13.1.09

SMALL SEQUENCE OF WRITINGS

a couple days ago i had an idea to write something and send it to TITULAR. i had an idea to write something called WALKER, TEXAS RANGER. i wrote it and sent it. then i had an idea to write more of the same kind of thing. here are all of them. i like TITULAR. i feel like it is a journal that makes people creative. i think i am going to do more. if you have ideas for more tell me. writings the things below occupied my life for a period of time that has since been supplanted by a large absence. i have created links to each of the shows if you don't know them.


THE O’REILLY FACTOR

Bill O’Reilly is sitting in his parked car staring forward, rubbing his fingers in his hair then smelling them. He got home five minutes ago but doesn’t want to get out of his car. Sometimes Bill O’Reilly thinks about what he is going to do in advance and then can’t do it. He imagines moving his legs up and down the stairs to get to his apartment and that seems impossible. He is afraid he won’t be able to move the muscles in his hand to open the door. Bill O’ Reilly tries to smear a bug off his windshield but he realizes the bug is on the outside. He is parked crookedly. That bothers him. He finally decides to leave the car. On the way through the parking lot he encounters his landlord. He has the rent check in his pocket and was going to drop it off, but now he has to actually go into the landlord’s office because she harbors some vague expectation of her tenants, wherein they all act like family and not disconnected tenants with no interest in each other. Bill O’Reilly knows he could never explain that to her because it would always sound mean, no matter what. His landlord says, “Oh hey, come on in to the office real quick I want to show you something.” Bill O’Reilly considers the effect of just telling his landlord that he has pancreatic cancer so he can walk away. Would that work? Would that free him? O’Reilly feels this would definitely work at present, but would then require a sustained effort, one entailing the repetition of the lie and he knew he wouldn’t remember it. He follows his landlord into her office and she shows him a Halloween decoration she bought. It is a werewolf. It is supposed to do something. Bill O’Reilly thinks, “just stand still and look at the thing and wait for it to do what it is supposed to do, then react the same way your landlord reacts, then leave the office quickly but without running or tripping.” The landlord continues to try to get the werewolf to activate. She lifts up the back panel of cloth/fur and flips a button a few times. Ten full minutes pass. Bill O’Reilly thinks, “just walk out.” He has often thought of walking away from someone when he realizes he doesn’t want to talk to them. The werewolf starts to move and the plastic creaks. There is a Halloween song coming from small speakers. Bill O’Reilly immediately says, “this is wonderful.” He allows his landlord to smile for exactly fifteen seconds before he leaves and doesn’t turn around. “Fifteen seconds is the perfect amount of time for someone to react but not have a chance to say anything else,” thinks Bill O’Reilly, trying three keys and finally unlocking his apartment door. He kicks his shoes off and goes to shut the door. The door breaks two of his smallest toes, trapping them beneath. Bill O’Reilly presses his forehead into the wall and feels the roots of his top and bottom teeth scratch into his facial muscles when he tenses. He looks at the blood on his toes. He slows his breathing. His breathing slows and he becomes very peaceful. He breathes for exactly fifteen minutes, which is the perfect amount of time for someone to stop thinking about their life but not enough time to start again. Bill O’Reilly feels like he has a bad fever. Maybe he doesn’t though. He doesn’t know what to do. He puts on his shoes again, tucking the broken toes in carefully, then sits in his car and falls asleep with the back of his head hanging over the headrest. It gets dark and cold. Bill O’Reilly is in his car.

KNIGHT RIDER


It is morning and Michael Knight is buttoning up his shirt. He remembers that he is not allowed to leave his house while still naked. “I am the shit,” he thinks and then smiles at his wall. Then Michael Knight seriously doubts everything about himself. He even doubts that he is the shit. The doubt increases. He wants to sit down. He tries to think of a past accomplishment to remedy the increasing doubt. He sees a “first place medal” lying on the floor. Michael Knight’s little brother made it for him out of paper and markers. Michael Knight is pretty sure his little brother wouldn’t lie about him being a first place kind of person, but Michael Knight also knows how much people lie. He suddenly worries that everyone is lying to him about everything, and that maybe the woman at the cash register at Walgreen’s yesterday did not want him to have a nice night at all. He envisions killing the woman with a large rock. “What the fuck is wrong with me,” he thinks. Then he shakes his head and goes to put his jacket on. While putting his jacket on, one of the sleeves gets stuck and he panics. He clamps his teeth down so hard his whole skull hurts. He fights the urge to lie down and scream. The sleeve relents and Michael Knight takes a few deep breaths. He leaves his room. He goes for a walk. He doesn’t like to use his car because he is worried he will crash and die and also the car always talks to him and it is like, that voice of that one guy from “Boy Meets World.” On the walk he passes his neighbor’s house. There is a dog in the front yard, walking unchained. Michael Knight stops and stares at the dog. The dog stares back. Michael Knight and the dog stare at each other for a period of time that would be considered normal for a dog, but perhaps abnormal for a human. “If that dog is a female dog, that dog is wet, because I am the shit” thinks Michael Knight. He can think of no other way of checking aside from putting his finger between the dog’s legs. But he vowed to never do that, so instead he continues to stare. Eventually, he becomes angry at the dog, and wants the dog to attack him so he can beat the dog to death. He conceives various ways of effectuating this. He decides that if he imagines his head to be a steak for long enough, that his head will actually resemble a steak and the dog will attack him. After fifteen minutes of imaging, he tires then walks away. He sees the mailman in the distance, putting mail into someone’s mailbox. Michael Knight hides behind a bush until the mailman is gone. When the mailman is gone, Michael Knight sneaks out and takes the mail out of the mailbox. He walks the mail to a post office. He buys a large envelope and stuffs the mail inside, then mails the new mail to the address on the original mail. “This will make this person’s life slightly more exciting,” he thinks. Then he walks away and hopes he can find someone selling Crystal Methamphetamine, a drug he loves and does every day. Michael Knight wants badly to take off his clothes and walk down the street but then he remembers that he is required by law to remain fully clothed. He thinks about going back and staring at the dog more.

WALKER, TEXAS RANGER

At 3:57 a.m., Walker, Texas Ranger wakes up. He sits up on his bed. His bed has no blankets on it. The bed rests on the floor, not a frame, since Walker, Texas Ranger stored the frame at his friend’s house but has been too lazy to retrieve it. He looks at the clock and reads each number. He is sure that he woke up a few times already and the clock said the same thing. Then he realizes he set the time a while back and forgot to click the plastic button on top that makes the clock begin to count time. Walker, Texas Ranger rubs his head and coughs. He is very pissed and tired. He lets his arms drop. When he lets his arms drop, his hands touch the floor. It pisses him off that his hands are touching the floor because it seems wrong that he can touch his floor while still in bed. “I will get the frame tomorrow,” he thinks. Then he thinks, “Oh wait, I should probably just sit in my room all day tomorrow and do nothing.” He forgot he had planned on doing that. Walker, Texas Ranger gets up from his bed and punches a hole in the wall. For some reason he expects an overtly bad guy to emerge, devastated by the punch. But only dust falls out from the hole, onto Walker, Texas Ranger’s bed. “Now I am super pissed,” he thinks. Then he counter-thinks, “So what.” He walks out of his room and manipulates his boxers to account for a mild erection. Walker, Texas Ranger coughs a little because his throat is dry and at the end of the hallway he stops and says, “What do I have to do to get some fucking water around here.” He then walks into his kitchen because he remembers that all he has to do to get some water around there is fill a glass up himself. He feels both relief and dread when he realizes that. Walker, Texas Ranger walks into his kitchen. He looks around. He looks at his hands for some reason. Then he looks at the cabinet while he tries to figure out why he looked at his hands. He tries to remember if he should be doing anything. Then he tries to remember how many bones are in the human body. He walks to his window and opens the blinds with his fingers. It is still dark out. Walker, Texas Ranger thinks about practicing his punch-blocking skills and also his headlock skills but he remembers how good he is at both. He walks back to the kitchen. He tries to recall the last time he went to the dentist. He thinks maybe his dad is a dentist. In an attempt to visualize his dad’s face, Walker, Texas Ranger only completes about half. He fills in the other half with the features of a lobster. He touches all his teeth to test them. None of them are loose. He thinks really hard about whether or not he wants to get the water still. Walker, Texas Ranger looks at his hands again then stands by the sink and closes his eyes. His eyes burn. He opens them and sees the sink. He taps his fingers on the edge of the sink and waits to think of something, it doesn’t matter what it is. He does all of this eight thousand more times with varying degrees of anger and throat-dryness. It is 3:57 a.m. and Walker, Texas Ranger is in his kitchen.


CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL



Clarissa is on the couch in her living room. She has the tv on. She likes to study shows and then piece together stories that she can tell strangers, acting like the stories are her own. Clarissa stops looking at the tv for a second and looks out her window. She thinks about all the situations and products and movies and birthday parties and everything else people do to keep from feeling miserable. Sometimes when she is at the store and she reads the words on the front of magazines, she feels crushed because she doesn’t understand anything. She can explain it all, but sometimes she can't understand anything. She blinks a few times and turns back to the tv. She reaches out to her coffee table and grabs a sandwich she made. She bites the sandwich and a piece of tuna falls out and slides down her pants into her rolled-up pant-cuff. “There it is,” she thinks, “this is the most pathetic moment of my life.” Then Clarissa shrugs and thinks, “I am being a dumb ass, this doesn’t matter” and she picks the piece of tuna out of her cuff link, then eats it. She stares at the tv and wonders if she could build a brick wall in front of her roommate’s door while her roommate is sleeping. Would that be possible? For it to harden and everything? She concludes, “probably not.” Clarissa hears footsteps in the hallway outside her apartment. “The mailman,” she thinks, then quickly drops her sandwich back to the plate and runs quietly to the door. She grabs her special weapon off the endtable near the door. The special weapon is made of a wire hanger and some duct tape. She bends down and hurriedly jabs the special weapon underneath the doorframe in an attempt to stab the mailman’s toes and feet. The mailman is gone when she tries. Clarissa [who is able to explain it all] thinks, “Another failure.” While she is grieving her failure, she sees an old m&m on the floor. “Fuck yeah,” she says, then eats the m&m. She stretches and thinks, “why not just take a nap here on the floor I will do that.” While she is lying on the floor, holding her special weapon and trying to sleep, her roommate approaches from down the hall. Her roommate stops and stares at Clarissa. Clarissa tries to kind-of open her eyes but she thinks her roommate notices so she closes them again. The roommate steps over Clarissa and leaves the apartment. While the roommate is leaving, the door kind of hits Clarissa and Clarissa feels pissed off. “I don’t even know why I made this special weapon,” she thought. “I am too weak to use it.” Then Clarissa gets up and returns to the couch and wonders if she is really able to explain it all. And will she ever be able to explain it all again. She decides to play the lottery at some point. Clarissa sits on her couch staring at the tv, eating her tuna sandwich thinking about the things she would buy if she won the lottery. Before realizing that she would still be miserable no matter what she owns, she decides that she would first buy a Galaga arcade game. She puts the tuna sandwich down and idly pokes it with her special weapon. She thinks about making a new special weapon but she likes the way the first one looks so much. Clarissa pokes the sandwich until it is unrecognizable as a sandwich. Clarissa is sitting on the couch in her living room.


HE-MAN


He-Man and She-Ra [Princess of Power] are in bed together. She-Ra [Princess of Power] has been awake for thirty eight minutes and has been trying to wake He-Man up so He-Man will have sex with her. He-Man is awake too but he has his back to She-Ra [Princess of Power] and he is pretending to sleep. He-Man just doesn’t want to. It is too early and his back hurts from shoveling snow. She-Ra [Princess of Power] wraps her arms around He-Man and kisses his back. He-Man makes groaning sounds like he is still sleeping, and so not guilty of being an asshole. He-Man thinks, “maybe if I just turn around and exhale in her face, she will leave me alone.” He-Man forgot to brush his teeth again the night before. He is really worried about how much he keeps forgetting. When he was younger, if he forgot once, he panicked. But now he keeps forgetting. And he isn’t as concerned, except with how little he is concerned. Plus She-Ra [Princess of Power] brought this toothpaste over and it is bubble-gum flavored. He-Man doesn’t like that toothpaste can be bubble-gum flavored and he also doesn’t like the way it fizzes up right away. He doubts the efficacy of the toothpaste plus he always wants to swallow it right away and when he does his stomach really hurts. She-Ra [Princess of Power] reaches around and grabs He-Man’s leg then his groin which is painfully stretched over blood. He-Man thinks, “I am the master of the universe, why do I feel too shitty to fuck.” She-Ra [Princess of Power] senses his indifference. She gets up to make coffee. While she is gone, He-Man opens his eyes and stares at a pair of shoes on the ground by the bed. “I am a pussy,” he thinks. He listens to She-Ra [Princess of Power] move around in the kitchen. Eventually he gets up and puts on his underwear. His underwear has pictures of regular people on it. He goes to the kitchen and affects sleepiness. He rubs his head and squints and looks at She-Ra [Princess of Power] in her robe. He says, “man, I just woke up.” Then he looks at the ground and thinks, “I am a dumbass, why did I say that.” She-Ra [Princess of Power] hands him a cup of coffee and they sit on the couch together. He-Man is glad she made the coffee because when he makes something for her and she changes it, like adds more ingredients—in the case of the coffee more milk—he feels stupid and worthless. He-Man also feels stupid about his haircut and his outfit. She-Ra [Princess of Power] asks, “Can you take me to Target today, I have to get something.” He- Man says, “what?” even though he thinks he heard correctly. They are silent for a few minutes. After a few minutes, He-Man says, “what” again and She-Ra [Princess of Power] looks at him for exactly three seconds before turning back to her coffee. She gets up and goes to the bathroom and sits on the toilet with her robe still on. He-Man knows she doesn’t have to use the bathroom. He knows that she does that because the apartment is so small that she just needs to get away from him and not look at him. He-Man doesn’t want to fight anymore, especially since She-Ra [Princess of Power] upgraded from a Diamond Sword to a Neptunian Iron Sword. He-Man stands and stretches and then cleans some big curls of dust off their ceiling fan. He-Man sets the curls on the coffee table and shapes them into a swastika. Then he crumples the whole thing into a ball and throws it out. He thinks about throwing his coffee mug against the wall but he doesn’t. He pours the coffee out and leaves the apartment. He decides to walk in a straight line until he is very far away. He-Man does not like to wake up.

7 comments:

Socrates Adams-Florou said...

these stories are extremely excellent. I am proud of you.

sam pink said...

thanks pop.

DJ Berndt said...

Those are awesome. I like the part about He-Man's underwear having regular people on it.

lisa ladehoff said...

you're cool. while reading your stories i thought of the phrase 'tazer tots' and started laughing uncontrollably in the library

'hydrol' - water world is the coolest movie but was actually a flop at the box office

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