Friday, August 21, 2009

Two bits

I’m sitting in a barber’s chair on the sidewalk of a busy city street. Swarms of people stream past at an intersection. An older Hispanic woman starts cutting my hair. She’s talking the whole time, but I don’t pay attention to what she is saying. Then she draws on my perfectly white sneaker with a red marker. She draws a crude rocket ship on the top of the foot and two squiggly lines down the sides. Before I think to say anything, Mom and Dad walk up and ask if my hair should be shorter. Then Mom asks her to trim my eyebrows.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


On a suburban street, I follow two teenage girls through the front door of a house. We talk for a minute or two, then one of them asks me leave. I walk out the down and down the sidewalk to the house next door. I walk in and wander down a hallway. It leads into the same house I just left. Knowing I’m not supposed to be there, I walk back down the front door of the first house. Right as I’m stepping on the porch steps, the dad of one of the girls comes up the steps. I say to him, “The girls are inside” and he gets really upset. I keep walking down to the sidewalk. The dad follows me, but instead of yelling at me for being in his house, he talks to a neighbor on the sidewalk. He wails something like, “how could they do this to me?”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cops on the beat

Two city detectives are talking about a case involving a human heart stolen for transplant. They are asking if any of the donor recipients on a list show elevated levels of testosterone.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the wild

I live in an Alaskan village.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Modern warfare and our founding fathers

I’m sitting on the wheel well of a huge military transport vehicle. I have an assault rifle slung across my lap and can feel the tire vibrate below me. We patrol a base, riding past several giant helicopters and planes with massive gun turrets. A gun battle breaks out but I can’t see the enemy shooting at us. I run into a brownstone style house that has been converted into military offices. The firefight intensifies inside with bullets flying down hallways and a winding staircase. Someone yells to get them out. And I push Benjamin Franklin and George Washington down the hall to safety.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'll never ride Star Tours again

Walking along a lake in Disney World after a show. I wander backstage and into a warehouse. Inside, I see row upon row of animatronic storm troopers lined up like a military battalion. They are missing their helmets. And seeing gears and wires where faces should be makes them look evil and menacing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Break apart

A museum is supposed to destroy an artist’s work after his death. The pieces are wooden igloos shaped like wavy jellybeans sitting on the museum’s lush green lawn. Instead of honoring their word, the museum puts them up for sale.

My Dad is helping Aunt Linda move and asks for my help with her bed. We step into an empty second floor bedroom and the bed is already disassembled on the floor. There are words beautifully hand painted on the wood in 60s style lettering.

A housewife is smoking from a one hitter in her front lawn. I’m sitting on the grass between the house and where she is standing. I ask her for a hit. She hands it to me; I inhale deeply and then walk off through the subdivision.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More than meets the eye

Elton John is selling Polaroids two for a dollar. He sits at a folding card table set up on a city sidewalk and keeps holding up a Polaroid of a black and white dog – in the background of the photo is a kid sitting on a tricycle with only the wheels and boy’s feet in the frame of the shot. Several construction workers watch Elton John as he calls out to people passing by what a great deal he is offering. He seems genuinely excited about taking people’s pictures for such a low price, but no one is interested.

Holding a beer can in my hand, reading the label. It has a German name printed above an eagle logo done in an art deco design. Below the logo, it says “Bad can of beer - bitter beer.” I think that the can isn’t ugly at all, but that it should read, “The bad can full of bitter beer.”

Walking through a school, I realize that I’m not wearing any deodorant. A stick materializes in my hand. I pull up my shirt to put it on, but the green deodorant in the plastic case crumbles off in big chunks. Todd comes up, he wants to hang out or spend the night at my place. I joke with him in front of a few other guys. Then Todd sticks a flash drive into a computer and hurriedly downloads something. Todd’s file opens and a video begins. It plays on a screen sitting on a school table. The screen is big and looks too nice for a school. The video is cartoon of two boys at a dumpster. They find a giant laser gun and point the barrel out of the dumpster into the sky. But when they fire it, a porn DVD pops out of both sides of the base of the barrel. They scream “Porn Gun, Porn Gun” while pulling the trigger again and again. The gun starts to grow larger and twist at odd angles until it comes to life like a transformer.

Monday, June 29, 2009

All in

There is a poker table set up on a grassy hilltop in a large park. I am playing with a group of guys I know. We are using chips with real money on the line. An old woman comes up to talk to me. She palms a few of my chips and walks off. I get up and chase after her. I catch up to her a few steps away and gently tell her that I need those back. I take her hand and open her closed fist. She is holding five or six blue, plastic poker chips. I take them back but leave her one or two of them. I feel bad for her and realize that she is my grandmother (my Dad’s Mom, who passed away when I was in college.) I walk with her through the park.
A man joins us as we walk. It is the actor Andy Griffith. He looks old, but a bit younger than he did on Matlock. I ask him about my Grandma, how she is doing day to day. It seems they are dating. As we walk her home, I tell him that she is having a bit of dementia. We reach the sidewalk in front of a suburban ranch house. I don’t recognize it, but it is where she is living.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bunker down

Hiding underground in a post-apocalyptic world, I look up at a manhole cover or grate. I’m ducking inside a manmade cave with rough walls of dry, light brown dirt. I use the barrel of a gun to poke up the grate just a crack. The gun I hold is some kind of rifle and machine gun hybrid. Through the crack of sunlight above, I see the barrels of several other guns and the side of a black boot.
A little robot on three wheels rolls up behind me. I assume it has a mounted camera, even though I don’t see it. At first, I pick it up like a remote control car, but then smash it with the butt of my gun.

Someone has left the keys in the ignition of a nascar racecar. I climb in and give a girl a ride to her house. We park at the top of her steep driveway, then the car slide forward down the lawn through several flowers. I try to steer back onto the driveway, but the engine is not running. I get out of the car and step into the middle of the cul-de-sac. A mob of real estate agents in black suits fill the street. Some have clipboards and all are shouting out offers on the house. My parents walk out of a house on the other side of the cul-de-sac and announce that they are putting their house up for sale also. The entire group of agents swarms towards them.

Riding a ten speed bike down a black top country road. I’m holding an open umbrella above my head and as a car in the other lane comes towards me, the umbrella flies out of my hand. I start to pull over onto the side of the road to pick it up, but see behind me that the umbrella has snapped off of its pole. The umbrella sits in the middle of the road like a small, black tent as the handle bounces across the asphalt. I pedal hard to keep riding since it is not raining.
I ride onto a dirt road in a park or field shaded by large trees. I take the handlebars off the bike to fix something. A teenage kid comes up and starts giving me advice on how to fix them. I am the same age as him and we are friends, even though I don’t recognize him. He starts banging on the post that the handlebars attach to with a pair of vice grips. He is denting the metal pipe and I know it won’t fix anything, but feel powerless to stop him. I say something, but he replies that before they could only go on one way. It’s as if the handlebars used to fit into a groove on the stem and he is trying to make it fit on any direction.

The same kid and I are in a carpeted basement listening to music. He holds up a CD made of cardboard. The word “panthers” is written on it in black marker. I’m trying to tell him that a band is good because a guy named Paul recommended them and said that millions of people like their song, so don't you think you might be wrong? The kid still thinks that they suck.