, and you can even borrow them from your Famous Neighbor* — an experience not exactly like borrowing a cup of sugar, but not exactly unlike it either. I did a little tour with one of them, showing them the necessary places (the bathroom, the coffeemaker) and got the sense that my life had suddenly bled into a movie, or vice versa. One of them told me, “I’ve been doing this for a long time…I’ve worked for Christina Aguilera, Duran Duran…”

“Duran Duran?” I said. “I was a fan of Duran Duran.” I was also in fifth grade, into them mostly because my charismatic friend Alice Hovorka was into them with such studious enthusiasm that I found myself dazzled by her breadth and width of knowledge, by the simple fact that anyone actually could learn that much trivia about a group of strangers, or care**. So Alice***, if you’re out there, please know that your fifth-grade self was a mere two degrees of separation — and, uh, twenty-five years removed — from your beloved Simon and Nick.

*Not to be confused with our Notorious Neighbor, whose fame is leveraged on the notoriety leveraged on his original, much more modest level of fame, if that makes any sense. Our Famous Neighbor is a pop-culture legend, famous for fifty years now, the I-never-learned-to-drive-because-I’ve-always-been-chauffeured-everywhere kind of famous, his house filled with awards, his anecdotes casually referencing “friends of his” from Clinton to Oprah to, well, our Notorious Neighbor, who likes to think of him as a ‘father figure’, albeit one he can party with on yachts and pick up women with.

**I am not asserting any pose of moral disdain, then or now. I myself was at the very beginning of a Luke Skywalker obsession, which would take me clear through puberty before finally giving way to a real person. The first dog of my adult life would be named after that person. ‘Bowie’ was a velvety red minature dachshund. Somehow this seemed appropriate.

***She grew up to become a Canadian university professor.

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