Monthly Archives: April 2007

what do you look like when you think you are alone and no one is looking?

i stood on a corner near the highway. i was walking to a cafe for a drink. i watched all these people in cars turning left right in front of me.

when you see cars, do you look at the car, or the person inside the car? i always try to remind myself to look at the person in the car.

steel cages, crumple zones, and air conditioning and all of these people listening to radios or shouting into cellphones with one hand and steering with the other.

like mobile living rooms, people hid from their own surroundings inside their cars.

i watched their faces. i saw what people look like when they they are alone and no one is looking.

they look lonely. except the ones who had her windows rolled down. a woman looked at me – a man walking down a busy access road with my bag on my back and a drink in my hand – and she smiled.

two other pedestrians carrying fruit smoothies stopped to share a laugh about the puny sidewalks over the bridge.

roll down your windows. make eye contact with pedestrians. participate in the world around you. you won’t look so alone. you won’t be so alone.

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man in a bar

normal, unassuming man sitting alone in a nearly empty bar lets his eyes wander over the numerous nozzles for imported and domestic draft beers. he drank two large beers very slowly. he smiled at the bartenders. he ordered chicken wings and french fries.

he gestured with his chin at the various nozzles of draft beer. he has this big, glassy smile on his face like everyone’s friend.

“hey, what’s that stuff with the evil dude on it?”

the bartender looked up from the glasses he was furiously washing. “what was that, dude?”

“that beer with the evil dude on it? what is that? where is it from?”

“*ma-RE-dsoo*. french.”

“maredsou?”

“yeah. it’s stronger than beer. it has eight percent alcohol”

“i’ll have to get me some of that next. you get that for me after this one.”

“sure, dude.”

the man alone at the bar adjusts his hat. he nibbles his chicken wings. he holds the catsup bottle like something lost at sea.

when he thinks that no one is looking at him his eyes drop like a sailor lost at sea. his eyes find the horizon in the mirror over the bar. there is no horizon there at all, but that’s how the guy looks into it. like somewhere in the mirror there’s this spot where the flat earth drops into the void and he’s floating there on a barstool raft, nibbling french fries and waiting. just waiting.

i didn’t say hello to the guy. i paid for my drink. i went home, alone. i fell asleep.

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passing through security in philadelphia

“where do we pick up our luggage?” says the sleepy travelers, “don’t we have to get our luggage first?”
customs official responds in a brusque, unfriendly tone of voice, “until we know who you are, we’re not giving you anything.” then he wanders off.

security screener in philedelphia, holding up the tiny bottle of scope in the legal plastic bag that I had just gotten from them as if i had done something horribly wrong, “you should have told me you had scope in here so i wouldn’t have to open your bag and search it. next time, tell me about the mouthwash!” of course the point was moot. i wasn’t were i was supposed to be. i had asked repeatedly where i could go to get my second boarding pass, and i had been shuffled through security by security officials who kept telling me to go that way to get the next boarding pass – though i didn’t have a new boarding pass.

i made it all the way through to the terminal without a proper boarding pass and had to ask a supervisor where on earth i could find my second boarding pass. he took one look at my ticket stub, assured me this was not a proper boarding pass and that i had no business in the terminal. i assured him that his staff had shuffled me in this direction repeatedly everytime i had asked them where i could get my second boarding pass.

the supervisor escorted me out of the terminal, apologizing for the poor customer service of his staff. i should not have gotten into the terminal at all, and i wasn’t trying to sneak through security. i was just trying to get my second boarding pass.

they lost one of my bags, too.

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in honor of international pixelated technopeasant day

explanation:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61912

i won´t crosspost this at myspace due to some legal stuff that you don´t need to worry about, but here, for your enjoyment, is a bit of my real fiction for free just for the enjoyment of cyberspace writing. this one is some flash fiction that has only got collected one rejection letter. instead of sending it out again, i´m sharing it here, because i am a pixelated technopeasant.

“Ein Euro, Bitte”

We were late. We were late. We were late.

The ladies had already made their way to the
restaurant. They texted us. They texted us. They
texted us.

We texted back: “almost @ bus stop.” “Hold on.”
“Get drinks.”

The Captain asked me if his tie looked stupid. I
told him we looked stupid because we were running to
catch a bus in suits and stupid ties.

We missed the bus.

The Captain kicked the bus stop’s hutch. He
cursed in French, because he was trying not to say the
F-word anymore. His girlfriend didn’t know French
curse words, so he used those instead.

I scoured the timesheets at the bus stop, looking
for a bus that had the same stop, and might be here
any second.

(A man touched my sleeve. He was filthy, and old
like I’d never be. His shoes stank from where I stood
– ruined, white tennis shoes that reaked of rotten
leather. He had this arm curled up like he had had a
stroke. One of his feet turned inward like it belonged
to the person sitting next to him. “Ein euro, bitte?”
he said, “Ein euro?” I pulled back, disgusted that he
had touched my sleeve.)

The Captain flipped the old guy off. “Just ignore
him.”

I looked down at the man. I rummaged in my pocket
for one euro coin.

Another bus came. The Captain grabbed my arm, and
pulled me on board. He screamed our destination at the
bus driver as if saying it louder would correct his
English pronunciation to the German driver. He was
pissed because we were late. We were late. We were
late.

THE END

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coming home

in two days i will be hopping onto a plane. i will be in america again, soon.

until then, i must leave my quill here until i can turn the internet back on upon my arrival. i do not know how long that will take. daily updates are just not possible at this time. perhaps a lovely web fairy will arrive to fill in the gaps where dreams and man merge. neil gaiman has one, but i do not think i do. any volunteers?

alas, i will not know who volunteers until after i land and decompress from the airplanes and timezones.

quill, may you remain as sharp as a the wit of a wiser man while i am away.

may you drink deep of the well of wisdom so i may write deep of wisdom when i return to dip you in my own psychic ink.

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americans in a foreign bar

americans – a brassy bunch – only talk louder when they are drunk in foreign countries.

one old army guy to another in an irish pub in wiesbaden describing their favorite officer to serve under:

“he´s a good fucking guy. a nice fucking guy. you know whae he says? he´s a good fucking guy. he says, ‘don´t make any decisions, don´t cause any grief.’ he´s a good fucking guy. he´s a nice fucking guy. i hope he doesn´t have to make the call.”

“fuck, man. look, man. fuck, man. look at the fucking walls.”

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insomnia

can’t sleep. bad dreams. going off-line a bit.

a lullabye:

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new imprint finally named

Wizards of the Coast: Discoveries has finally, officially been named. I can finally stop calling it “A new adult, literary speculative fiction imprint from Wizards of the Coast distributed by Random House” which is – to be perfectly honest – quite a mouthful when i’m drunk. and i’m usually drunk when i’m bringing my book up in public.

courtesy of http://publishersweekly.com/article/CA6434465.html

“WIZARDS OF THE COAST LAUNCHES NEW IMPRINT: Science fiction publisher, and Hasbro subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast is launching a new imprint in 2008 dedicated to adult fantasy. Wizards of the Coast Discoveries will feature titles in a range of sub-genres including urban horror and literary fantasy; it will also publish both debut and established authors. The imprint, which will release its first book in January, Richard Dansky’s Firefly Rain, marks Wizards’ first foray into “adult non-shared world fiction,” according to publicist Caitlin Roulston. Up until now Wizards, which has YA imprint Mirrorstone, has published only adult fantasy series fiction.”

Want to find out more about Richard Dansky, the first author of the imprint? Sure you do.

Go here: http://www.richarddansky.com/

And me? I’m one of the literary fantasy debut authors.

Good news comes in threes for the superstitious types. Number One Good News was two days ago. Two days from now, I’m sure something wonderful will happen.

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take a picture

if i were more organized, i’d find a bunch of kids from all over the city and give them cameras – a whole bunch of them – and ask them to take pictures of things that make them feel different emotions. take a picture of what scares you. take a picture of what makes you happy. take a picture of what makes you sad. take a picture of what makes you laugh. take a picture of what makes you hopeful. etc. etc.

let them take pictures of their world, in their way.

show us your world through your own eyes, little ones.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=httpjmmcdtrip-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0399501487&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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the end of the world

when the world ends, will we know it?

will we know that everything we love is gone?

i suspect many of us will not. we will get out of bed, and shower, and eat breakfast like nothing happened. we’ll drive to work and we will not see the smoldering ruins all around us.

we will see what we have always seen, and what our children always saw, and what our parents taught us to accept.

the world has ended. get up. hit the alarm clock. get dressed. put on the gasmask. make sure the rubber gloves cover all of your hands. go to the stables where the mutated two-headed emu will pull your hubcap and coffee-can chariot through the streets to your job flinging slog from one pit to another, just like your father and his father before him after the end of the world. sure things are getting worse, but things have been getting worse a long time, and they still can get worse.

when the world ends, it will probably be very slow. big things don’t change quickly. one volcano couldn’t change the world. we’d need lots of them. two bombs have already dropped, and plenty more where tested out in the empty hills, empty islands.

we’d need lots of them.

we’ll wake up one day, and we won’t really notice that the sunlight isn’t really so bright anymore – or that it’s too bright – because it happened so slowly.

we won’t see the pattern until it’s too late, and nobody even noticed when it finally happened.

that’s the end of the world.

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