Monday, June 28, 2010


Nights, and the graduating class has taken to staring at the clock on their microwaves and picking at their fingernails. They're on a precipice here, and the slower that summer goes, the better.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Would You Tell Me That

One in twenty games I don't feel hungry afterwards. Nearly all of the time I come off the field demanding burgers and pizza and fishsticks with custard, but after five percent of matches, just five percent, my friends and teammates go out for Wendy's; I go home and catch up on my webcomics. I take a shower. I read a book. I think about how I played.

And then right when I am about to go to bed - in fact, right when I am about to brush my teeth - I get hungrier than I've ever been, and for cereal, cereal, cereal. I pull on sweatpants and go downstairs to lay waste to the cabinet next to the sink. I've eaten whole boxes of Multigrain Cheerios and Raisin Bran. I drink water - room-temperature, in a glass - and I eat more cereal than I ever could in a week of usual breakfasts.

And here is my question: why do I want you to know that? Why am I interested in telling my friends that sometimes I like eating cereal late at night? What possesses me to tell people the water's temperature? This is a boring story. This is a then-I-found-five-dollars story. This is unworthy of recounting.

At night, I could shuffle my day's anecdotes into those worth telling and those that should not be repeated. It could never be an exact science - if I have a forgiving audience I might tell one of the less interesting ones - but it is a procedure that I like to think could be performed in a fairly accurate manner. If there's anyone out there that does this, please let me know. I'd like to hear how and when you started, if you think that would be an interesting tale to repeat. At the very least I could take a look at your filing system.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Evidence, Evidence

It was a problem you can only come up with if you are never worth anything but the designer suits you wear: he needed evidence of himself. Evidence, evidence, evidence. He filled a house with all of his receipts, because he could afford to. He wrote his name in the books he took out of the library and the ones he gave to charity. He gave money to colleges he didn't attend so that he could be on plaques in front of wings and libraries and auditoriums. He was the sponsor of scholarships that were for interest in nuclear science and others that were for the deconstruction of every nuclear power plant in the world. He got speeding tickets so cops would write his name in their little books. He was bad at parties; one time he met this girl that was kind of cute but he never worked up the nerve to ask her number.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Scenes 12

When I tell you to lift me up above the crowd at the party, you ask how high. That is awesome. Really awesome.

You ask me to kill that bug. I mean it is a scream, frankly, or at the very least a shriek. Afterwards, I realize I used your Mensa day-to-day calendar. Forgive me. It was so close to making it under the armoire, and I didn't really have time to look for a newspaper or anything.

I hear you have serious ass cancer; I hear it's fatal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The sky is brown and bright and hot and a thousand gnats buzz around the runner's face as she looks up from the shadows of the empty classroom across the courtyard. There were trees here once, four months ago, but then things got hot and people got angry and now the trees are dead and the runner can see all the way across the flat, dead grass to the door that serves as her finish line. She used to run real track. She could fly, man.

Coach gave her this advice: "It's about 70 meters, and you'll have 8 seconds from the time the gun goes off. After that, it's no promises. I'll tell the starter to try to cover you. The baton is on the desk through the door; you have to break the biohazard glass."

They - they - sit inside unless the courtyard motion alarm goes off. It's cooler there, and that's the route the senseful unwary would take. They don't waste energy. They sit still.

She touches the edges of the window where the glass is broken, and then steps up into the frame, crouching, as close to a real starting position as she can get.

Her earpiece buzzes with static. Break, break. It's a regular thing.

Then the shot goes off, and she runs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

All Snared Up

Onstage before the Fourth of July concert, things were going to hell.

"I have this tradition," said Tom to Belle, the other percussionist. The strings were busy tuning up. "It's sort of to get me pumped up. Get some energy out there, you know."

Belle smiled nervously, glancing around at the tiny flags and the freedom-themed streamers and watching while Tom dug through his pocket. He took out a little boxcutter.

Tom said, "I think that's important to have before a concert. Energy. You know that head-pounding, blood-pumping feeling? It makes my rolls sizzle better." He walked over to the snare drum.

"What are you doing?" Belle asked, "is this a joke or something?"

Tom glanced at his watch. "I told you, it's tradition." He touched the tip of the blade to the drum's tight mylar skin. Belle shouted, "Stop! What are you doing?" A couple trombones turned around to look what was going on. From the wing, the conductor straightened his tie and nodded to the kid pulling the curtain. The blade dug in further.

"No one has ever objected before," he said. Then the curtain opened, the conductor strolled out graciously, and, over the applause in the dark, stifling auditorium, no one heard the quiet snapping noise from the back of the orchestra.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Minutes from the Day it Rained Watermelon

11:13 AM
B_____, Delaware

What's happening?

It's raining watermelon. I mean watermelon.

Like the fruit?

Yes, the fruit.

11:14 AM
W_____, PA

Fluffy! What- how did this happen?

(whimpering noises)

This is terrible. Is that watermelon? Jesus.

11:15 AM
A_____, NY

Gosh, it's really coming down out there.

LARRY (from bathroom, shaving)
Oh yeah?

Yes. Plus, that's definitely watermelon.

Don't call me melon. And what else would it rain?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So Many

There were so many, it was like drowning in a swimming pool full of cats and let me tell you why: water is cold and silent like a giant block of solid carbon dioxide carved into the shape of a serial killer, but cats squirm around so much that would just be an unpleasant death. Can you imagine that? Kittens in your mouth? I once had an aunt who snored and she told me once her cat crawled into her mouth and she almost bit it. A cat crawling in your mouth, I mean come on. That is as unexpected as a bat getting caught in your hair while jogging and then having it turned into a novel which is turned into a movie which is turned into a tragic broadway musical love story entitled "AT BAT: HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW", which is a major hit and wins several Tony awards. The Tony awards part, that is the most unlikely, especially when you consider the musical's most well-known songs, including "White Nose Syndrome Took My Baby Away (Fungus Ain't Fun)". Gosh that song is terrible.

Monday, June 07, 2010


What she said a lot was I need to get this out of my system, like there was poison in her and she had to talk it out, like it would be a gross and messy death if she didn't say what was on her mind: That whistling is driving me crazy, and I really like that shirt. Her friends would recommend something like this: that when you hear her say that, you have to imagine the tiny versions of herself inside looking at the screen and thinking, Keep this, Keep this, and then, No. This has to go. Get it out.

So she just talked things out - little things and big things and happy things and sad things, which was an issue because they all became poison, they all became things she had to get out of her system, until over time she was just talking to save her life.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Swing That

In case you guys didn't hear, I'm experimenting this month with updating regularly every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 12 AM.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Love and Videogames

Curtain opens very tight on two desks, two chairs, and two computers - a small portion of the Friday night LAN party at a local internet cafe. PLAYER 1 is at the left computer, playing a game. He faces the audience.

Beside both of the desks are two large televisions hooked up to the computers, displaying what's happening on the computer. PLAYER 1 is doing pretty well on his game. The other screen is a screensaver.

PLAYER 2 walks on and sits at the other computer. He stares at the monitor. PLAYER 1 looks at him, then turns back to the computer.

What's going on, man?

I've made a huge mistake.

PLAYER 1 keeps playing.

You know that girl who comes here sometimes? She plays, like, sick pyro and everything?


I was just talking to her, right? And last time we were kind of joking around about her bringing me a Mountain Dew for me to drink this week while I'm playing.

PLAYER 1's character dies. He sits back from the computer and waits for the respawn.

Speaking of playing, do you want to, like, play? I could seriously use some medicking here.

Medic - that's not a verb. You could use a med-

Yeah, okay. I could use a-

I'm just saying, maybe you could use some healing or something.

Just stop griping and get on the damn game.

PLAYER 2 grumbles a bit about verbs as he turns to his computer and opens up the game.

So anyway, we're talking about this Mountain Dew thing.

I'm on the server we use all the time.

The server we use all the time.

Yeah, I'm on that server.

You're saying the server we use every time - all the time - one hundred percent of the time. You're on that one. That's the one you want me to know you're on.

PLAYER 1 (clueless)
Yeah, man! Connect or whatever!

A beat. PLAYER 2 connects or whatever. There is some silence as his game loads the server. He selects his class - not a medic - and begins playing.

She forgot the Mountain Dew, though. That's the thing. She forgot it.


The Mountain Dew she promised me last week. She forgot it.

Oh yeah, right.

So she says, "oh," you know, like, "I forgot your soda. How can I make it up to you?"

Silence. A spy saps one of the engineer's buildings on PLAYER 1's screen.

Spy! Spy, there's a spy. That soldier is a spy.

"How can I make it up to you?!" That is just asking for it! I could have just said you can go on a date with me on Friday. Why didn't I say that?

Right, man, you've got to- the spy is going to get away. He's cloaking hit him hit him! Ax, man! Use your ax.

I just said you can bring me one next week.

PLAYER 2 kills the spy.

Good, good, now, can we get some more people around here? [Shouting to the surrounding, off-stage LAN partiers] Can we get some more people around me and player 2? We're going to go for the flag and we need a few more people.

Murmurs of assent from off-stage, but no one is appearing on screen.

I don't even like Mountain Dew. What is wrong with me? You can just bring me some next week.

Hey, alright, I don't see anyone here. Where are you guys?

I bet that could have been something sweet she could have found out about me, that that whole Mountain Dew thing was just an excuse to talk to her.

Seriously, no one?

PLAYER 2 (suddenly paying attention to the game)
Let's just go without them.

No man, that'll never work. It's safer to wait for a few more guys.

PLAYER 2 starts to run his guy out of the base.

I'm sick of doing what's safe! I always just do what's safe! I want to take a risk!

What are you talking about, man? Where are you running off to?

His character is running out the door.

I want to go! I don't want to be cautious. I just want to-

In the daylight, outside his base, PLAYER 2 is sniped like a n00b. The respawn screen turns on.

I told you that would happen. Hey, listen, will you switch classes? I need someone to medic me.