Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Perpetual Moron(s)

A doesn't want to admit it, but she's in love with

B, who has no interest in women, or sex, except that he's intrigued by

C, who has two kids but remains unwed, on account of the fact that, as a younger woman, she was ensnared by

D, a man who, for all intents and purposes, views sex and love as one in the same, until the allure escapes him.

E hasn't the slightest clue as to his ultimate sexual preference, although he has an undeniable crush upon

F, who suffers from a bad case of Crohn's disease but wants to live life to its fullest alongside

G, a woman devoid of ulterior motives other than an unyielding devotion to her unfortunate idol,

H, the guy that everyone wants to meet because he's too aloof to warrant traditional relationships, mainly because he was abused as a child.

I just wants a few drinks, a few conquests, and the affection of

J, the girl that hangs out at White Rose Movement shows, if only to get a tee shirt before she gets baked for the sixteenth time this month, much to the chagrin of

K, who expects his friend to move beyond such tangential attachments, toward the scathing inebriation of fleshly embrace, while

L apprehends that her friends are full of shit, even though she loves the three of them with unabashed anguish.

M drinks himself to death's doorstep nightly, if only to forget that he's in love with

N, a woman in the process of giving birth while thinking of nothing other than hanging herself from the branch of her own private mulberry tree.

O never thought she would compromise, but she's juggling relationships with a nice guy,

P, the one with half a leg and half a dream, and

Q, the gal with a tattoo of the moon across her navel, the woman who sucked

R's dick because he has all the hookups to prescription drugs, the very same guy that raped

S, a dude that doesn't have the courage to inform his girlfriend,

T, that he now has HIV.

U is still trying to live a Dustland Fairytale existence, as it's the only thing that ever seemed to make sense to him, even though

V has already cut and torn her face beyond recognition in his honor, which is surprising because

W once had several ribs broken trying to protect the very same woman from the object of her devotion.

X lost his genitalia long ago, but still has a burning desire to save

Y, a man bereft of tangible desires, from

Z, a demonic woman too busy lipping Gabriel's Trumpet to give a damn about humanity's future.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The PK 27 -- Game No. 3

You know, just today I was thinking about the PK 27, and I said to myself, There haven't been any Sega Saturn games listed. What's the deal with that? which in turn, got me thinking about the game I'd choose, if any. Sure, the Saturn wasn't the best console, but the system had its moments, and the cleverly-titled Saturn Bomberman (Hudson Soft, 1997) was one of them.

The graphics weren't spectacular, the music was serviceable, and the concept itself was antiquated at best; but the execution is what made this game so cool. Hell, you could play with up to nine other friends (granted, the most I had ever gathered was seven, because hey, it was a challenge to round up seven Saturn controllers, let alone seven friends, on account of my profuse nerdiness, but digressions, digressions) in an all-out battle to the (digital) death via explosive instruments of mass destruction. Yeah.

You could also play as one of several memorable Hudson Soft characters, such as Bonk and....some other folks, but whatever; you could play as colorful icons, as well as ride dinosaurs(!), each of whom could perform useful tricks to aid you in battle.

I know it sounds like I'm ragging on the game, and in a way I am, but in another, more accurate way, I adore Saturn Bomberman, because it was simple, albeit chaotic (perhaps antiquated) fun. You didn't need to memorize countless secret moves or cheats to have a smashing time, just the will to blast and trash your friends.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Darkest Magic

Consider this a preview of the upcoming wedding, and rejoice!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big Balls

Frito-Lay recently unveiled the latest in their popular line of Cheetos products, Giant Puffs, and I have to say, these are some big cheese balls; and when I say big, I mean bigger than Sparkles' penis, bigger than idealjetsam's grossly inflated self-esteem, and most certainly bigger than a Shih Tzu's heart.



Potato Chip vs. Giant Puff

Human Thumb vs. Giant Puff

Traditional Marshmallow vs. Giant Puff

Guinea Pig vs. Giant Puff

Taste notwithstanding, I suppose the real question is, Can you handle the puffs?

Random Battles

I took a nap after breakfast. I usually do. My psychiatrist says it's because I have a clinically instinctual desire to return to "the womb." Not hers, I certainly hope. But you'll have to ask her about that. If she has any kids, I bet they're horrid little beasts with spore-spouting breath. I abhor children. I wish they were eaten like lobsters: snap, crack, suck, slurp. Ahh.

Anyway. I took a shower. Irish Spring. Pantene Pro-V. I whistled the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show as I shaved. Brushed my teeth with Aquafresh and masturbated into the toilet bowl. Poetic?

When I stepped out from the bathroom, a silverback gorilla was humping my sofa. I had to think fast. Because he didn't seem satisfied with the sofa*. I was, undoubtedly, his next victim-gorilla sperm receptacle.

Know what I did? I materialized a tranquilizer dart from thin air and threw it at my would-be simian rapist's chest.

Bull's. Eye.

I dressed (shirt, tie, underwear, pants, socks last) and walked out of my apartment, but not before I heaved the gorilla's carcass out of the window and maybe -- I haven't checked the news since -- into traffic, vehicular and pedestrian. I care not. Come and arrest me, crazies.


Stepped outside. Procedure. Left pocket: cell phone. Right pocket: smokes. Back right pocket: wallet. Back right pocket: empty.

Back right pocket empty! Hell and damnation, not again.

I walked back into my apartment. There was a familiar gorilla awaiting me. He was on my sofa. He was, in fact, trying to have intercourse with my sofa. Again. Deja Tom Vu.

Again, I disposed of him. Grenades this time. Plural.


I drive a Lamborghini, a Countach. It may look old to you, but it makes me feel young. You should see me when I'm cruising on the Autobahn. It's like God and steel made love and had a car made of lightning as a child. Woosh.


Fuck me. Oh, fuck me. I am sitting on my toilet, the seat cover closed. I was planning to brush my teeth after a short flight home from Copenhagen. My pants are on, but perhaps they shouldn't be, because I may just shit myself. Least of my worries.

There is a gorilla in my shower stall. He looks mad. And I know why.

Not again. Please, not ever again.

* Neither am I. That piece of shit costed almost four thousand dollars. Last time I shop at Ikea's Mars location.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Has it really been a week? Finally, I have some time to do what I enjoy most: writing for Psychedelic Gakdugi. My schedule has recently been altered in such a way that, unfortunately, I have little time in the evening to practice my unique brand of literary onanism, and for that I am quite regretful. For me, nothing beats having a cool beer (or twelve) while smoking half a pack of cigarettes and sharing my inane thoughts with the world via these here Internets, so believe me, Constant Retard, when I say that I have missed you greatly. Each day that Psychedelic Danmuji isn't updated is a day I dread*, and I know the feeling is mutual on your part, Constant Retread. This hallowed blog is my passion, but sometimes life gets in the way, you know? Often, when I'm in a slump or otherwise indisposed, I have my faithful compadre Kmart to fill in the blanks, but that worthy is back in his home state of Nebraska recovering from Japanese encephalitis. Sucks, right?

Fortunately, this week sees the return of the aforementioned prodigal son to these peninsular shores, hopefully with loads of cheese-flavored snackfoods in tow. Also, on Wednesday, this writer's kid sister, Madeline, will return to the land of the morning coma for what I believe is her second sojuourn. It's all going to be real, and my only hope is that work and sleep don't get in the way.

As far as Psychedelic Jimbrowski is concerned, however, I fear my own "return" might be short-lived. I have a wedding to attend on the 27th, you see, and my role in said wedding is considerably important. Essential, even. And so it is that, with a heavy heart, I must admit that I may not be able to continue my psychedelic communicade until after a fortnight.

But please know that, during the time I'm away, nothing will be more on my mind than the thoughts of my readership. No emotion is as profound as that of longing, and my ardent wish is that, instead of dejectedly moping around while I spend time away from my extended Internet family, you, Constant Reanimator, carpe every damn diem that I am gone, following your (sound, ethical) instincts and urges, scratching every itch on the back that is your lives. For we were made for greatness, and greatness is just a touch away.

I'll be back before you even know I'm gone, Paul. And upon our reunion there will be great stories to tell, epic anecdotes concerning the wondrous ways of the universe.

Now: Scribblenauts!

* Similarly, I die a little bit each morning that I awake to discover Time Travel for Beginners hasn't been updated.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Norman Borlaug, dead at ninety-five.


I consider myself somewhat of a master of illusion in that I'm able to -- uncannily, remarkably -- convince people (women, usually) that I'm a) a nice person and b) handsome. This is a revelation borne from experience rather than from guile, and as such I hope the reader is kind on me; for while I may be inscrutable in my goals, I am nothing but innocent in my execution. No one has ever told me to my face that I am a bastard, and for that I am very thankful.

I want to be good. I crave praise. At the same time, I am admittedly fearless when it comes to the written word, and sometimes I falter. As a writer, I have many children, and not all of them are fully formed. In fact, I'm willing to admit that the majority of them are quite the opposite: malformed monstrosities too hideous to be afforded a single ray of sunlight. Every paragraph, sentence, word, and letter is dear to me, but the ardent act doesn't necessarily produce the desired result.

Such is art.

More often than not, I slave over what I write, breaking down each construction as though I were Henry Gray mapping the human body. To use another equally trite analogy, I am an archaeologist digging for the unattainable and unknown, a man with an obsession for discovery. I am, essentially, a panhandler praying for gold dust. Sometimes I uncover a gem, but usually I find nothing but sand in my sieve.

I'm afraid my two latest attempts at "fiction" can be classified as spectacularly poor aim on my (p)art, but I hope I can be forgiven for their crudeness, they accepted as my pursuit of the infinitely slippery goal of...

But if I knew that, I wouldn't have spent so much time trying to capture it. Or trying to explain it to you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Woah. That's not going into me. No way. Longer than a pole vault pole, I'd rather be impaled by a trombone. You step away, you. Nasty.

Eight inches of wonderment, and every single one a pleasure, like climbing a ladder to fulfillment. Feel. Feel. I have one talent, and it is ecstasy. For you.

Goddamn it, my cervix can't take it anymore. Stop humping. Stop pumping. Take it slow(ly).

Do that again, that thing you just did.


Yes, that!


What's the matter?

Stop stabbing me with your cock, asshole.

Was I?

You were.

Sorry. How's this?




Lie down on your side.


Is it better?


This way?



I can't do it. I can't.

Okay. No prob. What's for breakfast tomorrow, by the way?

Fuck off.

You don't mean that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Heavier than a Million Dictionaries

"Is it a line, or is it a plus sign?"

"I can't tell."

"You mean you can't tell because you're afraid how I'll react, or you can't because you're possibly blind?"


"Darling, what does that mean, exactly?"

"I don't know."

"Me, either. So we're in the same boat."

"What's a boat?"

"I have no idea."

"I'm scared, Eoin."

"Tell me about it!"

"Tell you what?"

"Don't worry about it."

"About what?"

"Exactly. Let's sleep on it."

"This is a big deal!"

"So is everything. We're afforded tomorrow morning, though, right? Let's cocoon."


"What I mean is, let's wake up to fresh eyes and be butterflies."

"My breasts feel hard."

"Mine do, too."


Thursday, September 10, 2009


At one point in time, there was a soundtrack released for 고추 임금 - The Eoin Forbes Story, which, as predicted by industry analysts, sold more than 300,000 copies in its first week of release alone and went on to go platinum, while the film itself tanked at the box office, generating less than two million in revenue. Go figure.

Granting its failure, it should also be noted that the film enjoyed considerably more success on DVD, Blu-ray, and Betamax; and thus a rerelease of the album was judged appropriate. With that second release came additional content, by which the following song, one long thought dead and buried, found a new lease on life, and thanks to the wonders of executive privilege, I have the power to share it with you, disillusioned reader, absolutely free of charge. Pop open a cold brew, enjoy the music, and revel in the magic of one Eoin Forbes.

Eye on the Sparrow (Hallelujah Tarantula)

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely?
And long for Heaven and home?

When Pringles is my potion
A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me

Rock the Bells

If at first you don't succeed, and all that.

Yessir, Constant Retard, yours truly is poised to take the leap/plunge a second time, this go round with MORE FEELING. It truly has been a charmed second life, and I look forward to sharing the rest of it with Legs, my significant other. We had wedding photos taken this past Sunday (an ordeal in itself, let me tell you), and at the end of the month it becomes official in a ceremonial sense. My little sis, Pauline, is flying in to represent Clan Forbes, and my significant brother, Kmart, will arrive a few days after that to represent this hallowed blog. (You, Constant Retard, will of course be there in spirit.) His wedding present better fucking be myriad cheese-flavored snackfoods.

It promises to be a joyous occasion, one replete with faux snow-covered birch trees, neon lights, one helluva dandy tuxedo on the groom's part, and an immaculately beautiful gown on the bride's. (You should see her train. It's longer than my ex-wife's crime record!) My two wishes for our special day are that Bill's assassins don't show up to spoil the party and that no one notices Legs's baby bump (kidding!).

Since Legs and I eschew the traditional, the following day we're taking our honeymoon in Osaka, Japan. We initially agreed upon a trip to Singapore, but that was nixed when Legs reminded me that I expectorate like a flaming-mad cobra and that spitting there is verboten. Plan B was Cebu in the Philippines, but I vetoed Legs's suggestion on the grounds that I refuse to honeymoon in formerly colonized nations, because I'm principled like that. So, how did we settle on Osaka, you ask? Simple. Legs said, "How about Osaka?" and I said, "Fine."

Easy, peasy, Japanesey.

I'm genuinely excited about our impending nuptials, and I hope you are, too. I


rarely make the same mistake twice, and I can't wait to live alongside my faithful companion until the day one of us dies, likely I before she.

I love you, Jikko. (You, too, Leon.)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II -- Review

As the man -- in this case, me -- said, fourteen years is a long time. OB4CL2 has gone through a lengthy process to get where it is today, and the sheer fact that it's now been released is an achievement in itself. Yet the question remains: how do you follow up possibly the greatest hip-hop album of all time? The answer, unfortunately, is you can't. Not after how much time has passed. The original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... was an uncompromising album released during an era in which the Wu could afford to follow their vision. Regrettably, the sequel isn't afforded such a luxury. Despite his claim that he decided many moons ago to take a hands-off approach and allow the Wu members to do their own thing, the sad truth is that the RZA, that once-great successor to hip-hop's production throne, fell harder than any beatsmith ever has. Dude lost his fastball seemingly overnight, and without the strength of the Abbot's majestic production, the Wu-Tang dynasty crumbled. Sure, Ghostface, with his charm and passion, was able to salvage some of the Wu legacy on the strength of a few noteworthy releases, but the remainder of the clan's emcees have dropped a latter-day cornucopia of albums ranging everywhere from decent yet forgettable to mediocre as fuck to straight dookie. And for a hip-hop group once known for its consistency, it's depressing to note that the Wu catalog contains more misses than it does classics.

Thankfully, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II, while far from perfect, manages to reignite some of the clan's old glory. Some semblance of the Wu-Tang of yore can be heard on album opener "House of Flying Daggers," produced by the late J Dilla, that worthy doing his best posthumous RZA impression, a trick he also utilizes on the undeniably raucous "10 Bricks" (featuring a rejuvenated Cappadonna). The lyricists, both clan and guests, bring their A games, for sure. There's no denying that the theme of the first album is being paid homage to for the most part. Rae leads this throwback on vivid crime tales such as the Pete Rock-produced "Sonny's Missing" and the instant classic mafioso ode "Canal Street."

The flaws are definitely few and far between, but upon repeated listens some cracks in the armor are evident. First, while the album's bevy of producers (ranging from Necro to Dr. Dre) all contribute competent beats, the effort as a whole lacks consistency. Shame on the Chef for not following one of the cardinal rules of cuisine: too many cooks spoil the soup. The long-missed Marley Marl blesses "Pyrex Vision" with a slow, marijuana-haze beat, but the song is baffling in its inexplicable brevity: fifty-five seconds. Furthermore, in contrast to 1995's Linx, which contained a single R&B-laced beat, this follow up is sprinkled throughout with syrupy crooning on tracks such as "Cold Outside" and the Dr. Dre-produced "Catalina."

Still, I can't front. Regardless of its missteps, Cuban Linx II is undeniably a great album. The Slick Rick-guesting "We will Rob You," featuring a short Baby Huey loop and perhaps the album's best verse courtesy of Masta Killa(!), effortlessly induces head nods, as does the Godfather Theme-interpolated "Black Mozart." As far as mediocre goes, "Have Mercy," featuring Benie Sigel, holds that sole dubious honor, praise Allah. Closing out the album, the fantastic "Kiss the Ring" is a fitting end to the closest thing to a Wu-Tang revival since Supreme Clientele. I have no delusions of a second Wu-Tang renaissance, but for at least one album it's nice to see that the Wu still has an Elvis-in-a-rhinestone-jumpsuit comeback left in 'em.

Like I said, fourteen years is an impossible gap to close, and maybe that's my fault. Were I seventeen years old right now, I might call Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II a classic. Such is youth. Blame old age, but I doubt this will even be on my radar a month from now. Yeah, the kung-fu flick samples are there, the clansmen still have their swords sharpened, and the beats are more than serviceable, at times superlative. But...

4.5/5 *_*

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Now with 20% more kimochi!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Prance of the Flies

You know, I've always been a big Christopher Lee fan, which is something that's difficult to admit as a man expressing his adoration of an eighty-seven-year-old actor, but I regret nothing. He's the bee's knees, boys and girls (and don't you forget it), and that's taking into account each and every one of the more than 200 films of which he's been the star.

Of these masterpieces, Robin Hardy's seminal work, The Wicker Man (1973) is, reputedly, one of Lee's favorite films, as well as a showcase for the illustrious actor's versatile talent. As the enigmatic Lord Summerisle, Lee infused the role with a sinister sophistication all his own, and the character will, perhaps, be remembered for generations to come as Christopher Lee on a pagan island, rather than Summerisle proper.

The actor and the film are, undoubtedly, inexorably linked (and rightfully so, constant retards), but the film itself is a classic "thinking man's" horror film,* one worthy of repeated viewings, and yet it's the song and/or dance routines that truly cement this work as a masterpiece of cinema. Let's take a moment to count them, shall we?

1. Singing in the pub

2. The Britt Ekland mating ritual

Just a woman holding an egg while she breastfeeds her baby

4. Fertility Dance

5. Christopher Lee, piano man***

6. Hicksville Hoedown

7. Carnivalesque Finale

In consideration of such euphonious majesty, can there be any doubt on your part, Dickless Reader, that the Wicker Man is anything but a welcome addition to one's film collection?**** Don't hesitate. Purchase / rent / steal / borrow / download it today.

* Known in some circles as 'suspense,' or even 'thriller,' but that's not how Christopher Lee rolls, believe me.

** And on that bed there was a girl / And on that girl there was a man / And from that man there was a seed ...

*** I've read that the piano scene wasn't in the original script, but Mr. Lee had demanded its inclusion so as to better illustrate his limitless flexibility, and I for one applaud his foresight, as the scene accurately encapsulates the film.

**** As if you'd need a reason beyond the presence of Christopher Lee.

Katherine (Excerpt 4)

Katie’s prey was our father’s 10-speed Schwinn, a bike my father, for as long as I had been part of the household, had never once ridden. Katie told me she had never seen him ride it, either. He kept it in the garage as a memory of the past, she insisted, just like he kept his U of M curling brooms hanging on the garage's wall. The bike, a worthless lump under its blue plastic tarpaulin, would not be missed, Katie assured me. She said she could swap it with a department store mannequin and nobody would be the wiser for at least another century.

I believed her.

To be honest, I never actually saw Katie eat even the slightest portion of that bicycle. But by spring the bike was gone. Curious (and very afraid), I would from time to time steal looks under the tarpaulin, and, like watching a plant grow or a person gain weight, I didn’t realize Katie’s progress until her prodigious achievement was nearly culminated. One morning, at dawn, I snuck downstairs and into the garage. Under the tarpaulin, Katie had placed pieces of lumber to provide a semblance of the bicycle’s missing bulk. On the floor were the bike’s seat and chain, the latter greasy and caked in thick dust. I was equally proud and profoundly depressed. She was close to accomplishing her second-greatest feat.

During the months of January to May, I nervously kept watch to see if Katie's insane exploit was affecting her. She grew quieter, I noticed, but I chalked that up to her very real fear of our father finding out she had been eating his bicycle. Dad loved Katie more than anything, but even Katie admitted that this one, "the big one," would be the straw that broke the camel's back, the stunt that would land her in the loony bin. Other than that, she was vintage Katie. She even solicited Jessica to write “Big Daddy” in pencil before every mention of Cain in the bibles placed behind our father’s church pews. (Jessica refused after Katie told her there were ninety-one bibles.) There were no signs that Katie’s intestinal tract was becoming a metallic junkyard, and for that I was grateful.

Still, I worried. Katie looked increasingly morose, and I wondered if she was keeping a straight face to mask her inner turmoil. My mother always said, usually in reference to the Cold War, that man's inherent stubbornness would be the main cause of his downfall, and every time I heard her pontificate on the subject I was reminded of my sister, Katie: a teenager who would stop at nothing to achieve her goal, regardless of how insane it was, how life threatening it might be.

But I was very young, and I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Katie was clever, I knew, but I didn't realize until it was too late that her bicycle eating -- and to this day I'm positive she really did eat that bike -- was just a preparatory diversion.

Katie had bigger plans.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Katherine (Excerpt 3)

My parents worked long hours, and this of course meant that Bootsy usually babysat us younger kids, which was always a blast. Sure, she was often too rough (a smack to the back of the head here, a nipple twist there), but we loved having her as a big sister. My father was a minister, my mother an attorney, and when they were both away at work or social functions, Bootsy tended to keep things lively. Improvised plays were staged in our living room. Bizarre and near-inedible meals were concocted in the kitchen. “Bedtime” was hazily defined as the hours between eleven and dawn, and with every single light in the house turned on, ours was definitely the brightest domicile on the block.

It wasn’t all fun and games, however. Two incidents that occurred made my parents rethink their decision to leave their eldest child in charge of the house. One evening shortly after my eighth birthday, Bootsy had the clever idea of giving me a Mohawk. Needless to say, my parents were far from pleased. My mother ended up having to shave off my remaining hair. This style would increase in popularity by the time I reached high school, but it was definitely not the en vogue look for a third grader. Three months later, when Anthony broke his leg after Bootsy coaxed him into jumping off the roof of our garage, my parents had had enough. Our next door neighbor, the septuagenarian Mrs. Friedman, would babysit us ever after.

I’m sure Bootsy must have had some friends, but I never saw them. She occasionally went out, I guess to socialize, but most of the time she stayed at home. Perhaps because she was bored, she was always coming up with various strange projects or challenges. She became fascinated with the idea of Ramadan, and for nearly three months fasted during daylight hours. Another time, she resolved to build a scale model of the Machu Picchu ruins out of bacon grease. There were dozens of other offbeat ventures, but none were as epic or as carefully planned as the time she endeavored to eat a bicycle.


It was Christmas morning of my ninth year. Katie -- as she had recently decided she wanted to be called -- was lying on the living room sofa, thumbing through a copy of The Guinness Book of World Records that Michael had given her. She looked particularly absorbed, her brow furrowed, her lips pursed.

“Danny, come over here,” she said to me. “I wanna show you something. What do you think of this?”

She held the book open for me to see. The page she had been reading contained records for various categories of competitive eating and drinking. Near the top of the left-hand page was an interesting category: bicycles. It read, Michel Lotito holds the record for consuming a bicycle. Due to the potentially harmful nature of such an attempt, this record is closed.

Even at that young age, I immediately knew what she was thinking.

“Why do you want to do that?” I asked. “It says it’s dangerous.”

“He did it, didn’t he?” she said, and I had to admit she had a point.

“Not many people can say they ate a bicycle,” she continued. Her eyes had a determined look. “One, I guess. I wanna be the second.”

“But the record’s closed.”

“Even better. I’m not going to do it just so I can get my name in a book nobody cares about. That’s what makes it so intriguing. If I eat a bicycle, I’ll be part of a very exclusive club."

"Not that I’m gonna brag about it," she said after a pause. "I’d probably never tell anyone, in fact."

I wished she hadn’t told me. Katie divulged little secrets to us younger kids all the time, but for whatever reason I was her No. 1 confidant. I was proud of it, too, but not this time.

Katie was going to graduate the next year, and while her grades were far from stellar, my parents hoped she’d be accepted to university. Community college was a bad word in my house, but I think they were willing to accept Katie’s desire to study commercial editing at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. (Why New Hampshire and why commercial editing -- Katie never watched television -- was anybody’s guess.) After all, Katie’s stunts, as my father called them, had virtually ceased, her last being an ill-fated attempt to pretend she were homeless. For three days she hung out downtown and slept outside, coming home only when my father drove down and physically removed her from the corner on which she was panhandling. My mother was so upset over the matter that she threatened a psychological evaluation. Thankfully, my father arbitrated that such a drastic measure was unnecessary, and the family breathed a collective sigh of relief. Katie was quirky, sure, but she wasn’t crazy. She was just, well, Katie.

This, though, was too much. My big sister, the same sister who taught me how to make farting sounds with my armpit and who once made me laugh for nearly an hour by making our golden retriever, Roxy, wear a yarmulke, was going to commit suicide, I was convinced. I had to stop this. I would tell my parents.

“Say anything and you’re dead meat, Dan-O,” she whispered with raised eyebrows.

“Not a word,” I promised.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Katherine (Excerpt 2)

Katherine Corrigan preferred to be called Bootsy. God only knows why. She made this explicitly clear when when we first met. I had just arrived from Korea with my adoptive parents, and they were introducing me to my new siblings: their other adopted son, Jason (12, from China), and their biological children, Paul (6), Gary (8), Anthony (11), fraternal twins Stella and Jessica (12), Michael (14), and Katherine -- sorry, Bootsy (16). I understood no English, but when Bootsy flicked my forehead hard, tapped her clavicle with her index finger and said, "Me, Bootsy," I got the point.

My new mother let out an exasperated sigh. My father said nothing. This, I would learn, was nothing new from Bootsy.

The house was big, but even so I had to share a room with Paul and Gary. Paul and I slept in a bunk bed, me on top. Gary, as seniority rules dictated, had a single bed against the opposite wall. Bootsy was the only one of us kids who had her own room, and it was right next to ours. I often heard her singing off key to a cassette tape of Indian music.

To say that Bootsy was eccentric would be an understatement. I was convinced -- hell, sometimes I still am -- that she was not of this planet. Her clothes were always mismatched. A pair of lime-green socks clashed with violet jogging pants; an oversized Hawaiian shirt covered her denim shorts so that she appeared to be nude from the waist down save for a pair of tan velvet boots. Her hair was always messy, and she dyed it every color in the spectrum. She had piercings seemingly everywhere on her body but her ears, and she applied makeup like Jackson Pollock painted.

I found it curious that our conservative -- puritanical, some might say -- parents put up with Bootsy's odd appearance and even odder behavior. I think they let it slide because Bootsy's style never rubbed off on the rest of us. My father only once reprimanded her for her outfit, and that was because Bootsy had liberated a polyester dress shirt from the back of his closet and cut off the sleeves with a pair of scissors. Other than that, Bootsy was pretty much left to her own devices.


Kelly's back. She flew in last week from Cleveland and solicited my folks for my cell phone number. I met her on Tuesday and told her I might see her again the next time I'm in St. Paul, which won't be for a while, but she doesn't care, I know. Kelly does her thing regardless. So do I. We both pretend we don't care much about each other, and we're both lying, but that's what needs to be done. Because that's what keeps us remembering the past so fondly and from realizing the present too harshly, too starkly. It's human nature.

She looked good, boy. Time isn't kind to the fairer sex, and she had some wrinkles around her eyes, some stout to her legs, sure; but underneath she was still Kelly, still that fiery red head who drove men wild, myself included. Then and now. Her makeup was a little off, and her brown eyes looked sadder than I'd ever remembered them -- almost yellow, in fact. Empty somehow, like tears had diluted them and washed away her passion. But she spoke in that familiar Kelly twang, walked as confident as ever, and she made me reminisce about how we used to be fourteen years ago, when we were seventeen years old.

Fourteen years is a long time, and I'm sure Kelly saw similar changes in me. I suppose I fidget a lot more now than I used to, smoke cigarettes a lot more than I did back then. My hair has a touch of gray, like I've been sitting around a campfire and tiny ashes have touched down hither and thither over my head. In a few years, those ashes will resemble fat snow flakes, I'm sure, and my own blue eyes will look as faded as an ancient pair of dungarees. I've managed to stay relatively thin, but I'm growing increasingly conscious of my increasingly flabby belly, which, despite my slender frame, sticks out and makes me look, in profile, like a lower case 'b' or 'd,' depending upon which way I turn.

We were equally depressed after dinner at the prestigious Kiki's Grill, and it wasn't because of the food, which was splendid. It was because we knew we'd probably never see one another again. That's when the evening took on a somber mood. I clammed up, and she followed suit. I saw Kelly off in front of the restaurant, where she got in a cab. I wished her a pleasant trip home, but I didn't kiss her, on her lips or her cheek. I simply waved goodbye and smiled. Like a fucking moron.

I want to call her up, hear her voice again. Things can never be the same between us -- fourteen years is an impossible gap to close -- but that was a poor send-off, and it was all my fault.

It was all my fault.

I know that now.

Katherine (Excerpt 1)

Jeannie is standing on tiptoes, looking at family photographs on my mantel. She had only two glasses of wine with dinner, but she's clearly tipsy. She's doing her best to disguise the fact and failing miserably. Two weeks prior, on our first date, she had a little too much vino and passed out in the taxi we were sharing. I, ever the Sir Lancelot, took her home and politely refused when she asked me to come in. I had hoped that in the morning she would remember my gentlemanliness and accept my offer for a second date. Lucky me, she did.

"Is this you?" she giggles as she picks up a framed picture of me sitting on my maternal grandmother's lap. I'm seven, my smile proudly revealing my missing two front teeth. My grandmother's hands are laced around my stomach.

"Uh-huh," I say. "That was taken a few weeks after my adoption."

I haven't had much luck with women these past few years, and I hope my slump doesn't continue with Jeannie. Like me, she's a patent lawyer. Also like me, she was adopted from a Korean orphanage. We met on Facebook. I am madly in love with her.

She picks up a few more frames, always mindful to put them back gently. Always, due to her inebriation, doing a poor job of it. The last, a photograph of the whole family taken while on vacation in Cape Cod, collapses backwards, its stand too close to the frame to support its weight. I smile as she turns her head and offers an apologetic smirk.

"Happens," I say, picking up the picture and setting it right. I pray that in her semi-intoxicated state she doesn't notice the thin layer of dust blanketing the mantel. Like my luck with women, my housekeeping skills are similarly slumping.

"Have you ever tried to find your biological parents?" she asks, and her abrupt question takes me by surprise. I was worried she might ask me about religion or politics; this, however, is an unforeseen topic I'm loath to discuss.

As I always do when I'm nervous or uncomfortable, I scratch my right eyebrow. "Some people don't want to be found," I answer. "Since I was a teenager, I've held the belief that, if they really wanted to, they'd try to find me."

And then she kisses me. Softly. Briefly. My eyes are closed, and when I open them she's staring at me cutely. I shouldn't be so flustered, but I am. Damnation.

Realizing this, Jeannie mercifully turns back to the mantel. Again she's looking at the Cape Cod photo. "I didn't know you had such a big family. Including you, I count what looks like eight kids. Tell me that's not true. Some of them must be cousins or something, right?"

"No, and it used to be nine, actually," I reply, my voice hoarse. "My sister Katie went missing when I was ten."

Anticipating Jeannie's next question, I ready myself for a long night.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Blog of Universal Appeal

Today I woke up early. About eight o’clock. Couldn’t take a big dump or small dump because I was worried about my car, which broke down yesterday. Tried to fix it but gave up and drank some delicious Smirnoff vodka. I want to thank the good folks at Smirnoff for making the best vodka in the world. It makes the nights fly by.

My father and I tried to fix the Ford Ranger but failed. My dad’s accent is funny, so he says things like:

“Why you buy Pordu Langa? No good car.”

“Where is lunchee? It erebun o’crock. Eat now.”

“I rike Judge Judy.”

His accent is so cute, but not today. Today he’s angry because the car is broken. I had a big lunch. Turkey sandwiches are the best, but not with mustard. I ate three sandwiches with my vodka. Waiting for my father to get ready to go to the auto shop was tough. The vodka always takes the edge off the pain. So does taking a dump. Poop. Poop.

Poop reminds me of something. Saw on the news today that health care is such a big issue in the United States. The country is going down the crapper faster than you can say Glenn Beck. The guy is a fucking genius, but what do I care about the U.S.? The sky is falling. We’re doomed. Poop down the toilet. But it’s not water in the bowl. It’s vodka.

Watched the Abominable Dr. Phibes this afternoon. What a great movie. Vincent Price is a big name in Hollywood, and he smokes cigarettes. A lot. I remember when Thriller came out. I thought Michael Jackson was fucking good.

I’m gonna take a nap now.