Monday, August 27, 2012

Yes, This is Still Happening

Hiya. It's time to present the next installment of Unnamed Short Story (or whatever the hell). A couple of people have said some really nice things about the story not being as big of turd as I have insisted. That's totally super duper nice of them and I appreciate it. For seriously.'s just agree to disagree on this ok? Ok. And with that, here it be:


The exact speed of the coffee/waffle mixture that Arthur spit out was clocked at 94 miles per hour (by a cop sitting in her patrol car, outside the house in a speed trap. The cop, thinking it was the vehicle that had just passed, pulled the car over and chewed out the driver and began issuing a ticket. The driver explained to the officer that he was in fact driving a 1973 Vega and it was simply impossible to be going that fast unless there was a stiff wind pushing the car down a very long hill, which there wasn't. The cop agreed and she subsequently quit the force to become a market research analyst) when it struck Lorraine dead center in the face. Arthur tried to speak but only managed to choke which caused him to start to spit up. Lorraine raised her arms in self defense to protect herself from another onslaught. In doing so she whacked the table which caused Arthur's coffee mug to tip and deposit its steaming contents into his lap. It then fell to the linoleum and detonated  sending shards of ceramic bits into Arthur's shin. He in turn rose quickly and clumsily, leaning on the table for support which caused Lorraine's bowl of cereal to splash across her sizable bosom. After much confusion and curses with some half-hearted cleaning thrown in for good measure, Arthur managed a response of sorts.

"What did you say?" he asked, holding his wounded shin and scalded crotch at the same time, a feat not recommended by the Dexterity Society. 

Lorraine, with some waffle still in her hair, repeated her intentions. 

Arthur was stunned. He sat down slowly and stared stupidly at the lopsided lazy susan that had been a wedding gift from Lorraine's cheap brother. He had forgotten about his shin and wasn't even the slightest bit concerned about his crotch anymore. He was completely numb. His entire life passed before his eyes and it wasn't even interesting enough to grab his attention. His Muffin Bottom was leaving him. And all this before his second cup of coffee. This was not how he would like to start his day. 

"Arthur?" Lorraine prodded cautiously. Arthur had reacted quite satisfactorily at first what with the panic and all but this was now becoming a little intense. He had become completely pale and was breathing shallowly. His hands had latched onto the nearest thing which was a paper napkin and he was now engaged in methodically picking it apart. He was placing the little pieces on the table in front of himself in small stacks as if he were playing solitaire. And he appeared to be losing. All the while he was just blankly staring at the centerpiece with cloudy eyes. He was muttering something to himself but it was incoherent. Lorraine was getting nervous. This was not going according to plan.

"Arthur? You can keep the house...I don't even want the cat," she offered and glanced over at the cat who was sniffing the heating vent cautiously. Arthur did not respond. He finished with the napkin and set to work on another. Lorraine backed slowly out of the kitchen and ran as fast as her chubby legs would carry her up the stairs to the bedroom. She had packed most of her things the night before and in no time at all she had everything she needed, including an extra box of Ring Dings. She lugged her bags down the stairs and set them by the front door in a jumble like a bunch of impatient children. Walking as quietly as she could (which wasn't very quiet at all), she returned to the kitchen to check on Arthur. She was quiet surprised to find him staring directly at her, his eyes clear and shining, a little grin creeping across his face. He swiftly and abruptly stood up. Lorraine let out a little yelp in spite of herself and backed up to the sink, her massive buttocks getting there first and spreading sideways to near its full girth. Arthur's eyes never left hers.

"Good morning Honey Lips," he said. This struck Lorraine as odd because he had never called her that before. As a matter of fact, he had once remarked that her lips reminded him of a piece of undercooked pork he had once had the displeasure of consuming. Nevertheless, he had most certainly said "honey lips"; and with a straight face too.

"Arthur? A..are you o.k.?" Lorraine questioned. She was looking at his hands which were relaxed by his sides and apparently free of weapons. She then concentrated a possible weapon for herself if need be. She had never known Arthur to be a violent person but the man moving closer to her now did not appear to be the same person she had spent countless nights sleeping next to. The only thing readily available of any potential lethal merit was a large whisk. She eased one pudgy hand towards it and was shocked as Arthur's dry hand came down on top of hers and squeezed firmly.

"I'm fine dear. Question is, how are you?" Arthur replied softly and closely. His eyes were still fixed on hers in a hypnotic gaze. She wondered if this is how an opossum feels at the moment it realizes that playing dead to an oncoming semi is quite useless and it is about to become another stain on the highway. She also wondered why she was getting so nervous. This was just Arthur after all, different sounding or not. He's definitely not someone who she thought she should fear.

She wrenched her hand away and moved over to the table, slipping a little in the coffee on the floor. She had had enough of Arthur controlling this situation. This was supposed to be her big moment.

"Oh, I'm just fine Arthur. And I'm going to continue to be just fine without you." She smugly concluded this statement with a little head nod which lost its attempted severity in the hilarity of waving jowls and chin flapping. The cat, mistaking the racket for a flock of birds taking wing, bounded into the kitchen and ran smack into Arthur's leg. It stumbled backwards and fell over with a small thud, apparently unconscious. Neither Arthur nor Lorraine gave evidence that they had noticed.

"That's nice for you dear." Arthur said with a sincere smile. Lorraine cocked her head to the side and squinted at him. She wasn't sure if he understood what was transpiring and quite frankly she hadn't the time or energy to care anymore. She had a bus to catch and if she wanted to get the triple seat in the back by the bathroom before anyone else, she had better get moving. Arthur just kept on smiling that smile at her and it was getting on her nerves. Who did he think he was anyway?

"Well, ...uh...'bye!" she said and turned to go down the hall to the front door. This was a mistake on her part because it was at that exact moment that Arthur's eyes clouded over and the smile vanished from his face. He reached under his armpit and produced a sizable ladle that he had hidden there. He followed Lorraine down the hall to the front door and as she bent to retrieve her luggage, he doinked her on the back of her skull three times with tremendous force (Pop! POP! CRACK!), each hit harder than the first. Lorraine made a noise not unlike that of a sea lion and toppled forward. Her luggage did not survive. Blood poured out of the almost perfectly round hole the back of her head and started to pool on the floor.

Arthur stood over her bloated body shaking the ladle and making quick "HA!" exaltations. "I guess Samsonite hadn't thought of that for a stress test, huh?" he asked no one.

And this is the end of Part II. Well holy shit. What the fuck is going on there? Did somebody really just get murdered with a fucking ladle? Wow. It's like Shakespeare up in this piece. Ok, peeps. Peace out until the next installment which will be next week. Things are gonna start getting weird(er). Laters.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh Man, This is Gonna Suck

Ok. I have to say that I have MAJOR apprehensions about posting this so-called "story" that I wrote 20+ years ago. I don't know how to even get the thing started. It doesn't even have a title let alone a good flow. Jeezus, what am I doing? Mira, please understand that I am absolutely not hunting for a compliment or phishing for sympathy by sharing this thing. I'm am simply holding myself to my own philosophy of "Full Disclosure" which is the idea of airing out the dumb/embarrassing/ridiculous things that a lot of people shove into a closet in their subconscious until it chews up their brains. I also know that None of This Shit Matters (N.O.T.S.M.) so what's the real harm here? There is no risk actually so let's get into it in its full, unedited glory shall we? I'm even going to resist the urge to comment in the middle of the text.

Oh man. Ok... here it is:

Unnamed Short Story, Part I

It was one of those amazingly cold days in February when Arthur Williamson's life collapsed like a beehive hairdo in a rain storm. Arthur, a thin, little man with a propensity towards blue shirts, never took shock well. He once had to be sedated and hauled off in restraints at a surprise birthday party his mother had thrown for him. So it wasn't unusual that Arthur lost his already weakened grip on reality that frigid winter morn when Lorraine, his wife of twelve years, informed him of her plans to leave him.

He met her, Lorraine that is, during his senior year at college. She worked in the campus store that Arthur frequented to purchase odds and ends. Often he would go in just to see her and buy something he didn't need just to feel her hand as they exchanged moneys. One day while buying a disposable douche, he found the nerve to ask her out in his slightly moist voice. She, much to his amazement and joy, accepted. Three months later they were engaged.

They were wedded on September 14th, 1979. Lorraine, a less than attractive woman with an incredible lack of style, wore a frightfully hideous green gown with lavender ruffles. Arthur was decked out in his best suit, a wide-lapeled skyblue number and sporting shiny white shoes. The preacher was struck blind by the tackiness and had to be replaced at the last minute by a tugboat captain with bad gums.

Their honeymoon was not a great success. Their cabin in northern Vermont, which was recommended by Arthur's cousin Sol, turned out to be a 10 x 20 foot room with no heat. Running water consisted of a river two miles north of the cabin through the woods. The bathroom was, of course, the nearest grove of trees. They did not enjoy themselves which is both unfortunate and understandable.

They bought a house in Malden, Massachusetts, a sad, sorry, little place (their house that is, not Malden. Malden is rather dull but it is irrelevant to this tale). A pathetic example of American architecture was the Williamson's abode. It did not so much assault the visual pallet as it left sort of an odd taste in the mouths of those unfortunate enough to view it. Lorraine and Arthur loved their home however and, apart from a little water damage and the occasional evil possession of their cats, the house loved them too.

Arthur, who at the time of their marriage was working part time as a assistant donut filler at the Red Jelly Flavor Cafe, finally landed a decent job in 1980. That illustrious position was none other than assistant to the assistant of the assistant of the head accountant at the firm of Dull, Dull, and Humdrum. Lorraine, who was quite proud of Arthur's accomplishment, only gained 10 pounds that year in appreciation.

For years they lived in uninhibited boredom, enjoying T.V. and the lack of any real communication. Arthur, who had had only one other lover apart from Lorraine (and she had threatened to kill him, his family, and then herself if anyone found out about it), was not very skilled in this area. Lorraine had by 1984 given up on sex with him completely and discovered cats as an alternative (not as lovers mind you but as a distraction from her unsatisfied needs). This was probably for the best anyway considering the possible outcome of their lovemaking. It makes one shudder.

She had a string of cats from 1984 - 1991 numbering near ten. The ones that didn't commit suicide either ran away or were taken by the house. The house killed a total of five cats over the years, usually luring them to the garbage disposal.  One would hear a humming, a startled "Meow!" and a sound like GGGGRRRRRUUUUNNNCCHHHH!! All was quiet after that, excepting the satisfied rumblings audible from the disposal. Another popular way with the house was a sudden, deadly blast of heat from a vent as the cat strolled over. This was less frequent as the house was leery of leaving tangible evidence. Lorraine wasn't particular about life span of the cats anyway. As long as they were cute for a while she was satisfied.

Lorraine started to get the "seven-year itch" around their fourth year of marriage, but didn't let on about it. She was content with being discontented and glad to have something to complain about to the women at the Big n' Hippy (a full-figured women's clothing outlet store just a mere waddle from her house). She spent many hours fantasizing about how she would tell Arthur she was leaving him. She planned to tell him at the breakfast table just as he was shoving a pop tart into his mouth. She originally thought of telling him as he dunked his pop tart into his coffee but thought better of it because often when Arthur was performing such a task, it would go awry. The most common mishap associated with the pastry baptism was when the pressure that Arthur exerted on the tart was far too much for it to take along with the weight of the liquid it was busy acquiring and therefore it would break apart leaving a goodly amount of itself in his coffee. This never failed to completely baffle Arthur and he would spend the next 10 to 15 minutes attempting to rescue the coffee-logged pop tart from drowning in his beverage. Usually, but not always, he would not succeed and end up just drinking the pop tart ladened coffee anyway.

Lorraine believed that if she told him before he could get to this point of his breakfast ritual she could save herself a lot of time. She would grin as she thought of Arthur's expression, with a soggy pop tart in his mouth as she told him. He would probably stare at her and maybe cry or something. The breakfast table was also a good choice to break the news she thought because of the lack of any sharp utensils within easy reach. She didn't believe that he would become violent, it wasn't like him, and even if he did, she outweighed him by a good hundred pounds. Surely there would be butter knives about but death by spreading seemed far-fetched at best. She wondered how he would deal with no more "Lorraine-bottom", as he sometimes called her, and if his mind would be able to grasp the sheer magnitude of it all. Usually she dismiss these thoughts at this point and head into the kitchen to eat with the refrigerator door open. This was a good time for Lorraine and her bottom too.

When the day finally came for her to tell him, he was not even eating a pop tart but had elected to have a waffle instead. He was munching the waffle and taking huge gulps of coffee at the same time (a habit that grosses many folks out but one which Arthur enjoyed as much a s a cheesy paperback science fiction novel. He usually carried one around in his hip pocket). Lorraine thought that this deviation from his normal routine might be a sign of some sort but, not being particularly bright, she ignored her instincts and went ahead as planned.

"Arthur," she began. He only grunted and took another gulp of coffee to get the waffle as soft and soupy as possible, the way he liked it. "Arthur, I want a divorce." she finished.

------------------ I have to end Part I here because I just can't take any more at this time. Ok, I'm going to post the next installment next week and I will continue until the original text just ends super abruptly. Jebus christmas that was ... well, y'know...just... it.. fuck me. OKTHXBYE.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I Will Bring The HEAT

I always liked to write stories. I actually used to like to draw too. I'd doodle on all my notebooks in school which was a better use of the paper than note taking since I never developed the ability to take notes very effectively. To this day my notes from meetings usually have a bunch of broken sentences with IMPORTANT!! and maybe a couple of arrows pointing to some disjointed sentence fragment or barely legible phrase. If only when referring back to these notes I could then put those words into some kind of context perhaps I'd be more successful or at the very least less easily distracted. It would also help if I remembered to check the notes at all. It is clearly a skill set I do not possess.

The drawing thing kind of fell by the wayside over the years. I do still have a tendency to make rather elaborate scribbles using my favorite rapidograph pens occasionally. It's not as satisfying as writing for me though. In college - you know what, I really can't say "in college" in the same way that people who actually attended classes and, y'know, learned stuff can. I kinda fucked that experience up if I'm honest and if "kinda" means "totally".  I was super immature and neglected the opportunity completely. Anyway... In college I took a creative writing course and while I eventually blew off that class as well, the teacher (professor? I forget) encouraged me to keep on writing in order to work on expressing whatever the hell was going on in my giant noggin. I thanked her by bailing on her class and college in general. I'm the worst.

one of my lil' doodles
In 1991 I was a two-time college dropout living in Jamaica Plain, working at Copy Cop as a customer service representative and making $7.50/hr (what's up ladies?). I had an idea for a short story and so I wrote what I thought at the time was a hilarious and super interesting story about a man who, having given up on his dreams and aspirations, has allowed himself to become a shell of the person he had once hoped to become. Even that description gives this story more weight than it really deserves. I wrote this thing without an outline or an understanding on how to completely tell a story. There was a complete lack of any thought on where the story was going or what I was trying to say. I also ran out of steam halfway through and failed to write an ending. That's not entirely true now that I think about it. I seem to remember cobbling together an ending that was so wholly unsatisfying that I must have just torn up the sheets of paper. Oh, did I forget to mention that I wrote this thing out long hand? Yep. No computer or even a typewriter involved. Just straight up handwriting on what looks to be very expensive resume paper (thanks Copy Cop). I also found some lyrics that I wrote too. Jury is out on whether those get posted.

At some point I stuffed all these handwritten pages into an expandable folder and forgot about them. Recently, while cleaning out the attic at ye olde homestead, I came across that very same folder and those pages. At first I was all super nostalgic and happy to see them. Then I read the story itself. Oof. Oh my. Look, I'm not saying that I'm a good writer at all now but man oh man I'm certainly better than I used to be. At the very least I have an improved perspective.

Handwritten nonsense story + general disaster area = my desk space
My first instinct was to stuff the pages back into that folder and abandon it in the attic for another couple decades. My second thought was to throw them all out. My final and, I hope you'll concur, best idea was to share this stinker with you all. Yep. Just post this mess and let you drink in the cray-cray. I have a policy of "full disclosure" that I have upheld for many years now and therefore I have zero choice in this matter. What I plan to do is to post the entirety of what I have why resisting the DEEP TEMPTATION to edit what I was scrawled on those 24# ivory linen pages (remember when printing your resume on fancy pants stationary was a thing?). The first installment will be posted early next week and I will put up several posts over the next few weeks until the story abruptly ends (as the original does). Keep in mind not only does this tale have zero point, it's also clunky and, well, shitty. I also discovered while re-reading it that it is mean-spirited and border-line misogynistic. So, uh...sorry about that. I wasn't in the best place relationship-wise back then. So look forward to that? Ok, thanks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Not So Great Expectations

Have you ever had a moment where you didn't feel like you had anything to add to the conversation, so you just sat there and listened to everyone else talking? Have you ever had that feeling last for months? Yea, me too. As it turns out, I came very close to giving up this blog (wow, that word is still around huh? We still haven't come up with a better way to describe whatever the hell this type of website is? That, my friends, is a failure of our society and I weep for us). I have already neglected Seriously Awesome Monsters to the point of embarrassment (the last post was December of last year), so I'm already on the slippery slope that will launch me into the abyss of zero creativity. Why not just give in and let this thing shrivel up and blow away on the hot, dusty, vaguely poop-smelling wind of the interwebs? Why not indeed. I mean if I'm only coming up with terrible paragraphs like this stinkbag then what, exactly, is the point?

Wow, that sounds like I'm super depressed or something and that is NOT the case. I'm only mildly depressed. Like, a hug and a nice cup of herbal tea will snap me out of it, kind of depression. I'm in a funk I guess. Although, "being in a funk" makes me think of George Clinton and he always makes me smile so maybe that's not the best description. Look, all I know is I fucking haven't posted in a while and I'm not entirely sure why. I just.....didn't. But I am now right? So that's something isn't it? Yes? Question marks?

Uh, so what's up? How've you been? Good, good. Glad to hear it. Oh? I didn't realize that she...she said WHAT? Oh, that bitch. Look, you gotta get away from that toxic relationship then. She's trying to bring you down to her level. What about that guy? The one from the place? Yea, him. Cool! So you hooked up? And? You're still kinda seeing him but you don't want to put labels on it in case he doesn't feel the same way about whatever it is you're doing together. Ok, that's a bit confusing but whatevs. I've been with the same person since 1992 so I don't have a lot of experience in the dating scene as it is currently structured. My only insight was Crazy, Stupid, Love and can we all agree that Ryan Gosling is a dreamboat? We can? Awesometown.

Me? Oh, uh, not much really. I mean, yeah shit has happened in the last 3 months but it wasn't anything that I think is really interesting. At least not interesting enough for this super exciting state of the art cutting edge fucking award winning bloggy blog blog blog y'know? I mean, isn't this the very same bloggy blog where I talked about urinals? Yea, it is. This is also the exact same place where, not too long ago in fact, I discussed my inability to keep myself from crashing into things. I've even gone so far as to take up an anti-formal shorts position. So, yeah, I can't just let ANYTHING that pops into my head get posted here. I have fucking standards. Seriously, would you really want to hear about me going to a class at the Massachusetts Firearms School? Or how our crazy neighbor is trying to get us to take down our brand new deck? Or, what if I posted, in installments, a short story that I wrote in 1991? Nah, that shit is played out son. Let's just relax and enjoy the fact that I'm posting again and holy shit, isn't that enough? Of course it is.