Sunday, April 25, 2010

a break from absurdity

I WILL continue the short story, but first, I wanted to share a website. Also, I wanted to brag about my submission making it to the website.


GUESTBREAKER: You’ve (Recently) Been Photographed Wearing Jorts

Alright, so this picture was taken a while ago. Wait, what? That says 2008. We may have come a long way since 2008, especially in terms of Apple products, but not far enough to excuse you wearing jean shorts. I was excited that you liked the same music that I do and that you were ballsy enough to contact me through a mutual friend. So I admit it: I
Facebook stalked you. A bit. Not excessively, of course, because I stopped when I hit jean shorts. So unless you have an excuse of some sort or you turn out to be virtually perfect in many other ways, I’m gonna have to say “no, I don’t want to listen to your cover band, I have to wash my hair that night.”

An Anonymous Guest Dealbreaker.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Absurdity of Life pt. 2


The heinous sound of an alarm clock at an hour so early it shouldn’t be named.

He had given himself extra time. Matt had hoped, anxiously, as he was trying to get to sleep, that this fluke would rectify itself in the morning. But just in case, he had allotted himself two hours before class for the attempt.

Late last night, after clearing off his desk, he lay in bed, waiting for sleep. His eyes didn’t want to close. He shifted every few minutes, forcing himself to appear asleep, in case simply making himself look like a corpse would will his body into drowsiness. I should be asleep,’ he thought. ‘I have a lot to do tomorrow. I need to wake up early!’ The anxiety crept in. He checked the clock. ‘Well, now I only have 6 hours of sleep. Great. He waited anxiously for sleep to come. But sleep doesn’t come when you’re anxious. A watched pot never boils.

Eventually, inevitably, he fell asleep. And now it was morning.

The red stapler glared at him, angling the early sunlight off of its shiny curved surface and onto the wall by his face. It was inviting him, mocking him.

Matt padded across the floor to the desk, ignoring the taste in his mouth telling him to brush his teeth because he just woke up. He slid open the drawer and dragged his nine pages out of its depths. He placed the paper in his left hand, stapler in his right.

Three more tries. One fruitlessly hit air; the other two were nearly-bloody technical failures.

This was getting ridiculous. He couldn’t remember this ever being a problem before. He had stapled millions of things in his life! Hadn’t he? Matt thought back to school projects in elementary school and book reports in middle school. He had the memories- he even remembered the feel of spongy construction paper between the cool metal of the classroom stapler. The satisfying ‘thunk’ it made when he leaned on it, the success of the staple’s closure.

So what was different now?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Absurdity of Life pt. 1

"Please describe, in detail, the effects of parental alcoholism on the family unit. Use at least 7 peer reviewed sources and make sure to avoid personal attacks. Remember, this is an empirically based research assignment, so use of anecdotal evidence is not permitted. 5 pages minimum. This paper must be stapled or no credit will be received."

He had been staring at the assignment for the past hour. His desk lamp cast a yellowy glow on his face, dewy with the sweat of academic stress. He glared down at the paper again, hoping to see it again with less anxiety. But reading the sentence for the fifteenth, sixteenth time was not going to change it. "This paper must be stapled..." It was interesting how the simplest part of the assignment posed a greater challenge than the 7 pages he had already spent days researching and writing, revising and citing.

His desk was messy; which is normal for a college student, some would say. However, this particular clutter was of a different nature. It wasn't energy drink cans and residence-life fliers, or snack bags and to-do lists. His paper, all 9 pages (including the cover page and references) sat in a neat stack in the middle. His chair was lined up with his assignment, perpendicular to his desk. What made the desk so disordered was the staggering number of futile staples coating the desk and his red Schwinn stapler, unhinged and hostilely abandoned, near the edge. Each staple was different. Some had closed around an imaginary stack of papers, the arms bent inward like a friend giving a hug. Others were bent in the most bizarre ways, while some had even broken into two (or three) pieces. He hadn’t even known that was possible.

Frustrated, he put his elbows on the desk and thrust his hands into his hair.

Staring at it wasn’t going to help either.

He reached for the stapler again, not entirely defeated, it seems, and the staples stuck on his elbow fell to the desk to join the others. He bent the stapler back to its usual state, opened the back, and placed one more line of ammunition inside. He picked up the papers, angled them back into their neat stack, and held them steady together in his left hand. His right prepared for one more shot.


His right hand hovered some three inches above the page. Not even close. One more time.


This time the staple had mysteriously shot out of the stapler, ricocheted off the wall by his headboard, and missed his ear by millimeters. ‘Ok, this is getting dangerous again,’ he thought. He put the stapler back down, gently, afraid it might spit out another one. He decided to abandon the attempt for the time being and return to the project in the morning. In the meanwhile, he paper clipped the pages together, slid it into his desk drawer, and carefully swept the multitude of failed attempts into his waste basket.