Monday, October 26, 2009

Story Published

Fringe Indie Magazine published another story of mine, and apparently this issue will be available in print. I'm happy they thought of me for their publication. I wasn't aware that they were going to use "More Lives Than You'll Ever Know." It's too bad because the story has changed a bit over the past few months. Not many changes, but a word can make as much of a difference as a wrong note. If you want to check it out, click HERE

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't Talk About The Good Old Days

I liked waking up in the Riviera. It wasn't of my concern how Caitlin made her money. She kept a good house. Her 2nd floor flat was atop a Mediterranean villa. It was clean, white-themed, and I had my morning coffee and cigarettes on the attached balcony that overlooked Santa Barbara and the Pacific. She stayed up through most of the nights. Her pills were time-released and she often took them well into the evening to get her through work. So she stayed up during the nights cleaning and keeping the place in order, and by the time I lit my first cigarette she was finally asleep. But I liked waking up in the Riviera. Santa Barbara was new to me, though I had lived in the next city over for 20 years. Santa Barbara wasn't a place I cared for. Ventura was harder. It had street cred. Santa Barbara seemed pussy to me. But atop the Riviera I felt good, regal. After the smoke and coffee I'd often walk to her desk and look at my band's CD cover framed on her mantle, then look back out over the Pacific, then at the naked girl in bed and back at the CD. Those were hot times for me. Just like Uncle Rico had his '83 and Osborne his '03, 2005 was mine. The band had just played Vegas for New Year's, we put out our first album, my girlfriend was a stripper, and most importantly, I went deep for the first time--Left-center, Carpinteria High School, against the Gigantes. I was playing hardball in the Santa Barbara Mexican leagues, a sort of resurrected dream. I had been a good ballplayer throughout my youth: a scrappy leadoff batter, sidearm pitcher type of player. I hit the gaps plenty and rattled a few off the fence, but never in my career did I take one deep. But I was hot in 2005, and at 25 years-old I put one over against the Gigantes. The greatest thrill of my life. My team, The Carrillos, mobbed me at home plate. "Chano! Chano!" they cheered. It was easier to say Chano than it was to say Shane. And in the dugout a little Mexican boy had already retrieved the ball and presented it to me. The ball was holy, and it had the mark of my beast. Caitlin was the only Anglo in the bleachers of Mexican wives, and she was smiling at me. She was the only stripper there, or maybe just the only one who worked at the Rhino, and the only one with ape-head implants for a chest. But I didn't care. I was hot. I walked to her as my cleats crunched the gravel and pulled her in. She said the homerun was the hottest thing she had ever seen. I then looked at the ball in my hand, then at her and back at the ball. Yes, I gave it to her.
That night I went to the club and sat V.I.P. courtesy of Caitlin. She told her stripper friends about my band and my homerun, and that they should sit with me when they weren't busy rubbing their snatch in front of strangers. So I drank red bulls and soda with strippers for a few hours. Sometimes they'd rub up on me and say that Caitlin said it was cool. And I watched Caitlin walk around in nothing and go into private rooms with scum and come out smiling.

I wanted my ball back.

I didn't see her for the next few days because she was busy with beauty school classes and my band was practicing in Ventura at night, but I knew where the ball was. It was on the mantle next to the album. Kind of a creepy Shane shrine. She kept telling me on the phone how cool it looked and when was I going to come over and why was I acting so weird. She wanted to know if it was another girl, and actually there was. So I took my eye off the ball for a moment and told her about Lela. She called me names and hung up the phone. I laid down on my bed, and before calling Lela, I relived the homerun. I was locked-in and crushing it.
I woke up the next morning to a very angry woman in my room. Caitlin was standing there spitting ugly words at me, while holding a brown grocery bag full of things I had forgotten at her house. I tore through that bag, tossing clothes, CD's and pictures, but no ball. "Where's the ball? Where is the fucking ball!" I was screaming as I rummaged through the bag. She called me more names, and then reached in her purse and pulled it out. I snatched it from her hand and I began fondling it, caressing it, whispering sweetly to it. She continued with the disgusting words and then finally pouted out of my life.
I was so hot in 2005.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Speech At The Locklear Wedding

I gave a speech at the Locklear wedding. It was captured by an iPhone and now resides on the worldwide web. The best part about this video is you can't see anything,; the darkness preserves the speech. Otherwise you'd be distracted by the glory of my mustache. Check it out HERE

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I saw a touch of senility in my grandfather, wrinkles around my mother's eyes, acne on my brother's face and a ring on my sister's finger. My friend's have become husbands and fathers, entrepreneurs and laborers, drunks and addicts, bald and pudgy. At 29, I am now noticing that those I have lived my life with are finally growing older. My grandpa was always about 65, mom about 40, brother about 9, friends around 18. But Time has finally happened to the generation of people I have loved.

Monday, October 5, 2009

When Men Hold Each Other

Sam awoke to the sound of murder. He was dazed and dizzy in a dark bedroom. He quickly reached for the nightstand to aid him upright, but missed and tumbled to the carpeted floor. Then, murder again.
"Dave!" Sam hollered. "Dave!" Sam reached out to Dave's bed, but it was empty.
He squabbled to his fours, a jackhammer suddenly throttling the inside of his head as he tried to get his bearings. A weak, feeble voice squeaked from down the hall in the bathroom, "Sam." He recognized the voice as Dave's. Dave wasn't dead but he was surely dying. "Dave," he cried out in the dark, still helplessly paralyzed on his fours and absolutely bewildered. "What's going on? Where are we?" Dave gasped, "I think I'm dying."
"Is this hell?" Sam asked, now breaking sweat. Dave began sobbing, almost crying, "Oh fuck--" Then deep from primordial bowels, Dave bellowed and screamed, vomit splashing and splattering the porcelain toilet. The vomiting sound triggered Sam's gut, and from his fours he heaved his insides onto the carpet, fell over next to his pile and passed out.

Earlier that day Sam and Dave had arrived to the stunning Buzios, the St. Tropez of Brazil. The two Americans were traveling the Brazilian coast, and upon arriving at Geriba beach in Buzios the two young men celebrated with Caipirinhas on the beach. Dave went to buy the second round and returned to Sam with two more drinks and an older Irishman named Tom. Dave introduced Tom to Sam. "Heard him speaking English trying to order a drink. I had to help him out, " said Dave, motioning a cheers to Tom. "He bought these for us. He and his family are renting that palace up there." Dave turned and pointed to a beautiful place on a cliff overlooking Buzios. Tom chimed in, "You boys would love it. I been with the bloody wife and kid all weekend. How about you boys join us for lamb tonight."
"Lamb? This is Brazil, man. The beef is the best in the world," said Dave playfully. "What do you think Sam?" Looking up at the gorgeous cliffside architecture, Same replied "Oh fuck ya."
And feast on lamb they did. They washed it down first with a bottle of Talisker and Merlot. Everybody was drinking hard. Tom, his wife Aideen and their 16 year old daughter, Orla. The more this family drank, the louder and redder their Irish faces became, cursing everything not Irish. Sam and Dave loved every minute of it, trading looks of disbelief and surprise from what the world had offered to two intrepid travelers. Soon after the meal, the dining table was covered with wine and whiskey bottles: Talisker, Jamison's, Glenlivet, and Macallan's. They were playing dice games and whenever Orla tried to tell them they were playing wrong, Tom and his wife yelled at her to shut up. "Can we tell her to shut up too?" asked Dave excitedly inebriated. In slurred drunk speech, Tom proclaimed "In this family we abuse the shit out of each other and see what comes of it!" He and his wife collapsed in laughter. Orla pushed away from the table, telling everbody to fuck off and die and ran away crying. As she was running from the table, Dave and Sam simultaneously yelled "Shut up Orla!" and joined Tom and Aideen in whooping laughter.

Sam awoke once again not to the sound of murder but to the buzzing of flies. He moaned in disgust, hitting them away from his face. He rolled over to push himself up and was faced with the buzzing flies in his rancid puke. "Ugh," he moaned feebly and sauntered carefully to the bathroom to rinse out his acrid mouth. Dave was passed out cold on the tiled floor, vomit splashed on the toilet and the surrounding tile. Sam stepped over his friend and washed out his mouth. He nudged Dave with his foot. "Dave, Dave, wake up. Come on. We got to get out of here. Wake up!"
Dave slowly wakes, groaning remorsefully. "What the fuck?" He continued groaning, now clenching his stomach. "Listen man," said Sam. "We got get out of here. We fucked this place up. Come on. Get up. It was that fucking lamb."
"That fucking lamb. I told you. What kind of asshole eats lamb in Brazil. Irish bastard." Dave slowly rose to his feet. He saw the mess he made and became sick once more in the sink.
"I'll get our bags," said Sam and dashed out of the bathroom. He return to the bathroom with both backpacks. Dave was on the floor again looking miserable and holding his stomach. Sam grabbed Dave under the arms and dragged him from the bathroom. Dave's feet dragged through some vomit and trailed it on the carpet exiting their room. Sam pulled Dave to his feet and aided him quietly through the dark house. They made it out the front door just as dawn was arriving.
Sam continued pulling Dave along until they reached the cobblestone street. The house was on top of a steep hill, about a kilometer up from the rest of the town. Behind them the sun was rising over the hills.
"Sam, my stomach is fucked. I can't walk this hill."
"Just hold on to me."
Dave wrapped his arms around Sam's shoulders. Sam held Dave tightly around his waist, and the two friends slowly descended the hill into the dawning day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some Kind of Update

September vanished. A few beers, and some long naps and like that it's gone. It seems that no matter where I am in the world October makes its entrance with a crisp chill. Today the temperature plunged about 20 degrees with hard rain. Supposed to be a warm spring now in Brazil. October, and it's hidden little mysteries. The boys are wrapping it up now. Yankees are in. Red Sox too. Nobody cares about the Angels, and the wounded Tigers are fighting off the Twins, which is never easy when there is blood pouring in the hallways and the twins are catching up to them on tricycles. All work and no play. . . In the National Leauge, Cardinals are in and Mugger says they are the best team in baseball. But Mugger also said the Dodgers would clinch last night, yet they only mustered one hit. So while the Dodgers limp to the finish line, the cocksucking Phillies will be awaiting. I'm probably supposed to mention the Rockies.
So, now we know October is here packing mystery and dramatics. In a week I fly back to California for a few days. I'm looking forward to get to those golden rolling hills not because I miss it, but because I am eager for the perspective into what I can do there. For the past year I could have been in Brazil or Timbuktu (nobody really knows where that is) and it wouldn't have really mattered to me. Just needed a place to get my head straight. I'm better now. Healed. Recovered, whatever the word is. Anyhow, not sure how the job market will treat a writer there. I am aware its tough. I am also aware I may have pigeon-holed myself into a career as an international teacher. It's nothing I am too keen on. Its exciting, but a lonely existence without friends, language and family. Very heady.
About the writing. A while back I sent "Loam" to a bunch of publications to get a feeler on it. Based on what I wrote I was asked by a travel rag to submit more and turn it all into a travel feature, to ultimately have it scrapped. Editor didn't like the Hemingway aspect of the character, kind of crying-in-the-beer hero. I like these types of main characters (maybe they are crying in their beer because they couldn't live up to the heroic ideal, but did the best they can. If anybody wants to read it, shoot me an email). Then a few simple "no" replies from others, then today--October-- another personal letter from an editor. She really liked it and either wants me to develop it more or send her some more stuff. It's never just right for them. Loam is fucking good. She said it just needs to be longer. Why? So, I have an idea about how to extend it, and I'll work on it with October.
I'll finish this post by letting you in on what I do for a living, and why I am looking forward to ending this life chapter. In an international classroom, my new American student--my only native English speaker--though he is from Houston, turned this piece of work in as a response to religious conflict in the Middle Ages:

"The interaction bettwen the faith juadisom and cristianity in islam wasen't favravel to the Jews. It all manly started seens some jews had important government and and schorlarly posts, so the christians"