Feb 2016 05

One man. One iphone notes app. No rules except to be done a random story idea by the time the ride is over. For better or worse. 

Ten Grand (Yonge to Dundas West, 504 to Queen, evening rush hour)

“I really don’t see how this is art.”

“What, this doesn’t evoke an emotional response?”

“Sure. It makes me fucking angry that someone calls themselves an ‘artist’ and asks someone to pay…”

Phil looked closer at the tag under the piece in question to gauge his outrage.

“… Ten thousand dollars? Ten thousand. This is bullshit.”

“Shhhhh…”

There were other people in the room and Amanda thought one of them might have even been the artist. But the artist was not in fact in the room, and as the narrator, I can say that truthfully. And the piece in question was a blender, a normal kitchen house appliance blender, with a live hamster inside, trapped by the lid on top. One of the blender buttons was painted bright yellow, plus the power cord was plugged into the wall.

“Well it is.”

He was stage whispering now – loud whispering.

“It’s not meant to be bought. It’s a statement.”

“That what? We’re all trapped?”

“Maybe. If that’s what it says to you.”

“Well, what does it say to YOU?”

“It makes me anxious. Excited. Anyone could just blend that hamster. Like us at any moment really. It could all end. It’s out of our control. The artist is daring us to blend the hamster.”

At this point, he made a mental note that this would be their first and last date and he wondered if he should let his mom set him up with that girl at the supermarket rather than this Tinder thing. He heard there would be fucking. There was no fucking so far.

“So you think it’s an invitation to kill that poor hamster.”

“Yes. But no one will. That’s why it’s so brilliant.”

They stood there and looked at the piece again, as if assessing it all-new.

“I’m gonna blend that fucking hamster.”

He started to walk towards the blender.

“No, you won’t. No one will.”

“Fuckin bet?”

He walked up, and pushed the yellow button, to send little Whiskers to hamster heaven and hopefully not have to pay ten grand as well.

But instead of fur and blood and pink and whirring, all that happened was a siren went off and a red light started to shine on the wall that cast the phrase ‘Elegance is Bliss’.

“Oh it’s got so many layers to it, doesn’t it?”

Feb 2016 04

Skip the No Hair Selfie App, shaving your head for your own publicity, or other forms of couch activism today.

Call someone you love who is/was battling cancer. Make a donation. Make a healthy choice for yourself.

Cancer doesn’t need you to do anything to ‘raise awareness’ for it. It has been doing fine on its’ own for a long time. We’ve all been touched by it.

What we need are more real acts of support, a better understanding of it, healthier choices in the world, and less acceptance and glorification of a medical approach that treats cancer by ‘cutting it out’ or poisoning our system (hence, no hair) in an attempt to kill it.

We need to change our thinking.

 

 

 

Feb 2016 03

Subway stories. One TTC ride. One man and an iPhone. One deadline. No rules or time to overthink. 

Grin – (Queen to Dundas West on 504. To Yonge on subway.)

“You’re doing it wrong.”

“Oh, and you’ve done this before.”

The above, coming out like “Wa. En uve un is ifore.”

“No, but I know how you’re supposed to do it. And that ain’t right.”

He took the pistol out of his mouth for the sake of good conversation.

“Alright, genius. Enlighten me.”

“You have to grin.”

“Grin? What does it matter? You want them to think I went happy? I’m killing myself. They’ll all know I wasn’t happy.”

Boston G took the gun to demonstrate. No one knew why they called him that but it was just one of the many questions he was leaving unanswered.

“You don’t want to be somewhat dead. You want to be dead dead.”

Boston grinned and put the gun barrel against his teeth.

“See, this way, you get all those little bits of teeth smashing through your brain too. Cause more damage than a bullet.”

“Right… Smart… Do you think that’s why terrorists make nail bombs and stuff?”

“Never thought about it but that makes sense… Alright, this is getting dark.”

Boston G took out a hankerchief and wiped down the gun, then handed it back, barrel out for safety.

“Thanks Boston. You’re a good friend.”

Boston got up to leave.

“Dead dead. Not mostly dead.”

“Hey, Boston. One more thing. Can you take my cat?”

Boston looked over at Cheshire. He hated Cheshire.

“Sure.”

He picked him up off the counter and headed for the door.

“You’re a good friend, Boston.”

Boston shut the door and let Cheshire go in the hall.

He’d see both of them tomorrow for the same conversation. God, he hated being stationed in 2004.


Jan 2016 26

Second helping of odd stream of consciousness fiction composed during one TTC Ride on ‘NOTES’ app on an iPhone. No rules other than that. No defined structure.

504 King to Dundas West, to Yonge & Bloor. 9 am. 

Raid

It’s looking at me, she thought.
All eight eyes. At least six of them. And then she wondered if spiders had eight eyes or if that was just their leg count. She would have to google it later.

As far as spiders go, it was a privileged one as it was seeing her naked. A feat not accomplished or attempted actually by any biped in awhile.

But there it was. That lucky spider in the bathroom. At 10 pm on a Sunday night. Bath time.

Her first instinct was a wad of triple ply. A quick moment where she closed her own eyes and its forever. But there were two problems with that – they always scurried at the last moment. Fuckin spiders were crafty that way. Imagine having a self-preservation life wish instinct. The nerve. And the second problem was she had recently become a vegetarian and wondered if that meant a reverance for all creatures. Not just the edible ones.

Should she call someone for help? Fuckin Hollywood programming. No.

There was only one option.

She sighed and went to the kitchen to fetch a drinking glass to trap it. Then, she thought, she’d slip a sheet of paper under the glass and make a temporary terrarium. Then voila, release the spider outside. Resourceful. Respectful of nature. No one gets hurt. Perfect.

She grabbed a glass that she reminded herself never to use again, and a piece of mail, and returned to the bathroom.

The spider was gone. The trail of clothing too.

Phil. His name had been Phil.

At least he had paid for dinner.

Jan 2016 25

Trying something new since I’m not writing enough and now back on contract in the ad world. Every subway commute of 6+ stops, when I get a seat, I’m going to try to write a story on my iPhone. Then publish it here, for better or likely worse. Typos and bad story structure and all. Here’s the first…

Tubs – (Islington to Dundas West)

He had a problem with his left arm. 

There was a tub of ice cream there where it should have been. 

His parents hid it for years with sweaters. But the summer was hard. Not just for covering it up with hot sleeves but also it was rum n raisin flavour. And he wanted to eat it. It was lonely growing up. Having only one real arm and hiding who he was. He was an outcast. But he resisted eating it and hid his secret, saving it for what he hoped woukd be his one true love.

One day he met someone and they fell in love. Miraculously. Possibly cause she was odd too. Her clit was a spoon. Although this was strange, it was not as noticeable as his tub arm and he didn’t realize it until the first night they lay together as lovers. 

For the first time, he felt love. And could love. He didn’t even mind waking up without a left arm. 

But it was the fact she was gone that hurt him so much. 

But karma is a bitch and she got a bad yeast infection. Also her next lover got a raisin stuck in his dick.