Monday, October 17, 2011

Scott wears a tutu

If someone told me I'd be fighting an internet mogul in a downtown Baltimore warehouse at crazy o'clock in the morning, if someone had told me that just a couple weeks ago,I'd have called him crazy. I'm a lowly game tester. No, It's not all "Call of Battle" and "God of Istanbul" all day, p0wning n00bs and taking names. It's mostly bug finding in flash games that never see the light of FaceBlog. I do get to hang out with other gamers, however, and I got other hobbies. I write, I do comedy. I had a sweet life, and then she walked in.

Her luscious raven hair bounced on her shoulder as she walked into my office, tickling the tops of her heaving boobies, confined by a tight black Shibuyu Temptress t-shirt. A hot anime fan. I knew I was in trouble. Her cherry-red lips parted to allow her husky voice to utter "So I hear you're Scott Gajewski."

"So says the name plate I printed myself," I quipped, leaning back ever so suavely and leaning back from my session of "Angry Birds 2: The Retweeting".
"What can I do for you?"

"Not me, Mr. Gajewski, my company. We need a tester. A writer. A comic. And we need someone to do it for cheap."

"So you've heard of me," I replied, leaning back in my chair smugly. Did she see my chair almost fall over? No. Totally not. Just play it smooth, naughty Scotty. "But why would I want to work for you?"

"Complete creative control, Mr. Gajewski. You'll write a game, design the levels, add the dialogue. You'll put hundreds of hours into this, and it's gonna be good. We like your stuff, Mr. Gajewski, and we want to see it come to life."

"Tell me more"

"Meet me in the Inner Harbor, in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at 5:15 am. Don't be late. My name is Lenka."

When I showed up, the city was quiet compared to my thoughts. The water lapping on the filthy harbor shore was louder than a distant siren. I heard the limo pull up, and saw her her open the door. She stalked out of her carriage like a stalking cat, wearing a leather trenchcoat, and stood facing the water.

"Come quickly," she beckoned, summoning me with one calm, smooth arm motion. I felt compelled to run toward her. She started talking quickly as we drove quickly. "Have you ever heard of Pig Flying Adventure", Mr. Gajewski?"

"Of course I have! It's the most downloaded iDong game this year! Was that you guys's?"
"How about 'Restaurant Rush'? "Vegetable Ninja'?"

"That was you guys' too? Well, if you're so successful, can't you get interns to work for you? Why do you want me?"

"We like your vision, Scott. We see more advanced flash game: fantasy themes, whimsical but clever sense of humor, coherent plot." The limo pulled up to the building. The plot necessitated a short ride.

"Spend 20 hours a week here and give us something. You'll have your foot in the door at a real game campany. Is that something you'd want?"

"Yeah. Sure, I'm in."

"Excellent." she opened the car door. "This is where you'll be working," she said, handing me a business card. She led me into what looked like an abandoned warehouse. She led me past rows of cubicles where a couple dozen workers stared diligently at computers, clicking and typing away. "This is where you'll be working" she said, gesturing me to a corner desk where a beautiful computer sat, quietly humming as its LED lights shone placidly. "A 10-page summary of your game is due in 4 hours. We want a self-directed storyline, several levels of difficulty, and sample dialogue. Sodas and energy drinks are in the fridge. Good luck."

"Ohhhkay then." I didn't have the presence of mind to argue. I mean, What if this sucks? I guess I can quit any time. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Well, whatever. I set to work on an idea that had been bouncing around my brain for a while. It had kind of choose your own adventure aspect to it, but levels were easily adaptable. Sometimes the best artist is the biggest fan. The hours flew by. I made sketches, wrote a plot, outlined levels, and had an awesome presentation done. I printed it out with the printer on my desk, and with the print out came a note

Please deposit on the desk behind you.
We will see you tomorrow at 5 am

It then listed an address. Behind me, indeed, was a desk, completely bade except for an elegant wooden inbox and a red swingline stapler. I looked around. Not a soul was walking or even looking up. All my coworkers (coworkers?) in their little cubicles were solemnly working at their computers, eyes trained ahead. Oh well. I stapled my opus and placed it in the inbox. I put on my coat and left.

After my regular shift at my real job, I went to my second job. Everyday, Lenka greeted me with my assignment, and every day, I would pass the other drones and finish my room with vigor and enthusiasm. On my 5th day, I walked in, and the lights were off. I noticed the light switches to the immediate left of the door, and let go of the doors to flip the switch. I flipped them to no avail as the door slammed shut behind me. Great. I tried to open the door. Locked. Should have seen this coming. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I found that the only light came from an office, a holdout from the warehouse days of this building. "Help!" I called out. The office door opened, and a figure walked down the stairs. "Oh, I'll help you," he said.

As he descended the stairs, two other figures slunk out of the shadows, and wordlessly ran down the stairs. In the silence, I could just hear the pitter-patter of jack-booted feet running toward me down an industrial staircase. Before I could piece together the connection between my presence and the existence of the malefactors, they had my arms pinned behind my back and were attempting to handcuff me. I kicked, I thrashed, I planted my feet right into the chest of the assailant on my left. with an "oomf," he fell to the ground, as I toppled on top of him. I snapped my body forward, flipping my second assailant down to the ground, and ran. I leaped up the stairs, taking them three at a time, like a man possessed. I saw the third figure on the stairs. He lunged at me. I dodged, and he fell behind me. I kept running. Maybe there was a key in the office. I got into the office, and slammed the door. No lock. I shoved a desk up against the door. I looked for a weapon. A pounding at the door! Shit. My best bet was a fire ax, left next to the fire extinguisher. I grabbed it. The man appeared at the office window. I saw only his gun, and ducked out of the way, behind the desk. Two shots. glass shattered. I stood, raising my weapon toward my assailant. Never bring an ax to a gun fight. I charged him, pinning him to the wall. His gun pointed safely away from my body. I shook him until he dropped it. Then I moved my hands toward his skinny neck. fuck if I was gonna lift my grip on this guy to swing my ax. My hands tightened. His eyes bulged. "help me" he squeaked through a flattened larynx. I looked him in the eyes.

"Zeke Motherburg!" I screamed. I backed away. I was choking the now-rogue creator of FaceBlog. But why?

to be continued

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sateriale Story

The motorcycle rips through the air with a metal roar, kicking up the Alaskan powder snow as it lands and tears through the poorly plowed path towards the lone cabin. Stopping shortly before the front door, the leather-clad motorcycle rider hops off the ride and charges at the door, kicking it open. The armed man behind the door never stood a chance as the motorcycle rider backhands the knife out of the man’s hand and sends him clear across the room with a solid sideways kick. The motorcycle rider whips the helmet off, and the hair flows down from the head to reveal Trinity.


What’s wrong, Trinity?

“Er… I’m Maura?”

Excuse me?

“I’m not Trinity. I’m Maura. Maura Sateriale. I’m pretty sure that’s what you meant.”

It’s an easy mistake to make.

“I also sold my motorcycle a while ago. I’m pretty sure I don’t fight like this either. I--”

Fine. I’ll write you in a different genre then.

“Oh ok.”

The man stands up, apparently little worse for wear from the fight, and—

“Is he hot?”


“I mean… I don’t know.”

Give me a moment, and you’ll see what the man looks like.

“Oh ok.”

The man stands up, apparently little worse for wear from the fight, and it’s clear that he is an attractive, well-built man approximately thirty years of age, wearing a white polo and khaki slacks. He stares, scrutinizing Maura.

“Maura?” the man asks.

“John?” Maura replies.

“Oh Maura! I thought for sure it would be your evil twin sister, Marlene, returning from her trip from Brazil! She’s still out for revenge after you testimony against her in court seven years ago left her behind bars. Doctor Malpractopolis bailed her out just six months ago, though, while you were still suffering from your bout of amnesia, and your sister and the doctor have been plotting against you ever since. Now that you’re here, though, I have a confession to make. I know you’ve never been able to love anyone since you lost your child in that miscarriage, but I love you, Maura! Can you see it in your heart to love once again?”

“Oh. Uh, John—“

John approaches Maura, nearly cradling her in his arms.





“Oh Maura!”

“I’m in a soap opera.”


“Can’t we do something else? Soap operas are awful. At least there was good action in the last one.”

You want action, huh?

“Let’s make another baby,” John says. The porno beat begins to kick in.

“No,” says Maura.

You said you wanted more action.

“Not like this, and you know it. My sexy time is my own time.”

Well, what do you want then?

“I dunno. I’m kind of uncomfortable with this whole fourth wall thing going on.”

You started it.

“You tried to write me off as another character.”

I don’t know much about you, honestly. What do you want me to write about you? What kind of things do you do?

“Um… I’m a pretty boring person, really. I just, you know, do some traveling, and going to school and stuff. I dunno, maybe you just shouldn’t write a story about me.”

I’ll just wrap this story up with you saving a bunch of orphans in a bus by sacrificing yourself to Cthulhu then.

“Oh ok.”

Just then, Maura sees the M-signal light up in the sky. She flies away, bursting through the roof, and zipping at super-sonic speeds as a runaway bus full of orphans hurdle towards a cliff and into the gaping maw of Cthulhu. Maura arrives just in time to divert the bus away from the cliff, but to do so, she had to place herself in harm’s way, leading to Cthulhu eating her whole on the spot.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beauty and the Ego: A one Act play

The scene is a lavish living room, where Josh watches football on a big screen tv, and drinks a beer. His phone rings.

Josh: Hey. Um yeah, ok. (pause) Uh, you sure? (pause) Isn't this the kind of thing you talk about with your girlfriends. (sighs) Well, I just finished my last one. Yeah ok, I'll buzz you in.

Josh walks to the door and presses a buzzer. Becky enters, carrying a case of beer. Josh opens the case and pops open a beer and takes a sip

Josh: You know how to get me to do your bidding.

Becky: Josh, he's doing it again.

Josh: That sucks. Dump him, date me.

Becky: We've been together for 3 years. Why won't he move in with me?

Josh: He wants other vaginas.

Becky: But he's never cheated on me.

Josh: He wants the possbility of other vaginas.

Josh's phone rings. He looks at the screen, presses a key and returns the phone to his pocket

Becky: Is that one of your sluts?

Josh: Yep.

Becky: I do not get men.

Josh: I'll dump them if you date me.

Becky: It's just, with Ryan, he says he loves me and I know he never cheated on me. He refuses to commit. Why do men do that?

Josh: He's holding out for other vaginas.

Becky: That's ridiculous. He tells me I'm the most amazing woman in the world. Why won't he commit to me?

Josh: Doesn't appreciate what he's got. Hey, can you hand me another beer?"

Becky: Josh, you have sex with tons of women. Why do men do that?

Josh: You won't date me. I don't love these other girls.

Becky: But Ryan and I are in love. Does he think there's someone better than me?

Josh: Hey football. Let's watch that.

Becky: I mean, I'm kind of out of his league.

Josh: So dump him. Yes, yes! Run! Yeah! That's how we do it, baby! Um, yeah, Becks, you're right. You deserve some hot rich guy who loves you. Date me.

Becky: I've got to put my foot down. I'm going to tell him, "you move in with me or we are through"

Josh: Then in a year, you can do the same thing to get him to marry you. Also, great for kids. (to tv) Oh, come on, ref! What game are you watching?

Becky: Well, I'm ready to commit. He isn't, but he should be. I should try to persuade him.

Josh: You assume Ryan is a rational creature.

Becky: Yes, he can be persuaded.

Josh: Looks like you've solved your problem. Hey, it's football! Let's watch that and not talk about your douche-bag boyfriend. Hand me another beer.

Becky: Thanks, Josh. Talking to you really helped. I'm going home. I'll tell you what happens.

Josh: Oh boy.
Becky leaves. Josh takes out his phone.

Josh: Hey Stacy. I see you called a little while ago. I'm sorry, I was watching the game. Uh-huh. Well, you know me. Um, yeah, you can come over for a couple hours. I got work in the morning. Okay. See you in ten minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Employee of Evil

At 2:23AM, Nitin Yangzom discovered Lila Kala sprawled dead across the Comnetrix Corporation server room floor.

Nitan froze and forced himself to retrace every detail in his life that led him to the very wrong situation. His parents had immigrated to America when his father, working for the very same Comnetrix Corporation, was transferred to the company’s U.S. offices, and in their celebration, Nitan had been conceived. While he was considered gifted at a very young age, it did little to keep his young peers from calling him “Nitwit” throughout even his years in high school. School did little to challenge him intellectually, and the few times when it did, his studies only aggravated his difficulties building a social life. He eventually grew accustomed to a more solitary life, finding the benefits of an ignored life such as peace and a degree of independence. There were times he considered whether he was grateful for his older siblings, for having married and obtained vast wealth and generally having satisfied the desire of his parents. As it was, though, Nitan had no real direction of his own, and so he didn’t object when his father recommended he follow in his footsteps as an employee of Comnetrix Corporation. Nitan did not know exactly what business Comnetrix Corporation practiced, nor did he terribly care. It was just like any other soullessly simple company that paid the bills, he felt, and just like most companies these days, they needed people to run their IT. So it was that he had fallen into a sea of a poorly-managed IT department, left mostly in charge of babysitting programs mining away at whatever real work needed to be done.

The months Nitan intended to stay while he found a better job crept into years. He dropped out of college as his grades fell and the hours at work demanded of him rose. His only pleasures at work, which he indulged in when nobody was looking, included playing games on his smartphone and staring at Lila Kala’s curves when she walked by his desk. What she was doing at a place like Comnetrix, instead of high above the lowly earth within the heavens as Nitan imagined, was beyond his understanding. It would make his day whenever she acknowledged him with a smile or even a “hello” in passing. He never had talked to her, though, and therefore only knew of her what fantasies he conjured in the vast and unexplored palace of his mind. Not that he would have had much of an opportunity, as work forced him to stay in the offices for twelve-plus hour days, six days a week. As it happened this Saturday night, Nitan filled in for the work of three people as the others had called out sick, and during one of the routine server checks, a message pinged back, asserting that the server was unavailable. Normally, protocol would dictate that his immediate superior (who claimed to be working on reports at home) had the sole authorization to enter the server room, and should no proper authority be present, Nitan was required to e-mail his immediate supervisor, his supervisor and the assistant department manager and await further instructions. Because the gods of business derived pleasure from the ironic misery of their worshipers, the operations required that the server never be down for longer than the minimum two hours required for monthly maintenance, and any response Nitan received from his superiors would inevitably take at least five hours, after which they would undoubtedly blame him for the incident. Nitan briefly considered the advantages of unemployment and, having decided he would not be so fortunate as to be fired, took the keys to the server room from his supervisor's desk drawer to check up on the servers. He figured the servers simply needed a reboot.

His back now against the wall, Nitan continued to beat his own mind, having scavenged through what little the totality of his life answered for his current life-and-death situation. Nitan's eyes remained locked on Lila, noticing the blood stain on her shirt still appeared wet, and even in his shock, pieced together that she could not have died more than a day ago. The realization of foul play finally sunk into his head, and despite his full awareness that the killer was long gone, instinct screamed at him to leave immediately. His hand reached for the door handle when he stopped in place. Nitan snapped his gaze around the corners of the room, fearful of possible cameras present and staring back at him. When he saw none, the yell of instinct seemed more distant, and his attention back on the dead form of Lila. It was then that he noticed writing on her hand. Nitan bent down and, with the most delicate of care, turned her hand over to see “operation_apocalypse.exe“ and “sisyphus” below it. The server monitor glowed its multicolor screensaver upon Lila's face, which caught his attention. Nitan moved to the monitor, nudged the mouse, and glanced at Lila once more, before typing the executable file in the command prompt. A password field appeared, and his hands struggled to type “sisyphus” before hitting the enter key. His eyes grew wide as he saw a database, listing all the programs he watched run over the years, images of satellite trajectories and media feeds pouring over military networks across the world with launch codes to various secret instruments of warfare. Programs all made possible by business made through the Comnetrix Corporation. Programs all made possible from those like himself: faceless and unable, or unwilling, to face what was right in front of them.

Nitan turned once more to look at Lila. He knew he was facing a fate just like hers. The company he had worked for loomed too large, and Nitan stood too small. However, there was at least one force larger than even the Comnetrix Corporation, though it was a long shot. Furiously, he opened internet browser tabs, one after another, opening every major news site, blog, message board, and social network he could think of to try.

The public would have to be made known.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Unknown Chapter of Abandoned Anonymous

Fifteen minutes already passed since Susannah May last checked the time on her aging flip-phone, and that had been fifteen minutes after she stayed waiting for company to arrive. She shuffled her posture a bit on the wooden booth seat. Her eyes wandered, hoping to see somebody walk around the corner in the rather forgettable tavern despite the fact that she would easily hear anyone approaching. The tavern at this late hour of the night was devoid of life, save the sole owner back in the kitchen cleaning.

Susannah stretched her arms over her head, then let her arms flop back onto the table in front of her. Many would say the wait wasn't worth it, and they would be right. For Susannah, though, little could be done but wait. There was always the option to leave, but...

The entrance door clicked open just then, and two men stepped through and towards her table. One wore what appeared to be a military pilot’s orange jumpsuit with lieutenant stripes on his shoulder, and he guided the other, who wore what resembled a peasant farmer’s attire, to follow him.

“Susie?” the first asked rhetorically. “Sorry I’m late. I found a new member for our chapter.” He then took an inventory of the empty seats. “Where’s everyone else?”

“This is it,” Susannah said.

“Oh,” said the man in the jumpsuit with a tone of resignation.

“Could you please tell me now what’s going on?” said the man in the peasant farmer’s attire, his gaze darting with confusion between the two.

“Let’s start slow, Robert,” the man in the jumpsuit said. He gestured towards Susannah. “Robert, this is Susannah. Susie, this is Robert, our newest member. Have a seat, Robert.”

“So what’s his story, Randy?” Susannah asked the man in the jumpsuit.

“We’ll get to that in a moment,” Lieutenant Randy said, slapping Robert down next to Susannah, then sits down himself across from them. “First, drinks. BARKEEP!”

Footsteps start shuffling from the kitchen closer to them.

“What is this place?” Robert asked. “It’s as if I stepped into the pages of a history book.”

“History book, you say,” Lieutenant Randy said with mild fascination. “Well, let’s just say for now you’re with good company who know what you’re going through. We’re a support group—ah, barkeep! I’ll have a Foster’s, the lady will have—“

“A cosmo, please,” Susannah interjected.

“—and he will have… hmm. We should probably stick with water. You OK with that?”

Robert nodded hesitantly.

“And a water for him, thank you,” Lieutenant Randy finished. The barkeep jotted on his notepad, then shuffled back towards the kitchen. Lieutenant Randy leans back in a relaxed posture.

“Alright, Robert,” says Lieutenant Randy, “tell us a little about yourself: who you are, where you come from, what you normally do, what exciting thing may have happened to you not long ago. You don’t happen to be a janitor, do you?”

“A what?” Robert asked.

“Um, someone who cleans up dirt and stuff, generally in places like schools and offices.”
“No. I’m a farmer.”

“Right, I should have figured from get-up. You just remind me of a friend I know, is all. I’m sorry, please tell us your tale.”

“Well,” Robert started, “There’s not really much to tell. Like I said, I’m just a farmer from a town called Cylerna. Funny you should ask about exciting things that happened recently, though. Up until maybe a week ago…or was it a month? It’s hard to say, really. As I was saying though, up until recently, my life was pretty peaceful. Dull, even. Then, during a dark and stormy night, I was attacked by a monsterous…beast, I would call it. I defended myself and managed to slay it.”

“I see,” Lieutenant Randy said. “Did you slay it with a weapon handed down to you by someone close?”

“Why…yes, actually,” Robert said with surprise and suspicion in his voice. “A dagger from my father. He was a soldier while he was still alive.”

“Did you know him well?” Susannah asked Robert. Robert started to answer, then stopped and thought about it.

“No, not really,” Robert said. “I mean, I thought I did, but then I realized that I can’t recall much anything about him. I know his name was Fredrick, and his mother – my grandmother – survived the atrocities of the Years of Darkness over half a century ago, though she never told any of us who my father’s father was. It was something that a stranger soon after the incident claimed to know…”

“Please, continue,” Susannah said.

“Well, this stranger claimed he was a demon and that he sent the beast, or as he called it, an imp, after me as some sort of test, one I apparently passed. He then offered me knowledge of my grandfather if I joined him to search for what I assumed to be treasure of some sort. Now, normally, I wouldn’t give this stranger a second thought. He was obviously some sort of con man under the guise of a make-believe monster of superstitious lore. I don’t take stock in any claims of the supernatural, mind you, nor do I go about committing crimes. However, for the first time in my life, I felt I was meant for something, that I was meant to go on this journey with this stranger, that I would finally know the one mystery in my life I cared to know, however far-fetched the possibility may have been. I felt I could hardly do otherwise but to accept his offer. From there, I must confess that the details are still a blur in my head. We came across a stout bearded man with an axe—“

“Sorry to interrupt,” Lieutenant Randy said, “but was he, by chance, about yey-high, wearing a horned helmet with a dirty blue tunic and blackened yellow cape?”

“Yes—do you know him?”

“Possibly, but that’s not important right now. Please finish your story.”
“As I said, the rest is still a blur to me. After the stout man was forced to join us, we ventured out into the sea to a larger sea vessel, where the stranger claimed the treasure would be found. Other people arrived, though, and a fight broke out. Were I not a man of reason, I’d say that some of those fighting were angels and demons, but in the chaos of all the fighting, I’m sure I was seeing things. The ship took damage and began to sink, and I was sure that I would drown then and there. I blacked out, and when I came about, I found myself on the shore of an unfamiliar coastline not far from here, strangely dry and no worse for wear. That is when you – Randy, is it? – found me and offered to help me with my bearings. I’m still of mind that I may be dreaming right now.”

Susannah and Lieutenant Randy both looked at Robert in contemplative fascination throughout his speaking, though Lieutenant Randy came off as if he were already familiar with the story. Robert lowered a hand surreptitiously to his hip as his suspicions rose.

“I’ve told you my tale,” Robert said. “Now, if it’s not too much to ask, tell me what it is you want with me.”

“We don’t want anything from you,” Lieutenant Randy begun to say, then leaned towards Robert. “Look, there’s something you need to know. You’re not going to believe it, and when you realize what I’m saying is true, you’re not going to like it. I can tell because it’s written all over you. You’re the straight man, doggedly stuck firm in more-or-less the ‘real world’ as it’s sometimes called, and your whole purpose is to be confronted with your mistaken beliefs.”

“Are you going to tell me that angels and demons exist too?” Robert said as he rolled his eyes.

“Not quite,” said Lieutenant Randy. “I can’t tell you whether they exist or not, but they exist at least in fiction, just as you do.”

“I’m not following,” Robert said. Lieutenant Randy pulled out a smartphone from one of his pockets, continuing to talk to Robert with his attention focused on his phone.

“I’ll spell it out, because subtlety is not my forte: you are a fictional character -- a forgotten fictional character, to be more accurate, just like me and Susie here. I’ve had this conversation enough times to know how this goes. You scoff at the idea, we show you the story you come from, you deny it some more, it sinks in, you get angry, you’ll probably try bargaining with the Writers to wipe your memories or something, then when they don’t listen, you’ll get all depressed and then, hopefully, accept your fate. I won’t lie to you, though – a lot of forgotten characters kill themselves to try and give closure and drama to their lives, and sometimes that’s enough to be remembered again. Some of them off themselves just because they can’t handle it all. Some of them just wander away as if they never existed. Trust me when I say that being a work of fiction is not what should concern you. It actually resolves a lot of mysteries in one’s life, one’s purpose becomes quite clear, at least some part of said life is often meaningful to a lot of people, and once you know you’re a fictional character, there’s a lot of fun to be had. A forgotten character, though, that’s a whole different story. In fiction, death can bring you glory, and you’re almost assured at least an afterlife, if you haven’t just outright ignored death altogether. When you’re forgotten, however, it’s as if you never existed. Nobody cares about you, your sense of purpose suddenly falls from under your feet—ah, here we go. Took a bit of searching, but I found the story you came from. Have a look.”

Lieutenant Randy handed his smartphone to Robert, who reluctantly took it. Robert’s eyes slowly hardened as he read over the text before him. He sat paralyzed before he finished reading what was on the screen. Susannah held the hand Robert held the phone in with her own.

“We know what you’re going through, and even if you don’t believe us now, we’re always here for you. I have a place not far from here, and you can stay with me, if you wish. I know the pain of being forgotten even before I knew I was just a character, because that was what defined my stories. All of them short, all of them with the same futile notion that the man I loved would remember and return to me if I just waited. I still can’t help but wait for him, but I know that my stories have been forgotten and my writer has abandoned me. We will never abandon you.”

“Unlike the barkeep,” Lieutenant Randy muttered. “I think he forgot about us.”

The sounds of shuffling footsteps approached the table.

“Spoke too soon,” said Lieutenant Randy. The barkeep placed their drinks on the table, not once having turned his attention to them, and then proceeded back to the kitchen. Susannah gently removed the phone from Robert’s hand and replaced it with his glass of water. She then took hold of her own drink, as did Lieutenant Randy.

“To the forgotten,” Susannah said as she raised her glass. Lieutenant Randy did the same, and the two of then turned their attention to Robert. His gaze, firmly locked to nothingness before, now fell to Lieutenant Randy, then to Susannah, then to his own glass of water, before having looked back up with his glass raised.

“May they be remembered,” Robert said.

The three clinked their glasses together, Robert and Susannah sipping their drinks as Lieutenant Randy downed his.

“You’ll never be forgotten, Ten-Four,” Lieutenant Randy whispered.

“Ten-Four?” Robert asked.

“Oh, tell that story, Randy!” Susannah chimed.

“I really should get going to Annual Forgotten Character convention before page twenty-seven…” Lieutenant Randy started to say. “Ah, what the hell! Let me tell you about a story that started off as a knock-off to Star Wars…”

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Diary of a Malcontent Wanderer

13th October 2011
or Why I Have to Go (Away From the Beaten Path)

“Because I am the Devil of Solitude, that's why.”

That was from an anime called “The Fantastic Adventure of Unico” but I doubt anyone reading this now would have heard of it. After all, everyone is on the beaten path, the safe path, afraid to wander and find something new, something unique, make their own path like people used to do instead of following whatever the media tells them. I have to go off the beaten path because, if I don't, who will? This diary of mine will document my journey into originality and my thoughts free from others who would judge me in their ignorance.

I was inspired to start this today because my Communications professor, Dr. Lovestrange, infuriated me with the crap he was spouting today. He usually rambles on about the media as if it were a portal into the human soul, that understanding the media makes it possible to understand ourselves – that in itself frustrated me as it was. The media isn't a portal, it's a prison for your mind! Today was the last straw, though, as he actually tried to talk about The Matrix as something special. God, even Harry Potter is less mainstream than that sell-out trash! It would have been tolerable if he at least talked about Brazil or Run Lola Run instead, even if they're still movies we all already have seen, but no. Not that I care about movies, per se -- I only watch ones ironically, like Troll 2. Regardless, though, I will vow from this day to never set foot on the beaten path again.

Today is the start of my long journey. I think I'll end tonight snacking on goat cheese and play some Little Nemo on my original Nintendo system before entering Slumberland for real.

14th October 2011
or How I Went Past “Underground” and into the Minus World

I planned to write my lengthy thoughts today on my iPad at the Starbucks today, before someone else does and it becomes the “cool” thing, but... ugh, whatever.

15th October 2011
or _________________________

I am too distraught to think of a fitting title or an appropriate quote for my diary entry right now. Today, I met someone who said I was a hipster.

Who were they to judge? They didn’t know me. It was just some guy on campus who yelled out that I was a “stupid hipster” and kept on walking. So what if I like to drink only organic, locally-grown Peruvian mushroom tea and not Lipton instant with Domino sugar packets and processed milk from ill-treated bovine? So what if I only dress with clothes from the GoodWill thrift store and avoid the major department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s? So what if I don’t watch American TV programs like Jersey Shore or House and prefer Japanese anime series in their original voice acting such as FLCL (and not Fooly Cooly like those god-awful English translators would have you think)? So what if I only play video games made in the last fifteen years that sold less than a hundred thousand copies such as Cheetahmen II? So what if I don’t define myself by the gender or sexual preference labels such as male or female or straight or gay or bi? So what if I only listened to bands like Arcade Fire and The Cure before they sold out? So what if I refuse to read The Lord of the Rings because it was turned into a major motion picture trilogy? So what if I refuse to use a PC like every drone on the planet, opting instead for my Mac? So what if I actually look forward to a new Apple product coming out? So what if I still use my ten year old Livejournal account purely to make an ironic commentary? So what if I spell “colour” with a “u” in it even though I live in Southern California? So what if I consider myself Gaelic-American in spirit even though my ethnicity is technically German so I can broaden my horizons to cultural practices nobody knows about? So what if I am part of a Buddhist sect no one has heard of to show just how disgruntled I am with the capitalist, commercial consumer lifestyle they want for the sheeple masses? So what if I only spend time with other like-minded brethren who understand me? So what? Just because I fit some mainstream label for a group of people who also refuse to shop mainstream, eat mainstream, drink mainstream, watch and listen to mainstream entertainment, play mainstream games, follow mainstream gender labels, read mainstream books, use mainstream computers, speak with mainstream vocabulary, all in the name of irony and originality when possessing neither and falling instead for a marketable mainstream trend – that makes me a so-called hipster?


No. That random stranger may think that, and may want to convince me that as well, but it’s not going to work. I know full well that plenty of phony people out there fall as hipsters. They are hypocrites who are not after true originality or even ironically mocking unoriginality – they are after showing other people that they are unique and original while just being part of another homogenous group of followers. I am not a hipster. I am nothing like a hipster. In fact, I just put in my order online for my T-shirt that says “I am a hipster” in morse code to make an ironic statement about the whole thing because I am fed up with the hipster fad.

Tonight, before I go to sleep, I think I’ll play a game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (or Call of Duty 6 as it should be called) on my brother’s Xbox 360. Ironically, of course. Tomorrow, I will continue my journey of wandering in search of originality and individuality in a world where the blind are leading the blind.