Monday, November 28, 2005

The Prowler

Myra pulled the U-Haul into the video store’s parking lot, and with an urge celebratory and achingly lonely, grabbed the first film she saw that wasn’t a god-forsaken romantic comedy and drove to her new home. But she fell asleep before the horror movie she rented had ended; the last of the credits scrolled across the screen. Myra lay sprawled across the sofa. Stacked pillars of brown moving boxes divided the room. Few boxes had been unpacked, but their contents lay out on the wooden dining table; the kitchen’s yellow tile countertop; in haphazard semi-circles on the floor. Crumpled balls of newsprint spilled out of a pile in a corner of the breakfast area near a long low window left ajar; a couple pieces lingered below the couch like a new breed of dust-bunny. Some scattered when the window screen fell from its frame, others remained still, pinned down.

The room glowed from the television’s blue hue. The tape rewound in the VCR, clicked, ground and whirred with machinated efficiency. Myra’s eyes opened. I should go to bed. Even though Trent had not come with her, had actually said that he would rather die than live in the suburbs, she half-expected him to be asleep and waiting for her. “You know me,” he had said at first, patted her on the head, ended the discussion. But she needled him, wheedled and whined until they had packed up their things. When it came time to go, Trent’s voice grew soft. “Why did you ask this of me, Myra? What right do you have?” His whisper grew to a shout. “Live in your parents’ old house!” Trent’s face flushed when he was upset, his eyebrows cavorted across his face, “Really, Myra. Really. That’s just. I can’t. Look, you’re double-parked. Just go. I’ll call you later.” Trent walked back towards their sixth-floor walk-up.

She groaned, sat and rubbed her eyes with her palms. Her dry contacts felt gritty and hard as they rolled around her sockets. Myra wobbled slightly on her heels as she stood and stared out at the open expanse of flat, grassy front yard that stretched from the dining area windows throughout the neighborhood.
But, down there, in the bottom window by the boxes, Myra noticed a foot in the window. The white rubber toe of the shoe gleamed. Two hairy, thick and pale legs now stepped into the dining room. Myra’s eyes widened as a man entered the dining room. He was young—about her age of twenty-four—and heavyset. Clad in red plaid boxer shorts and black canvas hi-top sneakers, the intruder had tied a bandana outlaw-style over the bottom half of his face. It gave his chin the pointy silhouette of a satyr’s beard. Myra wondered if he would start prancing, there in her breakfast nook cum dining room, the sleepy summer suburb completely unaware. The prowler dropped some white nylon rope to his side, brought his index finger to his bandana.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

winter worry

My story is just not coming together tonight or this week. I'm undergoing a post-birthday malaise and I just can't seem to get myself to recover. i'd love to go to sleep right now and wake up sometime next year

Friday, November 18, 2005

birthday brain death

Possibly because we learned that the son of one of our executives died in a motorcycle crash last weekend or because I've spent the rest of the week wrapping presents and designing a hulking mountain of a $385 cake to serve 85 people (not because we have 85 to serve, but because it would look dinky any other way) not to mention my own birthday cupcake extravaganza, I can barely form sentences today. Which means that writing is out of the question, at least until I can borrow a brain for a couple hours.

Friday, November 11, 2005


They arrived at the same time. No suit. How boring.

Fever Pitch

I'm in eager anticipation of two separate deliveries, "Big Cats" and "Holy Skirts." I'm imagining them in a Great Race, hitching a ride on a hot air balloon with Snidely Whiplash or his soft-scrubbed good-guy counterpart. Which will get here first?

Also, finishing Home Land today. I'm really enjoying it, but I feel very lame for taking so long.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Let's cut through the Louvre, she said. "It's raining, but a little bit." I followed her into the courtyard and stared at the stalwart tourists who waited patiently in a line that snaked throughout the courtyard. Even with the mud, and the gloom, I preferred the large gardens of the Louvre to the Paris metro--or trome, as my friend Colette called it. Colette speaks in a form of slang called verlan which reverses the syllables of words. This makes it even more difficult to understand her: she speaks French quickly and with a mercilessly perfect accent. Down there in the metro, wide-eyed beggars screamed for blocks of subway passes called cartes and occasionally followed me throughout the terminal. So Colette and I decided to travel above ground for a while, at least until some of the psychotics found cartes and disappeared for Marseilles. While she ignored them, i heard the caterwauling gypsies in my head for nights on end. And though I know they will sligshot back into Paris, I'd prefer to miss it.

With preparatory umbrellas from the Galleries-Layfayette lifted above our heads, Colette and I made our way past artists. They collected their makeshift easels, packed up their watercolors. Although the soft, diffused light caused the gardens to glow, the tangible threat of rain hung above the city. Some of them casted a glance at the museum's line behind them and cursed to themselves.

We approached a park bench where a man sat frozen. Pigeons covered his body, cooing and shitting. They fluttered from his knee to his shoulder to his head and the man didn't move. "Colette, is he dead?" Would we find him pecked to death days later?
"No," she said, "he just wants change."

Johann Johannson - Dis

I very much think that this Johann Johannson album is one of the best that I have ever heard. Perfect to read to. Last night it nearly even beat out violent Ennio Morricone songs for my tangle with traffic.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Countdown: 11 days...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Devil Wears a Polyester Suit (in part)

from a story i am working on

“Enter the fortress.” The doors of the bus shuddered open and the driver leaned over towards the gaping portal, grinning. His hair was dark with a slick sheen to it; strands reflected a rainbow of overtones in the hot summer. It looked like the puddle of oil my grandmother and I found underneath her American-made car that morning—a long rusty avocado of a car that matched her refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer. Grandma loved green.
She crouched, stuck her pinkie finger into the puddle and, squinting, held it near her face. I didn’t know what to look for, but I stared too. Grandma’s tongue made a thoughtful clucking sound.

“It looks brown.” I offered.

“Well,” she looked up at me from her squat on the driveway and wiped her finger on the asphalt before standing. “Guess we have to take the bus.”

When I was ten, “spending summer with Grandma” meant Las Vegas. We’d spent the past three years jettisoning across the desert in her large green Chevy because Grandma could get the family discount package and because my mom had several serious boyfriends as well as a job, and couldn’t very well have a kid around all the damn time in the middle of the summer. She couldn’t be expected to drag her kid to Tahoe, either. The first year, I needed a lot of coercion to leave my house—my comfortably broken in twin mattress, my record collection, the public pool down the street—but I consented for my mother’s sake and highly anticipated my return. My mom sat at the kitchen in our small Oxnard ranch house wearing terry cloth shorts and a tank top and smoking Kools. She looked up at me from the table with the same surveying expression that she inherited from Grandma. “Look at you. You made it,” she drawled. I felt like a bedraggled soldier returning home, authentic down to the holes in my shoes and long, disheveled, split-hair-ridden black hair. I suffered gloriously through the difficult summers in order to revel in the reunion. And as the years continued in identical fashion, Mom stopped packing my luggage, warning me about Grandma—asking me to conceal money on my body—and the fact that Grandma was a compulsive gambler barely registered any more.