Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Love Stories

Jonah falls in love with a girl who plays flute. Love is like this, and I'm sure we'd like to explore this part for a while but it can't be what our story is about. All we need to know is Jonah falls in love with a girl who plays flute, flute, flute, which I guess is an excusable offense if you're in love.

In his dream, Jonah is in the very middle of the ocean with nothing to hold on to. He isn't drowning, but it doesn't matter - he is without reference point, lost and alone, head barely above the sea, the water a steely blue-gray and the sky overcast. It is hopeless, but he treads water anyway, his breath desperate and ragged.

You can put your fingers right on top of other instruments, you can get a feel for them, or at the very least it doesn't matter a whole lot where you strike them; with the bells, you have to hit a target the size of a Snickers bar from 8 inches away without looking. I want you to understand this: when you play the glockenspiel, you are dropped in the middle of the ocean, you have to distinguish between every wave, there isn't room for error.

Jonah talks to his best friend, who tells him: there isn't an instruction manual, Jonah. Just talk to her, or don't, or, you know, do something. Stop acting like we all aren't drowning out there. I can't be your flotation device. This is very typical coming from someone on drumline.

Jonah joins the marching band, and he learns that it's possible to get through all this stuff without the reference points but that it takes a lot of practice.

He practices.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How To Write a Love Song

Tuesday night at summer league, Sara catches the disc on an in-cut, takes one look, and then turns to dump to Joe, except she gets hand-blocked, which is like super amateur and she feels bad about the whole thing.

While sitting with her accordion afterwards, she thinks about him, the boy she's known since he was on her team three seasons ago who can throw hucks like it is his job and who found her keys for her when she dropped them after the fourth game and who is just a cool guy, you know, the sort of really nice-looking handler that any city club team or recently graduated 22-year-old Spanish Econ double major would be lucky to call their or her own, respectively. She wills her fingers to come up with a song that could express exactly what she feels about him, which she isn't even sure of herself.

Thursday night after the game she calls him on the phone to ask if he took her disc by accident. He puts it into his backpack and bikes it over to her and ends up staying and talking for three hours until 12:30, which is the sort of hour at night we all know you can only talk until if you are in love or discovering love or at least involved in a pretty serious bromance. They are both tired the next day at work, and with every futile cup of coffee they think: this was worth it.

Saturday during finals weekend the team is in the red zone and Sara jukes in on the the force lane, takes three steps out until her defender bites, and then cuts towards the break side endzone corner towards Joe, who knew where to put the disc as soon as he saw that first fake, flip flip flip, his arm comes up - this is the amazing part, his arm just comes up, not across or around, and he lifts it to the spot where she runs it down.

He drives her home and she gets out her accordion again when there is already something of a melody in her head. She knows she'll have trouble rhyming with "huck", but for the first time she finally knows what to write about.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You Got This One

Two nuns are walking around their abbey when one nun notices that the other nun's cloak is trying to steal her wallet.

"Hey," she says, "your cloak is trying to steal my wallet."

"Oh, shoot!" the second nun replies. She immediately takes off her cloak and punts it away.

"Why did you do that?" the first nun asks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ascent

At the bottom of the observation tower, they are debating the climb.

"I have been on an airplane before," Edmund says to his mom, "I do not need to see the world from higher up."

"Airplanes go very high in the air. This is much lower. It is a different view."

"Airplanes have to go low first before they go higher."

Hillary tips her water bottle up to her mouth and watches Edmund wipe his rec specs with a lintless cloth. After a second: "But they go over a runway or whatever. This is a state park! Don't you want to see a state park?"

"I can see the pictures on Flickr. I'll make one your desktop background," Edmund says.

His mom sighs dramatically. "Oh, I knew you'd be too scared. It's probably too high for you anyway."

"I'm nine, mom. That doesn't work anymore."

He is not a bad kid, and they get along fine. This isn't a fight - it's genuinely a debate, and one Hillary knows she can win.

"Have fun biking home, then. I'll see you tonight." She turns smartly and marches briskly over to the observation tower.

Edmund laughs and rolls his eyes. "Okay, mom, whatever."

He pales a little when he realizes she is showing no signs of turning around.


She disappears through the heavy concrete doorway.

He drops his helmet and runs after her, calling: "Mom! Mom!"

At the top, he is reconsidering his original position. "It's nice and breezy up here. I like the smell of the ocean and stuff. You should have mentioned the breezes."

She ruffles his hair even though she knows he hates that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

With Apologies to Daniel Handler

For example, you could break the ice by purchasing a hammer and then using it on the lake down the street, or you could break the ice by telling that nice-looking night-shift cashier at the hardware store about your passion for swimming in the very cold water in the dark, or you could break the ice by purchasing a hammer and then asking if the cashier wants to come down to the lake with you to go swimming, and there may be situations in which the ice is broken and the ice isn't broken, like if there are big cracks in the surface of the lake but if the thought of the two of you floating naked in the freezing water makes everyone a little uncomfortable, or if the hammer turns out to be too small but she is laughing at your jokes, and if you're really into breaking the ice you could try breaking the ice with the ice, by making jokes about ice or by picking up a big chunk of ice and throwing it at the ice or even by talking to the ice as if to make pleasant conversation, in which case you could break the ice with the ice with the ice, perhaps by asking the ice what it is like to be ice, and though I would not recommend breaking the ice with the ice by breaking the ice with the ice, you could still try it, it might be nice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Amy Vanderbilt and the Rude Zombies

ONSCREEN: AMY VANDERBILT's eyes, looking fearful. She walks forward.

NANCY (V.O., whispered)
They can't know you're not one of them, Amy.

Flashes quickly: MALE ZOMBIE 1 - who appears perfectly human - spitting on the sidewalk.

AMY keeps walking. We see her now from the shoulders up. The street around her is full of people, wandering aimlessly and in a very rude manner.

NANCY (V.O., whispered)
Our old world, that's gone now. You have to understand this. You have to blend in.

Flashes quickly: MALE ZOMBIE 2 yawning in a business meeting. He fails to cover his mouth.

AMY keeps walking.

NANCY (V.O., whispered)
We look the same. At least there's that. You can do this. They'll never know.

Flashes quickly: FEMALE ZOMBIE 1 receiving an inappropriately garish gift from MALE ZOMBIE 3. She does not tell him how inappropriate it is.

AMY turns the city corner and walks into a ZOMBIE.

Excuse me.

A beat.

All the ZOMBIES attack.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Apologies for the poor artwork and late update, and, of course, please don't read too far into this post. It is merely a bit of wordplay. I in no way endorse long-handled gardening tools and/or immoral pleasure seekers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This Isn't a Love Story

On the phone with her friend, Jenny discusses her new coworker, Oliver - an attractive college graduate like herself. His interests include model airplanes and skinny ties. I cannot get enough of guys in skinny ties, she says to her friend, who wants her to get a number.

In a letter to her friend Jenny writes, this isn't a love story, just because she hates all that cliché nonsense and she knows she will never meet an attractive man at an expensive hotel in Paris. Girls meet guys all the time and they don't fall in love.

Jenny runs into Oliver at the post office when she goes to mail a letter. Do you want to come with me to fly this new plane I got? Oliver asks. Jenny says yes. She throws out her letter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to Play Frisbee in the Rain

It's hard, man, because you want to relive memories through your talking about them. You want to write facebook statuses and tell stories about these things you did that were so different - sports in the rain and sprinting in the middle of the night, you want to write about how you have to think about gripping the disc in your fingers and describe the feeling of the track on your bare feet, but it is never the same - you can't go back; that layout is never as good the second time around.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Friday: he has long since abandoned describing his characters or the setting, he has eliminated foreshadowing and symbolism (except for allusions to chess; he just loves those), and, in his quest for minimalism, he has finally arrived at an important question: how much can you strike?

Saturday: he writes a story about a nameless character in a blank room without a chess set.

Friday, July 02, 2010


I'll be taking a brief hiatus for the holiday. I will return to my usual schedule of posting this coming Thursday, July 8.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Very Angry Commercials

1 - Int. Train Station - Day - 1

The ATTRACTIVE MAN looks across the track and sees the ATTRACTIVE WOMAN in the car opposite himself. It's not his train, but he's in love, and what can you do? He whips out his phone in a way that makes it very clear that all is not lost. He quickly hits the giant "change ticket" button, and then he's picked up his bags and he's off.

2 - Int. Train - Day - 1

Inside the train, the ATTRACTIVE WOMAN stares wistfully out the window whil ethe doors close with a whoosh. The ATTRACTIVE WOMAN turns to her purse in the seat next to her, but then, suddenly, at eye level: the bottom of a familiar green sweater!

Is this seat taken?

3 - Ext. Train - Day - 3

Through the window: the ATTRACTIVE WOMAN moves her purse, the ATTRACTIVE MAN sits down next to her. The train rolls slowly out of the station.

4 - Int. Train - Day - 4

The ATTRACTIVE MAN and ATTRACTIVE WOMAN are having an attractive conversation.

ATTRACTIVE MAN (continued)
And that's when I found five dollars.

ATTRACTIVE WOMAN laughs hysterically. She wipes away tears.

I've only known you for thirteen seconds, but I already feel very comfortable with you, as evidenced by my easy laugh.

You will make our children delicious sandwiches. I will take out the garbage. You will give me knowing smiles as I leave for work in our attractive car.

The CONDUCTOR wanders over.

Tickets, please.

The ATTRACTIVE WOMAN smiles and hands her ticket to the CONDUCTOR. The ATTRACTIVE MAN takes out his phone.

I used my phone to change my ticket.


I used the "change ticket" button. It was so big I felt like an above-the-shoulder camera shot could have seen it! Gosh.

That's not- you need a physical ticket. Have you ever ridden a train before?

Of course. Didn't you see my travel-worn duffel bag in the overhead bin?

You need to have a ticket! What is wrong with you?

I told you, I pressed the-

We don't have a change ticket button. Last minute cancellations cost, like, seventy dollars, and you can't make them on the platform with your phone.

A beat.

This is- massively- this is so inconvenient. Why would you do this to us? Why- forget it. I need you to get up.

Another beat.