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  • Shmedlo Talk
  • Mark Halliday

Did you hear about Clodia and Valerius? I heard something. What did you hear? You tell me first. Well, they were drinking wine under the fig tree last night and, you know, they were kind of leaning toward each other. They were leaning? Yeah. Are we talking about shmedlo? Whoa, wait, I didn't mean shmedlo. You didn't? Well—not yet. Did you hear what Fedelta said about Lyubka and Froim? Well, Zeno mentioned something. [End Page 165] Zeno! That's ironic. I mean, considering the way he and Augusta carry on. Carry on? I heard they were smordling at the New Year's party. Yeah but who did you hear it from? Cybele? Yeah. Well, consider the source. Okay, but still. I can imagine them having excellent shmedlo. Ewww, I don't want to think about it. You'd rather think about medieval churches? By the way, what's the story on Lepida and Ahenobarbus? Fedelta says they've crossed the Rubicon. Really? How do we know? Well, Fedelta saw them talking in the garden. Talking in the garden? What does that prove? Talking, like, "privately." Fedelta said the vibes were weird. When Pylades walked over to them they like immediately changed the subject. Well, maybe the subject was Pylades. Anyway, if they do it— Who? Lepida and Ahenobarbus? No, Lyubka and Froim. If they do it, I would just say it's about time. I mean they've been wanting to since October. What do you mean "if" they do it? Where do you think they go when they play "tennis"? Well, I don't think it's actual shmedlo. I think it's just furlbeesking. Yeah—with maybe a little smordling on the side. Oh, smordling—that's Valerius's specialty. Valerius is like addicted to smordling, it's like the arrabbiata sauce on his penne. On his what? So you think with Clodia it's just smordling and not shmedlo? Unfortunately. Unfortunately? Yeah. To tell the truth, I'm not sure there's any shmedlo around here. [End Page 166] Oh come on. I'm serious. I think Cybele and Attis might be the only ones who've had shmedlo since Christmas. Get out of here! Well, I do sometimes suspect there's a lot more talk about shmedlo than actual shmedlo. That's sort of sad. Well, shmedlo does tend to cause trouble, sooner or later. I'm getting depressed. But wait, did you hear about Ahenobarbus and Augusta? Augusta? Are you kidding? Kidding? I couldn't sleep last night, I kept thinking about how miserable Lepida must be. Why do you care so much about Lepida? Maybe you kind of overidentify with her, maybe you're a lonely person so you overidentify with anyone who gets left alone. Alone! Lepida? I thought she crossed the Rubicon with Ahenobarbus. That's if you believe Fedelta. Well, frankly I hope it's true. And I hope it happens with Lyubka and Froim. And when I heard about Clodia and Valerius I thought, "Thank God somebody around here sees the moon as a dish of hot transcendence and the stars as a foretaste of possible ecstasy." How many limoncellos have you had? I just don't want to think shmedlo is only an idea. Well, there's always Cybele and Attis. Maybe or maybe not. How often do you think they really have shmedlo? Once in the '80s, once in the '90s. I'm getting depressed again. But why is shmedlo so important? Basically it's just a biological urge. We exaggerate its spiritual significance. More can happen in certain moments of eye contact than in a whole night of shmedlo. [End Page 167] Wow, you must have had some bad shmedlo; or some great eye contact. Anyway, you wouldn't be such a philosopher if your own partner was the one out there doing it. You're speaking hypothetically, right? Hey, can we talk about art or something? Sure. But after that, tell me the rest about Lepida and Ahenobarbus. We feel shmedlo is a chance to break through the bubble of solitude and the banality of mortality, both at once...


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