Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Roses are. . .

Anna had a tendency towards red, like lips, cherry popsicles, rose petals, a brand new ferrari, even a fire hydrant in a perfect neighborhood. For her it was a red summer top, rouge cargo shorts, red checkered chuck taylors, Victorias secret “Body by Victoria” thong, tennis cut red nike socks; she had a whole closet, an arsenal of red. The literal Red riding hood of her time. “I just like it she’d say, I don’t know why,” and then her face would get rosy with embarrassment.

Red was also the color of blood; deep red, like rust went for a swim in a glass of ocean spray. Thick puddles of the sticky, salty, liquid would poison her thoughts; yet make her smile with what can only be described as a sense of relief. Doctors attributed this affliction and fascination with the vibrant hue to a day in Anna’s early life now referred to as her “rebirth.” “Rebirth,” because the experience, the very fierce awakening the young child was exposed to was like a damaged Phoenix springing from the fires of hell . She had only vague memories of that period in her life. She remembered the car mostly, the thick brown leather seats with claw marks from ginger’s feline rage. She remembered sleeping in mom’s lap as 50 states went by in 50 dreams. There was the diner in Kentucky, the Motel 6 in New Orleans, the library in Maine. There were friends for 3 days and new older men who mother would take for walks that would end in ice cream for Anna. Mom always had ice cream and her scent; always like the ripest of peaches on picking day in Georgia. Yes, Anna did remember some things, but only flashes like a coma took hold every month and wrapped her in a cocoon. And then darkness. . . .darkness. . . .darkness and finally


It was truly a day that shook the small Arkansas town from its sleepy embrace. August 5, 1989, that was when Anna was found, when darkness turned to dirty rouge. The police report described it as a massacre of horrific proportions; in reality it was a wholesome little blonde girl crying in a massive puddle of human life surrounded by pieces of her rotting mother. It was soon reported in “The Little” daily paper that this mystery child had been sitting in a pile of viscera for 3 whole days until she was discovered by the Taylor kid. The coroners would say it was simple, her mother had been stabbed to death, 15 times in fact, yet there was no evidence on the scene, no id on the victim. Who was Anna and why was she here? Who was the victim? All unanswered questions. It was as if the devil himself had dropped in to slay an angel and shake up this small southern town. The authorities would try and talk to Anna, but all she would do is giggle to herself and stare. They would offer her ice cream and treats and dolls and games, anything to speak but her red red lips were shut. There was always ice cream but it never made her mouth move. Anna was stained that day in the most simple of terms.

One of the local school teachers and his wife decided that this young thing needed a home, needed love, an education, a family, and they took her into their life. It was a tough period for them; barely making it by financially in a town that gave sideways glances like they were a traveling freak show because of a daughter that wouldn’t speak. Gradually Anna got more and more comfortable with her family, her mother would take her shopping, her father would take her fishing. A new child entered their lives and Anna loved her brother more than her confused understanding of the value of human life would allow. 1 year after the accident she began to speak and proved to be very bright. Her thoughts flowed like an artist and “she was the most articulate in her class” her teachers would say. Then on her 9th birthday (perhaps because of regression, perhaps because of some subconscious indicator, or perhaps just because little girls are predisposed) it was a red elephant, a red skirt please, I want a red balloon, a red bike would be nice. Her parents were never suspicious they would just say Anna wouldn’t you like to try another color. But no Anna had a new religion, it was the worship of this morbid hue. Scientifically it was called Chromoluda but in the Luntz household it was “Anna’s stage,” “She just likes the color,” or “Girls will be girls.” But really it was quite odd.

On her 12th birthday she went as far as painting the walls and ceiling of her room the color of a radio flyer, getting paint all over her red shag rug. Her friends would avoid her room asking if they could play downstairs where the AC was on. Her parents were just happy that she was becoming a normal young woman, besides the obvious obsession with rose, rouge, rojo, red. They would never speak of where they found her and she would never ask about it. Though the older she got the more this color began to take over her life. There was the Christmas photo when the red contacts made their debut. Strangers would feel sorry for the family, citing their daughter as an unfortunate albino because of her beady mouse eyes.

Life was as normal as it really could be for a child with a past so mysterious and morose Charles Manson wouldn’t open her fan mail. Shortly after Easter on her 13th year of living Anna became a woman. Anna became a woman and lost herself for good on the same very day. It was a constant struggle with her, as if she was always chasing an image of her former self down a mouse hole or through a strange door quite like Alice; but on this day she was much too tired to keep running. Anna’s parents called and called and called, “Easter Dinner!! Anna ham!” her brother even tried “Anny Bananny, come sit next to me. . . .Anny.” When there was no response they went upstairs, knocked on the bathroom door, no response, her father busted it in grunting as it came down. There sat Anna in the middle of the cold tile floor like a marionette without a master bleeding and bleeding from between her legs. Who knew a teenage girl could bleed this much, in the most serious of explanations it was the period even science couldn’t explain. Anna wasn’t dead, she wasn’t alive, she was somewhere in between; and that was permanent. Anna sat there in this state staring at the white white walls with a small look of confusion on her pretty face; a look that was also permanent. Tears were inevitable, the family cried, their tears were clear and they watched as red came for its lost child.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Evening Run

Jim left the house at 7 PM. The sun dipped below the horizon, replacing the orange hews with pale violet. Memories of the harsh day at the office faded in the first one hundred meters. He ran at a slow pace. He felt good. He always felt good on his evening runs. This evening the air felt particularly cool against his skin. Everything was still.

He turned on Bronson Canyon. As he ran, the houses and streetlamps gave way to dark groves of trees. A deepening of the breath, a quickening of the stride. He let his mind wander into familiar zones of uncertainty. He thought of his life. It was fine. He had always been some sort of successful. A good student. Always had a girl on his arm. Good at sports. Really good at running. All American in track. Great job. But there was something missing. A void. Something just wasn’t there. And with every step, it became clearer and clearer.
He had grown up on the outside.
He never got picked on.
He never acted in the school play.
He never had a “most embarrassing moment.”
He never got upset.
He never had anything to say at the party.
He was that guy. Oh yes, that guy. Wait, which guy? Oh yeah, I remember him. Never really knew him though. Did he talk? His life was dull.

Thoughts cranked through his head like celluloid through a projector. And then he saw it. Lights in the distance. A car? No, an SUV. It was close enough to see that now.

As the vehicle approached Jim contemplated suicide. He thought carefully about all the people he would hurt if he jumped in front of it. The list was shorter than he had predicted. He could almost read the headline, “Corporate Pawn Killed by SUV on Run.” Not too bad.

He wanted to cry, but he laughed instead. It was the most spontaneous thought he had ever had.

The SUV charged forward. It seemed to speed up the closer it got.
The last lap.
400 meters.
200 meters.
100 meters.
And as Jim started for the middle of the road, the unthinkable occurred.
The SUV swerved, and for a brief moment Jim saw something silhouetted in the headlights. A small animal. And before he could duck, it hit him like a water balloon. Literally, like a water balloon. He slowed to a stop.

A skunk had been running across the road, at the very moment of Jim’s attempted suicide. The SUV hit the skunk with such force, that one of the front tires, while applying over 2 tons of pressure to the abdomen, forcefully severed the bladder and propelled it through the air. It connected with Jim’s face and burst on contact. Like a water balloon.

The SUV continued on its course, and for a moment Jim wanted to call out. But he continued running. When he got home he couldn’t differentiate between the sweat and the skunk urine that soaked his clothes. He had quickly gotten used to what was at first an unbearable smell. After his shower it seemed ever less noticeable and when he woke the next day for work it seemed to be gone. Back to normal.

At work he was made fun of and became somewhat upset.
He had a story to tell at the party.
He had a “most embarrassing moment.”
A student adapted his story into a play at the local high school.
The skunk had not only saved his life, but it had improved the overall quality of his life. 1 year later Jim set out on his evening run. The air was cool and still. He turned down Bronson Canyon as he always had, when an SUV swerved out of control and hit him.
Jim was pronounced dead on the scene.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009


With his eyes bushed and heavy, Bill parked his flipside on a dourly looking chair next to the fireplace. The heat from the nearby flames gently nuzzled his soul as he slowly elevated his feet to an equally dourly looking ottoman. As a babe-in-arms his mother and nana would take turns imparting the young Bill with yarns of his esteemed father in that same chair. Pictures though show the chair was much better for the wear in those days.

Fredrik, the mounted water buffalo purchased one inebriated night hung above the fireplace. Perhaps his biggest critic, Fredrik looked on with a smirk swathed over his visage. Bill had been here before, tuckered and stretched tight, wasted from another days work, but this felt different. Almost final even. Even Fredrik looked tired.

Nobody ever told him the life he chose would be an easy one, but that could quite possibly be because nobody had ever come up with such a peculiar walk through their days. A cowboy by day, a hip-hop recording artist by night. While not quite as stirring as a faceless vigilante valiantly struggling with the scum of sullied comic book conurbations, Bill would argue that his pseudo artistic persona, waxing poetic on such forces as ecological devastation, famine quandaries in various pitiable countries, and the insatiable voracity of crooked non-profit organizations was of greater consequence. I’m not sure just what Fredrik would have thought, but alas, he could not speak, so Bill would never know. Now, it should also be noted that at the time a British band who called themselves The Beatles had just played the Johnny Carson show so nobody even knew what the fuck hip hop was. Not even Bill.

So, how did Bill, with dirt in his finger nails and a love for rhymes, turn out to be one of the biggest musical inspirations of all time? Well, it was mostly all, if not entirely all, because 2,403 miles away in the concrete and glass playpen known as New York, the boss’s daughter had a pretty face.


Lewis, the long-limbed greenhorn, probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to the tape if it hadn’t just left the clutches of Jane’s right hand. Lewis studied the tape like a child, reading and re-reading the scribbled phrase “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” over and over again. Finally, after his vision blurred in an attempt to locate just one of Jane’s fingerprints he decided to give his ears a few minutes with it. Sad, weird, and terrible. Lewis couldn’t last more than a song before hitting eject and going on with the rest of his day (i.e. daydreaming about Jane’s naked body).

Unlike the tape, but much like the right hand that left it, Jane was rather perfect looking. A nubile nineteen year old, she was born and raised in The City, to which Lewis, an outsider via Freeport, always fantasized about. Being from New York and being from Freeport just weren’t the same thing, certainly not to Lewis. After meeting her in the elevator, he quickly memorized her bio in the new employee handbook and later that night, in the comfort of his bedchamber, tried on no fewer than sixteen different wardrobe mishmashes with the sole aspiration of getting her attention the next day.

Dauntless enough with his attire choice, Lewis, accompanied by dark eye liner, navy blue mascara, and his new shiny wardrobe, fingered his guitar and whispered a melody.

{Cm}{Cm}{F}{F} (You got to see him in the rodeo)
{A#}{A#}{D#}{Dm} (When he's riddin', going too darn fast)
{Cm}{Cm}{F}{F} (You got to here the people ...)
{A#}{D#}{A#}{D#} (Lonesome Cowboy Bill, he's a ...)
{A}{A} (Oh)

Those chords, those words, roused for whatever reason from that god awful tape, from a stranger 2, 403 miles away in Elko, Nevada (which wasn’t at all megalopolitan boomtown of New York, or even Freeport for that matter), would go on to change Lewis’s life forever. It even changed his name.

Soon after, he wrote a song for Jane, and not much longer after that Lewis traveled up and down the eastern seaboard playing shows in dingy clubs and making nice with famous artists. He named a band with a gent named John after a clothing texture, painted bananas with his friend Drella, and after that, released his own solo record, but not before changing his name to Lou, because quite simply, Lewis was a name unbecoming of someone who walked on the wild side. All of the New Sensations and perfect days to follow, as farfetched as they were, traced right back to that pretty girl’s right hand and the tape dropped from it.

By the time all of this had transpired though Bill had flown up past the clouds. By all accounts all that was left of the lonesome cowboy was a ramshackle hut atop his promontory ranch, still occupied by Fredrik, but whose smirk was replaced with a frown. His only company was a half drank bottle of poor man’s whisky, an empty pill box case, and the quiet solitude brought on by a wrangler’s dreams unrealized.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Elsinore, The Living Lore

"I programmed the universe with a used tube sock!?!"

Ehhhh, She used to say shit like this alllll the time. As a child I would react with a chuckle and a genuinely curious smile but over the years it just became more of me yelling. Things like "What the fuck Ellie?, What the shit fuck hell are you talking about? The Lord made you crazy and you keep trying to get crazier, you are literally bat shit fucking nuts."

Now I know this sounds hurtful but what do you say to a woman, yes a grown woman, who greets your friends with "I shit my tights, think about it, I literally shit my sexy black tights last night." Damn't her tights aren't even sexy, they are old and ratty, washed once every three months, and purchased twelve years ago, and fuck she's basically a slightly overweight woman wearing tights made for a large child. She was literally delusional and had that look in her eyes. You know the one or maybe you don't; like "Who's the Boss" is playing at the back of your skull on repeat, she would look right through you always chuckling at something Tony Danza was doing on your cranium screen. "How does he do it?" she would giggle. “Who damn't Ellie, damn it all to hell, how the hell does who do what?”

I used to shake her when she was little, thinking this would correct her, quite like an Etch a Sketch. No amount of knob turning ever seemed to reconstruct a functioning human being though. Mom and Dad used to quarrel on long car rides about the Sweeney's little ADHD nightmare next door. They would try to diagnose that child with some sort of life threatening social disease ignoring their own little mistakes in the back seat. This was the 60's though, poorly behaved kids were likened to devil spawn more then they were to minor genetic problems. Ellie would scream "Nipple Pie," "or "Pizza Worm," out the window, and we would think, geez how absurdly cute this odd little child is. Inappropriate things at inappropriate times that's what my sister was famous for, and it was adorable, it was her way of rebelling, it was "oh she doesn't even know what she's saying she’s so fucking rip-her-face-off cute.”

But as she matured her thoughts and behavior did not. "How adorable," soon turned into "Why God, why did you give us this little retard?" (it was the 60's, retards were still retards for the general public). That's when the excursions began. First there were trips to church, hours in confessional, "do you think an exorcism would work?" mom would continually ask. There was more shaking, this problem was going to be corrected quite the same way I would fix the tube as a child, hit it till the signal kicks back in. Ellie, smash, channel 3 please, kick, Howdy Doody is on, bang, what is wrong with you?

The priests would tell us she was a very "disturbed young woman," and mom would shake her head eating their bull shit "oh yes yes yes I know, she's been this way since she could speak." Next came the monthly trips to the doctors; Ellie's been eating crayons, she screams obscenity's at the Officer club dinners, she won't keep her clothes on at school, I'm going through 2 boxes of crayola a week is this normal? The doctor's would say in that wise old owl voice "Well she is a perfectly healthy young woman, this is just a stage." Well guess what? She grew into it ok, "Nipple Pie" and "Pizza Worm," turned into the rants of a boozy young teen. She would lie and disappear for days; we would worry since her mental capacity had stalled at the age of ten like a 1973 Volvo wagon (the kind commonly used to transport blow to the masses). I would still shake her every now and again to see if maybe just the right amount of contact would force a synapse into firing correctly. The shaking only seemed to entertain her though.

As she got older she would yell "I have hair on the field! Play ball!" or "I'm ovulating!" and Mom and Dad would leave her home staring at the "popcorn ceiling" or the "drippy drip machine" when we went for dinner, or to family reunions, or to gatherings of any sort. Ellie was always “out with her friends,” or “in a study group,” when people would ask; she was never snacking on burnt sienna or drinking a milkshake of forest green and hummus whilst locked in the pantry humming “Just the Two of Us” and dropping raw eggs on her toes.

Finally when I came back from college to try and figure out my life, my parents were starting to figure out theirs as well. They tearfully (gleefully and relieved-fully) revealed “We just can’t handle her anymore, spend some time with your sister, she loves you, you have a connection.” Why mom and dad? A connection? Because I don’t resent her, because when I realized shaking her solved nothing, I decided to try loving her unconditionally, because she is the burden I was born into? And ultimately they would shell out the convenient cash to get us both an apartment, a nice two bedroom in the trendy part of downtown Charleston. Two windows overlooking Main Street where Ellie was free to shout her stunning revelations and embarrassing accusations to potential friends and lovers as they approached our quaint “mind fuck” of a home.

Well that is where we have lived for the past five years, learning to accept one another and find a way to live without one of us ending up bloody in the floorboards. I even stop once in a while to watch “Who’s the Boss” with Ellie in the back of my friend Christian’s skull, when we can get him to stare at us long enough (I think I’m starting to see something). And you know screaming “Nipple Pie!” At strangers from the second floor can be more therapeutic than you would guess. In turn she has cut down on her crayon consumption and has learned how to dress and speak semi-appropriately for her age. The one thing that still gets me and it’s a doozy, is on Sunday afternoons when she sits out on our porch in the rocking chair with a pair of old black panties, and just that, as the setting sun shines down on her obvious and bare breasts. She sticks her belly out and sits like a 50 yr. old man at a strip club, legs spread displaying masses of the unimaginable and she ecstatically screams at the world “I live with a Pedophile, I’m 10 years old and my brothers a pedophile!” And I run to my room, lock the door, and shake my head quite like an Etch a Sketch, hoping I’ll wake up and this won’t be my reality. . . . . .

. . . . . then one night far down the road in December of 2012, when we were both in our early sixties, long after our parents were gone, and long after I had been married and we had moved to the shore, long after Ellie had accepted her life living with me and my new family, and long after my divorce and my kids had grown up and left; she ran into my room with a tube sock... she told me to put it on and hold her tight... I humored her as I always had.... and well to my shock or perhaps to my lack of shock after knowing Ellie all these years, the world ended, it just froze and imploded and we were teleported to a pueblo, a warm cozy home on a planet not too far from earth... SHE HAD PROGRAMMED THE UNIVERSE THROUGH A TUBESOCK! And apparently I was the only one that was worth saving. . .


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Weight of the World

Pity me, Woe is me; How Fucked is I?
To carry the weight of the world.

1 billion obese souls and counting
with problems and issues and
outdated clothing;
they sit on my shoulders like hunched over children on bleachers
at your middle school little league game.

“Hey, pitcher pitcher pitcher,
Hummina hummina hummina.”

“Hey pitcher, pitcher. . . .Fuck You!”

“Fuck you? Fuck me? Hey, Fuck You!”
Harsh words from those that no longer inhabit a vessel.
Sit there dancing, prancing, and harassing.
Tormenting the confusion
Which grieves your face with anxiety,
Not unlike a hyperactive 3 year old
With a small bladder,
In the back seat,
Of a sedan,
On a trip,
Up the coast.

Let’s play chicken; let’s challenge the warden;
They say, and I guess that’s me.
Let’s consummate this after life, lascivious, love. . . . affair.
One geriatric, one pediatric; both dueling with switchblades
The phantasmal, visceral, viscous, violates my younger than you cheek.

How vain am I?

With clouds in my coffee
To have mirrored ceilings,
A California King,
No crown, nor scepter
But 600 thread count.
In a room that only holds
A bed.
Off with all their heads
Leave mine intact please.

Well woe is me
Woooooooe is poor little old me
To carry the weight of a million starving children
On these poor shoulders.
How horrible is me to carry the weight
Of all the derelicts in Los Angeles who’ve shit on the side of
Spago, and Koi, and Katana, and others;
To then shit on the side of a
Convenience store
In Bloomfield, Kentuky and say:
“No, this isn’t for me.”

Ohhhh! To pontificate about that heavy feeling
But not
A shit
Because the weight of me
Is weighing me down

"The weight of the world?"
She says
"You wish you were that important."


Friday, March 27, 2009


Edgar had always been alone. His first memory was waking up from a midday nap, prying his shuddering and heavy eyes open, lifting his head from the pillow on his bed and seeing no one there to welcome him back from slumber. He rubbed his eyes with his palms, adjusted himself to the light and walked, precariously, through the house in search for his mother. Edgar never knew, nor would he ever know, that at that time, his mother was in the garage having extramarital intercourse in her station wagon.

Edgar was four years old at this time, and lived with constant separation anxiety. His mother, Evelyn, birthed Edgar unintentionally. While she had no plans to today, or any other day, 15 years from now she would, in a fit of anger, tell Edgar he was a mistake. Edgar, after admittedly only a moments search for his mother, began to cry. Evelyn could not hear his cries. After a painstaking hour of trying to get him to sleep, she felt vindicated in engaging in this act unfettered, and her moans were a manifestation of that, more than the pleasure she received from her male suitor.

Unsure of what to do, Edgar did what most children would do, he sat on the couch, clutched at a pillow and wept. First loudly and hysterically with the hope that salvation was a mere earshot away, and then weakly, as if the way an injured and helpless dog cries after breaking a bone. In the garage, Evelyn relished in the moment of having responsibilities for no one: not for her burdensome and austere husband and not for her sensitive and fragile son.

After some time, a crow perched itself on the branch of a naked tree, just outside the window from where Edgar sat. It was not the first time Edgar had seen this type of bird, with its gleaming black feathers and penetrating eyes, but he was always accustomed to them flying. And now here it was, sitting next to him, with but a partition of glass separating the two. Edgar stared hopefully at the bird. He tapped on the window gently. The bird reacted and turned his head, with a subtle and curious tilt to see who or what it was making the noise.

Edgar, with tears dried to his crimson cheeks began to cool down. He waved at the bird and the bird nodded slightly yet unmistakably in return. He felt safe, almost instantly. The two sat for nearly fifteen minutes together before Edgar’s mother slipped in through the garage door. When he saw her, he didn’t feel the comfort he normally did, but fear that this was a woman who left him and may leave him again. Evelyn was mortified that Edgar sat there, within earshot of her screams. She was worried about herself first, and in some capacity, Edgar knew this: her hair in disarray, her button down blouse flung over her shoulder, and her shoes in one hand. The unknown scared Edgar and the prospect of the known scared Evelyn.

After adoring reassurance of her love and devotion, a pleasant movie put on and a surprise snack made for his enjoyment, Edgar felt a bit better, but in a way that was unnatural- It wasn’t the way he felt when the crow nodded and sat with him, in silence, and in company.

For the ensuing years, Edgar often encountered this crow in times of isolation. It would return, and perch outside the window, and the two would sit together as Edgar grew old enough to stay home alone, and as Evelyn felt comfortable leaving the house to pursue her interests. They sat while Edgar watched movies, while he read, and while he planned out his future. What was always constant, was the mutual recognition the two had and that the crow, in some capacity, knew he provided solace to Edgar, and perhaps Edgar to him.

And on the eve that he left for college, three months and seventeen days after Evelyn told Edgar that he was a mistake, he went outside in the yard and waited. He waited for an hour until the crow finally flew down. He didn’t perch on his shoulder, or come and eat off his hand, but he went back to the tree he’d always sat on, and stared at Edgar. Edgar knew, at that moment, that he would never return home again. And, content with that, he also knew that the crow would find him again, and sit outside his window.

-Stockton Borealis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


About seventeen years ago Jenny Grigsby saw her first signs of puberty. She had been taking a bath when she noticed three little hairs sprouting from in between her thigh and pelvis. She was instantly filled with a bittersweet excitement. It felt strange to be on the brink of adulthood. She didn't fancy herself ready to leave the youthful stage in her life that she had recently become so accustomed to.

The following year proved even more difficult for Jenny. Her body had grown awkwardly and pimples had surfaced on her face. Her first uncomfortable experiences with menstruation, and the mood swings that resulted often lead to thoughts of suicide. Sometimes the thoughts were so violent and unbearable that she would lock herself in the attic after school and weep until it was time for bed.

On Sundays, while at church, she found it hard to concentrate on the sermon. Her eyes would often wander to rest on the handsome Thomas Jacobs, who at the age 17 was a whole five years her senior. He was dashingly handsome. Tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair. On occasion their eyes would meet, causing a rush of warmth to consume her. The feeling would start in her cheeks, and work its way down through the rest of her body, until it became so powerful and so drastically pleasurable that she would have to tighten her abdominal muscles to suppress her excitement.

At home her fantastic thoughts of Thomas were thwarted when she saw her reflection in the mirror. Unlike most girls her age, who, for no reason at all, were less than satisfied with their physical appearance, Jenny was not attractive in the least.

While riding her bike home from school one sunny afternoon, her head swirling with thoughts of Thomas, Jenny hit a particularly rough patch of road that set the bicycle bouncing beneath her. Between the deep thoughts of Thomas and the heavy vibrations of the bicycle seat on her pubis she felt the all too familiar feeling of warmth become hot inside her. The feeling didn't start in her face this time, but rather in between her legs. The hot pressure built up and up until, like a volcano, she erupted with a tiny cry of pleasure, almost losing control of her bicycle.

From that day forth, Jenny smiled more often, her trips to the attic were no longer filled with tears, and she was somewhat able to maintain a level of calm around Thomas.

One evening in early spring, Jenny found herself face to face with Thomas at the county fair. In between pitches at the Dime Toss, Thomas had turned to Jenny for another ten cents. She obliged with a smile, barley able to contain her feelings. After he won, Thomas gave the small teddy bear prize to the beautiful girl standing next to him. They kissed briefly, and then disappeared into the far corner of the field where the lights from the fair couldn't reach.

Jenny didn't see Thomas after that. He wasn't in Church the following Sunday and soon it was known, throughout the town, the he had run away to enlist in the war. Jenny was heartbroken. The only man she had ever loved was gone from her life. Though she was now able to concentrate on the sermon, she longed for the chance to see those blue eyes staring back at her again.

It wasn't long before Jenny started noticing other boys – closer in age but still unattainable. One afternoon, behind the barn, Jenny and her friend Donald Harris, decided to kiss. Donald was a homely child, and Jenny didn't find him any more attractive than Thomas Jacobs had found her. But he had been nice to her in recent years, and Jenny figured it wouldn't be too bad, as long as she closed her eyes.

For the next few weeks Donald and Jenny met up every afternoon for kissing sessions. Every time they went a little further. Jenny had no reservations when Donald asked to see her newly developed breasts. She even let him touch them. When they started kissing again she couldn't ignore the intriguing lump that had formed in Donald's trousers.

"what is that?" she asked

"that's what happens," he replied, smiling sheepishly.

And as more clothes started falling to the floor the door opened suddenly. Jenny's mother stood there in shock. Everything was still for a moment, until Jenny's mother closed her mouth and turned from the door with a blank expression. Donald and Jenny exchanged glances of fear as they listened to the footsteps walk down the hallway. Moments later, Donald ran from the house as fast as he could, and Jenny threw her clothes back on. For the better part of the next hour she sat on her bed in silence, afraid to confront her mother about the situation that had just taken place.

In the car ride Jenny's mother did not speak. The Church was cold and dark when they arrived. And after ten Our Father's and ten Hail Mary’s they left in silence. Jenny did not speak with her mother for another month after that. Nor did she speak with any boys.

In the following years Jenny lead a life separate from the rest. She moved from the countryside to the big city and rented a one-room apartment. She made a handful of friends in college that she tried to relate to. They would stay up all night talking about the world and philosophical subjects, and she would humor them with her faux-intellectual banter. She never quite felt complete. She dated a few guys, but nothing ever stuck. All her relationships would end in frustration, or they would just fizzle out.

It was a full moon the night Jenny was raped. Fall was in the air. It was a cool, damp night that ended one of the last hot days of the Indian summer.

On her way home Jenny walked briskly through the park... She had always heard stories of people getting mugged. One of her friends was violently confronted one night and managed to get out of it by throwing a pocket of change in the mugger’s face and then running away. Jenny didn't have any change in her pocket this evening but she had never felt threatened walking through the park alone.

"Just puff up your chest, lift your shoulders, and tuck your hair back," one of her female friends had once said. "The more you look like a man the less trouble you'll get... the student handbook says it reduces your chances of being robbed by 70%."

That was nearly 10 years ago.

Most of her college friends had moved away, gotten married, and even had children that were in grade school by now. But Jenny? Jenny still lived in the same one-room apartment that she had begun renting her freshman year.

She was almost across the park. Her mind completely dwelling on the awful date she had left 30 minutes beforehand. Time to masturbate. The only form of sex she had ever experienced. The only thing she really ever needed in life... why settle for a shitty guy when she can do a perfect job herself…. And it's not like any guys even liked her. The only reason Robert took her out tonight was because she helped him with a project at work. He was mildly handsome, and she was interested, but it would surely never amount to anything. At 29 years old she was used to that.

And that's when it happened. Like a pillowcase filled with sand being shot out of a canon it hit her. He hit her. 200lbs of man.

The only contact she had had with a man until now was Donald, and that happened 15 years ago. She felt the strength of her attacker pushing her down onto the grass. She wanted to scream, she wanted to struggle, but she was so overwhelmed with the presence of a man that she could hardly breath, or even move. So, she lay there and let him take her. He ripped through her pants with ease – a brand new power suit she had bought for work – but she didn't care. He entered her forcefully but with precision. She could tell he was a man that knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to get it. Confidence.

She could feel his member fill the void inside her - a void that had loomed inside her since the first time she had laid eyes on Thomas Jacobs in church. She wanted to turn around and look her attacker in the face. But each hit kept her looking forward. Fists to the back of her head were like sensual kisses. Her heart beat faster now. She could feel the warmth build inside her with every thrust. A feeling she had only been able to create by herself until now. Now it was real. This is real. She closed her eyes and felt the warmth build to an unbearable heat inside her. She looked straight at the car headlights on the distant street – a cascading river shimmering in a sunset. The soft moonlight on the grass in front of her was the most beautiful, perfect shade of green. And as the heat reached her toes and fingertips she felt her attacker release his seed inside her. Working off his fully erect, fully pulsating shaft, she arched her back and pressed against him writhing up and down until the heat in her body exploded beyond all expectation. Simultaneous orgasms. Perfect. Beautiful. She let out a barely audible sigh of satisfaction and smiled.

The attacker was surprised. He had never felt a woman this wet after a rape before and it was a turnoff. He quickly stood up lifted his trousers and ran off.

Jenny watched him run from the scene, his muscular legs pounding the pavement, and then he was gone. The stars in the sky shown a little brighter. The air a little sweeter.

As she stood up, and adjusted herself for the rest of the walk home, she tripped slightly on something. In the moonlight she could see it was a wallet and bent down to pick it up.

Thomas Jacobs had raped her. Sweetly. He stood 6’ 3” with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He wasn’t as attractive as she remembered him but it was probably just a bad photo. Tomorrow she would call him and ask him to dinner.

For the first time in her life Jenny Grigsby felt complete.


Friday, March 6, 2009

JULIAN PUDDLES: Thanks, I'm Already Bowing

“Eloquent ramblings from a grotesquely underdeveloped ape.”

“Choice words and respectable inflections from a human washcloth.”

That was it . . .. that was the review casually posted in the bottom right corner of the “Arts and Leisure” section of the Sunday, March 22 2009 edition of the NY Times.

“Dissonant yet pertinent blabber from an amorphous blob of a man,” and “God’s little mistake literally rolls on stage in an inspired revival of Cat’s,” March 21st 2008, Seattle Arts Forum.

Then there’s my personal favorite: “Julian Puddles one man show: How I learned to Stand is literally half a man short and half a wit flat” and further “I found myself staring off during his intellectual ramblings on lunchmeat as symbolism for social and economic status, and getting lost in the numerous masses of skin gently laying across the freshly waxed stage like a giant human silly putty. Where is his jawline? Could he stick his own ear in his mouth? Are those his eyes or did someone spill marbles onto the stage that happened to land on . . . presumably. . . well I guess that’s his neck,” Broadway Magazine, November 21st 2007.

These were the reviews that poured in, as I would flex my dramaturgical muscles on stage. (Literally, my body isn’t capable of forming muscles; figuratively I’m the strongest fucking man you know). Yes it is true; I was born without a frame, without bones strong enough to support the flesh, blood, organs, and viscera that fuel every other living soul. With bones doctors estimate I’m about 6 feet tall 175lbs; in reality, in present state I’m about 1 foot tall, 150 lbs with a 3 ft. radius.

There it is, I said it, I have a damaging and irremediable disease listed in Stedman’s medical dictionary as Hemimelia. I have the most foregone, unfortunate, and untreatable version of this horrible, horrible affliction that doctors have resorted to calling it “Oh shit Hemimelia.” But people let’s get beyond that . . . you don’t need to hear how I used to get slept on during nap time in pre-school, or how my desk was a radio flyer in high school. You don’t want to hear how my least favorite food is pancakes and when I see Frisbees I get nauseous. For Christ sakes I went to Julliard, graduated top of my class, and have a voice that would make Bing Crosby sound like a Japanese Karaoke star. I have a masters in theater from NYFA, speak 4 languages fluently, and hold an honorary degree in Mythology and Folklore from Harvard (not Harvard extension.)

I’ll honor your inquisitions though; yes I look odd, and yes people stare. It is hard for me to make friends and get people to look past my exterior appearance. On a good day I look similar to what you may expect, like a somewhat handsome man smashed between two cartoon anvils, like the good ol’ Wyle-E-Coyote. I look vaguely and move exactly like “Brain” from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons in the early 90’s. Or here try this: I’m Brad Pitt, “Legends of the Fall” era Brad Pitt. . . ok got the picture in your mind? Sexy, fit, chiseled. . . Alright, now remove the bones. . . . Take a picture that’s me.

For some; one look at me can change your world, make you find a religion, make you commit to that girl you’ve been dangling like my limp right forearm, make you reveal your secret family in Mexico. Good I guess. But then. . ..well then there’s the bad days when I look like leftover liposuction and a poor toupee. When I look like a mentally challenged 3rd graders clay concoction that was left in the kiln a little too long, (he named me Fred). I have these days on stage, and people sit there in horror, people sit there in fear, some people sit there and even laugh. And all I can do is what I was born to do, I project my voice, squirm to my mark and use my God given gift to make people transform me into John Hamm, or George Clooney, hell I’ll even take Lyle Lovett. The point is they will get past my appearance and appreciate my talent.

Life has been tough for me I admit, but please give respect where respect is due. While I’m delivering my monologue please don’t imagine what it would be like if I was a gigantic omelet (yes I realize I could feed many starving nations). Don’t ask me if I am capable of sex, if I’m real or CG, if I’ve thought about selling my life rights to McG so he can create the next great action buddy comedy “Tito and the Blob: An Eddie Murphy and Julian Puddles Shoot-Em-Up.” I am an actor, I am talented. . . . you know how many actors truly make it in this world? Not a lot. Look at me; despite my affliction, despite the odds, despite my appearance I’ve made it, I’m on page six. I’ve got pictures of Marissa Miller and Meaghan Fox kissing where my cheek should be. And look at you, you poor miserable shmuck. Keep taking your acting classes, keep working at the Geisha house, keep driving your ford pinto to your Dentyne Ice commercial auditions. I’m a mass of human amalgamation, a talented damn blob, if I can make it then what the hell is wrong with you? Listen. .. . I’m sorry, I just get angry sometimes, but hey if things get really tough, you know really bad, you could always remove your bones, take a class at UCB, and enroll in Julliard.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Batter of the Sexes

"I want you to fill me up, stuff me like feta cheese into a big green cocktail olive,” Huh? What? How did I get here with this mascara moron shouting culinary indecencies into my furious dripping mug? I mean I love sex, who doesn’t? I used to love food too; I loved chicken potpie until she explained it was a metaphor for her voracious appetite for my holy “drumstick”. I loved strawberries until she told me where she lost one while experimenting as a young teen (4 days she couldn’t get it out, the doctor tried too, it was finally her uncle who dislodged the refreshingly fruity dam. . . . hmmmm?). Seriously look at me, I'm working; I'm at work, see that vein in the middle of my forehead, that’s my fornication vein, see my gritted teeth, in about ten more seconds the top two Chiclets are going to shatter, it's a defense mechanism, it means shut the fuck up. Blood will dribble from my mouth onto her soft skin and instead of scaring her she’ll compare it to something sweet like cherry syrup and keep telling me to “eat that peach!” like a demanding African American single mother of three.

"Oooh yea almost there almost there, now pass out the pigs in a blanket. . . don't overcook, don't overcook. . . ok, ok yes yes and toss that olive in the martini, annnnnnd done" Excuse me, 23 yr old hipster Julia Childs can you stop with the food references. I don't even like whip cream touching the surface of my palm while I watch skinemax, much less re-enacting the cream cheese scene from Caligula in my bedroom. The last thing I need is a sexual "partner" that can't stop shouting about meat made out of pig scraps as I reach climax. The whole session would go on like this, and I’m sorry I really am, but food and sex they just don’t mix.

“Appetizers, oooh baby fontina cheese on the quiche, sprinkle it, sprinkle it, little more, ok ok now put it in the oven, oooh its hot don’t burn yourself baby!” What!? Never compare the most important part of a man to a quiche, c’mon if its gotta be food give me the salami, or the popsicle, the banana or the. . . . fuck I don’t even care the carrot stick, but not a small round appetizer. And oven? I don’t want to hear your babymaker referred to as an oven under any circumstance. There will be no “bun in the oven,” “no roast in the heater,” “no pizza in the broiler,” nothing is going in that spot when the euphemism you choose, by nature, heats things up until they are edible. You don’t call it an oven and I won’t call it a babymaker, deal?

But no these food references didn’t stop, at first I thought wow this girl is perfect she comes over at 1am stays for an hour then I spread out like Henry the VIII in my California King as she heads off to the Guillotine or whatever Silverlake bar she sauntered out of. But, eventually food references became food. She’d say c’mon its just a little chocolate syrup, or hey its just a bit of honey, then it was ketchup, it was milk, it was fritos, cream of spinach, then chicken, briscuit (briscuit?), a full Easter dinner. Next thing I know she had moved the microwave to my nightstand; there were banana muffins cooling on my Fender and my bedroom smelled like a prison cafeteria after a 30 man riot and a sopping sodomy soiree. I began washing my sheets 3 times a week and thinking hey this is normal, women are weird. But the sex was just so good when we started, when the food references were at a minimum, and when she came to cum and left when it left me.

Soon she was staying overnight; she was reading “Barefoot Contessa,” and “Giada’s Kitchen” by nightlight and whispering, “3 Teaspoon’s of Cumin” in my ear. My room started to resemble a cross between Mike’s Pastries and Hustler; it was “Larry Flint presents: the Bakers Dozen,” I had my own Porn Cakery. She liked to call it the Sweaty Muffin shop; I liked to throw up in my mouth a little when I heard that.

And then it set in.  At first for me, it was “No I’ll pass on breakfast”, then it was “wow I’m just really not hungry for lunch”, and then geez “I ate a huge dinner 3 days ago.” Eventually the sex came to a halt because my bed was a lasagna testing station, I stopped going to work because I was too weak and malnourished to leave home, I started to get dizzy spells because her steak supreme and garbanzo surprise made my thoughts dry heave. The very site of her retreated my appetite back into my quickly decaying body as it ate away at what nutrients it could find. And I guess I finally passed out or lost consciousness, or my body just couldn’t take it anymore and that’s when I ended up here, in this hospital bed, with food being forced into my mouth and nutrients pumped into my veins by a 40 yr. old ex boxer and 6 feet of plastic tubing. Apparently I was anorexic, but it was more than that too. I had “Comestible Depression” combined with “Anti-Gormandize Reproduction Syndrome.” This was grounds for not just a hospital stay but a year of rehabilitation as well; this was "what Charles needs to take back his former life."

But at night to my horror she would sneak into my room, drag a microwave from the cafeteria all the way down the hall and heat up leftover culinary concoction number 2,645. She would take off her clothes and mount my broken soul shouting, “I want you to fill me up!!” as a single tear would run down my chocolate chip cookie cheek.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Mildred's Party

The Vulva FĂȘte
Nelson Fucks Everybody – A battle of wits and a dick
Friday, January 9, 2009

An evening of gladdening, gratification, and grins.

Meet and Greet
9 - 9:30
Gander and gossip with the local hard-bodies, enjoy a cocktail of your choice, catch up on your fellow friends’ holiday moments, etc. Be advised this is definitely NOT the time to begin using your charm in hopes of landing a bedmate. Be a gentleman and a lady, after all, it’s still early.

OMG, like this is so
9:30 – 10:15
Hop your bottom over to a seat and join in on a game with friends. This could be anything from board games, to billiards, to singing your heart out on the Wii. Yes, John, you can sing The Strokes. Ladies, now is an advisable time to run your hand along Ari’s arm, he’s a looker, and yes, he will go quickly. Most likely, very quickly. Amanda texts Rachel, “is it fun?”

“Nice Shoes”
10:15 – 11:00
Previous friendly follies over various rounds, matches, and competitions heats up. Turn up your agreeableness and witchery, compliment the minx next to you. Nate and Nelson discuss music. Amanda realizes she should have come.

Middle School Drunk
11:00 – 11:35
If you did not drink in middle school, fine, but you were still absolutely and undeniably a concupiscent hard-on. So, let’s play spin the bottle. The only difference is that we’ll know what we’re doing, a five second kiss won’t make you pre-cum, and our disposable cameras have now been replaced with sleek digital cameras so that we can erase the snapshots that make our chins look fat.

Post 11:35
Time to leave, grab the arm of the person you just slobbered on and head out for a night of reveling in your revelry at the local watering holes. Amanda joins.