Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cuttle Birds (A)

LAST NIGHT I DREAMT OF CUTTLE BIRDS. Six foot tall seagulls, capable of escorting you out of the water, tying you up on shore, and wood-peckering your skull 'til your brain matter explodes all over the sand like a work of Eighties Spin Art.

I woke up directly from this dream, horrified the staff of my local Dunkin Donuts, and went to work, not sure whether or not these birds existed. Around lunchtime, I had a moment to sneak out of the boss's eyeshot. I Googled "GIANT SEA-DWELLING WOODPECKERS" from my phone. My phone crashed. I got it wet in the monsoon this weekend when I was searching for a British boy at a series of LES bars, so I broke it into three pieces and asked my boss if he knew where I could buy a bag of rice. One of his eyes bulged out farther than the other and he said maybe at CVS but I thought I'd better get back to work.

Later that day, at after work drinks, I incongruously sipped a diet coke because I still needed to go to the gym and relayed the story to a group of coworkers. I didn't care what they thought of me because I didn't want to sleep with any of them. Except for one. He has a live-in girlfriend and smells like ivory soap.

All of my coworkers were sure that these birds didn't exist, all of them except for one, a girl from Iowa with legs like tree-trunks that always have patches of stubble. She has the look of a person who is going to like to make a lot of crafts one day.

"There are billions of species that we don't know about," she said reassuringly, although she wasn't reassuring at all.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

(revising the gutter)

It was no longer Thursday night, which meant it was fully Friday morning. The sun was visible through the windows, hanging out in the sky, all bright and pure. I paused to watch it dangle condescendingly, red over lower Manhattan. Everything looked the way it should, especially the warmly lit, unforgiving concrete. I would go home and sleep for a few hours and then I’d pick my life up out of the gutter. I swallowed the remainder of the whiskey and put the cup on the sill, wishing I’d left the party hours earlier.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Preamble to Hatorade

A couple years ago I was at a party in Los Angeles in the home of a Blamex Wielding producer. The Blamex Wielding Producer had fallen asleep, the other guests had left, and leaving us the three of us who were left standing with access to the entirety of his property and wardrobe. So we were having an impromptu costume party.

This was not as sexy as it sounds. All three of us were born with twisted senses of decency, had graduated from accredited Drama institutions, and had no interest in sleeping together – at least not in a sexual way - so our costumes were creepy and highly intellectualized. In other words, we weren’t frolicking around dressed as French Maids and Construction Workers. Liz, my friend from New York who had traveled to L.A. with me for our friend’s premier, was dressed as the hipster version of Jesus Christ Our Lord And Savior in white crushed velvet. Carolla, a sound guy for Jackass and Playboy TV, was wearing someone’s snowboard gear, complete with goggles, and was wielding a snowboard, which he was using to try to knock both me and Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior into the massive pool outside.

Since I was the writer of the crew, my costume was undeniably the best. I was dressed in a Jack Daniels long sleeved shit, a Jack Daniels baseball cap, men’s boxer shorts pulled up to right below my tits, and knee-high soccer socks with flip-flops haphazardly wedged into my toes. I was TRULY forming a character – Gatorade Homeless Man – a dude who lived on the corner of 14th and 1st avenue who invented Gatorade flavors, wrote them down on discarded receipts, and kept them in his sock. He’d already invented flavors like vodka-berry-blast, and ass-sweat-mango-berry-fusion, and he was a recently born character, so this was impressive to all.

I flopped down in my Gatorade Homeless Man outfit on a chaise near the pool to watch the sun come up, feeling suddenly sad and suspiciously nostalgic. I blamed it on my sleep deprivation. But now, I seem think all of my brainstorms about Gatorade were bringing me back. I was reminded of another night, a night when simple Gatorade turned to Hatorade.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vancouver Prison Hospital

Everything was going swimmingly until these idiots in bad maxi dresses landed our Hovercraft at the only Prison Hospital in Vancouver. Now I'm half drunk and standing next to this screaming, naked, pregnant woman on a gurney and there's not a doctor in sight. Her glistening globe of a belly is beginning to swell deep purple, and now it has started throbbing, too. She's begging me to help her. She keeps begging and begging and begging.

I lied when I said there wasn't a doctor in sight. There is a doctor in sight. But he's occupied. He looks really tired and he's talking to this woman who doesn't have a face anymore. She has a mouth but everything else is gone, just blood and tissue. She's imploring him to kill her. Her mouth is forming lamb sounds and I find myself in pause, trying to figure out the word for lamb sounds. That's the rub about being a writer. You find yourself in pause, searching for words, at the most inappropriate of times.


I'm running now. I'm looking for another doctor. There's this rolling metal picture frame with pieces of person suspended from little clothespins. A mouth, an eye, intestines, and other insides. They mouth laughs and the eye blinks. Evil cyborg, it rolls at me and blocks my path wherever I turn. The top of my hand brushes against the intestines and I decide that this is the worst day ever. I fake the cyborg out and run through the cinderblocked hallways.

Doctors en masse are helping this other woman give birth - she's pretty and blonde while my pregnant lady is dark and dirty and naked. I run back to my pregnant lady and she's screaming and she's popped the blood vessels in her eyes. The belly throbs bigger.

I run in another direction and there's that goddamned cyborg again, and there's that woman without a face, and there's that tired doctor. Every hallway is the same. All obstacles and no help, until I see two men in unitard uniforms and I bleat at them, every bit as base as that faceless woman and that pregnant bitch that I'm trying to save, now. The uniforms respond to my bleating by laughing and showing me the thick hoses that they're using to wash away the blood on the floor because they're just custodians, and they can't help me unless I want them to mop up some fluids or something.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I send him a text message that says “IT PUTS THE LOTION ON.”

That's what I was what I said to him in bed when we he called me a Cougar and I told him I preferred the term Pedo.

He wanted to talk about music that morning, something like dub step or double step, something vapid and grotesque and with a heavy bassline. His words were ruining the cinema in my head, so I gave him water with a little juice in it to shut him up, like you would do with a toddler. I even gave it to him out of a sippy-cup. I stroked his so-soft baby hair while I waited for him to become eager and frisky puppy-like again. It didn't take long.

But when he’d worn me out he didn’t offer to get me any water or any water with juice in it, and as I lay in bed while he whistled in my bathroom, I thought: The Architect would have offered me water.

The Architect would have brought me water and he’d have brought me to Mexico. He would have had sex with me maybe once a day in an entirely obligatory fashion while we were there, and he would have felt compelled to call room service to change the sheets immediately afterword, but he would have brought me to Mexico.

The little one, I call him My Tiny, doesn’t respond to my “IT PUTS THE LOTION ON” text, and it doesn’t really bother me much. He’s playing me, which is mildly adorable and very amusing, but it doesn't pay my airfare. I think about playing with the Architect's money in Mexico. At Blackjack. Do they let you gamble in Mexico? Do they let you put a chip on security and maybe two on happiness?

From Waitressing (Manuscript)

The first morning I woke up beside Alan it wasn’t morning at all. It was afternoon – nearly three, judging from the noise of the San Genero tourists outside my window. I ran my hand over the soft small patch of fur on his breast bone to see if he was a cuddler, and he rolled over and folded me into him. We made a better than decent set of spoons. He was tall to the tops of his feet brushed into the rough calluses on the bottom of my own. “From waitressing,” the explanation rolled off of my dry cat tongue.
He murmered and picked at a particularly dry callus with the nail of his big toe. It was more intimate than anything we’d done the night before.

My feet were smooth when we emerged from my room at dusk.

Sweet Dreams of Motherhood

I am home in Westchester because my mother bought me a wiener dog, which is alright, but I’ve heard that they have seizures and epilepsy. What should be a cause for celebration is a cause of great anxiety, but not just because I don’t want a disabled pet.

He keeps pushing his nose between my legs.

And thus, I shall call him Wienie.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to find any sort of employment, so I have no idea how I’m going to feed this Wienie character. My mom’s off at work, only making me feel more jobless. She’s left a list of stuff I can do while I’m at home if I “feel up to it” which includes “get a pedicure!” and “use the treadmill in the basement!”

No one I sleep with cares to look as far down as my toes, and I would rate myself about a C+/B- at consuming solids lately because I’m a nervous wreck, so there’s no real point in any of that. I’ll be surprised if I even manage to shower today. I'm too busy learning about life from Judge Judy.

No one’s really going to see me except for my Mom, my Dad, and that fucking baby over there.

I’m keeping it strapped into a carseat beside me on the couch. The baby, not Wienie. It is wearing boy’s clothes so I guess it’s a “he” or they might be hand-me-downs. Where did this tiny boy baby come from? Wienie is on the ground and for the time being he’s forgotten about whatever he imagines is between my legs. I’m on the recliner portion of the couch with my feet up. We’re all together, watching Judge Judy deal with some Baby Mama Drama.

Everything is tolerable until the baby starts crying. I try to shut it up but it won’t stop flaring it’s gums and screaming at me. If the baby were a dog I’d say it was snarling and barking, trying to be dominant or whatever.

I turn up the volume of the TV. The baby screams louder.

The commercial comes on and I get up and Wienie half-yelps, again catching a whiff of me. I must smell like I’m smuggling fishsticks in my panties. I don’t know for sure, because I’m in that awesome place where I can no longer smell myself. I lift up the baby and the car seat as one package and bring it over into the kitchen. I put it down on the glass kitchen table and think about how mad my mom would be about the plastic seat potentially scratching the table so I use a placemat. As I set the baby down it stops screaming and looks at me, bewildered.

I’m not really doing anything wrong. I go back to the couch with Wienie scratching my calves all the way and set myself up on the recliner again. If I turn my head 90 degrees I can see the baby.

Sure as shit the baby starts snarling again just as Judge Judy comes back from commercial. All I want is a little peace. What’s worse, Wienie has now figured out how to jump up onto the couch and he’s trying to get under my sweat pants. There’s something beastial and trailer-trash on the horizon, I can feel it, so I decide that both the baby and Wienie are going to take a Time-out.

My bedroom isn’t a bad place for a Time-out. When I was little I bit my mom at a carnival and I got grounded. I was five at the time. I was shut into my room and barred from the dinner table, and my mom gave me a luke-warm piece of Elio’s pizza. I was horrified, even at five I knew that my parents were treating me like I was in fucking Attica, so I separated the cheese from the top of the pizza and put it back outside the door. An hour or so later, I got hungry and went to go get the pizza from outside the door and it was still there, but I had to eat it cold.

Considering how fat I was by the time I was ten I wish I had saved the calories and gone hungry for a night.

Anyway, I’m only going to give the baby and the dog an hour in Time-out. I’m a very big fan of Judge Judy and they are both being disruptive. After the Elios Pizza Incident you better believe I never bit my mother again.

I close them in the room, the baby on the bed and Wienie on the floor, and go back downstairs. Wienie barks and the baby cries, but by the grace of god, their voices are buffered by my door.

The paternity results are in! Judge Judy really knows how to tell complete losers what’s what. I watch and laugh and get a can of French Fried Cheddar Onions out of the pantry and eat the entire thing before next commercial. I don’t think I’ll like shitting undigested onion so I go into the bathroom and use the smooth end of the toilet brush to get it back out of my stomach. People call this bulimia, but it is actually royal. The Roman Emperors did it, read a book, I say.

By the time I’m done and step into the hallway I notice that it’s silent. Maybe they’re asleep. I watch the end of Judge Judy.

Judge Judy ends and some Hispanic Judge is yammering on, now. I switch the TV off and stare outside at the deck. Leaves are gathering. It’s as quiet as a mauseleum until I hear what sounds like furniture moving above my head.

I’m not even up the stairs when I see that Wienie is dragging the baby, who’s still strapped into the car-seat, down the stairs. The baby is making giggling noises, but still. I can’t even see it because the carseat is facedown. I flip the baby over and I give it a quick assessment. It snarls at me a little bit but it seems alright until I notice its head.

I mean, it isn't THAT bad. The only real damage is a patch of shiny, peach skin that screams RUG BURN on what I would think would be the “right frontal lobe.” I imagine a doctor testifying to this in court.

I wonder how I’m going to explain this, if there’s any way that it could not be my fault. I could shoot Weinie, as though he was obviously the one to blame, but I look into his little eyes and I realize I can’t bear to hurt the pup. The dog has spunk, you have to admit. He managed to break out of my room and drag something twice his size down the stairs. That’s ambition.

The baby, on the other hand…maybe I could stage something accidental? No. I know enough from watching Forensic Files on Tru TV that some ballsy post-mortem forty-something thinking she was on CSI would find some fibers in the baby’s skull to send me to prison with the likes of Amy Fisher. Besides, it doesn’t talk yet. It can’t tell on me. There’s no point in doing away with it.

My next thought is make-up, but I don’t want to cause an infection. That'll only make Judge Judy angrier!

My next thought after that is so weird that it just makes sense.

I take the baby out of the carseat and it coos as I hold it against me. It smells like baby-poo but that’s nowhere near as bad as grown-up poo. I bring it into the kitchen and lay it down in the middle of the counter so it won’t roll off and further damage itself.

I open up my mother’s drawer of school supplies. My mother is a first-grade teacher and she’d never let something like this happen. I know by doing what I’m about to do everyone is going to think I’m a complete idiot but being an idiot is forgiveable while negligence is not. I’ve gotten in trouble for being careless but never for being stupid.

I take out a sheet of sparkly stickers of unicorns and smiley faces and begin decorating the baby, particularly over the rugburn. I take the baby’s clothes off and clean the poo off. After I cover his head in glimmering stickers, I figure I might as well go all out. He’s stopped crying now, happy to be clean, I guess. He lets me cover him in sparkly stickers and he almost seems to be enjoying the process. By the time I’m doe he looks like a Tiffany’s Easter Egg and he sparkles in the sun on the counter-top. I hear the garage door open; It’s five and my Mom is home.

She’s going to be glad I actually did something with myself today.