Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Live Through It Day!

Stay alive 73 days. Then 31 more. After that, go twelve more years, breathing. Then a day. Then play it by ear. Anytime you think you can't do one more day, say to yourself, "People sometimes give you brownies when you're alive, but not when you're dead. Also, I think I look pretty in skirts. If I died, my eyes would bloat up and go black as 8 balls and I would never get the chance to put on a skirt and check my own shit out again." It won't help, but it'll stall you for a little while.

Happy Live Through It Day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Everyone's Sitting In The Windows Of Bars Day!

Every bar you pass, sitting in the window is someone else you know. Matthew, your friend who's cut himself off from you, he's in the window of Cafferty's with four people you don't know. They're all laughing hysterically at a story he's telling them with big hands. Down the block, at the Hi-Life, there's your boss in the window making out with a very young woman. It's horrifying. Your parents got the table by the window at Jake's. Your Mom is staring through the window, watching the snow turn black. Your Dad is trying to get the waitress' attention. His glass is empty. Keep walking. Sarah is aglow in the window of Drinketeria. Sarah is your ex-girlfriend. Len is her new boyfriend and he's sitting across from her, talking through a big smile. Keep walking. In the window of Lord's Lounge is a clown in full makeup who once was hired to entertain your ninth birthday party. You were too old for a clown. The clown was upset by something that day. Just above his pint, he looks pretty upset about something today. But not as upset as Gilbert the Auto Mechanic who used to fix your Mitsubishi back when you were still commuting from your wife's place. Gilbert has the booth by the window at Ralph's. Gilbert has in his possession an active cell phone, into which he is apparently shouting, and five empty hi-ball glasses, each of which he'll occasionally pick up to drain the final drops of melted ice at the bottom just before not catching his waitress' eye yet again. All these people sitting in the windows of bars, not one of them has spotted you. Unless they saw you and just didn't wanna say hi.

Happy Everyone's Sitting In The Windows Of Bars Day!

Monday, December 29, 2003

A While On Friday Day!

Just a little while though. Just a little bit alone and a whole lot bewildered.

He's in Tucson. He's writing you sometimes, yes, but he doesn't write as well as he smells when he's lying right next to you. Next to you there on the sheet where your hand glides nice and free through all those uncrushed folds.

He likes his job and he's looking forward to coming back to see you five Fridays from now. You don't have a job and you're doing all you can to keep him in your thoughts, for five Fridays from now.

You're digging your nose into the pillow, searching out his smell. But you smoke too much and everything stinks the same as your jacket cuff. You don't take enough pictures. You've seen these six. He's very pretty, but only six times. Five whole Fridays remember.

Push him out of your thoughts. If you don't let him in your head you won't know how hard it is to keep him there. You can go without a single thought of him for five whole Fridays then feel the near virgin rush when he's back beside you in your sheets. Panic. Race to call up the day he fell asleep on your shoulder in a cab. If you let him out of your thoughts, what if you can't get him back?

That was a great day in the back of that cab. One of your favorites. You should really save that one for emergencies, but you have other favorites you can call up when you need them. As many as...four. Five Fridays.

Get dressed to meet your friends but don't enjoy yourself too much tonight. You've been enjoying your friends a little more since he's been gone. But that'll go away five Fridays from now sure.

Happy A While On Friday Day!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Before You Fling Your Shit Around The Room Make Sure To Turn Off The Ceiling Fan This Time Please Day!

You ask, "But how will my shit coat every nook and cranny of the room? How will it slap upon everyone who answered my invitation to come on up and watch the shit fly? Dear God, how will this place feel in the morning if it doesn't stink to high heaven of this giant wad of shit I'm about to send soaring into the air?!"

You're right, I was wrong. Lemme get my poncho I guess then.

Happy Before You Fling Your Shit Around The Room Make Sure To Turn Off The Ceiling Fan This Time Please Day!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

You're Gonna Go And Get Your Heart Broke Day!

Note: Today's Personal Regression Assignment is simply a rewording of the same Personal Regression Assignment that has been issued about two hundred times over the year and a half or so since Girls Are Pretty came into existence (albeit with slightly different plotting. Sometimes it's about a boy digging a girl. Other times, it's about gays). However, it is nonetheless as valid and urgent an assignment as Stand Up And Swirl Your Turd Around In The Toilet Bowl With Your Pee Stream Day or whatever the hell yesterday's was. This is because you keep on having to go out and get your heart broke again and again and a motherfucking gain. You never learn. You never will learn. You find the rush of pain and hysteria following the loss or denial of love far more interesting than the love itself. Don't get fined or banned from a bar.

Today, what you're gonna do is you're gonna go on and head out to where Mr. Prettyface is kissing someone special and new and you're gonna go up to the two of them and you're gonna say to him, "Can I talk to you for a second?"

He's gonna roll his eyes and apologize to Special 'n New and you're gonna realize that this isn't gonna work out at all the way you imagined it would in your head. You can do one of the following:

1. When he joins you by the Megatouch machine, ask him if he's dead set on digging into Special n' New or if he wants to come on back to the sweet-sweet you have waiting for him in the fridge. He'll say no. You'll walk home over a bridge.

2. When he joins you by the Megatouch machine, don't ask him anything. Tell him you're gonna tell him something and then you're gonna walk away. Tell him that you don't want him to say anything after you say what you have to say and you walk away. Then tell him that you still love him and you don't think you're gonna ever stop and that being without him is making you double over with severe stomach pain about 1000 times a day. Then walk away imagining that he could give a flying fuck. You'll walk home over a bridge.

Happy You're Gonna Go And Get Your Heart Broke Day!

Friday, December 26, 2003

Cats Curl Up Together To Keep Warm And To Love Day!

They don't need you. You can feel free to watch them cuddle their way through their nap, but don't try to get involved. There's is a love that will last as long as your couch is luxurious. Sit in the rocking chair and finish your Cutty Sark. The love between your cats is honest and completely of the moment. Your cats don't close up their hearts the way you do. Your cats aren't you. They're thankful for this fact.

When your bottle is empty, pee and go for a walk. Let the love between your cats go untainted by your presence.

Happy Cats Curl Up Together To Keep Warm And To Love Day!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Where Handguns Come From Day!

You were born before your Dad went to Viet Nam. You were born before he lost his legs and developed an addiction to opiates. And you were born before your Mom snuck you into your Grandma's back yard in the middle of the night, told you to sit at your Grandma's picnic table, then disappeared forever.

You sometimes see your Dad. He works as a Wal-Mart Greeter three towns over. Occasionally you have to head over to that Wal-Mart when you need a new drill bit for that weird drill your kids got you for your birthday years back. You don't know where they got that drill because you haven't seen it in any other stores, and only that Wal-Mart sells bits that'll fit it (though they don't sell the drill). When your Dad greets you from his chair, you're just another customer. He says welcome to Wal-Mart and you say thanks.

The first time he greeted you, you stopped in your tracks and stared at him. He had said "Welcome to Wal-Mart." You looked him up and down. He had prosthetic legs that looked like they were just for show, not like they could walk him around. You rested your eyes on his and tried to hold onto the shock you felt so as to not let on to any pity. Your Dad said again, "Welcome."

You waited for an acknowledgement. He gave you one. He nodded and let his eyelids fall just a bit. That's more than the other customers get, you decided. You nodded back and went about your shopping.

You never missed your Dad. He might've been a better father to you than your Grandma and Grandpa maybe. Who knows. They weren't that great. They kept a handgun in the linen closet, top shelf. You fired it once when you were fourteen. You went out into the yard and shot the garage window into nothing. One gunshot, no more window, then no nothing. No neighbors came looking. No one called the police. Just you holding a hot handgun in a throbbing teen's hand. After a half hour of standing in the yard looking from the window to the pistol in your hand, you went to the linen closet, replaced the bullet you shot, and put the gun back at the bottom of the box full of gift bows and ribbon.

Your Dad probably would've kept a handgun in the house too, if he could've afforded one. Your Dad seems kind of messed up in the head though, a little retarded. It was probably better you were raised by your Grandparents.

Happy Where Handguns Come From Day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Engaged Day!

He thinks he knows what's best for you. Lately he's become convinced that what's best for you is him.

"Oh my God that's so great!"

They check the ring. They hug you to their shoulders, your friends. You haven't even glanced at him. You don't have to. He's slumped into the easy chair, a whiskey in his left hand, and just the most smug and condescending smirk on his lips.

"Congratulations. Hey everybody, we lost another one!"

You tell them about the walk on the jetty. How he knelt down onto a low bed of rocks and the crashing waves made it so you couldn't even hear him propose. How you scraped your knee on the way back. You tell them quietly. If he hears this story, he will offer one of his miserable, joyless, one-beat chuckles and it might make you put a plastic fork through his eye.

"Have you set a date?"

You're hoping for June a year and a half from now and you don't expect it to be in the city. 'But you'll all be invited,' you say it loud enough to get him to his feet. He goes to his girlfriend and puts his right hand in her left. Only then can you stand to give him your eyes. Only when he has his dimwit by his side.

He's looking at you. He's got her hand in his hand and he's looking at you. I think if you avoided him for the entire night he'd keep this expression trained on your face, waiting for you to catch it. It's so awful you go to him. He lets go of her hand and the two of you meet in the kitchen.


So congratulations.

Shut up.

No I--

Can't you pretend that I'm dead or something?

We just started trying to pretend you're engaged. One thing at a time.


How could you?

Easy. He's not you. He's wonderful.

I'm going to have to think about how to deal with this. I might not be civil.

A million responses flood your head, but none of them are words. You choose the 34,327th. You punch him in the belly. When he doubles over, you take his whiskey glass from the counter and smash it over his head. The shards rip your hands open, but it doesn't hurt yet. So you reach low and slap your palms with their jagged slivers into his face. You grip his cheeks in your palms and you drag them over his skin. You can feel the tug when the slivers catch on his face and tear open the skin. People begin to pull on you from behind, so you push him to the corner of the kitchen, into the cat dish, and you kick him in the face, aiming for the throat, with your high heeled shoes. You get in four good kicks before you're dragged away.

Happy Engaged Day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

This Guy You Were In Love With. Through Some Binoculars Day!

You hit the road five years ago and you completely cut yourself off from everyone who loves you and everyone you've ever loved. Necessary, you thought, in order to successfully locate and exact vengeance upon your father's assassin.

But you still think you see people you used to know. You're constantly doing double-takes, primarily at tourist attractions where people hold still long enough for you to look twice and declare the match a false positive. Is it a need you have, a longing for the life you left behind that you think you see it in the face of every midwesterner with a fanny pack?

Well, it wasn't a longing that put Patrick there on the lip of the Grand Canyon today. The funny thing was, when you saw his shape, you thought it could be Leonard, your old supervisor at Strauss and Strauss. So you borrowed the binoculars of the little boy to your left and there he was. The boy who once ate a lot of pills to get you back (it worked). The boy who you proposed to, and who accepted your proposal (you never told anyone you were engaged). The boy who stole away your appetite for a year and a half after he left. While your love for Patrick might have been the most groundless and immature love you've ever felt, never will you feel so consumed by a trick of the heart again. The both of you are lucky to be alive.

And Patrick is lucky to be holding a little girl in a baby pack on his belly. And Patrick is lucky to be holding the hand of a little boy standing to his right. And Patrick is lucky to be taking a soda from the hand of a woman you've never seen before, a woman holding a cooler and handing out sandwiches to her husband and children.

And you're lucky to be looking through a pair of borrowed binoculars.

Happy This Guy You Were In Love With. Through Some Binoculars Day!

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Putrid Stench Of Happiness Day!

It's all over your body and all over your coat and people can't even smell the thousand cigarettes you smoked today because you smell so motherfucking happy. There's gonna be some action taken. Your friends are going to kill you. They're going to murder you tonight. At the bar. In the men's room. Wire hanger around your throat while you pee. Make sure you show up and get killed because you smell horrible, Happy McJoyfulgrin.

Happy The Putrid Stench Of Happiness Day!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Two People's Worth O' Skin Only Fifty Cents Day!

For today only, you can get all the skin on those two in that bed over there for only fifty cents. Only fifty cents for all the skin contained in that embrace. For ten cents extra, we'll stun them still, right there in that embrace, and we'll strip the skin from the two of them while they still have their arms round each other, her with her left middle finger midway through an absentminded stroke across the clifftop of his right hip. Only fifty cents. Nipples included and belly buttons tied like the day they were born. Only fifty cents. Looka that mole. Only fifty cents.

(Smiles of eternal contentedness will unfortunately lose some degree of radiance upon removal from the skull, due to the draining of all the lovin lovin blood)

Happy Two People's Worth O' Skin Only Fifty Cents Day!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Still Life With Cocksucker Day!

It'll finish the triptych. A bowl of apples. A rocking chair with a hat and coat draped over the back. And that cocksucker Brian. In his stupid ironic golf sweater and that fake "I'm pensive" look on his stupid fucking face fucking cocksucker. Paint him really skinny and AIDSed out.

Happy Still Life With Cocksucker Day!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Boxing Match Day!

Today, you're going to fight your ex-wife's new husband in a boxing match for charity. The proceeds will benefit deaf children. Your daughter is deaf, you're in love with someone new, and you really like your ex-wife's new husband. You're very happy for them both.

Keep it clean.

Happy Boxing Match Day!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

You Kissed His Nose Day!

He saw you. He asked you for your itinerary. You couldn't go home with him. He silently vowed to be dead by dawn. You kissed his nose and promised tomorrow. He lives still.

Happy You Kissed His Nose Day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Tom Misses Ruth Day!

He wrote it down inside a wobbly circle on the bathroom stall. "Tom Misses Ruth - Forever And Always". He wrote it on the bathroom stall inside the staff men's room at the restaurant where he waiters.

A lotta staff come and go through Chez Tagritte. But Tom had been there ever since college ended 18 months ago. The only other waiter who had been at the restaurant nearly as long was Mark, who is presently sitting on the toilet reading Tom's sharpied lament and shaking his head.

"Man, let her go," Mark thinks.

Mark gets up from the toilet, flushes, stuffs his shirt back into his pants and ties his apron around his waist, and begins his march onto the floor to find Tom and tell him just that, tell Tom to forget all about his Big Sister.

Mark's stride is broken by a camera crew that stops him for a few questions.

"Tom hadn't seen her in about three years. And back in November he got a letter from one of the program administrators that Ruth had taken her life. Where is this gonna air?"

"Tom feels like he owes her a lot. When he was signed up for Big Sisters, he was apparently in a pretty bad place, thinking of suicide himself. I don't know though, I guess Ruth took him to the zoo and shit and made him feel better."

"I just think he should forget about her. She got something out of the relationship too. Tom where you going?"

Mark spies Tom behind the camera crew walking to the restaurant exit. Tom stops and gives Mark a calm smile.

"I know what to do," says Tom. "I have to paint a mural in her honor on a hot air balloon and sail the balloon around the world."

Tom leaves the restaurant. Mark shakes his head and looks into the camera. "See what I mean?"

Happy Tom Misses Ruth Day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Used Cars Day!

Used cars all contain the ghosts of their former owners. Randy didn't know that, which is why he kept bringing his 93 Accord back into the shop.

"Every day at 4:35 the radio dial spins on it's own catching just a word or two from various stations until it forms the same barely coherent sentence. 'Don't. Kiss. Him. On. The. Mouth.'"

The mechanic would shrug. "I can rewire it for you again. It'll cost you 250, like usual. But if you'd just believe..."

"In ghost stories? C'mon Ramon. Just do what you do best and save the hocus pocus for your dinner theater act."

So Ramon the mechanic would rewire the Honda, as asked. And later that night when the curtain rose on The Amazing Ramon, Mentalist Extraordinaire, he would tell the story of the man who wouldn't believe. The man who returns again and again to pay money to have the unexplainable swept under the carpet for a few hundred dollars at a time.

"This man wants a world of equations and fair transactions," the Amazing Ramon would say. "No matter how obvious it is that the former owner of his Honda was in love with a prostitute and had become obsessed with her, followed her on her tricks, waiting to see how she treated her other Johns, whether she gave them the same tenderness, whether she kissed them on the mouth. And he eventually killed himself behind the wheel of his vehicle. No matter how obvious it may be, this man wants no part of it. He wants to pay someone money and have everything be the way it should be."

The Amazing Ramon would then ready his table for the first reading. "That's the way it's supposed to work isn't it?" Ramon would then send an intense gaze out into the crowd. "Well?" he'd ask. "Isn't it?"

Then the best show in the world would begin.

Happy Used Cars Day!

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Widow's Song Day!

Chopping up some carrots for her rabbit stew, the widow decides it's time she started being evil.

"I've been without a husband for like ten months now," she thinks. "Who am I being good for? The fern? Fuck this."

The widow retires to the bath to masturbate and think about how her evil should manifest.

"I could sell dope. I could lock kids in my basement until they starve to death. Let's see..." She plays with her sponges a bit before it finally hits her. "Of course!" she splashes. She climbs out of the tub and towels off, taking a moment to admire her naked body in the mirror and lament that there's no husband around to take a crack at something so finefine. "Goddamn waste."

The widow drives to the shopping center where she buys a Casio keyboard for $429. On her way back to her car, she spots a flyer that reads, "Learn to play a keyboard or something." She rips off the phone number and drives home and calls and makes an appointment for keyboard lessons and learns to play the keyboard in six months.

When the widow has learned to play the keyboard, she unleashes her evil upon the world via the following original rock and roll song:

Death's Dark Heart
by The Widow

Creeping 'cross the land
To take
Another unlucky man
Drizzling from the sky
To wash
Away another life

You thought you hurt me
Nothing can hurt me anymore
Nothing can make me weep
Death's dark heart
Death's dark heart
Death's dark heart (yeah)
Death's dark heart

Streets all painted white
Goes another light
Icing up the ground
The Dutchess
Lost without a sound

You thought you hurt me
Nothing can hurt me anymore
Nothing can make me weep
Death's dark heart
Death's dark heart
Death's dark heart (no)
Death's dark heart

Happy The Widow's Song Day!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Choppers Day!

You slept under a bramble to keep out of the lights of the choppers. He's still asleep, but you're wide awake, listening to the marshalls' shouts and twig snaps getting louder, getting closer. You don't know these woods. Getting out would take some pathfinding. And you'd probably end up stumbling right into their hands.

He's in your arms. Four months ago he promised you that he would never let either one of you be taken to jail. He made the promise at your demand. You owe him the same duty. Kiss his forehead and slit his throat before he wakes up. Then cut into your own. This is how love plays out in a life of crime.

Happy Choppers Day!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Throw A Knife At A Tree Day!

Where do you have to be? Where? Are you a surgeon? Do you help poor kids or something? Meals on wheels or shit?

Face it, you are useless and no one needs you. So go down to the park or the elementary school front lawn and practice some knife throws for three or four hours until it's time to get loaded and fight.

You should hold the knife by the blade, in between your index finger and thumb. And you should flip it through the air at a tree. The best way to throw it is so that it sticks in the tree. When it sticks in the tree, there is nothing more satisfying in all the world. Way better than winning prizes. If it bounces off the tree and clatters to the ground you'll wanna kill yourself it'll suck so bad. So make it stick in the tree.

If you throw for like three or four hours, that's about 478 individual throws. At least 25% of the time, the knife will bounce off of the tree and clatter to the ground. Which means, today, you're going to want to kill yourself at least a hundred and nineteen times. Have fun throwing a knife at a tree and wanting to kill yourself a hundred and nineteen times, fuckdick.

Happy Throw A Knife At A Tree Day!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Couple Eyes, Couple Lifetimes Or So Day!

Just a couple eyes. Two of em. Not gonna ever let you go or nothin'.

Couple eyes that, like, that are there right in front of you. Like, even when you're alone and shit. Even when there's a couple other eyes in the way and shit. Couple eyes that, like, that you made cry over and over and over and over and

Couple eyes that could probably talk if they ever thought you were worth talkin to. Couple eyes that could make you do anything they ever wanted you to do. Couple eyes that probably got arms, pretty little arms, stronger than yours, keep you still, keep you where they want you to be.

Couple eyes that got a lotta money, you can tell. More than they'd ever need. Really really rich millionaire eyes that don't need to throw it all around cause they got class. It's earned money, hard-earned, but it ain't new money. Class.

Couple eyes, sorta blue, swimming in trim too, probably. Eyes that get more pussy than a fuckin' no-kill shelter, pretty eyes. Couple eyes just one look make you harder than a goddamn quarry, pretty eyes. Couple. Two of em.

Couple eyes got a car leave the door unlocked all night long nobody fuck with it. Couple eyes got a family big one cousins nephews and sons take care of em all die for em when it's time for it. Couple eyes got friends in high places get shit done get your fiance citizenship they think she worth it.

Couple eyes blink once make you die, right there. Make you sing, make you say everything you want em to hear, right then and there. Couple eyes the prettiest thing you ever gonna see, forever, never anything else better. That's it for a couple lifetimes or so probably I'm bettin.

Happy Couple Eyes, Couple Lifetimes Or So Day!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Candlelit Breakfast Day!

Strange men you bring home at 3 AM never want to wake up at 6 AM like you do. You stopped asking when you were 25.

You slip out from underneath whatever limb he left on top of you when he passed out. You put on some underwear and a shirt. You go to the kitchen and you start coffee.

Your thick white bowl always has yesterday's oatmeal stuccoed to the sides. It's cold now in the kitchen in the morning and it takes hot water and a butter knife to get it good as yesterday. You pour in today's oatmeal, close the door on the microwave, push a button. The coffee is done and your cigarette is lit and in your fingertips.

You must have sleepwalked for a bit because the next thing you remember you're sitting at your table, the cigarette in your hand in the air by your head, your face taking in the steam over the full black of the coffee cup. The Oatmeal is hot in front of you. You need to do something to make sure you're awake. You get up and get a spoon.

A few spoons of Oatmeal. A cup and a half of coffee. In the middle of your second cigarette, he wanders in. This happens sometimes.


You smile the way you smiled at 3 AM and you wave your cigarette to the coffee maker. He finds his own cup, finds his own spoon, looks for milk but finds none, the sugar is already out. He stirs, sips, sits. Across from you.

"Mm." He's not going to say a whole lot. Just some sighs and murbles and slurps.

"How you feeling?" Asked the way one asks after the recently bereaved. You nod. You smile the way you smile at 6 AM.

You haven't taken any more spoons of oatmeal and you don't plan to. He's making his way to the white of his coffee cup. There's nothing to say. No newspaper to read. No cat to watch do stuff. But there's half a candle on a candlestick holder sitting right between the two of you. You pick up your cigarette lighter and you light the wick.

Of course he's confused. You smile the way you smile when you want to allow something you did to be funny. He laughs one short hmph.

"Romantic," he says. You smile the way you never do.

He gets up with lots of grunts and goes into the bathroom. You sip your coffee. He flushes and shuffles into the bedroom. You put your finger to the surface of your oatmeal. He returns to the kitchen dressed in his clothes and overcoat and tells you he has work to go and get to. You get up.

You walk him to the door. Someone says "again." You kiss him and shut the door behind him and listen against the door to his footsteps on the stairs. Then you go back to the kitchen to sit and watch a candle burn at 6:23 AM.

Happy Candlelit Breakfast Day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Lady In The Lake Day!

You and The Lady In The Lake have been dancing around each other since the summertime. Any time she popped up from the surface of the water to bestow upon you a blessed assault rifle or some gum, you'd make small talk to stall for time as you racked your brain for someplace fun to invite her. Sometimes you'd make excuses to yourself as to why the timing was inconvenient (I have to work in the morning, I'm all dirty from warfare, It's chilly out and she's always real wet with lake-water so if we embrace I might catch cold). And other times you'd invite the Lady In The Lake to a friend's gallery opening or The Track, and she'd decline because she had prior commitments. But she always made it pretty clear that had she not had an undersea engagement, she would very much enjoy your company.

Well today you have to go and return some blessed "The First Season Of 24" DVDs she bestowed upon you last Thursday. Why not ask The Lady In The Lake to come out with you and see Big Fish. Tell her, "It's supposed to kind of blow. But you know, it's Tim Burton." If she says yes, tell her she's welcome to come back to your place first and towel off if she'd like. That way, you and the Lady In The Lake might be able to get the mm mm out of the way and you'll enjoy your film viewing all that much more.

Happy The Lady In The Lake Day!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Captain Barometric Pressure Day!

Today Captain Barometric Pressure is going to save someone who is about to walk into an open manhole. He'll do this by wrapping his rubbery right arm around the trunk of a Redwood Tree, and he'll reach his left arm out across light years of space to grab onto the perimeter of a particularly obstinate galaxy. This will force the world to stop spinning and effectively stop time.

Captain Barometric Pressure will then stretch his right leg the 75 feet down the avenue to where Ronald Deveer is walking towards an open manhole while reading the latest issue of Lucky. Captain Barometric Pressure will place his ankle directly in the path of Mr. Deveer, and then he will let go of the galaxy and allow the world to spin again, starting it up
with a little whirr like he'd just pulled his thumb off the record on a spinning turntable.

As soon as time resumes, Ronald Deveer will continue in his walk and immediately trip over Captain Barometric Pressure's ankle, landing Deveer with his eyes peering down into the manhole that was about to lay claim to his life.

Deveer will look up and see Captain Barometric Pressure hovering over him, his hands in fists on his hips, his leg reclaiming its shape.

Deveer will say, "Wow, thanks Captain Barometric Pressure."

Captain Barometric Pressure will say, "47% chance of rain. Watch yourself kid."

And then, Captain Barometric Pressure will leave!

Happy Captain Barometric Pressure Day!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Careful With Those Firecrackers Day!

John never leaves the house without a dozen firecrackers wrapped up in a ziplock bag and stuffed inside his jacket pocket. "Just in case," he'll say when you ask.

John's a Catholic. He was brought up in the religion rather lackadaisically. But lately he's been making an effort to embrace it. "I have this entire belief system right at my fingertips," he'll say. "I'd be an idiot to never try it out and see if it's the right road for me."

If you don't blow your fingertips off with those firecrackers you keep in your pocket, you'll say. You'll high five Amrit and laugh. John won't laugh. He'll just play with the bacon on his plate with a fork.

"You know who loses fingers to recreational explosives?" John, suddenly quite grave, will ask you and Amrit. "Little kids and drunk Dads, that's who. I have respect for these firecrackers. When I finally light them, there won't be the slightest hint of danger. Only perfection."

When are you gonna light them? you'll ask John.

He'll say the words one at a time, like he's holding them up in front of your eyes for you to take a good hard look. "When. I. Have. No. Choice."

He'll stare at you. Then, "When I find myself in a moment that demands such a punctuation."

Just then, John will get up from the table to go and meet with a Deacon.

Happy Careful With Those Firecrackers Day!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

A Magnificent Head On Your Shoulder Day!

She's asleep. Her head's on your shoulder. Probably gonna stay there till the end of the busride. She's as unconscious as a baby, contented as a baby, as unaware of herself as a baby. Call her "Baby" from now on.

As in, "C'Mon Baby, we're gonna be late for dinner." Or, "Aw Baby."

Lean your nose away from your book about a writer having trouble writing a book to kiss her scalp and breathe in the smell of her skull for ten minutes. Her skull contains her brain, and her brain is what reminds her that she's in love with you. You owe her brain big time, so give it some kisses. About ten minutes worth is adequate tribute. Then go back to reading your book about a writer having trouble writing a book.

Happy A Magnificent Head On Your Shouilder Day!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

96 Hours Alone Day!

Tonight at ten, you'll have done it. Four days without coming in contact with another living thing. You smell a little worse for the wear, sure, but it's been worth it. Because around 3 PM yesterday, you took your old scale and discovered that you weigh the exact same weight as your dictionary, all of your pants, a carton of cigarettes minus one pack, your cell phone and charger, your wallet, a plush toy giraffe, an ibook, 11 bricks, a silver framed photograph of your nephew, your dog, and seven five pound bags of sugar all piled high. The pile is four inches shorter than you, not including the inch and a half height of the scale.

Congratulations. Now get on a train and go to your brother's funeral.

Happy 96 Hours Alone Day!

Friday, December 05, 2003

Three Naked Dolls, One Melted With A Lighter Day!

You're not sure what you can say about it. It's not exactly offensive. Not necessarily sexual. But it is really creepy for a boss to create a desk display comprised of three naked Barbie knockoff dolls, one of them with her left side apparently having been melted with a lighter, as it is now covered in black and beige ripples where the dripping plastic dried.

They're not in any sort of sexual position. Just standing side-by-side on the edge of the desk, the first thing you see when you come into his office. And their arms are up in the air and they're kind of kicking their legs out. It just looks like they're walking someplace, nude (and severely burned), and they just saw a friend they're really excited to see. They're shouting hello.

When you went in this morning, your boss alerted you to the new addition to the dolls. It was a little toy guitar leaning against one of them. He said, "See? They're a band."

Happy Three Naked Dolls, One Melted With A Lighter Day!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Cool As Meg Day!

You have seven hundred dollars in cash rolled up in your pocket and some red lipstick on your lips. You've got this guy in this building that can only be reached after three AM and you're gonna reach him. You once fired a gun at a tree, once pointed a gun at a face, and once went out and bought a gun, but you never hurt nobody. You have a secret that sometimes keeps you awake for a week. You look best in leather or corduroy, nothing in between. And you drink all the time.

Meg can say all this about herself. But Meg can also say that she doesn't have bone marrow cancer. So you'll never be as cool as Meg, Cancer Bones.

Happy Cool As Meg Day!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Go To Court Day!

Today, you should stand trial. You will have a lawyer, as will your accuser. The judge will for the most part appear to side with the plaintiff. At least until a surprise witness takes the stand.

The surprise witness will be an ex who tried to kill you just a week prior. She is a woman who demanded from behind the steel of a gun that you either summon whatever is necessary to love her, or meet your maker. Since you were already facing the trial of your life, you'd considered a bullet to your brow a sweet relief. You asked her to pull the trigger, but she couldn't go through with it. Instead, she dropped the gun at your feet and walked downstairs to sleep on your couch. She was gone when you woke up the following morning. Considering all of this, it will be quite a shock when she takes the stand and perjures herself to safe your skin.

Following her testimony, many will murmur from their seats. Some will jump to their feet and shout at the judge. The judge will say overruled and order. You and the surprise witness will stare into each other's eyes from across the room, the same very vague smirk on both your faces. Today will be the last time you see her for six years. She will be the last person to surprise you.

Happy Go To Court Day!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

You Are Too In Love To Land This Plane Day!

Don't sweat it. Everyone appreciates you stepping up to the plate, what with the entire crew having been murdered by the O'Hare Strangler and all (HE'S STILL ON THE PLANE SOMEWHERE!). But seriously, go back to your seat so you can sigh over her perfume on your sweater without having to pull on a throttle.

Seriously, good effort. But no one ever crash landed in the middle of the field while wearing a big silly grin. And pointing to all the clouds and saying things like, "That one looks like Sharon, but not as cute" and "That one looks like Sharon, but Sharon's eyes are prettier" and "There, that one looks just like Sharon, but Sharon's hair is brown, not white," well that pretty much just freaked the flight attendants way the fuck out. Oh and by the way, ground control responded. They couldn't get Sharon on the phone for you so that you could tell her how lucky you were to enjoy the love of such a wonderful woman for the brief time you shared. And no, they will not keep trying.

Anyway, we understand that you flew fighters in Enduring Freedom and all, but apparently there's a guy in coach who used to drive a forklift at UPS. We all took a vote and we're gonna go with him. His head's not up in the clouds, excuse the pun.

Happy You Are Too In Love To Land This Plane Day!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Beer And Some Songs Day!

Orange light on orange hair on orange beer. Your orange hand is in his orange hand. You're on a bench and some songs are pretty perfect considering the color of everything. Everything is warmer than it is outside.


He lets go of your orange hand and puts his arm around your shoulders and rubs some heat into your bicep and you realize he thinks you just gave him an order. You don't retract it. A lot of songs are about people who are lost or who are looking for someone they lost but some songs are about a perfect little moment.

"A memory."

He smiles at you, awaiting your story. You sip your beer to tell him you don't have one. An hour in bed that must have lasted a lifetime. A glance stolen at a dinner that must have caught an entire life's tale. A kiss on a cheek because the lips must have been forbidden. They write songs about memories that don't fit into memories.

"Big fat and shapeless spilling out all over everything and they try all they can to pull it all back into tupperware containers but it just keeps dripping over the edge before they can get the lid to snap shut so they have no choice but to stuff it into something that has no corners or bottom or top like a song."

Now he's just staring at you. Kiss him.

Happy Beer And Some Songs Day!