Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Shmoliday

Every year the same ritual occurs: Slaughtered turkey sacrificed on the hot plate of interracial meat.  Your family insists that age before beauty should assume the front of the buffet styled line. So the albino part of the turkey is rarely left by the time your little cousin drips hot gravy on your hand and you are forced to spend twenty minutes squatting on haunches by the dog spout and running cold water on your scorched appendage. The dinner table conversation follows with an all too familiar spiel from your jokingly misogynistic cousin who insists that your place in society is the kitchen. Systematically, the dialogue is followed by a punch to his jugular and a swift witticism about gender identity and his ability to pull off a pleaded skirt. But traditions are overrated.
Let’s talk insanity and its parallel to the holiday season. Shopping is no longer retail therapy but rather a catalyst to scheduling an appointment with the local psychiatrist and a bucket of crazy pills. Did someone say Fruitcake?
Even as I write this-slouched over at my computer like Quasimodo ringing his bell of sufferance and death, I cannot help but leave my posture marred and scoliosis-like due to habit. It becomes comfortable and a means to flee despondency at the call of a greater evil: Christmas music, Consumerism, and Candy canes.
Do not be fooled by the soothing coo of its alliterative disguise. They are the flaws of capitalism at the hand of an angry retired V.P for the corporate “man”. Who happens to wears socks with sandals.
In order to scrooge-up the holiday spirit I have devised a list of gripes allowing readers to wear the eggnog goggles of perspective:

1. If the season wasn’t made to be hostile and scandalous then why are there songs about grandma being run over by a reindeer or mothers portrayed as the town bicycle? Did you really see mommy kissing Santa clause or was it some half priced street corner escort? I know for some the two are easily confused.

2. Let’s get back to muck-raking the Norman Rockwell Christmas’ in our childhood belting, in a Tony Soprano, of “Jingle Bells, batman Smells,”  I’m not sure if some doped up college student or Big Bird wrote that song, either way it would explain why “Robin laid an egg.” Having trouble conceptualizing that image?  The vividness of a grown man squatting out an egg was as horrifying then as it is now. However, we must move past that. We must forgive, forget, and pull an Oedipus-sour-ous-Rex, in order to pioneer the upcoming generation of Helen Kellers blindly discovering a way to exist.

3. Parents tell their children to believe in what essentially describes a pedophile: “He sees you when you’re sleeping/ He knows when you’re awake” and he passes out free candy while he motions for you to sit on his lap. Really, guys?

4.  Why do we need to jingle all the way? Let’s make our own bells jingle, whether it’s some of the way, half of the way, or most of the way.

5. Seriously, What is the appeal to giving Christmas socks as gifts? Did Jesus use to wear them with his sandals?

6. Isn’t it enough that we are masochists the other 364 days of the year that we need to subject our ears to Christmas country music? As if country music by itself isn’t enough to spin my wheels off a cliff and pull a Thelma and Louise. Adding a few “ho ho ho’s”  to a three chord riff and a timeline about Bubba’s drunk escapades after Jenny Rae broke his heart and pick-up truck does not make it any more enjoyable to listen to.

7. Notice how the black Friday shoppers turn into bare knuckled ninja assassins whence the doors of the beloved (enter store name) open? I imagine people do not even get that hot and bothered trying to break down the gates of heaven in stampede fashion, especially since they flew the red-eye up from Satan’s Geyser. Who said Yosemite was inactive? Not the little elves at Santa’s workshop.

8. Elf is just another name for demonic force wearing an over-comercialized smurf costume. For other synonyms see: Leprechaun ; Bob Saget minus three feet.

9. I don’t think we have killed enough living things; why don’t we chop down a tree from the forest, drag it through our living rooms, decorate it with glass balls and lights, and hike up the electricity bill by a few hundo a month.  And hey, so we don’t feel like we’ve caused pinecone genocide we can penetrate a star or an angel clothed in velvet on the top of the tree. That’s not weird at all.

10. Why doesn’t Christmas get something classic like a dreidel to spin? Instead, we’re left spinning a porcelain baby Jesus and kissing cousin Alfred on the forehead because he was socially marginalized after last year’s pageant mishap with Mary’s left hoo-ha and a young goat.

11. Whatever happened to the indentured servants system and Child Labor laws in the U.S.? That should come back out for the holidays. If Uncle Billy’s gut can make an appearance, so can little mail order children from Oliver Twist and the Mayflower.

12. Who chose reindeer to be Santa’s B.A. flying vehicle? Penguins by far have more personality (through pragmatics and sarcasm) they have wings, and never they appear exceptionally intoxicated in a family photo. Essentially, Penguins should replace reindeer in every Santa clause story. The End.

13. Your Mom

14. Your mom’s mom and the magnitude of kisses unleashed only during the holiday season. It is as if leprosy plagues your body during every other ground hog and Yom Kippur celebration. Why only Christmas?

15. Reading a holiday gripe’s humor piece written by a jaded, sleep deprived, under paid editor working two jobs for the price of one small child in a third world country: His name is Paraswamera. He likes to pet soft things and help his mother with chores. His teeth look better than mine do –with their Crest White Strips glean –in his Gospel for Asia picture on my refrigerator.

‘Tis the season to be a frugal son of a B--Best Buy consumer that swarms discount prices in droves wearing their crucifixes as they elbow the guy next to them in the no no square.
Fa la la la la

15.5 When squinting the root word of “satan” is “santa”. Anybody?


Saturday, August 1, 2009

My American Mofo

This Star Bucks atmosphere for the blogger is a disappointment to the literati. It’s a disappointment for alone time in which the binge and purge cycle relates only to words rather than a disorder of eating. It’s the revolutionary and postmodern confidant for anything profound or relatable. Scholars scoff with their persnickety choice of a non-fat caramel latte, no foam 90. Which Layman translates to a drop of sugar free caramel in their heated skim milk at the temperature of 90 degrees (and God-forbid any foam should appear, immediate castration would occur to the guilty barista). All the snobs know that, all the bookish fair trade coffee fiends know that, it’s a language primitive to Cuneiform and post to Ebonics. It’s the language that substitutes sassafras for the word “love” in the overplayed, clichéd, mainstream love songs. It’s a McDonalds playground for the cynics or the park swings for the pragmatics, it’s an area to roam if you share the similar loathe for anything commercialized, capitalized or common.

And yet, we sit here: in the global franchise whose continual capitalization will soon match and exceed the very Mc Donald’s dynasty itself. So where did we get the idea, that this was a secret fraternity for book and bean lovers; a haven for the extroverts to transform into closet introverts and ostentatiously clad business men to lovers of Tolstoy and Nabakov? It’s a place where the Jane Austen fan club weirdoes are forbidden because their edge is dull like a hospital cafeteria’s plastic spork.

And yet, here I am, neither Jane Austenian nor Nabakov head, just a girl in heat with a tampon, trying to get some damn internet but can’t remember her user name or password. Somehow, my genius told me this vacation would do my brains good; it would allow some space and time to fornicate and create proportions like little Amazon children suckling their mama’s oversized teet in the pursuit of knowledge and exposure to it’s matrix.

Damn’t, I just want to write in peace. I have the blender farting slushies in the background, the sexy Syrian entrepreneur from New York City rapping on his cell phone about the coordinates of this Starbucks so he can get picked up (Don’t worry Phil, I’m not drooling) ,“ b6, c7, d 8, and e 9” what is this, a game of battleship? I have refined biker Jim who, after he inserted himself into my lack of internet predicament like a Deus ex Machina escape button, introduced himself, asked for my name, and continued to stare at me until he left –but not before he said, “Goodbye, Michelle” on his way out. Okay, Creeper.

Somehow I think it would have been more useful if I had stayed at home and flicked the bean, or whatever Gerard Butler called it in his new movie, The Ugly Truth (which was hilarious by the way). Oh ecstasy in my pants, stop chaffing! I shouldn’t have worn shorts that ride my legs like paraplegic unicycle racing. Jesus, I don’t even know what that means.

Let’s talk business or upside down. Let’s get back to the square root of evil, which is the number 2 unless you were on Noah’s arc, and then we’ll focus on four. Forget six hundred and sixty six or the number thirteen, nothing good comes from the number four. There’s dormitory quad’s, which nobody wants to see three other uncensored crotches and six other unshaven armpits, and 288 tampons every month. Not to mention, quadruplets rupturing the vagina and leaving abdominal stretch marks, quadruple bypass surgery which is ultimately something to be avoided, four parents means two divorced at some point, four people divided into two of each sex is a double date whether intentional or not, and four fingers when your index finger seceded like Texas during the civil war, leaves a disability in games like hide and seek( because everyone thinks you’re cheating when its your turn to count!) and a lifelong nick name of “stubby” or “stubs” depending on the age of the crowd.

Nothing good comes from four! Not even the wildly revered Gettysburg Address opening sentence which starts with “Four score”. What good did that do, Lincoln logs? He got shot while watching My American Cousin? It’s a slap in the face, a gat in the dome, an ironic impending doom with a sarcastic “Welcome to White America, bitch!” splat.

And this is the product of twenty ounces of iced coffee playing fetch with my kidneys like it’s a hamster wheel with species identity issues. This is unhealthy, machete- poignant writing with sassafras in place of love, cynicism –strait up –with a pragmatic twist. This is edge, baby, and way too much caffeine. This is a blood-shot eyed blogging manifestation like I’m a victim to a catheter insertion. This is mofoism. This is me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shleping with Scissors

Due to my inherent laziness, the majority of this blog post was written circa five weeks ago. The rest of the cracks I filled today with cement and eyebrow sweat. I figure, if I’m not prompt, the least I could do is make the great lakes proud.

Lake Superior approves this message.

The stratosphere growls like panthers on the prowl. It’s the sound similar to a mythical sea monster lingering overhead. Perhaps it is the birth of Poseidon’s bastard child or just the shits of the holy. Either way, the clouds darken in discomfort –their only salvation –a thickly weaved lingering (synonymous to the Preparation H wipe). It reminds me of my early theories for thunderstorms, or really, the lies my mother fed me. Not that her intensions were un-noble, but I realize the pre-pubescent inaccuracy I held likened that of Santa clause and the Easter bunny vacationing together in the tropics.
Yes, the fibs parents tell their children seem absurd to a young and childless homosapien (like me). However, I realize their necessity while observing a young victim to the thunderstorm’s paralysis. His name is Daniel, he is the youngest in a family of four children and he is red-eyed, trembling and producing mucus faster than milk pours from a cow’s udder. Or any breast featuring a nipple.
His mother consoles him by agreeing with his neurotic astuteness: that it is, in fact, too light out for a thunderstorm to occur. The howling haboob and isolating rains disagree.

He has an anxiety attack. I finish my cheeseburger.

The line moves slowly, as I wait behind the greedy-two-hotdog-grabbing-one-cheeseburger-hoarding-large-heapings-of-mac-n-cheese-snatching individuals who manage to devour all the side dishes and bins of freshly barbequed hot dog’s and hamburgers on the buffet-styled tables. WHAT!? Luckily, my mom scored me a cheeseburger off the Q (before it hit the tables) and handed it to me while I waited in line. Otherwise, I would’ve been licking cheese grease off the aluminum trays like a velociraptor licking a cow’s testacles (which would be a true accomplishment, considering the cow’s lack of testes).

Back to the kid. Thinking about his mental breakdown, reminds me of my childhood. I remember my tolerability for thunderstorms forged after my mother’s simple and very normal explanation of the natural process: “The thunder is just Jesus and his disciples bowling and the lightening are just flashes from the angel’s cameras.” ¿Perdónme? ¿cómo dice?
Say what, woman!? How did I believe that growing up? That fiction: Jesus and him posse kicking back, rolling some ten pounders at the pearly lanes and the angels were snapping shots of them to post on facebook? The disciples must have gotten annoyed when he always scored a 300. Wouldn’t that be boring, watching him bowl strike after strike after lightning? No one likes a showoff. (Thas why Judas done wha he done fo some chuck e. cheese tokens) Or maybe I’m thinking of Lenny from Of Mice and Men? Hey, who doesn’t like soft things…

I imagine Jesus using some of the modern Jewish vernacular when Judas showed up with his gang and planted a wet one on his cheek. “What did you have to shlep those lips all over my grill for? Imagine the Chutzpah, thinking yous could give me the kiss of death after I gave yous those socks for Christmas? And my ma gave you a basket of her canolie’s. What is yous too good for me?” (Ok so maybe that’s more like a half Jewish Tony Soprano with parental control censors than the Messiah) Same thing, Bada bing.

“Michelle a lot of people have come up to me and said you’re really great with kids,” my mother beamed on the car ride home. The air felt cold against my skin and only intensified the itchiness caused from earlier that night. Yes, helping at my church’s Vacation bible school is incredibly rewarding in many ways (never monetarily of course) but sometimes the cons out weigh the pros, who are outnumbered by the hoe’s (which is approximately six tits per square foot of any street corner in New Jersey). “What do you mean,” my mom said, reading my mind.

“What, ugh, nothing,” I said, shuffling in the drivers seat in an attempt to satisfy my upper thigh. Throughout the years, I have helped in many different areas: assisting the teacher in a class, teaching a class, performing as a robot named “crash” in some skits (which was incredibly fun until kids chased me around like I was Robert Pattinson trying to get into his hotel room), holding some poop machine infants like they had the bubonic plague, and sneaking freshly baked cookies from the registration table. But this past week was different. I was only supposed to man the registration table with my mother; testosterone the place up, essentially, while I handed kids their t-shirts and signed them in.

However, circumstances differed. Yes, I still abducted cookies from the registration table (an amber alert worthy achievement), but this itchiness –like I had chiggers or non-restaurant style crabs –it stemmed from my allergic reactions to, oh, everything. I tend to react with a grand red gesture every time I am greeted with the outside world, skin to plant. My legs were moist with grass dew from the chlorophyll baptism I received during the games portion of the 8-9 year old group’s circulation; my ordained John the Baptist, a nine year old girl, with Down Syndrome, by the name of Marissa.

She followed up the ceremony by exfoliating my face with her mud stained hands and then decided that I needed a post baptismal shower: Her mud hands lathered my dry hair until I was purged and cleaned to her liking. She took the procedure very literally much like the New Testament disciple, and Seventh Day Adventist, Amelia Bedelia. Thanks Marissa, I sure love a good facial rogering (Perhaps, that colloquialism is a bit inappropriate in association to little children). Whoops.Not that I’m some pushover that let’s kids practice primitive embalming techniques akin to the mummifications of early Egypt on my body, but I do allow self-expression and, ugh, occupational practice?

Maybe, this is my karma for operating on my cousin when she baby-sat me all those years from the dark ages. This is my self-made bed, my twisted teeter-totter payback, the Old Testament’s Theory of Retribution, finally nailing me into my place of unrest. Man, I knew I shouldn’t have cut her hair without asking her. How was I , a skilled surgeon, supposed to explain to my uneducated patient, that I couldn’t drill holes in her head to let out the pockets of pressure –that would have indefinitely caused her brain to swell and explode-if I didn’t shave the obstruction of hair?! And then her terror when I pulled out my dad’s drill, that I retrieved from his tool-box in the garage, and held the trigger down so that it exuded a piercing buzz. Whoops.

Marissa turned into my project for the week. Not that she was some dirt in a Styrofoam container experiment, in which I hoped to procure a blue ribbon and some type of radioactive vegetable(from the Brassicaceae family, no doubt), but she was a person –she is a person I looked foward to seeing –that needed a friend to sit with her (Indian style) and not leave. And let’s just say, the natives named me "Squatting Dog" because my ass was permanently wet all week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Spanish Inquisition

If ever some kind of freak event were to occur in my life, I would never have thought this – this infiltration of God’s creation gone wrong. Like Garden of Eden wrong, Cane and Able wrong, Moses beating the water out of the rock with two strikes, wrong (which in my opinion, was the first introduction of the piñata, and yet, somehow us hispanics get credited for the Jewish creation). Although, if we, in our graciousness, hand over the copy writes to the beloved Rodney-King-on-a-string party pleaser, then in exchange the Jews should give us the Challah bread. It only seems fair. And delicious.

“But in a larger sense” (as Abe Lincoln once stated in an address to onlookers at Gettysburg), the beasts –half horse, half fly, have invaded the home of the Canales family, shredding our dignity, destroying our sense of security, plummeting our hours of sleep per night/ per unit of R.E.M. cycle. Or really, just mine.

As of two days ago, I no longer know the meaning of peace. Only the threat of war lingers in the tensions of my household. Every air vent, every screened window, every empty Lysol can poses a threat to my sanity; which I lost with my dignity, which I lost from turning myself into a paranoid fly-swatting-Lysol-spraying ninja.

Let me preface this massacre. Two days ago, I walked up the stair case to grab something from my room. While traversing the last step, a rather large black dot flashed in my peripheral: a horsefly mating with the railing in a stationary position (which might be the equivalent to their “missionary”).

Now you can imagine, since I am terrified of lady bugs once their wings start flapping like 18th century Wickens, that the mere sighting of the large, nasty aesthetics –of the veracious, man biting horsefly –created a swamp thing jungle in my pants. Also, delicious.

Naturally, I ran away like a little girl and occupied the restroom, until I had finished my business and found a fly swatter. As I walked back down the hall to the staircase, I was startled to see the fly resting on the balcony railing. It had moved, surreptitiously, as if…as if it were stalking. Now, I’m a bit neurotic, a bit OCD, a bit ridiculous at times, but this –this bug/horse like creature, neighing at me with scorn and contempt –It made me squirm with paranoia.
Whack, Whack, “Damnit, I missed it”, until another whack, smashed the thing into a deadened residue. My victory was short-lived.

Another flying black beast charged at my face, as if it were public relations for a plastic surgeon.  A swing and a miss and a swing and a miss and a swing, all left me annoyed and exhausted. The creature perched upon a ledge of our cathedral ceiling mocked me.

Finally, I had it whacked faster than one of the victims in The God Father.
Now something I have learned from this experience: Two horseflies are coincidence. But, three, four, five, six and seven are a plague upon the house, like the Capulet’s, or the Egyptians who enslaved the Israelites.

That night, my family had executed a total of seven flying monsters. And of course, I overanalyzed it: Dissecting all the possible biblical or superstitious symbolism. Seven is a number that holds both good and bad meaning. There’s the superstition of seven years of bad luck whence breaking a mirror. Biblically, there were the seven days of creation, the product of forgiveness forged from multiplying the integer seven by seventy, the seven seals of Revelation and then there was the woman who bled for seven years (although, I’m not completely sure what Jesus was trying to accomplish with that one –primitive Tampax soliciting?). No, wait, she bled for 12 years. Tough break.

The following night, I stared at the television gingerly, watching the Bachelorette with a bottle of Lysol in one hand and a green latticed fly swatter in the other. My bottom occupied only a small circumference of the edge of the couch. My toes arched like talons in anticipation of premature arthritis. It was a haphazard attempt to conduct a sense of normalcy in my life, trying to follow the ol’ once you fall off the horse, get back on again adage (literally). Even when Jillian finally saw through Wes’ facade as a decent human being, and kicked him off the show –finally! –I couldn’t relish any satisfaction.

No, I had turned into a pesticidal warrior akin to Attila the Hun (minus the raping and looting of Eastern Europe), and my muscle’s tensed, eager for the next serial killing. Four flies had been bludgeoned to the death, earlier that day, and another two roamed the house at their leisure. I dubbed them “Sheep flies” to the slaughter. I think I even punched one in the face: Bare knuckle glory, which didn’t last long when I realized I had touched the nasty thing. I must have washed my hands four or five times, until I felt worthy of the cleanliness laws in the book of “Leviticus”.

Regardless of the fate of “God’s Creation” at the destruction of my hand, there is justification for casting out evil in any form. And this was a demonic force greater than the 1095 A.D Christian crusades to the holy land, Catholic priest’s masturbatory mal-practices or Subway’s meat distributor (Ew).

The crisis indefinitely caused havoc –a catalyst to the Spanish Inquisition Numero Dos. A proponent that turned the bathroom into a weapon: a self-induced gas chamber. At one point, my mother locked herself in with a fly, for a long period of time, until the stubborn insect lapsed from the toxic Lysol sprays. I had knocked on the door to offer my support, but she shushed me. And after a few final squirts of Lysol, I heard her utter,"Die" in a malicious whisper.

Of course today, there have been no signs of the intruders, even though now we have actual Raid fly spray that I bought along with some fly strip traps. Essentially, the Canales’ are prepared to crop dust the hell out of any creature that may return, chanting –to the rhythm of some early human’s mating rituals –“Lion’s and Tigers and Horseflies, will die!”

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Message from the U.V.A

What is with the human neurosis that we possess universally conceived “exceptions” for our significant other and a person of the opposite sex? Meaning, we find few circumstances that seem okay for our boyfriends to frolic with another woman –when they are not in a group setting –or vise versa, so long as that woman upholds the following standards:
a. Obesity
b. Homosexuality
c. Raunchy junk

Essentially, if they’re fat, gay or have contracted genital warts within the past six months, all is fair play. Under these circumstances only, do we find such interaction acceptable and under any other condition the jealousy demon would unleash via steam through our ear canals and turn us into the color-scheme of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

In contrast, if said woman were
a. Gorgeous
b. Charming
c. Someone we would want to date if we were lesbians

We squirm, tense up a little and pull out the big guns (for some maybe literally). Nobody wants her man gardening with a flashy new hoe. No of course not, we want him to use the old, reliable one, with the dirt still on it, the one he committed to when he first started gardening, with the…ugh, not sure where I was going with that metaphor (I guess it’s not really a case builder)…yeah…so if we feel intimidated, essentially, we don’t like it.

Or maybe that’s just me.

---The U.V.A (United Vaginal Alliance) is a non- profit organization seeking to empower women worldwide with forth right action against the animalistic and carnal nature of the Manwhore; a group that sponsors advocacy and awareness against the idea that women are “sluts”, and men are just, “men”. Not acceptable. (Likewise, women cheating on their men or going after married or committed men, are no better).

Sunday, June 28, 2009


She told me about being born.

I told her about huffing dust
out of a brown paper bag.
And then the rib.
Where did that come from?

I told her about feeling empty
like someone had gutted out my insides
until I was a glowing state fair display.
And for what,
grime beneath the fingernails?
A blue ribbon?

She told me about having the life
douched out of her.
Hand after hand rinsing out
her body cavity; the pushing,
the purge.

She told me real vacancy
only occurs
when you were once occupied.

She told me about holding someone
for nine months
without using her arms.

And then there was the kicking.
It felt like percussion
like Braille
like Rocky III
She told me the only true comfort and warmth
she ever felt out of her 48 years
was when 6 pounds and 2 ounces
boxed inside her.

I flipped through Genesis chapter 1.
I couldn’t find that kind of humanity in there;
That kind of honesty.

How does dust compare to a womb?
How does seven days of a fathers infatuation
to nine months of a mothers love?

I poured a glass of orange juice
into a measuring cup
and left it on the table.

The pulp was already too thick in my throat.

I just sat there

wanting to perform a reverse exorcism
on her little demon

wishing I could crawl back inside her
so she would never have to feel alone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The City of Brotherly Gangbangs

If I were displaced into last Friday, I would find myself riding shotgun to my fathers Sunday morning granny driving. Of course, to meet my charity quota for the week, or perhaps to tag yet another item to the list of tax right-off’s, I agreed to accompany him on his lusty voyage of retrieving yet another online bought thing-a-ma-bobber. Yes, its true, the iconic nymf of eBay, seduced him by the hips of his tragic flaw: the need for excessive gadgetry… at cheap prices.

This booty call was located in the heart of Philadelphia, which after living there the past semester, I was eager to go for nostalgic purposes and the promise of cheese steaks. Upon navigating my dad and I throughout University City, the directions appeared to suggest a westward trajectory another two miles from the outskirts of the aesthetically beautiful. Ut-oh.

Sure enough, we came to our destination in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Philadelphia. This was not the city of brotherly love, this was the hood of brotherly gangbangs, and I found myself not wanting to get out of the car. To make things worse, the skies let out showers of bullets and went Rambo on the windshield. Right then it seemed absurd to me that we didn’t have bullet proof windows. Or umbrellas. (What do we live in, a fantasy world under a volcanic arc of pumice?) Thank you oh gracious Ghetto for welcoming us so ghastly. But where is my celebratory-bullet-proof-thermodynamic-helmet? Instead I threw up my hood and zipped the jacket all the way until I yelled at if for not covering my face. My damn countenance was compromised.

It’s moments like those that I wish I carried a weapon with me in my purse; something accessible like a teaser, or a can of mace, or an uncircumcised penis (I might as well be the one to put ‘dic’ in ‘predicament’). I would sword fight my adversaries to the genital death. And it would be glorious. Call me Mufasa, baby, cuz I’m king of the jungle! Oh wait, Mufasa gets killed by Scar fairly early in the film. Scratch that.

The exterior décor of the ghetto hails the same universally: decaying buildings with a noticeably structural slant, boarded up windows acting as storm shutters and built in security systems , a thick film of dirt covering the stucco as makeshift wallpaper, and generic condom wrappers decorating the flat of the sidewalks with a half buried syringe hiding under the debris like it’s the prize of the cracker jack box (although, I’m not sure that “cracker” is an accurate description for this part of town). That was a freakishly long sentence.

Gulp. The urban salesman approached us from his 1990’s white suburban. I glanced twice to see if anyone was in the backseat shackled or wearing furry handcuffs. He met my gaze and slid his thumb underneath his flat brimmed baseball cap while his index finger skimmed the top. Gulp.

My father and I had surveyed the premises, trying to find an entrance to his store. A tattered sign, that looked like it was made in an arts and crafts workshop for nursing mothers, hung above our drenched heads. It read “Black Caesar’s Clothing” Is this like a black Jesus thing? I was unsure of the exact meaning or reference but I shrugged if off. I’ve never believed the stereotypical white Jesus paintings anyway, so maybe there is truth to this black Caesar. Or maybe Caesar is just the name of the store owner?

The man greeted us by executing a firm hand shake, or grip really. He squeezed my fingers like a stress ball in an exercise of phalange rehabilitation. Ugh, owe! “Excuse the mess”, he said as he opened a small gate that extended from the store front into a narrow alleyway. The ground looked like it was attacked by a fraternity rave; litter covered almost every square inch of cement. Do I have to go in there?

My dad and the salesman disappeared into a doorway down the alley. Not an ideal place for me to get shot. What about the Ritz Carlton off South Broad Street? They have clean floors, antibacterial soap and soft toilet paper for me to wipe my butt .Hey, and you can even wash that gun residue off your hands afterward. I walked toward the doorway, peeked in and saw a dark, steep, narrow staircase. I couldn’t hear any voices. Gulp. (Where am I getting all this saliva from anyway?)
I let out a little symphony of flatulence (One of Beethoven’s best) and walked up the stairs, cell phone video camera rolling, my bowels swimming the 100 meter butterfly in my stomach. Of course now I have to poop, badly like I used to before my swim meets. Why couldn’t I go before we left!

“Ughhahumumble ha hugh ugh fa lalalalala la la la la.” I couldn’t decode the dialogue said, just jumbled noises echoed through the walls. I knew I‘d recognize a gun shot since I had recently lived in north Philadelphia for five months. Shootings were more frequent than car back fires on Broad Street and rolls of toilet paper in my apartment.

As I reared left at the top of the stairs, an open doorway let me into a small room with slanted, laminate flooring dressed in black and white checkers. The cracks were wildly noticeable, and my feet refused to step on them for fear of falling through the floorboards to hell via septic tank. Before any more irrational fears plagued me, my father walked out of a tiny closet in the back of the room. He was holding some end of a contraption, while walking backwards. Our beloved salesman walked forward carrying the other end. The two of them struggled down the stairs but eventually made it to the car and unloaded the beast.

“Wow, you’re younger than I thought” Sales said as he shook my fathers hand and closed the trunk. He then turned to me without warning and squeezed the lactic acid out of my hand. (You know, the one exhausted and over exercised from holding my cell phone in case the police needed to be contacted). The number 911 was even pre-dialed. I just needed to hit send.
“Yeah, what a pleasure!’ I agreed “This was awesome”. (Whenever I say something is ‘awesome’ I do not mean it is actually awesome. I am merely drawing, from the sheath, the sharpest weapon I have: sarcasm).

On the ride home, I watched the traffic build on the other side of the median. I stared at the billboards and advertisements which all seemed to point me to anxiety medications and sedatives. Ok, so maybe I overreacted at what could have been a bad situation but turned out fine. My father didn’t seem to mind that he could have been swindled out of 600 bucks. Especially, since we don’t even know if the dang thing works. No, he seemed calm; telling me about his theories of autism’s many causes. He sited many references from the source of his new knowledge, The Sound of Falling Snow. I continued to stare out the window; convincing myself that, The Sound of Yellow Snow would have made a funnier title and wondering what idiot invented the sanction of steak and cheese wiz.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Adventures of Snark the Shark

“I realized nothing I write could surpass your guys’ imaginations”, the woman’s voiced boomed over the feedback from her microphone. Lisp lisp lisp. I couldn’t make out the rest of her address to the fastidiously interested audience that sat in four rows of wooden chairs. The c and s enunciations only made sshhh slushy noises in my ears. As I approached the reference desk I found out that author Megan McCafferty was the woman responsible for turning the Barnes and Noble into a quasi Seven Eleven Happy Hour.
I was pushed back behind a rather large woman with whom I could have sold valid advertising space on her ass. The mumble-jumble of onlookers trying to figure out who the hooked on phonics speaker was, pushed me even further into a corner next to a trash can. “Awesome” I thought, considering I had only gone there to see if they had any part time positions open.
And, it so happened that every Barnes and Noble worker panted at the author’s feet and licked her ankles as if they had just baptized her with old lady perfume instead of manning the help desk. Finally, after a few stragglers standing in the back parted from loss of interest, I moved foward to see the decorated brunette’s hand gestures as she talked about her obsession with Barry Manilow. Considering how I have never heard of her or her six books –including the one she read from, Perfect Fifths –I had no idea what Barry Manilow had to do with anything but sitting on a shelf with my mothers old record collections.
For some reason, the hard core fans that were not lucky enough to score a seat kept staring at me; like they could sniff out my distain, my sarcasm, my wavering fin circling around their bodies before my premeditated snark attack. Dun dun, dun dun, dun dun, dundundundunduntun ROAR. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I’m not sure that sharks –or snarks for that matter –actually, ugh, roar. However, I deduced the possible reasons for the constant stares into the only plausible dichotomy: either I was a cold blooded corpse of uncanny beauty like most of the Brazilian Victoria’s Secret models, or I was that girl with the flamboyant pink parachute pants, a white mesh tank top showcasing two full sleeves of vampire tattoo’s and an unruly mullet with partial braids in the front that nobody can help but stare at. And I knew I wasn’t the former of the two.
After listening for a few noble seconds of tribute, I slipped through the crowds’ seams and browsed through isles of books –looking for humor to bide my time –while I waited for the dysfunction to end. Unfortunately, while I found interest in the latest installment of the A.J. Jacobs genius, an intrusive voice, like a produce price-check over the intercom “on isle three” announcement, filled the surrounding speakers with a terrible rendition of Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. The Bad vibrato rang like synthetic deafening drops into my sluttish ears while the whizzing noise of a blender from the Star Bucks café whirred in the background. It was vocal terrorism servicing mass destruction through the sound waves. And I became a third of Helen Keller.
“What a lovely voice” An older gentleman hunching over his scone and seated along the outskirts of the café remarked as he shifted in his seat to face my furrowing eyebrows. My brows arched cynically, or if Chuck Klosterman were present, he might argue that my eyebrows were merely pragmatic in their burrows. I imagined them digging holes to china, in an attempt to find salted preservatives and spices as well as a cure to tone deafness. I also imagined my impoverished ass in a card board box if finding a job never worked out within the next ten years. I don’t want to be known as the homeless eyebrow furrowing, scone licking, card board wearing lady that none of the new moms let their intrigued children touch! Then I think of the time my boyfriend was leaning against a post, waiting for a train, in the Philadelphia subway station when a man walking by handed him money. Of course he rejected the money saying, “No thanks, I have a home”, but how does someone mistake him as a homelessexual? Maybe that occurrence happened prior to his haircut.

(Brief interlude for laughter)


AND Composure:

Surprisingly, that eased my tensions about the future. My focus darted back to the man who had moved on to his next victim: a teenager wearing an old high school hoodie and sucking down a five hundred calorie frapachinno. “Lovely voice, right?” The girl nodded- straw taut between her lips- gave an ambiguous thumbs up sign that said “Dude, my car broke down, can I hitch a ride in the back of your pick-up?” rather than “Yes, she sounds awesome”.
After the reading ended, I snatched up an application, tucked it under my arm, and walked out of the store with my head down; a stealthy endeavor, as if I were trying to avoid the Barnes and Noble morning after “wall of shame”. Really, I was just trying to avoid eye contact with all the high school kids that held their signed copies of Perfect Fifths. It would be as if I came in contact with a terrorist. I wouldn’t want to look into said terrorist’s eyeballs for fear of Satan leaping out of his soul, like an overzealous gymnast with a yeast infection, and grabbing me by the neck with his tentacles. (Not that Satan’s an octopus or an ingredient for vaginal discomfort, nor am I insinuating that God is like a tube of Vagisil).

*But it’s the same thing, really, decorated analogies or not: There is inherent evil in authors that sing karaoke in a Barnes and Noble bookstore. There is abnormal sexuality in workers that slurp at the balls of the author’s feet. There is great discomfort in my underpants–in the shape of a wedge –from crawling on the floor in search of my car keys. Like woman, like sssssssssnake.

*Loose paraphrase/interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1

Editor’s note: Michelle is currently accepting offers for a film adaptation of Snark the Shark. Also, toy companies, feel free to contact Michelle in the future about making action figures. No animals were harmed during the making of this post.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dogmatics in Retrospect

I want something from today. But, I’m not sure what that is. I’ve spent the past month drowning in a blow up pool of unemployment: Sleeping in, drinking coffee, taking frequent naps, binge eating from boredom. Essentially everything I do when forced to attend the Americanized institution of the “Holy Baseball Game”. The only covenant I partake of there is communion with a mound of edible amenities which, never fail to make me bloat and squirm in my seat.
As I stare out my bedroom window, the overly pudgy mailman, dressed in a muscle tee and ripped cut off shorts, (I know the post office is trying to cut costs by not requiring uniforms, but God Almighty, there has got to be a better way) shovels heaps of junk into an already stuffed mailbox. I think I even saw cans of spam pushed in along with the mix. It reminds me that I haven’t eaten all day. And I am suddenly grateful.

I want something from today. But nothing comes to mind as I sip my coffee from the 101 Dalmatians mug I didn’t even know I had. Laziness does have its upside when it forces me to rummage through cupboards to see what avoided being sent to the packed WWII internment camp of my dishwasher. Coincidentally, or even ironically, the Dalmatian mug was made in Japan. “How did it dodge that one”, I think laughing as I often laugh at my own jokes. I stop when I realize I’m like my grandmother on the telephone. She always says something, laughs, and resumes to prior conversation with an ‘aye ye ye’ or an ‘Aye Dios mio’ transitional interjection. Naturally, I never know what she says; partially from her muffled Spanglish and partially from the heckling ha ha’s. So I always laugh-a-long like she’s a sing-a- long karaoke machine playing a Disney song I don’t know the words to: “Hmm hmm best of both words/mocking the ho, cause there’s no place to mow/Best of both words.” And so forth.

I want something from today. Like maybe a tan. There is NO excuse for being unemployed and white. And yet my inadequacy continually exudes itself deeper and farther into my life and seven layers of colorless pigment. Awesome, Michelle. Of course New Jersey’s precipitational diarrhea is somewhat to blame. I actually woke up this morning to its thunderous gastrointestinal ka-booms. Pooping on our land like it used a urinal because all the toilets were occupied. Slashes of lightning followed in a suit, or they prefer the term ‘gi’, and karate chopped the sky like a Bruce Lee flick. What a mess!

An unrelated thought popped back into my head while I watched the exhaust fumes whistle out of the pipe and the mail truck accelerate forward. Earlier this morning I thought a fair replacement for the word “masturbation” should be ‘unifucking’; as in, the solo-wheel cyclist, not like the mythical creature. Like I said, just a thought.

I want something from today, but I feel selfish. How could I expect something great and completely edifying to occur while my mom is lying in her hospital bed? Here, I am venting to the blog gods –which I consider my pseudo prayer for her recovery –while she’s the one that should be complaining. Not me, Lazy Suzy, whining about how I spun some mediocre slab of grilled chicken the night before instead of a refined something a la something. I waited with my mother in the emergency room along with all the local sickos: the lame, the elderly, and the coughing flu advertisement billboards that had to wear disposable masks in order to stop soliciting. This germ-hole was packed like the fictitious inn Mary and Joseph were allegedly turned away from.
“No Room, Mr. Sniffles!” I think I heard one of the nurses yell at an inquisitive sicko. The man had been waiting since 2:30 pm and it was rapidly approaching 6 pm. The man sat back down in the row of seats in front of us. He gagged a little, and sputtered out what could be either Jesus’ language or the rulebook of Candy Land in Bahasa Melayu, the official language of Malaysia. Either way it was completely distracting from my focus on the television’s distorted image of the Bachelorette. I heard Jillian say something about not having cocktail parties anymore, but I wasn’t certain if she said ever or just for the night. By the expression of the men’s faces, I assume she meant ever. I tried to figure out how she would benefit from not having cocktail parties before the rose ceremonies or how that served as a punishment for the men, but some of the details remain fuzzy. I guess I’ll have to find out next week.

Sitting in the waiting room for five hours was painfully absurd. From 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm I dazzled my attention with my wit and maybe even my spit (blowing bubbles never really gets old). The boredom reminded me of adolescence as an only child. The only way to survive is exotic imagination. And when I say exotic I don’t mean naked. However, I suppose nudity defeats boredom in different ways and on different websites. If that’s your thing… or your husbands’.
When I was younger, I read frequently which gave me an avenue of adventure where my mind learned to channel, create and develop plot. In the waiting room, I exhibited the same skills as I unraveled a piece of gum, channeled it between my saliva and developed a very anticlimactic thriller. First it was a romance, then it turned into a comedy when it made pooping noises, then a mystery when it started to break off into tiny pieces and disperse throughout my mouth, then a drama when my jaw throbbed of child labor, then a horror when I thought about all the bacteria gum grabs up like a leaf blower mating with a pile of seagull droppings. It’s a relief to know my parents have spent their money well on my education.

I want something from today as retribution for the emergency room’s injustice. I’ve never seen a more pathetic bunch of professional medical providing staff members. My mother was sent to the E.R. by her doctor because of her heart’s risk for entering cardiac arrest. Somehow that was not a priority for the professional hospital providers. Note to Toms River: this is where your tax dollars are going. Or maybe just select individuals and corporations private funding. I wanted to punch a nurse in the face after she raised her voice at my exhausted mother who limped her way to the main desk to ask where she stood in the queue of waiting patients. I thought about purchasing some brass knuckles in case we ever had to return.
Attention nurses of any emergency room sect: I don’t care what kind of long shift you had or how many complaints received from the waiting room mob; the patients have suffered more and have it worse. Since when did you as “medical professionals” get to take your unhappy lives out on the sick? The sick are already ill, why add to their miserable lives? You work in a hospital and you can’t get some hormone balancing drugs? What happened to the Hippocratic Oath?

My mother recently changed her eating habits to contain low-salt items because her kidneys leaked protein throughout her body, causing massive bloating and making it difficult for her to execute simple tasks, i.e. walking. Instead of sucking the Jelly out of her usual donut, her Lupus induced Anemia created a need to satisfy her vampirical diet of human blood via IV. I joke with her that she’s the star of the up coming movie, “Blue Moon” or wait, I think its, “New Moon”. Stephanie Meyer fanatics will probably comment on my ignorance but I will gladly remind them that they are obsessed with a teen romance series written at the fifth grade level and with the same level of stylistic skill. How does the term “teeny bopper” translate into the literary world? Something to think about.

The hullabaloo of moans and complaints finally died down in the waiting room. The noise fell into a flat line hum that softly buzzed like background music. The patients waned out of the room until the majority of seats were vacant. It made the atmosphere more tolerable. It made the germs less visible.
Finally, around 10 pm, my mom was taken into a room in the e.r where she was given a blood test to determine whether or not she needed another transfusion. The results showed that her hemoglobin count was freakishly low at 6.4 instead of the normal 12. Since it was already after midnight, she needed to be admitted overnight. So I left the hospital, after 2 a.m, and walked to my car alone and dejected about my mothers worsening condition. Hoping to God, that a hospital bed opened so she could be transferred into a private room where she received her three bags of blood through the IV.

Now I realize I’ve marred the flow of this sardonic post by taking it down south like a flock of nomadic, lesbian geese during the winter ( We all know the flying "V" is for "Vagina"), for which I must apologize. And in my horror and complete self involvement, I still want something from today because I think it owes me, something. Anything.