Thursday, December 17, 2009

An excerpt from work intended to be longer

image via calvin hollywood

Other than killing her husband, Amy Schneider had never done a single, remarkable thing. She did however look pleasant in a black dress. Her dresses were never too low cut nor deceptively conservative, in fact, Amy did her best to not look too much like anything at all. Perhaps, it was part of the plan, this habit of hers, this tendency to be a side note in other people’s conversations.

The weeks following the shooting, Ari’s death was remarked on often and with a certain degree of understanding. Death had been wished upon Ari by postalworkers, coworkers, waiters and occasionally his dearest friends. He was just that sort of guy.

Ari worked in Public Relations for a prominent firm – though not an entirely well regarded one–and had made it his life’s work to destroy anyone who stood in his path. Amy, who did no work at all, did not interfere with Ari’s business. In fact, she knew not a thing about his dealings. As for the rest of them, they all knew Ari far too well.

--inspired by the pages of Gawker, at least a tad or so.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Boris the deceased

The deceased was fat. His meaty rolls poured out of his knock off suit; a suit intended to make him look respectable for the evening. Boris’s flesh, however, was unused to such confined quarters.

In the past, these same rolls had hung happily over his velvet tracksuit pants or rested provocatively behind a sweat-stained wife-beater, but now they propelled forward, undeterred by his fancy collar. Hairy and obvious; the rolls were performing an act of posthumous rebellion against the whole decentness of the event.

Sitting in the funeral home, with the grey skies of Midwood looming overhead, the family gathered together to look upon him. Boris’s blubber was evident, in fact, it was commented on by every member of the tight-knit clan. Boris was dead and had put on fifteen pounds in the process of dying. There was no need to be polite about it. It was the truth.

The observations, which were uttered loudly between the hymns and prayers, weren’t mean spirited in nature. In fact, everyone was pretty jolly about the whole thing, a possible result of the vodka, drunk ceremoniously before the funeral. Vodka only indulged in, in honor of Boris, who loved the drink so. Vodka also partaken of in honor of Boris’s mother, his father, his brother, and his dog.

Boris’s dog , who was also fat, was also dead. Boris had wished to be buried in the same casket as Smirnoff, his furry companion, but alas they both could not fit in one final resting place.So, Smirnoff would be buried beside him in his own casket. Unfortunately, the only doggie sized casket available in the funeral home was a shocking shade of pink. Boris would most likely think the salmon colored casket was too effeminate for such a manly, and more so , such hairy a dog. But as we already said repeatedly: Boris was dead.

The ceremony proceeded on, with respects paid to both man and mutt. Everyone agreed that Boris’s wife cried gratuitously as the dog’s casket was closed. It was also agreed upon that she showed the proper restraint when Boris’s casket met the same fate.

After these short,sentimental moments, the rabbi said the usual things about Israel and goodness, perhaps, assuming that upon his death there too would be some goodness in the deceased. Then, Boris’s father, whose capacity for subtle observation was unmatched in the community, spoke.

“ He was not the smartest one, “ he began, ” Nor was he handsome or rich. He did not leave much behind for his destitute parents. He even took that shit machine of a dog with him.”
The rabbi stared down at his Torah, presumably hoping for some sort of godly intervention or perhaps overcome with emotion at such poignant words. The funeralgoers pondered this possibility for a moment. And then the moment passed.

Ivan continued, “ Boris was not kind, or funny, not very skilled with tools or the pen. He didn’t smell all that pleasant… But, one thing Boris did have was an appetite for life. No one could eat like him. No one could drink like him. And now that he’s gone, there’s finally some for the rest of us.”

On that note, most people clapped. One man sitting in the back row, burped his praise for the fine and true words. It took ten able-bodied men and one particularly stout woman to carry Boris’s casket away.

When the dirt was poured and the deed was done, the group met to drink, glad that they would all live another day to chat and honor, and mock and judge , the lives of others.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Playing with Unicorns

It’s been one week since he lost his corner office, his catered lunch and his quarterly bonus. And now, to top it off, he’d collect his first unemployment check. The pretending, he thinks, did it start last Friday, or had it started long ago?

On the train, he ponders this thought. Then, he ponders hot dogs. He sits motionless, as the R races toward Wall Street and then slivers back again. After three rides, Tom braves the outside. He eats two dogs, swallows his pride, and heads toward the unemployment office.

- An excerpt from a longer story

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dispatches from the Near Future

Column ideas inspired by near-certain future calamities.

Sexting 3.0
, a column in which I discuss the hedonistic cybering ways of our youth and the dissolution of all religious morals and societial values in 140 dirty characters or less.

Generation Lost, a column in which I discuss the possibility that our generation is actually lost forever on a mythical island or in purgatory or possibly eaten by our postapocalyptic zombie brethren.

The Water Wars,
a column in which I discuss the global warming-induced migrations to a makeshift water world, where the brave men of Poland Spring and Fiji Water engage in an epic battle for our minds and 75% of our bodies.

Real World: Mars, a column in which I discuss the lusty, yet life-altering shenanigans of a group of seven strangers picked to live in a space pod and find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real nippy.

Bedtime Stories with my Robotic Stepchild, a column in which I attempt to teach my cyborg spawn about bygone relics such as trees, books, and face-to-face social interaction. ( an excerpt here.)

The beginnings of a story with no ending

Alice was small with large breasts. Boys liked this about her. Boys also liked her hair, how the burnt orange tendrils fell in assorted formations over her brow, softly framing the edges of her cheeks. That’s the kind of thing boys would say they liked about Alice, to Alice’s face — as they stared deeply into the emerging terrains of her brown sweaters.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What you don't like about yourself.

An excerpt from a one act play.


We’ll just take a little out of here and here. Very nice. Now, have you considered Pig?

Dr. Cohen begins to draw lines around the contours of Cynthia's chin.




Swine injections, instead of Restylane. The results are remarkable.


Why not? Suck it up and fill er up with bacon.


I knew that would cheer you up. I know this is a hard ti--


--No need to be polite. I know. You know. Everyone in this city knows. It’s perfect fodder for the tabloids. My daughter says it’s already on the blogs, not that I read them. Broadways oldest star…


You’re not the oldest…


… abandoned for a twenty year old cirque contortionist.He left me for a circus freak. Can you believe that? She doesn’t even speak English, you know, some kind of Philipino, the men they like those now I suppose, they’re quiet. I’m never quiet.


No that you aren’t. May I suggest something else?


I was thinking about doing the thighs too. I might have a dance number. They’ll probably just throw a couple of glittery gays in front of me. And I’ll stand there like a tree in the background. I might have to shuffle my leaves around for a bit.


Perhaps, considering what happened with your husband and all, you might want something new. My other clients your age love this. It’s really rejuvenating they say, like starting fresh. Are you familiar with labiaplasty?


Dr. Cohen. Really I -


-Take a look (he pulls out some images from one of his folders) Women who’ve had children they aren’t the same of course. And many of my clients have found that men these days, prefer a youthful look.

CYNTHIA (she drops it back on the table)

Why I…


It might improve your chances with a new man.


The situation is not as desperate as it seems, I assure you.


I understand.


-I was just thinking I could leave down there how it is, for old time sake you know. I mean it ain’t exactly out there on stage.


I’m sorry I was only thinking of what other divorce —


-I’m not divorced yet and that was not why- I mean my-


The stretching is a natural sign of aging.


I’d like to think it aged gracefully.


So…the stomach, thighs, and the facelift then. Though, I would seriously consider… (He begins to move the pen toward her crotch region. She recoils.)


I’m going to have to go.


Mrs. Meyers we’ve done so well all these years, I don’t understand why you’re pulling the dramatics on me now.


Dramatics. Read my lips, I’m keeping them as is.

Cynthia puts out her cigarette on the documents. She pulls up her pants. She storms out of the office with her shirt partly buttoned. She bursts into the waiting area.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reasons Why You Suck Becca Taylor

A story from the perspective of a preteen drama queen:

1. You’re a D cup in the 7th grade.
2. You’re both skinny and a D cup in the 7th grade.
3. You don’t have pimples. A blackhead is not a pimple. Your skin is perfect. You know it and you pretend like it’s not so other people can tell you it is.
4. We used to be friends but we’re not friends anymore.
5. We used to be friends but you decided that we’re not friends anymore.
6. Even people who are no longer friends but used to be friends, do not steal their former friend’s boyfriends. But you do.
7. A person, who used to be your friend but isn’t your friend anymore, (Especially when it’s this person’s own fault that the friendship withered and died last summer.) does not have the right to accuse me of being melodramatic about a guy that most definitely was my boyfriend.
8. And yes, he told me he was my boyfriend. He said it last week in gym class. Everyone heard him. And no, he didn’t feel sorry for me. And the fact that you said that makes you a bitch.
9. I’m not an A cup. I’m a small B. And I don’t need to use my boobs to get guys. But you obviously do.
10. When we were friends you wrote me a letter saying we’d be BFF’s forever and told me I was pretty. You told me that it didn’t matter whether boys paid attention to me or not. You told me stupid boys don’t matter.
11. You lied.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bedtime stories with my robotic stepchild

Through his monitor, 3240x90010 megathron stares blankly at the object in my hand. Printed on corrugated paper, a relic from the time of trees, the book is an oddity to him. "Once upon a time," I begin.

" Long before the reign of twitterdom, there were novels-anthologies of work even- shared through generations. In them, words would flow with abandon, for hundreds of pages at a time. And then, people would meet in tribal ceremonies and amidst the punch and the cheese, they would talk. None of this augmented reality shit: real conversations ugly face to ugly face."

Suddenly, manic with nostalgia I reach out toward him through the screen, and attempt contact; a hug. Megathron looks at me with disdain. I have exceeded my 140 word limit. He unplugs me and moves on.
"It's not always easy to tell the difference between thinking and looking out of the window.”- Wallace Stevens

An excerpt from Selling Death in 30 days...

Death interrupts a creative director on his lunch hour. Said creative director is non-too pleased:

You're death?

If you need a name.

I can't die. I really don't have time for this actually.

You can’t refuse.

No, but I can make you a better offer.

One can’t bargain these things.

Your brand sucks.

Brand? I’m not a brand. I’m a reality.
I’m the most profound of realities, I’ve
been here since the beginning of time —

-- You’re a has been. Yesterdays news.
A dying brand.

Mr. X

Life. Life is all everyone cares about. And everyday
we live longer. And longer. It’s a matter of time before science
catches up to you. You have no unique selling proposition.

Mr. X
I have inevitability.

ED (out of breath)
There’s always something newer, better, shinier with fancy
technology. Even now, there’s vaccines. And cloning. And
Whole Foods. Your shelf life is almost up.

Death doesn’t end.

No it just dwindles. And becomes obsolete.

I’m listening…

You can’t beat life. Unless people can be convinced to
seek you out. To want death.

Why would people want death? No one every wants
to see me.

But they do. I sell death everyday. Think about it.
High fructose corn syrup. Cigarettes, Look it says it on the box.
And they love it. I can make you big.

Mr. X
I like the sound of that.

Do not tweet gentle into that good night

Do not tweet gentle into that good night,
Old age should update and blog at close of day;
tweet, tweet against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
because their posts have spurred no comments, 
Do not tweet gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
their frail flickr photos might have danced in a montage, 
tweet, tweet against the dying of the light
Wild men whose myspace bands sang the sun in flight, 
And learn, too late, they grieved it on a text, 
Do not tweet gentle into that good night
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight that 
crappy songs could blaze like meteors and be gay like cat videos, 
tweet, tweet against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on your blackberry, 
email me now with your fierce tears, I blog. 
Do not tweet gentle into that good night. 
Tweet, Tweet against the dying of the light.

How to Pacify the Creative Ego

1. Tell the downtrodden creative that you see their vision. Alas, the client is far too small-minded to ever get it.
2. Pretend as if you do indeed get it for at least three days.
3. Feed all creatives candy, soda, and other highly caffeinated placebos.
4. Insist that you "know" that said creative is a real writer, artist, filmmaker, director, unfortunately the advertising world has no place for their utter brilliance.
5. Promise them meetings with actual writers, artists, and filmmakers, who are actually utterly brilliant.
6. Let them skateboard, jet-ski, or scooter around the office creating a false sense of upward mobility.
7. Give them small, hip toys to play with into the wee hours of the night.
8. Gently stroke their unkempt hair into the wee hours of the night.
9. Provide them with impressionable interns who will fetch them caffeinated and intoxicating placebos, and possibly stroke their unkempt hair into the wee hours of night.
10. Wii.

You too can have an internet affair!!

In the post-Spitzer era, balding statesman and neglected cougars alike long for the innocent days of cheap hotels, empty parking lots, and darkly lit bathroom stalls. Alas, those days are over. In fact, a thoroughly modern affair requires no bodily contact at all. Through the miracle of sexting and mutual masturbation by the glow of webcam, good times and cheap connections come at the speed of download.

Soon we will all conduct our weekend dalliances, trysts, and undulating libations within the sphere of cyberspace. Some of you may still be hesitant to make the switch, some of you will also be miserable and alone in the unforgiving years to come. As a wise man will probably tweet in the near future, your earthly visage fades and wears with time, your online profile lives eternal.

Now back to the business of internet lovemaking. Most of you may be familiar with dating sites just as, or perhaps for the Jewish philanderers among us. Some new to the scene may be tempted to limit their search to targeted sites like I encourage you to broaden your horizons. Every social network is a plethora of carnal possibilities; whether you’re searching for romps, romance or dare I say it, true love.

Out there on the glistening superhighways of the wayward web is an erotic thrill ride waiting to be had. Yes, there’s an internet affair that’s right for you. All you have to do is google it. Still shy? Don’t fret. I have taken it upon myself to help ease the transition for the cybering neophytes among us. This handy guide determines the positives and negatives of each social network for you. After conducting a thorough study of infinite sites, over the course of five minutes, I’ve created a cost benefit analysis.

The MySpace Affair
Pro You can post semi-nude photos while listening to your lover's awesome band.
Con Your lover's bands isn't all that awesome.

The Twitter Affair
Pro I love you forever. 9:35 A.M. March 25th from bed
Con I hate you. 10:35 A.M. March 25th from bed

The New Facebook Affair
Pro After a hot session of superpoking, you paramour can shower you with gifts of underwear and scribble sweet nothings on your wall.
Con When your lover changes her status to "cheating prick", it will reappear with every update. And she will update it, every five seconds of the day.

The LinkedIn Affair
Pro Not only have you gained a lover but a crucial business contact.
Con His recommendation: “Beth is an incredible ASSet to any company, she will bend over backward, literally I mean literally. Beth is also a people person and a great team leader.”

The Second Life Affair
Pro Your avatars, are flawless.
Con In real life, you closely resemble gremlins.

The Blogger Affair
Pro He posts about you. You post about him. Soon you start vlogging together. And you’re the social networking "it" couple of the year.
Con You’re Julia Allison.

The Gmail Affair
Pro Favored by politicos, email affairs are a romantic combination of teary-eyed letters, late night g-chats, and pornie spam sharing.
Con Google is watching you.

The Craigslist Affair
Pro Not only have you found a new lover but he’s also renting out an apartment with great VIEWS three blocks from the SUBWAY with BEAUTIFUL HARDWOOD FLOORS.
Con Your chalk outline ruins the BEAUTIFUL HARDWOOD FLOORS.

I wish you good luck, my soon to be internet lovers.

Spare Change

This is my reality

Boys and Girls

Boys and girls are taught different games,
Boys learn to be soldiers, learn they'll rule the world,
when they're older, lifted up on their daddy's shoulders,
While we hid behind our mother's skirts,
watched her scrub the dirt, that they brought in,
And even when we tomboys fought in the same dirt,
we were never told we had the same worth,
Because the princess never road the steed,
it was the knight that did the great deed,
And we just let down our hair and relinquished our power,
to a man, that wasn’t worthy of climbing our tower,
But we knew one day, our prince would come,
and even if we didn’t , at least he got some,
Seeking satisfaction in this primal interaction,
seems to often be one sided , Unfair to fairer sex,
when his pleasure is your gag reflex,
Not that I'm complaining, cause we do get ours,
but in the battle of the powers,decorating dollhouses
loses out to climbing those towers,
Now this glass ceiling has me feeling that,
in this game, boys always get a head start,
Cause they're taught to think with their heads,
and we’re taught to think with our hearts.

So while in his dreams he soars through the sky,
and extinguishes fires, we dream that he'll see us as objects of desire,
Our childhood dreams prone to the guys on Dream Phone,
Hey there, It’s Ken I’ll probably f*ck you and never talk to you again,
Hi, it's Steve want to go to the movies,
So I can pretend to hold your hand,
when all I want is to touch your boobies,
Remember how we used to wish to be equipped
to be just a pair of tits,because all eyes were on the prize,
And a boyfriend only seemed a bra size away,
But even then, we were fearful that he’d stray,
Cause even Barbie couldn’t trust Stacy with Ken,
so we just stripped off their clothes in the den,
Before you knew it the pink convertible was a rocking,
And my mom came knocking with cookies,
and told us girls to play nice,
So we learned to coat our games with sugar and spice,
From then on winning the only way we knew how,
And I think back now,
What if I asked Zander if I would pander,
away my friendships for the whims of a philanderer;
And he’d reply, ask again, so I’d turn to my friend
And she’d pretend, like she never do that kind of thing,
While she eyes my Ring-Pop, and we find ourselves heading
for a Perfect Wedding, so caught up in the Mall Madness
That we don’t see sadness in the fact that we're trying to buy
our sense of self, filling our shelves with short skirts and tube tops,
Licking our Lolipops, as if we don’t know the meaning
of this gesture in his direction, too young to distinguish
between an erection and affection,
Girls wearing women's bodies that they aren’t yet comfortable in,
Walking around in glittered makeup, as if it's second skin,
But all that glitters isn’t gold,
And just cause he pays for date doesn’t mean you should be sold,

And even now past the pubesecent anxiety,
When I’ve come to take my place as a woman in society,
And where am I now.
I am women hear me ...
See I never roared cause I didn’t know how
to be anything but a pussy
Pretty pleasing and ceasing to embrace my pms,
Im pretty sure this rage, is justified by more then premenstrual stress
Perhaps im stressing dressing like I'm on display everyday
But if I'm going be gawked at,
I don’t want to look like I'm on the sales rack,
So I primp and pimp my assets
Without thoughts to the aspects of me, that they don’t see.

See, I thought I had long stopped playing hide and go seek,
But I'm still hiding my true self, while seeking solace in somebody else,
And though I never got those seven minutes in heaven,
and long after I’ve finished a couple of bottles, I’m still spinning,
and the game keeps going yet I’m never winning
I keep on forgetting that recess is over,
and that these games aren’t as much fun when your older.
In this akward evolution toward finding the women in me,
I keep resigning myself to the limitations of what that could be,
Constantly confronted by that little girl,
who was taught to be a pretty princess
living in a king’s world.