Archive for the 'In Which My Life Is Interesting' Category

Taking the joke too far, in one act

THE SCENE: Monday. Mid-morning. Gchat.

Colin: So I bought my tickets for New York. Just sayin’.

Megeen Mike: YAY! What are your exact travel plans, so I can resume my intensive stalking of you?

Colin: Well, first of all, I’m going to pack seven shirts, three pairs of pants, two long-sleeved thermals, eight pairs of underwe—oh, wait. Not that specific?

Megeen Mike: …What color underwear?

Colin: Grey, blue, other blue, other other blue, olive green, multicolored stripe, Hello Kitty…

Megeen Mike: Oh, I miss that Hello Kitty underwear.

Colin: I know you do.

Megeen Mike: I haven’t seen it since I had my telescope trained on your bedroom window.

Colin: Well, I know you had at least three other identical pairs when I stole it from your panty drawer, so you can’t miss it that badly. By the way, did it ride up as badly on you as it does on me? Because daaaang.

Megeen Mike: Tee hee. “Panty drawer.”

CURTAIN

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The San Francisco Treat: Part One

"For God's sake, Alcatraz, prisoners. Prisoners, Alcatraz."

"Alcatraaaaaz."

It begins, innocently enough, with a Facebook message. STC’s boyfriend, Matt1, wants to surprise her with a birthday weekend a thousand miles away, and he wants you and The Onion Juggler in on it. You think this is a fantastic idea, because STC is one of your oldest and closest friends and deserves nothing less; you haven’t seen The OJ in more than a year, because she lives in the godless north (or Ohio, whatever); and Matt1 is quickly becoming your hero. Yes, you say. Count me in. And so the planning commences.

Here’s the thing: keeping a secret is hard. It’s especially hard when the secret involves plane tickets, hotel reservations, time off work, four people in three cities. You will almost spoil the surprise approximately thirty-seven times. The others will too. You and The OJ will call each other and giggle about the close calls. There will be a panic one afternoon, the three masterminds frantically Facebook-messaging each other back and forth, when it looks like STC can’t get the necessary day off work and everything is ruined; luckily, this will be a false alarm. You should win an Oscar for all the IM conversations you have with STC, not to mention that time you had coffee with her and Matt1, mere weeks before the trip, where you managed to keep a straight face while she complained about missing The OJ and hoped to see her soon, where you managed to avoid knocking over your coffee and shouting “WE’RE TAKING YOU TO SAN FRANCISCO.” Seriously. You’d like to see Meryl Streep top that shit.

And suddenly, after months of planning and secrecy, it’s The Big Day and you’re driving to the airport, squinting against the early-morning sun. It feels like you’re getting away with something, because you know at that moment your coworkers are eating breakfast or sitting in traffic on their way to the office, while you’re barreling east on Peña Boulevard with your carry-on in the passenger’s seat, rocking out to…to…what is this song, anyway? The hell, iPod? You didn’t think you even owned any rap. Whatever. You will gladly listen to all the rap in the world, because you’re headed to the airport. You have a ticket to a city you’ve never seen before, and you’re going in the company of some of your best friends, and the sun is shining and you’re so young and cool and it feels like someone else’s life, someone else’s story, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Continue reading ‘The San Francisco Treat: Part One’

Hyphenation rules and Victorian hussies, in one act

Note: the short-play conceit herein is stolen, with all admiration and respect, from the inimitable Tara Ariano. And, well, Pamie. And probably plenty of other bloggers as well. Also, um, I totally don’t Gchat at work. Nope. Not ever, no sir.

***

THE SCENE: A copyeditor’s computer monitor, with Firefox pointed to Gmail. A Gchat window blinks open.

Colin: Yo, newspaper girl. AP style question. “Caregiver” or “care giver”? A quick Google indicates the former, which is also my instinct.

Mags: You should always use as few letters and spaces as possible.

Colin: Yeah. And “care giver” seems so…antique. It’s, like, a hyphen away from the Victorian era. “Whither went my care-giver to-day?”

Mags: “To yonder field, sir, to find my glove. …And do the nasty.”

Colin: “Be ware not to knock your bustle askew, madam.”

Mags: Askew you.

Colin: Askew yourself, YOU SOP-WENCH.

Mags: Hee!

Colin: Wait, what is a sop-wench, exactly? Did I make that up? Is that…a thing?

Mags: I think it works.

CURTAIN

***

SECRET ALTERNATE ENDING

Mags: Askew you.

Colin: Gesundheit!

CURTAIN

Lost and found

I’ve never really experienced the particular compulsion that writers sometimes do, the constant desire—or need, perhaps—to tell the stories of the objects they see lost or discarded, the ubiquitous jetsam of sidewalks and subway stations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it, the concept that a whole narrative can be built from a pen cap lying alone in a gutter, from the inherent questions of how it came to be there (where is its other half? Does it miss the pen, the conversations they used to have, their mutual dream of someday being used to draft a Pulitzer-worthy poem or record a groundbreaking interview with a mob boss? What about the owner of that pen—who is she, where was she going when she lost the cap, how long did it take her to notice?), and when I actively try, when I really focus on the world, I can jump-start that kind of storytelling in my head. It’s just not the reflex for me, or the instinct, that it seems to be for other writers. For the most part, my mind is content to let ephemera be ephemera.

Continue reading ‘Lost and found’