a sequel to Purple Weave by Eric Spitznagel
I drove out to Oakland last weekend to visit my brother-in-law - or more truthfully, to visit Shaniqua, the purple weave that lives in the bushes outside his house. It's been almost a year and she still hasn't been claimed, and having survived a particularly nasty California heat wave, she's starting to look haggard and pinched, like an elderly woman chain-smoking menthol cigarettes outside of her mobile home. But Shaniqua, who once looked so sad and abandoned, is now blanketed by a new, slightly smaller weave, black and curly and with just a hint of oily glisten, like something Samuel L. Jackson would wear while playing a gangster bad ass. The way both weaves are entangled together, it's difficult to read their intentions, and I wonder if the black weave has instigated a turf war, forcing Shaniqua into an epic battle for land ownership. As I stand on my brother's front lawn and study the tableaux - they're like two hairy squids fighting in slow motion - I'm convinced that they're really in love; that by some combination of fate and dumb luck, they were both thrown out of car windows at the exact same trajectory and somehow landed on the very same bush, and now they're spooning like young lovers who don't ever want to let go. I sprinkle their bush with a handful of leaves, making them a blanket, because Shaniqua is my friend and I want her to be happy and sometimes even weaves need a little privacy.
Eric Spitznagel has written six books, one of which features a scowling cat on the cover for no apparent reason. He writes for magazines like Playboy, The Believer, Radar, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, among many others. He has one more testicle than Hitler did, which he considers a moral victory. (And his blog is called Vonnegut's Asshole, which is kinda ironic, as he infrequently writes about either assholes or Kurt Vonnegut.)