Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leaving a little cafe with some group of people I barely know, trying to get to another destination on time, but it’s unclear if this will happen. I don’t seem to care too much, though, about that— I’m with this group more out of some external compulsion than free choice. We step outside into a bustling downtown, on a street that posts up skyscrapers just a few blocks down the road. Above them, there are green fireworks exploding. I smile at them. This city seems kind of Japanese-looking to me.

Fireworks continue. I can see hot ashes sprinkling down on the road two blocks up. And then I can see huge panicking throngs of people running in every direction just a little further past that. Someone next to me points out the helicopters that can be seen over the area. “They’re bombing!” the stranger shouts. They? A foreign country could never put helis in our airspace…
It becomes increasingly clear that a chaotic massacre is taking place close by. I am drawn to it, weaving through the fleeing people to eventually come to the eye of the storm. It’s a boy with messy hair and a black army jacket. He looks about 13 and he’s followed by a girl who is at least five or six years older than that. She carriers a duffle bag and very casually loads guns for the boy. As he runs out of ammo in one gun, he passes it to her and she gives him the new one. She looks amused, almost delighted— he seems pretty dispassionate. Somehow it is understood that whatever is going on with bombs and explosions and flying debris all originates right here, with this kid.

I follow him for a short time watching him methodically shoot people. Then I clock him in the back of the head with candelabra. He goes unconscious. I look around for his female companion but she has vanished. I pick the shooter up in my arms and carry him back to the cafe I had just been at. There are no more fireworks, but the streets are full of ragged and bloody people moving wounding bodies and wailing. On the way, I try and tell a few people that it’s OK, that I have the perpetrator in my arms, but they all seem too preoccupied. Before I can get all the way back, he seems to be coming to, so I take off his jacket and wrap it around us both, tying it in front, making a little sack to wrap my arms around. I can feel him try to flex his legs but there’s not enough room in the sack.

I get to the cafe and explain to the parents and police there that I have the kid who did it. When I untie the jacket, though, there’s nobody in there. I’m completely confused, try to retrace my steps and where he might have escaped, but can’t figure out how it happened. They make me a junior police anyway.

I work on a case with Lester Freeman and Geoff, an old friend from high school. We are trying to capture some drug tycoon. It takes too long, though, for us to get all the evidence we want, so the case is closed and we get assigned to a new one, a pretty weak one. Geoff and I are able to finish our work on it very quickly and I decide to visit my parents’ old house in Baldwin and chill out for a while. My parents are living there again. I poke around the place and feel actually pretty relieved to see it again, and ready to enjoy that yard like never before. It’s nice out, pleasantly warm. The picnic table is set up next to the driveway. I decide to bike up to Jacksonville and rent a video game, and while I’m up there my dad calls me on a cellphone to ask if I really know this old black guy who showed up at the house. I tell him that the guy is a detective and he’s a little gruff but that they would definitely get along if he just talked to him a little. My dad starts choke up and tells me some things about Ronald Reagan I’ve never heard him say before in a tone I’ve never heard him use.

I go back home to find Geoff and Freeman at the picnic table. Freeman looks so bummed. He asks me what I’m up to and I tell him I felt like I could relax for the first time in a long, long while, so I was going to take advantage of it. Geoff tells him something similar about his own plans, then I ask him what he’s going to do. “Try and put a stop to some evil,” he says, picking up a manilla folder full of papers off the table and standing up. It’s obvious he’s going to use all his time off to go back to work on our old case.

“OK,” I say, “Let’s do it.”

I go inside and tell my parents I’m taking off. My mom has two kittens now, two playful little white and grey twins, and Melvyn is in there cautiously checking them out. When I leave I start running.

I run through all the neighbors' yards and keep going, until I’m on a farm. The ground seems like it was recently frozen, all kinds of hard, twisted little crags sticking up in the dirt. I keep running full-bore until I realize I’ve somehow entered a fenced-in field. There’s a balance-beam like construction in the middle, and I go jump up on it and look around me for the first time in a while. There are four animals in this pen with me, grey animals, and at first I think they’re donkeys until I realize at least one of them has huge horns. The horned one notices me, too. I try to remember what Roby told me about being in a pen with bulls— you’re not supposed to look at them, I think. And if you move slow— or is it moving slowly in a zig-zag pattern? Or is it moving sideways? You’re supposed to be able to move some way and they can’t see you. I think. The horned one takes a run in my direction, but he passes under the balance beam. The fence closest to me is high, I’m not sure if I could get to it and up before one of these bulldonkeys fucks me up. The next closest fence has barbed wire at the top. The other bulldonkeys have notice me, too, now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm riding over a beach in a square metal tub that's tethered to some kind of motor vehicle. A lot of people are walking beside, I'm the only one in the tub. There are some 20-ft owl-like creatures standing around with an orange fungus growing on their arms and backs-- the group that I am with presumes they are sick and is a bit bummed. The creatures seem not to care about us passing through this beach. One of the owls has a face like a smiling sock monkey and I laughingly yell out to Roby to watch out because it looks like it wants to play.

Friday, August 21, 2009

There are highways tangled as far as the eye can see, most of them elevated, looping around each other, dipping and rising and making long, wide curves. There are some cars but somehow the large group I am in is able to walk on them without too much trouble. We all carry weapons and frequently encounter other groups that we must shoot. The guns are only air rifles, though-- it hurts when you get tagged, but the majority of shots don't really put you down.

At least that's my understanding until I see a guy near me get hit in the eye with a skinny, three foot long bolt. After our group redoubles our efforts and scatters the assailants, I pick up a strange crossbow off the ground. It's very light, made of red and black plastic, and folds up very easily. The game has changed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big party at Thomas R's house, half older professional types and half freaky employees, not much intermingling. I am concerned with finishing four exquisite pewter masks, each which represents a different character, three of which have little smooth red orbs for eyes. The fourth has narrow slits for eyes, a large brow, and a sneaky grin. I explain each character to someone I work with: the fourth mask is Maradin, the shapeshifter. It is late, and the neighborhood outside the house is dark and silent, but people still socialize gently in various parts of the house. I put the masks on a wall above a dark purple couch, no one sees me do it, but some of my coworkers know that I am the one who made them-- no, not made them: I've only "finished them."

The older people find them and immediately hate them. In a short period of time, 7 of these people are murdered. I know that I committed the 7th murder, and still hold the razor blade I used to slash the man's throat in my pocket... but my memory is not right and I am unclear as to whether I was responsible for all of them. Well, in a way I don't feel responsible for any of them-- it has something to do with the masks, I never would have decided to kill anybody on my own. Thomas and the remaining guests suspect the masks and the murders are linked as well, and the police are called. "Don't say anything to the cops, it can only hurt you, even if you haven't done anything wrong" I tell myself. They come and look through the house-- the cops interview the older folks and ignore the rest of us for now, although none of us are allowed to leave the building. No one seems willing or ready to indicate that I have played a pivotal role in the appearance of the four masks. I decide to escape. I leave through the backyard, ducking my head wildly whenever I see movement in the windows.

I am in a car for a while. I decide that I need to go back in. Somehow, the fourth mask is suddenly in my possession. I put it on. I can look like anybody I want to. I look like somebody else, just a random face I have never seen, and go back in the house. Then I take the mask off and look like Rjyan again. A cop notices me sitting on the couch-- I'm too afraid to feel for the razor, lest the police notice. I go into another room and answer two easy questions before returning to my original strategy: "Look, shouldn't I have a lawyer here before I say anything at all to you?" The cops aren't pleased but they don't turn up the pressure.. the agree that I can have a lawyer and go to question someone else elsewhere. The fourth mask is back on the wall, but I don't remember putting it there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I go to show after show. There's a basement show in a basement I've never seen before. Crazy Dreams Band plays and I talk with Lexie and Nate. After that, a bunch of people walk through a temperate night to get to a coffee shop with a lofted second floor. There's a new Mortal Kombat game up there that I try to play. It's after 4AM and a small crowd of people of various ages assemble to watch N*Sync play a reunion show. We look up and there seems to be no roof, there's a stage high in the air above the coffee shop. All the buildings in the area have had their roofs somehow temporarily erased and we all sit at watch the huge Jumbotron. It doesn't seem like that many people have showed up for this show. It also seems like Timberlake and "that other kinda famous one" are having a contest to see who can hold the mic farther away from their mouth, while "the other three" clutch them close like rappers. Maybe the two famous ones are trying to do the other guys a favor? I debate whether or not it's too late to have coffee and decide that if I have to walk home, it's probably fine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My friends are filming a new spin-off of Ed’s late night talk show in a giant storage room in Hopkins hospital. I get there early while they are still setting up and start drinking some of the horrible Estrella Merlot I got from work the other night with ice and club soda. The room has a really high ceiling and a very dusty concrete floor— it looks more like an unoccupied space at the Copycat than something that would be in the hospital. Hardly anyone is there but the people involved in the show. They explain that this spin-off is more of a crazy game show than a talk show. They run through a bit that has to do with metal fans, it’s pretty funny. They offer to let me play the role of some guy who holds nonsensical cue cards, and I declare my desire to wear some kind of headset, vaguely remembering a similar character from a show I saw when I was little— maybe YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON TV?

A lot of people I know slowly start to arrive, ready to party. Folding chairs are set up across from a broad makeshift wooden stage, on which there is a desk and behind that, a bed with pink sheets. Karl shows up and asks for some of my wine concoction, handing me a nice glass mug. I try to give him exactly half. He says it’s not that bad.

I take off my shoes and put them near the entrance to the room, where I spot Morgan Freeman coming in, looking around, putting his coat on a chair and then leaving again. I race to the back to tell Connor about it. Connor is at the desk, busily preparing with Ed and Adam, and doesn’t seem to believe me. I aimlessly walk around, on two occasions cracking unintentionally very corny jokes: the second time Lexie and Waz, who are eating take-out food at a table in a far corner of the room, holler me down for the corniness (in good humor) and I holler back (slightly embarassed.)

It seems to be taking a long time to get the show going. I haven’t drank much but I feel tired. I get into the bed behind the desk and pull the covers over me. It seems like everybody involved in the show is too busy to notice or care, and I fall asleep. I figure it will be taken as a gag when the show starts and I wake up. It’s hard to tell when the show starts, though. At some point some girl I have never seen comes back trying to find someone to operate “the light table.” Not knowing what else I might/should/could be doing, I volunteer. “What exactly is a light table and what am I supposed to do with it?” I ask on the way across the room. She’s thin and conventionally pretty and total type A personality.

She shows me a strange, budget-looking contraption that basically seems like a long overhead projector covered in little carved wooden characters, each of which has a square wooden block on top of it. I am supposed to remove the squares to reveal words. The letters don’t seem to be arranged in any order, though, and I get confused fast— how will I know what squares to remove if I can’t see the letters until after the blocks are taken away? She is too busy to explain thoroughly, but I get the sense she doesn’t know and is just trying to fulfill her assigned duty. There are some other younger, conventionally pretty girls hanging around the light table talking to each other. I admire them for a moment before returning to the task of trying to figure out how in the hell me revealing random letters is going to be entertaining.

The show begins and a very familiar theme song is played. The room is big and I can’t quite tell what’s going on by Ed, the desk, and the camera. Other people far from that part of the room continue to talk and carry on, as well. Some of the characters under the blocks I reveal aren’t even letters or numbers, but just simple letter-like shapes, most of which seem to be crude variations on the simple heart shape. I come to understand that have to re-take the opening part of the show two or three times, but I don’t really hear why. The girls around the light table continue to talk of unrelated things.

Jeremy plays a familiar-sounding song on an acoustic guitar. I didn’t know he did singer-songwriter stuff. The song is quite long. Then it’s time for my part. I’m hoping that only the projection of these letters will be seen on camera and not my confused fuddling with them. I nervously keep pulling blocks off the letters, revealing nothing that even comes close to a word. Ed talks while I do this, and occasionally the audience in front of him makes noise, but none of it is intelligible to me. I try to crack jokes about the strangeness of this game to the girls— they’re friendly enough.

Mercifully the light table bit ends, me still clueless as to whether I completely bungled it or not. It appears that Jeremy is playing the song again now. I decide to go find my shoes and snoop around to see if Morgan Freeman came back.

I find neither of those things, and then the show seems to be over. Everyone is milling about and talking quite loud now. I return to the light table and one of the girls there, a platinum blonde, starts talking to me. I can’t hear her so I have to put my ear right up next to her mouth. She laughs about how confused she is about what kind of show this is, and I agree, and she puts her face really close to mine, and I assume she couldn’t hear what I’d said and go to repeat it, but she kisses me. I freak out a little and disengage without trying to seem freaked out. I mumble something about needing my shoes, intentionally using the room’s noise to obscure what I’m saying, then take off into the crowd.

I still can’t find my shoes, but Adam from the west side is near the entrance, and so is George from Oakland, and we have to go clock out, apparently, so we can get paid. The office where we do this is in another building of the hospital, and it is then that I realize that we are 24 floors from ground level. Riding the elevator I try to imagine Swearingen and Bullock talking during a long elevator ride and decide that tall buildings are both a cause and a symptom of the pussification of the American male.

We get to a lobby. The girls from the light table are there and they all greet us warmly. One of them has a leather jacket on now, the back of which bears a hand-scrawled message something along the lines of “I got titfucked on Goatse.cx” and I realize that this girl is either some kind of aspiring netporn star, or netporn journalist, or something along those lines. (Some intuition causes me to discard the idea that she’s one of those dimeadozen dirty autobiographical sex columnists, fake Sex-in-the-city types or whatever.) We hang in the lobby for a bit, waiting for something. Three jocko dudes come in the front door and one of them immediately begins loudly talking shit about the girl in the leather jacket. I tell him and his friends to keep moving, to go do whatever they have to do in this building, and after giving me a triple stinkeye (but no backtalk) they all do. I watch them join a group of about 20 other jockos that I hadn’t noticed before, congregating at the other end of the lobby. I get nervous. Adam and George bid farewell to the girls and we walk outside, into the snow, to walk over to the building where this office we need to get to is. I wonder if that huge mob of jockos will fuck with those girls again. My socks get really wet but it’s not as annoying as I expected it to be.

We take another long elevator ride to a classic office, cubicles and computers and all that. It’s crowded with people from the show— all trying to get paid for participating in some way, I suppose. Some round black lady shows me how to log in and out of the computer and I get the impression that I am expected to be doing this often.

Not sure what else to do, I wander about the office and find an unoccupied computer that seems to be in the middle of some ancient trivia game. The graphics are unmistakably EGA, which charms me, and I try to play it a little. It’s asking questions about a movie I know I have seen but only vaguely remember, the demon-themed movie by the same guy who directed the 1942 flick CAT PEOPLE. One question involves the shape of a huge flying beast that resembles a demonic inside-out uterus, a part of the movie I don’t recall but which seems extremely interesting. The next question involves a floating mass of deformed breasts and another asks which character’s semen was stolen to create the floating mass of deformed penises which flies about shooting poisonous sperm. The simple EGA animations of these characters look absolutely amazing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I realized my dad moved all my reggae 12s to another part of the house.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A giant, ancient theater topped with luxury lofts whose name is written in neon above the marquee, where the collective moniker of a group of my friends is written in less luminous script. There's only 2.70 minutes on the burner. There's a pair of unsecured networks apparent from the sidewalk out front, where young ones have just begun quietly queuing en masse, but for some reason I can't seem to get on either network. I put my handheld gaming/internet device back into my backpack, rezipping it quickly before too many flies escape. I walk down the block, turn into the parking lot. Two guys dressed as cops are conversing by an orange cone near the alley that undoubtably leads to the rear of the theater. They direct me back to the front entrance.

An hour or two later I am in, and an hour or two after that I am pushing against a crowd of people, trying to exit through the front door. The crowd is so thick that I am wedged, slowly shuffling against the influx, I can feel my two bulging bags pushing against people I cannot see and I can feel their discomfort through the bag. I keep an apologetic and patient look on my face-- every grill that gets close to mine responds with unmistakable frost. I'm paranoid, for sure, but I think its a safe bet that many of these mumbles are frustrated requests that I use a different door, for a dedicated exit surely exists elsewhere in the building. I'm using this one, though. It doesn't seem unreasonable, to me, to want to come out the same way you came in.

Monday, May 4, 2009


American society has collapsed into a frenzied bloodhunt and me and a small crew of heads are somehow in this area that feels like a cross between a exurban cul-de-sac and a small resort village. We have a house, not sure why or whose, but I'm pretty sure we have some kind of legitimate claim to it. It's big and we find a few guns around, including an awesome rifle with a scope that I sling over my shoulder. Some people try to sleep (we ran a long time to get here) and some people are just panicky and unfocused. I am keeping my eyes on the windows on the top floor (the house has 3 floors, probably a basement, too, although I never get near it for fear of getting trapped down there and executed too easily) watching this little hill behind the house, and the closest neighbor, for signs of violent maniacs. Pretty soon I see a bunch of dudes coming over the hill and they all carry guns. I start yelling for other people to take up spots at windows so we can fucking blast these guys, but one of my crew objects-- the guys with guns are all black. "We've been watching all manner of motherfuckers kill each other like it's nothing all day, we can't fuck aorund right now!" The objector persists, and manages to convince other people in the crew that we should be arguing instead of shooting. "Look-- fess the fuck up," I scream, "You don't really give a fuck about racism, at least not about 'fixing' it or whatever-- all you want to do is feel superior while you criticize and castigate from an impregnable position!" They don't get it. I try to explain that this behavior needs to be left in the past, that the collapse changes everything and these intellectual "gotcha, you crypto-raciss!" shit was never really righteous, it was all about shaming people, never did a damn thing to better anybody's actual existence, only make weird guilty crackers without black friends feel better momentarily about themselves. The argument doesn't stop, though, more people are shouting, trying to get some words in. I turn back to the window to see dudes running at full bore towards our spot. I raise the rifle to my shoulder and take a shot right through the closed window. I watch this dude crumple behind the spreading spiderweb crack in the glass. It turns out I'm Annie Oakley with this little scope attachment. One of my crew joins me at the next window and we repel the gang trying to move on our spot, but we don't actually fall all of them, which makes me sick to my stomach, I know they're going to regroup and return. Also, it will turn out that we've attracted the attention of the closest neighbors, a little McMansion full of (honky) cops (ex-cops at this point, really) who still dress in uniform and think they can trick us into letting them into the house by saying they're going to help us. There's no argument here-- nobody is trying to let them in, but it's obvious that their arsenal is intense so we don't open fire on them either, just stay ready until they leave, threatening to come back and fuck us up big-time.

The first group returns first, though, and after a lengthy shoot-out in which I completely run out of ammo and see most of my crew shot to pieces, the two fat bastards that head up that particular posse come in for vengence. They act so chill at first that there's nothing I can do but sit silently on my knees with my hands on my head while some mook pokes me in the back with the barrel of his gun. There's a rape I am forced to watch in which the rapee begins to act like she's all into it, multiplying the gross line-crossing intensity of this oneiroscape exponentially. I'm abruptly shot in the head by the henchmen behind me before it's over.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A young lady bearing a striking resemblance to the chick from CEMETARY MAN is quite pleased to wear furry ears and a smudge of makeup on her nose while crawling around on all fours. I introduce her to some strangers as my kitty, _____ (name I can't remember.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Running around this giant mansion on a very sunny day, trying to get all these palm-sized kittens collected up so we can go. My family is rolling in some kind of winnebago and I don't know why we took the kittens out but they're running all over the house. I chase a little black and white kitty into a kitchen where it goes on top of a refrigerator and hides in a small space between a cabinet and a microwave. I move the fridge and pull it out and it seems like the kittens are having tons of fun running away from me. Guys in suits with guns aren't into it, though. They chase me. They're led by a guy who looks way too much like Cheney-- it's got to be intentional. When I've got almost all the kittens, only missing one or two, Cheney gets the drop on me. I walk backwards towards the front door, and he aims his pistol and squeezes the trigger. For a moment, my adrenaline pumps and I'm ready to spring at his face-- somehow he missed. He sees my fight-or-flight and laughs and holds up the gun-- it's a cap gun. All the guns were cap guns. He laughs.