15 April 2010

Overheard in Florida #2

Location: Denny's, Miami Beach, Florida

, late 20's, with eyes that never seem completely open or aware of their surroundings, sits inside a Denny's with Burgle, early 30's, her lanky and unkempt boyfriend. They are sprawled atop their table while they look at the menu, all arms and elbows. Unbeknownst to her, a lock of Mavietta's limp, long, mousy hair rests in a small puddle of creamer and sugar the last patrons left behind.

Donty, 50, their waitress, a mound of flesh and fatigue, stands in one corner of the Denny's and reads a note on an unfolded piece of legal paper. She looks up towards the kitchen, then back to the note.

Finally, Donty ambles over to them, her pursed lips leading the way. She takes out pad and pen to take orders, her 2-inch long fingernails clacking incessantly. She sidles up to the table and turns towards Mavietta.

DONTY: You know what you'd like, hon?

Mavietta stares at Donty's nails. Burgle clears his throat.

BURGLE: I want...hold on, I lost it-

Donty shoots him a look and turns back to Mavietta, who holds the menu up to her face.

MAVIETTA: I want the two egg breakfast. Three eggs. No, two. White toast...three eggs.

Donty has stopped scribbling on her pad. She puts her hand on her hip. Burgle belches.

DONTY: Ok...

Mavietta's eyes go wide.

MAVIETTA: I want also, let me have bacon and sausage. I can-

DONTY: Do you want what with the meal and what as a side?

MAVIETTA: Bacon and sausage.

DONTY: Yeah honey, what to come with your meal and what as a side? You get a meat with the meal, which is two pieces, and a side, which is four pieces.

Mavietta pauses, looks at Burgle, who picks up a menu and pores over it again.

MAVIETTA: Yeah, I want both. I mean, could I get bacon and sausage?

DONTY: Yes, honey, but which is the side? The side!

Burgle and Mavietta look at each other, then at Donty.

BURGLE: I want to talk to your manager.

Donty gives him the side eye. Mavietta's gaze has already drifted away to a plastic flower in a cheap vase that sits on the table next to the jelly and jam packs.

Donty opens her mouth to speak, but stops short as the sound of screaming and breaking glass erupts from the kitchen beyond. Two men's voices shout profanities.

A bus boy and two waitresses fly past Donty towards the kitchen.

A short, squat man in his 40's flies out of the kitchen, red-faced and screaming. He makes a beeline for the exit, but stops briefly and looks squarely at Donty.

She makes a move towards him, but he leaps through the exit and is gone. Donty slowly walks towards glass double doors and looks out as the man gets into his car.

Burgle clears his throat again. Donty whirls around, drops something onto the floor. The (now folded up) scrap of legal paper.

MAVIETTA: Can't even get bacon and sausage...

12 April 2010

To My Anonymous Commentator

Dear Anonymous,

Apparently you were less than impressed with my last post. Particularly, you took exception to my Rip Taylor reference. I thought that instead of posting your comment, I would devote an entire entry to you, dear hidden reader, and your disdain Rip Taylor? Both?

The truth is that gaylebrities today aren't what they used to be. Where are the Charles Nelson Reillys, the Rip Taylors, the Paul Lyndes? Replaced by Perez Hilton, Adam Lambert, and that vile silver-haired creature on America's Next Top Model. These are the mainstream representatives of gay fame. These are the people teaching America about homosexuality. Devoid of any true intelligence, showmanship, and (most importantly) real camp, they lack that internalized tension between who they are and what they are expected to be. If this is all the gay community has to offer, I say "Blah". I say "Eh".

I say "Fail".

Long live glitter. Long live toupees. Long live beards (both kinds). Long live Rip Talylor.

Huh. This post ended up not really being about you, Anonymous. Oh well. Who cares. You're a doucher.

11 April 2010

Overheard in Florida #1

All names have been changed, and all descriptions and conversations are as accurate as I decide they should be.

Location: Resort Gift Shop, St. Pete's Beach

Raylette, late 40's, with short, over-processed hair, a mother's belly, and a permanent grimace on her face as if in eternal answer to the question "What went wrong with my life?", wanders the racks of the tiny, kitsch-crammed gift shop at the Fair Winds Prima Resort. Every so often her heavy, duck-footed walk causes the heels of her canvas shoes to squeak against the linoleum floor.

She is lost in a sea of polo shirts that feature the resort's logo-a lascivious pelican peering out over the rim of a pair of giant green sunglasses while sipping a cocktail that looks like it was mixed by Rip Taylor.

Dupford, early 50's, Raylette's husband, saunters in, red-faced and soaking wet. His stomach gives Raylette's a run for its money, and dangles dangerously close to the hem of his polo shirt, which matches those on the rack that his wife examines. He hears a squeak from Raylette's shoe, zeros in on her, and walks in her general direction. He farts as he does so, and only briefly flicks his eyes at the cashier to see if she has noticed.

Raylette sees him and holds up a pair of the polo shirts.

RAYLETTE: Do you like the red or the blue?

Dupford, instead of responding, wipes sweat from his brow and rests one of his meaty arms on a rack of pastel t-shirts with logos that read "It's Hard Being On Vacation", printed above a picture of a bikinied cat sunning itself by a pool.

RAYLETTE: ...hello? What do you-?

DUPFORD: I dunno.

Raylette rolls her eyes.


RAYLETTE: Ok. That takes care of-(she trails off).

She moves toward a shelf of glass animals. Dupford stays put, but turns so that he can still see her. He starts to dig into his pockets, pulls out a wad of receipts, wrappers, and other trash. He goes through it, and makes no move to pick up any bits of paper or plastic that fall from the clump and onto the floor.

Raylette scans the shelves, lets out a sigh, and moves with surprising speed to the cashier. She plops the red polo, a pink visor with an embroidered palm tree, and a "Florida" shot glass onto the small counter. The cashier begins to ring up the items as Raylette's gaze falls upon a small picture frame in front of the register.

The 4X6 inside of the shell frame is a stock black and white photo of a couple on the beach holding hands. They are staring into each others eyes and beaming, their startlingly white teeth seeming to jump out of their mouths.

Raylette stares at the picture.

RAYLETTE: ...I saw Conway this morning.

Dupford stops rifling through his pocket trash and looks across the store at Raylette.

DUPFORD: Really? did he look?

Raylette shakes her head.

DUPFORD: Did you talk to him?

Raylette does not answer. Instead, she watches the cashier, who is trying to unfold the price sticker on the shot glass so that she can scan the barcode.

Dupford comes up and stands a step or two behind Raylette. They both watch the cashier, who is oblivious.

The pair stand stock still. Both have on shorts, and on both the middle of the shorts has ridden up slightly between their thick thighs.

Raylette shifts slightly, her shoe squeaks, and for a moment she and her husband are a distorted mirror image of the white-toothed couple in the frame in front of the register.

Raylette spins around to Dupford.

RAYLETTE: Maybe we should get the blue. Grab me the blue.

Dupford moves to the rack of polos. The cashier has the red polo in hand to ring up.

RAYLETTE: No, I'm sorry ma'am, we need to switch this out!

She hastily grabs at the polo in the cashier's hand, and jerks it towards her with so much force that Raylette is thrown back a step. Her arm, still clutching the red polo, falls into a display of shell and copper wind chimes, sending one set of chimes to the floor. The chimes ring noisily, forcefully into the otherwise still shop.


CASHIER: Are you all right ma'am?

Dupford looks up from the polo rack.

RAYLETTE: I just want the blue!

Dupford brings the blue polo to the cashier while Raylette bends to pick up the fallen chimes.

She softly mumbles to herself and wipes at her eyes.

The other chimes on display begin to die.

A sneaker squeaks.

08 April 2010


I stubbed my pinky toe recently. Rather, I am almost sure I broke my pinky toe. Within two hours of the injury it had doubled in size and turned the color of a Concord grape. The pain seemed negligible at the time, so I was frankly shocked by the visual transformation. And sickened. I have a frail constitution when it comes to all things bruised and/or bloody. Even reading the grape line above gets me light-headed.

But apparently, there's almost nothing to be done for a broken toe in the way of bona fide medical treatment. It would be another story if my broken bone was protruding from the skin (and I'm overcome by the vapors once again). So that's it. My toe and me. Together. Unhappily. Waiting for him to shrink away and pass from the limelight that is my current bodily ailment.

What if he won't go that easily?

Things could get ugly. More ugly than they already are. Right now, it's more of an Anjelica Huston "faux-gly". I imagine him growing day by day, the deep purple bruise darkening to a blue-black and taking on a high gloss, like onyx. Within days he would be the size of a golf ball. In a week, a baseball, by then trading in his clacking on the floor for a muffled thud.

The doctors would be powerless-my toe would by that time have grown an impenetrable carapace, possessed of a durability on the order of diamond or titanium. Tampering with it would be futile, and almost certainly spell my doom. By the end of a month my toe would begin to assert his will, fighting for control of my foot, then my leg, and eventually the rest of me.

Despite my protestations, he would win (and in short order given my willpower, which has the same consistency as Cool Whip). I would be a slave within my own body, which would grow smaller, shrunken, and weak. All physiological resources would be directed to Master Pinky, who's own stubby arms and legs would start to take shape, along with a crude visage vaguely resembling my own.

He'd keep us squirreled away in the midst of this metamorphosis, which would be over and done with in record time. Suddenly, but without fanfare, I would appear again in the world and resume my mundane life. No one would be the wiser. It would be Seth, unless one were to look closely at the harsh, unfeeling eyes, or catch the slightest aroma of feet that followed in my wake no matter the season or state of my personal hygiene.

Plenty of people only have nine toes. I wonder if you go completely under for a toe amputation.

06 April 2010

Kitchen Disaster

My countertop is looking sad right now. A half-empty cup of coffee (not half-full...can a cup of coffee look suicidal?), a plate of day-old meringues that never really had a chance (like a brood of holoprosencephalic babies, or a bunch of kids with end-stage Progeria, withered and spent in a heartbeat), a glass bowl with one dingy orange (why do dirty oranges have a certain strange sexuality to them?), and a beat up radio that I've had for years, covered for the most part in paint spittle from the numerous places I never wanted to live in, let alone paint over and over again.

We had an earthquake on Sunday. Easter Sunday. I was outside and didn't feel it, but the blinds were still swaying when I walked into the house. I'm sitting at my counter now thinking about the big one, which, everyone assures me, is coming. I hope it comes soon, maybe even tonight.


Oranges: Did you feel-?
Coffee Cup: I can't feel anything anymore.
Oranges: No! I mean, oh, it shook me to my juicy center.
Radio: Gross.
Oranges: No one was talking to you.
Meringues: I'm scared.
Coffee Cup: I'm too tired to be scared.
Oranges: Is everyone all right?
Radio: I'm sorry, were you talking to me?
Meringues: It feels like everything is going to change.
Radio: ?
Oranges: She's delirious.
Meringues: Is it going to? Is it going to change now?
Oranges: That would be something.