Saturday, April 30, 2005


While her first impression of North America is that it feels like being in a Hollywood movie, she soon realizes that she inhabits the establishing shots where nothing really happens. And just like in the movies, English is shouted out dramatically and nonsensically around her but whenever someone says, “you mean” she hears her name and is startled at familiarity in such a foreign place.

Yumi misses Japan.

She sits at the front of the bus with her English homework on her lap, wondering whether or not she should offer up her seat to an older looking man in his fifties. His arm hangs from one of the silver bars running the length of the bus. He holds on with such force that the veins of his hand seem to have rooted themselves in the bar. She sits beneath his branched form and puzzles over the polite thing to do.

A man at the back of the bus sees her and relocates himself to within earshot of her position.

“Don’t worry about getting up. You’re in the right here. You’ve got every right to go on sitting.”

Her wide-eyed gaze flitters between this interloper and empty spaces around her. A couple of people on the bus stare at him in annoyance.

“Don’t worry. I saw that you were wondering what to do here. You were looking at this gentleman but there’s nothing to worry about.” He looks for reassurance from her but gets nothing and so he decides to explain further.

“Well you might be wondering if age takes precedence over gender in the situation, but basically if you are seated already then the onus is on the person standing to request the seat. That’s in a situation where you are on equal footing regarding points.” He waits for her to acknowledge him but now that the dominoes of his theory are falling in his head, there’s no stopping the neural connections from firing all the way through to the end of his philosophy.

“Well there are points. If you are female, old, handicapped, injured or pregnant you get one, but they can also add up, creating a hierarchy of who should get the courtesy seat. If you’re injured and pregnant, well that gives you three points. If you’re a blind, pregnant woman with a broken arm, well I don’t even know how many points that is but you are at the top of the courtesy seat pyramid. You’ll get a seat.”

The older gentleman uproots his veins from the bar and gets off the bus. The theorist stands directly in front of Yumi, trying to make her understand. She, however, is terrified, having no idea what he is going on about.

“Well I’m writing a book on all of this and I think if I can get enough testimonials from people that it’s helped, I’m sure the transit authorities will buy it and provide everyone with a copy. Would you like to write down and sign a statement of how this theory of seat offering has helped you ?”

The last domino is down and he waits for her response. He doesn’t feel compelled to do anything else but wait with his head full of fallen dominoes.

“Sign me up for fifty,” comes a shout from the back of the bus.

“You mean, you want to buy it ?” His eyes come to life.

She hears what sounds like her name from the lips of this gibberish-spouting madman and wonders what genre of movie she’s in.

Friday, April 29, 2005


He does sit-ups in his stink for hard-core motivation.

“You can’t just fart around with exercising. If you’re gonna do it you gotta do it full on. I use the same pair of workout clothes for a week at a time. They end up reeking but you know it’s a reminder of how an out of shape body stinks. I’m also exercising to remind myself of what a weak out of shape piece of shit I am.” His clasped hands palm up to the sky and the tanned muscles on his arms flex.

“Is that hygienic ?” she asks from the other side of the table, scrunching up her nose like a little lioness.

“Is death hygienic ? Is loafing around your place like a useless piece of human excrement hygienic ? I think not.” He scans the sidewalk to find examples of out of shape bodies and when his eyes land on an overweight couple in baggy Bermuda shorts and pro-wrestling t-shirts, he raises his eyebrows. She glances at them and snickers through her tiny nostrils.

“Wow that’s really intense. I guess movie stars kind of have that kind of attitude to get where they are.” Her eyes roll over the muscles across his chest and then they move up to his eyes.

“I am a movie star.”

And that’s when the earthquake strikes.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Hands baggy and saggy with age, the former lead singer of the hardest death metal band in the world carefully cross-stitches the memory of a concert onto a pillow case.

The clock on the wall ticks between each sharp pass of the needle through the white.

“Oh who’s that gramps ?” She comes into the room with a pot of tea. Wisps of steam, like little genies, float out of the spout.

The clock on the wall ticks between the death of each genie.

“Stan, Christ did I ever hate him. But this fan says her favorite moment of the Murder with no Mercy tour was when I would spit blood into the fire that Stan was blowing. God rest his fucking soul.” He explains all this with his hands and eyes. His memory is in fragments scattered throughout his body and beneath a hand or next to the movement of an eye can be found an evening thirty years ago.

The clock on the wall ticks between each paragraph of this story.

“Which fan is this ?” She knows the questions that will pull out words and feelings from her millionaire grandfather.

The clock on the wall ticks in tune with your heartbeat.

“Betty Saverage. She went to every single show we played in Chicago. She writes me every month like clockwork. She really got what we were into. You know she’s not so much into the Satanism, like some of the fans. Although that has to be respected. You do it for the fans no matter how fucked up they are. But you appreciate somebody like Betty because she realized it was all about having a little bit of wild fun.”

The clock on the wall is made out of a Venomous Carnage album cover. Inside the fiery mouth of Satan the band plays on corpses turned into instruments. Inside the sleeve, unbeknownst to most everyone, is the last will and testament of the former lead singer of the hardest death metal band in the world.. All his money will go to his fans.

“So gramps, I was wondering if we could talk about your great grand-kids futures’ ?”

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Tim Yendelson sat in front of a mob of angry parents whose complains crashed together into a cacophonous din. Their mouths were open wide with shouts allowing Tim the opportunity to count all the fillings in their mouths.

"How could a sick mind like yours ever be allowed to educate our children. How can sickness educate ?" shouted a mouth with three silvery fillings.

"Who do you think you are trying to teach creativity to our children. Creativity is a natural gift and it doesn't come from the school. You have no right trying to teach our children to be creative !!" screamed a mouth with two lower fillings.

"You si- si- si- si- si- si- sick !!" stuttered a mouth with only one filling."

Tim didn't bother scanning the happy little "Hello My Name Is" stickers on the parents' clothes. He didn't imagine that he would be staying at this school much longer. Alternative education would have to be the route for him.

Perhaps at an alternative school they would be open to a creative way of dealing with a recurring problem of food fights. Perhaps they would support the making of giant food item costumes for the students. Perhaps it would be acceptable to get the students to wear the food costumes while they hurtled midgets at eat other. Perhaps an alternative school would understand the value of this lesson. Perhaps.

" Si- si- si- si- si- si- sicko !!"

Perhaps the stuttering parent has two molars in his mouth, Tim thought to himself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


As Phillip was four times larger than most with a head that resembled a bar fridge, it came as no surprise that he stored his valuables in his mouth.

“Okay but what about this, you go to the car dealership to make your big purchase but when you open your mouth and take out all that cash, they suddenly lose interest in doing business with you. Think about it man. It’s gross.” Phillip’s friend, a man of slightly less than average height, explained all of this in a ridiculously high-pitched, whiny voice. (His nickname was Goh which came from G.G.O.H. which stood for Gilbert Gottfried on helium.)

“But I don’t want a car, Goh,” Phillip said through a marble-mouthed mumble. And it was true he didn’t want luxury vehicles or any other trappings of material wealth. The bag full of marbles between his cheek and his lower left molars were evidence enough of this. They were of incredible value for sentimental reasons. As a young giant, he had killed his first bird with one of them but as he couldn’t remember which one, he decided to play it safe and keep them all in a secure place. Phillip was a fan of simple, deadly things.

“Well it doesn’t matter what you want. My point is that nobody will want to do business with money drenched in saliva. Christ your money’s been in there so long, it’s probably got cavities. Who wants money with cavities ?” he shouted this out in such a screech that a pair of dagger-like crystals beneath Phillip’s tongue shattered.

The giant swallowed with a pained expression and took a sip from the pitcher of beer in front of him. Most of the people on the bar’s patio looked over at the pair in annoyance.

“I don’t know why you’re so concerned about my things all the time. If I were you I’d think about your stuff. That collection of antique guns is quite valuable. Are you sure it’s safe behind a locked door ?” Phillip said, mustering up all the intelligence he could.

“What do you mean ?” Goh whined.

“I think if you want something to worry about, I’d be thinking about those guns. If you want a safe place to store them I’ll keep them in my mouth. We’ll wrap them in some plastic bags so they don’t get rusty. No problem.” Phillip was hoping to capitalize on the rash of thievery in the neighborhood. After the guns were securely behind his lower lip, he’d threaten to swallow them unless Goh did his bidding. It was a perfect plan that his tiny giant brain had spent months concocting.

“Yuck !! That’s the most disgusting think I’ve ever heard !! Are you getting the next round ?”

Now all Phillip needed was to get those guns in his mouth and he’d never have to pay for beer again.

Monday, April 25, 2005


In spite of the thinning hair and colostomy bag, he is still the sexiest man I know. And I know sexy men. I work as a receptionist for a local gym -Iron’s Workout World – where there are hundreds of droolable hunks who drop in every single day of the calendar year. Even on Christmas!! Well the story is that we had an older man sign up that day and I’m pretty sure he was the Santa at the Bridgeway Mall and was he ever a super hottie !! Of course he was older but my word if he didn’t just have the cutest little nose and eyes you ever did see. He signed on for our basic fitness package and he spent a good two hours with the free weights. He was a little overweight sure but you know what they say about overweight men !! I really wanted to just get a chance to sneak a little sit-down on his lap. Sitting on Santa’s lap when he’s off duty must give you a whole new perspective on gift-giving. I didn’t get a chance but you know these sorts of things happen all the time at work. There are so many very attractive men coming into that gym.

So when I tell my husband that he’s still got what it takes, I know what I’m talking about. I see what it takes everyday. There was this man who came in just the other week looking just like Tom Selleck. Now I’m no fan of brainy detective shows so I was never really into Magnum P.I. but my goodness does that man ever have 1) a great ass 2) an unbelievably charming smile and 3) a laugh that just melts your clothes right off your body. I’m sure this man was Tom Selleck but even if he wasn’t he should work in Hollywood in a movie with Tom Selleck where he could play his identical twin. Now that’s a movie I’d pay money for. But none of these men measure up to my husband.

He’s jogging in the mornings. He says he wants to get into shape. I tell him that a pear is already a shape. I love joking around with him because I’m pretty sure he knows that in my eyes he’s the sexiest man in the world. My only complaint with him really is that he’s started sleeping with a couple of his old sports trophies. He says he needs these to motive himself in the morning. When he wakes up, the trophies remind him of what he’s capable of. Well I think it’s a little strange to be in bed with those things. (At first I thought he was bringing them to bed for a little bit of kinky you know what.) Anywho, he’s still the sexiest man in the world. That’s really all I wanted to say.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Hey how's it going ? It's Paul. I was hoping you were home so I could talk about something. It's just so weird. I bought this pet robot last week that eats all of my garbage. He is really starting to creep me out.

I spent most of today unpacking all of my stuff from the move. I put the crumpled up balls of newspaper in The Petbot 3000's corner. You know that's how it works. "Are you sure you want me to consume all this up ?" he asks in his fake friendly tone of voice.

"Yes eat up all the paper," I told him. He's programmed to double check everything because otherwise he might accidently wolf down a CD simply because you called it "garbage". Or you know that band from way back.. Right ?

You know his face is so... Well it's coated in sensors that detect information about any item placed in front of him. Once he's identified what it is he has to eat, he goes at it like nobody's business. Nothing is too big or heavy or hard for this little fucker. He's got Ginsu knives or something for teeth and then there are all these other instruments in his mouth that break things apart. I think he's got ten top of the line Swiss army knives in his mouth or something. Ah Christ it freaks me out when I think of all the shit he's got going on in his mouth

I feel like I'm in a horror movie just waiting for the technology to malfunction and chew me to shreds.

Okay well I gotta run. Call me if you get a chance. Take care. Bye.

* (Paragraph breaks represent deep breathes of great emotional release.)