22 February 2011

How We Met Or: Lies, All Lies!

There's been a thing going around on Facebook. It states: "I want my Facebook friends to comment on how you met me. But I want you to LIE. That's right make it up. Copy and paste this so I can do the same."

Although I didn't "copy and paste", I did leave a few lies on my friend's pages. Here are a few of my stream-of-conscious fictions.


It was summer, one of those long hot ones where even if you get naked, you still sweat. I was in my flat, late at night, the air conditioner was on the fritz and I couldn't think. It was just too hot. I tossed and turned in my bed, the sheets soaked with the acrid smell of the vodka I drank all day seeping out of my pores and onto the bed. In a haze of heat and frustration, I heaved myself out of bed and put on a linen cabana shirt I found on the floor, the one that didn't smell like regret, pulled on a pair of shorts and lurched for the door, not having a clue where I was going to go or what would happen.

I found myself on the Jitney, traveling across the island, the wisps of hot air blowing through the windows over my head doing nothing to cool me off. I was still drunk, I could feel my head spinning with every bump of that little bus as it trundled down Pacific Avenue. Before I realized what I was doing, I yanked the cord and the bus pulled over to the corner and I got off. I staggered down the darkened street, past the usual Atlantic City denizens, the groups of young urban toughs with the low-slung jeans acting with the bravado of youth and the downtrodden homeless men, looking away as you pass by with a hand meekly held out in hopes of you giving them a coin or two.

There it was, the goal I didn't know I had, the little strip bar that used to be a gay bar that used to be a speakeasy. If you lived in this town as long as I have, you learn the history, the lore and every building or empty lot represents, it's so much more than what you see now, so much more than what is now gone. I walked up to the little window, the doorman knew me right away and buzzed me in and before I could make it to the bar, they had my drink waiting, as if they knew I was coming at that exact moment. There's Kenny, buying me a shot of..what?...Jack...I don't drink Jack...but I do it anyway, to dull the pain, the torment that has been my life for so long. The bar became a watery haze, blurred visions passed before my eyes and I looked over, in the middle of the room where the runway was and there I saw her. A goddess. A siren. A whore. A lover. Madonna, mother of God and everyday tramp all rolled into one. There she was like a light at the end of my now tunnel vision. The one I had been looking for, who would save me. There was Lady Day, spinning on a stripper pole.


The cold winds blew through me, I clutched at my thin jacket, pulling it closer to me even though I knew it was no use to block out the icy fingers of Jack Frost. The boardwalk was empty. The holiday season was coming and no one gambles, saving their meagre coins for Christmas gifts to put under the tree. I stumbled, slipping on a small patch of ice and clutched the railing to steady myself. I was sick with fever and I had nothing, I was destitute, and could not pay for medication, let alone see an actual doctor. I pulled myself together and began shuffling again down the boardwalk and a fit of coughing took me. I couldn't stop, my throat was raw and sore and the phlegm and spittle coming out of my mouth was mixed with flecks of blood. I pulled my sleeve across my face, wiping the mess away and staggered on. I knew I looked like hell but what could I do? I was in hell. One I made for myself.

The choices we make set our path and my path led to wrath and ruin.

I'll never forget that night, fifteen years before when I made the selfish decision that brought me to this point. The folly of youth, the arrogance, the sheer stupidity of those wasted days seemed to run doubly in my blood. I wanted more, I wanted it faster. I wanted it now! As the old adage says, be careful what you wish for, you may get it.

I got everything I wanted once I made that deal. I was rich. I was famous. I performed on every stage and had the accolades of my peers and the adoration of legions of fans. My youthful features never faded and I had lovers, male and female, fawning at my feet. I gorged on all of this like the glutton I was, reveling in my fame. My fortune. My all.

I never saw it coming, although I knew it would. Suddenly, in a matter of months, everything began to change. My countenance began to age when I gazed in the mirror. Slowly, at first but then the wrinkles began to show faster and faster. I broke all the mirrors in my home, my dressing room. I allowed no photographs.

Then I lost my fame. When you refuse to perform, no one wants to see you anymore. You get a "reputation" as difficult and a "diva" and they turn on you.

My fortunes left next, without my adoring fans, I had no income to fill my coffers and I spent what I had trying to retard the ravages of age attacking my body, my beautiful face.

My lovers left my hideous form, seeking younger, beautiful companions and I was left alone.

All alone.

Now I am here. The bargin was not worth it, I realize that now and I can see the end ahead. I turned and walked down the stairway to the beach, slipping on the last two icy steps and landing in a heap at the bottom. I pushed myself up from the wet, gritty sand, trying to brush it off of my face, the last shred of my vanity showing through with this one futile gesture. I walked towards the sea, the roar of the ocean drowning out all sound, the waves crashing around my feet, the bitter cold surf biting my toes, my ankles through the threadbare shoes I wore.

The darkness ahead got darker, blacker. First a small point and then it grew, directly in front of me. Then, in the middle a point of light which also grew, quickly, developing into the visage of a woman. Taking shape ahead of me, she beckoned with her right hand, her left holding the contract for my soul. This beautiful dark angel stood there smiling as I walked up to her, striding deeper into the raging sea. She put her arm around me and whispered in my ear. I could hear her sweet voice over the pounding waves.

"I've been waiting for you. We have glorious plans for your soul, Mortimer".

And that's how I met the one you know as Hope Curran-Orkin.


The noise was deafening!


I clutched at my ears and curled up in a ball, screaming at the dreadful sound around me.


Again. And again. The shelling wouldn't stop! I huddled next to the broken wall of cinderblock and cracked mortar, dirt and rocks flying in the air and pelting me, pinging off my helmet and clogging my breath.

I looked around in a panic. I see Wilson ten feet away. Dead. He must have been taken out with shrapnel, I can see the holes in his chest, oozing blood and bits of his lungs. I know I have to move, I need to gain a better position if I'm going to survive. I'm a sitting duck and I'll get blown to bits like Wilson if I stay here much longer. I checked my ammo, still some left. Good. Time to move. We have to take out this mofo before we all die. I look around for the rest of the team. There's Schafer by the burning Humvee, looking at me, waiting. There's Einhorn crouched by the fountain in the middle of the square. I can't see him but I know he's there. I can see the smoke from his cigarette wafting over the low wall, although the fountain is spewing water everywhere. It had been hit in the last volley. Damn fool will get himself killed one of these days. I get Schafer's attention, motioning him silently to move to the end of the street. We need to get in that building on the corner and get to the top floor and take out this prick shelling us over and over.

We move, somehow Einhorn knew our plans and began running towards us, full on. Not crouching. Not sticking to the bits of cover along the way. Schafer and I make it to the corner. Both of us out of breath with both the effort and fear. Einhorn slams into the wall next to us and we are safe for the moment.


A mortar shell blasted the spot I had just been hiding behind to bits.


Another hit the shop across the way and quickly started a fire. We steeled ourselves to finish our mission.

We make our way in, following our training. Each covering part of the room we are entering, making sure there are no surprises. Here in Iraq, a surprise WILL kill you.

Most of this room had been burned out, not much left and not many places for anyone to be hiding. I motioned for them to take the stairs, and I held rear-guard, keeping our flank protected. Up the steps we went, stepping over something I think was a body. I can't worry about that now. The second floor was also blackened with soot and the next landing was covered in rubble. Part of the third floor must have caved in with the air strikes earlier in the day. We secured the second level and made our way to the third, keeping a sharp eye out.

My pulse was pounding in my head. And then, the unmistakeable whilsting of incoming!!! We all crouched together as the shell hit right outside.


Sand and brick shot in the windows to our left, clouding our vision for a few seconds. That was close!

We made sure everyone was good and then made our way up the final stairway. Slowly. Watching.

That's when I realized the shelling stopped. It had been incessant since we were dropped into this little hellhole. What was going on.

I turned and saw Evelyn standing there, helmet cocked back, cigar sticking out of her mouth and the end of her sniper rifle trailing a small bit of smoke. She smiled and strung the gun over her shoulder.

"Took him out, sargent. Where to next?"

And that's how I met Evelyn Kolaitis-Seifert.

08 February 2011

First Posted 27 February 2008

Deep Thoughts With Mortimer

Current mood:depressed

I have been watching The Universe on The History Channel. It's a great series. I really love the science and physics that they discuss, not that I can even begin to totally understand some of the theories and postulations that they delve into. Believe me, even though it's "dumbed down" for a more universal audience, so to speak, an awful lot of it is still over my head.

That being said, I have a problem with what's probably one of the most accepted theories in astrophysics and astronomy.

I don't believe in the "Big Bang".

There, I said it. It needed to be said. Phew, what a weight off of my shoulders!

Now, before you think I have gone all "Bible" on you, I still maintain that I don't believe in hocus-pocus either. I am fully able to accept and love those of my friends and acquaintances that believe in the Almighty and the Word and the Trinity and there are times that I honestly, truly envy those who can live their lives with such unshakeable faith and belief. It's an incredible thing to see someone with that love instilled in him or her through the Good Book.

Unfortunately (I guess), I am not one of them. I have always had an analytical mind, questioning and searching through religions and science to make sense of this world and our existence in it. I have come to some rather stark conclusions concerning these questions and I am fully at peace with my answers. They aren't pretty but they're mine! Those other ideas are for another entry. This one deals with my problem with the universe ejaculated into being.

The Big Bang Theory: I just can't swallow it. It doesn't make logical sense to me (like religions don't make sense to me) and it pisses me off because there is so much about science and physics that makes perfect sense to me…well…scientifically. Evolution is quantifiable. I can see how one thing evolved or transmuted into another, how through millions of years and selective breeding, certain traits are favoured and over time, those traits become so different from the initial species' traits, be they a new kind of flippers, the ability to fly or frontal-lobe intelligence, that a whole new species is created. I don't need a "missing-link" to prove evolution to me. It just makes sense.

One of my problems with the Big Bang is that it doesn't answer the question of what was there before the Big Bang.

My theory is that the universe has always been there, will always be there. I believe it didn't start from a small quantum little infinitesimal…thing that exploded into the universe we know and love. It smacks of religion, actually, that something or someonewilled the universe into being and lo and behold, here we are.

I have always thought that the universe was always here and it has always confounded me that even scientists need to have that beginning, that there must have been a start to it all. Maybe it's ingrained into our humanity since we begin and end, we have watched events in history begin and end. We have to extrapolate that the universe itself must have had a beginning and, I guess, will have an end.

Hogwash! That's what I say!

I have contemplated the evidence for the Big Bang and that still doesn't convince me. There's the idea that other galaxies are moving away from us and that means that we all started from a single point. This is something that greater minds with far more powerful tools than this little Lappy I am typing this essay on have at their disposal and they have discerned these things and found them to be true. I can accept that, to a point. My idea is; the universe is so huge, the colossal distances and physics involved may just make those galaxies within our neighborhood seem to be moving away from us. I believe that it's far too large to fathom these distances with any real certainty. Because, the idea that everything is moving away from us also smacks of those pre-Galileo days when Mother Church taught that the earth was the centre of the universe and the sun, planets and stars revolve around us. It's another thing that doesn't make sense in a scientific way. We know that the earth is just a little blue planet among eight others, circling a rather small, ordinary star, albeit the only one we know of with humans in it's orbit.

Although the world revolves around me, I do know that the universe does not.

Then there's the very fact that the universe is expanding. Expanding into what? What was there before the universe existed? That also makes no sense to me because, no matter how far we look, no matter how powerful our little eyes get that peer into the universe, all we ever see is MORE UNIVERSE! Hullo, maybe that's because that's all there is, folks! Those galaxies that are traveling away from us are simply moving along out into the great beyond. The beyond that has always been there on a path of their own, not one owing to being shot out from a Big ol' Bang!

There are other "facts" that scientists tout to prove the Big Bang but I have seen a few scientists, here and there on the fringes, who seem to doubt this theory that has been etched in stone for so long. And I am inclined to agree.

That's what I think.

The universe: it's beyond old, it's beyond big and we'll never, ever know what it's all about.

First Posted 26 February 2008

It Comes, It Goes

Current mood:depressed

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I haven't been in a writing mood, as of late. I haven't been in much of a mood at all. I feel disconnected, uninterested and out-of-the-loop. It's a strange feeling.

Last week was boring, even my manager's birthday on Friday. Yes, he got plastered, and mayhem ensued but it was expected, which made it rather uneventful. I had gotten called into work for the day shift and had one customer all day. Just one! Luckily it was my friend who is VERY easy on the eyes and we sat, had a few shots and talked about everything all day. He told me about his upcoming nuptials in ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mexico, which sounds really inviting right now (although he's not getting married until December).

I'd like to interject that it's maddening that some people in this country can get legally married to each other in ANOTHER country and it's recognized here and I can not get legally married ANYWHERE to the person I love but, that's an argument for another time.

Around nine-thirty, the place began to get busy and I had to laugh; everyone came in and was commenting on my friend, wondering who he was, how incredibly cute he is, why I would know him? It was fun, actually, very good for my ego. Too bad he's straight and engaged.

Bloody breeders!

He left and I started decorating the club with Jose for the celebration and it got fairly busy. Claudia's show was good, as usual. She's become a good little performer, or is it an "entertainer"? I don't remember which word was the insult when she read me that time at the front door of the Studio Six to everyone behind my back. I did have a texting incident with my friend Chase, which got out of hand and made me think rather less of him. Here's the story:

Miss Tene was at The Pier and saw Chase who told her he was coming out that night to see Claudia perform. Tene asked him why he hasn't been to the club to see me since I have been doing the Café since we opened. He gave a shrug and rolled his eyes which means, he doesn't really care for my show. Now, on one hand, it's no biggie, people have different tastes and on the other hand, it's a bitter pill, as a performer, you want people to enjoy your show. I have been around long enough to let it roll off my back but it didn't stop me from having a bit of fun when Tene came to the club and told me about her conversation with Chase. I text messaged him and told him that Claudia had to cancel and I was replacing her and that I'm sure he's still going to come out that night to see me perform.

He text messaged me back saying that he wasn't coming out at all, he was so busy with work and he had to go away on Sunday. I replied that she was performing, it was a joke and that I missed him.

Well, before he got my reply, he had rung up Claudia in a panic, asking why the show was canceled and that he wasn't going out if she wasn't performing, which she told me when she called me on my mobile. She was upset that Chase wasn't going to attend and I explained to her that I was joking and that I'd inform him that she was definitely performing that evening. Then I thought about it.

I was not a happy camper.

I sent a message telling him so and…well…

…he never showed up.

I did tell him that it was wrong of him not to support his friend, Claudia, and to make it up to her. I stopped by yesterday to see him but he wasn't at the shop. Oh well. I seem to excel in detonating my relationships.

Speaking of: I rung that harpy, Johanna, on Saturday because I heard she had been very ill and I wanted to make sure she was doing better. She was. She had the nerve to give me attitude. I trained her too well.

It's time to do something. Anything. I need to get out of the Penthouse (with my six dollars to my name) and look productive.

The gym is calling…