Archive for November, 2011

  • Published in 39 rooms and the Book of Modern

    November 17th, 2011 by webAdmin

    The Modern Hotel is thrilled to present this short story by J. Reuben Appelman, Paris Goes to Chinatown. Jason’s story will be available in every room at the Modern Hotel and proudly placed in the Book of Modern. Enjoy and thank you to Jason.

    Here are a few words from J. Reuben about his story:

    I fell in love with Paris Hilton when she went to jail. She was spoiled, slightly gangly, and seemed soulless, a perfect “suicide-star” I could latch onto while plummeting from my own recent successes in the film industry. Somehow the glittery Paris everyone knew of became my femme fatale. She called to me from dreams, dragging me into dark hallways. I watched TMZ religiously, absorbing her flicker in the glow of my living room. I addressed explicit letters to her during her incarceration, but for some reason didn’t have the guts to stamp them. One night in a restaurant, I looked across the candlelight of my table and saw myself in a mirror. My eyes looked like smeared charcoal. My cheekbones were like cheap shelving gone lopsided. Paris might have been in the pokey, but somehow she had become my warden from there. I was the fish, a newbie in lockdown. I watched television for another month straight, then started writing about her to break free of the spell.

    Paris Goes to Chinatown


    Paris Hilton buys a fish. She pushes a cigarette into his mouth. They go to dinner in a popular restaurant. His scales glow beneath the china balls, taking on rainbow colors. When he leans over to nibble her ear, she tells him he smells bad. Dejected, the fish flops back into his chair. Secretly, though, she has decided they will make love. Everyone is watching them. A few people order drinks, and whisper.

    By three in the morning, Paris Hilton and her fish have consummated in every room of a large house in Beverly Hills. Paris was ravenous, and for the fish’s part, he had never seen so many rooms. Nor had he drunk high dollar cognac before, like now: It burns beneath his gills, but he feels he is making progress with her. He does not want to go home. Everything is so new. He watches her sleeping through the dawn. He dozes. In her dreams, she imagines herself eating him, but there is no way for him to know this.

    It’s four in the afternoon when Paris Hilton’s fish wakes up. He scratches his dorsal fin, and yawns. He puts on a pink robe from her closet. In the kitchen, there’s a pot of coffee and a note that says, “Be gone when I’m back.” The fish throws her coffee pot, shattering it against a wall.  He thinks of her skin glowing in Chinatown, her cheekbones bending with the light as she walked. He has nowhere to go home to now. Nothing can be the same.

    Later that night, Paris Hilton’s fish wakes in a dumpster behind a bar. He’d been drinking again. He flops onto the pavement. Somebody gives him directions to the ocean. His face feels hot. He imagines Paris soothing back his pelvic fins. Everybody should feel that once, he thinks, flopping into a cab. His head feels a little shrunken from tequila.

    When he leans out the window, he can smell the sea. He hates that smell. In the sea, there is nothing. He can see the stars whizzing by. Orion has traded out his bow for a handgun. The fish feels this violence in him.


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