Archive | July, 2013

Job Hunt: Austin

23 Jul

“Editor,” I say, as I stroll into my editor’s office. He looks up at me from his computer. He is doing a thing with his computer.

“I need a job.”

“I’d say so,” he says, so. “How’s the hunt going so far?”

“Well, I’m running into a familiar problem.”

“Which is?”

I hold up a piece of paper with “Resume” written on it and nothing else.

Editor leans back in his desk. “I see.”

“Here.” I put down a business card with my name on it and contact information. “I’m going to start using business cards to legitimize myself. Maybe that’ll help.” Editor picks up the card. “Now turn it over,” I tell him. He does. On the back is a close up of my eyes and the phrase “Are you ready?”

“Are they ready for what?” Editor asks.

I raise my palms into the air and shrug, my expression one of total defeat.

“Well, I don’t know if this is going to help much,” Editor says, “Since you have to be in front of someone to give them this. Someone who has the power to hire someone, and if you just hand them a business card, they still won’t know what your qualifications are.”

I think on this. I walk out of the office without saying goodbye.

I sit at my desk, looking out the window. “What can I offer the world?” I ask myself. “What is there for me to give, to sell?”

I look at the old halter top and fishnets hanging in my closet.

“No,” I say to myself, pulling my gaze away. “Never again.”

I stand and pace the room. I pick up a half full tumbler on my desk. I take a sip and cringe. “Oh, my god!” I say. “Editor!” I call. “What is this?”

“What?” he asks, appearing in my doorway.

“This, in my glass. This is not Wild Turkey.”

“Sir, that’s um, that whiskey you brewed yourself the other night–‘Ky Turkey.'”

“I don’t remember making this whiskey,” I reply.

“You had been drinking a lot of that whiskey.”

“Well, what is it?”

“It’s apple juice and rubbing alcohol.”

I glance at the glass, drink its remaining contents, dry heave over my desk, then stand up straight.

“Editor, this cannot continue. I cannot live this way. I need to drink real bishby!” I try to pick up the tumbler to throw it at the wall, but I miss and my hand sort of flops around on the desk for a few seconds.

“Kyle?”

“I think that Ky Turkey is getting to me,” I say, now covered in a light sheen of sweat.

“Steady yourself, my Lord,” Editor says, putting a hand on my shoulder.

“I need work. And I need it now. Like right now.” I get in my car and decide to go out and find a job.

I drive down street after street looking for “Help Wanted” signs. I see one, but it’s outside of a cage with a bunch of hungry dogs pattering around inside and I turn away.

As I turn, I see a man in the middle of an intersection accepting change from strangers. He’s holding a sign, but he’s too far for me to read what it says. I park at the Sonic parking lot, jog through the traffic and approach the man.

“The End!” he says, holding his hands up to me, his eyes communicating true fear.

I hold up my shirt, smell it. “You were able to pick that up? I thought I’d covered up my End-ness.” I’m trying to maintain a strong atmosphere of intimidation, so the man doesn’t try to befriend me, intimidate me, or worse, ask me for money. “Anyway, yes, I am the End. And as the End, I’m going to give you an opportunity to look back on your life before we move on. First off, what is this you’ve been doing for the past several minutes?” I point at his sign.

“Panhandling.”

“Which is?”

“I take this sign, walk about, and people will give me money.”

I look at him skeptically.

“Really and truly! Just try it. Now you’ll have to dirty yourself up, but if ye–” the man rubs his leathery, chicken-foot hands in the dirt and then brings them up to my face. His rheumy eyes are far away and his mouth is slightly open, focused intently on whatever he plans on doing to my face with that dirt.

“The End!” I cry, putting my hands up. There’s  moment of confusion long enough for me to run back to my car.

I find a spot of my own. Unfortunately, there’s already a panhandler there.

“Mind if I shadow you a little bit?” I ask the woman.

She looks me up and down and does not respond. This feels like Shawshank Redemption but I don’t know why. She sits on a plastic crate.

I look at the woman’s sign and my heart breaks. It’s pure nonsense. Scribble and mess. I see this woman, illiterate, and feel like I’m looking at one of the most damning exposes of our American system of education that could be mustered.

“Ma’am,” I say softly. She looks up at me.

“Your sign, ma’am, it doesn’t make any sense. Those aren’t real words you have written there.” I take the sign from her. “You see, no one knows what you mean by ‘necesito comer.’ Here, let me make you a new sign.”

I take out a sharpie and write on the back of her sign. “Please give all the money to Shia LeBouf.” I then stand close to her side, holding my sign that says “I am Shia LeBouf.”

An hour later, I’m rolling in it.

The End.

PILOT: “Meet the Bubs!”

11 Jul

Last weekend, while celebrating the birthday of my roommate Alex, this photo was taken.

alexkyle

This sparked off a firestorm on the worldwide web (three comments on facebook [six if you include my comments]). Demand for more of this pair of idiots skyrocketed. Alex captioned the photo as “Bubs.” One commenter, singer of Savage of the Big Beat and racist, Max Brown, suggested that the Bubs be adapted into a new series–“Meet the Bubs.”

Well, here’s the pilot.

The scene opens with Kyle Bub sitting on the couch, reading a book entitled Literature Book. He seems to be deriving zero pleasure from it. The fan above him is going, the lights are on. The television is set to a music channel, and light classical music can be heard twinkling from its speakers.

Suddenly, the front door flies open. Alex Bub stands in the doorway, her shirt pulled up to reveal her belly, which is smooth and white. She has pushed it out so that it looks like the horrible eye of a sick frog.

“MAMA’S HOOOOME!” [Audience hoots and hollers] She stands there for several seconds, smacking her tummy. Her face downturned, eyeing Kyle. Kyle grimaces.

“Hello, Alex.” Kyle’s voice comes out draped in a smooth-as-silk British accent. Think of a more confident Niles Crane. Think of Frasier Crane.

“Hello, KYYYYYY!” Alex’s voice is like a Cookie Monster falsetto.

Kyle raises his book up so it covers his face, attempting to communicate his desire to not be disturbed.

Alex throws her purse outside and shuts the door. [Audience laughs softly] She looks at Kyle for reaction. Kyle’s eyes remain on his book. She then takes off her shoes and throws them straight into the air. They smack the ceiling and fall back to earth. One of them hits her in the head. [Audience laughs] She walks into the living room. Kyle slumps further into the couch. She removes her belt and swings it around her head. She then puts it at her rear and starts to meow.

“I’m a kitty,” she says. “Mrrrowww!” [Audience laughs]

“Oh this is just dreadful,” Kyle says, putting the back of his hand to his forehead.

[Audience laughs]

Derek Bub hobbles in using a walker. “What’s all this commotion?”

“Oh, Alex is just doing that thing that she does,” Kyle says.

“You mean nothin’?” Derek asks. [Audience laughs]

Alex crosses her arms and scowls at Derek.

“I’ll have you know that I just got back from working a double at my job. What did you two do all day?”

Kyle and Derek exchange looks.

“We uh,” Kyle starts.

“Well, we,” Derek starts.

“Das wha’ mama thought!” Alex points at her head, leans toward studio audience. Winks. [Audience goes wild]

[Kyle waits for audience to calm down] “Well, if that’s true, it’s the first time you’ve thought in some time.” [Audience laughs]

“Why I oughta!” Alex pulls a large piece of cheese from her pocket and starts to eat it. Kyle rolls his eyes. Alex puts the cheese behind her ear.

“That’s enough, you two,” Derek grumbles. He makes his way to the couch and sits down next to Kyle. “Now who’s gonna get me a beer?”

“No one,” Kyle says. “Unless the cat is feeling generous.”

A man dressed in a skin tight tabby cat suit slinks out from behind a corner. His eyes are glassy and dead.

“Mr. P!” Alex squeals. She chases Mr. P off set.

Now just Kyle and Derek sit together.

“Well, you gonna get me that beer?”

“And inflame your condition? Not likely,” Kyle says, lifting his book back to his face.

“Come on, boy, just get me a beer,” Derek says. He folds his hands like he’s in prayer. [Audience chuckles]

“Oh you can go get your own if you want it so badly,” Kyle says. He gets up and walks down the hall and off stage.

Derek wrestles his way upright and looks to the kitchen. “I’ll get my own damn beer.” As he makes his first steps, he trips and falls. A terrific crack echoes through the set and Derek yowls in pain.

“Is that you, Mr. P?” Alex asks, her head poking from around the corner. [Audience laughs]

“I need help. I believe I’ve broken something.” He looks to the studio audience. “No gout about it.” [Audience laughs] “I have gout,” Derek can be heard muttering under the raucous laughter.

“Oh Derek, you old drunk,” Alex says. “I knew you’d try to get your own beer and hurt yourself.” She cocks her hip out and points to her head. “Das wha’ mama thought!” [Audience goes wild]

Derek lay on the ground, shaking his head, amidst the laughter and applause. Suspended by unseen cables, Mr. P scurries across the ceiling, pulling Kyle, who is wrapped in webs, also suspended by cables.

THE END

Dad Goes to the Hospital

3 Jul

From my pocket comes the sound of Ice-T falling down a flight of stairs. I look at my phone. I have a text.

“Your father is in the hospital,” it says. It’s from my mom.

“Why is dad in the hospital? Is dad a doctor now?” I ask. “Is he building them a deck?”

My mother doesn’t respond.

I go to the hospital to see what kind of deck my dad is building and if it has an awning or not.

“Looking for Mike Irion,” I say to the nurse at the triage station. “Looks like me, but he’s building a deck and has a goatee.”

“Are you a relative?” the woman asks me. Her hair is stringy and poorly held together by an intricate system of bobby pins, hair clips, and sweat.

Parenthood has taught me that family is a difficult thing to define,” I say, smiling into the camera.

“Are you a relative, though? Are you his family?”

“I am.”

She lets me through. As I walk down the hall, I hear the sounds of those in pain.

I look for a doctor to ask of the whereabouts of my father, but can find none. The nurse’s station is empty. Strange. I begin opening doors to random rooms.

I open the door to room 305. In it is a solitary old man on a solitary bed, a cabinet, an IV unit, a heart monitor. The room is bereft of any decorative element. I see the dry erase board that lists the physician on duty. I walk to the board.

“Hello?” the old man on the bed asks. His voice is like balsa wood. “Are you the doctor?”

I turn to him.

“No. No doctors.”

I drop the marker. Under “Physician on Duty,” I have erased the former name there and replaced it with one word: “Chaos.”

“What? Who are you? What have you done?” The old man asks. I try to think of something smart, but all I can do is wave and then walk out.

I continue looking for my father. I find a nurse and she directs me to a nurse’s station with people at it. They look him up and tell me he’s in room 432. I head that way, and by that way I mean a direction. I have no idea where I’m going. I start calling out for papa, but there is no reaction. Apparently that’s something that happens a lot in the hospital.

I poke my head in another door. There is an older Jamaican woman laying on her side and when I walk in she turns to look at me.

“Can I hep you?” she asks.

“I don’t know if I can help anyone,” I respond.

She sits up. The color leaves her face.

“Who ah you? Ah you evahl?”

“Ah, no. I not evahl.”

“Who you ah, den?” she asks, her eyes scanning me cannily. “Are you he who’s gahn to tek me to dat next place? Like ah bus drivah?”

“No, I on ‘olliday,” I respond.

“Some spot you pick fo’ yo ‘olliday,” she says, smiling, looking away for a moment. For a moment, she winces. “Pain, pain bad. Bad.”

“I don’t have nahting to do wit these things.”

“Make it go away,” she says. “Take me to dat next place.”

“It not yo’ tyme yet.”

“Well mehk it tyme, den.”

“I cyan’t, sistah. You cyan’t fool wit deez tings.”

“Oh, but da pain go troo and troo. When will it be my tyme, mistah?” her eyes are wet and her lower lip quivering. I lean down to her ear. In the few seconds between my upright position and me being bent over her ear, I try to think of something poignant to say, something brilliant and comforting, perhaps from a film. I cup my hands around my mouth.

In a low, raspy, British accent, I say “The fire rises,” then turn to leave. I have just watched The Dark Knight Rises and am in a very strange place emotionally. I consider writing “Christopher Nolan” on her Physician board, but don’t. I’ve done enough here. I give her a hearty wink.

“Ma’am,” I say. “You will surely die, but not yet. For life is long and it only gets longer. But do not fret. Because dying is something men have done since the beginning of time and will continue to do until the end of time. Your pain is temporary, but its respite will last forever. Perhaps you will be healed, even, and know the joy of health, if only for a short time more–the joy of the sun’s warmth as it hits your arm through a car window, that glorious sound of fall leaves sliding across concrete, the shine in someone’s eyes when you make them laugh. Yes, I am afraid of dying, but I know I will l–” just then a single note issues from her heart monitor and she is dead. I turn and leave.

I find my father. He has something called a kidney stone. I tell the nurse that for Irion men, all of our organs are made of stone, and I don’t understand what the problem is, but she doesn’t like that or agree with the science behind it. I call her a name and tell her that listen if you think you’re so smart why don’t you cut me open and look at my heart because it feels like it’s made of stone for damn sure and she gets out a scalpel and I fart because I’m scared and say maybe I should just go and then I go and I tell my dad I love him and he tells me to let the dogs in when I get home and I do.

Love,

Kyle

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