April 20, 2018 | Rome, Italy | °C

The Tour Pro

By Peter Vilbig
Published: 2016-10-10

"Got him net and tuck, yo. Way they be rackin dis night?"

"Course the Ravena. 3 bis A."

Thank the good green heavens. I had forgot where they stayin' at, and Itahl just slipped me the name. The Ravena. (And anyway, they can't get outside, can they? Beyond the ringed and involute spectacle? And even off-script is a script, no?)


Jafe: So after giving the twit from Tour Pro the slip, Jafe japed in the crowd, his follicles curled like scorpion tails, and his pubis aching from all the whamming. Four minutes with that Amazonian had revised all his sexual politics. Back home that would have cost an eel and a peg. He felt suddenly like tiny exotics were gyring his brain parts, which had become vaginal. This was real travel. His wife Cheryl was a million miles from all this.

[On the eve of his trip, his boss, Clementine Wink — he of the tranched bets in our murky markets© — called the Jafe into his office: "It's not so much that you produce the spectacle," he said, "as that the spectacle lives in the many platforms where we roll the bloody heads of our victims like casino dice, and only in you Jafe, Jafe, in your heart-lounge with its plush velvet and bordello sperm feel, yes, in you alone, that the critical work can be done" — and now Clem's whispering as though these are his last words in the charnel house world of his spreadsheets: "All you have to do is show up. That will move markets. You are not in the loop. You are the loop. Of course we're taking this beyond merchandise. I've said this before: we'll sell them consumption. The genius. Selling the selling, we are."]

Jafe smiled to himself, and thinking now: When I squirted into the Amazonian in that little ornate room with the lymphatic cisterns, she shuddered like a V-8 engine starting up. And I told myself as it happened: I am the Jafe, I move markets. With my product I barely have to wince. Consumption sells, my friend. And we are selling tonight. In the solitary cotton fields, in the poker lounges and bus stations, all over the famous flailing hills, stage lit in starlight — Jafe thought suddenly of calling Cheryl as he moved through the sweat-truckled streets and then thought: fuck that. Be a skeezer. Shower and shave, then let's blow this town wide open.


Pro: My duties are clear. Find the motherfuckers. They're heading toward the Hotel Ravena, as far as I know. It's in the Lido District, where everything is being renovated. Meaning the chances the Ravena is where it was last week are three decimals on the far side of zero. There's hotels in the Lido they tear down and rebuild on a new site daily. The guests never even know it — their rooms exactly the same even to the toothbrush tipped over on the sink but they're four blocks over, and somebody made a killing. Fast metabolisms are moving through us just this way. The speed of the money becomes the money. And fuck, I'm an 8 percenter (which used to be called Middle Caste). Forget the Starvelings, the Subalterns, the Substratas — in other words, the rest of them.

I'm sketching a world for you. Go ahead, don't believe me.

I reach what appears to be the Ravena and enter. It looks like a graveyard, and the desk clerk like one of the grave markers.

Print | Email | | | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | Full Page


Buona Sera, Uncle Ray (Rosebud, New Jersey, 1969)

"As always, he looks sharp in a creamy beige suit, white button-down shirt, fancy marinara-red tie, and brown and white two-tone shoes…"

The Detained

Olivia Kate Cerrone: "She recorded his requests for legal representation before facing the judge — the detained received no jury..."

Jimmy, an excerpt

Bernie Altucher: "Had he shot himself up in her bathroom? And then tidied up? Or taken a sponge bath?"

The Last Stand of Ms. Betty J. Washington

Jenna Leigh Evans: "The landlord claims I can't have anybody living with me, even though that's illegal. Plain illegal. Are you listening?"

The Sheer Impossibility of Nothingness

Joseph Patrick Pascale: "Imagine yourself sitting in your living room. Now take away the universe that exists outside the room."

More Fiction & Stories

Day and Boarding International High School in the Heart of Rome

Everything you need to know about visiting or moving to Tuscany, Italy.