Archive for October, 2009
While I‘ve enjoyed your ever-carefree presence on my desk since January 2006, sadly, it has come time to end our yearlong tryst. I know I should first apologize for leaving on vacation and forgetting to call a sitter, but now that you have shriveled and turned yellow I find my appeal for you dwindling. I tried nursing you back to health with a hearty does of H2O, hoping you’d don those green smiles yet again. But, you’ve chosen to be difficult, and I am really not in the mood to placate to you dogmatic nature. I’m not saying I did it on purpose, but maybe if you had not been so cold and straight with me – if you’d curled you vines and made a little effort – we wouldn’t be in this situation right now.
I know it is difficult and you want to point fingers, but let’s not forget that entire month you leaked muddy water onto my data reports. Or the time you moved to Melissa’s desk for a “cleaning day” and came back brighter and greener than ever, like you had actually enjoyed it. You thought I didn’t notice, but I did. And, let me tell you, jealousy is an ugly companion. Not that I want to sit here and play the blame game. Rather let’s part with the happy memories we shared: the air conditioner battles, the endless staring contests, the late night vodka binges. We were two of a kind, Bamboo. True bosom buddies. And, as a true friend, I’m not gonna lie – this is going to be a hard transition for both of us. Don’t let the miniature Ficus that appeared on the filing cabinet this morning fool you, no one can really take your place. It’s just something pretty to fill the void. Pretty and full of life…but I digress. After all, love isn’t everything. I guess now we really do know how Ike and Tina felt after they disbanded.
I will always think of you fondly, blocking away the harsh and cruel times we struggled through. I hope you will be able to do the same. There is no need for tears or “Thank Yous,” though in retrospect it might have been nice to hear your soft voice flattering me once in a while. I guess the carbon dioxide my lungs provided was enough to keep you going and it never struck that I have needs too. Alas, just like all my past relationships, I’m blinded to the warning signs when they are given. It’s a little disappointing to realize so late in the game, but I’ll be okay. I’ve made peace with our past. Bygones be bygones, right?
So, Bamboo old pal, enjoy your trip to the outdoors. I am sure it will not take long to make new friends and find a spot to rest peacefully with the other kindling branches. If you feel like it, drop me a line from time to time – just nothing too soon as wounds remain fresh. Let’s both make a conscious effort to heal and lead full lives knowing that the time we’ve spent together will be cherished (yes, even the three weeks I had to be treated for the rash you gave me after soaking in that organic plant food Melissa passed on to you). Those were good times, huh? It might be silly, but I can’t help imagining that years from now we’ll be laughing over these very moments, drinking coffee and sharing a morning muffin like no time has passed at all. Until then, live long and love.
Your endearing, yet poorly appreciated caretaker,
- Did you get the new kid?
- Yeah, he was scared, but we got situated.
- How so?
- He’s locked in the closet.
- He’s been kicking a lot. I figure I’ll let him wear himself out. But, you know, if that doesn’t work Jerry suggested just getting him a pal to play with?
- Have I got the answer to your problem.
- (motions around) Welcome to the kidnapper’s COSTCO my friend.
- Ever notice how everything baby tastes better? Baby carrots, baby corn, veal…
- I wonder how baby-baby tastes?
- …So when the pacifier fell out I just let the dog lick it and stuck it back in. I mean it eats it’s own shit all the time and they say dogs mouths are cleaner than humans, right?
- Sounds about right.
- Did you see that all these mothers are getting their children sick and not knowing it?
- What do you mean?
- It was on the news, something about strollers being recalled and yarn hats causing skin rashes. Problem is no one seems to know about it.
- Wow, if I were a mom I’d get home and check that out, like, as soon as possible.
- Yeah, I know. How guilty would you feel if your kid was dying and you were just out, like, taking a walk?
- He asked me last night why he was adopted.
- Well that was bound to happen, what did you tell him?
- The therapist said we should tell the truth, so…
- Then he asked me what the definition of sex slave is…I told him he’ll learn soon enough.
- Jimmy asked when Daddy’s coming back.
- He’s unrelenting.
- I mean, really. You need to put a cork in that. It’s not healthy.
- I know. I tried to explain.
- Sometimes it’s not easy to realize someone is gone for good.
- He even wanted to take a box of stuff to the police and have one of those bloodhound dogs sniff it out.
- Ohh…that’s precious.
- I just don’t understand what part of “Mommy’s gun can’t be seen by cops” he doesn’t get?
- Some kids just can’t grasp death. Even when they see it with their own eyes.
- I’ll keep trying.
This is outright ridiculous. Yes, we’re being childish engaging this type of folk, but seriously? Leave lil’ ol’ unoffending us alone, you big meanies!
Subject Line: Say What?
(We would never give their address away, but we will say it had “Marcel Proust” in it)
You’re not looking for submissions. You’re looking for contributions. Charity. Freebees. For quality work from professional writers which work you don’t have to pay for. I mean, let’s at least get the vocabulary correct and what you’re really seeking accurate when you post such an ad on the paying gigs/jobs section of craigslist. I mean, don’t insult our intelligence totally!
Our (final) Retort:
Dear Marcel Proust,
Call it what you want, but bottom line, we’re trying to promote writing in the world. We figure the more, the better. We’re sorry you feel the need to attack such an innocuous website whose sole purpose is to support art. Have a great day!
Their Retort to Our Retort:
Don’t make excuses and quit whining and acting like a victim. Just do the right thing. That’s called morality. Morality precedes anyone’s notion of charity and art for art’s stake. Just change the word to contributor/contribution, etc. And don’t be misleading and callow about it. Then lots and lots of professional writers will have a great day!
When my roommate of five years called and told me she was moving back to New York, I started sobbing uncontrollably. It wasn’t the crying that bothered me, it was the fact that I was in a giant outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles called The Grove while doing so. It was the upscale, tween-celebrity-rife version of Mall of America. Instead of an Old Navy there was a J. Crew. Instead of a Hooters there was The Farm. And instead of a rollercoaster there was a trolly. It was a foolish place to be in the first place, but crying there was both humiliating and gauche. Like being fired in your Halloween costume.
I tried to tuck away in a corner between L’Occitane and Barney’s Co-Op. The thought of anyone seeing me — nevermind anyone I knew — was unsettling to say the least.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. She was sobbing too now.
“It’s okay,” I got out.
What I didn’t tell her was that my tears weren’t necessarily for her future absence, but for the simple fact that my life was slowly unraveling, one aspect at a time. I was in between jobs, which is to say I was jobless. My boyfriend had just embarked on a three and a half month tour with his band. And I had rear-ended a Saab not but two days ago. Even though she went “back east” every summer, Jane had been the one constant in the shit storm that was my existence.
“I’ve been planning on going back some day, and now feels like the right time.”
Right time? I thought. Jane had a boyfriend. Of six months. How could that be the right time? I was confused by her decision and jealous of her brazenness. I could never do something that bold. At that point in time, the only thing I was capable of doing was clutching my cell phone, willing it to vibrate from my boyfriend’s dialing.
So now not only was I crying at the sham that was my life, but the gross imbalance of my and Jane’s decision making skills. When did I turn into this person I thought? When did I turn into a person who asks herself, When did I turn into this person?
I cut the conversation short, unable to hear anymore. Her decisiveness and “got get ‘er” attitude was only amplifying the paralysis I had grown accustomed to, but still wasn’t used to. The retail therapy that was originally my afternoon intent only made me nauseous now. The stores seemed bigger, more menacing, and the same for the people.
By the time I got into my car the tears drying on my cheeks represented sadness drying into rage. I whipped down Fairfax Avenue swerving in and out of traffic, glaring at drivers as if they themselves had convinced Jane to move. I was so mad at the Universe. Why did it hate me so fucking much? He or she or whatever demonic entity it was, was either testing me for prophet-dom or wanted me to just off myself. I felt like twirling around a suburban lawn screaming, “What are you waiting for, huh?!” like Jennifer Love Hewitt in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” But that would be moronic.
I took out my cell phone to call my boyfriend, but then thought better of it. What if he didn’t answer? Then I’d be mad at him for not being there for me in my time of need and this would become all his fault. Or worse, what if he did and was in the middle of something fun (like usual)? Loud music and screaming was the customary cacophony when he was on the other end of the receiver. So I did what I always did -I called my mom.
“Hi, Nic,” she said. She was getting tired of the complaint-fests that had become my phone calls. And who could blame her? Everyday it was something new.
I regaled the saga of Jane and Mystery Move while she listened intently.
“Mmm-hmm… Right… Really?…” could be heard if you were in the room with her. She offered a few suggests and some advice, but we both knew there wasn’t anything that could be said that would make me feel better. I hung up, knowing my next phone call to her was probably a few hours away.
When I got home I sat on my couch with my cell phone on the coffee table in front of me. Plastic vibrated loudest on glass, so if I happened to look away for a moment I would still know if my boyfriend was calling me. Or less importantly, a job.
I walked over to Jane’s room and stood in the doorway. The impersonalness of her stuff had become so familiar to me. Even though we had lived there five years it was as if she never unpacked. The only thing on the wall was a small mirror. Her comforter and sheets were mismatched. There were even boxes on the floor filled with old Newsweeks and US News and World Reports, which are weekly magazines so there were a lot. Had she been plotting this all along?
I walked directly across the hall to my room, which inhabited foofy drapes, an Anthropologie duvet and pictures ad nauseum. It was a comic juxtaposition, our rooms. If someone broke into our house, he or she would surely think I was the happier roommate. I picked up a small Buddha figurine that sat on my dresser and thought about the day I bought it. The only reason I stumbled upon it was because my sister and I had just finished an hour long footslog in search of an Italian ice place I had once gone to. After we found it we shuffled aimlessly around SoHo eating cherry and chocolate frozen treats in silence. And even though the chunks of cherries were sweet and plump and whole, it still wasn’t as good as I had remembered. But it was perfect.
Then, like a buckshot, the idea of getting my own place seemed intriguing, exciting even. I had been living in a defacto one bedroom for quite sometime, and although I wasn’t happy per se, I was still… here. Perhaps a change of environment would revitalize me, mix it up a bit. I quickly decorated my imaginary apartment in my head. There were flowers on the windowsill, giving sort of a Parisian flair. And finally, I painted my walls blue. I was an independent woman and the world could suck it!
But, like most sentiments, it was fleeting.
Feeling crappy again, but like I had done something productive, I walked back into the living room to man my post next to the coffee table. I picked up my phone and realized that for the first time in months, I had a missed call.
Year on to yesteryear,
and with a mouthful of toothpaste
the youth-burned old chap
rehashes summer memories
to a wishful soundtrack of storefront nostalgia.
Dog-wagged tails, downstairs,
at the coffee house, and in sensationalist photojournalism
are no different than touchscreen starlets
or a boy in a crowd
with a head full of empathogens
and crossword thoughts
like the self affirmations
of the brainchild, lovechild
of a sad genius
in the auburn hills of Spain.
A road flies by, with neck risked games
and now-stale music, neglected caramels
and defeated companions, their belt crossed faces
But an aura of such beauty
that the sunset cliché approaches, but falls short of
like hand grenades and atom bombs.
- it was on a Friday the day before yesterday
- when we broke into a forest clearing and took a long look goodbye
- this Tuesday we have a nice new appointment at the bank
- the bank had all
- the money we had needed
- to answer the case presented unto us
- that was all we needed we had no payments
- for the longest time
- and it came to our attention that we were
- to ourselves at any rate
- on our own
- we found this out in a manner of speaking
- when we wrote down this note
- and all of a sudden there was like some birds do
- a downpouring onto the lagoon
- and all the birds sang and cawed and croaked
- on the surface and dove down for the fish
- with a lot of clatter and fuss of feathers
- that was the downpouring of them
- and we went then into the forest again
mind of an escapist
Ruminations on deep incalculable feats
Shadowy webs upon a face of naivety
The plight of continents
exposed to veiled unity
Tasks to imagine
no thought of destinations
Describe without thinking
land held underwater
Fields of vision caught with lesions
that adhere to false senses
Organize avenues of confusion
into parallel aisles
A street map locked in a fireproof box
The ultimate guide to spells of red passion
This liquid is meant to cool skin
as if to say abandon fortunes lost
Embark on travels of light
fastening aims to the sky
In waves unpronounced to kept time
Back when I trained parrots for a living, Mom told me that I was wasting my time. Maybe she was right. My parrot training was ultimately unsuccessful, and I was soon forced to eat my red-feathered friends. But I can tell you one thing – there’s nothing tastier than the developed vocal cord of an Abyssinian Ringneck.
My name is Texas Pete – like the hot sauce – but I don’t wear those big leather chaps like the guy on the bottle, because… I don’t wear pants. You see, after I finished off the last of those pretty birds, I was forced to find some other source of food. Naturally, I decided to become an underwear model.
Friends always ask me where they can see my pinups, and I have to explain that I’m not one of THOSE underwear models. Rather, I’m like one of those attractive guys who walk around the Abercrombie store folding a shirt every twenty minutes. Except, I model briefs. True, live underwear modelage is a relatively new field, but I see myself as a sort of pioneer. If you ask me, in order for a man to truly understand what it’s like to wear a pair of tight boxer briefs, he must be able to see the fine contours of smooth cotton gently sweeping across another man’s crotch.
It took weeks of lobbying to get my first job at a Hanes store modeling their incredible selection of thongs. They didn’t pay me much, but every day I walked out of the store with a fresh pair of underwear and five dollars in cold, hard cash. I didn’t stay at the Hanes store for very long. After a few days on the selling floor, I ran into some trouble with the manager. Every time the doors of the store would open and the cool breeze would hit my nipples, I couldn’t help but spin those dreidles like it was the eighth night of Hanukkah. To be fair, I probably could have gotten my job back if I had been willing to stop touching my tender touchables, but like every true visionary, I wanted more.
So I left the store for something bigger and better. That something was Costco, the biggerest, betterest place there is. But when I first came knocking, the doors of opportunity were slammed in my face. And it hurt. Luckily, I’m not a quitter. Otherwise I’d be dead. Like my mom always used to say, “If I ever catch you quitting, I’ll poison your food.”
I began spending my days wandering around Costco’s underwear section modeling a little number that I like to call “the baller.” I had never been so determined in my life – I spent all day, every day, at that store. After about a week, I still hadn’t gotten a job offer, but I could feel a little tingle in my pants telling me that the road to happiness wasn’t far off.
One day, as I was taking my lunch break at the samples station, my life changed forever. Just as I was reaching for my last pizza bagel, I caught a glance of a beautiful blonde-haired girl gripping an aluminum baseball bat, chasing after some twelve-year-old punk who had sucked down one too many tomato soup shooters. Just as he was about to get away, I pegged him in the head with my bagel and ran up to that sample angel.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“I’m so sorry about your samples.”
“Oh don’t worry, they’re not mine. I just work here… Nice underwear.”
“Thanks, they’re Kirkland Signature. My name’s Pete. What’s yours?”
“Well, my friends call me Lucy, but you can call me Veronica.”
It was love at first sight. I couldn’t stop staring into her beautiful green eyes, as they peered majestically at my very large penis. We both had to get back to work, but we decided to meet up later that night after closing time.
By the time the doors to the store were finally locked, I was nearly bursting with feelings and emotions. I found Veronica lighting candles around a picnic blanket in the baked goods section. It didn’t take very long for our clothes to come off. Very soon, I had Veronica lying on the blanket smothered in five gallons of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. As I began coating her body with four pounds of rainbow sprinkles, I suddenly realized that I just might love this girl. So I followed my heart and asked her to marry me, the next day, in the Costco chapel.
And she said yes!
After we got back from our honeymoon at one of Costco’s Miami stores, my career took an incredible and unexpected turn. It just so happens that Veronica’s father is the boss of the Korean mafia and he was able to get me a great job as Costco’s official underwear liaison. Now, not only do I model briefs in our local store, I also travel around the country delivering motivational speeches about the benefits of semi-nude modeling in the workplace.
With our newfound fortunes, Veronica and I bought a parrot farm on the outskirts of Monaco and I am able to train parrots without worry. Plus, I drink a lot of alcohol.
I still eat parrots on occasion, just for the memories. But don’t worry, I only eat the stupid ones!