Archive | August, 2010

Doing the Right Thing–For Money

29 Aug

“I just don’t know what to do anymore,” I say, shaking my head, also scratching my head, then kissing the palm of my hand and placing it on my forehead, thus also kissing my head.

“When does your job start?” Derek asks.

“A few weeks.”

“A few weeks, eh? Could you float that long?”

Until this point, I had been gazing into the distance, looking at nothing at all. Derek’s question pulls me out of my funk. I sharply turn my gaze to Derek. “No man can float that long, Derek.” Derek looks confused. “They would sink. Unless they had a raft or friends in the sea.”

“I didn’t mean literally float,” Derek says.

“Well then say what you mean, Derek!” I smack my desk and get to my feet. “I have no time for your word games!

“Is a metaphor a word game?”

I shake my head at Derek and storm out of the room. I immediately realize that I had, in fact, stormed out of my own room. Embarrassment. Shame. Sorrow beyond measure.

I walk back in, feigning terror, and tell Derek that I just got a call from the police and that his parents had collided with a tumor and everyone had drowned and that he needs to go identify the bodies immediately (I’m terrible at fictitious disasters). He shakes his head, gets up off my bed, and walks out.

“What to do?” I ask myself. “I need money.” Then, it dawns on me. A friend of mine had sung the praises of plasma donation for some time, citing it as an easy way to make a few bucks.

I set up an appointment and go to the plasma center.

The center is sterile and cold.

I approach the desk and greet the receptionist. “Hello!” I say. “I’m here to donate.” She looks up from her desk.

“Fill this out,” she says. The receptionist is sterile and cold. She’s mad because she can’t have kids and because her face is just “eh.” [Editor’s Note: That’s unfair. You have no grounds to make claims about her fertility.] [Kyle’s Note: Maybe not, but also maybe.]

I fill out the forms and return them to the receptionist. She directs me to sit down in the waiting area, a small area on the left side of the lobby with several metal folding chairs and a coffee table with a variety of magazines fanned out on its surface.

“Mr. Irion?” the receptionist calls. I approach her desk. “We can’t take this.”

“Why not?” I ask.

“Are you serious?” She asks, placing my form before me and turning it so I can read it.

“I don’t see the problem,” I say, clearly seeing the problem(s).

“First, you wrote ‘LOL’ under one of the most important questions on the questionnaire. Secondly, your answer on question four seems to suggest that you have taken illicit drugs–which would merit a ‘yes’ response, but you didn’t mark ‘yes,’ you marked ‘no,’ made some smart-alick remark about being given drugs instead of taking them, and is that a pot leaf?”

“No?”

“What is it?”

“A picture of Jesus.”

“A picture of Jesus.”

“A picture of Jesus after he transformed into a pot leaf.”

“Okay, Mr. Irion, that’s enough,” she says, wadding up my forms and throwing them into the trash. “You can go.”

“No! Please,” I say. “Please. Just give me one more chance. I won’t fuck it up. Just give me another sheet; I’ll do it right this time.”

She looks at me for a moment with unbelieving eyes. Then, I see her ice-cold gaze melt and she reaches under the counter and hands me new, unmarked forms. I fill them out and am led to an examination room for my physical.

“All right Mr. Irion,” a portly, 40-something year old nurse tells me, putting on latex gloves. I start getting hard. “I’m going to check your blood for iron and protein levels.”

Iron levels?” I ask, trying not to respond too excitedly to her clearly referencing my now famous internet moniker.

“Yes, and protein.” I don’t understand what she’s referencing with the protein joke, but before I can ask her, she pricks my finger and steals some of my blood. She puts it in a thing and then it makes a noise and some stuff happens.

In the donation room there is row after row of reclined chairs with large machines beside them.

“Death chamber,” I say to myself. Several of the first time donors seem visibly shaken.

“Please don’t say things like that,” my nurse says as she leads me to my chair. She inserts the needle and begins the process of drawing my blood. I’m immediately greeted with the sensation of light-headedness and nausea.

“Am I going to see Jesus now?” I ask my nurse, my voice trembling. A few of the other donors around me begin to look around, their faces contorted in expressions of concern. I reach my hand out to her. She swats it away.

“Stop. You’re going to be fine. Just relax.”

“Here I come, dad. I’m coming home,” I say at just above a whisper. I begin to make a whooshing noise with my mouth, simulating my soul being whooshed up to heaven.

“Mr. Irion, stop that!” the nurse commands. “You’re disturbing the other donors.” I can hear other members of the nursing staff calming distressed patients.

“All right,” I say. I open my book on my lap and begin reading, ready to really get some quality learning done. “Hey,” I say to the man sitting next to me, six minutes later. “Do you know what they do with this stuff?” I’m leaning as close to him as possible without pulling my IV tube free.

“What?” he asks, afraid.

“I hear they drink it!”

“THAT’S IT!” a nurse screams from across the clinic.

She turns off my machine, they pay me twenty dollars and kick me out. I spend my twenty dollars on new socks and alcohol.

The End.

Form Breakup Letter/My Breakup Letter

25 Aug

I’ve had a lot of girlfriends in my life–and I’ve had to break up with some of them at one point or another. My first few breakups were hard; she cried, she screamed, I got defensive and accidentally got back together with her only to have to break up with her again mere minutes later, starting the whole process over again. Then, I had my greatest idea: I would create a system–a step-by-step procedure to ending it with my girlfriends.

Breakups got infinitely easier–so easy, they were almost fun. I would break up with complete strangers, sending them hurdling into a state of confusion, sadness, rage, and mostly just confusion. I’ve created a form letter for breaking up with your significant other, which I also employ. Just circle the option in the sentence that most applies to your situation.

Use this as a letter or a script or have a guy tattoo it on your ass then direct your lover’s attention there after your next love making session.

Break up with some one–

–Right.

Dear (girl/boy)friend, Hey.

What’s up? Are you having a good day? I hope (class/work) was good. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about (us/our relationship/your body) a lot lately and have decided that we should break up. I think our visions of (the future/relationships/what a good body is) are too different. I still think you’re (great/super sweet/tolerable/super tolerable), but our relationship just isn’t (working/legal/consensual enough).

I just feel like I can’t (talk to/stand the sight of) you anymore. You’re such a closed (book/vagina), it’s hard to get to you. It’s hard to feel close to you. So hard. I need someone I can (communicate/fornicate) with.

Remember last (week/semester/year) when we went to the (zoo/fair/free clinic)? Remember how (fun/awesome/crazy/horrifying) that was? That’s one memory that will always make me (smile/appreciate clean urine)–always.

Even though we’ re no longer (together/dating/seeing one another/united through a non-consensual observer-observed relationship), I still think you’re (great/the best/fat). Our time together has been one that (I/we/just you) really learned a lot from. (I/we/you) learned about (love/struggle/reverse cowgirl) and (friendship/compassion/the power of mace).

Anyway, I’m (rambling/celebrating quietly in my room, imagining you reading this letter, a smug smile stretched across my face) and I’ve said all I have to say. Goodbye.

(Eat a dick.)

-Your name.

Entries in My Moleskin

23 Aug

I struggle with my inner thoughts. They roll around in my head like a mongoloid trying to escape from a refrigerator box. I want to let them out. I want to let them out. So, I bought a few Moleskins.

Moleskins are high-class, super-hip journals that fit conveniently into purses, man bags, backpacks, back pockets (? not sure about that one. GONNA TRY LATER!). I’ve begun recording my intimate inner workings to my Moleskin daily. Sometimes, a few times daily. Here are some excerpts from my Moleskin.

Job Hunt 4

18 Aug

How does it feel to be employed?

Is it a warm feeling?

Does it quiet your restless heart when you find yourself abruptly awoken in those indistinguishable, late night hours by some mysterious sound or frightful dream?

Does it give you the ability to buy jeans?

I am currently unemployed. I feel like I spend a lot of time unemployed. Why?

“Why?” I ask JobGod (my computer when logged into Monster.com).

“Because your resume is so weak, you had to list a family pet as a character reference. You even gave it a phone number.”

“I meant to include a diagram of the cat phone.” I whisper–half to myself, half to my computer.

First Draft

After a few minutes and several more design drafts for the cat phone, I head to a local hotel to apply for jobs in person–the old fashioned way. I plan on making money the old fashioned way–by working.

I go to local hotel–a hotel my friend, Patrick, works at. He’s been working there for quite some time and I figure he can put a good word in for me. After applying with the hotel, I’m directed to meet with Ken Withers, manager of maintenance at the hotel.

“Well, you applied for a maintenance position, but you don’t seem to have any maintenance experience,” Ken Withers says to me.

“Listen,” I say, quietly folding my hands together. “What I lack in experience I more than make up for in drawing ability.” I smile and do a “raise the roof” gesture. “Art!” I say to a deafening silence. Ken sits at his desk, unmoved.

“Why would that matter in a maintenance job?” he asks.

I understand his confusion–I do. So, I lean back, my chin cradled in my hand. I look thoughtful. Then, it dawns on me. I lean forward, grabbing a pen from his desk. I draw him a picture of a Jedi knight stabbing the sun in its butt.

“I d–” he pauses, turning the paper in his hands to get a better view. I sit smugly in my chair. The job is mine.

“What do you think?” I ask him.

“I think you’re a man of considerable psychological distress. Why you would think that this drawing–or any drawing for that matter–would help you get a job as a maintenance man at a hotel is completely beyond me. I’m confused, I’m concerned, and I think I’d like you to leave, but I’m afraid of what you’ll do on your way out.” There’s a moment of silence as he begins to clarify. “There are children out there.”

I wink at Ken and get to my feet. “They say that children are our future.” I sigh. “Well, I hate kids nowadays. They’re all terrible people. So I hate the future. The future is going to suck. I’m going back to the future–because even chaos needs a sheriff.” I walk out of the room.

“Once again, that did not address my concern!” Ken calls, getting to his feet. “What the hell are you talking about?!”

I begin work the next day–volunteering at the hotel, refolding towels and following cleaning ladies into dirty rooms and laying on the unmade beds until they leave me alone.

The first thing I fix in every room is the misplaced screws everywhere. Some bozo has screwed a television set to the TV chest of drawers. I unscrew all of the TV’s, allowing visitors to turn them as they feel appropriate.

Next, I baby-proof the rooms–for our tiniest clients ;). I remove all the light bulbs (Because babies are naturally nocturnal and hate light), I open all the drawers and pull all the sheets back (Because babies are extremely suspicious of your motives and believe you could be hiding a gun anywhere.) Then, I remove all the TV’s. Televisions are pointy and have BET on them sometimes. Removal of the televisions is much easier with all the screws removed.

While carrying a TV down to the dumpster, I’m halted by a large, surly hotel security officer.

“Sir? Can I help you?”

I look him up and down, his gut hanging proudly over his belt. “I doubt it.” I begin to walk past him.

“No, sir. What are you doing with that television?”

“I’m getting it out of the rooms. I’m baby proofing the rooms–because, if these children out here are the future, the future is going to suck, and we’re going to need that next generation to be healthy enough to overthrow them. Don’t kids suck nowadays? I saw an 11 year-old with an iphone. Doesn’t that piss you off?”

The security guard raises his walkie to his mouth, holds it there, then lowers it slowly, an earnest smile stretching across his face. “Yes it does.”

I have made a friend.

Below is an artistic representation of what happens next.

The End.

Sample Test Questions: My Teaching Exam

12 Aug

I did a post a few weeks ago, in which I detail my experience taking my teaching exam. In that post, I posted a few (fake) questions from the exam. I had such a great time making the questions, that I considered making an entire post of them. Well, I didn’t do that. UNTIL NOW!

Writer’s Block 2: The Squeakuel

7 Aug

“Where have you been?” Editor asks me as I saunter into our office.

“Out,” I respond coldly. I set my backpack down on the couch that runs perpendicular to the front door and unzip its top zipper. Six cats spill out. “Doing some,” I pause. “Soul searching.”

Editor looks at me, his face cloudy from trying to find out what I actually mean. I decide to just tell him. His cloudy face remind me too much of a dead man’s.

“I got shit-hammered and spent a week picking corn for a family who told me that I’d fallen back into the 1700’s and that, as long as I helped them pick corn and didn’t ask them about all the cars driving by, they would help me get back to current times.”

“I don’t believe you,” Editor says. I shrug indifferently, reach into my bag and throw him an ear of corn. He looks at me, wordlessly.

“I also saw Inception at one point,” I say.

“Huh. Well, what do you want to do today? John Mayer said he’d be interested in doing your comeback special.”

“Comeback special?”

“Yea, since you’ve been gone so long.”

“Tell him he’s an idiot and that he’s like sexual Vietcong.”

Editor shakes his head and looks out the window.

I reach out and shake his head again with my hands.

“I need inspiration,” I tell him. “I’m going out. I’m going out to be with my people.” I leave immediately for a retirement village in south Denton.

The retirement village is verdant and clean. The lines on the building are crisp. All the paint is immaculate and bright. It is well-kept. I smile, thinking of all the old folks slithering about its exterior, eating all the dirt and algae that accumulate on the walls and gutters–nibbling the grass down as they leave small, glistening trails of transparent excrement along the grass, feeding it and watering it all at once in a beautiful cycle of death and rebirth.

I kick the door down and exult. “My people! Your most beautiful son has returned to remind you of the youth that was once yours and never will be again!” One woman in the back for the room yelps. I point at her, wink, and make a clicking noise with my tongue. “That’s about right,” I say.

“Sir, you can’t come in here like that. You’re bound to startle the residents,” a nurse says.

“I think I already did,” I respond, gesturing toward a crumbled man with a frightened look on his face. “That guy looks scared shitless.”

It turns out he had shit himself.

I begin making rounds, talking to my geriatric comrades in hopes of garnering some sort of homespun-wisdom, some type of age-old inspiration. All I get is a series of stories about long-departed friends and relatives–lamentations of sons and daughters that are seen all too infrequently.

I almost lose hope. Then, I run into Abel Jeffers. Abel claims to be a veteran of several military conflicts: Vietnam, Korea, the Seven Years War. I realize that it would be impossible for him to have been in all of these wars, but who am I to judge? Abel is probably just as full of shit as anybody else–his shit can just be refuted by books. I dare you to look up the actual size of the guy I claimed to have beat up in the sixth grade.

“And when I wrapped my hands around that noodle-jockey’s neck, I knew it was over.”

“His life?” I ask. Abel thinks for a moment.

“Yes, I suppose. But perhaps it was the end of both of our lives, for no man leaves murder unchanged.”

I fell asleep after this last remark.

A nurse comes by and wakes me.

“Sir, visiting hours are over.”

“Over?” I look around, eyes red, searching for Abel. He’s long gone.

“I’ll escort you to the door, sir.”

The nurse takes me gently by the hand and leads me out. As I leave, I turn and look at the village–at the final residence of all these people who had once been young and vibrant like me. The rarity of youth strikes me and I go home, eager to create.

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