Archive | December, 2009

My Favorite Posts of 2009

31 Dec

I haven’t been writing for a year, much less two years, and even less ten years, but I have been posting for roughly nine months now, and that’s at least long enough for my blog to have carried a tiny, internet child to term, so I feel that lends my blog a certain stately authority. I decided that in light of the New Year approaching, I’d look back and give my favorite pieces one more chance at the light of day.

1. The Job Interview– One of my very first posts and still one of my favorites. The narrative element–really the entire job interview concept–was added after I’d already posted another version. Originally it was a bland, tired, trite tirade on the blogging, hipster-elitist culture. I asked my friend, Derek, for feedback. His response was something along the lines of “It’s well-written, but unoriginal. Anybody can rage against that kind of machine.” I agreed completely and still do. I went back, did a complete revision with the job interview in place and the rest is history.

2. Protect Yourself: You vs. The Swine Flu, Part 1– Of all the posts I’ve done that had more than one part, this one is easily my favorite. At this point, my writing was starting to suck way, way less and actually sound like something people would read.

3. My 100th Post– I was actually really proud of myself for writing 100 posts. I bring back an old friend to my blog, President Barack Obama, and we have a ball. My GIMP cropping skills really got a work out for this one as well; I believe the pictures in this blog do the best job of any in any other posts of accenting and improving the punch of the words.

4. Interview With a Beaver– The idea for this blog was originally to have a blog from an animal’s point of view, maybe one of my fish or cats or something. However, after trying at that for awhile, it seemed like the execution would be a little more difficult than anticipated, so I decided a back and forth with IronKyle would be better.

5. Writer’s Block– This is a blog that didn’t get a whole heap of adulation when it was first released. However, this list is about which ones I like, so I’m putting it here. It’s short, it’s sweet, and I think it’s pretty sharp.

6. My Screenplay for Bat Man III– Here it is. The big mama. My first screenplay. I can’t tell you how much fun I had writing this one. It’s my only post to be labeled homophobic and misogynistic. I don’t think it is at all, really, but it makes me seem edgy, so I’m telling you now.

7. Kyle & Art vs. Facebook & “Terms of Use”– Definitely the most epic of all my posts. I had been reading Stephen King’s The Stand around the same time I wrote this one, and I think it shows. Mark Zuckerburg’s persona was a big parallel to Randall Flagg, the villain from the aforementioned novel.

8. Letter of Apology to My Childhood Self– This post kind of gave me a Homeward Bound lump in my throat when I was finished with it.

9. My Day With Stephen King– Stephen King is the man. In this post, he farts on me. I get farted on by the man. Written when I had just finished King’s The Gunslinger and was reading his memoir on the craft of writing, On Writing.

10. Kylelight– I love being able to touch on a subject that a lot of people can get a kick out of. Twilight provided me with an almost universally-known subject to lampoon. Kylelight was a post that I was actually kind of nervous about when I put it out, half expecting it to fall flat, but people liked it. The most interesting thing about it was that the people who seemed to like the post the most were Twilight fans. I like that.

Thanks, everybody. Happy New Years! I hope to be way funnier in 2010.

My Screenplay for Sherlock Holmes 2

30 Dec

[Scene opens with Holmes, played by Kyle Irion, sitting in a large, cushioned, leather chair. His right leg is crossed over his left. He is smoking a pipe. There is weed in the pipe. Holmes is high as balls.]

(Enter Watson, played by Zach Galifianakis)

Watson:

Holmes! Holmes! There’s been a MURDER!

(Watson looks concerned. Holmes looks asleep. Holmes has fallen asleep.)

Holmes! Wake up!

Holmes: (Waking up, startled.)

What then? Bally hoo! (Accent begins to transform from British to an overly exaggerated Australian.)

I was asleep on the barbee. You know then, Watson. One begins with a bit of the devil grass and then you end up with that old moosha moosha. (Accent is now a horrifically inaccurate Swedish. The sound can be likened to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.)

Watson: (Steps back, surprise quickly changing to concern.)

Holmes, are you feeling all right?

Holmes: (Once again British)

Why yes, dear Watson, absolutely flibble. (Holmes is making up words.) I feel as healthy as an ox. Now, tell me of the details of this murder.

Watson:

Well, Lord Vandermill, a businessman and well-respected member of parliament, was found dead this morning with a large, metal stake driven through his heart. They believe the murder was political.

Holmes: (Now wearing Iron Man armor.)

I guess Lord Vandermill won’t be up for re-election any time soon. (Holmes breaks very basic film and television rule and looks directly into the camera, winking. Director can be heard telling him to stop because he’s embarrassing himself.)

(Watson, now played by former presidential candidate Ron Paul, nods politely at Holmes’ joke.)

Watson, take this down. Take a note. Note this. “Sherlock Holmes to take on new mystery. Sherlock Holmes to wear snappy new hat.” Then tell them what my hat looks like. (Holmes is wearing Green Bay Packers Cheese Head with several feathers attached. A picture of “Lost” cast-member Matthew Fox is taped to the front.) I’ll continue. “Sherlock Holmes vows to find politicians’ murderer. Says that if he cannot, he will sacrifice his dearest friend, Watson, to the prison system in lieu for the missing murderer.”

Watson: (Stops writing, looks at Holmes incredulously.)

What is the meaning of this? Why are you sending me to prison instead? Why even make a promise like that?

Holmes:

Well, you see Watson, you–

Watson:

Why am I writing this down in the first place? Who am I supposed to give this to?

Holmes:

Oh you’ll see. You’ll see. (Holmes turns and winks at camera. As camera cuts away, Director can be heard screaming, angrily.)

[Holmes and Watson now walk through a crowded London street. Ebenezer Scrooge is there. So is Doctor Who. Mr. Bean sells them a bagel. After a brief musical number about England, tea, or rain or whatever, Holmes and Watson reach Lord Vandermill’s estate. Vandermill’s body is still resting on his desk, metal stake lodged in his chest. Holmes moves Vandermill’s hands so they rest behind his head.]

Holmes:

There. Now he looks more comfortable.

Watson: (Now played by Hugh Laurie because Ron Paul decided to go and die.)

Sir, perhaps we shouldn’t disturb the crime scene. (Moves hands back to original position. Inspector LeStrade enters.)

Lestrade:

Dr. Watson, please don’t disturb the body. (Moves hands back behind Vandermill’s head.) You should know better than that. (Turning to address Holmes.) Any clues?

Holmes:

Only one. On Vandermill’s coat. A very faint hand print. A hand print made of flour. Baker’s flour.

Lestrade:

So old man Tilbolt, the baker down the street must have some involvement?

Holmes:

Perhaps. Vandermill was on the cusp of pushing a bill through parliament that would have raised the price of domestically produced flour by two sheckles a gallon. (Watson and LeStrade look to each other, both knowing these quantities are completely inaccurate. Holmes is, at times, a fantastic idiot.)

Watson: (To LeStrade)

Holmes is, at times, a fantastic idiot.

Holmes:

I heard that.

(Watson looks directly at Holmes, unfazed, and leaves the office. Holmes follows after.)

[At old man Tilbolt’s bakery]

Holmes:

You’ve been caught white handed, Tilbolt.

Tilbolt:

(Stupidly, like a stupid peasant.) Caught at what, my lord?

Holmes:

The murder of Lord Vandermill! Admit it. It’s too late now.

Tilbolt:

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been here all day. I slept here last night because I’ve lost several barrels of my flour to thieves who come here in the night. Mos’ likely because of fear of the new law Lord Vandermill is proposin’ in parliament.

Watson: (Whispering to Holmes)

That means Vandermill could have been murdered by one of the flour thieves!

Holmes:

What? Really? (Sighs heavily, head hanging low.) Jesus. Okay, we’ll be back later, Tilbolt. Please, please don’t kill anybody. Please. I don’t know if I could handle doing another stupid investigation.

[Montage of Holmes and Watson investigating the murder through a series of cunning scientific and deductive techniques. Holmes is so smart. He’s awesome. Three or four times during the montage, Watson turns to Holmes and can be seen mouthing “You are so awesome.” Holmes and Watson shake down a number of possible thieves before ending up back at Vandermills home’s personal bakery.]

Holmes: (Now speaking to Vandermill’s personal baker, Frontworth]

So, Frontworth. I see that some of your barrels don’t quite match.

Frontworth:

How so?

(Closeup reveals beads of sweat forming on Frontworths brow. Use brow-double. Frontworth is ugly. Antonio Banderas’ brow is shown.)

Holmes:

Well, some of them are contained in fine, well constructed barrels, like the flour that would be purchased by a Lord, from the finest reaches of the globe.

(Briefly surveys the barrels)

But these others, they seem shoddy, common–like the barrels you’d find in a regular old bakery. The very same bakery they were stolen from. The flour from which was on your hands when you–

(Frontworth totally loses it. Goes bat shit crazy. Frontworth pulls out a roller and tries to strike Holmes with it. Holmes ducks and Watson hits Frontworth on the head with his cane. LeStrade enters.]

Lestrade:

Well Holmes, it seems you’ve solved the murder with impossible logic, extraordinary cunning, and barrels and barrels of pseudo-erotic hand gestures.

Holmes:

Oops, I did it again. (Holmes looks into camera as Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did it Again” begins to play. Winks at camera. Directors megaphone is briefly seen coming from behind the camera when credits roll.)

The End.

The Highway.

26 Dec

They marched slowly, one with the cart tightly clutched in wrapped hands, the other with nothing clutched at all. The air was acrid and bitterly cold. The cold was, for that moment, the only thing either of them could be completely sure of. Survival? No. The very world before their wandering feet? Not even that, for with the falling snow all the world was a sea of whiteness. A fog of moving parts. Impossible.

Lanny and Kyle were careful.

“Dude, what are you doing?” Lanny asked.

“I’m writing my best friend’s name in the snow.”

Kyle was urinating.

“Jesus, is this the ‘great important, life-saving thing’ we had to stop for?'”

“Yes,” Kyle said, zipping his pants and returning to the highway. “I only got the ‘L’. Sorry.”

Lanny sighed and pulled the drawstrings of his hood. “It’s all right.”

They continued to move with an almost instinctual mindlessness, like infant turtles, just born, clawing, for whatever reason, toward the moving water.

“What do you have in your pack?” Lanny asked. They were hungry.

“I have, a can of…” Kyle looked through his bag. “I have three Hustlers and a book about cats.”

Lanny shook his head, as if to shake the words, and perhaps the truth of the words, from his head.

“You have what? Where is all the food? Where is all the food I gave you?

“I threw it at those dogs. Remember the str–”

“Yes, I remember the stray dogs. I remember you yelling things to them. You yelled–”

“–Neener neener, who’s got the biggest wiener, stupid snow-covered dogs?!” Kyle laughed to himself, holding his gut. To Lanny, the solitary sound of Kyle’s high-pitched, puerile laughter sounded almost sinister. Lanny shuddered against it.

“Listen. We’re not going to survive all the way to Denton if you don’t start taking better care of your supplies. Do you understand?”

“Yes, papa.”

“What?”

“What what?”

“What did you call me?”

“Papa.”

“I’m not your dad.”

“I’m not your dad.”

“All right?” Lanny said, confused, waiting for Kyle’s next words to somehow make sense of all this.

“Crap, look at the time! I gotta get going!” Kyle looked blankly at Lanny for a moment, then rolled over and began reading his Hustler. Somewhere in the dark, an animal yelped and then was stifled. Its last, struggling breath heard by two ardent travelers, almost invisible in the coming night.

The next day, Lanny woke at dawn. He set up the small stove, placed the metal cooking plate above the flame and began to make breakfast. Keeping the fire alive was difficult. The wind whipped aggressively over Lanny’s huddled frame and the fire likewise. However difficult, Lanny kept the fire alive.

“Is it time to eat middly-mo-bye-eat?” Kyle asked, his eyes the only thing visible through his hood.

“Why do you keep doing that? Why do you keep talking like that?”

“Because I’m slowly losing my mind.”

Lanny sat silent.

“Because I’m slowly losing my mind looking at your stupid, shitty beard.”

Lanny sighed and made Kyle a plate of beans.

“I love beans,” Kyle said.

“So do I,” Lanny said.

Squatting together around the still-lit stove, there, for a moment, was a tranquil silence.

“Lanny?” Kyle said, breaching the quiet that was.

“Yes?”

“Do you ever miss things?”

“Miss things?”

“Yea, miss things. From the past. From before–” Kyle looked around, as if to motion at the very world around them, “–before all of this.”

Lanny smiled to himself and did not meet Kyle’s eyes. Although his body rested firmly in the bit of snow Kyle saw him in, his mind and his heart had traveled far from this place. “Yes, I do. I miss lightly moving the hair from my wife’s face as she sleeps. I miss the look of the world when I wake up–bright and shimmering–full of life–as if somehow, overnight, god reached down and started it all over again. That’s what I miss. What do you miss?”

“I miss boobs.”

Lanny looked at Kyle, waiting for more.

“Boobs and Jersey Shore.”

Lanny put his hand on his shoulder. Kyle was crying.

From his whimpering voice, Lanny could hear Kyle saying “I just don’t understand why Pauly D would…” He struggled, his voice trembled with weeping. “Why he would let Mike, ‘The Situation,’ down like that. Why he wouldn’t take the…why he wouldn’t take the ugly girl away so Situation could get his…”

“His what?” Lanny asked.

“His sex on. So Situation could get his sex all over that woman.”

For the second time in as many days, Lanny shook his head and wished to be ridden of the words Kyle had spent on him.

The road to Denton was long and cold. The surface of the road itself had long been buried in a layer of white–a layer now so thick that the footsteps of the two weary journeymen could no longer penetrate deep enough to reveal its blackness.

They continued.

It was important in those times to remain warm, but more important to remain dry. Wetness could cause frost-bite faster than anything else. It could cause hypothermia and pneumonia. They stayed dry mostly through Lanny’s efforts. Kyle cared little for staying dry. He loved splash fights.

“Let’s go splash each other!” Kyle yelled, running toward the Trinity River.

“Jesus, no!” Lanny yelled, stumbling after him. The snow was high now, and its slick bottom caused Lanny to lose his footing. Kyle moved through the snow adeptly, as if he had been born in a world that knew no other kind of ground than this.

Kyle got close to the Trinity River and stopped. “Smells like doo doo,” Kyle said, his face contorted in a frown.

Lanny, breathless, got to his feet. “I know it does,” Lanny said. “I know it does.”

At nightfall, with no moon and no stars, as there had been no sun in the day, they slept. Sometimes a fire would be made. Lanny feared being spotted by the bands of marauders and road agents that marched the road at night–hunting.

This night Lanny laid as he always did–silently, wrapped in a tarp. Kyle lay next to him in similar fashion.

“Lanny?” Kyle beckoned, barely above a whisper.

“Yes?” Lanny answered.

“Love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“Are you cold?”

“Yes.”

“Will we always be cold?”

“No.”

“I made a snow man.”

“That’s good.”

“He has a wiener,” Kyle said.

“That’s good. All men should have wieners.”

“He needed clothes, though, because it’s cold out, and I didn’t have any spares, so I put the rest of your clothes on the snow man.”

“What?! Why?”

“It’s cold.”

Lanny left Kyle under the overpass that night.

Kyle Plays Santa…Kind Of.

24 Dec

“Did I lie to the children? Did I deceive them? In the strictest interpretations of the words ‘lie’ and ‘deceive,’ I in fact did. I absolutely lied to to those kids,” I say.

“Oh come on,” My friend Derek says from across the table. “It’s not really a lie, you were doing it for a good cause. Think of it as a game.”

“Was it a game a few years ago when I did the same thing to you?”

“Wait, when did you do the same thing to me?”

“I dressed up like your dad and went to your last three or four cross country meets.”

“That was you?!”

“Yea, that was me. Funny thing, I think I even used the same voice.”

“Is that why I had to pay for dinner?”

“Yes.”

“I thought it was weird that my dad wanted to be dropped off at my friend Kyle’s house.”

I shrug my shoulders and put my hands in an “I don’t know,” gesture.

“Where was my dad?”

“It doesn’t matter. See, the spirit of your dad was there the whole time. The body of your dad, though, was either hung over to hell or at home watching Hunt For the Red October.”

“You’re the devil.”

“I know.”

Tuesday I dressed up in a Santa suit and gave out presents to a day care center my friend’s children attend. It was a pretty good time. When I got to my friend Cecil’s house, the suit was already laid out. There was the standard jacket, pants, and hat combo, a beard and matching wig, a belt, and some big black boots. I had to get make up put on my eyebrows and cheeks to diminish the youthful zest of my eyes. I got suited up and looked at myself in the mirror. Here’s a photograph:

Ah crap. No, not that.

Here. Oh, never mind, the joke's ruined.

Screw it. Merry Christmas.

Twas the Night Before Christmas–Iron Kyle Edition

20 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through my room

My friend Sam rolled around stirring, ’cause he ate a shroom.

My stockings were hung from his package with care

In hopes that I’d notice, and reach my hand down there.

Our friends were all nestled, warm in their beds

Visions of their friend Kyle dancing in their heads.

And Sam in his dick-sock, and I in my cloak

Had just set the bath for a totally straight Christmas soak.

When out from the lawn, there arose such a clatter

I looked at Sam, afraid, and he asked, “What’s the matter?”

Away to the window, I flew like a flash,

Nothing but moon light covering my ass.

Squinting through fragments of glimmering street light

I thought I saw something moving, grumbling in the night.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

Wesley had struck a parked car. He reeked of cheap beer.

“Where are your pants?” Wesley asked, in a rage.

“You don’t have to wear pants,” I said, “Not when you’re our age.”

Wesley began to undress, and I regretted my lie.

“Don’t act like you’re not jealous,” Wes said, “Don’t even try.”

We examine the damage, the damage was great.

“Death and damnation,” said Wesley, “That’s my van’s fate.”

Just at that moment, a new pair of head lights, twinkling and bright

Made their appearance in our Christmas night.

Derek came bounding out of his Saturn, ecstatic and enthused

Looking as an elf and heroin addict, fused.

“I just found a gun, and I think we should shoot it.”

“I just don’t know,” I said. “Let’s think a-boot it.”

“We can shoot it at graves, and things that don’t move,

We can shoot it at raccoons, rats, and things with hooves.”

Wesley reached out with his hand, and swiped the gun away.

“You can have this back when you’re not such a fucking weirdo,” he did say.

Derek struggled and whimpered and put up a fight,

But Wesley silenced him with a jaw-knocking right.

Things had gotten violent and a bit out of hand, so Sam decided to speak

“We shouldn’t be fighting. Holiday fun we should seek.”

We knew he he was right, his logic was sound.

No smiles could be found, no spirit around.

Derek began to cry, Wes started drinking.

I became worried; my Christmas was sinking.

Then who would come forth, but old St. Nick!

“Santa!” Sam said, pulling the sock from his dick.

Santa did a double take, then greeted us heartily.

Wesley finished off his 40 and threw it away, fartily.

Santa’s face was round and jolly

From his belt hung wreaths of holly.

He offered us presents, and treats from his sack.

“That’s what I thought!” I said. “It’s presents we lack!”

Santa gave us all gifts, he gave us all fun.

“Man I love presents!” Sam said. “Christmas is number one!”

We all hugged each other. We all were so happy.

Our Christmas was saved, and no longer crappy.

Merry Christmas

The Whiskey Kyle Letters

17 Dec

1

Dear Whiskey Kyle,

How pleased I am to see that you haven’t vandalized anything in recent weeks. This is a strange time for us, Whiskey Kyle. Our money is short, yet our desire to get absolutely shit-faced-plaster-eating-it’s-okay-to-slap-me drunk is great. What to do? I will help you. I will give you a great, great gift. I will give you jug after jug of cheap, poorly made wine. We both know that by the time you are at full strength, Whiskey Kyle, everything tastes the same, anyway. Remember that time Sam made you drink Windex? What a tremendous buzz you had! Never forget, Whiskey Kyle, anything ending with “ex” “ine” or “ol” or “poison” most likely should not be ingested. You got lucky with that Windex–vomiting profusely, thereby expelling it from your body.

Also, no one can drink a gallon of milk in an hour. Not even you.

Your friend,

Kyle.

2

Hey Kkyle,

Whiy don’t uy shut up!? I’m haviehn such a gud gtime with whiskeyy rite right now! Have you evr hreard of girls/? They might be better than whiskey? They might. Can you make whiskey have bubz? boobdf? Boobs? I think hyoiu can. next time get me wine wiff boobs on it? Anhyway OH SHIT ISA THAT A PEARLJAM SONG ON?! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BEST BAND EVER! I just saw a dog and it looked at me and I think I yelled something at it.

love,

Whiskey Kyle

3

Dear Whiskey Kyle,

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve taken such an antagonistic view of me. I’m also sorry to hear that you’re to the point of screaming at stray animals. What do you hope to achieve?

Whiskey Kyle, I assure you, I mean you no harm. I am your care taker. I have to rebuild what you destroy, be it relationships with women, relationships with friends, or your relationship with your stomach, liver, and brain. I have to do clean all the mysterious stains I find on your clothes in the morning.

Yes, I have heard of women, but no, I cannot put boobs on whiskey or wine. I’m not sure how you realistically expected me to do that. Did you really think I could do that? Were you kidding? I’m worried.

Your friend,

Kyle

4

Dear Fucker,

I’m sorry to see that yu’ve taken sush an ant-hand-against-it view of me! Why do you use those words I think you don’t like me? I peed.

Love,

Whiskey Kyle

5

Dear Whiskey Kyle,

First off, it’s antagonistic, not ant-hand-against-it. That doesn’t make any sense. And why do you keep ending declarative sentences with question marks? I can’t tell if I’m supposed to answer you or just listen to you jabber on.

Before you do anything stupid tonight, go through all the possible repercussions. Think to yourself, “If I do decide to sign these papers, officially making Derek and I equal partners in a civil union, will I still find it humorous a week from now? How about twenty-four hours from now? How about two hours from now?” Before you let Angela slap you, ask yourself “Should I at least ask her to take off her wedding ring?” And finally, before you try to do a wicked jump off that handicap ramp, ask yourself “Is this safe? Do I have any experience in performing stunts? How did I get this motorcycle?” and most importantly, “Did I steal this motorcycle?”

One more thing of note. I know you have a propensity to spill. This would make white t-shirts a bad choice, but as I go through all the photographic evidence of your existence, that’s all I see you wearing. Why not wear something with some color? You’re not the Fonz. Change your shirt or wear a bib.

Your friend,

Kyle.

6

Dear Foop butt 😛

Here’s me:

I just tuk taht with camera. Am Ii Fsamakn>?

Wienerz

Whiskey Kyle.

7

Dear Whiskey Kyle,

I’m growing more and more concerned for your well-being. That is 90’s heart-throb Jonathan Taylor Thomas, not you. This is you:

This might be difficult for you to look at, as it would be for a vampire who has finally been allowed to see his own reflection, but I tell you, you must look at it. Did you know that this is how you look in your final transformation? Not very good, eh?

To answer your question, I don’t know because you’re not making words anymore.

Your friend,

Kyle

8

To my Sober Enemy,

I loOk like a bgadass!

8IIIIIIIIIIID

love,

Whiskey Kyle

9

Dear Whiskey Kyle,

I quit. Just try to not get cirrhosis.

Your friend,

Kyle.

The end.

New Page

14 Dec

I now have a site exclusively for my short fiction and script work. Check it out if you have time. It’s mostly serious stuff, but the comedic play I wrote is there too, and I’m working on some more humorous short stories to post in the future. HERE’S A LINK!

Community Service

14 Dec

Christmas is a time of giving. It’s a time of taking. Don’t tell me it isn’t, because if people are giving things, somebody’s got to be taking them–unless we’re all just throwing our gifts into the ocean, but even then, Aquaman could get it.

Hell no.

Sweet underwater blessings!

Summary: Christmas is a time of giving and taking. This year, I decided to give a little more than usual and spend a few days doing some community service work.

I didn’t want to  go alone, though, so I asked my friend Derek to accompany me. This is his favorite time of year.

Happy Holidays.

The first place we went to was a homeless shelter in Denton, TX. We can’t name what shelter it is because of A.) Legal reasons and B.) Neither of us remember what it’s called.

The building resembled a large, aluminum box. It had glass doors at the front and the faintest or faint odors wafted around us–a slight, acrid passenger riding along in the air.

“Derek, do you smell that faintest of faint odors? The slight, acrid passenger riding along the air?”

“Why do you always talk like a gay person when you’re around me? Why do you do that? Are you writing this down?” I was. I was taking notes for this blog. “Give me that paper. This isn’t for your blog. This is for humanity and the ten bucks you promised me when all this was said and done. Now, zip up your pants and fix your hair. You look like one of them.” Derek pointed to a few gentlemen standing outside the building, who were now only a few feet from us. One particularly homeless gentleman pulled out a small stick that he’d fashioned into some sort of primitive weapon. I prayed. God turned his back to me.

Once in the doors of the facility, we were received by the organizations coordinator, Mary Fielder.

“Hello, guys! We’re so thankful to have you.”

“We’re really excited,” I said.

“I’m not excited,” Derek said, turning to look at me. “Please don’t speak for me.”

She leads us to the kitchen area. We’re outfitted with hair nets, rubber gloves, and aprons. Derek almost immediately removed his hair net and gloves. Mary Fielder almost immediately told him to put them back on. He did.

We began serving the homeless their food. It wasn’t so bad–turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, green bean casserole, something the color of khaki pants and with a similar texture. We serve for about half an hour, then noticed a lot of the patrons looking sick, holding their stomachs and complaining to senior staff members.

“This doesn’t look good,” Derek said.

“I know,” I scanned the cafeteria. “They look like they’re in a lot of pain.”

Derek, who was looking over the sneeze guard, seemed to hardly notice my words. “There are, like, no hot girls here.” He turned to me. “None.” He reached into the green bean casserole, grabbed a handful, and stood eating it like a gelatinous apple. An older homeless gentleman in a ratty brown jacket approached Derek, mumbling of stomach pain. Without a word, Derek reached over the sneeze guard and, using the man’s beard, wiped the remaining casserole from his hands. He then directed the man to Mary Fielder.

“Man, you can’t do that. You can’t wipe your hands on people’s beards. That’s horrible.”

“No,” he said. “This, this lack of chicks. This is horrible.”

Mary, almost running, approached us. “What did you serve them?” she asked.

“Exactly what you laid out,” I said. Derek removed his hair net again. Mary shot him a look that promised a thousand different kinds of pain and Derek put it back on.

“They’re all in horrible pain. Show me how you prepared everything.”

I showed her. I went down the line, explaining the cooking temperatures and times of everything I put out. When we got to the final item, the khaki-colored dish, her face turned a marble white.

“You fed them this?”

Confused and a little scared to answer, I said “Yea, this was next to the green beans.”

“THESE ARE CLEANING RAGS! YOU FED THEM CLEANING RAGS!”

Derek began laughing hysterically. He removed his apron, hair net, and gloves, and walked away, waving apathetically as he strode to the exit.

“Thank you for the opportunity, Ms. Fielder.” I go to shake her hand.

“Get out.”

I got out.

Kylelight

9 Dec

Something is definitely off. Something feels distinctly wrong. But what?

I look around the class room I’m tutoring in. What could it be? A touch of cold air brushes my back with an eerily powerful depth of sensation, like an icy finger running against my spine. Slowly I turn and whisper to myself, enunciating each word with the delicate and deliberate care of a man in deep, fearful angst.

“What the fuck was that fucking shitty ass cold air shit?” What indeed.

The source of this unease soon made itself apparent or, should I say, himself apparent. Him.

Yes. Him.

“Balls…” I whisper.

“Balls…” Edward whispers.

“Balls!” Rodrigo Salizar yells from across the room.

“Shut up and get back to work on that crossword puzzle, Rodrigo! Jesus Christ!”

Edward’s eyes are as cold as ice but as welcoming as the warmest of holiday fires. His shirt is as tight as a runner’s buttocks and his skin the faintly cerulean color of a sock that got washed with a load of blue clothes. Maybe a shirt much like the one he’s wearing. Maybe a shirt like the one I am wearing. I look down to my shirt. It’s red. Never mind the part about my shirt. My shirt would have been more appropriate for this guy’s skin.

I approach Edward, waves of restrained passion exuding every inch of his frame–like tendrils of creepy-vampire-hotness reaching out, pulling me toward him, yet still pushing me away. The feeling made me want to hurl. I did.

“Excuse me…” I say, wiping spittle from my chin.

“Yes?” Edward says, averting his gaze.

Jesus, will you fucking look at me?

“Are you…” I pause, trying to collect myself. “Are you in this class?”

“Yes…” Edward says, still only showing me the crest of his forehead, staring blankly at the table.

I then hear the door knob click and turn to see who’s entering. It’s her.

“Bella!” I yell.

“Bella!” Edward yells, getting to his feet. All the other children have stopped working and are now looking at the tutor and the two students who look kind of older than the tutor.

“What–uh, what–ugh!” Bella says, running her hand through her hair.

“Bella, you don’t–” Edward reaches out to her. She pulls back. Not to be left out, I pull back too. I trip over a desk and knock a student’s work to the ground. Bella scrunches her brow, which I will later understand means she’s about to make talk-words.

“No, look I–what if–I–you can’t–meh!” Edward looks hurt. I look from Edward–to Bella–then back to Edward.

“Wait, do you–do you understand what she’s saying?” I ask.

“I never really have to say anything. I just hold out my hand, say ‘no,’ or ‘you don’t have to,’ then unzip my pants and get to screwin’.”

“That’s terrible,” I say. “If she has this much difficulty speaking, she could be retarded. I mean she could have some serious mental illness.” Edward purses his lips and lowers his head, once again averting his gaze from my own. “That isn’t a response, Edward. Edward!” He just rolls his head around and tries his weird puppy dog thing on me. A chilling gust envelopes me and I’m filled with anxiety and frustration. “That’s it,” I say, and reach into my pocket and pull out my cell phone.

“No cell phones, Mr. Kyle! Put that thing away!” Rodrigo yells, pointing. I turn and slap Rodrigo across the face. He’s unconscious. I speed dial #3.

Into the phone, I plead. “Can you please come help me? It’s that Edward Cullen guy. Yea. Yea. Yea he is really dreamy. Oh god, I know, his eyes are like two pools of some magical liquid that can reflect all of my most hidden and true desires. What? No, I’m not–I’m–stop laughing. Yea, I like Queen, what does that have to do with anyth–okay, this conversation’s over. Just get here.”

“You’ll be okay, Bella,” Edward says, taking her face in his hand. Bella looks up to Edward, her face vacant. I think there’s some Oreo in the corner of her mouth.

“Bella, do you have a piece of paper with your mom or dad’s phone number on it?” I ask.

“What? My parents? But–They don’t–Edward–” She runs her hand through her hair again and shakes her head, looking at nothing in particular.

“Why can’t any of you make eye contact with anybody? Bella, I think you should come with me.” I hold out my hand to no reaction. I scramble for a solution. “Okay, Bella, look!” I remove a piece of candy from a student’s desk. The student protests for a moment, but remembering Rodrigo, stops. Bella runs to me and I hand her the candy bar. Edward stands in the background, furious. He steps forward, fists clenched. I think he actually hisses at me for a second. Believing this to be way too  strange or pathetic to have actually happened, I write it off as post-mortem flatulence. Then he does it again.”Did you just hiss at me?” He nods solemnly. “Do you think that scares people?” He nods again, but with more trepidation than before. “To be honest, that just kind of pisses me off. Kind of makes me want to fight you more.”

Undeterred, Edward maintains a fighting stance and utters “She’s going home with me.”

“I don’t think so,” I respond, pointing to the door behind Edward, which now stands open. “Looks like my guest arrived.” An arrow is fired from a crossbow and finds its home in the half-living heart of Edward Cullen. A gurgling sound escapes his throat as he falls to the ground, transforms into Lady Gaga, then vanishes into ash. I tip my hat to my friend. “Thanks, Buffy.”

“You got it. Should I take her home?”

“As long as you promise not to fall in love with her,” I say, winking. Bella has fallen asleep on the ground.

“I won’t fall in love with her, I promise. I still only have one love.” She leans close to me, then pulls out a wrinkled picture of the Hamburglar. Confused, uncomfortable, and now a little hungry, I allow her to pick up Bella and leave the school.

As they walked out the doors and into the winter chill, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d done the right thing. Then Bella drooled from over Buffy’s shoulder and I knew I had.

The End.

My Play: “Science Bless Us, Everyone.”

6 Dec

Grayson (on phone):

Yea, yea. I’ll probably miss the first few minutes of the first quarter. I’m at this Christmas church thing Rose wanted me to go to. What? Wh—Jesus is really important to her. They’re just friends though, nothing serious. I’m kidding. No, I don’t think me being an atheist has anything to do with me being able to date this girl or not. She’s religious, I’m not, no big d— oh, no, I haven’t told her I don’t believe in god. Probably gonna hold off on that one for awhile. Well it’s not like I have anything against it, it just isn’t for me. Hey man, service is about to start. She’s here now. I gotta go. Yea, I’ll get there whenever this is over.

(hangs up)

Rose:

Hey, Grayson. I need to talk to you.

Grayson:

What’s up?

Rose:

Hey, I know this is short notice, but can I ask you a huge favor?

Grayson:

Of course.

Rose:

Well, I was talking to Mrs. Schultz, you know the little elderly woman over there?

Grayson:

(Almost to himself, looking in direction of Mrs. Schultz) There are a lot of Mrs. Schultzes over there.

Rose:

She just told me that the special speaker for the children’s time got sick and can’t tell them the Christmas Story. I remember you told me you worked with a lot of missions in the middle east and Africa and Asia and south America…and in central America, and then Canada and Greenland and Belgium.

Grayson:

Yea, well…

Rose: (interrupting Grayson)

And Michigan.

Grayson:

(Sighs) Yes. Yes, Jesus was on fire in all of those places. (Rose looks at Grayson, perplexed by the bizarre phrase.)

Rose:

Well, I told Mrs. Schultz about all your experience, and she thinks you’d be a great fill-in. I told her you’d be thrilled. You don’t mind, do you?

Grayson:

Pft, no. Of course not. I’m…psyched.

Rose:

OK,  Just come this way, the class room is over here.

Grayson:

Jesus Christ, there are so many kids here.

(Rose glares at Grayson for using the Lord’s name in vain. Grayson sees this.)

 

Rose:

Grayson!

Grayson:

I mean, (As if addressing Jesus, looking to the sky.) Jesus Christ, there are so many kids here.

Rose:

(Speaks up to address the class) Okay everybody, this is Grayson. He’s going to tell you all the story of the birth of Jesus! Everybody pay attention. This is really important. Go ahead, Grayson.

Grayson:

So, hey kids! Merry Christmas! Yes, Christmas is a very old holiday. People have been celebrating Christmas for a long, long time. As we all know, Jesus is the reason for the season. He’s why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was our gift from God, so, to be like god, we give each other gifts, like iPods and sunglasses. See? So Jesus is like God’s iPod—wait. Wait, no that isn’t right. Jesus is better than an iPod. All I want is to wake up to find Jesus under my tree on Christmas. Ah! No. No, not that. So—

So thousands of years ago, a (pauses to think, continues, unsure) paunchy pirate th—

Rose:

Pontius Pilate?

Grayson:

Yes! Pontius Pilate. A Pontius Pilate decided that he wanted to take a census. He needed to take a census because he was the best Pontius Pilate and the rest of the Pontius Pilates needed to add to their fleet. So, it was decreed that a census be taken to find the best possible Pontius Pilate in the land. But Jesus’s mom, Mary, and his father—(draws a blank) Jesus, senior—decided that they needed to get away, because piloting a Pontius is really, really dangerous.

Rose:

Grayson, I think you—I think you mean King Herod. King Herod ordered the census. Pontius Pilate was the man who ordered Jesus’s crucifixion.

Grayson:

(Epiphany) Oooh. King Harold.

Rose:

Herod.

Grayson:

Harold?

Rose:

Herod.

Grayson:

(Unsure) King…Harold.

Rose:

Herod!

Grayson:

So, wait, are you saying it wrong or am I?

Rose:

What? You’re saying it wrong, Grayson. You are.

Grayson:

(Whimsically suspicious) Are you sure?
Rose:

Yes, I’m sure.

Grayson:

B—

Rose:

Sure. I’m absolutely, one hundred percent positive.

Grayson:

Fair enough. King Herod.

(Rose sighs, defeated)

So then, Jesus and his family hide out in a barn for a really, really long time, surviving by eating hay and drinking rain water. Really Jane Goodall and all that.

(Looks to back of house as if a someone is asking a question) Yes, young man, you have a question? (pauses) Who is Jane Goodall? Jane Goodall was the woman who lived among the gorillas for a few years to understand their ways—much like Jesus lived amongst us for several years to understand our ways. Gorillas aren’t as smart as us, though, so they couldn’t build a cross to put Jane on. Lucky for her, right kids? The answer is yes, she was very lucky. I’ll go on.

Now, the night Jesus was born, an angel appeared to three shepherds. The angel told the shepherds about Jesus and the barn. The shepherds really wanted to see a baby that could eat hay, so they told all their flocks to “stay,” and went on to see the hay eating baby. It would be a Christmas day miracle. (Clasps his hands together warmly and surveys the children, smiling.) At the same time, three magicians were doing tricks in a wood shed when an angel came to them too. The angel told the magicians that it had also come to a group of shepherds, and that kind of hurt the magicians’ feelings. “Wait, why did you talk to them first?” the magicians asked. One of the magicians was crying. This made the angel a little uncomfortable, but he answered them. “Well, it was just easier. If I had come here first, it would have taken me way out of my way.” The magicians didn’t understand this. The angel told them of his route. The magicians told him that if he had taken the toll way instead of the highway he could have saved ten or fifteen minutes and got to the magicians first.

The angel thanked them for their advice and then said unto them: (in a booming “angel” voice) “A child is born who is the Christ, but his friends call him Jesus.” The magicians were frightened and they trembled before the angel, because they weren’t totally sure if they were on a friend level with Jesus or not. They didn’t want to offend the Christ with informal behavior—calling him “Jesus,” before it was appropriate—so they decided to win Jesus over they’d bring him presents. Each magician brought him a present. They brought him gold, myrrh, and Frankincense, the—Is there a question? (Motioning to the back) Yes, you. (pauses) That’s a good question. Frankincense is the plural of Frankenstein. They brought him several Frankincense. Understand? And all these Frankincense the magicians brought would soon become the men known as Jesus’s disciples.

Rose:

What?!

(GRAYSON holds his hand out to ROSE, steadying her. He continues.)

Grayson:

Please save your questions for after the story, Rose.

The Shepherds and the magicians both asked the angel the same question: “But how will we know where the barn is?” The angel told them to look to the sky, that a great star hung there that would guide them to the Jesus barn. “Wow,” they all said. “Wow.” One magician stepped forward and asked the angel if they would need sleeping bags. “Yes,” the angel responded. Another asked if they should pack for three or more days. The angel said “yes.” Finally, the third stepped forward and asked if the angel could just give them a ride or something. The angel looked down on the magicians, and all of a sudden, an expression of terrible wonderment appeared on his face and he pointed behind them. They all turned to see what the angel was looking at. There was nothing there. When they turned back around, the angel was flying away, and all could hear his mischievous laughter echoing through the dark night.

So the three magicians and the three shepherds set out to find the barn. They eventually crossed paths and decided to unite. To unite and form a fellowship. The fellowship of the King. The six walked bravely through the lands of…(lost on what country this all occurs in)…the land of…(mixing up the names to sound ambiguous) Jerusalemnazarethbethlehemrometexas. They had to fight harsh terrain, harsh weather, and harsh language from that one shepherd with the drinking problem and all the body odor.

Finally, they came upon the barn. It stood proudly on the great…hill. The magicians said “We must go first to give him our gifts.” The shepherds responded “Wait, were we supposed to bring gifts? Can we just give him money?” They all got (using baby talk kind of voice) veeeery nervous that Jesus would banish them aaaall to Hell. Hell is where all the mean people go. But Jesus didn’t banish them to Hell, because they were sincere in their desire to see him eat hay and he trusted them that they would never, ever put it on YouTube.

Jesus wants us all go to Heaven so we can hang out with him for eternity. Jesus likes to party. (very serious) Jesus. Likes. To party. BYOB. Thank you, kids.

Rose:

What was that?!

Grayson:

What was what?

Rose:

That story!

Grayson:

Oh that old thing!

Rose: (Stands, staring at Grayson, waiting for him to continue. He does not.)

Well?

Grayson:

Well what?

Rose:

Grayson! You told me you had done mission work all over the world! You should know this story like the back of your hand.

Grayson:

And I do!

Rose:

First off, you said that Pontius Pilate was a pilot that flew Pontiuses. What is a Pontius? Did you really think they had aircraft in 2,000 bc? Then, you said the “magicians,” who were actually magii or wise men, brought Jesus a bunch of Frankensteins and that those Frankensteins became the twelve disciples! You said that Jesus was born in Jerusalemnazarethbethlehemrometexas, which doesn’t exist, and you capped it all off by saying that Jesus requires everybody to bring their own booze to his party.

Grayson:

(Feebly)

He wants everyone to share.

Rose:

Grayson!

Grayson:

(Struggles to find his words) Okay. I don’t know the story.

Rose:

How do you not know the story?

Grayson:

I’m an atheist. I was raised an atheist. I faked being a Christian because you seemed really into the whole religion thing and I really like you. All I know about the birth story is what I’ve picked up second hand through the years.

(Rose seems amused)

Grayson:

What? What’s funny?!

Rose:

Grayson, I’m agnostic!

Grayson:

Egg-nog-stic? What, are you a worshiper of seasonal dairy-based beverages? (Winks at Rose, proud of his corny joke) You get it? Because people drink egg nog…(Rose stares back, face like slate.) Sorry. You’re agnostic—please continue.

Rose:

Yea, I’m just not sure if there’s a god or not. So I’m hedging my bets with all this church stuff. I figure if when I die I find out there is a God, maybe He’ll give me participation points.

Grayson:

Participation points?

Rose:

Yea, like, in kindergarten when you’d get a ribbon on field day just for competing. I’m hoping that kind of thing happens when I die. Like god will just look at me, knock me on the chin a little, call me a knuckle head and let me stay in the low-rent section of heaven.

Grayson:

That seems like a gross distortion of the Christian ethos.

Rose:

It absolutely is, but it gets me through the day. We should probably get out of here before the parents arrive. And I should probably start looking for a new church. You want to go look at Christmas lights or something?

Grayson:

(Sigh of relief)

Yea, sure. How close to the story was I?

Rose:

Not close at all.

Grayson:

Oh well, I like mine better anyway.

Rose:

Me too. Let’s go.

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