First Contact

Do your best to hold your composure. Do not appear awkward; do not show a sign of discomfort or unease as you approach the bench. It’s merely an airport gate and you’re not a terrorist. Wait right there, clasp your balmy palms into the warm canyon of your thighs. Not forgetting to pull the hood of the thick cotton sweater over your head, MCO is freezing and flip-flops, though important for Florida, are stupid in central air-conditioning. You’re roommate is about to land, and so is reality. You are leaving. You are leaving the comfort and confides of your home.

It’s only 30 miles to see mommy and daddy when things swelter from stress and agitation.

It’s only 25 minutes in heavy traffic to a steady job where everyone knows, and loves you. There is a steady paycheck. A steady stream of interactions with beautiful people.

It’s only 15 minutes to your favorite bar. They know what you like. And they keep a week long tab for you, because they know, you’re struggling.

It’s only 10 steps to the small open rooms of your best friends. Every worry, left at the inviting doors, and every care tossed out the window as you toke up and vaporize your concerns into a minuscule smaller than oblivion.
This is your home. You love to hate it.

Yet you’re taking one giant leap. You’re strapped into a mechanical nightmare. At liftoff, every stretching inch of your feeble skin will wear off as your shaking bones remain. You are launching to the moon. You are making one small step, but is it that giant leap you desire?

Think you’re clever? Think posting pictures of the lines of your favorite authors will motivate you? Follow the feng shui of a career-driven energy and hang scenic views of the two most beautiful cities for achievement: Los Angeles & New York.

But your door is cracking. The splinters are fine, invisible to the naked eye. Felt only once your vision is pierced. No ghostly light or aura flows through the seams, but a vast darkness of fear pulls you in. Now you’re floating endlessly in the depths of space, begging for some primordial object to bump you in the right direction. Suddenly the realization sets over the sun and the light of hope extinguishes in a cool breath.

In twenty days, you’ll wake up and take a step you never imagined taking. Will you be able to come back down to earth; or will you find yourself running off a lunar crater and swimming towards an asteroid belt?


I’m leaving for L.A. in a few weeks. I’m waiting for Justin to walk off his arriving flight from Denver and I start counting the days I have until I takeoff from MCO, and start a new chapter of my life. I almost want to put the book on the shelf, make a note of where I left off, promise I’ll finish it this weekend. But then ultimately I’ll throw the book away while moving, regretting the toss and having to buy it again. I look sketchy sitting on a polished wood bench. I don’t look like who I emulate in writing, nor do I look like the talented individual I dream I am. I look like every average individual walking off that plane; a mere tourist of the waking life.

I spot Justin at the tail end of the herd and flag him down.

“Dude, I did not want to come back to Florida.”

He tells me this. No “hello” or “hey man;” a complete statement. I feel this is how any person returning home may feel though at some point. We walk to get his luggage and he starts telling me about the beauties of the Rockies, the warmth of a city in the cold, and the nature of an urban dream come true.

I fear I’ll go to L.A. and be 3,000 miles away from everything I define as home. Yet when I board the plane, I’ll want to strap a rocket to back of the engine and ignite my way into the stars.

I fear I’ll try so hard, I’ll skip the moon, forgetting about an extra step. I’ll get out there and I’ll never come down. Floating aimlessly like salt in the sea, then sink to an unimaginable depth.

I fear I won’t come home. I’ll love it so much, I’ll hate it.


Memorial Day and the Mexicans

Sugar Skull Vader. Whoever designed this, rules.

It’s Memorial Day, and the good, freedom enduring nation America (also known as ‘Merica, Uh’Merica, & Freedom Cock Fighters) is doing what is does best—taking a massive vacation from white collar tasks and enlarging their beer bellies while near some body of water. Even the folks of Nebraska have found some way to dislodge their flyover communities from Tornado Ally, and cruise on down the Pacific Coast.

“What we do is just pray to our nation’s freedom loving Lord, God, and he builds us a sea to float our Bud Light cans in. We feel very blessed,” said Omaha native Jim. Not to be confused with any other Jim, Jimmy’s, James, Jamies, or Teds from the area.

However, Jim is not too pleased when rumors started to announce that neighboring nations, Canada and Mexico were also partaking in the festivities as well.

“This is ‘Merica’s day. We are supposed to remember and memorialize being a patriot! They didn’t fight the good wars we fought.”

When asked what the Good Wars were, Jim fell into an epileptic fit, while foaming at the mouth and repeating the word “terror” in seven different tongues. The pastor of his local church, who also happens to be his nieghbor proceeded to keep the demons at bay while trying to help calm the rabid local from seccumbing to what is known as a freedom shock; or when an individual is full of so much patriotism, their mind shuts down from the stress of having to comprehend an opposing viewpoint. His pastor comforted, and while gracefully petting his head, state that “All wars are bad warsm, unless we win. Then it’s just God’s work, and God is Good.” Ergo, Good War.

Jim is right about this though. Mexico fights their own drug war while holding our economy hostage by taking American Jobs. And Canada only supplies bacon and maple syrup to American troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, so they’re really only fighting to feed hungry mouths. Because of this, many individuals are finding offense to the news that our neighbors are inviting themselves over to our barbeques and drinking all the beer that was on sale.

May is a wonderful month in this nation, and if not for Roman mythology, many Americans would have changed this to Hangover Month, or Hungtember. However the homosexual community found this to be confusing because Disney’s Gay Day’s usually occurs in the begining of June. Many Gay communities state that this will become too confusing, but they wish not to be anal about it. May however is still littered with holidays such as Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, Graduation Day—and has recently added two new holidays; May the Fourth and Revenge of the Sixth. These two days share the weekend with the long honored American made Mexican themed holiday to honor the great Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

The month originally was just a way to continue to boost floral sales after Valentine’s Day in February, all the birthdays in March, and then Easter in April. Mother’s Day was instituted and spring floral arranging has become quite the steady career choice, even allowing executives to give their employees Memorial Day off with paid time off. A collective in this nation however decided that the best way to honor Mothers even more was to honor their dead sons and daughters who served their country, promoting freedom with every eagle engraving fist punch.

“We forgot that this Great Nation originally instituted this day in remembrance of all the soldiers who died fighting their brethren in the Civil War, and of course all their distant global cousins in the wars to follow; and we decided that something should be done,” says Congressional Representative Paul Ryan, who earlier last year thought he could be Vice President.

“We don’t really take off for Mother’s day, and seeing as we don’t really have a federal day off in May yet, we decided that dead soldier would justify this decision. It’s truly a wonderful way to give our citizens a day off, while honoring something cool at the same time,” Ryan went on to add as he clicked out of Wikipedia during the interview.

Although the reasons Ryan stated are shared across the nation, except in liberal loving areas like Portland, Brooklyn, and Austin; civilians of this nation aren’t very contempt on the idea of Guacamole being mixed with our hot dogs and burgers.

“What the hell is an Avahcahdough?” stated Dallas native Billy Roberts. “Last time I checked the only thing green on a burger is lettuce and pickles, and freedom.”

When asked if he knew about the California burger, he was shocked to learn that southern California wasn’t actually a part of Mexico or the parking lot of Home Depot. Billy however did not suffer a freedom shock.

Jimmy, Paul, and Billy however all share a general consensus about American values. It’s safe to argue that no one is really pleased to hear that the Mexican nation, along with Canada, has taken the holiday known as Memorial Day, and turned it into an excuse to party holiday. Many Americans are convinced that the original intentions of the holiday will get convoluted amongst the empty red plastic cups, once full of hope, liquor, and beer.

Mexican native and American citizen, Pedro had this to say when asked why he celebrates Memorial Day:

“Well my brother served in Afghanistan. He was in the Army and was going to serve so he could pay for college when he gets out. He thought risking his life was a good trade off for free tuition.”

Unfortunately the trade off didn’t pay off and his brother, Jorge was killed last summer by a malfunctioning drone attack. Pedro goes on to add:

“Yeah he was killed by a freak insurgent attack. No one’s really sure what happened. They saw a seagull in the desert, thought it was weird, and then I think they saw their coffins. Either way, we all knew he wasn’t really cut out for homework or tests anyways.”

Pedro’s mother sits at the family dinner table and prepares her son’s favorite dish—spaghetti, in honor of his memory. The family gathers, says a prayer, and discusses all the memories that have of their lost family member.

When asked if he knew what his brother fought for (freedom, of course) Pedro had this to say:
“You know, I’m not really sure.”

Answers like this outrage true patriots like Paul Ryan, and Billy Roberts of Dallas, Texas who had this to say. Worries overcame the staff that more freedom shock would occur, but no such happened as Ryan responded while flipping a burger patty in Billabong Swim trunks:

“How dare a citizen of this nation take a holiday completely out of context and not understand its original intentions. It sickens me to think that these individuals, who did nothing to earn such heritage or freedom, could make a mockery of it and enjoy the benefits of eight hours paid time off, Miller Genuine Draft, and a chlorine cleaned pool. That is just pathetic.”

His sunglasses almost fell off, but luckily they were strapped to a piece of cloth suburban white men found popular in 1986. We’re still not sure how such an artifact was preserved in such fine quality.

We asked Pedro if this sounded contradictory in regards to Cinco De Mayo and the tequila shots lining the streets of all American bar strips alongside Coronas and he had this say:

“We don’t really celebrate Cinco De Mayo. Mexican Independence Day is September 16th, but I think we’re just going to change it to July 4th for less of a hassle.”


I hate scary movies.  I think they’re boring and a waste of time.  Highly predictable and full of the corniest archetypes Jung could ever concept.  Thanks to my ex I repeat her fathers theory; “they are bad for the soul.”

Yet I will go to sticky theaters and cover my finger tips with warm butter and giggle while anyone who I attend a showing with clinches in fear.  It’s the easiest way to manipulate a date into grabbing you.  If you fake a sigh, appear to be more concerned than frightened, making the first move will seem chivalrous.  Or if you’ve tagged along with roommates and friends who live for the thrill of being terrified, it’s the easiest way to laugh.  You seem brave and as fluid as a mountain while they shake like the rapids cutting through a canyon.

It’s so predictable.  I’d rather just watch a PIXAR movie.

Yet here I sit, looking at a monster drawing I created a few years ago.  Every stroke of the pencil and crayon is a feeling of terror, a hindered sense of fear I could not communicate.

Is this a self portrait?

Probably.  How predictable.

I spend my days thinking of past mistakes, regrets, obstacles that keep me from wanting to enjoy the moments before and after leaving the theater.  I read the news on the internet and then I have to spend thirty minutes looking up pictures of puppies and adorable smooshed faces to assure myself that we’re not all going to hell.  Surely we just live in it.  This is how I can fall asleep easily at night when my date decides to go home and all my friends are tucked away.  The ideas of evil are bigger than me and yet I try to relate to them  as if they’re just fog while my head floats in the clouds.  I try to stay grounded.  I argue that’s why my mattress rests solely on the ground withing a wooden boxed frame.  Or perhaps its because all the worst bedtime stories start with monsters under the bed.

So without further adieu  here is a flash fiction piece.  Enjoy and sleep easy.  Find your warmth, your comfort.


There is a monster underneath all our beds.  Causing a commotion, he stirs beneath our dreams.  The monster needs the bread and butter on the dinner table; we are not the only ones who must fill hungry mouths or festering families.

Hesitantly, he (or she) punches in on their time card, and then ducks down to wait.  Their sharp horns don’t poke through the mattresses, or uncoil the springs we rest upon, but as they reach their thick furry hands out from under and grasp onto our sleeping skin, if feels as though we’ve only begun to walk on carpet.  Down the stairs, skipping on cold tile floor, then out the door and into fresh air we go.

The monster is eager for the day to end and to meet leisure time face to face.  They know what it looks like, but can never remember a detail if you ask.  A lunch packed with commodities commemorating capitalism, its critical crescendo; they are living the American dream.

Then they go home.

The nuclear family waits beyond the doorsteps of a cookie-cutter house.  It’s a good neighborhood.  White picket fences are replaced by tiny yards of St. Augustine grass that stain the children’s denim.  Junior and Little Miss are breaking the seams of their attire as they skyrocket to the clouds; splitting legs and fractions while building an allowance in their bellies.

The monsters under our beds cook, clean, compromise and collaborate with their significant others over meal times, school times, soccer practice times, and leisure times.  Friday nights are reserved for love making.  The monster and their significant other get dirty and clean their piping.  They don’t plan on falling asleep from the half empty bottle of merlot, but they down it so they can muster the courage to flirt with each other again.

Then the kids come home.

Milking the weekend, Monday comes faster.  Mundane monstrosities is what we have now.  401k’s. Stock option purchase plans.  Healthcare.  Mortgage.  Insurance.  Credit.  Debt.  Retirement at the age of 60/65.  10,950 days later and each day was the same 9-5 with its highlights.

The raise with option to cash out on paid vacation days never taken.

The significant other says she’s getting a promotion.

Junior got good grades.

Little Miss sang in the recital, with beauty and class.

But then the monster gets another promotion.  Upper management.  How else can he secure the nightmare that is the American dream?

The significant other has doubts.  Second honeymoon?  Maybe.  But after all, that would be dipping into the savings.  What if someone gets sick?  What about college?  What if?  What if?  What if?

Junior started drinking.  It’s hereditary.  An individual’s chances are seven times higher if the parents drink.  But it was always one scotch to unwind from paper pushing all day, never an ism.

Little Miss found a bad boy.  He had filthy tattoos and played in a rock band.  They look for men who have the same qualities as their father.  When she’s crying up all night it’s because he’s not there.

Then everyone leaves the home.

Sitting at his oak office table, the monster contemplates.  The promotion took him out of the cubicle and earned him a panoramic view of the city.  He watched all the ants scurry below him, frying and eviscerating their existence under the wavy heat rays of the sun.  Their shadows were burned into the sidewalk.  A fire started in the streets and the smoke billowed up into the tower.  The fresh air was too clean and the office chose asphyxiation and emphysema instead.  But they have a decent HMO.  A good life plan payout is included in the benefits package.

The significant other found strong pectorals to grace her withering fingers across.  She felt young again when time found her sexy once more through the years.

Junior smashed face first into a light pole but survived only to stutter on his t’s.  He thinks the mother betrayed them, so he and the monster finally become best friends.  They drink scotch together and he tries not to mess up his new management position given to him at the tower.

Little Miss got pregnant from the bad boy.  He has filthy tattoos.  She sends the monster pictures of a budding beast, his fury little head.  My goodness, they grow so fast.  She blames the monster, gets jealous at the abs the significant other dribbles her nails across, then bitches about Junior’s stumbling.  But she gets Single Mother of the Year awarded to her by her second grade son’s macaroni painting.

Here’s the midlife crisis, addressed as a memo on the desk.  Buy a sports car to feel younger, weigh down those wilting eye lids and roll into a ditch; like son, like father.  Or just blow your brains out over the cover letter so your boss sees how you truly bleed for the company?  On the desk is a picture of a little gremlin the monster barely visits, but wishes he could.  He is an artist Little Miss shushes at night.  She tucks him tightly into his bed and reads Where the Wild Things Are and Shel Silverstein poems.  The munchkin is petrified of the monsters under his bed.