I remember the first time I came face-to-face with Rivers Cuomo.
A friend had dragged me out under the pretense that we were going to see some live bands; at around midnight I found myself at an 18-and-over Brit Pop dance club off Hollywood Boulevard, sipping on a weak cocktail in a plastic cup, “Bizarre Love Triangle” blaring into my left ear and some obnoxious poser skank’s elbow digging into my right side. Kristin, who had been lurk-dancing with a guy too young for her on the main floor, suddenly materialized from the side of the crowd. She pointed out Cuomo sitting on the dance floor edge with his eyes glazed over, numb to the words his buddy was shouting into his ear.
Cuomo had just famously emerged from a yearlong hermetic hiatus spent in a shit apartment under a Los Angeles overpass, which came after a surprise exit from rock stardom at the height of touring season to study English at Harvard, which had followed the loud tanking of Weezer’s sophomore effort Pinkerton (a panoply of Cuomo’s innermost secrets that was lauded by critics and universally loved by emo kids), which all came after “Buddy Holly” was the biggest skater hit in the world once upon a time.
I watched him from across the room, delighted at the anthropological discovery. Battling for attention were Cuomo’s lyrics in my head– “Goddamn you half Japanese girls/Do it to me every time/Oh, the redhead said you shred the cello/And I’m Jell-O, baby”–which had famously marked him as a yellow fever victim, something I had long refused to believe because I found it pretty gross. He continued to skulk in the corner for awhile, stopping only to sip his drink, or frown when his eyes fell upon… an Asian girl. I saw him scoot with his shoulders slumped over to one, two, three… six Asian girls in a row, making awkward conversation, even more awkwardly collecting phone numbers.
Suddenly he was leaving. I didn’t feel myself back up against the bar to make myself look invisible. It didn’t work. I suddenly saw his eyes on me, looking directly into my eyes. They were cool and lifeless, like a target on a missle. He was walking fast. His hand was suddenly on my arm, his lips were suddenly on my ear, and he breathed words with hot breath that made no sense to me. And then he walked away.
I had one thought: Ewwwwwwww!!!
Today, Gawker reported that Cuomo’s lit agent David Vigliano has decided to start hawking the songwriter’s old journals, which they fear might be as creeptastic as the archives of his Harvard writing (“I didn’t touch her down there, but I ran my hand up and down her arm, feeling her muscles tense up and twitch as she worked herself more and more furiously. She kept going until finally she let out a big moan and relaxed. I looked down on her, whimpered, and then fell over onto my back and stared at the ceiling, fire-like sensations bursting from every cell in my body”). What’s the deal, did that 2005 shitpile Make Believe not pull in enough dough?
Regardless, I’m not buying. I can only assume that those pages are just filled with more: Ewwwwwwww!!!
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