Archive | November, 2009

My First Day at Work

15 Nov

“Morning? What?” I ask, confused.

“What do you mean ‘morning? what?’,” my father asks. “Are you asking me what ‘morning’ is?”

“Yes. What is that?” I lean over the counter, intrigued.

My father closes his eyes and starts massaging the bridge of his nose. He then looks up to the ceiling and quietly asks “Where did we fail him, Paula? Where did I fail him?”

“Are you telling secrets to mom’s ghost again, dad?” I ask, hands on my hips, smiling.

He seems shocked. “Your mother’s ghost? Kyle, mom isn’t dead. She’s just at work.”

“When mom goes to work I go to Frownie Village.”

“What? You go where?”

“It’s in ‘Hungry City,’ the biggest city in ‘No Clean Laundry County.'”

“If you’re insinuating that you don’t have food to eat or any clean clothes to wear because your mother is at work, you’ve got somethin’ else comin’.”

“What is coming? A maid?”

“No! You’re twenty-two years old, Kyle! You can make your own food! You can do your own laundry!”

“Maybe. But tell me more about these mornings!”

The next day, at roughly 6:50am, I wake up to start my first work day. This is easily the earliest I’ve woken up since…since the last t…since ever. I turn off my alarm clock and roll out of bed. I roll onto the ground, then roll to the shower, where I roll into the tub, roll around in some soap, rinse, then repeat. I turn off the shower, and roll into my room. I accidentally roll over a cat. I roll over to the linen closet, get a pillow case, then roll to the garage to get a shovel. I put the cat in the pillow case then roll out to my neighbor’s back yard. I put the cat in the ground and roll back to my room, where I put on my clothes for the day.

I finally get some coffee in me at roughly 7:15am. I stand up, absorbing the rich, full-bodied flavor. My mother walks into the kitchen.

“This coffee is delicious,” I say.

“Where’s the cat?” my mother asks.

I watch a little bit of Today then head out to my car. My neighbor is in his back yard, staring at a small pile of dirt. I honk, run my finger across my throat, point at him, then mime firing a machine gun and point at his dogs, who are barking at me from beyond his chain-link fence. He cocks head, then his eyes drop back to the dirt on the ground. He begins to dig with his hands, furiously.

The drive to Fredricks is uneventful, but scenic, so I enjoy it. I sip my coffee and look at the beautiful landscape. I see three dead things on the side of the road.

At around 8:10, I arrive at Fredricks High School. I walk in, get my badge, and walk to my class room. Looking around, I can already tell I’m going to be the most popular boy in school. Soon after I get there, the other tutors (tooters. lol.) trickle in one by one. Their names are Lauren, Marie, Ashlyn, and Mort.

“What kind of a name is Mort?” I ask when he introduces himself.

“I think it’s Germanic, maybe.”

“I think it’s creepy as hell, maybe.” He starts to protest, but is immediately halted when I put my hand up for a high five. He can’t resist. I receive my high five and walk to my first group of kids.

I’m observing for the first week, so today I sit with Lauren and her group. Lauren is a petite, blond number. She’s cute, except for one horrific, disgusting growth on her left hand that some people would refer to as a “wedding ring.” That’s okay though, because I have a name for things like wedding rings, kids, and restraining orders: Details.

The process of tutoring is thus:

  1. The students go around a circular table, one at a time, presenting a question to the group.
  2. The group then takes turns asking more questions and discussing until the answer to the original question becomes apparent.
  3. The student who asked the question is then graded by the tutor on the intellectual depth of the question.

The first girl goes. She asks a question about the primordial soup.

“Did the first living organisms in the primordial soup travel by cilia or flagella?”

“Primordial soup?” I ask. “The first living organisms on this earth traveled via legs, feet, and wings.” I make a face like “WTF” and look to the other students in the circle.

Lauren interrupts this awesome moment. “He’s kidding, Gabriela. Does anybody have any insight?”

“The Bible does, ” I say. I clap my hands together, bow my head, flap my arms like wings and point to the sky. “All glory to Him, who invented Jennifer Love-Hewitt,” I say to myself. Speaking up to address the group, I continue. “The Bible told me that there was no primordial soup. God’s more of a salad guy.” I wink at the kids. They don’t get humor. They just get pregnant. “Okay, let me break this down for you–”

I’m immediately interrupted by Lauren again. “Kyle, I appreciate your religious perspective, but we should really stick to the curriculum, and the curriculum states that the first organisms in the primordial soup were probably single-cell prokaryotes, and they travel by flagella–”

“–straight to Hell!” I say. Lauren is about to object when I raise my hand for a high five. She starts again and I point to my hand. “Up high,” I say softly, she high fives me. Then, I slowly bring my hand down to the level of the table. Speaking softly, I say “Down low,” she lowers her own hand and we touch. I curve my fingers to create an “O” shape. “Now stick your finger in the hole.” With the slightest trepidation, she reaches out and puts her finger in the hole. I hold it there for a moment. I lean in to her face, so close our lips almost meet, and just below a whisper say “You clean my toilet bowl.” We look to each other with a longing that is deep and timeless.

“I clean your toilet bowl,” she says.

The rest of the day is a blur of study questions, Twilight references, and huffing dry-erase markers in the boys bathroom with some kids in my class.

Work is good.

The End.

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Real World: Purgatory Ep. 1

12 Nov
"This is the true story...

"This is the true story...

cleopatra

"...of seven strangers..."

carl

"...picked to live in a house..."

teresa

"...work together and have their lives taped..."

"...to find out what happens..."

"...to find out what happens..."

katharine

"...when people stop being polite..."

kyle

"...and start getting real."

realworldlogo

Mark Confessional:

“Hello there, I’m Mark Twain. I was born in 1871. I was a writer. I was a better writer than just about anybody in this house. (Looks over to Kyle, who is playing pool with his back turned to the camera. Mark raises his hand and produces a gesture that must be blurred out.) Yea. Anybody. I’m also going to bang every girl in this house–including Carrot Top.”

Cleopatra Confessional:

“Hey ya’ll! I’m Cleopatra! I am a former empress slash pharaoh-es slash PARTY GIRL! I love gettin’ loud and crazy and havin’ fun! I have  a bad habit for falling hard for Eurasian dictators. I don’t see any of those around here, so I guess I’ll have to open my mind to some new experiences. (Winks at the camera. Carrot Top walks by, points at Cleopatra, and emits a *click from his mouth. Cleopatra shudders and smiles at the camera uncomfortably.)

Karl Confessional:

“I am Karl Marx. I was a philosopher, writer, economist, and activist. In life I was known as a great catalyst for social change in Russia and around the world, but I’m just here hoping to have a good time and meet some cool people. Even though I was known for my economical and philosophical stances, my real passion is my singing. My music is my life, (Cut to black and white shots of Karl in front of a microphone. Karl is picking a hair off his tongue.) and I hope to use this opportunity to help me achieve my dream.”

Mother Teresa Confessional:

“Teresa’s the name, holdin’ babies and bein’ revered is my game. Been doin’ this charity biz for a long time now. I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win. (Voice from off camera informs Teresa that The Real World is not a contest.) What?! Well f****!”

Carrot Top Confessional:

“Yea, I know. ‘Carrot Top, you’re not dead, I saw you on some commercial just the other day.’ I’ve been dead for about five years now. After years of plastic surgery on my eyes and cheeks and nose and eyebrows and neck and enough steroids to make Barry Bonds blush, I went into cardiac arrest on stage while doing a joke about toilet seats. Classic. (Attempts to smile. The result is horrific.) Anyway, so much of my body was collagen, plastic, anabolic steroid, and denial that it just kind of kept ticking. Yea, I’m totally dead. Totally.”

Katharine Hepburn Confessional:

“I’m Katharine. I was an actress. I defied conventions, was once called “box office poison,” and despised the media, but look at me now! I’m considered a film icon, and now I’m living in a house full of history’s greatest legends. (A sound is heard behind Katharine. She turns around. Mark Twain is throwing up in the kitchen sink. Mother Teresa is holding his mustache back while he vomits. Carl Marx is taking pictures with his brand new Nokia Sidekick™.)”

“Iron” Kyle Irion Confessional:

“I’m ‘Iron’ Kyle Irion. I guess you could say I was a writer before I drove my car into that lake. You could say that. You could also say that, since I made people happy, I was a joy factory. I made joy for a living. Can any of these ass holes say that? (Ducks down for a second.) Did Mother Teresa hear me say that? She didn’t? Okay, good. Wait, why is Mother Teresa in purgatory? I thought she was God’s Hispanic-looking sister or something. And when did Carrot Top die? I don’t buy it. I bet he just got lost on his way to the Surreal Life.

On the next Real World Purgatory:

Karl Marx and Mark Twain both sit at the island in the middle of the kitchen.

“Yes, writing is perhaps our purest art. It draws almost exclusively on the observer’s imagination,” Mark Twain says, puffing gently on his pipe. Karl Marx sits across from him, quietly nodding in approval.

“I believe this is why great works of literature like your fiction or my essays can move a far greater number of people than a painting or a sculpture,” Karl Marx responds.

Kyle now appears at the head of the counter. Both men seem startled by Kyle’s sudden arrival. “Yea. Writing is life, and life is writing, you know?” Kyle presses both hands together to symbolize this. He then pokes both middle fingers through, turns his hands and wiggles his middle fingers around.

Karl and Mark get up and leave the room without saying a word.

THE REAL WORLD! PURGATORY!

Job Interview IV: I Got This One!

7 Nov

I got another job interview. It was with the Fredricks Independent School District, tutoring a class of students who have aspirations to go to college, but lack the emotional or financial support. I’ll be supplying neither of these (kids are gross and dress poorly), but I will be showing the students where they can find them.

—Begin Narrative—

I really need to nail this interview. I need to nail it because I can only handle so much rejection before I start hanging around the lady’s areas of country clubs, desperately trying to find an older woman who’s interested in using a young buck for six to eight years of loveless sex before she dies, leaving me with her vast fortune and a family that loathes me.

I arrive at Fredricks High School and survey the building. I walk up the steps to the entryway. It’s locked.

A crackled voice from my right says, “Please state your name.”

For whatever reason, this reminds me of a castle wall. My mind is immediately thrust into the medieval ages.

“I am Kyle, son of Michael. I hail from the great land of Waxahachie, TX, with it’s lush greenery, and king and hospitable populous. I seek employment within your walls. Please, if you would only bless me with the honor of an audience with the Lady Rodriguez, head of ye olde Department of Human Resources.” There’s a slight pause as I bow to the intercom box. Then, a voice responds.

“I can’t hear you. You have to press the ‘Talk’ button.”

I shake my head and sigh, then press the ‘Talk’ button. “I’m Kyle Irion. I’m here for a job interview with Mrs. Rodriguez.”

“It’s unlocked,” the voice says.

There’s a click from the doorway. I open the door and walk into the front office. I sign in and the receptionist presents me with with an ID badge, a complimentary Fredricks High School pen and matching lanyard.

I’m directed to Mrs. Rodriguez’s room. It’s doorway runs perpendicular to a stairwell five yards across the hallway.

“Kyle?” She says as I open the door to her office.

“Mrs. Rodriguez,” I say. “How are you?”

“I’m well. And you?”

“Okay, I guess. I ran too much yesterday and now I think I have something like diaper rash between my butt cheeks,” I say. People at job interviews appreciate honesty.

“Oh,” Mrs. Rodriguez says, her eyes bouncing around her desk, then back to me. “Well, running is very good exercise.”

“I wasn’t exercising,” I say.

“You weren’t? Then why were you running?”

“I was running from something.”

“Running from what?” She asks.

“From bats.”

“Bats? There are no bats around here.”

“No like, baseball bats. I punched a lady at Wendy’s,” I say. Mrs. Rodriguez seems taken aback.

“What? Why?”

“She tried to McSteal my order” I say, winking. “So I McBeat the shit out of her.”

“I thought you were at a Wendy’s,” Mrs. Rodriguez said.

“I was.” Mrs. Rodriguez stares at me in silence for a few seconds.

“Not McDonald’s?”

“No. Not McDonald’s,” I say, slightly confused. “Why would you ask me that?”

“Because you…” she pauses and cocks her head slightly. “Nevermind. Let’s move on.”

“Let’s.”

The interview goes smoothly. I only say the f-word one time, but I was repeating something somebody else was saying, so I think that makes it okay.

“Well, Kyle. I think it’s safe to say that the position is yours if you want it.”

“Does it pay money?”

“Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it?”

“To be honest, ma’am, the last job I had, at Wal-Mart, paid primarily in insults to my intelligence and constant assaults on my personal joy. It also paid in whatever rotten produce I could carry out in my apron.” She laughs softly. I stare her coldly in the face.

Mrs. Rodriguez clears her throat. “We pay cash here. Don’t worry. Thank you for meeting with me. I’ll call you sometime next week to let you know when to come in.”

“Hey, is it cool if I take next week off?”

“What? Why?”

“Trying to catch up on Dexter. You know how it is.” I smile and do a stabbing motion with my hand, then a pelvic thrust to seal the deal.

“I don’t think I do. I’ll see you next Wednesday at 8:15 am.”

“You sure?” I ask, pelvic thrusting one more time in case she missed the last one.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

I shrug my shoulders, light a fire cracker and throw it into the cafeteria. “See you then, I guess.”

I start my new job next week.

Love,

Kyle.

P.S. Yea, I had no idea that this was a letter, either, but it is. And like God, I work in mysterious ways. Or I don’t work at all. One of the two.

Paper Darts FLASH FICTION.

3 Nov

“What the hell is Paper Darts?” You ask, sitting at your computer. You’re frustrated because this is the site you usually masturbate to, and now you’re confused and completely unaroused.

Paper Darts is an online (for now) literary magazine based in Minneapolis,” a voice says from your computer. It’s me. I’m talking to you.

“How are you talking to me?” You ask. You begin to become aroused again.

“It’s not important (It’s actually very important.). Every so often Paper Darts has something they call “Flash Fiction,” where they ask writers to post a short story on their facebook wall, dealing with a pre-determined prompt or key-word. The thing is it has to be under 1,000 characters. That’s the most facebook will allow.”

“Keep talking,” you say, masturbating furiously. I’m not 100% sure you’re listening anymore. I continue.

“This month’s prompt is ‘frying pan.'” I hear a sound of disappointment come from you. “I mean sexy frying pan.”

Below is my submission to Paper Darts‘s “Flash Fiction” contest.

———-

I was sitting in my room and this Frying Pan came in.

“Frying Pan!” I said.

“Hey,” said Frying Pan. Something about Frying Pan seemed off.

“Frying Pan, are you,” I paused to fart. “Are you okay?”

“I don’t think so. LOOK!” I looked. On its Pan face was a single white line where its revolutionary non-stick Teflon coating had been scraped clean off.

“Jesus!” I said.

“Where?!” Asked Frying Pan, looking around for Jesus.

“Oh, he’s not here. I was using that as an exclamation.”

“Oh,” It said, crestfallen.

“But I’m here! I can help!” I say.

“What can YOU do?” It asked.

“I can find who did this to you and make them pay!” I said.

“Yea?” Frying Pan was looking up at me I think. Frying pans don’t have eyes or faces, and if yours does, you need to stop using it or return it to Stephen King.

“Yea, I can help.” I said, placing my hand on it’s little metal head/top/northernmost point.

“Please don’t touch my breasts,” Frying Pan said. I jerked my hand away. Silence.

Then things got weird.

End.

ACL–Second Impressions *Bonus*

1 Nov

I found this in my drafts folder. I meant to extend my ACL blog, but kept getting sidetracked by other ideas, pushing this entry further and further into irrelevance. I wanted to make sure that this little bit I had got a chance to see the light of day because I kind of like it. So here, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, is the little bit I have of ACL–Second Impressions.

————-

The air permeating from the ground is thick and smells like a lake. I would later hear on the radio that some of this fragrance is due to the fact that Zilker park has been sodded with a substance that contains sewage. Every step is labored trudging through the waste of strangers, but hey! IT’S AN EXPERIENCE!

For whatever reason, Derek feels like he needs to go to the bathroom as soon as we get there. Whatever, Derek. Supposedly my brother and his girlfriend are somewhere out there in the vast sea of people, but I can’t seem to find them. I’m carrying a backpack that contains a poncho, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, as well as a large bottle of water. There is also a raw fish. The putrid odor keeps people away from me. I’ve also bought several blood capsules that I will bite down on if people begin to invade my personal space. This plan is fool proof.

Everyone knows how dangerous a hipster can be. Their understated sneer can send even the most confident individual into a tizzy of self-doubt. “Wait, are they cool? Are those the cool kids now? Is that why they’re looking at me? God damn it all.”

At four me and Derek went to see the Toadies. They’re old as hell. Did you know that? I didn’t. I thought they would be young forever. Turns out they were only young for like 30 years, then they were old. WHO KNEW.

———

That’s all I had. There you go. Happy Sunday.

 

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