I Go to Fort Worth

19 Jan

I start my day with some light exercise.

Today, I’m employing a tactic I heard about in the grocery store last week:

“Anyway, so I’m starting this new plan this week. It’s supposed to really super-charge growth,” I hear a man with black hair say. His hair is black and straight and gelled without seeming stiff at all. It bounces as he speaks and never moves freely without ever compromising its appearance. I am immediately seething with something like rage. Seething with gayness.

This man and his compadre stand on the other side of this produce island. Melons on one side, oranges on the other. I am looking down at the cantaloupes, pretending like I’m scrutinizing each delicious, vitamin-rich orb. I don’t know what the Hell I’m doing.

“What’s it called?” his friend asks. His friend must be very short, because I can’t see him beyond the island. I hover back and forth in front of my side of the island, like if they had grandparent’s day in the NHL.

“It’s called muscle confusion.”

Muscle confusion. My muscles tremble at the phrase. I stand there and jiggle for a few seconds. I walk around the island to where the two men are standing. The man’s friend stands up straight, and ends up being the taller of the two.

“Oh, well that makes sense,” I say, looking at him. They stand one in front of the other (Beautiful hair in front of Suddenly-tall friend), totally silent.

“I heard you talking about a new workout plan,” I say.

“Oh,” the black-haired man begins. He seems surprised, but his hair seems totally cool, totally collected. He acts like he didn’t know other people could hear what he was saying if he wasn’t speaking to them personally. “It’s called muscle confusion. It–”

“Muscle confusion?” I ask.

“Yes, it’s a–”

“Stop,” I say, holding up one muscular index finger. I turn it a bit in the light so that he can see that I am no novice to fitness. I smile smugly and bring the finger down. “I know about muscle confusion.” I don’t know about muscle confusion, and want to know desperately, but I can’t give any ground to these behemoths.

“All right. So–is that all?” his tall friend asks. I clench my fists. Then, I unclench my fists, thinking why did I come around the island and oh yes I came around to ask about what muscle confusion is. It’s too late now, though, I can’t ask them after showing them my finger’s mass and saying that I know about muscle confusion.

I stammer a few glottal phrases. I start flexing my fingers and toes. I am holding a cantaloupe in my left hand and suddenly want to throw it up in the air and run off.

“You want to know about it?” the black-haired gentleman asks.

“Oh, sure!” I say. I throw the cantaloupe in the air and run off.

I’m sure I got the gist of it from listening to them say what it’s called and from looking at the way they moved in their jackets and jeans.

I go to my closet to get my workout clothes. I take out a white oxford button up, a pair of running shorts, a boot, and three socks. I put all three socks on one foot, the boot on my hand, and walk out.

Fully dressed to perplex my muscles, I get in my car and go to the gym. I walk in, swipe my ID card. Hit the weights.

I start running in place, then with one arm I start waving frantically, as if to someone setting sail. I begin whooping and I throw the boot on the ground. It hits my foot . I know my body would expect me to respond by bending down and rubbing the toe, so to confuse it, I do the opposite.

“Get away!” I scream in a big, loud Old-South accent. I stretch my foot away from me as far as it will go. I begin hopping around.

“Be quiet!” I yell at my biceps. “Now what are your names?!” Their confusion is palpable. I go pick up a two 25lb weights, start to do a curl then bend over, letting the weights dangle limply from my arms. I hang like that, completely still for what feels like a minute.

“HOURS HAVE PASSED!” I scream at my hamstrings. Totally baffled, my hamstrings tense and relax, tense and relax. Then they tense. I smirk into the mirror.

I rack the weights, then skip until I’m roughly ten feet from the cable machine, then break down and crawl the rest of the way, whispering the phrase “Holy Bible baby” over and over again.

I stand up, say, “I’m not gonna do this,” put my hand on my hip. “Not gonna do this.” Then I do it. I grab the rope that hangs there and begin doing tricep pushdowns. My triceps are aching.

“This is a fantastic lift for your glutes!” I say to a passing stranger. My glutes overhear this and, confused, begin to twitch wildly. I smile and wink at the stranger, then glance down at the shuddering hams in my shorts, demonstrating the power of Muscle Confusion. He seems put off and jealous and walks off, his muscles totally sure and totally bored and tiny.

I throw back my head and laugh loudly, deeply, from my belly, tensing my abs, choking off the laughter after a few seconds. Sounds like I’m being pummeled.

“Sounds like I’m being pummeled!” I say, grinning like an idiot.

Totally exhausted, I grab a protein shake from the vending machine and head home.

Oh god damn it, I didn’t even mention Fort Worth.

Science Bless Us, Everyone

24 Dec

In the spirit of Christmas, I am regifting to you all this old Christmas play I wrote. May the indifferent universe look kindly upon you this Christmas (even though it can’t look, as it has no eyes and, even if it did have eyes, would less than not care about your troubles and successes). Happy Holidays!

Eat This, Internet.

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)


Hey, Grayson. I need to talk to you.


What’s up?


Hey, I know this is short notice…

View original post 1,869 more words

My Rejects

22 Dec

I like to think of my work as my babies and I an unfit mother; I want to pawn my beloved ones off on the kindest, most gentlest, first person who is willing to take them, so that they have a chance at a better life.

Below are a couple of my most recent rejects. I think they deserve a good home. So, if you’re reading this, and you want to publish them, just let me know. ri0026@gmail.com

This one was submitted to a magazine. It was rejected for not being uplifting enough.

The New Year’s Party at a lull, David decides that something needs to be done. He suggests the game “He’s Perfect But.” The rules are simple: one person asks a group if they would date a hypothetical man (or woman, really) if that person were perfect save for one tremendous, often bizarre defect. David goes first. “Okay girls,” he says. He takes a sip of his beer. “He’s perfect but—no matter how long he showers, he always smells like peanut butter.” Courtney, Jasmine, and Alyssa all vote that yes they would date him. Hailey, who has a peanut allergy, says that she wouldn’t, as long as the smell is somehow rooted in real peanuts, which David claims it is. Everyone agrees that this caveat makes it less fun. David is too embarrassed to change his mind.

“Okay, I have one,” Chad says, drunk. He looks at David’s sister, Amanda. “He’s perfect but—” He scans the room. “His skin is made of dead leaves.” A seemingly bottomless silence falls over the room. David shakes his head. Somebody says the word “asshole,” thereby proving that the silence is much more shallow than previously thought. Amanda says nothing, but nods her head in the affirmative, north/south manner. Gasps. Grins. From the back of the room, a sound arises like tissue paper being wadded up. Jason, a figure silent until now, stands. No one can tell if he is angry or sad or jubilant. He is totally unreadable. No one can figure out where his eyes are. Or his mouth or nose holes. All sit in silence, awaiting his response. Amanda stands, her eyes pleading. As if on wires, the two  leap toward one another and embrace. Amanda starts to kiss Jason, but she can’t find his mouth, so she kisses each inch of his face with identical passion. She starts to speak, but is silenced when Jason raises one leafy hand to her lips. A bug flies out. Wordlessly, the pair walk out of the apartment and into the night and when the winter breeze comes just blow away, away, away.

This piece was rejected for the same reason:

You’re standing there, your hands folded at your crotch. It smells like someone is wearing too much perfume in lieu of taking a shower. Overhead, red and teal bulbs shine in their sockets and onto the body like some stage show caught in stasis.

It’s crowded but quiet, everyone speaking at a whisper or just above that, everyone in tiny circles that seem to drift aimlessly through the room like flotsam. There is a boy there, standing in front of the coffin and you want to pull him away, tell him that things are all right, comfort him as though this is some minor and rare misfortune that he has no reason to concern himself with. You put your hands in your pockets and examine the scuff marks on your shoes.

Earlier this year, I was working with a member of the KERA staff on a podcast for young, aspiring writers in North Texas. We had met several times, gone through round after round of edits on my piece, even recorded (then re-recorded) my reading. The theme I was writing for was “Stalking and Social Media” or something like that. Anyway, one day, the whole thing fell through, killing any chance I had at meeting/marrying Diane Rheaume or sitting on Garrison Keillor’s lap.

Here it is, though.

I go to your page and see a picture of you, smiling. It is night time in the photo. I can see street lights in the background and you’re wearing a toboggan and your cheeks are red. It must be cold. From the position of your shoulder and the way your head is turned, it appears you took this photo yourself. Were you alone? It looks like you were. Alone outside on a cold winter night. What were you doing? And why did you take a picture of it? Did you step outside, realize it was night and think ‘I better get a shot of this’ or ‘When’s the next time I’m going to see a street light?’?

You Like so many things. You Like 196 things. Gosh. I feel like I only like like four things (my girlfriend, whiskey, jeans and the Game of Thrones books). You’re so much more diversified than me—so much more worldly. How do I do that? How do I grow to be the type of man whose life philosophy is so broad and sweeping that he can Like the pages of both Kenny Powers and the Dalai Lama? You must be tremendous.

Your taste in films and music is impeccable. You are the best at culture and open-mindedness and everyone needs to know it. Please list the music a real human is allowed to listen to.

As for your favorite books, it’s clear that you know your stuff there as well. Your book list begins with the most serious of Serious Literature—The Bible. Next, you’ve listed On the Road by Jack Kerouac—the undergraduate’s bible. You admire the protagonist’s sense of adventure, and you see that in yourself. You want other people to see that in yourself too. You also quote the book in your “Quotes” section—the line about how you only have time for people who are mad for life, or whatever he says. You long to be around those who live life to its fullest—people who grab life by the belt loops and dry hump it until it faints from exhaustion. That novel has done so much for so many people by allowing them to believe they’re looking into a reflection of themselves rather than a portrait of someone else.

Your quotes could be verses. Most are, in fact. The best ones are the ones you wrote yourself, though. Your wisdom will echo through the halls of my mind forever, helping me in my times most dire. I wish I had read “Life is a beer: Drink it” a few weeks ago. It could have helped me get over my breakup. And man, do I wish I would have had “Life’s hard, but so are diamonds” when my sister died. I have it now, though, so it’ll be a lot easier when my other sister dies. I’m ready.

You have a lot of pictures up of you and your girlfriend other kissing each other. This makes me uneasy, because these pictures are only a few clicks away from pictures of you with your last girlfriend.

What makes it worse is how similar the photos themselves are. Your smile in each is identical; their smiles in each are identical. Even the two women look similar—it is clear that you have a type; in both shots you’re holding the camera yourself, and in the same way.

Here’s what bothers me, though: you seem no happier with one woman than the other. And they seem happy, too, but it’s sort of sad because they’re the ones being swapped out and you’re staying the same, which I know doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to be upset about, since if I were on their page, I’d probably be only a handful of clicks from them and their previous partner, and you’d be the one being swapped, but still; something about this is weird. I feel like your ex is glaring at me as I look at you and your new girl together. I feel like we’re in a big room and she’s somewhere in it, pissed as hell.

I ignore the feeling as best I can and continue to comb through the pictures of you and your new love at Epcot Center. Your last girlfriend isn’t as pretty as your current one, and I bet you think so too, and I bet that’s why you haven’t deleted the pictures of the old girlfriend. So people can see how you’ve elevated yourself. Maybe so your ex can too.

I see that your mother has posted on your wall. My mom writes on my Facebook wall sometimes. I used to never respond. Then I saw a movie with a line about a woman who has no one to talk to and it reminded me of my mom and made me sad, so now I respond, because typing “haha” below one of her posts is just too simple a thing not to do. But your mom has posted a comment on your wall and you haven’t responded. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person, it just means that you’re busy; you’re busy Facebooking other things—more pressing things. I see you Liked “Diet Pepsi” forty-five minutes after your mother posted a comment on your wall, notifying you that she loves you and that she hopes you have a good week at school. I imagine the forty five minutes that followed her posting were all spent in exhaustive research and soul searching as to which diet cola to throw your support behind. People were depending on you for that.

But I can’t help but wonder if your mother could have used a “Thanks” or “Love you too” under that comment more than the Pepsi Corporation needed one more “Like” to go with the 670,000 it already had.

After I’ve read everything in your Facebook, I pause and reflect. You’re out living your real life somewhere right now. And here I am, knee-deep in my own life, catching the snapshots, the super-edited director’s cut, the highlight reel of yours. Is this who you are? Surely not.

So what else is there? Things feel missing. They feel hidden.Where is your sad day? Did you cry at the end of Marley and Me? Have you ever peed and it smelled weird and you thought you had diabetes? Did you have a sandwich for lunch?

And why do I care?

Music Night in America

13 Dec

Hey, sorry I’ve been gone so long. I’ve been working on a novel and that takes up pretty much all the strength in my fingers/brain/writing muscles. I need to start multi-tasking, though, pushing myself a little more creatively, so here this is.

I park my car outside of Hailey’s. I turn my hazzies on. I open my door and look up and down the street. I see a girl. She looks just like one of the musicians we are set to play with. I accost her.

“Will you help me load my stuff in?” I ask her, my hazzies poppin’ like flash bulbs.

She looks hesitant, afraid, reluctantly aroused.

“I just need you to please hold the door for me.”

“Oh, all right,” she says. She opens the bar’s side door and holds it open with her back.

“Tremendous!” I shout, trying to sound like a southern gentleman, but instead sounding like Shredder. “Tremendous,” I try again, this time sounding instead like a gay Australian.

She seems confused and now a little put out. She smiles with no teeth and puts her hands in her jacket pockets.

I heft my amp and my guitar and waddle up to the door she is now holding. I pause in front of her–do a squat. This is something I do alot. Squat for people. Squat at people. It seems to put them at ease.

“Thanks for the help,” I say, once everything is loaded in. I’m standing inside while she still stands with the door to her back. “Here’s something for your trouble.” I reach into my pocket, smile wryly, and flip a quarter to her. It’s trajectory is a little too straight, though, and it beans her right in the eye. She turns away from the door, and it shuts in my face as I step forward to see if she’s okay. “My car’s out there!” I cry. I push the door open. When I get outside, she is walking around to the front of the bar, holding her eye, saying a cuss. My car is there, though. I park it.

“So do you play with Savage now?” A young white man asks me once I make my way back to the bar. He has that unmistakable look of someone who watched a lot of Seventh Heaven even after it went off of the WB.

“I do,” I say.

“What do you play?” he asks.

“I play guitar,” I tell him, doing an air guitar. He doesn’t seem very impressed, so I do a squat. He seems startled. I do another one to calm him down. He tells me he needs to go see his friends.

He walks about ten or fifteen paces away and starts messing with his phone.

My musician bud, Roy Robertson, shows up. He brushes my ear with a moist finger. It scares the shit out of me.


“Please don’t do that,” I tell him.

“Please don’t do that,” Roy says, snarling, leaning in very close to my face.

“Do what?”  I ask.

“Fear what you don’t understand.” Then he reaches out and tries to touch my ear again. I duck away from it. He smacks his lips and gives me a dismissive look. “Listen, when are you guys going on?” he asks.

“In like an hour. We’re the second band.”

“Is that pretty accurate? Are you really sure you’ll be starting then?”

“Yeah, why?”

“I’m going to be reading my poetry from a tree outside, wanted to make sure our sets didn’t collide.”

“Afraid of a little competition?” I say, giving him a playful elbow. He yelps like a child who has hit its head.

 “I don’t compete!” he says, his voice suddenly very high. “I don’t compete! I perform.” He does a spin, smacks the ground, stands and blows me a kiss. “See you in an hour.” He smacks his ass and walks away.

I go to the bar and get a drink. Double Wild Turkey and Diet Coke. While I’m sipping it, the first band starts. They sound a lot like a first band always seems to sound like. I see the girl who I struck with the quarter. She is eyeing me in a way that appears to be pretty unfriendly, but I can’t be sure that it’s not her eye still freaking out from having a quarter in it, so I decide to play it safe and leave her alone.

A lot of my friends show up to this show. They will love it. We are a good live band, and I’m a fairly adept stage performer, like Neil Diamond if he didn’t act like such a fucking fairy all the time and had some fucking talent to speak of, my god. (Neil, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding. I love Sweet Caroline.)

Derek, one of said friends, approaches me. We talk for a while.

“When’re you guys going on?” He asks.

“Soon,” I say. I decide to head outside to check on Roy, to see if he’s done. He is hanging upside down from a tree, meowing long, painful meows then screaming different women’s names. This is his closer, if I remember correctly.

We go on stage and rock out. Max, my singer, sings and bounces on his keyboard with the rhythmic frenzy of a Charlie Brown character. Ryan beats his drums with the raw energy of Animal from the Muppets. I play my guitar like a guy masturbating in his Halloween costume.

The music is powerful and dripping with positive energy. Between songs, guys keep trying to come on stage and propose to their girlfriends. From behind my mic, I see a father and son reconnecting after years of conflict. A North Korean and a South Korean embrace, realizing finally that they are not so different after all. A young black man offers his seat to an old white woman. Two neighbors, locked in a competition over who has the best Christmas lights on the street, realize their folly, that it’s really about the spirit, and shake hands. Stephen King winks at me and raises a pint. I squint, trying to see more clearly past the stage lights, not believing my eyes. Stephen laughs, takes a sip of his beer, then fades into nothing. I miss him still.

The show ends well, and we all go straight to bed afterward.

Happy Holidays.

The Big Goodbye

23 Aug

Recently, my friend Sam moved to Portland, Oregon. There’s also a Portland, Maine, but he didn’t move there. He moved to the cool one, not the Stephen King one.

Before he left, we threw him a party. The party was held at the house of my friend, Lanny.

Sam in the foreground, Lanny in the background.

“Time to say goodbye,” I say. I pop the tab back on the can and pour a Redbull over a half-full glass of Wild Turkey. “See you guys later.” I look at all their beautiful, shiny faces. Everyone’s skin is so oily. I can’t wait to be drunk so I won’t notice this anymore. I lift the glass to my lips. It’s cold in my hand. I make a mental note to go to my car after this and get my drinking mitten.

The firewater dances along my lips; it reaches my tongue and loses its footing and falls and hits its head; it moans and thrashes around in my throat before falling down in my belly and dying. Its soul will rise and go to heaven 12 hours later. That’s the heart burn.

In attendance at the party are nine of Sam’s closest friends and someone’s boyfriend. Most of us have been friends for some time. These gatherings are thick with memories. I survey the group, thinking back on days gone by. I look at my friend Derek and remember the time he kissed my mouth on New Years. I think that thought about roughly every man at this party. I look at Sam. I think of when we would go to his apartment on the weekends and play Rock Band. We tried real hard. Derek quit, Lanny got married, I shoulda known, we’d never get far. Oh, when I look back now, those years seemed to last forever. And if I had a choice, yeah, I’d always want to be there. Those were the best days of my life.

I look at a few more people and think a few more things.

Sam gets out his pipe and loads it up. Soon the laughter begins. I sit in a circle with Derek, Sam, Josh, and Lanny. I’ve been friends with Lanny and Josh since *Nsync. I don’t smoke weed on this night, though, and for two reasons. One, I work for the government, and am fairly certain they put something in me that tells them when I do bad things like that. Two, when I drink and smoke together it’s like–it’s like my brain is a car, and when I’m drunk, the car becomes a big monster truck and I can drive all over the road and nobody can do squat because I’m in a monster truck and I just run over everything in my path (simple logic, common courtesies, my best interests) and bowl through to the next stop; and when I’m high as well, it’s like my monster truck only has three tires and is on fire.

Sam takes a big pull off of the pipe, expanding his lungs to their fullest capacity. He passes it to Derek. Derek takes a long drink from his beer before lighting up and inhaling. All the while, Lanny sits to my left, smiling like one of those monkey-with-cymbals toys.


Sam exhales while Derek inhales and it’s like some great, human machine, built to destroy pain and drive the heart from the darker places of life and into some small, secret alcove where there is warmth and always respite.

“Oh, I feel it down in my balls, dude,” Derek says as he exhales and grabs his balls. Everyone laughs. Lanny smacks his cymbals together wildly.

I get up and walk outside. The night is warm and overcast, so there are no stars. A small group has gathered by the back door. Most are smoking cigarettes. I find cigarettes detestable. How could you poison your body when you know it’s bad for you that makes no sense gosh these people are idiots I think, then take a drink of my alcohol/energy drink concoction, feeling the light, buzzed feeling as the alcohol deprives my brain of oxygen and the energy drink pushes my heart and kidneys to go faster, faster, faster.

I think of the first time I got drunk, at Sam’s student-living apartment five years ago. The drinks were home-made margaritas and beer pong beer.

Sam comes out and he smokes a cigarette too. We talk about space and the universe. I hope the clouds break at some point, so we can see the stars and the moon. Mars is supposed to be visible tonight.

Most members of the party get in the pool. By this time, we’re all happily poisoned, thrashing and yelling and laughing with the abandon and glee of mentally handicapped children.

“Let’s do a diving contest!” my roommate, Alex says. She pulls her tiny body from the pool and scampers over to the diving board, then does an annoyingly good dive. There is little splash and her body stays straight as she enters the water.

“How annoying,” I mutter to myself, suddenly no longer having a good time. My time will not be good again until I perform a perfect dive or a dive more perfect than Alex’s.

I dive and dive and dive. It never works. I remember other times I tried to win at something over and over again and always failed. I think of any physical contest with Sam.

After we dry off, we gather on Lanny’s driveway. We start playing basketball, overhand throwing the ball at the metal hoop, dribbling two or three times before the ball hits a toe and flies off under someones car. I remember hanging over the guard rail at the UNT rec center basketball court, yelling incoherently at Sam while he played for our dorm’s team. Another friend, Kevin, who is wearing a tank top, does a pretend dunk. He doesn’t have the ball in his hand at the time, but if he did, I imagine he would have at least gotten very close to making a dunk. I look over at Sam. He is sitting down under the floodlight, his eyes pointed at his feet, but looking at nothing at all. I have to look away, because I recognize the look, had the same look a year ago, when I was leaving for grad school in San Marcos; it is the look of someone who is present, but already gone.

After basketball, we’re all in a circle, swapping Sam stories. The swap was my idea, and I regret it as soon as I suggest it, because it’s depressing the shit out of me and suddenly Sam’s leaving feels much more real. Derek is more drunk than I’ve seen him in some time, and is moaning like a beached whale. I find some solace in that. Because aren’t we all just a bunch of beached whales?

[Editor’s Note: I’m not sure I follow.]

[Kyle’s Note: Then don’t. Don’t follow me anywhere ever again. Stay where you are, and I’ll just go somewhere else. Without you.]

My heart swells as I tell my story of how I met Sam. The story is not a very good one, at least not on its own. It’s better when viewed in its place among my innumerable other Sam stories. A few people laugh at the moments I think are funny, but I laugh the hardest, because I was there and it makes me happy to have these memories and because it feels good to put a physical feeling on that happiness.

The next day, as Sam leaves Lanny’s house and I see him for the last time for a long time, I give him a hug, and have absolutely no idea what to say. So, I do what I always do when met with this sort of tension, I make jokes. This doesn’t bother me, though, as it is clear Sam has no idea what to say, either. Probably because there isn’t much to say other than “This sucks, doesn’t it?”

But it doesn’t suck that much, really. I like to think that Sam left for his Best Possible Life, which is a gamble worth taking no matter who you are. It’s a gamble you’re fortunate to take, whether you succeed in finding that Life or not.

So see you later, Sammy Sweet. Hope Portland is the coolest.

Love Tips

14 Jul

Some tips are good. Tips that help you through life–good. Tips that you give waiters and waitresses–great. Tips that you spot but think little of because you don’t realize they’re just tips and not the entire mass and then you hit them with your cruise ship that you had told everyone was unsinkable but then boom you hit the damn thing and it was under the whole time how were you to know but so what you hit it and now you’re sinking but don’t worry you’ll be famous forever for it–and dead–bad.

This is a collection of the first kind of tip. The kind of tip that improves your life and makes you a better person. And a better lover 😉

[Editor’s Note: It ruins your credibility when you use emoticons in your articles.]

[Kyle’s Note: :-P]

1. Gently caress her body with your finger tips. Run up her spine, along the backs of her arms. Whisper “…targeting…” in her ear. Then, every few seconds, pinch her as hard as you can and say “Kaboom.” The light nerve stimulation combined with the images of incendiary bombs releases endorphins that amp up sex drive.

2. Women love nose play. While she’s laying in bed, looking up at you expectantly, her eyes soft and pleading, leap on top of her like the great ape that you are. Straddle her torso. Look at the flash of fear in her eyes. Let it pass. Start scooching forward. The feel of your taint sliding up her sternum drives her wild and releases endorphins that amp up her sex drive. Push your hips forward. Say, in your most effeminate voice, “Eskimo kiss” then tickle the tip of her nose with your penis until you climax.

3. Take your lover from behind. As she gets close to climaxing, scream “There’s another guy in here!” This will terrify the shit out of her and kill the mood. Make sounds like you’re struggling with someone, but don’t get out of her. Fall forward, pressing her onto the bed. Keep making sounds like a fight. Maybe even give the other guy a funny voice. This tactic could have big rewards, as your lover may be turned on by listening to you defend her so bravely, but it will most likely kill the mood for the both of you, turning your erection into little more than a boneless crotch finger. See tips 1 and 2 to reclaim the mood.

4. Put on a pair of silk gloves and dawn a top hat. Undress your lover slowly, running your silk-laden fingertips along every inch of her body. When she’s good and hot, move to the foot of the bed. Stand there, completely nude and completely aroused, letting your manhood swing proud. Bing bong bing bong, it will say–like a disgusting grandfather clock. Remove your hat and introduce yourself. Say “I am the Love Magician. And I am here to make my lunch–disappear!” And then take an enormous dump on the ground. The smell of your feces will release endorphins that will make her south mouth salivate with desire. Get back on the bed. It’s show time.

5. Scream “BOOM!” every time you thrust.

6. Cover a pearl necklace with lube and stuff it into your butt. Once you start making love and she’s close to climaxing, pull out. Throw yourself onto your back and spread your legs wide. Say “You have given me a gift from your vagina. Now let me give you a gift from mine–from my boy vagina.” Reach with your thumb and index finger into your butt and draw out the pearl necklace. When she starts and tries and backs away from shock, fear, and carnal desire, pursue her. Being chased with an object recently removed from a human body releases endorphins that put her sex drive through the roof.

7. While she’s on top of you, reach out and grab both of her hands. Tense your arms to give her some support while she’s grinding. Then, do your best impression of her parents. Alternate between father and mother. Do not let go of her hands. Scream the name of her family dog as you climax.

8. Leave a bouquet of flowers at your lover’s office. Inside the bouquet, include a note that reads “Flowers for my flower” or something along those lines. “A rose for my rose.” Resist all “Seed” entendres; they will send the wrong message. Stick with more romantic, erotic messages. “I want to stab you with a shovel and put roses in you.” “You are dirt.” Then, leave a gift card for her favorite restaurant and tell her her next clue is there. When she gets to the restaurant, have a table set out for her. Leave a note there that reads “You better get used to stuff like this.” Leave a note on her entree that says she has fifteen minutes to eat before the building explodes. When she runs out to her car, have a note under her windshield that says “…with desire.” She will not understand and neither will you, but that’s not important. On the back of that note, write “You need to get home before your dessert gets cold.” She will hurry home as quickly as possible. When she walks in and calls your name, don’t say a word. Put cut out paper arrows on the ground that lead to the bathroom, where you lay in a tub full of red water, fake blood poured all over your wrists. She will scream and cry, but don’t move. The sight of a dead body releases endorphins that can moisten even the driest flap of lady meat. She may even climax right there. When she drops to her knees by the tub, burst into life and scream “SEX!” Leap on top of her. Your sudden resurrection will fill her with desire. For you.

Making a Record

3 Jul

My band, Savage and the Big Beat, is finishing up recording our first EP. It will be called Love and Hunting and should be out soon. My friend, Roy Robertson, recorded us in his home. Below is a brief account of that process.

I arrive at Roy’s house. As soon as I open my car door, I hear a buzzing like an electric razor. I look around to see who is shaving outdoors, but see no one. I locate the sound. There is a pile of raw chicken meat in the middle of Roy’s front lawn.

Next to the pile is a piece of poster board affixed to the ground with a stake. “HUNGRY YET?!” it says. I don’t know who Roy is attacking here. The obvious answer would be that he’s attacking meat-eaters. I think it would also be easy to assume he is attacking chickens with this display–making some sort of example out of these poor bastards. I consider throwing the chicken away–the smell is awful, and I’m worried about neighborhood dogs eating the chicken and getting sick, but then I remember a time when I was jogging and a bunch of dogs ran up and started barking cat calls, baffling me on a zoological level and offending me on a personal level, because all their cat calls were about my rounded bottom and soft, human genitals. Remembering this moment, I decide that the dogs probably have it coming and leave the chicken exactly where it is.

I go up to the door and knock several times. There is no answer. I can hear drums being pounded inside the house and assume they can’t hear me. I don’t want to call one of them and have a ring on the recording, so I open the door and walk in. Roy and my singer, Max, are sitting in the living room. Roy has an eggplant in his lap. There are several small bite marks taken out of it, as if it had been nibbled by  a rodent.

“Oh,” I say.

“Just walk on in, Kyle,” Roy says. He is wearing dark shades. His beard is wild and his hair unkempt. He is wearing an off-white t shirt that used to be regular white.

“Hey man,” Max says. His palms are resting on his knees and when he looks at me he looks very tired. He has brown hair on his head.

“We’re talking about recording,” Roy says.

“Oh. What’re you talking about?” I ask.

Recording.” Roy says.

“I mean what about recording.”

Roy grumbles and gets to his feet. Max flinches.

“Kyle, what does this look like to you?!” he asks, shoving the eggplant in my face then pulling it away.

“It looks like an egg plant.”

“Wrong!” He screams. His free hand is clenched. Max looks at me, confused and frightened.

“That is an eggplant. It looks like an eggplant,” I say.

“No talking!” Roy commands, his voice cracking violently on “talking.” He tousles his hair and pulls a section over his right eye. “Max!” He spins on his heels to face Max. “What does this look like?”

“A…b…a…dinosaur egg…?” He looks at me and smiles sheepishly.

A few seconds hang after he answers. Roy shakes his head, looks to the ground, then emits a shrill howl, throwing his head back, facing the ceiling.

“A liver!” Max shouts, his hands out, attempting to calm Roy. “A tumor! Bob Dylan!”

I scramble. “Vegan things! Quinoa!”

Roy is suddenly silent. “It looks like a giant jelly bean, dip shits.” He throws the eggplant into the chair he has just vacated. “What is the point?” I hear him asking as he walks into the kitchen.

“How’s it been going?” I ask Max. Max tells me that he hasn’t gotten to record yet. “You’ve been here for hours,” I say.

“Roy recorded all the vocals for our songs already. He told me to take them home tonight and listen to them and then come back tomorrow and I’d know how to sing them.”

“You’re kidding.”

“He’s only kidding if he tells you he’s ready to record. He’s not ready to record.” Roy spins on his heels and throws a deck of cards into the air. They fly all over the room.

“What have you guys recorded, then?” I ask. He looks at Roy and then looks at me. He begins to speak, but for a moment, his mouth opens and nothing comes out.

Then, he says “We’ve recorded–we went through the keys and the drums for two of the songs, but then Roy took us on this twenty minute walk that ended back in the recording area and he showed us that none of the mics were plugged in.

“A Rude Awakening!” Roy says from the floor as he picks up the cards.

Max continues. “Then he plugged the mics in and told us to take our places and start on the first song on his signal. He positioned his chair so he was facing us and we waited for his signal. Then we sat there in silence for twenty minutes.”

“The sssssound of silence,” Roy says directly into my ear, startling me. “Ssssslippery, ssssslimy, ssssssnakes” he says, gritting his teeth and doing a slithering motion with his hands.

“What happened after twenty minutes?” I ask. “Did you record anything?”

“Roy recorded himself slow clapping in an empty room.”

“And then?”

“Then he spent a while trying to put effects on the clap. After that, we tried to record ‘Castles,’ but Roy was playing the slow clap in our headphones while we were doing it, so it kept throwing our timing off. He also let his dog in the room and kept throwing its toys at our feet. It bit me.” Max rubs his enormous foot and looks sullenly at Roy.

“The dangers of expressing ones’s self!” Roy says. He tousles his own hair, claps once, and then produces a loud yelp.

“Okay, Roy, we need to express our songs into microphones without being bitten by dogs.” I pause for a moment, thinking of what I just said, taking an inventory of my life. “Can we please do that now?”

“Oh yeah totally,” Roy says, then smacks Max on the top of Max’s head and runs back into the recording area.

“Roy, don’t hit!” I yell after him, but it’s too late. Max sits in the chair, rubbing the top of his hair and looking sore.

“I’m sorry for that, Max. That’s just–that’s Roy. You still want to record?”

Max nods slowly, his hand still on the top of his head. I suddenly realize that Ryan is in the backroom and has been playing the same beat since I arrived.

“Roy said Ryan could stop playing when his drums sounded like the heartbeat of a whale. He’s been playing for hours. He just can’t get it.”

I sigh and motion for Max to follow me as we head back to record our EP.

Game of Thrones: A Pre-Read, Pre-Viewing Review

26 May

I am surrounded by the Game of Thrones.

Sometimes I wonder if it is good. Is it good? I’m not sure.

As an adult male with a frustrating lack of time to do the things I’d like to do for fun, I have to economize my free time as much as possible. I have to only do extremely high-value things. So, I’d like to determine whether Game of Thrones is good enough before I spend countless hours of my time reading/watching it.

It seems clear to me that Game of Thrones employs a number of swords. Many different swords are used in this book series. You can tell by looking at the cover of the first installment. There are so many swords in the Game of Thrones series that people are making chairs out of them. I have turned over every volume of this series at stores and have yet to see any other weapon than a sword. The third installment is called A Storm of Swords. This lends credence to the abundance of swords in the Game of Thrones series. They are now in the atmosphere. Swords in the atmosphere.  I think there is a helmet like Maximus’s from Gladiator on one of the covers. This leads me to believe that Russel Crowe (As himself) makes an appearance in the series. This is great. This makes all the other characters in the series a little nervous though, because they know about his reputation as a hothead and are afraid to get beat up/be on TMZ.

But aside from the cover and the promise of a variety of blades being employed, it is the writing that really makes this series a winner. “Grabs hold and won’t let go. It’s brilliant.” Robert Jordan writes on the first installment’s back cover. This comment makes me think of sex.

The first installment of the series, Game of Thrones, is about a chess game played by the great old giants of old, way back in the old times. It is also about a pair of large Sudanese men who take turns throwing thrones into hoops hung high in the air. The stakes of these games are not simply the thrill of victory or the fear of loss, but death. Burning death, that burns so badly as you die.

The second book in this series is called A Clash of Kings. I’ll come back to this.

But also in this series seems to be a lot of sex. When people mention the television show, this always comes up, and all I can think of is medieval, smudge-faced, backdoor, pants around the ankles, barn sex. There may be a sword on the ground somewhere in the background. There may be a little person wearing an ornate shirt with puffy shoulders watching, either smiling jollily, or eyeing the pair with a plotting look, his little midget wee wee standing up like the lid of a Magic Marker.

I might not come back to A Clash of Kings.

The cast of Game of Thrones television show is composed entirely of beautiful women, midgets, hydrocephalic children and Tommy Carcetti. I imagine Tommy walks into the throne room, where the guy who was Boromir in Lord of the Rings sits proudly on his throne. Tommy has a huge sword that is much too large for one hand, that is meant for two hands, but Tommy doesn’t understand that a two-hand sword is a real thing and not just a thing that weak guys call a one-hand sword. So, he stumbles in toward the throne, struggling to hold the sword out in front of him. He looks like a toddler trying to carry practically anything.

“I want this–Can I have this throne?” He asks in a heart-pounding moment.

The king stands, his armor squeaks like a rubber ducky.

“NO! This is my throne!”

Tommy lowers his sword. He smiles with one side of his face. “Your name isn’t on it.”

The king’s eyes get wide. He calls his top adviser over. “Have this throne searched for my name! It must be there.”

But no one can find his name anywhere. He shrugs, says a cuss word, and steps down off the throne. Carcetti drops the sword, which clatters loudly to the ground. He skips up to the throne.

[Editor’s Note: What are you reviewing in this passage?]

I don’t know.

Then one of the little people pops out of Boromir’s butt and says “Beebudee beebudee that’s all folks” and the whole series ends.

This book and this show sound awesome. I hope at one point a horse slips on some mud or something and a horse’s butt hole lands on a little person and then the horse says “WAAAHOOOOO” and stands up and runs all over the kingdom and you can see the little guy’s legs wiggling around in its butthole like the horse grew two tiny tails.

Boromir and Carcetti stand laughing, their arms around each other’s shoulders. Two men. Two kings. Two wildly different haircuts.

I can’t wait to experience Game of Thrones.

Kyle Irion and the Very Annoying Night

15 May

It is Friday night. My band, Savage and the Big Beat, is playing a house show.

My friend, Derek, who gave me a ride, drops me off in front of the house while he finds parking. I’m running late, and for some reason I feel like I’ll be in trouble if I don’t get my things in soon. I expected the second band to have started by now, but it appears the first is still playing. It is 11:00.

I am carrying my pedal board, my guitar, and my “Magic Bag,” which contains no real magic, unless you consider guitar cables magical, in which case I feel really sad for you and don’t tell me you think it’s magical because that will ruin my entire day.

“GOOD LUCK!” A fat man says to me as I approach the house. He looks very sweaty and his facial hair is growing in a pattern similar to the way moss grows on a tree. I look to him and say nothing, but silently wish him luck with his fight against obesity.

The driveway to the house is packed with cars and people. It is dark and there are few lights outside, so the scene is a series of silhouettes. Cardboard cutouts of people and cars. I see two men peeing on a fence. I remember when I could pee on a fence. That was before I had gainful employment/a grown-man penis that feels strange being whipped out around 19 year olds.

I waddle to the garage/performance space with my equipment.

There is one door through which people are entering and exiting the garage. My drummer emerges through it and offers to help carry my things. He grabs the magic bag and the pedals. I carry the guitar. We force our way through the crowd and enter the converted garage. It is full of young, sweaty, intoxicated humans. The air is thick with musk and smoke. It’s like walking around a biker’s crotch parts.

We make our way into the kitchen. I do not know where to go from here.

“This way” my drummer, Ryan, says. He leads me down a hallway to a back room that I can tell is lit by a single red bulb. I begin to have flash backs to Caligula and the Doors movie. I get nervous.

He opens a door at the end of the hall and my butt-lips tighten. My leather donut is at full tension when Ryan turns and says “You can put it all in here.” In here. I wasn’t expecting the sex to happen so fast. And I thought there would be more people.

“I thought there would be more people here,” I say, slowly putting down my equipment.

“You kidding me? There are tons of people here!”

Fear shoots through me like an arrow. Where are they? Will this be a sexual ambush? Ambush my bush?

My palms are sweaty and my package has shriveled to resemble a tiny mushroom growing on the knot of a tree. I try to excite myself. I think of running water–fountains, rivers. I feel an extremely strong urge to urinate and realize I am thinking of the wrong things.

Noticing my hesitation, Ryan asks “You okay with this? I promise it’ll be safe here.”

Safe. Safe.

“You sure?” I ask.

“Yeah. No one is going to get in here but the bands, and they don’t want you messing with their stuff, so they aren’t going to mess with yours.”

“Sounds like a pretty shitty orgy,” I say, the mix of “shit” and “orgies” instantly making me hard. Now I’m ready. I just hope I’m gay enough.

Ryan blinks a few times and says nothing, then “What?”

I realize I have misjudged the situation. Seeing all the windows are shut and locked, I turn around and walk out of the room as quickly as I can.

When I reach the crowd in the kitchen, I see a man I know. His name is Phil. Hello, Phil.

Phil says hello.

“I feel a little silly,” I say. The music is forcing me to yell into Phil’s ear.

“What? Why?” he yells back.

“I didn’t know this was a theme party.”

“A theme party?” Phil leans back away from my ear. He looks confused.

“‘Saved by the Bell,’ right?”

“I d–”

“90’s clothes.” I look around “Is this not a 90’s party?”


“Thrift Store Dumpster?”


“Sequins and Just Straight Up Ugly Polos?”

“I can’t tell if you’re talking shit on everyone or not.”

I hear the phrase “shit on everyone” and harden again.

“No, no,” I say, forcing laughter. “I’m just kidding.”

Phil laughs too. He will hate me forever.

I go outside and meet up with Derek there. He is standing by a Mazda and drinking some strange concoction that with every sip is taking minutes off of his life. Roy Robertson of the Roy Robertson Band is also there. He is spinning in place and then ducking very low before springing back up and spinning again.

“Hey Derek,” I say. “Hey Roy.”

“Hello,” Derek says, his voice dripping with the jolliness of intoxication.

“Time,” Roy whispers, then blows a small handful of dirt from his outstretched palm.

“When’re you guys going on?” Derek asks. The first band is wrapping up, leaving two more bands to play before we go on. It’s 11:15. More people are showing up every minute, too many for the house and garage to contain. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to get busted up before we go on.

A man walks by. He is wearing a safari jacket and trousers and he says very loudly that he has every intention of “getting fucked up” this evening.

“Those ancient words,” Derek says, a fire kindling behind his eyes. “Like an incantation.”

The first band ends and the second begins setting up. It is 11:25. At midnight, I look over to the garage and sigh. They are still setting up.

“How long does this band need to set up?” Derek asks. “It’s like fucking Rush is playing tonight.”

But it is not Rush. It is a different band, who could use a little RUSHing.

There is noise from the house. The second band has started. It is 11:32. I am having a conversation with Roy about recording my band’s EP.

“So what do you want to record?” Roy reaches into his pocket, turns away briefly, and when he turns back, has inserted some sort of strobe-light bead into his mouth.

“A few of our songs?” I reply. I am confused.

“WRONG! You want to record lifesex, passion–” Roy keeps getting closer and closer to me. His voice is altered and difficult to understand, because he still has the light up bead resting on his tongue. “love, hate, mystery, war, dogs.”


“Like at the dog park,” Roy says, then spits the light bead into the air. Some spit lands on my face. Although this is the first bit of saliva that has touched my face, I feel I’ve been spit on all night.

“I’m confused,” I say.

I walk away and wander through the crowd. They are like refugees. There are so many of them and all seem so aimless, all drinking makeshift booze out of makeshift containers. I see a man drinking beer out of a measuring cup. I try to find people to talk to, but can find none. The last I heard from Derek, he had to “Drain it” and had taken a jug of trashcan punch with him. I asked him why he needed the trash can punch to drain it. He took three bounding steps toward me and grabbed me by my shirt.

“Because, Kyle. I’m lookin’ good, but feelin’ bad.” Then he growled like a wolf and walked to the back of the house.

When a group of young people climb onto the roof, I elbow the guy next to me and make a comment about the dangers of not minding the soft spots on the roofs of old houses. He looks at me like I’ve got blood coming out of my eyes and walks away.

As he leaves me, I see blue and red lights bounce against the house. I turn and look to see where the lights are coming from. There’s only one place they can be coming from.

I look back to the garage. Young people are piling in as if the government has come to collect financial aid payments. I start to walk to the garage, pulled by the invisible attraction of mob mentality. I reach into my back pocket, where my flask is stored. I pull it out and drop it on the ground.

When it hits the ground, it makes a dull clink and the clink is like a flipped switch in my brain.

I ask myself why I’m going to the garage. I’m 25. I have no reason to fear. I pick up my flask and walk back to the cars and lean back on one while listening to the party’s hosts roll around in the social mud trying to convince the cop that everything will be OK, promise.

“I’m not trying to kill the party guys,” the lady cop says. I wonder what the hell she thought she was going to do when she pulled up to the large gathering of illegally intoxicated minors. “Just keep it down, please.” All the hosts nod and thank her for being a good nice cop and she leaves.

Once she is gone, the party continues as if she had never come.

And then the second cop comes.

I tip my hat to the shitty old house and leave.

The End.

Rules for Junior High Dances

6 May

“Okay boys, listen up. I want everyone to have a good time tonight–the entire faculty does.”

“I don’t,” the PE coach that does the sex ed says.

“Everyone except him. He doesn’t want you to have a good time. And do you know why? Because he knows what a “Good Time” can really lead to. Babies. Warts. Discharge. Yes, and it can happen to you. If it has already happened to you, tell your friends how horrible it was. If you try to say it wasn’t that horrible, you’re a liar and you’re not welcome to the snacks anymore. Here are the ten rules.”

  1. Hands must be above the waist at all times. 
  2. Hands must be visible at all times. 
  3. No “Bumping” or “Grinding.”
  4. Keep your crotch and rear-ends as still as possible. 
  5. Resist all temptations to touch her hair. Your greasy little fingers will only ruin it. 
  6. Hold her hand.
  7. Watch her purse and don’t bitch about it. 
  8. No kissing on the first date. 
  9. Open as many doors for her as you can. Don’t open a door for her if it will take too long or take too much effort; that will just make her uncomfortable. 
  10. The more folds the note has, the more facets to your complex and beautiful love for her. 
  11. Go to the dance after Homecoming.
  12. Buy her ticket. 
  13. Dance. 
  14. Tease her, be playful, but never, ever, ever tease her about her looks. 
  15. Hang out with her instead of your friends from time to time, instead of always the other way around.
  16. “Hanging out” is not her watching you play Madden.
  17. Dance.
  18. Call her.
  19. Call her and talk back.
  20. Call her and talk back and ask lots of questions. 
  21. Make out for a while without grabbing boob. 
  22. “A while” is not three minutes.
  23. Dance. 
  24. Sex matters. 
  25. Often times, the more ridiculous you feel while doing something, the more she’s going to love it. 
  26. So, do ridiculous (romantic) things.
  27. Not loving someone who loves you does not make you smarter, cooler, or more reasonable than that person. 
  28. Be careful with people who love you, and don’t fuck it up.
  29. Dance.
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