Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dear Inspiration,

Here's a little something you helped me write a long time ago. I dedicate it to you.




September 30, 1963 was a hot day at Stokes University. Although Jesse's English professor opened the windows, the lack of soft breezes in the humid southern air proved the attempt to be utterly fruitless. Jesse tugged at his collar and winced as a fat droplet of sweat fell from his forehead and onto his homework, smearing the ink on question number three. He reached into his left back pocket, pulled out one of his mother's handkerchiefs and carefully dabbed the flaw away.

Jesse gazed around the classroom at his peers. Many constructed paper fans and cocked their wrists back and forth, trying to cool their miserable faces and necks. Others slept. His eyes landed on Sarah Richards, a girl he courted the month before. He watched as she crossed and uncrossed her long, perfect legs, trying to find comfort in her desk. She caught him looking, shot him a nasty glare and stuck out her tongue. Jesse laughed.

"Mr. Musings, would you care to join us today?" Professor Albright asked.

"Sorry, sir," Jesse apologized sheepishly. "Will you please repeat the question?"

"What do you think would have happened if Romeo and Juliet had never met?"

"They would have been fine," answered Jesse, without hesitation.

"Fine? Please elaborate."

"I mean, of course they would've been fine. They were, what, fourteen? They had their whole lives ahead of them. In fact, I'd even say that it would've been better if they hadn't met. Juliet would have married Prince what's-his-name-"


"Yes, Prince Paris. And Romeo would've eventually gotten over Rosaline and met someone else. They'd both live a long life and probably be perfectly content. It's inevitable."

"Hmph," Professor Albright said. "Makes sense."

"Yes, it does," Jesse said, rather pleased with his answer.

"I disagree," boomed a passionate voice from the back of the classroom.

Jesse turned around and vaguely recognized a student who rarely attended class. She had a mop of curls and dirty bare feet. He had never really paid any attention to her, but now he was intrigued and a bit annoyed. He glanced at Professor Albright, who raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders.

"Why be merely content for a lifetime when you could be insanely blissful for a little while? In fact, if they'd never met, they'd have been better off dead anyway," said the girl.

"WHAT?!" Jesse scowled, throwing up his hands. "You can't be serious! I mean, COME ON."

"Oh, I'm serious. Dead serious." the girl giggled.

"Do you always laugh at your own jokes?" Jesse asked.

"Okay, class, we're out of time. Turn in your homework and have Act III read by Thursday. There will be a quiz," Professor Albright warned.

The students groaned as they gathered their books and strolled out the door.

"Hey!" Jesse called out to the opinionated stranger. "Do you really think they'd be better off dead?"

She ignored him and kept walking.

"Hey! I know you can hear me."

Her stride did not break.


The girl obediently stopped in the middle of the hall and pivoted on her heel to face Jesse eye-to-eye, hands on her hips.

"Aren't you hot?" she asked, tilting her head to the side and allowing her eyes to scan the upper half of his body.

"Excuse me?" he asked, shifting his weight uncomfortably from the right to the left.

"You're kind of sweaty."

Jesse looked down at the perspiration that seeped through his crisp white shirt. His face burned with embarrassment.

"Why do you wear white button-up shirts every day?"

"You don't even see me every day. You never come to class either."

"I see you around, and every time I do, you're wearing the same white button-up shirt."

So, she notices me, he thought.

"It's not the same one. I have a few," he retorted.

"You didn't answer my question," she said as she turned to walk away.

"You didn't answer mine," Jesse shot back.

She sighed, shook her head and turned around, a huge grin plastered on her face.

"Come here," she said as she flipped through Shakespeare's tragedy. She took Jesse's hand. "Close your eyes."


"Just do it. And listen."

"Okay… And by the way, I think you're weird."

"Hush. Listen. Ahem. 'Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.'"

The girl leaned forward and whispered softly in his ear, "See? Romeo may have liked other girls, but it didn't compare to his love for Juliet. A love like theirs only happens once in a lifetime." She drew back and asked in a normal voice, "Do you want more examples? I have them marked."

"Um, no, that's okay," Jesse shook his head, opened his eyes and nervously took his hand out of hers. He felt strange.

"So, what about you?" the girl asked.

"What about me?"

"Why do you wear white button-up shirts every day?"

"Because they look nice."

She giggled. "You do look nice. Every time I see you, your hair is perfectly in place, just like now."

Jesse smiled. She wants me, he thought.

"But, sometimes I wonder," she said as she raised her hands, "what it would look like," she leaned in close, "if I did this," and vigorously ran her fingers through his sandy blond hair, ruining any perfection that might have been.

"Hey!" Jesse angrily shouted. "Whaddaya do that for?"

She laughed hysterically. "Because you needed it."

"Do you always go around putting your hands on people you don't know?" Jesse asked.

"Well, who are you?"


"Who are you? What's your name? Please identify yourself."

"I'm Jesse. Jesse Musings."

"Jesse Musings… Hmmm… I'm Dylan," she said, offering him a solid handshake. "Now, we know each other and I reserve the right to put my hands on you any time I please, especially if it's for your own good."

"Oh, really?" he asked slyly.

"Really. So, Mr. Musings, may I call you Muse?"

"No. No, you may not."

"Okay, Muse. I have to go. I have a lunch date," Dylan said as she headed towards the exit.


"What now?" Dylan whined, flinging her body around to face him while rolling her big blue eyes.

"It's Jesse, okay? Jesse."

"Okay, Muse. Got it. See you around."

"Are you coming to class on Thursday?" he asked curiously, hoping to hear a yes.

"Maybe," she said, although she already knew she most definitely would.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear Christina,

Your last post WAS terrible! Seriously, you're going to hell.



Friday, September 4, 2009

Dear Future Child,

Today, I do not miss you one bit.

Don’t get me wrong — I love you more than I love myself. You’re the light of my future life. But today, my dear, I simply don’t miss you. Today, I’m basking in bachelorettehood. Smothering myself with sweet solitude. Loving life alone.

Today, I fully appreciate the benefits of coming home to a cat instead of you, your siblings, your dad and a to-do list four times as big as the one I barely manage now. I feel so bad saying that, but it’s true! I’m just not ready for you yet. I’m not ready for your father either. I’m not ready to clean up after people, while maintaining a loving heart. AGH! I’m so terrible, I know.

Tonight, I’m going to eat chips and salsa for dinner. Then around eleven, if I'm hungry again, I'm going to make some mac and cheese. From a box. Not the most nutritious meals, but I’m not feeding four, so it’s all good.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying I don’t want you. Of course I want you. I dream about you often. A little too often, I’m sure. I’m just saying that today is a great day to be childless!

In closing, I’d like to say that mothers are beautiful people. I hope to one day be as beautiful for you.

Until then,


Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Christina,

You whine a lot.

Seriously, your last blog entry made me wrinkle my nose and shake my head. I'm a little embarrassed for you.

Maybe you should spend less time whining about not writing and more time actually doing it.

Get over yourself,


Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I no longer write entries for you. The truth is, I don't write much at all. Sure, I get paid to come up with two-word headlines and an occasional cluster of sentences that eventually morph to client-mandated bullets, but other than that, I don't do it. And it makes me very sad.

I've written longer than I could spell. It's always been my passion. Boxes of journals are collecting dust in my parents' attic. Each one is stacked cover-to-cover with words. Good words too. Words better than good. Sentences longer than five words.

I still keep a couple of spirals stuffed inside my bedside table. Another rests in my backpack. Their first couple of pages are scrawled with random thoughts, promises to exercise more, to-do lists and curse word-infested rants. The rest of the pages are pathetically blank.

I really have no one to blame but myself. If I wanted to, I could pick up this laptop every night and peck something out. Anything. Good or bad. My writer friend does it. Her stuff is always good though.

I will try to write more. Not every night, but more than I do now. Perhaps I can force myself into a state of inspiration. Maybe I can make myself be moved by miniscule moments. See? A little alliteration to kick things off! I used a B verb, but eh, I gotta start somewhere.

Or maybe this will be just another first page in a mostly-empty digital spiral. Hmmm... I suppose I should be a bit more positive and a tad less melancholic. Guess it's just the writer in me.

Until next time,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Spearmint Rhino,

This morning I heard a radio spot promoting your gentleman's club. Aaaaaand, as a responsible copywriter, I have a coupla issues with it.

First of all, I don't believe the term "gentleman" fits. No gentleman is going to throw money at a stripper. A charity, maybe. A stripper, no. And no, strippers are not charity cases. Also, just an FYI: sipping scotch while ogling barely-legal girls doesn't make you a gentleman. It's makes you a voyeur. Funding the education or rent of a stripper with your not-so-disposable income doesn't make you a gentleman either. It makes you a sucker.

Second of all, you called your place "upscale." What's upscale about chicks taking off their clothes for dollars? It's one step up from getting paid for getting laid. And I don't care how many plush chairs you have, I promise if someone came into your establishment with a UV light, it wouldn't look so upscale.

Look, I'm not trying to be a hater, okay? I know people, especially in this economy, have to make a paycheck. And I know not every woman out there is as smart, talented and driven as I am. I'm just asking you to call it like it is, okay? Here's an idea:

Not getting enough attention on the dating scene? Want to make your friends think you're a big balla? Not a problem! Got some singles? Come to the Spearmint Rhino and throw them at naked women in cheap, clear acrylic shoes. They'll sit on your lap and make you feel important until your wallet is empty. And when that happens, no worries, we have ATMs.

Just an idea,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear A-hole Litterbugs on I635,

I saw what you did. Both of you.

To the first jerk in the Audi:
When I caught a glimpse of the fluttering napkins, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and wrote it off as an accident. But when the McDonald’s bag came flying toward my car, I became enraged. I mean, come on! Who throws a bag of half-eaten chicken nuggets and fries out their car window? On the highway? First of all, it's wasting food. I love food. A lot. Second of all, it's littering. I have a friend who would have surely kicked your ace. You’re lucky I only laid on my horn. If I had something (biodegradable) to throw at you, I would have.

To the second jerk in the Cavalier:
I was already pretty t-ed off at your buddy in the Audi, so when I saw you toss something papery out of your window, there was no chance in hell you were going to get off easily. That’s why I pulled up next to you, honked my horn a million times and wagged my finger like a crazy woman. Yeah, you looked confused. And scared. But I don’t care! You’re a punk kid with a trashcan complex.

To both of you:
You know, virtually every gas station and shopping center I’ve EVER seen in my ENTIRE life has had wastebaskets. And I’m pretty positive you have a few at home. Plus, plastic grocery sacks* make handy trash bags for your car. So basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that both of you are a lazy sacks of shit. I normally don’t curse in my blog, but I feel, in this case, it’s okay. You are trashy. No pun intended.

Eff off,


*Honestly, you shouldn’t be using plastic grocery sacks anyway. It’s much greener to bring your own canvas bags to the grocery store instead.