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BY ro

10/01 Direct Link
Now that the searing pain has subsided into a more manageable gnawing, cancerous dull roar, I feel it safe to return to 100words knowing I won't be co-opting an entire batch with horribly cliché comments like "My Heart Is In A Billion Pieces And I'll Never Love Again".

So, instead I give you Kitten Mental Imagery:

A ball of yarn. A sleepy tortoise colored kitten awakens. A paw extends, hesitantly. The ball moves closer. The kitten, now on her back, toys with the tip of the string, licks it tentatively. The spool unwinds further. The kitten rolls, then pounces.
10/02 Direct Link
Anyone else concerned with the number of times Windows OS needs to install updates? (My Heart Is In A Billion Pieces And I'll Never Love Again.) Anytime I put it in "sleep" mode, I fear that it will override and install, awakening my machine to whir and chug in the middle of the night. (My Heart Is In A Billion Pieces And I'll Never Love Again.) My motherboard has been through too much to withstand this hyper-vigilance. (My Heart Is In A Billion Pieces And I'll Never Love Again.)

It overheats, and I fear it will take years to cool.
10/03 Direct Link
Our mothers drove us over to Monica's house. We were in seventh grade and had a group school project looming that involved developing a skit, the nature of which escapes me now.

Monica had long blonde hair, untouched by product for her 13-year existence; her complexion told the same story.

"You will be Courtney Love," I declared, fresh off a Nirvana Unplugged purchase, and smeared red lipstick across her lips while ratting her hair.

"Who is Courtney Love?" she asked.

I made the entire group listen to "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" and figured that would explain everything.
10/04 Direct Link
A few decades later--with both Pearl Jam and Nirvana now being classified as Classic Rock--there's still fervid debate over who is the better band. Not really a fair comparison, but two contemporaneous bands, shoe-horned into "grunge", and pulling in disaffected youth (and hilarious amounts of cash) begged for a media cock fight.

I love them both: Pearl Jam, the stable older brother with inquisitive lyrics and mellowed, measured cadence; Nirvana, the tempestuous little brother, prone to bouts of melancholy balanced with explosive need for attention. Which one would I save if the boat sank?

Stones or Beatles?
10/05 Direct Link
"..So apparently Chihuahuas are possible descendants of foxes. My dog is cunning."

"Isn't there a story about a cunning fox? And cheese?"

"Um... what?"

"Yeah, there's a fable or some shit about it. The gist is that the crow has a piece of cheese in its beak, and the fox wants it, so he tells the crow that he has a lovely singing voice. The crow obliges, but when he opens his beak, the cheese falls out and the fox snatches it."

"So what's the moral, then?"

"Don't be a narcissist?"

"I thought it was 'flattery gets you everywhere'."
10/06 Direct Link
A Country Song Written While Listening to Techno:

In the moonlight
On a sunny night
We were four horsemen
In a pick-up ride

Strapped in
To the bucket seats
With three cold brews
and a Dixie Chicks CD

Headed 'cross the county line
Looking for a helluva time
With two'a them tickets
For a scene of our kind

Chorus
Yeah we're headed to the gay bar
(Headed to the gay bar)
Don't need no drama if we've come this far
('No more drama in our lives')
Bring your friends
And your "roomate"
'Cos you and I gotta Country Date
10/07 Direct Link
Unsolicited Advice:

Eat your vegetables, if only to give yourself a sense of superiority when advising others to eat their vegetables.

No, eat them, goddammit.

Find your inner peas. Also, meditation can help you find Nirvana (Kurt was in the couch cushions the whole time).

A brisk walk heals all ills. Except cancer. You fucked, bro.

Friends and family are the meaning of life. Cheryl doesn't count.

Music is the heart soaring. I read that on Dove chocolate wrapper.

Write because you want to know what you think. Barring that, write to pass the time, amuse yourself, and annoy others.
10/08 Direct Link
It was in September when I stood in my new apartment kitchen, in my new city-state, staring at the wall [an (un)favorite pastime], a haunting Eyes on Fire playing in the background.

The chair, it rocked slightly against the floorboards, for a little longer than a fifth floor building sway would allow. I contemplate the idea of a earthquake, but dismiss the idea as the chair comes to rest a fraction of a centimeter left.

"Yo, Kiddo, the earth just moved."

I learn that I've left an earthquake in my wake, but I'm still close enough for reverberations.
10/09 Direct Link
Magical Realism and musicals are two art forms I could never get into. Which is a bit hypocritical, I suppose, given my proclivity toward science fiction. But there's a distinction: magical realism and musicals (generally) involve people going about their ordinary, real world lives, confined by the usual laws of physics and/or social mores...and then BAM, Protagonist is conversing with a unicorn at the bank for some metaphorical reason, or Lead Actor is breaking into dance at his grandma's funeral. It's distracting, when I've invested emotionally in Protagonist, only to turn the page to a load of WTF.
10/10 Direct Link
Their first single was "Country View Diner", which was fitting, given that said diner was the first place Jackson Wyatt Reed ate breakfast in New York. Also fitting, because Rory Jo was the one slinging the hash, all of seventeen.

Long before Sweet Milk Creek garnered triple platinum status, long before Tucker joined (and left, then re-joined), long before the ill-fated European tour, Rory was hustling a tip out of J.W. and trying to explain that if he "wanted to make it big" he needed to go to New York City; Upstate was a whole 'nother beat.
10/11 Direct Link
my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl, don't lie to me my girl, my girl...
10/12 Direct Link
How do I want to immortalize October 12, 2011? Do I want to remember dinner with old ghosts, bad Southern food in a Northern city? Listening to the cab driver talk about his ex-girlfriend? I'm writing this a day later, and already the events and parables and quotes are fading, and all I remember is a dull fog, and a light mist in the air that declared the arrival of fall, almost too late, rushed, and half-assed. "Hey guys," it says, standing in the conference room doorway, disheveled, smelling of suntan lotion and Hefewiezen, "is the meeting over?"
10/13 Direct Link
I dropped my cellphone on the pavement. The screen shattered. It's a pretty pattern, actually. A fractal meets a spider web. It still works, and when I run my finger across the screen, I like the new tactile sensation. It's sharp. It's probably not a good idea. I'm not sure if I have a warranty--it was a gift--but I'm also eerily accepting of the accident. I'm not exactly rushing to the store to get it fixed, and I can't tell if it's because I'm lazy or because I like the new scars. It looks the way I feel.
10/14 Direct Link
Things I've Come Across That I thought Would Make Good Entries But Ultimately Die on the Page:

1. A homeless person, pushing a shopping cart full of discarded cans, stopping on the street, and gesturing for me to smile.

2. Walking by a bus stop advertisement for Doctors Without Borders, with the tagline "Hell Knows No Boundaries", only to walk further past, and note that it's actually "Help Knows No Boundaries", then realizing the former is probably more accurate.

3. Sad, discount December 24th Christmas trees suspended from the Wal-Mart Lawn and Garden Center, looking eerily like hanged men.
10/15 Direct Link
We, a large party of women I (mostly) don't know, wait for a restaurant table, on the rim of Chicago. Chat is idle, and one of them asks if anyone would be interested in seeing a Star Wars Burlesque show later. Most are of the flavor to say yes, but I, having never caught the appeal of Star Wars (mostly by not watching it) stay quiet.

She turns to me and asks if I'm in. I tell her that I've never seen the movies, and by the way, John Hughes is 1.) apparently dead and b.) buried in Chicago somewhere.
10/16 Direct Link
I get perplexed looks, then apologize that it made better sense in my head, the reasoning being that I had never seen Sixteen Candles, which, like Star Wars, is something I should have seen, (as it was mandated by Law for children of the Eighties to have seen), but did not, AND, and, John Hughes (as director) was coincidentally born of Chicago ilk, and also dead, and also buried somewhere nearby, and no, I don't think I will accompany them to the Burlesque that night.

I drink heavily at Brunch, and wonder at what point my brain disconnected from reality.
10/17 Direct Link
The October 14th entry was a bit morose, and I realized this as I typed it. I didn't, however, realize how my observations (or at leas the ones I thought were worthy of writing about) were of the Bell Jar variety.

So, A List of HAPPY Observations That Probably Won't Go Beyond a Few Sentences, Either:

1. College Football, windows open, wool socks, drifting in and out of sleep.

2. Tossing a tennis ball against the Water Treatment plant next to the park (yes, I did this, and it was amusing for some indecipherable reason).

3. Nail polish saves lives.
10/18 Direct Link
Jackson Wyatt Reed first met Rory Jo when she, as lead singer of the band Moist Deluxe, threw her tampon into the crowd at a show in a Milwaukee punk club. J.W. hadn't the heart to tell her, after the show, over beers, that Donita Sparks of L7 had done the same thing three years earlier, when it was fringe and anarchist, whereas Rory's was sad, and kind of disgusting.

J.W. had given her his card--Tennessee Trailer Records--and told her punk was dead, Darlin'. Make Money, Go County, he said. Which was also on the card.
10/19 Direct Link
When I asked you, like I always did, to tell me a story, you actually had one this time. I was curled up, and you sat at my feet.

When my heart has given out, and my liver long before that, and I'm a sad old man, from years of hard living, I'll take your hand, knowing you were the one thing I did right.

And I started to cry, at the time, because I knew that the first part was probably true. I didn't know I'd cry, later, because the second part wouldn't be.

Thanks for the shitty story.
10/20 Direct Link
No one knew what the "J" in J. "Tucker" Woods stood for. Rory assumed it was just Old South, where the "J" carried a patrilineage, and was probably less interesting than the mystery that surrounded it; Jeremiah, maybe. He'd insisted on being called "Tucker" ever since she and Jackson Wyatt met him out at Sweet Milk Creek that early morning, years prior.

J.W., however, never stopped inquiry: "Come on, Tucker, I got initials too, but I'll shout it out at the Grand Ole Opry for my Grandpappy and all the ghosts to hear. JACKSON WYATT OF SOUTH MOSS, TENNESSEE!"
10/21 Direct Link
Tucker would usually just wink, but over the years as the questioning grew thin during the miles between shows and the increasingly frequent squabbles, most of which found Rory herself in the middle of, or the focus of.

The last time, though, found Tucker several sheets to the wind, post-tour, and tired. He sat an an amplifier as the stage was being broke down, when J.W. approached.

"Jay, we need to talk," he began. Tucker looked up. J.W. had a sly little smile, one reserved for groupie prey. "You told Rory," he said, twirling a .22 about his thumb.
10/22 Direct Link
Actual* items sent by my mother, in a care package (USPS, ground transportation, 2-10 days):

1. Toothbrushes
2. Underwear I'd left at her house the last time I visited
3. Two bath mats already deemed Too Ugly and Unreturn-able for her home
4. Four (FOUR!) boxes of cereal
5. One bottle of Ranch Dressing, Light
6. School pictures of my nephew
7. Garage sale-procured Chinese Health Balls (with Directions on Use)
8. Black and Decker Drill and drill bits
9. "Personal Cleansing Wipes"

*And I mean ACTUAL. Not an "actually-I've-taken-100-words-creative-liberties" actual.
10/23 Direct Link
My friend Dave had a cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania, and it was fun to try on Country for the weekend. He'd drive us out to Tionesta, wearing a tee-shirt cut off at the sleeves, chugging along the Appalachian hillsides in his old stick pick-up. We'd dig up old Schlitz in the fridge, shoot at rocks with a BB, sit in the tree swing fashioned out of an old car seat. We'd wake up with the sun, hung over and with a thin film of soot lining our nostrils from the wood burning stove. I miss that.
10/24 Direct Link
Jory, born of Country Royalty (an oxymoron, he always supposed), didn't follow in his parents footsteps, and was almost disowned by his Uncle Jack that Thanksgiving when he informed his parents that he was majoring in finance. And oh yeah, he'd have to go to college for that. Momma Ro wasn't disappointed--they've always funded his endeavors, from dirt bike protégé to taxidermy camp--but she had wished that he hadn't chosen such a stuffy profession, and that one day he'd pick up that slide guitar again, to play that quiet haunt that made her forget her failing heart.
10/25 Direct Link
The Devil had given her what she wanted, and it was a small price really, she said. Don't own my soul to begin with.

I watched as she maneuvered a giant stone around her pinkie finger to more easily access the Cheetos at the bottom of the bag.

Funny, she said, when I asked for endless Cheetos, I thought they'd be sitting right on top, all the time. And now? I get orange cheese on my cashmere up to my elbow.

You should've asked for a short-sleeved sweater, I say.

You're smart, she says, and winks. Hey, you want his number?
10/26 Direct Link
words words words, comma, words words, question mark. lengthy expository paragraph. pause for effect. words words words, further explanation, words. clarifying explantion, with revelation. clarification of revelation, words words words words, INTERRUPTION, exclamation point, wordswordswordswordswords, words, words, reassurance, words words words. pause for effect. pause... pause... pause... words words words. transition phrase, change of topic, words words words. emoticon, emoticon, words. pause for intermission, musical medley, technical difficulties, (awkward) pause, announcement, words words words, truncated musical medley, pause. word. word word. pause. pause. pause. lengthy closing argument, with words! and question marks! and exclamation points! words words words AND... words.
10/27 Direct Link
When should we write? When we're young, and there's a fire in our bellies, a desire to, yes, embrace the chaos, in order to come out the otherside unscathed and invincible, or in tatters, but with a really good story?

Or when we're older, and more cautious, words metered carefully? A wisdom gained with battle scars, but never to re-enter battle?

It's not a matter of when, it's a matter of now. It's a matter of placing a word on paper, so that you're able to go to sleep and wake up again. So that you're able to age.
10/28 Direct Link
I've pulled out my external hard drive and have been shuffling the thousands of mp3's I've obtained over the years. I'm most surprised by how each song reminds me of a specific time/event/person, no matter how trivial (or wasn't) it/he/she was at the time. I get other surprises, the gut-punch kind, that remind me of listening to that particular (our) song, that (invariably) Sunday morning, with (a variety of) YOU(s) (past).

Cause You Trouble and coming off of an all-nighter. I'm So Paid, gearing up for the slopes. North Dakota and mimosas, pineapple.
10/29 Direct Link
And it is said! Arrogance and beauty, painted in ugliness, on the horizon of the apocalypse, my Brothers and Sisters, we must prepare! We must gather our sundries and children, and gather in the holy communion of the Righteous, confess not our sins but our sinfullness! And on the eve of destruction of man, and as given to the faithful through Revelations, there will be a fulfillment of prophesies.

Yes, my children, here comes the rain again, falling on our heads like a memory, falling on our heads like a new emotion! We want to walk, in the open wind!
10/30 Direct Link
Wilma had been on a few dates since her divorce. Her ex-husband, a boorish, uncultured, marginally functional alcoholic, believed in traditional marriage roles, and Wilma often found herself at home, spending the days talking to the appliances and hiding at the neighbor's house until Frederick came home, surly and demanding.

He'd roll out again shortly after dinner to bowl with his friends, only to return late, locked out and clamoring to be let in, yelling her name over and over into the cold night air.

She took a sip of Yabba Dabba Dew as she waited for her date.
10/31 Direct Link
Once*-a-month cop-out: arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf (*well, twice).