Monthly Archives: March 2011

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Chill ways to wake up in my apartment building

The toddler upstairs locates a recorder and launches a one-boy parade.

The next door neighbor decides that it’s time for him, and for the rest of the apartment complex, to fall in love again with the Destiny’s Child song catalog.

My head bangs against the wall and/or the heating pipe when I startle from a dream. The heating pipe is worse because it tends to burn.

The woman living below my bed wakes up her children for school, everyone in her household already combative at 7am. The heating pipe that vertically connects our apartments carries her voice to my ears in muffled, yet somehow still booming notes, giving me the impression that I am crunched upside-down inside the womb of a terrible mother, and I feel free to dread the rest of my life.

Taking the story for a walk

When I am struggling to write a short story, I often elect to take it for a walk. I’m like, “Come on Story, let’s get some fresh air.” So the story and I go meandering through Central Park, where my story can inhale the pure-bred piss of other stories, where it can take huge dumps in the grass, dumps which I can then pick up and discard in labeled shit receptacles, where it can try to hump the legs of more attractive stories, and sometimes novels. Occasionally I let the story off the leash, letting it charge across the meadow, kicking up dirt and cigarette butts, delighting me with its freewheeling ways, but then an urban park ranger fines me $100 ($5 for every curse word, $10 for every inapt metaphor), and my story and I return home, both of us tired, demoralized, and hungry for bacon scraps.