Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Story completed, 11/11/09
Up late and early, she's crowded by the unintended. Listing the unlistable, she marks it down with perfect pacing, her graphite scrawls urging the words - life, she says, is more that this cashewed twist of fate. Exposed, these twenty-four ninja monkeys were tired of adorning lunchboxes and their matching thermoses. The exposure was unbearable, exacerbated by their bear of a manager, so they took to Bayer and beer, slipping away into the night not out of stealth but of atrophy. This dissolution weights waterlogged words on her tongue, but she manages to eek out the tiniest of words, saying carefully, as though she might lose it, "slow" - not slow down or slowly, but "slow," she said it again. She knew their minds worked like ants on Labor Day, and never understood how banana eating, lunchbox toting monkeys could ever become ninjas in the first place. At least they weren't turtles, she thought. No one would ever believe that nonsense.
Story Completed 11/4/09
It wasn't the result of the idea as much as the novelty of it. I contemplated it forlornly for weeks. Usually, I'd just muster my loyal hound from his slumber and whisper to his oversized ears in German, "They've erhalten ihre zahl!" But, of course, when someone's got your number, there's no need to dial nine. Sleep is never deep enough to keep thoughts like this at bay, and so with dreams left trapped in his teeth he grunted, " If I must floss this notion from my mind with the subtlety of a carwash, I will, for the cold desperation of your sleepy eyes has awakened me to your folly." The TV ants colluded with the antenna, and the dog tailed the trail all the way to the ground. It's good, he thought, just to know that waking like can be so ordinarily inordinate, so consistently sporadic. "Ich habe einen traum," he grumbled at last, a dream manifested in itself.
I will put these words to the test to see what works best. I willed petty hords to digress to ease their conquest. Distilled Betty scorns the conquest to please the princess. Chilled insects mourn the digest, teasing the intellect. Her's wallowed, hole full, the princess swapped sill. Widows to the sole, muddied up and toed, the wood's not making it. Instead, the slabs pine for what is now dread. Sleep away slab head in your pine solved bed. Head sheen earring clean mister solves a thing. Fixated on a triple x, a semicolon's broken stretch. Triple solvent solution potion, broken notion head-scratch commotion. Make no motion when riding the pine. "Low shun!" the princess mooed slough. No swapping the board, pining over what's not - makes no motions when it's no angle you know. The hair's no angles for the dread, but the widows still reject the void.Story completed 10/2/09:
He sat in the living room, his portable music player playing the same four songs on repeat, and wondered aloud to himself a very serious issue. "Why," said he, wiping the suds from his mouth," am I so lazy today? Days passed, he wondered again about his lack of drive, "Why haven't I mastered my fate?" Looking down, empty boxes scattered about, Little Debbie glared back, her gingham grin seemed to ask, "Can a Cosmic Brownie change a zebra's stripes?" He posited that this may verily be true, and resolved to feed a cosmic brownie to a zebra. Perhaps (if nothing else) it could run so fast that it turned gray. "But first," he said absentmindedly, "Where might I find the right one?" All these questions but still, it's not all chocolate and white cream filling, he knew that. To-do lists be damned, he pulled paper from the drawer and began to plan: 1. Ask more of myself. 2. Ask less.
Look at you, sitting there with your silly t-shirt, allowing its poorly-hatched slogan to act as your proxy. You like the attention (don't you?) when people stop you on the street and say "Hey man! Awesome shirt!" Well, it is not. your place to decide such things so you pick up your bag and keep moving. You pass many men, all with shirts, all looking awkwardly in your direction, and you think to yourself, pianos without keys string together silent songs." You remember the horizontal harp laying inside the baby grand, and the mallet tucked snugly inside your pocket. With these implements you can puzzle out a tune, but the words ring as hollow as the haphazard tripe written on your shirt Silence, you think, is more than the empty space after speaking, so you pull the marker from your pocket and face the mirror, focusing as you write against the reflection, "Pianos without strings key solvent songs."
You can't be that without first being this. The sign bearing these words hung low across the room shadowing the perfect rows of chairs inside the door. As the crowd entered they took to their badges reading "this" and "that" and every so often felt compelled to abuse their authority. It's truly amazing what the license to designate signification can do to a person, and though they'd have liked to think they were above such trips down egotism lane, they weren't. Fortunately being "this" is much easier than it sounds. Gathering their coats, the crowd moved out into the sun, ready to abandon their thisness and take on the challenge of thatness. "I am more than this!" they cried to stunned strangers. who, moments before, were innocently walking by, carrying their box-store baubles, their over-priced and poorly stitched fashion accessories. One was so shaken that upon returning home she began a grassroots canned food drive for the local chapter of the grammar police.
Moments after I came face to face with the anthropomorphic clock, I realized that I was running late for my date with destiny. No tiger wrangler will leave me, I thought, and I raced over to stage where the show was about to begin. I smoothed my hair, donned my biggest smile, and as he called to the striped beast I remembered the advice my father (or was it my mother wearing a mustache?) once said to me. "Son," he (she) said, "You know it's a cruel world we live in when thousands of balloons everywhere are untwisted by clowns." But there is nowhere to go in times like this. You sit down, you reflect, you recover from the 64oz Slurpee, and you say to that destiny you've been chasing so long, "Some were made for tigers, but I'm for the monkeys all the way."
I understand now that it was a bad idea. At the time, of course, I didn't. But the way I see it, if Gina "Chicken Legs" Parker didn't want to be gnawed, she would have chosen a different nickname. Given the fact that she was named Grizzelda at birth, it's difficult with a nickname to go anywhere but up. Bracketed by crowds of people unwilling to hear her meek cries, she took the podium once more. "This," she began, " is an artist's depiction of Angelina Jolie crossbred with a pencil." The Powerpoint presentation dazzled the crowd with a few kinda cool dissolves and sound effects, but at the Q & A session the only question anyone wanted to ask was "If the chickens rally, who will catch the eggs?" The answer, not for those of yolky, yellow heart, would buoy the crowd to greatness. She cried out, "Break your shells but save your souls!" Her nickname, finally, had come to fruition.
Black paint and phantom capes, that's all it takes to join this group. Throngs of surly gents bound together, dark masses of matted hair, sharpened eyes, lanky limbs, this group is wondering aloud in your direction, so you reflexively check your zipper, wipe the corners of your mouth, and run your tongue across your teeth. Nope, not that; your grooming is impeccable once again. Angus, the group leader, seems to be the director of the collective gaze, his minions bowed with gratitude and sorrow. Their face paint dripped black tears off chalky cheeks as he boomed, "We've no place for balloons is this battle." The squirrels scampered in fear of the dawning doom. . Dogs and cats formed an uneasy alliance, but as the hours ticked by the dogs vanished. Night settled, the dogs' howls grew more desperate and infrequent, and come morning, only the canines' canines littered the ground, and all was still.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
See the original piece right here, or just read below:
I'd never been interviewed before, though I'd practiced my concered-yet-whimsical expressions in the mirror for years. So, when I was asked "Do you think of yourself as an Otter Pop or a gum-in-a-pack-of-baseball-cards kind of person?" I shrewdly replied, " Gum is what's left when life's chewed you up." I thought for a minute and added, "and I am the flavor the gum retains." There was a flash of recognition, the taste of understanding was in the air, so I said "I understand that we both understand, but I feel that to fully comprehend we need asparthame and some cherry flavoring." It was a strange way to respond during what would become my most important interview, but the response was reassuring, " No matter what you do, you're doing it." After it was all done, I thought about how random and ridiculous life can be, removed my old gum from the table, grabbed my baseball cards, and left.