Saturday, May 20, 2017

New Jersey Things

Flooding in Hoboken
Sullen gas station attendants
Fear of eye contact with strangers
Potholes imported from Pompei, Italy
Mass arrests for stealing cherry blossoms
Eating unhealthy food down the shore
Parades featuring old people walking slowly
Snappy put downs and snappy come backs
Thousands of self published authors pleading for recognition
Rutgers grads working part time at trader Joe's
Smoke stacks
Dead bodies in shallow graves
Babbling on public transportation by self published authors
Petting zoos full of bacteria
Scam artists breathing the same oxygen as corrupt politicians

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hard Boiled Eggs

My shrink tells me I'm on edge. I need something to calm me. I need an activity. He suggested creating hard boiled eggs.
I trust the man and went at it full bore. I bought eggs. I boiled them. Placed them in cold water afterward. I adjusted the lighting in the kitchen. Put on soothing music by Enya. Donned a surgeon's mask and gloves. Placed one egg on a sterilized tray and took a deep breath.
Carefully I peeled the shell away, taking care not to remove the white with the shell. It took me half an hour for one egg. But my mind was taken off my anxiety.
Just when I reached the very end of the process, a stupid bird slammed into my window. I screeched and squashed the yoke into a hundred pieces.
I wanted to grab a steak knife and attack the bird. Somehow I calmed myself using breathing techniques. I assumed the dumb bird has cataracts.
Now I must begin again with another egg.
Or maybe I'll just take up jigsaw puzzles or adult coloring books.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dream Team

In school we played murder ball. Others called it dodge ball, but we knew better. We students, full of anger and frustration, sought decapitation.
Our dream team consisted entirely of Mafia kids. No one wanted to face us, especially after certain vague threats were made in the locker room. Our gesticulations all meant 'horrible death' in Italian.
We even thought about starting a pro league. Our gym teacher was a fierce Armenian who claimed his team back home was better than ours. The players all were children of their underworld. We fumed. Contacted our fathers. A match was set up. ESPN coverage. Las Vegas took bets. Publicity boomed. Expectations rose. Oh, the excitement.
Then a bunch of tree hugging liberals passed a law outlawing the sport.
We will go underground. Mutilation in gym shorts is part of our heritage.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

SWimming in Ideas

Lately, I've been swimming in ideas.This happens to writers after a dry spell. This morning I stopped at a local place to have breakfast and wrote a flash fiction piece. "The Pessimist Cafe". A guy pulls off the road to stop for coffee and enters this cafe.
Everyone inside, including the waitress, is totally pessimistic about the world. The guy hits "Walking on Sunshine on the juke box and as soon as that song ends, someone presses "A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall".
I think this story is publishable.
When the attractive waitresses see me writing in a notebook this morning, they must assume I'm creating something vibrant and powerful and I really believe their respect for me is growing.
I just wish I didn't have this hole in my sweater, which you can't see because I'm wearing a black sweat shirt underneath.
Yes, I'm swimming in ideas, some of which I'm certain will make me enough money to buy a new sweater.

Piano Magic

Billy Joel was stubborn. He refused to play on my piano. You don't play, you don't eat. I said. You are a criminal fool, he replied.
Look, I'm your biggest fan. I went through hell kidnapping you. He scowled. Your piano isn't tuned. I scowled. So tune it.
I don't do that stuff, he snarled. You should have snatched Elton.
All he does is pound away at the keys. You are a true artist. Play Miami 2012.
You would never let me starve.
You, Billy, don't know me.
So why did you buy a piano if you can't play.
It impresses guests.
You are a dabbler, fella, one who paints a little and writes a little. You should have kidnapped Dali.
He's long dead. Listen, I made pot roast. I am one hell of a cook. Play one lousy song and you get a meal fit for a king.
And then what?
I'm tired of your attitude, Billy. Then I let you go and go after Pearlman. I love the violin more than the piano.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spice Rack Intrigue

I have been closely monitoring my spice rack. Real men do have spice racks.
I am convinced my spices are secretly mingling at night while I sleep, attempting to create a new, dangerous spice designed to rob me of my cognitive processes. Real men have those too.
I think this has already begun. I sense tumeric is the ring leader.
When I tried to explain this to a fellow writer, he rolled his eyes and looked out the window. A woman came over to our table, hearing my rant, and said she believed me. She was sure her baby stroller was rejecting her child. She also believed recently departed Don Rickles was trapped in the Cloud. I ranted that Al Gore created the Dark Web.  She said her plumber had switched the hot and cold valves so she would burn her hands.
We exchanged phone numbers. Our first date is this Saturday. By this time my writer friend had switched tables.

Apology Letter

458 people who never believed in me signed an apology letter.  They admitted they had underestimated me. Most felt I would wind up in janitorial work or become a squeegee guy at an intersection.
But I became a renowned flash fiction master, in the process, hob nobbing with the rich and famous, a man who makes entrances to charity balls and VIP parties with women named Danielle, Veronica, and Monique on his arm.
They were not prepared for my success. As a child I threw up and whined. As a kid I was always last in potato sack races. My adolescence consisted of big guys giving me atomic wedgies. In college, I joined a fraternity and none of the guys would exchange the secret handshakes with me. As an adult, I bounced from job to job--door knob installer, curtain rod measure person, ball bearing salesman, navel lint remover, etc.
One day I saw a group of odd looking people enter the library. I followed them into a room. Writers.
I burst into tears. I'm so lonely, I sobbed. Can I join you?
May I join you, the leader corrected me.
The rest is history.
I folded the apology letter and stuffed it beneath my insulated underwear. Too little, too late.