by Z.H. Gill
I hung out with Richard Zenith all day. He signed a copy of his book for me and decided to stick around. Actually, he wouldn’t leave. He followed me home. He’d quote Pessoa’s various heteronyms. He suggested an amateur demolition derby in my building’s parking lot. He sent my brother out to buy groceries so he could make us his “special homemade sushi” but yelled at him upon his return regarding the quality of the fish and so refused to prepare it. He ordered a bottle of wine from an app. He made the delivery woman drink a glass of it. He told her it was definitely one of the best glasses of wine she’d ever had, she said sure and left with a generous tip. Richard Zenith then went off to bed. He took mine. He asked me to sit beside him in the white wicker chair, which was clearly meant for a patio, facing my bed. [I’d stolen it accidentally when I lived across from LA City College from in front of an ostentatious antiques store two blocks from my studio, a dingy shop I supposed was in foreclosure but was actually holding an outdoor sale. I went back and an identical chair indicated on a flapping tag that it cost $400.] I told Richard Zenith I’d sit there with him for an hour in my handsome but frankly uncomfortable wicker chair and if he didn’t fall asleep by then I’d leave him and watch TV with my brother, American Dad, out in the frostbitten living room. But he fell asleep in minutes, less than five, I think. My brother and I watched three episodes of American Dad, fell asleep in our drunken stupor, leaning against each one another like children at a sleepover, and chased out Richard Zenith just before noon the next day.
Z.H. Gill is watching Not Another Teen Movie as he writes this bio.