Monday, April 30, 2012

Larissa

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:45 a.m. 

Yes, thinks Larissa, this cello case was a good investment. It certainly makes it a great deal easier for her to carry the weapons around.

By day Larissa is an engineering student at Northwestern University. By night she is Technique, weapons specialist for CAPES. Every flat surface in her apartment is buried beneath nuts and bolts, wire, bullets, flamethrowers, gunpowder, knives, nails—anything she can piece together into a new tool for the crime-fighting society. Each evening she tiptoes between dangerous triggers, levers, and buttons to reach her bed.

CAPES discovered Larissa when she participated in an amateur robot-building competition. Johnny Current was in the audience, and he approached her after two lasers emerged from her robot’s eyes and singed one judge’s bowtie. Soon she was christened Technique, and she started inventing the wildest weapons she could imagine.

Larissa is fairly certain that the weapon she currently carries is her masterpiece. It was actually inspired by the cello case she bought to lug around the bigger pieces. One villain wreaking havoc in Chicago, Madame Chaos, is an avid collector of rare and unusual instruments; Larissa thought it would be easier to stop her if she purchased her own death. After browsing through a few antique stores, pawn shops, and flea markets, Larissa finally found an old cello that would do. She carefully picked apart sections of the wood and inserted some of her own delicate metal inventions. She ran nano-fibers through the threadbare strings. Now, in this cello case, she carries an instrument that will explode when played—rare and unusual indeed. All CAPES has to do is convince Madame Chaos to buy it, and justice will finally be served. 

The triumphant return of CAPES! Leta made a new logo for it: 


I actually think I maybe like the old logo that she made better. Huh. They're both awesome though. I mean, it's freaking fantastic that anyone made a logo for my fake superhero league at all. 

Life is exciting right now! My roommates and I are hosting two French couchsurfers. They are delightful human beings. Yesterday they were discussing how they wanted to go to a drive-in movie theater because there is no such thing in France, so we made it happen! We jumped in the car and drove all the way to Kenosha, Wisconsin to see Cabin in the Woods. It was a pretty good movie, I have to say. Tonight they are cooking for us, and then we're probably going to Delilah's. Sleep is for the weak.

In other news, my friend Valya Lupescu is a wonderful writer, and in honor of May Day, her novel The Silence of Trees is FREE on Kindle until May 3rd! Who doesn't love free books? Read it! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ferris

Seen wandering around the platform of the Fullerton Station at about 8:20 a.m. 

“You’re nothing but a right angle, kid.”

That’s what Ferris’ mom always tells him when he takes pictures. And with his long, skinny body perpendicular to his long, skinny camera lens, this observation is most certainly true. Moreover, Ferris likes to photograph long, skinny things. Luckily, Chicago is the right city for it—skyscrapers, railroad tracks, streets almost always situated in an even grid.

Today Ferris was going to take pictures of the L, but when he reaches the platform, he finds he can’t do it. They’re not quite straight enough; the corners of the windows are rounded, and some of the cars are lined with bumpy ridges. They remind him of his ex-girlfriend. She was long for a girl, and definitely skinny—Ferris’ taste in women mirrors his taste in photographic subjects. But when he put his hand up her shirt, the little lumps he found there ruined her cardboard perfection.

Ferris decides to photograph the support beams of the station instead. They are long, skinny, hard, immaculate. 

Hey Chicago. My sister, Molly Robison, is a folk musician, and tonight she is playing a show at Elbo Room! The cover is a mere $5. You should go. It would be an excellent decision on your part, I promise.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jonah

Seen at the Fullerton Station waiting for the Red Line to 95th at about 8:35 a.m. 

Heights. Jonah wasn’t afraid of heights, but he hated heights because he constantly lived at them. Tall. Jonah wasn’t the tallest man on earth, but he was taller than most, so tallness became his defining characteristic. Jonah didn’t stand—he lurched, or loomed. He gangled. He was always asked to reach for the objects on high shelves. He was prohibitively tall for kisses. Other aspects of his body seemed to confirm his awkwardness. He was losing his hair in ugly, uneven patches, and his hands and feet were too small for a person of his stature. Jonah was unnatural. Though he towered above everyone else, the corners of his mouth, the folds in his jacket, and his spirits drooped low. 

Hey. Did you know my friend Braden of Made by Hand Photography has a new book out? It's a film noir in pictures called "A Hard Dame's Night." You should order it. It can sit on your coffee table in all its glossy goodness. OR you could get a digital copy. Check it out.

Writing group last night was lovely. I have all sorts of new ideas for my novel. In other news, my roommate and I have free tickets to see a preview screening of "The Five-Year Engagement" tonight! Oh Jason Segel, you are the love of my life... 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sadhika

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:30 a.m., April 20th, 2011


Sadhika is engaged in battle with the Spring weather. Her passion for the immaculate will serve her well during the job interview that she's heading to, and it serves her well in her wardrobe now. She is determined to look good, no matter what the weather has to say about it. Dew rests in her ponytail, and the humidity attempts to frizz it; but much to the weather's dismay, it stays in one thick banana curl draped over her shoulder, more elegant than any expensive jewelry or shawl. Her bright coral scarf slaps the gray clouds away, and her thin ballet flats defy the growing puddles. The cuffs of her pants remain evenly rolled. The weather wonders if she has cheated and stitched them there.

Overall it appears that Sadhika will win this war. The fog and the raindrops admire her perfection, but the overcast sky will never let them admit it.

Want to read another story that I wrote based on a prompt in Rose Metal Press' Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction? OF COURSE you do! We were supposed to write a story in which we either take an ancient myth and make it modern, or defamiliarize it. I used the birth of Athena. Here it is.


He hadn't wanted the thing in the first place. Zed was a happy man--a powerful businessman, rich, full of influence in his community. He had a beautiful wife. She was a few years older than him, but more elegant than any woman he'd ever seen. Then one day she said, "I'm pregnant," and he saw his whole life disintegrate.

Her belly would warp, her breasts would droop. The monster would cry all night, and lines of sleeplessness would carve their way into her face--and his own face, for that matter. Zed was used to doing whatever he wanted, and now he'd be expected to give up everything for the kid. All his money spent on schooling and clothes and extracurricular activities to make the thing "well-rounded." No more drinks the with the boys on Monday nights; his wife would expect him to come home and watch the brat so she could get some rest. His vacations to exotic resorts would become trips to tacky destinations like Disney World. Worst of all, one day the little creature would grow up and inherit everything Zed had. He'd be dead, but the thing would go on living.

That's why Zed pushed his wife down a flight of stairs. Nobody would suggest it was anything other than an accident--Zed was too important. And he could always find a new woman. Younger and prettier, probably. Imagine Zed's surprise when he discovered that such a battering doesn't guarantee death. When the doctors said his wife was in a coma, but that the baby would live, Zed buried his face in his hands. They all thought he was grateful.

The baby was born a few weeks later--a girl. He named her Athena. She came out bawling, her tiny fists pumping. Her screams made Zed's head hurt.

And that is that. Sorry I haven't written in so long. I've been a bit busy, and I've had a headache since Thursday night. Have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get that taken care of. You know what else is tomorrow? WRITING GROUP! Exciting.


In other news, my friend Leta finally started a new blog: Love & Rocketships. She is an excellent writer. Do yourselves a favor and read it. 


Also...this is totally irrelevant to the blog, but you should probably all go on twitter and vote for @SHARON_NEEDLES using the hashtag #dragrace. She deserves to be America's Next Drag Superstar more than anyone else. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lulu

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:50 a.m. 

The other week a fat, balding man sat across from Lulu on the train. He started listing, in great detail, all the vulgar things he’d like to do to her. He had a lot of dirt under his fingernails, and when he reached down his pants Lulu fled the train. It wasn’t her stop.

Now when she rides the train she hides her body beneath a plaid trenchcoat. It used to be her mother’s, so it provides a two-fold protection: it’s too big for her, and it smells like home. Lulu looks down at her hands; her fingers weave together and apart again. Today she has a Victoria’s Secret bag with her. She needs to return a bra. She has decided it’s too revealing. She hopes the bag doesn’t snare the attentions of ugly men who want to tear open all her secrets and eat them up. 

The other day I stumbled across this website called Hollaback. It's an attempt to end street harassment, which I think is a great idea. It's a bigger problem than most people realize. I've been followed off the train before by a man asking over and over again for my number, even though it was obvious I didn't want to talk to him, and I've been groped on my way to the CTA as well. It's absolutely horrifying, and I know LOTS of other women who have had similar experiences. Hollaback has lots of tips regarding what to do if you're being harassed or if you witness street harassment, and it gives women the opportunity to share their stories. You should check it out, spread the word, etc.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ralph

Seen at the Fullerton Station waiting for the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:30 a.m. 

Ralph is big and heavy like a sandbag; his round face is dopey and unassuming. He’s wearing a shirt depicting the railroad that runs through his hometown, which seems fitting. One gets the impression that Ralph could have been a more imposing presence, even impressive, if he’d been one of the builders of that railroad. His feet, now clad in outdated sneakers, would help him to measure the space between the ties. His thick, pudgy hands would be calloused and strong, more than able to hold the spikes steady. He’d lay down tracks from coast to coast, cutting down forests, blasting through mountains. He’d roll along with the hell on wheels, an immoveable, impenetrable rock. He would command respect. 

Ralph sips his blue raspberry slurpee and waits for the train, unaware that he’s nothing but a missed opportunity. 

Gah, I know I should have posted earlier today, but I've become a bit distracted by Pottermore. I am not entirely certain I'll ever get any work done ever again. On the bright side, I'm in Ravenclaw, and my wand is elder, unicorn hair, 10 & 3/4 inches, unyielding. Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Samantha; Don & Tyler

Samantha: Seen in the queue line for John Barrowman's panel at about 10:30 a.m., April 14th, 2012 

She’d spent hours getting ready this morning, tucking her hair into a short bob, ironing her dress shirt and pants. She wished her nose were a little straighter, her chest a little flatter. Still, when she looked at herself in the full-length mirror, it all seemed fairly convincing. She practiced flirting with imaginary men, women, aliens.

Now, waiting in the queue, she wonders if John Barrowman gets freaked out when he sees so many people dressed up like him at these things. It must be somewhat jarring at first. But surely he’s used to it. He does conventions all the time. And it’s not like he’s the same person as Captain Jack anyway. She tries to keep reminding herself of that.

She wishes he knew her name. She wishes he’d say it with one of his trademark cheeky smiles: “Samantha.” 

Don & Tyler: Seen waiting for the Red Line to Howard at about 4:30 p.m., April 15th, 2012 

“I think we could get a better one.”

“I dunno, Dad. This one’s so cool! I like how the pieces come apart.” 

“Yeah, but if we find one in a box it’ll have a stand, buddy.”

Tyler sighed and put the toy back on the cluttered table. The greasy-faced old man running the booth glared at Don; luckily, Tyler didn’t notice. “Let’s look over here!”

Tyler dashed through the crowds of people down aisle 300, his head narrowly avoiding their hips. 

“Tyler, wait for me!” Don chased after his son and brushed past two girls dressed like characters from Suckerpunch. Over his shoulder he heard one of them sneer, “God, watch where you’re going.”

Don had not been prepared for this torture. In fact, he’d been looking forward to taking his son to C2E2 for months. Tyler was on a mission to find a Carnage action figure, and Don was more of a comics aficionado than he typically let on. He could entertain himself and convince Tyler that he was the best dad in the world at the same time.

But he forgot about the women. All those beautiful, young, costumed women. The curvy Catwomen in slick bodysuits, the busty Wonder Women, the Jabba-the-Hutt-enslaved Princess Leias. Even the androgynous women dressed as male characters were fiercely tempting. The divorce from Tyler’s mother had been ugly. Don had been on a few dates here and there, but they hadn’t amounted to anything. He could barely remember the last time he’d run his hands along a woman’s body, the last time he’d gone to bed with anyone. And now he was bombarded with all these glorious hourglass figures. This convention floor was hell on earth. 

When he finally caught up with Tyler, his son had found a different Carnage action figure, this one tied inside a clear plastic bag, suffocating. “I know it doesn’t have  a stand, Dad, but all the pieces are there. And it’s bigger than the last one. Can we pleeease get it?”

Don caught sight of a girl dressed as Poison Ivy; his eyes followed one of her long, red curls down into her creamy cleavage. Her face morphed into an expression that was at once angry, disgusted, and nauseous.

“Sure, Ty. I think that one’ll do.” 

Oh my, I could have written so many stories about people at C2E2--it was the best people-watching I've experienced in quite some time. But I was a bit preoccupied most of the time with going to panels, making unnecessary purchases, and fangirling. This is me and John Barrowman:

  
Um, yeah, as you can see he touched me and maybe I freaked out a little and maybe I'm still freaking out a little because I love Doctor Who so much and Captain Jack is so awesome and I'm in love and whatever.

Yeah, that's right. I'm an adult. Anyway, it's back to stories from the CTA tomorrow.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Irma; Queen of the Red Line (Guest Post!)

Irma: Seen on the Brown Line to the Loop at about 10:20 p.m., April 12th, 2012

The people who got on the train looked at her, all bundled up with her heavy bag looped around the handles of her walker, and they pitied her. Well, Irma didn't want their pity. If this scarf weren't covering her chapped mouth, she'd spit at them. Fact was, she didn't have to take the train. Her prying daughter, Pauline, hired a driver for her, but she didn't trust him. He was an Arab, and he talked funny, and he smelled. When she was a girl there was nobody like that over here. Irma had cussed him out, dismissed him. Pauline tried to fight her on it, but she certainly wasn't going to let her own daughter make decisions for her. Whatever happened to respecting your elders?

Irma didn't think the other people on the train were particularly trustworthy, either. There were two French girls--what a filthy people! Apparently the passengers were stupid, too. So many young girls out alone at night. Irma was allowed to be alone; she was old, and used to it. The train had one small advantage over that ridiculous driver: you could always trust that the train was going to go where it was supposed to. Same stops, back and forth, every day.


And now, a guest story from my friend Felipe! He says: "This was based on an encounter with a woman during my morning commute who was clearly drugged up beyond all recognition. She declared herself our sovereign queen and proceeded to rave about Communists, Nazis, Queen Elizabeth I, the French, homosexuals, and Jews, among other topics."


Queen of the Red Line: Seen on the Red Line to 95th between 8 & 9 a.m., April 13th, 2012

I am your sovereign queen, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith and Purveyor of the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line. War is coming, my Red Line brethren, for I have seen beyond the Great Platform and found there a great and wondrous expanse know (or so my spies tell me) as the Brown Line, a place free of pollution and the corruption that threatens to corrode this once great transportative vehicle.

True, the denizens of this Great Line are at once most foul and unclean, but by the Holy Hand of the Archangel Michael, and all the saints, we shall vanquish and take that which belongs rightfully to us, your sovereign queen. Let the doors be torn asunder, and our Holy War begin.


Yay! Guest stories are fun. Haven't had one since last year when I was visiting Leta in Denver. In other news, I'm going to C2E2 this weekend! So I suspect you can expect some stories from there next week...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rene

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:30 a.m.

Rene’s head is weighed down by the heavy block of rejection slung around his neck. He’d done everything they wanted—ugly white shirt, cropped pants, dated-yet-trendy black jacket. His headshots are carefully stowed inside a green plaid backpack he picked up at the Urban Outfitters surplus store. He put a blonde streak in his hair, for God’s sake! He is hipster to the bone, enviably pretentious-looking. He sighs, and his eyes roll up to the dirty fluorescent lights. 

A model so beautiful and so committed and so malleable simply doesn’t deserve this.

He hops off the train at Diversey and heads back to his apartment. There he will transform into whatever the next casting agency wants. 

A very short flash today--my train ended up running express. Writing group was wonderful last night. It always helps to have people you trust critiquing your work. Tonight is not going to be so much fun. Tonight...is taxes night. Wah wah. Has anyone else procrastinated this long? Here's a groovy little song to help us get through it.

In happier news, the Lollapalooza 2012 lineup is AMAZING. I'm so glad I already got tickets. There are so many bands I want to see that I can't even name them all off the top of my head. Some of my favorites are Franz Ferdinand, Jack White, Black Sabbath, and The Tallest Man on Earth. But there are oh-so-many more. It's like someone went inside my brain, grabbed all the bands I'd like to see and threw them together in a lineup. Suffice it to say there will probably be some stories from Lolla later in the summer...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tanya; Lane

Tanya: Seen waiting for the Red Line to 95th at about 8:30 a.m., April 6th, 2012

The high heels were the final flourish on Tanya’s impeccable outfit. Every aspect of her clothing emphasized her best features; the shoes showed off her manicured toes, they made her ass look better when she walked (she’d spent ten minutes pacing in front of the mirror just to make sure), and, most importantly, they launched her high above his ugly head. It was all strategically designed to make him regret dumping her.

That day he held her hand and literally said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Who says that? What kind of an asshole says that? Eight months of soup-cooking competitions, bar trivia, Portlandia marathons, tango lessons, and bed sharing, all down the fucking drain. Well, after today he’d learn how regret feels, all sticky and heavy in his stomach. And as for Tanya? She’d never have to feel his traitorous hands around her waist or his lying lips on her mouth ever again.

Her ankles wobbled with uncertainty. She stumbled. 

Lane: Seen on the Brown Line to the Loop at about 1:20 p.m., April 7th, 2012 

Lane wore his Gryffindor shirt with pride. That night he was going to an emergency meeting with the other Believers at Moody’s, and he felt like he had earned the distinction. During his vacation he had displayed all the qualities of a Gryffindor—daring, nerve, chivalry—and it had paid off. He was the first member of their group to obtain solid evidence that the books were true, and that evidence was currently tucked safely in his messenger back in a little glass bottle.

His trip to the U.K. would have been well worth it even if he hadn’t found the proof. In London he went to King’s Cross Station and posed with the Platform 9 ¾ sign they had installed there. In Oxford he visited Christ Church’s Great Hall—the model for Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the films. And in Edinburgh he made that holiest of pilgrimages to The Elephant House, the cafĂ© where J.K. Rowling originally sipped tea and chronicled Harry’s life. But the crowning moment of his journey occurred at a seedy little pub in Liverpool.

It was called The Dragon’s Tooth. Lane ventured into its shadowy depths thanks to an advertisement for Sunday roasts, but apparently the sign had been there for years, lying to pedestrians, soaking up the grime of the city. The bartender confided that the owner kept the sign up because it was one of the few things that might tempt anyone besides the regulars to come inside. 

An Arctic Monkeys song was blaring at an obnoxiously high level so that nobody had to talk to each other; most of the patrons sat along in their dirty chairs, looking lost, their noses constantly dipping into their pint glasses. So Lane was surprised when a man approached him and started to say something.

“I’m sorry. What was that?”

The man pointed at Lane’s snakebite piercing. “You look like a man who can be trusted.”

His piercings usually had the opposite effect. “Uh, I like to think so.”

“Good. Come outside with me, mate. I’ve got something to show you.”

Soon they were in a thin cobblestone alley behind the pub. It smelled strongly of rotting fish. The man’s head was shaved, and he wore a heavy leather coat. Lane started was beginning to feel uneasy when the man reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small vial.

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“Nope. America.”

“Well, I can promise you they don’t have anything like this in America. We call it ‘Lucky.’ One swig of this and everything goes your way. You can get any girl, any job, anything you want. And the high lasts for a whole day, twenty-four glorious hours. Life’s a song with this stuff, my friend, a right song. When I’m on it I feel like I’m flying.”

Lane’s heart dropped into his stomach, then immediately bounced back up and began to thump rapidly. He felt lightheaded. He snatched the bottle away from the man and examined the golden liquid inside. It couldn’t be. And yet it was, right there in his hand: Felix Felicis.

“How much do you want for it?”

Lane nestled back into his L seat, the sounds of Draco & the Malfoys, his favorite Wizard Rock band, buzzing in his ears. Was he tempted to try the stuff? Sure. But he knew the risks, and he knew it was more important to get it back to the Believers fully intact. This was going to change everything for them. Besides, just finding the Felix Felicis made him feel like a damn lucky man already. 

Two stories to make up for the lack of posts on Friday & Monday. Friday was just insanely busy, and yesterday I was working from home. If you haven't read my other stories about the Believers, just click the tag below.

There are lots of exciting things happening! First of all I've been so busy lately that I missed THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG! It all started April 1st, 2011. Here's a link to that first entry. I just want to say thank you so much to everybody who reads PTKY. It means a lot to me. 

Did you see the brand new PTKY story that I left as a comment on this recent post from Lovelorn Poets? Did you see that a PTKY story found its way onto the Velvet Blory blog? Proceeds from their Blue Books go to a literacy charity, and they post awesome stories all the time. You should follow them if you don't already.

Finally--two of my stories are going to be published in a horror flash fiction anthology later this year! I am absolutely thrilled. However, it doesn't come out for a while, so I'll post the details later. Keep reading for updates. I love all of you. Fact. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tricia

Seen waiting for the Red Line to 95th at the Fullerton Station at about 8:25 a.m. 

Tricia leans against a column, sips her coffee, and imagines her body, broken and bloody, splayed across the train tracks. This happens all the time now, ever since the shooting. That day she heard the heavy cracks of the gun, she saw her dead classmates. Her spit tasted sour, the flavor of revulsion and panic. It’s still the aftertaste of everything she eats and drinks.

Now Tricia always has visions of her dead self. She has died in so many ways. The other day she walked by a skyscraper; she calmly watched as the thin glass window floated down and cleanly sliced through her neck. Last summer she went fishing on her stepdad’s boat. All she could picture was her backside—bloated, blue, unresponsive—floating in the black water. Tricia knows this isn’t normal, that she should get help. She snuggles her arms inside her soft Huskies hoodie. She whispers: 

“Go, Huskies, Go!”

The corners of her mouth turn up bitterly. That’s obviously not what the shooter was thinking. 

I had friends at NIU when the shooting occurred a few years ago. Scary stuff.

New blog you should follow: Coffee Cup Doodles! It's exactly what you'd expect. This talented artist, who is ALSO a fellow Chicagoan, draws beautiful pictures on coffee cups. If you follow the blog on Facebook, you can even request what pictures you'd like to see. Very cool stuff.

Also, Lovelorn Poets gave me a little shout-out on Facebook today, so I just want to return the favor. It's a great blog that chronicles well-written Missed Connections from around the country. You should definitely have a look.

Going to see Wild Flag tonight! Excited.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Ferret

Seen waiting for the Purple Line to Linden at the Fullerton Station at about 8:25 a.m. 

He was too small to be working construction, so the other guys called him The Ferret. They’d use his long, skinny body to squirm into tight spaces, scamper up rickety scaffolding, balance on the tops of ladders. They’d do it like this:

The biggest, burliest man on the crew would come over and, smirking, shout, “Hey, Ferret!” The big, burly man would grab the back belt loop of The Ferret’s perpetually sagging, paint-splattered pants and hike them up. “You know what to do. Get up there!”

The Ferret would always oblige them. But despite the insistence of the other guys, he never felt like a ferret. When he was high above the ground, high above the muscly man-boulders and their mockery, he felt more like a bird. 

I've slowly been working my way through Rose Metal Press' "Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction." It has lots of exercises and prompts. Very helpful. The one I was reading last night asked me to come up with 5 plots in which someone's actions had unintended consequences, then develop one of those plots into a story of 500 words or less. I thought I'd post what I came up with as an extra bonus story! Here it is:   

“Can you sign this? It’d be an honor.”

The guard held out the book. Her book. She took it from him. It seemed heavier now than when she published it, and the texture of the cover felt prickly and unpleasant on her palms. She scrawled her name on the title page and handed it back to him. 

She hadn’t meant for it to happen like this. She’d just been caught up in the movement like everyone else; the government had failed them, and people were tired of the rage pooling in their lungs and the exasperation furrowing in the wrinkles at the corners of their eyes. She wrote the book as a protest. She never knew how much it would catch on, never guessed the influence that one sentence might have: 

Power is a disease that rots the heart and spoils the brain. 

It became a rallying cry for the rebels, and when they finally captured the corrupt leaders, they forced those words through the prisoners’ lips before they were executed. She became popular, exalted, and eventually, the majority’s choice for a new leader. Surely someone with her wisdom could create a better world.

She wasn’t so sure. Sitting behind this big desk in the capitol city, surrounded by guards and advisors, she felt like she was coming down with something.

Thanks for all the happy thoughts/prayers/good vibes! They're already working--my aunt is doing much better than the doctors expected.

Trivia tonight. The category is dinosaurs. If you know any good dinosaur trivia, leave me a comment. Help us win. Because you're awesome.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jaime


Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:25 a.m. 

I love how everybody tells themselves that we live in a more understanding, politically correct world. Then they don’t have to feel bad when they glare at me as though I’m nothing but an unfortunate obstacle to their otherwise smooth morning commute. Do they think I want to block the doors with my wheelchair? Believe me, I’d rather rest my ass on the germ-infested, worn-down seats like the rest of them. I’d rather not arrange my route according to the location of accessible stations. I’d rather not take the slow, smelly elevators with the homeless people. I’d rather not sling my backpack over the back of my chair, leaving its tempting zippers within easy reach of the pickpockets. But I don’t really have a choice.

I don’t even get the extra perks that usually come from a CTA commute. I can’t squeeze my way onto a rush hour train if it’s too crowded. My medical bills cost just about as much as car insurance would. There’s never a missed connection for the “Sexy Guy in a Wheelchair.” Seriously, they don’t know how lucky they have it. Now if they would just fucking move so I could get off the train. 

Hey, please keep my aunt in your happy thoughts/prayers/however else you transmit good energy to someone. She had a bad stroke, and things aren't looking great. Thanks.

On a lighter note, I joined a book club, and the first meeting is tonight! So I'm excited about that. We only read short story collections. And I love short stories, so I'm pretty psyched. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Josef

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:35 a.m. 

Dapper. That is the best word to describe Josef—or maybe elegant. Dapper and elegant in his charcoal gray suit, his white starched collar that flashes bright against his nighttime skin. Dapper and elegant, so unlike the house in which he was raised, all broken and chipped-away and cockroach-infested and lonely. His siblings found it in their hearts to call that place home, but Josef never did. When he turned eighteen, he left it all behind for the pursuit of beauty. And by the dapper and elegant looks of things—the satisfied expression on his face—he has found it. 

Another drabble! Sort of on purpose this time, though. This weekend was crazy fun. Friday night: Steampunk dance party at Ace Bar. Saturday night: 90's dance party at Beauty Bar. Sunday night: Moody's Pub and Mad Men at the Fat Cat. It was all quite lovely.

Here's a picture of me and my friends being super bored in the 90's on Saturday:
 
Speaking of lovely, isn't the new Spring look of PTKY just fantastic?! Leta is the best.