Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
game 4 round 1: vancouver 6 - l.a. 4/game 5 round 1: vancouver 7 - l.a. 2/game 6 round 1: vancouver 4 - l.a. 2
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
This idiot friend of mine started a writers’ group or something and he suggested I join. For some misguided reason I obliged and I’ve been kicking myself about that decision ever since.
Anyways, we got together for the first time last night and I got to say my piece. The idiot had told us to concoct a work of autobiographical fiction, no longer than 600 words. He called it an assignment. Really, I started to wonder who this guy thought he was, giving grown adults assignments.
I told him so much, actually. Well not really, but in the way I fought with him about the “assignment” in the weeks before the get-together, I felt I was definitely challenging his self-important authority.
“A story? You want me to write a story about my life?”
“Well, I hate to break it to you, but my life isn’t really that interesting. I go to work each day and then I come home. Somewhere in between, I eat and I shit and I might have a laugh or two. But that about does it.”
“Well this assignment is about fictionalizing your life. You can write a story about anything,” he said, with his typically patronizing tone. He didn’t even look at me during most of that sentence.
But this idiot made it sound easy enough. Just make something up. But when I sat down in front of my laptop, nothing came. Every single idea I had revolved around some clichéd search for romance or adventure or self. And since that’s what I’m really going after in life, there was no way the story would wind up as anything but non-fiction.
A week before we were to meet, I called that idiot up and asked him for some help. God, it pained me to call this idiot. He really got on my nerves.
“Every idea I have is so played out. I don’t think I can do this. I can’t think of anything to write. about”
“It’s called writer’s block. I never have it, but I hear it can be annoying.” He was trying to make a joke. I didn’t laugh.
He continued, albeit with a little less confidence. “If I were you, I’d just write about your days. Write about what you do every day. I’m sure there is something there. There is no way it will be uninteresting. Good luck.”
I hung up the phone and grabbed a beer from the fridge. I cracked it and took a deep sip and then threw on some beats. I didn’t think I could write anything interesting about myself, but the idiot seemed sure it was possible. And so I slumped down in front of my computer and shrugged and did what the idiot had told me:
Thursday. I got up really late for work and ran to catch the train. It was snowing but the snow melted when it hit the ground and there was slush everywhere. My shoes got all wet. I rolled up my pants when I got to work because my cuffs were soaked. I passed a cute girl in the hall and she laughed, on account of my pants. My boss shook his head and wrote something down into a binder. I ate three sandwiches at lunch, choking them down with a can of Pepsi. I went home sneezing and coughing. I thought I’d caught a cold.
Friday. I woke up, and went to work. I wasn’t sick. I ate two sandwiches at lunch. I met a friend at a bar after work and drank a lot. I don’t remember much of what happened on Friday.
Saturday. I woke up on the floor beside my bed at 2 p.m. with a really bad hangover. I didn’t leave the house. I spent the whole day trying to remember what had happened the night before. And trying not to vomit. I ordered a pizza and watched a movie.
Sunday. I felt a little better. I went for a walk. I passed an air-outtake vent outside a mall, where homeless guys usually sleep during the winter because the vent spews out hot air all the time. There was a huge pile of dog shit under one of the vents. I wondered if the mall owners purposely let a dog shit there to discourage the guys from sleeping outside their property. Then I started to wonder if that would backfire, since – despite the smell – the pile appeared cushony and warm. I went home and nuked the rest of Saturday night’s pizza, then went to sleep.
Monday. I got up for work. I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I needed to drink like three coffees to wake up. That was a bad idea though, because it ran right through my system and I spent a good part of that morning covering my nose on the can. The day flew by quickly. I ate two sandwiches for lunch. I took the train home. I made dinner and fell asleep.
Tuesday. I got up late for work and didn’t have time for a shower. I felt stinky all day. I sat next to the cute girl at lunch, but I was real self-conscious about my smell, so I didn’t say anything. I ate two sandwiches. I took my train home after work. I made dinner and ate in front of the television. I masturbated before falling asleep.
Wednesday. I woke up and had a shower. I smiled at that girl at work. She smiled back, but I didn’t get the chance to talk to her because we don’t have enough time to socialize with anyone at work. I ate two sandwiches at my desk because I didn’t take a lunch. I came home after work and watched television. I drank three beers and fell asleep on the couch.
I got up from the computer and printed off my piece. I read it over while I pounded back my drink. I thought it was kind of funny and it was certainly my life. I kind of inserted some fiction into it too, like the part where the girl smiled back at me in the hallway. I closed the laptop and went to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
We met last night at the idiot’s place. He was playing the same music he plays every time I’m over at his apartment and he was grinning and showing off his story, which he thought was very clever. He reread it aloud a few times and each time he did it, he read slower and with more emphasis on certain words. His story was twice as long as his own imposed word-limit. (“I didn’t want to make the limit dauntingly high, because I didn’t want to discourage anyone from writing,” he reasoned. He was drinking.)
We went around the table reading our stories. We nodded and laughed and drank wine.
Finally, it was my turn and I read my piece.
When I was done, the idiot was shaking his head. His lips and front teeth were purple from the wine.
“I told you to write a story.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes, I did.”
He got up and grabbed my piece out of my hand and was silent for a minute or so.
“I’m sorry, but this doesn’t qualify,” he said when he’d finished re-reading it. He was obviously thinking himself some grand literary critic. By this time, he’d had about twice as many drinks as the rest of the group. It was too bad he didn’t impose limits on his alcohol consumption – although he’d probably break that limit too, come to think about it.
“I don’t get it. I did everything you told me to do.”
“I don’t think you did. This, my friend, is not a story. There isn’t much of anything here at all. Nothing is happening. There’s no plot and no climax and no conflict. And there certainly isn’t any character development. I mean, what reason have you given me to care about any of your characters?”
That’s all I needed. I think I was kind of waiting for someone to antagonize me like that, to tell you the truth.
I took a heroic swig of my wine, stood up, ripped my story from the idiot’s bony fingers and punched him in his big, fat, crooked nose. He doubled back in defeat.
I took two sandwiches from a plate on his kitchen table and then I bounced.