Legs and Ass

June 1, 2007
  • We got a recorded message on our answering machine from a company urging us to extend our vehicle warranty so we could have the “peace of mind you deserve.” Well, that’s pretty presumptuous, isn’t it? How do they know I deserve peace of mind? Suppose I deserve all the mental anguish I get all the way to the grave? Hmmm?
  • I saw a commercial for the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen.” A prick of a chef berates his contestants in ways that only the truly self-hating would tolerate. Is it just me, or is there an overabundance of asshole behavior on TV? When did this become entertainment? If I were rich, I’d offer one million dollars to the contestant who bludgeoned that lout into a two-month coma. Girls, if you ever put up with that kind of treatment, I will hang my head in shame of the failure I was as a father.
  • It’s not my fault, Honey, I have sexsomnia.
  • In a recent news story, I read that Mayor Ray Nagin gave a speech bellowing that New Orleans is coming back “whether you like it or not.” I wasn’t aware that there was a large constituency opposed to New Orleans’ recovery, but I do know that a certain mayor’s crybaby act is wearing thin.
  • I’ve decided I don’t like air conditioning. I don’t like the artificial cold. You can never set it to a comfortable level. Give me a warm breeze any day.
  • A pizza delivery dude brought me the goods last night, and before I was even done signing my name on the dotted line, he said, “You can add the tip if you want. Helps out with the gas.” I had company, so I didn’t have time to tell him that “reminding” me to tip is unacceptable, white-trash behavior, and that his gas expense is his fucking problem, not mine. Tipping, shit. Sorry, folks, I loathe the practice. I long for a day where I can get service without someone sticking their fucking palm out. Whew, now I feel better.
  • My next screenplay is likely to be about vampires, so I have the enviable task of immersing myself in vampire fiction and folklore. During my research, I discovered that the term “nosferatu” is not Romanian for “vampire.” In fact, it is a meaningless word that does not exist in any language.
  • Speaking of vampire fiction, I came across a book of vampire stories from the last 100 years. Eager to dive in, I turned to the first story, “The Story of Chugoro,” a translation of a Japanese vampire folktale. Irresistible, right? Well, I began to read and was confronted with this: A long time ago there lived, in the Koishikawa quarter of Yedo, a batamoto named Suzuki, whose yashiki was situated on the bank of the Yedogawa, not far from the bridge called Naka-no-hashi. And among the retainers of this Suzuki there was an ashigaru named Chugoro. Um, before you call something a translation, aren’t you supposed to actually translate it?
  • My girls refer to “yesterday” as “last morning.” Not sure where they picked that up, but I think it has a nice, romantic ring.

See you all next morning.

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A Dream I Had

June 1, 2007

I’m in the small town I grew up in. I leave a grocery store carrying two plastic bags of stuff. I walk over to the street I live on.

As I pass a house where a friend of mine lives, someone opens fire with an AK-47. I’m hit. Three in the neck, two in the back, two in the ass. I’ve never been shot, but in the dream, it feels like hammer blows, with acid poured into the holes.

I make it to a house and try to take shelter. A man runs by and says “I’ll get him.” That makes me feel safe, so I stagger back to the store and crash through the doors.

“I’ve been shot,” I cry out. People scramble. What a mess I’m making. A middle-aged man in a fedora and raincoat runs into the store and comes over to help me. He helps me to my feet.

Instead of the hospital, he takes me to a small theater. A performance of some kind takes place on stage. As I scan the crowd, I notice something odd: every seat is occupied by somebody I know or have known—friends, lost friends, family, dead friends and family, ex-girlfriends, you name it. People I havent’ seen in years walk by as if I’m not there. Nobody recognizes me or says hello or inquires as to what I’m doing at this reunion with seven bullet holes in my body and blood spreading out underneath my chair.

I turn to my Good Samaritan and ask if we hadn’t ought to get my perforated ass to the hospital.

“No,” he says.

“But, aren’t I bleeding internally?” I ask.

“I doubt it.”

I accept his answer, even though there’s no way he can be sure. A few minutes later, I insist on going to the hospital anyway. He drives us. On the way, he speaks again:

“We really don’t need to go to the hospital.”

“Why not?”

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to make it.”

At that, I lose my temper, screaming at him for wasting time taking me to a play and saying I wasn’t bleeding internally. What a dumbshit. Then, I calm down. We’re at the hospital. I stumble out of the car and run through the hospital.

“Where’s my family?” I ask, searching for my wife and two daughters. “Where are they?”

I keep searching until everything goes dark.

I never found them.


Don’t Think, Just Answer

June 1, 2007

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “mystery”?