The Asshole Book Club has reached a point where it no longer brings books to the party. To quote Aidan, “I don’t have fuckin’ time to read.” Aidan was never much of a reader. What he most enjoys reading is the upcoming band list at The Empty Bottle. I like to read, and write, and Chicago reclusive author Clive Javanski and host of this final Book Club likes to do both. Lately we’ve all been bringing more writing than reading material. Even Aidan, who the last time brought a short story he wrote on his about a much older Chicago tour guide he, in his words, “banged.”

So from hence forth these gatherings will be known as “The Asshole Writer’s Club.”

For our final meet and drink under the “Book Club” moniker, Clive read from his recent essay based on a true story entitled “Lenny’s Shoe Shack (and Sex Club).” Clive said he changed some names and location “to protect the assholes” but supposedly the story was based on a place in Berwyn.

Lenny was somewhere around late middle age, Clive said, and smoked incessantly. “You were allowed to smoke in Lenny’s – in fact, it was insisted upon.”

Clive would go to the shack with his uncle when Lenny held his twice-a-year special where you get a free pair of slacks with the purchase of shoes. Sometimes Lenny would tailor the slacks for the customer in the back room. “He’d have a cigarette in his mouth, a tape measure in one hand and with the other hand he might squeeze your balls,” Clive said.

About one weekend a month Lenny and his wife Shirley would host secret sex parties that included poker and partner swapping. “I went once,” Clive said. “I ended up spanking Shirley while Lenny took pictures.”

“Shirley had a beehive hairdo,” Clive said. “Kind of outdated but it looked  good on her. She was a big woman, too. Smoked as much if not more than Lenny.”

At this point our female guest for the final Book Club, Diane, lit a cigarette and sighed. Diane is a grad student at the University of Chicago. I met her there in the spring. She was a writer too, and brought a short story about the (true) time she stole a car in Hegewisch (far south side, for  those unfamiliar).

“I was stranded there. I was drunk. I missed the train. I said fuck it and found a car with the keys inside and drove it to my apartment in Ukrainian Village. I never got caught. I’m sure the asshole got his car back – I parked it down the street and it was gone in a day. I just didn’t give a fuck.”

At that point I spilled my beer on the table. Clive wiped it up with one our friend’s Smith’s “Hatful of Hollow” T-Shirt. I didn’t bring a book or a story this time, but my contribution to the night was pretty serious – a growler of Half Acre’s Space IPA.

Aidan and I got to talking about getting our band, UK Grief, back going again. He showed me a song he was working on called “Good Evening, Fräulein.” He got up suddenly to go to the bathroom. He was gone a long time. So was Diane. They came back in the living room 30 minutes later. Clive had left for Quencher’s. Diane went to join him.

“I came out of the bathroom,” Aidan says, “and this Diane chick was standing there. She looked at me and said, ‘I can fuck you in half.’  So I let her.”

With that Aidan left for Quencher’s. I finished my pint of Space and went to join them.

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