Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Mind Your Mines

Not everyone wanted to join the feud between the Sicilians and the Cubans, especially their immigrant kids who were born here and hadn't emigrated at all. They weren’t competing for jobs and didn’t comprehend their theological differences, but on account of their parents’ enthusiasm for the feud, required a discreet way, or at least a not-too-indiscreet way, to express that desire to do no harm. One look at Estelle Valdes in a halter-top and the Crisafi boys wanted to do a whole lot of no harm, and the plan was concocted, and invitations were palmed in the hallways, and dozens of kids covertly congregated at the abandoned mine. Come dusk dozens of teens descended a coal shaft in elbow gloves and flowing skirts, clothing they never got to wear above, designated for a ball below. Light became scarcer and scarcer as dances were traded and dancing talent was mocked, as hands rested on waists and couples swayed, and kissing became possible, though remained as intimidating a prospect as it was in the world above. It got so dark no one knew whom his partner was, and they stayed a whole half hour down in that pitch-blackness, everyone else dancing as Roberto taught Yelina how to play his guitar, and it was the most elegant thing no one ever saw.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: An Argument Most Concise in Favor of Burning Books

“We’re all against burning books until one of them comes for our kids. Possessed by Satan, a restless Native American spirit, or simple poor syntax, the thing leaps off the shelf and starts beating your oldest daughter about the head and shoulders. Now an airport paperback you can take care of with your bare hands, but a hardcover requires the fear of fire to put it in line. You just don’t know what it’s like until you come home after a long day at the office to find the Encyclopedia Britannica terrorizing your family, your oldest daughter pinned to the ground by L, M, N, O, P and Q, crying because she doesn’t want to read about quail anymore. You can’t fight a flock of flying encyclopedias with tolerance, my friends. They are the scum of the earth and require the constant threat of the lighter to mind their manners.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Theorobotics in the April/May Alien Skin

The Bathroom Monologue, "Theorobotics," is currently in the e-zine Alien Skin. This is a new version of the monologue about robotic believers. You can check it out here, or at this URL:

Bathroom Monologue: I Can’t Waltz

They stepped to his left, then forward, then right, then back. It was the least comfortable square he ever made. One hand was on her shoulder and one hand went so low on her hip he hoped his mom wasn't watching. She made him so nervous that he only touched her with the tips of his fingers so she wouldn't feel the sweat on his palms. Maybe she didn't feel them, but she saw every time his eyes averted, and it made her smile this smile that… well, he was glad she couldn’t feel his palms. Heart going faster, forgetting how to breathe, he traced that square over and over again, even after the song ended.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Six-Sentence Non-Fiction about Reading Fiction

Had to stay off my ankle for a week, so I scooped up an armload of books from my To-Read box and set them on my desk. Samuel Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner was on top of the stack, but I capriciously decided to start the week with comedy and read Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency instead.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, about which I knew nothing other than it was by an author I liked, turned out to be a comedy about how everything is connected and made so many references to Coleridge that a character actually picks up one of his books and reads it. I kept looking over the copy of Adams’s book, staring at the other a couple feet away, until the hour I finished and it was Coleridge’s turn.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner, about which I knew nothing other than it was by an author I should read, turned out to be the story of an immortal seaman waylaying a stranger on his way to a wedding. Halfway through Mom knocked on the door to drop of the mail and the latest Netflix movie: Rachel Getting Married.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Why the Mood?

She kept smoking, hair and shadow covering her face, not looking up from the bottom of the stairs.

"Oh Jesus, is it our anniversary?" He ran back to the apartment to find his wallet.

When he was out of sight, she smirked. It was fun to do this to him.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Reason

Many wanted an explanation after the apocalypse. After all of the plagues, pestilences and wars, space shuttles killing teachers and precious souls lost to miscarriages, most humans wanted Him to answer.

The souls of all the fish, beasts and birds those humans had eaten across millennia followed after them, intent on meeting whoever was behind this mess – and much to the chagrin of vegetarians, the souls of a trillion carrots were amongst the cattle.

Anubis, Anansi, Apollo and all the other gods whose worship had dwindled across time came along, wanting to see the Supreme Being finally get it from Creation.

It seemed all matter was fuming, marching up to His door, ready to tear the meaning of life from His transcendent carcass.

They didn’t expect Him to meet them at the door, but He threw open the Gates of Reality, fearless and splendid, an irrepressible smile in the middle of His infinite beard, and declared, “I call it The Aristocrats!”

Six Sentence Week 2

The Six Sentence Stories keep coming. For this week, from today to Sunday, I'll be posting another six-sentence story each day. As you can see I'm trying to play with what can fit in that brevity: humor, theology, fantasy, ranting, non-fiction reflection, bigotry, love, and for some reason, two about dance. A poll should pop up shortly. Please vote for whichever you like the most, and leave a Comment if you think one is particularly good or bad.

Dammit, that's five again!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: D.A.E.

Demons Against Exorcism is a grassroots organization that is either entirely composed of demons or has no demons at all, depending on how skeptical you are. The demons in question have 100% willing and agreeable hosts who do not want to see their companions evicted.

“It’s my body, my choice,” says Sarah Stockman, who will have been possessed for six years next month. Her parents were initially uncomfortable with her lifestyle, but grew to accept it after her demon ceased making her writhe in public. Following a popular tolerant trend, the Stockmans have nothing against writhing in private.

The demons provide no rent, being incorporeal and generally bad at finances. Unlike poltergeists, they are not very helpful at moving things around the house.

“A possession isn’t a business relationship,” says Paul Pensly, who has been passionately possessed for two years and doesn’t see the honeymoon enthusiasm fading. “It’s about companionship, knowing this infernal buddy of mine will be there when I’ve had a long day, lost a bar fight, or whenever I just need to talk. I never go to the movies alone now.”

Some people do note advantages to the possessions, however. Sarah Stockman landed a job in the Foreign Languages department of a community college thanks to her ability to speak in tongues. An anonymous Indian-American possessee in Ohio claims his demon once possessed Aristotle and now helps him breeze through textbooks. College Board is currently devising a counter-demon measure to prevent possession-based cheating on its SAT exams, a measure Demons Against Exorcism calls “the worst kind of bigotry.”

Rorschark Attack at Short Story Library

"Rorschark Attack" is the story of the day over at Short Story Library. You can check out their site at the URL:

If you like it, let them know in Comments or e-mails!
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