Monday, November 15, 2010

"Meeting Adjourned"

This group project was a total bore. These imbecilic characters didn’t know what they were talking about and all of our meetings were directionless. The meetings ran for hours and there was no simple way to call for an ending; our conversations just slowed until they sputtered out and died in gaping silences. It was our last meeting and I wanted to leave so I could go buy a fat burrito and sit and eat it with my legs dangling over a bridge. There was no polite way for me to excuse myself. I had to just go for it. I had to really demonstrate to these morons that I was done listening to their ignorant babbling. I stood up on the table and everyone in the library stared at me. I removed my clothing and leaned backwards until I grabbed my Achilles tendons and heard each and every vertebrae in my back explode. I shrieked as a pint of blood burst from my mouth and splashed onto the table like a water balloon. My legs immediately gave out and I buckled down onto the table, crashing flimsily like a donkey that had been shot. I stared Megan right in her stupid eyeballs and bit through my tongue. Then I pried my jaw apart with my hands, ripping the upper and lower parts away from each other with all my strength, until my head turned inside out. I was an anatomical diagram of the skull and the air stung my brain hard. I could only see darkness now, and I assumed my eyeballs were pointed at the inside of my skull. I heaved my dead body on top of my head and stood up on my hands. I fished a lighter out of my sweatshirt pocket and lit my body hair on fire. I walked out the front doors of the library, flaming and upside-down, leaving a slick brown trail of blood and brain fluid. I knew I had made an impression. I showed those boring suckers who was boss and I felt like I owned the place. Meeting adjourned, motherfuckers. I could hear muffled screams as people saw my hellish frame stroll out those doors like a wild-west cowboy. Hell yeah, I thought. Time for that burrito.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"My Old Beans"

It's hot. Blazing. Arizona, dead-middle of summer. I am sweating. I unzip my pants and fling them aside. They won’t be necessary today. I hear the train rocketing towards me. Lightning fast, thunder loud. Powerful and swift. I bend to the dusty ground and lay on my side. The train turns round a hill and comes at me, an ant crawling across the dry brown sea. It grows and grows, bigger and louder. I cup my moist testicles and stretch them across the track. I feel the track vibrating in my vas deferens and a drop of sweat falls off my nose. The steam horn blares, unbearably loud. The track reverberates to a supersonic hum and my testicles bounce, two Mexican jumping beans in an extra-large sock. The wheel makes its slice in an instant and in the next the friction heat on the track seals it shut.

I suspect one day a few kids will go out there to the tracks to flatten some pennies and they’ll find my decrepit set of nuts sitting in their rotten bag, abandoned and dusty, maybe picked over by the crows. And I hope those kids pick up my old beans and toss them around, maybe play some monkey in the middle or use them as hackey sacks. And perhaps those boys will play in the desert until they tire and the sun goes down and they will light a fire and have a moonlit ceremony in which they drink animal blood and recite ancient chants and ingest my testicles to gain my wisdom. They will high-five the devil and know what it means to be alive.

That, sir, is where I see myself in ten years. I hope that is congruent with the Applebee’s vision, as I need this job.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"He's On Fire"

It was the fourth quarter, twenty seconds left. We were down by two and in a time-out. We had possession. Coach suggested a backdoor screen and start Ryan with the ball. I nodded my head, but I had other plans.

At the sound of the whistle, I removed a small canister of kerosene from my shorts pocket and doused myself in the stinky liquid. As my opposing defender stared on in confusion, I scratched a strike-anywhere match on the wooden floor and lit myself ablaze. I ran to the top of the key, my body glowing bright orange. The heat was incredible and the odor of my burnt flesh stung my nostrils. I ran, flailing my arms at the other team, trying my best to catch their uniforms on fire. My scrotum blazed like one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkins and I could feel my potency diminish in stinging bursts.

I called for the ball and Ryan delivered. A chest-pass right to my gut. I dribbled twice and planted myself on the three-point line. The nearest defender was ten feet away, repelled by the heat on my body and the intensity in my eyes. I felt an incredible humidity as the sweat on my face boiled. I knew I only had one chance to drain this shot. This was for the state championship, all the marbles. My shoes melted into the floor. This is it, I thought, as I coughed on the sour-roadkill stench of my smoldering pubic hair and I saw coach wildly pointing towards the other side of the gym, where the fire extinguisher was located. Not this time, coach. My flaming play may be a bit unorthodox, but today it’s going to win us a championship.

Three seconds…two seconds. I hurled the ball, aiming for that sweet spot. As the buzzer rang out, the ball sailed through the rim, dead-center. Nothing but net. I screamed with joy and collapsed to the floor. Immediately, I was engulfed in white foam as several upstanding citizens from our community doused me with fire extinguishers. The other team cheered, thrilled that I was okay. The wild hero who had risked his life for the sake of his team would live to see another day. I would have cheered, too.

Two weeks later I woke up from my coma. I have been dictating this story using my left eye, my only functioning body part, to my assistant, Elena, who informed me that my amazing shot landed in the other team’s hoop. I have been asked to not return to practice, and when my skin regenerates and I regain the ability to walk I must return my uniform to Mrs. Anderson’s room before 4:00.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Relief"

I was driving home from signing my life away in order to be an extremely well-paid relief pitcher in the Majors. It was raining and at a red light I saw a tiny woman standing at a bus stop holding shopping bags. She was quaint, miniature, and looked tired. I pulled over and watched her for a minute. Her matted brown hair clung to her cheeks in wet glops and she struggled under the weight of the bags to lift her arm to see her watch. I walked to her and considered all of the ways I could help her. I picked her up and put her in my pocket. Now she lives in my desk drawer and I take her out to dance and entertain me while Flash-heavy web sites load.